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THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA (Part 2)

There is one overall demand made upon every person who would be a real follower of the Lord Jesus. It is the one thing that divides real Christians from all others.

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In these days of utter depravity and supreme idiocracy in which masses of apparently sane people are believing in and acting on the most insane notions, assumptions, opinions, and theories that cause so much hatred and destruction and not see anything wrong or aberrant about any of it, how can a sufficient remedy ever be applied? They have an irresponsible non-answer for all of their abnormal behaviors and beliefs which they use to constantly fight for and enforce their position, meaning that they refuse to tolerate any discussion or reasoned argument. All they care about is forcing their opinions. Do they do this because they know it is their only chance at success? Because they know inherently that they do not have the benefit of truth and facts on their side? Who trained them in such a way? Where did they receive their instruction? How did they receive it? Do they even know? What is their level of self-awareness? They exhibit the classic signs of pure indoctrination. How did it happen?

Well, it is not difficult at all to surmise that it happened the same way it happens with any religious or cultish indoctrination. People believe stupid things and act on them. People believe things that look somewhat good and seem to have good underlying causes but fail to do their proper research which would reveal hidden agendas. Christians believe things for the same reason that violate the Word of God but they never get that far in their understanding and agree to thoughtlessly accept the word of their betters who know everything and are officially ordained. Seriously, just taking the time to read the Gospels in their entirety would clear up much but they don’t do it. They just don’t. Some Christian denominations even caution against reading the Word. Some Christians are actually afraid of reading the Word. These are otherwise obvious signs of indoctrination. 

Over the last several decades the question has often been asked about a particular nation of the fairly recent past. It consisted of a generally bright and industrious people. And yet the entire nation was overcome and made to believe and do things they otherwise would have likely disagreed with in normal circumstances. Were these people under some kind of spell? What drove them and allowed for this behavior?

It is actually not all that unusual. Denominated Mass Formation Groupthink is the end result of a multifaceted agenda taking place largely under the radar and beyond the ability of most to perceive it as it is happening. It is a quite common theme presenting itself pretty much ubiquitously in world history, but has developed over the last century into a science. Imagine Judas to a much greater degree. Then imagine a highly intelligent Judas. Then imagine such a Judas incapable of remorse. All one need do to gain understanding on this issue is acknowledge the full depth of the betrayal inflicted upon the Creator Himself by His own people whom He created, the ones He had saved from sure destruction in the very beginning and then roughly a million times afterwards on countless occasions. As strange as it may seem, it is often the case that deception and indoctrination causes a person or even a nation to allow their natural love and affection to be overcome by something sinister.

LOVE ON THE ROCKS

Have you ever given your heart in love to someone only to have them stomp it into the ground? It is a painful thing, and though the pain is quite real and can be intense, it pales in comparison to what has happened to our Lord and Savior. He still reaches out in love to all every day and otherwise sane people still reject and make fun of Him every day. It is even the case with Christians.

Non-Christians are a different subject altogether and many of them can be excused for their bad behavior due to pure and powerful ignorance which keeps them bound in a prison of unknowing. They may be bright and successful and appear as lights in the world but are ignorant and in prison just the same. There is a Way out of their predicament. There is a Door. They must find the Door.

But Christians of any kind or type have essentially no excuse due to their knowledge of the Lord Jesus and access to His Word. You see, some of the non-Christians among us who despise the Living Word and His written Word would never knowingly allow His presence or His written Word in their whereabouts unless possibly as a dust collector. There is something about a Bible that makes some people very angry. To have it around much less actually read it is anathema. They recoil in horror at the very idea. One may wonder then why some of these might possess a Bible only to never read it and it is likely because they honor themselves by showing whoever that they are actually open-minded and respectful in that they do consider His Word. (Hey look at me! I have respect for all world beliefs and religions! I even have a Bible!) These people are so great don’t you know. And the Lord sees through their dubiousness and double standards in a nanosecond.

But again, most of these people likely have a very good excuse. The apostle Paul, no stranger to being a former rabid anti-Christian of the highest magnitude, summed it up in the following:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief… [1Timothy 1:12-13]

Therefore, when one lives in darkness on the other side of Light in the permanent Night, how is he or she supposed to know any better? With Paul, of course, he not only had a heart for his religion, he gave himself to it full bore and never looked back. He became so thoroughly and completely given over to his religion and religious traditions that he refused to consider for a second any alternative in the slightest degree. He needed to be stopped, knocked down, and delivered. He needed to be redirected. Because if he wasn’t his religion would end up taking him straight to hell. Thank the Lord that he was redirected. It took the Lord knocking him on his backside to achieve the desired result, something all real Christians have experienced in their blessed “redirecting.” The Lord knew Paul’s heart and was willing to do whatever He must to save him. It is, again, the same with every real Christian, each one a former sinner, some to very high degrees. The Lord must put much effort into saving us, even by suffering the worst torture and death ever suffered.

These are the ends the Lord Jesus will go to in order to save those whom He knows will love Him fully after their deliverance. He knows who they are. There are others in the world who don’t have quite the same attitude. The Lord knew Paul was already all in before salvation and would be all in afterwards. What to do with those people who are simply too apathetic or uncaring? Can their lack of full focus be redirected? Is there enough there?

As in the case of the rich young ruler (see Luke 18:18-27) who ardently sought out the Lord and felt extremely blessed to actually talk to Him and get a personal word, he proved to not have what it took though it looked like he may have and may have even thought he did. He had apparently done everything right since his youth. He had kept the Law, at least externally. He seemed to have a good heart. But the Lord proved that the young man was bound by money and loved the security of money above his love of God and security in God.

And keep in mind, the Lord never told the young man to come join His movement and thereby donate his family wealth to His group. He told the man to first give his money to the poor.

This obviously proves the Lord didn’t want him because of his money or cultural prestige or what this man’s social standing could bring to His movement. Sound familiar? He wanted the young man to be set free, delivered from sin, and be blessed with salvation. He also knew the man would have to be broken from his love of and trust in wealth. But it was not to be. The Lord did His best but to no avail. One wonders if it was also this young man’s dependence on his family religion that kept him bound.

EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED

There is another passage of Scripture that speaks to this definite 100% all-in requirement of the Lord. He puts it within the context of religious belief and for our purposes here that means Christianity. The Lord paints a picture of formerly bad news sinners of the worst kind in juxtaposition with holier-than-thous missing the Kingdom. I can tell you based on past experience and reams of historical knowledge that if there is one thing outwardly religious people hate more than anything, especially the big boy higher ups, is anyone anywhere ever questioning them or not properly respecting them or their religious standing. (Don’t look at the man behind the curtain!) Imagine the apostle Paul if he never got saved and continued on for a few more decades in that dark condition and you’ll get the idea. Such people will stone you in a heartbeat. Whether the Lord said the following words to gig ‘em or just point out the plain truth, He sure did tick them off to the nth degree:

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32]

How is it that rank sinners are often located, loved, and directed by the Lord into salvation and His Kingdom before it may happen for the religiously or culturally indoctrinated? Or the upstanding outwardly and/or apparently righteous clergyites? What do the former rank sinners such as tax collectors and prostitutes have that these other people lack? What keeps many Christians from full dedication and commitment to the Lord Jesus?

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.” [John 10:7-9] [1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA (Part 1)

Prior to and during the American Revolution, there were three separate and distinct types of American Colonists. Each one comprised about one-third of the population.

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UNITED WE STAND?

America has never been the united country portrayed in standard narratives. It has always been a place of great division. Even in the very early days of the 1600s when American colonists were predominantly if not exclusively composed of the Anglo-Saxon British citizens of the same general culture of their compatriots back home, there remained political and religious differences, some quite diverse.

Remember, though false narratives still abound in America regarding our founding, including within the realm of early colonial history, and that such false narratives have exploded in content as of late, the original colonial settlers perfectly reflected the sharp divisions in England of that time. Nowhere were these divisions more profound than within religious belief and expression.

One can see this division by merely looking at the first two colonies established in America—the first in Virginia in 1607 and the second in Plymouth in 1620. The Virginia colony was founded by Anglicans, those who fully supported the English state church, an entity freshly created in the prior century. It was a mercantile colony. Plymouth, in what later became part of the Massachusetts colony, was founded by their direct opposite, English Separatists, who were fully opposed to the Anglicans and had gone through many years of persecution by government and ecclesiastical overlords. Plymouth Colony was founded principally for the cause of freedom and religious freedom in particular. In these two original colonies we can hear the echo of the Lord’s statement:

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Luke 16:13][1]

THE GREAT DIVIDE

At the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, one of the greatest and most necessary events in world history, the English monarchy also made a dramatic change by fully separating from the Roman Catholic Church. The level of gross corruption and arrogant authoritarianism within Catholicism had reached a point in which even European monarchies, no slouches when it came to tyranny, had gagged at the bit.

This always happens when tyrants push too far, as the Catholic religious tyrants of that time had done. It had obviously been building over a thousand years since the beginning of the Constantinian Church in the early 300s AD. This Roman emperor, Constantine I, his national traditional realm having lost to real Christianity, knew the only choice he had left was to make a bold move toward co-opting Christianity by creating his own empire-wide hybrid religious body. He knew he could never get rid of the Christians dispersed throughout the Roman Empire or ever force them to oppose the New Covenant and support Roman pagan beliefs which included emperor worship. Many emperors had certainly tried.

The latest and last gasp of bloody persecution directed against Christians was orchestrated by Diocletian and his gang of four in the early fourth century (303-313). Christians were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered here and there throughout the Empire. Afterwards, having failed miserably to make an impact in furtherance of their tyrannical cause, those in power knew the gig was up. They discovered what previous Christian enemies had learned, that persecution not only didn’t work, it strengthened Christian character and unity and made them even more fruitful than before. Persecution also created a level of sympathy among some in the general population. Hence, Christians had essentially taken root. They were everywhere, spread all over the empire, and to wipe them out would be wiping out the Empire itself. These people proved by their great witness that they were dedicated to the Lord Jesus first and always and would never conform to anti-Christian governmental and cultural norms.

In fact, Christians had actually preserved the Roman Empire as it increasing grew more disgustingly corrupt and morally bankrupt. If not for the great numbers of loving Spirit-filled Christians obeying and putting into practice the bountiful and beneficial teachings of their Savior and the vast successful evangelistic efforts made for almost three centuries in blessing millions with the Light of the Gospel, the Roman Empire would have ceased to exist long before it actually did. These people were truly salt and light. However, rather than recognize the wrongheadedness and governmental futility involved in a corrupt military dictatorship and instead attempting to institute a government composed of principles of freedom in which people may live according to their conscience without being forced into various forms of slavery, including religious slavery, those in control refused to stand down and continued beating a dead horse as it were. It was all about control and insuring that those in power maintained it and kept the wealth flowing in their direction.

In this political maelstrom Constantine saw a golden opportunity to create a government model which appeared new but was actually only a hybridized form of the same former tyranny. Again, knowing he could not defeat Christianity, he decided to co-opt it. He would create a new “Church” and then make it the only legal church. He would make all other “churches” and Christian expressions illegal or “illicit.” And of course, he would rule as a religious dictator. It was indeed a brilliant move though diabolical to the core. He was likely never a real Christian and never cared for the actual application of the Lord’s full teachings. In fact, he wanted a low common denominator Christianity in order to bring all Christians on board and congeal them into a forced controlled mass union.

In essence, as King Henry VIII had done after his nation’s divorce from Catholicism so he could gain a personal divorce and become the Six Wives Legend and create a new state English Church (the Anglican Church), Constantine also created a state Church. He would require all citizens of the Empire to join it whether against their will or not. Thus, the new Constantinian Church would force conversion to his new hybrid miscreation. All citizens of the Empire were forced to become “Christians.” They would be forced to engage and participate in the new “Christian” mandatory practices and dogma designed to create a common governmental and religious belief system which had the implausible goal of creating national Roman unity. Rather than a military dictatorship to force compliance in which emperors must be worshipped as gods, Constantine would rule by force from the top of a religious ziggurat, as the ancient Sumerians, and maintain the thinly disguised emperor worship aspect thereof invoking new gods characterized after Roman deities and a central triad. He would rule through his chosen religious prelates which comprised the first “Christian” hierarchy. These surrogate ecclesiastics and policy dictators in the guise of Christian leaders were basically channeling the old Jewish Pharisees of the first century.

Consequently, official religious freedom in the Roman Empire was essentially dead. No one was allowed to practice their religion legally according to conscience. This was especially true of real Christians. And just as any number of pagan religions would eventually be outlawed, including those which were held in high esteem by the Romans such as Mithraism, real Christianity would also be outlawed. This was the devil’s masterstroke. By creating a replacement Christian religion and forcing everyone by government decree under penalty of law to join it and practice it, he knew the real Christians would never submit. In this way, the enemy could then single them out and direct the greatest persecution effort against them with the full weight of the Roman Empire to back him. In time, the “new” Christians, the backstabbing traditores, would cold shoulder the dissenting real Christians. In a massive turn of events showcasing the devil’s dirty tricks and methods, the “new” Christians, those who fully sold out and conformed to Constantine’s “Church,” would become the chief persecutors of the Lord’s people just as the unbelieving Israelites were the chief persecutors of the believing Israelites in the first century AD.

ORIGINS OF ROMAN TYRANNY

Almost four centuries before this time, in 44BC, it was a big gamble that a government faction of Senators et al murdered Julius Caesar in cold blood in the Senate chamber for fear that his power had grown too great. The perpetrators wanted to make a statement, doing the dirty deed in the light of day in an open forum. That they did. The Roman Republic had formerly granted Julius Caesar his excessive power and he was not necessarily taking advantage of it but merely ruling from the platform he was allowed. Some were fearful he had gone too far or would. Their fears were not disingenuous. The actions of the assassins, however, were a corrective that need not have been made if the government had not previously made Julius Caesar possible. Perhaps the tyrant faction that supported him was answered by a faux freedom faction opposing him, the reported gang of sixty that assassinated him. Perhaps the greatness of the existing Roman Republic and freedom thereof was seen as ending too soon for the comfort of some who saw the writing on the wall sooner than others. Ironically, of course, the death of Julius Caesar had the opposite effect intended by his killers, in that rather than greater freedom it precipitated the end of the Republic and the beginning of a tornadic period of civil war that would later result in the Roman Empire ruled by dictatorial emperors with much greater power than Julius ever had.

And so it was with Constantine centuries later. Seeing the inevitable crumbling of empire soon coming, even after great reforms had recently been made to shore it up (knowing these would not last) and the inability of Roman emperors to effectively rule as before and contain the freedom brought about by the Lord’s Kingdom, he moved on replacing the Lord’s Kingdom with his own kingdom. He created an earthbound religious empire. And sadly, he also moved on replacing the Lord Jesus, making himself the effective first Vicar of Christ (substitute).

What is much sadder, tragic actually, is that so many Christians of one kind or another, evoking Judas, supported his illicit endeavor and disguised tyranny. They were obviously overcome by fear as were all dwellers in the Empire suddenly saddled with compulsory conversion. These low or no oil Christians accepted the unprecedented overarching government mandate without a fight, never questioning the process. Rather than stand up against an otherwise obvious power play by the new potentate and his hierarchical henchmen, they weakly surrendered to a new king, a dictatorial government tyrant, a faux King Saul who quickly morphed into an apostate Solomon.

They betrayed their Savior.

Sound familiar?

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF: THE UNRECOGNIZED MILLIONS OF GOOD PEOPLE IN AMERICA

You don’t know they exist. Most don’t know you exist. They go about their lives quietly and unselfishly, determined to do their best and be kind to others. It has its own reward.

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THE GOLDEN RULE

You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” [Leviticus 19:17-18]

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 22:35-40]

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 7:12]

Whether they actually know it or not, or try to, the good people in America instinctively obey the Golden Rule. They just do it. They generally don’t let something else come into their life and interfere with their natural behavior. They reject false narratives and pejoratives that may cause them to become something they are not, or act inappropriately, or disparage people they don’t know personally, or give in to hate. They know the best they can do is simply be what they are in the sense of doing well for their fellow human beings. It is not a religious thing whatsoever. They do not think, “Oh, I must obey the Golden Rule today.” They might pray and ask for help in doing this to a better or to the best degree but when out among the community, they just act naturally.

And that’s the key. It is what I think the Lord Jesus appreciates most about these people. And please understand, I am not saying these people are perfect. Nobody is. We all prove our humanity from time to time even when we try our best not to. What I am saying here is that some people don’t need to be prompted to act right or do right but just do it at the time when life presents itself before them.

A COOL STORY (AND ANOTHER)

Several years ago I had to assist in taking care of my mother’s house after she passed away. We had to get it prepared for sale. Her belongings were either donated to charity or divided up among her children with each on board working together and behaving perfectly through the process, a rare thing among families. She had still lived in the city we grew up in. I had moved out of town in my twenties. I discovered that good people were still everywhere there at that time, simply going about their business, most not causing any trouble, like in many places. The city had changed quite a bit outwardly, becoming even larger. The demographics had also changed.

Early one morning I was going to a grocery store to get a few things. I knew no one in the neighborhood. I parked my car and was heading toward the main entry at the front of the store. As an aside, I have been drinking only purified water for over thirty years after discovering the poisons that lurk in tap water. This store had one of those water purifying vending machines just outside the main doors along with other vending machines. Along with an empty water jug, I was carrying with me a little component from my car, a small cup with a spring lid that fits in a round car tray behind a small door in the dash. I would keep my change in it.

So I’m walking. Right when I entered the main traffic area in front of the store which separates the parking lot from the store entrance, it happened. It was one of those things that makes a person feel a tad embarrassed but later proved to be a veritable godsend. Right there where all the cars drive by and many people cross, right in the middle of that high traffic area, I dropped my coin container. It hit the pavement, the lid opened up, and loose change went flying everywhere. There, all over the asphalt in a widening circle were my quarters and nickels and dimes making their acquaintance with the dirty street and coming to rest as either heads or tails though I briefly, for a split second, could not make heads or tails of the situation.

Then I immediately got down and went to work quickly gathering them up, not so concerned about my money but about getting it done as fast as I could so as not to further inconvenience anyone, especially the people in cars who would have to wait until the perpetrator of this miscue gathered up his coinage and made haste to clear the way. Then, while I was down there engaged in tunnel vision carrying on in my hurried solitary pursuit with the eyes of the world upon me from all sides on a stage not at all of my choosing, the most amazing thing happened. Other people who were also walking to and fro started helping me. They started picking up coins and putting them in the little coin cup or handing them to me, all without saying a word. One young mother with two or three kids in tow had stopped and was doing this. I distinctly remember one little girl, her daughter, of maybe four years of age. She immediately took a few steps to the side, picked up a stray coin a few feet away, and returned it to me. She looked at me with not so much of a smile but with a pleased look on her young face, as though she knew she was doing something good to help the poor man. As I think about it, and knowing how powerful memory-making can be when we’re young and impressionable, she may still remember this event.

Then a guy came walking in from the parking lot talking on his cell phone. He was in the midst of a kinda sorta animated phone conversation as he was walking and when he came into the area he simply bent over and started picking up a few coins and giving them to me while still carrying on his conversation. He never even looked at me or missed a beat. He just did this all in stride like he did it all the time. I’m sure the people waiting in their cars to drive through were also quite patient with the proceedings. Maybe they enjoyed what they saw. Maybe, as spectators, they were blessed by the proceedings. I was still scrambling to get it all done and was somewhat surprised that so many were helping and that they thought nothing of it. Not one single person tried to take anything. They all helped me until it was quickly done and I had all my coins back ready to feed a few into a machine for some water. Is there a parable here? I thanked them but I don’t remember anyone saying a word. There could have been a language barrier with some. They just acted. They had this goodness in them. Nobody told them what to do. They just did it. Without even acknowledging what they were doing or thinking about it each of these people had perfectly obeyed the Golden Rule.

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts… [Romans 2:14-15]

There was another time after this, several days later, when I was at that same location to buy a few groceries and also get some more water, when a similar event happened but had much more important ramifications. I was in the exact place walking through the parking lot close to the entry and stopped to get a shopping cart. There was a rack of them in the lot on the left before one crossed the main traffic area in front of the store, right where the former coin spillage had occurred. As I reached to get the first cart and separate it from the rest, right there on the tray-like depression at the top of the cart by the handle was a ladies beige leather wallet. I immediately thought of the unfortunate person who mistakenly left it there and how worried she must be. I took the wallet and went directly to the entry and found a store employee that happened to be there and told him about it. I asked him about a lost and found. He said yes, they had one. I told him the story. I gave the wallet to him and he went directly into the store right away and turned it in.  

Then, while filling up my jug with water just outside the store by the entry, a young woman came walking up from the parking lot. I must have been the only one there at the time. She came right over to me, a very concerned look on her face, and asked if I happened to know about a beige wallet she just lost. Can you imagine this? Can you imagine how the Lord does His best to put the right people in the right place every day everywhere all over the world so we can help each other out? I immediately told her that yes, I found it. I found your wallet. I told her I had just given it to a store employee who turned it in to the store lost and found. She thanked me and hurriedly went into the store, still bearing a very concerned look on her face. A few minutes later she came back out with her beige leather wallet in hand, much relieved, and thanked me heartily. She began reaching into her wallet, wanting to give me a reward. I politely refused and told her I was glad to help. Then she dropped a MOAB. She told me she had just cashed her paycheck before she lost her wallet and that her newly recovered beige leather wallet was filled with cash which she needed to pay bills that day.

Now, please understand, I am not relaying this story in an attempt to bring glory to myself. This is something you would have done exactly the same as I did. It is something any of the millions of good people in America would have done and do on a daily basis. I am certainly thankful for her that I was one of the ones who found it that would have turned it in. I am glad I was there for her. There are other people out there that would have ripped her off in a heartbeat and not thought twice about it or have any remorse afterwards.

Granted, this second story has much more impact than the first story about the goof who scatters his spare change all over the pavement in the most absolutely conspicuous of places. But on second thought, maybe God planned it that way. Maybe it wasn’t purely an accident. Maybe I wasn’t a goof at all but one who obeyed God. Maybe that container full of coins was supposed to fall down and empty its contents all over Creation like that. It sure did make for a great memory and also blessed others with an opportunity to display their natural goodness and unthinking adherence to the Golden Rule. It obviously blessed my socks right off. I will never forget those wonderful people.

Maybe the apparent miscue was actually an answer to prayer. I don’t know about you, but I do pray every morning, the very first thing, on my face, that the Lord would order my steps for the day, along with other short prayers. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. This is the prayer:

“Father, I ask that you would order my steps today and line everything up the way you want it to go. I ask for your great powerful anointing and strength and your great physical anointing and stamina that I can do your will. Thank you Father. Amen.”  

On some days it appears as though I never prayed this prayer, based on the not so great events of those particular days. Sometimes I wonder if the prayer does any good at all. We must remind ourselves, however, that the vast majority of days are not about conquering the world but about engaging in the greatness of what many good days strung together consistently will bring into one’s life over the long haul and the beneficial impact it will have on others.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed 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 12:1-2]

Imagine a society in which everyone obeys the Golden Rule on a daily basis. Though we are all human and subject to being humans and doing human things, as we get better at obeying the Lord and becoming a better reflection of Him we will also get better for one another. When one is having a hard time another will pick him up. When one is blessed she will be able to bless another not as fortunate. Some people are so hurting it will take a while to get them well again. The better we get as people the more we will be able to help each other.

This is what the real Community of the Lord Jesus is like. It is about regular people who joined His Kingdom and pledged themselves to do His will and become better people with an eye for helping others so everyone can be blessed instead of just a few.

Remember, the more people there are doing the work of God the less the burden there is on each one.

And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,

‘Make ready the way of the Lord,

Make His paths straight.

‘Every ravine will be filled,

And every mountain and hill will be brought low;

The crooked will become straight,

And the rough roads smooth;

And all flesh will see the salvation of God.’” [Luke 3:3-6] [1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

HAPPY ELEVENTH BIRTHDAY REAL CHRISTIANITY

 

It has been a privilege and blessing to do this work here over the last eleven years. I am thankful to the Lord. With your help I look forward to year twelve…

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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 5:41-42]

As Christians, suffering is often a difficult concept to grasp. It is hard to make sense of in light of the fact that the Lord said He came that we may “have life abundantly.” Abundant life and suffering don’t seem to go together. These two appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. How can such opposites have fellowship? The Scriptures are clear, however, that real Christians are also called to share in His sufferings.

I’ve written about 750 posts in my time here at WordPress. Most of these are teaching posts of two to four pages. I have also written many longer articles, however, which means my total count here is probably approaching three thousand pages. That’s approximately ten to fifteen books.

Please excuse me for personal reference but I think we need times of such accounting. These annual birthday posts are one of two times during the year when I allow a tad more personal reference in order to give you, my dear readers, a better understanding of who I am and what the Lord has called me to do. In that light, we should all be glad that His standards of judgment are not those of the world.

The world, and yes, even the Christian world, judges ministers on their success, how big their church or ministry is, whether or not they’re on television, and whether or not they have millions of people, millions of dollars, and many church higher-ups backing them. I am not saying that all of such people have drifted off and do believe that some of them are where they are supposed to be, but I am saying that the standard of what a real minister of the Gospel is was established in the very beginning and that it is FAR different from modern standards.

Of course, though most Christians and most ministers thoroughly reject it, the greatest and only standard is that of our Lord Jesus. Prior to official ministry He worked tirelessly and obscurely preparing for it. He also worked for most of His life to that point as a builder. Though the Scriptures refer to Him as a carpenter, the meaning of the term extended beyond what one may think a carpenter was in those days. He was actually involved in larger construction projects though to what degree we do not know. Suffice it to say that He learned His craft from His stepfather Joseph and served him honorably while growing up. There is no doubt the Lord had great success as a builder though such success is relative. At some point Joseph passed away and the Lord had to take responsibility for His mother and siblings. He also had to prepare for future ministry which included earning enough money to finance it. He would have to earn enough not only for Himself, which amounted to next to nothing, but mainly to take care of His twelve and their families. This measure of a minister of the Gospel is therefore, truly, pretty much the opposite of Christian ministers in general, who are more concerned with their own bottom line rather than that of their congregants.

During His ministry, the Lord Jesus, a Man accustomed to having much more, one whom the apostle Paul said was rich and became poor, pared Himself down to the use of only the barest of the bare essentials. He had no house. He had pretty much no possessions whatsoever other than the clothes on His back. This was the model He set. He taught this model to His men. He taught them to travel light. Therefore, the idea that He would involve Himself with something so spurious and foreign as building “church buildings” and doing His best to look like a Pharisee is ludicrous.

It was the Pharisees and those like them who were obsessed with religious externals. They had to have their synagogues and their high places therein, their own equivalent of platform thrones, from which they could rule and make sure everyone knew who was in charge. They also loved their extravagant clerical costumes and their highbrow religious attitudes that would gag a maggot. The Pharisees were also lovers of money (as were the Sadducees, Scribes, etc.). Their religion was entirely external. The Lord, on the other hand, had no need of such ridiculous externals. His was a spiritual ministry. He was a spiritual King of a spiritual Kingdom. From without, He had nothing by which to command respect according to sinful religious standards. This is obviously why the religious leaders had no respect for Him and why they treated Him with such contempt.

It was the same for the twelve apostles. It was the same for all the Lord’s disciples. It was the same for all of His true followers. And it is the same for all real Christians ever since.

SPEAKING OF EXTERNALS…

Over the last several years church buildings in America have been closing at an alarming rate. Until a person takes a look at this phenomenon he is completely unaware of it and doesn’t understand either side of the issue. A great church-building campaign was implemented throughout the last century. Protestant churches of all major denominations engaged in the practice once they had the money to spend, and they obviously had gained a lot. The Roman Catholic Church had always been flush with cash and power, so building church buildings everywhere was relatively easy for them also. However, what goes up must come down. That many of these church buildings no longer exist or have been sold and transferred into something else is yet another sign of the times. Sadly, for the most part, much of the money that these religious leaders possessed and had access to was used improperly. THE MONEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SPENT ON PEOPLE.

This is what the Lord did. Unlike the grifting Christian religious leaders who refuse the Lord’s example and appropriate that of the Pharisees who have no problem asking for and demanding money all day long because they are worth it though “their people” are obviously not, the Lord worked very hard in His early life earning the money He would need for ministry and for supporting His ministers. He never called them forth from their life’s work at earning money for their families, whatever their trade may be, such as fisherman, without also providing for them. Imagine all those guys just dropping their nets and following a poor preacher all of the sudden and leaving their families in the lurch. This is apparently what most Christians must believe.

In reality then, one can see that the object of highest value in the Lord’s eyes was never external religious stuff but PEOPLE. The Lord Jesus loves PEOPLE. The Lord Jesus died for PEOPLE. He lives for PEOPLE. He rose again from the dead so that PEOPLE dead in sin can be saved and also rise again. His entire focus was always on PEOPLE. And He loves every single PERSON exactly the same because one cannot exceed the fullness of one’s heart and the Lord always gives His full heart to “whosoever will.”

Thus, practical externals are okay if necessary but are always far down the priority list. Regarding places to meet, why build external “church houses” when so many homes are available for use? How many times do we see the Lord using someone’s home, such as Peter’s, as not only a place to stay but a place to meet? The Book of Acts, early on, reports that they went “house to house.” And how many times do we see this standard throughout the epistles? There was always someone’s home here and there used as a meeting place. The houses of the early Christians thus served a dual purpose. They were following the Lord’s example.    

As we continue on we will see more and more church buildings shuttered forever, especially after so much of American Christianity bought into the scam of the last two years and began worshiping “remotely.” One wonders what happened to these people. The bigger question, however, is how American Christians in general also bought into the hate toward those Christians who refused to engage in the false narrative. This is obviously a terrible development but what is done is now done. There is no going back. It was a big test and many if not most American Christians failed it.

ON THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION

Over the last eleven years I have done my best to warn you and keep you informed. I have always worked very hard at gaining information and truth because it is what I do. It is my calling. The Lord anointed me for this. I mostly get rejection, however, which is roughly par for the course. And I often prefer a parabolic approach. I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence. (The Lord used parables for a reason. They force people to think and become engaged.) However, Americans, and people in general, who refuse to consider the Lord’s gracious offer to become real Christians, usually do not make this decision based on what but on will. In other words, most people know the Lord Jesus is someone very special and have little or nothing against Him. With just a little introductory witnessing people quickly understand what is what. Their problem is thus not one of facts and truth but one of will, in that if they acknowledge the truth about the Lord they know they will have to submit to Him and quit their free-to-sin lifestyle. They don’t want to do this. Carrying a cross is no fun. They would rather keep their independence from God so they can maintain their authority to live in whatever way they choose. They are therefore forced to reject truth which forces them to cast aspersions upon the Lord’s Truth in order to be comfortable in the unworkable place they have chosen.

It is interesting that many Christians have the same attitude. In their case, New Testament facts do not matter. If New Testament facts clash with the doctrines of their denomination most will always choose the false or incomplete doctrines of their denomination. It is a religious thing. It is a cultural thing. It is a social thing. It is a lowest possible common denominator thing. Rather than choose the Lord’s full Truth and likely lose fellowship and social standing (and money and power and prestige and honor and self-congratulatory plaques on the wall and trophies in one’s case) they would rather keep on keeping on and keep the Lord and His hardcore Christianity at a distance. They would rather not be confused by facts. Again, especially in these days when so much truth and information is available, it is not because disobedient Christians do not know it but because they don’t want it. So they gather among other Christians like themselves and support one another in their disobedience. It gives them a warm glow or something and makes the conviction go away.

Tradition is a hard taskmaster to break free from.

Speaking of houses, did you know vast swaths of housing in America are being bought up at this very moment? Did you know that entities worth trillions of dollars are buying entire neighborhoods and plan to continue until they own as much housing as possible? And that they are buying houses above market rates to insure that owners will sell? And that they plan to turn all of these into rental properties and raise the rents astronomically? Money is not a problem for them. All they have to do is keep raising the sale price until the sellers sell.

Did you also know that the American homeless problem is growing by leaps and bounds? Did you know that renters are being priced out by being presented with massive rent increases they simply cannot afford? And that these responsible hard-working Americans can now not afford to live anywhere in their areas because the cost of housing has risen so dramatically? It is one thing to be homeless because one may be lazy or has given up or is mentally unstable or is addicted to drugs or alcohol. There has always been a percentage of the populace that fits this category. But many homeless people as of late are homeless because their salaries no longer allow them an affordable place to stay. Many of these continue working their jobs while living in their car or on the street. This is an entirely new phenomenon. And it is beginning to explode.

Did you also know there is war against your food? That bad actors are buying up all the farm land? That a great many food processing plants are mysteriously being destroyed all across the country? That multiple millions of chickens, etc. are being willfully destroyed because of possible bird flu? In other words, in order to protect the people we must starve them. Famine is thus coming to America as is increasing poverty. Destruction is upon us and most people are not even aware of it. I humbly suggest you do your own research to confirm this. You will then see.

We must also work harder at researching Scripture. The Lord rebuked the Pharisees in part because they knew the Scriptures but refused any understanding of Him as the Messiah. To do so would put too much pressure on them to change and get right with God. For them there was simply too much to lose. Our attitude toward Scripture thus reveals the condition of our heart.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” [John 5:39-44][1]

The Lord said the Scriptures tell all about Him. But how many “Christians” are willing to do the simple work of reading and studying the Scriptures, especially the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, to get to know Him better and pattern their lives according to His will? If we want to know Him and know about Him, this is how to do it. Of course, the Lord was talking about the Old Testament in the preceding. We have so much more! A great way to get to know the Living Word is by reading the written Word. Those who do are much better prepared for any eventuality including that of the present.

At the end of the day we were all properly warned. Many Christians have been warning for a long time. It is mostly a failing cause which reminds one of Jeremiah’s work. Next to no one heeded his warnings or considered his teachings. Most of the Lord’s own people even rejected all of His warnings when only a very short time was left to repent. Most refused. Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple were destroyed forever. Is this America’s fate? Unless something dramatic happens very soon it certainly is to whatever degree. As of now it appears that no one is doing anything to rebuke the devourer. The Devourer is running roughshod over the country and Christians are still doing and believing what they always have which is exactly how we arrived at the present. Unless one is doing what the Lord requires, the same old same old will no longer work. It is not working and hasn’t been for a while now. Also, the spiritual void created by the fake Christians is now being filled up by the fakest of fake ministers and most are none the wiser. It is all happening right before us. For many it is hidden in plain sight. American Christianity has largely been taken over by imposters.

SOMETHING MUST CHANGE. CHRISTIANS MUST DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA MUST INCREASE THEIR SPIRITUAL PRESENCE AND ABILITIES HIGH ENOUGH AND STRONG ENOUGH AND POWERFUL ENOUGH TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. CHRISTIANS MUST START STANDING UP AGAINST ALL THE DECEPTIVE COUNTERFEIT GARBAGE.

The tide of this greatest spiritual war in this country must be turned. I believe it will be. But it also looks like it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Maybe this is the only way to make Christians wake up. Maybe they cannot be properly motivated while relatively free and financially comfortable and must be enslaved and suffer great lack before they get the big idea. (Experience is the best teacher.) When they do the Lord Jesus will be there to meet them.

MY WORK

I have written more new material and longer articles this year than in any previous year. I remain very thankful for those of you who read and follow. Words cannot express how much I appreciate it. But it’s not about me, of course, but the material. If you want to further support my work, say a prayer. There are many things I need to accomplish. Your prayers may help move some mountains. I continue to do what I can to direct people to the Lord’s pure teachings. When we apply them correctly we no longer support lesser teachings and false interpretations of His Word, maintain false ideas and formats, or focus on religious externals. Real Christianity is about the heart. The Lord knows your heart. He knows everything about you. This would normally cause a person to simply give up and surrender to Him knowing he or she cannot hide. But again, it is not about what but will. One must engage one’s will in the process. One must surrender one’s will to Him. Whoever does gains the greatest benefit which is a close relationship with the Lord and secondly, is blessed with specific fulfilling spiritual work to further His Kingdom.

Remember, the last member of the human body to surrender to the Lord Jesus is the tongue. When this most rebellious member fully submits the Holy Spirit enters and heavenly speech pours forth. This is the clear record in Acts. It is the same when we surrender our will. His will then becomes dominant in our lives and everything begins to change for the better. We must know He loves us with all His heart and will bless us with abundant life if only we allow Him to do so. He is a benevolent God of mercy and compassion. It is very important in this regard that we embrace His full curriculum. This process will drive out any false or incomplete teachings resident in our minds which means such things will no longer be a burden or a drag on our spiritual lives. His Truth also puts an end to confusion and cognitive dissonance.

WHAT ABOUT AMERICA?

I have been telling you for eleven years now through this medium that a national Great Awakening is upon us. I got the word from the Lord in late August of 2010, going on twelve years ago, that we were in the early stages at that time. The term Great Awakening was not at all in use then. Roughly five to seven years went by as I continued to labor in obscurity before the term then burst upon the scene in America. Now, probably half the country is well aware of the term Great Awakening. Millions know what it means. Millions are seeing the light and gaining more truth daily at an exponential rate. The Lord is seeing to this. HE IS EXPOSING EVIL LIKE NEVER BEFORE. But the perpetrators are still getting off scot free. Facts no longer matter. It reveals who is in control at that level. But the Lord’s Light will keep shining. Sin will continue being revealed. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this juggernaut let loose by the Lord. The devil wanted to amp it up and the Lord essentially said, “Fine. Now watch what I can do.” Whenever the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will have the last word if we submit to Him and allow Him and will bring an answering flood of goodness and abundant life for His people. The Lord always takes care of His people but this works best when we fully cooperate.

Therefore, regarding the country, all nations and empires eventually come to an end. The only entity existing in the world at present that will never come to an end is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. This Kingdom has existed on this planet since the first century AD. It was designed to continue growing and expanding until it fills the earth. It is constantly clashing with the temporary kingdoms of this world controlled by you know you. The Lord, however, said the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Currently, spiritual warfare in America is off the charts. It will be up to the relative few to continue fighting this battle. Most Christians are not engaging and will not engage. It is because most are not really Christians anyway. They have false conversions. They are Christians in name only. These are the people who comprise Unreal Christianity. They cannot fight their way out of a spiritual paper bag. It’s just the way it is.

OUR PRESENT

Though things look pretty bad and times are growing darker, and it appears as though all sin ever known to man is being freely exhibited all around us with no apparent remedy, and that those who are supposed to honor the rule of law and enforce the law are doing the opposite, always remember that the Lord Jesus is in charge. And even though He is not in effective charge in that He gave us free will and honors it and will never force anyone to do anything, He is in charge in that He can answer effectively at any time. It greatly helps Him when we pray properly and sincerely. I have the faith that He can do anything whenever He wants to. I have seen great miracles in my time and in my own life. We should all know what the Lord can do.

So be strong! Believe Him! Believe in Him! He keeps winning! The enemy has been throwing everything he has at us but keeps failing and thus continues resorting to different tactics. If the Lord’s relatively few people stay with Him the Lord will continue defeating anything the enemy might try. But again, we must put all of this in the context of the Lord’s invisible spiritual Kingdom. He puts all of His efforts into saving PEOPLE not things.

Outside of His Kingdom, everything in this world is temporary with an expiration date. We must occupy and be responsible but know our spiritual responsibility must be paramount.

Consider His perfect example. Consider the example of our Christian forebears in the first century. Study them. Read their accounts. Do what they did.

This is the answer.  

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

REAL REPENTANCE AND THE BLOOD COVENANT (AND ABEL AND CAIN)

In my last post I said repentance means to change one’s mind. That is the actual definition of the Greek root word metanoia. In our culture this means something far less…

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IT COST THE LORD JESUS EVERYTHING

It is the same for every real Christian. The Lord Jesus, the Man who is God manifest in the flesh and Immanuel—God with us—gave everything He had to purchase our salvation. He did everything He possibly could. He left nothing undone. At the end, right before He died on the cross, He said, “It is finished!” He absolutely completed His course and thereby made everything readily available regarding abundant life:

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. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” [John 10:7-15]

Yet, why is it and how is it that so many Christians, a likely majority, fail to recognize this? How did it come to pass that so many Christians seem to take the Lord’s suffering and death in stride? It appears as if most take His death for granted. It doesn’t register as it should. There is a disconnect from the reality of Calvary and the understanding of many believers: These people were apparently never told they must also give all, or were told to do so in some rudimentary sense that has no spiritual impact, or maybe they simply chose to never do their part in full so as to apply it. For these, it means the Blood Covenant has never actually gone into effect in their lives. For a replacement, something to assuage their conscience, they may have given mental assent to the covenant or merely acknowledged it without giving their heart.

REAL REPENTANCE

In my last post I said repentance means to change one’s mind. That is the actual definition of the Greek root word metanoia. In our culture this means something far less, as merely changing how we may think about something in particular. If we take the word literally, however, which is how it was presented in Scripture, it means to change one’s mind in total—to transform it. This process must have a starting point, of course, and is something in general generated from without. This is because one most often cannot convict himself of sin. One’s conscience can convict which may result in changing certain behaviors, but after years of such conviction the work of one’s conscience is usually only acknowledged without the person doing anything substantial to change overall behavior.

When the Word of God is properly applied, however, there is a much different scenario. The Word of God, especially when delivered by an anointed minister of the Gospel, flashes like a bright laser light show within one’s mind and exposes everything in it and puts it on full display so the person can actually see what is resident there the way God does. It’s like living for years in a very dark house with heavy dark drapes and next to no interior light while wearing dark sunglasses and never doing any cleaning and simply losing track of actual conditions and everything resident there and not being aware of just how bad it has become and then suddenly have the brightest LIGHTS on the planet shining full bore in every room at the same instant. Yikes. This can be quite unnerving (understatement alert) and quite motivating. After the initial shock. Any sane person would want to immediately start a floor to ceiling whole house deep clean and not stop until everything was spic and span.

Such cleaning is accomplished through the application of the Blood of Jesus.

This is what the Word of God means by repentance. It involves commitment. It demands a real changing of one’s mind and a complete change of heart as well.       

THE BLOOD COVENANT

For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. [Hebrews 9:17-22]

Therefore, if one is to answer one’s half in the Blood Covenant he or she must also shed blood as the Lord did. This is not literal, of course, but real repentance does invoke the Old Testament Tabernacle Bronze Altar where the animals were sacrificed. Repentance essentially also means throwing oneself upon the altar of sacrifice and destroying the old life in order to save the new life. It is the end of the old mind, the mind containing the stain of sin, rebellion, and disobedience to God. It is the beginning of the new mind, the changed mind. John the Immerser said:

“Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance…” [Luke 3:8][1]

Real repentance is the initial act causing spiritual fruit to grow where it never grew before. The changed mind born of repentance and given to God, devoid of sin, is fertile ground for good fruit. The good fruit proves real repentance. It is the first step of the Blood Covenant. It proves one has laid down his life as the Lord did His. This good fruit is spiritual fruit and not mere works of the flesh disguised thereof. For illustration, Adam and Eve’s son Abel had properly repented and continued on to become mature in the Lord. He offered the correct sacrifices that God required. Cain, on the other hand, never repented and merely offered fruit from the ground which was indicative of the works of the flesh. Many Christians perform such “good deeds” as Cain did but do not please God. Abel understood what God required.

I wrote the following in my book Real Christianity:

To start with, there was a guy named Abel. He refused to do anything which didn’t show absolute respect for God. Because of his pure stand on this central issue of life, his brother killed him in a jealous rage. Abel was not like his mom and dad, and he was certainly not like his brother. He was thus the minority. His brother killed him because he couldn’t stomach the fact that Abel was blessed by God due to his righteousness which came as a direct result of obedience. Many Christians “kill” their brothers today for the same reason. Their sacrifice to God is not acceptable by God because their Christian service is not done in obedience to God but in obedience to man. Modern day Abels, therefore, are hated by the religious Cains who are envious of their brothers’ walks with God.

Abel was going to do the will of God even if it cost him his physical life. Contrary to prevailing popular opinion expressed through the worldly attitude of Cain, Abel understood that God required a pure sacrifice—a sacrifice represented by the ultimate in giving, with no strings attached. Cain, on the other hand, merely offered the fruit of a cursed earth.

In spiritual terms, Abel gave of his spirit, while Cain gave of his flesh. In order to relate this to the present, we must see Abel as the very first type of Christ. We must also see the true followers of Christ as those who are set on doing His will regardless of the costs involved. Abel’s sacrifice, therefore, relates in the present sense to recognizing the sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, followed by the giving of ourselves—a sacrifice which must come before any other we might make and which must be complete. This is what real repentance is. If we understand this and apply it to ourselves, there is no need to make Abel prove his case. Instead, the burden of proof should fall squarely on Cain, an Old Testament type of the religious Christian whose alternative sacrifice has not been accepted by God. [2]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

[2] Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

ALL BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO REPENT

 

To repent means to change one’s mind. It means one must allow for new Truth to update one’s mindset. Unfortunately, this demands a commitment many cannot make.

.

Gonna change my way of thinking

Make myself a different set of rules

Gonna change my way of thinking

Make myself a different set of rules

Gonna put my good foot forward

And stop being influenced by fools

                                             Bob Dylan [1]

LAST DAYS ARCHETYPE

The Lord Jesus taught that real salvation demands radical change. He expressed a true turn or burn message. He actually stated this literally. He said His own nation would eventually burn due to its refusal to repent. He did everything He could to get this message across.

And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’” [Luke 23:27-30]

This prophecy points directly to the Sixth Seal of Revelation:

Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” [Revelation 6:15-17]

One might say the Lord failed in His warning. In reality, though He knew the nation was at an end and would cease to exist forever in forty years, and that it would actually involve destruction by fire, He never came to His people to save the nation itself. Why would He try to save a nation that was already destined for destruction? He certainly wanted His nation to be saved and preserved. Again, He did everything He possibly could to gain that outcome.

It must be remembered, however, that He had been fighting that battle of preservation for multiple centuries. He was the one who created the nation in the first place. It was His nation. It began with Abraham. He called out Abraham for this very purpose. He created the miracle child Isaac to exist as the first generation of His nation. Thus, the future nation of Israel was founded on a miracle. And there were untold miracles performed by God to preserve the nation throughout its long history. No one was more involved in creating, preserving, and blessing the nation of Israel than God. He loved Israel with all His heart.

Therefore, no one was more saddened by what ended up happening to His nation than the Lord. His heart was broken. You can see this in the words He spoke to those women lamenting Him. They were words drenched in pathos. He had done everything He could over the many centuries of its existence to keep what ended up happening from happening, but to no avail. He lost the battle. Ironically, those who won the battle against Him destroyed their nation. They destroyed His nation.

