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ROSH HASHANAH 2020: A CURIOUS PORTENT

The Jewish New Year, known as Rosh Hashanah, the “Head of the Year,” started Friday night, September 18, at sunset. Those who take it seriously know that God still uses His calendar. Pay attention.

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A NEW BEGINNING

Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’” [Leviticus 23:23-25] 

There are actually two general traditional Hebrew calendar beginnings. The earliest is the sacred or festival calendar which begins in the spring with the first month of Nisan. The later civil calendar begins in the autumn with the seventh month of Tishrei. The first day of Tishrei—today—is Rosh Hashanah. It is a traditional time for a new beginning.

Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Feast of Trumpets. This is taken from the blowing of the shofar or ram’s horn to announce the beginning of the New Year. Since days begin at sunset, based on the Genesis account, Rosh Hashanah began on Friday night (last night) at sunset and ends tonight at sunset. As an example, sunset in Washington DC occurred last night at 7:10pm EDT.

This is also the first day of the ten “Days of Awe.” It is time to seek the Lord, to consider one’s spiritual condition, and to repent. It is a time to prepare for the coming year and make sure one is right with God. Traditionally, one’s spiritual condition at this time sets the tone for the entire coming year.

This is especially applicable, I would think, for the year 2020. The next month and a half will be incredibly intense, even more so than this past summer. This intensity will likely remain until the end of the year and probably into January. Major decisions must be made. Everything is heading into a massive funnel and the vortex created by the pressure will create outcomes possibly never seen before. There is intense pressure from several scenarios topped off by the plandemic, the great worldwide financial reset, the presidential and congressional elections, and tremendous social unrest. Millions of people are extremely angry and cannot seem to contain themselves whatsoever.

For Christians, our spirituality, walk with the Lord, and personal interactions will be greatly tested. It is most necessary to be properly prepared. The tenth day of the “Days of Awe” is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It begins at sunset on Sunday evening, September 27. The following passage gives an indication of the importance of this day:

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord. You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.” [Leviticus 23:26-32][1] 

A CURIOUS PORTENT

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg yesterday is quite the coincidence. She was obviously a very important American and high profile person, greatly admired and respected. She died before the sun went down on the last day of the civil year right before the onset of Rosh Hashanah. It goes without saying that such is an incredibly rare occurrence and must signal something quite profound.

Pay attention.

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


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

REPLACING RUTH BADER GINSBURG WITH AMY CONEY BARRETT: EPIC BATTLE BREWING?

To my readers: I wrote the following article on January 22, 2019. With today’s passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg it has much greater relevance.

Real Christianity

blog pic 1.22.19 rbgblog pic 1.22.19 acb       

         The President’s enemies know they have no chance of removing Donald Trump from office. They will possibly impeach him anyway. This ongoing war is moving toward a nuclear showdown.

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        Their survival is at stake. They have never faced such a foe. Trump was hit hard from the very beginning back in June of 2015 when he announced he was running. They thought they had him at the start. No one should be allowed to speak that way! But their initial effort failed. What would have easily destroyed another had no effect on him. Where another would have quickly joined the personal apology brigade and weakly succumbed to anti-American PC culture, Trump was unfazed. Then he did it again. There was more howling. Surely he was done in forever. Then he did it yet again. There were more attacks. Nothing. No…

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FINDING OUR ORIGINS: HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Christians believe in a Creator. We believe the Creator made us in His image. Christians are also highly intelligent and knowledgeable, and prove that faith in God and scientific fact are not mutually exclusive.

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Though proponents of secular science insist there is no God, they are also forced to believe in an unexplainable original uncaused cause. They must admit, no matter how distasteful it may be, that they’ll most likely never make it to the rainbow’s end. They have no idea how Creation, or the “Universe,” came to be at its earliest instant, though they content themselves with the highly implausible possibility they may figure it out someday. In the meantime, the surrender towel they threw into the ring remains there, above the canvas, stuck forever in suspended animation. For them, discovering the origin of Creation has reached a dead end. They can go no further. Though such anti-God proponents et al are saturated with scientific knowledge up to that point, if indeed their vast pronouncements of scientific reality are indeed factual, their otherwise powerful brains come up short at explaining beginnings. Could it be their absence of faith makes the original uncaused cause forever undiscoverable to them?

TRACING OUR ROOTS

For those who engage in the work of genealogy, often inspired to trace their personal family tree, it can be an intriguing and exciting adventure, especially when finding a slightly harder to locate previously unknown link in the chain. They continue going back in time adding more pieces to the puzzle. As they do the effort grows more difficult. The people one searches for become increasingly harder to find. Though one may have success in the early going mapping out ancestral generations, even going back several centuries, one discovers an eventual unwelcome interval when the trail is lost, when he must expend more time and energy on finding the next ancestor in line who has inadvertently perchance made himself scarce, than discovering all the other ancestors up to that point. Inevitably, whether Mr. Scarce or another after him is eventually found, one will reach a dead end. There will be no more ghosts of the past located.

Upon reaching this place, a person must simply face reality. The records grow scarce to the point of non-existence or at least it appears that way. With no written records one has nothing to work with. There is always the hope that maybe something will be found to grant another clue but the odds are against it. Even professionals with relatively unlimited budgets can only go so far.

ONCE UPON A TIME

As a way to remedy such an occurrence, what if one simply started making things up? What if one simply began creating ancestral characters? As an aside, we know that primitive people with no written records have oral histories stretching back into the distant past. They particularly honor the great ones of their bygone times who performed outstanding deeds to better the cause of their people. In time, the honor they give such ancestors becomes ancestor worship. And inevitably, such great ancestors become deified. They transform them into gods. Later generations approaching and appearing in the present accept such “history” without question. They believe wholeheartedly in the legends of their clan. It helps to make them what they are though much of their history is contrived.

Secular science does the same. Rejecting any idea of a Creator, an original personal uncaused cause, they insist on finding purely scientific and factual answers without getting bogged down in foggy legends or what they often term religious nonsense. On the surface, of course, this is good. On the other hand, however, without keeping an open mind to possible spiritual origins beyond their understanding, even though much in such a field is obviously suspect and easily refuted by facts, such people have a decided tendency to grow ever more cynical. It is why many of these people refuse to believe in God. The concept of God looks like a fairy tale. Some of them consider invoking God to be a cop out. And with such unbridled skepticism it is only a hop, skip, and a jump into outright mockery. With such an arrogant attitude which insists only on the use of what their intelligent but extremely limited brains can fathom, they eliminate the very place where the bulk of answers are found.

In the meantime, they must continue with their version of Creation based purely on the discoveries of the scientific method. They continue going back in time (by the billions of years) explaining to the best of their ability how it all came to be. And then they reach the same dead end. They are at a loss to explain it any further. Their only conclusion for the riddle of the Universe is an original uncaused cause. An unknown beginning. Even if they go back to a single point from which the entire Cosmos emerged or burst forth, there is no satisfactory scientific explanation for that single point. How did it get there? Do they think the process of minimizing the Universe to a single subatomic particle in the great distant past makes it easier to understand and accept our origins? Intelligent thinking people know better. The scientists know better. They still refuse, however, to consider a possible spiritual reality or something or someone beyond their ability to see or perceive.

So they make things up. In much the same way primitive tribes construct a legendary reckoning of ancient ancestors, filling in gaps as they go with fictional stories based loosely on suspect oral histories, so must science, the supposed facts people, come up with “answers” to fill in their knowledge gaps in order to complete the story, or their version of events. For backup they rely on one another. It becomes nothing more than circular logic or baseless biased reasoning. It happened that way because we say it did and we are the ones who know because we are the ones with all the credentials. And thus science destroys their one major caveat by becoming religion.

BREAKING FREE

I understood early in life that there must be something more. Looking around and sizing things up brought me to the conclusion, even as a kid, that things simply didn’t add up. Rather than plunge ahead into life with no thought of trying to figure it out, I always allowed for a belief in what may be termed higher things. Though unknown, of course, there must be something else out there I could not perceive but could at some point possibly discover. Such a belief and inevitable search allowed for a drag of sorts on doing what society expected and demanded regarding full attention toward excellence in completing a prescribed course. We understand that devoting full attention to whatever it is we must do makes the job easier.

However, as we mature and face our responsibilities, we collect out of necessity a growing number of hot glowing irons in the fire at the same time, each of which demands our attention, and therefore the idea of devoting full attention to any single one can only happen on an effective piecemeal basis. For those whose lives are so simple they only engage in a single activity and can thus give full devotion to it, I would think their chances of success would be relatively high in that particular field. For most people, however, they must devote themselves to any number of activities, engaging in them all at the same time in turn, like the guy who juggles bowling balls and meat cleavers. Life gets tricky that way. But it also tells us, through our previously unknown ability to excel at several activities at once, that we can spare some time for higher things as well, even though the latter might not be a top priority.

However, until our personal search for truth moves to the top of the list, we will never excel in that endeavor. And without such excelling God will forever remain in the distance.

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

“WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING” [Part 1]

It was ten years ago when I first heard the preceding words. The Lord spoke to me clearly and directly. There was absolutely no doubt regarding what He said. I’ve done my best to relay the message ever since.

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For those of you following the site over the years, you know I have brought this up before, several times. It has, however, like so many other truths I have received, largely fallen on deaf ears. Sometimes truth is not accepted because people simply cannot hear it. They don’t get it. It could be they have no frame of reference. One might as well be speaking another language. Others cannot receive it because there is something in the way, something is blocking transmission. The something, of course, is in their minds. A strong signal goes out. They cannot help but be in the direct path of the frequency, so to speak. But an unseen or unacknowledged obstruction disallows their reception like a mountain might block radio waves. They have no ill intent, necessarily, to block it, but something is blocking it.

In the majority of cases, however, at least according to my experience, which is extensive over many years, the truth is openly rejected. People hear it. They understand, at least to a degree, what is being said. There is not necessarily any obstruction in their minds blocking transmission.

Some reject truth out of hand, almost immediately, simply because it appears far too foreign for their chosen narratives which they live by or because it sounds too far out for any further consideration. These people are often in a hurry with maybe many irons in the fire. They keep their personal beliefs on the surface for the most part. Regarding the big picture they are shallow thinkers. They put most of their effort into making a living and living life, including their down time, which is filled with other pursuits. They give very little or mostly no thought to higher things that might allow them a brief glimpse into spiritual reality.

Many people, however, reject truth because they have already adopted their form of truth. If it’s religion or spirituality of some form or another, they already have that base covered. Their beliefs are set. They were either born into a particular traditional belief system and have accepted it wholly with no desire whatsoever to seek anything else, or they chose another at some point along the way, usually early on in life, and made it a foundation upon which everything else is built. Their thinking is such that they rarely or never question their beliefs or how their traditional religion came to be. All they can muster in this regard is unconditional deference to those in authority who pronounce it and they trust them wholeheartedly. They never look behind the curtain. Most don’t even know there is a curtain. They are also greatly supported by others in their group/clan/religion who believe exactly the same and it is from this well that they primarily draw from when questions might arise. Rather than do any serious research on their own they are content to be in union with a great many others who believe as they do and this is what they use for support. Whether they fully understand it or not, they are thus bound by a religious culture.

This dynamic is especially true regarding Christianity. Though the Lord Jesus has only one curriculum this has not stopped Christians over the centuries from rejecting it and creating their own, even though they still draw from His teachings in general. They acknowledge certain passages and verses and reject or neglect others. Another church down the street has their own favorites. Once you consider all the churches over the world you see that their respective constructed dogmas amount to a mishmash of various religious principles, some of which have no Christian basis at all. Their particular Statements of Faith include, of course, obligatory grabs and segments from the Lord’s original curriculum, as if they only had a limited supply of papyrus fragments or scroll segments to choose from, but also a rejection of much of His teachings because they don’t fit their perception of what Christianity is or what it should be.

I have always been somewhat astounded at this. When it comes to pretty much anything else, especially as it regards their means of making a living, these same Christians will do the opposite and adopt the full instruction manual. Earning money means they must know their product or the elements of the service they perform to the fullest extent in order to perform their best and engage in all that is required to procure success or maximum success. These Christians also have authority figures of some sort breathing down their neck to get their jobs right and perform correctly. It is how one gets in good standing and remains there to keep getting a paycheck or the necessary remuneration which they need to live and upon which their lives are built. The better they get at their profession, which obviously includes as much knowledge of it as possible and the experience to perform within it toward possible excellence, the better off they will be. This is what we all work at to varying degrees in order to receive maximum compensation which makes for a better life.

But strangely, this dynamic is rarely applied by Christians toward the Lord’s teachings. We have a billion Bibles largely going to waste and many appear as pristine as the day they were published. We have a full accounting of the Lord’s extant teachings in written form in pretty much every language known to man. We also have a great many works referencing His teachings that lend excellent support to our further understanding of it as well as any number of technological tools for assisting deep study. The material is there. The knowledge of how it got here is there. This is not simply a slow well to draw from but an ocean eclipsing the Pacific.

Why then are so many Christians, a probable majority, content with so little knowledge of the Lord? Why are they content with trusting their Christian education to one or a few religious authority figures? Why are they content with so little, even with purported degrees from “accredited” Christian schools? Many Christian “pastors” are only knowledgeable of their own Christian perspectives and can therefore only speak from what they know within their limited environment, which is often limited by design, especially if particular outside teachings appear strangely foreign regardless of Scriptural pedigree. Thus, their narrow approach regulates and imposes limits on “acceptable” Biblical truth, rejects that which they don’t feel comfortable with, and creates restricted parameters rather than allowing for access to the effective limitlessness of spiritual knowledge and the written Word of God.

Now, if they need a miracle in their lives, which can only come from the supernatural world, notably the Lord’s miracle realm, and can only involve supernatural miraculous means, well then, the supernatural in this case is suddenly not so odd and becomes agreeable. For anything else, however, especially everyday living and getting along, and making sure they do nothing to appear weird to friends and family, they reject the supernatural. I mean, come on, everyone must save face don’t you know.

AUGUST 30, 2010

I had hoped to write this article sooner so I could present it on the exact ten year anniversary of having received it. It was on the preceding date, so I’m close. One might consider that time ten years ago. I can still see it clearly. There was very little or nothing then that suggested any such thing as a Great Awakening would happen. Though a few Christians have believed in a coming great revival for perhaps a few decades, it seems as though their beliefs were presented in a general inarticulate sense in which the belief of revival outweighed any efficacy toward it.

To set the scene of hearing this message from the Lord, I was in the process of writing a paper presumably to be posted on my former website. During the previous year and a half, starting in early 2009, I had begun to write again and continue my research. Previous to then I had been inundated with practical necessities for a few years which restricted my time and opportunities. In that year and a half from early ’09 to August of 2010, I had created a relatively large amount of work including much research. The papers I created for posting averaged maybe 8-12 pages. I assumed the paper I began writing in late August ten years ago would be the same. The one thing that was different about it however was the unique subject matter. My relatively brief paper, over the next six months, became a book of well over 300 pages. I considered that a confirming sign.

One of the central purposes of the initial paper was to reveal fake revivals. One was occurring at that very time. It was mainly in the political realm but such often has strong Christian overtones. An event had very recently taken place in Washington DC at that time which involved the contribution of many religious leaders. It was supposedly about American patriotism associated with Christianity and included several national Christian personalities and church leaders. At one point the outdoor stage included a large group of these people in a lateral file from left to right. There was a call to lock arms together. However, intermixed within the mostly Christian leaders, both Protestant and Catholic, were several other leaders of various religious backgrounds, including Jews, Muslims, and Mormons. It was not simply another ludicrous ecumenical display but one absolutely antithetical to real Christianity. All those so-called Christian leaders, supposedly pledged eternally to the Lord Jesus, were locked arm in arm to those absolutely hostile to the Lord Jesus.

It was a perfect illustration of what would be ongoing deceptive efforts designed to stop what was coming.

© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]  

KARMA CHICKENS HOME TO ROOST: THE UNFORTUNATE FALLOUT OF UNACCOUNTABLE CHURCH AUTHORITARIANISM

Many church-going Christians in America, a probable majority, are currently acting powerless in the face of tyrannical secular overreach because they’re long conditioned to be subservient to strict clergy control.

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DO NOT GIVE HIS GLORY TO ANOTHER

There is only ONE Person deserving of all praise and honor. If Christians honored this ONE Person the way they honor their preachers/pastors/ministers/priests/reverends, the response to our present circumstances would be swift and powerful. That it is not is due to centuries of church conditioning that renders Christians largely harmless to the enemy, primarily because they have surrendered their God-given authority to authoritarians and high hat ecclesiastics more interested in power over Christians than serving the Lord to foster power within Christians.

We have the perfect example in the Lord Jesus. He had to die to release us from bondage. His intent was to free us from the prison of sin, usher us into abundant life, and empower us to stand, as He did, against all enemies. His example did not allow for a mere lone potentate on a platform throne but a sea of Spirit-filled believers let loose in the world to tell everyone the Good News and defeat every single spiritual enemy in opposition. His example, teaching, and spiritual equipping created spiritually powerful people willing to do battle anywhere and everywhere. They were never a collection of docile sheep silent and servile under a single high and lifted up human subsidiary or some absolutely unscriptural vaunted hierarchy with a dominant pyramid topper, but a collection of equals under the sole authority of the ONE who died to save them.

The Lord Jesus was the only ONE the early Community of the Lord honored above themselves. They honored each other laterally as sisters and brothers, and served one another as sisters and brothers, and lowered themselves to the status of servants but only in ultimate service to the Lord. They served one another not according to the standard servant-authoritarian paradigm but for the love they each had for one another. The Lord taught them to do just that and to even prefer their brother. This allowed not only for the destruction of human pride but also obliterated any idea or desire of taking charge over one another. This attitude allowed for an otherwise impossible dynamic in that the original Christians were both humble to the nth degree but powerful enough to whip demons and take their names.

Speaking of which, if so many of today’s pastors can’t even stand up to obvious attacks against Christianity and one’s calling, and stand up for the people they are supposed to be serving, and instead teach their congregants to stand down without a fight, which also involves standing down against clear violations of the American Constitution, does anyone really think these compromised authoritarians are fighting unseen spiritual enemies? If they refuse to stand up against petty tyrants—those in the process of seeing just how far they can go to restrict or even eliminate Christian freedoms—how can they possibly stand up against unseen demonic forces?

AUTHORITARIANISM AT ALL COSTS

And therein lies the rub. For the Christian authoritarians to be in charge it means the Lord Jesus can’t be. Now, please don’t get me wrong here. The Lord is in charge anyway, everywhere, in an overall sense, but He allows the possibility of being voted down. He never forces Himself upon anyone. Does Hebrew history reveal anything with greater destructive spiritual impact than this one primary fact? —That God is sovereign but the Hebrew nation rejected Him repeatedly? Why then is it so difficult to see Christians doing the same?

It’s different in one sense, however. The Israelites never made rejecting God a traditionally accepted practice. They always knew it was wrong, that is, whenever they actually had a mind to think about it. Also, the prophets, when they weren’t dead, never ceased to warn the authority thieves of their illicit behavior.

For Christianity, though, and I am certainly speaking in general terms, clergy dominance did not only become an accepted tradition, it became foundational policy to trumpet at all times. Once the people were thoroughly cowed (sound familiar?) the big boys let up, but still insisted on building and maintaining the outward structure of control. It is in part why most church formats all look the same: There is a restricted area up front or raised platform with platform thrones and sacred pulpits, and down below or beyond there is the mass of powerless nobody little people all lined up side-to-side in lateral rows staring over the back of each other’s heads dutifully supporting their betters. One group is very small, compensated, and overtly respected. The other group is very large and must find their own way in the world. Does this look like Christian fellowship? Does it look like the spiritual interacting of the people of God? Does it even look like Scripture? Why do theaters, concert halls, opera houses, Roman basilicas, and ancient pagan temples have the exact floor plan?

DOMINANCE AND SUBMISSION

The greatest trick the devil ever perpetrated was convincing a few prideful bigwigs to elevate themselves over everyone else and demand subservience. Why? Because in the process it removed 99% of Christians from viable ministry. It turned a massive untold number of believers into passive non-workers so those who wrested control could have full control. Remember, however, though it might be hard to understand now, the original Christians were world-changing devil-busters filled with the power and love of God who wreaked havoc on the devil’s evil kingdom and rescued millions of people from his clutches. They attacked hell en masse and took no quarter. They knew what their purpose was and achieved it every day. They were the direct opposite of passive pew-sitters allowing the few in charge to do whatever they want. Is it any wonder, then, that the history of Christianity is filled with the abuse of power? Is it any wonder that evil at the top grew without restraint? Who was rightly checking it? Who was holding them accountable? Who is holding them accountable at present? I am being very kind here. I could go on. It would be somewhat akin (to an infinitely lesser degree) to the Lord’s rebukeathons against the Scribes and Pharisees. There is no end to the subject matter.

Whereas once false Christian potentates ruled with an iron thumb, murdered masses, persecuted real believers, and demanded even their own people to grovel before them, the greater aspect of today’s abuse involves a mass misallocation of funds. Most of the money given is spent unwisely and inappropriately. It is spent on the accoutrements of this world and comparative little is given to those who need it most. Not only have the great bulk of Christians been relegated to the sidelines, their individual ministries are rarely or never supported, and certainly not financially. Meanwhile, a few have no end of funding. Some of those in the clergy class know the money allocation state of affairs is inherently incorrect and one-sided (because they still have the modicum of a working conscience) and consequently reduce their takings to what may be termed a sensible amount. Others, however, go whole hog. They rake it in like gangbusters and have a ball. There is often no end to their excess. They always have a tendency to spend it on the wrong things, which mainly involve their personal lives and the material trappings of their fiefdoms. They will also send assistance elsewhere, often far elsewhere, but neglect faithful brother Jones and supportive sister Smith sitting right there in the congregation.

FOLLOW THE LEADER, NOT THE CLERGY HANDBOOK

One may wish to remember the Lord’s example. If He did not allow any extravagance for Himself (or pretty much anything), where do such Christian leaders get their authorization? Again, it’s not from Scripture but from a false Christian tradition. And if anyone might be thinking the actual problem is not the clergy barrel as a whole but only a few bad apples within it, why don’t other Christian leaders call them out? One denomination doing this to another doesn’t count. That’s often just religious/political backbiting and posturing. Each denomination believes it has the best interpretation or expression of Christianity and thus rejects the others. They do this to protect their status as distinct Christian cults and will always protect their own even if their own are guilty. It’s called protecting the brand. The higher up the ladder you go, however, the more corrupt it becomes because they have more power to shield the guilty. The corruption then spreads downward through their corrupt policies.

A better example may be the polyculture associated with Christian TV. Apparently all these different people with all their different backgrounds and all their different doctrines have no problem with one another. Have you ever seen anyone on Christian television openly rebuke and call out the frauds among them? Is it because there are no frauds? Is it because they think it’s not “Christian” to do such a thing? The truth is that many are chicken, compromised by the same process, and don’t want the spotlight shining on them (or all weapons turned in their direction). They are all drawing from the same money well. Therefore they forego any possibility of being a corrective force. It proves they collectively have no interest in reform. This is absolutely no different than the dynamic played out among the ancient Hebrew prophets and evil kings. Those connected to the kings knew they better keep their mouth shut. The prophets, however, said to hell with that and refused to be silent. Have you ever seen an actual prophet in this sense on Christian television?

Imagine much of the power of that medium being wasted because many of those in control are no different than most politicians. The latter ilk are often compromised entirely and are usually controlled puppets, world class rip-off artists, or both, and this is why they talk but never act unless it’s in favor of their lobbyists et al. Sound familiar? How much money and support has been going to Washington forever? And things keep getting worse for the country. Meanwhile, Christian television, multiple mega churches, and scads of ministries all across the nation have a preponderance of money, equipment, and locations to preach from with their congregations in full support, but the country keeps going to hell. Maybe it’s because their stuff is in the hands of the wrong people. You can’t expect someone who refuses to clean up his own act to clean up larger venues. How long will we keep going through the motions to nowhere while souls are not being reached with the real Gospel? The people who could do the job and are doing their best with what they have routinely get mothballed, blackballed, or disfellowshipped in a complete reversal of the actual intent of fellowship. The ones who should get disfellowshipped are the faux controllers and their supporters. (In reality this has actually happened, though in reverse, in the sense that it is easier for one or a few to leave. See Luke 9:5.)

Since those interested in truth and reform always amount to a small minority, the controllers believe it is better to kick out a few, render them inconsequential, or cold-shoulder them into oblivion. This has caused all those who remain to fall into the clergy worship trap which renders them powerless. Perhaps this is why you can never count on them to come through when spiritual effort is most needed. The powerful spiritual DNA is gone because they removed it. The great frontline soldiers with all the grit and determination were seen as way over the top for the sensitive spiritual reality rejecters. And the leaders like it much better when Christians are simple-minded and docile who never, ever challenge them. They fight anyone else. The only ones left are thus easily controlled. It’s the religious equivalent of putting strong little boys on Ritalin to neuter the strength God gave them in order to make them behave and fit within a contrived, inhumane round-peg-in-a-square-hole system in which all must be coerced into silence and servitude.

This is how the elite in charge have transformed Christianity. Instead of developing dedicated disciples per the Lord’s direction they contrive collectively constrained converts under clergy control.

Real Christians are thus largely off the radar. They don’t fit so well once gaining maturity. It’s the same thing with the country. The elite in charge vote themselves excess and merely patronize their “constituents,” especially at election time. America used to be a great country filled with strong moral people but is now inhabited by a seeming majority of selfish, apathetic, and dependent unawares without a clue or the gumption or ability to right the ship. The real patriots who can right the ship are constantly under attack which makes it difficult to mount a charge. And then there’s the quite successful divide and conquer strategy which always seems to rear its ugly head in times of spiritual progress.

The same has also always been the case in Christianity. A few Christians get it right and attempt reform to the Lord’s original standard but sold-out authoritarians crush them to the best of their ability with the silent support of the majority. The guilty party has obviously decided on planet earth as their heaven which renders spiritual graduation into eternal life essentially undoable. They may have a rude awakening upon casting off their mortal coil.

They likely will not see what Stephen saw when his time came.

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

THE INHERENT RISK OF COVENANT RELATIONSHIP

When two are together in any venture in complete reliance upon the other, both are in an otherwise precarious position. Each one is absolutely vulnerable to the possible failure of their associate.

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The longer the relationship exists the more vulnerable each becomes. The dependency grows due to the progress accomplished. In other words, at the beginning of the contract or covenant, the only element gained is the relationship itself. The relationship is such that it is seen by both partners as having much higher value than the absence of it. Both parties had chosen to begin the relationship. Both had sowed the vital nutrients into it as it grew. Both parties benefited and continued to gain greater benefits until a point was reached when each party decided to make an absolute commitment to the relationship rather than maintain any portion of themselves apart from it.

Such a decision places one party at the mercy of the other. Though it is not perceived in that manner at the time due to the beneficial nature of the initial relationship which each party greatly appreciates, it must certainly be a consideration in the beginning. One must move slowly in learning who one can trust. We are instructed by God to guard our hearts. One must also seek the requisite compatibility. If the opposite party displays trustworthiness at the outset, the only way it can be tested is by a furtherance of the relationship. If each step reveals honesty and apparent fidelity, a sense of reliability emerges and increases. One has less reason to be self-protective. One has greater freedom to be open. One has more willingness to share.

At least, this is how relationships should proceed. It is obvious that many relationships do not develop in such a way, based simply on their finality, brought about primarily from endemic disharmony stemming from selfish and/or immature behavior. If the proper steps are not taken and applied, or if a relationship is fast tracked due to the immediate benefits of one particular aspect without paying any attention to all the other aspects, either because they are considered but rejected or simply not perceived, it allows for a poorly constructed and weak foundation which will certainly present itself in time when the growing pressures of derivative relationship accretion are placed upon it.

In the event, however, when all proper steps are taken and any evident inappropriate or harmful future possibilities are rightfully considered and all appears good to go, it still does not mean that the partnership or relationship will not be tested or suffer to some degree, only because such is the nature of life in this world and also the nature of humanity itself in that we are complicated beings subjected to many influences.

From a Christian perspective, there is always the possibility of the specter of temptation. Of course, both parties must be well aware of this and do their due diligence to avoid it knowing that so much rides upon it. Each party must have already been right with God in the beginning and must maintain their relationship with God throughout. Each party must also maintain their commitment to one another.

Any person who does not consider these aspects or embrace them are effectively attempting to create something which is bound to fail unless corrective measures are taken in the early stages to rectify any incorrect applications, improper attitudes, or selfish conduct which can only restrict or do damage to the relationship but more importantly, to the other party. The vulnerability of each partner which is always present as a necessary component of the relationship must always be considered by the other party when deliberating upon possible actions and choices, because wrong actions and choices will harm one’s partner and stand in opposition to the love one has committed to and should indeed demonstrate.

Normally, one would never do any wrong thing in this regard because their love or respect for the other would prohibit it. But human beings are not automatons. There is always the possibility of straying from one’s covenant promises and responsibilities, or failing in them entirely. Judas proved this.

On a positive note, there is also the possibility of applying forgiveness and walking in proper humility. This is relatively easy if not extremely so when one acknowledges the high price paid for saving grace. For best results, we must always prioritize the Lord’s perfect example. 

