Today marks seven years since I created this site. I want to thank all of you, my readers, from then until now. Much spiritual progress has transpired in America since May of 2011.
I often say that if one wants to discover the true nature of this world then one should look at how it treated a perfect Man who is the perfect personification of spiritual love. Some treated Him great. Most did not. And most still do not. But He still loves them no matter what they think or do. They are still welcome in His kingdom though some spiritual paperwork will have to be completed first.
For all of you who have completed the paperwork and have your spiritual lives in order, good job. Keep it up. But all the glory goes to Him. We all know He is the only one that makes it possible.
At the beginning of what we call Christianity, before it was called that, and even before believers were called Christians, the Lord’s relatively very small Community was perceived as just another Jewish sect. An offshoot. But once Gentiles began entering the fold, from Cornelius, to those early heady days in Antioch, and then throughout the Gentile world, real Christianity began growing by the proverbial leaps and bounds. At the crossroads and heavy thoroughfares, and throughout key cities, the word quickly spread and unbridled joy was breaking out all over. Pentecost was happening everywhere. So much light was being shed that it was hard to see from one great victory to the next. People were so incredibly hungry for spiritual life and the release of heavy burdens it was impossible to contain or control the movement, and that is how it should always be.
It is that way right now in particular locales on the planet and much of what has been resisting His life can no longer remain as successful as in the past. Great numbers of people have experienced incredibly deep darkness over the last century or so, such as the world had never yet seen. But new light is shining. Change for the better is happening.
Regarding the future, the Lord continues to make great progress. In the space of two millennia, He has gathered untold millions to Himself after starting from a single point. He planted Himself in death as a seed and has produced an ongoing bumper crop of new believers over these many centuries. He could not have done it without us. We each have a specific job to do and a function to perform. If you are not sure about yours, seek and you will find.
I have now been faithful to this blog for seven years and have written right at about 500 posts. The vast majority of these are two to four page articles that took a lot of work and preparation. Thanks to the Lord’s blessing, anointing, and a laptop computer, I have written posts in many different locales under various conditions and circumstances, some of which were not so great. But that made it all the more fun.
Other than serving the Lord, the greatest blessing here has been meeting and interacting with you, my faithful readers and friends, who have never ceased to give much support and encouragement. Keep being the light that you are.
Blessings to you all.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. [Proverbs 6:16-19]
The Lord Jesus said the devil is the father of lies. Therefore whoever engages in lying is siding with the devil. Whoever sides with the devil has turned his back on the Lord. Lying is a great evil. It is a great sin. It is one of the greatest evils and one of the greatest sins.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” [John 8:34]
The word “commits” is from the Greek poiôn: (present active participle). It means “continuous habit or practice.” It denotes ongoing sin in any area with little or no repentance or desire to stop.
Lying is a great evil in part because it destroys trust. It destroys the possibility of trust. No one can trust a liar. No one can have true fellowship with a liar. Even liars know this. Whoever trusts a liar is an idiot.
One can never know when a liar is lying or if he or she is choosing to lie at any given time. Maybe this time they are telling the truth. Maybe they aren’t. How can one know unless they can verify each statement? Some liars only lie on occasion. They save their lies when they can best be used. Others lie almost constantly. The latter are easier to catch. They are bad liars. Good liars fool the best of us. Good liars are the best. World class liars are the very best. Maybe they never lie to their friends and family. Maybe they do. How would anyone know? The most evil liars are those who deceive great numbers of people. The greatest of these are those who deceive their own people.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” [Exodus 20:16]
“You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.” [Leviticus 19:11-12]
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD. [Proverbs 12:22]
Who were the greatest liars at the time of the Lord Jesus? Who was He referring to when He said the following?
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:44]
1) Pharisees (John 8:13)
2) Probably Scribes (John 8:3)
3) Unbelieving Jews (John 8:22, 48, 52, 57)
(All who oppose the Lord Jesus are in the same boat. It’s a big boat.)
The Gospel of John Chapter 8 begins with scribes and Pharisees dragging a woman into the temple treasury where the Lord was teaching ready to stone her because she had been accused of adultery. The chapter ends with some of these same people picking up what are most likely the very same stones to stone the Lord. Why?
Because He is the greatest Prophet who ever lived. He saw right through them. They couldn’t hide. He revealed them as the liars and hypocrites they were. He exposed them as pretenders who claimed to be children of Abraham and of God but were actually children of the devil. He also exposed them as bald-faced liars who lied about everything all the live long day. Their entire lives were a lie. Nobody else apparently knew this or did anything about it if they did. But He obviously knew it. He knows who all the liars are. Many of us do not know this until the liars are caught in some lie and it becomes obvious.
ALL LIARS ARE MESSIAH REJECTERS
But if such liars have gained control and the people they have gained control over are also liars or do not care that their leaders are liars then the liars will get away with their lying. This is part of how the Messiah rejecters gained power. They joined up with the devil and rode his coattails. They lied and cheated and deceived their way to the top. No one ever successfully challenged them until the Lord did.
He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me. [Psalm 101:7]
This does not mean they cannot gain positions of great power. It only means they will not dwell in the Lord’s house. It means they will have no place with the Lord. He won’t have anything to do with them. They will be completely out of fellowship and communication with Him. Some pretend to be with Him but they lie. They betray themselves by their lies. Their deceit extends even to lying about their deceit.
But not to worry, they say. I lied, they say, and no lightning bolt crashed down upon my head. This means there is actually no retribution for my lying, they say. Besides, they say, lying is often very necessary to get along in this world. It is also necessary to protect us from evil people. Really? It’s okay to lie and engage in deceit to protect us from liars and deceivers? That may be true for liars and deceivers (obviously) but it’s not true for the Lord. There are no liars in His kingdom and there will be no liars in heaven.
“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 21:8]
The rule of thumb here is thus: Whatever one does, it must be okay with the Lord and must be acceptable in His kingdom and in His eternal heaven. If one must sin “to do right” then one is only protecting something temporal and has very low priorities. It would be better to do right by God and be honest. If one is in a high position of power and is getting away with lying it is only because no one with sufficient authority and influence is calling him or her on it, or is but such advice is rejected. The latter is highly unlikely because those who make their living lying don’t want such people around. It’s why the great liars get off scot-free while whistleblowers exposing the lies are persecuted.
As a case in point, it is why the wicked Hebrew kings of old kept killing the Hebrew prophets and righteous ones who exposed their sin and depravity. The king most guilty of engaging in this practice was good old Solomon, the “wisest man who ever lived.” His brilliant propaganda reaches us still, three thousand years later. Few remember or know about his great sin in so many areas. All they know is that he was “wise.” So wise that he still deceives, like so many others who have learned to greatly deceive and are greatly deceiving the entire world right now…
THE ONLY SOLUTION
“THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” [Matthew 4:16] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]
For the early believers, salvation included an experience. It constituted a complete change—an actual spiritual circumcision of the heart. Their lives were entirely transformed and the transformation was undeniable. Each individual had become a new creation. It happened through a prescribed course of action. It did not happen by osmosis. They had to make a conscious decision to leave the old and become the new:
…That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. [Ephesians 4:22-24]
As the centuries passed, however, Christianity became ideological. It became philosophical. It became led by men who never had such an experience. Converts who had never fulfilled the New Covenant requirements of the new birth were accepted into the Christian fold. Indeed, many if not most of these conversions were coerced.
They created a counterfeit construct. Their agenda was diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Lord in this context, in that they rejected the call for spiritual transformation and instead created mass groupings of cultural Christians, or what may be termed Christians in Name Only. They manipulated their constituents, those unaware of the spurious nature of the dogmatic belief system thrust upon them, to follow it without question and instituted penalties for those who did not, and greater penalties for those who failed to honor their leaders properly.
Consequently, those subjected to the fable generators obeyed them without hesitation, even against their own conscience and ethical beliefs, thinking their superiors were wise above measure and in possession of a higher truth they could personally never master or fully understand. Their surrender was such that they feared the repercussions of not honoring their respective religious ideologies more than they feared not standing up for the Lord Jesus, as if His judgment of their eternal status was inferior to their present societal status within their chosen religious cultures.
As time passed, future generations of these people took cultural pride in their faux Christian constructs and the leaders thereof, not wishing to even consider the possibility of other alternatives, including the only correct one.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. [2Timothy 4:3-4]
MOCKING THE NEW BIRTH
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]
The majority of those who call themselves Christians have never had a true born again experience. Though the experience is fully documented in the New Covenant writings, excuses ad infinitum have come forth over the years toward rejecting it and even mocking it. It is clear the people who do this are either unaware of Scripture or have been taught one of these excuses as a point of doctrine. It must be acknowledged that unregenerate flesh hates the idea of being spiritually crucified and it is therefore no wonder it will always fight for self preservation, even if said preservation destroys any chance of spiritual preservation.
Most Christians understand the concept of sin but have also accepted varying definitions of it. There is, of course, from a New Covenant perspective, only one definition. From the Greek word hamartia, it is defined as “missing the mark,” “to err,” and even “to be without a share.” That is, whoever is in sin or is in possession of unconfessed sin misses God’s requirements for inclusion within His Community. If someone wants to create another community, however, and call it Christian, and does not acknowledge this definition or fails to require the only cure for sin, then its members are off the hook and will receive no conviction from peers or even from their own conscience, though the latter will take some time.
Thus, justifying sin is in league with justifying the rejection of the new birth. Both of these protect resident sin and unregenerate flesh, and the acceptors of such a non-New Covenant belief system will receive no power over sin and one will thus be subjected to its ravages.
The Lord Jesus went through great personal expense to buy our freedom and we, by comparison, even through a full born again experience, pay nowhere near the same price, but any price we pay is a bargain. To be rid of sin is the goal. To be filled with His Spirit is the further goal. Yet both are also Christianity 101 and prerequisite to anything further. The apostles began this way. Mary, the Lord’s mother, began this way. The 120 began this way. Prior to Acts 2 they were essentially no different than they had ever been on a spiritual level. The new birth awaited. The circumcision of their hearts had yet to take place. Such could never happen without the Spirit of the Lord.
Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” [Acts 1:4-5] 
So they waited. They went to the Upper Room and prepared themselves. They paid the price. Some likely dropped out and never made it to the day of the great event. By giving it their all the 120 made themselves worthy. They never substituted mere religious ideology for spiritual reality. They wanted the real thing and nothing would stop them from their goal.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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 light of the real Gospel exposes all darkness. It shines upon all who lurk in the shadows of sin. It reveals every hidden enemy of the Lord Jesus to those with eyes to see.
We live in a time of veiled opposition. Most people are completely unaware of the spiritual warfare raging all around them. There are times when this warfare flashes into the open. It happens whenever the real Gospel is properly presented by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. This is when sinners are exposed. Their sin becomes known to them. Many blessedly surrender unto salvation. When this happens on a large scale, Great Awakenings break forth. The kingdom of the Lord expands and advances.
Parallel to this, the unrepentant enemies of the Lord are also exposed, often by their own hateful and rapid reactionary response which they most often cannot manage. We call this triggering or getting triggered. It often takes place in people with low or no impulse control. A stimulus causes a reflex. Something sets them off.
That something is the truth of the Gospel. More so, it is the truth of the real identity of the Lord Jesus. When His real identity is veiled, obscured, watered-down, or removed, there is little reaction. His enemies are pacified. But when the real Gospel is brought forth and His real identity, authority, and presence are fully noted, His enemies suddenly become extremely upset and angry. They are instantly inflated with antagonism and rapidly rise up to fight. The more resentful they are the more reactionary they become. The more antichrist they are, the more they agitate.
It never changes. When the real Gospel is preached as it was in the beginning it happens. When the Lord Jesus is lifted up for who He really is it always occurs. His enemies cannot contain themselves. Their bitterness and hatred will not allow them to. They must fight back to defend their false paradigm and faulty construct to which they have dedicated their lives and in which they are fully invested.
THE EARLY CHURCH IN ACTS
The real time demonstration of this dynamic is entirely clear as plainly illustrated by the following compelling events from the Book of Acts, captured brilliantly by Luke. Many Christians are not aware of these passages and many others rebuff them as irrelevant and even inappropriate. Others are embarrassed and discomfited, as the Scriptural record does not fit their religious and cultural narratives.
Though listed here as highlighted sections in a chronological format, I encourage everyone to also read these passages in full context and thereby gain even greater insight into the genuine outworking of the original Gospel presentation, why it applies to the present, and how it exposes the antichrist spirit. We are blessed to have this historical documentation.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. [Romans 1:16]
THE HISTORICAL RECORD
But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ. When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death; but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket. [Acts 9:22-25]
And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. [Acts 9:28-29]
“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.” [Acts 10:38-39]
Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. [Acts 12:1-3]
When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. [Acts 13:5-8]
The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.’” When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. [Acts 13:44-52]
In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren. Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region; and there they continued to preach the gospel. [Acts 14:1-7]
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. [Acts 14:19-20]
But the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and attacking the house of Jason, they were seeking to bring them out to the people. When they did not find them, they began dragging Jason and some brethren before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here also; and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” They stirred up the crowd and the city authorities who heard these things. And when they had received a pledge from Jason and the others, they released them. [Acts 17:5-9]
But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring up the crowds. Then immediately the brethren sent Paul out to go as far as the sea; and Silas and Timothy remained there. [Acts 17:13-14]
And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Then he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was next to the synagogue. [Acts 18:4-7]
But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.” But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you; but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters.” And he drove them away from the judgment seat. And they all took hold of Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio was not concerned about any of these things. [Acts 18:12-17]
After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. When he had gone through those districts and had given them much exhortation, he came to Greece. And there he spent three months, and when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. [Acts 20:1-3]
From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. And when they had come to him, he said to them, “You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. [Acts 20:17-21]
As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. [Acts 21:10-12]
Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them. When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, “Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut. While they were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. [Acts 21:26-31]
But on the next day, wishing to know for certain why he had been accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Council to assemble, and brought Paul down and set him before them. Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.” The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?” [Acts 22:30 – 23:3]
And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks. But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.” When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who formed this plot. They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place.”
But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Lead this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him.” So he took him and led him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you.” The commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?” And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him. So do not listen to them, for more than forty of them are lying in wait for him who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you.” So the commander let the young man go, instructing him, “Tell no one that you have notified me of these things.” And he called to him two of the centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready by the third hour of the night to proceed to Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen.” They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor. [Acts 23:10-13]
After five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders, with an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought charges to the governor against Paul. After Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying to the governor, “Since we have through you attained much peace, and since by your providence reforms are being carried out for this nation, we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. But, that I may not weary you any further, I beg you to grant us, by your kindness, a brief hearing. For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him. We wanted to judge him according to our own Law. But Lysias the commander came along, and with much violence took him out of our hands, ordering his accusers to come before you. By examining him yourself concerning all these matters you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him.” The Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so. [Acts 24:1-9]
Festus then, having arrived in the province, three days later went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the leading men of the Jews brought charges against Paul, and they were urging him, requesting a concession against Paul, that he might have him brought to Jerusalem (at the same time, setting an ambush to kill him on the way). Festus then answered that Paul was being kept in custody at Caesarea and that he himself was about to leave shortly. [Acts 25:1-4]
After he had spent not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, and on the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. After Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him which they could not prove, while Paul said in his own defense, “I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.” But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me on these charges?” But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.” Then when Festus had conferred with his council, he answered, “You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go.” [Acts 25:6-12]
So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. For this reason some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to put me to death. So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” [Acts 26:19-23]
When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe. And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘GO TO THIS PEOPLE AND SAY, “YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES; OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.”’ Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.
And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. [Acts 28:23-31] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
What would happen in any of our hallowed church services if someone in the congregation stood up and started heckling the preacher in the name of “correcting” him?
Everywhere the Lord went during His ministry He enjoyed support and success, and the joy of knowing He was making a difference in the lives of those He loved.
Then the hecklers showed up. They couldn’t help themselves. They lived to confront Him, question Him, tell Him He was wrong about everything, complain about Him, call Him names, call His mother names, and generally be ongoing everlasting pests that dogged Him without end.
They were never satisfied. Every correct answer He gave was never good enough. For the most part He stayed calm and collected, knowing He was dealing with dimwits. They never cared so much about all the good He was doing or could do, but only that He wasn’t doing it their way. He wasn’t teaching their way. He wasn’t teaching what they taught (and thank goodness for that). He didn’t buy in to all their religious stuff. He wasn’t into getting rich off the ministry or turning it into a job. He didn’t care so much about making a name for Himself, so to speak, or standing up for His honor and His character. He knew He was only passing through and that most would reject Him. In that process, He strove to find the few who appreciated Him and were open to His ministry. He came to help but was often treated really bad by incessant detractors.
There were times when He had to be strong and tell ‘em off. His many rebukathons are never heard in most churches and ministries today. Many ministers wish these powerful and strong words of His that make many nominal believers (themselves included) so uncomfortable, had never been recorded. Such words don’t sound very loving. Though the Lord Jesus IS Love and no one could possibly be more loving, many Christians believe He didn’t sound so loving at all when He ripped the Pharisees and their associated ilk to the core of their being.
HIPPIES IN LEISURE SUITS
Some churches and ministry organizations have effectively eliminated all things discipleship. They don’t want to mention anything even closely resembling spiritual warfare, hardship, or suffering. Everything is all bright and peachy keen and rainbows and lollipops and many of these people look and act like hippies in leisure suits. These people love everyone who believes exactly as they do.
“Um, the Lord was crucified. It was a bloody, violent death. All of the original twelve, except apparently, John, died the violent bloody deaths of martyrs. Paul had his head cut off. So did James. So did John the Immerser. Anything like that ever happen around here?”
Such hate portends the presence of a very violent enemy who will stop at nothing. When given the chance this enemy will kill every real Christian he possibly can. Millions of real Christians have died such a death. They all stood tall. They are all great heroes. Though you rarely hear about it in churches and most ministries, not to mention, obviously the main stream media, real Christians are presently undergoing severe persecution all over the planet and have been for a long time, especially in places like China where they are having a major impact.
In America, we don’t see this. It is because American Christianity in general is not much of a threat. It is also because we have laws against it. It is because America is the one country in the world that has the highest level of religious freedom written into its founding Constitution. This does not mean there will not be persecution. This does not mean there is not persecution. It only means the persecution comes in a different form. The persecution still comes to the greatest extent that it can and the perpetrators thereof certainly wish they could do much more, as was done to the originals. But alas, the enemies of the Lord are restricted by freedom principles established by our founders and the great American patriots of that time. No other country ever had such great ones and that’s why no other country has our freedoms, especially the freedom to serve the Lord Jesus the way he has called us to do.
I have an internet friend. His name is Bill. He has a disease that leaves him bound in a wheelchair unable to move or even talk. But he has a blog. He has had it for years. He says what he wants to say. Even though his body almost doesn’t work at all he still manages to speak his heart and lift up the name of Jesus. He would probably wish I would shut up about Him but I appreciate him and see him as a very great man. He is a hero. He has effectively said, “Fine. My health is pretty much gone. But I’m still here. AND I AM GOING TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO DO REGARDLESS.” The enemy will never stop him. Ever.
Many of us have suffered greatly and suffered great losses. But we go on. We see what happened to the Lord. We see what they did to all the early believers. We see how real Christians are persecuted all the live long day by those who insist on perpetrating suffering to uphold their own beliefs and traditions. Because we have laws in America, all these people can do for the most part is bring insults and attempt to destroy one’s name and character.
I have another internet friend. Her name is Kat. She is one of those stalwart ones who preach against abortion, including right out on the sidewalks in front of abortion mills. It is her life. The Lord called her to it. She knows many more have been called but most don’t go. It is too hard. They don’t want the hassle. She works extremely hard and is very dedicated. You probably don’t want to know about all the insults and threats she and her associates have suffered. It is pretty much ongoing. She has effectively said, “Abortion is a great evil. It must end. Babies must be saved. AND I AM GOING TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO DO REGARDLESS.” The enemy will never stop her. Ever.
THE REAL GOSPEL
We know by the Lord’s example what we must do. As Christians we are all called to help Him save the lost. The mature are all specialists by gifting according to the Romans 12 model. Those of us who have been at it a long time have been slandered and reviled, and this never stops. Most people are never a problem. Even non-believers can be quite friendly and charming, and even supportive. There will always be some unbelievers, however, who are quick to strike out and show the hatred in their hearts. But most don’t do this. Those who do are miffed because their beliefs get challenged.
Well, that’s pretty much what the real Gospel does. It challenges beliefs. When the real Gospel comes to town all the little imps come out of their hovels and start throwing hissy fits. They get their panties in a wad. These are those who have bought into something contrary to the Gospel and do not appreciate being told they have been deceived. The real Gospel thus causes powerful reactions. For one person, it is Good News that sets him or her free and makes life abundant and joyous. For another, it is heresy, and strange and weird and off-putting and evil. One accepts it with open arms and another rejects it with a passion.
Regarding the Lord’s Gospel preaching method (since He created the Gospel), the following are two differing approaches depending on the audience:
THAT DOESN’T SOUND SO LOVING
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:23-28]
BUT DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY…?
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” [Luke 6:27-36]
CORRECT SPIRITUAL BEHAVIOR
From these passages we know there will be designated hecklers and that they must be loved. The Lord taught this. No other curriculum teaches this. Most people think it is impossible to bridge such a contrary gap. The chasm is too wide. You can’t get there from here. Paul wrote:
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. [Romans 12:9-14] 
On the one hand the Lord’s enemies were always coming after Him with a passion with a firm belief that their job was to heckle Him always to prove themselves right and Him wrong. Otherwise they knew they would lose. They had to defend their enterprise, their chosen belief system, and their hand-picked “facts.” On the other hand the Lord said to love them, something no one can really do except with His help. The fact that He loved them did not stop Him from telling them off. But a word of caution here: It is relatively easy to tell someone off. It is not so easy to turn the other cheek. What this means is that the more the designated hecklers come after those they insist are wrong, the more they will be subjected to the same treatment in some form or another from someone or something else. The Lord was strong enough to take it and thus was both strong enough and qualified to dish it out when necessary. (Plus, He was never wrong.)
The designated hecklers are not lovers because if they were lovers they would not be heckling. What the Lord did during His rebukathons was not heckling. It was telling the truth about their real motivation for the sake of illustrating correct spiritual behavior. But it cost Him. He knew it would cost Him. Loving them was what kept Him from feeling otherwise about them, and that is the lesson.
It is the triumph of love over hatred and good over evil.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.” [Revelation 12:9-10]
FROM THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA:
124 Accuser: <a-kuz’-er> This word, not found in the Old Testament, is the rendering of two Greek words:
(1) Greek: kategoros, that is, a prosecutor, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, or one who speaks in a derogatory way of another (Acts 23:30, 35; 25:16, 18; Rev 12:10);
(2) Greek: diabolos, meaning adversary or enemy. This word is rendered “accuser” in the King James Version and “slanderer” in the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version (2Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3).
According to the rabbinic teaching Satan, or the devil, was regarded as hostile to God and man, and that it was a part of his work to accuse the latter of disloyalty and sin before the tribunal of the former (see Job 1:6 ff; Zechariah 3:1 f; Revelation 12:10).
THE ADVERSARY AT WORK
We gather from the Book of Job that The Adversary (HaSatan) is in the business of doing everything possible to denigrate the people of God. As the early conversation goes, the Lord holds up Job to be a good example and a fine servant:
The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” [Job 1:8]
The Adversary was just getting started. He had plenty of fuel left. He rammed it into high gear and began telling the Lord it was only because He protects him so, and makes him virtually impervious to attack. He said:
“Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” [Job 1:9-11]
And this, thus, is the challenge. The Lord indeed protects His people but there are times when they must be tested. They are often tested, as per the Lord’s example, when something profound is about to happen. They must be found with no pride or arrogance. In essence, they must be tested and submitted to a process by which they can be purged of anything possibly within them that causes them to act like the enemy.
OVERCOMING THE FLESH
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [Matthew 26:41]
In New Covenant terminology, there is much reference to “the flesh.” It is defined as that part of a person which is indicative of one’s lower nature, that of purely natural processes, in which one acts according to one’s pure sinful humanity rather than according to the Spirit. The process of discipleship is therefore an ongoing progression toward developing a spiritual nature rather than a carnal one. The carnal nature wants to always be first, number one, and act out of personal pride. It is the antithesis of spiritual humility.
As I mentioned in my last post, the Lord Jesus said we must be as children. Young children have yet to develop the carnal nature brought on by advancement in sin. They are often joyous, happy, trusting, and humble. In answer to those of His disciples who were arguing about which of them might be the greatest, the Lord put forth the following:
But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.” [Luke 9:47-48]
The Lord obviously has a different definition of greatness. One sees this greatness in Him, as He is the most humble Man who ever lived, very self-effacing and always willing to turn the other cheek. He allowed Himself to be persecuted in such a way that those close to Him did not understand. In saying at His ongoing trial right before His death that His kingdom was not of this world, it helps explain so many of His actions when it appeared He never took up for Himself the way most people do.
He knew who He was, of course, but also lived according to a higher standard that is contrary to living according to basic human nature, in which selfishness and pride must rule.
The Lord Jesus was filled with the Spirit of God without measure, as the Father in His fullness dwelt within Him. He is God in flesh. But He still had His flesh to deal with. He overcame His flesh on an ongoing basis and never, ever allowed it to have the upper hand. Because He disciplined His flesh in such a powerful manner, His flesh was always subservient to His Spirit. This took a lot of work, the kind most people know nothing about, which also includes many Christians. Overcoming the flesh is a must for the spiritual disciple of the Lord. It is the only way one’s spirit can rule. But long before that occurrence can ever happen, one’s spirit must be born. It is why all real believers undergo a born-again experience. Otherwise, the flesh, or lower human nature, remains in charge.
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [Galatians 5:19-21]
Those who do practice such things must be under the Law. They have not taken authority over their lower nature and must therefore be ruled from without by a higher power. They must be told what they can and cannot do on a daily basis. Their conscience must always be at work to give them every opportunity of assistance toward knowing right and wrong, since they cannot control themselves. It is, of course, possible to overcome the dictates and desires of the flesh somewhat through personal (non-spiritual) discipleship of a kind, but this usually involves the mere strapping-on-of-the-plow for singular purposes which have no bearing on taking full control, since such is impossible. Those who appear to achieve it only give the impression of overcoming their lower nature but at best all they do is temporarily suppress it. There is only one way to defeat the flesh and bring it under subjection and that is by the Spirit of God.