And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” [Luke 20:9-16]

And it was all because they refused to change their minds. They refused to allow for new Truth to update their mindset. They had already committed to a different mindset which they adhered to totally which left no room whatsoever for the introduction of anything else. Though absolutely nothing the Lord Jesus taught was ever refuted by His enemies according to the Law of Moses and objective truth, they rejected Him anyway. Why? Because their minds were made up. They were stubborn as mules. Not even the Lord could get through to them. They were obstinate, hard-headed, religious rednecks. At one point their off-the-scale close-mindedness caused the Lord to exclaim the following:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” [Matthew 23:29-33][2]

Even then the Lord was thinking of their souls and their eternal destination. Again, He knew they were lost and many were filled with the devil. He knew they were the religious leaders of the most wicked generation of Israel to date. And that is saying a lot in light of so many evil generations of the past. Their world class obstinacy was one thing, but something even greater was the abject weakness of all those who submitted to them. Almost everybody in Israel was scared to death of those guys. There was such rampant fear in the nation drummed up by its leaders, next to no one was willing to challenge them. They knew they would be destroyed if they did. They knew their evil leaders controlled pretty much everything and could make their lives a living hell. How did such an outcome ever transpire in a nation created by God? How could a nation founded on spiritual freedom devolve into such a hellhole? To save their nation, all the people had to do was turn to God and repent. All they had to do was change their sorry way of thinking and get right with God, and then God would have taken care of the rest.

BUT NO! This proved there was something more than simple fear of religious leaders going on. It proved the majority of people actually preferred being led around like a bunch of stupid morons by idiots in charge. Otherwise they would have to do what God required. And what God required was crucifixion of the flesh. He required an elimination of sin from their lives. He required that they quit engaging in sinful practices. He required a total clean up on Aisle One. He required a circumcision of the heart. And though the sins of the average Israelite was less than that of those who led them, they still preferred a life of sin (though often sins of omission) to making the necessary changes that God required.

INSISTENT INSINCERITY

Keep in mind most of these people went to church every week (synagogue). They did what they were told by the leaders thereof. They bought into the program. For many, however, they never actually gave their hearts to God. They only obeyed because they were required to do so. To do otherwise would put them on the outs in society. Doors would close. They would be looked down upon. They would no longer be welcome at the cool kids table. Their popularity would plummet. They would be cancelled. They would get stuck with a low social credit score. Yet as long as they continued to surrender to the religious leaders in charge and obey the main prerequisites they could otherwise sin to their hearts content. The main prerequisites were based on:

(1) We are in control here and you must surrender to our control. (2) What we teach is what you must believe. You are to have no other teachers or doctrines before you. You must have no independent religious or spiritual thought. What we say is what goes. If you don’t understand it you must believe it anyway. (3) In order to be in good standing you must make a full commitment and dedicate yourself fully to our program. If so, all will go well with you. (In other words, you will avert our wrath and the possible disfellowship which could break your back socially.)

The people of the nation thus discovered that as long as they paid the proper obeisance to the religious leaders they could be free to do what they wanted within the set parameters. Some freedom was better than no freedom. As long as they deferred to them, genuflected before them, and essentially kissed their ring then all would go well. Whether they saw themselves as religious sellouts is another issue. There were certainly some who were completely brainwashed and actually believed all the tripe presented to them. Maybe this was the majority. It probably was because over time the constant pontificating from those who dwelt on high would have had an effect. The total lack of any alternate viewpoints would also serve to cause most to become indoctrinated. The fact that no one could ever stand up to the idiots in charge would eventually remove the backbone of the nation and cause it to become docile and subservient toward them. Once the big boys were successful at eliminating any testosterone directed in their direction, the men of the nation were made impotent toward them. They thus couldn’t change their nation for the better if they wanted to.

All the ultimate testosterone and manliness was thus reserved only for the religious elite in charge. Only they were allowed to throw their weight around. Only they could do whatever they wanted and get away with it. The law didn’t apply to them. Only they had no accountability except to themselves which was a circle to nowhere. Sound familiar? And because they controlled the rage factor they could draw up a rage response among those they controlled at any time. Because the men were held in estrogen prison they were ever-burning to get out and allowed the opportunity to vent. Then, whenever they got the word from on high they could be easily directed to enter into instant rage response mode and attack whoever they were directed toward, which were always those with the audacity to question “the elders” and “our tradition” or (aghast!) whoever may preach or teach a different message.

The Lord Jesus had managed to subvert this demonic process much of the time because the people in general were overcome by His great love and compassion, and His willingness to do miracles in their midst to help them. He would heal blind eyes, eliminate their illnesses in a flash, bless them with everything their souls were longing for, forgive and remove their personal sin, assist the poor on a grand scale, and even raise their dead on occasion. He was a force! He was winning hearts and minds!

In the end, however, everyone realized they would also have to change their ways, repent, change their way of thinking, love their enemies, change their hearts, submit fully to God, change their minds, and stop engaging in dead religion.

It was simply too much. There would be way too much to change. Their entire lives would be affected. They would have to start over. It was just too much. It would require way too much faith and too much effort. It would be much easier to simply continue on as before. And that’s the choice they made. They declined the great spiritual power the Lord offered them to make changes for the better.

THE REMNANT

This was not the case for the Remnant. There were some, many untold tens of thousands of Israelites, who actually did obey the Lord Jesus. They recognized Him as their Messiah. They saw that He was the great I AM. They became aware of just who this Man was and the great privilege they were allowed to know Him, be with Him, and honor Him. This brought forth the very first Great Awakening! For forty years the Lord’s new born again Spirit-filled people continued to work toward the salvation of as many of the people of their nation as possible. Many were saved, taught, and made secure. Many developed and came to full spiritual maturation. It was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Israel in all its history, even though the good guys, those who believed in love and loving, were outnumbered and always had to face the incessant hateful wrath of the bad guys.

But the wrath, rage, and hate of the rebellious religious tyrants along with those under their control—the unrepentant majority of insincere, spiritually lazy, surrendered silent sellouts who chose to continue being influenced by fools—caused them all to be without the one thing they needed to save the country: None of them were saved. How could they therefore save the nation or anything else? Their lack of salvation and lack of saving ability left only one other outcome: Their national rebellion and sin content insured they be destined for destruction.

And it was all because they refused to repent.

They refused to change their way of thinking.

They refused to allow for new Truth to update their mindset.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Copyright © 1979 by Special Rider Music

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

TIME TRAVELER

 

After His resurrection He told Mary Magdalene He must travel “to the Father.” If He could do that He could travel anywhere. He could even travel back in time…

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He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind. [Psalms 104:3]

Many years ago I was doing my usual research. I had been delving into the Word of God for years up to that time. Directly after my born again experience when I was filled with the Spirit of God I had an insatiable hunger for the written Word. Though I knew well it is our duty as Christians to read and study the written Word it should not be forced labor. It should not have to be a chore. It was certainly not that way with me. I simply couldn’t get enough. My employment at the time entailed hard physical labor but I would often spend my entire lunch hour reading the Word. On days I didn’t fast I was still out in my car reading. It didn’t take me all that long, relatively speaking, to read through the entire Bible. There was also much study on various topics and paying more attention to certain passages.

In this process I was always coming across things that reminded me of interesting topics I had studied and books I read prior to salvation. In those years pretty much nothing in literature was off the table. One cannot restrict oneself in the search for truth. One must be open and even consider subjects the world at large may think are different or weird. I didn’t care. That never bothered me. Time travel was likely one of those subjects I looked into. What could be cooler than that?

There is so much associated with the doings of this world that most people know nothing about. The majority of people seems to spend their short lives running on treadmills to nowhere and extremely limiting their intake of knowledge and are perfectly satisfied with being told what to believe. Most are apparently not at all inquisitive nor do they consider learning on their own. This demands they must always be taught by others. Their level of knowledge is thus often limited to what they learn in school and directed additionally by whatever they learn passively from television or read in a newspaper. If they ever worked in television or for a newspaper they likely wouldn’t do that. They would see how “news” is received, packaged, and delivered. They would know there is always an ulterior agenda attached. The media people have to make money, you see, and they must use their product in such a way. They also “teach” through subtle manipulative practices. Today, much such news is pure for-profit propaganda. It’s not that it wasn’t that way in the not too distant past, but was not as bad as it is now.

I discovered when young that the more one read, from different sources and forms of literature and media, the more one would eventually know because everything one reads has bits of knowledge in it that lead elsewhere. One’s curiosity in piqued by something read in Book 1, which leads to checking out Book 2, which opens one up to seeking knowledge from Books 3-1000. It never ends. After a while one learns to disseminate knowledge properly, retain the real and reject the hokum.

When I first began reading the Bible as a young adult I likely had that same attitude. Yet, I found things that didn’t appear to add up. I would keep reading and then discover confirmation of something I read before which made it more plausible. I wasn’t doubting the Word but only trying to make it make sense to me. I was building consensus and forming the big picture. It is a process that takes much work and many years but becomes extremely satisfying over time. The Lord does not fear our little doubts or tests. It is all part of learning. We must have an attitude that we are in it for the long haul, however, or may succumb to deception and deem His Word unreliable or not worth our efforts.

One of the unique things I noticed in His Word that initially appeared otherworldly (and approaching science fiction) were the various Old Testament appearances made by God in the form of a human being. I thought that was a tad odd, but again, from my prior experience before salvation of letting my mind loose to wander in consideration of discovering whatever, knowing there is so much out there we don’t know (and knowing there is much we are not supposed to know), I figured, okay, God visits us (a few anyway). He has to appear to a few chosen ones on occasion in order to relate and communicate something important and specific. He is (I thought) great and powerful and way out in the Universe somewhere and also invisible, but is nice enough to take the time to come see us, though we are unworthy little human mud balls without a clue. He somehow becomes a human being (we are talking Old Testament here, long before the Lord Jesus came) and walks among us. He travels through space and time and then somehow changes from being invisible to visible and manifests as a human being.

He did this with Adam and Eve. And with Abraham and Sarah. And with Joshua. And with Moses. And others. There I was, a rookie Christian, reading the Word of God for essentially the first time with Spirit-filled eyes-to-see and ears-to-hear and it was as if I was back in my prior element under the influence of a hazy helper getting into all kinds of cool stuff, all based on historical literature and suppressed news of the time. But I was as clear-headed as possible and the Lord was showing me stuff. In my thinking at the time I considered it very cool stuff that I had no idea ever existed in the Bible. It was as if all the cool stuff I had studied before proved I was not necessarily that far off track and that God was now showing me stuff in His Holy Word that backed up my previous desires to know beyond what I was allowed to know. In other words, by what I was seeing in His Word, His Word would be considered “weird” according to the straight-laced close-minded attitudes of the overall culture at that time which strove at all costs to be perceived as so far down-to-earth that it may as well put brick ballast in its shoes.

I discovered later that these Old Testament appearances of God in human form had a name. They were called theophanies. And I thought, “Okay, this is really getting good.” Here I am an open-minded guy in search of truth and I am finding that the Bible contains the kind of weird stuff the world rejects as untouchable that I was used to researching before. Think about it. How many people actually believe in a Creator God? And how many of the relatively few who believe this also believe He could travel down here from heaven, whatever that may be, and manifest Himself as a human? And then actually meet with people and talk to them? If it wasn’t in the Bible Christians in general would think it was stupid. There’s probably a lot of Christians who would think it was stupid anyway if they were aware of it.

PUTTING TWO AND TWO TOGETHER

Maybe just a few years later I started thinking about these discoveries again and then applied them to the Lord Jesus. I thought along these lines:

After the resurrection, and after the Lord ascended to the Father and then returned during that forty day period He spent on earth before He ascended to heaven for good, He still had work to do. He still had more teaching and ministry to do among His chosen disciples. He had to make final preparations. But He also had an apparent habit of discarding the use of doors and walking through walls. Okay, now that’s weird. That’s bona fide weird. And the Lord didn’t seem to think too much of it. I guess, since He just raised Himself from the dead, that walking through walls was simply not that big a deal. From there, it didn’t take me long to start thinking of other possibilities of things He could do. He said before He left that He had all authority in both heaven and earth so I am fairly certain that means He could pretty much do anything he wanted.

It then came to me. He could time travel. Those theophanies of God back in the Old Testament were not necessarily God traveling from heaven to earth, they were the Lord Jesus traveling back in time from the first century AD. Think about it. God had always planned to become one of us. Before He ever began the Creation process He arranged for His eventual arrival. He was not human at that time, of course. Humans had yet to be created. The only way He could become a human, since He would limit Himself to enter this world the way everyone does, was to be the product of other humans. He would therefore have to create Adam, then Eve, and then be born as one of their progeny at a future date. That being the case, He would have to wait a long time to become a human. And then, in order to appear as a theophany in the past, He had to travel from the future…

Here is something else to consider: On the Mount of Transfiguration He met with Moses and Elijah. Now, I understand in the orthodox that these three men represented the Law, the Prophets, and the Living Word, or Grace. Moses was apparently long dead, of course, but he had his own private funeral which leaves room for speculation. Elijah, of course, according to the Old Testament account, apparently never died. And here they both were with the Lord up on the mountain. I’m thinking, well, if those two guys could travel from wherever they were and meet with the Lord in His time, then why couldn’t the Lord travel to meet with them in their time? While they were still living on earth? We know He did meet with Moses on Mount Sinai after the Exodus, though it is not generally characterized as Him but as “God.” But whoever it was, He had to have human form to some degree. (He certainly did have human form when He met with Abraham.)

So rather than God assuming human form many centuries before He actually became a human being, why didn’t He just wait to become a human and then travel back in time to meet with those people? Too farfetched? You think I’m being too weird? If so I will remind you that we Christians actually believe a Man came back from the dead. And not just any Man but God. This is easy to believe if we simply keep it in our minds as a concept and read it on paper. But consider the possibility of it happening right now with someone you may have known. Do you still think it is something that is easy to believe? Though we have many Biblical examples of people being raised from the dead, have you ever heard of this happening to anyone you know? What if the Lord sent you to pray for someone to be raised? What then? Therefore, I ask that you consider the strong possibility that what I am postulating here as merit.

Do you think the Man in the following account is the Lord Jesus?—

Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. [Joshua 5:13-15]

How about the account in Genesis when the Lord apparently appeared with Adam and Eve?

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. [Genesis 3:8][1]

Keep in mind that the phrase “in the cool of the day” actually means “in the wind (or breeze) of the day.” It sounds like the aforementioned quote from Psalms 104: He walks upon the wings of the wind…

In the account with Abraham, God is seen doing very human things much like the human things the Lord Jesus did in His time such as walking, talking, and eating a meal (See Genesis 18).

THEY SAY TIME IS A DIMENSION

Whatever time is, the Lord is not restricted by it, because He is not restricted by anything. Past, Present, and Future is a concept based on our perspective, not His. The ancient philosophers had their studied ideas on the nature of time as did Einstein and many modern scientists. Some say all time is one. Whatever the case, it should be obvious that we humans live in an extremely limited dimension in that our life experiences are based on mere sensory input for the most part. We can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Yet there are physical forms of life on this planet with senses that far exceed our own. There is much more out there than we are aware of simply because we do not possess the means to sense it or experience it. Our abilities are thus greatly limited. There is a vast amount we do not know or can perceive. The Lord Jesus, however, showed us what is possible by doing the impossible things He did. He had already done the impossible countless times during His ministry, even though He had limited Himself to human spiritual abilities, and even gave these spiritual abilities to His disciples. But after His resurrection He went beyond these. Walking through walls is not something most humans can generally do, for example. Such things are said to be theoretically possible, however, at least on a drawing board.

Keep in mind that scientific discoveries have increased exponentially almost from nothing over the last two centuries or so, especially during the last one. And if one trips back to the times of the ancients one would see that they had next to nothing compared to what we have today. They were still capable of great feats however, but were simply not in our class. What if such knowledge and discovery continues on its current track? What else is there to know? What else will we discover?

We can say the same about our understanding of real Christianity. There is far more there than most Christians are aware of. In fact, Christianity in general is often the virtual opposite when we trip back and consider the way they operated. Our forebears in the first century AD did things that we for the most part only dream about. The vast majority of Christians don’t even try to emulate them, apparently of a mind that what they accomplished was effectively impossible for us guys in the present. Their spiritual record is undoubtedly one that puts us to shame by comparison. Rather than be like them most Christians are either not aware of them or shun them. And sadly, Christians of the present often substitute worldly and material counterfeits as replacements for signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We must learn to follow their example, however, because what they did was in direct obedience to the Lord Jesus and they had massive success in the world.

We must learn to start walking through the walls of our limitations.

We must travel back in time.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

SPIRITUAL ASSASSINATION (AND A TIMELY RESURRECTION)

Just as in the case of the Lord Jesus who was marked for assassination by His enemies (who succeeded but failed), so is every dedicated real Christian likely marked.

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Some of these spiritual assassination attempts will succeed (we have Scriptural examples). The vast majority will not. But no matter. Physical death is not the end of the story. Every real Christian so marked is also marked for resurrection just as our Founder was marked. He was destined to die for a great purpose but was also destined to rise again not long after. In His case it happened on the third day after His death. (This also happened to be the third day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.) For the vast majority of real Christians, however, their resurrections will come much later. There will be a day in the future when all will rise again together. Old-timers referred to it as “that great gettin’ up mornin.’

I say “the vast majority” because there were some who actually received their resurrections from death in the first century AD. In this, I am not referring to Lazarus or others whom the Lord or the apostles raised up because those people had to die physically a second time. I am instead referring to those mysterious resurrections which took place soon after the Lord’s resurrection referred to in Matthew’s Gospel:

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. [Matthew 27:50-53]

One wonders if there were others elsewhere in various locations who were also raised at that time. The city of Jerusalem was not the only place saints of old were buried though it is possible more might have been buried in its environs than elsewhere. One wonders further just who these saints might have been. What qualified them to be resurrected at that time? Were they Old Testament saints from centuries past? Or were they first-century believers who died at some point during the Lord’s ministry? What if some of the well-known national figures were included in this group, such as David, who was buried in Jerusalem?

THE PRIVILEGE OF RESURRECTION

Because there is so much misunderstanding or lack of information about the future resurrection of those who have passed, the subject must be put into context. We know the Scriptures are clear that all will be resurrected, both the saved and unsaved:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” [John 5:25-29]

In addition to this, the Lord makes it clear that the future resurrection unto Life is a privilege not given to everyone or just anyone but only to those who are worthy:

Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” [Luke 20:34-36]

It is likely the case at most funerals that the person who died is assumed to have gone to heaven. Imagine all the funerals (term used very loosely) worldwide for all time. The dearly departed was likely loved by someone or maybe a great many. To question his or her eternal destination at such a time is probably the height of protocol-breaking or certainly awkward. According to the teachings of the Lord and the entry requirements He mandates, most of these people went to the opposite place they were assumed to have gone.

The point, of course, is that “going to heaven” and participating in a future resurrection unto Life is not automatic or a right but a great privilege and blessing reserved only for a relative few. It is something, in the words of the Lord Jesus, to attain. The Greek word means “to hit upon, meet, happen, obtain.” It is something to strive for, to work toward, and to make oneself worthy to receive. This does not mean we can earn our salvation, which is impossible, but that we must work within the context set forth by the Lord Jesus to be “considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection of the dead.”

WHY THE LORD JESUS WAS A MARKED MAN

We are in a war. It is a spiritual war. The devil is a mighty foe. He is very powerful. He attacks his enemies. His aim is to eliminate anyone attacking him or his kingdom. Those who do the most damage are at the top of his list. But the Lord Jesus, on the other hand, is so much more powerful He could squash the devil like a bug any time He felt like it. And He will protect His children in this world who work for Him the same way He protected Himself from the many assassination attempts upon His life before He surrendered to His destiny as the Sacrifice Lamb.

A close friend told me the other day something a pastor had recently preached. The pastor said to the effect, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the Lord was killed or murdered. He laid down His life willingly…” I said “Well, the pastor is wrong. It is in fact, both. The Lord certainly laid down His life and made Himself vulnerable, but He was also murdered. The apostle Peter said this very thing in the first anointed message of the Church on the Day of Pentecost.” Here is the passage:

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” [Acts 2:22-24]

It is often said that Stephen was the first martyr of the Church but this is not true. It was the Lord Jesus who was the first martyr. He had to be first. He was indeed greatly persecuted by evil unbelievers and eventually suffered physical death at their hands. He was the first to die and also the first to rise. It had to be this way. Nothing else could have possibly worked otherwise. The Lord Jesus is both the Door and the one who opened the door to Life. He is the only spiritual Warrior who could defeat death, hell, and the grave. He had to go first to do this because He was the only one worthy. It would have been impossible with anyone else because everyone else has sin but He never did. He was thus worthy to attain His resurrection and eternal life.

And because He did attain it He makes it possible for His followers to attain it as well. They must be cleansed of all sin, however, or forget it. But He has the power to do that. He has the power, with His own Blood, to cleanse a person of all of his or her personal sin. He also has the power to raise one up to new life in this world, fill one with His Holy Spirit which enables one to be properly equipped for service and the spiritual battlefield, live an overcoming life over sin, and also to work for Him within His kingdom doing works that He did. THESE are the people, in general, who are the worthy ones.

Thus, heaven is not nor has it ever been automatic, the only condition met being death. It is reserved only for those who submit to the salvation method of the Lord Jesus. Now, granted, there will be those who are also judged by Him to be worthy who do not fit the apparent conditions within the context of His teachings. Paul alluded to this possibility in the following:

For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. [Romans 2:11-16][1]

It is thus possible that one may never hear the Gospel and still go to heaven. (Consider all those who died prior to the Lord’s ministry or who lived at great distances away on other continents long before the Gospel ever reached their lands.) But this can only be possible if the preceding qualifications are met. How many millions, and indeed, billions of people who have ever lived on this planet lived in such a way that they did their best to honor their conscience, strove to do good and shun evil, and reached out to a Creator they knew must exist. These are things beyond the realm of human judgement or knowledge. No one can see such things but the Lord. Only the Lord Jesus knows all hearts. He is the best possible Judge of one’s soul. He will make the right decisions. He will always render perfect judgments.

THERE IS LIKELY A CONTRACT ON YOUR LIFE

If you are a big enough threat, expect to be attacked. But know also that the Lord has means to grant you victory. I knew someone several years ago who was attacked severely and his entire life was essentially destroyed. The devil’s aim was to do even more. His original goal was to destroy everything including the person’s life. But it didn’t work out quite that way. Because this man had walked with God the Lord allowed his former life to be destroyed but preserved the man’s spiritual life. He preserved the man’s ministry and life purpose. He worked with the man over several years to sort out all the ramifications which resulted from both a diabolical Jezebel attack and also a Judas betrayal. The enemy meant total destruction and it should have been such in that he threw everything he had at him. It was a pure assassination attempt in the first degree.

But it failed. Rather than be overcome by the severe repercussions of the spiritual attack, this man worked with the Lord over several years to work everything out. He patiently crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s. Everything was settled above board and properly. And it was done with no evil intent toward his human attackers who assisted in the plot. This man had what might be termed an ongoing resurrection. Though the enemy tried with all his might and though he succeeded at destroying much, he failed at destroying all. This is always a dangerous outcome. It made the man who was marked for death an even greater threat than he was before.

It also meant he survived the worst. This man will never have to go through such again. You may know people like this. Their experience is noted for something many have gone through over the last quarter century or so. There are people who represented a threat to the enemy who for all practical purposes should not have survived the attempt against them who then later became a greater threat than before.

Those who are forced to go toe to toe with some gnarly Goliath, who face otherwise certain death and destruction, and live to tell the story of a great victory are the kind of people you want on your team. They have already experienced a type of resurrection, reminiscent of their future one, and rejoined the Lord on the battlefield. The assassination they were marked for is what they mark the enemy with and have greater power and ability given by God to achieve that objective.

All praise and glory to the Lord Jesus.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

PRESSING ON. TOWARD RESURRECTION.

       

The following posts are dedicated to all real Christians on this Resurrection Day of 2022. They contain the answers some of you are seeking. Be encouraged!

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Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (1)

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Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (2)

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Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (3)

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© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

TODAY IS THE DAY THE LORD JESUS PAID FOR YOUR SINS

 

He died a horrific death after undergoing many hours of grueling torture. His own people and arrogant religious leaders did this to Him in a demonic spasm of evil hatred.

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I had to catch up on some chores around the house yesterday. I got the lawnmower tuned up for another mowing season. I also had to tend to a very minor roof leak. While on the roof, on a relatively cool and breezy early evening, I noticed a few branches from an old ash tree on one side of the house that had grown over the roof a tad that I might as well trim while up there. This tree was one of a few hit hard by a massive out-of-the ordinary hard freeze the previous winter. It almost died but survived. It bloomed out last year but only partially. Several of its large branches died. It bloomed again this year with a flurry of new bright green leaves on about half its branches, most of them closer to the central core and trunk. It is a tree showing signs of life and death at the same time.

A couple of dead bushy branches were within range of trimming from the roof. At first I was cutting them but because they had died over a year ago it was easier to just break them off. While doing this, standing right at the edge of the roof, a had to put a little extra effort in breaking off a larger one and when I did my forearm came down on a closer branch that had a few broken protrusions on it. It caused a good little surface skin gash. After a few seconds I had three or four rivulets of dark blood tricking forth a few inches down my fore arm. A couple of drops fell upon the roof and left noticeable small round splatters. I continued with my work and other chores another hour or so.

I must confess to you, my readers, that I lost track of the time this week. Like you, I’ve been pretty busy. I knew Resurrection Sunday was coming, of course. I knew Monday April 11 was the “Day of Crossing Over.” This was the day, Nisan 10 on the Hebrew calendar, when the young nation of Israel first crossed over the Jordan River after their forty years wandering the desert wilderness. I always mark that day every year as the start of a new season in the Spirit. But I lost track of the most important day coming up.

That day is today. It is Nisan 14. As I write this it marks the time when the Lord’s false judgment at the hands of evil people had reached its final conclusion which they had been lusting for during the Lord’s entire ministry. They would finally get to do to Him what they had always wanted. For them, it was a great day. The Lord’s torture and crucifixion process began early that morning. He shed great amounts of blood at His scourging of thirty-nine stripes before He ever got to the crucifixion site. He shed much more blood there…

He did this for all of us. He had to pay for our sin. Every person who first comes to the Lord is very aware of sins they have committed in life of which they can do nothing about. There is a record of sin on their account that they are well aware of. They wish they could do something about it. They wish the record didn’t exist. But there is nothing they can do. Many try to stop sinning. Some try very hard. But their understanding of what sin is trips them up. And the people they hang with, friends and family, (even so-called Christians and church-goers), don’t seem to have any concern about sin. They do their best to get along but want new life and cannot find it. They may have some success against their sin and eliminate a few things but no matter what they do they cannot stop entirely. They remain convicted of past sins and a growing record but must simply put up with the unfortunate results and a long rap sheet that won’t go away.

Then they hear about the Lord Jesus. They suddenly discover that there actually is a way to get their sorry record expunged. They come to the Lord as a dead man walking with no previous chance whatsoever and discover someone who actually cares about their sin record as much as they do. And they realize that He paid for it all long, long ago. He paid for their sins. He paid the penalty. He qualified to do this because He had no sin. He was the spotless Lamb of God, the Sacrifice Lamb. He gave Himself over to evil people in complete surrender so the price could be paid in full.

And it was. I remember when I first came to the Lord as a young adult. It was so hard to believe that my record could be cleared, that my sins could be washed away, and that I could have an entirely new life living for the Lord. But I did believe. I submitted to Him completely. He washed my sins away. I remember when I was water baptized. It had only been a few days. I wasn’t waiting around. I wanted the whole catalogue. I had been searching for Truth for several years and the Lord directed me to exactly what I had been looking for. My new local shepherd came down in the baptismal tank with me as they did back then. He said, “Upon the confession of your faith I now baptize you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ…” I went under water and came up a new man. Everyone was gathered around, smiling and shouting. There was much joy and laughter. I could not stop beaming.

It was the opposite of what the Lord had endured that day so long ago, the same day on the calendar as today, Nisan 14. And though many Christians will honor the Lord today on this Good Friday for His sacrificial death, the original Nisan 14 was on a Thursday. But no matter for our purposes at the moment. What we must be concerned about is what He did for us. We are all going straight to hell without Him. Prior to real salvation, our record of sin is clear and a mile long, including those who refuse to acknowledge their sin or don’t think they have any. All who attempt to enter heaven without having done anything about it will be turned away. Heaven is not for sin criminals. Heaven is not for unrepentant sinners. Heaven is not for those who refuse to honor the Lord Jesus properly and what He did for us.

He died that we may live.

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” [Luke 23:39-47] [1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

 

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: Editing the Lord’s Teachings (4)

 

There are two kinds of Christians in the world—those who are deceived, have always been deceived, and don’t know they’re deceived—and those who are no longer deceived.

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As I’ve stated here before, according to the teachings of the Lord Jesus, the default position of every single person born into this world is to die and go to hell. As distasteful as this subject may be, and as most may find it cringe worthy and fit for immediate denunciation, the Lord actually taught on it quite often. The reason He did is because there is no more important subject to teach.  

“For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]

“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:7]

Regardless of so many wanting to rewrite the Gospels to arrive at something more acceptable, or recharacterize the Lord Jesus as someone more like their perception of Him may be, or make Him what they may want Him to be to make them feel more comfortable, it never changes the eternity facts He spoke about except on a temporary basis, that is, while one lives in this life under deception.

WORSE THAN JUDAS

The worst perpetrators of editing the Lord and His curriculum have been Christians. These people, regardless of their socially acceptable, outwardly benign, or religiously duded-up exteriors, have ulterior motives and are His greatest enemies. They are worse than Judas.

I say that not because Judas Iscariot was not a bad guy (he most certainly was), but that Judas was primarily a very confused guy and one who could never overcome his intrinsic understanding of things or his prior religious indoctrination. He was likely a Pharisee or Pharisee sympathizer of somewhat high standing though such was probably due to family and religious connections. He had a good report with those who controlled the temple and was apparently there relatively often. Yet despite all of Judas’ failings which ultimately led him to be possessed of the devil himself, he still had enough of a working conscience to know that after he had betrayed the Lord he understood that he had betrayed the Lord. Though he did not know it while he was doing it and likely thought in his warped thinking that he was doing something good, when it all came down and he understood that he had been thoroughly deceived by the devil and the devil’s religious authorities, the only thing that made sense was to go kill himself. At the moment his eyes were opened (when he finally woke up), he suddenly saw that he had done something absolutely horrendously terrible and that it might have been the greatest sin ever perpetrated since the original sin of Adam and Eve.

Thus, it may be said that Judas acted based on living in deception. And again, deceived people do not know they are deceived. Judas was likely deceived his entire life but I will leave some room for him here in case he had moments of true understanding regarding the Lord. Effectively, of course, he never overcame his lifelong deception and made a perfect candidate for use by the devil. Judas may have been sent on a mission from the very beginning by the devil and joined up with the Lord as the devil’s tool within the Lord’s inner circle. The Lord would have always known this, though, and alluded to it on occasion:

Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” [John 6:70]

Therefore, those Christians who deliberately edit the teachings of the Lord Jesus do far worse than Judas ever did because they apparently don’t have a working conscience as Judas certainly did. Everyone remembers, for example, their first big sin as a little kid or when they first became aware of right and wrong, when they instantly came to understand that they had done a very bad thing. The understanding came because their conscience did what it was designed to do. It pointed out their error. Whatever the age of accountability may be for each person, and though there may be a time as very small children when we do wrong and do not yet know it, we all reach an age, maybe five or six years old, when we become responsible for knowing our conscience works and can no longer escape its convicting power.

For some people in this world, however, this is not true. They never seem to have a working conscience. They do not appear to feel guilt. They do bad things and like it. They enjoy doing wrong and are not convicted. They do not appear to have the remorse gene. They make light of things of very high importance and lack the respect they should have for the true things of God. They may know it is wrong behavior and even engage in greater sin as they get older but usually never have any tendency to stop. Repentance is simply not in their vocabulary. When they grow up they are capable of doing wrong without regret. While Judas was so stricken by the grossly evil thing he had done once his veil of deception was lifted, the religious psychopath has no such reaction.

ARE THEY BORN THAT WAY OR MADE THAT WAY?

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! [Galatians 1:6-9]

There is only one original full curriculum of the Lord Jesus. Anything which purports to be His full curriculum but deviates from the original is false. This deviation from the original can be done by adding teachings and understandings that are not His or simply omitting teachings and understandings that are. Such newly created Christian curricula, regardless of how good they appear and how well they escape scrutinizing from Christians who should know better, are false and not of God. If they are not of God they must be of another source. That source must be evil.

Because we now have any number of false gospels masquerading as the real one and great numbers of Christians supporting such false gospels, we know there must have been a point A for each, a starting point, and that the starting point of each had to have been implemented in this world through human agency in tandem with a higher invisible agency. This worked the same way it worked with Judas in that the devil deceived Judas to believe his betrayal of the Lord was not a betrayal and was instead something good and right, though it was actually pure evil (Sound familiar?). For each false gospel on the planet there had to be an original hidden and sinister “Judas” or “Judas group” used of the devil to create it. Their supporters likely believe their false gospel is not false at all but the best gospel or the real gospel.

What kind of people are these? Maybe some are like Judas in that they eventually see their error. Most however, likely never care about any error to begin with and know very well they are engaging in editing the Lord’s teachings and enjoy doing it. Perhaps they have become so overwhelmed by religious indoctrination and staunchly supporting their false denominational beliefs that they justify their work as good. Perhaps they are mere religious underlings forced to carry on the work by their Christian cult leadership.

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2Corinthians 11:3-4]

Maybe they do it for power and prestige and as the willing price to pay for joining a higher social caste. Maybe they are overcome by the physical eye which overpowers the spiritual eye. Maybe they do it for access to fulfilling the lust of their flesh and having all that money can buy. These are the three roots of temptation, remember, that the enemy uses on everyone. But how evil must one be who would actually corrupt the teachings of the Lord for gain? And not feel bad about it? And never have the reaction Judas had? What is wrong with such people? It could be they are true psychopaths. Or it could be they know they are doing wrong but have such a great desire for the preceding three outcomes or any one of the three that they are willing to make a deal.

Here is a good test:

Let’s say the Lord calls a person to salvation but that it will greatly complicate his life and even place him in grave danger. But he does it anyway. Most of those around him who also receive the Gospel seed turn it down, maybe largely out of fear of social or religious rejection and castigation, but that one guy does not and is willing to go through any pain to gain salvation. He then works diligently to prepare himself as a good disciple by studying the pure Word of God and learning how to present it correctly. And let’s say that one guy is then given a specific ministry but no salary. And he somehow makes it work anyway. And there are confirming “signs and wonders” in his ministry to further prove his legitimacy.

The vast majority of Christian ministers, on the other hand, never agree to become ministers unless an acceptable salary is involved (failed test). Many of these must also desire social acceptance and prestige to some degree (failed test). And some even demand that their lust be satisfied even though it may only be in the “material” realm though such is done in a deceptive manner in that their lust satisfaction is deemed “success” and therefore not only acceptable but something also desirable by their followers (failed test).

But that other guy has none of those things, maybe for many years and maybe his entire life, and somehow fulfills his ministry anyway. Regardless of what may be an extreme example, this is actually not so uncommon. The others, however, are as fake as the day is long (though such fakery is rarely or never understood by the deceived). They are mere sellouts. The vast majority of Christian “ministers” in the world fail the test. What is worse, though, is that they preach false gospels and assist the devil in deception. Whoever listens to and believes these charlatans, though such supportive believers outwardly appear as “good Christians,” end up just as deceived as Judas was. They go through life believing all is well with their chosen walk and don’t know they are deceived and have believed a false gospel. Judas got the big idea while he was still alive. Many if not most of these others will never get the big idea until afterwards when it will be too late.

THE REAL AND THE UNREAL

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 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 4:1-4]

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. [2Peter 2:1-3] [1]

Any deviation from the Lord’s presentation is an invitation to deception.

Once one crosses the line into the realm of deception his perception is changed. He will think he is doing good when he is not. He will even be happy and satisfied and completely unaware that his spiritual reality has become compromised. He begins operating according to a non-Kingdom understanding since he does not dwell in the Kingdom though believes he does. And even if the Lord sends messengers to rescue him and bring him into the light he will likely see no need because he believes he is already dwelling in the light. And because many more are living across the line with him, a decided majority, he has plenty of support from everyone there that all is well in their vast happy land of bliss and ignorance.

Praise God for Christian persecution.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: New Testament References to the “Last Days” (3)

Christians of today believe they are living in the “Last Days.” Christians in the first century believed they were living in the “Last Days.” Both cannot be correct.

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In Part 2 I listed every passage of Scripture in the New Testament that referred to “This Generation.” Each passage referred to the same generation. That generation was obviously the generation that existed in the first century AD. That generation began with the birth of the Lord Jesus. It ended in 70AD with the complete destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and what was left of the nation of Israel. Israel was thus no more, exactly as the Lord Jesus had prophesied forty years before.

The Lord Jesus said that last generation of Israel would see the fulfillment of all the prophecies made about that time, which was referred to by New Testament writers as the “Last Days.” Why were they the “Last Days?” –Because they were the last days of Israel. “This Generation” was the final generation.

THE NATION OF ISRAEL

The nation of Israel had begun with the call of Abraham. This took place in approximately 1876 BC when Abraham was 70 years old. It was birthed with the miraculous birth of Abraham’s son Isaac in 1846 BC, which represented the first generation. The nation was birthed in great joy, as Isaac’s name means at root, “to laugh,” or “laughter,” or “he laughs.” Isaac was a very happy child! One pictures little Isaac as a happy, smiling, joyous, laughing baby and little boy.

Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” [Genesis 21:6]

Isaac grew up and was blessed with a loving wife. Rebekah gave birth to the first-born twins Esau and Jacob in 1786 BC. Though Esau was born first he had no heart for God. God thus chose Jacob as the new heir. Later, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

Jacob/Israel had twelve sons. His sons married and began having children. Some of these children grew up and had children. Ten years after the great Patriarch Isaac died, when the young four-generational family group of Jacob consisted of seventy-plus persons, they left the land of Canaan in approximately 1656 BC and went to live in the Goshen area of Egypt. This was made possible by Jacob’s son Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers when he was seventeen years old and ended up in Egypt, preparing the way for his family’s future salvation. Joseph rose to become the second-most powerful man in Egypt by the time he was thirty. This family group of seventy-plus persons consisting of generations two, three, four, and five was the original nation of Israel.

All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all, and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy. Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. [Genesis 46:26-28]

Untold multiple generations later we arrive at the time of the last generation of the nation, initially characterized by great joy and laughter once again with the miraculous birth of the long hoped-for promised Redeemer and Messiah. A Great Light had come into a land of darkness. When the Lord Jesus was thirty years old His forerunner, John the Immerser, prophesied about Him and the nation of Israel in the following:

Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Luke 3:15-17]

This verse has been misinterpreted often yet is actually quite clear. John is speaking in terms anyone there could understand: The wheat will undergo a harvest. The Messiah, winnowing fork in hand on His threshing floor, will do the work of separating the edible grains from the useless chaff. He will gather the wheat (the saved and redeemed of Israel, the sheep, the righteous) into His barn. But He will burn up the chaff (the unsaved and unredeemed of the nation, the goats, the unrighteous) with unquenchable fire.

He will thus baptize (immerse) the redeemed of Israel with His Holy Spirit, but will baptize the unredeemed with fire.

We see these two fates of the nation again in the following illustration of John:

“Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Luke 3:9]

In both of these prophetic pronouncements of John we see that the final generation (“this generation”) of the nation of Israel is under pressure to get right with God and produce good fruit. We see that the axe of judgment is already poised against the nation. The axe is about to drop. But before the end comes, as the nation will be divided by those who will either become wheat or chaff, so will the nation be divided by those who will be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit of God to produce good fruit and those who will do the opposite. Again, the nation of Israel will be divided into two distinct parts during the final generation.

On that great Day of Pentecost at the beginning of the final thirty-eight years of the nation and continuing until the end, the Holy Spirit will be given to all those who properly repent and are cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb. This large group of the redeemed within the overall nation of several million, most likely the smaller of the two groups by percentage, will honor their Messiah and prove themselves with consistent discipleship and as trees bearing good fruit. At the conclusion of the final thirty-eight years the end will come when the besieged city of Jerusalem and the great Temple will be burned by unrelenting fire in a great conflagration just as both John the Immerser and the Lord Jesus had prophesied roughly forty years before. The end of Israel arrived in 70 AD.

THE “LAST DAYS”

Thus we see that what was referred to as the “Last Days” were actually the last days of Israel which took place almost two thousand years ago in the first century AD. Though referred to with other terminology, the following are the five Scriptural occurrences when the exact term “Last Days” is referred to in the New Testament by at least three if not four different writers, which greatly adds to its credibility (dates approximate):

ONE / 32 AD   

15 “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy.’” [Acts 2:15-18]

TWO / 64 AD

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. [2Timothy 3:1-5]

THREE / 63 AD

1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. [Hebrews 1:1-2]

FOUR / 50-60 AD

1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! [James 5:1-3]

FIVE / 65 AD

3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. [2Peter 3:3-7] [1]

We can see that four of the above five works were written just as the nation of Israel was coming to a close, in the twilight hour so to speak. They served collectively as a latter bookend to the former bookend at Pentecost. Each is filled with dire language describing very well the final times. Since Pauline authorship of the Book of Hebrews has never reached a consensus it could very well be that these were four different men using the exact “Last Days” terminology at a time when the end was extremely close and they could feel it in their spirit. The great Jewish Revolt against Rome began in mid-summer of 66 AD. Vespasian’s siege barricades began being constructed around Jerusalem in the spring of 67 AD. This was one of the signs of warning the Lord gave to His people dwelling there concerning when they should depart.

Only those who honored Him, who had treasure in heaven, would heed His words.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: A Brief History of Misapplied Prophecy (1)

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: “This Generation” (2)

 

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: “This Generation” (2)

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The Lord Jesus is recorded using the exact term “This Generation” a total of 17 times. To what generation was He referring? How does it relate to the “Last Days?”

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“THIS GENERATION” IN THE GOSPELS

I stated the following in Part 1 of this Series:

The Lord Jesus frequently and consistently referred to a single generation throughout His ministry. Throughout the Gospel accounts He refers to it specifically as “this generation.” There are a total of seventeen such references, five in Matthew, three in Mark, and nine in Luke. He also described it. He referred to “this generation” as “evil, adulterous, unbelieving, perverted, sinful, and wicked.” In Acts 2:40, Peter also refers to it as “perverse.” In Philippians 2:15, Paul agrees with Peter and adds another fitting adjective—“crooked.” So here we have seven quite descriptive adjectives describing the generation the Lord referred to as “this generation.”

THE LIST

To make sure we are all on the same page and become familiar with the seventeen occurrences of the exact term “this generation” in the Gospels, here is the list (NASB95):

GOSPEL OF MATTHEW (5):

16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17 and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’” [Matthew 11:16-17]

41 “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” [Matthew 12:41]

42 “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” [Matthew 12:42]

34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” [Matthew 23:34-36]

32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” [Matthew 24:32-34]

GOSPEL OF MARK (3):

11 The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. 12 Sighing deeply in His spirit, He *said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” [Mark 8:11-12]

28 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” [Mark 13:28-30]

GOSPEL OF LUKE (9):

31 “To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’” [Luke 7:31-32]

29 As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah.” [Luke 11:29]

30 “For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.” [Luke 11:30]

31 “The Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” [Luke 11:31]

32 “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” [Luke 11:32]

49 “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, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 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 11:49-51]

24 “For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” [Luke 17:24-25]

29 Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.” [Luke 21:29-32]

ADDITIONAL OCCURRENCES

The following are nine additional occurrences that do not contain the exact term “this generation” but relate directly to it and contain the word “generation.” Notice the descriptive adjectives:

GOSPEL OF MATTHEW (4):

39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;” [Matthew 12:39]

43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” [Matthew 12:43-45]

4 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 16:4]

17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” [Matthew 17:17]

GOSPEL OF MARK (2):

38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:38]

19 And He *answered them and *said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” [Mark 9:19]

GOSPEL OF LUKE (1):

41 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” [Luke 9:41]

APOSTLE PETER:

40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” [Acts 2:40]

APOSTLE PAUL:

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. [Philippians 2:14-16] [1]

Remember, every one of these 26 occurrences refer to the same generation. They each refer to “this generation.”

Is it the generation of the “Last Days?”

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: A Brief History of Misapplied Prophecy (1)

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: New Testament References to the “Last Days” (3)

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: A Brief History of Misapplied Prophecy (1)

 

We have been convinced we are living in the “Last Days,” that there is no remedy for the growing evil of these times, and that we must surrender apathetically without a fight.

.

“THIS GENERATION”

“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” [Matthew 24:34]

The Lord Jesus frequently and consistently referred to a single generation throughout His ministry. Throughout the Gospel accounts He refers to it specifically as “this generation.” There are a total of seventeen such references, five in Matthew, three in Mark, and nine in Luke. He also described it. He referred to “this generation” as “evil, adulterous, unbelieving, perverted, sinful, and wicked.” In Acts 2:40, Peter also refers to it as “perverse.” In Philippians 2:15, Paul agrees with Peter and adds another fitting adjective—“crooked.” So here we have seven quite descriptive adjectives describing the generation the Lord referred to as “this generation.”

GROSS ERROR

There is a very strange occurrence that takes place when Christians refer to prophetic content within the Gospel accounts. They almost always have a tendency to refer to the generation the Lord referred to as “this generation” as their own generation. This phenomenon became more common after the advent of the Protestant Reformation five hundred years ago. It happened before then as well though the instances are far less due to a lack of access to the Word of God, attributed to general illiteracy, and also because the Roman Catholic Church had purposely hidden the written Word behind a wall of Latin.

Thus, in the 1500s, as more Christians began reading the few emerging Gospel accounts in their own languages, and apparently due to their limited understanding of the phrase “this generation,” they had the decided tendency to think it meant their generation. The same thing happened in successive generations since, from the 1500s to the present. This became especially true beginning in the early to mid 1800s in America with the advent of Dispensational Theology, a spurious construct invented out of thin air. By the time the 20th century dawned in the year 1900, the phenomenon became much more pronounced. It gained great steam by mid century, especially by the 1960s when America began being inundated with so-called Christian “prophecy teachers.”

Strangely enough, though these “prophecy teachers” had relatively slight differences which got blown out of proportion (such as the pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib nonsense), they generally agreed very closely on what they termed Biblical prophecies coming true in our time. This does not mean that they were right but that their interpretations were coming from the same original source.