YOKED WITH GOD: A NO RISK VENTURE

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30][1]

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


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

 

THE PLANDEMIC TRUTH WAS REVEALED HERE BACK IN MARCH: NOW CONFIRMED

The news is now out that only 6% of COVID-19 deaths were attributable to COVID-19 alone. This is a shocking admission of truth.

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As of 8/22/20, 161,392 people were reported to have died from the virus in the United States. The actual number was approximately 9,210. [1]

Americans have been forced to participate in this. What will be the fallout? Will anyone be held accountable? Will Americans at last come to their senses? What about the millions of Christians who participated from the beginning and are still participating at present? Will they ever wake up? Who are the real leaders of American Christianity at the moment? Who are the few telling the truth?

I wrote the following posts back in March:

MARCH 16, 2020:

PANICKED OVER A TRICK PANDEMIC

MARCH 22, 2020:

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

MARCH 31, 2020:

THE CONTROL TEST: PROVING THE MAJORITY COMPLIANT

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


[1] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm?fbclid=IwAR3-wrg3tTKK5-9tOHPGAHWFVO3DfslkJ0KsDEPQpWmPbKtp6EsoVV2Qs1Q

AND STILL THEY DO NOTHING

 

For the few who are keeping up, you now have all the evidence required to prove traditional institutional Christianity in America has become largely willingly ineffective in the current spiritual war.

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This is the price of compromise, of holding on to cherished notions that what worked yesterday can still work today. It can’t. Yesterday is gone forever. Those who know what real spiritual war is know this is true. Those who have fought valiantly with their entire being know it was the only means to victory but also that victory is not necessarily guaranteed. The days of playing church as a means of overcoming a determined enemy out to destroy them only worked in the minds of the deceived. As always, it was the largely hidden frontline spiritual soldiers keeping things as intact as possible while the majority looked the other way, not comprehending spiritual reality and not willing to be bothered with the Lord’s call to spiritual arms.

Such real believers continue to take the Words of the Lord very seriously. They don’t pick and choose from His curriculum what they will believe and act upon. These are real disciples who understand that His full teachings have never been a mere suggestion or some quaint repository from which to draw to maintain the mere semblance of duty. They give it everything they have as the Lord requires.

Compromised Christians are people who simply don’t get it or won’t. They do not understand or care that, according to the Lord’s teachings, the only way to win spiritual victories is through a 100% commitment. Maintaining the spiritual high ground works only through the same process. The Lord did not teach full commitment as only a last stand gesture to be utilized as a last resort when the enemy comes in like a flood, but as the only means of ongoing victory through its consistent daily application. Why? Because the enemy never takes a day off. Slackers and rebels thus side with the enemy through their inaction and refusal to obey the Lord.

We should now know the majority of Christians were playing church all along because of what has now transpired in America. Whatever they were doing did not prevent it. We should now know it is still doing it even in the face of the current dire circumstances. I have been arguing for decades against the wrongheaded notion of restricting ministry to official church tradition as usual for several reasons, but primarily because it stands as a stubborn opposing force to the actual powerfully effective means the Lord taught and practiced. We currently have insistent traditional Christians still insisting on traditional Christian means even though they are no longer practicing traditional Christian means because they have been ordered to cease practicing their traditional Christian means by their traditional Christian leaders who have succumbed to secular mini-tyrants.

Remember, in times of peace and prosperity many never notice or care about real Christianity. But when peace and prosperity goes south in part due to Christians not honoring their commitment to the Lord they start paying more attention. A few get the message. A few get the big idea. A few repent. A few rededicate themselves to God. A few rise to the occasion. A few stand up for the Lord Jesus. Those who do make all the difference. Remember Gideon’s 300.

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30][1]

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


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

 

BASIC AUTHORITY RANKING AS REVEALED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

God has all authority. In His wisdom, He shares His authority through official delegation. Among people, there is an uncomplicated organizational order with spiritual authority ranking above secular rule.

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NEW COVENANT AUTHORITY 101

The following chart reveals basic New Covenant authority and who ranks where. It is not complicated. There is no hierarchy. Like everything else in the New Covenant Scriptures this should be second nature for all Christians. But like everything else in the New Covenant Scriptures, the subject of authority has been shanghaied by interlopers and rewritten to suit themselves. Hey, if the Pharisees could do it regarding the Old Testament, and of course, they did, right in the midst of the Lord Jesus, with no reservations, what makes one think Christian Pharisees cannot do the same regarding the New Testament?

FIRST—

THE LORD JESUS:

He has all authority in heaven and earth. He is God. He is also Man. He is thus the Mediator between God and man:

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. [1Timothy 2:5]

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

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. [1Corinthians 11:3]

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. [2Corinthians 5:19]

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” [Matthew 1:23]

“I and the Father are one.” [John 10:30]

SECOND—

THE COMMUNITY OF THE CALLED-OUT ONES:

The Lord Jesus shares His authority with those who have submitted properly and fully to His authority and places them in positions of spiritual authority. He set the example for this as a Man, the Last Adam, receiving spiritual authority from God. He was the first:

But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. [Matthew 9:8]

Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. [Matthew 10:1]

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]

THIRD—

GOVERNING AUTHORITIES:

The Lord gives authority to those in legitimate positions of civil authority as recognized by Him who honor their positions appropriately and are generally supported by the people. As a check on civil authority by the Lord’s people, see Peter and John’s response in Acts 4:19-20. This proves the authority of the Lord’s Community supersedes governmental authority.

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good.

But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. [Romans 13:1-7]

FOURTH—

INDIVIDUALS:

Each individual has personal authority over his or her own life as granted by the Lord. Each person has the freedom to make his or her own choices, including whether or not to be delivered from sin, to be His disciple, and to possess eternal life. Where one ends up when this short life is over is strictly and fully up to the individual who alone has the power to make that choice. God has given every individual a free will to choose his or her own eternal fate.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:7-14][1]

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


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

THE BIG REVEAL: COMING TO A CHURCH NEAR YOU

Imagine the original Pentecost. Imagine the preparation the participants had to go through. The God of the Universe was about to enter their space in an unprecedented manner. Should they not take it seriously?

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Most churches don’t. Most ministers don’t. This is just fact. It’s the way it is. It’s the way it’s always been. God is out there somewhere and He has ideas on how to go about things and has even presented all generations since Pentecost with a written record and powerful historical happening as a reference and most Christians pay little or no attention to it.

You think God is concerned about that? How do you feel when you know you have the goods but are not acknowledged as such or welcome? Let’s say you’re really good at something (as most of you are) but next to no one cares about your craft/ability/knowledge or acknowledges it. Imagine, let’s say, a young baseball player who tears it up in high school and has a bright future but for some reason no scouts ever discover the lad or appreciate his talents. Somehow or another he is always under the radar. Let’s say there’s a young woman who has always been wonderfully skilled at art and has many wonderful paintings to her credit but for some reason no one ever notices. These two people have the goods but are effectively invisible.

If we multiply this scenario by some large unknown number we can get a handle on what it’s like to be human in this regard because the given description likely represents untold millions throughout history, especially the further back we go.

Most cultures and societies of the past had a limited understanding of human talent and also no outlets for their expression. Life is usually about survival. Rather than discovering one’s purpose, the higher priority is a tendency toward finding enough to eat and staying alive. For societies that branched out into new fields of endeavor, who showed more appreciation for unacknowledged human talents, say, like the ancient Greeks, additional opportunities arose. They were still limited, of course, and in time gravitated toward greater support for a few to the exclusion of others but at least the door opened wider.

It has only been maybe over the last two centuries or so that greater opportunities have arisen to make allowances for any number of personal giftings and talents. This was based on greater freedom and liberty and those few nations who allowed for freedom and liberty miraculously had a much greater preponderance of new levels of individual expression, inventions, in-depth knowledge on a great many subjects, and even entirely new sciences. Funny how that happened.

Imagine how so many Americans at present make no connection whatsoever between individual liberty and great accomplishments/prosperity. In other words, when the authoritarians, petty tyrants, and world class thieves get off a nation’s back, the people revert once again to living life to the fullest with much joy and peace, a great preponderance of individual accomplishment, and overall prosperity.

This ridiculous turn of events has also happened with regard to Christianity. The Dark Ages began due to evil “Christian” religionists engaging in their version of the following:

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13][1]

The Dark Ages ended because a few brave spiritual giants, notably John Wycliffe in the late 1300s and two centuries later, William Tyndale, decided they would translate the Bible into English and set it free from the prison of Latin. In between those two, Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press with moveable type. This invention was roughly equivalent to the internet of that day. Biblical knowledge flourished because Bible printing abounded. Christians gained much greater access to the Word of God. Also, literacy increased as did access to historical records. The first few valiant and courageous spiritual pioneers who got it going paid dearly, of course, but later generations were greatly blessed by their priceless efforts.

Later on, when the Lord began adding personal spiritual experiences that matched those of the Early Church it proved the neglected record within the Book of Acts, and consequently, real Christianity came alive. We had a precursor Great Awakening in the 1730s-40s in America that laid the spiritual groundwork for the eventual Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution, and the very creation of this country which proved the Lord was certainly involved. In case you’re wondering, God is always on the side of human freedom. He greatly appreciates it when people think like Him (what are the odds of that?). But notwithstanding the fact that we are all comparative dunces, we can still “think like Him” in general when we apply His attitude toward people. God loves us. He wants us to be free. This is actually the meaning of His Name. His desire that we be free should be obvious with all He has done, but the presence of sin and evil in this world mutes this truth and people either don’t acknowledge Him on purpose or lose sight of Him after childhood.

But the fact remains—God is good. He is great. He is loving. He is powerful. But He is also respectful of our preferences and choices. If people don’t want Him He never forces the issue. He is a gentleman. And for the record, while many people have been rejected and/or treated with indifference to some degree, no one has suffered in this regard as much as the Lord Jesus. Even when He was being led to His death, when so many were jeering and spewing their hatred, He soldiered on in love, looking at the great prize He was about to gain for us all. And it never mattered if only a few would accept His sacrifice on their behalf or if it was only one person. He still would have done it.

After His willingness to give so much, to give everything, why do the majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians refuse to do likewise? Every single Christian should be on his or her face before God pleading with Him for help to be the best he or she can be. We should all be asking for His full Light. We should all want to be real disciples as they were in the beginning. Instead, most want no part of such. They would rather present only a modicum of assent or service and never be inconvenienced. They desire just enough to feel they are okay and no more. Sadly, such Christians find a plurality of “ministers” to help them in their false Christian stance. Such ministers enable their understated rebellion.

Real ministers, however, tell the truth. They point repeatedly and directly to the full teachings of the Lord.

This was the attitude of the original 120 at Pentecost. They gave everything and wanted everything. They refused to settle. Pentecost was the dividing line. Those who crossed that line to the Upper Room experience received all the Lord had for them. These were a mere minority but such is always the case. Spiritually speaking, the “majority” is always wrong. Keep that in mind when trying to figure out why so many churches are dead, dull, and lifeless, or in other words, the very opposite of God and His intentions. There is no or little life in these places because the people there refuse to fully submit to the Lord. Though they have been falsely convinced they are right with God they are actually still uncleansed, still in sin, and still deceived by the evil one. If it were not so they would be filled with the life of the Lord and everyone would know it.

As the current Great Awakening proceeds, there will be a greater distinction between Light and darkness. Just as it is obvious to those who dwell in the light what the darkness is, many more will become aware of this difference. The kid who could play ball will understand that remaining in the wrong place will be a continued detriment to his ability to play. The wonderful young artist who no one appreciates will understand that changing venues will create opportunities. They will leave the dead spaces and venture into the wide open green pastures of freedom and opportunity where their talent can take off and shine. They decide they no longer care about the status quo or saving face, or remaining in a place of societal acceptance though their hearts die within them. They take a chance on God.

This is what the Upper Roomers did. They gave up everything to be in that place. They were rejected by everyone in their lives not there, including family members who didn’t want the truth. They likely lost jobs and professions. Their social standing was gone forever. From henceforth they were known as crazy, strange, weird, and peculiar. The same thing happens when a muted believer leaves the relative darkness and ventures into the fullness of God’s Light. He or she is welcomed with open arms by the Lord and those who dwell there but are castigated by former acquaintances who were only interested in homogenized Christian tradition in opposition to the Lord.

The Big Reveal has arrived. It will increase. Christians on the bubble must make a choice.

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


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

CHRISTIAN MYTH MAKING: TWISTING THE GOSPEL TO FIT A NARRATIVE

New Covenant truth is too real for many Christians. It is far too powerful and demands too much. They can’t handle it. They must torque it down enough so their flesh will not be offended.

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It brings on serious bouts of conviction and knee jerk reactions to defend:

(1) One’s pride

(2) One’s chosen non-New Covenant-supported alternative views, and

(3) One’s belief that no one should be subjected to the discomfiting notion that God requires more than we are willing to give.

FAITH COMES FROM HEARING

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? [John 6:60 KJV]

Translated into English, here is the same verse:

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” [John 6:60 NASB]

And the answer to that, my friend, is the one with spiritual ears. Such ears are apparently in short supply these days. Or maybe they always have been. Or maybe it takes effort on our part to locate such ears or manifest them. Perhaps such ears have something to do with being tuned in to the right channel? And isn’t it interesting that the Lord did not seem overly concerned with making sure everyone within earshot was properly equipped with such ears to gain His frequency?

“Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” [Luke 13:24]

Here we see it again. As in the ears scenario, there is also the “who can enter” scenario. The Lord makes a clear ratio proportion statement here between the enterers and non-enterers apparently related directly to the ears and no ears people and that the former (enterers with ears) are fewer than the latter (non-enterers with no ears). In other words, there will be many more goats than sheep. That is why he answered in verse 24 the question asked by someone in verse 23 the way He did. That person heard something in the spirit which made it sound as if only a relatively small number would make entering the narrow door a priority:

“Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” [Luke 13:23]

Was this true? (Affirmative). And are spiritual ears a component of the admission ticket? (Sure sounds like it). And for at least partial confirmation, we have the following declarative statement (which explains a lot):

“Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” [Acts 14:22]    

MAKING THE TEAM

I played a lot of men’s softball in my time. I coached several teams. I named one of my church teams the Walk-Ons. For those of you not clear on this sports term, a Walk-On was a player who was never expected to make a team but “walked on” the field. It usually relates to college teams who fill their rosters with prized recruits who are given athletic scholarships but also allow tryouts for other students. Walk-Ons used to be a little more common.

In my case our church had an “A” team but the coach allowed ringers. I didn’t like that. They also didn’t have the best attitude. So I put together a team of actual loyal church-goers. We all chipped in for the league fee. We were designated the “B” team but we beat the “A” team in the only practice game we played together. Right before the season started, one really good player left the “A” team to play on my team, in part because he appreciated that we did things the right way. Even so, we were still only the second team, largely unknown and unsupported. Nevertheless, though just a bunch of Walk-Ons, we gave it our all.

THE LORD’S TEAM

Only the best will make the cut. Getting to heaven is not a popularity contest. It doesn’t matter how great a Christian thinks he is, how much he has accomplished for the Lord, and to whatever degree he managed to cross the religious T’s and dot the churchy I’s. No one is saved by their accomplishments. No one makes heaven based on their record within a Christian culture, no matter how many accolades are thrust upon one or memorials, monuments, or statues built to honor one’s posterity.

The only way to make heaven is by the Blood of the Lamb. Period. It was a perfect sacrifice. It was enough to save every single person who ever lived. Nothing anyone can do will ever add to it and it is impossible to take anything from it. The New Covenant is thus written in Blood. And it is a Covenant. It is a Blood Covenant. It is an agreement made between two parties in which each party gives 100%. That means everything. It starts with giving one’s entire heart. It continues with giving one’s entire life. Anything one does for the Lord is a gift to Him. It can never, ever come close to His gift for us, but He doesn’t look at it that way. What must happen to make the Covenant complete, lawful, and in effect is not that we match His gift, because it can never be done, but that we give all. Giving all is our best gift. He gave His all and we give our all. This activates the Covenant. Anything less will not work. Those who make the cut are those who gave all.

MILLIONS OF SEEDS BUT ONLY FEW GERMINATE

Most seeds never result in mature, healthy plants. God designed nature to have an overabundance of seeds to increase the chances of life. Watch what happens here:

“The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Luke 8:5-8]

In this parable, three out of four seeds never come to fruition. Have you ever wondered why the sower threw his seed beside a road, upon rocky soil, or among thorn bushes? What kind of sower does that? A sower with bad aim? A sower who doesn’t much care where the seed goes? This does not appear to be a very good sower. He pretty much throws the seed everywhere.

So here we have a parable within a parable. I must leave it to the reader to figure out the full implications put forth here because that’s what the Lord said to do (“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”) Nevertheless, I would think that those who heard these words back then were probably thinking the same thing, in that no experienced planter would be so careless. An experienced planter would only plant seeds in well cultivated good soil.

His disciples immediately asked the Lord what this parable meant. They didn’t understand. He then explained it to them. He also said, however, that only His disciples would be granted the meaning. No one else would get it. Whoever was not the Lord’s disciple would hear the parable but not understand the meaning of it, likely because they didn’t care about it anyway. They didn’t care and could not understand because they were not disciples. A disciple of the Lord is characterized as one who gives all. It doesn’t mean His disciples are necessarily the best specimens of humanity but only that they are fully committed.

Regarding why the sower appeared to have such bad aim is because he had to go where the people were. The people had four different types of hearts and only one was the type that produced spiritual fruit. Was only one qualified to make heaven? When I was a rookie Christian years ago I surmised that the Lord taught us we had a one in four chance of getting saved or 25%. This means 75% would not make the cut. He said as much in the following:

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:13-14]

The word “few” sounds like even less than 25%. The point, however, is that only a decided minority will make heaven. Like the superfluous seeds of nature which never come to full fruition, neither will the majority of humans. However, there is yet another aspect to the Parable of the Sower. The Lord is only referring to people who receive a Gospel witness. Out of all who do, only one in four actually do what is necessary to have good ground and become fruitful Christians. The other 75% HEAR the Word but never produce. Notice the following score card:

“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. [Luke 8:11]

ONE (NO PLANT / NO FRUIT / NO SALVATION):

Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. [Luke 8:12]

TWO (WEAK PLANT / NO FRUIT / NO SALVATION):

Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. [Luke 8:13]

THREE (WEAK PLANT / NO MATURE FRUIT / POSSIBLE SALVATION?):

The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. [Luke 8:14]

FOUR (STRONG PLANT / MATURE FRUIT / FULL SALVATION):

But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” [Luke 8:15][1]

Regarding number three, is it possible to never produce a harvest and still be saved?

CHRISTIAN MYTH MAKING

We can see that some Christians, maybe many, may not agree with the gist of this parable. It appears as though the Lord is making it much too hard to be a good Christian. The truth is that the naysayers likely think the Lord’s standard is too difficult because their brand of Christianity is so easy. This is true for Christianity in general. It doesn’t ask much. It makes few demands. It certainly does not call for strong perseverance to produce a harvest or indicate that such a harvest is proof of real discipleship. Somewhere along the way, since the time of the original Christians, someone decided to lighten the discipleship load. After a while, being a disciple was no longer required. Keep in mind the Lord never taught this and certainly did not agree with the new slackers, but slacker Christianity eventually became the dominant form. Rather than be a disciple of the Lord giving one’s entire heart and life, many Christians were taught to just show up and go through religious motions and give the new clergyites honor and funding and all would be well. They were lied to, of course, but still complied. They agreed with a false teaching.

Thus, easy believe-ism is not at all a new thing. It’s been around a long time. This does not lessen its diabolical nature. It is one more ploy of the devil to capture souls. Those Christians who buy into such a fraudulent covenant do not deserve heaven, essentially because they do a grave disservice to the Lord’s pure sacrifice. They hear the Word, at least in part, but rarely or never act on it according to the Lord’s directives. Spiritually speaking, they keep their hearts to themselves.

And because their preferred narrative states that as many as all four types of the people listed are saved, for various reasons, and that the work of salvation and persevering discipleship are mere outdated or non-essential notions, they not only create a god to suit themselves but a gospel as well.

It is the twisted gospel of the mythmakers.

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


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

AMERICA’S DESCENT INTO CHAOS: IDENTIFYING THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY

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Darkness enters the void vacated by the light.

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Those of you who follow my work know I am an advocate of the Early Church. Regardless of what that term may conjure up in the minds of Christians (and it is likely to invoke quite dissimilar notions), allow me to define it from a New Covenant perspective, the only one that matters.

THE FINAL GENERATION

We must look at the period of roughly forty years between the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the cessation of the former nation of Israel (the little that was left of it) in AD 70. On Av 9 of that year, which occurs on our calendar in approximately late July to early August, Israel’s third and final temple was destroyed. The great city of Jerusalem was also largely destroyed. Judgment had fallen on a rebellious people, a people with a long track record of violating God’s covenants. Everything that could possibly have been done by the Lord to avert such a disastrous outcome had been done, but to no avail.

Sixty-five years later, in AD 135, after yet another uprising by rebellious Zealots, what may be termed the final termination of what was once Jerusalem occurred, when whatever was left was razed to the ground. There was nothing remaining of the former city except the imposing Roman army camp known as Fort Antonia. Jerusalem had become history. A completely new Roman city was built on the former site of Jerusalem which the Emperor Hadrian named Aelia Capitolina. Hadrian improved and expanded Fort Antonia and it served as a powerful Roman military base of operations and bulwark against her enemies in that treacherous geographical location for many decades into the future. The new Roman city of Aelia Capitolina maintained its name for over 200 years until time of Constantine.

DIVISION AND DESTRUCTION FORETOLD

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]

Just as the Lord Jesus had predicted during His ministry in AD 32, the temple was gone forever and so was the original city of Jerusalem. The ancient Jebusite city captured by King David in 1003 BC and all its later additions is long gone. There are no intact ruins. What exists of the old city at present after the time of Hadrian was built by later peoples through the centuries, including the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman, known notably for the walls he built in the sixteenth century.

So there you have the two bookends which define the time of the Early Church, from AD 32-70. This roughly 40 year period was the time that the vestiges of ancient Israel existed side by side with the new Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. He took His rightful place as the only possible next king and the final King of Israel, the King of kings and Lord of lords. There had not been an actual king in the Davidic line for over six centuries until His time. A great percentage of Israelites accepted His kingship and honored the Lord as Messiah, King, Savior, and God. A larger percentage rejected Him.

In approximately the first nine years since the Lord’s resurrection, the Early Church (Ekklesia) of the Lord—the Community of Called-Out Ones—consisted entirely of Israelites. There were no Gentiles until the time of Cornelius in roughly AD 41. This made the Early Church strictly a family affair. Spiritual war broke out among two factions of the same family, the believers and unbelievers. Those who believed possessed “eyes to see” in which everything was perfectly revealed. The OT prophecies referencing the Messiah were made clear to them and they taught all who would hear who had a desire to know the truth.

But the unbelieving faction descended into further hatred. What they did to the Lord they also did to many of their believing brothers. The believing Israelites obeyed the Golden Rule and treated their unbelieving brothers with pure spiritual love. The unbelievers in turn responded with pure hatred and murder. It appeared as if there was no way the believers would survive. The unbelievers held all the positions of power and authority. The believers were looked upon as filthy dregs and nothing but heretics and blasphemers.

This was the Early Church. These were the people, in that time frame, who produced the original writings of our New Testament. They were the ones who were most faithful in the face of great persecution. Rather than fade out or die out they grew stronger and more numerous. Despite the rejection and censoring, the hatred displayed by those in power had no effect on stopping them. From the time the Lord rose from the dead and that first great Day of Pentecost until the time of the final destruction of Jerusalem, two distinct camps had formed. The nation was absolutely polarized. However, even with all their political and religious authority, the camp of unbelievers never came close to putting down what they termed a vile rebellion. The real rebels, of course, were not those who were castigated as heretics, but their accusers who had appropriated the side of evil. They chose it. They were the agents of antichrist.

And rather than seek God and align themselves with the Lord’s Community, with rationality and proper conduct, and attempt to make any kind of compromise to gain some semblance of mutual care, they instead gravitated in the opposite direction and began aligning themselves with the Zealot Party, which had previously been only a relatively small segment with little power. Why did the Pharisees and Sadducees do this? Why did the two leading parties, one primarily religious and the other primarily governmental, align themselves with the one group whose only desire was throwing off the Romans even if it meant destroying their country in the process?

The Zealots were nuts. They were crazed revolutionaries who actually believed they could overthrow Rome. Their great passion and martial mentality is unquestioned, but inbred irrational and grandiose beliefs, based in part on a false identification with historical Hebrew leaders, proved to be their downfall since they possessed not the relationship with God of the former and continually proved their opposition to Him by their reprehensible conduct and vicious persona. And as time continued throughout those forty years, as the commingling and entangling grew more complete, the people of the other Hebrew sects began undergoing the same transformation. Did they think by embracing the Zealots they would increase their chances of success?

In the final analysis, all it did was further their demise. When the Great Revolt, otherwise known as the predicted apostasia referred to by Paul, began in the summer of AD 66, it was instigated by the Zealots. The Zealot Party eventually gained ruling control of the temple and the city. Some Pharisee and Sadducee leaders were aghast at the development. A few of them had seen it coming but were powerless to stop the juggernaut. The power of God which they could have had was rejected long before. Because they killed their Messiah, the only One who could have saved them, they killed the possibility of salvation. They had no ability to stop the coming carnage and destruction.

ABSOLUTE FAITHFULNESS IN A TIME OF GREAT TRIAL

The believers continued on through all of this. Jerusalem had remained largely Israelite. The Lord’s brother James, referred to as James the Just, the longtime leader of the local Community in Jerusalem, had done a masterful job of keeping things intact and no doubt remained hopeful of a good outcome, but his mind was primarily set on salvation for his Israelite brothers. As evil continued to grow, however, and became concentrated around and within the city of Jerusalem, events became all the more heinous. This evil reached a pinnacle when the leaders of the unbelieving faction in the city murdered James in cold blood. This rabid faction had years earlier killed Stephen and later James the apostle, but failed in killing Peter. The martyrdom of James the Lord’s brother in AD 63 was the key event that marked the beginning of the final seven years.

Notice, once again, that the Jerusalem Community of Spirit-filled believers had been greatly successful in leading untold thousands of Israelites to salvation during those final forty years. They held the spiritual fort in the face of overwhelming persecution. Though rejected by many family members and friends, nothing could stop them. This was their witness. It is a powerful witness that shouts mightily from the ancient recesses of time into our present and reveals American traditional Christianity as, in general, representing much more so the unbelievers rather than the good guys. This dichotomy has played out all over the world, of course, but is especially apparent in a Christian nation whose many denominations and offshoots have historically revealed division instead of unity, especially that between sincere followers of the Lord faithful to His Word and those with opposing agendas.

The Early Church never sold out. They never demanded authority or walked in it unless it was granted by God. They possessed the proper spiritual fruit and anointing thereof. They were always engaged in spiritual war. The conditions were often unbearable but they soldiered on and kept their powerful witness and reputation intact. In the end they won.

TWO JERUSALEMS / TWO TEMPLES

Regarding the aforementioned spiritual dichotomy between real believers and mere religious posers, the early Christians had understood long before the final conflagration that there were actually two temples and two Jerusalems. One of each represented spiritual bondage, and the other of each represented spiritual freedom. There was the existing city of Jerusalem, on its last legs, under the sentence of destruction, and aligned spiritually with evil forces—a veritable Babylon:

And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. [Revelation 11:8]

And then there was the New Jerusalem, above, the spiritual home of real believers, as explained by Paul:

Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. [Galatians 4:21-26]

Then, back to Revelation, the Lord, through John, gives greater insight on both the new temple and the new city:

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” [Revelation 3:11-13]

In contrast to the temples of stone, the first of which was built by Solomon a thousand years before the Lord’s time, the second being an entirely new temple constructed from 521-516 BC, and Herod’s third temple completed not long before the Lord’s birth, there was another temple, one built without human hands, which serves as a perfect complement to the New Jerusalem, as revealed in the following passages by Peter and Paul:

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. [1Peter 2:4-5]

For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. [2Corinthians 6:16-18]

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:19-22][1]

The Early Church also knew the third temple of Israel that then existed prior to AD 70 was destined to fall as well, as did the previous two. But the real temple was comprised of spiritual stones, and each one of those early believers was such a stone, fitting in perfectly beside the other. Thus, our original forebears saw the two temples at the same time. They lived in the roughly forty year period when both Jerusalems and both temples existed simultaneously. It was the only time it would ever happen. This was the true Early Church, the faithful witness, and the spiritual prototype of every Christian Community to come.

SUMMER SOLDIERS AND SUNSHINE PATRIOTS

One hopes that what we are experiencing in America at present is not equivalent to what happened in the first century. Nothing lasts forever on the physical plane of existence. Nations rise and fall. Great world empires which appeared impossible of failure have long since come to absolutely nothing except the cold detritus of ruins. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that if this is the beginning of the end of America, it was an end that did not necessarily have to be, if the Christians in this nation had stayed true to the Lord, and if all the halfway Christians had decided to get right with God.