WINNING THE BATTLE
Perhaps this is why there must be an accuser. As in the previously stated ISBE definition, the accuser is as “a prosecutor, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, or one who speaks in a derogatory way of another.” This is what HaSatan did to Job. The Lord spoke of Job in glowing terms. He was quite proud of His child. But the devil had to do his part, in that he must make every attempt to prove to God that Job was indeed not so great at all. He felt strongly he could prosecute him successfully if given the chance.
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” [Matthew 5:10-13]
When people join in with the devil to help him in his work, they engage in the insults as listed above. The flesh hates such insults, in that it will always strike back against attack and accusations if at all possible, unless greater damage may be done to it. What the Lord taught in this regard is absolutely completely contrary to the will of the flesh. He said disciples must rejoice when under persecution and undergoing slander? Yes. It is counterintuitive. It makes no sense to a carnal mind. But all this is illustrated in the life of Job. He was put to the test. His life was virtually destroyed. He lost everything. But he never lost his faith in God. He was being made fun of and accused even by his friends. His own wife told him to curse God. How many could hold up under such an onslaught? How many can withstand such ongoing adversarial tactics? How many can overcome the Accuser of the Brethren?
Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” [Mark 15:29-31]
But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” [Luke 23:33-35] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Engaging the enemy to advance one’s present cause will demand eventual future payment, and the latter will be much greater than the former.
Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. [John 11:47-53]
They knew they could never get the job done on their own. They were not powerful enough. They knew they must actually engage their avowed enemy in order to kill their greatest enemy. It was at the preceding meeting when a conspiracy of much greater comport was brought forth. They had conspired before on several occasions. They had gotten together in their secret, grungy little hideaways and poured over the possibilities of how they might do Him in but it always came to no avail. They failed on every previous occasion.
But when they at last decided on the most diabolical trick of all, to engage the Roman Empire in their sad little conspiracy, they were on the road to success. In common parlance this is called “selling one’s soul to the devil.” We know this is done. There is certainly a devil and he will certainly work to advance the cause of those who want the same things he wants, and it doesn’t matter if they like him or worship him or not. He knows the very act of their willing engagement is enough to please and satisfy him, and gives him that much more of an opportunity to advance his own cause.
The way this generally works is one decides to invoke a higher power to gain personal power and wealth, and the ability to satisfy one’s lusts to the nth degree. The devil is only too willing to comply. If one believes this process is not possible and is only a fanciful myth, one might want to know that even the Holy Scriptures state that the devil is the overall ruling power of this present world and that his power and authority is superseded only by the Lord Himself:
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2Corinthians 4:1-4]
One may wonder how the devil has such power that he can make people oblivious to the Gospel which would otherwise set them free. How does he blind them? It is actually very simple: They must be unbelieving. If one chooses not to believe he subjects himself to spiritual blindness. If one has no love for the truth the truth will consequently be hidden to him. The Lord protects His Truth and His Gospel and does not throw His pearls before swine. Because they do not believe, they cut themselves off from any advancement or blessing from the Lord.
This leaves them with only two choices. They can attempt to make it in this world only through their own power and strength which includes help from other unbelievers. Most, however, have no such access to higher human power or wealth and know that those who have it will probably never allow them in their exclusive clubs. Their lives, then, are destined to be humble.
The second choice is to invoke the only other higher power available. Many unbelievers want no part of this, though. They are wise enough in their own eyes that such a route will cost them later and their personal desires are such that they would rather do without or with very little and thus maintain their own pride and limited freedom. Historically, these people usually comprise the lower classes. They are not tied into those with wealth, the higher classes, and refuse, possibly from fear, any close association with the devil. Their understanding is limited but at least they are not sell-outs.
Regarding those who refuse to be denied, however, they simply do not care about any future payment. They have enough confidence in themselves that they feel they will find a way out of that when the time comes or simply continue to negotiate and make future deals. When the political/religious leaders of the Jews in the first century decided to make a deal with the Romans to get the Lord, it was not as if they were not already well aware of invoking high demonic powers. This had already been part of their modus operandi.
The Lord Jesus had already revealed their hearts and motives on this and rebuked them for it. He told them and the entire nation what they were. They were exposed.
They had no legal authority to kill Him but the Romans did. It was thus to the Romans they went but only in a very deceptive, conspiratorial way. They rigged things behind the scenes in such a way that they essentially grabbed Pontius Pilate by the, well, by the heart, we will say. He had no idea what was going on until the trap was sprung. When it was he suddenly saw his entire career and reputation going up in flames if he did not comply with their wishes. To say this was diabolical on their part is somewhat of an understatement, if that is possible, in that I think they must have greatly impressed the devil with their conniving.
They were thinking only about the present. If they did think at all about the future they never expected what would eventually happen. They effectively not only sealed their own fate, they sealed the fate of their nation. That the Lord died for the nation is true, but only for the believing remnant. When full payment was eventually called for, the unbelievers were forced to pay in full. They lost it all. And in a strange karmic-déjà vu twist of Biblical proportions, it was those very Romans who brought forth both justice and judgment. The conspirators destroyed themselves with their own scheming brilliance.
And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” [Matthew 18:2-7] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of “Christians” would rather dispense with any and all work regarding study toward truth, it still boggles the mind at least somewhat that so many can be so fooled so willingly, and be so stubborn in insisting upon the embrace of what should be clear idolatry.
When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, in whom he had a strong hand in placing in ministry, he stressed upon him the necessity of staying on top of things spiritually. He taught him exactly how the devil liked to muddy the waters and confuse people with false concepts and dumb traditions whose desired effect was the same, in that “Christians” would end up confused and ignorant. Thus, he told him,
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]
THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE
The enemy of our souls is very crafty in that way, especially when it comes to religious traditions, and none more so than the purely traditional religious holiday of “Easter.”
The strange combination of fertility symbols—bunny rabbits and chicken eggs—is pure testimony to the fact that traditions can get really weird and should give people an idea of just how weird the devil is and how weird people can get.
People color, decorate, and hide Easter eggs for later finding every year and no one really knows why they do it. Few really care about this weird combination anymore and refuse to do anything about it, even after the tradition became weird to the point that the Easter Bunny laid the eggs. But when so-called Christians not only accept it en masse but combine it further with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it gives further proof that the minds of religious people are not so different from the minds of drug users.
It was back in 1966, when a different Timothy, the LSD guru Timothy Leary, first advised his young charges to “Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out.” Leary claimed he got this expression from another man of the times, the expression guru Marshall McLuhan, a man way ahead of his time who also coined other terms such as “the medium is the message.”
Of course, the devil was aware of this little factoid for a tad while longer than Mr. McLuhan and used it well in every religion he ever created. The idea that the actual message is not at all a message but the delivery system itself is what makes false religions so diabolical.
It is obviously apparent that the proponents of and believers in false religions do not understand that they have become part of the sinister plot by voluntarily engaging in the stage play—the spiritually meaningless religious participation pageant—that makes them guilty of not only completely missing the real message but making the medium the message.
What is this medium? And what is it specifically when it comes to false forms of Christianity? As I explain in defining a real Christian, I will also explain by defining Unreal Christianity:
A real Christian is anyone whose spirit becomes fused with the Spirit of God: But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him [1Corinthians 6:17]. Every real Christian follows and obeys the Lord Jesus as His Master, Lord, Shepherd, and Teacher.
Therefore, Unreal Christianity is composed of all other “Christians” of varying stripes who merely claim the name without fulfilling the above requirements. As a result, Unreal Christians are obsessed with the medium, the expression, the pageant, the stage production, the repeat-after-me rote repetitions, the formal geographic gatherings, and the religious routine.
This cannot help but make them part of an idolatrous practice, though benign in appearance, in that they worship the higher Christian class with all the brass and the shallow and meaningless routine of religion.
This is also actually no different whatsoever from the incredible influence Timothy Leary gained over hundreds of thousands who obeyed his pronouncements and actually did turn on, tune in, and drop out. Religious “Christians,” however, had already been doing that very thing for centuries. Untold millions remain turned-on to surreal counterfeits of the Lord’s original, tuned-in to the religious gurus thereof, and have effectively dropped-out, by their own choosing, of the Lord’s real community.
It is for this reason that we still have this false idea of a large rabbit laying Easter eggs and why no kid in America sees anything aberrant about it, and also why grown up “Christians” see nothing aberrant about mixing this weird stuff with the Lord’s resurrection.
“Churches” all over America will not be celebrating the day of the Lord’s Resurrection Sunday but will instead be celebrating “Easter.” Some will celebrate “Resurrection Sunday.” This is good terminology though the majority has fought its acceptance now to the point that few ever try to use it as before. No, Easter is the overwhelmingly insisted-upon approved term for this day, for without it there is no pageant, and without the pageant there is no medium, and without the medium there is nothing, since there is no actual message beyond the medium.
Though only a few care, the origin of this term should nevertheless be looked into.
Longtime readers of this blog know that there is much to gained from the Lord’s actual calendar. I have written extensively on the topic. Our current Gregorian Calendar is worthless from a celestial viewpoint since its months and years have nothing to do with the actual movements of the sun and moon. From where did it originate? It actually originated from the same people who gave us the “Easter Holiday” (Latin: Pascha)—Both were invented by the Roman Catholic Church.
With all the other changes from truth 17 centuries ago, this was yet another. In creating his new hybrid syncretic religion, Constantine I simply appropriated a very well known and practiced springtime pagan festival that had been around for many centuries in many cultures for his own purposes.
It was the consistent modus operandi of the Catholic religion to appropriate local customs of religiously subjugated people, change the names of said customs but keep the dates and culturally significant aspects, and then adopt them as official. In this way the people still had all their pagan holidays, though renamed. They were forced to adopt the Catholic religion and honor its magistrates, but otherwise felt comfortable by maintaining their pagan religious traditions.
It was a perfect compromise. The Catholic Church, like the Roman Empire, subjugated cultures through religious force, whereas Rome had previously done the same through military force. Rome never cared about what anyone believed in detail or what they practiced. All they cared about was that the people they subjugated and enslaved honored the Roman emperor as God, obeyed Roman laws, and paid all tributes and taxes. The Catholic Church did the same: The Pope must be honored as Supreme Pontiff and Vicar (substitute) of Christ, all Roman Catholic religious practices must be honored, and all tribute must be paid.
None of this, of course, had anything to do with the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus or worship of Him. It was all about religious control. And this is the origin of a pagan festival with “Christianity.”
Easter was the Anglo-Saxon name of an ancient pagan goddess of fertility who was worshipped in the spring of the year and was also related to the sunrise, like many various sun gods of the ancient world. The pagan festival had a common origin and purpose, though many later cultures had various names for it. The exact term is traced from the Middle English estre, from the Old English eastre. Going further back in time, eastre is related to a common female goddess known to all ancient cultures by different names.
The Lord Jesus and the original community of believers never practiced such a pagan holiday or any other, and all calendar events were based on the Hebrew lunar-solar calendar. The Lord was actually crucified on a Thursday, on the Hebrew date of Nisan 14, and rose again on a Sunday, on Nisan 17. Due to the moveable feast decrees of the early Catholic Church at Nicea, the actual dates no longer applied and a false structure was adopted so every year would involve the same days. This was all done for the sake of religious control since so many millions of coerced converts had to be adapted to a systemized annual structure.
Hence, the days in question had to be condensed. The Wednesday evening “Last Supper,” which actually also fell on Nisan 14 (the Hebrew day date began every sunset), was moved to Thursday, the Thursday death of the Lord was moved to Friday (Good Friday), the Hebrew Sabbath became “Holy Saturday,” and Nisan 17, the day of the Lord’s resurrection, became “Easter Sunday.” These days remain the same every year though the dates change annually on the actual celestial calendar.
For example, the official full moon took place this morning (March 31) at 7:37am CDT which marks the exact middle of the lunar cycle. Today is Nisan 15 on the Hebrew calendar. Sunday is Nisan 16. Nisan 17, the actual anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection, is Monday.
EASTER TRADITION OR RESURRECTION POWER?
Even though we have all of this historical background readily available, it is a clear testimony to the power of pagan tradition, religious rote, and clergy control that the idolatry of Easter continues to coexist with the Lord’s resurrection. Mere pagan religious rituals and customs continue edging out the reality of the resurrection and what it must mean directly to each and every person, in that every real Christian will also experience the same resurrection as that of the Lord one day.
The early believers associated the spiritual power of the Gospel they preached with resurrection. It is to the same degree that the Easter Christians have little or no spiritual power since they honor the Lord’s resurrection from death in name only and rarely or never identify with it personally. These people generally do not believe in being born again, even though the Lord said it was a must, and what is new birth but a resurrection?
Since the raising from physical death by the Lord Jesus is the greatest event in human history and proves everything about real Christianity, it should not be forced to coexist with anything. Like everything else practiced by our original forebears taught directly by the Lord, we should all return to the simpler, honest, and much more powerful spiritual practices they engaged in for His sake and for the sake of the truth.
Regarding the subject of this article, we are left with two choices:
(1) “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:8-9]
(2) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11: 25-26] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” [John 18:36]
The reality of the kingdom of the Lord is much more far-reaching than most Christians acknowledge. Many believers have made varying compromises toward this simple but extremely profound fact, that the Lord’s kingdom is thoroughly and unapologetically spiritual.
It is something that cannot be replicated in the material world but that has never stopped Christians from trying. There have always been ongoing, incessant movements throughout the Church Age to demystify the nature of the Lord’s kingdom and thoroughly revamp it into materialistic modes and representations. There has always been the strange thought in many Christian circles that material representations and symbols are indispensable to a proper understanding of the kingdom, in that without such the reality of real spirituality is both unknowable and unapproachable.
What this actually represents is complete ignorance of the Lord’s kingdom and an attempt to reformulate it into outward representations created to capture the mind and thus, the heart. But it doesn’t work. It only functions on a mundane level that many Christians are apparently satisfied with and only serves to cover up and cloud over the possibility of knowing the actual kingdom.
IMAGE IS EVERYTHING? NOT
There is a reason the Lord God said from the very beginning to never make any kind of graven image or material representation of what is thought to be of the spiritual world or the things that comprise it. Invariably, if one is wont to create such, one will invariably create something sinister regardless of how benign it may appear outwardly. In the most obtuse sense, someone feels he must construct a small image to which he will direct his “spiritual” energy and thought, in that he may feel a strong need for such though completely ignorant of why or why it must be such. These efforts grow in time to full-fledged statuary of perfect human forms, something the ancient Greeks perfected centuries before the Lord’s time.
We still have a great many examples of this ancient “art” and many more representations, of course, that have been created since. It gets seriously goofy when one lays eyes on the ridiculous stone figures of such people as George Washington and other founding fathers of America. This entire thing could not be more of a joke. I think Washington himself would be greatly embarrassed and would probably lead the charge in getting rid of them. One of the even more goofy efforts in this vein is the trend that began a few decades ago in constructing statues of baseball players outside major league baseball parks. Baseball players? Seriously? I like baseball but whoever signs off on this stuff needs to have their head examined.
The Lord has always warned against any of this stuff because people can be so easily deceived and begin seeing these things as reality. But they are mere idols. Other than the Lord Jesus, every human being who ever lived is flawed and sinful regardless of what they or others may think. No human being is worthy of a statue nor is the human being in general worthy of such, nor is such a proper representation anyway. Everything about unregenerate humanity is actually antithetical to spirituality, the antithesis of honor, and screams out the need for humility.
THE DEFAULT MUST BE RADICALLY ADJUSTED
Human beings are all going to hell without the Lord’s salvation. Regardless of all the good we know about everyone, there is also all the bad which must be acknowledged. Something must be done about it. Human beings can get so caught up in their own good looks or accomplishments, or the many material items they may have been able to acquire, and believe that all of that is somehow indicative of spiritual worth and self worth. It is not.
Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” [Luke 12:15]
The default eternal destination of every human being is hell. If something is not done to correct that then that is where one will end up. If one does nothing to change and attempt to get right with God one has no chance. But one must not only begin the process, one must see it through, no matter what it takes or how long it takes. Eternity is riding on it. The Lord stood before Pilate at His ongoing trial and stated this very clearly. Here was God Himself making it very clear that His kingdom was not of this earth. Pilate was an intelligent man but completely failed to grasp this truth.
Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him.” [John 18:33-38]
Here was God. YHWH. The Great I AM. Standing before a mere human potentate. His rabid enemies right outside wanting to kill Him. This pretty much tells you all you need to know about the real nature of this world and of humanity. Why such a great divide? How did this happen?
It is obvious that the real Gospel calls for radical change and transformation, something the majority of Christians have never engaged in and often shun. Many of these have substituted material representations and large material structures costing great amounts of money to build and maintain. Many have substituted counterfeit doctrines and teachings resulting in spiritual ignorance. What would the Lord say?
Keep in mind that the Lord never wanted to be replaced by human leaders but allowed it only because people insisted. We also know He doesn’t dwell in houses made with human hands.
Why then the temple? Again, the entire paradigm changed forever after the Babylonian Captivity. A second temple was built but it never had anything in the Holy of Holies. The Ark of the Covenant was gone and has been missing ever since then. The third temple built by Herod, that which authorities insist was actually still the second temple, was also empty where it mattered. Was this a sign?
DOING WHAT COMES NATURALLY
And then the Lord came and they killed Him. They wanted the material. They wanted the money. They wanted the prestige. They wanted the honor. But the Lord said all of that was a complete joke and what one really needs is to get one’s spiritual eyes fixed. He stood before His inquisitors with nothing. This Man who made the universe, who created the planet, who set off Creation. This Man stood before them with nothing that they could see. And yet He was rich beyond measure. He would go through the process. He would allow them to kill Him. But He also warned them of what was coming and the judgment they would face. They paid no attention, just as most people pay no attention to what is required of them to gain eternal life.
It would be good if all Christians would get spiritual. It would be good if we would all pay attention to actual spiritual reality. If we did the things the Lord actually told us to do it would make more sense. The things the apostle Paul taught regarding spiritual gifts would make more sense. All Christians would flock to spiritual truth and do all that was required.
More Christians would wake from their slumber.
While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” [Matthew 27:19] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord obviously knew when He created free-will human beings that some would rebel. Some would choose a life of sin and never depart from it. This is why there must be judgment.
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” [John 16:7-11]
REJECTERS OF MESSIAH
There is a certain class of people who routinely take the Name of the Lord in vain. They use the Name of Jesus like a cuss word. They have no conviction about it whatsoever. They actually take honor in doing this. And pretty much everyone gives them a pass.
I happened to be watching television a few weeks ago when a quite egregious example of this appeared. I was not watching the show in particular but saw it while flipping through channels. A former talk show host has a show about cars. In this particular episode he had a former well-known national newscaster with him. The former newscaster was driving. All of the sudden out of nowhere he started laughing about something and then let loose with the Lord’s Name in the most incredibly disrespectful manner. The former talk show host said nothing to correct the former newscaster and even chuckled. Though we see this all the time I was truly shocked. I wondered how people could do this with absolutely no conviction whatsoever.
We also know that the Lord’s Name is fair game for utter disrespect on public television as well. No one may ever say anything even remotely disrespectful about Mohammed or Buddha or the Pope or any other religious figure. If they did they would be immediately censored for a gross violation of the PC code and made to pay. But whoever wants to trash the Name of Jesus can do it all day long with no repercussions. There is no PC police when it comes to Him. The world hates Him. It is the same in movies. When restrictions were lifted on movie content about fifty years ago all manner of vile garbage began coming forth and one thing in particular was the outright trashing of the Lord’s Name. In fact this is where it got its start in its large-scale infecting of the American populace, most of which was Christian. Things have now changed in that regard. The devil has done a great job.
Now, one must ask oneself: “What kind of people use the Lord’s Name as a cuss word and do it with no conviction whatsoever and even do it as a badge of honor, as if they are speaking of a hated enemy?” While reading an article on a news site a few years ago I was alerted to an uncensored clip available for anyone to see in which a female comedian is talking about the crucifixion and she asks herself something to the effect “Would I do that? Yes! I would crucify Him all over again!” She wasn’t smiling. But the entire audience breaks out in laughter. There is a lot of this. Those particular people make jokes about the crucifixion, They dis the Lord Jesus every chance they get and are often very bold about it. There is no doubt a level of great hatred involved. They may think they are special but when the time comes they will find themselves before the very Person they constantly trash. He will be their eternal Judge. What chance do you think they will have?
THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD
For those of you who have been reading my latest posts you understand that there was no way the Lord could send the Holy Spirit unless He went away first. Part of going away was becoming the effectual sinless Sacrifice Lamb who would pay for all the sin of the world. Once that process was started He would have to die in order to take care of a few matters that no one before Him had ever been able to do, because everyone else dies as a person who has sinned. The wages of sin is death. But He had no sin. This means death could not hold Him. Even though He died physically He did not stay dead. He had to go through this process to become glorified. Once he completed this He was able to then bless whosoever will with His indwelling Holy Spirit.
“What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come?’”
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:36-39]
From this we know there is a certain mandatory type of believing that will result in being filled with the Holy Spirit. For Christians who are not filled with the Holy Spirit, it is likely because there is a problem with their “believing.” Regarding all those who outwardly reject the Lord Jesus, they have no chance whatsoever to be filled with the Holy Spirit and certainly remain in great need of salvation. As long as they reject the Lord they remain in their sins. Unless they change they will die in their sins. When they come before the Lord in judgment they will be condemned because of their unrepentant sin and rebellion.
THE CONVICTING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
As we read earlier, the Spirit of God is sent in part to convict us of sin. God is holy. He will not dwell with sinners. He has no personal relationship with sinners. If there is to be a relationship the sinner must acknowledge his or her sin and deal with it. They only way to be rid of it is to come before the Lord in repentance with a contrite heart and want to be delivered and set free. There must be great sorrow for committed sins and a powerful desire to stop. Once one is set free from past sin the indwelling Holy Spirit is made available for a person to have power over sin and no longer be subjected to its power. But this entire process starts by coming to faith in the Lord Jesus.
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
“He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:8-12]
The Lord Jesus is holy and pure. Though He is the Creator of the universe and much more importantly, each one of us, He became a Man and lived among us. He never sinned. He kept the Law perfectly. We have a million proofs that He is exactly who He says He is. There is salvation in no other. There is no other way. He is the only Way.
It is only through Him that our sin can be dealt with. Through His great love and mercy, He has already paid the price. All we must do is acknowledge what He has done on our behalf, come to Him and live for Him. Receiving His Holy Spirit makes living for Him possible. It makes overcoming the power of sin possible. It makes loving everybody possible. Whoever consciously rejects Him or refuses to grant Him the highest honor, however, for any reason, has no chance. He has made it very easy to choose life. The fate of each person is thus completely in their own hands.
As you follow the latest news regarding the slow revealing of great sin and corruption, keep in mind that all that sin and corruption was always there but hidden. We may be temporarily unaware of it and most people may be completely blissfully ignorant of it and never know any better. But those who cannot help but notice the effects of corruption and begin doing research to discover its cause also eventually discover much more. This has now been happening on an ever-increasing scale for years. Much is now known. But wheels must turn. And they are turning.
Part of Great Awakenings is the exposing of sin.
We are each given the opportunity to freely confess our sins before the Lord before we are brought up on charges. In His great mercy He always allows us to tell on ourselves and repent, and thus be done with it. For many others, they refuse to repent and will eventually be exposed. Their sin will be exposed. There is no need for anyone’s sin to be exposed otherwise. It is only those who love sin, continue to sin, and refuse repentance whose sin must eventually be revealed.
There has been great corruption. The revealing of this corruption has started but we have a ways to go. As one case in point, many people associated with Hollywood were always quick to judge others who were trying to live right. Many of those who were trashed were Christians. They were made fun of. Then the big scandal hit and many of those same people were getting slammed. What goes around comes around. The same thing is happening in the government. Massive corruption will eventually be revealed. Those who got away with so much will get away with it no longer. The Lord is shining a light on everything. The perpetrators have no place to hide. Those who will be judged the most severely are those who have judged others so severely and ruined their lives. There will especially be great judgment on those who did their best to destroy morality and the rule of law, who sinned to their heart’s content and greatly violated the law and got away with it. Their actions have done great damage to the country.
This is also true of so-called Christian leaders who have led their flocks away from the Lord Jesus and refused His leadership and Holy Spirit which would otherwise convict them toward holiness. Bold Christians are rising up and coming forth to do His will regarding this. They honor their Lord.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household! Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” [Matthew 10:24-27] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord Jesus taught something quite radical in the perception of His contemporaries: He had apparently reduced the entire Law of Moses and the Prophets down to only two commandments.
This obviously drove the strict religionists, those who couldn’t see spiritually past the end of their nose, right up a wall. They were invested up to their eyeballs in their voluminous religious knowledge. By this teaching He not only seemingly bypassed the entirety of Holy Writ, or at least put the vast law checklist in dubious perspective; He also completely subverted, in their eyes, the capacious and multifaceted oral law, of which only a distinct few were aware. To their chagrin, and with this instruction, He broke down the walls of the sheepfold and made the basis of spiritual knowledge and truth available for everyone.
But there is something else He did then that most of the Jewish teachers and many strict Trinitarian Christians miss. He once again equated Himself with God.
“And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.” [Luke 10:25-28]
Did you catch that? The Lord Jesus told the lawyer the same thing He told Moses:
“So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the LORD.” [Leviticus 18:5]
Let’s look at another passage:
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:34-40]
Of course, the Lord never eliminated any part of the Law but He did fulfill it. He continued to honor all the commandments. He opened the eyes of many and brought the Law and Prophets into proper perspective by assigning priorities. For those, however, who were unwilling or unable to be led to quiet waters and lie down in green pastures, they insisted on their own imposed status quo and it blinded them to further truth.
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET?”’ If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question. [Matthew 22:41-46]
Judging by the extreme reaction of those great Pharisee teachers, something really strange took place on that occasion. One can almost see the popping and sparking of cerebral synapses and smoke coming out of their ears. They were at a complete loss and had no idea how to answer. Their vast repertoire of knowledge had nothing from which to draw. Their data base was empty of information on the topic. They had no idea, according to their own perception and understanding, how the Messiah could be both David’s Lord and his Son. They were absolutely flummoxed.
If one sees the Lord Jesus as God, then one will see that He must be loved with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind. If one sees the Lord Jesus as merely a secondary personage who is somehow less than God, then one must love Him as he loves himself. Whatever the case, one must at least apply the Golden Rule to the Lord Jesus OR BE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW. And if one understands that the Lord Jesus truly is God, then one must love Him with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind OR BE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW.
From this there is the inescapable conclusion that our lives are arranged and bear spiritual fruit in direct relation to how we treat the Lord Jesus and whether or not we love Him exactly as He loves us. He already demonstrated His love for us by giving His perfect life as a sacrifice to pay for our sins, which we could never do, and by this He purchased our salvation. He said doing this was the greatest love. Therefore, He has already fulfilled the Golden Rule for every single human being who has ever lived or ever will live.