Then, in the mode of Space-based science fiction popular at that time, the phenomenon broke out into the secular culture with the publication of a seminal Christian prophecy work entitled The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970. According to the New York Times, this was the “bestselling nonfiction book of the 1970s.” [1] All of the sudden, Biblical prophecy not only became a popular topic in America, it was also said to be coming to pass in real time. According to the author, the prophesied future was now upon that generation of fifty-two years ago. Due to its nature and claims, the book was also publicized through high circulation mainstream newspapers and magazines. Many more prophecy books were published by various authors. The top prophecy teachers were touring the states speaking at churches, colleges, and conferences. With the advent of Christian television in the early 1970s they were suddenly selling their wares through that medium. It truly was a burgeoning phenomenon. And the one astounding constant those guys all had in common was that our time (the 1970s) was the specific time referred to in the New Testament when the “Last Days” prophecies of the Lord Jesus were actually coming to pass.

In essence, the prophecy teachers made the declarative persistent claim that the American generation of the 1970s was the New Testament “this generation” referred to by the Lord Jesus.

THE DECEPTION PERSISTS

Remember, pretty much every generation over the last five hundred years has, to varying degrees, believed their generation to be the one that would see the culmination of prophetic events and the second coming of the Lord Jesus. This was more pronounced on scattered occasions here and there especially during times of revival. But as I stated previously, the phenomenon became a flowing stream with no discernible interruptions beginning about 120 years ago. This had never happened before. That generation was convinced we were at the end of time. When WWI broke out it appeared all the more believable. The same thing happened during WWII. The belief that we were in the “Last Days” gained force and notoriety for seventy years until it burst onto the scene in the 1970s reaching an apogee that carried on into the 1980s and 90s.

Of course, the year 1900 or thereabouts was not the end of the world, nor did the prophesied end come in the 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, or 1940s though many in those two generations were convinced otherwise. A third generation then came upon the scene and gained age in the 1950s and 60s. This generation was also fully convinced it must be the last one on earth due in part to the advent of nuclear weapons which were said to have the firepower to effectively destroy the planet. The 1960s saw great social change not only in the secular but also within Christianity which for the first time was visited throughout with the Holy Spirit outpouring within all major denominations. This occurrence definitely had an effect on the “Last Days” theme.

Then, with the initial emergence of the fourth generation beginning in roughly 1970 the phenomenon blasted into outer space. One could not escape such news if one tried. The Christians of that time knew the “Last Days” had certainly arrived. Regardless of what any previous generation had thought prior to the 1970s, those people were simply wrong, it was said, and they were only seeing the earliest glimpses of the future in their time. The previous generations had made the mistake of attributing the future to their time, it was said, while the emerging generation of the 1970s, having been shown so clearly by the prophecy teachers “that one can see prophecy coming to pass simply by reading the newspapers,” were convinced their days were truly the “Last Days,” the time when Jesus would definitely return. Well, He didn’t return fifty years ago in the early 1970s. Maybe He was “tarrying.”

When nothing changed in the 1970s the new mantra was based on the state of Israel. The prophecy teachers insisted the Lord must return within a generation of the founding of the state of Israel, which took place in the spring of 1948, as wrongheaded as that contention was. Their reasoning was thus: Since a Biblical generation was thought to be forty years the Lord will return by 1988. And of course, because there must be a seven year “Tribulation” period within this construct, this great time of turmoil and suffering which the world has never before seen would have to begin by 1981. That was forty-one years ago. Of course, the “The Great Tribulation” never happened. The Lord did not return in the 1980s.

The prophecy teachers made more adjustments. They were absolutely right all along you see and never admitted to being off, so they simply added more to the mix. They continued to make the rounds and make money. They continued writing best sellers. They continued pontificating on Christian television. Everyone, it seems, kept believing them. As time went on, however, they started sounding that much more incorrect. They could no longer come up with adequate explanations. But giving credit where credit is certainly due, these guys were masters at their craft. And Christians in general remained Biblically uninformed regarding New Testament Scripture as usual and thus extremely gullible. As time continued to pass the entire prophecy timelines and constructs of the prophecy teachers simply started to fade away. There was no sense pushing them anymore. They could no longer be made to fit.

Then a new generation began to rise in roughly the mid-1990s. Christians were still aware of these so-called prophecies somewhat but no longer emphasized them. Nevertheless, from then until now the deception has remained. Christians still insist we are in the “Last Days” referred to in the New Covenant literature. Christians still believe we are in the days directly preceding the Second Coming.

As it turns out, the “Last Days” last a long time, much longer than prophecy says they should. They have now lasted over 120 years. The state of Israel is almost 74 years old. That’s almost two Biblical generations. Every generation from roughly 1900 until now believed they would see the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. Each generation was obviously wrong.

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

We are now at the beginning of the sixth generation. The entire construct of the prophecy teachers of the recent past has been proven absolutely wrong though a probable majority of Christians and even great millions of non-Christians still believe it. Though it has no rhyme or reason from a New Testament perspective, it has become accepted religious theology. We have seen this play out once again over the last few weeks in the Russian war with Ukraine in which prophecy is once again being applied to the actions of Russia as it always is when Russia makes a perceived major move of one kind or another.

The major problem which arises from this prophecy heresy is the idea that evil will continue to grow worse and worse in the world and that there is absolutely nothing Christians can do about it. Though the Lord Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth there is nothing He can do about it either. If Christians have been convinced that prophecy says the world is lost then the current Kingdom of the Lord Jesus existing in this world lacks the power to overcome evil which indicates evil is the greater power.

I submit that this idea is pure unadulterated garbage and that the reason evil is overcoming good is because many potential proponents of spiritual good have been erroneously taught to stand down and go about their Christianity in such a way that they represent no threat to the devil. This absurd attitude based on the “Last Days” deception may best be described by the Lord Himself in the following:

“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 5:13][2]

Sound familiar?   

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] Wikipedia

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

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: “This Generation” (2)

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: New Testament References to the “Last Days” (3)

 

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)

In light of what is coming, every church in America should be having 24 hour daily prayer meetings with all members on their faces before God.

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A NATION OF FAKE CHURCHES

Of course, this will never happen. It is not happening now. Most churches do not even believe in real prayer. The great majority of co-called Christian ministers in America are as fake as the day is long. How many of these ministers sold out to the false narrative of the last two years? How many took great sums of bribe money to go along with the program and keep quiet? How many of the great indispensable TV preachers who garner great millions of viewers are actually in on the fraud? If there are any good ones why don’t they point out and rebuke the bad ones? How long will it be before American Christians see their great leaders for what they actually are? Hint: Pretty much never. Generally speaking, Christian ministry in America has become a sham.

If you thought the last two years were rough you haven’t seen anything yet. It will get worse. As it gets worse the thought will continue to cross the minds of those paying attention that an apparent majority will either never wake up or will do so far too late. It is becoming more the case that more are becoming aware of what is happening but is also the case that far too few are willing to do anything about it. What kind of mind-numbed mockery of humanity is this when the vast majority still refuse to get their rear in gear even when they know we are falling so far so fast?

There is only one solution left and it is the solution that should have been applied first a long time ago. But this never happened you see, and it still isn’t happening, because American Christians in general have higher priorities than serving the Lord. The Lord Jesus is never first for most. The majority of Christians in America refuse to honor Him, serve Him, and obey Him. It never seems to matter how much He does to get our attention or take care of us or help us out of jams. Most Christians simply go back to their sinful ways.

Many of these people put their faith in a particular political leader. They still are. But this particular man sold everybody out at a time when they needed him most which proves he was never for real for what is needed. His handlers told him to stand down and he willingly complied. He left his supporters in the lurch. But even though he has been obviously compromised he is still out beating a dead horse as if he could make the difference. He won’t. Nobody will. All your ministers all across the country won’t. All the mighty great ones on television won’t. Pretty much all of them sold out. Just like the original Pharisees, the majority are lovers of money and titles and prestige and saving face. The majority refuse to do what the Lord Jesus requires. Though they look great and are flush with cash and popularity, these so-called leaders are spiritual losers. Why do so many still support them?

The effects of this false and horrendous leadership are all around us. They are exactly like our political leaders who rarely stand for their constituents but always for their money masters. Both have grossly violated their respective Constitutions. How sad can it possibly be that American Christian leaders refuse to honor the Lord Jesus and obey His Word? What is so much worse are the great many millions who honor them anyway and are deathly afraid of possibly stepping out of line and having their social standing cancelled. They have decided to go along to get along and take their chances at hell later on which they have no actual chance at escaping if their attitude never changes.

And when someone does stand up doing the right thing he or she is immediately attacked by all the fakers. It is bad enough that cancel culture has now taken such great hold but I was aware of this evil spirit decades ago in my early travels within organized Christianity. I saw then how ridiculously hard it was to spread the gospel truth among people who hated it and repeatedly insisted on their own warped gospels. To anyone who might have been listening or paying attention to any of my recent posts, they will notice a common theme which relates directly to this. The following are a few excerpts from my 2019 annual review which I posted over two years ago on December 30, 2019: 2019 Real Christianity Annual Review and Summary: All Posts. I highly recommend this post in which I told you what would happen in the infamous year of 2020:

“2019 was a year of warning. The enemy, brimming with confidence, showed his hand. I did my best to keep you posted. As we head into the future, your life as a Christian will be more challenging.”

“Regarding trends, 2019 was the year when the attacks on the First Amendment went into overdrive. There are anti-American forces in America that will do anything they can, legal or not, to eliminate Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.”

“Real Christianity is under attack like never before. Christian persecution is rapidly advancing in the world and is now manifesting very powerfully in America. Most ministers and churches never talk about this. It proves they are either ignorant and unaware or remain a big part of the problem. The Lord does not appreciate Judases, money-firsters, and those who water down His powerful Word for social acceptance, and American Christianity is saturated with these at present. Believe me, it will only get worse.”

“Lies, misinformation, and disinformation are being exposed for what they are. The lies that hide the truth are being torn away. It will no longer be possible for these to remain hidden and includes exposing the perpetrators, some of which are fake and/or compromised Christian ‘leaders.’”

It happened just like I said it would. I continued this work in the year 2020 to do my best to prepare you for what was coming and keep you informed. In the spring I began a new series entitled, Early Church History 101. I began on March 29, 2020. By May 23 I had completed 22 Lessons over Acts Chapters 1 and 2. There was much support for this series. Perhaps a few of you remember. I then got slammed with an attack that made it impossible to continue. I had to shift gears. My posts beginning in the summer of 2020 were somewhat dire in scope and much longer than usual. I continued to be on point throughout that summer and the rest of 2020.

On the last day of 2020 I again wrote an annual review and stated very clearly what was coming for calendar year 2021. It happened exactly that way. If you care about what is happening today and want to be part of the solution, I highly recommend that you read this post: 2020 In Review and a Look into What’s Coming Next. Here is your refresher from this post of December 31, 2020:

STEPHEN ON STEROIDS

If you want to know what the future holds for America in 2021 and beyond, imagine Stephen on spiritual steroids. He exposed the frauds for what they were. He did this by forcing their hand. This is what the Great Awakening has done to the powers that be. It forced them to act against it to protect their turf. This in turn exposed them. There will be much more of this going on.

We will call it the Discovery Procedure…

This post was well-received at the time, but it is pretty much ancient history now. I didn’t write a review of 2021. I made no end of year predictions for the year 2022. Part of this was due to so much of my readership drifting away and then distancing themselves from my work. I always find it amazing that someone can love your work for years and then suddenly leave. Were they offended by something all of the sudden? Did someone else convince them I was wrong about something? Keep in mind I do my best to reveal what I know while also doing my best not to offend and keep readership. It does no good. My work has been spot on for many years. You, my readers, have consistently told me this.

2021 was thus a year of drift. There was obviously a culling process going on. I relayed this to you in my 6-Part series in the fall of that year: Gideon’s 300: Why a Small Group of Christians is Always Better Than 32,000 Pretenders. The Lord was whittling down His group. He was testing and removing those who failed. He was putting together a solid group of Gideons due to the great threat of the Amalekites which invaded the country in 2021 in places of very high power and influence.

THIS CURRENT SERIES

For whatever reason, this current series has not been well-received. I can understand that the content might not be something people can embrace but we must be warned and I did my warning. I am going to end this series now, but first I will answer the question: When Will This Evil End?

It will end when and only when enough American Christians return to serving, obeying, and honoring the Lord Jesus. Until then things will continue to grow exponentially worse. I have tried to tell you how bad it is going to get but also that it can be stopped through those things the Lord commands us to do. For a couple of particulars of what is coming you must know that the cost of living will rise exponentially. We have already seen this process begin. Don’t be surprised if a gallon of gas costs $8 in the relatively near future. Don’t be surprised if you cannot locate groceries as before and that their cost will go way up. And don’t be surprised when the warmongers get their way…

In the meantime we must do what the Lord has always commanded His people to do. But as I said, the vast majority of Christians in America will continue to reject this. As I said in the beginning of this article, every church in America must immediately begin 24 hour daily prayer meetings with all members on their faces before God. I am serious. These are extremely serious times. It is really bad but will get much worse. The Lord can still come through, of course, as He can at any time, but He won’t if no one wants Him to. For the relative few real Christians in America who do want Him to and are willing to continue with their full discipleship and faithfulness, believe me, regardless of all the garbage being strewn about, you will be fine. THE LORD JESUS TAKES CARE OF HIS OWN! HE IS A GREAT FATHER!

Though it is sad that so much evil is happening and will continue, it is much sadder that so many so-called believers simply do not care and refuse to engage.

Many of these will never wake up until it is far too late.   

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

They have created an Ishmael—an illegitimate counterfeit. Most Americans are none the wiser (sleeping). This illicit replacement imitation is wreaking havoc on what’s left of the country.

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ISHMAEL

His name was Ishmael. He was the product of an unholy and faithless union. Ishmael was conceived because the great patriarch abandoned his faith in God and did the unthinkable. He had illicit relations with a foreign woman not his wife. Yet this great sin was not characterized as the adultery it surely was because Abraham performed this unholy deed at the behest of his wife Sarah. She convinced him to do it. It was a strange love triangle born of spiritual infidelity and outright rebellion against the Lord God. The good man was overcome by the incessant pleadings of his faithless barren wife. Sound familiar?

What Eve did to Adam is what Sarah did to Abraham. However, what these two women did obviously reverberated far, far beyond their respective significant others though they never saw that at the time. Both men knew better but both failed in their faithfulness to God. Had these two men stayed faithful to their overriding spiritual covenant as God had highly advised and counseled them, the great evil that resulted which continues even until this day would never have happened.

Both men made a spiritual recovery later on but the great damage had already been done. There was nothing that could stop the ongoing burgeoning of sin and evil in this world which has grown exponentially ever since. We are currently seeing evil shooting upward as never before like a proverbial rocket, as so many explosive and fiery launches over the last sixty plus years has enthralled a rapt but clueless audience beholding the wonder though never understanding the means and motive.

We see that the serpent was responsible in Eve’s case. Was the serpent also not responsible in Sarah’s case? God had promised Abraham a son, a very special son. He had made the promise to Abraham and Sarah roughly fifteen years before. This childless couple had kept the faith throughout those years. Sarah had always been barren. For all they knew it could have been Abraham’s problem also. The point is that this couple called by God could never have children yet God promised them a very special child who would have an immense and immeasurable beneficial effect on the world.

But they wavered. They grew tired of waiting. This was especially pronounced in Sarah. Her hopes were raised to the heavens when she first heard the promise many years before but then nothing ever came of it and her hopes were dashed. Abraham held on but only in a weakened state. He did his best. There was less and less to sustain his faith. Once Sarah quit and returned to her faithless condition, which barrenness portends, it would only be a matter of time before Abraham’s little remaining supply of faith in God regarding the promise would drain away. And it did.

A surrogate wife was found. The surrogate would be the mother of the promised child. Sarah decreed this. Sarah was just as wrong as Eve, of course, but because the correcting voice that had authority over her was effectively silenced—the voice of Abraham—as Adam’s voice was also silenced by his wife, Abraham proceeded to engage in the unholy, faithless, adulterous union. Again, Sarah did not merely suggest he do this or tell him to, she insisted upon it. Abraham was waylaid. Perhaps he was also tempted in his own right with forbidden fruit that was pleasing to the eyes and flesh. Perhaps he thought of his future great patriarchy and enjoyed the prospect of having another mate for such a purpose. Whatever the case, these two chosen ones messed up really, really bad. Being born into this world wasn’t Ishmael’s fault but the replacement boy later proved to be what he was—the fruit of an illicit union of which God had never approved.

Thirteen years went by. Abraham and Sarah apparently kept up the ruse the entire time, at least in part, and treated young Ishmael as the promised one. Hagar, the boy’s real mother, had something to say about this however. She likely never bought into the narrative and didn’t care. She only knew Ishmael was her boy and she couldn’t help but fight in the tug of war instigated by Sarah. Abraham thus had two wives and they were at odds always and he had to play the referee always, and as his faith had waned which brought forth Ishmael so had his good nature waned, being caught between two warring women, and he must have grown seriously weary as a result.

He also knew in his heart that Ishmael was not really the promised child. He was forced to engage in the deception initially to please his wife and was also forced to continue the charade to stay in her graces. As far as Sarah was concerned Ishmael was her son and anything contrary to this was forbidden. There is thus no possible way she could have had a relationship with God during the entire time for if she had she would have been convicted of her sin and changed her way of thinking.

It is quite interesting how the Word of God gives us clues that bypass most Christians, likely because most Christians are also stuck in false narratives as Sarah was and cannot see them. We know in Adam’s case he lived another 130 years after his initial sin and banishment. At that point he finally repented and did what was required to get right with God. Eve also repented and got right. Their third son listed in the Genesis account—Seth—was the result. He was the fruit of their return to God and effectively replaced Abel who the devil had eliminated by the murderous hand of the abominable Cain.

The point here is the 130 years. It is ten times thirteen. Ten is the Biblical number of ordinal perfection and thirteen is the number of rebellion. Once the rebellion ended, the Messianic generational bloodline was reestablished. For 130 long years there was no hope of a future Savior. If Adam had never gotten right with God there would have been no Lord Jesus. We would all end up in hell with no remedy. The devil would have won the universe. It is therefore no surprise that the number thirteen entered the picture once again in the case of Ishmael:

Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. [Genesis 17:24-26]

It was imperative that Abraham be circumcised prior to the birth of the promised child. Should he not have known that Isaac was impossible until he had done this? That Isaac would not only be the product of pure faith but also, by implication, the circumcision of the heart? How often do we as Christians make claims upon God’s promises but remain unwilling to fulfill the terms thereof? Circumcision portends spiritual cleanliness. It portends pure seed. It was the cutting off of the flesh. Though Ishmael was conceived while Abraham was uncircumcised (flesh), Isaac, the promised son, must be conceived in circumcised purity (spirit).

Also, the outward end of Ishmael’s development as a son of flesh must be officially stopped and was stopped at thirteen years. The big picture, of course, illustrates the nature of Abraham and Sarah’s sin in that, like Adam and Eve, it was a sin of disobedient faithless rebellion. Abraham’s faithlessness and rebellion against God ended, fully, with his circumcision. In fact, everyone in his entire household was also circumcised. God does not merely suggest spiritual purity if an Isaac is to come forth—He demands it.

Perhaps this is why much of Christianity never brings forth an Isaac but can only ever manage an Ishmael.

ISAAC

Immediately after this wholesale repentance/circumcision event when Abraham returned to rightness with God, he was paid a visit by God and God confirmed the initial promise He had made many years before. Keep in mind that God never would have shown up if Abraham did not fulfill what he must. God always has more time than us and will wait forever if need be. Also, the wholesale repentance/circumcision event of Abraham’s household broke the power that Sarah had gained over Abraham and to which he had fallen victim to when he obeyed her in forcing him to bring forth an Ishmael. As long as her power over the situation remained, Isaac could not possibly be born because he must be born of Sarah and not a surrogate. His birth would never happen as long as Sarah was in charge. Sarah would never have an ounce of faith as long as she was in charge. She would never be fertile. She would be unworthy of receiving spiritual seed. Of course, in her case, she was also unable of bear children in the flesh. She was barren both physically and spiritually. She was also faithless. The only way this could change is if she submitted to God. Fully. Why was Sarah so hardheaded and stubborn in this regard? Why did she demand to have her own way? Was this not the vestige of fallen Eve in her nature? (Abraham had also partaken of the vestige of fallen Adam by weakly complying with the demands and/or manipulation of his wife.) 

The process toward spiritual life and away from fleshly rebellion, as it was in the exact case of Adam and Eve, started when Abraham took back control from Sarah and then submitted total control to God. (As long as Sarah was in authority she would never submit to God and there would never be an Isaac.) This is why there was such an immediate dramatic change for the better once Abraham repented and was circumcised. The change was so dramatic that even Sarah herself would be blessed with pure faith and her newfound faithfulness to God would result at last in spiritual fruitfulness. God had initially told them Isaac was coming 29 years before. The time had now arrived for Him to tell them again, this time face to face:

Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will bring a piece of bread, that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” [Genesis 18:1-5]

Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” [Genesis 18:9-14][1]

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

Though an Ishmael has taken over and gained great power at the behest of evil forces he will not and they will not have the last word. Regardless of their success to date in establishing a counterfeit which appears to be legitimate, there remains much more to this story. We see many forms of attack against this Ishmael but none have worked so far nor will any other work. Except one.

As I have faithfully reported over the last eleven and a half years, primarily through this medium, a Great Awakening had always been in the plan of God for America. Just as He has done on countless other occasions, if we as His followers fulfill the terms of the promise, the present illegitimate Ishmael in control will not only be stopped but circumcised. Its evil fleshly power and connection to the devil will be cut off. This will happen when the rebellion is complete, when the perpetrators thereof have spent themselves in an ultimately losing cause. And every real Christian in America has a vital part to be engaged in toward that end. The Lord Jesus will do this, as He always has, through His people, His spiritual kingdom-minded Community of Called-Out Ones who bow the knee to Him, confess His holy Name, and circumcise their hearts.

In the interim, get faithful and stay faithful.

Isaac is coming.    

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]   


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

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)

A NOTE ABOUT OUR DIGITAL COMMUNITY (AND A BIT OF HUMOR)

 

Hello my friends. Hope all is well! The following is a brief note regarding how we operate as bloggers and the interaction thereof which you may find helpful and interesting.

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Like some of you I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve “met” some really great people here over the years. Like you, I have also had readers come and go. It is always great to get new readers who like your stuff and believe it to be edifying. On the other hand, we sometimes lose readers. Some stop reading your stuff. Some stop blogging altogether. Some delete their sites. New bloggers come on board. It is all very fluid. When I look at some of my posts from just a few years ago I wonder what happened to those readers. If you do this blogging thing long enough you will have a turnover of supporters several times. This is all completely normal.

A NOTE ABOUT THIS MEDIUM

Attention spans have generally become very short. When I started out here going on twelve years ago my posts were usually in the range of one to two pages and occasionally three. Anything exceeding that was broken into two to three parts and very rarely did I write a series longer than three parts. From time to time after that I occasionally wrote a four page post. Due to the nature of the medium I realized that relatively short posts work best and if I wrote a series, three parts at the most would work best. If one uses the same title in a series, readers have a tendency to drift off and lose interest. This is perfectly understandable.

This has happened in my current series, but the title of a series cannot change unless one scraps the entire series. The writer usually never knows if a reader doesn’t read or stops reading due to the unchanging title in a series, the content of articles, or the length of articles. It could be all three or a combination. (My posts have become longer as of late.) We are therefore continually looking for what may work best to (1) Honor the Lord who has called us to this work to do what He wants, and (2) Strive to make our posts as readable, informative, interesting, and edifying as possible.

Here are a few other things of note: I learned early on that there are bloggers out there who desire to be helpful and point out things about this medium that may have escaped our notice. We always appreciate helpful hints and ideas. I had one particular blogging friend whose site I followed who liked doing this and I did learn a few things. Also, if we have a good well-rounded blog roll we cannot help but learn a great many things that will assist us in our walk, which is in essence the entire purpose of being here and doing this. My thanks to all of you for the content you post and your distinctive style.

To go along with the good, however, there’s a tad bit of bad. I want you all to know that I will never Like a post unless I read your post in its entirety. There are some who do not do this. They may not read a post at all or only read a portion but will still leave their calling card. I remember the first time many years ago when I got blasted with Like spam. I suddenly received a ton of Likes on many of my posts and, of course, knew the other blogger had never read any of them. I also learned you cannot do anything about this. It just happened again a few days ago. I suddenly received many Likes from one individual who never read the many posts he or she referenced and apparently only wanted to post his or her icon. This is not good.

Again, most of us never do this. I never do it. It is therefore difficult to know for sure how many people actually read your posts and Like them for what they contain. Regardless of such not so great behavior, we learn who our solid readers are by their great behavior and attitude, and their ongoing consistent support. At the end of the day we are all family, those of us who have given our lives to the Lord Jesus. We are each fallible, however, and need one another. We also obviously need the Lord. Always.

I remember one occasion when I was a rookie Christian. I was attending one of those churches in which we had a time of testimony. We could stand up and share with everyone there some wonderful thing the Lord did. We had a great song leader guy who also did the testimony service, as we called it back then. I’m sure some of you are familiar with the format. He would ask whoever had a testimony (a short account of something great the Lord recently did in our lives) to stand up. Then he would call on us in turn. At that time I had been engaging in some spiritual warfare and was learning, as a rookie, that sometimes God has some serious enemies. I decided to let fly with something on my heart regarding this which may or may not have fit a testimony service. I stood there in the small congregation and said something to this effect, that sometimes living out our Christianity can have serious repercussions in that the enemy can hit pretty hard. And we want to hit back but know that isn’t right and we must simply take the hit and then figure out how to fight in the Spirit. So the punchline to my brief “testimony,” delivered with a not so bright and cheery attitude, was, “And if the Lord was not watching over us and protecting us, we’d all be sitting ducks!” It got pretty quiet…

So again, we need the Lord. Without Him the enemy would treat us like little duck targets at a circus sideshow knocking down one after the other. And we need each other. Each of us has our part to engage in to help one another. Keep up the great work!  

PS: I remember a brother from that time years ago telling a story about another rookie Christian. It seems somebody actually had a successful witness with some big dude who happened to be a longshoreman. The guy was your typical hard-working brawler. He ended up giving his life to God and was gloriously saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, he was still a brand new Christian and had much to learn. He was excitedly witnessing to one of his buddies at work one day and his buddy wanted no part of it. The guy being witnessed to began getting upset and angry, and belligerent toward his former friend. He even began disparaging the Lord. The brand new Christian doing the witnessing had no way to process this and thus reverted to known behavior. As he told a friend later, “Then all of the sudden the Holy Ghost came on me and I whipped the socks off him!”

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

They’ve been violated. It has already happened. There is no use, therefore, in being fearful of what’s coming because it’s already here. It’s been here in stages a long time…

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THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

The deceived don’t know this. They have been unaware of this hidden reality in general ever since it was first brought forth. They have no idea they are being played. Some may have a clue or two momentarily but usually reject the idea of sinister planning behind closed doors by hidden higher-ups as the fruit of the nut brigade. By this they prove their membership in the latter by discarding the very possibility of gaining the required insight toward being released from deception.

Anyone with adequate Biblical knowledge knows the enemy is a deceiver. He deceived Eve in the very beginning. What thus took place in The Garden of Eden was certainly a conspiracy. It was a planned assault formulated in secret and expertly managed to deceive our first parents toward surrendering their high spiritual status and gaining authority over their lives. It worked like a charm, as they say.

The enemy has done the same masterful job to date by bringing along a long term plan very slowly but surely. As in the beginning, he has a lot riding on its success. Part of the reason for the long gradualism approach was waiting on the technology to catch up with the plans. The plans, of course, have always been there. The specific plans for our generation were made long before our generation existed. One must go back four or five generations to discover the original source of the river now upon us.

Because people are created by God to be Strong and Freedom-Loving, one of the first things that had to be done was pare down the inherent strength of human beings and remove their freedom in as many areas as possible to the greatest degree possible to make them more pliable, conforming, and weak. An insecure weakened foe with less freedom and confidence is more easily defeated. An ignorant unaware foe disconnected from the reality of his or her inherent potent nature is much less likely to make a stand and fight. For the most part, through surreptitious and deceptive means undetected by the victim, the battle is often over before it ever starts.

SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY AND DISCIPLESHIP

Big rocks are not pliable. There are big rocks in big rivers that can withstand indefinitely the ongoing powerful effect of raging waters. It will take a very long time to wear them down. Most of the time the only thing that happens to them is ongoing smoothing and polishing. They become more rounded and less sharp-edged. This is the exact process that takes place when the Lord’s people subject themselves to real discipleship. The rough edges are slowly removed. But the great Strength of the Freedom-Loving rock not only remains but grows even Stronger and more Freedom-Loving. Their smoothed out and polished nature allows opposing forces to flow past with little feeling or discomfort.

Christians who have been brainwashed by religion and religious idiots into thinking that God is against freedom obviously do not know God. That a likely majority of Christians believe this and surrender their lives accordingly proves that a likely majority of Christians are not clear on the concept. They’ve got their minds stuck on submission to authority, submission to authority, submission to authority. The idea isn’t necessarily wrong but they submit inappropriately to the wrong people. They become slaves to those they submit to whether they understand it or not. Slaves have little or no freedom.

And as I have said forever, the teachings of the Lord Jesus never advocate for such beyond one’s complete submission to Him. If the Lord wants us to obey others under His authority we only do so because we obey Him first. Real Christians place themselves first and foremost under His umbrella of authority. In this way whatever we may do is under His authority which means He has complete control over anyone else He may want us to submit to and if such people exceed their authority we can immediately cease to obey them just as the apostles Peter and John explained in the following:

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.” [Acts 4:18-20]

In other words, those who command Christians to do something against the will of God that grossly violates their entire reason for living can be effectively told to go stick it in their left ear and jam it in all the way until everyone knows they’re as much a moron as they appear. Christians with such an attitude will always have the full 100% support of the Lord Jesus in doing such. ¿Comprende?

Therefore, all real Christians know they must submit to the Lord Jesus entirely or there cannot possibly be a real relationship with Him and His authority will never work in their lives. The unreal Christians do not understand this or have lost sight of the fact that all real Christians have been bought with a price. Our spiritual freedom was paid for by His horrific torture and death as the only possible Sacrifice Lamb who paid for our sins and set us free from its power.

Now, after the Lord Jesus has willingly paid the greatest price that could ever possibly be paid to buy us back from the forces of evil and the evil power of sin, why would He then violate our new freedom by making us slaves all over again?

It is true that real Christians are effectively His bond slaves. In fact, the English word “servant” in the Gospels referring to the Lord’s people is best translated as slaves and is translated that way in some versions. But this fact must be put into the proper context. The Lord Jesus is also obviously a loving Father. Again, did He not die for us? And is not that the greatest love? This being the case, He is obviously wholly trustworthy, loving, kind, merciful, and compassionate. Why then, must real Christians go through such a tough process which seems to violate this affection to become Strong Freedom-Loving disciples?

There are several reasons. We live in a broken, dysfunctional, sinful, fallen world filled with evil ruled over by powerful evil forces. If one is to have any effect against such evil then one must be very strong and powerful otherwise one will have no chance. To become spiritually strong and powerful one must work very hard at it and allow the Lord to assist in the process. This is in part why there must be growing pains and spiritual trials.

And in case you’re wondering, it impossible to possess this kind of powerful spiritual strength unless one is filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus Himself was filled with the Holy Spirit without measure. The Early Church of the first century was filled with His Holy Spirit and this is what made it so powerful. They had greater power than the devil. It wasn’t their power. It was His power. The evidence of His power within them is illustrated throughout the New Covenant writings.

Remember the Roman centurion who believed in the Lord? He stated the authority paradigm very well. By considering the military we better understand the need for growing pains, spiritual trials, and necessary discipleship. The military takes young raw recruits and transforms them into strong, disciplined soldiers who obey orders. One could never have an effective military otherwise. We can also see this in the realm of sports in which the very best players work extremely hard over many years to become the best they can be. Both of these examples illustrate the necessity of submitting to strong training and discipline. It is how the largely worthless and weak become powerful and great. Some may have great natural talent but such still must be properly subjected to the process. For real Christians, it is absolutely mandatory that they get their flesh under control and never allow their lower human nature to subvert their higher nature and violate their true character. The addition of the Lord’s Spirit to our spirit makes this possible.

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [1Corinthians 6:17]

Real Christians understand real discipleship. They know they are greatly loved and supported by the Lord Jesus but also know they are in a spiritual war against powerful evil enemies. They know that pacified, compliant, soft, wimpy, conformed-to-the-sinful-culture non-Spirit-filled Christians won’t have much impact whatsoever against such evil forces. They know that those who insist on such an attitude are actually working for the enemy. Keep this in mind when religious rulers insist that one must submit to them rather than the Lord Jesus. It is exactly the same when such Christians weakly submit to the secular variety of such rulers. Those who submit to either of these without ever submitting fully to the Lord are doing the same thing Adam and Eve did when they rebelled against God. They are effectively submitting to the devil.

This is why it is vitally necessary to submit to the Lord fully and properly. His teachings tell us how this is done. The history of the first-century Christians reveal to us how they did it. However, much of what the Lord taught and what the original Christians did in obedience to His teachings has been thoroughly rejected by the majority of Christians ever since. Now, why would they do that? Hmmm… This should tell one all one needs to know about Unreal Christianity. It is just another of the devil’s evil and deceptive hell holes. Rather than being Strong Freedom-Loving rocks as created by God, such Christians are mere spiritual wimps led around by the nose, broken and violated. And they don’t even know it. They are deceived.

THE LAST TWO YEARS

The Lord told me eleven and a half years ago in late August of 2010 that we were in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. He revealed this to me long before the term “Great Awakening” became popular. Starting maybe five years ago at the most this term began being appropriated by a few and then grew to massive acceptance. Curiously, however, it has rarely been used in Christian circles, Christian media, or churches. It is as if Christians are completely unaware of what is actually going on in these times. In reality, this is exactly the case. The majority of Christians are clueless because their chosen official leaders are clueless, because such official Christian leaders for the most part are not serving the Lord Jesus and have different agendas. They serve someone else. They desire something else.

Yet, how is it then that many non-Christians in America know a great deal of what’s going on behind the scenes, do an incredible amount of research, work very hard to stay informed and aware, filter out all the mis and disinformation, and do their best to inform others (for free!) while most Christians don’t know squat? Could it be because such Freedom-Loving people are doing a much better job obeying their Creator and being what He wants them to be even though they likely don’t know Him or know Him very well? And could it be that they have refused to submit to brainwashing of either the secular or religious variety?

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. [Romans 2:14-16]

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32]

Even though the last two years have likely been the worst ever experienced in America though many Americans don’t know this or believe it because they are, well, you know, and though the devil has made great strides toward his master plan, the Lord Jesus has also had a plan. His plans always predate the devil’s plans. The Lord knows what the devil will do before he does it and has a plan to counteract it. But the Lord can only implement His plans through fully submitted disciples—loving sons and daughters pledged to Him and His work—those who not only say they will do the work but actually go out and do it. Thus, we now perceive much more clearly the real Christians and the fake ones based on what each has done over the last two years. Some Christians merely did everything they were told to do without ever seeking the Lord and therefore were exactly like the wayward son who told his father he would obey but never did. And because these Christians obeyed someone other than the one they claim to follow it proves they don’t really follow Him. The last two years have revealed the unreal Christians for what they are.

The last two years have also revealed the real. The real are those who acted as big rocks in a raging river who refused to move but got that much more smoothed out and rounded and polished during a greatly difficult time. By staying with the Lord Jesus and one another and doing their best, they preserved who they are and got even stronger and more aware of the devil’s tricks.

…so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. [2Corinthians 2:11] [1]

Because the enemy was arrogant he became vulnerable. The Lord Jesus drew him out. The Lord depended on His people to withstand the process and remain faithful though it looked as though all was done and over with and the enemy had achieved a great victory. Thank the Lord that so many of His children did remain faithful. The enemy will never quit, of course, and has already brought the next phase of his plan out, but, as always, the Lord Jesus has His own plan to counteract this one as well. His people must be faithful to the current plan of the Lord as well. It is why real Christians must be forever faithful and obedient. It is how they remain Strong and Freedom-Loving.

Anything less proves spiritual adultery.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

As objects in your side-view mirror are closer than they appear, so is the encroaching evil rapidly bearing down upon us. It is likely much worse than you may think.

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A DEEP SLEEP PANDEMIC

I do not write the following to frighten but to awaken. If a person is determined to remain asleep and oblivious regardless of ongoing attempts to rouse him from listless slumber he will eventually tune out the lifesaving alarm bells to the point of no longer hearing them at all. He will effectively mute the warning. He will destroy his spiritual ears. He will become spiritually tone-deaf.

By means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1Timothy 4:2]

Once seared, the damage is pretty much irreparable. If a person is hopelessly indoctrinated, completely programmed by false narratives, filled to the saturation level with propaganda—brainwashed, he will almost always react in one of two primary ways against the truth that attempts to rescue him:

(1) There will be anger. But it will be a strange incoherent anger. It is similar to the anger of one who got severely burned by enemies disguised as friends. Such fooled ones who were played as fools, upon realizing they were greatly deceived and ridiculed by evil forces, have a tendency to grow very angry very fast. It is an explosive anger. So it is with the brainwashed, except in their case, instead of realizing or accepting that they are brainwashed, they will angrily stand their ground as if they are not.

And in case you’re wondering, facts will not matter. Facts actually become the enemy. Truth is the enemy. Why? Because truth acts as an aggravating, incessant alarm that never stops. The brainwashed are angry in the face of truth in part because they have invested heavily in falsehood without necessarily knowing it was falsehood when they invested so heavily in it (believing it was truth) and do not appreciate being confronted with the difficult fork in the road now before them. Repentance leads to a doable tear down and rebuild:

“Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” [Luke 17:33]

The lack of repentance thereof leads to their lives eventually crashing down as the proverbial house built on shifting sands:

“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.” [Matthew 7:26-27] [1]

So in order to keep their mock lives intact, if that is the foolish choice they make, they must flee from truth. They must reject the facts that prove their lives are mere artificial constructs. They must preserve their faux lives and fabrications. They must protect their simulated realities in order to protect themselves. Though what they’ve spent years embracing and nurturing may make them feel very comfortable, may look very pleasing to the eye, may greatly satisfy one’s sinful flesh, and may make one socially acceptable and maybe a social standout (because seemingly everybody embraces the same), it is still a lie.

(2) The other reaction is on the opposite end of the spectrum. When confronted with truth, the brainwashed often react with ongoing ceaseless yawning. They fight falling asleep. Of course, what is actually happening is that they are already asleep and doing their best to stay that way and safeguard their sleep status. It could be they have already rejected such truth and such truth does not only not interest them but bores them.

This is what the rejecting of facts that don’t fit one’s overall desires, personal narrative, or belief system does. Such people exhibit the extreme opposite of love and hunger for truth. They do not so much possess a hatred of truth but a complete indifference toward it. We see this in common reactions to such warnings as: “Engaging in that immoral activity, ingesting that excuse for food, and partaking of such chemical poisons is causing you great harm,” and “Whether you believe it or not or accept it or not, sin is real and the wages of sin is death.” These essentially have no effect whatsoever because the person has long since decided they WANT to engage in such sinful activities regardless of the harm and pain they will cause.

And while they must acknowledge such undeniable truth on a head level, they remain hopeful against such facts on a heart level, convincing themselves to be unconvinced in hopes of dodging the otherwise inevitable. They are thus bored by truth alarms and fight hard to stay asleep. In fact, their immoral activities and bad habits often increase in order to maintain their chosen rebellious state and condition.

PHARMAKEIA INC

Perhaps this is why America—a drug state with a pronounced drug culture of both the legal and illegal variety (two wings of the same bird if you will that has existed for multiple decades now)—is currently engaged in a drug epidemic of such immense proportions. And what is more, the legal drugs and pharmaceuticals now arguably outrank and outnumber those of the illegal variety. The wicked little seedy drug pusher of decades past has now graduated to elite status and wears his white lab coat proudly. Perhaps as many as 200 million Americans now run to him unswervingly without equivocation for their ongoing fix. And it could be that these required fixes exist in the first place because their wholesale embrace of fear and lack of courage to face the truth demands their use and abuse.

The enemy of our souls has everything to do with this. A drug and alcohol-addled population of pseudo-Christians is of course no threat to him. He is the great drug pusher par excellence after all, sitting at the top of the pharmakeia pyramid, sending out directives through his henchmen and their billionaire human agents. There is great profit in this trade on many levels. The greatest is the ongoing propagation of evil that has now captured the very soul of the nation in that a great bulk of the warriors that should be and should be fighting for God have been brainwashed by the serpent and have defected to the enemy camp. Rather than stand against the flood of evil and engage in the spiritual fight they have weakly surrendered and willingly entered soul prison, closing the cold steel doors behind them.

Where they’re safe.

And you’re wondering when this evil will end…  

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

For those of you who have stayed with me so far and have read all four parts of this series to date, your time and attention is about to pay off.

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I wrote a segment within Part 3 about Adam and Eve. My longtime reader Amber and I had a good discussion in the comments section afterwards which answered several questions. What follows are more clues from Genesis.

GOOD AND EVIL

Of course, our first parents first lived in Paradise. They existed in a state of innocence. They had absolutely no knowledge of sin. They were pure and holy. God allowed them to eat from any tree in the Garden except one. This meant that every single tree other than that one had good fruit. Only one tree had bad fruit. And there were only two trees mentioned by name in the Garden:

Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. [Genesis 2:9]

By inference, we know that the Tree of Life was located somewhere in the center of the Garden. It was likely more prominent than the other trees. It held this strategic place not only to showcase its importance but to be equally accessible from any place thereof. Wherever one traveled in the Garden one would often pass by the Tree of Life and always be reminded of its significance. The Tree of Life is mentioned three times in the Book of Genesis. The bad Tree is mentioned twice. Three is the Biblical number of Divine Perfection. Two is the number of Division.

By further inference, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil must have been far off in a relatively remote location close to the boundary of the Garden. It was in a relatively hard to reach area which for the most part demanded a determined effort to visit it, possibly also because it was at a higher elevation. The odds upon happening upon it by chance were very low.

Regarding which direction this tree might have been located from the center, we can gain clues by simply reading the text. One notices that Adam and Eve were apparently driven out of the Garden on the east side:

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. [Genesis 3:22-24][1]

By inference again, it would seem that the bad tree would be located close by. It would seem that the bad tree was close to the eastern boundary. It would appear that visiting the bad tree was associated with a consideration of leaving the Garden, or in other words, rebelling against God and going off into sin. Was this Eve’s intention?

A FIG TREE

Also, Hebrew tradition states that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a fig tree, precisely because it is mentioned thus in Genesis. It was the Tree from which Adam and Eve gained the large leathery leaves to sew together and wear as loin coverings to hide their newly discovered nakedness.

This is not the fig tree of which most people are familiar. It is not a relatively low and bushy shrub but rather a very large tree that can grow to great heights.

Here is Ficus Sycomorus, the Sycamore Fig Tree of ancient Israel:


© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)



IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)  

God is forced to put up with never-ending willful sin and outright rebellion against His authority every second of every day in this fallen world. HE HAS HIS LIMITS.

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THE REAL VS. THE UNREAL

In this magnificent day in which we live, when long time sleepers are being stirred awake to varying degrees and unaware “normies,” as they are called, are finally starting to see through so many false narratives that had previously captured their minds, we must take note that the Lord will hold everyone responsible, regardless of their sleeping or awake condition, because of the massive effort over many years that was put forth to get us here.

Anyone who has spent years doing manual labor of some sort knows the cost of which I speak. Hard work gets things done. It can be tiring and draining, as we all know, but greatly rewarding. It gives us a great sense of accomplishment. Such effort demands the required rest afterwards to regain one’s health and ability to function properly. This normally comes with a good night’s sleep, of course, but many people who do such labor don’t often get the sleep they need and the labor takes a cumulative toll. Spiritual work involves the same dynamic.

For a brief synopsis on spiritual work and how things operate and get done in the spiritual world, it kinda goes like this: Some nobody real Christian somewhere of no reputation or notoriety labors intensely in total obscurity for pretty much forever in a determined ongoing effort to turn things from darkness to light. It may be someone engaging in heart-rending intercessory prayer, often not even aware of what or who they are praying for. They pray incessantly until the Lord says stop. Prayer of this kind costs. It costs a great amount. But what is gained from such prayer makes a massive difference for something or someone. Our prayer warrior may thus move mountains in answer to God’s call who uses such a method to accomplish His will in the earth.

Most people, including Christians, are never aware of such things. Great things happen and they appear to have just happened on their own. Imagine someone who engages in some kind of secret blessing ministry in which they give to others in such a way that no one knows who the giver is. Some of the recipients know exactly what happened and are extremely grateful. Others simply accept their gift, whatever it may be, as if they were somehow entitled to it with little or no thought of thanking the giver or even knowing there was a giver. They accept the gift without understanding or caring about the great effort that went into appropriating the gift to give. Sound familiar?

THE WAY THE KINGDOM WORKS

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:1-6]

It can never ever be overstated what the Lord Jesus has done for us. He did it all with the most humble self-effacing attitude. His greatest work was done in secret in that no one knew by observation that He was the Author. During His ministry, He spent hours in prayer pretty much every night and there must have been times when He pulled all night prayer meetings all alone. The results of His prayers showed up in His ministry work the next day. Keep that in mind when you see so much “Christian ministry” going on all across the country while New Covenant miracles are pretty much non-existent among such people. If the results are not there it should be obvious that the spiritual work was never there either.

The Lord has His reasons for keeping a very humble and obscure low profile and for commanding that His followers have the same. One cannot help but notice that the Lord Jesus always gave the credit and glory to the Father. He would not allow the glorification of flesh or mere humanity in the spotlight, even if it meant His own humanity, perfect and pure as it is. This should give all the glory hound in-the-spotlight Christian ministers great pause. Those who stand in such a place had better deliver or there will be consequences. Most such ministers, of course, never deliver. Their efforts remain squarely in the natural flesh realm. Not only do their ministries never see miracles many don’t even believe in miracles. And Christian ministry without miracles is NOT Christian.

Again, a great amount of behind the scenes spiritual effort by hard-working obscure nobody Christians has gone into the current Great Awakening. It is certainly the Lord Jesus who is bringing it but He must work through His people and He can only work through those who fully surrender to His will and are willing to be used in whatever way He desires. So, just as the Lord Jesus, as our example in this regard, gave all the glory to the Father (even though He later explained that He is the Father), so must all real Christians give the glory for the accomplished work to the Lord Jesus. He is the One with all the authority in both heaven and earth. There is nothing He cannot do. Once Christians actually see and understand this and apply His methods for achieving the work He has commanded must be done, they gain effective understanding that truly, all things actually are possible with God. They shift over into believing in miracles. They see that the help the Lord wants to give MUST include the supernatural.