The majority of those who call themselves Christian leaders in this nation have utterly failed us. And if you may be thinking I just thought of such a thing you may be interested to note that I have been speaking and writing of this sad dynamic for several decades. My book is filled with such rational discussions on how this happened and what we must do to stop it. I warned all who would listen and still am. But my message was initially met primarily with overwhelming rejection and indifference from guess who. And still, after all we have suffered so far this year, the majority of Christian leaders are still acting like the world-loving, weak-willed, spiritual pansies they’ve always been. They’ve always known how to talk the talk. They have also appeared to be walking the walk. The test of the latter, however, never comes in the good times. The test arrives in times like these, when Christians expect their leaders to act like spiritual men rather than crawl that much further into the cloister of careless negligence, deny their responsibilities, blame others, and surrender to petty tyrants who would never otherwise get to first base. Their behavior is a far cry from past spiritual giants and not even in the same galaxy as the Early Church.

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated” [Thomas Paine]

It becomes exasperating to see so many still refuse to gain a backbone. Times like these tell us all the more who the real believers are and who has the fruit of a proper spiritual witness. To all of you who have maintained a strong witness and kept up the spiritual fight, even in the face of really tough circumstances, not just this year, but over the last ten or twenty or thirty or forty years, I salute you as real brothers and sisters in the Lord. For all the rest, it is never too late to get right with God and fulfill one’s destiny.

For all the Christian leaders out there who have no problem stepping into the limelight, claiming funding to feather their own nests while often rejecting assistance to so many of their own, taking authority over well-meaning and sincere Christians who are at a disadvantage for not attending to their due diligence in identifying wooly wolves (because they are taught that holding ministers accountable is wrong), such leaders presently exist on the horns of a very serious dilemma.

There are two roads before them: They must either repent (totally and absolutely) for their excess, their watered-down obfuscating doctrines unaligned with the Lord’s teachings, their abject spiritual wimpiness, and most especially, their rejection of the Lord’s full leadership, a process that will likely transform their current lifestyles into something not so recognizable. Or they will simply continue head long into fully linking hands with the enemy, just as those ancient Pharisees and Sadducees did by joining the Zealots, whose present equivalent grows more brazen and influential on the world scene by the day.

Either way, their compromised Christian kingdoms must eventually crumble.

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


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

ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW POST—“AMERICA’S DESCENT INTO CHAOS: IDENTIFYING THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY”

Hello everyone. Thank you for your support. I have completed a new article with the preceding title and will be posting it tomorrow morning, August 12. What follows is a brief description.

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This will be my 20th post since May 30, when I had to suspend my series Early Church History 101 after 22 Lessons. I am still dealing with the circumstances that caused the suspension and look forward to resuming it at some point in the future. Your prayers are appreciated.

In the interim I began writing articles that deal relatively directly with present circumstances in America. My latest article to be posted early tomorrow morning continues in this regard. As I noted recently, these articles are generally longer, or at least getting that way. There is simply so much going on currently that must be addressed it becomes difficult to keep these articles brief.

The state of affairs have reached a strange and unprecedented factor to the nth degree. Christians have been especially affected by them in relation to prior normal conditions. This next article will address the dynamic from a spiritual perspective in greater depth and contains an element of direct comparison to the first century circumstances endured by the Early Church.

As always, we must learn from their example. Nothing will stop the Great Awakening. The great concern at present involves our continued loyalty to the Lord. Many Christian leaders are proving themselves incapable of addressing the issues we must confront if Christian freedom in America is to stay intact. Please inform others of the post and spread the word if you feel led to do so. Thank you.

See you tomorrow.

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

WHEN YOUR BELIEFS ARE WRONG BUT YOU INSIST ON THEM ANYWAY

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Can you say cult?

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OBLIVIOUS OF ORIGINS

It is a strange phenomenon. People become convinced of certain things they think are correct and true. They never look at where such beliefs came from or where they originated. To them, the beliefs they espouse are just there. They were always there. They have no creation point. Apparently, somewhere in the distant past (as ascertained in their limited understanding, but likely relatively recent), a particular belief came to be in some otherworldly strange manner and slowly began spreading among a small populace somewhere like an unseen cloud and began entering minds, as a foundational fact, as intangible truth, and took hold on brain cells like a burr on a sock.

No defense was offered against it. No defense was apparently possible. A person had set beliefs, was going about his business one day, and then—boom—a new thought. A new belief. Did they even acknowledge it at the time? No. The person suddenly stopped in his tracks for a second, knowing something happened but not sure what, stared straight ahead at nothing, eyes slightly gazed, with maybe even a slight quizzical look and a cock of the head, and almost as quickly went right back to whatever he was doing, blissfully unaware of what just happened and totally apathetic to the process.

Is that how it happened? Is that how some ridiculous lie got planted in his brain? And how do we know it’s a ridiculous lie? For starters, long before we ever get into testing it against Scripture, and such an approach would not work anyway, because an increasing number of people are becoming all the more illiterate regarding Scripture on the one hand and absolutely hostile to it on the other, the better approach is to compare it against nature. But it appears that won’t work either because so many of these people are disconnected from nature and have no inkling of what nature is and how it works. But if one is able to do this one will see that nature itself often rejects such so-called truth. It doesn’t work there, or likely even exists there. If one applies it there it will either have little or no effect or cause harm, and sometimes great harm. Nature will tell us what works and what doesn’t, though only on a rudimentary natural level.

MENTAL STRONGHOLDS DELETION TREATMENT

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. [2Corinthians 10:3-6]

Humans must eventually grow beyond the law of the jungle and low life living and aspire to higher concepts. But any such higher concept must be beneficial to all or else it is simply a Trojan Horse benefiting a few. Once one puts the brain cells together to figure this out, that there is one standard for a few and another standard for everyone else, then one should be able to eventually comprehend the concept that whatever beliefs become attached within one’s not so bright willing minds which causes one to accept such beliefs as true without question, and act on them continually though the results are either always bad or never work as stated, then one will see that such deceptive beliefs, which start as tiny seeds, arrived surreptitiously straight from the bad guys in control who live according to a standard that always benefits them but hurts, uses, confines, and deceives everyone else.

Whoever can finally see this and get it realizes they must immediately stop believing and acting on such false beliefs with bad or fruitless results, do their best to get all the garbage out of their minds, and start looking for beliefs that are beneficial, good, sound, and loving—beliefs that actually propose we treat other people well, as we would like to be treated—and open our eyes to see the positive benefit of such for all. Unless a person is really messed up he or she will always appreciate being treated with love. Loving is not a means to a specific end necessarily but an action for any moment without an agenda other than blessing another person and helping them in a positive way.

Therefore, a good result that is beneficial to all proves a good belief. Rather than believing stuff that either doesn’t work and never has, is it not far better to believe and act on beliefs that prove beneficial for all, both for individuals and also for communities of individuals? No one can argue against this if they possess a sound coherent mind.

If one is brainwashed, however, or overcome with some false belief that does harm masquerading in the guise of being beneficial, one will never relent until their brainwashing is cured and they are set free from its effect. If they are not actually brainwashed at all but have latched on to a bad belief system and engage in evil behavior of some form to some degree for money, then there’s your second answer regarding why they do it. Sellouts are as seemingly ubiquitous as the willingly deceived.

“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.” [Luke 16:13]

To summarize: (1) False beliefs are sent from controlling evil ones into unsuspecting minds possessing no appropriate defense in order to get them to believe a lie and act on it because it primarily benefits the evil ones, and (2) False beliefs are sold to people for money. The first benefits the bad guys and the second benefits the bad guys and the sold-out lackeys under their control. So whether one sells out to evil by accepting, believing in, and acting on false beliefs which produce bad results because one is too fearful to stand against them and would rather weakly follow the herd as social lemmings over a cliff, or one accepts false beliefs and acts on them because he gets paid for it and in a few instances some are greatly enriched, the same result happens against those who refuse to abide by or buy into either one.

It used to be that a greater number of people were both smart enough and strong enough to test any strange belief before accepting and acting on it. They wanted to know whether such a belief was good for themselves and their families. Many already know what has always worked and they knew treating people right, being honest, and engaging in good productive work always worked to bring good ends. But over the last few decades an entirely new mass of people have come upon the scene that have foregone their natural intelligence and strength and replaced positive, wholesome, and nurturing foundational beliefs with ridiculous nonsense philosophies spawning corrupt, immoral, and depraved outcomes. Many are too young to see the long term bad results, likely involving exponential growth, which will arrive later more so than at present, though immediate consequences are right before them. They see the bad consequences of the actions, however, not so much as directly tied to the beliefs they espouse and act on, such as their own hate, negative emotional outbursts, and manic attacks against those who oppose them, but the result of resistance by those who refuse such beliefs, which causes the young ones to fight all the more.

Not so long ago, we used to call young people ideologically naïve because they desired a good world where everyone got along. They did their best to practice love and peace as they knew it. This present generation, however, contains a large element engaging in the very opposite. This element engages in collective hate, destruction, evil, extremely foul language, the inability to control their impulses, and an apparent desire to stop at nothing toward the furtherance of their cause. They are much more concerned with strictly adhering to their negative beliefs and cultish practices which refuse any compromise, and attempting to destroy any and all unlike them, rather than engage in positive acts toward their fellow man such as assisting and loving other people.

For example, rather than attempting to right the wrongs of society by, let’s say, doing something good somewhere for one individual, they would rather lash out in evil against a mythical collective group which is causing, in their minds, all the harm. But they never seem to connect that mythical group with the actual group lurking behind the scenes. Instead they take out their wrath on regular people being subjected to the same evil from the high hats running the world. They also accept payment from intermediaries, unable to perceive their upward connections, and sell themselves to do evil. It should be clear that many of these people are suffering from severe cognitive dissonance. They are expending their rage on the wrong people.

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR

Imagine all the completely unknown and essentially invisible people who never make the headlines that spend their lives doing little acts of love here and there to help others. This group actually comprises the majority. The evil group of wealthy controllers is actually exceptionally miniscule with regard to the earth’s overall population. Those who do evil at their behest, whether they know it or not, for money or not, are still a small percentage regarding the world’s population.

The great majority of the world’s population are simply obscure people trying to survive and do well who mean no harm and actually help one another, though for many it may be understated and maybe not so hands-on. How do we know this? Because this world is still being held together. If the evil people doing all the destruction of the present comprised the majority it would be the end the world. It would likely mean the end of humanity. This has come relatively close to happening before in ancient history. But the cause was not necessarily natural events but man’s inhumanity to man, which was driven by hate and followed with destruction. There is a perfect example of this in modern times when an American president gave the go ahead to use atomic weapons to obliterate 130,000 defenseless Japanese civilians comprised mostly of women, children, and old men who presented no wartime threat. Due to radiation sickness and many of the injured dying later, deaths doubled by the end of that year. Many of the survivors suffered greatly the rest of their lives. It was pure barbarism on a massive scale. These unfortunate people were seen as evil and worthy of destruction. Anyone venture to guess where the real evil resided? 

Whenever one sees such hatred for other people and great destruction in immense proportions, one must know that very evil forces are causing it and that includes those in overt positions of great power. These people know how to murder millions (and have) and cause destruction in the trillions (and have) but are also excellent propaganda artists who know exactly how to put a good face on their evil work and transform it into something noble and honorable in the minds of men. It is not. It is neither noble nor honorable and the only way they get away with it is by convincing good people to accept phony explanations, adopt evil beliefs disguised as culturally acceptable, and act on their behalf to do their bidding. It’s a confidence game. They are con men. Historically, they are always able to deceive and thereby convince the majority, largely through simple fear. It’s easy when one controls the major media. They will also use force, of course, on the few strong and freedom-loving willing to make an initial stand, but only enough to make their schemes work. It often does not take many threats to force compliance and the few stragglers are dealt with in the usual ways.

However, they would much rather indoctrinate people and get them to act on such deceptions on their own, and turn their evil enterprises into counterfeit noble causes seemingly benefitting all, when the implementing of such causes actually only benefits the ruling cult and its sycophants, and institutes an obliteration of freedom for everyone else.

Why are people so uninformed and fearful that they keep falling for this? Why do so many religious leaders, politicians, and academics ostensibly preach love and peace, and push all-encompassing plans to supposedly help the masses, but always end up supporting hate, destruction, and murder as a necessary component of such plans? How can they do both at the same time?

The answer is they can’t. In their duplicitous minds, any means justifies their end goals. They have become brainwashed that they are good, that they do good things, and that they support good causes, but in reality, though they may engage in such on the surface or within their small social circle, they also stand with the evil ones doing evil. The evil in their lives is thus far bigger and more real, though existing beyond a fake-out curtain which serves well to hide their true intent, than any hypothetical good they project, whether they are intelligent enough or honest enough to see it. What matters more, of course, is how many others see it. And what has now been made quite obvious, based on the great evil they not only get away with, but convince an apparent plurality to agree with and support, the majority never sees it. And not only that, the majority has been conditioned, primarily through fear, to never acknowledge it.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

If one is going to actually believe in love and practice it, one will have to rid his mind of all hate. We know what hate is. It is easy to spot. We know it by hateful actions. Love is the same. We know love by the actions of love. One cannot hate and love at the same time. One must choose to do one or the other. There is no “I hate a little but mostly I love.” No. If one hates they have been consumed by it and it drives out the actual ability to love. One has to work at being loving. It is not easy, not because it doesn’t possibly come easy, but because the world is so filled with hate anyone who loves and strives for a loving world is seen as strange. It also make haters feel personally uncomfortable because they know they are not like that (loving) and don’t want to be made aware of it. It is personally convicting to such people when they see others doing good and striving for good outcomes. Love always starts with the individual.

But again, for those who are simply trying to make their lives work the right way, those who comprise the majority in this world, they show naturally that love is not so hard. Quick question: How many people do you know who do evil to others in order to get by in the world and how many do you know who are doing their best to live right without doing evil to others in order to get by? Most people can see that good people in the natural sphere are those who do the latter. This comprises the majority. This means it is only an evil few who live evil lives and use others for their wealth and power. They are liars, cheats, murderers, and thieves. In time they rise to higher positions of power and control in the world through these very means. They do it by stepping on others. As they rise they have less concern for others. Most people, however, are not like that so they never rise to such heights. Most people want no part of engaging in such evil practices just to gain high control and power and receive the monetary and material benefits thereof. They would rather try to do good. They would rather never give themselves over to such evil so they choose not to engage in such behavior. Their consciences are in good working order. Also, they seem to have eternity on their minds.

It should be clear then, that the unknown humans at the very top of this world in possession of most of the wealth, power, and control are evil. This explains the great evil in the world. This great evil does not come from regular people of sound mind who strive to do the right thing. It comes from only a few who have dedicated their lives to serving the devil.

They hate the Lord Jesus with all their heart.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:1-8][1]

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


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

BREAKING FREE FROM CHRISTIAN PROGRAMMING

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If you’re a Christian of some form or another, the odds are high that you’ve been religiously programmed in some way or another. They don’t call it indoctrination for nothing. You must find a way to break free.

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A LONG TIME AGO IN A LAND FAR AWAY

Let’s set the scene: Two thousand years ago, in a small secluded land, a solitary figure arose from abject obscurity and began to teach. He gathered a small group of followers, twelve in number, to assist Him. He explained that they must be fully dedicated and so this small band of men lived as a brotherhood twenty-four hours a day. They traveled the countryside, visited small villages, and on occasion ventured into larger towns, even those not necessarily of their ancestral tradition.

These men were thoroughly unknown to the rest of the world, but also remained obscure among their own in the early days of the mission. If it were not for some extremely extraordinary events that took place among them by the hand of this Teacher, the group would likely have never achieved any notoriety at all and would have just as likely faded out, unknown to history. There were such groups that did. Local bands of rabbis and students dotted the place, this little country, a place with a centuries-old tradition of legends and stories of past exploits and endeavors. They said it was once at the top of nations, that it achieved the greatness reserved only for the rarest and best, and that it achieved it in a way no other country had ever done.

The residents believed these stories. Their priests and doctors of law, what some referred to as shamans and others as religious enforcers, kept the traditions alive through various means, at best to maintain revealed truths and at worse to control the populace and extract wealth. The people had no choice but to honor these men since they had attained power over the people by possessing closely held access to the ancestral writings and the ability to decipher their content. Only they could read from them and deliver teachings based upon them. No one else had access to any meaningful degree.

The new Teacher had been raised upon these traditions and knew them as well as anyone. He had become very well versed in the teachings thereof, as others had done, but most of the others had taken another turn long before by entering the ranks of the learned by joining up with the established denominations from which honor and wealth could be appropriated. Many a proud parent saw their grown children become exalted expositors of the law and sacred parchments, not knowing or apparently caring that such expositions had become stale and distant from those of the originals long before.

The great patriarchs, in a distant age, and later prophets, were said to be in close contact with what this strange and small people referred to as the One God. They had communed with Him and heard His great Words, and honored the great God with their lives. The people of the present knew conditions must have been much different and better in those days long ago and a few longed for such to be again.

SOLITARY MAN

The new Teacher did not take the traditional ministerial route. He was no mere ecclesiastic. He did not join the ranks of the powerful public officially-ordained clerics but struck out completely on His own. He was a solitary Man, a lone figure on the outer fringes, collecting not the learned ones from religious academies as student followers, but everyday men, fishermen and tradesmen, and even the lowborn and despised, like a certain tax collector. This merry band of misfits was truly unique and showed no future promise that anyone could see, and appeared destined, like so many others, for the scrap heap of wayward wonderers and wretched falsifiers.

Except, again, for the curious presence of those otherworldly occurrences that no one else had ever seen or experienced—those strange works that followed them wherever they went—those “extremely extraordinary events.” And when people saw the events, they also began paying more attention to this Man’s teachings and pronouncements. They noticed first, that His teachings were not actually so different at all from what they had grown up hearing, but secondly, that he delivered His teachings and pronouncements in a way that no one had ever done before or even heard of before. He was powerful. He never simply read a script or spoke in the usual dry and monotonous manner of the elders and priests, or carried any scrolls that anyone could see, but delivered His words as if somehow, in some unknown way, He actually was the words. His words did not simply fall to the ground or quickly dissipate in the immediate air as all were used to, but were delivered in a way in which the words entered directly into a person, like the air he or she breathed, and stirred his soul and revived his heart. It was not as if they were words, but food. They were like spiritual food. Yes, that was it.

Others came. They sat enthralled at what they were hearing. The Scriptures were coming alive as delivered by this obscure young Preacher, if one could call Him that. He was more like a Father teaching His children, but how could that be? He was so young. And a tradesman! He bore the mark of much physical strength and long toil in the hard and rough elements. No preacher or priest they knew ever looked like that. How does such a man have so much wisdom and ability? Old men with much experience, vaunted elders of the land, had not the vast wisdom and abilities of this Man.

Who is He?

TOTAL TRANSFORMATION

From the above description we can ascertain quite the contrast between The Lord’s original ministry and that of later forms of Christianity which obviously do not possess this powerful spiritual dynamic. Their character exposes them not so much as Christianity light but as entirely different entities. We fully understand such a contrast in other fields or subjects, when something vibrant and energetic either becomes downgraded over time through use, neglect, or attack, or when it is entirely replaced by a facsimile which merely poses as the original. Why don’t we consider this in the case of Christianity?

The same thing happened to the nation of ancient Israel. There was time when it reached a zenith among nations and was blessed with God’s full protection and providence. And all throughout its history to that point there was at the very least a strong Remnant of the faithful which kept the fire burning, but this didn’t last. The Remnant certainly lasted and remained as vibrant as ever. What changed was the number of spiritually energized participants holding true to the Word first delivered. The majority had drifted away from the heart of God and flaked off. Whatever they did outwardly, if they maintained the correct geography, or became members of an official religious order, didn’t matter. They had turned on the Lord in heart.

Thus we see when studying the history of the nation, a new majority arose which was not connected whatsoever to the original or in fellowship to the Remnant. They certainly were not connected to God. The fruit was not there. The same has happened in Christianity. It has happened because Christians allowed themselves to be torn from their roots and planted elsewhere under the authority of counterfeit vinedressers in entirely different vineyards. In time the forms of Christianity these Christians became associated with were essentially the only ones they knew. They did not know a variant curriculum had been foisted upon them or their parents or ancestors. And through the use of the usual religious fear tactics by those in charge to keep everyone on the plantation, they had no heart to attempt an escape but settled into their respective cultural practices and identities. They had become captured and it often passed from generation to generation.

It is the clear evidence of indoctrination. Their lives reveal religious programming. Why their brand doesn’t match first century Christianity does not matter to them because actual history does not matter, both because those who know it reject it and those who don’t have no frame of reference. As far as the latter are concerned, their denomination’s version of events is the only one that matters. This is a bad bridge to cross because the next step is actually defaming the originals as primitive and unenlightened, and unaware of “higher truths” arising later, an otherwise clear falsehood. This perspective also implicates the Lord Himself as a veritable imposter, meaning a “new Jesus” has been created in the minds of these unfortunate ones, both to make their faux forms work and also to relieve their conscience. When presented with the real Lord Jesus He appears to them as a foreigner and His real curriculum is seen as wholly incorrect, unworkable, and even strange.

BREAKING FREE

When we see the Lord for who He actually is we understand, as the Scriptures state, that He never changes. We are still in the Age of Grace. With reference to the Church it began at Pentecost. Nothing has changed regarding His pertinent commandments since then. What was done in the beginning remains in effect now. For those Christians who disagree, they may argue until the cows come home but have no leg to stand on and the Lord will never bless them. Until they get their hearts right before Him such Christians will never see what those people saw so long ago in His ministry. What He did then He is still doing now.

Maybe only a few have experienced this. Maybe the Remnant is comparatively small as it was in those OT times when the generational line was reduced to a thread. Or maybe many Christians are not doing their work to become good disciples, “rightly dividing the Word of truth.” Can it be that most are satisfied with far less than the Lord has appropriated? Don’t we all want the full blessing? Don’t we know our Lord will not only rain down His love but also His very Spirit to fill us with His energetic and vibrant life, to do as He did and as the early believers did? There comes a time when we need to get out more. Abundant life awaits for all those who seek it.

There’s a green pasture out there where dreams come true.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13][1]

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


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

CHRISTIAN WITNESSING: A CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE

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The term adult is overrated. It is often ill-defined and based on a confined perspective. In reality, when compared to God, eternity, and an ancient earth, we are all mere newbies, children trying to find our way.

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YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME

We see ourselves as sovereign. It is this way from childhood. Some children are more vocal than others on the subject and the little highnesses don’t hold back when perceiving a challenge to their noble standing. Once they understand they’re behind the generational eight ball, however, at least for the present, and the big people have the drop on them, they begin making plans for the future—“When I get big…”

Wiser children are a tad more circumspect. They somehow understand intrinsically that their little lives are good or at least not so bad. They have shelter and food and… toys!

“But they’re just using toys to keep you in line and under their authority.”

“What? You don’t like toys?”

“Toys are just tools of the capitalist bourgeoisie to train you as future oppressors of the proletariat.”

😶

“I gather by your lack of proper retort that your brainwashing has already progressed to a probable point of no return and I must therefore and forthwith identify you as my enemy and insufferably target you with my considerable wrath, the first thrust of which is leaving you bereft and alone in the midst of this sordid establishment to suffer the misery of a wasted existence built on false hopes and dreams rather than join the glorious people’s revolution and overthrowing the man!”

“Johnny, are you spouting Communist propaganda again? Okay, to the playpen…”

“You may imprison me but my heart will stay free!”

“Want some apple juice?”

“Okay.”

(The little Commie might have been more successful if he had conformed his propaganda to the interactive fine art of playing with toys. He overplayed his hand.)

THE SIN PANDEMIC

Here is an interesting fact. Many years ago, three months before I gave my heart to the Lord, I was witnessed to for the first time. Then, three months later, I was witnessed to once more, by the same person (It bore fruit). And guess what? I don’t remember ever being witnessed to again. That little factoid doesn’t speak well of American Christianity in general which surrendered its previous hard-charging evangelistic DNA maybe a century or so ago. And I was raised in a denominational church but I don’t recall ever hearing the term “witnessing.”

But there we were. And there they were, telling me about a big new change in their lives. I had already heard something about it. They were close friends, a young married couple. This was the first time they came over to see me since it all went down and tell me the weird news in person. Only it wasn’t so much them telling me about them but them telling me I had to also be like them. I was roughly their age, and was doing a good job of being friendly and open.

My associates and I had always prided ourselves on being open-minded and often partook of great conversations on any number of subjects and were never concerned about getting too deep. In fact, getting deep was cool. We were young adults. Everything was new and open. Being dogmatic was better left to canines. It was much more fun to hear many different points of view and gain information. No one owned the information and if you didn’t care for it, it was no big deal.

We opposed any form of censoring for the simple fact that we could end up missing good ideas and positive information, and things we might apply in our lives to make them better. Conforming to a dead orthodoxy was the last thing we wanted.

But these people, who I used to know and hang out with, had changed in what I soon perceived to be in a not so good way. I started feeling pressure. Are they trying to sell me on something? Really? And the answer was yes, they were. Rather than a conversation it switched over to a sales pitch. I started getting irked. The smiles were gone from their faces. I know now what was going on. They themselves were under pressure. They felt they had to do this, to witness to me, to tell me I must change…”

I got quiet briefly, my mood transformed from being welcoming, open, and very friendly to a tad somber. I’m sure I must have lowered my eyebrows and effected a somewhat borderline dismayed expression. At last I told them that if they didn’t stop they may as well leave. (What they were doing was not cool. Not in the least.) He looked more upset than she did and said “Let’s go.” She showed more concern and didn’t want the visit to end on a bad note but they’re the ones that brought it on. They overplayed their hand.

WITNESSING IS A FORCED OPTION

So you see, sinners don’t like being referred to as sinners. No one likes to be thought of as inferior in need of a major remodel and paint job. Pride always kicks in. We stand up for ourselves and should. It is in the heart of every person to defend their honor regardless of morality level. There might only be a half tank or so left but good things still reside within and besides, aren’t these people a tad arrogant to think they’re better? This is why witnessing is tricky and witnessers must have some level of proper training. The Lord did this. He prepared His men before sending them out.

I think a much better witness would have been for my friends to come over still exulting in the joy of the Lord as I know they did in church and at home. They were too young then spiritually, as we all are early on, to understand that witnessing is a forced option in that it happens no matter what we do or how we do it. What I saw was a religious sales pitch. What they saw was the need to make me convert just as they had. Although they didn’t really convert. They were actually gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit and had a powerful and positive life-changing experience. If they had come over with absolutely no pressure tactics and allowed me to see the big change for the better in their lives simply by their love, joy, and outward actions, I would have been more impressed. It would have planted a seed within that would have grown into greater curiosity on my part and later on I might be more willing to open up, likely when I was down or struggling.

And this is exactly what ended up happening. They changed tactics and began praying. The whole church prayed for me. Over a three month period I felt my swagger and manly security slowly slipping away. I began being more aware of my shortcomings. In a tender and loving way the Lord was showing me my sin. The Lord Himself was witnessing to me! He was preparing me for what He knew I really wanted, and part of the preparation was “breaking up the fallow ground of my heart.” He was plowing deep furrows in my heart is what He was doing. He was getting the soil ready to receive the Gospel seed. When the time came for the final witness I was ready.

That second time around it was exactly like what I had suggested before. It was a time of smiles, laughter and joy. Whatever it was they had, I wanted it.

But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” [Luke 18:16-17][1]

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


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

SHOWCASING THE FORTITUDE OF GOD’S CHOSEN VESSELS

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Why did the Lord choose physically strong, tough-minded men, most of whom were hard-working blue collar workers, as His first apostles? For starters, because that’s exactly what He is.

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WILDERNESS WILD MAN

When the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet…” [Luke 7:24-26][1]

Many years ago I was talking to a guy at church. It was a great place with a mix of many different people and professions. We somehow got on the subject of being impressed by our dads when we were kids and he recounted a short story about his father. He said his dad, who was much older then, had been a plumber. As an illustration of his dad’s imposing stature and physical strength, he remembered as a young man that his dad once picked up a standard bathroom scale, the kind you stand on, and holding it with both hands, fingers at the back and thumbs on top, squeezed it until the needle went all the way to the end. I thought that was really impressive.

On bathroom scales, back then at least, “all the way to the end” was 250 pounds. That was pretty heavy and any man who had the strength in his hands to duplicate that weight was exceptionally strong. Also, men were generally tougher and leaner then, and more active, and topping the chart at 250 was relatively rare. Today, most men who exceed that figure are generally carrying excess weight. If they got down to their proper weight and body mass index most of them would be like men of fifty years ago.

Naturally, after hearing that story about my friend’s dad, I had to try it out when I got home. Being only of average stature but making my living in construction, I thought I could make a pretty good dent in my bathroom scale. So I went for it. Using all my manly might, I squeezed the life out of it. If I remember correctly, I didn’t come anywhere close to 250. I didn’t even break 200. It was pretty demoralizing. Of course, converting that figure to future considerations, using the principle of “the older I get the better I was,” it actually was 200. But still not close to 250. I obviously did well by becoming a carpenter and not a plumber.