But He did more than that. Though He did not need to, according to a strict interpretation of the Law, He actually applied not only the Golden Rule to us but the greatest commandment as well, in that He gave everything He had on our behalf—He loves us with all His heart, soul, strength, and mind.
The Scriptures say God is Love. The Scriptures also say Jesus is God. Thus, the Scriptures say that Jesus is Love and He obviously demonstrated that love way back then but has also demonstrated it ever since then and still demonstrates it right now. He loves you.
Even so, because the circumstances of this fallen world and the reality of this life are what they are, we are sometimes subjected to not so good things beyond our control. But there is no detrimental circumstance that has any bearing on His love for us. His love is greater than any such circumstance. Sometimes through faith we can overcome an adverse circumstance. But the first thing we do by faith is accept the possibility of real relationship with Him and move toward it. We take Him at His Word. We establish trust with Him. To complete the relationship-with-God transaction we love the Lord Jesus as He loves us. Whatever He did for us we must be willing to do for Him.
Follow His example—Love and obey Him with all your heart just as He loved and obeyed “the Father.” That is the answer, my friends.
Love never fails. [1Corinthians 13:8] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I have just learned some heartbreaking news. My good friend Yvonne lost her husband in an accident almost two weeks ago. She told us all in a post on February 25 but I did not see it until today. I ask that all of you take the time to pray for Yvonne and help her during a most difficult time. Though I have never met her personally she is an exceptionally warm and loving person and loves the Lord with all her heart. She is His faithful servant and has always been a good friend to me and supporter of this site and so many others. I know many of you know her and some have already been praying. Please continue to lift her up.
You can access her website here: New Heaven On Earth. Please visit and extend your condolences.
Whatever one believes about the nature of God, one must know that the traditional Christian doctrine explaining Him never emerged until a full three centuries after the ministry of the Lord Jesus.
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the LORD, and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in some dark land; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in a waste place;’ I, the LORD, speak righteousness, declaring things that are upright.
“Gather yourselves and come; draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; they have no knowledge, who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save. Declare and set forth your case; indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD?
“And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of Me, ‘Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him will be put to shame.” [Isaiah 45:18-24] 
THE MISSING TRINITY DOCTRINE
The Lord never spoke of any Trinity Doctrine. There is no mention of a Trinity Doctrine throughout the entirety of Old Testament Scripture or even within the many OT apocryphal works. There is no mention of a Trinity Doctrine in the New Testament either, or in any NT apocryphal works, such as the Book of Enoch, for example, which was quoted by New Covenant writers and which appears at least a tad New Agey. There is no mention of a Trinity Doctrine within the vast library of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which date to the first century BC and first century AD. The many Jewish sects of that time period, including the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Scribes, Essenes, and Zealots never mentioned a Trinity Doctrine. There is not even any mention of a Trinity Doctrine within the Jewish oral law in general—the Mishna, Talmud, etc. Monotheistic Muslims and Jews think the entire idea of God being composed of three persons is preposterous.
But let’s put all that aside for now. Let’s say that when some second century AD Christian philosophers, theorists, and other interpreters began straying from the pure New Covenant writings and the powerful witness of the original believers and began attributing Roman, Greek, and Egyptian triad formulas to the Christian God that they were on the right track. Let’s say they thought they were acting in good faith in order to gain greater cerebral and intellectual understanding of the Christian God and that they attempted to make the New Covenant writings less confusing and more rational.
Let’s also say that as the third century progressed and this idea was latched onto by a greater number of “church fathers” that they were really onto something deep and profound, and that they began finalizing a previously unknown great revelation, a revelation that was even unknown to such OT stalwarts as Adam, Abel, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and David. And which also, incredibly, somehow remained unknown to all the powerfully anointed-by-the-Spirit-of-God OT prophets put together, including Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and especially Isaiah, as quoted above. This proposed, seemingly previous great unknown revelation had also escaped the notice of the Lord’s close associate and forerunner, the powerfully anointed John the Immerser, who never mentioned it or even alluded to it.
And let’s say these early “church fathers” of the second through fourth centuries AD were incredibly brilliant spiritually, so brilliant and receptive that they discovered and formulated something brand new (but was somehow there all along), though no one else had ever had the understanding or the “eyes to see” to see it. Such spiritually blind people who never saw it also included all the apostles, who were never aware of a Trinity Doctrine and never taught it. These included even the apostles Peter and Paul, the latter of whom wrote most of the New Covenant epistles by the inspiration of God and learned the Gospel through direct communication with God all alone out in the desert. He must have somehow missed that particular class. And let’s say when the final rendition of what we know at present as the classic Trinity Doctrine was finalized and authorized at the Council of Nicea in the year 325AD that they had come up with something that the Lord Jesus Himself either did not know about or never taught if He did know about it.
It appears as though their great brilliance and spiritual knowledge had even superseded His. Wow. No wonder they also officially removed His Name from water baptism at that time.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. [1Corinthians 13:1-13] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Christian Zionists must believe the Gospel does not apply to everyone, are embarrassed by it, and would rather not mention it in certain circles.
They must think unsaved Jews are saved by osmosis through their “chosen people” status and connection claim to the ancient patriarchs, even though John the Immerser called out their forebears on this false claim two thousand years ago:
“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:8-10]
John warned them that the nation was about to go up in flames but some paid him no heed. The destruction of what was left of the nation from its glories of a millennium past was still forty years off. Nevertheless, the axe was already laid at the root of the trees and about to strike. This forty year period was the exact time frame we see throughout the book of Judges when the Lord was continually bringing judgment upon His wayward people who refused His leadership and preferred the rebellion of sin.
THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH
John was the first Hebrew prophet in over four hundred years. For over four centuries there was no prophetic voice in the land of Judea. In one sense then, the people thereof and especially the religious leaders thereof cannot be blamed for being completely clueless of the prophetic word. By that time they had built up their own version of the way things ought to be without the help, guidance, or direction of God, and indeed did so in actual rebellion against Him. The things of God and the ways of God became absolutely foreign to them in that interim.
As a result, when John the Immerser suddenly burst forth upon the scene he looked nothing like what they were familiar with. He appeared strange and different, and his incredibly powerful voice and manner was unlike anything they had ever heard or seen. They had no frame of reference. To that point, they had been like know-it-all ignorant teenagers devoid of real living experiences from which to base their rebellious beliefs, and instinctively felt that total rejection was in order, which is what the majority did. Most of the Jewish religious leaders rejected John outright and no doubt had a behind-the-scenes hand in his death. Even though they were great recognized religious leaders, their status meant nothing in spiritual terms. He demanded that they must repent:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance…” [Matthew 3:7-8]
Why do Christian Zionists seemingly never tell unsaved Jews to repent? Why do Christian Zionists often accept unsaved Jews exactly as they are? Why do they even esteem them highly and insist they are “God’s chosen people” when the New Covenant Scriptures say no such thing? Why do they believe unsaved Jews need not convert to Messiah? Is this how they show the love of God?
MESSIAH JESUS: THE BÊTE NOIRE OF ORTHODOX JUDAISM
All Christians are commanded by the Lord to know the Gospel and teach the Gospel, and there is nothing in the Gospel that says one can be saved from sin through righteous works or making ancestral claims. Such beliefs are actually revolting in the eyes of a holy God and show a complete contempt for the great price the Lord made on our behalf. If people can be saved without the Lord’s great suffering and death on the cross then why did He have to die? Is there a double standard at work here? Can some be saved without His sacrifice? Whoever makes their personal salvation contingent not on the Blood of the Lamb but on righteous works will eventually have a very rude awakening.
Until that day, however, many unbelievers double down on their hatred and rejection of the Lord, blaming Him for exposing them for what they are. The combination of their great conviction of sin juxtaposing with their own high-minded and prideful perception of themselves causes a maelstrom of contrary stubbornness and results in an inability to change. It is the act of a person clutching on to his claim to fame and faux right standing, and refusing to surrender to someone whom he insists is inferior and an imposter. The inevitable outcome is that one sees himself as better and greater than the Lord Jesus, which can only result in self-worship.
PAUL TELLS IT LIKE IT IS
Christian Zionists are seemingly clueless regarding the teachings of the apostle Paul on this subject, who paid a great price to tell his countrymen the truth. Everywhere he went in the beginning years of his ministry he attempted to reach them first. Some Jews were overjoyed to hear him lay out all the prophetic scriptures before them and prove his case that the Lord Jesus is without doubt the Messiah they had all been waiting for. They accepted this truth with open arms. They repented of their sins, just like those three thousand Jews back on that great day of Pentecost. They were baptized in the name of Messiah Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were still Jews. Paul was still a Jew.
But those Jews who rejected Paul’s teachings, as their associates had rejected John the Immerser and the Lord Himself, were Paul’s greatest enemies. They put out a contract on him early on. Their only answer was murder. There were no greater persecutors than unsaved Jews. But unlike many Christian Zionists, John, the Lord, Paul, and so many others continually showed the great love of God by always trying to reach them. Jesus died for them. What more could He give? Paul was willing to lose his soul for them:
I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel… [Romans 9:1-6]
Thus, many Christian Zionists have failed in showing the love of God by refusing to preach repentance for unsaved Jews, some of whom would readily accept salvation as they always have. The only reason for this must be a different agenda than the one true Gospel of the Lord. It is this different agenda, like so many others, that has “crept in unnoticed” and become surreptitiously established:
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. [Jude 1:4-5]
Jude wrote the above not too long before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. He goes on to remind his readers of what was soon coming by speaking of other fiery judgments of the past and refers to similar equivalents to that which has occurred in Christian Zionism. He then exhorts his readers to follow the real Gospel and not be deceived by those with an alternative agenda:
…They speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. [Jude 1:12-13;16-21]
THE TENDER MERCY OF OUR GOD
Eternal life cannot be earned. None of us is worthy through our own efforts. Until we are born again we remain unregenerate spiritually, regardless of any high standing or great achievements. It is only the grace of the Lord that saves us activated by our faith. Without the shed blood of our Savior there is no salvation. Our salvation then, whether we are Jew or Gentile, is solely an act of undeserved mercy from a compassionate God driven by His great love for all. There is no substitute. There is no other Way.
It’s time that Christian Zionists return to the heart of the Gospel and make a greater effort at evangelizing the unsaved Jews they claim to care so much about.
For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. [Hebrews 2:2-4] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Something unusual happened in Babylon during the captivity. After being deported to a faraway land, a clandestine priestly caste laid the groundwork for a new approach toward divine knowledge.
Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ And I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’ Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their plans, because they have not listened to My words, and as for My law, they have rejected it also.” [Jeremiah 6:16-19]
If one reads the gospels looking for similar clues and seeking this particular theme, it is not difficult to find. In fact, the theme jumps right out at you. Certain religious authorities were always questioning Him. They questioned His teachings, His manner, His motivation, the way He went about things, and even His mental makeup. They repeatedly struck out, however, on all their attempts to discredit Him.
SECRET SECTS A-STIRRING
One wonders how those people ever gained their religious authority. How did it happen? Many Christians never seek out the back story, but there was a lot of really weird stuff brewing up in good old Judea in the two centuries prior to the Lord’s arrival. There was also really weird stuff going on in the centuries before then but it started getting concentrated and coming together in an organized manner by that time.
Let’s go further back for even more background, to just prior to the Babylonian invasion of Judah and the first destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586BC. Up to this time, the many spiritual departures and vile depravities that began with Solomon and continued through later generations of kings and priests laid a foundation for the destruction. We know of the strange pagan practices they adopted and never completely disavowed. One can only imagine how deep the sin became, but judging by the manifold mentions in OT lore, it was quite extensive. We know the results but little of the conspiratorial underpinnings. By the time of the Babylonian captivity, the degeneracy and corruption level reached a point that demanded judgment.
This was the period of the early origin of obscure precursors, factions, and mysterious esoteric sects that had begun forming behind the pages of OT history that would essentially rewrite it and which later came to full fruition. It stemmed from the ongoing sin and rebellion plaguing the dwindling kingdom of Judah. The failing nation, at intervals, had already become the client state of great world powers and most of her final kings were weak, though King Josiah brought a great reform which sadly failed in the end.
The captivity actually began circa 600BC (many scholars say the first deportation to Babylon took place in 597BC). I will not go into all the particulars, but these early divisions within Judah began to coalesce into distinctive groups and eventually produced the various religious sects, mini-cults, political parties, and whatnot by 200BC and shortly thereafter.
HEADING FOR A SHOWDOWN
This resultant splintering and ongoing four century sorting out process had begun long before the captivity, however, primarily with the first big split—that between the priests and prophets. There was a war simmering beneath the surface for what should be obvious reasons. The priests and associates were always on the scene daily working in and around the temple and this put them in close authoritative proximity with the political rulers and kings. The prophets, however, were often the wild card which those in authority didn’t like. They didn’t like them precisely because they were largely incorruptible (and paid a great price for it), and could never be counted on to go along with the program since they always followed God’s program.
But wait. Were not the kings, priests, and prophets all supposed to be on the same page? Did not God create the priestly tribe in the first place and give them a legitimate function? The answer is, of course, yes, but the priestly tribe would often get weirded out and appeared fixated on a never-ending fight with the other major authority God created, that of the prophets, seemingly because of some strange inferiority complex and disagreement with the prophets’ perceived Wild West manner. And compared to them, the prophets definitely had a Wild West manner.
If Clint Eastwood was involved, for example, he would always be a prophet.
To outside observers (the ruling authorities), the prophets were always flying by the seat of their pants and making crazy unfounded pronouncements, meaning they could not possibly be like God or be in obedience to God because God just wasn’t like that. He would never do that. He was structured and organized and orderly and demanded strict attention to detail and doing things in a set manner on a consistent daily basis. According to those in charge, the wacko solitary head-in-the-clouds eccentrics with powerful and perfect unsettling utterances and fiery eyes scaring everyone all the time and getting in the face of those who ruled and telling them off for all their many peccadilloes and transgressions proved they could not possibly be on God’s payroll and therefore must be stopped.
After centuries of this bickering battle the prophets finally were stopped. The prophetic word ended somewhere in the vicinity of 400BC. The preservative was gone. The lights went out. The priests took over. They got their way. And they relished the moment.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Over the next two hundred years, from 400BC to 200BC, a sifting and settling process commenced among those vying for the official priestly perspective and narrative. Then, from roughly 200BC and a few decades thereafter, the origin and early beginnings of the later major religious sects emerged. Their beginnings are still historically sketchy, but enough information can be found to follow their trail. These major sects—Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, et al—wayward and odd, and each with its own agenda, claimed close proximity to God but were truly quite distant compared to the rich relationship with the Lord possessed by the early patriarchs and later prophets.
These new groups came to full flower and strength by the first century AD, just in time to do battle with the greatest of the prophets and His forerunner who was otherwise the best of all time. One wrested control of the people and another wrested control of the temple.
The Pharisees in particular, most of whom were not priests or overtly priestly but certainly not prophetic, had long since undermined the Law of Moses and created their own hyper-sacerdotal encyclopedic answer-all mega index and then orally codified it, meaning it was known only to them and they controlled it. They were thus the holders of secret knowledge. Their illicit work was only possible because there had been no prophet for over four hundred years to stop them. Thus, the Lord obviously knew what He was doing by creating prophets—in part to keep an eye on and balance out those incommunicado priests and kings in authority that seemed to always have a problem with His authority. The absence of the prophets and the clear voice of heaven—the voice of God Himself speaking through the prophets—allowed the priests to create a non-spiritual dimwit faction that took over everything.
After surviving early skirmishes and gaining ever-greater power over a couple of centuries, the Pharisee and Sadducee parties and smaller groups like them were used to having their way. They never had a prophet in their face. They had nothing whatsoever to draw on in all their collective experience regarding how to deal with a prophet. There was never a prophetic correcting voice against them. Squabbling among themselves did nothing regarding correction and only served to foment more hatred and division.
Unlike the prophets, the new religious rulers put their faith not in God but in money, outward appearance, and themselves. They ended up being the epitome of religious spoiled children constantly whining and demanding their way. Every little thing was an offense to them. They were ridiculously easily offended. Everything they said was right—down to the most ludicrous and preposterous detail with little or no bearing on the written Law. They were thus relentlessly pointing out everyone’s errors and tacking on an endless minutia stream of counterintuitive religious do’s and don’ts.
THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU QUIT ON GOD
One wonders why in the world the rest of the nation didn’t simply rise up and stomp these idiots out of existence and get them off their backs. Was it part of God’s judgment? Being constantly rejected by His people going back many centuries, was God giving the people what they demanded, the same way He allowed them to replace Him with King Saul a thousand years before?
In searching for the reason why Judea allowed these religious pretenders to gain such prominence and ruin their lives, one discovers the not so secret answer when one acknowledges the results of their sordid rebellion: When the people rejected God they eliminated His strength, power, and anointing within and upon them. They lost their ability to fight spiritual battles. They were thus forced to surrender to the use of their mere natural strength, something demonic forces could easily overpower and much stronger individuals could take advantage of. The people of the nation meekly surrendered, having no wherewithal to overcome their religious oppressors who were intent on control though guised in false light.
It is for the same reason that the exact religious development has transpired in Unreal Christianity. It should look very familiar.
THE RETURN OF THE PROPHETIC VOICE
But the Lord God was not through. He would take it upon Himself to return and restore, and do battle with the demonic pretenders to His throne. He would bring freedom to those sincere ones caught up in the struggle who loved Him and wanted to be free to serve and worship Him. He would come for them. He would fight for them. He would put everything on the line for them. In one fell swoop the powerful voice of the prophets was gloriously restored.
“Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs. For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’” [Luke 11:47-51] 
The evil ones returned fire by doing to Messiah what they did to all those prophets. He returned fire by coming back from the dead and claiming His throne. Like those in Ezekiel’s boneyard, He continues to return fire through every man and woman He raises up from spiritual death, anoints with His Holy Spirit, and sends into spiritual battle.
All glory, honor, and praise to Yehoshua HaMashiach.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
On January 29, 2018, the US Senate rejected the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The recent stock market nosedive began the very next day.
Yes, I know there are several possible “legitimate reasons” for what happened: Will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates? Are we due for a correction? Did the very first day of the new Federal Reserve chairman send a signal? Is the dollar too weak? There are several of these. But we must never discount possible spiritual reasons.
This is what I wrote yesterday in my post HAS ECONOMIC JUDGMENT RETURNED? THE FUTURE OF AMERICA DEPENDS ON BANNING ABORTION:
“Considering bad signs, however, there was a vote in the Senate a week ago that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks like almost every other country in the world has done. This would have been great progress and no one in their right mind should have opposed it. However, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed to make it out of debate in a 51–46 vote to a final floor vote after Democrats filibustered the bill. 48 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for the bill. 44 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted against the bill. President Trump would have signed it into law had it passed. But almost every Democrat senator voted against it.”
This vote took place late on January 29, 2018. The stock market nosedive began the very next day. This appears to be more proof of the economic judgment pattern I revealed again in yesterday’s post. Did the pro-abortion vote trigger judgment?
The 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade was January 22, 2018. The Dow Jones reached an all time high on Friday, January 26, 2018 of 26,616.
The following Monday, January 29, 2018, the Dow dipped slightly and closed at 26,439. The Senate vote took place late that day.
The very next day the Dow Jones lost 540 points from its high and closed at 26,076. 540 is a multiple of six (man) and nine (judgment). What are the odds of such a strange coincidence happening?
There had not been a drop of that magnitude since June 24, 2016, but that loss was quickly made up. The current big loss of the last week continued, eventually reaching a floor of 23,778 yesterday. That added up to a giant drop of 2,838 points since the January 26th high in only seven business days. The market has currently rallied back and made up part of the losses, but it has been a roller coaster. Is it recovering? Or are we in for more fluctuations and losses in this key year in part due to the failed Senate vote? *
Please read the text of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and consider the vast research and science enclosed within it which proves that babies in the womb definitely feel pain even before 20 weeks of gestation.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
* FEB 8 UPDATE: The Dow Jones suffered another drastic drop today of 1,032 points, at one point coming within 71 points of Tuesday’s low, to close at 23,860. The “correction” continues.
* FEB 9 UPDATE: The Dow Jones dropped to a new low since reaching its all time high on January 26, falling to 23,360, a drop of 3,256 points (over 12%) before recovering to close at 24,190.
There is a gnarly ten-foot tall giant that must be defeated and killed. His ugly head must be chopped off—using his own sword. Guess who David is?
When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. [1Samuel 17:42]
I began writing this article almost three weeks ago on January 18. At that time the US economy remained in an apparent boom and the Dow Jones continued rising to new all time highs. On that day it was hovering around 26,150 and closed just above 26,000, having shot up 8,000 points from the day before the 2016 presidential election. It continued shooting up and reached an all time high of 26,616 on January 26, 2018. Incidentally, I know some of you probably don’t think much of the meaning of numbers in Scripture, but the Biblical number of man is 6. There were a lot of sixes going on that day. It can easily be said such a thing is mere coincidence or hooey and I understand that. But sometimes it makes sense to at least consider such possibilities as part of a much larger overall picture.
The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. [1Samuel 17:43]
THE NUMBER SIX
The all time Dow Jones high of 26,616 contains three sixes. It happened on Friday (the sixth day of the week), January 26. But a giant drop was soon in store that many people didn’t see coming. The next week the market began falling. By Friday of last week it had fallen all the way down to 25,490, a loss of over 1100 points. One week after the market high of January 26, from closing on Thursday February 1 to closing on Friday February 2, the market fell 665.75 points, or 666. More sixes. And again, three of them. All in a row this time. Was that just another coincidence? Or was it a strange portent?
All of these sixes refer to “man,” which can mean several things. It can mean the economy is rigged by people behind the scenes. Of course, we already knew that. Since 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve System, the levers of the American economy were gained by a handful of private bankers hiding behind a curtain like you know who. Therefore, rigging the economy behind the scenes is nothing new. In fact, it’s precisely what they do.
The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” [1Samuel 17:44]
REVEALING THE JUDGMENT PATTERN
The number nine is the Biblical number of finality or judgment.
Last August (2017), I revealed the existence of a repeating economic judgment pattern upon the American economy. I had been researching the phenomenon several years ago. I posted my initial findings on my previous website nine years ago in 2009, right after the rock bottom of the last crash. We have now approached the time when economic judgment is due to strike once again. But will it?
I wrote the preceding paragraph on Thursday, January 18, 2018. There was an important date coming up. I wanted to complete this article then and post it before the next week. The following Monday was the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on January 22, 1973. That decision kicked off an ongoing series of economic recessions, some severe, in America.
The following passage is from my post of August 17, 2017, REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN:
“I discovered the following economic judgment pattern and wrote about it in an article I posted in early March of 2009. I cannot prove that abortion is causing these ongoing economic downturns, but the pattern started in 1973. Approximately every nine years it strikes again, right on schedule. The severity of each judgment may be somewhat lessened based on Christian prayer, repentance, actively seeking the Lord Jesus, and proactively speaking out in public. There have certainly been times when much more of this was going on. There are some who continue to do this presently and they should be greatly commended.
It could very well be that America is being hit with nationwide economic judgment every nine years as an ongoing wake-up call to face the evil of abortion and end it, in part because it is causing a slow destruction of the country, and it could be that each judgment, according to Biblical models, is more severe than the former based on the nation’s closeness or distance from God.”
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” [1Samuel 17:45]
We serve a God who is always open to prayer and repentance. He is a loving and forgiving God. We know from His written Word that He has often staved off sure judgment, bad karma, and His people getting exactly the evil return they deserve for their sins and rebellion, which they brought on themselves. If His people expressed sorrow, repentance, and a contrite heart, and proclaimed a new effort to get right and do right, He would often stop what was otherwise coming. I hope this is the case this time around regarding economic judgment.
REVEALING THE CLEAR EVIDENCE
What follows are the dates which set everything off and the chart I created in 2009, with the brief descriptions of each recession I wrote at the time. I have included embedded links for further study and verification. Please judge for yourself and draw your own conclusions:
1. Roe v. Wade Argued Before the Supreme Court: December 13, 1971
2. Roe v. Wade Reargued Before the Supreme Court: October 11, 1972
3. Roe v. Wade Decided by the Supreme Court: January 22, 1973
JUDGMENT RANGE U.S. RECESSION CHARACTERISTICS
1973 1973-1975 1973 Oil Crisis, 1973-1974 Stock Market Crash, Recession
1982 1980-1982 Continued Fallout from 1973 and 1979 Oil Crises, Recession
1991 1990-1991 Savings & Loan Collapse, Energy/RE Slump, Recession
2000 2000-2001 Collapse of Dot Com Bubble, Sept 11 Attacks, Recession
2009 2007-2009 Housing Market Collapse, Stock Market Crash, Recession
2018 ? – ? ?
America has already suffered five major economic downturns since 1973. The next one will be the sixth. Yesterday, February 5, the market “crashed.” It was not a crash in the historical sense of 1929 or 1987, but it lost a whopping 1597 points in a single day, the greatest point loss in history, all the way down to 23,923. Some of that was made up before the market closed. There was another big drop this morning even farther to 23,778 before it began rising again. It was a crazy up and down morning filled with wild swings, an eventual evening out process, and then a big gain. Today’s market closed with an increase of 567 points at 24,912.
Most forecasters are disregarding the reality of what is actually transpiring in the current American economy. Until this massive stock market drop most bought into the notion that it would never stop. I want to make a point here that I am never in favor of economic judgment. I don’t want it to happen. I am not saying it will this time around but the pattern is there. I personally want everyone to be blessed. But a great evil has been taking place in America for 45 years and it remains ongoing. Abortions in America peaked about a quarter century ago and have been declining. This is good. But abortion is still legal in America. Since 1973, a baby has been aborted every 23 seconds. The current total is over 60 million.
Over the last three years abortions in the United States have averaged about 900,000 per year. The good news is that there is a slight decline in the numbers, as 2016 was approximately 893,000. But that is still almost 2,450 per day or over 100 abortions per hour. Should we feel good that abortions are declining? Of course. It’s a good sign. But they are still happening at very high rates. If America continues to suffer economic judgment every nine years due to the ongoing wicked sin of abortion, judgment will likely not stop until legal abortion is outlawed completely.
Another good sign is that, for the first time ever, President Trump became the first president to take a public stand and speak at a Pro-Life rally. He should be greatly commended for this as well as for appointing a Pro-Life justice to the Supreme Court.