OUR GREATEST OPPONENTS ARE NOT HUMAN

The devil is a powerful spiritual entity. This is simply fact. The majority of Christians don’t know this, don’t acknowledge it, lose sight of it, refuse to address it, or are much too fearful toward addressing it. Yet, the New Testament states this very plainly. The devil is in fact so powerful that he has gained control over the entire world. The only place he doesn’t have control is in the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. There is a huge disconnect here among Christians, however. The Lord Jesus acknowledged this fact. The Early Church in the first century was well aware of it. To refresh our memories there is this:

And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” [Luke 4:5-8][1]

How did the devil gain control of all the kingdoms of the world? Why do we think this passage of Scripture does not apply to the present? Do Christians really believe that the devil controls all the kingdoms of the world at present? How many Christians actually acknowledge this?

It must be few. The few who do are most likely the real Christians of the world. They know this to be true because they are Kingdom-minded. They know when they were born again of the Spirit that they left the sinful world and entered the Kingdom of God. They know they were previously bound by sin and living in the devil’s prison. They know the Lord Jesus busted them out of jail. They thus know how this world really works. They are not unaware of the devil’s power and authority in his own realm. They also know, however, that the Lord Jesus has much greater power than the devil. They know that the Lord’s spiritual power is vitally necessary because the devil is a spiritual being and uses spiritual warfare against us. We MUST in turn use spiritual warfare against him. The Lord Jesus taught all about this and demonstrated clearly how such spiritual warfare must be done.

Therefore, though the great bulk of “Christians” in the world have no spiritual power by choice because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit and don’t want to be, though many convince themselves they are when they are not, and though these Christians represent little or no threat to the enemy, the relatively few real Christians in the world are the ones who work with God and are actually getting the work done and accomplishing the works of their Father. It is the few real Christians who have the courage to actually attack the enemy. The devil has created a prison planet with most of his subjects in jail, unknowingly, and God is intent on busting as many people out of the devil’s jails as possible. That takes effort. It takes great spiritual power. It takes the Lord having actual strong disciples intent on doing His will and being used of Him so He can work through them. Every time someone is actually busted out of the devil’s jail and brought into the Kingdom of God IT IS A GREAT MIRACLE.

THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL

Therefore, if you’re wondering when this evil will end, it is ending in part as you read this in that great spiritual work is being accomplished behind the scenes as it were and we see the evidence in part every time someone gets saved, set free from sin, and busted out of the devil’s prison.

Someone paid a great price for such to happen. Someone paid it forward with His very life. Moreover, we know great miracles are happening worldwide and the Lord’s Kingdom is growing larger because the devil is being exposed. The Lord’s LIGHT is shining on the great darkness in this world. His TRUTH is exposing all the lies and false narratives. This combination of spiritual Light and Truth means the enemy must be on the run from both.

He and his minions, including those of the human variety, can run for a while and hide for a while but will never be able to outrun the Lord Jesus or hide forever.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

We live in a finite and temporary world. These two facts portend that evil will achieve a point of allowed maximum growth and will then be terminated.

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I wrote in Part 1 of this series that Sin is Progressive. According to the dictionary definition, this means it is “moving forward or onward: advancing,” and “increasing in extent or severity.” [1]

The Word of God states that sin had a clear starting point in this world. There was a time here when there was no sin. The first two human beings on the planet initially existed in a state of pure innocence. They had no experiential concept of sin. Adam was certainly warned of it and Adam warned Eve of it. He taught her what God had taught him. But they only knew sin as a concept. The only thing that continued to protect them from it was their faith in God and obedience toward Him. More than these, though, it was Adam and Eve’s great love for God that compelled them to obey. Their love generated trust. They believed God and believed in Him.

This love was more pronounced in Adam, however. There was a period of time in Adam’s early life when he was blessed with much alone time and fellowship with God. Their Father-son relationship was undoubtedly very close. Eve never experienced this. It appears as though Eve spent little or no time as God’s daughter apart from Adam. She was created to be Adam’s wife. This created a dynamic that demanded even greater attention to their relationship with God. Just as we do not know how long Adam spent alone with God before Eve was created, we also don’t know how long Adam and Eve existed in innocence before they sinned. It would appear, though, that it was a relatively short rather than long period of time regarding the latter.

ADAM’S EZER KANEGDO

God stated: “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18). The Hebrew word for good in this verse is defined as “pleasant, agreeable, good.” [2] It was not good that something not good existed in the Garden. It is my belief that this “not good” only lasted a short time. I explain it this way: God created Adam and breathed His own life-giving Spirit into him. Adam became a living being. His first relationship was that of a son to his Father (See Luke 3:38). We do not know at what age Adam was created but it was likely young enough for God to be a good Father to him and teach him all he must know. When the time came for Adam to seek a wife he entered into the “not good” phase. Adam arrived at a time when he needed close human companionship beyond his perfect companionship with God. His need denoted lack. The lack was “not good.” It was initially not good because there was no such helper suitable for him. She had yet to exist in all of Creation. God would have to create her. God knew He must create Adam’s ezer kanegdo. And it appears as though God saved His best for last.

It was up to Adam to teach her. He had to show her the ropes. Adam had the best Father and Teacher possible but now he would have to step into this role for Eve. It appears as though he did a very good job because we later see that Eve was well-versed in spiritual knowledge when she had her fateful conversation with the trickster serpent. She held up very well for a while. The serpent knew her every weakness, however, and took full advantage. There is no doubt that Eve wanted more than she had. She apparently did not understand fully that she already had it all. Her desire for more, wherever it came from, is what caused her to listen attentively to the serpent’s counter attack.

Remember, God had commanded Adam that he must never eat the fruit from one particular tree in the Garden. That was it. Just one thing he must never do. Only one negative command. Adam always obeyed. He taught Eve exactly as he had been taught. She undoubtedly knew the command. But whereas Adam had no longing for the forbidden fruit Eve apparently did. Adam did not think he was missing out but Eve apparently did. There can be no doubt that Adam had been tempted this way, maybe several times, all without giving in to temptation. What happened to Eve?

For starters Adam had somehow allowed her to be alone with the serpent. Even though Scripture seems to report that Adam was with her during the temptation this could not have been true. The words “with her” in Genesis 3:6 do not appear in the Hebrew. The conversation only involved Eve and the serpent. Though she had always obeyed up to that point, she did so because she feared death. She knew death was the penalty for violating the one negative command.

The first thing the serpent did to throw her off was ask her directly if God had ever actually made such a command. Eve said He did. She also told the serpent that whoever ate the forbidden fruit or even touched it would die. Adam had taught her this. But again, it appears as though God taught Adam better than Adam taught Eve. It looks as though Adam respected God more than Eve respected Adam. Adam had full confidence in God but Eve apparently did not have the same confidence in Adam. She must have questioned this command in her heart. This could be because she essentially got the message second hand. Because Adam was the go-between and because Eve never heard this directly from God she possessed a weakness the serpent could take advantage of.

(1) The serpent asked her if God had actually ever made that particular command. This put doubt in her mind. This pretty much proves that she never heard the command from God.

(2) When Eve told the serpent the command and the penalty for breaking it the serpent simply lied to her. She had never heard a lie before. The serpent told her, “You surely will not die!” Then he lied to her again and told her if she ate it she would be like God.

(3) Eve was now disarmed. She was no longer sure that God had ever made the command and then began believing that if God did make it He only did it because He wanted to keep her down. She must have thought God was holding out on her, that He did not want her to be fully blessed and fulfilled. She also probably thought that Adam had gone along with the ruse. How could someone so blessed living in Paradise actually think that the two most important ones in her life who both loved her were actually lying to her and holding out on her?

(4) Then the devil went in for the kill. He had managed to get her completely confused and off-balance. She could no longer properly discern the veracity of God’s command or the penalty thereof. Was it actually true? Is there something much better for me that I didn’t know about before?

She eventually succumbed to temptation.

THE THREE SOURCES OF SIN

In the first epistle of John the apostle, he warns his readers to “not love the world nor the things in the world.” The Greek word is kosmos and there are several definitions. In this context John is referring to the world of sinful man existing apart from God in opposition to Him containing “the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ.” [3] John then tells us that all sin originates from only three main sources:

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. [1John 2:15-17]

These three sources of sin are aligned with the three main temptations to sin. We may call them Door #1, Door #2, and Door #3. The three sources are three portals. The portals are presented by the enemy as Portals to Paradise. Whoever may enter through these doors is guaranteed to experience a paradise on earth. One is also promised a place of ruling authority. One can have whatever one’s heart desires. This should sound familiar:

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. [Genesis 3:6][4]

Here we have the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and lastly, the boastful pride of life in which “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

The Lord Jesus Himself had to be tempted with these three and pass the test before He could start His ministry. He succeeded where Adam failed. But it must be remembered that Adam and Eve repented of their great sin and got their act together with God 130 years later. They produced a righteous son named Seth, a replacement for righteous Abel who was murdered. Abel was the original beginning of the Messiah’s generational line. Adam started the line anew through Seth (See Genesis 4:25).

This tells us that any and all sin, no matter how heinous or egregious (except the unpardonable sin), even that as far-reaching as the sin of Adam and Eve, can be forgiven and washed away by the Blood of the Lamb. But this only happens if one exits “the world.” Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden and cast into the wild world. Everyone since was physically born into “the world.” In a reversal of fates, the last Adam makes it possible “for whosoever will” to exit the world of sin and enter the Kingdom of God on earth.

Nevertheless, the world of sin, since it was created many millennia ago, has grown worse and worse over time. It is because Sin is Progressive. It will continue progressing until it maxes out. We will look into this process further in Part 4…

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] © 2022 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

[2] Strong’s Concordance

[3] Strong’s Concordance

[4] 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.

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

For the most part humanity goes through life with blinders on. Life being what it is, the vast majority are always in the process of oblivious survival and reality denial.

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FACING REALITY

Indeed, survival has been the main preoccupation of the great mass of humanity throughout history. Life in this world is difficult in general but the gradients thereof can rank from just this side of impossible on a daily basis to being stalwart enough to keep two or three plates spinning at once for long enough stretches. The relentless attention to staying alive, however, must at some point be supplemented (to do it justice) by achieving relatively good health with minimal food and shelter for greater advancement to be possible. Yet, striving further, the struggle is then not only about the attempt at gaining the hard-won fruit of difficult toil, but also overcoming the incessant forces forever trying to keep one from getting to better places, and once getting there staying there.

As great feats of architecture must be engineered to overcome all manner of often unacknowledged natural stresses and forces arriving through moving winds, rushing water, and quaking earth, so must human beings learn to cope with forces and stresses which seem intent on fighting every step one makes toward a better life. Survival portends overcoming these relentless attacks and establishing small beachheads from which one can expand outward and upward. One’s first camp in life, with the rudimentary basics, in most often the hardest. From there it gets more doable but only because one has established a rough home of sorts to resort to when the going gets so tough it demands a break to rest and recharge. Without such an established starting point protected from the elements one can never sustain a drive toward breaking out of mere survival and remains forever at the mercy of those opposing forces intent on keeping one from rising up over them.

For the relative few who do manage to escape ceaseless survival mode, their new found freedom, diminutive as it may be, is immediately used for hopeful progress and they become preoccupied with improving their basic station in life. If actually succeeding against most odds at their lofty goal of bettering living beyond staying alive, the next pursuit is even loftier in that the attempt to excel enters the realm of possibility. There are some who do excel though the definition of such is fluid and depends on perception. At each hardy, difficult step of going-against-the-grain accomplishment and overcoming, one establishes a solid foundation from which to build the next advance. As long as said foundation remains strong and secure and one proceeds with correctly engineered plans and construction, one can keep building with confidence.

“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” [Luke 6:47-48]

The foundation part of one’s overall edifice is the decidedly tricky part. If not careful in building and securing one’s spiritual foundation the right way to the proper level of bearing strength, one finds out the hard way that one’s architectural life was actually a big game of Jenga just waiting to return to a disassembled natural state.

This unfortunate and all too common outcome experienced by a probable majority was inevitable once one’s faux foundation and the edifice upon it failed to hold at bay the straining-at-the-leash evil howling dogs of omnipresent stresses and forces determined to discover overlooked architectural error and slipshod work exceeding the parameters of allowable sound building practices which fatally compromised construction integrity.

“But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” [Luke 6:49][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)


IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (1)

From one of the first anointed preaching messages I ever heard when I was a rookie Christian years ago I remember the clear and haunting words, “Sin is progressive…”

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I’ve visited this theme several times over the course of this blog. It is not an easy thing to face. Sin begins at a single point. It then grows. It rides along a rising wave gaining strength. In time it proliferates. In further time it rises higher and then suddenly starts shooting upward exponentially as on the right side of an intangible graph. If nothing stops its advance, and nothing often does, it goes forth and it conquers. Sin is truly progressive…

For the overly fearful among us, the notion of sin and evil running so out of control that next to nothing can be done about it can be petrifying. It is why most don’t want to touch the subject. Such an approach is not necessarily a rejection of such facts but akin to hiding them away in a far corner of a dank and dusty immaterial attic or burying them out somewhere in a nondescript field without a marker. The idea that an evil so great and powerful lurks in our midst taking precedence over our lives regardless of benign exteriors to the contrary is simply too much to deal with for most.

When one actually does look into it, even for a brief few seconds of consideration, seeing the distinct possibility, and maybe even venturing to the edge of the shocking reality though still at a presumably secure distance, it often causes a gut reaction and an instant recoil back to safety, as one may force a waking state from a nightmare to escape the spine-chilling terror thereof.

This is why most people have succumbed to ignoring the great hidden evil or claiming its non-existence. It is due both to being either unable or unwilling to face it for the great fear factor involved because of the shock such fear does to one’s system, or because they know inherently they have no means of battling it, fighting successfully against it, overcoming it, and thus eliminating it. They know the evil is simply too great and they are not strong enough to duke it out as one may win fights against far-lesser foes, or that they do not have the necessary tools of warfare, as one is well aware of the futility of bringing a dull butter knife to a gun fight.

Humans know this. Or, they used to. Maybe the vast majority has run so far away as yellow-striped cowards over the last several decades and more that such a weak-response attitude has become embedded in the DNA of present generations. Maybe the blindness that has thus ensued has reached a point of mass all-encompassing willful sightlessness that most could never see it no matter what obvious facts are presented or even if the Sacred and Holy written Word of God is used as potent searchlight.

I remember once, at a deer hunting lease, our small group of men, all family, had to go out one late afternoon right before the season started to check on some feeders or something. Among our group was one young man who had never been out in the deep woods that far. It was his first hunting venture. As we dealt with the last tasks in the growing evening it quickly grew almost dark. Being heavily overcast in mid-autumn with little or no moon, the recognizable was fading fast. The sunlight through the deep clouds had drifted off surreptitiously rather quickly and it was soon night.

Anyone who has experienced this scenario knows of what I speak. Normally in such conditions one would already have a fire going in camp and the dark/light ratio is not noticed so much, especially amid the usual supper activities and whatnot of that time. Out in the brush, however, there was no fire and no light other than our small handheld flashlights which work good at seeing the immediate surroundings but not so much that the enveloping shroud of deep darkness all around doesn’t have the clear upper hand.

Then someone thought it would be cool to douse them for a while. We turned off our lights. The great darkness of the deep woods out in the middle of nowhere instantly invaded our immediate presence and let us know who the boss was, at least in that moment. It was total blackness. Then, as our eyes adjusted somewhat, the distant starlight muted by the dark overcast unseen clouds above filtered in, at least toward a point of seeing enough to know we were at a supreme disadvantage. The eyes of the wild were on sudden alert and we must have surely appeared as easy targets. We beheld the wonder momentarily.

The two older men, though with necessary respect and a positive appreciation, thought nothing of it having experienced it many times. Deer hunting is such that you enter your blind or climb a tree in the pitch black darkness of cold mornings and leave them the same way after the evening hunt. The two younger men probably thought it was an interesting experience but was, of course, nothing new. But the young lad had never been in such a situation. We stood there briefly in the great darkness of the wild world and allowed ourselves a chance at natural reality and spiritual perception. All was quiet.

The young one, however, was a tad shaken. Knowing full well he was fully protected and had the security of strong company and family ties did little to stop the deep impression on his young heart of just what this world is apart from our technological advances and artificial surroundings.

He felt relieved when we turned our flashlights on and headed back…

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]

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IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (2)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (3)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (4)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (5)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (6)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (7)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (8)

IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHEN THIS EVIL WILL END… (9)

THE REAL GOSPEL

The odds are great that most Christians in the world have never experienced the real Gospel or are aware of it, and have embraced another gospel in its place.

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I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! [Galatians 1:6-9]

Christians in general are not so discriminating in their gospel choices. Rather than do the required reading and research which the Lord Jesus, as our Teacher, demands, in order to locate the real one, they accept whatever gospel they are most familiar with or the one their particular tradition mandates. Many apparently do not even refer to their respective denominational beliefs as a gospel. They have been taught, and have accepted, the notion that anything Christian is close enough and anything Christian is the gospel, and that denominational separation and variation are the norm. This attitude makes a mockery of the Lord’s extensive teachings as though His full curriculum were optional, as though one can deviate from it and create partial gospels based on segments of His teachings. It makes a mockery of all He went through and the struggles and great victories of the Early Church which they achieved through never-ending spiritual warfare and incessant prayer. What they accomplished was extremely difficult and demanded real discipleship. Such remains a foreign concept in most of today’s churches.

Therefore, what I write here is an attempt to set the record straight. The record, of course, is contained in the actual written Gospel presented in the New Covenant Scriptures. This record is our Christian foundation. And though the early first-century believers had no written New Testament, the written New Testament is an absolute necessity in our day. For by it we can discern truth from error.

THE GOSPEL, THE COVENANT

We call it a testament. The better word is covenant—from the Greek word diatheke. The writer of the Book of Hebrews explains the nature of this covenant (in a passage we will get to shortly) in a manner most often not acknowledged or fully understood by the very Christians who claim to invoke it. How is it that the majority of Christians spend their lives going through their respective Christian motions yet never participate in the covenant which decides their eternal fate?

A covenant is a binding legal contract or agreement between two parties. This is exactly what the New Covenant is. The Gospel, or Good News, announces this covenant. The Good News, or Good Tidings, or Glad Tidings, is that God has made a way for people to be delivered from the bondage of sin and have their sins paid for and remitted completely. It is an agreement instituted by our benevolent Creator for the sake of being relationally reconciled with the wayward people of His Creation. And unlike most contracts which involve the participation of both parties in the authoring of the contract, the New Covenant is a contract in which God authors the terms. But unlike authors of covenants who control the terms and thus write for themselves the best terms, God blesses the wayward offending party with the best terms—the highly beneficial terms normally granted by the controlling author to himself. And what is more, the Author of the New Covenant must not only be the Priest which divides the sacrifice to shed its blood (for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin), but be the Sacrifice and shed His own Blood. God has so loved the wayward people of his Creation that He was willing to become one of us, shed His blood for us, and die for us. There is no greater love than this.

The Greek word diatheke, translated into English primarily as covenant, is also translated in some Bible versions in a few locations as will, as in last will and testament, which is a covenant that goes into effect only at death. Paul uses it this way in Galatians 3:15, for example. For our purposes here, we may focus on Hebrews 9:16 in which most versions translate diatheke as either covenant or testament, but a few as will. Thus, the New Covenant necessitated the death of the Testator—the Author of the will—whose last will and testament went into effect only upon His death and which involves the rights of inheritance for the second party.

And due to the nature of the sacrifice He made for sin, it is also a covenant of blood—a Blood Covenant in that two parties agree that a sacrificial death must take place to institute it (the death of the Lord Jesus, the first party), but also that a second sacrificial death must take place to ratify it (the death of the second party):

15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. [Hebrews 9:15-17]

Now, the death of the first party of the New Covenant was a brutal physical death involving horrific torture and suffering. It was, of course, undeserved. The Lord Jesus was absolutely innocent of the false charges His accusers threw against Him. He never committed a single sin and kept the Law of Moses perfectly. This, of course, made His an extremely difficult and dedicated life. His love for wayward humanity was such that He subjected Himself to the otherwise impossible task and living a life with no sin so He could defeat sin and release us from the evil power of sin. The Lord had to be completely innocent and pure in order for the New Covenant to be instituted. He was the Sacrifice Lamb and the sacrifice had to be without blemish.

The death required of the second party in this covenant, however, is not a physical death but a sacrifice of the totality of one’s life. It is illustrated by the anguish, agony, and grief of the full repentance process as one expresses pronounced sorrow for one’s lifetime personal sins and is broken and “burnt” as an offering upon an intangible altar of sacrifice as one surrenders completely to the terms of the covenant which mandates such a death.

The second party, of course, has no leg to stand on as it were and no defense, since he or she is the guilty party, the party of sin. The Author’s terms which one must agree to in order to accept and ratify the agreement cannot possibly be any better, however, since they entail not only a brand new clean and purposeful life in the here and now but eternal life as well. And this eternal life, of course, demands that there also be a later resurrection after physical death, just as the first party had undergone resurrection. The Lord Jesus had died physically but later came back to life. The second party of the covenant will also undergo physical death and will also later come back to life.

But regarding the present, there is more. If the second party repents properly, correctly, and fully, which means he or she effectively dies, the pure Blood of the Sacrifice Lamb, the Lord Jesus, will then be applied to his or her life. The Blood is applied at repentance. Thus, if there is no real repentance, there is no application of the Blood, and there is no ratification of the New Covenant for any particular second party.

If there is real repentance by the second party, then he or she will be thoroughly cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb and all personal sin will be washed away. And since the second party does not actually die physically to ratify the covenant, the Lord Jesus has instituted full immersion water baptism in His Name—it must be in the Name of Jesus—as a type of burial for the “dead” second party. In other words, real repentance signifies death and full immersion water baptism signifies burial.

Now what? You’ve got a person, the second party, who is dead and buried. When he or she then emerges from the waters of baptism it signifies in one sense a resurrection from the tomb. In effect, however, though one is now clean and pure, his or her spirit must be resurrected as well in order to complete the process of attaining the same state that Adam and Eve existed in before they sinned. Remember, God had told them that if they ever sinned they would die. Yet, when they did sin, they did not die physically, but spiritually. They continued living physically but Adam’s spirit had died. Eve’s spirit had died. Because of this, their sin and their dead spirit cut them off from spiritual relationship with God. And because they were no longer innocent and pure they could no longer live in the spiritual Garden made for spiritual people but were required to leave the Garden and go into the wild world.

The last Adam, however, restores this spiritual relationship. He has made a way in which one can return to the Garden (His Kingdom). He does it through the infilling of the second party with His Holy Spirit:

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [1Corinthians 6:17]

TRANSFORMATIVE SPIRITUAL POWER

Thus, we now see the complete process toward total restoration. This is what was demonstrated in the early history of the Lord’s Community per the historical record of Acts. This is the fullness of the real Gospel. This is the Good News. The second party, previously completely helpless and bound by sin with no chance of changing his or her condition for the better, is fully transformed into a new creation by the sacrifice and power of the first party.

Therefore, the New Covenant is actually a covenant of transformative spiritual POWER. This was demonstrated throughout the ministry of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel accounts. He possessed and demonstrated the power of God. People were miraculously healed. They were miraculously delivered of possession by demons. The poor and downtrodden, those beat down and taken advantage of by others, were blessed with the uplifting Gospel of hope and joy. And the dead were raised to new life.

This great spiritual power and the one Gospel—the only real Gospel—were and remain a package deal. They go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Not only was this great spiritual power (Greek: dunamis) demonstrated in the Lord’s ministry, it was also demonstrated after His initial ministry through the ministry of the Early Church in the first century. So the power never ended with His direct ministry, continued after His direct ministry according to the clear historical record, and was obviously intended to continue throughout the age of His Kingdom on earth until the present and beyond. To support this fact, we have these three passages for starters:

So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. [Mark 16:19-20]

“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:39]

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: 3-4]

The New Testament, therefore, is: (1) A written record which reveals the spiritual power of God in action, the very cause of the miracles which took place among them and without which the Gospel would have no power or ability to transform. (2) A written record which documents the full teachings of the Lord Jesus—the real Gospel—but also exposes any and all consequent false gospels.

ANY Christian teaching that deviates from the Lord’s pure curriculum is in essence a false teaching, either because it contains error, that which the Lord never taught, or it acknowledges only a portion of His teachings. Whatever gospel thus contains additions to His teachings denotes a false gospel. Whatever gospel thus contains omissions from His teachings denotes a false gospel. And whatever gospel that denies and does not possess the transformative spiritual power of God is a false gospel. It was none other than the renowned Apostle Paul who first claimed this fact in his second letter to Timothy when he wrote:

…holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these. [2Timothy 3:5]

For greater insight and clarification, the phrase “form of godliness” in the preceding verse is from the Greek words morphosis eusebeia. The first is defined as “a forming, shaping, semblance, a form, embodiment.” The second is defined as: “reverence, respect, religion, piety.” Putting the two together, using various existing Bible translations, we see much better the man-made formulation of the many false gospels in the world and their inherent character:

A Form of Godliness

A Form of Religion

A Form of Piety

A Pretense of Religion

An Appearance Indeed of Godliness

The Appearance of Godliness

The Form of Religion

The Outward Appearance of Religion

The Outward Form of Godliness

THE REAL GOSPEL

Partial salvation is not real salvation. Partial cleansing of one’s soul is not real cleansing of one’s soul. A partial born again experience is not a real born again experience. Partial healing is not real healing. A broken heart cannot be partially healed and actually be healed. The real Christians of this world know they had to surrender all and give their entire heart to the Lord in order to receive all that He had to offer and must be offered in order to be fully transformed. With the Lord Jesus, there are no partial or halfway measures. He will never allow a person to think he or she is okay when he or she is not okay.

HE IS NOT A QUACK MINISTER LIKE MOST OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTERS IN THIS WORLD, EACH OF WHOM HAVE THEIR PRICE AND HAVE SOLD OUT.

And a lawyer (a Torah teacher) 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]

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

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” [Luke 11:23]

According to the Lord Jesus, who is our only authority, real Christianity is a 100% proposition. One is either with Him or one is not. If one is with Him one is with Him 100% or one is not with Him at all. He has all authority and all power both in heaven and on earth. As part of His ministry, He shares his power with His real followers. He even said His real followers, those who believe in Him, could do anything He did and more:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” [John 14:12-14]

To this astounding statement, however, He adds an apparent caveat:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” [John 14:15]

And it is here that we see the answer. We discover how real Christianity works. We understand how the people of the Early Church, not only the apostles, were able to be used of God to allow for the doing of the same miracles that the Lord performed. They must have loved Him with all their heart. No one would ever do all that He commanded otherwise.

Though they believed in Him and trusted Him completely, their obedience went beyond mere trust. They obeyed Him because they loved Him. This is why they kept His commandments. He loved each of them with all His heart. And they loved Him the same. We know the Lord was willing to do pretty much anything for anyone to help them and bless them and that His help went beyond the mere natural into the supernatural. He empowered His disciples to do the same works He did but they were only able to do them after they reached the same point of love for Him that He had for them, and by this they were able to love each other.

It was the bond of spiritual love (agape) which made the early believers so effective in doing miraculous works (ergon). Their love of the Lord Jesus meant that they trusted the difficult discipleship process they had to go through to receive the spiritual power (dunamis) through which the works were activated. Their love of their neighbor allowed them to work well together and meet the spiritual needs of their neighbor.

And this is why the one Gospel—the real Gospel—is founded upon spiritual love and works through the power of spiritual love.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” [John 15:12-14][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

TENTS OF INTENSITY: IDENTIFYING THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

I’m reading a book about a Christian minister in the early to mid-20th century conducting evangelistic meetings and starting churches. In tents.

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ATTENTION TO TENT MINISTRY INTENTIONS

This is nothing profound or out of the ordinary, of course, since big canvas tents had become the norm of sorts for large evangelistic meetings by mid-century. They were also used by those sent to start new ministry works in various small towns and locations throughout the country. If one had a tent he could carry it around on a trailer with the other stuff necessary for holding services. Once the minister secured a location on which to set up the tent it didn’t take long to begin holding services. The tent itself would often act as free advertising. When the people of the town saw the new curiosity, like a traveling road show or entertainment spectacle, they were often drawn to it since the interloping tent attraction added a new level of excitement in a hum drum existence. The minister to which I am referring did much of his early work in the late 1920s and into 1930s during the Great Depression. He was not only offering the Gospel of salvation to the locals but also giving them hope and inspiration.

He later revealed his method for starting new churches. He would visit a new town, usually of the smaller variety and sometimes in out of the way places. He would set up his tent, which often included a platform to preach from, maybe do a little additional advertising around town, and then commence with holding services. After a few months of steady work holding consistent meetings and growing a regular congregation he would set up a pastor to take care of the folks while the folks compensated the new pastor with a living. Then he would move on. It would take a certain quantity of people giving a necessary amount of money to support the pastor depending on the situation and his needs. To replace the tent, a local building would be appropriated for either rent or purchase depending on the circumstances. If all continued to go well regarding growth and expansion the new church start would be able to eventually build a new church building to call their own.

This was a difficult effort overall if the church start minister was not connected to an established deep pockets denomination from which to draw support and financing. Anything the Lord created through him must have been greatly satisfying, since he was starting from scratch, especially since his preaching method, doctrine, and ministry emphasis was on the salvation of souls, which was usually not the emphasis of the mainline churches. Such tent ministry methods were sometimes or frequently seen as deviating from the Christian norm and were somewhat disdained by both local anti-Christian forces who often got stirred up and provoked rather easily, as well as by the local denominational church pastors who may have seen such efforts personally intimidating, a threat to their authority, and an invasion of their turf.

It is why this particular minister and those like him saw Christian ministry not as business as usual but one much more in line with the New Covenant practices of the Lord Jesus. They got their ideas from the New Testament. Thus, they saw themselves as certainly different from the norm but were not so untraditional that they would not later adopt the same formats of those churchmen and traditional Christians opposing their early efforts.

BEHOLD, I WILL DO A NEW THING

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

These new ministers of the Gospel were part of a new wave breaking upon America as part of a Great Awakening movement that had its roots primarily in the 1906 Los Angeles Azusa Street Revival. The people of that time associated with the movement were more than willing to step from traditional methods and go out on large limbs of pure faith to honor the Lord. And He blessed them for it.

The majority of Christians today cannot identify with that movement or what those people went through to assist the Lord in bringing forth new Light. Their emphasis on Pentecost and Book of Acts happenings took a tremendous amount of courage and demanded a willingness to have one’s Christian reputation destroyed. As John the Baptist facing off against the Pharisees, they had to put up with unending attacks not necessarily from local yokels in general, though that was surely the case, but primarily from status quo Christians in high places and their unthinking drone army of pew-worn sycophantic lemmings. Whatever Christian norm had been established at that time by the current generation was seen as the norm from which no one should deviate. Of course, necessary deviations from such established traditional sleepy time norms must happen anyway if the real Gospel is to be preached, otherwise there would never be the proper spiritual corrections and ongoing restoration toward the pure New Testament prototype.

DID THE APOSTLES USE TENTS?

And this is where it gets interesting. The minister tent user of which I speak and whose book I’m reading who held a great many tent crusades et al in his time over several years was not actually engaging in a pure New Testament effort after all because the big top model was relatively recent. I’m not sure what minister first used a tent for ministry purposes and I don’t feel like doing the research but one wonders if the idea came from the ever present traveling circuses of bygone years. I’m sure big canvas tents were used for more than just circuses but I think said circuses indeed captured the market on the imagination since pretty much everybody back in the day associated circuses with giant tents filled with lions and tigers and bears and acrobats coming to town. It was only a hop and a skip sans the jump to put the proverbial two and two together and manifest a flashing yellow light bulb over one’s head toward the big ministry-minded voilà: We can use tents in ministry!

It was certainly a good idea and maybe a great one. Except for one little problem. It was at heart a mere variation on the standard model of the local church building. As I said, if the tent ministers/ministries were successful, the people they gathered would eventually be housed in something more permanent than the transitory tent which makes the tent a kind of halfway house toward the standard church house. So the question regarding the Early Church and its non-use of permanent meeting buildings would also apply to the big tents of past crusade fame. You see, not only did the early believers never have any permanent church buildings as we know the term, they would also not use big tents if indeed big tents were available. Now, stay with me here because there is a point to this, hard to figure though it may first appear.

HOUSE TO HOUSE

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart… [Acts 2:46]

The private home was their preferred meeting place. It was essentially their only allowable meeting place. The New Covenant Scriptures are filled with references to houses being utilized for meeting places. The apostle Paul mentions them often and that he taught from house to house (Acts 20:20). This means the term “church house” has an entirely different connotation from their perspective. Rather than it being a public Christian meeting house which Christians attend from without as it has been throughout much of western history, the original church houses were actual church houses—they were private houses that Christians lived in that Christians also used for ministry meetings. This was the case in the very beginning in Jerusalem and it remained the case for roughly three centuries. The exact model was used throughout the Gentile world within the Roman Empire.

Regarding overt persecution from the state, in the early going until the emperor Claudius was ousted in 54AD and Nero came to power, the Gentile Christians got a pass because the Romans considered them a Jewish sect and the Jews had already been granted an exclusion of sorts from practicing the Roman religion and participating in the emperor cult. One reason for this was their many centuries-old religious practice that far predated Roman times which gave them an effective grandfather clause. That and the fact that Jews made big gigantic huge earth-shattering trouble at any appearance of attack against their religion or when obedience to Roman religion was put forth or even suggested.

The time came however, when the Gentile Christians could no longer fly under the radar though they sincerely attempted to always “follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:4). Part of the reason for that was those same unbelieving Jews who professed holy hell when their religion was slighted had no problem doing the slighting themselves against followers of the Lord Jesus, most especially if they were fellow Israelites. It was also quite problematic that the more vocal and hard core branch didn’t stop at mere slights but proceeded to destruction and murder. In other words, the unbelieving Jews were blessed with effective freedom of religion and respect by a Roman government which could otherwise be quite brutal but they refused such freedom of religion to their brothers following the Lord Jesus and the many Gentiles following Him as well.

Thus the Romans were not the persecutors in the beginning. They were sometimes influenced by unbelieving Jews undercover to go after Christians as was the case recorded in Acts Chapter 12 when Herod Agrippa had the apostle James unlawfully executed, and “when he saw that it pleased the Jews,” he planned on murdering Peter also. Both of these men were obviously solid Israelites but no matter.

It was nutbag Nero who later jettisoned the peaceful policy of Claudius (41-54AD) toward the Christians, a period when real Christianity had flourished in the empire. It was on Nero’s sordid watch that the first major Roman state persecution broke out against Christian believers. At that point the home fellowships in Rome and other areas had to take extra precautions not only because of Nero’s madness and the antichrist influence upon him but also because Christianity was now seen as something entirely different from first century Judaism. Its growing numbers and influence appeared threatening. Christians soon became Roman public enemy number one and convenient scapegoats.

Therefore, even though real Christianity had gained great early success and had much freedom to meet relatively unmolested in their homes over a wide stretch of territory throughout the Roman Empire, there had certainly been insufficient wherewithal to create actual Christian meeting houses (though they saw no need for such and even likely perceived what we termed church buildings as counterproductive), such buildings became impossible after the start of Nero’s persecution.

Yet, as it was, after the early glory days in the 30s AD when persecution and famine broke out in Jerusalem scattering the seed of the Gospel to the four corners, the same in essence had happened in Nero’s time (54-68AD), as Christians were forced to grow ever more vigilant, spiritually strong, and able to travel. And they had to travel light. This still required meeting in small groups in homes as the best way to stay undetected in part and be seen as peaceable law abiding citizens of no threat to the state or their neighbors. To construct an overt large building to meet in would be seen as an affront and would be out of character anyway. The plan they were taught by the Lord had always worked very well as it had for Him. Remember, though the Lord sometimes ministered in synagogues there came a time when He was no longer welcome. The same thing happened to the apostle Paul in his early ministry who often started in the local synagogues teaching the Good News to his brothers. He was often warmly accepted early on and gained converts but eventually the unbelievers there created such a terror he had to move on.

For the early believers, ministry was not bound by convention but simply a matter of shining their light, witnessing, assisting the Lord in saving souls, helping and loving others, teaching the Gospel when open doors and hungry hearts presented themselves, keeping a relatively low profile when necessary, and most importantly, being vessels filled with the Spirit of God and praying others through to the same experience.

THE REAL TENTS

For the Early Church, Pentecost was essentially an everyday affair. Real Christianity started in a private home in Jerusalem in an appropriately named Upper Room and continued with that format everywhere it traveled. The first many generations of Christian believers had no church buildings or large canvas tents. They had next to nothing of what later Christians, including today’s, deemed indispensable. What they had, however, worked wonders. It did so because their ministry model was organic and close to the people.

The closer we get to their model at present, the more we will be like them and the more spiritual success we will have. Rather than insisting on traditional largely non-productive, unworkable, unbiblical ministry models and watching the culture and country fall down all around us as a result, not to mention millions of souls being lost due to such models never caring to reach them, it is high time we get this right and do things the Lord’s way. Humble servitude always works. People need the Lord.

“Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8b]

At the end of the day, the only real church buildings, the only real tents, are our own bodies—spiritual temples—each of which should be dedicated to the Lord Jesus as a welcome home for His Holy Spirit. This is the actual New Covenant model—individual spiritual temples built up into one large spiritual temple composed of all real Christians, exactly as our spiritual forebears believed, taught, and practiced. They placed a very high priority on believers being filled with the Holy Spirit of the Lord. We see this referenced repeatedly in the early history of Christianity at Pentecost, immediately after Pentecost, and throughout the Book of Acts record over the next forty years. Receiving the Spirit of God was AN EVENT. It never happened by osmosis and never happened “by faith” without powerful empirical evidence witnessed by others.

The one common denominator evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, through the process toward total submission, was the surrender of the last rebellious holdout of the human body—the tongue.

Thus, the early Community of the Lord Jesus was composed of brand new, spiritually clean, holy, set apart for service, mobile temples filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord alluded to this future standard repeatedly during His ministry in the gospels. The New Covenant epistles, especially those of Paul, also mention this truth. He taught on it. He refers to believers who have experienced it. In the middle of these two we have the Book of Acts which illustrates the experience in real time. The major problem with much of Christianity is that it skips over Acts and goes straight from the gospels to the epistles. This causes non-Spirit-filled Christians to identify with the content of Paul’s letters as though it applied to them and causes them to think they are Spirit-filled when they are not.

In the following passage, the apostle Paul identified the real Christians of his time not according to Christian religious tradition, but according to OT Scripture and as those who had fully experienced Pentecost. A separation and dedication was called for then as it must be now:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?

For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. [2Corinthins 6:14-18][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

DENOMINATED MASS FORMATION GROUPTHINK

 

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you…? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? [Galatians 3:1, 3]

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Most Christians continually embrace the status quo, as in “I’m a (insert name of denomination here) and I’ll always be a (insert name of denomination here) and that makes me just fine and dandy.” But what about the new birth? (John 3:1-21). Have we all been born of the Spirit as Jesus said we must be? Again, most of us reply with a snappy Biblical comeback such as, “Say what?”

And therein lies the problem. Most of those who call themselves Christians have been repeatedly told by their religious authority figures that the station of their spiritual life is basically as good as it’s ever going to get. They were never told of any new birth, and have therefore never sought it. This keeps them from ever entering the kingdom of God. (Off in the distance, one can hear that famous old choir hymn refrain, “The kingdom of what?”) We are a nation largely comprised of Biblically illiterate, multi-cultural quasi-Christians who have been sold a false bill of goods, and our first reaction to hearing such news comes from page 31 of the Ignorant Pulpiteer Manual—“Stick it in your ear!”

The second reason the Lord lacks full authority within our churches is because, by and large, it has been our choice. We don’t like to be told we are wrong and it is often simply our own human nature which compels us to protect whatever ignorance and bias we are associated with. The nature of the real Christian, the one who has been born of God, is to expose ignorance and prejudice. Could this be why the institutional clergy is growing ever more concerned about its standing? Could this be why some in its membership are starting to get the idea that Jesus is quite upset with their Pharisaical practices and that their gig is just about up? There is a gigantic hook reaching out across the stage which is about to yank the clergy spirit out of its stealthy position of prominence in the Church so that God’s people can be free to learn the truth from Him and receive His righteousness. When the enslaved Christians are set free, truth and righteousness will flourish.[1]  

I penned the preceding 25 years ago in Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church. I wrote the bulk of this book in the mid 1990s and eventually published it in 2001. I began receiving the revelation of the book in 1992. I know this may sound as though the book is likely dated and therefore essentially worthless for our time but the opposite is true. My book was ahead of its time, maybe way ahead. The corrective has yet to be applied as it should and those entities which rejected the message and dug in their heels against the new move of God which was surely coming have grown all the more obtuse, inbred, and obstinate ever since.

We are told that doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result is effective insanity. Thus, since this form of insanity has fallen upon or been appropriated in general by the major Christian denominations in America, it easily explains why they are generally a mere fraction of what they once were, spiritually speaking. Because they rejected the fullness of the Lord’s teachings they have been overcome by the sinful culture. This is what happens when a Christian or Christian entity rejects God—they no longer have the strength or ability to fight the good fight. They can no longer resist sin and temptation. Thus, in order to stay intact and keep their head, so to speak, they must make friends with the enemy. They must make friends with sin. If they go to war they know they will be destroyed in battle. They are not equipped and are ill-trained. Their generals are spiritual sissies. They are afraid of the devil. They reject the Spirit of the Lord and embrace the world. Again, this is what happens when one denies the Lord Jesus, the Lion from the Tribe of Judah:

“The Lord is a Warrior; the Lord is His Name.” [Exodus 15:3]

Because they feel the Lord is too strong in demanding discipleship and is restricting their lives and desires, they move on to be “free” but eventually discover they have far less freedom than before. Their blessings and favor go out the window. They have no choice but to embrace mammon since they rejected God’s providence. They put the full burden on themselves. This causes stress and often great stress. Such stress must be drugged. Such minds must be pacified. Godless religion works well at doing this. (Just do what we say and nobody gets hurt.) No wonder Marx said religion is the opiate of the masses. They foolishly abandon real freedom and subject themselves to spiritual slavery. They either never accepted the following or at some point rejected it:

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. [Galatians 5:1]

They had thought the great things they accomplished and were doing were largely due to their own good sense and hard work, not acknowledging the great role the Lord was playing. They made a god of themselves. They rejected the original and created a new fellowship in which they were the boss. Their pride caused them to walk away from the Lord because they felt they were being held back. After a fling without the Lord’s authority in their lives and the new fun and “freedom” they gained as a result, and likely a rise in income and influence due to making friends with the world and non-believers, they started experiencing adverse consequences they never foresaw or wanted. Gone were the productive crops and in came the weeds. Sin grew exponentially. They could no longer control it. Because they could no longer keep the invasion of sin at bay they renamed it and transformed into non-sin. They opened their doors to it. Suddenly, the vilest sins became not only okay but commendable. The worst abominations became praiseworthy.

Professing to be wise, they became fools… [Romans 1:22]

There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. [Proverbs 16:25]

The only reason the major denominations still exist is because, over time, they were stealthily transformed into something else. They are actually only mere shells of what they once were. And some were never that close to God to begin with after their early productive formative years. As long as the members keep supporting what is left, what is left will remain but in name only. They are essentially no longer Christian. They only appear that way. They are the denominations and churches of Ichabod (1Samuel 4:21). The glory has departed and they like it that way. If the Lord did bring a spiritual revival most of them would be greatly upset and would fight it all the more. Many of the major denominations, including those of the Pentecostal and Charismatic variety, have been resisting the Great Awakening from the beginning. They are rebellious children toward the corrective. Some have brought an excessive fight. It proves the Lord is no longer among many of them.

Twenty five years ago the situation with wayward Christianity was not at all that bad. There was still a good chance of making the proper corrections. When the directive came, however, designed to stave off what was surely coming without the necessary repentance, the “successful” blind guides rejected it. It likely sounded preposterous to them. Next to no one then foresaw our present day of depravity and spiritual famine among the ultra-organized world-embracing sellouts. Back then, in the mid 1990s, there was a booming economy nationwide and many ministries were flush with cash, especially the majors. Rather than needing repentance, the big boys considered their wealth and prestige a sign of blessing. I’m sure it was for some, but only those who were humble and obedient. Many were neither and still are not.

The Lord told me what was coming and about how we must prepare. I wrote an entire 330 page book encapsulating the message in great detail. It remains amazing to me that those who have read the book appreciate the message, find no fault with it, and have benefited from it, while others in influential positions who needed to read and support it refused. The results of such refusals and of the message in general are now all around us. The enemy has come in like a flood. We have been invaded by Midianites.

“But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” [Matthew 19:30]

My book is still as topical and fresh as it ever was. It still contains a great message that, if applied, will bring spiritual success. There must be hunger for spiritual success, however, and this demands we stop supporting dead structures and rebellious compromised Christian leaders and their entities. This is in part what the Great Awakening is all about. Those who are awake get it. Those who remain sleeping never do.

I challenge all who read this article to do some research regarding past revivals and awakenings. Whenever the Lord opened doors into the Light of His Word and attempted to bring Life the main resisters were almost always initially the existing status quo “church leaders” of the time. They, their authority and authoritative positions, and their comfort level were threatened by the truth. The new moves of God exposed them as mere hirelings at best and workers of evil at worst. It was, of course, exactly the same in the first century. The most rabid enemies and persecutors of the early Church, composed only of Israelite descendants of Abraham for about the first nine years before Gentiles began being added, were fellow Israelites of the extreme unbelieving variety, the same who brought so much trouble to the Lord. This remains the case. The greatest persecutors of real Christians are unreal Christians.

THE GREAT AWAKENING

It has now been over ten years since I got the revelation, since the Lord spoke those words to me—“We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening.” That was at the end of August in 2010. Well, we are no longer in the early stages. Massive amounts of truth have come forth. Massive amounts of hidden sin and iniquity have been exposed. The majority of denominational Christians still cannot see it which proves their continued resistance against it. They would rather have the old wine and the old wineskins. They would rather keep propping up something that died long ago. And though it may look like the best thing to do is obey the tyrants and surrender, and that those who comply will be treated best, the opposite is true. The Lord Jesus will never reward cowards, those that know better but instead embrace evil and look for the weasel way out. He will actually support and stand with those who resist evil and give them greater strength, ability, and means to do so. This is where the real blessing is and always has been.

Therefore, rather than chicken out and continue to beat a dead horse, it would be better to embrace resurrection and hope one’s karma chickens die of bird flu.

It would be much better to repent, get right with God, plead for His mercy, and ask sincerely for His Life. It would better to cease preaching false gospels, end the masquerade, and join the real Church, the one the Lord Jesus created, and the only one in which He has the rule and is King. It would be better to Arise, shine; for your light has come.

But many won’t.

They’ve gone mental.

They’ve embraced entrenched consensus denominated mass formation groupthink.

WHO HAS BEWITCHED THEM?

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

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.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [Galatians 5:13-25][2]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


[1] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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

GOD’S GIFT OF GRACE

Sometimes I wonder why the whole world isn’t lined up to receive the one thing that cures their eternal ills and reconciles them with God.