PHYSICAL STRENGTH DOES NOT DEFINE TOUGHNESS

When I was twelve years old I discovered professional sports. I loved baseball and football and began reading the sports pages every day in our local newspaper. Papers back then in smaller markets were really bad compared to what came later. The type was tiny and all the columns were squashed together. Box scores had the smallest type they made, I would think. The writing was mostly pedestrian. Everything was black and white with no color. It was all I had until I started subscribing to sports magazines not long after. I also began collecting baseball and football cards. Those cards had the height and weight of players. Regarding football players, the biggest guys, usually the defensive lineman, topped out at 270 pounds. Of course, most of them were also pretty tall, averaging maybe 6 foot five or six. When you look at old NFL films from the 1960s, you won’t see many fat guys. Most of them were lean, wiry, tough, and cat quick. There were also a lot of average-sized players under six feet tall. A few were actually pretty small.

The game of football was also much different back then. It was war. They didn’t mess around. It was an extremely tough sport in the professional ranks and they often played on dirt fields and wore poor protective equipment in comparison to later standards. It was also a job and players needed the money. They would often stay silent on whatever injuries they might have incurred so as not to jeopardize their place on the field or team. Someone always waited in the wings to replace you, so you had to be tough. The game was hard enough but playing injured, which almost all of them did to varying extents, made it that much tougher. And no one could afford any sympathy, for many reasons.

In this cauldron, however, arose an even tougher kind of man, one who made most of the other players look like less than the men they were. This wasn’t true; they were all tough as nails. But some exceeded that standard and a few obliterated it. They were tough as, what? Steel girders? What a sight it was to see some otherwise tough guy, much tougher than the average man, look like a comparative pansy being showed up and manhandled by the baddest of the bad.

“GOD HAS ALWAYS LOVED FISHERMEN AND JAILBIRDS”

The preceding was a quote by a preacher I once knew. He had a rough upbringing, coming of age in the 1950s. He got tougher as he got older and soon became engaged in all the bad stuff that guys like him got into. He was a really tough guy and a good fighter, was a biker and drug addict, and generally had no concern for anyone. Beneath all of that, implausible as it sounds, he still had a tender side. He told a story of the JFK assassination, when so many Americans were cheering his death. He said when he found out he began crying like a baby.

Somehow or another, against all odds and probability, this man later received a witness from a brave Christian and actually gave his heart to the Lord. I know. It makes no sense. It makes you wonder about all the evil people in the world at present. How many of them are this guy waiting to get saved? How many are the apostle Paul who was notorious for being a powerful persecutor of Christians before His Damascus Road experience? How many are Simon son of Jonah, otherwise known as Peter—the rock? Speaking of which, I’m convinced that prior to his conversion nobody messed with Peter.

Regarding my preacher acquaintance, he soon started his own storefront. He gathered a small group of faithful congregants and conducted services. While preaching one day, a big giant dude burst into the room. It seems this man was really ticked off because his wife had become a member of the congregation. The guy marched to the front and told the preacher he was gonna whip him, right then and there. What did the preacher do? Drawing on his past and knowing this man did not scare him in the least, but also knowing he had a duty to the Lord and must act properly, he looked right into the big dude’s eyes and said: “Look. I think I have enough Holy Ghost to let you whip me, but if I don’t, you’re in trouble buddy. I’ve gone through bigger men than you just to get into where the fight was at!” The big guy backed down. And that was that.

REAL MEN OF GOD

So what does the average Christian think of when he or she thinks of the original apostles? This depends on one’s denomination, of course, but sadly, because so many have been told nothing but mischaracterizations by moron church leaders, most probably think the apostles were “saintly” pushovers. And how is this derived? Most likely because many Christians have been taught that the Lord Jesus was a “saintly” pushover, a pallid sissified non-man representing no threat to anybody. It is anyone’s guess how this false depiction arose, the very opposite of His actual character. We can blame it on old artist’s renderings or maybe a severely unbalanced portrayal using various verses of Scripture showcasing the Lord’s mercy and love but neglecting His unquestioned manliness in the face of vile enemies. But it is most likely due to the affected nature of later ecclesiastics who actually fit that profile quite well, because that is pretty much exactly how they were. And many still are. And this false portrayal of the Lord has invaded many denominations and caused many pastors to invoke it in their “imitation of Christ.”

My preacher friend could have cleaned that guy’s clock. It didn’t matter how big he was. But he didn’t. He could have but he didn’t. He was more concerned about the man’s salvation. That’s the point. It was the same with a guy like Peter. There was a reason the Lord chose him and it was the same reason the other apostles recognized Peter’s authority and standing. Most of them knew Peter and his past. And the apostle Paul, who was not even five feet tall, might have been even tougher. Could those guys have played in the NFL? If they were any good at football, I would answer in the affirmative. They had the heart and toughness for it. And it’s a good thing because they had to fight the devil and his minions every day. Their real strength, however, the one that made the difference, was their ability to take a punch and not return favor. They knew full well that people were not the enemy.

Sadly, many of today’s ministers couldn’t have done what my old preacher friend did even if they wanted to because they don’t have a blue collar bone in their body. They aren’t tough enough. Real Christians do their best to maintain their witness and hold back. But when a man has nothing to hold back it’s a different story.

WILL THE LOCKDOWN PASTORS EVER OPEN THEIR CHURCHES?

Probably not until they’re allowed to. Maybe a few courageous ones will in the interim. I read yesterday that one well-known church leader in California, where a statewide total church lockdown is in effect including home bible studies and everything else, has taken a stand. Good for him. What took you so long? But on the other hand, I take that back. Pastors must be given a pass the first time around. This nonsense had never been tried before. It came out of left field. Who could have ever thought they would use a flu virus in an attempt to eliminate Christianity? Most were unprepared for such an attack and never saw it coming. Maybe the devil knew many were no threat, would wimp out, and could be had for the taking. But once is it. If a church leader has yet to figure out what’s really going on, then maybe it’s best to just stay closed and quit. Forget about taking a stand. Concentrate instead on getting saved.

If such pastors/reverends/priests et al were actually living for God they would certainly take a stand and basically say: To hell with this. Come one come all. WE’RE OPEN. If every pastor did it all the churches would be opened immediately. No one could stop them. That’s not going to happen, of course. The sad fact is that one could never gather enough churches together in a united front on a large enough scale, which shows one more broken aspect of current American Christianity. Why can’t the high hats in a single denomination, for example, especially the very large “united” kind, just send down a directive to open up?

But even if a mere Gideon’s 300 took a stand things would change for the better. Those were the best warriors in all of Israel. Another thing that would change, however, would be the enemy. The principle enemy would switch from the Midianite lockdown state governors to the Midianite lockdown pansy pastors who would suddenly begin attacking the stalwart 2020 Black Robe Regiment like the original tory traitors did in colonial America. As it is they’ve already revealed themselves as unworthy of the call of God, though many are not actually called of God to begin with and are simply filling a position.

Most of them also don’t have the Holy Ghost. This is being proven every day.

Which makes one wonder, is this entire virus nonsense being used by God as a test to show which Christians are for real? Is it an opportunity to showcase spiritual toughness? Does it reveal those few with the backbone and fortitude to press 250 on a spiritual scale?

BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE…

If this is all it takes—unconstitutional orders by government leaders of both parties who essentially hate Christianity and despise the Lord Jesus—then what are all these so-called Christian leaders going to do when real persecution breaks out? And the answer to that should be obvious. And that’s also why persecution is a good thing.

It separates the men from the boys.     

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


[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.

SMALL GROUPS / STRONG INDIVIDUALS: THE NEW COVENANT MODEL

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Small groups of Spirit-filled Christians are often more effective than traditional congregations. The New Covenant Scriptures clearly express this. Spiritually strong small groups are the Lord’s revealed model.

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REAL INDIVIDUALS / REAL FELLOWSHIP

The Lord teaches us that each individual Christian matters. He did not sacrifice His life for groups or congregations but for individuals. Though it may be a difficult concept to grasp, the reality of His greatest of all sacrifices was based on a one-to-one relationship in that He died for you. And He also died, simultaneously, for each of us. We must not see His sacrifice as a one size fits all in which He gave His perfect life for a large, nameless, homogenized blob of folks congealed into what we term “the world” but for every single person who would ever live.

Each of us has a name and a story and a history and a heart. We are each attempting to find our way and survive in a fallen sinful kosmos of mankind. It is a world primarily built and influenced by sinful people after selfish gain with no real heart for the other. We learn to get along because the smart ones among us learn early on that life goes better that way. Regardless of beliefs, we know if we treat others well most will treat us well. Most will understand that we too are simply trying to live as they are, against long odds, and fraught with the burden of getting by.

The Lord told us to love one another. We know this intrinsically, as children (though there are exceptions). We naturally love others and put up no defenses. We must be taught to do the latter and it certainly becomes necessary once we understand the presence of evil people and the danger they present. But early on most of us are unaware of such dangers.

PREHISTORIC COMMUNITIES

The people of earliest times learned the value of coming together in groups. These initial groups were small and family based. By coming together they lent each other protection from the wild natural world and also made their chances of survival better. Their greatest need for protection, however, was from other groups of people. I would think most of these groups had no initial evil intent but some certainly did. The evil groups made life much harder for those who were not so inclined. The good guys did not like being forced to grant a relatively large portion of their limited resources to this form of defense but knew survival depended on it just as it did against other forms of attack. Thus, these small groups learned they must develop and possess a warrior mindset or they wouldn’t be around for long.

As other groups formed and these people groups grew in size they maintained a family or clannish identity. They were not necessarily based on a single family head or generational leadership from a single clan, but on a community model which allowed for its greatest strengths to manifest, and whoever might be in possession of such was granted greater control. The community was grounded on what was best for all and allowed for each individual to develop since this process was obviously perceived as what was best for the group as a whole. This meant they valued and cherished the individual. They raised their children that way. Who knew what child might come forth to be a great positive for the group in the future?

Other groups took a different tack. What developed among them was the opposite of strength by individual. They chose instead strength by the strong man. They allowed the rise of a single powerful man which they all subjected themselves to, much as what often takes place among wild animals. These groups were convinced that a powerful alpha male would make their group stronger against others. This meant the individuals in the group accepted an increasingly lesser role and agreed to be ruled over. The strong man would gather the strongest members around himself, force them to pledge loyalty, and this was approved by the group at large. Hence, the strength of the group gravitated to the top. Soon, the large submissive subgroup had little inherent strength or power and the relatively small ruling group effectively had all of it.

Because there was no love or respect for individual rights and the God-given strength and gifting of each individual, the ruling group began to despise the weak ones who voluntarily surrendered their power and began using force to keep them under subjection. They then learned to attack other small groups and bring them under their power. In time, they massed large groups of subjected individuals and forced them to do their bidding. This made it easy to defeat even the strongest of groups. Other strong men in other areas did the same and when these large groups clashed it became a major war with even higher stakes.

THE LORD’S EXAMPLE

When He started His ministry the Lord chose a mere twelve men. This was His core. Each of these men were equal. But also, and very importantly, their individuality was greatly respected and prized. He chose each of them for a reason. He never chose a “group” but individuals. His intention was to develop each of them to the fullest. That was primary. Secondarily, He would teach them how to be strong, gifted, powerful individuals while simultaneously getting along very well with one another. They must learn to work together. This is the greatest community challenge Christians will ever face.

However, this method and model never enters the mind of the strong man. He knows all he must do is get each individual to submit to his leadership. He will then use deceptive force of some kind or another to make them get along (or else).

One should see then, that a group composed of very strong individuals is much more effective than a group of underdeveloped submitters headed by a single strong man, especially because his strength is most often a mere carnal strength and not spiritual. Whether the strong man is secular or religious, he uses the same tactics. He uses some level of force, often understated, to gain control over people. He will also do the same in gaining control of their minds. Once he convinces those under his control that his leadership works best for their lives and demonstrates it by making them believe their small undeveloped lives are better than what they could ever gain elsewhere or through any other means, the submitted choose the very little over the hope of better and greater, especially because (1) They are undeveloped, dependent, and individually weak, and (2) They are convinced this is how they were meant to be and live, because their small weak lives are much more appreciated by their rulers.

STRONG INDIVIDUALS ARE THE GREATEST THREAT

The strong man, the evil ones, absolutely hate strong, developed individuals. They greatly fear such people. They know such strong individuals are the only ones who can dethrone them. It is why they fight them at every turn. And because they are in their place unlawfully, they will not restrict themselves to lawful conduct in fighting their foes. They will use any means available to maintain their power. As soon as a strong individual with righteous intent comes forth, the strong man pools his resources against him. He does the same with the next one. But if strong individuals intent on righteousness keep rising up and coming forth, the strong man will have to apply lesser resources in overcoming each and will have a lesser chance at defeating them.

Keep this in mind when thinking of the Lord Jesus. He spent His first thirty years becoming the absolute best He could be. He was fully developed in personal strength, knowledge, and everything else. When the time came to start His official ministry, through which He revealed Himself as Messiah and Savior, He was anointed from on high with great spiritual power. He was already filled with the Spirit of God without measure. This happened at the incarnation. He was always God. Then He became a Man. But He was still God. Yet, He lived an obscure quiet life of preparation prior to His ministry and when He came forth He was fully prepared.

This is exactly how He trained His twelve original disciples. He would teach them and bring them to full preparation. Each one, other than he who chose perdition, became powerful, strong, fully developed individuals with an individual ministry. By that time they had also learned to work together and love each other. The group they composed was one of the most powerful groups of men ever assembled, if not the most. Other disciples had been added throughout the Lord’s ministry and His approach to them was the same. The only thing lacking before the official beginning of their ministries was Holy Ghost Power. The same way it happened with the Lord, in that He was baptized and anointed with great spiritual power, so were the original 120 water baptized and then filled with the Holy Spirit on that wonderful Day of Pentecost.

Thus, members of one small group of nobodies submitted themselves fully to the Lord, and through His guidance and direction became a powerful group of individual spiritual stalwarts able to take on all the evil strong men of this world, including the devil himself. And one must never forget that, relatively speaking, this was a small group! The original Christians were never a vast conglomeration of non-Spirit-filled weaklings as so many of our present congregations have become, but a collection of powerful small groups comprising a whole. In fact, Christianity in general has become the opposite of what the Lord intended. Those who defend it are doing a disservice to the Lord but also doing a disservice to themselves. Whoever submits to the strong man, whether secular or religious, has accepted another one to rule in place of the Lord Jesus. This is exactly what Adam did which resulted in the great spiritual fall of mankind.

May we all receive the revelation that each of us matters, each of us is called and gifted by God, and each of us is vitally necessary for the task at hand which grows more problematic by the day. The Lord created a body of which each of us is a vital part and we must each be about our Father’s business.

THE BODY OF CHRIST

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it.

But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. [1Corinthians 12:12-27][1]

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


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

DEFINING THE REAL CHRISTIAN (1)

To be a socially acceptable follower of the Lord Jesus, one must never stand up for Him the way He stood up for us. Those who do are cancelled by the culture. It is why traditional Christianity often bypasses the Lord and creates inoffensive derivatives so one can practice his faith safely and securely, largely beyond the reach of persecution, and maintain the desired worldly connections of wealth and social standing. 

PROVING A CHRISTIAN’S AUTHENTICITY

What defines a real Christian? Is there a Biblical proof? How does anyone know who may be for real and who is merely posturing? To begin answering these questions, we actually have a treasure trove of New Testament tests to turn to. Keep in mind, however, that the Lord often employed parables, those wonderful story tales containing couched, embedded meanings revealing hard truth in a seemingly innocuous manner. Therefore, the answer we seek, which can only be derived from His teachings, wholly and exclusively, are often rejected by some due to an inability to understand His hidden connotations reserved only for those with “eyes to see.” The spiritually obtuse, whose perspective may also be marred by religious prejudice or predisposition, will thus likely never arrive at the correct definition.

The NT method for defining real Christians is also rejected based on (1) its perceived limited scope, in that extra-biblical references are excluded, and (2) its non-acceptance of mere traditional standards of socially acceptable behavior (actually a faux proof) which are believed by some to indicate virtuous intent though lacking actual NT familiarity and knowledge, most specifically of the Lord’s full curriculum.

In other words, defining a real Christian relates directly to one’s relationship with the Lord Jesus. If there is no actual relationship it is not possible that one is truly a Christian in the New Covenant sense, which is the only sense that matters in the spiritual realm. If there is a relationship, it is because a person made a decision to create one, meaning he not only said yes to the Lord’s invitation but fully accepted His predetermined terms (which apply to all and, of course, apply equally). This means a believer submits to New Covenant discipleship, subjects himself to the Lord’s entire curriculum, and does his best to learn it, know it, and apply it.

Based on these requirements, it is easy to see that the likely majority of those who profess Christianity are not actual disciples of the Lord simply because they do not fulfill the requisites thereof. Many, however, follow and obey the teachings of others who claim to follow the Lord, possess a willingness to accept doctrines that are not His, and subject themselves to traditional religious organizations claiming Christianity but which reject the Lord’s full standard. That many Christians are deceived makes no difference in the academic sense, and to claim ignorance speaks directly to one’s personal failure to have a personal relationship with Him, the lack of which is never the Lord’s fault.

“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:27][1]

Though Christian discipleship is not easy, neither was the price paid to make it possible.  

© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

 

HOW UNREAL CHRISTIANITY SET ITSELF UP FOR SPIRITUAL RUIN

This year’s Lockdown revealed the lowdown on the state of Christianity in America. The hidden truth long since discovered by real Christians was exposed to everyone paying attention.

Church leaders all over the country were notified this past March that they must shut down their churches. They said it would likely be for only a short time. Rather than ask the right questions or even attempt to take a stand, the majority weakly complied without a fight. Once the brief interval of closure passed they were told in no uncertain terms that conditions had changed. The church lockdown would be permanent until further notice. And just like that American Christianity changed forever.

There will be no recovering from this. The enemy that hates Christianity was allowed to dictate the terms. There were certainly a few who fought the order and they were made to pay. They were made examples of and shown what will happen to those who don’t toe the mark. Some of those who invoked their Constitutional rights did everything right in obeying the dictates of the order but were attacked anyway. Local governments and police were quickly on the scene to enforce “the law,” which was actually a violation of the law. Fines were issued, force was used, ministers were abused. And all the other Christians and church leaders looked on in shock that some actually refused to comply. The majority, ensconced in their homes, watching church online, were embarrassed. Don’t these people know we must always obey?

REAL CHRISTIANITY WAS FOUNDED ON SPIRITUAL REVOLT

Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened; for the man was more than forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. [Acts 4:13-22]

Some people study history. Some people study church history. Some people make themselves aware through much hard work and prayer of not only New Testament truth but the background of the times that birthed it. This is a vital component of understanding real Christianity. Knowing at least the general timeline of the Old and New Testaments is absolutely necessary for knowing what is expected of a follower of the Lord Jesus.

As I stated in my prior post, the Lord arrived among His people during a time of national darkness. It is very important to understand this in context. Though the land was shrouded in a mysterious and sinister dark gray undulating spiritual cloud, brooding and foreboding, as before the onset of a great storm than never seemed to fully arrive, the nation was also captured by life-sucking religious entities intent on dominance and submission. The people were the host.

Then, suddenly, it was Genesis 1:3 all over again:

‘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.’ From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:16-17][1]

The people had been told by those in charge what to believe, how to conduct themselves, and what they must do to support the official organization. Individuals did not matter whatsoever. There was no love here. Whoever might resist such encroachments were targeted with abuse. The majority knew their social standing and ability to earn a living demanded compliance to the dictates of the order. Some managed to make it on their own. Most were far too fearful of the prospect.

If there had been a prophet the truth would have been shouted from the housetops and every high hill. The Hebrew prophets were sent directly by God with a powerful spiritual anointing sufficient to overcome the dominance of the religious and secular hierarchies when they strayed (which was often). Their voices were always heard. But the establishment hated prophets. The prophets revealed the rebellion of the controllers and the disgusting personal lifestyle sins hidden behind the walls of false piety. Why do you think the fakers had to dress up in such outlandish costumes and affect such fake religious attitudes? They had to hide what they really were. They had to fake the people out to gain and remain in power.

But there hadn’t been a real prophet in the land for centuries. There were likely individuals here and there that had some semblance of diffused spiritual light but such was obviously not enough to stave off the rise of evil disguised as holy. Some could see the pretenders for what they were but had no power to fight or stop them. This is what always happens when the strong, powerful correcting voice of God is not around to speak spiritual truth and light, and counteract the perpetrators of evil.

When there were prophets the evil ones did their best to oppose and defame them, and often resorted to murder. They saw the latter means as the only reliable solution. Many prophets were killed. As their voice was eliminated it allowed for evil to rise exponentially.

If the nation prayed earnestly for deliverance and brought forth the fruits of real repentance God would respond.

He would send another prophet, as pure salt and light, not necessarily to defy the idiots who had wrested control but to save the nation. If the nation didn’t care there was nothing God could do other than be there for the remaining faithful Remnant. The people composing the Remnant had the double whammy of standing for God in a Godless society but also being under constant attack by the despots in charge.

Understanding this dynamic should cause one to get the big idea regarding our present circumstances. In the not too distant past, if the government sent out a directive to shut down all the churches, Christians would have fought back with holy fervor. Such a directive would never work. Other directives did, however. There are many ways the sly ones can force compliance to their will, the central tenet of which involves compromising and diluting the strength of Christianity, if not causing its outright destruction. Sadly, Christians in general were too dumb to understand the ulterior motives utilized to neutralize them.

As the great compromise advanced, the day arrived when church leaders made a deal with the devil, so to speak, and aligned themselves with governmental monetary dictates, such as the 501c3. This worked out great for both parties, except for the simple fact that free speech in the pulpit was erased. Ministers could no longer speak out against the government (you know, like a prophet), or speak the will of the congregation regarding candidates for government office.[2] The congregants weakly complied with the plan also because if they didn’t, their social and monetary status would likely suffer. Couldn’t have that.

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING

Somebody would have stood up and said something. Oh yes, they did. And they were eventually showed the door. If Mr. Big Bucks in the front pews did this it would be different, of course. He had money. Preachers have always traditionally listened to money and would generally back off. If you don’t see this happening outwardly it’s because both are already in it together. No, the one who would stand up and oppose the non-New Testament garbage being spouted would most often be a man of no means, exactly like the Old Testament prophets. He stood no real chance of being effective toward actual reform without the support of the people and would be silenced or removed. Therefore, even when God sent a corrective it was most often rejected. Sound familiar?

Some went out and started new churches. They had no choice. They knew too much. They would likely only be accepted elsewhere if they kept their mouths shut. Why this strange attitude toward New Covenant truth? Why were the big boy controllers so afraid of the real teachings of the Lord? Because it exposed them as frauds.

THE HIGH COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

I remember, a long time ago, a certain church leader, who appeared to be a good guy and sincere, was talking about how easy it was to live for God. There is no doubt this man had mastered some of the requisites for discipleship. He was Spirit-filled and had a good attitude. He had a good record. But he was also on the payroll. Guess what percentage of solid real disciples are on a ministry payroll? We have this strange tradition in Christianity that only very few believers are qualified to gain monetary compensation for their Christian service. 99% of Christians are thus on their own. It’s a good thing some are with the Lord while on their own. They are forced even among believers to seek a secular means for making a living. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that if it came down to the apostle Paul getting paid or pretty much anyone else in church, including the majority of preachers, I would go with the apostle Paul. Why? Because most preachers could not perform like the apostle Paul in a million years. They are not there to “follow Paul as he follows Christ.” They don’t even pretend to be like Paul.

But guess what? There were a great many believers in Paul’s day, a large percentage, who were doing the same spiritual things Paul was doing. They were certainly not the evangelistic teaching apostolic dynamo Paul was, but if that’s the criteria for getting paid then most preachers and church leaders in America must go off the payroll immediately. That was not the criteria, of course. The Lord always took care of His people and still does. Yet, I submit that if the majority of Christians, the very ones who make Christianity work and supply the lion’s share of money and effort, are deemed officially unworthy of compensation then so are the majority of Christian ministers. There are enough ministers who do the same work sans donations or paychecks and work like anyone else and should be commended for it. And there are certainly ministers who do the will of God and should be supported financially. But the Lord in general only obligates Himself to support those who do His will and not those with mere titles who pretend to be something they are not.

Regarding the first century AD, there was simply not that much money to go around back then among believers. It never meant the Lord did not provide for His own but that a higher level of discipleship was necessary. They had relatively hard lives. Real Christianity was illegal. Rome could be brutal. Unbelieving gentiles thought Christians were at least strange if not lawless cultists. The unbelieving Jews were constant threats for open attack. Who do you think killed the Lord Jesus? And instigated the death of James the apostle? And Stephen? And almost Peter? Who was trying to kill Paul every day of his Christian life? Each of these men were Israelites who were deemed “strayed” and “heretics” by the Sanhedrin. The greatest persecution ever faced by the Early Church was by the unbelieving anti-Christian Israelites who saw Christianity as a vile heresy.

Despite this and all the rejection, the believing Israelites held on, continued honoring and working for the Lord Jesus, were later joined by great numbers of believing gentiles, and both together eventually prevailed against great odds. However, there was no way it would have been possible without the game-changing indwelling Holy Spirit of God. The devil got in his licks but could not stop the juggernaut.

OPENING THE GATES FOR DEMONIC INVASION

But what about the persecutors? What happened to those opposing the Lord? —The same thing that is happening to Unreal Christianity at this very moment. This overall entity has traditionally rejected real believers who do their best to know and comply with the Lord’s teachings, even if they clash with church doctrine, until many churches have none left. Without them there is no spiritual salt and light. Without the presence of the Lord it becomes easy for the devil to invade the premises. Their lack of spiritual strength makes it impossible to make a stand for God. In the effort to keep themselves in control and honor a different gospel, they have set themselves up for ruin by having no one left to come to their rescue.

The only choice remaining is to accept the terms of surrender.

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


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

[2] President Trump promised to change this but the ministers involved probably decided against it because it might wreck their funding.

THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS STRIKES BACK

BlogPic7820

The Lord Jesus came to His people during a time of profound national darkness. There had been no prophetic word for over four centuries and the resultant void was filled by religious pretenders.

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BIG BAD JOHN

John the Immerser was an absolute phenomenon, a sensation. No one had carried such an anointing since the times of Elisha, the man who took the mantle from Elijah. One will notice, however, that though Elisha was given a double portion of Elijah’s powerful spiritual anointing, it was still Elijah’s spirit. These two men lived in the ninth century BC, and it was approximately a full 900 years from the beginning of Elijah’s ministry to that of John’s.

Malachi, the final Hebrew prophet before John, ceased his ministry in the late fifth century BC. This is what he wrote at the end of his book concerning John the Immerser:

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” [Malachi 4:5-6]

Those wise with understanding would have known that this personage who was to come would not be the actual man Elijah. The man himself mattered little in that he was but a vessel. It was the Spirit of God that rested upon Elijah. The great prophet is certainly to be commended for his magnificent discipleship, obedience, and determination, but he would be the first to tell you that the mantle (garment) upon him was the mantle of God.

GOD’S MANTLE IN ACTION

I watched a preacher recently on video. I had never heard him preach before but his name was vaguely familiar. He was a veteran preacher, having already spent many years as a willing vessel. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. One night in prayer, the Lord suddenly spoke to him and said He was going to heal everybody in the church the next night. One obviously does not often hear that. The man believed it right off and began looking forward to the next night’s service with much expectancy.

The next day he started telling some members of his congregation what to expect. It would be a great night!  By the time the meeting began, however, all was dead. There was a heaviness. It felt empty. The man started wondering why but being a mature minister and knowing what he had heard the night before, he understood that darkness was fighting back. They all began to pray and worship. They fought through it. Later, when the time came for the healing service to begin, he had people line up in the main aisle. The first two in line were women who had been battling relatively severe health issues. The preacher thought, “Oh Lord, why couldn’t You have started this out with something easier?” But he got his little vial of anointing oil and began walking toward the steps of the platform to go down and begin praying for people.

However, something strange happened before he ever got there. He felt something on his back. He thought a fellow minister on the platform behind him had placed something upon him that felt like a coat. He wasn’t amused. He turned around but there was nobody there close enough. He felt his back and there was nothing there, at least nothing he could see. But he felt a tangible presence of something that could only be explained as the mantle of God.

While still on the platform he turned to the front to begin going down to pray for the people but before he got there (again), he saw that the first woman in line was already feeling the very powerful presence of the Lord! She had her hands up, her eyes closed, and was praying and worshipping. She suddenly began reacting to God’s presence all the more and before the preacher ever got to her or anointed her with oil she was instantly healed of her disease! Then the same thing happened to the next woman in line. And the next. Before the night was over everyone there who needed healing was supernaturally healed by the Spirit of God.

The Lord did exactly as He told the preacher He would do the night before. Darkness had tried to intervene but the people had stayed faithful. Darkness failed.

OUR FAITHFULNESS TO GOD

I’ve been around a while. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve experienced a lot. I could write a book on the personal miracles I’ve experienced in my life. It often starts with an internal spiritual desire, what some describe as a “burning.” It is something relating directly to the will of God. When a person catches ahold of that, and prays about it, and seeks the Lord about it, and is faithful to it, the desire grows. It is the Lord confirming that one is on the right track.