Considering bad signs, however, there was a vote in the Senate a week ago that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks like almost every other country in the world has done. This would have been great progress and no one in their right mind should have opposed it. However, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed to make it out of debate in a 51–46 vote to a final floor vote after Democrats filibustered the bill. 48 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for the bill. 44 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted against the bill. President Trump would have signed it into law had it passed. But almost every Democrat senator voted against it.
“This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.” [1Samuel 17:46-47]
Overall, abortions are trending down and many more Americans are seeing abortion for what it really is. It is the murder of a baby in the womb. Despite indications to the contrary, the American economy is not nearly as strong as many purport. The latest ten-percent stock market “correction” has proven that. I remain concerned that the bubble of optimism may burst as the economy may do likewise, since several economy watchers continue to insist that we are in an economic bubble. Maybe all will be well. Maybe there will be a rebound. Maybe economic judgment will be staved off. Maybe enough people will pray and repent and the Lord will have mercy.
And maybe the economic judgment will come only to those who deserve it.
Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. [1Samuel 17:48-49] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. [1John 2:22]
RIDDLE ME THIS
It is said that there are three major monotheistic religions in the world: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Two of these deny that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. A faction of one of these has formed an alliance with one of the deniers. This same faction hates the other denier. What is this faction?
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. [1John 2:18-19]
This is one of those passages that is subjected to a strange anomaly inherent within the minds of some believers, that of the past being projected onto the future. It is something many Christians and prophecy teachers are prone to, in that they read such passages as if they refer to present times. They don’t. This passage was written almost two thousand years ago and must only be seen in those terms.
The author of this epistle explicitly states that it is the last hour. He says it twice. These are the only times in Scripture this three word phrase appears. Some versions say the final hour or the last time. That is, way back then, in the mid-first century, it was the last hour. In the mid-first century many antichrists had already appeared and the coming of another was imminent. His arrival was just about to happen and was almost upon them. At the same time, way back then, many former believers had already left the fold.
ONLY 120? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE THOUSANDS?
As I have written here many times, it remains amazing to me that the Lord Jesus was only able to gather a mere 120 people for the original Pentecost. I highly recommend the following article: Bizarro Christianity—It’s Much Worse Than You Think (Part 1). It contains the following statement:
“Perhaps this is why the Lord only managed to gather a mere 120 people for the original Upper Room Experience. Keep in mind, the Lord Jesus was not some podunk rambling rabbi but GOD. He had preached to tens of thousands at a time, but many of these were not sincere. He did every major miracle you can imagine, preached powerfully, taught a perfect and pure message, and then, amazingly, offered Himself up as a perfect sacrifice on our behalf, ROSE FROM THE DEAD, and still only managed to convince a mere 120 people to go to the upper room for ten days and await Pentecost! That’s astonishing, especially in light of today’s easy-believism.”
This fact reveals that there are only very few who are in it for the long haul and really interested in the truth, and will remain with the Lord through thick and thin and much persecution. Most will leave Him and betray Him, just as those did whom John refers to. The same phenomenon has happened throughout Christian history. The majority always falls away into untruth and unbelief, creates counterfeits, and embraces those who hate the Lord.
“But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” [John 6:64-69]
It happened throughout the first century. Just as followers of the Lord left Him and walked away on several occasions during His ministry, the same thing happened afterwards. The apostle Paul predicted it would happen in the Ephesus area when he addressed the Ephesian elders in Miletus. That original generation of real believers knew they would have to work overtime and make as big an impact as possible in the very beginning because the enemy would strike back, and that, of course, happened just as Paul said it would:
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” [Acts 20:28-31]
These are serious charges that Paul made in advance, exactly as the Lord did, especially when He prophesied the fate of Judea and Jerusalem. No one during His time could ever have imagined that the temple would be destroyed as would be Jerusalem, and that what was left of the nation of Israel would be no more forever. But it happened. And the same thing happened to His Community, in that savage wolves came in among them and men arose speaking perverse things. The Lord’s Community itself stayed intact and pure but many left. Many disciples were drawn away. Many made alliances with unbelievers and Lord Jesus deniers. The ones who left could no longer handle being real followers. They showed the lack of love of the Lord by embracing substitutes and counterfeits or running off into oblivion.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. [1John 4:1-3]
THE FATHER AND SON ARE INDIVISIBLE
Judaism does not confess that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. Islam does not confess that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. Whoever denies the Son also denies the Father. This means whatever god these people are serving, it is not the God of the New Covenant Scriptures.
Yet, many Christians are confused on this point. They have been taught and apparently believe that it is possible to somehow serve God and be in relationship with Him while also denying the Son. The Scriptures obviously refute this. The Father and Son are indivisible. Whoever trashes the Son is trashing God. Whoever denies the Son is of the spirit of the antichrist.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. [2John 1:7-11] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There are Christians in America old enough to remember all the prophecy teacher hype from decades past, and the incredible influence of a single book: The Late, Great Planet Earth.
As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. [Daniel 7:24]
The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. [Revelation 17:12]
The European Common Market, now known as the European Union, started in 1957. It was created by the Treaty of Rome and was known officially as the European Economic Community (EEC), and initially included six founding members: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany.
The Union continued to add members. Denmark, Ireland, and the UK were officially added in 1973 which brought the total to nine members. By this time the prophecy teachers began getting all excited because it was their contention that the “ten kings” mentioned in the books of Daniel and Revelation were these exact countries minus one, and that the next country admitted to the Common Market would be the tenth, which would mean we were just about to the very end of days and the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
This also meant the Rapture was about to happen! Any day now! You better get right with God! You could be left behind! Run for your lives! (And while you’re at it please invite us all to speak at your churches and community centers and buy our books!)
Well, now that Armageddon was almost upon us way back in the early to mid 1970s, it became a very scary proposition for many uninformed and misinformed Christians. When would the next country be admitted to the Common Market in Europe and what country would that be? Prophecy was coming to pass right before our eyes! Reading the Bible was like reading the daily newspaper!
As it turned out, the magical tenth member country that tipped us over the edge applied for membership on June 12, 1975. It was Greece! How cool! Greece would be the one! The very country where so much early church activity took place! The cash registers in Christian book stores all over America were suddenly going into hyper drive and books were flying off the shelves. Non-authors became authors. Preachers had long since begun getting in on the act. They were scaring the hell out of the members with ongoing scythe-swinging sermonettes about the Last Days and the Tribulation and the Rapture. If you missed the Rapture you were going to suffer here and then go to hell! Don’t miss the Rapture! The ten kings! The ten kings! The ten kings!
I got saved in the midst of all this cacophony. Three years before that, however, in 1973, I bought a copy of Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth. The book was incredibly popular, not only among Christians, but among many young people in general. It was a semi-hit on college campuses and had very wide national distribution, selling millions of copies. I was duly impressed and actually prayed the prayer of salvation listed at the end of the book but nothing substantial happened to me at that time, although the book did play a role in my salvation later on.
Young people of today probably don’t know this, but many post high school college-aged people back then were really bright and comparatively very well informed. You had to work very hard for your information and this made for serious study and a more adult-oriented intellectual attitude, though well-rounded and practical. This contrasts with today’s incessant biased sound bites and 1984-type “news” and disinformation. There was a lot of book-reading and study going on back then unrelated to school courses and required reading.
The times were continuing to be a-Changin’, as Bob Dylan sang several years before, and the times were really changing in American Christianity.
The prophecy guys took full advantage of all this and did their part to keep things buzzing with constant updates and scare tactics and ongoing rock solid “proof” that everything they taught was true.
In 1977 I had a conversation with a guy in my church. He was a nice guy but had a strange stubborn streak (while smiling) in that it seemed like he wanted to fight when someone questioned anything, especially about his beliefs. It was kind of funny because the guy was otherwise quite wimpy. I had been doing a lot of study by that time and had come to the conclusion that the prophecy guys were completely wrong about the European Common Market. Remember, Greece had only applied for membership in 1975. Until their application was accepted everyone was getting Rapture-ready because as soon as their membership was granted and Greece became the tenth member we would have the “ten kings” and all hell would break loose. Oh my! Run for your lives! Get right with God! Don’t miss the Rapture! And don’t forget to pay your tithes!
So I was having a conversation with this guy. He was anti-cool and a real nerd, and he knew it, and was insecure about it, and he didn’t like me too much. He was there before me so he had tenure. So I was careful to try to obey all the silly protocol. He was insistent that the Common Market countries represented the “ten kings.” In other words, he bought the full teaching of the prophecy boys, who pretty much all ran in lockstep. I was, apparently, the only one there who decided on trying to lift the veil and actually do the math instead of accepting everything as if fallen directly upon us from heaven. By the way, much of the stuff taught and believed in churches has not fallen directly from heaven. I learned that early on, though I remained very respectful, and continued to learn it as time went on.
So, in that light, I told the nerdy church guy that I didn’t believe the Common Market represented the “ten kings” of Daniel and Revelation. I said that Scripture clearly revealed (to the non-brainwashed) that there would be a move to a worldwide one-world government phenomena taking place and that the Common Market only involved Western Europe. Thus (I didn’t say this), the prophecy boys were wrong. He was not happy. He was doing everything he could to continue with his fake happy exterior though I knew there was a mini-volcano simmering underneath. The conversation did not last long. He rejected the very little I said right off the bat and had no interest in seeing a different point of view.
Of course, I was right. Maybe it was because I was still relatively new in church and had not become brainwashed yet (I never did, and it caused problems). Maybe it was because I was always reading the Word and doing research. Maybe it was because I had no monetary agenda. Greece continued to dangle above everybody’s heads awaiting membership when all hell would then break loose. The prophecy boys continued to make great hay about it in the meantime and their influence and money grew to astounding proportions. Everyone just seemed to accept that everything they said was right. They found a gold mine.
Greece finally did join the European Economic Community (the Common Market), but not until January 1, 1981. The Rapture didn’t happen. The Tribulation didn’t start. The ten member nations were not the “ten kings” though the prophecy teachers continued on with their silly spiel. The whole thing started blowing up in their faces when other countries began joining the Common Market. Spain and Portugal joined in 1986. That made twelve. Uh Oh.
In 1993 the current European Union absorbed the former EEC. Many other countries began to join up. Today, the EU membership list stands at 28 countries. The last time I checked there was nothing in the Bible about 28 kings.
The prophecy boys adjusted. As always, in order to stay with their timeline agenda and false predictions (and maintain their influence and keep the money coming in), they explained that they were not really wrong but that blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Christians who actually think have said all along that the same deception that happened in the first century was happening in our time as well, in that all the official organized Jewish religionists of that time, including the major denominations, WERE DEAD WRONG ABOUT THE MESSIAH.
They were also dead wrong about the times. They had completely missed the mark on prophetic events and had totally misinterpreted OT prophecy. Some, like the Qumran Covenanters (of Dead Sea Scroll fame, probably Essenes) got the timing kind of right but probably missed the Messiah. Almost every other group—Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots—rejected their Messiah and the majority of Jews still reject Him to this day.
The only ones who got it right at all back then in the beginning were the disconnected nobodies in what was left of the nation of Israel—the Remnant—those with a yearning in their hearts for truth and spiritual reality. They would know love when they saw it and when they saw the Lord they saw love. When the Lord Jesus arrived these people knew almost immediately who He was. But all the money-grubbing, power-grabbing big boys missed Him completely. The Lord put it this way:
The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. [Matthew 16:1-4] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The religious worlds that many Christians happen to exist within are likely mere illusions…
There is only one original Christianity.
There are many imitations of original Christianity.
Most Christians exist in one of the many imitations.
The imitations are not spiritual reality but only possess some aspects of spiritual reality.
There is not enough truth or reality in these imitations to make any substantial difference in the spiritual world.
The majority of members in the imitations feel just fine within their imitations and both give and gain continuous support and affirmation from one another that they are in the right place.
The Lord had total control and authority in the spiritual world. We see this in His ministry. We do not see this in many of the imitations though some imitations are closer than others.
Consider this on a percentage scale: The Lord’s real curriculum, the one He taught, is 100% correct. All imitations of His teachings have eliminated some percentage of His teachings and replaced them with other teachings, understandings, or incorrect interpretations. This waters down His overall curriculum and reduces its effectiveness. So let’s say one imitation (denomination or whatever) is 90%, another is 60%, and another is only 30%. These imitations are lacking the fullness of His curriculum and can therefore not manifest the results He achieved. Even lacking 10% is making what remains for the most part ineffective and allows a path for the enemy to invade.
The existence of imitations is almost always due to (1) Someone or someones wanting to gain and maintain control instead of surrendering to His full control, and (2) Introducing a teaching, a doctrine, a way of thinking, a precept, etc, that He never taught.
Again, the only way to get it right and have the exact results He had is to believe everything He taught, surrender to Him completely, obey Him completely, and teach exactly that which He taught. How else can one be His disciple, or follower, if one doesn’t do everything He said to do? Obeying the Lord partially simply doesn’t work. It causes a relationship problem.
This is why most Christians end up by their own choices in man-made Christian imitations, some of which are possibly also influenced by the invisible bad guys. The results that the Lord had are simply not there. The people involved are deceived. They believe they are in the real world of the Lord but are actually in a simulated world. The simulated worlds cannot produce the fruit He produced or the fruit of those who followed Him in the beginning produced. That they did it proves it can be done. They achieved it. We must follow their example as they followed His.
The simulated, illusory Christian imitation worlds are thus usually completely unproductive on a spiritual level and in the spiritual world. Because total surrender to the Lord does not exist in these places, (because the people there have never completely surrendered), sin is present, primarily disobedience and unbelief. These are often well-hidden and are based on ignorance due to trusting the wrong people. These sins are further compounded by an insistence that the members are right regardless of the actual facts or obvious lack of fruit.
Alternative fruit is put forth. False reasons for authenticity and legitimacy are put forth. A stubborn attitude ensues. People become so persuaded and conditioned by their incomplete Christian belief systems that they insist they are right when, according to the real teachings of the Lord, which can be relatively easily verified by New Covenant Scripture, they are clearly wrong. But they can’t see it from where they are at since they exist in the midst of an illusion. They have not only rejected further truth but reject searching for it.
The only solution is for one to go back to the beginning and adopt the full curriculum of the Lord. To facilitate that process, one must develop a complete love for the truth. One must be willing to let go of untruth. One must receive the Holy Spirit. In time the blinders will come off. One will gain eyes to see and ears to hear.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” [John 16:13]
The problem with buying into a Christian imitation is that one buys into an illusion. One invests in something that is not real on a spiritual level. And because one’s interests become so powerfully vested and interwoven socially and possibly economically, one prefers the simulation to reality, and will even reject leaving if they ever figure it out, preferring the mere promise of fruit that is never actually produced to the real spiritual fruit of the real kingdom of the Lord which is always being produced. It is often the case that people refuse to leave the illusion due to conditioned fear. After a while, the subservient believers in the false illusion grow tired from never seeing the reality they desire and become mentally sluggish though strident in their religious repetitions, as if sticking to an empty game plan will eventually work (it never will). This is why the following prophecy of Isaiah appears often in the New Covenant Scriptures:
“‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’” [Matthew 13:14-15]
The Pharisee religious leaders, a very small group that ruled over the mass laity under their control, created a religious simulation in which they were the chief beneficiaries, in that they possessed not only religious control but also, because they were lovers of money, great financial benefits and economic control, especially by being in league with the Sadducees. The Sadducees controlled the temple complex and were also in bed with the Roman government. This means they benefited from having governmental and economic control over the then current nation of the Jews/Israel.
The Pharisees and Sadducees differed in that the Sadducees only followed the written Torah (superficially) and eschewed any belief in an unseen spiritual world or resurrection. They did not agree with the Pharasiac man-made Oral Law, which in its purest essence, was the teaching fabric of the religious illusion they created.
These facts should sound familiar because all Christian imitations have their own version of an oral law put forth by the leaders thereof that serves to amalgamate the membership. It trumps pure Scripture and thus overrides the original teachings of the Lord Jesus and the clear example of His original followers whether the imitation members realize it or not. Most do not.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. [Matthew 7:24-29] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Regarding yesterday’s post, JESUS DESTROYS COMMUNITY DIVISION, something really profound took place and many thanks are in order. Read on:
I’m not sure what happened. My blog traffic had been down and then began picking up last weekend. The last time I made a post was the 7th, but that was mainly a compilation post featuring links to three posts I made in December: THE TRUTH DIALOGUES (COMPILATION). Before that I made my first post of the new calendar year on January 4 entitled, THE ALARMING DECEPTION OF CONFIRMATION BIAS. Those two posts did okay but yesterday’s post received a much better response and I am most grateful to all of you who took the time to read and to all readers.
Regarding yesterday’s post specifically, what follows is a list of each of you who liked the post and made comments, listed alphabetically:
I want to thank Richard for reblogging the post and making it available to all his readers over there in the environs of England and thereabouts. Every time you do this, Richard, my traffic spikes (and yours probably goes down.) I also want to thank Tony. He made some great comments on my blog. Not long after that I revisited Richard’s blog and noticed that Tony, along with Richard, had apparently come to my defense over there. A reader had claimed I was writing falsehoods and Tony responded with much Scripture and his own writings, the same he later posted on my site. So thank you Tony. I appreciate that. Those of you who also commented—Elizabeth, Gary, and Lynn—you made some great points and it was all encouraging. Also, Richard later added a pingback. Thanks again!
I know all of us have different readership lists, but for today consider yourselves a community. I encourage you to continue to visit each other’s sites, especially the ones listed above, as you have time. We are all in this together. We can all learn from one another. I know we have various differences of beliefs but we all agree 100% with the ones that matter most, as written, for example, by our brother Paul from long ago:
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. [1Corinthians 2:2]
Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. [1Corinthians 15:12-17]
So, we all believe that the Lord Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified, and was resurrected from the dead, and that it is only through His grace and great sacrifice on our behalf that He made a way for our salvation. These core facts alone and our agreement with them make for a strong foundation for fellowship and though we may never see eye to eye on everything it doesn’t mean we cannot be loving brothers and sisters anyway. This is our current challenge, one that so many Christians of the past have failed at, and that so many of today find insurmountable. Division disease is hard to overcome but it can be and is being done. To that end, and in honor of the Lord and the gist of my article, I will close by once again posting the relevant passage of Scripture listed there. Be blessed, everyone, and thanks again.
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] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
JESUS DESTROYS COMMUNITY DIVISION: ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE EQUAL AND SHARE IDENTICAL ACCESS TO THE LORD
The Lord Jesus taught us that only He must be in charge. Most Christian leaders reject that directive. This is part of the reason why an alternative form of Christianity was created long ago.
Only the Lord Jesus is worthy of praise. Unless anyone out there has done what He did no one else qualifies. Yet we continue to have the equivalent of bowing before religious leaders and kissing their rings as if they somehow managed to grab a hold of something higher than the rest of us and land upon a leadership summit denied to everyone else. In reality, of course, no such place exists within His Community and never has.
But for any readers out there not yet familiar with this blog and the faithful readers who have supported it for many years, you might have a problem with this simple fact. I say this because in many Christian circles this idea of a higher spiritual class with an extremely small qualified membership continues to persist. Nothing has changed concerning this concept except the surface facade, in that many of these have assumed casual dress and contemporary speech as a way to falsely bridge the gap or appear more relatable. Notwithstanding the Biblical directive to the contrary, people are still drawn to leaders who seem to have it all together but the greater part of their standing is based on mere appearance, and as I have said many times before, appearance is everything.
Substance matters little. Before we go further, I will insert a single passage of Scripture to prove my point, though I could list many others. From this one passage we can see very clearly the truth the Lord taught in the beginning that has since been rejected by you know who:
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]
In this single Scriptural passage lies the pure truth of a radical new paradigm and community association model which thoroughly destroys the concept of any clergy-laity class divide or pyramidal leadership model based on a dominating upper class wresting all control at the very top. In this one passage, taught very clearly to the apostle Paul by the Lord Jesus, exists the following:
There is absolutely no distinction whatsoever between what Paul refers to as Jew and Greek, otherwise known as Jew and Gentile. And within either there is no distinction based on race or nationality. In the Lord’s Community both Jews and Gentiles have exactly equal standing. There are thus (1) Believing Jews and Gentiles and (2) Unbelieving Jews and Gentiles. Inclusion in the Community is based only on faith in the Lord Jesus. Among those who follow the Lord there is no difference in status. However, many Christian Zionists will disagree with Paul on this point, as they believe it is possible to be a Jew and still be saved without the Lord Jesus, or that a Jew somehow has higher standing in the Lord’s Community.
If you are a slave or a free man it makes absolutely no difference to your place in the Lord’s Community. You are both absolutely equal. There are no class differences based on socio-economic status. Though we no longer have the high level of forced slavery in the world today as it existed then, slavery still exists in many countries all across the planet and forms of indentured servitude run rampant. This is especially true in dominating oppressive states which strongly fight real Christianity. For those of us who live in relatively free countries, we owe it to our Christian brothers and sisters in such countries to help fight for their freedom.
There is absolutely no difference whatsoever between male and female in the Community of the Lord. Both are equal. While this point may no longer be as radical as it once was in the free world, it was certainly radical when Paul wrote it and continued to be throughout history and most of the world. On the Day of Pentecost there were obviously both men and women among the 120 who were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in languages they had never learned. Among the women there who engaged in the practice was Mary, the Lord’s mother. Christian women might want to acknowledge this. Catholic women might want to especially acknowledge this. We have much knowledge of the role played by women in the early Church. They were often those who made their houses available for spiritual meetings, which was a very dangerous practice in those times. (Remember, there were no official “church buildings” for three centuries and real Christianity was illegal.)
CLERGY-LAITY DIVISIONS DISRESPECT THE LORD
As an associative point in this discussion, the clergy class came into existence based primarily on economic opportunity and thus education level. This notion continues to persist in that only few Christians apparently have a high enough education level required to be a member of today’s clergy (regardless of denomination). Almost everyone else, regardless of their education level or spiritual standing, accept this class division as Gospel truth when it is clearly no such thing. Thus, the 99% for the most part sit passively and silently in the pews and are completely on their own as individuals, as opposed to the very small higher class which mans all the pulpits and collects all the donations. Why more Christians do not see this otherwise obvious violation of Scripture attests to its long-held traditional standing and inherent subterfuge. It exists to keep the majority of Christians uneducated, silent, out of the spiritual workforce, and to serve the clergy class rather than the Lord.
And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” [Luke 22:24-26] 
The Lord Jesus taught that all of His children are on equal footing. There are no distinctions and no class divisions. He created no clergy or laity. He created no church or denominational hierarchies. If anything at all, those members of His Community with more authority, which is based only on greater spiritual maturity, are subjected to greater servanthood. In other words, they pay a higher price in blood, sweat, and tears. Perhaps this is why so many Christians want nothing to do with ministry.
Yet, EVERY SINGLE REAL CHRISTIAN IS CALLED TO SOME FORM OF MINISTRY. To reject one’s calling is a sin, and unrepentant sin causes a big relational problem with the Lord and one another, and will eventually cause one to lose one’s soul.
The institutional clergy refutes the fact that all are called to serve because its members want to corner the market (and have). Once the majority of such people gain control they then manage to not even answer their own callings, if they ever did to begin with. Thus, the entire process results in removing pretty much everybody from real Christian service.
And we wonder why Unreal Christianity is failing…
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
In early to mid-December of 2017 I posted a three-part series called The Truth Dialogues. These posts are parabolic in nature revealing hidden truths for those with eyes to see.
In these posts one will discover figurative indicators of hidden subterfuge currently being revealed in the real world in real time. There is an exposing process taking place on the national scene as preparatory to a national cleansing process. The corruption had reached massive levels with next to zero accountability. The bold hubris of the people involved reached astronomical proportions, both for what was never before attempted and also for the complete disregard for the law, individual rights, common decency, and basic morality.
The Lord told anyone who was listening during His ministry that the massive corruption of His time was about to be exposed and dealt with, and He was the first one on the scene after John the Immerser to begin the process. His ministry not only featured the presentation of truth and the hope of salvation being made readily available for those who were willing, it was also greatly reformative. He would shine His pure Light on all the hidden vermin, rats, and roaches that had wrested control for monetary controlling purposes and selfish, immoral personal agendas, and expose them for all to see. He would also, in the end, bring everlasting judgment on the cabal in question.
Here is your opportunity to revisit these posts and discover light for our present times as new information of relatively recent misdeeds keeps rolling in:
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Belief can become so powerful that truth no longer matters. A person with such deep-rooted though inaccurate beliefs will likely never be convinced to change his mind, not even by provable facts.
Some people call it manipulation. But it’s much more than that. We all have memories of some off-putting relentless salesman who almost convinces us to do something we don’t want to do. Such people have an incredible ability to make us think we need something we don’t need, want something we don’t want, and that we better do as they say or will miss out on a great opportunity and then feel stupid.
I think this is part of the reason why people walking the streets in some major metropolis, let’s say, for example, New York City, since it has the best reputation for that, to never, ever make eye contact with anyone else, especially if someone is trying to get their attention. They’ve probably been hit up a million times on such streets and may even have been scammed a time or two. They have learned to keep moving, never say a word, and stay on their way or will end up late for wherever they’re going. They know they cannot trust themselves to not fall for some sales pitch or sob story or whatnot. And even if they believe they could stand their ground it would all be a waste of time and could probably even result in an argument which they obviously do not need. It is part of why many people, if not most, learn to keep their beliefs to themselves. Life is too short for such unnecessary philosophical interruptions.
DON’T CONFUSE ME WITH FACTS
No one wants their beliefs to be challenged. After a certain age, we decide on what we will believe and stick to it. We build up a superstructure around our chosen beliefs called life, and our lives thus become diffused throughout with a set of convictions and principles that seem to work for us. In reality, though, such beliefs usually have never been challenged fully or even fully thought out. It would be much better if we submitted our beliefs to truth in order to verify their veracity. But that’s a scary proposition.
It can be confusing. The world is filled with enough superfluous knowledge to keep one reading and learning for probably at least about a million years, give or take a few centuries. There are endless minutiae to be dealt with on a never-ending scale that can be so overwhelming it causes small flames and sparking in tender brains never meant to be subjected to such and may even cause a complete burnout or at least an all-day headache. These are not things most people desire.
Hence, society sends out semi-caustic and wearified refrains such as, “Don’t mess with my head, man. It’s taken me years to reach this place of oblivion and I’m tired.”
This is probably why those Krishna guys don’t bother people in airports anymore. It’s probably also why Christian witnessing is largely the work of new recruits. Seasoned followers of the Lord learn to be a tad more careful about who they witness to and how they witness as they gracefully age.