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Though living a real Christian life is not easy, living in a cold, hard world is significantly more difficult and often impossible. We were designed to live for God and with God. We were created to be with Him, not apart from Him, and not lost on some weird avenue leading nowhere but down. Everything about the Lord is upward, and positive. He lifts spirits, He blesses with joy and peace, and He makes a place for the lonely and alone:

A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. [Psalm 68:5-6]

Grace is not about deserving anything. It is by perfect definition a pure gift—a gift inspired and motivated by pure love. The Lord is out to get us. He wants us for Himself. His desire is to smother us with love and affection, make our backs strong and straight, light up our faces with the joy of His Spirit, and bless us abundantly. But He also knows we can only handle so much blessing. Too much at any given time and He might spoil us, something He will never do. In the meantime, though our trials and times of testing and growth may be severe, such in no way must ever question or diminish the full measure of His love and grace. As He Himself, these things are eternal. They are gifts to be accepted that He will only give and never, ever take back. Falling away from God and going into a world of sin, however major or minor, is purely our decision. It is never His. Though He often grieves for lost souls who refuse His grace, He also respects their choices.

And though He is a mighty Warrior and powerful in all respects, the Lord Jesus has a tender heart of love. He extends a hand of grace toward you this day.

…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. [Romans 3:23-26][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

ANNOUNCING NEW POST / JANUARY POSTS

Hello Friends. Hope all is well. I’ll be posting a new article on Monday morning, January 24. Please watch for it.

The Great Awakening continues. Much progress has been made. Keep up the good work. All glory and praise to the Lord Jesus.

Thanks and Be Blessed.

The following are links to my January 2022 posts:

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THE DESCENT OF THE ASCENDANT: THOSE WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS (NIMROD IS HERE)

They have crossed over into full-fledged iniquity. They break the law routinely and no longer care. They are determined to have their way. They will not be restrained by anything including the Constitution.

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DAMAGING GOD’S MANAGING: SUPPLANTING THE LORD’S ORIGINAL MODEL WITH THE PASTOR PARADIGM

It is a direct result of the false clergy-laity divide. Once that precedent was set, local one man rule quickly followed. Most insist on the “pastor” title.

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STILL SLEEPING, STILL DREAMING

The more you try to wake them the more they prefer sleeping. The ongoing dream they are having is much more desirable and comforting than the waking present.

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REAL CHRISTIANITY HAS THE ONLY CURE FOR SIN DISEASE (BEWARE THE BLIND GUIDES)

Sin generated a maelstrom of evil upon God’s perfect Creation. Every time someone sins evil is released. Sin is the real deadly virus. Sin is the real pandemic.

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© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 

REAL CHRISTIANITY HAS THE ONLY CURE FOR THE SIN DISEASE (BEWARE THE BLIND GUIDES)

Sin generated a maelstrom of evil upon God’s perfect Creation. Every time someone sins evil is released. Sin is the real deadly virus. Sin is the real pandemic.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO ALTAR CALLS?

Much of Christianity, that which refuses the Lord’s full authority, and that which I have long termed Unreal Christianity, has, in recent years, especially the last two, become that much more obvious regarding its true nature. There is no greater proof of this than its outright refusal to preach and teach the truth about sin.

If you don’t preach sin there is no conviction of sin experienced by the hearer. It is conviction of sin which tells a sinner he is one, is in possession of sin, and must do something to eliminate it from his account and be cleansed. The sinner is then drawn to the Lord Jesus, who paid for his sins, to have his sins eliminated, gain power over sin, and receive salvation. This is clearly a vital component of the Gospel message.

However, instead of telling sinners they are sinners and attempting, per the Lord’s New Covenant teachings, to bring them to real salvation and transform them into disciples, the proponents of Unreal Christianity do the very opposite. They don’t want to bring it up. They are afraid of the negative reaction from unrepentant sinners. They are afraid people will leave their church. They are afraid of losing their social standing in the local community. They are afraid it will negatively affect their market share. They know it’s bad for the bottom line. They might even go out of business. They would thus rather coddle sinners and bless them on their way to hell. They are fearful and faithless. The New Testament reveals them as deceptive imposters.

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

One may note the strong and unwavering Biblical directive on correctly measuring up to God’s righteousness standard in this statement:

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. [James 2:10]

In this declaration, the brother of our Lord states clearly that anyone who does not keep the Law of Moses in full is guilty of violating the entire Law. It does no good to keep as many as nine of the Ten Commandments, for example. One must keep all ten or one stands in violation. God doesn’t grade on the curve. He demands 100%. We must score an “A.” Of course, there are actually a total of 613 commandments in the entire Torah. Imagine acing that test. Seeing as how it appears to be an impossible task, how can one actually attain God’s standard of righteousness?

In addition to the Law of Moses which lists and defines sins, and which primarily concerns “the mere performance of externals,”[1] the Lord Jesus goes even further in His teachings to incorporate “the inner stirrings of motives.”[2] He obliterates the idea of a religious checklist in which one can outwardly appear to keep the Law (or church protocol) while possessing an uncircumcised heart filled with sin and corruption. His teachings expose the false standing of the likely majority of Christians in America who only pretend to be Christians, hide their true nature, carry hidden sin, and compromise with the enemy. In mining the depths of the following example of the Lord’s teaching in this regard, in which He insists on getting to the very root of the problem and leaving no stone in a stony heart unturned, one can see just how far one must go to live a truly righteous life:

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” [Matthew 5:21-22]

From this, it is apparent that violating the sixth commandment involves much more than Thou Shalt Not Kill. In the Lord’s Community, we are supposed to love our brothers and sisters as true family members. If one becomes angry with his brother to the point of a break in relationship and refuses any attempt to make peace, he is guilty of a relationship trespass violation and becomes “liable to the court” the same as one who commits murder. Now, keeping in mind that murder was a stoning offense (the death penalty), being angry with one’s brother is a much worse offense than we may realize. Anger itself is not the problem because anger in itself is not a sin. The apostle Paul, quoting Psalms 4:4, taught this:

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” [Ephesians 4:26]

We know the Lord was angry on occasion as was Paul, but what both are getting at is continuous anger with no forgiveness. This not only results in a break in relationship, which the Community of the Lord must never have, but causes the object of the anger to be falsely characterized as unworthy of relationship, essentially meaning he is evil and beyond redemption. To make sure anger does not lead to such a separation, one must deal with it before the sun goes down so it won’t gain power and eventually become set in concrete.

The Lord then goes further and speaks of the highest court, the Sanhedrin, which had the greatest earthly authority among the Israelites to pronounce sentence. Here, the Lord says whoever says to his brother “You good-for-nothing,” (Raqa) will also be guilty of violating the murder commandment. This is probably an Aramaic word. It means “empty” or “good for nothing,” One authority (Bruce) says, “Raca expresses contempt for a man’s head=you stupid!” The Lord says this is a great offense against one’s brother, even greater than being angry with him. Even so, the Lord does not stop at this point because there is yet a greater offense than these two that also deserves the same sentence as murder. However, it appears that the first two contain the possibility of redemption. The third does not. What could be so bad that is not actual murder but would cause one to be in grave danger of hell? –“You fool!” Yes, calling your brother a “fool” will do it. The Greek word is Moros, defined as “dull, stupid, or foolish.” Bruce says it “expresses contempt for his heart and character=you scoundrel!”[3]

Thus we see that, though a man be not guilty of actual murder, he can still violate the sixth commandment by having murder in his heart. This evil condition starts with unresolved anger and a refusal to forgive. It grows into accusing one’s brother of being empty headed, good for nothing, and stupid. Beyond that one expresses utter contempt for his brother’s heart and character and accuses him of being a fool and a scoundrel. Note that the accused brother in question, probably originally guilty of a minor infraction that caused his brother’s anger, is most likely none of these things but has been subjected to character assassination and had his good name slandered, all because someone was offended at some slight and then built up the offense into a bonfire. The sixth commandment does not spell out these details but the Lord Jesus sure does. If the willfully sinning unrepentant angry man is able to convince enough people of these lies, the innocent man could actually lose his place in the Community by being effectively convicted by false charges and innuendo, have his reputation destroyed, and suffer greatly in life as a result.

Consider this while you consider the existence of so many Christian “denominations” and how the extreme disunity they caused ever happened in the first place. Each denomination exists because it diverted from the original or diverted from another denomination but stopped before it advanced to honoring the original.      

REAL CHRISTIANITY

The Lord Jesus started only one Church (Ekklesia)—the Community of the Called-Out Ones. He has only ever had one Church. He still has only one Church. It is composed only of real Christians. A real Christian is defined as one who is 100% under the Lordship of the Lord Jesus. Regarding sin, real Christians fully obey the Lord’s teachings regarding being completely freed from sin. They do this through initial repentance as a type of sacrifice on the altar of burnt offering in which the cleansing Blood of Jesus is applied coupled with full immersion in water invoking the Name of Jesus for the remission of sins per the command in Acts Chapter 2, and ongoing repentance of sin as required:

Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:38-39]

The entire purpose of real Christianity is to free people from their manifold sins, from the destruction their sins cause to themselves and others, and from the deadly disease of sin which wracks their souls, and then bring them into the New and Living Way:

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. [Hebrews 10:19-22]

Our great Founder, the One who created His Creation—all that exists around you sans sinful man’s additions to it—decided on His own before He ever created anything that He would have to one day pay a visit here, walk among us, teach us the truth and the proper way of living, and then, in the greatest act of love anyone could ever possibly make, and in His case, the greatest act of love of all time, actually surrender His perfect life as a perfect sacrifice to make payment for our sins and to save and deliver humanity.

His sacrifice works because He never committed any sin, not a single one, in His entire life as one of us. He obeyed the Law of Moses to perfection, never violating a single proviso. Obviously, no one had ever done this before or since. His perfection was in part unequivocally proven upon His resurrection from the dead. He actually defeated death. Death could not hold Him. “It was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24). He was and remains the only perfect antidote or cure for all sin for all time.

WHY UNREAL CHRISTIANITY FAILS THE LEGITIMACY TEST

It doesn’t properly address the sin problem.

Again, the whole point of Christianity is to address what we must do about sin, which is defined as “missing the mark” or violating the laws and teachings of God which exist to lead one to righteousness. Christianity is supposed to have the means to allow people to be cured of and released from their deadly disease that will cause them to struggle through life, lose their souls, and go to hell. The teachings of the Lord Jesus perfectly address this. He tells us what sin is, how it got here, and how to get rid of it. His teachings instruct us on how to stop sinning, overcome the hold that sin has on one’s life, and cease being slaves of sin. If this central teaching of the Lord Jesus is not being properly and correctly addressed by a minister, church, or denomination (and many ministers, if not most, no longer preach about sin), then it should be obvious that those ministers, churches, and denominations are frauds. They may be clueless brainwashed frauds in that they are too deceived to know it or more likely, they know they are frauds but don’t care. They don’t care because they are not in it for the right reasons. They are merely using the platform for their own purposes.

Note: It is impossible for those hungry in heart searching for truth to hear the real Gospel and not be convicted of sin. This conviction is designed to activate faith, which leads one to repentance, which then leads to salvation. Unless one’s temple is thoroughly cleansed through proper repentance by washing away all sin with the Blood of the Lamb, the Holy Spirit of the Lord will not take up residence within it. The same is true for churches. This is why it is imperative to preach and teach about the disease of sin. Refusing to address sin and expose it allows for its destructive hidden presence to remain and allows the enemy a place of residence and a foothold from which to operate.

THE PRESENCE OF THE DEVIL

The Lord Jesus saw fit to give us a perfect allegory in His time of false shepherds in action which can be applied to any time or geographic location. The first century Hebrew/Israelite major religious parties, the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, had control of almost all religious thought. Almost every Israelite of the first century AD identified with one of these three parties, mainly, of course, the first two.

One of the reasons the Essenes are not addressed in the New Testament Scriptures is because they were not involved as movers and shakers in the overall society at that time. The original group of them had long since left town in the middle of the second century BC. Happiness for them was Jerusalem in their rear view mirror as it was the only way to appease their conscience regarding the sinister machinations transpiring in the City of David. They took up residence out in the wilderness to the east, close by the northern edge of what the later Romans called the Mare Asphaltum. Scholarship consensus maintains these Essenes were the monastic group inhabiting the ruins of Qumran associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient writings discovered initially in 1947. As former members of the viable Zadok priesthood, this group of men left the temple and Jerusalem because they grew disgusted with what became the official priesthood of that time—a shady group placed in power through political means.

Over the next two centuries this illicit priesthood in Jerusalem became staffed through political appointments which had nothing or little to do with God’s original intent. The political had merged with the religious. Sound familiar? Rather than the priesthood addressing sin as the Torah commanded, the appointees thereof merely went through religious motions appearing as real while saturated with sin and fraud, not the least of which was masquerading as being legitimate. This corruption started a fight for control which eventually congealed into two main religious parties that controlled Jerusalem, Judea, and Galilee, and also the temple and the synagogues: The Sadducees, who worked hand in glove with Rome and had authority over Jerusalem and the temple, and the Pharisees who controlled the local synagogues.

These two parties made a mockery of God, the prophets, and Moses the lawgiver, by appropriating their own versions and wrongheaded interpretations of God’s Word, which even included mass exclusions of Holy Writ (the Sadducees) and a wholesale rewriting of Scripture through ultra-interpretive, casuistic, and specious renderings, the so-called Oral Law, which, in the words of the Lord Jesus, invalidated the Word of God! (the Pharisees). Think about that. These religious leaders were so wicked they both trashed Scripture and rewrote it while pretending to teach it! This is exactly what Unreal Christianity has done and is doing.

Also, keep in mind that the prophetic word had ceased 250 years before that time, in the late 400s BC, so there were no Hebrew prophets correcting these ultra-erroneous shysters. At present, of course, in American Christianity, we have a parallel condition. It explains why most ministers and churches get away with their multitudinous errors. They are all non-Prophet organizations.  

KNOWING THE TREE BY ITS FRUIT

The majority of that which is referred to as Christianity in America is incomparable to the original. It refuses the truth of Scripture regarding sin, refuses to teach it, and thus refuses the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus. It has rejected God. It merely uses the Lord and Scripture for its own purposes without actually submitting to Him. Again, maybe the majority of those engaged in this are completely duped, but if so it is the greatest duping ever known to mankind. Why? Because they have the Word of God. They read it. They teach from it. They claim to honor the Lord Jesus. And all in all, they disregard and refute anything in His curriculum they do not feel comfortable with or agree with. Remember, one both strives to follow the Lord fully and obey His teachings fully or one is in violation of not following Him at all. This halfway walk of the false ministers who pick and choose what they believe and teach, and make a god to suit themselves, is the height of ministerial evil but it is an evil couched in faux righteousness. It is an evil that leads people toward the pure and holy stream but never gets them there. They would never allow anyone under their jurisdiction to partake of it. They only want to get close enough to appear real without actually being real. This means they are exactly the same as the ancient Israelite Pharisees and Sadducees though with simulated Christian clothing.

In other words they are mere actors. On a stage. Loving the limelight and place of honor. The Lord called them false stage players or hypocrites. And all unreal Christians deceived and captured by Unreal Christianity are living in a controlled simulation. It appears to be real but is nothing more than a choreographed program in which people go through spiritually meaningless motions which have no effect on their eternal soul and their personal sin. They enter church services as sinners and they leave church services as sinners. They substitute false religious rituals heavy on surface connotations with little or no spiritual effect. The vast majority have never repented of sin properly or had a real born again experience, both of which the Lord Jesus said was mandatory for all. This is deception of a very high order.

BLIND GUIDES

There is no new thing under the sun. The world has never been devoid of religious charlatans. No matter what the righteous may do expose their trickery and eliminate their influence they always somehow manage to creep back in and establish a foothold. In closing, the following passage is a great refresher on this recurrent “goats as sheep” problem that presently exists as a nationwide mainstream false representation of Christianity. It gives a great explanatory illustration of these pretenders in action. It exposes those of today just as it did those of yesterday. Read, watch, and pray:

Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”

After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”

But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:1-14][4]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


[1] ISBE

[2] ISBE

[3] See A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament

[4] 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.

STILL SLEEPING, STILL DREAMING

 

The more you try to wake them the more they prefer sleeping. The ongoing dream they are having is much more desirable and comforting than the waking present.

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When will you arise from your sleep? “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest”— [Proverbs 6:9-10]

LOST IN A DREAM

The following may appear at first glance as a strange idea, far from Biblical orthodoxy, something concocted by a writer doing a story featuring a full-tilt New-Ager with stars in her head. She can see the future in a crystal ball mounted on a small round wooden table of early vintage in her dark backroom parlor decorated with heavy felt drapes, multicolored hanging bead curtains, and the usual accouterments used by fake-out confidence artists who know vulnerable marks can more easily be had in the midst of over-the-top and off-the-wall surroundings and imagery. Her clear ability to see what we cannot and her flawless emotive verbal declarations attests to her authenticity. What need can there be for greater verification than this? She fulfills the need in one’s soul. She allows one a glance within the dream…  

And that’s where they would rather be. In the dream. They spent a lifetime creating the dream, fashioning everything that must fit within it in order to honor tradition, their family religion, and their own deep set desire for what “works best for them” regardless of what the Word of God might say. The Word reveals a common truth for all, of course, devoid of partiality or designer beliefs, and invokes requisite commands which must be addressed by each and every disciple-to-be. Rejecting such pure truth is infinitely preferable by these due simply to the maintenance of a faux comfort zone which includes, by forced option, rebuffing the Lord Jesus Himself and His problematic “hard sayings”—the One they claim to follow, though they assert otherwise, since He apparently would never actually claim such discomforting notions, which means there must be a problem with those Christians who spout such clearly penned New Testament verses or even a problem with written Scripture itself.

I mean, who can really trust what the Bible says after eons of translations and endless word-of-mouth renderings? Better to not get too dependent on the off-putting black and white in-your-face dictums of ancient epistles and primitive apostles whose authentic words are likely lost in the gray mist of ages past. One must leave a reserve from which to insert calming rationalizations and soothing validations in order to walk with head held high in smiling peaceful rectitude honoring one’s own grand and gallant noble views which the better people of this world surely appreciate and recognize…

THE WISE STILL SEEK HIM

Though many strive for a salvation process featuring peace at all costs in an effort to bend spiritual reality toward an impossible concord, neglecting to acknowledge the presence of evil in this fallen world, there is actually no such thing as a peaceful coming to Jesus moment. This phrase has been made fun of by the devil, of course, and those who rest assured in their own standing often use it to both disavow those idiot real Christians who make it a thing, as it were, as well as forswearing the entire idea of the need for soul salvation in the first place. They are simply not aware of their sin or they are and don’t care. One wonders how the rude and sacrilegious enunciations of a culture gone bad can mute the unrelenting loud speakers of one’s conscience incessantly warning of an unaddressed terminal threat on the very threshold of one’s future. But an ongoing dream state could fit the bill. Being lost in a dream of one’s making could certainly be the cause.

No, the reality of coming to the Lord as an otherwise hopeless sinner, the so-called Come to Jesus Moment, is anything but peaceful. If one actually makes it that far it will have involved the greatest decision of one’s life and the wrenching of oneself free from the binding chains of willful living, personal sin, immoral cultural mores, and traditional belief systems holding one in check. It is a wholly solitary place as will be the final Judgment when one must face God alone. There is no greater gut-check occasion in life. It is the height of courage to recognize the depravity of one’s condition and attempt to remedy it. No, there is no peace until afterward, until after one has repented profusely, throwing oneself upon an altar of sacrifice and having the old man and all his sin burned away, until after one has faced spiritual reality and caught a glimpse of hell. It should be characterized as a RUN To Jesus Moment because those who finally awake from their enchantment waste no time in getting right with their Savior.

OF THE FOOLISH AND THE FEARFUL

Would that this wise attitude could be had by all professed Christians but as it is, far too many remain ensconced within disguised sleeping stations—traditional Christian versions of the old hippie sleep-ins where everyone is crashed out in the pews in a haze of otherworldly religious languor and far out abstraction while a weirded-out droning guru sets the laid back tone for religious repose and holy hibernation.

On the flip side of this LP, as proven in these most recent times, fear acts as a wide door to such a dream, an entry portal into transchristianism, as one can be driven by fear into a psychological corral with no egress, since one rejected the door to life which obliged one to embrace the only other door—the entrance beyond the great gaping chasm separating Paradise from Gehenna—the ultra-tropical other side of Abraham’s bosom—the hot place where rich man Dives begs for a drop of H2O not to be had.

In other words more simply stated: Unrepentant sin causes massive deception. Personal pride, as with Mr. Dumpty, leads to a great fall. Refusing to be cleansed of sin causes the attached sin within one to act as a powerful attractant to the great death magnet sucking souls into the black hole of eternal damnation. The temporary corral on this side of life acts as a deceptive soothing waiting room inhabited by those of like minds who reassure one another and confirm each other’s wayward eternal choice since for many there is great comfort in numbers. Rather than solitarily entering the diminutive unpopular gate and taking the difficult road narrowed by pressure on both sides as an ongoing lifespan birth canal toward eternal life to validate their choice per the Scriptural directive, many people choose choice validation by the numbers following great groups of the like-minded who prefer well-lit free-wheeling Broadway, and the larger the group the better. This latter view places great faith in people in great need of a Savior rather than in the Savior Himself who is often on the outside looking in and thus stuck fast in the shunned group.

From a Christian perspective, the members of one’s local church or denomination and the doctrines thereof serve as the large validation sample group of one’s chosen beliefs rather than the Lord Jesus and His difficult though pure teachings. This means that rather than seeking validation for one’s beliefs from the Word of God one will instead trust the collective word of one’s chosen group and its chosen leaders.

WHEN THE DREAM BECOMES A NIGHTMARE    

Even though an apparent majority of Christians still grapple with what should otherwise be a flawless Biblical fact, that the Creator Himself became a Man and visited His Creation, we can still learn an otherwise obvious truth by simply observing how this world treated Him when He was here as one of us: The greatest Light was vociferously and repeatedly opposed and attacked by the greatest darkness. If nothing else, this proves the great darkness existing in this world, its residence also within certain humans, and their connection to the devil. Whoever sided with such people could not possibly be on God’s side, and owing to the devil’s bewitching ability, those hesitant to go all in with the Lord would inevitably gravitate in the other direction, being gently pulled along by the malevolent magnet, the enemy making sure not to rattle them so as to bring them closer to his trap (corral). It’s why antichrist spiders spin their webs on the beaten path, on the major cultural highways inhabited by the teeming masses who most always look with disdain upon those who stray from established societal methods and mores though such straying often avoids the web.

If one looks closely one can see that this is what they did in the Lord’s time. They first took control of the crossroads and the few major thoroughfares. In time they controlled religious thought. They decided what one should believe and practice to be in good standing within the culture. In essence, they captured the media. The same thing has occurred in our time. This would otherwise be blatantly obvious if so many were not enchanted and sleeping. Those lost in the dream do not know they are heading for a bad one. 

“If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.” [Luke 19:42]

One MUST understand that the deception was so thick among these people in that little land in the first century that the Creator himself could not get through to most of them. No matter what He did the majority could not be broken free from the devil’s trick. They were greatly afraid of being in the synagogue and also greatly afraid of being out of it. While in the synagogue as bona fide members they were subjected to the vindictive religious control of the leaders thereof and without the synagogue they could hardly function in society because the vindictive leaders saw to it that they would be outsiders within their own culture. SOUND FAMILIAR?            

Therefore everyone must choose from where they will gain their comfort, either from going along to get along, adhering to the dictates of the sinful culture, and obeying without question the pronouncements of the beguiling gurus in charge OR following the Lord Jesus with one’s whole heart. And whereas one might trust in and accept any number of false belief systems, faux Christian or not, and gain the comforting sleep and enchanting dreams thereof, there will come a day when one will be forced to wake up, though they would not awake for the Lord.

At that time, with their ears ringing from the blasts of angelic shofars, the simulated reality of their chosen comforting dream state will suddenly fade away like fog in the morning light, and they will find themselves in an eternal nightmare from which they can never awake.

This is the real fate that must be avoided at all costs.

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:41-44][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

DAMAGING GOD’S MANAGING: SUPPLANTING THE LORD’S ORIGINAL MODEL WITH THE PASTOR PARADIGM

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It is a direct result of the false clergy-laity divide. Once that precedent was set, local one man rule quickly followed. Most insist on the “pastor” title.

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Everybody calls them pastor. Next to no one ever questions the title nor the position of the title holder. Much worse than this, next to no one ever does any New Testament research on this particular term to verify its legitimacy. Like so many other things regarding traditional Christianity as opposed to the Lord’s original model, the pastor title and one man rule has been successfully embedded in religious concrete with nary a fight. Though it has no legitimate reason to exist, its presence proves the further presence of misinformation by design and millions of Christians unaware of the truth. Those in control would rather not deal with any Biblical truth that challenges their position.

THE LORD’S ACTUAL MANAGEMENT MODEL

For those interested in what the New Testament actually teaches about the Lord’s original model, the following four points explain it succinctly:

  1. The New Covenant Communities were each ruled exclusively by the Lord Jesus through the medium of His Holy Spirit.
  2. He appointed men under His leadership to supervisory places of service. These men were generally entitled elders and overseers.
  3. He appointed other men to associate places of service generally entitled deacons and ministers.
  4. Each Community was supervised by a group of elders and never by one man.

I have researched this topic for decades and written long papers. I have done exhaustive New Testament studies on the subject. Because I must be relatively concise with this article, I will explain and clarify, though briefly, the New Testament facts regarding the pastor title and position, and why the issue matters. I will be quoting from my book Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church (which contains much deeper research). Each book excerpt will be indented to differentiate it from the post text. Keep in mind that the words pastor and shepherd are not synonymous:

As mentioned previously, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen, which is translated as “shepherd” on every other occurrence of its use. “Pastor” is originally a Latin word and means “herdsman,” which is defined as “a manager, tender, or breeder of livestock.” Though “herdsman” and “shepherd” might appear identical, there is a difference. The Good Shepherd, for example, cannot be identified as a mere manager of livestock, but only as a caring shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. A herdsman, or pastor, is actually more similar to a hired hand in the sense that livestock is seen as a commodity, and the level of personal care is much lower than that of a true shepherd. It is in Ephesians 4:11 that we find the only occurrence of the word “pastor.” If the translators had used the word “shepherd,” as they should have, we quite possibly wouldn’t have today’s “herdsmen” in authority over God’s people, but true shepherds who assist the Great Shepherd. [1]

Again, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen which is defined as “shepherd.” This Greek word occurs 18 times in the New Testament. Why is it translated as shepherd 17 times instead of all 18? There is absolutely no legitimate reason for this. Since the original King James Version of 1611 was written with a strong authoritarian bias per the king of England and his translators, this was their chance to insert an authority word since the word “shepherd” is disdained by authoritarians as weak and essentially useless for instituting rule. Of course, the Lord Jesus was never referred to as “Pastor” nor were any of His disciples. He was, however, addressed often as Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd not the “Good Pastor.” We must follow His example:

A real pastor is nothing more than, and nothing less than, a shepherd. Many of those who represent themselves as pastors today are anything but. There are many preachers who desire a nice, steady job and a “Pastor” title. There are also quite a few homesick evangelists who would rather settle down in one location to do pastoral work instead of attend to their callings. It should be obvious that the only real pastors are those who are functioning as pastors, that is, caring for and shepherding God’s flock according to God’s will. There are undoubtedly many people who are called to be shepherds who are not serving as such, or else the Church would be in a lot better shape. Most of these are probably wasting away on pews because they don’t feel qualified when comparing themselves to the multi-credentialed big boys in the pulpits. [2]

Because a great many of our so-called Christian leaders refuse the original New Testament management model of the Lord Jesus, might they also be engaging in other violations? If their desire is to rule over the flock instead of shepherd the flock, their spiritual condition doesn’t really matter. Perhaps this is why so many Christian leaders, including those with a pastor title, seem to always be engaged in some form of hidden sin:

Through deception, each of us can become blind to our own sin at any given time. No one is immune from this possibility. The most susceptible are those who have such a high opinion of their worth and stature the very idea of their fallibility and sinful tendencies escape them. Such “right” supremacists would no longer think it possible to be unaware of or compromised by their own sin than they would think anybody else could possibly serve in their place. When this high-minded attitude is resident within professional Christian leadership, it serves as an obstructing hidden sin against abundant living for those in their care. Hence, it is far too often the case that those who lead congregations do so according to their own will since they are not fully obedient to the will of God. This is not the picture of Jesus working through a person, but a person working of his own accord.

Therefore, many spiritually hungry and unfulfilled seekers of life have unknowingly committed the sin of appropriating for themselves leaders other than Jesus. The Lord makes it very clear that He is the only Good Shepherd, and though a believer may gain assistance from a person of more mature spiritual standing, such a person must never occupy the foremost place of authority in a believer’s life. Such facts bring us to the sad conclusion that many Christian leaders and/or pastors are not true shepherds at all, but mere hired hands. They might indeed care somewhat for those in their congregations, but they certainly don’t possess the same level of care as the Good Shepherd. As hired hands whose salary stems from the pocket of their congregations, they can get by without being tapped-in to God’s payroll and yet maintain their ministerial credentials. The shepherdless sheep, however, are not quite as artful and are often scattered by the wolf. [3]

HOME GROWN WOLVES

While churches have been hyper-sensitized to all manner of possible minor deviations from doctrinal and cultural protocol arising from the congregation and (Aghast!) mysterious visitors, no one ever looks in the other direction. The dude in the pulpit is thus most often immune. He is rarely queried. As long as he gets the denominational doctrine right people look the other way. This would explain the previous passage regarding sin in high places. Where then, would the enemy strike? Would the enemy seek to clandestinely enter the well guarded congregation, the laity class, where every member must always toe the mark and squeal on those who don’t? Or would he attempt a takeover by going after those high and lifted up with little or no accountability that control the operation? We should all know that the devil will always try to gain control of the few in control in order to control all. This is yet another reason why such false Christian authority positions are highly vulnerable to temptation. It is the opposite, of course, with legitimate, accountable, and transparent Christian eldership groups. These men act in the service of the Lord Jesus and not only watch over the flock but each other as well.

Could this be why the clergy boys double down and also establish protective manned check points toward their hidden ivory towers? And condition the congregation to never question “them that have the rule over you?” Do they set up all this protection to keep people from finding out what they really are and what they’re really up to? This is a far cry from the way the Lord Jesus and His followers ever conducted themselves. The “One Man Show” Ruling Paradigm has thus done great damage to the Lord’s management model and has had a devastating effect on what could have been regarding American Christianity’s positive impact on the country. The enemy has gained a beachhead:

 Christianity in general has become too stodgy and complacent to be changed by Him in any appreciable manner, since the will of the people for His control is greatly lacking. Revival and/or renewal do not address the root of the problem, and this consequently demands a new approach. The people who are at least trying to obey Him in this regard are finding some success, and their new-found fresh spiritual forays contrast sharply with conventional methods. It is in comparing the two that we discover a glaring truth.

When the splitting of community became official, it easily did more to thwart God’s plan for evangelizing the world than anything else man has devised. The reason why is simple—ninety-something percent of the membership was removed from the process. The “laity” was deemed unqualified for officially ordained Christian service and, consequently, unworthy of receiving God’s call. Yet, there was a time when all believers heard the call of God, and each person heard it from Jesus Himself. At the present, due to the entrenched tradition of the clergy-laity division, many Christians never consider the possibility of devoting their lives to God because they have been made to think that God only chooses certain rare holy ones for His work. If this is true, the Lord is breaking His own commandment by judging a good many people as unqualified before they ever get a chance to prove themselves.

The only thing which actually disqualifies a person from ministry is the same thing which disqualifies him from membership in the Church, and that is simply a lack of full commitment to the absolute Lordship of Jesus. There is nothing inherent within any sincere believer which disqualifies him or her from the Lord’s service—somebody else’s service yes, but not the Lord’s. Every Christian needs to know that all legitimate calls to ministry come only from the Lord, and each should be encouraged to find his or her place of service. There are abundant ministry needs to address, very few who feel worthy to address them, and many who were discouraged from entering the Lord’s service by inept ministers who were more than likely never called themselves, at least, not by God. [4]

ESTABLISHING DOMINION THROUGH ARCHITECTURE

Why are church building interiors arranged like theaters, auditoriums, assembly houses, and ancient Roman amphitheaters, with platforms and stages, and lecterns and pulpits? The Lord’s original apostles and the entire first century Christian Community never appropriated any of these. Instead, theirs was an organic fellowship utilizing available organic means. For example, they never had any central meeting house but always met in private homes. They took care of one another. What one lacked another provided. They steered clear of any institutionalism, prideful shows of earthly power, or dominance over the people dogma precisely because they were spiritually powerful humble servants, exactly as their Lord commanded them to be.

This question of church buildings thus pretty much answers itself for those paying attention. To go along with clergy dominance, it helps to create imposing material representations of said dominance. The people need to know who’s in charge. It began about 1700 years ago with the first “cathedrals.” They simply transformed Roman government structures for Christian use and then continued with the government model to showcase their rule over the people. Never mind that the Lord Jesus never engaged in such earthly nonsense. When did the Lord and His men ever advocate for the building of static church buildings? There were no church buildings for three centuries and the early believers managed to turn the world upside down anyway. The Lord’s kingdom was and remains a spiritual kingdom devoid of the mandatory trappings of earthly kingdoms.

Also, when did the Lord Jesus ever act like a duded-up ruling potentate preaching down from on high to the lower class? Is He not the most humble Man who ever lived? Did not the Creator Himself choose to present Himself that way? Why did God enter this world like everyone else, as a mere babe? Is He teaching us something with His perfect attitude? Is He not our perfect example?

There is a massive disconnect in this area. When presented with such information most Christians simply stare and say nothing or get angry and go into defense mode. This is highly unfortunate. I am not saying that good is not being done in traditional Christian settings. But such tradition has most often been a huge drag on what could otherwise be accomplished. And nothing subverts the process more than a solitary strong man in control dictating anything and everything, and building according to his vision instead of the Lord’s vision. These ruling pastors (and this is a perfect grammatical definition) are most often working in direct opposition to the Lord Jesus rather than working in concert with Him. The Lord is thus forced to support them in part because of the limited good done in such places since they are on balance better than nothing at all.

STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED

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] 

Imagine rightly praising your first grade child for doing well in his or her school work. Then imagine the idea of praising him or her when the child continues to operate on a first grade level in the second or third grade. Then think about what happens when kids are passed on to the next grades when they never complete the required course work for their previous grade. You will eventually have some really ignorant children and teenagers that simply cannot handle the work which the grade they were passed to requires.

Did you know we have an absolute epidemic of ignorant children in schools? That we have ignorant teenagers actually graduating from high schools? That some of these are actually attending college? In the early years of this country, roughly three centuries ago, children were learning new languages. They were reading the classics at early ages. They were reading the Word of God and understanding it. They had difficult course work but many were mastering it. Have you seen the bright but disciplined children in this world mastering musical instruments? Have you noticed how some children learn practical work at early ages and later become masters at their trades?

We do a great disservice to children by allowing them to be dumbed down rather than instructed properly toward higher levels. How many people notice the miracle of very small children somehow learning complex grammar and language at the age of two to three years old? How did their grasp of grammar and vocabulary suddenly shoot through the roof? The so-called experts have no answer for this. It defies evolutionary thinking. It is impossible that the children learned it on their own. It is not possible to teach it. They acquire a great amount of information and ability at an extremely young age and begin working out complex problems when they should not be able to.

Then they are placed in “schools” with extremely limited learning environments with forced low common denominators that cause their revved up rocket engine minds potentially taking them into outer space to be downgraded to virtual Model T’s and in other cases horse and buggy technology that make it difficult to get on down the road and impossible to travel any appreciable distance. Rather than continuing toward epic flight they are forced into slave galleys pulling at oars to support the institution and its parasitic inhabitants and leaders instead of the other way around.

This exact dynamic has transpired in American Christianity. The arrogant clergy boys and their sycophants have created institutions that serve them instead of serving the people. The people suffer. Christians never get the teaching they need or the Biblical and spiritual knowledge they require. These Pharisaical leaders almost never create a single disciple but maintain dumbed down “congregants” who rarely progress and are next to worthless spiritually. Most American Christians have never had a real born again experience. Most have never read the Bible. Most are Biblically illiterate. Most have a dirt foundation with a future fall. It is almost never the case that such eternal church-going Christians cannot learn or be properly discipled as the Lord clearly commanded. It is that true discipleship is at odds with the traditional curriculum. Keeping the congregation dumbed down and under control is a much better management model because it’s a much better business model. It is better to keep everyone in elementary school perpetually to keep them coming, giving their money and support, and maintaining the rule of the clergy and local “pastors.” The last thing they want is people doing things the Lord’s way. I mean, if everybody developed as real ministers of the Gospel and actually graduated, how could that be good for the local church?

SUPPORTING THE COUNTERFEIT

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46] [5] 

Why is it that most Christians never properly compare the Lord’s ministry style with their own and comprehend the night and day difference? Is it simple cognitive dissonance? Why do so many Christians look upon the Lord Jesus, the original apostles, and the first century Church as primitive and even wacky, and their methods those of a long dead culture that could never work in the present? The reality of the matter is that the Lord’s management model, which is the perfect model, is rejected not because it doesn’t work or cannot work but because it conflicts with what Americans Christians have built in its place.

Why do so many Christians support the Pastor Paradigm? Why does the majority continue to insist on supporting a failed model? The official model is a counterfeit substitute that falls short on many levels. It is why American Christianity in general continues to deteriorate and lose influence. Look around! America and Americans are suffering! Real Christianity is under attack! It is only the current Great Awakening which largely exists outside official channels that is allowing for a vehicle through which the Lord can work. Sound familiar?

They refuse the Lord’s full authority, refuse His perfect management model, and refuse to allow the infusion of spiritual life that so many are desperately praying for. For them it will always be business as usual.

“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:8-13]   

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[2] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[3] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[4] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[5] 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 DESCENT OF THE ASCENDANT: THOSE WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS (NIMROD IS HERE)

They have crossed over into full-fledged iniquity. They break the law routinely and no longer care. They are determined to have their way. They will not be restrained by anything including the Constitution.

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“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:19-21]

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’” [Matthew 7:23]

In reading the preceding verses, remember who the Lord’s ministry was directed to. At that time He was obviously not referring to the world at large but only the land associated with His direct ministry. Much of the context of the Gospel message is lost without this proper frame of reference.   

HIDDEN EVIL (IN OTHERWISE PLAIN SIGHT)

Going back to ancient times, there have always been people in the world who gained enough power and money to do absolutely anything they desired. They reached a point of no restrictions. Though the possibility existed that some of these people possessed enough self discipline to restrict their behavior, and though outward observers, including those researching history, may have thought the best of such powerful people, the reality is that the vast majority, in essence, all of them save a possible one or two here and there, crossed over into absolute hedonism.

Consider this hypothetical question: If a person has gained so much power and money he can do anything he wants and no one can stop him, do you think he will limit himself? The Word of God is clear on the depravity of unregenerate humanity bound by sin and out of relationship with the Lord. Those who sow to the flesh will reap the sinful fruit of the flesh. Those who do so with powerful means and no restrictions will reap the greatest of sinful fruit. The Lord Jesus expounded upon this issue in the following:

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:34-38]   

Reflect on the Biblical illustration of Solomon, a person many Christians highly honor, as one who fits the preceding passage perfectly. He reached a point in which he gained zero accountability and did whatever he wanted (because he quit on God and eliminated God’s prophets). Rather than one wife, for example, he appropriated several and many more “concubines.” As time proceeded there were never enough women to satisfy his lust. He eventually possessed over a thousand:

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. [1Kings 11:1-3] [1]

Can you then see the distinct likelihood that other powerful people like Solomon with zero accountability might have grown tired of attempting to satisfy their lust with grown women and branched out? The Old Testament spells this out exactly. The Law of Moses describes specifically the sins which one should never engage in. It involves the most disgusting practices you can imagine. It’s all right there in black and white. Great tyrants who could do whatever they wanted were doing such things. No one could stop them. Then their disgusting sins permeated the entire nations over which they ruled and those nations became as corrupt as the disgusting leaders. Then the nation of Israel engaged in the exact behavior. Repeatedly. Over and over. The rumors that abound in our day of powerful people engaging in such lawless behavior are rampant. Remember, they can do anything they want and no one can do anything about it. They have embraced absolute lawlessness. They possess the means, the motive, and the opportunity.

It is strange that people don’t see this. The evil of the powerful mostly remains behind a curtain. The likely reason is centuries-old psychological conditioning in that the subjects of such people are forced to fear their leaders and what will happen to them if they attempt to call them out. There have always been stiff penalties. Offending those in power has traditionally resulted in societal rejection and prison. Revolting against them has resulted in death. This is how the world has always been run. The ones who gain power and their sycophants step on everybody else to get there and keep a boot on their face after they do. Whoever objects to the sin and lawlessness of those who gain power are made to pay and some are made to pay exceedingly as examples to check whoever else may have such tendencies. This is likely why most people refuse to consider the subject. The Lord Jesus, however, has forever remained undaunted regarding such. He strives to root out and expose the evil. He knows the great harm it causes. In the nation of Israel’s case the Lord sent prophets. Even so, what happened to the prophets?

We could get into a long list of such powerful unaccountable people from ancient times to the present in both the secular and religious fields, including “Christianity” of course, even if we restrict it to the world’s most powerful at the top of various hierarchies and pyramids. But for the purposes of this short paper I will limit the scope to just one guy to illustrate what is possible and to honor the Lord for using this person as an early example in His Word:

ANCIENT SUMER

The first great empire on the planet was created by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, the “land between two rivers,” in about 3000BC, roughly occupied at present by the country of Iraq. The Bible refers to this land as Shinar. A man by the name of Nimrod created and ruled over this first of all empires and did so with an iron fist. It was not an easy task to run roughshod over the entire population of the vast region and cobble together a union of city states. To streamline the process Nimrod gave very little or no heed to “human rights” or what any of his potential subjects may have thought of the process. He was determined to rule the world and he achieved his goal. In the process everyone under his rule became slaves to various degrees. Those who bucked the process were simply eliminated.

How do we know some revolted? The bigger question, in my estimation, is why did not everyone revolt? Why was there not a wholesale revolution? Why did they not stop him from coming to power? What Nimrod engaged in was a total mockery of humanity and rejection of the inherent liberty of each person. He had no respect for the mass of people. He would only use them for his own ends. Once he gained enough toadies bound to his will, those who had the same evil outlook in life who wanted only to satisfy their flesh with the usual sinful practices, and paid them off with such, he had enough of an army to fight the few who were bold enough to oppose him. Though the great majority were likely greatly offended at what was happening, likely only a relative few, as always, had the boldness to put their lives on the line to prevent it. In the case of ancient Sumer it obviously did no good. It was the end of an egalitarian social structure and the beginning of a collectivist one-man-rule dictatorship model later emulated by others, notably ancient Egypt and eventually Rome. Ironically, those early Sumerian tyrants are credited with creating “civilization.”

NIMROD IS HERE

To better explain the following verses of Scripture regarding Nimrod, I wrote the following passage about twenty five years ago. It is an excerpt from my book Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church. What I wrote then has turned out to be prophetic. What I wrote then has now essentially come to pass. The warning I gave then was largely rejected by the very people (Christians, especially those in “leadership”) who should have taken it to heart. See if any of the following sounds familiar. Remember, I wrote the following in approximately 1995: 

Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. [Genesis 10:8-12]

Nimrod was the great-grandson of Noah, the grandson of Ham and the nephew of Canaan. In this verse he is called a “. . . mighty hunter before the Lord,” but this phrase is not very clear. Its surface meaning is a tad ambiguous, and its deeper meaning is hard to judge on the basis of its simple translation. Therefore, an in-depth explanation is called for. This will get somewhat confusing, but the end result in greater understanding is worth the effort.

    1. To begin with, the English word “mighty” in the above verse is translated from the Hebrew word gibbor which means “powerful,” but by implication, a “warrior,” or “tyrant.”
    2. Tsayid is the Hebrew word which was translated as “hunter,” yet tsayad is the proper word for hunter or “huntsman.” Tsayid actually means “the chase” or “hunting.”
    3. “Before” is taken from the word paneh which means “the face (as the part that turns),” or as the preposition “before” in the sense of being “against.
    4. “The Lord” in this case is, of course, YHWH, the “Self-Existent or Eternal.”

When translated closer to the original intent, the following sense emerges: “Nimrod was a powerful warrior-tyrant hunting the face of YHWH.” Now, what exactly does it mean to hunt the face of YHWH?

First of all, it helps to be aware of the terminology of early Genesis. In the first fifteen chapters, the word paneh (face) is mentioned eighteen times. On seventeen of these occasions, “face” is a reference to the face of the deep, the waters, the earth, and the ground. On one occasion, there is a reference to the face of YHWH. [2]

Of course, even though God appeared in theophanic form on occasion, Nimrod wasn’t hunting God’s human face but the façade which marked the boundary, or surface (presence) of the Lord, or in other words—the Lord’s dominion. He was against the Lord in this sense. Nimrod’s name means “rebellion.”

In essence, Nimrod’s objective was to hunt, or chase after, the kingdom of God. He either did this in direct competition against God, as one who would build his own kingdom, or he labored under great deception, thinking he was seeking the kingdom according to God’s will and by God’s plan. In either case he was wrong, and the effect was the same.

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Throughout the ages and continuing into the present, countless Nimrods have established control over the unsuspecting by wresting away their freedom. They create governments which place themselves in supreme authority over the masses. They swell up like Thanksgiving Day parade balloons with the life they steal from their subjects—those who innocently trust them—those defenseless ones who eventually become nothing but inert husks, mere shells of destitute humanity. As fish out of water, a people lose their energizing spark and eventually breathe their last breath, while those who destroyed them build monuments to themselves.

It is for this very reason that the founding fathers of the United States of America sought to place ruling authority in the hands of “We the People.” This would prevent another Nimrod from taking over. History clearly shows us that this experiment in government known as the USA has been the most successful of all that have ever existed, hands down. Why? It is due simply to the fact that when people have authority, they have freedom, and when they have freedom, they have the chance at life. That is why the Declaration of Independence refers to the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No other government in the history of the world had ever stood on such a principle, with one exception.

Many centuries earlier, an extremely limited form of government was created which depended on one thing to make it work—obedience to God. The nation was ancient Israel. This form of government failed because its people did not “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,” [3] nor did they “love your neighbor as yourself.” [4] The government that God gave to Israel was also formed to keep a Nimrod from taking over, but that objective failed and we have documented proof to verify it.