But then the enemy enters the picture and tries to mess it up. Spiritual warfare breaks out. There is a strong attempt to bring discouragement and a lack of energy. One has to fight through it. It takes time. Again, I could tell you stories. Determined as I was, and in great need of the miracle, there was no turning back. When you have a big fish on the line you may have to play him for a while. The time comes when you at last break through, defeat the enemy, and the very thing you prayed about, that which looked impossible in the beginning, actually comes to pass. This is what a spiritual fight and faithfulness can do. My life was changed for the better on several occasions through miraculous means. If I had not stayed faithful and determined to fight alongside the Lord the great victories would never have happened.

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

America is blowing up. Great evil has emerged. It is not unlike what happened in the first century AD. After 400 plus years of no prophetic word the nation of Israel continued to decline from within. Its spiritual weakness made it prone to attack from without and such attacks were often cakewalks for the enemy. What happened to the prophets? Why did the Lord stop sending prophets? I can answer that by asking the same question regarding America. We used to have a majority of solid Christian people and solid Christian leaders in this country. They knew the Word. Why? Because it was being taught seven days a week in some way or another. As time went on, however, the Christian strength of America continued a steady decline. Why? Because the solid Christians and Christian leaders began dying off and fading out, the latter largely through spiritual compromise. Then preachers began acting exactly like politicians in that their funding sources had to be protected at all costs. They began serving money rather than serving God. The Christians under these ministers never put up much of a fight and let them get away with it.

The enemy invaded the void. In ancient Israel’s time, the enemy that invaded the spiritual void included the religious leaders who eventually grew so demonic they sold out their country. They chose the rabid Zealots over the Lord Jesus and His followers.

These people you see in the streets today are much like the Zealots of old who were willing to destroy their own country in their effort to defeat Rome. Rome was never defeated by them but Israel ceased to exist forever. After they murdered the Lord things continued getting worse year by year until the final conflagration in AD 70. It was the result of rejecting love and peace and choosing instead ever greater amounts of hatred, bitterness, and anger until they were consumed by evil.    

But the early Christians thrived. It was a spiritual war and the early believers won. The kingdom of the Lord Jesus continued to expand all across the world. At present there are a great many strong Spirit-filled Christians in America winning a spiritual war and the devil is striking back in any which way he can. He has many deceived people doing his work who care nothing for the Lord. This fight will grow much worse over the next few months.

Darkness is reacting to Light. It is reacting violently. Darkness is fighting for survival.

“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:19-21][1]

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


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

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE 2020

The Declaration of Independence

Today we celebrate the 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. What follows is a brief account of its creation and the great document itself. Happy July 4th everyone.


On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia House of Burgesses introduced a resolution that essentially became the actual Declaration of Independence. The short document stated thus:

Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.      

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

The resolution was debated the next day and then tabled until July 1. In the meantime, a committee was formed to consider the question of independence. It was composed of five members: John Adams, Ben Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was enlisted to write the document. After editing, the Declaration was voted upon for acceptance by Congress on July 2 and formally accepted on July 4, 1776. It is interesting to note, however, that it was not actually a declaration of independence. That honor belonged to the resolution of Richard Henry Lee. The original title of the formal document written by Thomas Jefferson was the following:

A Declaration by the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in General Congress assembled

The final draft adopted on July 4, 1776 contained the more familiar title of:

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The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

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New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

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© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

WAKE UP!

The devil is going full bore in this latest effort to destroy Christianity in America. Churches have been forced to close and after restrictions were lifted for a brief time, authorities are demanding closure all over again. If you are not aware of this or think I am exaggerating do a simple search of what has just transpired in California. Will the majority of Christians in California simply lay down once again and let the anti-Christian civil authorities have their way once again? I know many there are fighting, praying, fasting and doing all they can but the majority is sleeping and woefully compromised.

AS GOES CALIFORNIA SO GOES THE NATION?

Why is it that so many American Christians cannot see what is actually going on here? Why can’t they see the underlying demonic agenda? Why do so many Christians perpetually weakly comply with whatever they are told to do by nonbelievers in charge when such demands are obviously designed to destroy them? Why can’t they see the little man behind the curtain? The enemy has gone into a full court press to maintain the great ground it gained this past spring and is wisely refusing to let up. Here’s a clue for anyone unclear on the concept: The enemy will never let up. Christians are going to have to find their backbone again, at least for the relative few who had one before. If Christians refuse to engage the enemy on the spiritual field of battle then it’s over. Just shutter your church and forget it.

FIGHT BACK!

I suffered a major loss over a month ago but have done my best to keep going. Many of you have suffered likewise. You have no choice but to go on. But even with the Lord on our side these times have developed into a major fight and victories have become harder to come by. That’s just the nature of spiritual battle. The Christian who gives up in the face of great battle will obviously never win. When it appears the Lord has left you and no longer cares is when you must fight that much harder. We know the Lord NEVER leaves us. We know He suffered and died to save us. No one loves us more. But this world can be an evil hell hole and such has proven true once again, but perhaps never so much regarding a pure and blatant in-your-face attack on the Lord Jesus and His people. If you consider yourselves one of His then you must do what He did while in His earthly ministry and what He is doing at present. I can assure you He is leading the fight against the enemy of your souls.

GET FILLED WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT!

He gave us His Holy Spirit to help us. Christians may be able to do okay without His Spirit in “good times” but you can forget it in times like these. If there was ever a time for all the bench-sitting Christians to get off their duffs, repent for their prejudice against Pentecost, get on their face, and BEG the Lord for His Holy Spirit and a fresh anointing it is now. For those who continue to refuse, as they have done traditionally, your time is pretty much over. The state will take over your churches fully. The state has already gained much control to this point and most Christian leaders go along with it weakly. But these times are different.

As I wrote in my prior post, for all the Christian ministers and churches, the majority, who have traditionally refused the full authority of the Lord Jesus, your weakness, rebellion, and intransigence have allowed the enemy to knock down your walls and invade, and you will now be forced to fight back against great odds. Most will not. Many will simply quit completely and join the enemy. Many will surrender to a diabolical Judas spirit. Many, likely most, will continue to insist on conforming to the sinful culture rather than do the will of God. Many will continue to choose the spirit of the world rather than the Spirit of God. Many will choose to maintain their places of worldly religious authority, prestige, and honor, praised by those who hate the Lord, and keep their jobs and paychecks, rather than stand for the Lord’s righteousness. How can these traitorous people deny the very One who gave His life for them and stand in the place reserved only for Him? Who is supporting them? Why are they supporting them?

WE THE PEOPLE?

And regarding our elected leaders, the crazies on one side and sissies on the other, WHO ELECTED THEM? Who is responsible? How did they gain the power to fight the Lord Jesus and His people in this way? Why are they being allowed to destroy Christianity right before our very eyes without a fight? What will it take to finally go on the offensive?

And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. But He knew their thoughts and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? So they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters. [Luke 11:14-23] [1]

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


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

A MUST READ FROM 9 YEARS AGO! (July 13, 2011): WHEN YOU GONNA WAKE UP?

A MUST READ FROM 4 YEARS AGO! (June 7, 2016): SHOUT TO THE LORD

 

CANCELERS GETTING CANCELED: TRUTH-REJECTING CHURCHES REAPING WHAT THEY SOWED

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However they arrived at their deficient doctrinal destination, churches that refuse to budge decide they must protect their chosen traditional identity. It is why they reject any Biblical truth that reveals their error.

CHOOSING AN EARTHLY KING

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. [1 Samuel 8:4-7]

Those churches that refuse the full authority and presence of the Spirit of the Lord God are also rejecting the Lord Jesus, regardless of their pronouncements to the contrary. There is actually no distinction or dichotomy here though they have created a false one. Rejecting the fullness of the Holy Spirit means rejecting King Jesus. In the exact sense that one who rejects the Son also rejects the Father and is thus left Godless, whoever rejects Pentecost essentially rejects God.   

Those devoid of His Holy Spirit lack everything associated with His Spirit, including primarily, for the sake of this discussion, what may be termed spiritual backbone, that which equips believers with the willingness, courage, and strength to not only fight against powerful evil forces but defeat them. Without the Spirit of God Christians have no chance. This is why such empty vessels compromise and capitulate to the enemy. They know they are spiritually wimpy and weaponless. Rather than shine a light upon a sinful culture they weakly succumb to it. Even more so, they surrender to the devil, shuddering at the thought of actually doing battle against him. The incessant priority for Pastor Soy Boy, rather than serving the Lord, is maintaining a counterfeit enterprise and the cash flow thereof which gives him his power.

“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.” [Luke 16:13]

Remember, Christians are to be an offensive force taking the battle to the enemy. The Lord Jesus clearly said the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18). Christians are supposed to attack the gates of Hades, the very entry, for the sake of rescuing those held in bondage within them by evil forces. How can such jail breaks ever be possible without His powerful demon-scattering Spirit and anointing?

CHOOSE FOR YOURSELVES TODAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE

Given that this rejection of God is a conscious choice, one wonders why, historically, the vast majority of Christian groups, churches, and denominations decide thus. What’s their problem? Actually, one wonders only a second or so and then sees very clearly why they make such a decision—it is simple human pride. The real Gospel not only reveals the hope of salvation and real life, it also exposes sin. It reveals personal sin and corruption. Those having their sin exposed or pointed out by the Lord do not appreciate it. Their human pride insists they must stand up against whatever may attack it. They consider the revealing of their sin to be an attack upon their character. They do not like having their incorrect life choices being exposed because it challenges not only their social presence, but primarily wounds their mental self-perception.

This is what entrenched sin does to a person. It actually makes a person his own worst enemy. Once infected, one becomes easily angered at being exposed as infected. It makes one feel extremely uncomfortable. The resultant conviction diminishes one’s perceived self-image. The Bible plan of salvation, the very thing designed to save people from the debilitating effects of sin and personal corruption, is perceived as an enemy out to get them instead of save them. This is why the real Gospel is only readily received by those who have previously been prepared to some extent, but such preparation can usually only come through a personal hunger for truth and righteousness.

RECOGNIZING THE BANKRUPT FOLLY OF THIS WORLD

Longing for spiritual truth and righteousness proves a deep-set desire for God sourced from the deepest part of one’s heart. Why some have this desire and others don’t is not necessarily so mysterious. Along with human pride there is also human selfishness. Prideful, selfish people, those who are predominantly fixed on taking care of number one, who plan and live their lives according to selfish purposes based on optimum acquisition and pleasure, have no desire for even the thought of spiritual discipleship. Rather than recognizing their own sin and dead spiritual state and have a desire to do something about it, which entails a destruction of the flesh and thus, actual discipleship, they reject the very notion and decline the cure because they would rather seek the pleasures of the flesh.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 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. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” [Luke 9:23-26]

GOD ALSO CONVICTS CHURCHES

We know from passages in the Book of Revelation that God dispatches heaven-sent letters of correction to churches. Remember, these are His own people. In reading His contentions against the ancient churches in question, He relays serious problems among those groups and also reveals His own antipathy with their sin and intransigence. But His first desire is to cancel the sin. He cannot do this, of course, without their willingness and cooperation. He does caution them with cancelation, however, if they refuse:

EPHESUS

“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.” [Revelation 2:4-5]

SMYRNA

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” [Revelation 2:11]

PERGAMUM

 “Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” [Revelation 2:16-17]

THYATIRA

“He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.” [Revelation 2:26-28]

SARDIS

“I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.” [Revelation 3:1-3]

PHILADELPHIA

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” [Revelation 3:11-13]

LAODICEA

“Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” [Revelation 3:15-22][1]

FUTURE PROJECTIONS AND WARNINGS REJECTED

God has been trying to get our attention for several decades now with regard to the current crisis. Though DA church leaders apparently reject the notion of God’s superior intelligence, He is actually pretty smart. He pretty much has the decided ability to extrapolate trends far off into the future. Imagine that. He thusly sends warnings far ahead of time and doesn’t let up, providing He can find willing warners to help with the heavy lifting sweating out a truthful witness in the face of gross opposition. Because of His great love to rescue whosoever will, some actually hear His voice and comply. Some end up getting saved from sin, delivered from oppression, blessed with a spiritual calling to get the word out, and also prepared for the future.

But if history is any guide, the majority, stuck fast in their present, rejects His warnings because such are based on future circumstances the people thereof cannot see or forthcoming trends they cannot perceive.

Then the flood comes. Then foreign enemies suddenly invade the nation. Then Jerusalem gets burned to the ground. Sound familiar? It took Noah 120 years to build the ark. In all that time, he built and he preached and he warned but not one single person outside his immediate family listened. The same thing happened to Jeremiah. He was one of the most astute and willing prophets of ancient Hebrew history but was continually outvoted and disregarded. The lessons here should be obvious in that majorities can become utterly stupid, absurdly asinine, willingly duped, and easily triggered. How much of a dunce must one be to reject a clear warning designed to save and bless?

Therefore, because faux Christians who “stand in the authority of Jesus” (as the Pharisees stood in the authority of Moses), and refuse to obey the One they claim to honor (as the Pharisees refused to obey the law of the one they claimed to honor), there is nothing else to be done once the predicted disaster actually arrives. Those who climbed aboard the ark have protection, provision, and sail along above the fray in the cool refreshing sea breeze, having spent much time preparing for the exact scenario God warned about.

But those outside the ark get rained on and flooded by a massive harvest of unprecedented reaping-what-you-sow evil emerging unexpectedly and unanticipated like a cancel event of Biblical proportions.

And no one answers 911. What a shocking surprise.

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


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

CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS 2020: THE CANCEL CULTURE IS COMING FOR YOU

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THEY SHOWED US HOW IT’S DONE 

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A crisis always reveals concealed reality…

 

An attack reveals one’s preparedness or lack thereof…

 

The great emerging attack upon Christianity in America proves Christians in general are still blissfully unaware of it.

 

CANCELLING CHRISTIANITY

If you read my first book, which this site is named after, you would have been aware of this trend and prepared for the present. Those following this blog over the last nine years would be largely up to date on current happenings and would not be surprised at how ruthless things have gotten most recently because they would have known it was coming.

My book was so far ahead of its time the majority of the small percentage of Christians made aware of it in the beginning rejected it almost immediately. This caused most Christians to have never heard of it. I did my best at the time to remedy this. I fought long and hard. There was an incredible amount of spiritual warfare going on, praying, and fasting. I did my best under the circumstances to publicize it but the fight was such that the Christian Pharisees won. This made it difficult and essentially impossible for all those Christians who needed the message to receive it.

One must understand that Christians must reach out for assistance regarding the elements they need which they don’t possess in order to do the will of God. He created a Community of which each member is only a part. But when one happens to be someone raised up by God for the purposes of Christian reform, then one must be careful who he deals with, because reform is anathema to those in control or those who kowtow to those in control. In other words, if everything is perfect the way it is, why are you trying to change it for the better?

LURKING JUDAS

Ordinarily, Christians often never consider that some Christians may be something different than what they project. We can be naïve based on taking positive aspects of the Lord’s teachings to heart without considering other aspects of His teachings which tell us to be careful with whom we associate.

As new Christians, freshly born again, we love everybody. We especially love those fellow believers close to us. In our great and wonderful joy we are absolutely unaware of lurking Judas. It never enters our minds that another believer might be someone out to get you. And for those of you who may think I just drifted off into la-la land, you might want to read up on all the times the Lord Jesus reiterated this very fact. If one doesn’t believe He faced incredible opposition then one obviously does not know the Word or the nature of spiritual reality.

By the way, on the morning of November 22, 1963 in Fort Worth, Texas, while about to walk out into the open before a large crowd under gray drizzling skies, President John F. Kennedy had this very much on his mind. Only a short time before, among the many preparations of that day in his hotel suite, he had already broached the subject of assassination. He had told aides of the ease of which someone could do the dirty deed if so inclined, if someone truly wanted to “get you.”

All that morning, based on the inclement weather, the Secret Service agents were yet to decide on whether the limousine bubble top would need to be installed. For purely political reasons, and it was obviously a political trip to several Texas cities to shore up Democrat support for the 1964 election, it would be best to have an open convertible. It would be best for the electorate to see the relatively young and vibrant President and the attractive First Lady. When the time came to leave the hotel for the airport in Fort Worth, from which they would make the short flight to Dallas, a strange phenomenon following this president’s official trips happened yet again. The rain had largely stopped and skies began clearing. The decision was made to have an open car and leave the top behind. It was a risk John F. Kennedy was not only willing to take but felt he must take.

HE STEADFASTLY SET HIS FACE TO GO TO JERUSALEM

Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said. [Luke 18:31-34][1]

Every single thing the Lord would have to suffer was typed into His Master Plan before He ever created the heavens and earth. He would create free will human beings in the likeness of God. The majority of these would use their free will to grossly violate God’s commandments and holiness and would be lost. A relatively small minority, however, would be made up of individuals who would instead choose to honor God and strive for righteousness and truth. This latter Remnant of humanity was, in God’s considerable estimation, absolutely worth dying for. They were worth the price of redemption.

One of the common denominators of the Remnant is possessing a never-say-die attitude. Regardless of personal stumbles, learning curves, bad circumstances, spiritual attacks, rejection, and even bodily persecution, its members are determined to never quit the path. They signed up for the long haul. They love the Lord Jesus with all their heart. They too set their face as a flint to do the will of God come hell or high water. They all essentially die for Him as He did for them. This is the spiritual dynamic. This is what God created before the beginning of creation. He determined to have a free will people who love Him for who He is and love each other likewise. The only way to allow for this to happen is recorded in the annals of mankind.

Keep this is mind when they tell you once again you must close your churches on false pretenses. Ponder it when they demand that you surrender to the culture and obey immoral anti-Christian regulations and strictures. Think about it when they insist that you not only believe in false agenda-based narratives but make them the very fabric of your lives.

Consider it when the current cancel culture comes calling for the eradication of real Christianity.

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


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

RECOGNIZING THE DEVIL

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The Lord Jesus said there is certainly a devil. He also said the devil is a liar and deceiver. But the world is unaware of this. The devil’s greatest trick is convincing the world he doesn’t exist.

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REVEALING INVISIBLE EVIL

The heart of a person is judged not necessarily by his words but by his outward behavior. Sometimes certain people say one thing and do another, but curiously, are able to hide the incongruity. It is likely because their speech is such that it enthralls and captivates, and people fall for it like a load of bricks. After being captivated, or in other words, brought under a spell, such people no longer notice or even care about the resultant actions of said speaker since they have been emotionally brainwashed by the flowery though false words.

THE MAJORITY IS UNDER A TRANCE

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:13-14][1]

Many years ago I was talking to someone in church. I mentioned what the Lord said about the majority. I said the Lord said only a few would be saved. It was possibly the very next service when the pastor, in the process of his preaching, suddenly railed against this truth. He wore an expression of disdain, eyed me in the big crowd, and said something to the effect, “What’s this about only a few being saved?”

This happened to me a few times, comparatively speaking. I would quote a Scripture, someone would not understand, gossip would eventually get back to the pastor, and I would hear a rebuttal from the pulpit. Of course, the pastor in question was at that time in the process of transforming his successful church into a megachurch. He had already shipped off tapes of his sermons to Christian TV. He was always talking about the necessity of money.

He was not by any means a bad man. He was an excellent preacher, really gifted. But he really believed in going big and didn’t want anything keeping him from his giant goals. Done correctly, this is obviously our mandate, but it must be done according to the Lord’s ministry example. We know what that was by simply reading Scripture. Alternative means can be a trap. Whenever someone falls into such a trap he will keep up the expansion protocol, likely because it looks like success, and refuse to look back. If someone may say the Lord never did it that particular way it doesn’t register.

Now here’s the deal: Great wonderful things often happen within the context of a false understanding. The Lord blesses us with much grace. We carry around incorrect suppositions about Scripture until we gain more knowledge. We must be teachable. We must stand up to correction. But many Christians are willingly clueless by choice. They rarely read the Word and only received snippets here and there. Much of this is never due to a lack of brainpower but to spiritual laziness.

SABBATH REST?

Though I was the dutiful churchgoing Christian soldier for decades it did not mean I was not aware of many gross inconsistencies in official Christianity, one of which involved the Sabbath. According to the Law of Moses the Sabbath is Saturday. It is the seventh and final day of the week. This never changed for the early Christians. But by the second and third centuries or so the Saturday Sabbath was changed to the Sunday Sabbath. There were many obvious reasons for this which I will not get into here. Nor am I stating any religious observance mandate here. I only bring it up to further the previous point.

You see, I grew up going to church on Sundays. Pretty much every Christian did. Thankfully, because of the kind of church I had to go to, one was only required to attend one service. As a young adult after my born again experience in a (ahem) new and different church, we had services on Sunday morning and Sunday night. And I loved every minute of it. Later on, however, once marriage and kids and responsibilities and full adulthood arrived it involved much more work to continue this process. Then I began to think more about what the Sabbath was supposed to be. It was originally created by God as a day of rest. But if you are running around all day long going to church starting from the early morning to late Sunday night, where is the day of rest?

We also always had a midweek service. There were other church-related activities. By the end of the week you were run ragged and never got a day off. This violates the Word of God. And it will cost a person eventually. But if one fully buys into the always-going-to-church idea it should be obvious one has little or no time left for private study. Such people become bound by their church in that everything they know or believe largely comes from there. Christians thus learn to obey the obligations of their church and pastor as the way to get along and cover all the bases. If something arises in contrast to this it is usually rejected, even if it is pure Scripture.

Regarding the pastor I mentioned earlier, he eventually got his megachurch. They had multiple millions of dollars coming in. He established a well-known presence on Christian television. I’m sure many great and wonderful things transpired as a result. A great many unknown people who gave sacrificially made it all happen. He lived, of course, as many successful church leaders do, on donations. I’m sure many of these people were blessed in their giving. I know I was. But the Lord instructed me to leave before all the latter happened. Due to a powerful sense of loyalty I didn’t want to, but I obeyed. I think the pastor had a good heart and good intentions. But he was not beyond insisting on his own way or stepping on those who did not agree.

WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN

One would think one could figure out what often happens next. Those who study OT history do. One of this pastor’s mentors, while he was still up and coming, was a megachurch leader. This guy had built a huge church plant even beyond megachurch standards. He had an extremely high profile and was highly touted in the Christian press. Many years later a massive scandal was revealed there that involved an unbelievable amount of sexual shenanigans of the grossest variety. Of course, all that evil was going on while he and his church were being highly touted by all the official morons who held him up as a Biblical example, though he was actually nothing of the kind. This included my former pastor who was likely shocked when the news came out. At least I hope that’s the way it was with him.

I’m sure there were people who knew the truth as the truth was happening but such people are always in the minority. They are seen as those against all the good stuff. The ones who love all the good stuff and never question anything are the spiritually braindead. These always account for the majority. We have an endless stream of just such a majority who always insist that their pastor, their church, their doctrines, their practices, and their beliefs are absolutely perfect and anyone who differs even slightly can simply get the hell out. They will turn on you in a heartbeat. Then later on when the words of those who tried to tell the truth were proven true, the big boisterous we-know-everything majority becomes the not-a-peep silent majority. They don’t want to mention they were wrong. They run like a bear’s on their tail. It hurts their pride. It is far too humbling. But as long as they maintain their numbers each individual can continue to get lost in the clueless crowd and gain security from the clueless crowd. Though they are forced to face the facts they rarely face the Scriptural facts, which, had they done so before, the scandal would never have happened. And they insist the devil had nothing to do with it.

THIS IS WHY GOD MADE PROPHETS

The Lord Jesus made sure He put truth-tellers in His Community. They are there for a very good reason. Real churches have such truth-tellers. Most churches don’t. That’s why those churches are what they are. It is why they don’t look like the Book of Acts. It is why they are either dead as an iceberg where one can play hockey on the main aisle or are inhabited to some degree by stalking religious spirits. The invisible bad guys have them flummoxed. As a result, some of these places are downright weird, looking like the result of a religious experiment gone bad. Others look wonderful on the surface but are otherwise concealing hidden secrets.

But all could be fixed post haste if the homogenous majority wanted it so. But they don’t. They refuse the cure. They reject the One who could deliver them even while singing His praises.

They simply cannot recognize the devil.

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


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

 

BE FILLED WITH HIS COURAGE FOR THE BATTLE AT HAND

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Walking with the Lord Jesus will involve standing with the Lord Jesus. Standing with Him means one must engage in spiritual warfare. This requires great courage which only He can provide.

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THE ARENA OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE

It’s amazing what one decision will cost a person. Real Christians make such a decision. Unreal Christians never do. The latter make what they think is the right decision but have either been deceived or are only deceiving themselves. Being a Christian does not mean, and usually never does, having a storybook life. It is often the opposite. Rather than a storybook it is much more about struggle. It is a struggle because the Lord Jesus has a great many powerful enemies. When one joins up with Him, His enemies become yours also and will thus hate you as they hate Him. And this hate does not stay holed up in some ethereal world but is demonstrated three-dimensionally.

Why do the majority of Christians miss this? Why are they unaware? These simple questions are essentially rhetorical for those who are aware. They know exactly why. They know it’s because the majority of “Christians” are never in the fight. They have joined a fake form of Christianity that looks nothing like the historical original. These fake forms come in many different subforms yet it doesn’t matter what the particulars are that separate one from the other, since all are separated from the spiritual reality of His kingdom.

If unreal Christians have an inkling this may be true why do they insist on staying put? Well, for one thing, it’s more comfortable. Yet it is also the case that when nothing is ventured nothing is gained. When one agrees with the devil, the world, the culture, or anything else opposing the Lord, the Lord’s declared enemies will never be one’s own. They will never come after such a one. He or she is insulated from spiritual attack. And though it may appear that one’s good fortune is the result of God’s protection and provision, it is more likely due to simply not being a threat to evil. Imagine how many Christians there are in the world that the devil laughs at because they represent absolutely no threat to him.

The Lord’s entire existence is a threat to evil. When He showed up here as one of us, even as a mere babe, He put the devil on notice. His entry into the world was an open attack. Personified evil had always hated Him but at that point they hated Him all the more because He had the audacity to set foot on their turf. That’s how they saw it then and still do. They stole the planet from Him, in a sense. He decided to take it back. He could have simply eliminated them all whenever He felt like it, both demons and evil humans. But regarding the latter, He instead chose the path of love and vulnerability. He wanted us to know He is no threat to us. He wants us to know He actually loves us and wants to save us. Some will never accept His love but a relative few will. For those who reject Him it is their choice. At the end they can blame no one but themselves. Maybe most never understand the full implications of such a decision.

NO MIDDLE GROUND

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30][1]

I remember an event in my early Christian life when I was witnessing to someone. Of course, I was witnessing to just about everybody but certain events stand out in my memory more. This was one. The young guy I was talking to was listening to me and fully understood good and evil. Though a sinner, he didn’t see himself as evil or being on the wrong side. But he also knew he was not all that righteous except in his own mind and according to the world’s culture. The people he hung around and were familiar with were basically “good.” Most people never see a problem with oneself or one’s friends until a comparison is made. They consider themselves good because they compare themselves to the dregs of society and criminals. However, when one makes the comparison to the Lord Jesus and real Christians who don’t engage in unrighteous behavior and live according to a Biblical standard, they suddenly see their lives in a different light. They may even get convicted.

This is what the guy said in answer to this: “What about a third possibility? What if one doesn’t live for the devil or for God? What if he just lives in the middle?” I quickly told him there actually is no middle. There is no middle ground. No such place actually exists in the spiritual world. One is either on the side of righteousness with the Lord or one is against Him.

If I remember right, there was a brief moment of silence while he considered what I said. I’m sure he understood the implications. He knew he never made a decision for the Lord and didn’t see the need for it. But he likely also felt he was not an evil man who supported the devil. He thought he was just a good guy living life and doing what one must do in this world to make it and would like to have some fun along the way. Most people are like this. I don’t blame them for feeling that way. Life can be rough and for some it is much rougher than it is for others.

We parted amiably. He understood my point and I think he saw for the first time that there really isn’t any middle ground. But he never changed his life in the brief time I knew him. Most people don’t. When one tries to understand this principle further, however, and gains a more mature understanding on the matter, one is forced to recognize that any middle ground between good and evil can’t possibly exist. One is on one side or the other. If one believes in a middle one is not on the side of good no matter how much he or she may be convinced otherwise.

MAKING YOUR ELECTION SURE

Not to belabor the point, but most Christians never actually make a decision for the Lord. They exist in a nether world of their own making, likely deceived by faux Christian leaders, many of whom are also deceived. It never matters what the Word of God says to these people. They will always find a reason to discount Scripture to suit their purposes. They belong to denominations which put their own teachings above those of the Lord. Or they belong to no church and largely trust their own judgments, though such are never fully based on Scripture.

I remember talking to one such Christian once and referred to the integrity of the Bible but this person quickly disparaged the veracity of the written Word, in that no one can really trust that everything written in the Bible is actually true, especially after so many centuries. Yet, strangely enough, this person was a denominational Christian of a certain sort, attended church, and absolutely fully believed in that denomination’s teachings. In other words, this person’s chosen denomination was based on the Bible but apparently did not believe what was written in it, while the denomination’s teachings based upon it were perceived as legitimate and true. Go figure. One would think a reasonably intelligent person could see this logical fallacy but many don’t.