But let’s get back on track. When people only want information that supports their beliefs and want nothing to do with data that does not, they are doing the mental equivalent of painting themselves into a corner and then constructing a wall around it. A Big Beautiful Wall. They only want the stuff that confirms what they believe, or actually, what they have chosen to believe (but don’t tell them that. It’s too confusing). We all go through life doing the equivalent of tip-toeing through the proverbial tulips with a don’t bother me with facts attitude because I already have all the facts I need thank you very much now step aside please. And this protects our chosen belief system. And if we’re really good we store our little box of beliefs why up high and far in the back on a hidden cranial shelf where we haphazardly stuck the old duck decoys and other assorted junk we haven’t used in decades and arrange things in a way that no one will ever find them and the last thing we want is to be asked, “Where’s the box and what’s in it?”
This is the human problem. We somehow semi-surreptitiously acquire beliefs as if by unconscious ongoing osmosis from somewhere or someone without checking on their validity and then guard them like a junkyard dog. Could it be because we can’t explain them? That they cannot stand up to scrutiny? As if we got the answer from the back of a suspect math book and cannot work out the problem properly on a whiteboard in front of the prying eyes of the entire classroom?
Here’s a question: What Would Jesus Do?
I think it would be cool to get about fifty Christian men and women of the cloth who are each experts in their own denominations and just start asking questions such as, “Why in the heck do all of you profess to be Christians and yet each of you believes something so different from one another that you can’t get along for long and insist on eternal separation in your ubiquitous little boxes spread out all over the countryside? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
And this is why I insist on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And for those philosophy students out there, I always make my final and only appeal to authority to the Lord Jesus and His teachings, found only in their purest form in the New Covenant Scriptures.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
And there it is. That’s what the Lord Jesus would do. He would teach us all His truth, because He is the Truth, if only we would let Him. I say enough with all these millions of different Christian classrooms with different math books and different answers teaching anything and everything but His pure teachings. The cure for hopeless and intractable Confirmation Bias is the Lord Jesus. We must subject all of our beliefs to Him. We must subject them to His light. Then we will see what kind of garbage fish are stuck in our nets and simply remove them and throw them back in the lake while keeping the good fish.
When we get to heaven we will all believe the fullness of the same truth. We will have all knowledge. There will not be any bad beliefs or false doctrines or misunderstandings or confusion. We will not be unsure of what we believe or have to guard our beliefs from inspection. We will be open books of truth and light shining from proverbial hills filled with facts and the knowledge of the Lord. We will know the truth. But wait. Didn’t He say we could have all this before heaven? At least with regard to His pure teachings? I’m pretty sure He did. And He related it to the means of gaining freedom.
So rather than insisting on refusing to subject our beliefs to the light of truth, perhaps we should simply vacate our respective mazes, end all the confusion, determine to gain ever more spiritual knowledge, clean out our mental closets, allow the light of the Lord to shine upon and within our hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies all the way to the DNA level, and begin the maturing process toward the wonderful and inevitable byproduct of breaking down the walls of separation and suspicion and achieve being on the same spiritual page with untold numbers of previously unknown spiritual brothers and sisters and thus experience the full joys of real fellowship. Amen?
While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” [Matthew 12:46-50] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19]
We call it the Church. This word is from the Greek word Ekklesia. The Hebrew word is Qahal. It refers to the entire worldwide congregation of the Lord Jesus. Relationally, it is a spiritual community composed of all believers working together. It was known in the beginning as “The Community of the Called-Out Ones.” It has never referred to a single denomination though some have appropriated the title.
The Church is not a building. Though we call them “churches” today that was not the case in the beginning. In fact, there were no official church buildings for THREE CENTURIES. The early believers met almost exclusively in private homes. They did not “go to church” in order to “have church.” Real Christians ARE the Church.
The best chance the enemy had at destroying the Church was destroying the Lord. If God’s enemies could manage to kill Him before He did any more damage to their kingdom they would succeed at eliminating the possibility of the Lord’s movement reaching the powerful spiritual level it was blessed with at Pentecost. The devil knew he could never allow that to happen or he would lose it all.
So the Lord had to be destroyed. They tried it several times, even at the beginning of His ministry at Nazareth, but continued to be woefully unsuccessful. No matter how hard they tried they couldn’t get Him.
They claimed He was a liar, a false prophet, and certainly a false messiah. They said He was demon-possessed. They insisted He was crazy, something even His own family considered. They also said He was a drunk and a glutton. Imagine that. After a forty-day fast? Those idiots did everything they possibly could do destroy Him and His reputation. They attempted to destroy His good Name. Many were convinced by their lies.
But those who felt compelled to believe in Him were never convinced by such falsehoods. They knew all of these false pronouncements were lies. They knew the Lord’s enemies must lie about Him and slander Him in an attempt to destroy Him so they could save their own lives and their own reputations. They had previously succeeded in convincing almost everybody that they were right, that they were legitimate, that they were in religious control legally and by divine right. This meant the entire temple complex. It meant every synagogue. The bad guys had taken control of the entire operation.
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:13-15]
They dressed very well for the part. They did anything they could to look like holy men, to look like men separated out by God for His purposes, and claimed exclusive religious authority over the people. They created a higher caste in which they deemed themselves the only worthwhile members. They relegated everyone else—the 99%—to the lowest of the low and thereby created another class, one of voiceless nobodies with no authority, and denied them a proper spiritual education, allowing them to be taught only the false doctrines and dogmas of their exclusive club. Whoever dissented was made to pay. They even violated the Law of Moses by creating their own unwritten interpretation that eventually gained more prominence than the Law itself.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:23-28]
When the time came for the Lord to lay down His life and fulfill His calling as the Sacrifice Lamb to buy back our freedom and rescue us from sin and death, His enemies pounced. They worked very hard for that opportunity. They could hardly believe their good fortune. They had lied about Him repeatedly and did everything they could and it finally paid off. All of their filth and innuendo and slimy lies and slander and libel finally came to fruition.
When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” [Matthew 27:24-25]
After the Lord had already been beaten up to an inch of His life and was hanging on the cross those people still were not through. They had to keep pounding away verbally to get in as many shots as they could before He died.
Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him. [Mark 15:29-32]
We all know the rest of the story. The Lord died. They killed Him. They released as much of their hate and vitriol as they could. For almost three days the Lord’s reputation was completely destroyed. He was just one more false prophet who met His fate. All the great things He had done in His ministry were largely forgotten. Even His own close disciples huddled in fear, knowing they could very well be next. There was no solution for this incredible miscarriage of justice. All was lost.
Then the Lord Jesus did the impossible. HE ACTUALLY RAISED HIMSELF FROM THE DEAD JUST LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD.
They did indeed destroy the Temple. The enemies of the Lord were exulting in their great success. They had eliminated the threat to their wicked and despicable kingdom. And yet, forty years later they were the ones who were destroyed forever.
“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 19:43-44]
And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.” [Luke 21:5-6]
Though they killed the Lord and killed a great many of His followers in the first major persecution wave of the early Church, He didn’t stay dead and all of His followers gained eternal life. But Jerusalem was destroyed. The temple was destroyed. Those evil people were all put out of business. And every single one of the Lord’s people thrived. No matter what anyone tried to do to them they kept going. They kept preaching. They kept teaching. They kept loving. They often suffered greatly but then just got right back up again and kept on going. They would never stop unless they were killed. Nothing anyone tried worked. If they died they went to heaven. If they stayed alive they kept doing the work of the Lord. They pulled together. They worked together. They loved each other. THEY EVANGELIZED THE ENTIRE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THEN WENT TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.
The lesson to be learned here is that if you are a real Christian you will certainly have enemies who will hate you and want to take you out. It all depends on the effect you are having upon those enemies. If you are a Christian in love with the world you will be safe, of course, but friendship with the world is enmity with God. Here is an example of the proper attitude of real Christians:
But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. [Acts 5:34-42]
There is a Great Awakening coming to America. Christians are waking up. Many have been bound by religious garbage. But so many of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about. You have been attacked in the past and have been trying to recover ever since. Some of you have suffered greatly and wonder if you will ever regain the fight and spiritual vitality you once possessed. It appears as though the enemy has gained the victory and even that the Lord doesn’t much care. These are all lies. The enemy will get his. Here is my advice:
Even if you have not suffered so much but know you are not operating at top speed and full strength, you must allow the Lord to raise you back up by raising yourself up. I am not referring to some lame self-help stuff. This is a purely spiritual situation. The Lord has called each of his children to go work in the fields and no one else can do your job. You must take the time right now to begin reevaluating everything and determine to return to full strength in this coming new year. I will close with this:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. [Isaiah 40:28-31]
The Hebrew word for “wait” in this passage is qavah. It means to not just wait passively but to wait patiently, eagerly, hopefully, and expectantly. It is an active word connoting being filled to the brim in faithful anticipation of what the Lord is going to do, namely, that He will provide NEW STRENGTH and ENERGY and POWER and will overcome all of one’s weariness and tiredness, and by implication even lethargy. Then one will RUN without getting tired and WALK without getting weary. This waiting eagerly for the Lord will allow one to receive strength enough to run a spiritual Ironman Triathlon! So we must not just sit around waiting in a static sense but wait dynamically and actively and with great faith. The waiting itself is waiting in strength which we provide in anticipation of the Lord’s providence of GREAT STRENGTH that only He can provide. It could be that the more we put into the waiting, the greater the Lord’s providence will be!
Don’t ever forget that real Christianity demands impossible victories. In the Lord’s case they threw everything they had at Him and even killed Him but it did no good. They still lost. They were the biggest losers this world has ever known and so are those who attack the Lord today and His people. Such attackers are losers, and unless they repent they will prove it eternally by losing their souls. Don’t let them stop you, especially those wolves in places of authority dressed like sheep.
Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to WAIT for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” [Acts 1:4-5] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
This really is a great time of year, of course. Regardless of whether one is a practicing Christian or not, people in general have a greater tendency to appropriate the spirit of Christmas during the holiday season. Most are nicer to one another and more accommodating. Many live out the Golden Rule by visiting friends and relatives, engaging in quality fellowship and family time, smiling a little brighter, giving gifts, helping others, and loving one another.
In other words, we all generally do as the Lord Jesus taught us to do. Though it is not really His birthday, we celebrate it at this time and it makes all the difference.
After the holidays, however, most people go back to their regular lives of disobedience and indifference toward God. There is a quick return to doing things our way, living our way, sinning our way, demanding our way, hating our way, and forgetting all about the wonder of Christmas.
This means Christmas is merely a time to briefly touch upon the reality of human existence and the answers and gifts each of us has for each other. It is a faux construct revealing the truth of how most of us wish it could be but will never be. It is a time to celebrate the mere idea of the Christmas message. It is a time when people doing good things is culturally legal, where one’s good heart blends with everyone’s and brings no personal disdain as a do-gooder or clueless nice guy. People set aside their prejudices and hatred because the pressure’s off. We get a lift from giving. Joy is allowed a place in our hearts. Those who rarely smile grin a little.
But it is all only temporary. The New Year will bring a return to the rat race and justifiable lying, cheating, and slander. Bad attitudes are only placed on hold during the Christmas season. People do not actually repent. People do not actually embrace the Lord and obey His teachings. As wonderful as it all is, Christmastime is an aberration.
Why can’t we live out the spirit of Christmas all year long? Some of the reasons are as follows:
(1) It would no longer be a special once-a-year season.
(2) Too much work! (Decorating, shopping, entertaining, family—Yikes!)
(3) People cannot fake love for that long.
The real reason?
Most people refuse to make the giant leap toward real repentance and living a spiritually-disciplined lifestyle. Most people cannot conceive of possessing an inner joy all year long. Most people do not know the Lord Jesus and do not want to know Him. And this includes most “Christians.”
It is far easier to obey one’s will than His will.
It is far easier to be deceived than know the truth.
I recently stated in the comments section of this blog that most churches would never allow the Lord Jesus to be in charge of their operations. This also holds true for most of us who say we are Christians. But for those fellowship groups who would agree to let the Lord be the boss, let 2018 be the year we accomplish this at a higher and faster rate, and to a greater degree. Let real Christians do the same. Let us truly love one another, help each other, and see about one another. And let it last all year long.
My hope this Christmas is that it will continue being Christmas. Keep buying gifts and giving gifts. Keep entertaining and blessing others. Keep the wonder and the happiness and the love. Make your heavenly Father proud. Indeed, make Him cry tears of joy. Move His heart with your attention to His curriculum and course of personal conduct. Make Him pleased with your discipleship. Honor Him as your Lord and Savior who stopped at nothing to bring you abundant life. Love Him with all your heart and love one another as you love yourself.
Be blessed this Christmas. Be very, very blessed. Remember the One who made it possible. Thanks to all of you who have read my articles, commented on them, and passed them on to others. I especially want to thank those of you who have subscribed and allowed me to send out my email updates. You have all been a great blessing!
It is my belief that 2018 will be a pivotal year in many respects, but mostly as a year when an even greater number of real believers will be born into the kingdom, when many Christians will rededicate their lives, when many more solid groups, spiritual communities, and fellowships will be formed, and when the Lord’s people become even greater salt and light for such a time as this.
It is impossible to lose when on the Lord’s side. Allow the wonder of Christmas to stay in your heart all year long. May we all be real and may we all keep loving.
And may we all have a Merry Christmas.
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Okay, here’s what the Lord’s going to do. He must go stealth. The enemies are always waiting at the doors and ready to pounce. He will bypass them. He will go in under the radar. They will never recognize Him.”
“But that’s going to make things very difficult for the people He chooses to work through.”
“Yes, but they love Him. They know what they signed up for. They will answer His call.”
“It would seem some would never answer that call. They may even think it was the enemy. Anything that would cause so much discomfort, rejection, and pain may be seen as coming from the wrong source.”
“Yes, but that is only true for those who don’t really know Him. The ones who hear His voice, well, they will certainly act. They will obey. They will know it is not because He doesn’t love them or is purposefully causing them to sacrifice so greatly without a higher purpose somehow being involved.”
“How does He manage to do this?”
“He speaks to their hearts. He shows them things in their spirit. It is a form of communication that escapes detection from outside sources, and those who receive cannot even readily relay what it is they hear because they sense no one will understand.”
“So they act.”
“Yes. They act. He knew Mary would act. He knew she would obey. It was completely her decision, of course. But that’s what a calling is. It is not only the Lord telling people they have been chosen or called into a particular service, it is also that He already knows they will say yes. They say yes because they hear His voice and love Him, but also because they know deep within that the calling He gives them answers a very deep need and desire in their hearts. They want to serve, but they want it to be right. Many serve incorrectly, thinking they are serving Him, but never get the satisfaction they desire, or that deep feeling in their hearts. They feel like they are working very hard but not getting anywhere. This never happens with Him. Those who hear His voice and obey know something substantial happens when they do. They know they are entering an area in which their soul is satisfied, filled, and blessed. Mary knew this.”
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. [Luke 1:26-38] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“In discussing people beyond the reach of justice and majorities uninterested in truth, where does that leave the endeavors of honorable individuals intent on necessary reform?”
“Reformation is always an enterprise of individuals. It is always the individual who sees the need for reform. Though there are usually a great many individuals who see such a need, only very few actually act upon it. The larger part of that equation—the decision-making process which chooses eventually to not act—is most often based on mere self-preservation. Most people would rather not rock any boats because they know they will receive bad reactions and negative feedback and some of it may be severe. Most are intelligent enough, if that’s the right word, or at least aware enough, to figure this out ahead of time.”
“Even though they know there is an injustice, they would rather keep quiet?”
“Yes. Of course. It is almost never the case that grave injustices are performed in the dark and stay there, hidden from everyone. It is that the perpetrators thereof deal in a very high level of intimidation.”
“They use fear to keep people quiet.”
“Everyone knows this. It is why the bad guys are often so bold in their schemes. They know someone always notices what they do, even if done in secret and in the dark, and it is often many someones, but they also know most will never act to expose or stop them. It is like that famous case several decades ago, though in microcosm, of a murder that took place late at night in a teeming city in which many people heard the screams of the victim but no one acted to save her.”
“There is the phrase, ‘I don’t want to get involved,’ and the operative word there is involved, in that becoming involved in another person’s problem could potentially cause too much personal discomfort.”
“Yes, and it is not at all just discomfort, or even pain that they fear, but also concern for one’s reputation. This is why most people prefer to run in groups in which everyone thinks and acts roughly the same and in which there are no deviations from the norm.”
“And thus no deviants.”
“Yes. Most people would rather be part of a crowd and not deviate from the parameters or mores of the crowd because such a deviation would be a pox upon their reputations. They know the members of their own group would look askance upon such behavior and might even rebuke them. Such efforts are initial lead-ins to possible further censuring in order to do whatever may be necessary to keep such wayward members in line.”
“Because wayward members may cause a chink in the group’s armor, so to speak.”
“Yes. The group must protect itself, that is, its shared interests, against anyone who may attempt to subvert it and its cohesion, even if it comes from within. This is why it is always the case that the first enemy a reformer faces comes from his own group and never from without. And there are always very strong members in the controlling circle of the group with the most vested interests who bring the strongest attack. As a perfect case in point, the Lord Jesus was betrayed and killed by members of His own nation, though they used an outside political intermediary, the Romans, to get the job done.”
“And that is quite the irony, is it not?”
“It certainly is, in that the group was threatened by the reform efforts of one of their own, and in order to protect the group from outside influences in order to keep it pure, it enlisted the help of the most powerful outside influence to eliminate the threat.”
“What does that say for that particular group and for such groups in general?”
“I would say that if such groups have to resort to that level of devious subterfuge to stave off its own necessary reformation, it not only proves the dire need for its reformation in the first place but also reveals that real reformation for such groups is often not even possible.”
“Then Jesus was not actually trying to reform it?”
“No. He was actually revealing it for what it was and attempting to rescue people from it. Though He would have liked to bring reform and could have, He knew it was not possible simply because the group was not willing. It works the same way with individuals. The Lord gave everything He had to save and was willing to die for everyone, but he won’t waste His time with unrepentant and unwilling people. Even so, individuals who do not hold membership in groups are easier to save in part because they are not compromised and hindered by peer pressure, and the worst form of that is religious peer pressure.”
“It is the ruling supremacy of the group.”
“Correct. And the people of the group have already bought into it to such a degree that their liberty and individual consciences have been compromised without them realizing it. People become bound. Their loyalty is misplaced. Their minds have been undermined. No one can break out of such a condition except through one process. The individual must have somehow retained in his possession something very important that the cultish control of the groupthink mechanism failed at some point to eliminate.”
“And what would that be?”
“That would be an overriding and uncompromising love for the truth.”
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Many years ago several members of our church were returning from a service on the other side of town. There were maybe eight or ten of us, all young adults.
It was kind of funny because we were in one of those standard yellow school buses that had a former life transporting kids all over creation and we could probably fit our entire congregation within its cavernous confines. It was an old bus. Someone had probably bought it for a song after it was retired and then donated it. Most of us were brand new born again believers.
Anyway, here we were, fresh from praising the Lord in a small black Pentecostal church that never failed to be a blessing. We visited many such churches back then and it was always a great experience. My first time in one of those churches allowed me to see two things immediately—those believers didn’t mess around. When it came to praising the Lord they gave it everything they had. The preacher, the singers, even the worshipers in the pews—no one held back. The second thing was that we all had the same intentions and love for the Lord. When you meet another real Christian for the first time, even if on the other side of a very large city or cultural divide, you instantly meet another brother or sister. Such divides do not matter. Having the Lord Jesus in common and loving Him with all your heart does that. We are all part of His family.
We were almost back to our church that night. Then our fun time in our big yellow school bus that became a church bus suddenly stopped. The engine died. It wouldn’t start. Now, though I was in my early twenties, I had already been completely immersed in the practical side of life and had many an untold number of such experiences with cars. I was used to having a car break down and was also used to finding a way to get it back on the road. If that didn’t work you dragged it off to a garage somewhere to get it fixed.
It’s funny how I look back at those times now. We couldn’t afford wreckers. That was far too much a luxury. If your car broke down, you and a friend got a towing chain and set off on an adventure. If you didn’t have a chain you used a rope. It was not at all as easy as it may sound. A LOT could go wrong when you’re out on the road or a highway linked together like that. But it was cheap. In fact it was free. And that was a good thing, of course, because any other alternative meant doing nothing since it involved too much money already dedicated to other things.
I say all that to set the scene for what was about to happen. Again, I was very familiar with the right way to go about doing whatever must be done to get a dead bus back on the road. But that night was different. It was different because I was different. I had recently become a born again believer and was fired up. I had just been in a powerful church service where the place was rocking. The preacher wasn’t some laid back drone going through the motions like you see in some churches, but an anointed minister of the Gospel who took the Lord seriously and believed in the miraculous. (You know, like a baby being born in a manger who happens to be God.)
So when the engine died and my natural inclination to go help fix what was wrong was supposed to kick in it didn’t kick in. I had a completely different mindset. I thought it was wrong to immediately respond in a practical manner with no regard for a spiritual effort. I felt it was time to be serious about the Lord! Didn’t He tell us to seek Him? I told the others we needed to pray about it. We needed to pray right away and ask the Lord to fix whatever was wrong. Silence… Crickets… Nobody said anything. I think they all knew they had to honor the sentiment of what I was expressing. They knew I was right but they also knew they better get out there and find the problem. I was having none of it. We were going to pray and the Lord was going to fix the old bus!
It never happened. What I said was acknowledged somewhat but then ignored. A couple of guys quietly went outside to raise the hood. I couldn’t believe it. I got really angry. I got off the bus and began walking away. In the growing distance I heard it start up. They got the old yellow church bus running again pretty quickly. Maybe the Lord actually did do something. But by that time I was walking home. I wasn’t waiting for a ride back with my friend. While I’m out there not too far away on the highway still as angry as I could be my friend drove by to pick me up. I said forget it. Then he got angry. He drove on and I was left to my thoughts on a long walk back to my apartment. What in the world was I thinking? It’s pretty funny as I reflect back on it. I think the Lord enjoyed it all and probably got a good laugh. He understood, and He knew this was all part of the discipleship learning curve. I also think He was proud of me for thinking of Him first and taking a stand though the application left much to be desired.
My behavior obviously was not the greatest, but I was serious about my new found faith. We see that same kind of behavior among the Lord’s own chosen ones in the gospels. It’s hilarious when it seems Peter wanted to fight everybody, for example. Those guys were always letting their unbridled masculinity run free. The cool thing about it all was that the Lord supported it. He made them that way. Sure, we must learn to channel it all correctly and He did jump their case on occasion, but Christian men should never allow for even a second the slightest effort toward religious emasculation. And if you want to know the one giant problem with organized Christianity, that’s it.
I certainly could have helped find the problem with that bus. You learn to do a lot regarding the fixing of cars when you’re young and you don’t have a lot of money. There are some of you reading this right now who have a practical need but no money to fix it. I understand. Sometimes, even though we are all so incredibly blessed as children of the Lord, we don’t have all that we need and must improvise or simply do without. But if we really believe in the Lord and what He can do, is there really a problem?
Miracles are not practical. They also don’t happen automatically. They require faith. We must be serious. The Lord says this repeatedly in His Word and demonstrates it for us and proves it to be true. With Him, ALL things are possible. This is just fact. As a young man I was all gung ho for the Lord. I wanted us to pray about that old bus. I wanted to give the Lord the first opportunity to fix it. I knew He could. It would have been a great spiritual ending to a great spiritual night. But even though everybody there believed just as I did, no one agreed with what I felt we should do.
Why is that? Why didn’t anyone else agree with me that we should at least pray first? I think we all know the answer. We must be practical when it is called for. There are times, though, when practical knowledge won’t work. Though we may be great at fixing things, there are times when it is beyond our ability and know-how to fix something. None of us are Superman. But the Lord is. And if the only way any particular follower of the Lord will actually engage in spiritual things is when all other practical possibilities are exhausted, I guess that’s okay. But wouldn’t it be best to be wise and seek Him first?
This is the time of year when Christians the world over return to the beginning of the greatest story ever told—the one historical event that changes the spiritual direction and eternal destination of any person anywhere. The Lord Jesus can do anything. Anytime, anywhere, any place, under any conditions—there is nothing He cannot do. He has achieved mythological proportions for those few who actually see His life for what it is, yet most Christians can’t quite get there. This nonsense must stop. There is no such thing as practical-only Christianity. Real Christianity always requires the miraculous. The Lord will often put us in impossible situations just to prove it. Maybe you messed up or maybe someone else messed up or maybe no one messed up. Maybe it is simply the case that the Lord wants to bless you with a miracle. If you have a great need this Christmas and have no other way to make it happen, He can make it happen for you.
It’s who He is. It’s what He does.
And the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. [Matthew 2:9-11] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
A good friend went home earlier this year. He was a part of this blog from the beginning and was nothing but a support from the start, over six years ago.
Every follower of the Lord needs someone like Don. He only ever had an encouraging word and a smile, and was willing to consider any truth. He left many messages here, in comments spread throughout my many posts.
He was a gentle man but strong, and much loved by his family and so many friends. I don’t think it was even possible to not like him. Having already raised a family, he was still working at his profession into his mid-seventies. I met him and his wife at the end of a church service right before I created this site. He was pretty much my only reader in the beginning. I remember I kept plugging away. In my first year I wrote over a hundred posts and was still much invisible, but Don was always there.
We would get together for Bible studies at his place. He even let me teach on many occasions. We had a good time. After I returned from a few years working on the oil rigs, we continued to meet every week or so, having informal study sessions, which is actually a euphemism for Don allowing me to talk. He was a great listener. He understood, I think, that I had a lot to say and few to say it to, but it’s always been that way. He would add, though, many wise words, even though he was not all that proficient or up to speed on all the voluminous spiritual knowledge we have available to us today.
The Lord made me a teacher from the beginning with an anointing to search and seek out knowledge and truth, especially of course, His truth. I could never get enough and still can’t. I joke with people that I’m glad eternity is forever because I have so much work to do and so much to learn. Don would always allow me to tell him about all the recent revelations I was receiving from heaven’s downloads. He didn’t understand sometimes but never allowed that to be a cause of rejection. He was a traditionalist, I think, at heart, and had a disciplined west Texas upbringing, one of those kinds of raisings that so many Americans received, in which the number one rule was to serve the Lord in the light they had, in the way they felt was right. The second rule was to survive.
This is a dynamic that so many have lost touch with. Back then and for so much of the history of America it truly was always a matter of survival. You had the Lord, if you did, and then you had some family and maybe a friend or two. And you had your wits and an understanding that life is very hard and only the strong survive. There was no government, for the most part, back then. There was, but it was so small, and it was distant, and for most Americans it had little effect. They were on their own. There was no nanny state. America was still very far apart and far away and distant horizons were everywhere. Those days have long since passed.