In ancient Israel, the spirit of Nimrod rose from within. The Old Testament gives us a Hebrew king list which is largely composed of one despot after another who ruled the descendants of Jacob with complete disregard for God’s first intention—His children’s life and liberty. When the people of Israel turned their back on God, they turned their back on everything, and thus received the leadership they deserved.

The USA will also fail to stop the current Nimrod insurgency if we don’t get our priorities straight. Each citizen of this country is guaranteed by the Constitution the right to life. This right has been greatly curtailed, paradoxically by the government itself, that is, the government of “We the People.” We have surrendered much of the substance of our original right to life. We have created a hierarchical, bureaucratic machine which has no feeling or regard for our true welfare. We now largely look to the government instead of to God for answers to our problems. Even though our government was built in such a way to keep Nimrod from taking over, Nimrod is about to come to power anyway—we created him, and the exact creation has transpired within American Christianity.

In the early church, God spread out power and authority evenly among His people, but in the majority of today’s churches, the religious upper class rules with a velvet-gloved iron hand. If one doesn’t think this is true, then one has never challenged the ruling class as Jesus did. Those who do find out post haste that it has a dark side, that it often regards its dependents with contempt, and that its holy exterior remains that way only as long as one remains its fool:

And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.[Luke 4:28–29] [5]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

[2] Genesis 4:14

[3] Deuteronomy 6:5

[4] Leviticus 19:18

[5] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Eternal Father,

Prince of Peace.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. [Isaiah 9:6-7]

MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN!” (5)

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

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. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. [Luke 2:1-20][1]

© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN!” (4)

There was an unknown circumstance in Mary’s young life that spoke of great humility. We don’t know what this was exactly, and Luke does not elaborate. But there are directive clues. Read on:

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The following is from Part 1: There is something else here that Luke’s narrative hints at which he does not delve into, possibly because he knew his audience was aware of whatever particulars were involved with Mary and the circumstances of her humble life.

In the very beginning, after initially being told by the angel Gabriel that she was highly favored and the Lord was indeed with her, Mary became, depending on the translation, troubled/disturbed/perplexed. The Greek says greatly agitated. She wondered where this extraordinary greeting came from and what it could possibly be about. One senses she thought it must be meant for another, that the joyous messenger must have the wrong house.

In answering a faithful reader’s comment on Part 3 when I first wrote this series two years ago, who said of Mary, She must have indeed been a highly intelligent, spiritually sensitive young woman, I wrote the following:

“Yes. A perfect choice. And she had to somehow come to a quick understanding of this fact though her humble nature would otherwise preclude it. She had to look beyond her humble circumstances and do her best to see herself as God saw her. He needed her. He wanted her to be the one. Here we have a good look into the counterintuitive nature of humanity. If Mary had previously thought herself as the best choice she would be disqualified, since that would reveal the presence of sinful pride. But if she thought herself unworthy and could never be persuaded to the contrary she would disqualify herself.”

Why did she feel so unworthy? And why did she refer to herself not once but twice as a bondslave? I mentioned this in Part 1. The Hebrew word for a female slave is shiphchah. The Greek word used here is doulos, which speaks directly to a slave of the basest order and is used throughout the New Testament. One gets the idea that young Mary was somehow familiar with such status.

It is also quite interesting that the New Testament never mentions any interaction with Mary’s parents or possible siblings. We know her father’s name was Eli (Heli), from her genealogy in Luke 3:23, but there is never any mention of her mother or her mother’s name. It appears they were no longer around. It is also evident that Mary was an only child. Imagine that. There is also a distinct possibility that Joseph, her betrothed, was her father’s adopted son, as alluded to in the genealogy. This was actually a Hebrew tradition going back centuries for men with no natural male heirs, so the idea isn’t so far-fetched. Any or all of these challenging life circumstances might be the cause of her feelings of unworthiness, but there is yet another, and it is here where we shall gain even greater understanding of the well known verse, “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1Samuel 16:7).

There is a Greek word that only occurs four times in the NT. It only applies to two specific people in the NT. Those two people are the Lord Jesus and His mother Mary. The word is tapeinosis. It is defined as “lowness, low estate, and humiliation.” Regarding the Lord it appears in Acts 8:33 in which the author references Isaiah 53:8. Here are both verses with the translated English word underlined:

“IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO WILL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH.” [Acts 8:33]

By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? [Isaiah 53:8]

Here is the verse that references Mary, again with the translated English words underlined:

“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.” [Luke 1:48]   

The Hebrew word is otser. It is defined as “restraint, coercion.” It is translated primarily as “oppression.” It refers in a sense to prison or being a prisoner. This indicates a form of slavery. Mary did refer to herself as a bondslave. This speaks indirectly of possessing a particular humble state or condition and we now have a better understanding of what that was. Isaiah chapter 53 is an OT prophetic picture of the Lord Jesus. Here is the verse that ties both Son and mother together:

He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. [Isaiah 53:2][1]

In addition to this appearance circumstance shared by both mother and Son there is a much greater condition shared by both. These two people had extremely high character quotients. Of course, there is no comparison between the Lord’s character and that of Mary (or anyone else) in that He is God and is perfect. But regarding their humanity, and because both were exceptionally concerned with their spiritual standing and desired greatly to have as sterling a standing as possible, it was enormously difficult for them to answer the call because their respective callings would serve to destroy their outwardly perceived characters.

Mary was a chaste virgin with perfect spiritual credentials. She was obviously not without sin and thus required a Savior like everyone else but had striven in her young life to obey God and follow the Law of Moses. She was likely the very best at this among young women of her generation. Her heart was right and this is why she was chosen. But being chosen to be the mother of the Lord would also subject her to endless gossip and the wicked mockery of unbelievers who would believe her to be a gross sinner. This would destroy her sterling reputation among all those who rejected her claims of innocence and the highest of callings. Yet, she accepted the mission anyway, knowing it was always far better to serve the Lord than to decline the calling to protect one’s reputation.

This is one reason why many people never answer their callings and even reject salvation. They are far too weak to handle any affront by society to their public character and artificial social status.

© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN!” (3)

Prior to her visitation by the angel Gabriel, Mary was burdened by an undisclosed life circumstance. We gain further clues of this by her reaction to Elizabeth’s powerful prophetic message.

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To set the scene for the next historical interlude which bears upon the foundational Gospel account after her journey to Judea to visit Elizabeth, we must acknowledge the fact that, according to Luke’s account, Mary had yet to speak to anyone about the great news.

She had left Nazareth in a hurry, almost immediately after she had consented to God’s plan. The Holy Spirit had indeed descended upon her and she was overshadowed with the power of the Most High. A miraculous conception had taken place in her womb! She had told no one, not even Joseph. Her elder relative Elizabeth would be her confidant. As the many repercussions played out in her thinking, Mary had remained amazed but laden with knowledge that no one else possessed.

GOD’S PERFECT TIMING

In Part 1, we covered Luke 1:26-38. In Part 2, we covered Luke 1:39-45. There are several components of the narrative within these verses to be addressed. The first thing we must do, however, is address the timing of the events. The angel Gabriel had told Mary that Elizabeth was already with child and in her sixth month. The human gestation period is 280 days, which is almost exactly 9.5 lunar cycles. An exact 9.5 moons would be a half day longer. Here is the math: A lunar cycle is 29.53059 days. Multiplied by 9.5 the gestation period would be 280.54 days. Since we know the Bible grants much importance to the number 40, it is not a coincidence that 280 is 40 times 7 (another significant number). Regarding the number of days into her pregnancy for Elizabeth at the time, it was somewhere between five and six months because Luke’s account says she was in her sixth month. She had yet to complete her second trimester.

I submit that it was exactly five and a half months and during a new moon.

It should have taken Mary less than a week, probably about five days, to get to Elizabeth’s house in Judea from Nazareth since the journey was at least 70 miles as the crow flies but maybe 80 or more considering the roads and terrain. Luke does not tell us the town or Mary’s specific destination in Judea. This was also during the winter rains though most of the precipitation was in the north. We have no knowledge regarding who may have accompanied Mary on the trip. There is no mention of Joseph. Would she have gone alone? From the narrative it certainly appears that she was alone when greeting Elizabeth.

Regarding the time of year, my research has long indicated that the Lord was born in the autumn. I believe it was likely on the 15th of the month of Tishrei on the Hebrew calendar, which was the first day of the weeklong Feast of Succoth (Tabernacles / Booths) and during a full moon. In 2021 this day fell on September 21. We have a hint of this as the Lord’s birthday in John’s gospel. The word “dwelt” in the following verse is from a Greek word meaning “to fix one’s tabernacle or tent:”

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]

Tishrei was the seventh month of the ancient sacred calendar adopted originally by the Lord during the time of Moses. The spring is the natural beginning of the year and was also the time of the Exodus and the Resurrection of the Lord. It is thus quite clear that the spring feasts are first and then followed by the autumn feasts. Tishrei later became the first month of the civil calendar and begins with Rosh Hashanah, the “head” of the year which is considered the Jewish New Year. This can get confusing, of course, but for the purposes of this study I will number the months as beginning in the spring from the vernal equinox.

Since the Lord was likely born on Tishrei 15 in the autumn, it would mean the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary nine and a half months before, during a new moon on the 1st of Tevet, the tenth month (if it was a twelve month year, which was most probable). Tevet occurs in Dec/Jan. From this we get a clear timeline of these two miraculous pregnancies of Elizabeth and Mary:

YEAR 1: John was conceived in the summer on the 15th of the fourth month during a full moon.

YEAR 1: The Lord Jesus was conceived in the winter on the 1st of the tenth month during a new moon.

YEAR 2: John was born in the spring on the 1st of the second month during a new moon.

YEAR 2: The Lord Jesus was born in the autumn on the 15th of the seventh month during a full moon.

After Elizabeth’s greeting and anointed word, Mary responded once again, as she did to Gabriel, with amazement and great humility. It was no insignificant response but revealed a woman of strong intellect, spiritual grace, and much insightful knowledge of Scripture for one so young. Her words reverberate through the centuries illustrating the profound nature of the Lord’s great plan and her own unique circumstances. We don’t hear much from Mary ever again but the following passage is filled with spiritual portent and the faithfulness of God. He has come to His people:

And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.” [Luke 1:46-55][1]

Luke tells us that Mary stayed in Judea with Elizabeth for about three months after her arrival. The two would have had many long talks. As I stated earlier, Elizabeth was Mary’s only confidant. She was the only one who would have understood her circumstances because she had the same circumstances. These two ladies would have discussed all the implications of what they were presented with and how best to deal with the outcome and responses of others, especially as how it affected Mary. She still had to tell Joseph. She had to tell her parents. How would they react? She knew how everybody else would react and it was a hard pill to swallow. The time with Elizabeth was cherished because she gained the support she would need, to build herself up, and prepare for the coming storm of controversy.

And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home. [Luke 1:56]

One would think Mary would have stayed for John’s birth. We are tempted to add to the narrative and think she must have stayed, but Luke did not present it that way. With regard to why she left early, the calendar gives us a direct clue: It was now the early spring. The first month of Nisan had arrived. The spring feasts, to which Mary had remained faithful her entire life, were upon the nation. Passover week would be happening very soon, within about a week or so. Did Mary leave a few weeks before John’s birth to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem?

© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN!” (2)

 

 

The conventional perception of the mother of our Lord is off. It is way off. She is commonly depicted in religious art, iconography, and statuary as Caucasian, and often northern European.

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Knowledge of her Hebrew heritage among Christians is largely lost. Even her actual name is mostly unknown. The name Mary derives from the Judeo-Aramaic variant Maryam, from the Greek Mariam, which was derived from the original Hebrew Miryam, the name of the elder sister of Moses and Aaron (which is translated into English primarily as Miriam). New Testament readers know this was a popular name for Hebrew women at that time, as there are several with the name in the Gospel accounts.

As a young Hebrew maiden of eastern Mediterranean stock, she was likely dark complected with dark hair and Semitic features. Semitic refers to one of the three sons of Noah—Shem—whose descendants predominantly populated the Middle East and still do today. We know from early OT accounts that the ancient Hebrews shared their DNA with many different ethnos of the greater region, including the Canaanite tribes. There were also the two great disruptions to the nation when the ten northern tribes of Israel were deported to the east in 722 BC followed by the Babylonian captivity of Judah 136 years later. The three remaining tribes of the latter—Judah, Levi, and Benjamin—were removed to Babylon for 70 years. They were allowed to return but many chose to stay. The lands of Israel and Judah had been repopulated somewhat by foreigners in the interim, especially the Samaritan region. The land was then ruled by a succession of Persians, Greeks, and Romans. It is therefore difficult if not impossible to arrive at a definitive Hebrew nationality by the first century AD.

Even so, we do have two extant genealogies of our Lord Jesus from that time, both of which stem from the tribe of Judah and feature the persons of Abraham and David. The genealogy of Joseph the carpenter in Matthew’s gospel descends through King David’s son Solomon, the third and final king of a united Israel. After Solomon’s death the kingdom split into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah. Luke’s gospel contains the genealogy of Mary, which also goes through David but by his son Nathan, Solomon’s brother. This family tree divergence took place over 900 years before the Lord’s birth. The last of the Hebrew kings of the Judaic line ceased with the Babylonian captivity in 586 BC. Zedekiah was the last king of Judah, but was somewhat illegitimate in that he was installed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC after the siege of Jerusalem. The king before Zedekiah was Jeconiah (AKA Coniah, Jehoiachin), who was carted off to Babylon a prisoner in chains. This is what the prophet Jeremiah said about him:

“Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out and cast into a land that they had not known? O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.’” [Jeremiah 22:28-30]   

The Hebrew monarchy was thus abolished. There were no more kings. No one could ever again qualify. Joseph the carpenter’s line included Jeconiah and he is listed in Matthew’s genealogy. Nevertheless, it was established that Joseph, the legal stepfather of the Lord, could trace his direct lineage to Solomon and David. Mary’s genealogy could also be traced directly to King David. This means the Lord Jesus had a legal right as king through Joseph and a biological right through His mother. Though the monarchial birthright was essentially revoked by Jeremiah’s prophecy, this did not apply to the Lord Jesus because he was not a blood descendant of Jeconiah. Thus, the only possible way the Davidic line of kings could be restored, even after a six century interval, would be through the following:

“Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” [Isaiah 7:14]

GREETINGS FROM THE WOMB

As described in Part 1, Mary was soon on the road south to Judea to visit her relative Elizabeth. The two women were anxious to share the great news of their pregnancies, both of which were only possible through direct miraculous means. Elizabeth was greatly humbled in her long life of barrenness but maintained her faith regardless. Mary was also burdened somewhat by an undisclosed life circumstance. Here we have the young and the old, both of whom must deal with the inevitable gossip of unbelievers, yet blessed abundantly as major players in the great plan of God for the salvation of Israel and humanity. But besides these two who knew each other well, there were others who met for the very first time:

Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said,

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” [Luke 1:39-45][1]

© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN!” (1)

NAZARETH

She was given the opportunity to be the mother of Messiah—the Son of the Most High. She accepted without question, filled with wonder, in humble awe of being chosen.

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In reading between the lines in the initial Gospel references to the mother of our Lord, we happen upon facts otherwise escaping our notice, primarily, her humble origin. We already know her hometown was not the greatest of places, as none other than one of the twelve, Nathanael Bar Tholmai (Bartholomew) articulated,

“Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” [1]

The rustic community is never mentioned in any of the Old Testament writings, meaning it had yet to exist then, suffered utmost insignificance, or was known by a different name, one of which might have been “white town” or a variation, named after the ready supply of limestone rocks in the area. Nestled among the lower hills of the Nazareth Range in the ancient tribal land of Zebulun, the city lay about halfway between the seas—the great Mediterranean on the west where sailing ships launched for far-off lands, and to the east, the indigenous, often mysterious Sea of Galilee, loved freshwater fishery of the locals.

From the little we know, Mary was likely born in this little village by the cliffs in circa 18 BC. This was during the early years of Augustus, who became the first Roman emperor in 27 BC, and the local reign of the ruthless client-king Herod the Great who had gained power a decade earlier. How she or her family arrived in the area is lost to history. Though Nazareth was within the small area originally allotted to the Tribe of Zebulun (the tenth son of Jacob and sixth born to Leah), Mary was actually a distant descendent of King David of the ruling line of Judah. Her connection to the latter tribe is somewhat problematic for a Galilean from the north due to her clear connection to relatives in the territory of Judea south of Jerusalem. The unknown story of her family’s transplantation is an intriguing one.

We know from the later annual pilgrimages made by the holy family to Jerusalem for the feasts that young Mary likely also made such trips as a child growing up, probably as part of small caravans. She was thus familiar with the territory and probably looked forward to such opportunities to see the great city and visit family. Journeying from the north in Galilee, one would traverse the disparaged Samaria, sandwiched between Galilee and Judea, and venture through the ancient tribal areas of Issachar, Manasseh, and Ephraim in the process, and lastly through the allotment of Benjamin on the approach to Yerushalayim which was located on the southern edge of his tribal land.

The eastern border between the two famous territories of Benjamin and Judah actually runs north and south along the Kidron Valley. The Kidron divides the city of Jerusalem in Benjamin’s territory to the west from the Mount of Olives in Judah’s territory to the east. The southern border between the tribes is divided by the valley of Hinnom which was immediately due south of the ancient city. Beyond these two natural demarcation lines was the fatherland of Judah and the ancestral land of King David to which Mary and her family sojourned frequently. It was also the ancestral homeland of her new husband Joseph, the strong but tender carpenter, chosen also as she was, and suited well for the calling.

AN ANGELIC VISITATION

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. [Luke 1:26-27]

Luke makes it clear in his definitive account that Mary was a virgin when the angel Gabriel revealed to her the plan of God which would soon go into effect upon her consent. She was betrothed to the carpenter, meaning the marriage was not yet fully contracted, and both were honorable and chaste. It is often not acknowledged that young Mary had a choice regarding the Lord’s plan for her life. We all have a choice, and for everyone there is a plan. Notwithstanding the discipline required to live and work for the Lord according to His will and not our own, any other plan created and chosen by a person is always inferior to His. Mary understood this. It is why she replied to Gabriel with no hesitation in her heart:

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 1:28-38] [2]

Mary’s use of the word “bondslave” is not without import. It is from the Greek doulos and is defined accordingly as a female slave without any ownership rights of her own. This word, also translated as bond-servant, is used throughout the New Testament denoting the pure servanthood and dedication to the Master by real believers. The Hebrew equivalent for a female servant is shiphchah and has an ancient etymology dating to the book of Genesis. Though we often fail to perceive, in these brief Scriptural renderings, the full connotation and significance of the choice she made, Mary knew exactly what she was doing by deciding in the affirmative. She understood the gravity of the situation, the ramifications thereof, and that is was a lifelong commitment.

But there is more. Mary alluded to her current state of life before the angelic visitation as thoroughly humble and insignificant. We see this first in her initial reaction to Gabriel’s greeting when he referred to her as “favored one” and said the Lord was with her: But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. She was also afraid, probably for the same reasons you or I would be startled at the appearance of an angel. It was more than this, however. She was concerned about what it meant for her life and, in those first few seconds, that she was in no way worthy of such an astounding visitation and calling.

Why did she feel this way? There is something else here that Luke’s narrative hints at which he does not delve into, possibly because he knew his audience was aware of whatever particulars were involved with Mary and the circumstances of her humble life.

In Part 2, I will continue delving into such lesser-known particulars. We will look closer at Mary’s upbringing, family, and momentous visit to her elderly but expecting relative Elizabeth, also a chosen woman of the Lord who found much grace in His sight.

© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] John 1:46  

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

MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN!” (Intro)

 

Two years ago at this time I wrote the following six part series with the above title. I will repost each part daily until Christmas. Blessings to all 

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Hello friends. I hope all is going well for you during this special time of year. I started a new article with the above title early in the week and it has expanded beyond one posting. I am giving you all this head’s up that I will be posting Part 1 soon.

Mary is one of history’s most intriguing figures and it is especially that way for Christians worldwide. Even so, there is little historical material regarding her life. Perhaps this is why there is so much traditional information which actually has no backing in Scripture. However, within the extant Scriptural material we have there are many captivating clues about her life that lead to greater knowledge. This is what we will be sharing with one another for the next few posts.

Thanks for reading. In the meantime, blessings to you and Merry Christmas!

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© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

THE TEARS OF GOD

For all the senseless sins of humanity

For all the hate

For all the children

Whose lives are snuffed out

By their parents.

And other beautiful children

Born deaf or blind

Who love their lives

And give their might to prove their worth

While privileged ones

Throw theirs away

For so many so rebellious

No one can reach them

Intent on evil

Who deceived them?

And on it goes

Century after eon

Nothing ever changes

Man’s inhumanity to man

Brings untold misery

And hard, hard work for nothing

Destroyed in a day

Lifetimes achieving

She said it wasn’t worth it

And darkness descended

But what of another choice?

What of beauty?

What of kindness and love

And compassion?

What of joy?

Why the hate and discontent?

When air can be so pure

And nature so rich?

How can creatures so bright

Descend into such a pit?

Day after day after day

Misery upon misery

And evil people in power

Will no one ever stand to save?

Will we let it all slip away?

Day after day, tears fall

Year after year, tears fall

Century after…

The dry void receives the wet

Salty, salty tears

The levels rise

Overflowing banks

And continuing upward

So much sin

So much pain

So much flat out rejection

Of the cure

Of the means to stop it

To live right

To get it right

To stop the bleeding

But they would not

And the levels rise

More tears, flowing daily

Won’t you stop?

Won’t you try to live right?

Won’t you take care of one another?

I’ve given all I can give

I can give no more

And the levels rise

Drowning continents

Filling the earth

Overcoming all bounds

An unending stream

Of the Creator’s anguish

Oceans of tears

Jesus Wept

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

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2021: FIGHT FOR YOUR COUNTRY

I wrote the following post one year ago. Today is the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving in 1621. What I wrote last Thanksgiving holds true. We are making progress. Many have fought hard over the last year and continue fighting. There is no longer any doubt that the devil’s dirty work over the last two years was to stop the Great Awakening which continues to advance. It is sad that so many American Christians have joined the enemy, are still sleeping, or refuse to fight as they should. A great many non-Christians certainly understand, however. Sometimes those who do not profess the Lord Jesus do His will while those who do do not. The apostle Paul wrote about this. I encourage you, dear readers, to continue doing your best to do His will for your life, attend to your callings, continue showing His love, and most of all, continue to praise, honor, and obey the Lord Jesus, our loving Creator and Savior. He gave His all so we could have Life. We are most thankful for Him on this wonderful day.

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We have much to be thankful for. Though American liberty and freedom is under severe attack at present, it remains strong, which is quite a feat after 400 years.

Earlier this year I decided to take a research dive into the founding of Roanoke Colony, the first English colony in America. This was the so-called “lost colony” founded on the Carolina coast in the 1580s, which then somehow disappeared. I discovered it never actually disappeared but simply moved down the coast several miles away. The colonists had joined up with a native tribe but this was largely unknown to the outside world for over a century. There is much about this story that nobody knew for the longest time but an archaeology project began a few years back that is filling in some blanks. It’s a fascinating tale.

In 1607 Virginia Colony was founded and it suffered some serious setbacks and almost came to ruin. It was for the most part a mercantile colony founded for profit, and fully supported the Anglican state church. And though it certainly has its place it never captured the hearts of later colonists and modern day Americans the way Plymouth Colony did. The latter was founded for a distinctly different and very rare purpose. Its English Separatists founders, known as the Pilgrims, were seeking not monetary profit or greater territory, but religious and political freedom.

I wrote an article about these stalwart, wonderful people several years ago and reposted it this past Saturday on the 400-year anniversary of their landing. It’s a good article with much history, focusing primarily on the backstory and the incessant trials and persecutions these people suffered beginning long before they ever left England. Real Christians of the present can certainly relate to their story in these times, when it appears that religious and political freedom is just about done. Indigenous evil forces that hate America have been on the prowl for decades and they stand, as I write, on the very threshold of taking over. If we let them there will only be a brief segue remaining before America is done.

I have hope that it will never happen. I have hope that these indigenous evil forces will be defeated. Anyone paying attention over the last several years noticed that these guys no longer cared about hiding their evil practices. Much evil came forth from them, mostly because they knew no one could stop their evil deeds. They got pretty bold and lowered their guard, and as a result not only engaged in greater degrees of evil but did so more openly. And now, with this election, they obviously either did not care whatsoever about the level of lawbreaking they would engage in, in their desperation to regain power, or actually thought they could get away with it. Their effort was a clear in-your-face attack against freedom, liberty, justice, and fair play, and showed all the more their abject hatred of American ideals and the Constitution.

I’ve been following this election fraud story very closely and I can tell you that many small victories have already happened. But much greater victories are about to come forth. I am also encouraged that so many Americans already know much of the truth about the stealing of this election. And I am encouraged that a few great fighters have already risen to the fore and are manning the battlements. It will get a lot worse before it gets better and I have hope that it will get better. Who knows how many times something like this was done in the past and most Americans were none the wiser. But this time is far different. The scale is off the charts. Nothing so blatantly evil has ever happened in American history before.

There is no guarantee, of course, that the forces of good will end up winning. The odds are greatly against it. Many have already thrown in the towel. I am thankful that the major players have not. I have not. And I trust you have not. The case is being made as I write. It is a great case. The fraud is growing ever more obvious. The good news is that a fight of this kind reveals all the shysters and Judases. All those people you thought were good guys have revealed themselves as evil grifters in love with money, power, and prestige. They appeared to change teams pretty fast but in reality were only faking people out all this time. They only cared about themselves and never about you.

Regarding this great day, this Thanksgiving Day 2020, I am thankful that real Americans, though in apparently short supply, still exist, and that enough still exist to make this a viable and winning fight. You must mark all those that have already quit or joined the other side, or refuse to fight for the country. You must also mark those who are putting their lives, reputations, and sacred honor on the line. Sound familiar?

Also, the enemy, though apparently in full control and about to win it all, likely underestimated his opponents. He also made the mistake of thinking he covered enough bases to get away with it or that there would never be enough time to overcome his great advantage. He also either doesn’t know about a little something called The Great Awakening or knows about it all too well and has gone to these great lengths of evil in a last ditch desperate effort to overcome it. I don’t think it will work. I believe there remains way too much good, way too much strength, and way too many real Americans who will never surrender. It certainly looked that way for much of this year, however. Far too many allowed themselves to be deceived by this false pandemic and were far too willing to lay down at the feet of evil authoritarians who have nothing but contempt for America and Americans. This is likely why they thought they could pull it off.

As it turns out, America is not quite ready to give up. More are waking up every day. This Thanksgiving Day must be different. We must return to our roots. We must stop seeing ourselves as the other bookend to the Pilgrims of 400 years ago, ready to die. Instead, we have to allow the natural fight God put within us to come forth. We must immediately stop putting up with garbage and take a stand. We must rally the troops. We must not only consider the Pilgrims but match their powerful resolve. They didn’t lay a great foundation only for us to allow it to be destroyed.

Roanoke was rough and Virginia almost didn’t make it. But Plymouth Colony opened up a massive highway of freedom that has blessed this country for four centuries. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated the next autumn in 1621. That makes today Thanksgiving Day #400. Rather than it be the last Thanksgiving, we must make it like the first, in that we have a whole new birth of freedom.

Whatever you believe the Lord Jesus has called you to do, now is the time to attend to it like your life depends upon it. Don’t hold back. Don’t stop short. Don’t be cowed. Encourage one another. Build each other up. Be strong. KEEP THE FAITH. Engage in spiritual warfare like you never have before. Make the Lord proud. We can still win this thing.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

REMEMBERING JFK

I remember when it happened. As was my routine, I had gone home for lunch. My grade school was within easy walking distance.

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I wrote the following on November 22, 2019:

It was getting close to the time when I should be heading back. I was sitting right in front of our small black and white television. My mother was a few steps away in the kitchen. Suddenly, whatever I was watching was interrupted. There was a news bulletin. One could almost sense the haphazard effort of the station in relaying the shattering news while trying to maintain professional decorum. A man with a strong and hurried voice began speaking. The president has been shot…

The United States of America changed forever on that fateful day. After 56 years, the majority of Americans know the official story is full of holes. This was proven early on. But a very strange thing happened. Though evil people were having their way, Americans insisted on supporting the official narrative. As more truth leaked out regarding what really happened, and as many knew in their gut something was not quite right, it became one’s patriotic duty to do the very opposite of what should have been done.

This let those in control know they were in good shape. The country was in their hands. They could do whatever they wanted and would not only get away with it but would never even be questioned. Everything changed at that point. Fast, dramatic change ensued. Regarding the country, it was all for the worse. In the space of less than four and a half years our president was murdered in cold blood right out in the open in the bright sunshine in a gruesome display. His brother, who surely would have become president in 1968, was also killed right after securing the Democratic nomination. Martin Luther King was also murdered by a sniper two months earlier. Each one of these cases involved much subterfuge and unanswered questions. Quick verdicts were reached in the official narrative. The vast majority of Americans went along with the official stories though many had private doubts. What happened to the country?

THERE WAS ONCE A REVOLUTION

Throughout the period of the 1760s to mid 1770s patriotic American colonists grew increasingly concerned about the great lessening of personal liberties and the increasing power plays of a distant British government. These people were a relatively small minority. Most American colonists were full- bore Tories who either supported the King and Parliament without question or were too apathetic and ignorant to care one way or the other. By the time independence was declared these three groups comprised roughly the same percentage. Only about a third of Americans were willing to commit themselves fully to the cause of outright revolution to secure their individual liberties which had been under severe attack for several years by those who saw their control weakening and who must strongly reassert its position of rule to overcome any notion of freedom from said rule.

How did only a third manage to overcome the other two-thirds? It is fully understandable that the third of Americans which fully supported the British overlords did so to protect their wealth and social standing. People like this are cowards at heart. They have little or no concern for others, those who make up the majority, who are on the outside looking in and do not share in their upper class stature. Their lives are not about higher ideals and ideas but merely a social position brought on by comparatively greater wealth and the desire to make friends with power—those who would advance them in their careers and protect their higher place in society.

Regarding that other third, the apathetic group, these people are also well-represented in history. They are those who never stay informed, don’t care about truth, will stand for nothing of any real importance, are willingly ignorant, and are basically only along for the ride. They like floating down lazy rivers. They find the whole idea of taking a stand for higher values and ideals ridiculous. They have no understanding for laying good foundations for future generations. They can barely see beyond the end of their nose. The present is what they care about, just like the Tory group, but they don’t care about it enough to make any attempt to excel.

REAL PATRIOTS

Back in the 1960s the generation in charge still held to the false notion, “My country right or wrong.” The most insane occurrences were taking place all around from day to day and it seemed that most would insist on keeping a stiff lip and hard face refusing to question anything. Had they been brainwashed? Why could they not see the evil? Why did they continue to support those in power who were violating the Constitution on a daily basis and doing whatever the hell they wanted to insure that the rich and powerful gained even more wealth and power?

King George III and the British Parliament never came close to the violations inflicted on America less than two centuries later. It has only gotten worse since. We now live in a semi-surveillance state in which our God-given rights and freedoms have been seriously curtailed by the very entity supposedly existing to insure them. Where are the real American patriots? How many are left?

Exactly 56 years ago powerful people conspired in the dark to remove the President of the United States because he refused to go along with an ongoing sinister plan to run roughshod on We the People. They were willing to kill him in broad daylight to achieve their goal.

And they got away with it.     

© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  

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I wrote the following on November 22, 2020:

It has been exactly 57 years. An American President was brutally gunned down by an evil element in Dallas, Texas. That evil element gained great power that day. It has only increased in power since.

One can always tell when evil has gained a foothold: Evil unlawful acts not only proliferate but have no remedy. No matter what one may do to overcome the evil nothing works. It may be stopped temporarily. There may even be modest gains against it at times but such minimal losses are often quickly gained back. Exponentially speaking, evil continues on an upward trend.

At last a few bright people figure out that the reason for evil’s upper hand growing greater is because it is being fed. Somehow or another evil has gained access to great funding and support. These few bright people then figure out that evil is gaining this funding and support surreptitiously. In other words, otherwise good people have been deceived into supporting an evil element. Such good people are not so wise because only the unwise allow themselves to be fooled continually.

This is why, in Old Testament parlance, God always sent prophets. The prophetic voice was clean and clear. It was strong and unwavering. It was sent to shine a Light on TRUTH. It was sent to wake people from their spiritual slumber. Through the prophetic Word, the Lord Jesus identifies good and evil. He tears away the cloak of deception. He reveals the evil element behind the curtain.

When the unwise but otherwise good people then understand that which comprises the evil element, they cease supporting it. As its funding and support begins being cut back it no longer has the free ability to wreak havoc as before. In the effort to save itself it uses that much more of the only weapon it possesses: More evil. —More sin, more lies, more cheating, more obfuscation, and more dissembling. By this it only reveals itself all the more.

We are living in the days of a Great Awakening. Pay attention.

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


© 2021 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

UNREAL CHRISTIANITY IS A FLAWED MODEL (IT THUS DEMANDS CHRISTIAN PROGRAMMING TO MAKE IT WORK)

It appears to function properly. The people who exist within it appear to have a correct perspective. Appearances, however, can be greatly deceiving.

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In writing my book, Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church, I coined the term “Unreal Christianity.” This term is defined as everything Real Christianity is not. Real Christianity is: (1) The total curriculum of the Lord Jesus and everything He taught and carried out during His ministry as revealed in the New Covenant writings. (2) The sum total of everything taught and practiced by His initial real followers in obedience to Him during the first century AD as revealed in the New Covenant writings.

Discovering Real Christianity is not difficult. The Word of God reveals it. The Spirit of God is active in the world leading whosoever will to Life and Truth. There are millions of people with solid testimonials who have experienced it. We have historical records. The first century written record is a spiritual gold mine. Also, the central core of the Lord’s teachings regarding salvation are easy to understand and apply, and one does not need full knowledge of the New Testament to gain salvation.

However, one does need such knowledge to reveal the unreal. One must know the New Testament very well to overcome false teachings. Those who add to or take away from the Lord’s teachings are not working for Him. That should be obvious. The reason so many Christians are deceived and are teaching and practicing that which the Lord never did or does not support need the proper frame of reference to discover their error. They will never gain this within their limited circles.

The teachings and practices of the original Community of the Lord were commanded to be carried out perpetually from generation to generation. We have ample historical evidence that this is true. There is therefore no justification whatsoever for deviating from the original, though a great many Christians have done this and continue supporting false forms of Christianity. It makes no difference that the majority of Christians belong to the unreal camp. The majority is always wrong. The rigors and full commitment of real discipleship are such that only a relative few will follow the correct path. The majority chooses the broad well-traveled way.

Thus, Unreal Christianity is an all-inclusive term denoting every Christian belief system and practice that deviates from the perfect original. The New Covenant writings do an excellent job at defining the real and exposing the unreal. If one cannot find confirmation for his Christian beliefs and practices in the New Testament then such beliefs and practices are incorrect. There is no proof or reason for their existence.

TWO TYPES OF CHRISTIAN INTELLIGENCE     

In general, there are two basic types of intelligence which Christians choose to adopt. The majority type can be referred to as programmable intelligence. This is characterized by people who accept indoctrination willingly. They rarely or never question authority. They never seek confirming proof. They go along to get along. Truth is much less important than fitting into the group. Therefore, the belief system of the overall group, the glue which binds the members together, is predominant with reference to any other belief system, including Biblical truth.  

Of course, anybody can be programmed. Yet, to the consternation of religious tyrants everywhere, some people can only be programmed to a point. These people adopt the second type of intelligence. The time always arrives when such people, always in the apparent minority, will start to notice flaws in their programming and begin to ask questions. They will notice that elements of their indoctrination don’t add up. Because they are also independent thinkers, they measure their programming against the Word of God. They then become fully aware of their programming. It is a life changing moment when their eyes are suddenly opened, so to speak. It can be a shock, not only because they realize they were deceived by their previous Christian beliefs but that the ones in authority in which they trusted had lied to them. They then begin to deconstruct their programming and allow for the pure teachings of the Lord.

This form of intelligence can be referred to as non-programmable intelligence. Though these people can certainly be deceived, their deception is always temporary. Over the long term, it is impossible to keep them in an ongoing state of deception. No matter what the religious programmers do, they simply cannot keep these people programmed to a flawed belief system. The mindset of those with non-programmable intelligence, because they possess an inherent hunger of and love for the truth, is one composed of critical thinking, testing, and ongoing questioning of authority. Their only supreme loyalty is to the Supreme Being. They can hear His voice and will only follow the Good Shepherd. They know that the curriculum of the Lord Jesus is the only flawless Christian belief system.      

Those with only programmable intelligence never notice any flaws in their programming. They also do not perceive that they have been programmed. Whatever denominational beliefs they espouse have been programmed into them. They are very well indoctrinated. Some would use the term brainwashed. These people never test their programmed beliefs against the Word of God. They never see the need to test them. They fully trust their religious authority figures. They simply believe what they are taught and look no further. They have little or no critical thinking ability regarding their Christian beliefs. Why question what is right? If by chance they happen to find apparent flaws in their indoctrination (or have them pointed out to them by others), they often chalk it up to concepts which can never be understood in this life and thereby invoke the spectre of mystery in that such concepts are impossible to comprehend.

Though there are certainly mysteries in this life there are none within the teachings of the Lord. It may appear that way if one never studies the Word. Therefore such defeatist attitudes actually reveal intellectual laziness and a refusal to search for available answers, as well as a strong reluctance to deviate from the teachings of the group because they fear rejection by the group. They know they can never make it without group support.

Those who choose mere programmable intelligence have this in common. They rank social standing very high. It is extremely important to them to belong and be well thought of by the overall group of which they are a member and that they fit in well and maintain their standing in the group. This demands that the overall members of the group have essentially the exact core beliefs. Core beliefs are so important they must never be questioned whatsoever and any member who does so is quickly rendered a social violator. The punishments of such social violators are the proverbial cold shoulder at best or excommunication at worst. In the middle exist all manner of punishments designed to inflict enough abuse to force one back into compliance. Any one of these punishments inflicts social humiliation and can be quite damaging though most are temporary. The abused accept their abuse willingly, though they still may not understand why they are being punished so severely. The last thing they want is cancellation because they consider actual removal from the group the worst possible outcome. It is the social death penalty.

Those with programmable intelligence could never handle such an outcome. Their place in the group is far too important. It is not only fear of banishment from the group, it is also the great fear of being thought of as different, strange, quirky, or as a deviant. They will do anything to keep either of these two outcomes from happening. They know they must strive to be a well thought of member of the group at any cost and will strive for that social standing. They crave group support to bolster the way they think about themselves. Doing all that is required as a member of the pack, the gang, the group, or the congregation validates their standing and shields them from outside attack. They must have a structured environment in which they are told what to think and believe. They often do not have the capacity to do their own research. They can rarely stand alone.

This means they must believe as the group believes. They believe the beliefs of the group are paramount. They do not understand, however, that the group has only a low common denominator set of basic elementary beliefs. And they also do not understand that the heart of these core tenets are founded upon control. The beliefs are used to keep everyone in the group under control to a higher authority. Though there is a higher authority—those few in control who dictate what will be believed and practiced—the members perceive their set of beliefs as their foundation instead of the sly controllers who use the “foundational” beliefs to program them and thus control them.

The members of the unreal assembly believe their chosen beliefs are fundamentally sound and true but they never test them. Their Christian beliefs appear on the surface to agree with Scripture. But because the beliefs are never actually tested against Scripture (and because any such testing is often forbidden) it does not take much further programming to convince the members that their beliefs are absolutely confirmed by Scripture (falsely). The controllers know those who are successfully programmed will never demand proof. Such followers believe that whatever testing is required has already been performed by the authorities in charge. Members learn that their core beliefs must never be deviated from by any member because it negatively affects the unity of the group. And even though most have undergone abuse to conform it will not stop the abused from engaging in abuse against others. All must defend their group and their group’s practices and beliefs, whatever the cost.

All that I describe here is the essential definition of a cult. Unreal Christianity contains a collection of Christian cults with a false façade. The leaders thereof are wolves in sheep’s clothing and are often demonic.

Such cultish thinking is based on primeval aspects of survival. Groups survive because they stick together against enemies (those who believe differently). Over time, small groups become large groups but their basic tenets remain the same. Whoever does not believe and act as the members are characterized as deviants and must be opposed. It becomes a joke when all Christian denominations adopt the same attitude—everybody is wrong except us—we have the full truth—our church is the right churchour leaders are the only real leaders.

Regarding Real Christianity, the Lord Jesus is the only Leader. His teachings are the only Christian truth. His Community is composed of the only Christian unity. His disciples follow and obey only Him because they love Him. They are not programmed.

AWAKING TO THE TRUTH

If the faux bros tested themselves against the Lord’s model they would discover their error. They would understand they possess a flawed model of Christianity. And then they may wonder how this happened. If they’re not careful they will start adopting the other form of intelligence, one that cannot be successfully programmed. And then, horror of horrors, they will start thinking critically. They will even test their beliefs against the Word of God. They will start questioning their betters. The next thing you know a great many Christians will break free from their Christian programming, stop being religious zombies, and actually gain more fear of losing their soul than losing their place in their chosen Christian society. It will dawn on them what living for God actually is and how blessed they are to have the opportunity to do so.

And they will see the Lord Jesus as He was at one time—rejected, betrayed, banished from the group, and left completely alone, and they will lose their fear. They will see that He overcame it all. It never stopped Him. He was victorious anyway.

He exposed the flawed models. He defeated the programmers. He did it all to set us free.

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. [Romans 16:17-20] [1]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION AND WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW: JOURNEY TO THE SOURCE

Every river has a source. And every river flows downhill. Though many people are aware of rivers few are aware of the point at which a river begins.

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This holds true even for those familiar rivers flowing by one’s locale where a man might fish or kids swim or families gather, or those city rivers spanned by bridges and shadowed by tall downtowns. People may know all about a section of the river closest to them or that part which they may frequent for whatever reason. They may also know about a portion of the river flowing away from them to various degrees because anyone who’s ever been on a river has drifted downstream either on purpose or not, maybe in a boat or a tube or a canoe or two. But fewer are familiar with any great distance in the other direction, that upstream direction that requires more effort as you go, both to overcome the current and the faster currents in the main current and also because you be going uphill toward them thar hills where the gold is and the higher you go the more effort it takes, which kind of removes the whole point of being on a river in the first place. One will also figure out that the day goes faster on the upstream track and it gets darker sooner and unless you got a plan for Z-catching time you’ll be up a river without a plan. Or a paddle. Plans and paddles always seem to work better going downstream.

Which only proves my point all the more. Going with the flow is cake and even dogs can do that. Speaking of which, in a former life I was once the very proud master of the greatest dog that ever lived. We would go to the lake together. I had a big inner tube. I would lay across it out there on an inlet of the lake and my good doggo, a fifty plus pound mostly black lab would stand on the tube crossways with her fore feet on one side and hinder feet on the other. We’d ride like that, a captain and his mate, me relaxing and her on her high perch on the lookout alert to all of nature with senses in overdrive locked in on distant pirate ships off on the horizon only dog eyes can see and maybe sensing or smelling a school of fish in the unseen underworld swimming under us and catching wind from distant points and occasionally making a clean jump overboard and a dog splash with nary a degree course shift to said tube undoubtedly to protect me from Leviathan (or probably just to get wet and do some doggo paddling).

And speaking further of which, those big inner tubes from tractor tires that people used to float around on back in the day curiously only work in one direction even though they came from a large rolling farm machine that goes in several. Go figure. Going downstream requires a couple of oars. Going upstream requires gasoline, or maybe a lot more oars, probably manned by guys that look like Vikings. It’s fun to be following a river to its mouth where it exits into a nice day at the beach. Going the other way on the other hand is work.

A river’s source is much less familiar than its terminus. Fewer people are aware of where a river begins. Many more people sit on a bank of sand and watch the river flow than those who think about where it flows from. And many fewer than that ever do something tangible with such thoughts. Maybe it’s because the source, or headwaters of a river, are often difficult to trace and sometimes very difficult, like tracing anything else to its source, especially those things that have sources which seem to try awfully hard to hide the way there if you get my drift. There may be an area far upstream toward headwater country when the main channel branches off into several small streams which most often don’t have traffic signs and one must choose one or another and this may involve some or a lot of backtracking and getting familiar with tricky cricks that may only end in mud and much bugs.

Going downstream from a not so well defined source may have smaller streams converging into larger ones which become at a certain point a single channel. This is somewhat equivalent to capillaries. There may be a slightly larger small stream among the many when going upstream that can be traced to a single origin point and that’s what you’re looking for. The sources of some rivers are more defined than others.

Rivers obviously begin at higher ground and flow downward. It is often the case that major rivers fall fast in the beginning due to their headwaters being inconveniently located in what may effectively and certainly by comparison be the great white north in cold snowy icy mountain regions where rivers for some odd reason aren’t quite as much fun. You likely won’t find too many people up there having laid back family reunions with barbecue and little kids running around with arm floaties.

After rivers go through their contrary stage in the early going, falling fast and dangerous as if having no time to lose and needing to get somewhere yesterday, they start catching their breath a tad as the lay of the land becomes increasingly less pronounced and angled. The slope lessens and eventually flattens out in comparison to the upriver rocky waterfall stage. Some rivers reach areas where they spread out with very wide banks. What was once a clear and cold quickly running rivulet becomes a wide slow moving body of water appearing almost as a lake, kind of like a butterfly turning into a worm. The gradient continues to lessen over large stretches as the river at last approaches the place it was so fired up about reaching back in the beginning—the flat land of its ultimate destination in which it finally exhausts itself and goes to river heaven, pouring itself out with one last primal scream and a few deathbed prayers into a vast sea or the big bad ocean becoming one with all as it were. It may even decide on splitsville prior to exiting at its technical terminus, becoming a many branching delta as it might have been in the beginning and completing the river circle of life in that the many became one and then the many again. This is really philosophical but rivers, as you know, can be deep.

Thus, since water always seeks its own level, which explains why it was in such a gol-dern hurry at the start, the waters which begin in the high mountains always end their long winding descending journey at level (unless obstructed, usually artificially). This is why they call it sea level because water always has to level out. Once water escapes anything that may be holding it, from Lake Superior to a drinking glass, it will do its best to get flat as quickly as possible and the more of it there is the more this force is compounded.  This is why sea level is the zero point and benchmark for all land elevations. It’s because the ocean is the place most rivers go to die where they simply can’t get any more level. I guess this makes them happy.

THE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION

Information works the same way water works. It has a source. The source is often limited or even singular. The information chosen for authorized channels must be approved before being released and thus becomes official. Approved official knowledge or information then flows relatively quickly from the top down through hierarchical levels until reaching the initial lower levels of distribution. It is then disseminated throughout the flat land of the masses in which the information flow shifts from vertical to horizontal.