ONE IS EITHER ALL IN OR ALL OUT

The Lord Jesus is the Cornerstone. He is the foundation. He is the ultimate appeal to authority. He never allowed, in any of His teachings, the possibility of any other authority but His own. He taught pure truth. He taught the reality of good and evil. He actually fully exposed evil. He fully exposed the devil. No one had ever done that before. He pulled back the curtain of this world and revealed everything behind it, including the plans and machination of pure evil. He showed how everyone who has ever lived is influenced by this evil and broken by it, compromised by it, deceived by it, and greatly lessened because of it. He taught that the only solution was to face it head-on and fight it, which He did.

Now, had not a few good-hearted people already tried such a thing? Had not many righteous-to-be wannabes taken on evil in some form or another prior to that time or since? And the answer, of course, is yes, and that some small victories were certainly won. But these were usually only minor nicks to great evil and evil likely struck back and won again. The moral of this story is that most are no match for the great evil in the world. How can they be? They are compromised and weakened by personal sin.

The Lord, however, has never been compromised by sin. And that’s the difference between Him and everybody else. If one has any unconfessed sin and refuses repentance then one can forget about engaging in a spiritual fight. He will lose. Every time. The only way to defeat evil, really defeat it, is to attack it from a purely righteous vantage point. The Lord Jesus grants us this vantage point. Because He has the means to take away our sin we have the means to win spiritual fights. Evil simply cannot stand up to pure righteousness. Righteousness will always defeat it. Always. This is why it is imperative to not only “follow” the Lord but stand with Him in spiritual battle. It is the only way victory can be achieved.

The gift of His indwelling Holy Spirit, which fills one with powerful courage, makes this possible.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

AMERICA IS BEING RITUALED: STAY SPIRITUAL!

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What you must be concentrating on is your life as a Christian. Closer to the Lord we must be. Believe more. Pray more. Fence-sitting is over.

The majority of Christians in America have always gotten by being nominal, dutiful, spiritually standoffish, half-hearted, and insistent on a non-walk perceived as a real walk. At least one foot is forever firmly planted (in concrete) in this passing world, the other being ensconced in one’s Christian world, likely faux. If by chance one of these legs continues freestyling or left to dangling it must be compartmentalized post haste and will be as soon as some outside force forces an event-related or circumstance-based directive to put it where they say put it. And once both legs are fully spoken for walking only where directed, how must one Via Con Dios? Freedom is over.

The appearance of such remains promulgated, though, regardless of zombie status guised as good guy, and image is everything (of course). Keeping up appearances being a dutiful doofus trumps that overrated swimming upstream thing. Who needs that? Better to not only watch the river flow but jump in and flow with it. Looking free is better than being free. The important thing is getting on in life. The top priority is not the Lord Jesus and can never be. If such would be so it would involve far too drastic a change and can thus never be so. My social status would suffer. I might actually have to think. Better to take one’s chances and get along in the here and now and worry about that eternity stuff later.

GRAB YOUR CROSS. WHAT?

And now, for a cataclysmic jump into spiritual reality, why do most Christians shun cross-carrying? For starters, as previously alluded, there be one’s family religion. One is born with it and born into it with no say so. Most such are not New Covenant much but on-the-shelf variations. It’s like a movie loosely based on a book. To maintain family unity one must stay within it.

Then there is family culture. This must be maintained. We all come from a long line of many people doing certain things and most doings don’t include the only doing that matters which is doing His will. Now, maybe your family got it right. That’s great. Maybe you come from a long line of Spirit-filled giants who spent their lives changing the world for God. If this is true then pardon moi and continue on. Otherwise…

Then the money monster must be dealt with. This guy puts the slave in slave master. Forget enjoyable work. It may work for a few. Most must use force and force-fit a fit without having one which would be tricky if one had time to consider it. The time comes when economic pressure coerces adherence to whatever one must do for money and one’s beliefs must never threaten this. If the people on the job expect a certain mindset and attitude and one is pressured to conform then one must conform or income and lifestyle will be threatened. Call it a form of selling your soul or owing your soul to the company store which means God can’t have my soul. Tennessee Ernie told me so and he’s the one who spent every day loading sixteen tons so he must know.

I could go on. Most people adhere to tradition to the point of absolute close-mindedness even if their tradition is some variation of low-key, apathetic Que Sera Sera in which they don’t believe much or care much. It’s amazing how much they care, however, once this Joe Cool approach is perceived to be threatened by someone with the man-ups to actually witness. Then Joe goes Volcano. It reminds me of this:

“Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. I could come up into your midst in one moment and consume you. Now therefore, take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do to you.’” [Exodus 33:3-5]

TEARING YOU DOWN TO BUILD YOU UP

This is best done in as much of a self-administered and agreeable fashion as possible if at all possible in that full submission to the Lord gets it done faster and better and requires far fewer checkups for further fine tuning. Putting this in a spiritual context, God doesn’t have so much respect for our traditions and excuses and feet-in-concrete reasons to steer clear of actual discipleship. But tell a man he must ruin his life by obeying the unconstitutional draft board, submit to some loud mouth idiot for two months, subject one’s entire life including thoughts and soul to a soldier-making process, go to some distant suckwind country and get maimed or killed and, well, that’s different. It’s different because they’ll throw you in jail and make your life and your entire future even worse if you don’t. And also, everyone will think you’re as yellow as a cob of corn. Can’t have that.

This is why joining up with the Lord for His full program must be strictly voluntary. So right off the bat most will never join. Why? Well, (1) There is no force involved and (2) The world will think one is a total idiot. And then one will have to live life swimming upstream against the grain with a proverbial monkey ensconced on back. Most can never subject themselves to such unless forced to, and many do subject themselves to force of course whatever the force, embracing “May the Force Be With You,” but never His force. Yet the Lord, actually, will never use force and thus most are off the hook and will eventually willingly jump into Fire Lake as the credits roll. Wimps every one. Totally unworthy of the Lord. Don’t let the screen door hit you on the butt on your way out.  

WHAT MEANETH THIS?

It means the PTB have gained such control they are playing the majority like a Stradivarius. The devil is a good liar. He convinces most people to not be Christians and most Christians to not be serious. Big Brother sends daily directives to the talking heads who relay the message dutifully and most believe every word and obey or the cleaned brains will trash you to no end for declining DA indoctrination. I would think that most Christians should thus see that the Lord has made the choice very easy and that dropping one’s nets and never looking back is the perfect antidote to crazyworlditis. He cures our ills, gives us everything we need, and blesses us with great spiritual careers walking purely in faith. And then there’s the retirement benefits, which, as the slogan says, are out of this world.

They can attempt to ritual His people all they want but it will never take. Real Christians are above the clouds looking through them due to gifted eyes seeing His spiritual reality which exposes the fake one. They are off the merry-go-round forever. I like this plan.

21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

22 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

23 Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,

24 For I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.” [Luke 10:21-24] [1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

CHRISTIANS AND RACE: KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON THE LORD!

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Current events have opened a national discussion on race. Later in this article I will relay my early Christian experiences in this regard. We were way ahead of the curve.

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When the plandemic news narrative came blasting forth back in March, I noticed that many Christian blogs, ministers, etc. immediately began referring to it in their writings and pronouncements. Over the past week the same phenomenon has ensued only this time it’s about the riots and race. In both cases Christians are responding to the news of the day, taking the bait as it were, as if it is our duty to do so. It exposes what is actually on the minds of Christians in general most of the time, apparently, in that we are no different than anyone else in being highly influenced by news and culture, and consequently sometimes taken off in directions chosen by someone other than the Lord Jesus.

This obviously does not mean we should not be aware of current events. We should. We should be aware of as much as possible. But current events driven by the agenda-based, monetary-based, faux-narrative-based news corporations should never be a priority as opposed to the spiritual-based teachings of the Lord. It is certainly fine to comment on news of the day as some of it is appropriate toward greater truth. I also began writing about the plandemic at that time but my focus was what it had to do with Christianity in these times and what Christians should know and how to properly respond. I saw in the very beginning that there were obvious signs of a major false operation in transit and this has proven to be true.

By now informed people know the entire thing was largely an agenda-based deception and this has proved accurate by the lightning fast segue into the riots and race narrative in which it is suddenly okay to break all the social distancing rules of the plandemic. Previously, those who wanted to keep their churches or businesses opened or attempted to open them later without official sanction were severely sanctioned, both socially and by government authorities. Some were thrown in jail. Those who are now looting and burning, by contrast, are largely getting away with it and even being encouraged.

The first phase destroyed lives and livelihoods to the tune of multiple millions, many of which will never recover. We are talking the greatest magnitude of such in history. Reports say there were a hundred thousand businesses in New York alone that were destroyed. All for what? Fifty to a hundred thousand dying from the flu each year is a common statistic. The vast majority of the people who died from the virus did not actually die primarily from the virus but from any number of other conditions.

As this real news began coming in, that is, actual truth and science fact put forth from many intelligent and well-informed honest people telling the truth and destroying the false narrative that had captured and indoctrinated the majority of Americans, something had to be done really fast to recapture the focus. Hence, the happenings of the past week or so. The focus has indeed been recaptured. The majority has now segued cleanly into the second phase which involves the same destruction as the first but in the literal sense. This segued majority again includes the majority of Christians.

Yet, truth began coming forth right away to counter the new false narrative. This has happened much faster than the first time around and is great news. It reveals that many more have become aware of the real agenda of the narrative makers who are trying their best to stay ahead of the Great Awakening.

STAY FOCUSED

Again, it is fine to stay informed. The problem, however, is that Christians in general are more inclined to get highjacked by such current events based on the media shriekometer, especially those as charged as these, rather than stay focused on the Lord and His work. They get sidetracked most likely because they were not focused on the Lord and His work to begin with. Imagine if the disciples following the Lord were suddenly slammed with some powerful narrative/rumor event and just left Him standing there in the midst of a session and ran off to engage in the new proceedings. Their actions would prove their focus. Whatever they allowed their minds to be occupied with would prove their discipleship level.

Even with this article you are now reading, my intention is to comment on what’s happening now but only in the context of how it relates to Christians. And this current context certainly does relate to Christians. It tells us very clearly what is actually going on (for those with eyes to see) and what is coming next. We saw how the majority of ministers and churches quickly succumbed to government dictates and shut down their ministries and churches. These were all non-essential, you see. Most Christians let it happen without a fight. Next, these same people are suddenly adhering to the current narrative and obeying once again, apologizing for something of which they are not guilty.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

A little background: America obviously used to be largely segregated. There was progress in the 1940s associated with the war. There was great progress in the 1960s. By the 1970s great strides had already been accomplished and more were ongoing. I began attending Pentecostal churches at that time. There were white Pentecostal churches, black Pentecostal churches, and mixed Pentecostal churches. I attended them all.

The Pentecostal movement in America which began 120 years ago was from the start racially mixed. The great Azusa Street Revival was largely led by a young black minister from Texas by the name of William Seymour, whose parents were emancipated slaves. He was a former student of Charles Parham, a white man. There were people of several ethnic backgrounds involved at Azusa. Of course, Pentecostals were greatly scorned by mainline Christians then, the bulk of which were absolutely segregated. This disparagement continued at least until the 1960s. It was not only because these Christians had a powerful aversion to Pentecost but also toward those they saw as inferior regardless of race.

As a young man I was born again among a small group of peers who belonged to a church that contained all local backgrounds. We never had a problem with race. It was no issue to us. This might sound completely unbelievable. I can understand that based on the current narrative. In that church of roughly 100-150 people, there was an older black couple who always sat in the same place on the central aisle about four of five pews from the front. The man always sat quietly with his Bible open. She, on the other hand, was quite vocal. She would often be used of God for vocal spiritual gifts. When she spoke you paid attention. Right behind her sat a white woman powerfully used in the same gifts.

We also had female pulpit ministers. There was a black woman, a friend of the church, who visited on occasion to preach and was always smiling and cheerful but could without doubt bring a message from God. I can never forget what she did for me once. I had a problem with my car one Wednesday late afternoon and ending up having to walk to church. It was a long way. While walking down the highway a car stopped up ahead to give me a ride. It was her. She actually recognized me.

Although the majority of the pulpit time was taken by the senior pastor who was an excellent preacher, and something we all agreed with and wanted, it was a not a closed pulpit. It was open to any number of traveling evangelists and ministers. It was also open on occasion to church members, local believers, singers, and musicians regardless of background. They even allowed yours truly up there later on.  

On the very back pew sat a man and his large family. He had about six children, mostly young. He and his wife sat back there because they didn’t want to be a distraction. His children however, were always full of joy and well behaved. Before this man was born again and gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit, he was a classic Texas redneck. I have no idea what his thoughts on race were before he joined up with the Lord but he had absolutely no problem afterwards. He worked in commercial construction. He was the strongest man I ever met. I was taught by my Dad to have a strong handshake, but this man could break your hand if he wanted to. I’m serious. He could have played middle linebacker in the NFL. Before salvation he could outdrink anyone and smoked two or three packs of cigarettes a day. But the Lord delivered him of all of it. He was always bubbling over with the joy of the Lord. The old song says “Give me that Old Time Religion—Makes me love everybody.” What a joy to see all these people loving and hugging one another and working for the Lord together.

We also had a lot of young twenty-somethings who previously lived, before giving their lives to God, among the conditions of that culture at that time. All of us were aware of everything social. I was among this group. We were way ahead of the previous generation. Therefore, joining this church and being around so many different people of all races was no big thing but normal and never an issue. We also had a married couple in which the man was white and the woman was black. Again, whatever. They were great people. I had two close friends in that church. One was white and one was black. I was great friends with a married couple instrumental in my salvation. He was white and she was Hispanic.

Thus, because we were far too diverse, our common denominator was not race or background or income level or social standing. It was Jesus. We were all sold out to Jesus. He was everything. We each gave our lives to Him. We were all filled with His Spirit. That was the real dividing line. It is exactly as He said, in that there would be those who were dedicated to Him 100% and then there would be everybody else. When we came together in our services we were one large diverse and loving family from all walks of life and former traditions. We were black, brown, and white.

I was blessed to win someone to the Lord who happened to be Hispanic. She wanted me to witness to her mother. I was still relatively young in the Lord but was astounded that God was actually giving me these opportunities. I went over there and told her mother about the Lord and she ended up giving her life to God and became a church member. I remember taking my pastor aside while this was going on and telling him, “The Lord is using me, pastor!” How incredible it was to be used of God so He could save and bless them.

My friend told me she had another friend she wanted me to witness to. He was also Hispanic. We went over to his house, which was actually his mother’s house, in a far part of the city. This young man was the farthest thing from what I thought in my natural mind to ever change or be born again. But he actually trusted his friend and we took him to church. Over the next few weeks everybody saw the most amazing transformation take place in his life. This young man became a great follower of the Lord, absolutely dedicated. He also knew a lot of people. Over the next few years it is estimated that he won over five hundred people to the Lord!

THE HUMAN RACE

The moral of this story is that whatever one happens to be, Jesus said we must be born again. When we are born again and filled with the Spirit of God, we have Him in common. We become members of the Lord’s one family which is composed of “whosoever will” and is open to anyone. He loves everybody. He treats everyone the same. God does not discriminate. All are welcome in His kingdom. This is what He meant when He said the following:

31  “Treat other people as you would like them to treat you.

32 “What credit is it to you if you love only those who love you? Why, even sinners love those who love them.

33 “What credit is it to you if you do good only to those who do good to you? Even sinners do that.

34 “What credit is it to you if you lend only to those who you expect will pay you back? Even sinners lend to each other, expecting to be repaid in full.

35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing back! Your reward will be great, and you will be children of Ha`Elyon; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

36 “Show compassion, just as your Father shows compassion.

37 “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged.

     “Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned.

     “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” [Luke 6: 31-37][1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

REJECTING PENTECOST DESTROYED THEIR COUNTRY

Election Day 2014

Sound familiar? Pentecost has passed with very little notice. At the exact moment last week when America should have been honoring the Lord Jesus and the Pentecost Miracle the entire country exploded.

If the devil is able to take this kind of control while sleepy Christians slouch back from a real walk with God, everyone should know where this is heading. Pentecost was paid lip service by the usual people in the same way as always yesterday. Some wanted to use the day to make a statement. Some are claiming that their rights were violated by the lockdown by being deemed non-essential a couple of months ago. But at that time many weakly complied and did exactly as told and continued doing exactly as told, which tells everyone who is actually in authority. These Christian leaders willing to shutter their churches cannot be compared in any way to the Early Church. Their congregants so willing to follow them must be seen as even less so. After all the damage was done, however, a few decided to “defy” the restrictions. Right.

There is talk of what the Founding Fathers would think of what has happened to a once great country. What about what the Founder of Christianity would think about so many clueless Christians? What about what the 120 on the original day of Pentecost? There were obviously a great many more followers of the Lord but most had chickened out and obeyed religious authority. The 120 risked everything at a time when all the religious mobsters were out to get them and stop the movement in its tracks. The 120 did exactly as the Lord said to do. They watched Him ascend into heaven. They went back to the Upper Room. They worshiped the Lord Jesus, prayed intently, fasted, maybe most for the duration, and prepared themselves spiritually. How many Christians in America did that over the weekend? How many have been doing that over the last two months? The last year? The last ten years?

Because the majority rejected their Messiah and Pentecost, and accepted corrupt religionists and the Zealot party, the corrupt religionists were unable to stop the Zealot party from eventually destroying the country. Real salvation came but they rejected Him. He had all the answers but they didn’t want Him. They chose Barabbas as a substitute. This “son of your fathers” was an undisciplined, murderous, robbing Zealot. He was the very seed of the Great Revolt which overpowered all restraints and led to total ruin. Because they rejected the real Temple, their own temple was burned to the ground with no stone left upon another. Jerusalem was not only destroyed but eventually sowed with salt.  

There is always a direct correlation between that which happens in the three-dimensional world and that which happens in the spiritual world. If we can’t see by now that the devil is having a field day, doing so much of whatever he wants, with nothing stopping him, and that corrupt people in high places are doing exactly the same, and all their minions likewise, while most Christians continue in the same spiritually dead ways, what will it take?

Make no mistake, there IS a Great Awakening. But traditional Christianity is for the most part not part of it. If one can only strive to make proper comparisons one will see this. The Lord Jesus, though absolutely innocent, was rejected by the ruling establishment and the ruling religious establishment. And all the followers of the ruling religious establishment weakly succumbed and agreed. Many of these people were once His supporters but they all became Judases. In the face of this despicable onslaught it is a wonder the Lord was even able to gather a mere 120 and that Pentecost ever happened. The majority was wrong then and the majority is wrong now.

What happened at Pentecost is the answer. The infilling of the Spirit of God is a cure-all. The Lord obviously knew exactly what He was doing. But if Christians are conditioned to reject Pentecost in its full reality, they will eventually get the same thing that happened back then. One must understand that the time comes when the only course of saving yourself means giving yourself to the Lord 100%. There is no longer any more time. So many Christians in the past knew they had come to the end of the road in their lives and if they didn’t fully submit to the Lord they would lose their souls. They would end up in hell. They embraced Pentecost.

American Christians must also embrace Pentecost instead of continually rejecting it. The majority of dead Christians in all their dead churches have already proven they have no spiritual power whatsoever and are completely compromised and rendered spiritually ineffective. This always depends on where they place their trust. A Christian can either submit to the rightful authority of the Man who died to give them salvation, or they can submit to pretenders and shysters. Many of these people must not know how compromised and deceived they have become.

Back in March, how many churches defied the shutdown? How many Christians did their research to understand what was really going on? How many Christians rededicated their lives to God and began praying more, fasting more, seeking Him more, and trying their best not to become entangled in a false narrative? And how many decided to do all in their power to recreate Pentecost wherever they were?

Now, there were some great reports back in March when all this started. I wrote an article on March 22 that has become my most popular post during this time, and this is encouraging. I will put the link at the end. I suggest you check it out. That post revealed one extremely important and positive occurrence: Individual Christians understood how important they were as individuals and were determined to do anything they could to assist the Lord and one another. They suddenly realized they had no church. They lost many freedoms. They could not go here or there. But they still had the Lord Jesus. And this made all the difference. They wanted more and wanted to be more.

It is the Lord Jesus who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. He shares His Spirit with us. This is a powerful individual experience. It does not happen by osmosis or in a corner. It does not come easy. It will cost you. It’s supposed to cost you. It cost Him everything.

Such is the price for creating powerful disciples capable of changing the course of history.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THE DAY OF PENTECOST 2020

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The actual Day of Pentecost, according to celestial rendering, was yesterday May 29. This is a very important date in our current timeline and relates directly to the Great Awakening.

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THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS

For those of you who have been following my site, a little news is in order. Due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to access the net for over three days early this week. My last article was posted a week ago Saturday. It was Lesson 22 from my latest series Early Church History 101.

My intention was to write two or three more Lessons to finish Acts Chapter 2 by this past Thursday and then post an article about the Pentecost anniversary yesterday. However, it may be a couple of weeks before I can get back to writing and posting the next Lesson. I ask for your patience and your prayers.

I want to thank those of you who are still following the series. I hope you are learning new facts from that time. It is imperative that Christians become much better informed about the Christian happenings of the first century in order to better prepare for what the Lord is doing and planning now. Official church policy in America has most often supported a complete rejection of the events of Pentecost and the actual truths of Acts for greatly watered-down renderings thereof. The main reason for this is that their substitutes can be authored and controlled by them.

Christians should know, however, that they cannot control God. They should not attempt to control God. What they should do is submit to God. I can guarantee you that if these people who comprise a majority would actually obey God, Pentecost would be breaking out everywhere. Churches all over the country would be transformed into Upper Rooms. But this is not happening. For the most part it never has. That’s because the Lord Jesus is not in control in these places. Those who are in control refuse His full authority. They don’t want Pentecost.

PAY ATTENTION

Nevertheless, something spiritually profound started yesterday. As I have said all along, there are two types of Christians in America at present: (1) Those who WANT the Great Awakening and will do anything within the will of God to do their part in bringing it forth, and (2) Those who insist on having the same old same old.

This is why there is Civil War in American Christianity and why it has been building to a crescendo. The Lord needed time to prepare His people for these times. The enemy is not only composed of non-believers who refuse to support the Lord and actively fight Him with their own agendas, but also Christians who do the same. Though many of these Christians are deceived and unaware, and thus just as quick to reject and denigrate the new move of God, many are being led by fake leaders who are not getting their marching orders from the Lord.

Real Christians know whatever they attempt for the Lord will be opposed. But it’s a sad thing when they are opposed by fellow believers. This must stop. Real believers know that whenever the Lord Jesus is given full authority, that is, when we fully submit to Him, obey Him, and invite His rule, Pentecost happens. Some of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about. You have been in the presence of God. You have had your initial Upper Room experience and many more since. For those of you who are yet to experience such and sincerely want to, it always begins with your personal prayer time.

Our current times have become flat out nuts. Incredibly weird things are happening. But also, truth is coming forth. Millions are becoming aware. A spiritual outpouring is in process and will not stop. The evil and strange things you have seen before you over the last several weeks are generally a reaction toward the new move of God and the various attempts to stop it. For those with eyes to see it is apparent that the perpetrators will stop at nothing.

But neither will the Lord.

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 22)

Today’s Lesson is about New Covenant water baptism. There is only one legitimate form and formula. The apostle Peter proclaimed this in no uncertain terms, and Early Church history confirms it.

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INTRODUCTION   
Ch 1:  LESSON 1    LESSON 2    LESSON 3    LESSON 4    LESSON 5    LESSON 6    LESSON 7
Ch 2:  LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10   LESSON 11   LESSON 12   LESSON 13   LESSON 14   LESSON 15
Ch 2:  LESSON 16  LESSON 17  LESSON 18  LESSON 19  LESSON 20  LESSON 21

LESSON 22

Acts 2:38-39

38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

WATER BAPTISM

The Lord Jesus made water baptism an extremely important and vital component of His teachings and ministry. It has never been optional. Also, His original method has never been subjected to change by Him. Nevertheless, to this present point in Christian history, we have had about as many water baptism forms and formulas as we have had pretty much everything else that has divided Christianity. And there is no excuse for it. The Book of Acts makes it very clear that there was only one original New Covenant water baptism and it was intended to stay if effect throughout the Church Age.

The word baptism comes from a word that means to immerse totally or overwhelm. All ancient Jewish ritual immersion methods were just that—total immersion. John the Immerser obviously followed this practice. His was a baptism of repentance. His calling was to prepare the nation for the coming King and his kingdom. But he also prophesied the complete destruction of the nation. He knew only a believing Remnant would accept and obey the Messiah and properly repent. These would prove it by bringing forth the fruit or evidence of repentance in their lives. John only used one form of water baptism.

THREE NATIONAL BAPTISMS

There were only three national water baptisms of the nation of Israel throughout its history. Each involved the authority of a prominent spiritual personage representing (1) the Law, (2) the Prophets, and (3) Truth and Grace. The first two were mandatory, as is the third.

The very first baptism was at the Exodus. It is associated with the Red Sea. It took place upon the birth of a new nation just released from Egyptian bondage. It was a baptism unto Moses upon his authority:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. [1Corinthians 10:1-4]

The second national water baptism was for repentance. It is associated with the Jordan River. It was also for the purpose of manifesting the Lord Jesus to Israel and separating those who recognized and accepted their Messiah from those who did not, and to prepare each group for their ultimate fate. It was a baptism unto John upon his authority:

Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’” Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. [Matthew 3:1-6]

The third national water baptism, in conjunction with repentance, was for the total remission of sin and as preparation for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit as the 120 did in the Upper Room. It is associated with Living Water. It was an opportunity to get spiritually clean, appeal to God for a good conscience, release the hounding burden of one’s sinful and rebellious actions against the Lord Jesus, and gain a personal, reconciled relationship with Him. Whoever may have a casual attitude toward water baptism has likely never fully considered the great cost of purchasing our salvation. Greater love has no one else. He gave His life on our behalf. He did it through His own shed blood.  

The third baptism was unto the Lord Jesus, upon His authority, using His Name:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” [Mark 16:15-16]

Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:45-47]

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

New Covenant water baptism is a perfect illustration of the virgin Bride taking the Name of the Bridegroom.   

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 21)

Peter commanded the people that they must fulfill two conditions to get right with God and receive the promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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INTRODUCTION   
Ch 1:  LESSON 1    LESSON 2    LESSON 3    LESSON 4    LESSON 5    LESSON 6    LESSON 7
Ch 2:  LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10   LESSON 11   LESSON 12   LESSON 13   LESSON 14   LESSON 15
Ch 2:  LESSON 16  LESSON 17  LESSON 18  LESSON 19  LESSON 20

LESSON 21

Acts 2:37-38

37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”[1]

It began with faith. They believed. This is exactly how it started with Abraham. It took the Upper Roomers less time to develop this faith fully, this complete trust and confidence in the Lord.

For Abraham, he was one man alone and God was an invisible Spirit. In time he began to listen closer—he would pursue—he was spiritually hungry. He had experienced the futility of his family religion and graven idols, and sought spiritual reality the only way he knew how. Yet, it was evident that God spoke first. Abraham felt His voice within. In time his hearing improved. He deciphered what he felt. He began to understand God’s greetings and responded in kind. Once communication was established the relationship grew and Abraham’s confidence in his new spiritual Father and Friend developed and matured.

For the disciples, God was manifested directly to them in human form. They were blessed to spend time with Him daily. One would think their relationship with Him would develop faster, and it did, but it was certainly not any easier. They had to learn how to shift to spiritual learning and no longer resort to instantaneous default understanding, that which merely came naturally. It would take much effort. It is why His students were disciples. They were not only receiving head knowledge from their new Teacher but an entirely new curriculum involving every aspect of their lives. It was 24-hour-a-day learning with a universal application.

In the early going, once true faith comes forth, one sees oneself in God’s eyes and is quickly struck by the presence of previously unrecognized or unacknowledged personal corruption. The presence of sin is initially shocking. One perceives how damaging it is to a relationship with the Lord and is embarrassed to be in His presence. There is an urge to run, to get away quickly. It is why we collapse in a heap at His feet. We do all in our power to get clean. This is real repentance. It is a wholesale turning away 180 degrees from a former lifestyle that fits in perfectly in a fallen world. It’s a no-brainer for sinners to have good relationships with sinners. But such is impossible with God. It is difficult to wrench oneself away and a person must make the choice to either live for God or live for this world. The 120 chose correctly.

REPENT…

Soon, in the crowd of thousands gathered to hear Peter’s powerfully anointed message, a great many others would also choose correctly. They too were on the verge of collapse, having been powerfully convicted of their personal sins and rebellious actions toward their Messiah. Some of them had been hearing God’s voice just as Abraham did in the beginning. It came as a perceived thought, as a feeling, and as something quite real but intangible. They couldn’t figure it out but it seemed as though someone was trying to contact them. Many neglected the voice. Others, intrigued, listened more closely.

As John Wesley spoke his now famous words relating to his early conversion experience, the Israelites who paid attention to the loving voice “felt their hearts strangely warmed.”

He was calling them to new life.     

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

REMEMBERING THE LORD’S ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN

The anniversary for this astounding event is Tuesday morning, May 19, 2020. Join me as we discuss this relatively obscure historical milestone.  

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And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. [Luke 24:50-51]    

What a trip it must have been. His overall mission was completed, the last forty days after the resurrection had ended, and the final instructions to His disciples were given. It was time to say goodbye.

I was out working in the yard a couple of weeks ago. A neighbor came by walking his dog. I see him on occasion, but not very often. It had been a while since I saw him last. In the midst of our conversation I happened to mention that real Christians actually believe in the resurrection and ascension of the Lord. He immediately went into controlled defense mode: “Well, that’s a matter of faith.” I was suddenly struck by how weird I must have sounded. I apparently had not broached the subject with a non-believer in quite a while.

Yes. We believe a Man who died rose again from the dead and that He did it by Himself. There was no one calling Him forth from the grave the way the Lord did with Lazarus. None of His disciples were yet filled with the Holy Spirit so they could not have done it. In fact, they were initially incredulous and unbelieving that He had done it. “Say what?!” “You saw what?!” “He did what?!”  

ASCENSION PRETENSION?

Every Resurrection Sunday/Easter multiple millions of Christians worldwide celebrate this event. Do they all really believe it? Do they think about it? Do they talk to non-believers about it? I ask these questions because the subject matter should not be matter-of-fact. It should be met with funny stares. The disciples who raced to the tomb to check it out should have thought it ridiculously quite strange.

Christianity is entirely based on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. If it never happened then Christianity is a total fraud. We know it did happen, of course. Though unbelievers will still think us quite strange for our weird faith, it is impossible that it did not happen for the simple fact that the Gospel spread so far so fast. There were many actual witnesses. There was no way to deceive multiple thousands of people in the first few days after Pentecost, not to mention the soon-to-be hundreds of thousands and more. His resurrection unleashed manifold spiritual and historical events that cannot be denied. Books have been written about this. Apologetics is based primarily upon it. For those who want more information it is there to be had.

But what of his ascension? Quick show of hands: How many of you have ever heard a sermon dedicated to this historical event? Hello? Anybody? Why is that? I have some ideas.

UP, UP, AND AWAY

And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. [Acts 1:9][1]

I brought this up in my current teaching series Early Church History 101, LESSON 4:

“The Bible records many miraculous historical events. One of the most miraculous, or downright mind-bending if you were there, was the Ascension of the Lord. Some say it defies belief. Believers say He defied gravity.”

“As they stood there on the Mount of Olives between Bethany and Jerusalem peering up into the sky at the Lord’s strange private rapture, the disciples were enthralled with an event never possibly experienced before, lost in their goodbyes, and momentarily overcome with loss. How would they manage without Him? Then the two angels suddenly showed up with more of the matter-of-fact narrative as if the Ascension were a mere ho hum event. “Why are you guys still standing there looking into the sky?”

Um, well, you see, it’s just that, uh… (Did we just see that?)

So my neighbor was being polite but he thought I was a nut.

THE 2020 ASCENSION ANNIVERSARY

It happened on a Thursday. I believe it was a Thursday morning. I believe this because the Lord’s resurrection took place in the early morning on the first day of the week. And Pentecost happened in the early morning, also on the first day of the week, about 9am. The ascension happened forty days after the resurrection. Exactly ten days later Pentecost happened.

On the ancient Hebrew calendar the ascension fell on Iyyar 26. According to the official Hebrew 2020 calendar, Iyyar 26 is this Wednesday, May 20. But this calendar is off by a day if we go by present celestial rendering. I’ve already done the math so you don’t have to. Iyyar 26 is actually Tuesday morning, May 19. Please think about it and how awesome it must have been.

Imagine if you were there.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

CIVIL WAR IN THE CHURCH REVISITED: ON THE DECEPTION OF APPEARANCES

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Three years ago I wrote a truth-revealing post that struck deep with many readers. It referred to an ongoing pretense problem within official Christianity.

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It is called The Real Civil War in the Church. There’s a link at the end. Here is a brief excerpt:

“Real Christianity is the only hope America has left and most American Christians don’t want real Christianity.”

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

If you have control, if you have market share, if you have great amounts of money rolling in, and if you share great popularity, the odds of obeying the Lord are greatly lessened. In other words, who needs God when everything is going so well?

When such good fortune happens to non-believers they always fall for the notion that they are responsible: They worked hard. They used their brain. They proved themselves better than the competition. They’re good looking. They have great personalities. They dress well. All of these common bromidic conceptions are nothing more than false fronts to be deceived by.

This same dynamic happens to Christians. Spiritual pride is not a new thing. It obviously stems from personal pride which extends itself into a false persona with a Christian wrapping, proving that Christians can be just as self-deceived as anyone. Success is always measured in such circles in the same tired ways. Though a probable majority is self-deceived, it is not as if they didn’t have help. Christian leaders deceiving Christian followers has always worked extremely well for several reasons. One is that Christian followers always give way too much credit to their religious overlords and treat them as demigods or always above reproach. In other words, as non-human.

It doesn’t matter than we have the mile-long written Word of God pronouncing repeatedly the foibles, weaknesses, bad character, failures, and outright deliberate sin of such leaders. Moreover, their sin is perceived as not sin, or they were subjected to extenuating circumstances, or they were under too much stress due to the great job they’re doing, or their compassion caused them to fall to temptation, and saving the best excuse for last, the devil made them do it.

Real Christians have thus come to understand that Christian leaders are just as flawed as non-leaders, and they further understand that the Lord Jesus had to be sinless though subjected to the same temptations we all are, not only because He must present Himself for sacrifice as the spotless Lamb of God, but also because we all need a Leader to look to and follow who is never overcome by sin and failure. The rest of us humans do not qualify. This includes Christian leaders. This especially includes Christian leaders who believe themselves to be above it all. They prove by their actions, behavior, willingness to take control, and absolute unwillingness to subject themselves to God’s discipline and timing that they deem themselves worthy and better than the rest.

NEW COVENANT LEADERSHIP

This is actually an easy one but has become greatly complicated, again, by the wrong people in charge. Such people may have been given a spiritual mandate of sorts by the Lord but often have trouble accepting His limits. The key, and for good reason, is to always strive for the proper balance between the Lord’s overall absolute leadership in concert with His working through the challenging medium of humanity which always has a tendency to want more authority than God allows.

The way the enemy overcomes such limits is by attempting to convince certain people they are superior, greater, advanced, more worthy, etc. Christian followers must be convinced their leaders are much better than they, their followers, are or they won’t follow them. Both have become convinced of the superior-inferior fallacy and accepting of the false clergy-laity divide. There is no shortage of those who believe themselves qualified and reining them in is like herding cats.

Let’s say there is someone who photographs extremely well. Let’s say this person has a personal magnetism, a great personality, looks great in great clothes, and has enough confidence to almost make the devil jealous. But this person is not really into morality. You can plug this type in anywhere and use them as tools. Of course, some of the people who qualify as such, those with a conscience, know what they really are regardless of their many such blessings and will attempt the humble road and refuse to be used as props or manipulate others through their props. These account for only a few, however. The rest become politicians.

Sadly, however, many become church leaders. Before you jump my case on this please consider three men that God put forth before us long ago to prove this truth—the first three kings of Israel. They were King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. All three of these men had outward attributes far better than the rest. Saul was both tall and handsome, a living cliché. David was said to be a very good looking guy, was a stout warrior and leader of men, an excellent musician, and you get the idea. Some have described him as an All American Israelite. Solomon, one of David’s many sons, must have also shared David’s outward characteristics. His mother Bathsheba was obviously a babe and David was so smitten with her beauty he committed adultery and had her husband killed. That’s some powerful beauty right there. Solomon also shared this family characteristic as well but used it to the nth degree. He was so wise he had 900 wives. Right. 

The rest of the story is that Saul turned into a massive jerk, David acted like a jerk on several occasions, and Solomon became one of the greatest jerks of all time. All three did enough to bust hell wide open and rot there forever. But one of these three escaped that fate by having a quality most leaders and many Christians leaders do not possess. He was able, though he needed help, to see what he really was. When his spiritual sight was best David called himself a worm. He realized, however, that the Lord had called him to a high position in the eyes of the people but also that he must humble himself so God, the real Leader, would always be seen as such. Saul started out this way. So did Solomon, in a sense. Saul ended up going nuts and lost everything. Solomon became the first antichrist. David also sinned but followed it up with great, soul-ripping repentance.

This is what truly great people do. They know what they are. They know they are gifted but also know they are mere humans subjected to sin and temptation, and the best way to overcome is to take every opportunity to destroy pride.

BEAUTIFUL SPIRIT

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the LORD of hosts. [Zechariah 4:6][1]  

I remember when I was a rookie Christian. A bunch of us went to a small church in great revival. It was so awesome. The Spirit of God was powerful in that place. At some point I saw a young woman there. She was not physically attractive. But she was so filled with the Spirit of God her face was shining. Her eyes were bright. She had such a big smile. Everything about her exuded spiritual beauty. She was not physically attractive and yet she was spiritually beautiful. On the flip side there are stunning women with ugly hearts.

We know from Isaiah Chapter 53 that the Lord Jesus was not a physically handsome Man during His time here. He had no physical charisma. He had none of the outward qualities I described previously in this article. He did not look like Saul or Solomon but there are clues that he shared some of David’s characteristics. But we all know the bottom line. He was filled with the Spirit of God without measure. God is beautiful. And loving. And compassionate. And kind. God is 100% good. When He chose His human tabernacle, He did not choose to be the best looking. He did the same with His mother Mary, of course. Mary was likely just like that young woman I spoke to briefly at that revival and never saw again. Mary was not a looker but was the most beautiful woman on the planet as God counts beauty.

This is what the infilling of the Spirit of God does to a person. They become spiritually attractive because the Spirit of God is. And they operate from, by, and within the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is their strength and song. They are completed by God. Because of this they know what they are without Him, which is pretty much nothing. They therefore do not give in to pride. They determine they will not operate through mere humanness. Of course, the Lord helps such people in this effort. He demands we submit to His discipleship. Such will eventually burn off the spiritually worthless garbage. This should prove to all that many Christians, and certainly many so-called Christian leaders, never submit to His discipleship.

Rather than having spiritual eyes to see spiritual reality, they only see themselves and how great they are.

Instead of How Great Thou Art.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Link to Cited Article: THE REAL CIVIL WAR IN THE CHURCH 

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 20)

Everyone there was an Israelite—the good guys, the bad guys, and those in between. The entire story, from Abraham to Pentecost, was the saga of a single, small, obscure nation on a sliver of land in the Middle East. This nation was chosen by God two millennia before, long before it ever was a nation, when it was only prophesied as such, when it only existed of a man, a woman, and a hoped-for miracle child. Isaac was his name. Within him were all the future participants, including the greatest One of all.     

INTRODUCTION   
Ch 1:  LESSON 1    LESSON 2    LESSON 3    LESSON 4    LESSON 5    LESSON 6    LESSON 7
Ch 2:  LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10   LESSON 11   LESSON 12   LESSON 13   LESSON 14   LESSON 15
Ch 2:  LESSON 16  LESSON 17  LESSON 18  LESSON 19      

LESSON 20

Acts 2:36-37

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” [1]

Among the Israelites before him, shock and awe plastered on their faces, were undoubtedly some of those who directly participated in clamoring for the Lord’s crucifixion fifty-three days before. The conspiracy that started in the cold, hollow darkness of a few dark hearts, those with great influence, those with the ability to pull strings on a whim, had extended to down line roll players, each playing a part. For these wicked ones it truly was a passion play. They wrote the script, they chose a director, they set the scene, and they hired actors. They even hatched a diabolical plan to compromise the Roman government which otherwise had the power to shatter their dream through laws against such supreme injustice and vendetta politics.

Pontius Pilate, though one who often flaunted his power in taking personal liberties with Roman law, sometimes to the edge, was well versed in such jurisprudence. He was certainly in authority and didn’t shrink from it, but was also under authority. He would have to answer for his actions. Having been called on the carpet before due to prior acts of government malfeasance, most notably in excesses against the native population he presided over, Pilate faced enough perceived threat from his superiors that he was ripe for compromise. And the plotters knew it. They knew they had cards to play that could tie him in a knot. And they did. And their plot worked perfectly. Until, that is, a little resurrection problem.

But you see, in their warped minds, the Man they crucified was just another nutcase nuisance who believed Himself to be somebody—another pretender—a false prophet—a magician. He was a violator of the Torah, they said, while they, of course, obeyed every jot and tittle. If they had to resort to an evil backstabbing conspiracy to take Him out, so be it.

And now Peter was looking directly into their hearts. His eyes flashed with the power of heaven. It was a familiar look to them. They had seen it before in another Man’s eyes…

Powerful, unrelenting conviction came upon them like a load of dirt from the sky. “He knows I’m guilty!” some thought. Peter did not lay the blame just on those direct participants but the whole lot of them. They opposed the Lord to a man. And now in a sudden rush it all came together in their previously deceived and distorted minds. They no longer saw a magician but their Messiah! We killed our Messiah!      

Peter was not merely preaching to the instigators in the crowd before him, or the crowd itself, but directed his message to the whole nation:

“Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made Him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” [2]

Imagine being given a great promise. And imagine getting direct clues in the interim that the promise was greater than previously imagined. Then imagine finally receiving it and… Do you see? The promise never changed. The people did. Their sin and rebellion warped their minds and blackened their hearts. But praise God He gives us second chances! Praise God He is forgiving and compassionate! Praise God He is sincere and loving! Because this wasn’t the end for these morons, but a new beginning! Their rocky hearts had been busted wide open by the powerfully anointed sledgehammer preaching of Peter. He kicked their backsides black and blue. He mopped up the parking lot with them. They were left absolutely defenseless and destroyed. Exactly how the Lord drew it up.

Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, brothers?” [3]

They were all brothers! These were all Israelites! —The apostles, all the Upper Roomers, the entire crowd—they were all members of the same nation. Not everyone in the crowd took the message to heart but thousands did, and there would be many thousands more. The prophesied Remnant was coming forth.

National destiny was granting yet another chance for the children of Isaac.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

[2] © New Revised Standard Version

[3] © The New Jerusalem Bible

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 19)

How is it possible that this former hot-tempered don’t-mess-with-me Simon the fisherman could wax so eloquent and preach so powerfully in the face of a hostile crowd on such a momentous occasion and actually break them? This was the dynamic transformational power of the Spirit of God now dwelling within Peter in action. A short time before he was empty and emptied out. He had nothing. Then came the Upper Room experience. And then Peter became a new person and his foundational Early Church message bears that out. He continues in our next passage toward the heart of the matter. 

INTRODUCTION   

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

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

Ch 2: LESSON 15 LESSON 16 LESSON 17 LESSON 18                         

LESSON 19

Acts 2:33-35

33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, 35 UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”’ [1]

The Lord Jesus was the first to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit. He was destined to be first in all things, but before then He would be essentially last. He started at the very bottom like most of us. He entered the world in humility. He subjected Himself to lies and gross mischaracterizations throughout His life and ministry. When He needed help from friends and family such help was often not there. This even happened among His own disciples and even His chosen twelve. One betrayed Him. The rest ran off in fear, abandoning Him. He was left completely alone and vulnerable to suffer disgusting attacks from evil disgusting people who possessed absolutely no inkling of spiritual awareness or the fact that they were serving the devil. With no protection He was led into a den of pompous religious bastards bound for hell intent on trashing His holy Name and inflicting as much pain and suffering as possible.

This is how low the Lord had to go—last in all things—the last Man on the planet—treated worse than anyone ever had been or ever would be—for us. And they were just getting started. Their long awaited Messiah had arrived. The great King rejected by their forefathers. The One the nation rebelled against from the start and continually snubbed and rebuffed. They were made a nation by Him, this One standing before them, and delivered by Him—repeatedly. He went through centuries of profane treatment instigated by a profane stiff-necked people devoid of gratitude and unworthy of His love. It was the door He had to go through. Things would get really bad before they got better, the latter of which was His main motivation:

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. [Hebrews 12:2-3]   

HE MADE HIS ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET [PSALM 110]

The Creator came to His people and they nailed Him to an execution stake. They chose wrong. Because of their raging anger and hate what was left of their nation, held together by the Romans, crashed and burned and was destroyed forever, including their great city and indispensable temple. And the vast majority of those offenders responsible for the Great Revolt and destruction likely went straight to hell.

He who became last, however, CAME BACK TO LIFE. Death could not hold Him. Whatever evil they did to finish Him off had the opposite effect. He became the prophesied First Fruits on the morning of Nisan 17, the very day of First Fruits. He then traveled exponentially up the right side of the graph blasting far into the highest heaven and took His rightful place at the Right Hand of God with all authority in heaven and earth: 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]  

THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT

It was the Lord Jesus who “poured forth this which you both see and hear.” John the Immerser said it was the Lord Jesus who would baptize in the Spirit. If you’re still tangled in the trinity consider this:

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” [John 14:26]

“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.” [John 15:26]

Is this just a syntactical mix-up in Scripture? On the one hand the Lord Jesus clearly states that the Father will send the Spirit. Exactly one chapter later to the very verse the Lord Jesus says He will send the Spirit. He also says the Spirit proceeds from the Father. If the Lord Jesus sends the Spirit which proceeds from the Father, is it not then obvious who the Father is?

Also, in these two verses He identifies the Spirit as “the Helper,” “the Holy Spirit,” and “the Spirit of Truth.” Then to reveal His identity even more, in John 14:18 He identifies Himself as the Spirit:

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:16-18] 

OPENING THE DOOR FOR THE DOOR WHO STANDS AT THE DOOR

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” [John 10:9] [2]

It is incumbent for every Christian to seek out and receive this infilling of the Holy Spirit. Christians can either go forth in the anointing of His Spirit or attempt to make it without Him. The latter doesn’t work according to His original plan. Far too many Christians insist on serving God according to their own limited strength and ability and the world suffers for it. America is falling fast because of it. Great Christian counterfeits, through their money-grubbing, power-grabbing deceptive agendas, have been created in this regard which have captured the vast market share to the immense detriment of real believers. These shysters treat the Lord the same way those other guys treated Him, in that they reject the spiritual reality first experienced by the originals—those who had no care or concern for what the world thought of them but plowed ahead toward becoming the best disciples they could be, intent on having and exercising the same freely-bestowed power He possessed.

No matter how much they try, the pretenders will never create a socially-acceptable okay-with-sinners Lord Jesus, or put Him in a box, or project forth a “clean on the outside” hypocritical we-aren’t-weirdos persona without also eliminating the Power of His Presence.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock…”

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

HAPPY NINTH BIRTHDAY REAL CHRISTIANITY

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Thank you all for following. Thanks especially to my longtime faithful readers over the years. Thanks first and foremost to the Lord Jesus, of course, the One who paid for our salvation and grants His life and blessings, and makes all things new.

Real Christianity the website was created on May 10, 2011. I named it after my first book. I have since posted roughly 600 in-depth teaching articles. These articles have come forth regardless of circumstances, though some were much more challenging than others. Wherever I was and whatever I was engaged in at the time, I continued to write. 

The Lord provides. Always. Sometimes there is a fruitful field and other times a desert. I would like to relay to you one particular story from many years ago:

THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN

A big financial need, all very positive, would be required a mere six weeks in the future. I was working very hard and things were generally on track. Then suddenly, with no warning, the contractor I was doing business with and lining up jobs informed me he ran out of work. This put an entirely new perspective on the situation. I realized I would not only come up financially short for the upcoming expense, but that I also had to quickly start finding work to replace what I just lost. I had been doing carpentry work for a few years but never strictly on my own. That was about to change. I made some calls. Met some people. I started doing what I could. But before any of that, and after engaging in some serious prayer, the first thing I did was follow through on what some might call a really dumb decision. In the midst of a financial crisis I decided to give the Lord what little money I had saved up.

I did this because: (1) My back was against the wall and I would never reach my goal without His direct intervention. (2) I was now on my own and had to find a way to make it work, starting from scratch. (3) My savings would not amount to much in the big picture but was perfect for seed money. (4) I knew if my heart was right and I fulfilled His conditions He would bless me and turn the little I had into much more.

Though I had always tithed I had never done anything this bold. Making sure I followed the Lord’s directives and doing my best to give in secret, I took my savings from the bank and went to my church one afternoon. There was a secretary in the office. No one else was around. The only ones who knew what I did were the Lord, myself, and her. With a great attitude and big smile I gave my savings, in the only way I knew how, directly to the Lord Jesus. I then went about my life.

It was touch and go for the next month and a half. I began placing inexpensive ads in a city circular. The Lord blessed me with some work. Weeks passed. A few days before the big financial need, I was on a construction jobsite one summer afternoon working on an old historic house. I got a phone call. The foreman happened to have had a phone line installed, which was a rare thing. This was long before cell phones. I think I was upstairs at the time but I’ll never forget that black rotary. The call I received was in reference to work. I jotted down the number and called a man I had never met. He said he had some work and that I came highly recommended. But it was more than that. It would be steady work and at a good rate.

This was great news. I started a day or two later. A week’s amount of work turned into two. They kept coming up with new projects. The work kept multiplying. It was like bread and fish déjà vu all over again. Long story short, it turned into six years of work at that single high tech industrial location and accounted for half of my total income in that time. The money I had cheerfully given to the Lord was essentially all I had. It was truly seed compared to what I ended up receiving. I also became a fulltime contractor and was always busy. The glory goes to the Lord.

MY LATEST POSTS REGARDING THE PLANDEMIC

Over two months ago, On March 7, 2020, I began a 4-Part series entitled Pharisee Control Tactics: the Spirit of Fear (1) (2) (3) (4). This was a lead-in series regarding the plandemic, revealing the massive fear tactics involved by illustrating such tactics used in the past, especially within Christianity. After that I immediately began writing additional posts regarding the unprecedented times at hand. This site was on the cutting edge of revealing the truth of this massive diversion and subversive attack on America. It began with the following aptly named post and six more afterwards which not only exposed spiritual reality but gave positive practical advice to real Christians. You may want to check these out:

March 16, 2020: PANICKED OVER A TRICK PANDEMIC

Whatever this actually is—a real pandemic, yet another disease scare, a hoax, a biowarfare attack, or a government response test, the REAL pandemic remains unacknowledged.

March 18, 2020: THIS IS YOUR TIME: GREENER PASTURES ARE CALLING

The Lord needs you to step up. It is time to make a move into greater spiritual maturity and quit being overly dependent on the Christian means and methods of yesterday.

March 22, 2020: THE CURRENT SHUTDOWN: AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER AND PRACTICE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY

They had no church buildings. They had no New Testament. They had no professional clergy. And still, they turned the world upside down.

March 25, 2020: CHRISTIANS IN LEAGUE WITH THE ENEMY: THE TRAITOR WITHIN

There is no effective difference between those in powerful positions on the world stage engaging in mass subterfuge who actively oppose the Lord Jesus, and deceived Christians who support them unequivocally without knowing it.

March 31, 2020: THE CONTROL TEST: PROVING THE MAJORITY COMPLIANT

None of this would be happening without a predetermined confirmation that the controlled have reached a majority and will readily comply with every directive from upper management.

April 19, 2020: APRIL 19, 1775: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BEGINS

The Americans of that greatest generation stood for liberty at all costs and created a country. These times illustrate how far America has fallen.

May 4, 2020: SUBMITTING TO HELLBOUND AUTHORITARIANS

Christians taking life-changing advice from people on their way to hell is not a good business model.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101

In addition to these and other posts I also began a commentary on The Book of Acts in lesson format entitled Early Church History 101. It began with an INTRODUCTION on March 29 and has continued regularly since with 18 lessons. LESSON 18 was posted on Thursday, May 7. We are currently close to completing Acts Chapter 2.

For those of you who would like to review the series, maybe read some Lessons you missed, or even start from the beginning, the posts are relatively short, only one page or so, except for a few. I have made it easy by putting embedded links for all Lessons at the top of each post. There are also many excellent comments to browse. My desire is to reveal the actual history of the early first-century Community of the Lord, which stands as a perfect foundational prototype for the Church Age and draws clear distinctions between their witness and so many half-lit and fake churches since and especially of the present. If you want to know why official American Christianity is in dire straits and failing against the culture, it is because we have strayed far from our moorings.

THE GREAT AWAKENING CONTINUES

I want to encourage all of you that the Lord Jesus remains very much in charge. He possesses ALL authority in heaven and earth. He can work through you to better promote His Kingdom depending on your discipleship level and willingness to be a faithful servant. As we strengthen our individual walk with Him, He is strengthened overall. Regardless of the incessant fear tactics employed at present, do not fear. Obey His directives regarding your needs. Put your full confidence and trust in Him. He will always make a way. Make the commitment to being a better and more mature disciple to supply His needs.

And now, Year Ten begins. I hope to continue seeing you along the way.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 18)

The apostle Peter is keeping his audience enthralled by quoting yet another OT personality, King David, with a compelling prophetic illustration of a thousand years past.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

Ch 2: LESSON 15  LESSON 16  LESSON 17

LESSON 18

Acts 2:25-32

25 “For David says of Him, ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN. 26 THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE; 27 BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY. 28 YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’” [1]

David lived from 1040 to 970 BC. There had never been any actual proof of his existence and many high hats deemed him a mere literary construct. This changed dramatically in 1993 with the discovery in northern Israel of the Tel Dan Inscription. We now have archaeological proof of the Lord’s noted ancestor.

Tel Dan Inscription

Photo: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem/Israel Antiquities Authority (photograph by Meidad Suchowolski).

Though we know he was not a perfect man and was sometimes guilty of egregious sin, he was also well acquainted with godly sorrow and extreme repentance. As “a man after His own heart,” whom “the Lord has sought out for Himself” (1Samuel 13:14), David was chosen not by man, as was Saul, Israel’s first king, but by God Himself.

In the above passage (the all caps denote OT in the NT), Peter sets the stage by quoting Psalm 16:8-11, written by David. The Psalm itself gives greater clarity than the Acts reading in that the author claims “I have set the LORD continually before me” (Psalm 16:8). David chose to be close to God and for that he was confident of his life and eternal future. He then draws deep and prophesies the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: “Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay” (Psalm 16:10).

THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Closer proximity to the Lord means a greater understanding of His heart. David saw and heard things in the Spirit that few did. His understanding of the Messiah went far beyond the limited perception of David’s times. This lack was arguably worse in the Lord’s time and the decades preceding His arrival. Though the last Hebrew prophet—Malachi—left the scene in the early 400s BC and there was thus no prophetic word by which to gauge the times preceding the Lord, a few had nonetheless received an inkling of what was up, as seeing “through a glass, darkly” (1Corinthians 13:12).

How was this knowledge gained? It certainly wasn’t through mental perception but by an exhaustive study of the Scriptures, and primarily of course, the prophetic content. There was much to choose from.

The Essenes, out by the Dead Sea, proponents of the Zadok priesthood, had initially separated themselves unto the desert in roughly 200 BC after discovering proofs that the existing temple priests were illegitimate. We have their collected works, the illustrious Dead Sea Scrolls, the first few of which were discovered in the late 1940s, that testify of the Messianic track they were on. The members of this Hebrew sect, and undoubtedly other obscure and unknown individuals, understood the times far better than the major denominations—the Pharisees and Sadducees. The “unlearned and ignorant” Galileans were on the cutting edge in this regard.

THE SON OF DAVID

29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.” 

In continuing to drive home his point, Peter, like David, exceeds the common perception of the Messiah. He is attempting here to shed full light to whoever can hear it that the King of kings is far more than a mere military leader or future national figurehead. He quotes Psalm 132:11:

The LORD has sworn to David a truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.”[2]

Many Bible expositors miss his point entirely as did the Jewish religious leaders of that time. Any mention of David’s son sitting on his thrown is often attributed to Solomon. But this man never fulfilled the many requirements of the position. The prophets referred to an everlasting kingdom led by a King who would rise from the dead.

Why did the learned men of the times not discern this otherwise clear prophetic content? How did they miss it? Why could they not see that the Messiah is God?

—They never witnessed nor believed in the Lord’s resurrection.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

SUBMITTING TO HELLBOUND AUTHORITARIANS

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Christians taking life-changing advice from people on their way to hell is not a good business model.

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This current plandemic will end up being exponentially worse for America than 9/11 ever was. The economy is self-destructing all around us, though we are still in the early stages. Granted that is was cover for an economy about to implode anyway, though two years off schedule, due to Fed gerrymandering and whizzing money mints. Enough has happened to date, however, to set in motion transformations of the not good to the nth degree. And the absolutely ridiculous, unfortunate, jarring and nonsensical greater aspect of said transformations is that they were voluntary. They said “You must destroy the country,” and Americans said, “Okay.”

Those with eyes to see knew something was off right from the start. This brings us to psychological definition time, in that there are two basic types of people in the world. Occupying the seeming majority are those who largely go along with the status quo and cultural narrative with no questions asked willing to jump through any hoops presented and wolf down everything they’re told with not even the slightest concern that the authoritarians they love and honor so much might be something other than presented. The talking heads and proxy air-preachers could be shading the truth. No! They could be lying. No!! They could be openly deceiving the populace for the sake of a hidden agenda. NO!!!

Or maybe they’re just morons. This is similar to what the Lord Jesus taught, an applicable variation if you will, that if a moron follows a moron they both fall into a pit, a pit so deep and otherwise inescapable they never see the light of truth and readily reject it if a miracle ever happens and God sends a messenger down there.

The other type of person has a brain and uses it. He or she has a tendency to see other people as on a lateral plane possessing no inherent superiority and thus unqualified to be worshipped as human deities. This used to be, in the distant past, a cultural bench mark of real Americans, who essentially said to hell with Europe and all its hell-bound, power hungry, impious, inbred, sociopathic kings, queens, money pimps, and ecclesiastics. And don’t bring your human spirit-killing, freedom-hating, individual liberty-bashing, idiots-in-charge, cultural-rotting demonic authoritarianism over here!

This truly American ethos actually lasted a while. A century and a half of colonial liberty and a leave-me-alone-to-pursue-my-dreams individualism took deep root, eventually reaching its skyrocketing beyond Everest zenith in the early 1770s when a relatively small group of Americans finally had enough of the arrogant dictates of a clueless English Parliament and smug crown-wearing fool on the hill.

Today there are, of course, countless fools on countless hills in the former land of the brave backed by unseen uber-morons with pretty much the opposite beliefs and principles of our holy and loving Creator. These puppet-owning backstage big boys with wads of cash do whatever they want whenever they want but love to make a game of it. What little mischievous boys once did, asserting their power and will over their bugs of choice with a magnifying glass, so do these present world elite no morals top hat-wearing monocle-clad mustachioed misfits on any sane planet do to the billions they rule. Why? Because they can. And they don’t believe in God. In their minds they prove this by engaging in the most reprehensible actions with no apparent pushback or immediate punishment, thus deeming themselves bullet proof and untouchable.

Which brings me to my next point. Did anyone happen to catch what Augustus Caesar said the other day? How about Tiberius? Or Nero? Or any Roman emperor? Oh. That’s right. I must have forgotten. They’re dead. They ruled the world, of course. For a short while. They could pretty much do anything they wanted. It eventually got pretty sick with Nero, who made living torches of Christians. But Nero’s dead. And all those Christians he persecuted are in a far out heavenly land of peace and joy with the Lord who purchased their salvation.

The modern guys of oligarchic ilk in our illustrious times eventually die off also, though with relatively extended lives, but every single one of them have another thing in common: They each get to face an angry God granting just judgment for their heinous crimes of imprisoning the world, making slaves of humanity, and gobbling up all the goodies for themselves.

The bigger question in all of this is why. Why do Americans put up with it? I understand that in the early going this year the v-problem was somewhat mysterious begging for information in order to set the proper course. But we’ve seen this movie before. Many times. And many of us quickly surmised what was happening early on but knew it would do little good to sound the alarm because the majority of Americans have been conditioned to tune out alarm bells and warnings as something originating from the dreaded conspiracy corner. Aghast.  

This is what America has become. A seeming majority of shallow-minded nonsense news imbibers sans critical thinking skills willing only to maintain their ground level common denominator social standing carrying a hidden fear of the slightest possibility they may be seen as authoritarian-challenging boat rockers. Rather than holding the feet of those in power to the fire (actually placing such feet directly in the fire might be best), they curiously worship said feet, the various owners of said feet, and the proverbial ground said feet walk upon, as if the people attached to said feet are the experts of our lives when in reality they subsist on appropriated undeserved authority willingly granted by those who formerly possessed it.

Beyond this hapless conglomeration of happy Gumps is a rising faction which the greatest American generation would possibly be proud of, depending on eventual outcomes. That greatest generation of the middle to late 1700s gave us this country, what’s left of it anyway, and knew from personal experience and incessant drive that whatever may appear to be lost forever or impossible to achieve is actually not impossible at all. They won their independence from the greatest most implacable power on earth through the implementation of mere Brown Bess single and cluster shot long muskets from behind trees and low stone walls, taking many small victories here and there, fighting and retreating, inventing convention-busting warfare tactics on the fly, and planning on outlasting an enemy ill-equipped to deal with true Patriots who actually believe and fight for a cause, not merely territory or hoped for riches. That cause was individual human freedom and liberty, something the elite few have always hated. To them, liberty is a virus, a deadly one, and must be stamped out and stomped on through whatever means necessary. And they mean it.

Therefore (and I know I will lose some of you here), rather than submit to hellbound authoritarians and their stolen liberty-mooching, top-down, Constitution-shredding, highbrow hijinks, we should instead submit to a loving Creator who died to buy our freedom which initially must involve delivering us from a far worse contagion—our sin disease and its evil power. No actual freedom is possible without this prerequisite.

Once people are spiritually free, they grow spiritually strong. Spiritually strong Americans can re-enliven and restrengthen the land. A life-giving flow of intravenous liberty invigorates a dull-witted sleeping giant tied down my multiple kite strings, which would otherwise have no power, allowing for the rediscovery of inherent champion-level world-class DNA and the inborn fight to rise and conquer.  

The strength and power of the Spirit of God overcomes the enemy.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.      

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 17)

He did the impossible. He defeated death on our behalf. Peter continues his Pentecost message by telling the throng that “Death Could Not Hold Him.” Neither will it hold His real followers.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

Ch 2: LESSON 15 LESSON 16

LESSON 17:

Acts 2:22-24

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”

Imagine that. He defeated death. One of the first sermons I ever remember hearing from my first pastor was entitled something along the lines of “Death Could Not Hold Him.” This man was a great preacher. He could paint a word story that kept us enthralled, filled with emoting and tone changes, teaching all the while. He made a man feel like he was there.

So one thinks about this tricky human condition called death. We seem somewhat invincible in our youth—working all day at hard physical toil, staying up late at night, always having so much energy, a few hours of sleep and we’re back at it. But then slowly but surely a few things start going south. The only thing to do is continue staying a step ahead of the grim reaper. We go from laughing in his face to eventually facing the fact that he will win. Facing this reality can be a killer.

SAVED

But thanks to the Lord He saw a young man with a hungry heart longing for truth and presented an opportunity I did not mess up. Dodging a million bullets since—those unseen slugs that often otherwise find their mark— the Lord blessed with a never-say-die desire to keep moving forward. This comes only by His Holy Spirit. If you live for God you will get knocked down. You can either stay there or get back up. And this is not because death does not await, but because death will not win after all. Because my Father GOT BACK UP, I will too, and so will you if you put your trust in Him. In the meantime the victory comes by laughing death in the face anyway and trying to live absolutely as long as possible working and living for the Lord the whole way. My advice is quit thinking in terms of years remaining and start thinking in terms of decades remaining. More decades means having that many more opportunities to serve the Lord who saved us from death because He died in our place.

There was an old church song we sang in my rookie year that sums up what our attitude should be in this regard. It had a big impact on me because it wasn’t just a song but my life. It was called The Old Account. It featured these lyrics:

There was a time on earth when in the book of Heav’n

An old account was standing for sins yet unforgiv’n;

My name was at the top, and many things below—

I went unto the Keeper, and settled long ago.

Long ago, long ago,

Yes, the old account was settled long ago;

And the record’s clear today, for He washed my sins away,

When the old account was settled long ago.

The old account was large, and growing every day,

For I was always sinning, and never tried to pay;

But when I looked ahead, and saw such pain and woe,

I said that I would settle—I settled long ago.

Until one becomes a real Christian one will never know just exactly what the Lord did by becoming one of us. He actually risked everything. Now, stay with me here because this might get a tad deep. God wanted to ransom humanity. But it obviously could not involve coercion. Each person must decide on his own. But no one could ever defeat death because no one could live without sin. Once Adam released sin into the world all humans have become smitten with it, or might I say slapped upside the head. Someone would have to enter humanity and live a full life without ever committing even a single sin. Someone must be able to actually keep the Law of Moses without violation. You see where this is going.

And no, God didn’t spy His good young Son and tap him on the shoulder and tell Him to go. No father would ever do that to his son. A real father would always go in place of his son. The reality is that the Son did not exist until the Incarnation. There was no such “Eternal Son” in heaven. The only God there was God. And He would have to go Himself. But when He arrived on earth He would have to live a perfect life, something otherwise impossible for us mere mortals. Yet, if He had only sinned once, and it was certainly possible, the entire plan would have been wrecked. There would be no spotless Lamb of God to sacrifice. There would be no Blood of the Lamb to cleanse us of our sins. All humanity would be lost including the Lord Himself. And death would win. And the devil would win the universe.

The Good News is that the Lord did not sin. Not once. And because of that He confidently looked death square in the face with no fear. He would certainly die but would not stay dead. Why? Because “Death Could Not Hold Him.” 

For many Christians, a probable majority, there is little or no self-identification with the Lord’s great sacrifice. His sacrifice may be acknowledged but that’s no good. It must be applied. And that can only happen if a person surrenders to Him completely, holding nothing back, and burning all bridges in the process. We must throw ourselves upon the altar of burnt offering and die in order to receive His help and be reborn. There is no other way. Halfway Christianity takes people all the way to hell.

MISSION POSSIBLE

“Your mission Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to get the big idea that God became a Man, lived a life of absolutely no sin, followed the path and plan perfectly, and then sacrificed it all for you. He knew He would be getting back up, but what He really wants is to see you get back up.”   

I will leave you with one of my favorite sayings of the Lord Jesus that perfectly typifies His powerful no fear approach to His coming death. He always knew what would happen. It was why He came. That didn’t make it any easier but that much more difficult. How many of us guys, if we knew the death we were about to die, would stick with the plan? But not only did He stick with the plan, He slammed death, hell, and the grave as wimps! He called them out for the lowdown disgusting sorry idiots they are and was even willing to let them hit Him first with their best shot. And boy howdy, did they ever comply. Even then, though, it was not enough. They knew the stakes. They had their opportunity. And they failed. They failed because He was too much Man for them. They simply did not understand who they were messing with.

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up!” [John 2:19] [1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 16)

Peter had begun the first anointed message of the Early Church. After assuring the assembly of clueless Jews outside that the 120 were high on the Holy Spirit, not wine, he declared prophetic fulfillment!

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

Ch 2: LESSON 15

LESSON 16:

Acts 2:16-21

16 “But this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; 18 EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy.” [1]

This was not to be a one time occasion for a few but an all time occasion for everyone. The Upper Room experience would be universal from that time forward throughout the Church Age until the present, dependent only on following the prototypical example of the originals as they followed to the letter the teachings of the Lord Jesus.

THE PROPHET JOEL

There is no consensus regarding the time Joel lived. Various dates have been given. It was most likely before the Babylonian exile. A good case can be made for the early 600s BC. Whatever the case, the Lord anointed Peter to use the writings of this relatively obscure Hebrew prophet as the first Scriptural reference in the very first message ever delivered. One might notice that he chose the prophetic and not the priestly. Until John the Immerser there had been no prophet in Israel since the death of Malachi over four centuries earlier. In that non-prophet gap the priests had finally achieved their dream and had taken over. They substituted their own word and natural reasoning over the anointed message of the prophet. It caused a downward slide they never recovered from, even to the point of killing the greatest Prophet of all.

Joel said something far out would happen in the Last Days, meaning the final days of what was left of the Israelite nation. He spoke of not just a few prophets but many, and they would also include women. Is this not awesome? He also spoke of great celestial signs in the sky, fully observable, epochal, and dripping with spiritual portent:  

19 ‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE. 20 ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.’

Peter finished this portion with a flourish, telling the vast assembly before him that the Lord’s hand is not too short to save! His ear is not too dull to hear! He extends the promise of Joel to everyone both then and now:

21 ‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’” [2]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 15)

Beyond the spiritual manifestations of the infilling of the Spirit, there were also the emotional and physical ones. To outside observers, it appeared as though the Upper-Roomers were drunk or high on something.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

LESSON 15

Acts 2:12-15

12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” 14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day… [1]

In the ancient city of Babel, God transformed the one language of all people into many languages. The people could no longer understand one another and were consequently dispersed into separate regions. Conversely, on the day of Pentecost, the languages of the dispersed peoples of the world were spoken by the power of one Person who resided within many. This was a reversal of the confusion of Babel. This act would unite instead of divide. The builders of the city and tower of Babel were united against God. The constructors of the Church are united for Him. This was the clarion call sent out to all nations to join the kingdom without walls, the spiritual kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the new Jerusalem.

But as now and throughout the church age, some were not impressed. Some people openly mocked the work of the Spirit, claiming the boisterous activity and loud voices were merely the actions of the inebriated and ignorant. Though there have always been excesses, were the Upper-Roomers excessive? Was the Lord Jesus excessive? When He walked the earth, His detractors called Him a wino. Is it merely coincidence that the same accusation emerged once again?

Something about the disciples’ behavior reminded the naysayers of common drunks. Sweet wine, or “new wine,” was that which was produced the same year of its harvest. It was very intoxicating. In a relatively joyless world of difficult toil and little natural merriment, wine provided a relaxing and welcome respite from the rigors of the work week. Maybe few Jews drank to excess but those who did were obvious to all. It was indeed a cheap shot to label the Lord’s people Sunday morning Mardi Gras revelers under the influence of strong drink, but what else were the mockers to think? Such a thing had never happened before. It was relatively early in the day and a house load of fellow Israelites had taken on the apparent appearance of festival-goers too impatient or undisciplined to at least wait until evening before engaging the vino.

But the majority of those below sensed something else. Instead of simply making a quick judgment based on minimal evidence, they were drawn to the spectacle in wonder. The Spirit of God was everywhere around them. They began to feel what the Upper-Roomers were feeling. Joy was spilling out of the windows. Great smiles and laughter abounded. A release was taking place. Over and over the same thought kept running through their awestruck and somewhat confused minds, What does this mean?

Peter, sensing that the time had arrived to explain the current happening, moved to the forefront and prepared for his address. He was no longer the impetuous fisherman, but the articulate and well-versed spokesman of the “fishers of men.”

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 14)

While the unprecedented and astonishing miracle was taking place in the Upper Room with those inside oblivious to the outside world, a great stirring was occurring in the streets below: They had an audience.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

LESSON 14

Acts 2:5-11

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”

The Lord said they would be witnesses. I remember many years ago I heard a New Testament studies teacher expounding on the subject. He was a brilliant man and a friend, who has since made the big trip. By this time in my walk I had witnessed to countless people but I had never before heard one particular thing that man spoke forth. It stood out within his teaching and has remained strong in my memory ever since. He said, “Witnessing is a forced option.” What he meant was that Christians are witnesses twenty-four hours a day whether they want to be or not, or whether they think they are or not. We are not witnesses only when we are witnessing.

While that particular thought settles in, let’s think about the mindset of the believers in the midst of the greatest event of their lives. Many had their eyes closed, lost in the Spirit, emotions spilling forth. There were loud voices of praise at various levels, male and female, bass, alto, soprano, all speaking forth in languages they had never spoken before. Most were unaware of their surroundings, being completely focused on the Lord. Tears were streaming. Smiles were beaming. Pure joy was breaking out all over. They had been clothed with power from on high.

And in the midst of it all, those on the streets below, Jews from all over the empire in town for the great Feast of Weeks, were beyond perplexed. It was unprecedented for them as well.

The Upper-Roomers were already fulfilling their call to be witnesses and did not even know it.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] [1]

Every one of those temporary residents of Jerusalem and the city dwellers themselves were receiving a forced witness. They had no choice in the matter. They heard unlearned and ignorant Galileans, given away by their accents, “speaking of the mighty deeds of God,” in their own respective languages. It was the first instance of this “sign for unbelievers,” as Paul mentioned, which would be given again and again—the evidence of a surrendered heart and the fruit of holy speech. It was also an awakening moment for those on the outside looking in.

Pentecost was a reversal of Babel.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 13)

It happened fast: A loud sound of wind filling the house—A visible Light filling the Upper Room—Division into smaller Lights upon each believer—Speaking new languages by the power of God…

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

LESSON 13

Acts 2:1-4

1 And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, 2 when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and that settled on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled—diffused throughout their souls—with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages, as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression (in each tongue in appropriate words). [1]

THE TONGUE IS A FIRE

The last member of the human body to yield to the Spirit of God is the tongue. The Lord’s brother James held nothing back when writing the following revelatory verses—strong, intense, and filled with spiritual import—explaining this phenomenon:

Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. [James 3:3-8] [2]

Speech is a powerful force. It is a great gift from our Creator. Humans are hardwired with the ability to speak. Small children gain the use of extremely complicated language skills, grammars, and word dictionaries with no scientific explanation. We take it all for granted but the evolutionists among us are stymied by this otherwise impossible ability possessed by mere babes.

As all things human can be corrupted and have been corrupted, so it is with speech. In the beginning, God spoke creation into existence. Sinful man destroys by the same power. This is yet further proof that every human is estranged from God until delivered from sin and born anew from above. Those who would gain the Lord’s spiritual life must humble themselves and surrender all. It is not an easy process. As illustrated perfectly by James, the tongue is the deadliest and most sinful member of our body. It dies the hardest.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

It is no wonder then that the Lord chose speech as an outward sign. It is the last to yield to the Spirit of God and the first to break forth in praises to Him. And this is exactly what the 120 did that morning. Like newborn babes who cry at birth, the first significant thing we ever do under our own power and will, so were these new born babes in the Lord crying forth. They had no idea what they were saying. Remember, these believers were disparaged as mere unlearned and ignorant Galileans, most of whom had no higher education or training. They were certainly not linguists. Yet, from the depths of their hearts, enabled by the newly indwelling Holy Spirit, they were all speaking perfectly and fluently in languages they had never learned.

Again, the same inexplicable phenomenon takes place with babies, whose first word is spoken as early as six months. By eighteen months there are multiple word sentences. They are soon communicating with eye-contact and inflection. Though they pick up this ability in part empirically, most arrives miraculously. Language is far too complex for such unaware babes to develop it at such a young age without some unknown, unexplainable ability.

So it was with the Upper-Roomers. Their speech was miraculous. The sign was unmistakable. The hand of God was evident.    

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 12)

Pentecost was an either-or option. Though most were not aware of this and many refused to acknowledge the possibility, the nation would either get right with God or suffer complete destruction.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10   LESSON 11

LESSON 12

Acts 2:3

3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

This was the event prophesied by John the Immerser four years before. He also made a second prophecy that worked in tandem with the first. This was not unlike what the prophet Moses had proclaimed in the early days of the nation. In essence, Moses said that obedience to God equaled blessing and disobedience the opposite. He told the people exactly what would happen to them if they honored the Lord or dishonored Him. The latter was not good.

It may sound as if God was making unfair ultimatums or unreasonable demands, or that He somehow must force people to respect Him. The reality is that God is holy and perfect. He is the Creator. And He knew their hearts. He knows everybody’s heart. He knows those who strive for His morality and righteousness and those who couldn’t care less. The following, as spoken by Moses, is an example of the either-or option:

“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country…” [Deuteronomy 28:2-3]

“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country…” [Deuteronomy 28:15-16]

The apostle Paul said the Law acted as a disciplinarian or schoolmaster before faith came (Gal. 3:24-25). Those who strove to keep the Law in the times of Moses and Joshua were not necessarily gaining salvation through such, since that could only come through faith, but their personal life and society was certainly superior compared to those who did not.

John the Immerser echoed Moses in this regard in that he presented the nation of Israel an either-or choice. Though the Jews had always seen fire as a symbol of the Divine Presence of God, and though it in a sense acts as a purifying agent, fire is primarily presented in the New Testament Scriptures as an agent of destruction. John said this fire was coming soon and would consume entire forests and remaining grain stalks:

“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12][1]

The Day of Pentecost began this process. Over the next forty years an Israelite Remnant would submit to the Lord Jesus and be saved. The rest would reject Him and choose the same fate as the city of Jerusalem itself—the fiery destruction of their souls. 

The Upper Room was a wheat barn.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 11)

While the Spirit of the Lord continued to move among the believers as an unseen wind “filling the whole house,” a visible manifestation also took place, centered among them in the Upper Room.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10

LESSON 11

Acts 2:3

3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

Wind is the movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. Wind fills a relative void. The lower the air pressure in a given location, the greater the onrushing air there is from a high pressure zone to fill it.

The Upper-Roomers had spent ten days emptying themselves. This was done through much repentance, much fasting, much prayer, much worship, and many tears. They were preparing themselves as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2). [1] It was a human low pressure zone. No pride. No sin. No spot, wrinkle, or blemish (Eph. 5:27).

UPPER ROOM DIMENSIONS

Although there is no way of knowing exactly, implications in Scripture would indicate that the Upper Room was probably the same size as the Tabernacle (tent) of Moses, which was 10 x 30 cubits. Based on the Hebrew long cubit of 20.4 inches, the Upper Room would have been 17 x 51 (867 square feet).

An interesting thing happens, however, if it was 840. This number is divisible by every number from 1 to 12 except 9 and 11, which are not especially good numbers for an event like Pentecost (9 is the Biblical number of finality or judgment and 11 signifies disorder and imperfection). In order to arrive at this “perfect” number of 840, the cubit would have to be 20.08 inches, completely within the realm of probability. Based on such, the Upper Room would be 16.73 x 50.2 feet. It would contain 134 feet of perimeter wall space allowing the majority to sit on benches along the walls, and overall floor space would allow each person an average of 7 square feet.

THE BIG EVENT

Pentecost was an explosion of spiritual power and truth—the dunamis of God torqued down to a manageable level for reception within humanity but fully concentrated for the work at hand. They were filled with joy! It was both a release and a reception for those fortunate ones in the Upper Room. In a matter of minutes their pain was gone—the pain of the past, of unrealized dreams, of bitter life in a cold world dominated by the devil’s minions. This was the upper hand! The right hand of God reaching down to infuse them with His strength and might! Though they continued to dwell in houses of clay, they became dynamic and demonstrative.

At nine o’clock in the morning they appeared drunk or high on mushrooms. Joy to the nth degree was ensconced on their shining faces and they were each filled with that very agape love of the Lord that He tried to teach them about previously. They were now as He was, filled to overflowing with a power to work miracles and love others without measure, even enemies who may maim and slander.

As the rushing wind of the Spirit continued to swirl around among the disciples, a visible manifestation accompanied the audible. In the middle of the large Upper Room a great energized Light suddenly appeared, seeming to manifest from thin air. The Spirit of God filled the entire space! The Jews had long considered fire to be a sign of God’s presence and purifying energy and here was God Himself as such fire. He did not come to consume, though, but to infill all these who had properly prepared for His arrival. The warm and engaging Light instantly began dividing into many smaller portions and each of these tiny fire-like Lights began moving about in every direction, this way and that, locating every disciple, and hovering over their heads.

120 small flickering manifestations of God’s presence appeared upon everyone there, and then, as all beheld the great miracle, the Spirit of the Lord entered into each disciple and took up residence in their hearts.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

APRIL 19, 1775: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BEGINS

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The Americans of that greatest generation stood for liberty at all costs and created a country. These times illustrate how far America has fallen.

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On the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes made their famous rides to Lexington and towns along the way warning of British troops heading in their direction with the intent to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock and capture the American armory at Concord.

FROM THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS:

On the night of April 18, the royal governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, commanded by King George III to suppress the rebellious Americans, had ordered 700 British soldiers, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith and Marine Major John Pitcairn, to seize the colonists’ military stores in Concord, some 20 miles west of Boston.

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A system of signals and word-of-mouth communication set up by the colonists was effective in forewarning American volunteer militia men of the approach of the British troops. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” tells how a lantern was displayed in the steeple of Christ Church on the night of April 18, 1775, as a signal to Paul Revere and others.

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On April 19, 1775, British and American soldiers exchanged fire in the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord. At Lexington Green, the British were met by approximately seventy American Minute Men led by John Parker. At the North Bridge in Concord, the British were confronted again, this time by 300 to 400 armed colonists, and were forced to march back to Boston with the Americans firing on them all the way. The American Revolution had begun.

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CONCORD HYMN by RALPH WALDO EMERSON (APRIL 19, 1836):

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By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

And fired the shot heard round the world.

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The foe long since in silence slept;

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;

And Time the ruined bridge has swept

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

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On this green bank, by this soft stream,

We set today a votive stone;

That memory may their deed redeem,

When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

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Spirit, that made those heroes dare

To die, and leave their children free,

Bid Time and Nature gently spare

The shaft we raise to them and thee.

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© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 10)

“Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” [John 20:21-22] 

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INTRODUCTION   

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

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9

LESSON 10

Acts 2:2

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Our author Luke characterized the loud sound from heaven that morning as a strong and driving wind, a bearing breeze “bringing forth.” But rather than the prevalent word for wind he used another—pnoe—which primarily means “breath” or “breath of life.” It had a purpose and destination: It was the holy breath of God.

The first thing we must recall is this:

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]

Adam had been formed—created from the element-rich dry soil of the earth—though was in an inanimate condition. He was the highest life form of Creation and made in God’s own image. This is beyond profound. For such a being there could only be one animating force possible. It must be the breath of God.

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:8]

Though this verse is well known, it is also otherwise well known for containing a subpar translation. In the New Testament, there are a total of thirty-one occurrences of the Greek word for wind—anemos. As in Acts 2:2, this is not one of them. The word “wind” in this verse is from the Greek word pneuma which is translated as “Spirit” in every other instance of its use in the passage. Thus, the Lord never said, “The wind blows where it wishes,” but more like “The Spirit goes where it will.”

Now, let’s try this verse again and see how closely it matches up with Acts 2:2:

The Spirit goes where it will and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:8]

And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. [Acts 2:2]

The 120 people in the Upper Room were about to be born again, or born of the Spirit, just as Adam was once literally born of the Spirit, or the breath of God. The Lord specifically told Nicodemus that no one could see (perceive, discern, discover) or enter into the kingdom of God unless he was born again.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:6-7][1]

No one of us remembers our physical birth. Not so with our mothers. It goes without saying, of course, but human birth is a powerful process and unforgettable experience. So is the new birth. It denotes a completely new life and a total transformation. After all, it is the Spirit of God we are referring to here. He is like a rushing mighty wind. There was a sound, a noise. He filled the Upper Room and the entire house with His presence. He would soon fill each person with His Holy Spirit.

He would breathe new life into them just as He did with Adam.  

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 9)

Today’s theme is Christian Unity. For those of you who missed Lesson 8 posted Sunday morning, it contains an excellent typology and is a prerequisite for Lesson 9. I am using Acts 2:1 for both. 

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INTRODUCTION   

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

Ch 2: LESSON 8

LESSON 9

Acts 2:1

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

A few years ago I made a comment to a friend of mine, a Christian book author, which he found quite amusing. He laughed out loud. We were discussing the Day of Pentecost and the Upper Room, as well as the apparent oxymoronic concept of Christian unity. I said the reason there were only 120 in the Upper Room was because it was the maximum amount of Christians the Lord Jesus could possibly gather together in one place that would remain in spiritual unity.

Since that time, of course, Christianity in general has split into roughly a million pieces with segments fighting segments. It long ago became an idiotic display of morons insisting they must adhere to their simplistic revelations of the moment and immediately build fortresses on the spot willing to defend them to the death against all comers.

The worst thing that ever happened in this regard was what the spiritual fruitcake Constantine did early in the fourth century. Some think he legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire. He actually did nothing of the sort. What he did was create a new syncretic form of Christianity based extremely loosely on Scripture that gave major precedent to human control which bypassed completely the sole authority of the Lord Jesus. This is the religion he legalized. It was the one he fully controlled. All other forms of Christianity were declared illegal, including real Christianity! Constantine and his minions certainly achieved unity in his new enterprise, of course, but it was based strictly on forced submission and authoritarian religious control. All Christian denominations and many churches have adopted the exact format ever since.

It was the very opposite in the beginning. The only central authority was the Lord Jesus and no other. He ruled from on high. He was the only King of real Christianity and remains that way. Below Him every real member in His Community is exactly equal. There is no clergy class. There is no laity. There are none who wrest control over others and set up their own fiefdoms. Whoever the Lord places in the forefront must be the greatest servant of the group. Such servant leaders, as the apostle Peter, must be extremely humble and very careful not to take the spotlight from the Lord. This is why the vast majority of those we refer to as “Christian leaders” are mere pretenders. Some are much worse than others.

The only way to gain actual Christian unity is for each individual believer to first gain 100% unity with the Lord. This demands total repentance and total surrender. When two or three who have done this decide to be in unity with each other, the Lord is there and confirms the spiritual union. From this point on, the individual members of the group increase. It is exactly the same as cell division. It starts with one, one becomes two, two become four, etc. Thus, there are only two necessary components:

1. Initial spiritual union with the Lord

2. Lateral spiritual union with each other

Both are based on serving. This is exactly as the Lord taught. But the big boys hate the very idea. How can they rule over others under such a scenario? How can they transform Christianity into a method to gain riches and a good living doing such serving? How can they create their own little domains or immense worldwide religious kingdoms without a ruling hierarchy and top of the pyramid figurehead? Such commandments of the Lord are utter nonsense to them. They don’t serve the Lord and never have. These are the destroyers of Christian unity. They even destroy the possibility.

The Lord Jesus, however, remains the King of His one and only kingdom. It consists only of those who honor Him only, bow the knee to Him only, and invoke only His holy Name above every name and no other. This is exactly what the 120 did on the Day of Pentecost. They set the example for what all Christian meetings should be.

May we all submit to the King.

“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” [John 17:22-23]   

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! [Psalm 133:1]

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. [Ephesians 4:1-6]  

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. [Colossians 3:12-17] [1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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