Americans sprinted out west and then backwashed to the center and America became a place where all the detail started getting filled in and everyone started building out everything that could be. In time it became the equivalent of a person turning inward and then America began experiencing all levels of mental constructs and the problems that ensue when people lose their dreams and their way.
Yet, it was only eighty years ago when there was still a frontier in places and so much yet to discover. The famed Route 66 began in 1926. People had an insatiable desire to seek out a good life with much energy and joy. Families stayed together. They had to. They needed each other. Their focus wasn’t on themselves.
Then the whole thing blew up. The devil invaded with an evil agenda and most Americans didn’t know it was him. He would do his usual dividing and destroying and generally just deceiving everyone and bringing temptation and the resultant sin to epidemic proportions. Many American Christians continued to remain loyal to what they had always done, not understanding that the battle had expanded far beyond what it was before and would require much more Lord Jesus and much more of His Holy Spirit.
The Lord obliged. He knew what we would need. And as always He was way ahead of us. It began about 1960. I have written about the phenomenon here several times. And while the 1960s were blowing up on the political front and on university campuses and in the streets, the Lord was bringing forth new spiritual life on a level never before seen and doing the impossible. Christians from all denominations were experiencing a new spiritual time in this country. Many Christians didn’t see it and most rejected it. But the Lord was proven right.
My friend Don was on the cusp of all this. He felt more comfortable in his traditional beliefs and approach though he certainly progressed into the future. It had made him what he was. Yet, in my experience, he was one of a kind.
Our many informal sessions are over now. There will be no more spontaneous Bible studies or talk sessions out on his driveway or in his garage. I think he understood that though I often engaged in much of the verbiage that it was what I needed. I needed someone to listen and gain positive feedback. It was a form of silent counseling on his part, yet he most often was always listening and open. He told me on occasion how much I had done for him and how much he had learned. This was truly real koinonia in action. We both attended to our callings and both received a spiritual benefit that would otherwise never be possible. Here was an older brother listening to a much more informed and knowledgeable younger brother. His hair had long since gone white. Mine was on the way.
And now he’s gone. This is the fate of us all. Summer always gives way to fall and falling leaves, and an inevitable turn to dark winter skies and gently blowing snow.
When Don passed away the winter was going. The annual rebirth was underway. Spring was almost here. Life was being born again yet again.
The Lord is trying to tell us something. We must cross the spiritual frontier in the here and now and receive all He has for us and needs us to have, for His sake and the Gospel.
Life is short and for some it is shorter than others. Though we possess God’s blessings and strength in the here and now and live to serve Him, and though life is often wrought with pain and tragedy, there is something good at the end of this temporary and often heart-rending realm for those who stay in faith.
That’s where Don is.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“At the end of our last segment you stated that majority opinion means absolutely nothing as an arbiter of truth. Perhaps you can take up today’s discussion based on that belief.”
“To begin, the Community of the Lord Jesus is not a democracy. It is not about majority rule and never has been. It could never operate effectively that way. But on the other hand it is certainly not a so-called benevolent dictatorship, as I have heard it referred to, since such is fundamentally a contradiction in terms. Actual dictatorships always operate, and this should be obvious, according to no respect whatsoever for individual rights or freedom. The Lord has never operated that way and never will.”
“But God is in charge, right?”
“Well, of course He’s in charge but He never violates free will.”
“How can one have an actual organization under such guidelines? And does not the existence of God’s overall authority mean He is in charge anyway regardless of semantic professions to the contrary?”
“God is always in charge. He created the universe. But He also created human beings with a free will. He did this because he wants us to excel.”
“Let me start by saying we know very well what happens when one person takes control over other persons in non-voluntary situations. The controller gains power by siphoning the liberty of those he controls. In most cases the one in control always operates according to purely selfish interests and will eventually do anything to maintain control once he has it. It is the control over others that gives him his power. He uses his power for personal gain. Even in so-called enlightened societies this is true. It is why people in power must have their power checked by law.”
“And this brings us to the fact that a nation of laws is a much better place to live within than a nation ruled by people, correct?”
“Yes. Laws are put in place, agreed to by the majority, that even the leaders must abide by, and this keeps leaders from becoming lawless tyrants, because the law inhibits the leaders ability to wrest control and thus violate individual rights.”
“Okay, we agree in general, but we still have the means with which laws are created that we must deal with, since you stated that potential laws must first be agreed to by a majority. Does not the same problem develop when laws must be established in this way?”
“Is there any other way to do it? The majority decides but with full respect for individual rights. Otherwise the voters vote against their own liberty. In the beginning God only had one law and that one law was designed for no other reason than to protect the first humans and their progeny.”
“The evil arising from an invisible sinister force that had taken residence on the planet before the creation of human beings.”
“Do you really believe that, the idea of an aboriginal sinister devil or serpent or whatever, that predated man? This flies in the face somewhat of scientific advances regarding the evolution of our species and appears as a scapegoat celestial bogeyman upon which we fix blame.”
“Instead of blaming ourselves?”
“Yes, but not in the way I think you mean it. The Genesis story created a bad guy on which to fix blame instead of addressing the actual guilty party.”
“So you believe guilt was involved.”
“Of course guilt was involved and it still is. Humans must find a way to blame someone other than themselves because the alternative implication is far too dark to deal with.”
“Meaning that human beings are actually very well aware of their propensity for evil.”
“We have many centuries and even millennia telling us all we need to know in that regard.”
“In that human beings are evil?”
“As a species we certainly have proven this over and again regardless of time or place. The record is there.”
“Yes, and it doesn’t matter if we are referring to common individuals with little or no control over others or not.”
“In that human beings have proven themselves to be evil because they perpetrate evil acts.”
“The Bible calls it sin. Non-Christians make fun of the concept. But sin is obviously real, as is evil.
“These are merely different terminologies for the same problem and the same potential darkness in people that people feel greatly uncomfortable acknowledging.”
“From a Biblical perspective, sin is defined as missing the mark. Philosophy calls it the problem of evil. Without going into great detail or falling into the trap of endless posturing and casuistry, let us simply acknowledge that evil exists and must have had a point of origin. From a purely amoral scientific perspective in which there is no God and everything exists as the byproduct of billion-year geologic and biological processes, evil still exists. It could be that we have affixed a label to undesirable actions but the undesirable actions still exist, and it is we humans who label such actions as undesirable. Most of us don’t like them. We say they are wrong. We get convicted when we do them, most of us anyway, and wish we had not. So regardless of terminology or belief systems, all human beings the world over have this exact conviction. We know evil exists and we wish it didn’t but we don’t know how to eliminate it.”
“But Christianity does, correct?”
“Before I answer that I want to address the idea that human beings became aware of their sin from the beginning and tried to do whatever they could to eliminate it. At first they tried very hard to simply stop doing bad things. That didn’t work so well but it did slow it down somewhat by those who put forth the effort by simply not obeying the ever-present seemingly natural impulses or giving in to bad desires. Then they tried using ultra-discipline techniques which as a byproduct created like-minded groups, some of which grew into ancient philosophical schools, predating Greece by multiple centuries, of course, and also man-made religions. These did not work so well either. Then we entered into the advent of Law. Law did nothing about the presence of evil. All it did was define it specifically and attach penalties, some very severe, to practices deemed bad or evil which the majority labeled as such. Thus, the fear of violating the law and facing stiff penalties, which would grossly violate personal liberty, kept many people from breaking the law.”
“And this is still the case today. One wonders then, how many people would revert to evil actions characterized as ‘breaking the law’ indiscriminately if there was no longer any law.”
“We already know the answer to this from what happened before law and by the actions of those who refuse to obey the law now. Many such people today are imprisoned because they are a constant unrepentant threat to the law-abiders who wish to live morally in peace.”
“Meaning evil can be checked by disciplined personal choice.”
“Yes. This is what the majority is left with. Not a complete elimination of bad behavior but the choice to try one’s best to be an agent of good. Yet there are still people on the planet who engage in whatever bad behavior they want, including great evil, in that they unofficially violate the law as a matter of course and never have to pay for their crimes.”
“Because they are above the law?”
“No. But because they are beyond the reach of the law.”
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Sir, you are on record of saying that one cannot be a good American and a good Christian, and that one must choose one or the other. Is that true?”
“Well, I never said that. I said something some may think is related to your incorrect characterization, but not according to those terms.”
“What did you say?”
“I said there are times when a Christian must choose their Christianity over the desires of their ruling authorities.”
“But what does that mean exactly?”
“It means the same thing that Peter and John meant when they said real believers must choose the Lord’s will and preach the real Gospel instead of obeying opposing authorities.”
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… [Acts 4:15-21] 
“Why would you use that passage? I don’t understand your reasoning or the application of that case in this discussion. We have complete freedom of religion in this country. How does Peter and John’s quote apply here?”
“Do we really have complete freedom of religion in this country?”
“According to the Constitution of the United States we do.”
“But is the Constitution actually being applied to uphold the beliefs and values of Christians? And for that matter, is the Bill of Rights actually allowed expression in churches? If Constitutional rights are not allowed in churches and if governments can bypass the Constitution as well, then where is legally-granted spiritual liberty actually allowed? Don’t we have reams of recent data in the political realm over the last few decades in which it is obvious that Christian beliefs are being attacked or at least not being supported as they should be, and that Constitutional support for freedom of religion is only being applied selectively, usually against Christianity but in favor of other religions and beliefs?”
“I am not sure what you are referring to unless you mean segments of far right Christianity or even forms of Christianity which the majority of Christians are against.”
“So, by characterizing those forms of Christianity under attack in America you agree that it is okay to violate the Constitutional rights of those particular Christians?”
“No, I do not mean that. I mean that some forms of Christianity are not supported by Scripture.”
“But who makes that decision? Where is the grand tribunal that decides such things? Who is the final arbiter of what constitutes the actual correct interpretation of Christianity? And who gets to decide which Christians have no rights and which Christians do? Should not all Christian individuals and groups have the same exact right to freely believe in and practice what the members thereof believe to be correct? Isn’t that what freedom of religion actually entails?”
“Although there is no great Christian Law Court which decides which form of Christianity is correct, I think that Christians themselves usually decide who is right by the sheer numbers believing in particular interpretations.”
“You mean the bigger the denomination or church the more likely it is right?”
“Not exactly, but it would appear that, if all Christians read the same Bible, that majority groups would appear to have the best grasp of what the Bible actually states.”
“So you are saying that one of the true tests of correct interpretation is that a majority must prevail and that Christian minority opinions and interpretations do not hold as much weight regarding their beliefs and should therefore not be granted the same degree of rights to protect their beliefs and practices?”
“Technically, the Constitution protects all Christian individuals and groups, even minorities. But when the large majority Christian bodies reject such minorities, it must mean something significant.”
“Is the something significant fair? Is it just? Is it legal? Is it supported by the Lord? Is the coming together of large bodies against the smaller bodies proof that the larger bodies are more correct in their beliefs? Or is it simply the case that the larger bodies are more powerful, influential, and therefore prejudicial?”
“How is it even possible that the larger bodies could be more prejudicial? Isn’t it obvious that the larger the Christian body the more likely such a body is scripturally correct? And doesn’t this then justify any partiality or bias it may possess against smaller Christian offshoots?”
“Do you hear what you are saying? You are stating that might makes right. I am not here defending non-Scriptural Christian beliefs though I will always side with the truth regardless of church or denomination size. Not only that, but freedom of religion is most directly applied to individuals, and must be. Your original query involved the question of whether or not a Christian must sometimes make a choice between his or her beliefs and authority figures who oppose his or her beliefs, and whether such authority figures, either religious or secular, including one’s prevailing government, can be allowed to censor and hinder the beliefs and practices of Christians. I never said a Christian must choose between his beliefs and his country, as you have implied.”
“But are not those two the same? Is not the government of a country essentially and effectively the same as one’s country?”
“Okay. I know you’re playing dumb here for the sake of argument or whatever, and you are trying to get me to say something in such a way that you can twist for your own purposes.”
“I’m not saying that at all. I understand perfectly well the difference between one’s country and one’s current government, but one’s current government in free countries who vote for their leaders is placed in power by the people who vote which means the government reflects the will of the people, which means one’s current government is essentially the same as one’s country at any given time, right?”
“No. Wrong. You could not be more wrong and I don’t believe you are shooting straight with me at all because that’s an asinine argument. One’s country is one’s country. It has in many cases existed a long time, often centuries, and is an entity completely separate from any government of that country which exists at any given time in its history. Also, people change. People become corrupt. Sometimes, if not most times, the corruption begins very small and escapes detection. The corrupt, through inside influence based on money and power, get away with things and continue in their corruption. When no one notices the corruption or no one successfully rises up to stop the corruption in its early stages it metastasizes and eventually grows to a place in which it cannot be stopped. But the corruption does not exist in a vacuum. It exists in the hearts of people. If the corruption, the evil, is not dealt with by the good, then the corruption prevails. We have seen this happen in many countries, in that a small cabal of corrupt ones masquerading as good guys deceives the people into believing in them and supporting them. Entire countries have thus become corrupted merely by deceiving the majority. The same thing happens in churches and denominations. So no, majority opinion means absolutely nothing as an arbiter of truth.”
“Though I don’t necessarily agree with all you are saying, you have brought up some very interesting points about how Christians must live out their faith in this changing world. Would you care to continue this dialogue in another segment soon?”
“Okay. Thank you.”
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
In August of 2016 I suddenly felt strongly impressed of the Lord to plan a Great Awakening Conference. I immediately went into prayer about it and things starting coming together.
THE FIRST ANNUAL REAL GREAT AWAKENING CONFERENCE
I knew I couldn’t do this on my own so I contacted a good friend in ministry with good credentials who had contacts. He also had an initial located structure from which to proceed. He got on board. Although I originally wanted to do it the following spring, we decided that the fall of this year would be best and would give us more time. The fall of 2017, specifically late October, would also coincide with the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
He felt we needed to line up a couple of well-known speakers and adopt the standard conference format. I went along because I was doing my best to follow the Lord and I thought maybe that’s what the Lord wanted. My friend made some excellent points and suggestions. Well, the first guy he chose, a man he had met with before and shared a spiritual connection, never responded after two or three attempts. Go figure. This was a big name that many of you would know who has been doing much speaking on the subject of great awakenings. I guess we didn’t rate.
We thought of others who might fit. He came up with another guy. I made up a brochure/letter of sorts explaining the entire concept of the conference and all we planned on doing. This was sent by my friend to the second minister. Only his secretary responded. Again, this was another big name many of you would know. My friend was encouraged by the initial response. Then the secretary of this second minister we contacted listed his demands:
He wanted $5000 per night (we were planning on two to three nights). He also wanted two first-class hotel rooms for him and his full time assistant. Of course, we were only planning for maybe a hundred people at most since we were just getting started. My minister friend got so concerned about such money demands that he eventually decided to drop out. I said we could still do it but make it a more organic conference with several less expensive ministers, the way the Lord did it, instead of one or two big names. We could even allow for the engagement of those whom the church world perceives as “regular Christians” (my preference), obviously including members of his own small congregation, but he was apparently so shocked by the big boy money demands he wanted out. So the conference was off.
But guess what? The two guys he wanted to get are part of the same big well-connected nationwide preacher union (my friend is not). The second guy, at least, obviously looked over my brochure/letter. And incredibly, members of that group decided to do what we were going to do, in the same region of the country, and very close to the exact location I originally planned on.
They turned it into a big affair with several big name speakers. I never followed up with what eventually happened. Those kinds of things rarely do anything substantial. It’s usually a bunch of expensive flash with little substance and no long-lasting regional effect. I can’t prove it, of course, but they apparently co-opted something I had planned (without ever contacting me) for their own purposes, and renamed it.
THE REAL COMMUNITY
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1Corinthians 1:26-29] 
I will close by once again giving you the key to the real Great Awakening: It will involve all of the Lord’s children. It will not be the usual show time, big money, and big name exercise of the Christian elite. That entire paradigm is fading out. The format is stale. Those people are all getting older and there is very little second generation to replace them. Those younger Christian elites who are copying this paradigm and weaving themselves into the old format are often hopelessly shallow, even those on giant platforms, and there is no room for a next generation since the present one has become so worldly and compromised. You will see this is also happening within so-called Christian television.
Here’s how to tell the real from the unreal: The Lord Jesus must always be the main focus. People must be drawn by His Spirit. If He is in charge miraculous manifestations will occur.
Also, spiritual humility is a door. If you see yourself as a dedicated real Christian but just another of the Lord’s many children and on the same plane as everyone else, and you don’t see yourself as special or part of a small upper caste, then you qualify for being used of the Lord. I suggest you go pray about it right after reading this post and see what happens.
This new Great Awakening in America involves, just like in the political realm, THE FORGOTTEN CHRISTIAN, the ones who actually serve the Lord Jesus and one another in relative obscurity, who have been slaving away pulling on the galley oars out of sight and out of mind forever. These are the ones who have been making Christianity work in America from the beginning by “secretly” giving their money, time, and energy with very little or no respect or acknowledgement for their massive contributions from those on high and in control.
Real Christians are the ones who possess incredible perseverance under trial, longsuffering, and general overwhelming strength against all odds. If you are a young Christian and do not relate to this concept, you will eventually if you stay faithful.
Persecution seeks out those who refuse to back down.
It is the so-called nameless laity in the pews and church chairs and those on the outside who have always made Christianity work in whatever place or time. These are the ones who are always constant and who can make it just fine without big ministerial pay days and ego-stroking. They also work for the Lord under any and all circumstances without requiring $5000 in advance as do the show-me-the-money boys.
Like the Protestant Reformation of 500 years ago that began in a spirit of necessary reform due to the overwhelming sin and corruption of the controlling clergy, Great Awakenings always emerge from relatively dark spiritual times.
And the darkest of times are also the shallowest and most uninformed of times with the most ostentatious artificial window dressing deceiving clueless majorities into accepting costly shiny packages with nothing inside that must never be opened.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Christians have been taught by those who rule over them to never question religious authority. Thus, those in control equate themselves with infallibility and inerrancy.
And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” [Luke 22:24-26]
This is obviously not the case among the majority of churches and denominational hierarchies. These always feature top-down leadership in which the congregants have very little say. Everyone is expected to merely obey what comes down from on high and respect their leaders with a respect deserved only for the Lord.
We could fix this and all the damage it causes by simply:
(1) Allowing the Lord Jesus to have full control, and
(2) Adopting the leadership method He taught and advocated for
We see His method very clearly in the New Covenant writings. One of the first things we notice was that there was never any “one man show.” There were always at least two men going out to minister together in evangelism and several men appointed as elders of groups. These were older men, hence “elders.” There was no central elder. The elders worked together.
This correct method eventually devolved over time into the incorrect method of rule by one man and this ruler became known as a “pastor” although there is no New Covenant authority for such “leadership.” Churches then devolved into clergy-laity set-ups in which the laity had no voice and were merely dictated to and told what to believe.
Whoever decided to invoke their God-given freedom to do individual research and study to become a better disciple was eventually falsely disparaged because his discovered truth always threatened those in charge.
Consider the following words of Paul written to Timothy, and remember such universal New Covenant discipleship terms applied to all Christians such as “servant” and “workman:”
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” [2Timothy 2:15-19] 
The Greek word translated as wickedness in this verse is defined as “injustice, unrighteousness, doing wrong, evildoers, iniquities, iniquity, injustice, unrighteous, unrighteousness, wickedness, wrong.” What could be more wicked than a Christian leader teaching anything opposed to the Lord’s teachings or refusing to teach the fullness of the Lord’s teachings?
CHRISTIANS ACCEPT THE REALITY OF THE WORLD WITH WHICH THEY ARE PRESENTED
At that time, the two guys mentioned by Paul had adopted a wrong belief and began telling others. It was up to Timothy, as advised by Paul, to avoid this type of “worldly and empty chatter” that leads to such “gangrene.” We know what gangrene is, and it is not pleasant. It begins with a small infection. The offhanded beliefs of the two men with no Scriptural backing were as an infection that invaded the community. The infection was teaching something as true that is not true.
Hence we understand the great need, especially in these latter days, to stand strong for the original teachings of the Lord Jesus and oppose strongly all the false teachings adopted by so many “Christians” since, who like those two men, have infected overall Christianity with various gangrene-like spiritual diseases which have spread far and wide.
It appears that in the majority of congregations, Hymenaeus and Philetus have taken over, and without much of a fight.
You will know them by their fruits.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
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“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:37]
When the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees He didn’t name names. He didn’t slander individuals. But this has never stopped “Christians” from engaging in the practice. It began almost two thousand years ago and has never ceased. It continues today in a gross violation of the Lord’s Golden Rule.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5]
THE SLANDER BRIGADE
Christian history is filled with Christians attacking and slandering other Christians. In fact, some Christians have created “ministries” that do nothing more than malign other Christians and Christian groups. They have decided that they are worthy of doing this. For some bizarre reason, they consider themselves all-knowing experts and thus perfectly able to bring railing accusations against any Christian or Christian group that does not see or practice Christianity they way they do. This is the height of religious arrogance in that the practitioners thereof must assume they have all light and knowledge, and are therefore qualified to thumbs up or thumbs down any believer or group of believers of their choosing.
Even though the Lord Jesus, on at least one recorded occasion, referred to a particular group of unbelieving Jews and Pharisees as “of your father the devil,” he was not engaging in personal condemnation. He LOVED these people and would have been overjoyed if they had repented. He was merely stating fact in defense of His own teachings after they attacked Him, in exactly the same way the Christian maligners attack those they think are heretics. He did this in a manner which exposed the accusing enemy who was intent on slandering His reputation, and who was hidden very well behind religious clothing and enjoyed a level of popular support.
To sort this out, first consider the verse in question:
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:43-44]
Now look at these verses:
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:17]
“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” [John 12:47-48]
SELF-SERVING HERETIC HUNTERS
It is one thing to search for truth, find it, and attempt to share it. It is quite another thing to condemn Christians who appear deficient of it. Now pay attention to this:
THE REJECTION OF THE LORD’S TRUTH CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.
Each of us is walking in the light we have. Some of us are always trying to gain more light. Therefore, if one doesn’t yet have eyes to see everything he is supposed to see, he is never going to see until he gets eyes to see. They must want to see. No one can force them to see. Thus, our focus should be on helping each other “see.” If one does not yet “see” or doesn’t want to see we are commanded to love anyway. The best way the fault-finding heretic hunters can get right with the Lord is to go spend some time with the people they condemn and serve them. Proving one’s love is better than winning an argument.
I recently saw a website in which a minister who was condemned by a heretic-hunter group actually responded to the article condemning him in a loving way. There was no eye-for-an-eye garbage or the ubiquitous condemnation return fire. This person was not condemning them though they were condemning him. I thought it very refreshing and it obviously let me know who was the better disciple. Regarding who believed what or who was teaching what didn’t matter in that instance. What mattered was obedience to the command of the Lord to love one another.
IT’S “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” NOT “CONDEMN YOUR NEIGHBOR”
In the final analysis consider the fact that if someone actually does have all light and knows the teachings of the Lord by heart and fulfills them every second of every day, then that person would know who is right and who is wrong. But that person would also know there is a higher order of behavior toward one another and would never judge or condemn someone who knew less.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8] 
By their very behavior the slanderous heretic hunters are condemning themselves by violating the Lord’s Word. Without repentance for their wrongheaded actions His Word will judge them at the last day.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
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Almost three months ago, at the conclusion of my five-part series regarding America’s immediate future, I wrote an article regarding the call to national repentance. This post is an update.
On August 23, two days after the transcontinental national solar eclipse this summer, I posted At the Crossroads: Will America Repent? We have already seen substantial changes in the country as a whole but especially in the realm of perception. We are seeing a veil lifted. We now know all the more that what is being presented as reality is not reality. The following is an excerpt from the article:
“Religious pride and personal repentance don’t get along. In fact, these two hate each other. Only one can win. The other gets destroyed. Most people choose pride. A comparative few find life, though it will cost them. The unrepentant religious pride people always attempt to throw the repentant life people off a cliff. Their pride, conviction of sin, and refusal to repent demands it. Thus, those who find life have a harder row to hoe and constitute the fewer. Not only must they dodge the cliff-throwers, they also take the time to pray for them. That’s rare. Also, staying on the path of life, due to the demands of real discipleship, sometimes causes their numbers to be reduced over time.”
THE 2016 ELECTION PORTENT
To better understand this phenomenon we can see an excellent example of it in the 2016 presidential election. The entire mass apparatus of the collective mainstream media got the election completely and absolutely wrong, and they got it wrong by historically huge margins. There had never been a presidential election forecast that was so off base and one-sided. The entire media establishment was anti-Trump and pro-Clinton, and the people thereof were so full of themselves (and have been for decades) that they were completely fooled. We see this exact phenomenon on a micro level regarding how individuals and small groups set up their social parameters. For the people who endlessly promote “diversity” most of them have the very opposite. Their level of hatred and rejection of anyone who does not agree with them is truly off the charts and as a result they become blinded to reality. This is what happened to the media in the fall of 2016.
Did they repent for being so wrong? NO. A few individual reporters and media personalities did but the entire hegemonic media never repented or admitted failure but instead mashed the accelerator through the floor all the more and went into hyper drive attack mode. THIS HAS ALSO FAILED. This is what happens when someone is desperate after putting all their eggs in one basket and betting the entire farm. Because these entities are so huge and worth billions it will take a while to see the full failure effect transpire, but it is happening. At the same time, the alternative media, where truth thrives, is growing by leaps and bounds and has captured the truth narrative.
What is most important, however, is that the Internet has made it possible that any American can create a website and start exercising their First Amendment right to Freedom of the Press by becoming the press.
All successful freedom movements throughout history have involved the ability to get the word out. But no group was ever more successful than the early Church. Our Christian forebears, especially in the first century AD but also over the next two centuries (the real Christians, not the later fake constructs), were said, in the King James English, to have turned the world upside down:
But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. [Acts 17:4-7 KJV]
No group had ever done this before. The early Christians had more spirit, more power, more strength, more perseverance, more unity, and more love than any group in history. And they managed to succeed in an epic manner in a place and time where their belief system was illegal, there was no freedom of the press, no freedom of religion, and the level of idolatry was such that a human being was forced to be worshipped as god (government works much better that way), which the Christians obviously refused to do. Nothing that the governing authorities did to stop them worked. In fact, the more they tried to stop them the more they grew. Religious authorities tried to stop them and that didn’t work either. The unbelieving Jewish religious authorities were the worst. But again, regardless of ongoing censoring and persecution, none of it worked. They really did turn the world upside down.
But when Christianity became official everything went south.