At this point information which once descended from a mysterious and largely unknown elevated source is shared laterally across a virtual plane. The receivers become the final distributors. Though the indoctrinated are blissfully unaware of the source or legitimacy of the information or the process of mental manipulation which they are undergoing, they accept the information presented to them as truth. They believe it and compel others to believe it. News spreads from person to person within the proverbial ocean of people. Cultural belief systems are created. Narratives are formed. And the majority are none the wiser that it was all planned that way.

Imagine therefore all the rivers of the land flowing into a single ocean at sea level. The waters of multiple rivers converge and mix together in the ocean waters. Again, it works the same way with information. The information is rarely vetted. It is assumed to be true. Next to no one ever goes on a perilous journey upriver seeking the source. Such can be extremely difficult. Many different terrains will be encountered along with whatever other dangers may lurk upon them such as hostile inhabitants or wild animals. Imagine getting into the high mountain regions presented with bottomless crevasses and vertical icy cliffs. Whoever the long ago down-streamers were, those non-indigenous to the unexplored high country, that discovered a major river’s headwaters were indeed the hardiest of souls. They were seeking the source.

As opposed to the ancient source seekers, the vast majority of the people downstream in gently sloping relatively flat regions and on the coast usually had no desire to discover where their water came from. They simply accepted the water for what it was, the life-giving element essential for all. In prior times when the earth was clean the water was also usually safe. People were not aware of the microscopic dangers inherent in some waters. Over the last two plus centuries when areas of the earth were subjected to industrialization and the pollution thereof, some waters became slightly polluted, but again, nobody understood the lurking danger. In areas of very high populations settled in a section of river in which the flow was not sufficient to overcome the pollution, many people came down with unexplained illnesses due to the higher concentration of pollutants in the water and many died. It became a serious problem.

Those were the days of unsanitary practices engaged in by relatively everyone. Very few ever made a connection between such practices and ill health. For example, it was the same during the Black Death in Europe in which great numbers died. No one had understood that unsanitary practices in the highly concentrated population centers attracted rats which had fleas which transferred disease to humans. Therefore, those who imbibed in dirty water had no clue that dirty water caused illness and death. The people who lived far upstream in small villages in which the river water was clear and cold had few such problems.

Though there were large systems of water distribution in ancient times among high population centers, some were upgraded significantly and became relatively modern engineering feats. A great example was ancient Rome. As the city grew larger in the first few centuries BC they began building long aqueducts from distant high ground many miles away which carried fresh water into the city. Many of these were built around the turn of the millennium under the rule of Augustus who had thoroughly modernized Rome. These aqueducts were built primarily for water distribution, however, and not necessarily for access to cleaner water though it was certainly of better quality than what they had previously. Most other large population centers in the ancient world never possessed the thought process or means of the ancient Romans, much less the engineering ability, to build such sanitary systems, and always struggled with disease and death by dirty water. And again, the problem was compounded by never understanding the connection. Lesser cultures suffered more than relatively enlightened ones.

Whatever knowledge in this field might have been gained by the first century AD was apparently lost once again as concentrated population centers continued suffering the effects of water pollution throughout the Middle Ages. It was not until modern times when water distribution became so advanced that much waterborne sickness and disease was eliminated. We have all seen the signs stating that a city’s water supply is “approved.” Municipalities and water districts make water quality literature available for the few who may be interested. One can peruse tables and charts containing the levels of remaining contaminants after filtration. One may also see something else. They may discover the levels of various chemicals added to the water to kill the contaminants. We are told that such industrial chemicals are at such a low level of concentration that they are harmless.

This has long since been proven to be false. That which is flowing through the distribution systems of our cities and towns is roughly equivalent to swimming pool water. Most people do not understand that such municipal water systems are self-contained in that whatever flows down the drain eventually returns through the tap. Drain water and its ingredients must go through multiple levels of high filtration to remove the many contaminants as best as possible and then the water is chemically treated before eventually returning for multiple uses including drinking. In other words, from the time such systems were first constructed the water has never been pure. Dirty water will get you relatively fast. Chemically treated water will likely get you later. In the past, people never made the connection between dirty water and disease. Today, most people do not understand the connection between chemical water and disease.

However, such a problem is comparatively benign compared to information pollution. Few people ever vet the sources of information they receive. Just as we are conditioned to believe that whatever comes out of a tap is perfectly safe, so are we conditioned to believe that everything presented on television, radio, and newspapers is true. You could say the same for history books. For Christians, you can say the same for pulpits. Few ever vet what comes from a pulpit. Even fewer vet the pulpit sources. The original sources and hierarchies that send the information through Christian distribution centers, including pulpits, are often completely unknown. Christians in general have historically been the equivalent of some guy reading a newspaper or watching TV news. The content is not only rarely or never questioned, the creators of the content remain unidentified and anonymous.

Of course, much Christian information comes through the distribution channels from denominational headquarters. And much comes from approved Christian literature through various Christian colleges and seminaries. But most Christians don’t know that or apparently care about the upstream vetting of these information sources. That which is chosen to distribute has agendas attached. There is much that is not chosen. Who is the arbiter? Who makes such decisions? The main final delivery connection point for most Christians, like a household faucet, is the local pulpit, but if the pulpit is ever vetted it is usually because the congregation insists on a particular denominational viewpoint. Sadly, Christian information sources are rarely properly vetted against the only Source that matters.

THE WATER OF LIFE      

It is not possible for a Christian to be a well-informed disciple without attending the school of the Lord Jesus. The Lord has seen fit to preserve His written Word. Thus, by praying for Light and direction, and reading and studying the Lord’s actual teachings, one is effectively attending His school. This is the purest of all waters. Reading His Word can obviously be supplemented by accurate Bible preaching and teaching, and vetted Christian literature. There are several means of distribution of the Lord’s teachings but the emphasis must always be on His pure Word. Direct reading and study eliminates the middle man. It is the same as drinking from a perfectly pure mountain stream or cold water spring.

Consider those who were able to sit at the feet of the Lord Jesus. They were getting the pure Word directly from the Source. I highly recommend that those of you who have yet to have your initial Upper Room experience to seek it. It is where the originals first received the infilling of the Lord’s Holy Spirit. This is a gift to all but it must be sought. Rather than get your information from a downstream unfiltered and likely polluted source in which vital nutrients are missing and contaminants are present, I suggest all take a trip to the Mountain of the Lord to the very Source of the Water of Life. His Spirit will filter and vet everything and keep one from being misinformed and/or deceived.

The evidence is in one’s spiritual health. The Water of Life creates strong, healthy, and joyous disciples.

THE SOURCE  

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:37-39]

“‘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 and they shall prophesy.’” [Acts 2:17-18]

“Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” [Acts 2:33]

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb… [Revelation 22:1] [1]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

NATIONAL REPENTANCE MUST BEGIN IMMEDIATELY

Though the following Psalm obviously applies to ancient Israel, there are many parallels within it which relate to our present. Seek the Lord.

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PSALM 106: Israel’s Rebelliousness and the Lord’s Deliverances

1

Praise the Lord!

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

2

Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the Lord,

Or can show forth all His praise?

3

How blessed are those who keep justice,

Who practice righteousness at all times!

4

Remember me, O Lord, in Your favor toward Your people;

Visit me with Your salvation,

5

That I may see the prosperity of Your chosen ones,

That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation,

That I may glory with Your inheritance.

6

We have sinned like our fathers,

We have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly.

7

Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders;

They did not remember Your abundant kindnesses,

But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.

8

Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His Name,

That He might make His power known.

9

Thus He rebuked the Red Sea and it dried up,

And He led them through the deeps, as through the wilderness.

10

So He saved them from the hand of the one who hated them,

And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.

11

The waters covered their adversaries;

Not one of them was left.

12

Then they believed His words;

They sang His praise.

13

They quickly forgot His works;

They did not wait for His counsel,

14

But craved intensely in the wilderness,

And tempted God in the desert.

15

So He gave them their request,

But sent a wasting disease among them.

16

When they became envious of Moses in the camp,

And of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord,

17

The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,

And engulfed the company of Abiram.

18

And a fire blazed up in their company;

The flame consumed the wicked.

19

They made a calf in Horeb

And worshiped a molten image.

20

Thus they exchanged their glory

For the image of an ox that eats grass.

21

They forgot God their Savior,

Who had done great things in Egypt,

22

Wonders in the land of Ham

And awesome things by the Red Sea.

23

Therefore He said that He would destroy them,

Had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him,

To turn away His wrath from destroying them.

24

Then they despised the pleasant land;

They did not believe in His word,

25

But grumbled in their tents;

They did not listen to the voice of the Lord.

26

Therefore He swore to them

That He would cast them down in the wilderness,

27

And that He would cast their seed among the nations

And scatter them in the lands.

28

They joined themselves also to Baal-peor,

And ate sacrifices offered to the dead.

29

Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds,

And the plague broke out among them.

30

Then Phinehas stood up and interposed,

And so the plague was stayed.

31

And it was reckoned to him for righteousness,

To all generations forever.

32

They also provoked Him to wrath at the waters of Meribah,

So that it went hard with Moses on their account;

33

Because they were rebellious against His Spirit,

He spoke rashly with his lips.

34

They did not destroy the peoples,

As the Lord commanded them,

35

But they mingled with the nations

And learned their practices,

36

And served their idols,

Which became a snare to them.

37

They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons,

38

And shed innocent blood,

The blood of their sons and their daughters,

Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;

And the land was polluted with the blood.

39

Thus they became unclean in their practices,

And played the harlot in their deeds.

40

Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against His people

And He abhorred His inheritance.

41

Then He gave them into the hand of the nations,

And those who hated them ruled over them.

42

Their enemies also oppressed them,

And they were subdued under their power.

43

Many times He would deliver them;

They, however, were rebellious in their counsel,

And so sank down in their iniquity.

44

Nevertheless He looked upon their distress

When He heard their cry;

45

And He remembered His covenant for their sake,

And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.

46

He also made them objects of compassion

In the presence of all their captors.

47

Save us, O Lord our God,

And gather us from among the nations,

To give thanks to Your holy name

And glory in Your praise.

48

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

From everlasting even to everlasting.

And let all the people say, “Amen.”

Praise the Lord! [1]


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

ONLY THE FULLY AWAKE SEE HIS GLORY: A GREAT AWAKENING UPDATE

Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory [Luke 9:32]

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Yes, it was about the Transfiguration. But the Transfiguration is about a Great Revelation. Only the fully awake can see this. Christians who do not see this are not awake.

I can’t tell you exactly when the majority of American Christians went to sleep but it was fairly recent—about a quarter century ago. Prior to the present Great Awakening there was the Great Sleep. The Great Sleep stretched all across the country. It affected all denominations and independents. Of course, many of these have always been asleep so there was no change among them and no frame of reference to discern the times. Most Christians are still asleep.

We were in the early stages of the Great Awakening eleven years ago. I received this revelation from the Lord directly in late August of 2010. I knew of no one else at the time that had received it. I received no confirmation from others I knew at the time but within a few years I did start receiving some. People I knew were seeing breakouts here and there.

Recently, I was watching an interview of a prophetic believer, an older man with a solid record. At one point he said the prophetic people he knew had been saying we entered into the beginning of an awakening around eight to ten years ago. This interview was conducted in the summer of 2020. His statement would make the beginning of the Awakening, according to them, in 2010-2012. This was more confirmation. The Great Awakening likely began only a short time before the year 2010, maybe only a few years at the most. That settles the time frame.

There is obviously no need for a Great Awakening unless there has been a Great Sleep. As a country, America has been sleeping a very long time. It is why so much evil was allowed to happen during the 1900s. The Christians in official high places with most of the influence were not minding the store, were sleeping, and were actually in cahoots with the enemy whether they knew it or not. There were always voices of truth speaking forth because the Lord always has witnesses but these were drowned out by the unseeing sleeping majority. It’s impossible to speak truth to a sleeping man. They must wake up first. Most don’t want to wake up. They like the faux world. They like the fantasy world between their ears and not only don’t know they are deceived but don’t care. They enjoy sleeping.

However, during the last 120 years, despite the official Christian gatekeepers and all their followers being zoned out and snoring away, there were Christians who were absolutely serious about serving the Lord Jesus and made a full effort at being real disciples. These people were fully awake. It began at midnight on January 1, 1901 in Topeka, Kansas. The next huge spiritual wave hit in 1906 in Los Angeles, California. From then it was off to the races. The entire Christian landscape began to change for the better. Around 1960 Pentecost began happening all across the country. By the mid-1960s all denominations were touched powerfully by the Spirit of God. In pretty much every Protestant denomination and even the Roman Catholic Church people were getting filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues per the Book of Acts experience.

The movement continued unabated well into the 1970s. By the 1980s the movement began going into overdrive all across the world. It began in China in roughly 1976. Today it is estimated that over 100 million Chinese people are filled the Holy Spirit and having a massive impact. The same has happened in South America and many other places.

Something bad happened in North America, however, at some point in the 1990s. The movement subsided. Christians in America who should have known better began appropriating a Laodicean attitude. Churches were flush with money. Christian television had gone into the stratosphere. Somehow or another it all went off track. The enemy was able to gain much influence. Spiritual pride set in. A spirit of narcissism rose up. What was once a purely organic movement much like the initial movement of the Early Church was raided and invaded with the same revival killing practices that end all moves of God. A clergy-laity divide enshrouded the Community. Celebrity Christianity rose dramatically. Prosperity preachers and motivational speakers became the standard. Everyone else returned to form and became mere spectators and clergy worshippers.

What had made the 1900s movement great was the participation of every believer and the equality of all believers. This was lost. It was thrown out the window. If an honest anointed man didn’t have the false credentials of the faux leaders who had gathered together as a bloc he had no influence or open door for ministry. Christians were conditioned to trust only those with false résumés who stood on high taking the place of both the Lord Jesus and His people. They had the money, the power, and the prestige. They wrested control from the Lord and their people supported it. Together, they effectively killed the movement. Christians all across the country lapsed in their devotion to the Lord and simply went along with the program. This allowed for an influx of sin which remained unaddressed.

People who were once fully awake seeing the glory of the Lord fell asleep and no longer saw Him for who He is. They stopped serving Him. And then the devil had a field day. Though the outer structure remained intact and Christian routines continued the glory had largely departed. American Christianity became the Church of Ichabod.

PAY ATTENTION:

Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were fixed and he could not see. The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle line. Indeed, I escaped from the battle line today.” And he said, “How are things, my son?” Then the one who brought the news replied, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great defeat among the people, and your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas are also dead; and the ark of God has been taken.” When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy. And so he judged Israel for forty years.

Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God had been taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, because her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women who were standing by her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. And she named the boy Ichabod (no glory, or where is the glory?), saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God had been taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. So she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, because the ark of God has been taken.” [1Samuel 4:15-22] [1]

Thus, when American Christians started waking up 10-15 years ago they had no effect on the great shell of spiritual emptiness which is what became of the outer expression of much of American Christianity. Though it looked great on the outside it was empty on the inside. Those in control had already given themselves over to mammon since the Spirit of the Lord was no longer there. Mammon became their lifeline. They connected with the secular holders of mammon. They became mammon addicts.

The real Christians who never went to sleep soldiered on through it all looking forward to the day when the Lord would be invited back. The Lord, of course, never left the lives of those who stayed awake but they were largely rejected as He was. Those who were awake and working didn’t fit in with the sleeping. Imagine the God of all Creation being shut out of His own movement and relegated to the sidelines. Sound familiar?

The Great Awakening continues. Such happenings always start with repentance. Those who serve the Lord want to be right with Him! But the last to repent are the controllers. Their lives are good. They really don’t need or want the Lord. Or they want Him only as a lesser Lord Jesus. They don’t want Him in His power. They don’t want His power. It would mean giving up their power. You see, when a Christian exalts himself the Lord Jesus is dethroned and those sitting on their thrones have an extremely hard time giving it up. We know from history, however, that unless they do a time will come when the Lord will take it away from them. For His own sake, for the sake of His people, and for the sake of His movement in the world, He will take it away from them and give it back to His children who want Him and recognize Him. It allows Him to rise again.

As more sleeping Christians begin to awaken, rubbing the sleep from their eyes, they will somehow manage the strength to get out of bed. They will break free from the false dreams and entranced state into which they had succumbed. They will start to see the Lord for who He really is. If, after a good jolt of spiritual coffee, they are able to fully come to their senses, a great thing will happen. Their sleepy visions from enchanted dreams of an alternative Jesus which never existed will suddenly vanish:

FOR THE FULLY AWAKE THE LORD JESUS WILL BE TRANSFIGURED BEFORE THEM.

Only the fully awake see His glory.

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

BLOG UPDATE! ANNOUNCING NEW POST

THE GREAT ERROR OF TRUSTING DUPLICITOUS HIRELINGS AND POMPOUS PUPPETS

KICKING AGAINST THE GOADS

KICKING AGAINST THE GOADS

I wrote my first book, Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church, in the 1990s in part to show the clear distinction between real and unreal Christianity. It released a sword of separation.

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All Christians must understand that the New Covenant writings contain contrastive material. The Word of God is designed to draw clear distinctions, cause sharp divisions, and assist one in making positive decisions. It presents Light and darkness, good and evil, sheep and goats, wheat and tares, and righteousness and sin. Real repentance is challenging (understatement alert). Personal sin, false beliefs, contrary attitudes, and uncircumcised hearts all must be addressed. It is not an easy process nor should it be. The Light shines on the darkness and everything hidden in the darkness gets exposed. Whenever one comes to the Lord he or she is exiting darkness and entering Light.

THE SWORD OF SEPARATION

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” [Matthew 10:34-36]

Over the last quarter century, the spiritual climate in organized American Christianity has radically changed. Previous errors have been compounded. It is apparent that American Christians in general have consistently rejected the fullness of the Gospel. Most have certainly rejected the Book of Acts. The instructions and warnings of my book went unheeded. One might recall that the 1990s were considered the good times. Does not the Lord always warn during the good times that bad times are soon coming if one does not stay right with Him?

Real Christianity is based firmly on the full teachings of the Lord Jesus and the New Covenant writings. Our Lord is the Master. What He says goes. He instructs us to build our entire lives upon His foundation. Most of what we term “Christianity” has never done this. This means most “Christians” are actually not on the Lord’s side at all. Maybe most are deceived. It is more likely most simply refuse to follow the Lord as He said we must.

A Christian’s bullheaded balking at the Lord’s direction becomes evident, as kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14), when he or she reaches a point of refusal to go any further or in the right direction, though the Lord gently applies pressure to do so, and he or she insists on staying put wherever personally anchored or wander off wildly on a course of his own choosing. From the Lord’s perspective, those who have pledged their lives to Him have no call to refuse Him. But not only does an apparent majority of Christians refuse Him and decide on their own how far their discipleship will go, some are also guilty of persecuting the Lord (Acts 26:15). This is not something to have on one’s Christian résumé.

The Lord has never needed large numbers of followers to have a great impact in the world. I have consistently reiterated this point in all my writings going back decades. What He actually needs are fully obedient followers who trust Him fully and make a stand as He did. It is easy to discern a Christian who is not standing properly with the Lord because they do not put His teachings first. Instead, they will appeal to church leaders or teachers or writers or speakers or whoever else that has an alternative perspective and agenda which most often includes false and opposing denominational doctrines. They cannot understand that they have been compromised. Rather than put their trust in the Lord Jesus they put it in others and in themselves though outwardly insisting otherwise. This likely explains the great amount of Cognitive Dissonance among Christians.

The best way to break free from any accepted “Christian” belief that is contrary to the Lord’s teachings is to simply pray for direction and then dive in to His teachings. Don’t pick and choose. Have no agendas other than learning His full curriculum. Read the gospels focusing on all of His statements. Get familiar with everything He taught. Do your best to apply it. We are all a work in progress in this area in one sense. In another, however, we must understand that the early members of His initial Community immediately hit the ground running from the very start. They didn’t know everything as individuals but were always open to instruction; they acted on what they knew and continued. Also, the Community as a whole did know pretty much everything and it is why every voice mattered. They believed and practiced the adage, “Nobody is as smart as all of us.” What one didn’t know another did. When one was not operating correctly or speaking fullness of truth another lovingly corrected him. Fellow believers were never censored. It was an organic fellowship of the Spirit. They never waited to become “perfect” disciples in knowing and applying everything the Lord said before doing their Christian duty, though they certainly believed in everything the Lord said. They preached and taught the most foundational and important teachings first and went from there. They put first things first.

The first thing is salvation from sin and establishing trust and faith in the Lord Jesus. This requires a complete change and transformation of one’s life, initially through repentance of sin and walking away from all sinful practices. Ongoing obedience must follow. And because the Lord would never leave us powerless or defenseless against powerful spiritual enemies He commanded we be filled with His Holy Spirit. Those filled with His Spirit in the first century turned the world upside down. Every real Christian has the same influential impact.

Most Christians, however, are not filled with His Holy Spirit as the originals were and are thus not much of a threat to the enemy. This is largely why the enemy has come into America like the proverbial flood. It is why the enemy now controls pretty much everything.

The majority of American Christians insisted on being spiritual wimps, biblically illiterate, and embarrassed by the Lord Jesus.

The enemy has taken full advantage and likely couldn’t believe it would be so easy. And now, after a quarter century, much of American Christianity, compromised by sin and enslaved to mammon, has gone over to the enemy.

THE SPIRIT OF JUDAS

The problem arises from a consistent refusal to do what the originals did and instead substitute their own various forms of “Christianity” which look nothing like the original. The most reprehensible consequence of all the false gospels and False Teachers is their rejection of the Lord Jesus and His teachings and those who truly follow Him. Therefore, long before such disruptive times as these when so much hate and division is being openly presented, real Christians in America have had to deal with such throughout their entire walk. They are used to it. They are quite familiar with betrayal. Such negativity is not necessarily coming from non-Christian Americans, however, most of whom really don’t care all that much what real Christians believe, or even from secular authority which has most often been neutral and even supportive of religious freedom. No, the worst battle has always been with the various forms of what I term “Unreal Christianity.” This is where most of the hate and rejection has consistently come from. This can only mean the devil has an established presence there.

It was no different in the first century. The very worst and most extreme persecution of the Lord’s followers came from among their own. It came from religious leaders and family members. It was brother against brother. Even the Lord’s own family were against Him for a time. Some within the nation saw the Light and received the Lord as the long hoped for Messiah. Others hatefully rejected Him. This dynamic remains in place. Some Jewish people, a relative few, the Messianic Jews, have embraced the Lord Jesus. The rest reject Him, hate Him, and mock Him. It was the relatively small group of unbelieving Messiah-rejecting Israelite/Judean religious and political leaders and those indoctrinated by them that led the effort in murdering the Sacrifice Lamb. They turned against their own blood, against vast numbers of their own nation. Remember, as I have always pointed out, the entire original Community of the Lord Jesus, every single one of the 120 in the Upper Room, and all twelve apostles were also composed only of Israelites/Judeans, including the Apostle Paul. For some of you, such a betrayal might be familiar.

The movement started by the Lord Jesus which later became termed “Christianity” was originally an entirely Israelite/Judean movement for roughly nine years. There were no Gentiles until the time the apostle Peter was sent by the Lord to preach to and preside over the salvation of the Gentile Cornelius and his family/associates (See Acts Chapter 10). Those people all received the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the exact manner of those on the Day of Pentecost. Peter was initially shocked by this. In time, Gentile believers far outnumbered Israelite/Judean believers. Regardless of nationality, the Lord Jesus always consistently did the exact thing on every occasion of a new spiritual outpouring and it is all recorded in the Scriptural history book of the Early Church. Each occasion was an exact repeat of Pentecost.

However, from that time to the present, scads of false or incomplete gospels have been presented and the majority of “Christians” have believed and accepted something very different or incomplete compared to that of the originals. Those Christians who are participating and having a positive effect in the current Great Awakening have one primary thing in common: They are fully dedicated to the Lord Jesus. They have pledged to do His will. They do their best to know and obey His teachings. They identify with the Early Church of the first century. They will not stay in a place where He is not fully supported. They want the full curriculum of the Lord. They want to excel. They have become aware of the difference between the real and unreal. If the Lord directs them to, they will walk away from the faux bros.

COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM

It is why so many have walked away. They are tired of sleepy time Christianity and less than the best Churchianity. They are tired of hanging around the willing sleepers and pew droolers. They want the whole catalogue. They want to be exactly like the originals. THEY WANT EVERYBODY TO WAKE UP. They are tired of all their spiritual efforts pretty much going nowhere because only watered-down common denominator stuff is accepted so the stragglers won’t be offended. (We must never offend; it keeps the money from rolling in.) Things keep getting worse, the people in charge still refuse to change and get right with God, and those who see know the Titanic has struck an iceberg and is going down.

The great Ark of the Lord, however, sails on unimpeded. It’s got this cool Upper Room that keeps going 24 hours a day. There is much joy! The Lord guides His ship expertly and anyone and everyone is welcome aboard, though a few New Covenant papers will have to be signed.

Remember, according to the Gideon Paradigm and the Upper Room 120, all it takes is a comparative few to have great success and rout the enemy. It is not necessarily the big crowds that make the difference but the obedient few separated from the rest and united in heart and Spirit. The Lord proved this with Gideon’s 300. He proved it with the 120.

And He proves it every day when as few as two or three are gathered together in His Name.

Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. [Daniel 12:3] [1]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THE GREAT ERROR OF TRUSTING DUPLICITOUS HIRELINGS AND POMPOUS PUPPETS

Sans salvation, such human leaders are hell bound sinners awaiting a surefire inevitable judgment before God. Trusting them blindly is outright foolishness.

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Many Christians learned the hard way once again. When he had the power of office, at a time when it was needed most, he failed to use it. He thus revealed himself for what he was—at worst a compromised puppet effectively controlled by higher powers like most of the rest, and at best a well-meaning man without the means or courage to follow through. He did many good things, possibly went farther than anyone else would go, and attracted much vitriol for his efforts, but not only did he lack the ability to close the deal, he left the nation defenseless against an unrelenting enemy. In the end, millions of Christian supporters were left in the lurch. It’s a terrible thing to believe in a leader’s apparent sincerity and ostensible truthful speech only to be left hanging when such speech is proven to be mere dissembling rhetoric and his supposed earnestness a con.

And that’s what these people are, pretty much all of them. They are merely con artists working their trade on the payroll of unseen puppet masters, making fools of the people and laughing behind your back.

DUPLICITOUS HIRELINGS

The Lord Jesus did His best to tell us. For the most part His warnings and wisdom go unappropriated in this area, as in many other areas, as so-called believers only trust Him to a point and no more while they fall at the feet of human pretenders both secular and religious, and essentially worship them. It is, as they say, a spectacle to behold, as if the Lord commands His people to surrender to someone other than Him which makes no sense but remains an extremely successful lie.

Real Christians learn early on in their walk with the Lord Jesus that the devil is real, that he is an excellent liar, and that he lives to steal, kill, and destroy. He loves to corrupt the good, innocent, and wholesome. He is a tempter extraordinaire. The devil always plays fast and loose with the truth and uses segments of truth to do his dirty work which always involves his skillful abilities of deception. The devil is a deceiver of the highest order; there is no one better. And we can tell who his disciples are because they do the same. He teaches them well. The greatest liars and deceivers are the greatest disciples of the evil one. They lie, they cheat, they steal, they kill, they destroy, and they fool a great many into believing in them. Such people could not possibly have their great powers, however, unless the greatest of evil powers granted his power to them. They cannot function without their evil spiritual master. And the people of this world who have no power in the unseen spiritual world are easy marks, very easily taken advantage of, used and abused, and then cast away. They have no chance whatsoever without the Lord. It is not a fair fight. Even those who get wise and figure it out have little ability to do anything about it. All are mere sheep without a shepherd.

One would think, therefore, that the few sheep who become aware of the truth of this fallen world would seek the One they know must exist somehow, someway, somewhere, and many do. But sadly, before establishing a solid relationship with the Lord Jesus many of these get cut off at the pass by the religious chucklehead posse and they end up bowing to a shepherd who is not a shepherd but just another hireling.

Such hirelings are much worse than other false leaders because they pretend to be spiritual leaders. And the very worst of these are false Christian leaders. Even though it may seem highly unlikely at the onset that anyone could ever pull off such a great deception—that one could actually deceive Christians—these have turned out to be the greatest deceivers of all. Though they are nothing more than lying sellouts, they are world class at pretending to be something they are not. In essence, their greatest powers of deception are as masters of disguise. The best are so good at their trade they can fool the best and deceive to the tune of millions. All it takes is the proper window dressing. And it is apparently quite helpful to also wear such window dressing, as their costumes often appear as explosions in a vestment factory.

Also, they understand very well that broken, hurting, needy, shamed, and weakened people need someone to look up to so they play this to the hilt. They become all the more the pompous pretenders they are. They love to dress up and pull rank. They love it when people bow down to them. They love being false idols. They are infatuated with titles, the longer the better. They are among the world’s greatest narcissists. But alas, when it comes to real Christianity they’re spiritually powerless. They’re also insincere cowards. They don’t care in the least that they rarely ever do a damn thing for those who need real spiritual help (you know, the kind the Lord Jesus supplies), and who look to them for assistance, but instead only offer worthless mumbo jumbo, possible temporary fixes, and false hope. They’re great at making excuses. All they really are is the personification of the devil’s trick to keep sincere seekers from the Lord.

Jesus therefore 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 shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13 NASB77]  

A hireling, or hired hand, is one who works for money. Rather than serving the Lord and the people in his care, he serves mammon. The Lord said a man cannot serve both God and mammon. He will love one and hate the other. Thus, hirelings don’t really care so much for the people supposedly in their care since their heart is not in the work. If there was no money to be made they wouldn’t be there. If they received no salary they wouldn’t serve. If they had no promise of an income they would find another job. And that’s what ministry is to them. It is nothing more than a job and career. The reason many Christians are not aware of this is because they either don’t know the Word or the Word they know is overcome by the more forceful word of the hireling ministers who never miss a trick at justifying their false standing. Of course, it helps tremendously that the hirelings outnumber real ministers of the Gospel.

Nevertheless, Christians should know better. They should never let themselves become so deceived. The Lord Jesus never looked like the hirelings. He never acted like them. Though He is the most powerful Man who ever lived He is also the most humble. He was so humble he out-humbled Moses who was previously said to hold that title. (Remember, this is God we are talking about. Consider that.) Though humble, He had such a powerful presence in His time that every man knew the Lord was a much bigger and tougher Man than any of them. He exuded manhood. He exuded great strength and courage. Men of wisdom rightly give Him His due. It is only the disgusting and deceived who do not.

The religious leaders of the Lord’s time painted a perfect picture of what a mature follower of the Lord is never supposed to be and yet the majority of Christian leaders have always looked more like effete Pharisees than the Lord Jesus, who only wore simple utilitarian clothing, kept a low profile, and presented Himself as a common Man of the people. He never wore a sleek business suit or a bizarre pope hat. He was never ostentatious or drew attention to His humanity but always directed people to the spiritual. This means the majority of “Christians” tend to also gravitate to the pretender side since they support the hirelings and not the Lord, or they are among the vast ranks of the deceived. Why are so many so fooled? As I said previously: They are merely con artists working their trade, on the payroll of unseen puppet masters, making fools of believers and laughing behind your back.

Regardless, no one has a viable excuse. Though we are all possibly deceived at any given time to a certain extent and certainly unaware of the Lord’s full curriculum to various degrees, the Lord has made a way for us to see the Light and WAKE UP. He has overcome the deceivers and their great powers of deception so we can see the charade for what it is. He told us very plainly that “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” That is, in part, that one will no longer be bound by the powers of deception. It will no longer be possible to be fooled. One can then see behind the curtain, as it were. Though the enemy still works hard at his great masquerade, real Christians will see all the pretenders for what they are. Their elaborate vestments and attire will no longer hide them. Their fake sincerity will suddenly be seen as such. Their speech, which before had seemed so honest will be perceived as mere lies and religious gobbledygook. It’s a great thing. It’s great that they look at you fearfully and realize their cover is blown, that you see them for what they are. The look in their eye is priceless. The Lord Jesus got that look often.

The moral of the story, of course, is that there is only one Person who is 100% trustworthy. You can trust Him absolutely and fully. He will never walk out on you. He will never betray you. He will always be faithful and honor His Covenant. The Lord Jesus is that Person. He is the only One. He knows we need Him. And He never made any provision that a Christian should ever put another before Him.

ONE MAN SHOW CHRISTIANITY

This is also why the Lord never allowed for one man shows. Sadly, Christianity has long since fallen into the deception of single “pastors” leading “churches.” It is just one more thing the fakers and deceived appropriate in order to have their way. This is why there is so little accountability in organized Christianity. The pretenders and deceived always feel they must have a ruling “pastor” that everyone can submit to. It does not matter that there is no New Testament support for it. This is what they have been fooled into believing and they are bound and determined to enforce it. It is as if they are so superior to everyone else they are pretty much like the Lord. Some of these morons even claim to be infallible, but that high country is clearly only reserved for the Lord Jesus. That’s His territory and His alone. Whoever attempts to trespass on His sacred ground is obviously working for the devil. There is no one who is as pure, holy, powerful, humble, and loving than Him. It is extremely dangerous when one attempts to equate himself with God or demand that which only God should receive. This would otherwise be obvious but not in the world of the deluded. As I wrote in my book, Real Christianity, “The most fully evolved form of an idol today is a living human being.”

You see, the Lord refers to His Community as His Bride. No one treats women better than the Lord and He will certainly treat his own Bride the best way possible. And though it may be a hard concept for many Christians to grasp, He expects the members of His Bride to treat each other the same way. We are all in this together and are supposed to work together. He says everyone in His Community is on the same level ground in that we are all equal (See Galatians 3:26-28). There are no separate classes of people. There should never be anyone exalted over another. There are no ridiculous hierarchies. He never created a clergy-laity divide, which is the invention of imposters and only exists as a means to a false power grab. How is it then, that a few within the Bride (likely posers) insist they have authority over the Bride? This is asinine. Is the Lord Jesus going to allow another man to have authority over His own Bride?

This is why the Lord carefully and evenly distributes His authority. When He grants authority, and all believers have a level of spiritual authority, He doesn’t grant it so some Christians can take authority over other Christians. THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS AUTHORITY OVER A REAL CHRISTIAN IS THE LORD JESUS. In the Lord’s real Community, He works through each believer. He will obviously work through mature believers to assist new and developing believers, and mature believers must be respected for what they are called to do. Real ministers are servants. This is another way to distinguish between shepherds and hirelings. But how can the Lord work through those who have never received His Spirit? The Spirit of the Lord is what unites the Bride. It is what every member has in common. Since the majority of “Christianity” has rejected Pentecost or substitutes some fake version thereof, the majority of Christian “leaders” doesn’t have or want the Lord’s Holy Spirit anyway. This is why they are forced to disobey the Lord’s actual teachings in this area in order to procure their supposed authority since they are not granted authority by the Lord. They bypass Him. This, again, makes them pretenders. They refuse the prerequisite of Acts 101 and simply skip from the Gospels to the Epistles thereby circumventing that which would allow them to be actual ministers. And many of these are not content to merely reject Pentecost but are hostile to it.

Those who actually read the New Testament and study it know the Lord never allowed for a one man show. He actually set up groups of elders. He did this not only to look after the various small congregations making up His larger Community but also for the elders to look after each other. The Lord always knew, obviously, that He was dealing with human beings prone to sin and error, and He would never put one man in charge because there would be no accountability. Meaning, of course, that such a one would stray—always. This rule is forever in effect. Put one man in charge, no matter how good he looks or how gifted he is, and he will screw it up. The Lord does not want His people being led by a screw up. And it doesn’t matter what the deceived supporters of such a one may think but only what the Lord thinks. It also doesn’t matter how “successful” such ministers may otherwise outwardly appear. We all need to be told when we are wrong in order to get right or we will end up in hell. And when a Christian group is operating correctly there is no place for error to hide.

Now, it is certainly true that some ministers will give the appearance of having it all together despite extracurricular side trips if you get my drift, but that’s usually because of one of the following or a combination thereof: (1) They hide error and sin very well. (2) They are preaching watered-down nonsense or presenting a spiritually dead liturgical pageant that doesn’t attract the devil’s attention or is anything he would be afraid of. (3) They have mastered the craft of showmanship. (4) They have fulfilled the traditional expectations of the congregation (very important). For others, they simply take authority without any pretense whatsoever, letting everyone know who the boss is, meaning that the Lord Jesus IS NOT the boss. It is always an amazing thing to see some young “on fire” minister take control of a congregation. The next thing you know it becomes “his” church and “his” people and “his” pulpit. The people become beholden to him. He is thus not a servant according to the Lord’s requirements but is there to be served. He even puts his name and his name only on the church sign out in front (and all the church literature and letterheads and legal documents and bank accounts). Again, everyone knows who’s in charge. (We get it, okay? You da man.)

Thankfully, one other man in the congregation might actually do some New Testament research, gain some spiritual maturity, and then have the courage to speak the truth. Now, that man is actually doing what should have been done in the beginning. He is being used of God to show the need for accountability which the “pastor” refuses to have though he may appropriate a yes man or two or even a whole church board of dignified sycophants. Those guys also know who’s in charge and will never buck the man or system that gave them their position of prestige. They all cover for one another. So here we have yet again, for the umpteenth time, The Great Error of Trusting Hirelings and Puppets.

REAL MEN OF GOD

Real men of God, after being properly schooled, sometimes in the most effective but difficult manner, learn to never engage in such blind belief and non-scrutinized unverified trust in so-called leadership because they know the devil is a master deceiver who has master actors working for him. Remember, the Lord called the Pharisees hypocrites precisely because the word means “stage players.” The Pharisees were religious actors engaging in a high form of deception. They certainly fooled much of the nation of Israel. The Lord said the bulk of them were working for the devil. Christian Pharisees in America have done and are doing exactly the same. Few Christians can see through the masquerade or perceive the subterfuge but should certainly be able to understand its effect. We all should be able to put two and two together using the brain the Lord gave us and see that these people have not only not stemmed the tide of evil but have instead embraced it and promoted it. Rather than being part of the solution they’re part of the problem.

“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 23:25-28]   

Real men of God are smart enough to know that embracing spiritual pride is a sin. They know that appropriating God’s authority for themselves and using it for their own power and purposes is a sin. They know that taking advantage of well-meaning church people to insure their own salary and success and feather their own nest is a sin. They know they are supposed to properly teach the Word of God and assist the Lord in developing strong mature Christian disciples instead of keeping the congregation spiritually immature and under control to be used for their own means. Real men of God know the humble road is the right road. They know they will be subjected to endless insults and dishonor but will have to wade through such flak in order to fulfill their callings. It doesn’t mean they are not strong and spiritually powerful. It certainly does not mean they are not real men. In fact, real Christian men who are Holy Spirit-filled and fully dedicated to the Lord Jesus are the most powerful men on the planet. It is because they know who the real power is and they always humble themselves before Him so He can work through them.

Then the Lord blesses them and they go out and win spiritual victories. And duplicitous hirelings are exposed and called to account. And lost people are saved and find a home with the Lord. And miracles take place. And New Testament Truth is taught. And the Book of Acts happens. And people are filled with the Holy Spirit. And dead churches come alive. And Christians actually develop, mature, and become unified and loving and love each other. And whole societies are turned around. And Great Awakenings break forth.

It’s an awesome thing when we do it the Lord’s way.

The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.

He who gives attention to the Word will find good, AND BLESSED IS HE WHO TRUSTS IN THE LORD. [Proverbs 16:17-20] [1]         

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

BLOG UPDATE! ANNOUNCING NEW POST

The Great Awakening continues to gain momentum. And Americans are becoming more aware by the day that we are in the midst of a great spiritual war.

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Yet most American Christians appear to be clueless. One can certainly understand. It is hard to keep one’s focus on spiritual things when so much warfare is breaking out all around us. There is no doubt that we are under severe attack. The enemy has made his move and will not relent. He is committed. There are, though, very encouraging signs that many are resisting the devil and fighting back.

I’m sure many Christians wished we could return to simpler times and go back to the routines they once held so dear but, as always, nostalgia has a bad memory. The reality of the present is what we must focus on. The Lord Jesus told us to always be prepared and that the enemy never takes a day off. Sadly, however, American Christianity takes many days off and in general has long since gone off the deep end. It no longer has the strength and sense of purpose it once held. Many of those we honored as leaders led us down the wrong path and we are now paying for their gross errors, their spiritual pride, and their love of money, position, and prestige. There were always Christian voices speaking the truth and pronouncing warnings but as always, such were shunned and cast aside. The high hats didn’t want anyone messing up their good times or compromising their social standing. They acted invincible. And most pew-sitters sat back and let them get away with it.

Christians who knew the Word of God knew it was a battle that each much engage in and some did their best. It is not their fault that the majority rejected their dedication, discipleship, and close relationship with the Lord. Real Christians appeared as idiots who overstated everything and refused to lighten up. Well, the majority got its way and now things in this country have devolved into a massive mess. It never had to happen, but it is what happens when believers become spiritually lazy and rebellious toward the Lord.

GIDEON’S 300

I believe my series on Gideon’s 300, now consisting of six parts, will continue. Since I last posted on September 14, forty days ago, I simply have not been led to post the next segment. Those of you who have been keeping up may recall that my term, the Gideon Paradigm, is one that not only fits perfectly in these times but is necessary as well, since the majority has been immobilized and compromised, and is not qualified to be used of God in the present spiritual warfare. That leaves the battle up to a few.

These times, of course, have not surprised the Lord Jesus. He obviously knew where we were headed years ago and has already prepared His spiritual army. Like Gideon, and like the nature of spiritual warfare, the Lord will often work through those rejected by the thoroughbreds. Those who appear ultra-qualified are most often spiritually worthless when real battle breaks out. They’re great in the good times when the enemy is at bay, however, and they know how to appropriate wealth and prestige. Good for them, right?

But these times are a tad different. Many of the qualified upstanding Christians in this country prior to two years ago have now been proven to be bootlicks and cowards. They are now tattooed and branded as the 31,700 who failed the test. That leaves a mere 300, meaning of course a very small percentage of Christians in America who must now do as Gideon’s 300 did.

In the event anyone may want to brush up on the series to gain some insight, encouragement, or strength for the battle at hand, each post is easily accessed in the left hand column.

Also, I have written a new article over the last two days and plan on posting it Monday morning. It is entitled THE GREAT ERROR OF TRUSTING DUPLICITOUS HIRELINGS AND POMPOUS PUPPETS. Please watch for it.

As always, I greatly appreciate your time, attention, and support for my work. Remember, there are MANY things to be encouraged about but the main thing, as always, is that real Christians serve a God who is 100% dedicated to His children. There is nothing better than His will for your life. He has a plan. He will not be denied. He cannot be defeated. He has all power in heaven and on earth. The enemy is deathly afraid of Him. The Lord suffered greatly on our behalf and gave His perfect life to buy back our freedom. Each Christian should know that ALL things are possible with Him. This is especially true in times like these.

The Great Awakening continues! More are waking up each day.

See you Monday morning.

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]

God ran two qualifying tests upon 32,000 prospective warriors. The vast majority failed. What are God’s qualifying tests regarding the New Covenant?

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There are Christians in the world who believe being a Christian is no big deal. The vast majority of Christians have never done much to differentiate themselves from the world. They are Christians only in the cultural sense. Their parents were likely Christians of a particular denomination and they merely became adherents of the same only because it was the group their parents and family belonged to. They were simply raised that way. It is often the case that these denominational connections go back several generations.

Some denominations are more authoritarian than others and thus engage in greater enforcement through the application of greater religious control, indoctrination, intimidation, and even fear. These methods have always worked extremely well and are in part why the most populous Christian denominations have such great numbers. And it also helps, of course, to have been around a very long time.

The major Christian denominations have been around for centuries. One would like to think their great numbers must be due to their acceptance of the Gospel and its propagation. Their success, however, is not necessarily because they have historically stood for the original teachings of the Lord Jesus but because they have stressed certain teachings to the exclusion of others, watered down His teachings, and even appropriated different “gospels” to suit their cause. One should think, regarding this, that their cause should have been serving the Lord Jesus and honoring His Gospel:

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! [Galatians 1:6-9]

When one particular denomination gained the upper hand many centuries ago it did so largely through executive fiat and forced conversions. It became illegal to belong to any other Christian denomination than the one they set forth as the “legitimate” one. In other words, only one denomination was ruled the official one and all others were forced to disband or they would be persecuted until they did. This meant that not only the then existing few Christian offshoots that gained a following but also contained gross error were declared illegal, it also meant real Christianity was declared illegal. Why? Because the real Christianity of the early to middle first century created by the Lord Jesus and embraced by the first Christians had come to look so different from what became the mainline syncretic denomination of three centuries later that both could not possibly exist together in harmony. There were far too many differences. It was also impossible to achieve their goals using the Lord’s methods.

Hence, the real was rejected and a form of the unreal was embraced. Whereas the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to take the real Gospel into the entire world and allow each person the freedom to arrive at a personal decision one way or the other, the predominant Christian denomination went into the world as a conquering religious juggernaut with a decided imperialist character often in direct competition against the Lord. 

The great Protestant Reformation, peopled by those who protested against the gross illegalities, false doctrines, rampant authoritarianism, and rejection of the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus and the early church by “official” Christianity, made great strides toward reform and correction. A great part of their success was due to the relatively new Gutenberg Printing Press, invented circa 1450, that made it possible to get the written Word of God into the hands of individual believers. The Word of God had been completely unavailable to Christians for a great many centuries and these believers had no choice but to trust the extremely few ecclesiastics in power that had access to it. Rather than make the Word available they had done the opposite. They closed it off to all and used the lack of the Word of God as a control mechanism. They made sure it was never translated into the native tongues of all those “conquered” by forced conversions. The written Word of God was retained only in the official language of the denomination. In order to have access to it, one would have to be a member in perfect standing, have the proper education, and participate in every initiatory and maintenance rite demanded. This, of course, eliminated 99% of the population. An ignorant, illiterate, and fearful population was absolutely perfect for controlling and dictating to and the masters of such were able to maintain “Christian” religious control for a very long time.

Sadly, the new Protestant denominations eventually also engaged in some of the same corrupt practices of the former to varying degrees. They also discovered it was impossible to control people according to the Lord’s teachings and if they would have any success in the world they must make allowances for authoritarian control also. Those Christian denominations which have existed for so long have thus done an excellent job of growing and maintaining their organizations. This, of course, does not mean they are right according to the Lord’s standard. It only means they have excelled in gaining religious market share, kind of like the successful ministers on Christian TV.