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” [Luke 6:26]
THE CHRISTIAN DARK AGES PORTENT
As the heavily-biased mainstream press completely missed the 2016 election, the same thing has happened with mainstream Christianity. Most Christians are so used to the goings-on in their own exclusive clubs they are never aware of the big picture until it lands right on top of their heads from on high. So the answer to the question “Has America Repented?” is yes and no. For those Christians so encased in their own limited paradigms with the resources to stay afloat, they have not repented and will not. They will keep going as usual, like the hypocritical Pharisees, refusing to see the proverbial handwriting on the wall until it is too late. Entities such as this always ride the revenue wave until the money is gone and social support ceases. Remember the Lord’s clear prediction:
And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.” [Luke 21:5-6] 
No matter what the Lord attempted to do to convince the religious leaders of His day that they were playing a fool’s game it ended up doing no good whatsoever. Though a great many Jews became His followers, perhaps hundreds of thousands, what was left of the once great nation of Israel was destroyed forever and the city of Jerusalem became a fiery heap of fallen stones. This did not have to happen. It was a fate they chose. Their pride was too great. Their hubris had no rival.
THE NEW DARK AGES OF CHRISTIANITY
This is in part why the Lord teaches humility. Human pride is a killer and religious pride is the worst. It promotes sinful flesh, the last thing that should ever be promoted. Thus, when the Lord Jesus does something new it always starts small and always involves societal nobodies. The same thing happens to churches in need of light (not the perfect ones). The Lord brings the Word in whatever way He can but the establishment powers always reject it unless it lines up perfectly with their respective doctrinal statements and bylaws. And, of course, all churches and denominations have different doctrinal statements and bylaws, some of which are contradictory to the others.
Churches can get away with rejecting truth for a while but unless they repent at some point and began following the Lord as they should they will begin a slow decaying process. This is happening all over America at present, and many think this means that American Christianity is dying out, but the opposite is happening. Christianity is only dying out from the perspective of those who can only see the institutional paradigm, just as those churches out of the will of God can never see what He is really doing in the Spirit because they are not in the Spirit. Once such Christians take their religious blinders off, change their attitudes, and get out of their boxes, a whole world opens up they never saw before. In reality, the Great Awakening is right on schedule.
Regarding those who don’t see any signs of an Awakening, it is most likely for the exact reason the media completely missed the 2016 election, which was yet another sign of present reform as opposed to the false construct.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
“The very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know…”
Before we address the content of this post I want to thank my faithful readers. Some of you have been following this blog for a few years now and I do appreciate it. The material here is not mainstream in the least and that causes a decided lack of traffic flow to begin with, but some of you are supporting me anyway. I know many of you do not agree with everything I write and it is refreshing that we continue to share in a level of spiritual fellowship. But the very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know, which is not something we usually know that we know. It can also be stated this way:
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” 
This means we must be humble. We must be teachable. As followers of the Lord Jesus, it is dangerous to believe we know it all. We must be ever-learning. There’s a strange phenomenon that takes place in the soul of some Christian ministers when they insist on doctrines not supported by the Lord’s teachings. In order to enforce said doctrines, such ministers force themselves to adopt guises out of character with the fruit of the Spirit. They prove by their very actions that something is wrong with the teachings they espouse. They become less like Christians and more like hard-edged turf-defenders or stagnant dogma pushers.
They become quite used to having their way. They demand next to blind obedience. It borders on religious brainwashing. It establishes what can only be termed Christian cults. But when a cult goes mainstream by attracting (or forcing) great numbers of adherents, it morphs out of cult status into perceived orthodox status. When the authority of the Lord Jesus is circumvented in such a way and people are thus deceived (not realizing He is not in charge), it allows for great abuse which demands great reform. This brings us to the reality of the two different camps in overall Christianity:
CONTENDERS AND PRETENDERS
The usual traditional camp has already made up its mind what Christian truth is and spends all its time preaching what they know and attacking anything that does not agree with their chosen paradigm. I say chosen because that is exactly what it is. We all choose to believe whatever it may be. There is Christian truth that is obviously foundational that most Christians share, but so much of what the Lord Jesus originally taught is not being taught by most Christian bodies and this is obviously by design.
Such Christians make no provision for possible unknowns.
Consider the fact that the Lord and His original apostles had no religious superstructure surrounding them and one will begin to get the big idea what the dissemination of truth actually entails. He kept His operation extremely streamlined and materially limited and did that for a reason. He even taught very clearly that giving up one’s possessions is a vital part of discipleship. One can define that anyway one wants to but the best definition comes from simply studying the lifestyle of the early Church. We must also acknowledge that they had massive success with comparatively very few material resources. They did without that which most Christians insist upon as indispensable and still turned the world upside down. “Official” Christianity in the modern world can only be described by comparison as lacking.
The Lord knows we need stuff. We need food and water and shelter. In modern society we need a whole lot more simply to carve out a life of sustenance within a complex, ultra-developed, increasingly urban grid. But churches and individuals must be on guard against material props that actually hinder spirituality rather than help. Therefore, giving up one’s possessions does not necessarily mean going homeless and penniless by choice. Perhaps it means not allowing the material to outweigh the spiritual. It certainly means joining a spiritual Community in which the Lord Jesus is the sole Leader. Call it a love-based voluntary lifestyle of willing assistance toward others as echoed in the writings of the prophet:
A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Isaiah 40:3-5] 
It is in looking at the lifestyle and teaching method of our Leader that we gain all the insight we need to figure out how we should live and learn. I will have more on this later. In the next post we will consider America’s recent call to repentance in further preparation for the Awakening.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 D. Rumsfeld
 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 birth of Seth, Adam’s third son, took place when Adam was 130 years old. For 130 years, the Messianic generational line was cut off. It was a time of rebellion and apostasy.
As stated in the previous post, Adam was in exile for a spiritually significant period of time after his banishment from the Garden of Eden. That time period was a multiple of the number 13. A study of Biblical numbers associates the number 13 with rebellion. Its first occurrence in Scripture is as follows:
Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled. [Genesis 14:4]
There is no doubt that the Lord affixes certain meanings to numbers and one can discover many truths using this method. The number 10 is characterized as ordinal perfection, or the perfection of Divine order. We see examples of this in the Ten Commandments and the tithe. Also, Noah was of the tenth generation listed in Scripture since Adam, and the ark builder represented the completed order of the antediluvian age. When the number 10 is combined by multiplication with the number representing rebellion, we arrive at the number 130, which is the number of years Adam spent out of fellowship with the Lord. When he returned, God marked the occasion with a new birth.
THE SECOND GENERATION: TRANSITIONING TO A NEW SPIRITUAL AGE
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. [Genesis 5:3]
The birth of Seth, listed in Genesis as the third son of Adam and Eve, represented a return to God after a long exile. Though there was no going back to the garden, Adam’s original nature was restored. This state of righteousness with God is indicated in the preceding verse—Adam’s new son Seth was made in his image, according to his own likeness, as Adam was originally created in God’s image. However, in looking closer at the numbers, we discover that Seth, though certainly righteous, bore the marks of spiritual suffering associated with being a transitional figure.
Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. [Genesis 5:6-8]
The transitional period from the birth of Seth to the birth of his son Enosh was 105 years. The multiples represented in this number are 3, 5, and 7 (3 x 5 x 7 = 105). These three significant numbers are the second, third and fourth primes. (Prime numbers are those whose only other multiple is 1.) They represent, in order, divine completeness or perfection (3), grace (5), and spiritual perfection (7). Thus, the 105 year period was marked by the spiritual meaning of these three numbers.
The 105 years were completed with the birth of Enosh. Seth lived an additional 807 years after his son’s birth. The multiples of this number are 3 and 269 (3 x 269 = 807). These are both prime numbers. This may get a little tricky but stay with me. The Lord is showing us something substantial with these two multiples. We already know what the number 3 represents, but what about 269? This number is the 57th prime number. The number 57 also has two multiples and both are also prime numbers: 3 x 19 (what are the odds?).
According to the Biblical number scholar E.W. Bullinger, the number 19 is closely associated with Seth’s mother Eve and also the suffering patriarch Job.
THE THIRD GENERATION: THE GREAT AWAKENING
The number 19 gives one a clear indication of the life of Seth after the birth of his son Enosh. Also, when looking at the total number of years that Seth lived—912—we again discover the imprint of the number 19. Note that once more all multiples are primes: (24 x 3 x 19 = 912). This means there was a strong imprint of the same sufferings Job endured upon the entirety of Seth’s life.
Remember, Seth was the restoration of the Messianic generational line after the death of Abel. There was therefore much spiritual warfare associated with his life. His lifetime was marked as a reformation-oriented, spiritually-challenging transition period between Adam’s spiritual renewal and the arrival of a new Great Awakening:
To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:26] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Regarding what the Lord Jesus requires of Christians, we have the benefit of ancient Hebrew history. We can discover from their example the spiritual definition of obedience. We can know what honors the Lord and what does not.
The origin of what Biblical historians call Yahwism, which many centuries later developed into the rudimentary forms of early Judaism, began with a few solitary men wandering in vast open wilderness regions and barren deserts. The population of the planet was a small fraction of what it became in later ages, and a man could wander for great stretches and never see another. Such boundless open scenery and limitless night skies, ablaze with distant starlight and an ever-phasing meandering moon, set loose the imagination of these nomads and awakened cosmic wonder regarding Creation. Some paid more attention than others.
STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
Many centuries earlier, after the fall of Adam and Eve and their banishment from the garden, they wandered in the wilds for 130 years on a subsistence diet doing whatever they must to survive. They had been separated from God by sin and severed from communication with Him, and their own relationship with each other was no doubt often strained to the point of breaking. Every day brought another reminder of their calamitous disobedience and rebellion, and how the new god they had chosen had abandoned them soon after and caused disaster. Adding to their torment, Adam and Eve’s good son Abel, the one from whom the Messiah would have descended, had been murdered in his relative youth over a century before.
Amid this dismal backdrop, we have a better understanding of the depressing condition of Adam’s protracted life in exile. After long decades of worry and introspection, and vainly seeking an unknown undiscoverable land of comfort and rest, if only a brief oasis, Adam at last surrendered. There in the midst of a stark and unforgiving landscape so unlike the wonderful abundant garden of his early memories, he found a place of repentance: He got right with God. As the fruit of obedience, joy returned, and they were immediately blessed:
Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:25-26] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord Jesus, God Himself, the Creator of the Universe, became a human being, just like us, but knew He would have the loneliest calling of all.
He also knew, in order to achieve His calling and get the job done, He would have to be last in all things.
OFF THE GRID
Since He created everything I think it is safe to say He knows how everything works. He also knows, in the spiritual realm, that the way up is down:
But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” [Mark 9:34-35]
Now, I can tell you with no hesitation that the Lord wanted to be first. He was already first before He got here and was determined to be first again. It was not a selfish motive, however, but the opposite. No one else could do the job and the Lord knew that. He took it upon Himself to humble Himself to the nth degree and do whatever it took to rescue us even if it meant living a very difficult but perfect life and then sacrificing it all at the end. He had to be first but also had to be last to get there. No one else could have done it. No one else qualified. Here is another example:
And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.
“But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 14:7-11]
Now, consider the powerful ramifications of what the apostle Paul revealed in the following passage regarding the difficult path the Lord had chosen:
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]
CHOOSING TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH CHOSEN ONES
Rather than actually strive for personal spiritual victory, some people who believe they will never be winners like to associate with those characterized as such, if at all possible, as a way to be around winning. Believing they will never be accepted, well-liked, admired, or popular, they strive to associate with the people who are. This is why so many people fawn over the few recognized prominent and distinguished among us. It starts in childhood. It gets ramped up in high school as a manifestation of the popularity contests which thrive in that environment. If one looks better than others, is more talented, or is simply more self-assured, one will rise in the ranks and be seen as better and more worthy of whatever accolades there may be. Many of these got a head start early on and probably always had a strong support group.
The Lord had none of this, save for Joseph and Mary. He was obscure and most likely not attractive. He had no “charisma.” He was never seen as someone destined for greatness. He had decided all of this in advance. He would arrive as a nobody and people would often treat Him that way. He would never expect any special favors. He would be last:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [Philippians 2:3-8]
As you can see, the Lord decided He would take a totally opposite road of the so-called popular people and hupokritai. Rather than be a performing, stage-oriented glory hound seeking fame and money, He would instead strive to serve others and help them, and bless them. As a result, no one was more spiritually fruitful than the Lord Jesus. He planted Himself in death as a lonely rejected seed, the last and the only one there was.
From such a humble beginning so long ago, the fruit of His ministry is still bringing forth a burgeoning, incessant, and abundant yield all over the planet to this day, and continues to increase. He started out last, became the Servant of all, and then gained first place in everything. This means He also became the only Door of salvation and eternal life. No one can get to heaven without Him.
So Jesus said to them again, “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.” [John 10:7-11] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The adversary is a master of propaganda. He revels in misinformation. He lives to deceive. If he can’t stop you he will try to send you in the wrong direction. He does everything in his power to conceal the truth.
And it should be evident that what is referred to in an overall general sense by an unsuspecting world as “Christianity” is actually a vast collection of unrelated, incongruent, disparate, and often contradictory elements, from merely human but also otherworldly sources, with no connection whatsoever to the original. Unreal Christianity is thus rife with untruths, half-truths, fruitless rituals, syncretic misapplications, and even what Paul referred to as teachings of demons.
The million or so separate Christian camps each have their own primary ideology and religious slant, and each, for the most part, declines close fellowship with the others for fear that its individual identity and brand will be diluted and weakened, and thus compromised toward funding and support. Many of these factions, some quite large, got started because some DA believed the whispered fabrications of the enemy or the weird ramblings of his own wayward mind and ran with them, taking many clueless hangers-on along for the ride.
Once such groups effectively progress from single dominator and analogous cultic origins to gain the desired reputable respectability and requisite numbers, a strange but perfectly understandable phenomenon occurs: The recognition, reception, and incorporation of greater truth, light, and correction is absolutely refused so as not to interfere with established success and acceptance. This only facilitates even more splintering off, the creation of new sects, and greater division. Thus, the multitudinous Christian factions of the last two millennia have more in common with the devil’s obfuscations and religious confusion than the Lord’s original teachings.
Therefore, if one wants to figure out what is what and which is which, one must be willing to do comprehensive, long-term, in-depth study of the Word of God and particularly the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus. One must investigate actual Christian history (not the fake constructs) in as much detail as possible. One must also do much wide-ranging research (much), with no vested interest or personal religious apologia, and wade through the ubiquitous, muddy, debris-laden waters of deception and misinformation to sort it all out.
In that process, as a byproduct of the search for truth, one will discover the frauds and the deceived. Their deceptive cloaking devices will fall away. They will no longer be concealed and they become completely exposed. This is exactly what happened with the Lord regarding the fake religionists of His time. He could see right through them. He could also apparently see demons, which, when you think about it, is really cool, since the devious imps were used to being invisible and getting away with all their lying shenanigans but could no longer hide—Anywhere. Whenever they attempted their magic disappearing act around the Lord it no longer worked.
Here’s just one example:
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” [Luke 4:33-36]
Think about this the next time you go to church.
It was therefore impossible to deceive Him. This is the way it must be for His real disciples. This is why the vast majority of those who claim to be NT Christians are not seeing Christians—they still have their blinders on. They can’t see the enemy. They remain deceived.
As a starting point in one’s search for truth and dividing truth from error, consider what the Lord told the frauds and deceived people of His time:
“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.” [Matthew 21:43] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Those of you who actually study the Word of God and desire to be mature disciples instead of merely sit passively in church and get dictated to week after week know there is an order to the Lord’s method of ministry and a standard of spiritual priorities. It looks nothing like what most of us are used to or familiar with. If it was we probably would have the world converted to Christianity by now or had it done a long time ago.
Here’s a New Covenant example:
And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. [1Corinthians 12:28]
THE DEPENDENCY MODEL MEETS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE
In reality, it is in the nature of Unreal Christianity to resist doing the real work of God for the same reason that the medical and pharmaceutical industry does not promote health or disease prevention. Rather than promote outright cures it promotes incessant treatment. And the treatment has a tendency to cost. If they really wanted everyone healthy and began achieving such a goal they would eventually lose business and may actually go out of business. This is why no other entity comes close to lobbying the government more than the medical and pharmaceutical industry. It is great for their bottom line to have all Americans drugged up and dependent on their high dollar “health care.”
And incidentally, the so-called Opioid Crisis was started by them in the 1990s, another planned side effect of the vast immorality and anything-goes money-grubbing attitude sent down from on high at that time (with perfect examples of corruption in high places). All this while mainstream Christianity continued looking the other way, denied the exploding sin epidemic, and continued refusing the only corrective.
If churches were actually working according to “the Father’s business” they would have a better track record and one that looked exactly like the Lord’s. But they don’t. They are not interested in that. They prefer maintenance mode. They would rather fill up a building with paying customers and keep them dependent. We spend a lot of money and work sending a few missionaries overseas but pay little attention to the needs in our own congregations. The early Church spent money where it was most needed. They spent it in the same place the Lord spent it and where He taught them to spend it. The first thing they did was take care of their own.
Here’s a clue. Your children have extremely important and necessary needs. But needy people elsewhere need it more so it would be better to make your own children suffer and have less in order to take care of those possibly worse off. This results in your own children being worse off but not to worry. The Lord told us to take care of the poor and now we did that. So there. Better to make our own children suffer and do without or do with less than not meet the needs of needy people elsewhere.
Maybe you haven’t noticed that many churches are designed for the perpetual member who rarely or never grows spiritually past an initial starting point (getting saved). Most churches are thus kindergartens and elementary schools, which is a great thing, except for the fact that it most often stops right there. There are next to no “churches” for spiritual adults and mature disciples. Again, this is by design. If they were in the business of creating disciples they would be much more concerned with their ridiculously lousy graduation rates. As a result of the anti-discipleship pro-perpetual member method, the vast majority who leave are not leaving due to graduation but for other reasons, most of which have to do with the faux ministry method.
THEY DON’T TEACH THIS AT PREACHING SCHOOL
This is in part why the Lord said the following. It is like so many other things He said that you will likely never hear in church:
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” [Matthew 11:21-24]
Whoa. If the wicked Sodomites had seen the miracles of Capernaum they apparently would have repented and never had their city blown off the map. The Lord said this because the first-century Hebrew city of Capernaum did see the Lord’s mighty works but never repented. They rejected Him hands down. Also, I’m thinking the people of Capernaum probably resented the comparison inference to the wicked Sodomites somewhat, if you get my drift.
You may also surmise that according to the Lord’s original ministry plan everything must be surrendered to His leadership and authority if we are to do real ministry. But what about unreal ministry for alternative and limited selfish motives? Not so much.
A KNEE JERK REACTION
The National Football League is currently having a problem. Attendance is down. Football fans are starting to see that the emperor has no clothes. They never noticed it before and most of the football higher-ups never did either, but since the 1960s until recently the conditions were perfect for success. They never noticed these conditions. The conditions were just “there.” They just thought they were smart. But when these conditions began changing, fans started seeing through the mirage.
The prosperity pigskin bladder had begun inflating in the mid-1960s after forty years of initial NFL hard times, leather helmet blues, and gridiron-lock on the rude sidelines far across the tracks from the sunny green fields of the one and only great American pastime—Baseball.
Then, akin to a flyover advert blimp, the inflating football money balloon just kept expanding throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, oughts, and until recently. The reason it kept getting bigger like a giant alien tick from some 1950s-era B-movie is because the unseen outward conditions never changed. Professional football took advantage and the fans were none the wiser.
Until now. As a result the NFL is having a serious “Uh Oh” moment like those suits in sunglasses when Neo got the big idea. Now the veneer is peeling off. A level of clever has changed the weather. What’s become of the mighty Wizard? Is that just a little man behind a dope drape working a microphone and a social lever?
This is also exactly how fake churches do it. They have ulterior motives and selfish agendas. The people they actually care about least are the ones in the pews. This is why they prefer putting them in a corral and feeding them faux food. If they really wanted to make powerful world-transforming Spirit-filled disciples as the Lord and the original Church did they would do things His way. And revival wildfires would explode everywhere. But they don’t. They prefer fans and dependents rather than disciples. It is a much better business model (and so much easier to control).
So what happens to the few real disciples outside the loop who never get the memo and who mature and come of age in such congregations anyway? What do we do with them? How do we keep them quiet? Can they be made an example of to further convince any wayward members who might have temporarily forgotten who’s in charge? Can the leadership thus benefit from appropriating sacrificial lambs? To better preserve the whole and reinforce unity? And spread fear like fertilizer? Maybe, in their secret clubhouse elder meetings, they facetiously call it forced graduation.
But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done. Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. [John 11:46-53] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Real Christianity’s ongoing forty-year surge in China is due in part to the incessant attempts by the Communist government to control and eliminate it.
This attempt failed in Rome two thousand years ago. The Roman Empire at first made little issue of real Christianity. Yet, while the Lord’s Community was in its early formative stages, the Romans began getting somewhat concerned as the burgeoning Ekklesia began exploding in growth. Its impact began being seen and felt all over the empire and its presence soon threatened the established ideologies and cults, especially the emperor cult.
In Rome the emperor was god, and all Roman citizens and subjects were forced to honor this credo whether they wanted to or not. The idea of religious freedom and a personal conscience was a joke. Forced faith was the order of the day. Those countries where religious freedom exists at present should know this but many don’t (or do and don’t care). Legal religious freedom is not only seldom appreciated, those who paid the price to gain it are often slandered by later generations.
Constitutional religious freedom in America has been under attack for so long that many American Christians have apparently decided to throw in the towel, get dumbed-down to the fact, made numb by their lack of actually obeying the Lord Jesus, and weakly succumb to largely ineffective and vapid forms of “church life.”
Many if not most church leaders in America continue to fudge it and censor themselves, and refuse to do what the Lord has commanded we do, namely preach the real Word as He preached it so people can actually get delivered from sin, be born again, and gain spiritual power over the enemy. Real Christians are doing this in China on a massive scale and the government there will never be able to control it now. It is too late for them but they certainly keep trying.
CENSORED “LEGAL” CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA
They only allow two “Christian” entities and both are government controlled: The National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the official umbrella group for Chinese Protestants, and the Chinese Catholic Church. These two account for about a third of the practicing Christians in China, but the overwhelming majority of Christians there, conservatively estimated at perhaps 100 million, reject both of these government-sanctioned legal bodies and are essentially practicing their faith outside the law. And no matter how much the government tries to control them through authoritative, dictatorial practices they continue to flourish. Sound familiar?
When Christianity was illegal in the Roman Empire it flourished the same way. The real Christians, though, were not anti-government, were not radicals, and were not trying to overthrow anything. They simply honored the Lord Jesus as God and not the emperor, and they obeyed the Lord’s directives and refused to practice the idolatrous religions of Rome. Their impact was staggering. It is presently the same in China.
The illegal Christians in China now outnumber the members of the Communist Party.
What do you think will happen next? Will the Communists surrender or clamp down harder? It is now merely a matter of survival and only one of these can win. Here’s a clue which one that will be:
COMPROMISE THROUGH ECONOMIC PROSPERITY
The enemy is presently attempting to tempt the real Chinese Christians with the increasing economic prosperity of that nation without understanding that it was the real Chinese Christians who brought it about through spiritual means in the first place. The Lord always brings prosperity to His people but it must be put in perspective and handled with proper discipline. We must understand that blessings can never be allowed to circumvent or detract from our spiritual duty.
This has mainly failed in America. Christian bodies have given in to being dictated to by money and economic success and eschew any attempts toward reining in that which has caused millions of Christians to become compromised and spiritually lazy. It took place gradually over time but has happened nonetheless and this becomes clear when attempts at proper and corrective reform are made. The reformers sent by God often eventually get shown the door because the nature of such closed-minded congregations and groups borders on the cultish with the usual domineering leader asserting primarily a vaunted rightness and secondly, an imposed inferiority upon those unlike them which must result in the aforesaid rejection. You can see, then, how it makes perfect sense for the Chinese government to make life very hard for those Christians who won’t go along with their program.
We know this sinister paradigm quite well if only from the reams of data regarding centuries of church history. Some people have a tendency to go nuts when they gain illegitimate authority and will do anything to keep control. This is the main reason why there has been so much Christian-on-Christian bloodshed and why millions of Christians have been taken advantage of and ripped off.
One of the clues regarding the real infilling of the Lord’s Spirit is that one will act as the Lord Jesus acted. One will do as He did. One will have His nature. Developing the mind and nature of the Lord and gaining spiritual maturity must obviously take place over time. Some never get there. Most are never filled with His Spirit to begin with and can therefore hardly be expected to act in His stead according to His nature and purpose. As a case in point, why do so many big time preachers insist on special privileges (such as body guards)? The Lord never did this. The apostles never did. We can certainly see by the things that happened to them that they were men of faith who subjected themselves to whatever may happen in spiritual warfare. They simply did not see themselves as special or as members of a higher caste which deserved superior benefits.
How many real Christians have been murdered for their faith in China? How many have been sent to prison where they often died, languishing away from loved ones? How many have suffered in so many ways and still suffer today simply because they have given their lives to the Lord and faithfully serve Him? And how many have suffered because they were betrayed by other Christians? The numbers are likely in the millions.
When one considers the fact that the underground “illegal” Christians in China are equivalent to one-fourth or even one-third of the United States population, it should make us all reconsider just exactly what it is that we are attempting for the Lord.
They are getting so much more done with so much less while American Christian pastors censor themselves to make sure they remain in compliance with whatever will keep the money and prestige flowing in. Many Christian leaders do not see themselves as compromisers and that’s the problem. Though a decided minority, there is always an ongoing dynamic of stronger and more mature Christians wanting us to go deeper in following the Lord, more correctly appropriate what He called us to do, and achieve that which really matters rather than play around in the shallows.
What a sad occurrence it is to have complete religious liberty in America guaranteed by the Constitution and so much blessing only to squander it all in order to save face and look “respectable” as a means to stave off inevitable persecution. How should the Lord Jesus respond to such an attitude? I have said long ago (and you can find it documented in my book) that a time of great Christian persecution would arise in America. The Lord revealed it during a time of great prosperity in this nation when so many Christians were going the opposite direction and didn’t care. The idea that Christian persecution would arise here was seen then as ridiculous and that remains the case for many. They will get a wake-up call, because when persecution arises there will be no outward distinction regarding who the recipients will be. All Christians will be subjected to it and all will be forced to make a choice. The compromisers will quickly succumb and surrender since that is their adaptive nature.
The strong and mature Christians, however, will fare best and continue to be productive since they had already been tested and strengthened, having been previously persecuted for years by their own brethren.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord gave us a wake-up call in 1906. What happened then illustrated how powerful the Lord can be when we get it right, even in the face of great opposition.