CORRUPTION IS PROGRESSIVE

The Lord’s standard is perfect. His standard perfectly agrees with His teachings and the early historical record. The application of His standard allows for Truth and spiritual purity, and keeps incorrectness and corruption at bay. But as in everything else, if not subjected to ongoing correcting and cleansing, corruption only grows and metastasizes over time. The reason why is otherwise easy to understand but cannot be grasped when one is deceived or under the heavy thumb of religious potentates. If corruption is never properly addressed or allowed to be opposed, and if righteous opposition forces are continually overcome, then corruption will not only remain but flourish. It will increase. It will eventually reach a point of full corruption and darkness. And because the hubris and arrogance of the leaders within it grows as well, corrupt organizations become, in their own estimation, bulletproof and beyond censure. They feel they are so superior and powerful they can never be defeated.

They then begin to lower their guard. They fail to understand that initially buying into corruption for whatever reason allows for corruption to spread unchecked throughout the entire organization. The corruption extends to a corruption in decision making. The organizational unifying adhesive begins to fail. Then communications start to break down. Fissures appear. Light shines into the fissures. Light exposes the corruption. And just as sunshine is the best disinfectant, Light begins its cleansing action. A few insiders previously under the entrancement of the outwardly legitimate organization start seeing the oozing gunk leaching out in fissures everywhere and reach a point of great awakening. The blinders come off. They see the masquerade for what it is. They wake up to the ruse and become animated toward correction. They cease being part of the problem and become part of the solution. This is why most of the great Christian reformers were previously members of corrupt Christian denominations.

This is the world we live in. Despite its fallen nature it is still a world of both darkness and light and not darkness alone. Though darkness may thrive for a time, the light will eventually expose it. Great people, those who act as did the Lord, understand that the Truth of the real Gospel must go forth and are willing to take on the spiritual fight and do the will of God. These people are always grossly outnumbered in the beginning. Many of them pay dearly. They will lose their good reputations. They may lose their earthly goods. They may even pay the ultimate price. This is what happens when the corrupt majority turns against them. Sound familiar? But the only other choice is to let darkness prevail.

That the majority of the world is wimpy in this regard and refuses to fight the enemy does not mean the enemy cannot be successfully fought. The Lord Jesus proved this. The Early Church proved it. Untold millions were saved from sin and the dominance of evil. They kicked demonic backsides and took their names. This was and remains the Lord’s approach. But for those Christian organizations that refuse the Lord’s full program and have no desire or ability to fight the enemy, but instead have a lust for control, power, worldly wealth, and prestige, they simply join up with the enemy. And the enemy accommodates them.   

Remember, it is the Gideon Paradigm. The Lord always proved the majority is wrong. The majority is always fearful. The majority will always oppose Him. The majority chooses the broad way that leads to destruction. Thus, if one is not willing to face off against the majority then one simply cannot be His disciple. And if one looks the other way and refuses to bring the necessary reforms and corrections to oneself and one’s own Christian denomination and would rather exist as a nameless nobody within a fearful, compliant, corrupt majority, then one can call himself a Christian all he wants to. As long as he stays within his member denomination as part of the non-reform corrupt majority and maintains the support of the majority as his proof of right standing with God, he may prolong the charade but will never fool the Lord.

Reasonable people would agree that it would be far better to actually get right with God in the here and now according to God’s requirements than face Him at the Judgment unprepared, even though one may have been falsely granted full commendation and approval by his member denomination. It should be obvious that trusting the Lord and His teachings regarding one’s soul is better that trusting one’s Christian guru. Christian denominations cannot dictate right standing with God and cannot confer righteousness by one’s mere good standing within them. Nevertheless, the majority of Christians would rather have right standing within their Christian social circles and overall culture than have right standing with God. And in case there is any confusion on this matter, actual spiritual righteousness is a gift. It cannot be falsely appropriated or earned. It was bought with a price. It was obtained by a great Sacrifice. The only way one will ever receive actual righteousness is by submitting 100% to the Lord Jesus. Substitutes will never qualify.         

CHRISTIAN QUALIFYING TESTS

Rather than spell this out I will direct your attention to Acts Chapters 2. I stated in Part 5 of this series that of the many thousands who heard His teachings and followed Him during His ministry, He only chose 120 for the Upper Room. These 120 individuals had to be qualified for the honor. That only 120 did qualify suggests costly requirements. It further suggests that many desired to be disciples and tried to be disciples but were unwilling to be the disciples the Lord needed them to be. When one considers the absolute miracle of Pentecost one must also consider the absolute miracle that the 120 not only obeyed the Lord Jesus in full but got along with one another perfectly. They demonstrated the love of God. They were each willing to become brand new solid and strong empty vessels to be filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit.

Based on Luke’s historical record, the 120 Upper Roomers passed the following universal tests:

1. 100% faithfulness and obedience toward the Lord Jesus, their recognition of His atoning death as the complete and only payment for all sin, their acceptance of His full teaching and discipleship curriculum, and their absolute belief in His resurrection from the dead.

2. 100% repentance of personal sin and a full turning away from sin and their former life to their new life in the Lord.

3. 100% immersion in water invoking the Name of Jesus the Messiah, their only Master and Savior.

We know these were the initial tests in part because it is exactly what Peter preached by the anointing of the Holy Spirit right after he and the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit. Whoever would thus become a member of the Body of Christ must do as they did and meet the standard the Lord put forth. This standard was consistent throughout the early historical record in the Book of Acts and New Covenant Scriptures and all the early believers held it in common and were also filled with the Holy Spirit in the same manner.

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

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 1: Take My Yoke Upon You]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 4: Destroying Spiritual Strongholds]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 5: Make Your Calling and Election Sure]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 5: Make Your Calling and Election Sure]

The Gideon Paradigm was invoked by the Lord Jesus. He claimed that only a relative few would gain salvation. The same is true for “Christianity.” Only a small percentage of “Christians” will be saved.

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

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” [Matthew 22:14]

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. [2Peter 1:10-11 KJV]

DEFINING THE NEW COVENANT AND THE NEW COVENANT BELIEVER

In the beginning every believer knew that becoming a real follower of the Lord Jesus was a life-changing event. He demanded that every candidate for inclusion in His Community must effectively destroy his former life. He demanded that every candidate must undergo complete repentance, which amounts to sacrificing oneself on an altar of burnt offering. It means everything about one’s former life must be subjected to destruction in order for a complete new life to come forth.

The Lord taught on this theme always. It was a vital component of the new birth. He said there MUST be a new birth. He said one must be “born of the Spirit.” Is this not a commandment? A new birth demands an end of whatever existed before. The new life demands the death of the former life. There is the first birth that every person experiences as a baby being born into this world. Every human birth is a momentous miraculous event, especially, of course, for mother and child. It is an event that demands total participation of both and no mother ever forgets the experience. Family and friends mark the great event and honor the annual anniversaries—birthdays—with celebrations. Nevertheless, the Lord referred to this event as being born “from below.”

It is exactly the same regarding one’s new birth. It is a momentous, miraculous event. Being born again spiritually is actually a much greater event than one’s natural birth. When the early believers were born again they were totally changed. They had surrendered their old life. It ceased to exist. Each of them then became a new person, a completely new creation, with new spiritual desires, new intentions, and new ambitions and aims. They became totally dedicated to their Lord and Master and sought only His will for their lives. Each became real disciples. Each was born “from above.”

There was clear separation between the old and the new. There was a sharp line of demarcation between one’s old life and new life. This was illustrated perfectly in the historical record of those early initial days of real Christianity. There was no blurring of the lines or gradual transformations. Lives were changed quickly and completely. Bridges were burned. They never looked back. They had no rearview mirrors. There was no possibility of returning to one’s old life since it had been destroyed. Putting Him first meant replacing whatever was previously first. The early believers loved the Lord Jesus so much there was never any thought of not giving Him their entire hearts. This is the very definition of the New Covenant.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:5-7]

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

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” [Matthew 10:32-39]

THE EXAMPLE OF PENTECOST

The greatest case in point regarding the Gideon Paradigm was what happened on the initial Day of Pentecost when the New Community of the Lord was birthed. This Community, otherwise known as the Ekklesia (Greek), or Church, or Qahal (Hebrew), or spiritual Temple built with living stones, was brought forth with the simultaneous new births of 120 people. Though this might be characterized as a large group, especially since they were congregated in a single Upper Room, it was actually an extremely small group compared to the multiple tens of thousands that heard the Lord’s teachings, and the likely thousands of those who followed Him.

If the 120 in the Upper Room represented Gideon’s 300, which was chosen from 32,000, then the total from which the 120 were chosen was 12,800.

It is entirely possible that there were 12,800 people who followed the Lord during His ministry. They were dedicated enough to follow Him to varying degrees but the vast majority were not chosen for Pentecost.

The powerful impact the initial 120 made is still being made today. They were the initial seed of the entire worldwide Body of Christ of which the Lord was the initial seed of them. Just as He was planted into the ground in death to bring forth new life, so were the 120 planted in death, characterized by their absolute repentance and sacrificial offering, to bring forth new life.

Regarding the Great Awakening in America, it is no different than what happened in the beginning or at any other spiritual awakening in history. It began small, behind the scenes. It grew in strength and numbers. It is not connected to Christian business as usual, in which there is no spiritual power or dedication toward great change for the better.

Unlike Unreal Christianity, which refuses to fully submit to and honor the Lord Jesus, has made friends with the world and declines to engage in spiritual battle, is complacent under the ever-restrictive yoke of the enemy, serves money rather than serving the Lord, and embraces spiritual pride to the nth degree (sound familiar?), the relative few real Christians in this country have been chosen “for such a time as this.”

DESTROYING THE ALTAR OF BAAL

When we last left off with Gideon in Part 4 of this series, he had overcome his fear, obeyed the Lord, and destroyed his father’s altar of Baal and accompanying wooden Asherah, a female goddess totem. This altar and graven image obviously was honored by the entire village which chose to serve Baal and his consort rather than God. As the Lord had done so many times before and afterwards with specific chosen ones, he directed Gideon to the location where the devil had made an outer monument to lay claim to that particular territory, which was both physical and spiritual. One might recall the Lord did the same with Abraham when He first brought him to Canaan. Abraham effectively placed a spiritual flag in the ground on the very spot of the devil’s seat of power and spiritual war for the rights to that land was inaugurated. This is exactly what the Lord called Gideon to do, as follows:

Now on the same night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had spoken to him… [Judges 6:25-27] [1]

An Altar of Baal has been established in America for a very long time. It has grown more pronounced and powerful. What is much worse, however, is that this altar has been extended to exist within the realm of American Christianity in general. Large numbers of Christians have accepted this demonic altar, whether they know it or not. Most have likely been entranced, unaware that their leaders, who they have pledged themselves to, are compromised. Because most of these reject the actual new birth, they do not possess the “eyes to see” what is actually transpiring in the spiritual world and are thus deceived.

To counteract the enemy, the Lord Jesus brings forth new spiritually born-again believers to do as Gideon did. He begins the process of reformation by destroying the altars of Baal belonging to “their fathers.”  Before Gideon acted, however, he had to experience his own personal Great Awakening. It is the same with all such new believers.

VALIANT WARRIORS

Like these new believers before their born again experience, Gideon had been convinced that he was worthless and inferior, that he was a totally ineffective and obscure nothing of a man. He was in the same fight for survival as everyone else and had no clue what he really was. His true identity, that of a valiant warrior, had been attacked by an unrelenting vociferous enemy—possibly beginning in childhood—the same enemy that attacks all real believers and real believers to be. What is probably the most important point here is that Gideon was likely made to feel this way about himself by his own father Joash and members of his household, society, and sect. They forced and browbeat him into compliance with their socially mandated dead religion and threatened disfellowship and abandonment if he wavered.

It is often the fear of social rejection that keeps people bound to groups that oppose the Lord Jesus or pretend to be Christians. When God called Gideon out and raised him up, He also called him to expose and oppose his former errant religious affiliation and all others in contention against the Lord.

Indeed, it takes a valiant warrior to do that.

Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it.” But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal, or will you deliver him? Whoever will plead for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has torn down his altar.” Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he had torn down his altar. [Judges 6:30-32]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 1: Take My Yoke Upon You]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 4: Destroying Spiritual Strongholds]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]

 

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 4: Destroying Spiritual Strongholds]

Now on the same night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it…” [Judges 6:25]   

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The official United States population as of today is approximately 332.67 million. According to the Gideon paradigm, in which Gideon’s prospective army to be used against the Midianites starts out at 32,000 but is reduced by God to 300, the reduction in percentage terms is over 99%. Imagine that. God reduces a sizable force of 32,000 warriors to a microscopic 300.

Thus, the actual percentage of the people who made the team—Gideon’s 300—is less than 1%. Technically, it is only .9375%. In terms of the United States population, this greatly reduced force would be equivalent to roughly 3.1 million people (3,118,781.25). In other words, if the Lord wanted to perform another Gideon power play to rout the forces of invading evil, and if He started with the entire U.S. population, He would make such a drastic reduction to arrive at those who qualified for His team that He would only have the equivalent of a mere 3.1 million Americans remaining.

This makes one wonder, of course, what the remainder would be if He started with only those who qualified at the onset as warriors. In other words, after eliminating children, the too young, the too old, and all the others who do not qualify for various reasons, He might start with only a fraction of the U.S. population. Americans between the ages of 20 and 40 are approximately 25% of the populace. If, let’s say, only 75% of these qualify, the Lord would start with about 62 million. Reduced according to the Gideon paradigm, the final fighting force would be only about 600,000. This represents less than a fifth of 1%. Could a minuscule 600,000 Americans perform the necessary work to do what Gideon did?

WICKED EXCEEDINGLY

This reminds me of Abraham’s prayer regarding Sodom and Gomorrah. When the Lord told Abraham that judgment might certainly befall the dwellers of those cities Abraham asked Him, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” (Genesis 18:23).

“What if fifty righteous people dwell in Sodom?”

“I will spare it.”

“What about forty-five?”

“I will spare it.”

“How about forty?”

“I will spare it.”

“Thirty?”

“I will spare it.”

“Twenty?”

“I will spare it.”

“What if only ten righteous people dwell there?”

“I will spare it.”

It is difficult to gauge what the population of Sodom was but ten people would have to be an extremely small percentage. As it was, God was able to rescue only four people and help them escape. No one else cared. Nobody else wanted to leave. One wonders if even those four wanted to leave. It is safe, to say, therefore, that Sodom had reached a point of total depravity with absolutely no hope of redemption. If the four that escaped represented 1%, then the population of Sodom was 400. If the four represented a fifth of 1%, the total population was 2,000. Of course, it was likely larger than this, maybe much larger. But God never would have destroyed Sodom if only ten righteous people lived there. He would never release His wrath on His own people. He would make a way for them to escape before judgment fell.

These two Biblical accounts tell us two things: (1) Righteous people have a much bigger impact on society than is otherwise supposed or acknowledged. (2) The Lord can do great things with only a few.

AMERICA 2021

Christians have been predicting great judgment upon America for a very long time. It is not any different today. Is it true, however, to say that the country is more depraved now that at other times in the past? Not necessarily. The real history of America involves massive amounts of unreported sin, much of it in very high places. It is often the case that gross sin is legitimized or even recategorized as not sin at all. Sometimes people at the top make decisions that negatively affect millions of people because they have a different agenda that benefits them and no one else. They must thus use excellent propaganda to eliminate suspicion. This is sin of the worst kind but if people don’t recognize it as such the perpetrators go unpunished and are never stopped. The Lord sees it all, however. That’s why He raises up spiritual Gideons.

Much of the sin at various points in history was not seen as sin at the time. Much of past sin is still not seen that way. In reality, God could have judged America many times already. Maybe He has in part. But those calling for outright destruction due to sins of the present are not only out of their tree, they are not considering God’s mercy and compassion, His abundant grace, and the fact that large numbers of righteous people have always lived here and still live here today.

If we define the righteous as those who do the will of God, who can be used of God, who strive to please the Lord, who have 100% trust and confidence in the Lord, and who are spiritually effective in making a positive difference for the better, then it is probably a small number of people percentage wise. But what if it was, as I mentioned previously, only 600,000? Could a mere 600,000 righteous people make a big difference in a nation of 332.67 million?

To answer that we need only look at what Gideon’s 300 did. We can look at the extremely powerful impact Abraham had both in his time and that of his descendants. These men and those comprising the ongoing remnant of Israel were righteous. They acted as the salt of society, as a preservative, and an antiseptic force that enabled a flowing distribution of righteousness throughout society against ubiquitous rot. If not for the righteous it would have been all over when the last of the righteous died off, but Israel never reached that point. No matter how far the nation strayed into sin there was always a faithful portion that stayed true to God. It was because God always found someone to stand up for Him to do the hard thing—the difficult but victorious task—against the forces of evil that always caused evil to be checked and allowed righteousness to make a comeback.

Consider what the young obscure Gideon did in the following passage. Get inspired.

Now on the same night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.”

Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night. When the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was torn down, and the Asherah which was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built. They said to one another, “Who did this thing?” And when they searched about and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash did this thing.” Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it.” [Judges 6:25-30] [1]  

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 1: Take My Yoke Upon You]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 5: Make Your Calling and Election Sure]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]

Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. [Judges 6:11]

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The teachings of the Lord Jesus often appear counterintuitive. Rather than choosing a big gnarly giant with massive weapons and a killer reputation like the warrior Goliath, a man that pretty much every other man on the planet is deathly afraid of and respects absolutely, God instead chooses a young teenage shepherd of likely less than average height with no reputation armed with a mere slingshot.

He did the same thing in the very beginning when He chose Abel over Cain:

Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. [Genesis 4:2]   

Abel was the second born. He was a gentle shepherd with a heart for God. Cain, the firstborn, was a hard-nosed redneck farmer with an apparent mean streak and no concern whatsoever for spiritual matters. This is no knock on farmers or those who produce necessary food from the ground but does tell us that shepherding in general is apparently more conducive to and indicative of spiritual work and has a higher priority than farming.

One may recall that the Lord Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd but not as the Good Farmer. He also said that food from the ground is produced pretty much automatically by the ground though the process otherwise calls for a level of work depending on conditions. Excellent soil produces great fruit with less work. Lesser soils and conditions demand more work and produce less.

And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.” [Mark 4:26-28]

Concerning the one whom God chooses, the same dynamic took place with regard to the first two sons of Isaac, the twins Esau and Jacob:

Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them. When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. [Genesis 25:27]

Esau (“hairy”) had no heart for God or for spiritual matters. He also had no control over his appetites. Any man who would sell his birthright for a pot of stew is not worthy of God or His kingdom. While Jacob was a conniver who participated in fraud, he remained the better choice as history proves. Though it took time and much discipline, he learned to overcome his lower nature and serve the Lord.

I could go on. There are many examples of this kind. In fact, the Word of God is consistent regarding such choices. God often chooses the very opposite of those chosen by unregenerate mankind and this world:

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 16:15]

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]

The preceding is the calling of the real Christian. He or she will be seen as an idiot in the eyes of the world, a person they simply cannot relate to or understand. The life of the real Christian involves spiritual righteousness and Godly concerns. It involves a great desire for spiritual matters, a love of the truth, and a refusal to compromise regarding sin. Above all a real Christian honors the Lord Jesus and strives to serve Him and do His will. The world makes light of such things and cannot understand such things. Goliaths and Cains and Esaus simply don’t get it. They are more likely to make fun of, insult, defy, and reject those serving the Lord. They cannot conceive of the spiritual much less understand spiritual priorities. They put all their eggs in a very temporary worldly basket and have no future in eternity. 

CHOOSING GIDEON

As it is for the real Christian, the same was true of Gideon. This man had no great heritage or birthright. He was of the tribe of Manasseh, a people whose tribal allotment spanned both east and west of the Jordan. Though Manasseh’s father was Joseph, his mother was an Egyptian. Gideon says his family was the very least in the entire tribe. He says further that he is the youngest in his family. He is a man who, in his own eyes and those of everyone else, is seen as the most unlikely candidate to be chosen by God for anything. Above all this, with no experience whatsoever or reputation to prove it, the Lord calls him a valiant warrior. Gideon was entirely perplexed by this. The perceived projection of his life changed completely when the angel of the Lord met him under the terebinth tree (it was not actually an oak):

Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.” Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

The LORD looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” But the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. “Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.”

Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them. The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. Then the angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight.

When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” The LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. [Judges 6:11-24] [1]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 1: Take My Yoke Upon You]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 4: Destroying Spiritual Strongholds]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 5: Make Your Calling and Election Sure]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]

 

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]

So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD. [Judges 6:6]

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For those of you who read Part 1 of this series, which is a prerequisite for Part 2 and future segments, you know we concluded on kind of a down note with an ending left hanging in the air. Therefore, the preceding quote from Judges 6:6, in standing on its own, will not convey the true meaning of this chapter or how it came to be that the Midianites took power and control over the Israelites. How did a heathen tribe of people opposing God take authority over the people of God?

For this, which I listed at the end of Part 1, we return to the opening verse of the Book of Judges Chapter 6:

Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years. [Judges 6:1]

And there you have it. The reason Midian rushed in and caused untold havoc over the Israelites is because God gave them authority over His own people to do that very thing. I could spend the next several paragraphs explaining this in much detail but in this instance it is better to simply get to the heart of the problem: The Israelites turned their back on God. They violated their covenant with God. They removed themselves from the yoke of God. They no longer wanted to be yoked together with a gentle God humble in heart in an easy yoke with a light burden that blessed them with peace, safety, and plenty. They rebelled against God and for planting the seed of rebellion against Him Israel got rebellion right back in its face.

So even though in one sense God gave them over to the Midianites, in another sense He allowed it because He could not do much about their obstinate choice anyway. In short, His covenant demands His people do their part and when Israel no longer did its part the nation opened up a door toward destruction. However, it wasn’t simple laziness and non-adherence to an agreement by both parties, but a wholesale turning away from holiness and the upright lifestyle they pledged to lead. They went from doing right to doing evil. That is quite the precipitous drop and a total breach of faithfulness, fidelity, and proper conduct.

In Part 1 I related this to what has been happening in America over the last many decades. American Christianity has gone from having much influence to having much less and rather than setting the standard of righteousness has largely adopted the mores of the culture. Of course, Christianity in America has always had its blind spots and a decided tendency to live according to extra-Biblical mandates rather than solely by the fullness of the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus but even then had a relatively high level of righteous conduct especially compared to other belief systems in this world. American Christianity has historically existed as salt and light and a preservative of the overall culture. Some will undoubtedly take offense at that yet the teachings of the Lord Jesus have no equal. No other belief system comes close regarding one’s responsibility toward God and one another. What other “religion” or belief system in the world adheres to the following enriching teachings of peace and love?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” [Matthew 5:43-45]

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” [Matthew 6:24-25]

“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.’ [Matthew 22:36-39]

“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. 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 6:31-37]

In Part I of this series I mentioned Wokism as the antithesis to the Great Awakening. In the above latter verse of Scripture from Luke’s Gospel we see that a central tenet of the Woke is the very opposite of what the Lord taught. Cancel culture is all about destroying people, judging people, and condemning people. There is no actual love or mercy there. Not only are the Lord’s preceding teachings poles apart regarding generally accepted standards of human behavior, they are also obviously difficult to carry out. Real enemies are those who hate another and find another despicable and assign blame to others even though such others are often innocent parties. Group think is such that those who prescribe to it lower their otherwise normal relations with their fellow man and latch onto hateful behavior thinking it is justified. But the Lord’s teachings never allow for any of this. And even if one’s enemy is guilty it doesn’t change the Lord’s overall intent. His standard is the same in all circumstances and reduced down to the simple but very direct it becomes the following:

“Love your enemies.”

“Serve God, not wealth.”

“Love God. Love your neighbor.”

“Treat people the way you want to be treated.”

“Do not judge or condemn, but pardon.”

It is apparent that, prior to Judges 6:1, the ancient nation of Israel was doing these things at least in part but enough to satisfy God in that they were putting forth effort and actually succeeding. In fact, prior to the Midianite invasion in verse 6:1, Israel had a long time of peace, protection, and prosperity. Here is the verse immediately before:

And the land was undisturbed for forty years. [Judges 5:31]  

Israel had been doing very good. The land was at rest. There was no fear. One can relate Israel’s behavior on either a large or small scale. It is indicative of countries, nations, and large groups on the one hand but also of small groups, immediate families, and even individuals on the other. God’s standard is always the same. By being in covenant with Him it gives us the greatest chance to live right, be righteous, and engage in righteousness. Without that connection one will undoubtedly fall under the sway of human authority rather than God’s authority. Since human authority has historically been seasoned with fear to varying degrees in that a fearful populace is much easier to control and manipulate, the replacement of God’s authority with human authority is often driven by fear. Humans fear that which they cannot control whether it’s an invasion or a disease. And unless they manifest trust in God they must place their trust elsewhere. The following passage illustrates this:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. [1John 4:18-21]   

Humanity without the Lord Jesus is a lost cause. Human beings are sinful fallen creatures always coming up short of what they could be otherwise. We only have multiple reams of documentation and libraries full of sinful and disgusting human activity on this planet for multiple millennia to prove it true. As another indication that things have gotten progressively worse, approximately 200 million people were killed in the prior century, not counting abortions, and most of these by human governments. These governments were obviously acting outside the will of God and in direct rebellion against Him.

Though previously successful in living for God with the spiritual fruit to show the world, Israel had simply quit trying. God blessed them for forty years, and it could have been effectively forever. The nation apparently grew bored with righteousness and reached a point of weakness when it could no longer resist temptation. The people then went full bore into disobedience and wholesale into sin. That which was healthy started becoming rotten. And that which grew rotten, though not yet completely rotted away and therefore still possibly turned around and saved, needed a stimulus in a positive direction. Since their pride was such that they would no longer bend their knees in prayer and get on their faces before God they would have to be driven there for their own good and the good of the nation into the future. Perhaps the wholesale slaughter of their newly-embraced evil lifestyle would get their attention. In this case, the nation of the Midianites would serve as a corrective and the means to get Israel back on the right track before it committed national suicide.

So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD. Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD on account of Midian, that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery. I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land, and I said to you, “I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me.”’” [Judges 6:6-10] [1]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 1: Take My Yoke Upon You]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 4: Destroying Spiritual Strongholds]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 5: Make Your Calling and Election Sure]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 1: Take My Yoke Upon You]

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29-30]

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The Lord is putting a team together. The odds are great most will not make the cut. Christians in general have a strange traditional mindset in which they believe eternal life is automatic, that there is little effort in gaining it, and that this life is essentially a smooth ride into heaven because the Lord Jesus has already done the work to assure our arrival there.

While this is true in a sense it is also highly problematic. The Lord said we must each take on His yoke. Each of us must allow a spiritual yoke to be wrapped around our heads. Each of us must submit to being yoked together with Him in order to do the work He has called us to do. He does His part. We do our part. Each of us and the Lord are to work together in tandem. We can do nothing in accordance with His will unless we do it this way. He is the Leader. We are the followers. We put our head in a yoke beside Him. He already has His head in the other loop of the yoke awaiting us. And then we work together. The point is that the Lord Jesus is not in the habit of dragging dead weight around. One will have to do one’s part. One will have to pull one’s share of the load. If one gets it right one will never be working alone but always working with Him.

This denotes full commitment. It denotes great activity on our part. It denotes real discipleship. When one gets it right there will be spiritual fruit. There will be miracles. Things will happen that we can claim no credit for because we will know the fruitful things that happen could only have happened by His hand. We may otherwise work our fingers to the bone but without the Lord’s involvement and direction all we will get is bony fingers.

If, however, we couple our hard work with His hard work we will receive the fruits of our labor but only because the Lord Jesus was involved in making it happen. Many Christians work themselves silly every day but never gain the spiritual payday hoped for simply because they think their hard work is the answer. But hard work only works in His kingdom if He is also working on the same project we are working on, which means it was His project to begin with and we are working with Him but under His authority to make it happen.

I mean, how humble must the Lord be to yoke Himself up with us, essentially making us equals, to go out there and plow a spiritual field? He could simply dictate to us instead and make us do all the work but we should know the only thing that will do is cause rebellion because rebellion against God is the first reaction of unregenerate flesh. So He has to greatly lower Himself to our level in order to work with us to get anything done. And remember, He can do nothing unless He does it with and through humanity. So the big question for Him is will He be able to actually find anyone willing to work with Him in the only way that will work regarding spiritual reality?

For many Christians this is a big fat no. Tell some big boy religious pretender he will have to humble himself, junk his titles, replace his fancy church duds, and become a lowly servant, and then watch the unregenerate prideful flesh come oozing out like a lard bin in summertime with a fast leak followed by high rebellion and red-faced anger. How often do we see this in the Gospels? For some, the religious pride was way off the scale. The Lord gives the same directions to all Christians but only a relative few get the big idea. No matter how many times the Lord patiently explains that humility is a door into the miracle realm and He runs a spiritual kingdom it does no good if a Christian refuses the narrow road. In other words, who needs to vaya con Dios when he’s already got money and thinks he’s awesome?

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked…” [Revelation 3:17]

Whoa. How much more plain can the Lord make it? Christians who think they are rich but don’t know they are poor. What’s He talking about? How can it be that a Christian can believe he or she is well off and apparently in the will of God when he or she is actually “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” In other words we may be sitting there in the pew all prim and proper and well off and not understand we are sick and poverty stricken. How does that happen?

YOKE OR WOKE

I was around at the onset of Christian television. I saw it go from what it was to what it is. In the beginning it was largely a reflection of what went on in churches and for the most part much better things went on in churches back then compared to now. If you don’t quite see this simply do some research and find some old telecasts. You will see how much things have changed.

In time, as it always seems to happen, an inevitable devolution takes place. The more successful Christian television has become the more spiritually worthless it has become. It has now become thoroughly invaded by what we used to call “worldliness.” It has become a reflection of this world, of current human cultures. Because the medium has appropriated a growing lack of love for spiritual truth it has largely become blinded to it and has thus embraced much untruth masquerading as truth. And it keeps getting worse. The things that pass for Christianity now are laughable. And to add to all the worthless chatter from endless droning talking heads all pretty and facelifted, Christian television has also gone woke.

And if I need to remind you, here goes: The Lord revealed to me almost eleven years ago that we were in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. Wokism is the devil’s answer to the Great Awakening. Any Christian who has refused to get properly yoked up with the Lord will never partake of the Great Awakening but will instead fall for some form of deception courtesy of a fake angel of light. If you need some Scripture for that here you go:

For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. [2Thessalonians 2:11-12]

Here’s another, an oldie but goodie:

But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Matthew 16:23-26]

In case you may be interested, the operative Greek word in the above verse is apollumi. It means “to destroy utterly.” So the choice is that a person will either destroy his life in order to have new life or not destroy his life only to have it eventually destroyed in hell. And until one destroys his life and is born again one will never put one’s head in a yoke with the Lord or drag around a cross for the remainder of one’s life.

And speaking of the deceitfulness of riches, there is this:

And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” [Matthew 19:23-25]   

Perhaps if Christians ever heard such verses in their churches and Christian television programs they would no longer be deceived. But, of course, this cannot happen because many churches and much of Christian television in general is highly dependent on relatively large outlays of funding. Whoever preaches the truth as the Lord Jesus preached the truth will likely not have a church to preach in or a television show to preach from which tends to eliminate funding. To remedy this one must simply join Christian Fake World and preach a watered down inoffensive feel good gospel in the form of mushy baby food so no one out there will get their dander up or be offended and thus keep receiving cash instead of getting trashed. Better to tell everyone how great and awesome they are because it increases the chances of being thought well of and gaining greater wealth in the meantime.

THE CULLING PROCESS

See if any of this sounds familiar: American Christians screwed up. They turned their backs on the Lord. They loved the Lord’s blessings more than the Lord. They got so full of themselves they couldn’t see the Lord with the Hubble Telescope. This was the Lord’s solution:

Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years. The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them. So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it. [Judges 6:1-5] [1]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 4: Destroying Spiritual Strongholds]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 5: Make Your Calling and Election Sure]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]

 

SHOW US THE FATHER

The Lord Jesus taught in part by using parables. The greatest parable in His teachings is largely unrecognized. It regards His actual identity. Many Christians have yet to receive the full revelation.

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For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. [Isaiah 9:6-7]

“These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father.” [John 16:25]

WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?      

Real Christians believe that Jesus is God. Most Christians do not believe that Jesus is God the Father. Think about that.

We obviously have reams of New Covenant Scripture expressly proclaiming in no uncertain terms that Jesus is not only the Son of Man and the Son of God but God Himself. We also have reams of Old Testament prophetic Scripture expressly proclaiming the same thing. As a method to prove this, focusing only on one aspect of the Lord’s identity—that of Savior—are the following verses:

I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me, hear my speech. Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand from those who rise up against them. [Psalm 17:6-7]  

“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no Savior besides Me.” [Isaiah 43:10-11]  

“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.” [Isaiah 45:21]

“Yet I have been the LORD your God Since the land of Egypt; and you were not to know any god except Me, for there is no Savior besides Me.” [Hosea 13:4]

Regarding who is referred to as Savior in the New Testament, we have additional Names and Titles:

And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” [Luke 1:46-47]

“From the descendants of this man (David), according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.” [Acts 13:23-24]

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; [Philippians 3:20]

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. [1Timothy 2:3-4]

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. [1Timothy 4:10]

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. [Titus 1:4]

…Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus… [Titus 2:13]

From these verses it is obvious that Scripture claims there is only one Savior, not two or several, and that this one Savior is God. Yet the preceding verses of Scripture also refer to this one Savior by several different Names and Titles:

  1. God (El)
  2. God (Elohim)
  3. God (Theos)
  4. LORD (Adonai—YHWH)
  5. Lord (Kurios)
  6. Jesus (Iesous)
  7. Lord Jesus Christ (Kurios Iesous Christos)
  8. Christ Jesus (Christos Iesous)

This obviously does not mean that these are different persons but the same Person with different Names and Titles.      

KING OF KINGS

The OT prophets said an Israelite Messiah (Anointed One) was coming. Most Christians understand that. But the OT prophets also said the coming Messiah would not be as the culturally understood anointed ones of that time, primarily the Hebrew kings, but would be the greatest Anointed One: The final King, the everlasting King, and the King of kings. In ancient times, many centuries before the Messiah’s arrival, they proclaimed there would be a time far into the future when the Messiah would once again take His rightful place that He formerly possessed among His people prior to their rejection of Him.

This term King of kings was used three times in the Old Testament as a reference to the greatest earthly king on the planet. It referred twice to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Babylonian Empire and once to Artaxerxes, the king of the Persian Empire. King of kings also occurs three times in the New Testament, each time, of course, referring to the Lord Jesus. So again, the Messiah is referred to in Scripture as the greatest King of all with all authority in both heaven and earth (far greater authority than any earthly king or emperor).

With reference to the nation of Israel, historians refer to King Saul as Israel’s first king. He became king of Israel in 1050BC. In reality, Saul was Israel’s first earthly king. From the beginning, however, it was always God who was Israel’s King. The Creator became known to Israel primarily as YHWH, the “Self-Existent or Eternal.” Though the actual pronunciation of this Name is largely unknown, we have come to accept its pronunciation as Yahweh (´Yah way). A later constructed form is Jehovah, but there is no letter J in the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew scribes, due to their great respect and honor for God, rather than writing His Name and possibly profaning it, substituted another word in Scripture. The word they used to replace His Name is the Hebrew word Adonai which is translated in the English Old Testament as LORD (all caps). So whenever you see the word LORD in the OT, it would have otherwise been directly translated as YHWH.

The nation of Israel, however, due to its great rebellion and sin, often had a big problem with YHWH. This came to a head during the time of Samuel the prophet, the last of the Hebrew Judges. Israel had reached a point of such great sin it rejected its distinct calling as a light to the Gentiles and select of God, and insisted upon being as other nations. They demanded an earthly king. This was a total rejection of their God who had always been their rightful King:

The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.” [1Samuel 8:7]

In reading the Old Testament regarding the identity of the future Messiah and coming King of kings, many Christians don’t really make the connection that this Man, the Messiah, would also be God. Or they do, but they don’t. They get it maybe in part but not completely. They fail to see that the Messiah would be YHWH reclaiming His sovereignty. It is often simply too difficult a concept to grasp that a mere Man could be God, that the God of the Old Testament is the Son of God of the New Testament. I mean, if Jesus was God, why was He always praying to God? And yet, Jesus revealed Himself as God on multiple occasions. Many people state that He never said any such thing, but I will remind everyone that God speaks in different languages, such as by spiritual revelation, in parables or figurative language, and also “plainly” through words and grammar.

Others have turned the identity of the Lord Jesus into an unexplainable mystery. They have created mental constructs and counterfeit personas with apparent surface meaning that inevitably fail the test of wholly agreeing with Scripture. Some cop out of the discussion completely by weakly asserting that we’ll figure out the Lord’s identity when we get to heaven in that there is no way to know it otherwise. For such people there is no use in trying to go deep into Scriptural truth since they limit themselves to their shallow understandings. There is nothing in Scripture, however, that gives forth the idea that we cannot know God or that God is hopelessly mysterious, but the very opposite. It is a major part of why God became a Man. He arrived on these shores to reveal who He is and show what He is like. How else was He to do this toward human beings severed from communication with Him, dulled by sin, and spiritually distant unless He became one of us?

FATHER AND SON

The following passage is rich in meaning, so rich that many pass right over it without understanding its full import. It is parabolic in nature and again, involves direct revelation:

“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” [Luke 10:22]

In this verse, the Lord Jesus states:

  1. The Father has handed over all things to the Son
  2. Only the Father knows who the Son is
  3. Only the Son knows who the Father is
  4. Others can know who the Father is but only if the Son wills to reveal Him to them

From this we know that no one will ever know who the Father is except by direct revelation. If the Lord Jesus wills to reveal the identity of the Father to a person, then that person will know. Otherwise a person will never know. This means the Lord chooses to whom He will reveal the identity of the Father. This also means that there must be some common denominator among those who receive the revelation of the identity of the Father. In other words, the Lord is not capricious or arbitrary in His choosing. He never plays favorites. It is therefore up to the individual on whether or not to be qualified to receive the revelation.

Take a look at these clues from Luke 10:22:

  1. The Father possessed “all things” but gave “all things” to the Son. This must mean the Father no longer possesses “all things.” It means the Son then possessed “all things.” The Father had “all things” and then no longer had them. The Son did not have “all things” and then took possession of them.
  2. Only the Father knows who the Son is? How can this be? Did not more than a few during the Lord’s time know who the Son of God was? Affirmative. But those who did only knew by divine revelation. That’s how Peter found out: “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17). The point here is that the Son had always been hidden by the Father. Only the Father would know who He was. The Son was incognito in this sense. He would never look the part. He was likely the very opposite of a guy like King Saul who was tall, handsome, popular and specifically chosen by all the people.
  3. The Son is the only One who knows who the Father is and also the only One who can reveal Him. The Father revealed the Son to Peter. On the other hand, the Son revealed the Father to Philip. Both revelations pointed to the same Person.

One might recall (as I mentioned previously) that the Lord Jesus said, right before He ascended to heaven, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). This is a very bold statement. Only God has that kind of authority. If one insists that God is someone other than the Lord Jesus then how can the Lord Jesus have all of God’s authority in both heaven and earth?

THE LANGUAGE OF SPIRITUAL REVELATION

The Old Testament patriarchs were noted for being relative loners and wanderers. They were seen as somewhat eccentric by the world at large because they were seemingly forever drifting around in a nomadic spiritual sense marching to the beat of a very different Drummer. They traversed the great quiet of deserts and wilderness areas raising their head to the winds and hearing voices.

It reminds one of Ray Kinsella in the movie Field of Dreams hearing a voice out in his corn field. On a trip into town one day after hearing “the voice” Ray tries to gain some understanding of what has happened to him. Seeking clues, he has the following conversation with a veteran farmer at the farm supply store:

Ray: “In all those years, did you ever… I’ve heard that sometimes farmers out in the field… hear things. Voices.”

Old Timer: “You’re hearing voices?”

Ray: “No. It’s just that I heard some farmers do, and… I, of course, don’t, so I was wondering if I was doing something wrong, or something. Did you ever hear voices out there?”

Cashier: “Who’s hearing voices?”

Old Timer: “Ray is! Out in the fields.”

Ray: “No! No, I’m not. Really. Noises! That darn tractor, it’s… Well, I’ll just get some 3-in-1 oil, that should… Nice talking to you.” [1]

One wonders if Abraham had a similar conversation with Sarah. Or anyone. The point, of course, is that if one is hearing voices out in the wilderness (or in a corn field near you), and in the case of the Biblical patriarchs, one particular voice, then one might be careful with whom one might share the information. This should not be a problem for Christians, however, since the entire Bible has the same theme running through it. Christians should not be embarrassed by this. All those who were close to God were hearing His voice, both in the Old Testament and New, and some were even seeing Him. Aghast.

These people were in the decided minority (understatement alert). There were only a few. Which means the vast majority probably thought those guys were nuts because they themselves never heard or saw anything. And they never hung out in the wilderness alone either. Prior to the coming of the Kingdom of God (of which He is the King) the Lord Jesus said the greatest man born of women who ever lived was a prophet who hung out in the wilderness alone, just like those eccentric patriarchs of many centuries past. But this guy John the Immerser was greater than all of them, which was quite astounding when you think about it. And he looked like a caveman. And the Lord spent much time in the wilderness alone also. And so did Noah. And Abraham. And Moses. And the apostle Paul:

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:15-17]  

Paul was out in the desert a long time. Some say three years. I have no doubt he went on a forty day fast at least once. It was where, hearing the Voice, that the Lord taught him one on one. It was where Paul received the revelation of the Father’s identity and where the Gospel was revealed to him:

For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. [Galatians 1:11-12]

So here we have yet again that spiritual marvel known as direct revelation. The only One who ever revealed to Paul the Gospel was the Lord Jesus Himself, out in the wilderness, alone. Imagine that. This is not how 99% of Christian ministers receive the Gospel. Perhaps this is why their various versions of the Gospel are different than the one Paul preached.

The direct revelation thread runs all through the Bible. It is God reaching out to man. It is God actually attempting to communicate with man. Why then, if God is talking, do so few hear Him? Apparently, Noah, Abraham, Moses, John the Immerser, and Paul were all listening. They were paying attention. They sought God. They had a hunger for Truth. So those who revert back to the tired argument that these men were simply special and chosen in some unknown arbitrary manner, which explains their communication with God, and that their spiritual status had nothing to do with a greater personal faith in God and an unceasing desire to seek Him, are being their usual shallow selves as part of a status quo faithless Christian majority. We even have otherwise brilliant Christians who have latched onto Cessationism and believe that Book of Acts happenings ended in the first century. What? Are the hundreds of millions of Pentecostals and Charismatics in the world all deluded or faking it?

Again, the greatest parable in the Bible is the true identity of the Lord Jesus. Without the actual revelation one reverts to any unspiritual and unscriptural natural understanding and interpretation, either by indoctrination or personal opinion. The tried and true among Christians in this regard is that Jesus must be a lesser entity than God even though some are forced to admit that Jesus is God simply because there are far too many verses of Scripture stating such. But how can Jesus be both God and less than God?

“If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” [John 14:28]

“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” [John 10:30-33]  

Some Christians think they must seek out God the Father because their relationship with the Lord Jesus is somehow lacking or limited. Of course, whoever does this has no actual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Some Christians pray to the Holy Spirit the same way one would pray to the Lord Jesus. Some teach that we must pray only to the Father “in the name of Jesus” but never directly to Jesus. Whatever the case, any effort to do an end around or bypass the Lord Jesus to get to God is a violation of His teachings:

“No one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]

THE MESSIAH

The word Messiah is from the Hebrew word Mashiach which means “Anointed” or “Anointed One.” It is Christos in the Greek and transliterated into English as the word Christ. In terms of relative spiritual anointing, the Messiah is seen as He with by far the greatest anointing of God. One may recall that the Lord Jesus possessed the Spirit of God without measure (John 3:34). Prior to Pentecost, He would thus be the One who gave the Holy Spirit.

Speaking of which, there is an interesting word construct in two separate verses exactly a chapter apart in the Gospel of John regarding both the identity of the Father and Son and just who it would be that would send the Holy Spirit. One might think it to be a contradiction. Another will understand it as a clue to a revelation:

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

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

To be anointed is to be anointed with the Spirit of God. The Messiah was the Anointed One anointed with the Spirit. Yet the Messiah, the One who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, says He will also send the Holy Spirit. He says this after first being reported to say the Father would send the Spirit. Of course, before the Son could send the Spirit He would have to “go to the Father.” Therefore, the One who sends the Spirit is identified as both Father and Son.

On one occasion the Lord was off in a remote location away from the crowds. His close disciples were with Him. He chose this occasion as a teaching moment and to gauge their understanding of His identity:

And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone… [Luke 9:18-21]   

The Lord’s time was one of Messianic expectation. It is said that the Israelites were the only nation that lived in the future, in that no matter what happened in the present there were prophecies telling of great times to come. Part of that was, of course, the arrival of the Messiah. He would be the One to lead them to victory at last, to assist them in overcoming their low stature and becoming who they were always meant to be. He would help them reach their destiny.

As times grew closer to His advent, starting about two centuries before in the early second century BC, several unprecedented events took place, one of which was the first successful Israelite uprising against the major powers. The Maccabees, a national Israelite political entity which began as a group of rebel fighters revolting against the Greek Seleucid kings, came forth throwing off the yoke for a time and created a new independent kingdom, the Hasmonean Dynasty. The spirit of the first century Zealots can be traced to the Maccabees. Presently, the Zealots have manifested as the Zionists of our time.

Also, the major religious parties got their start: The Essenes were created from a priesthood group breaking off from the temple priesthood and setting up shop in the desert out by the Dead Sea in a settlement known as Qumran. These were thus somewhat akin to the ancients but existed primarily as a fraternal communal brotherhood. They later expanded and segments were found in the populated areas.

The Pharisees, or separated ones, also began in this era, rooted in a group known as the Hasidim. Two central divisions of this major sect eventually arose about a century later based on its two greatest rabbis, Hillel and Shammai, who each began Pharisaic schools in the generation prior to that of the Lord Jesus. The apostle Paul (Saul) was a student of Gamaliel of the Hillel school. In New Testament times this Gamaliel, a respected member of the Sanhedrin, was the voice of reason against the murderous crazies of the court and essentially saved the lives of Peter and the apostles (See Acts 5:34).

The Sadducees emerged as a distinct party at this time as well. This group was the latest organized form containing the wealthy and those with large landed estates who had essentially ruled Judea in place of a king since the return from the Babylonian Captivity in the sixth century BC. The Sadducees were thus tied in closely with Seleucid, Ptolemaic, and eventually Roman wealth and politics. Choosing to live for this world, they had no concern or belief in the resurrection or a spiritual realm.

We can see this same general breakdown in parties and beliefs in Unreal Christianity. Much was coming together in those two centuries BC for the final conflict of the Last Days of the nation and they each had their own version of who the Messiah was and what He would do for them.

When at last, the Messiah arrived, in perfect accordance with Daniel’s prophecy of weeks (right on time), He was largely unrecognized. Indeed, according to the major parties and pretty much everyone in power with a stake in what He could and would do for them,