It was a powerful event. What was just as striking, however, was the usual resistance by the opposing authoritative Christians. The humble organizers, the good guys, those who were merely self-effacing enough to seek and obey the Lord, were hounded from the very beginning and eventually forced into using the most rudimentary building for services.
They began in a house, but the movement grew too big too fast and they couldn’t allocate enough houses fast enough, so they were blessed with a bigger building, though old and rundown. It had much in common with the Lord’s actual beginning, something we lose the significance of over time. But there really wasn’t any room anywhere in Bethlehem for the Lord to be born. No residence, no inn, no nothing where people normally live. He ended up with the farm animals, something equivalent to our barns, but a small one. He apparently had no problem with this. He even expected it. He expected this world to treat Him in such a way. He was born anyway, in a place none of us would ever permit our own babies to be born, regardless of circumstances.
The same thing happens with His work. The apostle Paul said no people of higher bearing are chosen, in general, for the Lord’s work, largely because they deem themselves far too important. They are also ultra-pampered. There is no room for a pampered preacher in the Lord’s real work, but we are besotten with pampered preachers everywhere we look. In fact, this has become the standard.
Where then, are the real preachers? Where are the real Christians?
In general, you will rarely find them in the limelight. William Seymour was a one-eyed black man shunned by much of Christian society yet the Lord worked wonders through him. The apostle Paul has been wrongly relegated after the fact as some sort of high churchman or great theologian. Of course, he was certainly brilliant, but much more so in a spiritual sense. Prior to his own personal Pentecost he used his theological brilliance and high religious standing to do the very opposite of what the Lord had intended for him. How did he get so lost? How did he get so caught up with his own pride? How did he ever get so full of himself? One might ask about 90% of today’s so-called pastors and preachers and priests and what have you.
To show what must be done NOW to correct this is to show what had to happen to Paul—the Lord knocked him down, thoroughly humiliated him, showed him who the boss was, blinded him and made him helpless, and then completely revamped his life. He showed him how he was completely wrong and on the wrong path and had the wrong attitude. He could have just let him go to hell but He knew Paul would respond correctly to the correct stimuli, which in this case involved knocking him on his butt and destroying everything that he had previously held dear.
Paul responded properly. He quickly ascertained that he had been a giant jerk of the worst kind and was thoroughly embarrassed. After a few days his sight returned. He underwent full repentance, giving himself totally to the Lord for whatever purpose no matter how difficult. He went through further humiliation (from a religious view point, that is) by immersing himself in water in the Name of Jesus, the name of his new Master and Savior, and he was soon filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s all right there in the Book of Acts. It was a complete changeover, beyond even a total remodel. The old Paul was DEAD. A new Paul was BORN.
RESISTING REAL CHRISTIANITY BRINGS GRADUAL DEPRAVITY
The same thing must happen to Unreal Christianity in America or it will continue the death spiral it brought upon itself and has engaged in ever since it rejected that which all must submit to for new life to come forth. It is not so much that the Lord cares all that much for trying to set right those Christian leaders who will never change or repent, like so many of the Pharisees of old. It is that He wants to rescue all those good-hearted Christians living in a lesser state, as Paul was, who are deceived and blinded by fake Christianity. They will never be set free from within. It must come from without, as the Lord must do so much from without since He has been rejected in most places so much from within.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind… [Romans 1:22-28] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Millennial generation has now overtaken the Baby Boomers. This development parallels the fading dominion of “old wine” Christianity.
We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation. The bulk of the coming-of-age Millennial generation, those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s to early 2000s, likely will not be engaging in anywhere close to the same degree of hands-on, practical, do-it-yourself utility and blue collar work of past generations. In general, while brilliant and exceptional in many areas of expertise, its skill set is lacking in the use of tools and, though gaining, has less aptitude for practical self-reliance.
As a result, since Millennials number in the 80-90 million range, the home improvement industry is particularly panicked about the upcoming diminishing demand for its products. To remedy the potentially huge future problem, how-to videos and tutorials on an extremely elementary and basic level have been created, such as “How To Use A Tape Measure.”
Sound familiar? What are the otherwise veiled common denominators of the largely unchurched Millennial generation and traditional church congregations of past and present? How are these alike? Do both share commonalities through no initial fault of their own, such as being adulthood challenged, sheltered, dependency-bred, and subjected to Groupthink? (Traditional church congregations in general are rarely taught to graduate and go on into individual ministry, for example, as commanded in the Great Commission.) These common characteristics indicate far too much “old wine” influence and a dearth of the new.
And He was also telling them a parable: “…And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” [Luke 5:36-39]
Christians have labored for centuries trying to figure out this passage or trying to figure out why the Lord used it in the first place, since the subject matter causes discomfort in some circles. Yet it remains a classic “eyes and ears” parable of which the true understanding is often missed. Rather than seeing the deeper meaning and making the correct application the Lord is calling for, however, the passage often evokes the prohibition response among those Christians who believe wine is not good. Instead of censoring the Lord Jesus or taking Him to task for NT wine references, of which there are many, perhaps they should try to see what He’s getting at.
I say this because immature and out-of-touch past generations of Christians with such an attitude have also missed the boat on other spiritual teachings. Missing the one addressed by the New Wine parable, though, is enormously problematic since it directly regards the pure practicality of reaching the lost without forcing them into largely dead impractical religion and non-spiritual constructs. For example, it didn’t help that for much of the time since it was first published in 1611, many Christians only had a King James Bible with no alternative or were not allowed one that may exist, especially, of course, in England and the English-speaking world. Because the KJV was state-sponsored, it forced millions into accepting every word and punctuation mark therein without question. Yet, on the all-important New Wine and New Wineskins passage, a deeply important parable, the KJV translators got it really wrong by referring to the wineskins as bottles.
Right. They all had glass wine bottles in the first century. But according to some, those people apparently were not allowed to drink the wine therein anyway. What grandiose minds are these who project their convictions on all prior generations? There is a reason we have better translations today. Yet there remain millions of Christians at present who refuse to use any other Bible and even insist other versions are sinful. This is evidence of remaining endemic authoritative bias which disallows the necessary developmental steps toward gaining maturity. It creates a purposed distance from the Lord’s pure teachings by an agenda-based clergy promoting subjugation to them and their old wineskins.
Ironically, I guess we may say, the incorrect KJV translation of the New Wine passage proves the gist of the Lord’s New Wine parable.
FERMENTATION (SPIRITUAL EYES AND EARS ALERT)
The process of fermentation changes mere grape juice into a completely different liquid with different properties. New Wine is wine still undergoing the fermentation process.
In Biblical times, as fermentation commenced and the juice of the grapes foamed up, somewhat dynamically, the process was allowed to take place only in open vats or containers for obvious reasons. After this initial substantial fermentation the wine was poured into small containers made of animal skins, but it was most important that the skins be new and fresh. Why? Because the wine was still undergoing fermentation and the skins must be new, strong, and flexible to allow for further expansion. It was sometimes the case that the new skins filled with New Wine appeared close to bursting.
This is why everyone with knowledge of wine-making knew to never put New Wine into old dried-up wineskins because such containers would never be able to handle the ongoing fermentation process. If this principle was violated the old skins would crack or tear and be ruined by the New Wine, which would spill out and be lost. Incidentally, and in light of what I have been addressing in several recent posts, the fermentation process lasted about forty days. This means something. You might want to take a look at those recent posts.
PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
The parable of the New Wine and New Wineskins appears only in the three synoptic gospels. It is apparent that Matthew and Mark were referencing Luke. Only Luke actually refers to it as a parable. Yet in each occurrence, the parable appears somewhat out of nowhere, especially in Luke, and there is no explanation. No one asked about the spiritual or allegorical meaning when the Lord addressed it. It is just there, and then the narrative moves on. What does it mean?
We can find a clue simply by looking at the fermentation process. In His teachings regarding new beginnings and the necessity of both a New Covenant and new approaches to spiritual life, the Lord also referred to the absolute necessity of a new birth, meaning a spiritual birth. He is referencing by these illustrations a must-metamorphosis or a transformation from one stage to another, just as we are presently on the threshold of a vast new spiritual transformation. He also claimed that such a personal change, or birth, was both dramatic and all-encompassing.
BECOMING FULLY MATURE
(1) A butterfly lays an egg on a food plant
(2) The egg becomes a larva, or caterpillar, and the caterpillar grows rapidly
(3) When fully developed, the caterpillar enters the pupa stage and surrounds itself in a chrysalis
(4) When metamorphosis is complete, the pupal skin splits and a fully developed butterfly emerges, illustrating the final stage of maturation, and it soon takes flight
Through the Lord’s mysterious ways, a relatively non-attractive many-legged worm thoroughly grounded and munching leaves and whatnot is inexplicably transformed into a lightweight beautiful butterfly able to escape the weighty hold of gravity. Remember, this is the same creature during all four stages. It merely exists in different forms on the way toward becoming fully mature, or complete.
DEVELOPING INTO SPIRITUAL ADULTS
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48]
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Matthew 19:21]
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:2]
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you… [Philippians 3:14-15]
[The Greek word translated in the preceding as “perfect” or “complete” is teleios. It is defined as “mature, full grown, adult, or completed.”]
THE PROPER FRAME OF REFERENCE
Mere grape juice released through a violent crushing process somehow begins to be instantly transformed into another substance with powerful properties. What does this sound like? What does the Lord mean by New Wine and New Wineskins? Correctly defining these terms means we must first determine the proper frame of reference. The answer would seem to be otherwise obvious, since we have an Old Covenant and a New Covenant. The Old made possible the New, but the New replaced the Old. The New Wine replaces the old wine. It was a fact that due to the wine-making process of those times, the fully fermented wine lasted only so long. Old wine was wine stored for about a year or more, but it sometimes only lasted for about three years before turning into vinegar, though that could happen earlier.
FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN’S CHILDREN
It follows then, that wine-making must be ongoing. There must always be a new batch of wine on the horizon. (Think Great Awakening.) The Feast of Tabernacles, which we just completed, was an annual time of harvesting the fall grapes. It was a time of great joy. All of these facts are clues.
The Pharisees and Sadducees represented the old wine that had degenerated into sour vinegar. Those guys could not get any more sour.
The Lord was bringing forth the New Wine with His new kingdom. The refusing-to-be-transformed religious killjoys hated both. They rejected the new birth as do most “Christians.” Little did they know that they were actually playing right into the Lord’s hands, however, in that by crushing Him they were assisting in the process of bringing forth a brand new vintage, the best New Wine of all time!
DRUNK ON THE HOLY GHOST
When the 120 were filled with His Spirit in the Upper Room they acted very differently. Their actions were out of the ordinary. What transpired on that morning did not look at all like the standard, dour-faced, traditional, institutional, stuck-in-the-mud, ultra-religious old wine that was “good enough.” Instead, they were all filled with incredible JOY and displayed never-before-seen bright shining faces, dazzling smiles, and much laughter. They were overcome with the Lord’s overwhelming love. Highly concentrated LOVE was all around them and spilling forth everywhere. By their love everybody appearance and manner it looked to outside observers that the Upper Roomers had been swimming around in a giant vat of New Wine:
And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” 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. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
“‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT…’” [Acts 2:12-18] 
We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation toward real spiritual adulthood.
“New Wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The forty days of repentance and preparation has passed. The Feast of Tabernacles is now upon us. It is the birthday of the Lord.
The seven day Feast of Tabernacles is otherwise known as Sukkot, or the Feast of Booths. After the nation of Israel had entered into and became established in the Promised Land, this feast became associated with the fall harvest and was known as the Festival of Ingathering.
It was the end of the agricultural year. Since the three major feasts of the Hebrew nation aligned with the agricultural calendar, the year began with spring planting and seven weeks later came the grain harvest. These two events took place during the time of Passover and Pentecost respectively. It was at Passover when the Lord gave His life on the cross, planting Himself in death, and on the third day of Unleavened Bread when He arose again to new life. Fifty days later on the Feast of Pentecost the spiritual grain harvest began when all the souls saved by His death began entering into new life and were filled with His Holy Spirit.
Whereas Pentecost referred to the grain harvest, the fall Feast of Tabernacles was associated primarily with the fruit harvest:
“You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.” [Deuteronomy 16:13-15 NKJV]
This time of year was especially joyful due to the time of repentance which preceded it. In the five-part series of articles I wrote and posted from August 9-23 of this year I referred to this time and what must be done. It has been a relatively difficult time for the nation. Time will soon tell if America has taken this time seriously, as I referred to in advance just after the forty days began in my post of August 23: At the Crossroads: Will America Repent?
For those who have taken it seriously and fulfilled what the Lord required, this Feast of Tabernacles will without doubt be a time of joy and fruitfulness, and a great ingathering.
THIRTY YEARS OF AGE
It was at this time that the Lord began His ministry.
When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph… [Luke 3:23]
The patriarch Joseph was also thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh and was given authority over all the land of Egypt. He had suffered greatly for thirteen years prior to that time. One must remember that according to early OT interpretations, there were actually two Messiahs prophesied to come forth. The first would be a suffering Messiah as the “Son of Joseph.” The second would be a conquering King Messiah as the “Son of David.” As it turned out, both Messiahs are actually the same Man.
So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. [2Samuel 5:3-4]
Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “Take a census of the descendants of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ households, from thirty years and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tent of meeting.” [Numbers 4:1-3]
We know that the Lord’s forty days of preparation, fasting, and temptation began at the beginning of the twelfth month of the civil calendar, or the sixth month of the agricultural or festival calendar. This year, that day was August 21, the day of the solar eclipse across America. The forty days ended on September 30, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). This is also said to be the same time period when Moses went back up the mountain for the second time, staying for forty days.
This means the Lord began His ministry in the fall, after the forty days, and most likely after the Feast of Tabernacles. I believe He was born on the first day of Tabernacles and the following scriptural clue bears it out:
And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14 YLT]
The word “tabernacle” in the preceding verse from Young’s Literal Translation is from the Greek word skenoo. This word is translated as “dwelt” in most Bible versions, and refers to a tent or temporary dwelling, or an exact figure of the temporary shelters (booths, tabernacles, sukkah) the Israelites dwelt in during their time in the Sinai and from which the Feast of Sukkot or Tabernacles derives its name.
THE LORD’S BIRTHDAY
There is also this:
While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” [Luke 2:6-11]
Because the inns were already filled it indicates that it was very late in the day when the Lord’s family arrived in Bethlehem. We also have the very clear clue that because the shepherds were watching over their flocks by night that the Lord was born after sunset and most likely at night, which would have been the exact beginning (after sunset) of the very first day of the seven days of Sukkot, the beginning of what is known traditionally as “The Season of Our Joy.” This was expressed specifically by the angel of the Lord in announcing the Lord’s birth!
Please reflect on all of this as the sun sets tonight and the harvest moon rises. I wish you all a great season of joy.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14] 
Happy Birthday, Lord.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
This is a must-read article. Please tell all your friends. There is an anointing here that can be applied to otherwise impossible situations and bring victory.
So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. [John 11:17]
The forty days officially began on August 21. The fortieth day begins tonight at sunset. We are about to complete the same forty day period the Lord completed just prior to the start of His ministry in which He fasted for the duration and then went toe-to-toe with the devil.
This is one of those counterintuitive training methods that makes no sense in the natural and causes nominal Christians to recoil in horror. Rather than train conventionally as one may train for a prize fight in which a boxer imbibes in the best nutrition and a regimented workout lasting for several weeks in the effort to eventually outlast an opponent in the ring, the Lord did the opposite. He went far out into the wilderness all by Himself. It is recorded that He was out there with the wild beasts. Every day and night for forty days He had nothing to eat whatsoever. He prayed always. He prepared to the hilt. But it was all spiritual preparation.
This kind of training and fight preparation is no longer taught by what we may term “official” Christianity and hasn’t been for many centuries. Most of today’s Christian ministers laugh at the very idea of teaching such a method of gaining spiritual victory. They keep almost everything in a purely natural and non-supernatural mode because the stakes they seek cater instead to material and “worldly” success.
Now, please note that I like success. The Lord grants success. He is really into success. But it also must be noted that the spiritual must come first and must come correctly or whatever “success” one may have will soon be lost. When the Lord went to war on our behalf and on behalf of our future success He had in mind a way to buy back our freedom from the ravages of sin and bondage. That was His obvious priority. To that end, and because He loves us so, He was more than willing to subject himself to such austere and extreme training methods and face off with the ugly, gnarly, hell’s angel dipwad responsible for screwing everything up and turning His perfect creation into fallen destruction and His perfect sinless holy humans into spiritually dead, broken, compromised, and hell-bound shells of themselves.
And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13]
Who else would love like that? Who else could love like that? Well, HE did it. And it cost Him everything. Whatever we do for the Lord and others is great and duly noted but based on the practices of Christianity in general most Christians not only fail to do the least in this regard for the Lord, they don’t even see the need for it, as in “What’s the point?” This attitude is borne out by people completely unaware of the concept in that they see no connection between much prayer, fasting, standing in faith, and fighting spiritual battles with eventual great spiritual victories which would otherwise have no chance of happening.
The Lord Jesus, however, taught the why and how every day of His ministry. He showed us how it is done. His disciples did what He said and had great spiritual success. The entire Roman Empire was evangelized within a century and a half, so much so that the leaders thereof eventually threw in the towel. If those mighty spiritual warriors could do that then why can’t we do it now? It is not that we can’t. It is that the definition has changed. And because the definition has changed there is no longer any need for the great spiritual practices of the originals because Christian success is no longer defined by doing the impossible but by doing exactly as this fallen world is doing.
If the Lord could defeat the devil without a forty day fast and all night prayer sessions and making Himself poor and putting up constantly with religious idiots trying to kill Him then why did He do all those things? Why did the apostles do all those things? They knew, of course, that it was the only way. There was no other way. It was also why they were all filled with the Holy Spirit according to the real New Covenant method and thus gained supernatural strength to fight such battles and do the impossible.
VICTORY ON THE FORTIETH DAY
I just got through fighting such a battle. It was very difficult. I knew from the beginning that the Lord had a plan and a solution but that did not make it any easier. I had to stand in faith consistently over a full forty days. My faith grew. That was part of the reason why it lasted that long. It was an opportunity to increase my faith. The process was fraught, however, with ups and downs and dead-end failure and inspiration and bright spots and hope and temporary depressing defeats and rallying and an incredible amount of prayer and much fasting. There were some I counted on that let me down, others that helped in increments, and at the end a great blessing that the Lord saved for the very end that made it all possible and made the victory complete. I know this will probably sound far-fetched but the victory truly did come on the very last day.
My forty day time period began three days before the solar eclipse. I had a very unfortunate event take place on August 18. It was a very big deal. I was quickly in an impossible situation. I immediately stated that it was no surprise to the Lord and that He had a plan though I had no idea what it was. In my previous post, Forty Days Toward Victory, I was writing on Day 24 and stated that I was in the middle of trying to make something happen that had to happen in order to continue and that it demanded strong faith and a relentless approach.
As mentioned before, the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was also the day of the new moon which began the Lord’s forty days and which would end with the Day of Atonement on September 30. Those who understood the stakes and decided to participate knew that America itself was hanging in the balance and that the nation had better repent. That was not possible unless Americans repented and properly prepared for what was coming. I knew something was up and that the Lord had great plans for this autumn, but there would be a price to pay to bring it forth. I wrote about this in At the Crossroads: Will America Repent?
My fortieth day, that is, the fortieth day after the unfortunate recent event in my life, was on Wednesday, September 27. I stayed in faith until then. It was not easy. Yet that day was the exact day the Lord brought forth an otherwise impossible victory.
There are many very interesting aspects to the story of the raising of Lazarus. This was a man who along with his sisters, Martha and Mary, was a very dear friend of the Lord. Lazarus had gotten very sick. A messenger was sent to find the Lord so He could come and help. The Lord was found at a distance. But instead of immediately rushing to the side of His good friend He did something curious. He waited two days. He essentially waited for Lazarus to die. And He gave His friends no warning whatsoever that He would do this.
So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. [John 11:6]
By the time He went to the home of Lazarus, His good friend had already been dead for four days. The Lord was hammered with, “If only you had been here…”
When I began this article I planned to go into greater detail about the Lazarus story, but I am running long and need to start closing. One thing I will say is that the Lord showed me several parallels to my situation. He could have warned me but He didn’t. He just let it happen. He could have arranged things to where it would not have been so bad but He didn’t. In the case of Lazarus, He could have rushed back and healed Him and that would have certainly been a miracle. But He wanted something better, something much greater. He wanted to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Consider this perspective. The Lord could fix your current problem, but if you allow Him to He can bring a much greater miracle. I know this happened in my case. I was looking for the path of least resistance and the lesser way out. But the Lord had already determined, “No, I am going to do something much, much better.” It meant the problem had to be much worse. It meant the problem had to be impossible. It would require resources I didn’t have. It would require Him to come through in the nick of time.
A friend gave me a book over four years ago. I never read it. I didn’t care for the author so much. I kept the book, of course. I put it right up there on my bookshelves. But I never had any desire or inclination to read it. Then, last week, when my situation was most dire and it looked like all hope was lost, the Lord led me to that book. I began reading. I started feeling better. I got inspired. Then I realized that the Lord wanted the very best for me and I should go for the whole enchilada, to go for the best possible outcome, to not settle for a mere partial victory, like the healing of Lazarus, for example, but for an actual resurrection from death. In other words, for an impossibility.
That’s what I decided. I saw in that moment that it was what the Lord wanted. I had perfect faith in the BEST outcome because I knew it was the will of God. It was still impossible but because I knew the Lord wanted to go that route I was all in. He would make a way. I started praying and believing to that end all the more. I was at my absolute lowest on the thirty-third day. Then hope began to arise. The last week was still very difficult but as the Lord had planned all along, and I am so glad He gave me the strength to do His will, the victory came on the fortieth day. YES!
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
Now, regarding the Lord’s forty days, the fortieth day begins at sunset today. It begins the Day of Atonement, which is representative of having all of our sins washed away. It was the one day during the entire year that the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the nation. Only the high priest could go in there. And he could only do it once a year. The Lord Jesus is our High Priest. Only He can make atonement.
When the sun goes down Saturday evening, September 30th, the forty days will be complete. What started with an incredible nationwide celestial event, a full transcontinental solar eclipse, will end in a way that only the Lord knows. After that we will see what the Lord has had in store all along. After that we will begin to see all the various “Lazaruses” being raised from the dead.
When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” [John 11:43-44] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but the current forty days of preparation is proving to be a giant challenge. Spiritual warfare is strong but a great victory is coming…
And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13] 
The Lord Jesus began His ministry with forty days of prayer and fasting. In His case, he fasted the entire time, both day and night.
There are only three men listed in all of Scripture who have ever gone on a full forty day fast. This does not mean others did not do it. Undoubtedly, many did. But only Moses, Elijah, and the Lord Jesus have been listed as having done it. Moses did it twice.
You may note that these three were also on the Mount of Transfiguration together. Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets. The Lord Jesus represents everything good, but primarily in this case He represents Salvation and Grace. In fact, the Name above every name means “YHWH-Salvation” or “YHWH sets free.”
Regarding the actual timing of the Lord’s forty day fast, it began with the new moon of the twelfth month on the Hebrew civil calendar, toward the end of summer. It extended into Rosh Hashanah, the “head” of the year or the Hebrew New Year, and continued for another ten days to Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement.
As of today, we have now entered into Day 24 of the forty-day period of repentance, fasting, prayer, and preparation. The forty days began this year on the afternoon of August 21 and will end on September 30. Of course, in one of the most incredible celestial and spiritual signs most of us will ever experience, the forty days began this year with a full solar eclipse that crossed the full length of the continental United States and no other country. This had not happened in almost eight centuries. Please see my post Solar Eclipse Across America Signals Onset of Repentance.
I always try to fast one day per week. It is an excellent spiritual practice and is clearly Scriptural. Give your body a break one day per week and it will repay you greatly. God had instructed His people to let their agricultural land lay fallow (no plowing or planting) every seventh year. By doing this it would allow the land to regain its health and vitality, and restore its nutrients. It naturally follows that if one will fast every seventh day it will give one’s digestive system and related systems an opportunity to do some very necessary housecleaning and repair. It is a greatly restorative practice but requires a strong will.
Longer fasts are tougher. Two days isn’t so bad. I’ve gone longer, and achieved incredible spiritual results, but I’ve never come anywhere close to forty days. Many people have, however. Yet, one should never attempt it unless clearly directed by the Lord.
During this forty day period I have been fasting a lot more than normal. I have also been praying a lot more. There has also been a great increase in spiritual warfare. I have had to walk in very strong faith as a result of something very challenging that happened just prior to August 21. On the day it happened I felt great. Then boom! Uh Oh. I wasn’t expecting that! This is going to be very hard to deal with, I thought.
Afterwards I reached a level of spiritual well-being that I had not experienced in quite a while. I should not have been feeling so good! It made no sense in the natural. I quickly professed, almost immediately, that this not so good event in my life never surprised the Lord and that He had a plan to deal with it. I have been dealing with it ever since. It is one of those things that you have to walk out. There is no ready solution in the natural and no solution is possible without the Lord’s direct help.
I prayed and fasted all the more. There were times when things got really bad and I had to tough it out. There have also been some very bright spots. I started seeing the possible means to a solution. As I write this, I am in the midst of another very important part of this whole thing that must be fixed soon so other parts can proceed. I am certainly walking by faith. I KNOW the Lord has the answer. It is my job to stay in faith and keep walking it out. At the end I will come into a great blessing that would have been impossible otherwise.
For those of you who are relating to this I want you to be encouraged. Many of us have been through severe crises in our lives. There are wonderful people who have recently lost everything as a result of the recent hurricanes. There are times when we know if the Lord doesn’t come through we are pretty much done. I remember many times being backed against a wall with no solution whatsoever in sight and all I could do was do my best to stay in faith and trust the Lord. I have also seen the most incredible, tremendous spiritual victories and was amazed at what the Lord could do.
But remember, it is not only that the Lord can do it, it is because He is motivated by His great love for us that makes Him want to do it. He wants to bless us! But it must be done the right way. We must have the correct spiritual mindset. We must walk in faith. The Lord always responds to faith. We must be humble.
Thus, we are in this special time of preparation, fasting, prayer, and repentance for the same reason the Lord was. Something profound will happen afterwards. That’s what the victory of the Day of Atonement is all about. I believe there is something especially profound this year. We must humble ourselves in order to be exalted. We must do the humbling. He will do the exalting.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
REGARDING THE CURRENT FORTY DAY PERIOD, SEE THE FOLLOWING RECENT SERIES POSTED AUGUST 9-23, 2017:
PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN