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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, He was unrecognizable. Incognito, as it were. This was their King, the One the nation had rejected over a thousand years before when they selected King Saul. And to show just how stiffnecked the proponents of these major religious and political parties still were after all those centuries and even more so, they did a lot more than just reject Him this time around.

They had invested everything in a false interpretation. When their version of the Messiah never showed up in the life of the Lord Jesus, even though He perfectly met all the applicable prophetic requirements, they continued looking elsewhere. How dense must people be to either not see and/or reject all the clues? How could they be so wrong?

As it turns out Christians have been just as wrong. God Himself is looking right at them and they still don’t see Him. They fail to see Him for the very same reasons the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and bloodthirsty Zealots never saw Him. This is especially surprising regarding the Essenes. They saw the times better than any of their major counterparts. Indeed, because they were out in the desert and away from the corrupt religious, monetary, and political activity of Jerusalem, one would think they couldn’t miss. They came somewhat close. Their Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947 in caves next to their ruined compound, contained many references to their “Teacher of Righteousness.” They wrote of The War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. They knew what was afoot regarding the coming Messiah but from what we know, as a group, they never recognized the Lord Jesus as such.

The problem each of these groups shared was that their focus remained on this world instead of the spiritual world. They each wanted a Messiah within that context. Again, erring facets of Christianity, including major mainline bodies, make the same mistake. They refuse to accept the reality of the Lord’s spiritual Kingdom and create one of their own with their own respective version of King Saul.

With the exception of the Pharisees, the other three major Jewish parties each came to an end after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70AD. The Sadducees faded out and dissolved shortly thereafter. The Zealots, the party eventually granted authority by the others who brought on the conflagration against Rome, ceased to exist at the tragedy of Masada in 74AD. The Essenes might have gotten an extinction head start on the others around 68AD when the Romans destroyed their settlement at Qumran. It is thought that this disaster is what precipitated the hiding of their cherished library in nearby caves before their final retreat and disappearance. They obviously never returned to reclaim them.

The nation of Israel also came to an end and was forever gone with the wind. The Pharisees reconstituted themselves from the smoking detritus and burned rubble in even greater stubbornness and rebellion to keep their party alive though barely breathing. Through many transformations and geographical movements over the centuries their party eventually became what we know today as Orthodox Judaism. And they still hate the Lord Jesus with a passion.

THE REMNANT

The only ones who did recognize the Lord were apparently part of an obscure unconnected group of nobodies known originally by the Scriptural term as the “Remnant.” We first hear of this idea of a surviving remnant in Genesis 45:7 when Joseph explains to his family that he was sent ahead as a slave to Egypt as a method to preserve them. Spiritually speaking, of course, he was assisting God in not only preserving his family and the future nation of Israel but also preserving the Messianic genealogical line. This line had suffered severe attack from the very beginning when Abel was killed by his own brother. Since the Lord Jesus was to descend from Abel his murder made that impossible. It was a victory for the devil. However, the line was reestablished over a century later with the birth of Seth, the third listed son of Adam and Eve:

Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:25-26] 

A few millennia later, this concept of the remnant is illustrated as follows in the times of Hezekiah, circa 700BC:

“The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD will perform this.” [2 Kings 19:30-31]  

Two and a half centuries later, long after the Babylonian Captivity during the time of Ezra’s arrival in the land of Judah, approximately 458BC, we hear again of this surviving remnant of God’s people. In the ninth chapter narrative, the book of Ezra uses much descriptive and dramatic imagery filled with pathos and hope describing those few who remain of the once great nation of Israel, including clear prophetic undertones. Ezra is quoted wailing against the current great sin of his remaining people:

“O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day. But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage. [Ezra 9:6-8]

“After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us an escaped remnant as this, shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape? O LORD God of Israel, You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this.” [Ezra 9:13-15]  

In the interim since the first return of the Hebrews from Babylon to the time of Ezra, a period of roughly eighty years, factions of this returned remnant in the land, including priests, had intermarried with local non-Hebrew women of various heathen peoples including Canaanites, Moabites, and Egyptians and produced offspring. This was no way to reestablish the Yehudi as a distinct people. As a result their racial mix was even further diluted. This same lack of discretion had occurred many times in the past going all the way back to the time after Joshua a millennia before. Ezra appears to have made a successful effort to correct the problem as much as one could but this departure led to the dedicated remnant becoming ever smaller over the next five centuries until the Lord’s arrival.  

In its long history, the devil was constantly scheming and attacking the Messianic generational line because he knew he must keep the Messiah from arriving. And unlike so many Israelites and Christians, the devil and his minions knew very well who the Messiah was long before He came and who He would be when He arrived, and had great respect for Him. The following historical account is a great study in microcosmic terms of the ongoing spiritual battle from ancient times on this planet and a revealing depiction of what goes on daily all around us in the unseen spiritual world: 

Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss. Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. [Luke 8:26-33] 

Why didn’t the demons attack the Lord? If the name of this hoard of demons within a single man was a correct indication of their numbers, the demons amounted to over five thousand. Empowered by internal demonic forces the man was able to break chains and shackles. But instead of going after the Lord, the man and his many demons voluntarily fell before Him! They begged Him not to send them to the abyss. There was never any Man of such great and powerful magnitude in all of Israel. Even demons were terrified of Him: 

You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. [James 2:19] [2]

Down through the centuries, despite ongoing demonic attacks, and at last an attempt through King Herod to kill the baby Jesus, the Messiah arrived anyway. And the Lord always had a believing remnant who knew exactly who He was. They were there in the first century. Though initially very small in number, they served as a solid, tested, and unrelenting nucleus to build around. Their presence allowed for the eventual blossoming of the Lord’s Community into multiple millions worldwide.

SHOW US THE FATHER

It seems as though the Lord Jesus was often not openly admitting to His true identity. I think it is because He knew it was necessary for people to receive the spiritual revelation rather than hear mere words which could easily bring on refutation and anger. This happened anyway among the hard core religious unbelievers who often flew into a rage at the mere semblance of His actual identity. It can thus be difficult and otherwise impossible to overcome such flagrant religious indoctrination and programming and this includes, of course, the Christian kind which is often the absolute worst. Direct revelation is the only thing that works best. As Peter discovered, what works better than God revealing to one’s heart the Word of Truth?  

Perhaps the best verses which address the revelation of the Lord’s true identity are found in the fourteenth chapter of John’s gospel. By this time the disciples had heard much of the Lord’s figurative language, especially regarding His discourses on the Father. He was attempting to lead them to the revelation portal that they may gain answers and understanding from a spiritual source. In the following passage, Thomas had sincere questions about the Lord’s statement, especially as it regarded the unseen and unknown Father. So did Philip. Both had matured enough to ask direct queries of the Lord. They were ready to graduate from the figurative to the clear revelation:

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” [John 14:1-9]  

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


[1] © 1988 Field of Dreams Screenplay by Phil Alden Robinson 

[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.

 

OUTING EVIL, RESISTING TEMPTATION, AND DODGING DESTRUCTION: A SPIRITUAL VICTORY PRIMER

 

Someone is causing a problem. But you don’t know who it is. At first, you actually don’t even know what it is.

.

God created a perfect world. Much of His original Creation still exists to a great degree, continues uncorrupted, and remains extremely beneficial. One thinks of the great outdoors, fresh fields, an isolated seacoast, clean air, and soft breezes. In such places one is much closer to the heart of the Creator because there is so little interference. In such a setting, one can quickly be saturated with good—with natural and spiritual benefits effectively raining down upon one’s presence—with no personal effort whatsoever.

Someone once said the best things in life are free. While this is a seemingly noble sentiment, though not actually true, the point is that much of what we require for good health in every respect truly is free, such as our aforementioned pure natural settings and the natural gifts thereof God has bestowed.

AND THEN CAME EVIL

Evil arises in many forms from apparently unknown invisible origins. It has a decided presence on the planet. It reaches out from a ubiquitous unperceived darkness not so far away from each of us. Some locales are darker than others. Its desire is to corrupt, infect, and distort. It hates purity and innocence.

Where does it come from? Rather than get into a far-flung exegesis, relegating the subject to the unexplainable, or addressing the philosophical problem of evil as it were, God goes right to the heart of the matter and makes it all very simple. He clearly identifies evil. He reveals its exact starting point. He shows us how it operates. He identifies a single source.

This source is extremely beguiling. It has its best results by operating through humanity. God tells us how this first occurred. It has been occurring that way ever since.

But how so? How does the source of evil cause people to listen to it and then convince people to obey it? Again, God makes it very simple for us by revealing the only three avenues the source of evil uses to tempt people to do its bidding. These three methods of temptation were revealed in the very beginning when the source of evil convinced the very first person in history to go over to the dark side. Before then humanity was absolutely good and pure. Afterwards every human being became familiar with evil and subject to the dark side. An iniquitous force had entered into the realm of humanity that it could not throw off. It could not purge itself of this evil. No matter what humanity attempted to do in ridding itself of immoral inclinations toward shameful behavior and undesired aftereffects that many members wanted no part of, it could not find a cure.

THE THREE TEMPTATIONS

Though it may appear that evil uses a wide array of schemes and procedures, and though this is true on an elementary level in which one is initially unaware of evil’s presence, objectives, and essential means of operation, its technique actually breaks down to only three principle methods. There is Door #1, Door #2, and Door #3. Sound familiar? All sin originates from behind these three doors. These are the three connecting points the source of evil uses to corrupt humanity. Each is one of the only three foundational means of temptation. These doors are presented as ways for evil to enter into a person.

Of course, an otherwise innocent naïve person does not comprehend that the entity attempting to cause one to enter such doors is the source of all evil, is pure evil, desires to spread its evil, and make yet another disciple of evil. Nevertheless, the person being tempted has a predisposed inherent interest in answering said door due to long held resident tendencies passed on by hundreds of generations in part because he or she never fully understands how malevolent, malicious, and wicked evil actually is or what will become of him or her as evil takes effect.

This makes one essentially defenseless. For the most part, a human being is no match for the great deceptive powers of the source of all evil. The devil is a superior actor. He pretends to be the opposite of what he is. This is how he takes advantage of simple-minded humans. He presents himself as innocent and good, a being no one should fear:

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. [2Corinthians 11:14]

Therefore, one must first be aware of fakes. Almost everyone knows to fear obvious evil, but many do not protect themselves against those who merely pretend to be good, who wrap themselves in faux innocence, who adorn themselves with fake righteousness, who know how to put forth fake smiles, fake attitudes, and fake presentations. This is the devil’s game. It is the devil at his best. And since this is the ultimate manner of disguising himself in order to fool even the best and brightest among us, one should pay much more attention to getting up to speed in this area. One should study hard to gain the proper education in differentiating between the real and the fake so as not to be overcome by smiling shysters and glowing fraudsters wrapped up in faux decorum attempting to take advantage of you, gain authority over you, rip you off, and steal your soul.

This is where to start:

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 are the three temptations:

  1. The lust of the flesh
  2. The lust of the eyes
  3. The boastful pride of life

This is how the devil got Eve:

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh), and that it was a delight to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (the boastful pride of life), she took from its fruit and ate… [Genesis 3:6]

This is how the devil tried to get the Lord:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him,

“If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”

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.’”

And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’ and, ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. [Luke 4:1-13]

NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TEMPTATION

Whoever chooses to follow the Lord Jesus will be tempted by the devil in the same way. Whoever chooses to become a mature disciple of the Lord Jesus will be tempted by the devil in the same way. Whoever chooses to serve and work for the Lord Jesus will be tempted by the devil in the same way. Our spiritual success comes in part by successfully resisting temptation. This is obviously not an all or nothing proposition, however. There will be times of failure. Failure is when we disobey the Lord and obey the devil. There will be times of success. Success is when we obey the Lord and disobey the devil. The more we obey the Lord the greater the chances of spiritual success. The more we succeed the more spiritually mature we become. The more mature we become the better we are able to resist temptation.

The proper representation of the Lord on our part then, as disciples of His, depends on staying victorious in the temptation war. Whatever may cause us to be defeated must be defeated. We must live in spiritual victory and this demands overcoming the devil’s temptation and thus defeating him in spiritual battle. In order to insure victory, the Lord has made available the gift of His Holy Spirit.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. [2Corinthians 10:3-6][1]

The devil has constructed strong military forts and fortifications with thick walls and armaments. He has many weapons at the ready trained and focused upon his enemies. Paul speaks here of the necessary spiritual attack upon the devil’s fortresses and strongholds. He tells us the Lord Jesus has supplied powerful spiritual weapons for His people that are very effective in blasting holes in the devil’s walls and even leveling the devil’s military forts. The Community of the Lord Jesus even has the power to blow the devil’s fortifications off the map.

Those who are actually doing this are the real Christians. They are those who have overcome temptation. They do not submit to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. They are not lovers of money. Christian Pharisees, however, are indeed lovers of money. They must have it in very large amounts. They cannot live without it. It helps them gain whatever they need to fulfill their lust of the flesh, their lust of the eyes, and their boastful pride of life. Rather than resist temptation, they serve the devil in order to receive all he can give them. How then is it possible for Unreal Christianity to fight a successful spiritual war? Those who not only fail repeatedly in the temptation wars to the point of surrender but also assist the devil in building and maintaining his military fortifications are the antithesis of the real Christian. However, things have become so clouded and deceptive within overall Christianity in general only a comparative few can see through the deception.

The original church community at Corinth was composed not only of the usual immature believers but also some who were still being heavily influenced by the particular evils of that city. The apostle Paul was working to help the congregation gain the necessary spiritual maturity all believers need but it was initially a tough fight. We may think of a similar circumstance regarding the nation of Israel after the Exodus. It was very tough for God to get the Egypt out of them. It was somewhat the same for Paul and his mature spiritual associates in getting Corinth out of the Corinthian believers. They were tempted with speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God.” As residents of a powerfully sinful city, these believers previously had a big problem with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It was difficult for them to overcome spiritually but they did. The gift of salvation, God’s grace, and the infilling of the Spirit of God made all the difference. The devil could not compete with the Corinthian Pentecost.

When the congregation became mature, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” Paul was then ready to punish all disobedience. The remaining vestiges of demonic and fleshly control were singled out for defeat. The Christian Community at Corinth and other Gentile cities thus became powerful and strong toward defeating the devil’s authority in their respective locations. They may not have had complete success but each had various levels of success where none existed previously.

On the flip side, Jerusalem was a city where the devil’s authority was never defeated spiritually. Evil maintained its presence there to the point that the only remaining option was physical destruction. This is what awaits every collection of human beings large or small. Each will either change its ways and submit to the Lord Jesus or will face certain destruction. It is only a matter of time. And if you may be wondering, the Lord really doesn’t even have to be materially involved. They usually do it to themselves. This is what happened in Jerusalem in 70AD. Having rejected their Messiah who would have brought peace and victory, they chose leaders who ended up fighting one another and the vastly superior Roman forces who never wanted such a fight. This was a repeat performance of Israel’s ancient enemies who used to be subjected to the same, such as Midian during the time of Gideon when the Midianites turned against one another and destroyed themselves.

ON THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION      

Whoever opposes the Lord Jesus is allied with the antichrist spirit. This can be a single individual or a vast metropolis. Destruction will always come to such people. It is inevitable. It may come through a series of destructive actions on the part of those in control, intentional or not. Whoever rejects the Lord Jesus will face destruction because He is the only cure against it. He is God. He is the Creator. It should be obvious that whoever opposes the Creator will also oppose anything and everything associated with His goodness. That leaves only one remaining choice and that choice has a time stamp. Why? Because God will not allow evil to exist except on a temporary basis. The same holds true for anything built that does not have His direct involvement or sanction.

Have you noticed that ancient builders were sometimes so good at their work that portions of it still stand? Other than the obvious massive structures that still remain, such as the Egyptian pyramids, we still have a few remaining structures from ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The Romans were especially proficient at architectural design and developed a great understanding of natural forces and the requisite engineering to overcome them. To this day we have massive multilevel valley-spanning aqueducts, for example, that have withstood all natural earth movements and weather forces since first constructed. Imagine having that on your resume. And though earthquakes have destroyed many structures and even cities of the ancient world into the present, such aqueducts and other structures were built so well they remain victorious, though in ruined form, against the forces that would destroy them.

At the top of the list of destructive forces however, are entities of the non-natural and effective non-temporary form. These entities predate humanity. They were here before us. They are masters at their craft. They oppose God and always have. Most human beings are aligned with them whether they know it or not. Such people have been overcome by deception—“speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God.” They exist for a while, as do their cities and structures, maybe a long while, but all is temporary. Every world empire was seemingly invincible in its time. This was especially true of Rome. It was without question the greatest empire the world had ever seen, but was eventually overrun and completely destroyed. Other lesser forms of it arose but no other empire existed at the same level until the present, which too will cease to exist at some point in the future. One must understand, therefore, that those whose mission is destruction sow the seeds of their own destruction.

Whoever engages in the opposite of what the Lord taught us will thus receive the opposite of what He died to give us.

In the meantime, other forces are at work to give the destroyers a run for their money. We live on a planet with a moving, shifting surface that often shifts greatly and violently. Sometimes powerful explosive volcanoes burst forth. Massive floods happen. Disastrous hurricanes and tornadoes spin forth. Whatever lies in the vicinity of these purely natural destructive wonders is leveled. But earthquakes are perhaps the most deadly, largely because they happen with no immediate warning whatsoever. This is especially true even in areas of previous earthquake activity along moving, shifting tectonic plates and those containing known fault lines. Experts in the field are good at identifying where but not so much at when. They speak in terms of decades or perhaps centuries. Since many of these areas are monitored they only know when the big one hits right before it hits or as it hits, meaning actual warnings remain ineffective.

Regarding America, two locations of particular notice are the San Andreas Fault along the west coast running through California and the New Madrid seismic zone in the eastern Midwest located at the junction of Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee stretching into Arkansas. The experts say both areas are not only due but overdue. I recently read a book about the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. It was published in 1971. The authors not only went into great detail of what happened in that event but also strongly warned against the next one which would surely come. According to expert predictions of that time an even greater earthquake should have already happened by now and is actually long overdue. I remember very well the San Francisco-Oakland earthquake of 1989. I also remember the Northridge, California quake of 1994. These were actually relatively minor, 6.9 and 6.7 on the Richter scale, while the quake of 1906 was a much larger and much more destructive 7.9. The later two may be seen as mere wake-up calls but it appears most people have gone back to sleep.

ETERNAL LIFE MATTERS

I find it extremely interesting that people so easily lose sight of these coming hugely destructive events. It reminds me of Noah. He warned everybody what was going to happen. He preached and built the Ark over a 120 year period. The more he preached the more they laughed. The more he warned the more they scoffed. The closer the time came for the great Flood to begin, the more the people collectively disbelieved and/or refused to pay attention. Noah eventually became a complete laughingstock, a madman. All the newspapers and social media of the time constantly portrayed him as an absolute moron. The peer pressure was so intense that anyone who may have otherwise heeded Noah’s warning chose instead to surrender to the will of the cultural narrative setters and religion hustlers as a false form of survival. To do otherwise would cause the complete destruction of their livelihoods and social standing. They knew they would suffer the same persecution as Noah but also knew they would never be able to handle it. The doomed were thus much more concerned about their reputations and current comfort level than righteousness and eternal life.

They did not want to be put out of the synagogue. They did not want to be perceived as crazy by their church friends. Still, one would think there would have been at least a few individuals who didn’t care what the great unthinking majority thought and joined Noah anyway. But no. They all went to their deaths believing the lie and rejecting a providential place of safety and survival.

Only Noah’s immediate family believed him.

Maybe that was the miracle.

© 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 DAY OF PENTECOST 2021

Today is Pentecost. It is the 50th day since the anniversary of our Lord’s resurrection. On this date almost two thousand years ago the Holy Spirit outpouring began.

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In the beginning God initiated the initial Great Awakening. He brought forth a great spiritual event heavily prophesied in Old Testament literature and in His own ministry. He told everyone with ears to hear what would happen and it is apparent that only very few had such ears. As recounted here often, the Lord Jesus had preached to tens of thousands at the populous height of His ministry. They came from near and far. Word had spread rapidly. For a while He was the most sought after and popular Israelite in history. But alas, like all things spiritually solid and truthful in a fickle, unbelieving, sinful, and shallow religious world, His popularity and support began to fade.

WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID?

Though it was the greatest of Messianic ages in that a probable majority were aware of the prophetic times, there was much difference of opinion and confusion over what the Messiah must be. Most Israelites were obviously put off with their station in life and with the status of their nation as a whole, though it was no longer much of a nation. From the heights of the later portion of King David’s time a thousand years before when the Lord had brought together a roughly unified people after the defeat of Saul and emerging Israelite interlopers intent on the throne, a time not unlike the heights of Joshua’s conquest when the warrior David regained and established much territory, Israel began its long and steady decline. David’s son Solomon, like King Saul before him, had started out well but fell into sin and eventually descended into abject idol worship and tyranny. All that David had gained was lost not soon after Solomon’s death when the nation was split in two. From there it was a precipitous fall. The great nation began hemorrhaging and never recovered. Over the next millennium God did all He could to keep His believing remnant intact for His eventual arrival.  

The Lord’s ministry experienced a similar pattern. The tens of thousands of followers were reduced over time due to various reasons, though He was as powerful and consistent as ever. It appeared as though His school might end. The Lord even alluded to the possibility of being reduced completely in the following passage:

As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” [John 6:66-67]

By the time the great prophesied and hoped-for event of Pentecost arrived, only a relative fraction remained as His faithful followers.

The people of the Lord’s time thus looked back with great remorse over what had become of a once profound nation and also seethed with anger over its centuries-long perceived mistreatment at the hands of various world powers. Little did they know or appreciate that such powers—Babylon, Medo-Persia, the Macedonian Greeks, and now the hated Romans—were actually being used to keep the nation intact. Without the strong unifying governmental structure applied from without, the Israelites would have easily destroyed themselves years before from within. Which brings to mind a statement of God made early in their history which encapsulates and defines Israel’s true identity that it would never be able to slough off or prove otherwise:

And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people… [Exodus 32:9 KJV]

This descriptive term arrived in the English language in 1526, undoubtedly associated with William Tyndale’s first printed English translation of the New Testament of the same year, the first to be translated directly from the Greek. Most of the much later King James Version (1611) was taken directly from Tyndale’s version, though not credited to him. The echo of the preceding statement of God referencing the early Israelites in Exodus 32:9 is found in its only New Testament occurrence, translated by Tyndale and spoken by Stephen, telling the world that nothing had changed in the intervening centuries:

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” [Acts 7:51KJV]   

And they still resist the Holy Ghost. And most Christians do likewise. In fact, Christianity has taken such stiffneckedness to entirely new levels beyond that of its early Israelite forebears. In somewhat reasonable defense of the Pharisees et al who pretty much had no impulse control whatsoever when it came to any perceived slights against their prideful exalted religious standing and highly slanted, opinionated, and goofy interpretations of OT Scripture, they never had any hands-on frame of reference to Pentecostal happenings as later Christians did. In fact, the history of Christianity in the world contains a world class stiffnecked opposition toward all things New Covenant spiritual that actually puts the rebellious Pharisees to shame, if that were possible, and thus evokes the notion, judging by having so much in common, that those same Pharisees had somehow morphed into fake Christians.  

RESISTANCE AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT

There are several strange non-New Testament beliefs held by some Christians who are not so clear on the concept regarding the Holy Spirit’s identity. Many Christians actually believe that God is literally three different persons. They believe this because they were taught it. They did not acquire this belief from the Lord’s pure teachings or the New Covenant writings because it simply isn’t there. Call it an interpolation. The classic trinity doctrine was invented two to three centuries after the Lord’s time. There is obviously no such thing ever alluded to in OT literature which consistently and repeatedly states, in direct contrast to the rest of the world, that God is one. He is one Person. This was a quite radical departure among the ancient Hebrew patriarchs from the polytheism of the time. The prophets especially reveal this truth. Isaiah shouts it. But whatever. That was a long time ago and those guys just didn’t get it, right? I wrote about this in my post, IF ISAIAH SAID THAT HE’S A LIAR!

To illustrate this further, I remember seeing a Christian production a few decades back likely put on by some mega church and broadcast on Christian TV that featured the Lord Jesus in the usual stage depiction but also added the Holy Spirit as an additional personage. One might have thought prior to production, “But how do we display the Holy Spirit?” They solved that problem by essentially using the Casper the Ghost model. I kid you not. They made a Holy Spirit effigy out of a very white sheet flowing loosely below but gathered together at the top in a clearly delineated rounded head motif by installing the required wadding and utilizing an unseen band at the neck. They were somehow controlling this from above with piano wire or something to make it flit about. So there was the Lord and His disciples and some other hangers on all in the usual Biblical dress with robes and head wrappings and whatnot and among them flitted this “Holy Spirit” ghost thing, in appearance pretty much exactly like a ghost and invoking memories of Halloween. As far as I remember this person of the Holy Ghost had a non-speaking part, which, when one thinks about it, probably did much to further the notion of etherealness and spiritual distance from lower level humans. But I think it might have been just this side of awesome if this depiction of the Holy Ghost did speak just to see how far they might have taken it.

I would think if this is the real Holy Spirit no one should have anything against Him. It has been opined in the past that if Jesus was the super cool hippie dude as often presented by the know-nothings, why would anyone hate Him? Who in their right mind would crucify Mister Rogers? But again, Scripture is quite clear that the Israelites in general and the Israelite religious leaders in particular really hated the Holy Spirit pretty much the same way they hated the Lord Jesus (clue alert). And I guess since we’re on the trinity theme they must have also hated God the Father.

HEART CIRCUMCISION (OR NOT)

Stephen told them what their problem was. He said their hearts were each encircled with a fat encrusted infected mass that also had metastasized to their ears. Now, the concept of fat encrusted infected masses on human hearts was not a new thing. It too, as the previously mentioned stiffneckedness, was spoken of in the vast distant past in Old Testament lore which came to the fore through Moses (15th century BC):

“So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” [Deuteronomy 10:16]  

Jeremiah (late 7th to early 6th century BC), brought a prophetic explanation to the issue 800 years later in the following:

“For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else My wrath will go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.” [Jeremiah 4:3-4]

Imagine then, a thick foreskin-like wrapping encircling the heart encrusted and hardened like sun-baked fallow ground impervious to plows. Then imagine the stiffest of necks reinforced with #18 rebar. Then imagine ears plugged with epoxy and spiritual eyes sealed with super glue. How is a loving God supposed to get through to such evil people? How are such spiritually diseased people to apply a remedy? What concoction from great grandma’s dusty cupboard might do the trick and heal the sick?

In the few more explanatory Bible translations we get a fuller academic meaning of the word stiffnecked. A more expository definition of the Hebrew and Greek originals results in the well known English word obstinate. And if you’re wondering how that plays out consider the thesaurus entries of this word from Misters Merriam and Webster:

obstinate  adjective:

    1. unwilling to submit (as to reason or control) <he had an obstinate determination to live as he pleased>

Synonyms: bullheaded, closed-minded, deaf, hardheaded, headstrong, incompliant, intractable, intransigent, muleheaded, muley, mulish, pertinacious, perverse, pervicacious, pigheaded, refractory, self-willed, ||sot, stiff, stiff-necked, stubborn, tough, unpliable, unpliant, unyielding, willful, wrongheaded; Compare UNRULY 1

Related: resistant, unsubmissive, withstanding; contrary, crabbed, recalcitrant, renitent; inexorable, inflexible, obdurate; opinionated; resolute, staunch, steadfast, unbudging [1]

Yikes. Now that we have a greater understanding of the heart, neck, eyes, and ears condition of those on the other side of rightness with God, we must get to the (ahem) heart of the matter regarding Christian religious prejudice against the Lord’s teachings and spiritual ways of operating. Again, the Pharisees and those guys in powerful opposition to the Lord were certainly bad enough but the later Christians who subverted the New Covenant were in my opinion far worse. Once the Light has come there is no longer any excuse for darkness. Once the first guy way back when decided to reject particular aspects of the New Covenant and opened the door for later anti-Christian hordes successfully masquerading as pro-Christian to further undermine and sabotage real Christianity to the nth degree and coerce millions to follow accordingly (or else), the die had been cast as it were and evil gained a great upper hand. It would do all Christians good to admit there is a devil and that he is extremely good at what he does. And it should not be so difficult to believe he has power to convince anyone to follow him and believe his tripe. And furthermore it must follow that there is only one cure for his great ability to deceive and if that one cure is not applied then one has no chance.

THE DEVIL GOES TO CHURCH

Many years ago there was a popular minister who pastored a very large denominational church, one of those “First” churches located in a large metropolis. He used to shout from the pulpit something to the effect that if one didn’t like something in the Bible then just tear it out! I am not sure if he only pretended to tear pages out of his Bible or just acted like it but he made his point very clear. Of course, this man also had his extreme prejudices against holy writ and had effectively already torn much from the New Testament, but this mattered little. No one among his own ever called him on it because they all believed the same. His church had a membership role in the tens of thousands. His denomination consisted of thousands of churches. Except for the ever-present minor squabbles among those otherwise perfect Christians they all believed basically the same thing. Isn’t that why they call them denominations?

Anyway, this particular minister apparently made a definitive anti-Pentecost statement at the forefront of the Holy Spirit outpouring of the early 1960s which I’ll get to shortly. A little background: The Lord had begun blessing Protestants with the infilling of the Holy Spirit at that time. Before then, due to religious prejudice, this experience was only possible for the most part among Pentecostal Christians. The new outpouring of the 20th century dated back to the Topeka, Kansas event in 1901 and the Azusa Street Revival which began in 1906 in Los Angeles. In the 1950s a few Protestants from various denominations began receiving the experience and their influence spread the word among their own. By about 1960 the movement had started to spread throughout Protestant churches and by early 1967 the movement even found favor among Catholics. Catholic priests and nuns were suddenly speaking in tongues, which brings me to the statement apparently made by the minister in question:

He supposedly said “Tongues are of the devil.” This was very well known at the time in Pentecostal circles. After all these years we must attempt to understand that “speaking in tongues” was a huge cutting-edge issue at the time and extremely divisive. Nevertheless, and despite the shenanigans of more than a few within the movement, the overall historical Pentecostal outpouring of the 20th century was decidedly very real. It has since spread all across the planet. Multiple millions have received the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Returning to our origins then, what happened on the first Pentecost in Jerusalem in about 32AD was clearly unprecedented. Also, in true Gideon paradigm form, many thousands of the Lord’s one time followers were eliminated from participating in the Upper Room Experience by their own unwillingness to walk with the Lord to the finish line and were reduced to a relatively microscopic 120 ever-faithful ones. In line with Gideon’s retort to God, how could the Lord’s future ministry, after so much work and spiritual achievement, possibly be successful with so few remaining disciples? The point here is that many were called but few were chosen. To put it another way, real disciples were not only called, they were also chosen and remained faithful, no matter what. That last part is really tricky because a Christian’s faith in the Lord Jesus will be tested greatly, far beyond the point one ever would have previously thought. The remaining 120 had been through the ringer. They were threatened always and sometimes with death. The disciples knew the religious leaders were out to stomp them into the ground. Sound familiar? The others could not handle it. It was simply too much. There were various reasons for departing, all involving some form of fear. For the most part it was simply because they either refused full obedience or could not bring themselves to the 100% commitment level. They were concerned about their status and livelihoods unlike the 120 who pretty much lost everything and had their reputations destroyed. It was the cost all real disciples must pay and are willing to pay.

But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” [Luke 9:62]

THE FINAL MEMBER TO YIELD

The Lord’s brother James, in the third chapter of his noted epistle, taught that the unregenerate human tongue is evil. It is a condition, of course, that every human has in common prior to spiritual regeneration and commitment to the Lord. Whereas the tongue is a miraculous creation with great abilities and is capable of many astounding achievements, it is also responsible for the worst atrocities. The following are the descriptions James used to define the tongue:

    1. A boaster of great things
    2. A fire
    3. Able to create allegorical forest fires
    4. A world of iniquity
    5. A body part that defiles the entire body
    6. It sets the course of one’s life on fire
    7. Is set on fire by hell
    8. A restless evil
    9. Full of deadly poison

Wow. James certainly didn’t stutter. Everything he wrote, however, is absolutely true though not often acknowledged. It is clear then, that this body organ we call the tongue is the most powerful organ we possess. Of course, James is referring to human speech. He gives the cure in chapter four and it essentially comes down to giving one’s all to the Lord Jesus in total surrender. This is actually what a real believer is. One either gives 100% to the Lord or one does not. If one never submits completely then one’s tongue is never tamed. Why? Because only the Lord can tame the tongue. Only He can bring it out of subjection to sin. And this means He must be in total charge. Any remnant of remaining human control will subvert the process.

It is thus completely within the realm of spiritual rationality that there must be a universal sign that the most unruly, rebellious, and sinful member of the human body has been tamed and brought under control. The New Covenant writings, especially the Book of Acts, reveal this sign. Paul mentions it directly in First Corinthians 14. In the recorded historical events regarding the infilling of the Holy Spirit it was not only the event that proved something profound and miraculous took place, but also that each one additionally proved in some way the taming of the tongue and a brand new use of human speech never utilized before. Just as the human heart must be spiritually circumcised to remove the fat encrusted infected mass encircling it so must the human tongue be cleansed of evil. Both are a vital part of the sin removal process. Both require the hands on participation of the Lord Himself. Only He can do it. Our part is to fully surrender to Him so He can. The tongue is the last member of the body to submit.

THE EVIDENCE

Though most Christians probably look for long term evidence proving one’s genuine relationship with God, from a New Testament perspective there was also immediate evidence. Just as there were immediate healings, immediate miracles, immediate answers to prayer, and immediate occurrences of deliverance, so were there immediate transformations of heart and tongue. These things did not have to take long. They did not need to be drawn out. It was simply a matter of the Lord Jesus taking authority. He has ALL authority on earth and in heaven but will never force anyone to do anything. Thus, a person must simply submit to His authority. When the Lord Jesus is given authority to act on one’s behalf by that person then all things become possible according to His will, and it is certainly always in His will to excise the evil from one’s heart and tongue. Once a person has been spiritually cleansed and becomes a clean vessel the Holy Spirit can then take up residence.

For perhaps most Christians, this is an entirely new definition of faith in Jesus. It demands total trust. And this demands the complete abdication of our own personal opposing authority which makes His work on our behalf impossible. When we allow Him to work, miracles happen. Always.

Happy Day of Pentecost everyone.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:1-4] [2]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] ©1997, 1996 Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary/Thesaurus. Zane Publishing, Inc. 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.

HAPPY TENTH BIRTHDAY REAL CHRISTIANITY

Today is my site’s ten year anniversary. I appreciate all of you who have read my posts over the years and have contributed. Thank you.

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It’s been a long haul. Like many of you, I have had roughly a million other things to attend to over the last decade but have always been faithful to this site. I have written posts from several locations. There have been interruptions, major changes, a few seriously tough times, and all the usual getting-on-with-life adjustments. I have written and posted roughly 700 blog posts so far, most in the two to four page range which amounts to thousands of pages.

There have been times when circumstances forced me to leave off writing but I always returned and hit it hard again. I have built up the site with many faithful readers only to lose most due to inactivity and then started over again. This has happened quite a few times, the most recent being the spring and summer of 2019. That is, until this year.

It is impossible to not be seriously affected by all that has happened in America over the last fourteen months. After the events of last autumn and especially at the beginning of this year I started sensing that we as Americans had been taken for a ride, yet again, and that the very worst was on tap. Rather than continuing to have hope I saw that no one was actually coming to the rescue. All those who appear to have tried got nowhere. Many who appeared to be for real have been proven to be frauds. A great many Christian “prophets” were dead wrong about what would happen. Many people trusted them. As usual, I would guess that most of these people explain it all away and keep on trucking.

There is no use getting into specifics at this point but everything has changed. I said fourteen months ago that nothing would be the same again. I spent a difficult summer writing many long posts revealing much truth. At the end of the day, did it matter? Have enough people really paid attention? I told you in my last post of 2020 on the last day of December last year what would happen in 2021: 2020 IN REVIEW AND A LOOK INTO WHAT’S COMING NEXT…

For all those Christians in America and their “churches” and denominations which have once again thrown in the towel and did what they were told, dumbing themselves down to an even lower level and surrendering whatever semblance of spiritual reality they had left, I can only say at this stage of the game that I have been warning of this very outcome over the life of this blog. But I started my warnings much, much earlier than that. I’ve been advertising a book here that I wrote in the 1990s. It hasn’t done any good. I had hoped to be a successful author so I could keep writing but the former never happened. I have kept writing however, though under more difficult circumstances, and plan to continue at some point.

At the moment I am inundated with practical matters that must be attended to and am making progress in that regard. My writing and teaching will have to wait. It might wait long enough that I will lose most of you. I don’t know. It is likely that few will even see this post or read it. For those of you who do I am thankful.

Regarding the Great Awakening, I will remind everyone that the Lord Jesus is God and He is still very much in control. He still lives to save. He still needs our help. For all the Christians in America who got sidetracked over the last year, they must simply be added to all the others who have done the same throughout history. At the moment it appears the goats and tares have the upper hand. Remember, I am only talking about “Christians” now. Forget about everything else. The devil has taken control over what the Lord has allowed him to. What’s done is done. Don’t engage in false hope.

When the Lord referred to sheep and goats, and wheat and tares, He was not talking about the world at large. He was referring to real believers and false believers. What happened in the first century obviously proved that. As we continue on, the unreal believers will become that much more closely aligned with the bad guys. You will have to use your own spiritual eyes to see this. This world is not what it appears to be. “Christianity” is not what it appears to be. But again, the Lord Jesus is very real and in control. He has all power and authority in both heaven and earth. If you want your life to really count you must join Him all the more. His kingdom is the only reality. The rest is mere illusion.

Going forward, those segments of Christianity which refuse His full will and direction will fall by the wayside, as always. I said many years ago that if every leadership team in every church in America were presented with a form pledging themselves 100% to full obedience to the Lord Jesus most would refuse to sign. It has always been this way. The goats have always outnumbered the sheep. There is likely a Judas for every twelve Christians.

Be careful. Get close to the Lord and stay there. If you are close get closer. Ask Him for all the spiritual power and strength you need. He has an unlimited amount available. Believe in the Lord! Trust Him! Great days are ahead. Many victories await. All things are possible.

Every story He writes has a happy ending.

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4)

Every person who ever lives and dies will be resurrected one day. Soul will be reconnected with body. The majority, however, will then undergo the second death…

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RESURRECTION CONNECTION

We were never meant to die. God did not create us for death to overtake us. Nevertheless, due to His foreknowledge, He knew Adam would inevitably choose incorrectly and open Pandora’s Box. He knew Adam would sin.

And He made provision for it. Still, it was not inevitable that Adam would choose incorrectly. This man had the best Teacher. He was prepared for any and all events. He was warned. Adam, the first man, a type of Him who was to come, knew everything he needed to know and had an exemplary record of obedience and wisdom until that one fateful day in the garden. Though certainly tempted on that day, as he likely was any number of times before, he was never deceived. He knew full well what was going on. And when he decided to sin and break fellowship with his Father it was only because of one reason: He chose Eve, the first sinner, over God.

At that point perfection ended. Then the ultimate plan of God kicked in. The last Adam would have to come and fix what the first Adam did. Paradoxically, somewhat, the last Adam would also die. But unlike the first Adam he would not stay dead. And He arranged things in such a way that whoever applies His perfect sacrifice for sin to their own life will not stay dead either.

“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 5:28-29]   

Thus we see that souls will be reunited with bodies. And just as sin caused a disconnection between Adam/Eve and their perfect garden, so does it also cause an inevitable disconnection between body and soul. In essence, because of personal sin, every human soul is eventually separated from its body. The animate is disconnected from the inanimate. One part goes to the grave and the other part goes to a nebulous netherworld of which we don’t know much about.

But there is more to this resurrection story.

THE DEATH CYCLE

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” [Genesis 2:16-17]

They surely did die. But they were still walking around. From without, at a certain distance, one could not have ascertained a change. But from within, Adam suddenly felt a coldness, a spiritual draft as it were, a cold wind blowing upon his innards. He was suddenly empty. He was lost. He didn’t know which way to turn. What had happened? He couldn’t think. His brain no longer worked as it did before. He was a mere fraction of his former self. Eve, feeling the same, clung ever closer to her mate, but neither felt the slightest bit of relief. Something had gone terribly wrong.

Scripture reveals that the human being is actually composed of three principle parts and not only two. Adam and Eve had died but remained animate, meaning that there remained an animate life force within them that was still alive. What, then, had died? And this is where the entire human question gets really tricky really fast. From Adam’s original perspective, before he sinned, he possessed some form of higher strength, ability, and intelligence. He was also a spiritual being because he communed with God. He was actually born of God:

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]   

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]

Hence, Adam was originally, by this world’s standards, not a normal human. Of course, this world’s standards are based on a worldwide sinful consensus created by people with a sinful perspective whether they know it or not or know they are sinners or not. I would think that the vast majority in this world would agree, however, that the very idea of actual communion and communication with God is perceived as the haunt of the weird and the wacky. It gets laughable when one considers the fact that most Christians in the world also hold this view. They never talk to God and nobody they know in their awesome circle of friends and associates talks to God. Therefore, the notion of talking to God is strange. But God talking back is even stranger.

Anyway, getting back to the narrative, Adam was created of the Spirit of God. He had the same spirit within that God has, or that God is. God is a Spirit. When He breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life He wasn’t just exhaling air into Adam’s lungs but was filling Adam with His very Spirit. Sound familiar? Also, when Adam was formed, before receiving the breath of life, was he simply an inanimate slab of beef lying on the ground? Or was he already animate the way all other creatures are animate? How is it possible to create a human being without animation? Babies are conceived in the womb, in the very beginning, by the connection of an animate seed with an animate egg. Both of these pulse with life and animation. Each must be alive. Therefore, Adam must have been alive once the Lord formed him but the life he possessed was a lesser form. At that point he was the crown of Creation but was essentially the same as all other earthly creatures. When he received the Spirit of God, however, he became both a person of this lower world and also a person of the higher world. He became a spiritual man. Again, Scripture clearly states this:

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. [Romans 5:14]

Adam was a type of the Lord Jesus. He was not simply a soul man but a spirit man. Some animals are what we might term soulish and some are more soulish than others, such as dogs and horses. These animals have a higher propensity toward communicating with human beings. These kinds of animals can relate so closely to humans they can actually love people and people can love them. We can see then, that just as animals can communicate with people and vice versa, that humans can communicate with God and vice versa. But why is it the case that most people do not communicate with God? Is it not for the same reason that Adam and Eve could no longer communicate spiritually with God after their fall into sin? Once they sinned, the only remaining communication with God was on a merely soulish level. This descent from the spiritual realm to the soulish realm is what happened right after they ate the fruit.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 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.

Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” [Genesis 3:7-14]

And that, my friends, is the entire human story in eight verses. It plays over and over again every day in this world as the only song on a 24 hour radio station. Translated, it becomes:

“I’ve messed up!” “I keep trying to fix it but I can’t!” “Now I’m afraid of God!” “I must hide from Him!” “It’s that woman’s fault!” “The devil made me do it!”

The preceding is not spiritual communication (Duh). These people go from having a close loving relationship with God involving who knows how many in-depth conversations and wonderful fellowship to actually being afraid of God and wanting nothing to do with Him. They were far too fearful to have any relationship with Him. Their entire concept of God changed. This is what they passed on to everybody else until now. Their spirit within them died and Adam and Eve became mere soulish individuals likely finding it far easier to communicate with animals than with the Lord. Every human is initially infected with the same attitude.

When humans die physically in this condition further separation takes place. Where there was once in Adam’s case a perfectly intact person composed of spirit, soul, and body, there eventuates after the first death only a mere fearful soul floating around in an undefined nebulous netherworld likely in the heart of the planet (See Matthew 12:40). The soul’s separated body is decaying somewhere up on the surface. The soul’s spirit had never been alive to begin with. And if that soul’s body died while the soul was in sin then the time will come when the soul will die also, completing the celestial strikeout.

But before being called out by the celestial Umpire some final business will have to be attended to. God will resurrect that person’s body and rejoin the soul within it. Then that person will stand before God in judgment. Then that person will suffer the second death by taking a one way trip to the hot place. So much death! Sin is a killer! The spirit dies, then the body dies, then the soul and resurrected body die together.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:28]  

SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION

There had to be a way to fix the mess Adam and Eve created. Logically, it would simply be a matter of creating a way for the human spirit to be regenerated. But how does one go about doing that unless the candidate involved agrees with the process and submits to it? Every human on the planet is composed of body and soul but also possesses a “dead” spirit somehow existing in seed form. There must be a way to reactivate this spirit. There must be a way to bring it back to life. In the beginning God breathed His own Spirit into Adam. Eve was then created from a part of Adam and also possessed a living spirit. How must God go about trying to implement this plan for anyone else, as a kind of Garden of Eden do over? Wouldn’t it be logical to simply breathe the breath of life into anyone willing as He did with Adam in the beginning?

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” [Luke 11:13]

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]

So you see, God wanted to give His Spirit and reanimate our spirits but the only way to do that was to first become one of us so He could have a pure Spirit originating from His humanity to give. The Spirit of God must first become resident in a human being before it can be transferred to other human beings. The Holy Spirit is therefore the form of God’s Spirit that can safely become resident within people. The Holy Spirit is obviously still very powerful but also able to reside within relatively fragile human bodies. (Think of the way electricity must be transformed down to a safe level before entering our dwellings and electrical devices so it will not cause harm.)

Regarding the chosen candidate who must be the last Adam, there was obviously no human being in existence who qualified for such a Spirit-through-humanity mission so God would have to do it Himself. The process of God becoming a human being and living a life without sin would thus allow Him to share His Holy Spirit. Remember, the Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Unlike everybody else, His human spirit was always alive, animate, and active. Also, the Lord Jesus had the Spirit of God without measure (John 3:34).

To sum up, the Lord said whoever believes properly and correctly would be eligible to receive His Spirit. His Holy Spirit is a gift. How hard can it be to simply receive it? Ah, but there is spiritual battle involved. Evil entities exist to censor this Good News and keep people ignorant of it. The devil fights the process. The world makes fun of it. Fake Christianity denies and opposes it. And human flesh, perhaps the worst enemy, is all too often so caught up in pride (including the religious variety) and the promotion of oneself, though the Lord called such people “evil” (which denotes an otherwise obvious incongruity) that people are themselves often their own worst enemy. Then when one considers that the new birth could end relationships and one must make the relational choice that corrects Adam’s huge relational miscue, one can see that receiving the Lord’s Spirit can be quite challenging with reference to one’s residence in this fallen world and the resistance thereof.

You see, Adam chose Eve over God. Before he joined her in sin Adam could have simply refused. She would have been banished but he would remain sin free in the garden with God. So in order to reverse what Adam did, a person must be willing to embrace relationship with the Lord at the possible loss of every person in one’s life. One must be willing to want the Lord’s Spirit and the resultant animation of one’s human spirit more than any other relational connection. Adam made the wrong choice. We must make the right one. The Lord Jesus must always be first.

If one chooses to live for Him and believe in Him the way He said one should, his or her spirit will be resurrected from death. Again, such a spiritual resurrection is and should be a powerful experience demonstrating a great transformation. One will for the first time in his or her life become whole, composed of body, soul, and spirit with sin removed and be filled with His Holy Spirit. And it will not be some innocuous by osmosis not sure when it happened occurrence but a powerfully memorable event just as the Day of Pentecost was an event:

“It is this Jesus whom God raised up, a fact to which we are all witnesses. 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 2:32-33]

“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]   

FIRST DEATH / SECOND DEATH / ETERNAL LIFE

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11:25-26] [1]

By His sacrificial atoning death for our sin the Lord Jesus makes it possible for us to be rescued from the second death and be given spiritual life. It cost Him everything to do this. It will cost us everything to receive it. This is the definition of the New Covenant. It is a covenant between two members giving their all to bring forth new life and it includes the promise of the Holy Spirit, an advance security toward our eternal inheritance.

Thus, the Ministry of Reconciliation demands the greatest love.

© 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

IMPORTANT NOTE: The actual anniversary date for the Lord’s resurrection this year is Tuesday, March 30. This date is Nisan 17 on the Hebrew calendar. Nisan 17 is the day of First Fruits and the THIRD day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: Announcing Part 4

Hello everyone. Hope all is well. I completed Part 4 of this series and will likely be posting it on Monday morning, March 29. It is entitled Spiritual Resurrection. There are many Biblical facts within it that some may not be aware of so I hope it will be interesting to you and fill in some gaps in your understanding. I wrote it on Thursday and it turned out to be five pages but I think it reads well. Because it’s been several days since I posted Part 3 I am making this announcement to make you aware it is on the way and to prepare for it.

The Lord Jesus greatly desires reconciliation with everyone and has done all He can to make that happen. When we do our part it does happen. The following is the central passage in His Word revealing The Ministry of Reconciliation:

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [2Corinthians 5:18-20]

Thanks to all of you who have read all or parts of this series so far, and thanks for the many excellent comments that have added to our understanding of the subject matter. You are all appreciated. If anyone wants to read parts they may have missed I have added links and their titles below. Be blessed. See you on Monday.

3/11: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

3/14: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

3/17: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

3/29: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4) Coming Monday

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

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

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RETURNING TO GOD

The innocence of early childhood can be regained. Our sin can be removed. We can become completely spiritually cleansed. This is what the Lord’s perfect sacrifice achieved if one chooses to apply it. He not only provided a free ticket to heaven but allowed for the complete removal or remission of our sins. The weight of years of sin can be absolutely removed from a person freeing one not only of the incessant conviction of one’s conscience but the actual extraction of the sin content stuck fast in one’s being. The Lord Jesus provided the only means to do this. There is no other way. And He did it not only to free any who may be willing but primarily to restore relationship with Him.

This is the Ministry of Reconciliation that the apostle Paul refers to in his second letter to the Corinthian believers. He explains it as the ultimate reaching out from God to us. It is why God had to become one of us. It is why He had to live a sinless life. And it is why He had to sacrifice His perfect life on our behalf. He had to defeat death. The only way to do that was to die without sin. It was the greatest act of love possible and illustrates perfectly the degree to which God was willing to go to ransom our souls and restore us to the original intention He had for each of us. He never wanted anyone to be burdened with sin and separation from Him.

FREEDOM AND SIN

God created human beings as free individuals allowed to make choices. If one does not possess the freedom to choose then one has no freedom. True freedom means one can choose anything. One might not have the means but retains any number of possibilities within reasonable parameters. Most people have limited and often severely limited means. Their possibilities are woefully finite. Others have greater means. Regardless, each choice one makes has its own ramifications, either good or bad.  

Everyone will eventually choose wrong to varying degrees and incur bad results. It may be that we do not understand the seriousness of bad choices when we make them and the impact they will have upon our lives. It is often the case that the results stretch far into the future. Thus, there is not only the ever growing cumulative weight of sin to deal with in the life of the sinner but the personal time bombs waiting down the road that will surely go off on schedule. Sometimes a single sin choice can have a devastating effect on one’s future and affect many people. Sometimes people make such choices willingly with an apathetic attitude. Sometimes people are entirely selfish and simply do not care what happens to others as a result of their bad choices.

Whatever the case may be one always has the choice of making the one choice that makes all the difference for the better. When people get convicted of crimes that involve fines or jail time they understand they must pay the cost of their crimes by paying the fines and going to jail for however long it may be to fulfill the requirements of their sentencing. They will not be free of these obligations until the requirements are fulfilled. Imagine then, the blessing of having someone else pay one’s fines and serve their jail time for them. Imagine if one is convicted of a crime requiring the death penalty but someone else dies in one’s place. To those who simply refuse to attempt an understanding of sin and eternal life this will make no sense and they will not consider the possibility.

Others, however, have a gnawing sense of sin in their lives. They have a working conscience that convicts them. They may try to silence their conscience through inebriating substances or simply remain functionally inebriated so they will not have to deal with the subject of sin. Again, sin is very powerful and if not dealt with properly through spiritual means it will have to be dealt with through physical means that have no effect on the soul but only deaden the feelings of the body and mind toward it.

People have also been taught to deaden one’s feelings through religion. If they simply go through their religious rites and rotes it will give them a feeling that all is well. This is, of course, bewitching. It is a false feeling. It is highly deceptive and damaging. The process may indeed keep them in somewhat better mental shape than not having such an outlet but will have no actual effect upon one’s sin. Right standing with God demands that we get rid of sin. Unless we do it His way—the only way—the only way that actually works—we will remain in our sins though we may have been convinced or convinced ourselves otherwise.

The devil is a liar. Human nature is often quite despicable. This world is a fake sensory illusion for the most part that deceives and defrauds. There are those who want to use you, control you, scare the hell out of you, and enrich themselves through you. But the best of those at such things are those who are excellent at appearing as the very opposite of what they actually are in order to gain your trust. They insist that all is above board and everything they ask one to submit to will be wholly beneficial. It obviously helps that an unthinking majority buys into such fakery which makes the participants thereof more comfortable and secure.

The best among such manipulative entities are those in the realm of religion. The very best of them are those within fake forms of Christianity, together of which as an overall entity I refer to as Unreal Christianity. The leaders within this realm are highly proficient at the presentation of illusion as something real. They are actors. They are actually only surface-oriented though suggest spiritual depth. They make much use of symbolism. Their efforts have an ultimate purpose which is to keep people from spiritual reality and use them instead for their own means. As the Lord called the Pharisees whitewashed tombs, one may refer to the entities that make up Unreal Christianity, regardless of size, as whitewashed cults.

THE REAL AND THE UNREAL

Real Christianity is that in which the Lord Jesus has total control and authority. Unreal Christianity is any entity in which the Lord Jesus does not have total control and authority.

All Christian organizations are composed of people. Each person makes a choice to join and participate. Each person has his or her reasons for doing such. Each person submits to the authority thereof. He or she willfully surrenders to the dictates and beliefs of the religious organization. This is in essence a contract in which the individual consents to the terms of those who author the contract. There is obviously no negotiation of terms.

It is generally the same when one becomes a real Christian. The main difference, of course, is that one submits to the actual Founder and not mere pretenders and hirelings. One voluntarily chooses to surrender wholeheartedly to the Lord Jesus. The Lord then gains control and authority over one by his or her individual submission to Him. By the terms of the covenant one is bought with a price. Real Christians owe Him their lives. He ransomed them from the enemy. He saved them from the debilitating effects of sin. He did this freely of His own will. He demonstrated the greatest love possible. He absolutely proves His love in this way.

Thus, the terms of the Lord’s covenant are clear: There must be 100% submission. Our trust in Him must be 100%. Our faith must be 100%. Our obedience must be 100%. We must have a personal spiritual genesis. Anything less than this will never work. He gave everything He had in His life including making a supreme sacrifice to pay for our sins and remove them forever. He initiated a blood covenant. The only way this covenant can work is if we also make a 100% commitment to Him as He did for each of us. Our blood must be figuratively shed in repentance as a type of blood sacrifice in which we destroy our old lives in order to bring forth the new.

“Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose (destroy) it, and whoever loses (destroys) his life will preserve it. [Luke 17:32-33]   

It is why He said we MUST be born again. Receiving the complete remission of our sins demands a new birth. Receiving His salvation demands a new birth. Being fully reconciled to the Lord Jesus demands a new birth. It is the only possible way the covenant can work. Without a new birth there is no covenant. This is exactly what the Lord Jesus taught. All of His teachings reflect this. The entire New Testament reflects this. Written throughout the New Covenant Scriptures is the central theme of an entirely new birth that must take place for each individual if the covenant is to be ratified. The Lord has already fulfilled His part of the covenant 100%. He awaits each of us to fulfill our part. We must never settle for anything less because if we do, regardless of how we may think or feel, we will come up short of the full requirements which He initiated and expects us to fulfill. Without fulfilling the requirements we will never receive the spiritual benefits of the covenant. We will remain in our sins.

His teachings on this are not secret but fully transparent. Whoever reads and studies the written Word of God will discover them. We are blessed to have this record of His full curriculum and one can be certain that the Lord has made this record available so all will have the opportunity to know. His teachings reveal the new birth, the new covenant, and the new and living way. His teachings reveal the reality and necessity of the cross through which we can be reconciled to God.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. [Hebrews 12:1-3] [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.

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

There are two types of Christians in the world—those who desire and choose to have an actual relationship with God, and those who are content to pretend they have one.

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Thanks to everyone who read and enjoyed Part 1 of this series. In Part 2 we will learn the applicable New Testament English words and their Greek counterparts relevant to this study and also the verses where they occur. This will get a tad technical but I will keep it as concise as possible. It is important to gain a better understanding of the original Greek words and their meanings. As you read consider the apostle Paul as he dictated the NT letters from which we derive this study. Think about the original copies he created by the Lord’s inspiration and the rounds they made to the many groups of Christians in the various cities of that time.   

BIBLE VERSION

Those who follow this blog know my Bible version of choice is the New American Standard 1995 Update. This is an excellent version and likely the most literal. It is extremely important when doing NT word studies to use an accurate version faithful to the Greek and limited to its original transmission. The three translated English words used here are from the NASB95. They are (1) reconciliation, (2) reconciled, and (3) reconciling. The next section gives us a brief overview of each.

WORD STUDY

RECONCILIATION

The word reconciliation occurs four times in the NT. Each one is translated from the same Greek root word. Three of these occurrences are applicable to this study.

The Greek root word is katallagh. It is pronounced kat-al-lag-ay’. The following definition is from Strong’s Concordance (#2643):

(1) exchange (1a) of the business of money changers, exchanging equivalent values (2) adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favor (2a) in the NT of the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ.

The following are the three applicable verses in which this word occurs:

And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. [Romans 5:11]

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, [2Corinthians 5:18]

namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. [2Corinthians 5:19]

RECONCILED

The word reconciled occurs seven times in the NT and is translated from three different Greek root words. Five of these occurrences are applicable to this study and are translated from two Greek root words.

Four of these occurrences are from the Greek root word katallasso. It is pronounced kat-al-las’-so. The following definition is from Strong’s Concordance (#2644):

(1) to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value (1a) to reconcile (those who are at variance) (1b) return to favor with, be reconciled to one (1c) to receive one into favor

The following are the three applicable verses in which this word occurs:

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. [Romans 5:10]

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, [2Corinthians 5:18]

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [2Corinthians 5:20]

One occurrence is from the Greek root word apokatallasso. It is pronounced ap-ok-at-al-las’-so. The following definition is from Strong’s Concordance (#604):

(1) to reconcile completely (2) to reconcile back again, bring back a former state of harmony

The following is the one applicable verse in which this word occurs:

yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— [Colossians 1:22] 

RECONCILING

The word reconciling occurs once in the NT and is also translated from the Greek root word katallasso as is the word reconciled (See the preceding).

VERSES IN CONTEXT

The title of this series is The Ministry of Reconciliation. The phrase ministry of reconciliation appears only once in the NT, in 2Corinthians 5:18. There are three epistles where Paul refers to this ministry: Romans, 2Corinthians, and Colossians. Regardless of the book of Romans appearing first in the NT among Paul’s letters, Paul wrote his Corinthian letters before he wrote Romans. Of these three he wrote Colossians last. According to New Testament scholars Conybeare and Howson,[1] Paul wrote 1Corinthians in the spring of 57 and 2Corinthians in the autumn of that year, both in Ephesus. He wrote Romans from Corinth in the spring of 58. He wrote Colossians in Rome in the spring of 62.  

From this we know he first revealed the Ministry of Reconciliation in 2Corinthians. Also, of the nine applicable occurrences of the three English words of our study, five occur in the three verse segment of 2Corinthians 5:18-20. Thus, we refer primarily in this study to Chapter 5 of that book, notably to verses 17-21, as the definitive passage of Paul’s teaching:

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [2Corinthians 5:17-21] [2]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] The Life and Epistles of Saint Paul by W.J. Conybeare and J.S. Howson

[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 MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4)

 

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

God’s great desire is to be reconciled with everyone. He has already done everything He possibly can do on His part to achieve this and has made it as easy as possible for us.

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Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation… [2Corinthians 5:18]

WHERE AM I? 

Many people grow up perceiving the world at large as a great unknown and somewhat of a mystery. We don’t necessarily see our own immediate surroundings that way, however. From the beginning of awareness at a very tender age we are presented with a family structure we must live within. This structure, whatever it may be, wherever we may live, contains certain expectations we must adhere to even though much within our young lives is granted as a gift, though we do not initially recognize it as such. We are not aware of the great effort it took to bring us into this world or the extreme care and expense required immediately afterward. We have no knowledge or memory or those early months when we were completely helpless and dependent on 24 hour-a-day attention and devotion prior to our later conscious understanding. We simply have no conception of the meaning of love at that time.

When we do begin becoming aware of our surroundings and are able to make cognitive connections we only know of our limited direct environment and this is usually filled to overflowing. We become as thirsty sponges taking it all in. There is so much to know and learn. We must develop as little humans and it is a fulltime endeavor. We continue to major on receiving and expect that our needs will always be met. Some children, of course, are not so fortunate to be blessed with the level of stability and protective environment necessary for proper development in the first years of life, but development continues onward anyway. Time waits for no one. Growth proceeds ready or not.

Regardless of parental love for children, and most parents are very good in this regard, they can only do so much. Most parents are limited. They are limited regarding what they would like to do for their children compared to what they can do. They are not necessarily limited in love and may attempt to love all the more to make up for perceived deficiencies. It must be understood, though, that love comes in many forms and people express their love in different ways. Sometimes love is not appreciated because it is not acknowledged or understood. Sometimes parents go way out of their way to get their children the best life possible according to their conception of whatever that may be but it is not appreciated. And it is sometimes the case that children of poor parents remain well adjusted in life despite not having much at all growing up. There are several reasons for such outcomes and it can be complicated, but maybe the common denominator is whether or not one understands loving intentions.

LOST RELATIONSHIP

And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” [Luke 18:15-17]

Children are close to God. They may not understand this but it is true. We know it is true because the great separator of people from God is personal sin. Young children have no sin. Regardless of their actions that sometimes do not reveal them as saintly, they are simply not accountable for their actions. For the most part they are innocent, open, and kindhearted. They also have greater perception of heavenly things. They are not weighed down by sin. Because of their lack of sin they remain in close contact with God even though there may not be any overt communication on their part. Yet, God does communicate with children, though on a level they can understand and through a means they can receive.

But the inevitable always happens. The children grow older and begin to sin willingly. At first their conscience may bother them terribly and they will respond with fear. In other words they know whatever sinful actions they engage in are wrong. They are able to know right from wrong. In much the same way God has created the means and ability for incredibly complex language skills that come forth almost automatically in a relatively very short period of time, so has He blessed each person with a working conscience. This functions as an automatic right/wrong indicator. It allows a young growing child to know what bad behavior is and to steer clear of it. Parental and societal rules certainly play a part in this and there is also a certain level of fear of both when rule-breaking is involved. Nonetheless, once a child even thinks about engaging in sin his or her conscience kicks in and red lights starts flashing. What else can this be but a built-in warning system placed there by the Creator?

Eventually, of course, the warning system will be bypassed. It only has the ability to warn but never stop one from acting on sinful desires. And though it will continue to work as designed it becomes less effective the more it is overridden. There is a long-term danger here, however. A person can neglect and reject the warnings of the conscience to the point that it actually will effectively stop working in the sense that it can be so tuned out its warnings do not register. This means a person will no longer have a working conscience. And this means he or she loses any and all conception of personal sin. Paul gives a good illustration of this in the following from his first letter to Timothy: by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… 

Most people may never arrive at that place but learn to deal with their conscience differently. The red light warnings may simply be overridden by a competing set of rules which justify sin. You see, the human conscience is programmed according to God’s definition of sin and no other. This is the default position. Sin is what God says it is and the conscience will always warn on that basis. However, if one adopts a different set of moral rules (or decides on no rules whatsoever) that conflict with the default, one can eventually override the default in the same way one can destroy his or her conscience by repeatedly rejecting the warnings. This is in part why so many people are able to sin without remorse and remain for all intents and purposes contributing members of society. They teach themselves how not to be bothered by their sin by simply convincing themselves it is not sin. They allow their desires to define good and bad behavior. As Eve did, on that terrible day in the Garden, people choose to imbibe and fulfill the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life rather than resist such soul-shattering temptations. This is why and how everyone eventually falls out of contact with God. Their willing personal sin destroys the lines of communication with Him. The contact they had with God when they were small children, innocent and pure, becomes lost. When communication is lost, the relationship is lost.

LOST IN A LOST WORLD

When the majority is lost it appears on the surface to not be lost at all. This is because sinful people usually invoke the tenet of majority rule with regard to moral standards. This social majority rule ideology simply means that whatever the majority within a culture decides is morally right is what is right. The majority sets the standard. Such standards vary by majorities which can be relatively small or composed of millions. If the majority does not convict a person for some personal sin then that person makes peace with such sin. It is as if there is no law against it. He or she may know on some level it is wrong but because no one in his or her sphere of influence holds him or her accountable, one effectively gets away with it so to speak. If everyone one hangs around with thinks the same and engages in the same sinful practices then sin as sin disappears. It becomes nothing more than what everyone else partakes of and is commonplace. Rather than there being any bulwark against it there is instead the cultural acceptance of it. Of course, sin is still there, behind the scenes as it were, destroying and eating away at the good. It is surely progressive but often works relatively slowly and the damage being inflicted does not register. Such will certainly register eventually, however, and show up in a form that appears to have a different source.

Majority rule regarding moral standards rather than God’s law is why some cultures fall to the point of adopting particular sinful activity as a vital component of their culture. When the majority accepts it, engages in it, and even honors it, it becomes part of a traditional belief system. We can think of the worst and most heinous examples of such cultures, such as those which are cannibalistic or those which practice infanticide. World history reveals many such cultures dating from ancient times. Historical accounts in the Bible give us several examples as well. Such heinous sins also exist in the present within so-called higher cultures.

But not all of these are so egregious on the surface. There are some cultures within an outer culture that engage in truly disgusting and vile sinful practices but keep it fairly well hidden. These have an outer cloak of respectability. The general rule of thumb, therefore, is to watch out for those who love to dress up in overtly “respectful clothing.” Such people must forever put forth the effort to hide what they really are. They know people are surface oriented and are easily deceived by mere appearances. If one dresses right, looks right, and acts right, one will largely shield himself from further inspection. These people know the majority will essentially revere them as people they wish they could be and will try to live vicariously through them. It is why celebrity status works so well. It is why celebrities in any field not only capture the hearts of masses but also shield themselves from close inspection. They know that such easy to deceive people are obsessed with image and not reality, and that they perceive the image to be reality. Thus, for them, image is everything.

“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 23:27-28]

Did anyone other than the Lord know these outwardly righteous religious leaders were actually filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness? Had they fooled everyone else? Or did others know it as well but the Lord was the only one courageous enough to expose them? Why was everyone else so fearful? Have you ever noticed that regular people never came to the defense of the Pharisees?          

Making peace with personal sin is not good and has an expiration date. Those who not only make peace with sin but insist they actually have no sin are another story altogether. If people ever figured out that such individuals are the opposite of what they claim to be and are just as sinful as anyone else, if not much more so, their entire lives would come crashing down. On the other hand, many people know they are sinners, wish they were not sinners, and have tried to stop sinning but to no avail. They do their best to cover it up and act like it isn’t there in order to get along in life and keep some semblance of respectability but remain blessed with a conscience in good working order. Still, without a cure what are they to do? We get an answer here:

He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.

“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 18:9-14] [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.

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4)

THE LORD AT THE HELM

 

In those times when adrift on the ocean

And all horizons are water and sky

And there is little breeze to fill our sail

And nil forward movement as waves float by

 

—Direction be unknown

—Through sunrise and set

—And heat of day exhausts

—And weariness stems rest

 

The cool soon arriving as night comes forth

And bright blinding light yields to twinkling stars

Which render the word that all is not lost

Their journeys beheld but though from afar

 

—To’ard proving perspective

—Allowing to behold

—That traveling proceeds

—Though languishing be sold

 

In perceiving the celestial we see

The Lord is steering! The heavens insist!

For no other message can e’er be told

The sky is ablaze with starry inscripts!

 

Wonder abounds though alone w’ hardship

The raft floating still? is moving on path

His guidance is clear with spiritual eyes

Our faith the force that saves us from wrath

 

As mighty attacks from enemies strike

No perfect storm or terrible tempest

Succeeds in defeating the sailing mate

Or stalls our motion aligned with His best

 

—And though we seem floundered

—And held fast and anchored

—Our journey goes onward

—Our Savior at Starboard

 

© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

A GREAT AWAKENING PRIMER: STRONG INDIVIDUALS CREATE STRONG CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES

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The individual is the deciding difference. Strong, independent, spiritually mature Christians dedicated to the Lord are the building blocks of churches made in their image.

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I have an old history book. It is old in the sense that it was originally written in 1930 but has been updated several times. The book itself is in great shape. I found it several years ago in a vast library book sale in Plano, Texas. My copy has a 1969 copyright. It is an excellent book. Entitled The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II, it covers the century from just after the Civil War to the late 1960s.

Chapter IV is called Labor and it deals with the initial sorting out process of labor relations with reference to the post war economy, increasing industrialization, and the rise of impersonal corporatism. This chapter covers the story in our country’s history from after the Civil War until the dawning of the 20th century, a roughly forty year period of vast transformation regarding the conditions and opportunities of working men and women and how labor was forced to make immense adjustments.

The Civil War itself was great change. It never should have happened. When one studies the real causes of the war behind the overt and official though false narrative, one sees the shrouded figures of economic henchmen intent on taking a spoil. The name Civil War is obviously part of that false narrative. Southerners prefer the term The War of Northern Aggression because that’s exactly what it was. It was a power play to gain the vast reaches of the South and Texas by the northern industrialists and the money powers. By fighting the war, the South, which had the Constitution wholly on its side, was merely protecting itself and attempted to win against all odds as did the original thirteen colonies against the Brits in the American Revolution. The odds were greatly against victory then as well.

Updated figures show that upwards of 750,000 Americans were killed in the Civil War. There was a forced unconstitutional draft on both sides. Factories were turning out war materiel on a mass scale. Soldiers fought according to an old outdated method that left them wholly vulnerable to modern armaments. Thousands died in single battles. Arms and legs were shot off (or sawed off later). The lives of young Americans had suddenly become very cheap. Approximately one third of Southern men in the prime of life met their doom. The South never recovered. These were the great men, on both sides, of strong character and vitality, American men shortly descended from the greats who won the Revolution. But they were being butchered. It was a terroristic war, one whose excesses and brutality could never possibly be forgotten. In that short four year period from 1861-1865, American men, especially in the South, were transformed from free, independent, and liberty-loving to mere chattel used, abused, and forsaken. It was a betrayal of the highest order.

After the war, labor suffered. The identity of the American working man was forced to undergo great change in order to fit into the new reality. Workers were cheap. The great money powers gained such control that labor was whatever they said it was. One was forced to play by their rules. If not, a man lost his job and was quickly replaced by another. Millions of new immigrants entered the country to add to the cheap labor pool. It was during those last decades of the 1800s that a completely new form of movement began in this country in the attempt to right these wrongs. It was the beginning of Labor Unions.

The following passage from the book gives an excellent indication of the thinking process of American workers as they were confronted with the new economic reality and what they attempted to do to save themselves by fighting back. It was in reading these words that I saw yet another direct indication of what happened to American Christianity, which also suffered great change for the worse at the same time:

In the years after the Civil War two rival approaches—reform unionism and trade unionism—vied for the allegiance of the American workingman. The reform unionists rejected the factory system, with its division of labor and its sharp differentiation of interests of employer and employee, and sought to restore a society which valued the independent artisan. Determined not to become machine tenders assigned to a small part of the process of production, they strove to preserve their status as craftsmen. To safeguard equality of opportunity, they fought those forces of monopoly, especially in finance, which they believed aimed to shackle the worker. They viewed themselves as members of a ‘producer class’ which embraced master as well as journeyman, farmer as well as artisan. [1]

Thomas Jefferson had a dream of America becoming a vast agrarian society composed of individual Americans working the land. Constitutional principles and directives that every man must be free did not last so long, however. Jefferson’s dream died less than a century later at the hands of dominant money-first power barons who merely wanted to use labor for their own empire-building purposes as if flesh and blood humans with hopes and dreams were not attached to said labor. One can see by the preceding quote from the book that working men saw themselves as much more than mere workers used as machine parts. They were skilled artisans. They were masters at their trades.

This resonates with me, because I can identify as a master at my trade. I spent many years as a multipurpose self-employed independent carpenter and contractor from the time I was a young adult. I never cared for highly specific quantity-ordered specialty trades within the trade, though I did participate on occasion. I certainly do not fault those who prefer such, but real carpenters should be able to build a structure inside and out instead of simply focusing on one aspect of the trade for the sake of greater and faster production. We have long since gone from one end of this equation to the other. The same thing happened after the Civil War. The independent artisans and craftsmen found a harder row to hoe, less appreciation for their skills, and less demand overall. It became a production game. Wages went down. Craftsmanship suffered.

The same thing has happened in Christianity. In the beginning the Lord had a real Community composed of various spiritual trades based on spiritual gifting and anointing. As I mentioned in a recent post, Romans Chapter Twelve lists seven motivational giftings of which every real believer has one primary. This is where he or she excels. It is a labor of love. Christians should never waste time trying to be something they are not. And churches must stop rejecting those believers who demand being what the Lord created them to be. The reason they are rejected is for the same reason the economic controllers want human machines that always do what they’re told and simply continue to drone on and on. Pews are filled with such people who rarely do anything but sit and watch and give their money to support a system that goes nowhere spiritual very fast. It’s pathetic.

What about a church filled with mature independent spiritual artisans who are masters of their craft? THAT is the Lord’s model. Until more Christians become aware that their churches are mere authoritarian perpetual elementary schools in which next to no one rises above a third grade level, nothing will change. Those who do progress discipline themselves toward much study and training on their own, which means they outgrow their pastors very early on and only attend because they believe they must or they like the social aspect.

The good news is that things have changed. We are progressing. But just like the mainstream news media which caters only to veritable babies in high chairs due to its ridiculously dumbed-down and often phony content while gaining most of the outward attention, most churches benefit primarily those few who run them and make money off them. Everyone else is made to grab a galley oar and row, and give money, not their heart or talent. Thus, an unbelievable amount of pure Christian talent has been wasted and shunted aside for the sake of catering to the big boys—the clergyized robber barons who make everything centered around and in support of them. These authoritarian controllers who have captured the money, the power, and the limelight may appear sincere and fool people with their fake smiles and false Pharisaic attitudes, but they are not fooling the Lord.

He wants His people to be free. And mature. He wants them to fully develop their talent and giftings. He then wants these strong and independent spiritual artisans to work together in community. This is what a real church is. It is what He created in the beginning. They proved what they were by pretty much converting the Roman Empire! Most Christians today have problems converting themselves. And what have we done here in America? Instead of converting others to the Lord Jesus, Christians have largely been converted to and taken over by the culture. It’s the main reason why America is hanging on for dear life.

There are certainly fighters for the Republic and those trying to save the country, as well as those trying to reform American Christianity, but they graduated from Sunday School a long, long time ago. All Christians who haven’t and refuse to progress should be utterly ashamed.

Their false tradition is a killer.

And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘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.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9] [2]   

© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Originally Posted 12/6/18)


[1] The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II © 1930, 1937, 1942, 1950, 1962, 1969 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Sixth Edition.

[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.

WORSHIP JESUS

Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus.

LOVE

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

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If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. [1Corinthians 13:1-13] [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.

DESTROYING DECEPTIONS THAT CAPTURE THE MIND

The Words of Jesus are Spirit and Life that overcome ingrained mental falsehoods. Knowledge of the written Word leads to greater relationship with the Living Word.

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My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge… [Isaiah 5:13]

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32]

The Lord has made access to His written Word extremely easy. The essential purpose for initially accessing the written Word of God is to discover God. One learns who He is, how much He cares for us, and also what He requires on our part to facilitate a lasting relationship. By acquiring knowledge of the Lord’s pure teachings one can break free from misleading false narratives, lies masquerading as Truth, and disabling deceptions imprisoning one on the other side of an otherwise bridgeless chasm.

OVERCOMING GUIDELINE GRIDLOCK

One must remember that the Early Church of the first century had no New Testament. Many did not even have access to the Old Testament Scriptures. Even at that time, people often believed and practiced not that which derived from the pure Word but from some religious leader’s interpretation of it, whether his intentions were noble or otherwise. There were scads of rabbis, doctors of the Law, synagogue leaders, and most notably, casuistic Pharisees who went so far as to essentially rewrite the OT through their endless oral traditions filled with Truth-debilitating minutia. The more they attempted to explain the Word of God the more they took their listeners away from God. Moses never did this. The prophets never did this. Moses, who was himself a prophet, and all the other real prophets in those ancient times simply delivered what God told them to deliver. If anyone got the message and understood, great. For those who did not it was their problem.

It is no different in our day in that so much of what Christians believe about the Word of God is actually not what is written right there in black and white but interpretive slants delivered by questionable Christian practitioners who often merely parrot denominational precepts, much as the Pharisees did, and overlay them upon the written Word in such a way that they have precedence and gain priority. All one must do to verify this, short of actually reading and studying the Word of God on one’s own (a novel concept for a probable majority of Christians), is visit a few other denominational churches.

Rather than cementing oneself in one place forever and hearing ad infinitum the same old same old that everyone there believes is the verbatim veracious version of the Lord’s teachings as if delivered from on high, one must at least occasionally visit the weirdos in other locales who beg to differ. One will discover that those Christians are also burdened with the same attitude of budgeless caution which was inflicted upon them, again, with good intentions or not, by interpretive teachers doing interpretive word dances as the conservative counterparts to the strange artsy folk who engage in odd expositions of poetry and dance.

Some churches put forth what are essentially emotionless drones who must think God requires them to be religious robots and otherworldly autocratic automatons appearing as ecclesiastically-cloaked talking statues. Emotion with these guys is verboten. Other churches at the other extreme have moving, walking, emotive talker-shouters who appear as fidgety née ferocious hyperactives which may or may not be under God’s actual spiritual anointing. In between are all manner of speakers-forth delivering various shadings of the same Word of God though emphasizing some parts and neglecting others (and often violently rejecting others).

And God looks down on all this duded-up strangeness and wonders how such strayings have taken hold in the minds of apparent believers because the very opposite of His intentions have been established in that He came here to unify His children rather than Tower of Babel them into impossible religious divisions which were also all the rage in His day. He did come to separate, of course, but only the sheep from the goats. What Unreal Christianity has done is to separate, at least on the surface, the sheep from the sheep and in that process created a construct for the invasion of conquering goats who seek to rule the sheep and effectively shroud the Word of God rather than share it. And instead of assisting the Lord to create open green pastures of luxuriant spiritual richness containing much more sustenance than enough for all, we have the equivalent of a barbwire kingdom of sectioned off partisan neoranches each sternly guarded by hardened shotgun-wielding cowhands intent on maintaining division and hatred for those unlike themselves. Rather than a dude ranch it’s a rude ranch. There’s a vast ponderosa of non-ponderable opposing pardners.

A CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES

Like their ancient contemporaries though in reverse, Christian dissemblers have confused God’s one universal language into a multitude of languages and rejected His one Gospel for many counterfeit variations thereof. Rather than joining and supporting the Lord’s single Community created at Pentecost they have created thousands of non-relational communities each with its own distinct language. And they continue with ongoing multiple subdivisions. Rather than “accurately handling the word of truth,” [1] they inaccurately mishandle it and thereby create doctrinal divisions which further divide the people.

The only cure for all their resultant multitudinous nonsensical wordfare permeations is entirely bypassing the faux bloviaters pontificating from fixed pulpits and lecterns of luxation and going straight to the Word of God. When the middleman does not assist us correctly under God’s authority, eliminate the middleman! Christians must learn, on so many levels, to show some spiritual spine, but most of all through the simplest, most profound, and potentially abundant fruitful process of reading the Bible.

I know, it’s tough. It’s pretty much impossible. It’s so big! It’ll take forever! Working one’s life away to old age for money is much easier. Going to a million church services to hear mere drips which never get collected into so much as the bottom half of a bait bucket is far preferable to wrenching open a fire hydrant and flooding one’s soul with life-giving Word water from which one will never thirst again. Better to drag oneself through a religious desert and occasionally suck out the moisture from a dead cactus, thorns be damned, than float upon and dive within an endless bottomless fresh water ocean filled with nutritive spiritual plankton satisfying all hunger, answering every question, and fulfilling every need.

THE GREAT AWAKENING DEMANDS GREAT DISCIPLESHIP

We must be disciples. Considering what is now upon us, as I have been warning of for the last quarter century (it’s all mapped out in my book), fence-sitting not-clear-on-the-concept don’t-confuse-me-with-facts Christians in general will either get it together finally at last or never gain the required closeness to the Lord, spiritual strength and stamina, eyes to see, and knowledge of God’s Word to overcome. We are way past the watch out for weirdos stage and the I’m too cool for school cred demanded by the social media acceptance wokesters. The enemy is here. He’s not hiding anymore. He’s determined to get you. He’s no longer playing the long term deceive you gradually into oblivion game. Instead of slowly boiling the frog he is now simply stomping on it. If you are not ready for the fight you must get there quick. The battle is upon us whether we know it or not or acknowledge it or not. This is not a drill.

In the meantime, here is an encouraging word that applies forever in every instance on every applicable occasion and illustrates the Lord’s great love for His children and ability to kick the devil’s backside always:

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” [Luke 10:17-20] [2]

Upgrade your New Testament reading plan now.

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] 2 Timothy 2:15

[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.

LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW

We are taught while growing up that there are certain borders we must never cross. There are boundaries established by the authority figures in our lives that are designed to protect us, but often do much more.

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They stifle us. They destroy our dreams. They force us to conform to a very low common denominator in which everyone looks the same, acts the same, and lives in fear of the inevitable consequences of violating the code.

It’s called culture. And the worst cultures are religious cultures.

There was a time in the American culture when almost everyone bowed to the dictates of a so-called religious moral code that superseded much of what our hearts were designed to experience.

Rather than being loved-based, it was fear-based. And the sad thing about it all was that it played right into the devil’s hands. Though there was undoubtedly limited success against sin in the code, there was also success against life. Proverbial babies were constantly being thrown out with the bathwater.

Have you ever wondered why the God of all creation made it so easy to sin? It did not matter how oppressive a culture might be, or how strict the mores of that culture might bind a person up into a little shell of being becoming too fearful to take a chance on venturing forth. If a person wanted to sin, a person could always find a way.

But while all the authority figures were displaying their very heavy hand at stopping any potential moral failure or embarrassing cultural code-breaking by the young deviants among us, where was God? Why didn’t God surround everyone with angels with big sticks ready to whack us all into kingdom come when we stepped out of line? Where was God when and if we decided to test the boundaries of our cultural arrangement?

Why does God seem to take the attitude that we can do whatever we want but He will get us in the end? Why does it seem as though God doesn’t seem to care all that much about our little lives but is taking big notes that He will use against us at our final trial?

And how in the world have Christians in general bought into this picture of God even though God’s great act of love blares out at us day after day and hour after hour through any one of thousands of reminders, most notably a simple cross?

God became one of us!

We must throw our false religious garbage and idiotic moral codes right out the window if they do not address this simple fact.

God became one of us, and He lived among us, and He knows how hard it is, and He knows how lonely people are, and He cries inside all the day long about how broken people have become and how our hearts are often destroyed by the very nature of this fallen world and the evil among us.

And He wonders how His wonderful perfect creation could all go so wrong…

But there was no other way.

There was no other way to create people just like Him unless He also blessed them with the freedom to choose their own path.

And that’s what this world is all about. It’s the simple answer to the philosophical problem from evil. Human choice creates bad stuff and sometimes some really, really bad stuff. And free will is why God does not stop us from making bad choices. Oh, He will try to convince us otherwise. He will try to reason with us. He attempts to tell us about the eventual fallout when what appears to be a good decision will turn into a complete disaster later on. He really does try to guide us and stop us from doing stupid things. That’s essentially what the Law of Moses is all about.

But at the end of the day He will not deny our free will. He will allow us to choose incorrectly. He will let us have the final say.

What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be!

For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. [Galatians 3:17-21]

But righteousness is not based on law. Tell this to all the moral cultural crusaders throughout history, especially in America, who tried to force compliance toward morality. Tell this to all the dimwitted quasi-Christians who refuse the fullness of a walk with God because it violates their religion and false Christian doctrines and stupid lame-brained attitude that continually attempts to force God to be like them, instead of surrendering their lives completely to be like Him.

Many people think America took a nose dive in the 1960s but refuse to consider the actions of the previous generations that were the real cause of the cultural breakdown. The 1960s in America was actually the time of a great Spirit outpouring and spiritual awakening in that Christians in all denominations and people everywhere were being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues and engaging in miraculous works. But most churches were against it all, and fought it, and opposed the Lord Jesus because He didn’t do it their way! And many fake Christians continue to oppose God and insist on their lifeless religion, negative attitudes, and dead churches to this very day.

How much of this is based not on the unconditional love of God, his unmerited grace, and one’s total dependence on Him, but on a giant misapplication of Scripture? Sound familiar? Though the Law of Moses seems to be filled primarily with Thou Shalt Not’s and that the heavenly Author is a negative NO! God always preoccupied with stifling the free wills of His creation, the truth is actually the opposite.

A parent tries to tell a child, “Please don’t do this because if you do it will hurt you,” but then must watch as the child does it anyway and feels just as much pain as the child does if not more when the bad results come forth. Yet parents know the child will eventually have the final say.

Is it any different with God? He knows we will mess up. He knows we will mess up repeatedly. But He has the ability, the strength, and the means to clean up our messes. And this ability, strength, and means stems from His great and powerful love for us. He is able to cleanse our hearts with His precious blood spilled on our behalf, no matter how much we may be stained with sin. And He has the power to raise us to new life!

So why does God seem to be aloof and uncaring even though the direct opposite is true?

Because living right is not about force or religious compliance.

It is about love.

And no one can make a law that forces a person to love someone.

And God will never attempt to force anyone to love Him.

It is not about living a perfect life but finding a perfect love.

God loves us just the way we are. He does not condemn us for the sins we have committed. His great desire is to guide us as the Good Shepherd He is into the green pastures of abundant life where His grace and perfect sacrifice cleanses us and allows us to be free. Things are the way they are on this planet because it is the only possible means of allowing free-willed beings to love God as much as He loves them.

God is Love, and—

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [Romans 13:10][1]

© 2012 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.

LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE

Pleased to meet you

         Hope you guess my name

         But what’s puzzling you

         Is the nature of my game

                                    Rolling Stones

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The secret to the devil’s success is keeping people dumb and deceived by lying his sorry head off, beguiling, distorting, and misinforming constantly and incessantly in an ongoing attempt to create a false narrative and a bizarro world of opposites in place of each other, through willing dupes who see and appreciate the sham rather than the truth.

(Sound familiar?)

And once such people have been brainwashed they will fight to their last breath and final drop of blood for the idea that their perceived version of events and conceptual understandings are the correct version, and that it’s not a mere “version,” but absolute truth from which they will never retreat.

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

You gotta love Paul’s to-the-point ultra-descriptive exposé of liars. They lie because they’re convinced by the lie and believe in the lie and live by the lie and honor without question the original wearer of the flaming hot pants who was himself torched in mind by rebelling against God and all truth, and was thereby forced to embrace FICTION as a belief system.

And every person who rejects The Truth does exactly the same. Their life and everything about their life is a spiritual fabrication and a complete fiction, though it appears otherwise in the here and now. “Success” in the world of man has absolutely no bearing on success in the afterlife. Those who only live by what their senses tell them have no chance.

This is the true nature of real deception: The deceived do not know they’re deceived.

Thus, the devil’s curriculum is nothing more than a pack of lies encased in a faux intellectual construct that gives arrogant narcissists, high minded nitwits, fighters for self whether or not self is completely stupid and asinine, and the willingly deceived exactly what they want to make them feel superior and seemingly in charge of what they think is a good fate.

“Indeed, HAS God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” [Genesis 3:1]

This is deception of the highest order and whoever plays the devil’s game will be totally outclassed. And the devil knows this, of course, and continues to nurture the giant pus pockets of pride inherent within any and all who refuse to honor the Lord and thus be set free and healed.

In other words, all those who will be thrown in the lake would never repent anyway, never in a million years, because they love the devil and his deception rather than the Lord Jesus who is the Truth. And they love the fact that they can indulge their flesh to the nth degree with the devil’s hearty approval without any trace of guilt or second guessing.

“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

“But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” [John 8:43-45]

Well, here’s an interesting conundrum: They cannot understand the Lord’s teachings, cannot receive His Word, and thus do not believe Him or believe in Him.

Why?

Because they bought into a false paradigm. They programmed their computers with a counterfeit operating system they thought was the real thing, and believe is the real thing, and thus, the truth is perceived as nonsense and a fable. And because their hard drive is full, there is no room for the truth in their thinking.

But some are more susceptible to this than others. The devil knows very well those who are easily deceived. They are most often lovers of themselves, the self-appreciators of the world who use either their brains or good looks to get by and excel. They have no focus whatsoever on the fact that such things were gifts that they had absolutely nothing to do with but claim full credit for anyway and consequently rate themselves superior—especially when the big money comes flowing in, that is, the payoff for selling their eternal soul for a bowl of nano-second rot soon gone with the wind.

As they say, rich guys don’t have a Brink’s truck following their hearse on the way to the sweet by-and-by and beautiful movie stars that make it to their elderly years usually fail to keep their babe status intact though some give it the old nip and tuck Hollywood try.

Clothes make the man! And possessions convey status. But the dead body of a rich jerk lying on cold steel with a toe tag looks curiously the same as that of a poor righteous man.

The story of the rich man and Lazarus is also the story of a sell-out Satan appreciator and a poor man who wanted nothing to do with Beelzebul, even though this “Lord of the High Place” made the life of Lazarus a living hell.

However, his resultant suffering did not stop Lazarus from answering his call and fulfilling his mission to be a light to the purple-wearing pinhead who could only see as far as his mirror and bank account. Had he shown any concern for the sores-ridden starving man laid at his gate his frozen evil heart might have melted and God would have been able to save his soul. But no! He wouldn’t give Lazarus squat and thus he deserved to spend time with his idol in the hot place and suffer his sorry backside off.

He could have hired a doctor to help Lazarus get healed and healthy.

He could have fed Lazarus so he would no longer be so hungry day after day.

He could have given Lazarus some spare clothes.

He could have built Lazarus a little shelter so he wouldn’t be laying in the street scorched by the sun and freezing at night and in the winter.

He could have at least given Lazarus some water “to cool off his tongue.”

But no. He was a self-worshiper which made him a devil worshiper and he considered Lazarus a lowly piece of trash not worth his time or the least investment.

This is what “looking good” and having big money does to a lot of people. Such things cause them to fall headlong into the devil’s trap.

Many years ago there were big billboards all over the place advertising a certain brand of cigarettes. The only thing the ads contained was a picture of some physically attractive unsmiling woman or man staring straight ahead at the viewer. A friend of mine said, “You know? That’s the devil. People think he’s some ugly little guy but he’s actually the opposite…”

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. [2 Corinthians 11:13-15]

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. [Galatians 6:7-8]

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. [Proverbs 16:18]

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them,

“I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” [Luke 10:17-20]

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:8][1]

But I’m getting ahead of current events. Before the day the liars are thrown away, their phony colossal construct must be revealed so people can see what’s really going on in the event they want to break out of their deception penitentiaries, especially religious ones.

For the most part, the world of mankind is a Grand Illusion.

It’s a Fake World.

And the majority can no longer perceive the difference between the Real and the Unreal.

Sinful, unregenerate, rebellious humanity working in close consort with the devil himself and obeying his lead has built a worldwide illusory “city” and “tower” permeating the entire planet, extending even into houses of worship (reaching into heaven), on the backs of the unsuspecting deceived.

It’s all around you. You’re surrounded.

And it is absolutely no different than your standard movie set or false backdrop. Except for the fact that it appears to be incredibly real, and one still bleeds real blood, and real souls are lost every day.

Kind of puts a whole new spin on this place we’re living in, huh?

Beware the fake and steer clear of liars.

You might catch on fire.

© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

NOTE: I wrote the preceding article over seven years ago. It not only remains topical and relevant at present, especially regarding current events, but even more so, and reveals the sad fact that the liars and fraud hustlers among us have increased “sevenfold.” Lying, deception, and selling out to mammon have now shot up exponentially far into the stratosphere like a massive Saturn rocket.

The evil ones still fail to understand or care that there is a holy God in heaven who will only put up with so much. The more they cheat and deceive the more truth God reveals. The more truth is revealed the more they are exposed. The more they are exposed the more vulnerable they become.

Those who work in evil are playing a losing game. Their victories are weighted toward the early going but justice catches up and overtakes them in the end. They may be winning big in the first half building what appears to be an insurmountable lead but then get destroyed in the fourth quarter, just as the Lord said: “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first” [Matthew 19:30].

Stay faithful.

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

 

2020 IN REVIEW AND A LOOK INTO WHAT’S COMING NEXT…

An intelligent, wise, and well-informed person opined recently that America no longer has a federal government. In the place where it once was is a giant pile of money.

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I have been writing at this location for going on ten years. In my first year, in 2011, I wrote an annual review on this date including what to expect next and how we must perform. The few readers I had at the time liked it. I did the same three years ago in 2017. I also wrote another annual review one year ago in 2019.

Last year’s review was right on. Regarding what was expected for the infamous year of 2020, here are some excerpts:

“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.’”

Some have described what is currently happening in the world as “The Great Reset vs. The Great Awakening.” The entire narrative of 2020 was based on a worldwide banking reset moving toward the implementation of a new digital currency which is actually not a currency at all. Though planned for many years, actual hands-on planning for what rose to the surface in March of 2020 began in the late summer of 2019. The Covid narrative was a mere subset of the plan. The rich got richer and greatly benefited, but Main Street was decimated. Big Media, Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Box, and Big Gov made a massive power play and, in a hugely successful devious effort, managed to get the majority of America to go along. Extreme violations of the Constitution did not matter. Most concerning of all, of course, is that American Christianity in general has proven itself to be, without any doubt whatsoever, as I have been saying all along, absolutely weak and compromised.

When they demanded a closure of churches, almost all ministers complied with the complete blessing of their congregations. Many remain closed. This has obviously never happened before and has been a great success for the enemy. This does not mean that all American real Christians, which number in the multiple millions, have also surrendered. It only means your basic 501c3 chartered churches and ministries, thoroughly compromised by their absolute dependence on large material outlays, tax breaks, and massive amounts of money, had no choice but to comply or risk going out of business. Congregants who insist on supporting these shell churches are getting what they pay for.

And even though millions of small businesses have complied to the exact letter of the law, many have gone out of business anyway and many more will join them.

Those who read my book know I not only predicted all of this but that I also gave solid Scriptural solutions on how to operate correctly in order to remain largely unaffected by what was coming. Very few listened. In fact, I received much more indifference and outright persecution, rather than any support, for stating the truth by these very same Christians who insisted on church as usual. Christians who still insist on church as usual, even though church as usual has now largely ceased and in many cases has been destroyed, will obviously never get it. They are not only unwilling to change to better serve the Lord but would rather go down with their traditional church ship.

BUYING INTO A FALSE PARADIGM

Experts claim the great majority of face masks don’t work against viruses any more than a chain link fence works against mosquitoes. Covid tests are often unreliable. Social distancing is an absolute failure in large part because it is selectively enforced (officially approved crowds are fine, other crowds are forbidden). Members of the elite, as usual, can pretty much do anything they want because the new rules don’t apply to them.

These are all signs of a weak and fearful population being ruled over and dictated to by mini-tyrants. Sound familiar? It is an exact representation of church as usual. It is a perfect description of the clergy-laity divide. The Christians who have consistently and fully bought into this false church paradigm now have it coming down solidly on their heads. (See my post from July 1 of this year: CANCELERS GETTING CANCELED: TRUTH-REJECTING CHURCHES REAPING WHAT THEY SOWED.)

Remember, the early first century church had NO church buildings (for 300 years), they had no clergy-laity dual class system, they had no institutional paid located single pastors running churches, they had no government-approved 501c3 church charters, they had no New Testament, they faced great ongoing persecution from their “brothers” who rejected the Messiah, and real Christianity was ILLEGAL according to Roman law. In other words, they had it roughly a million times worse than us even under the new 2020 rules and still managed to turn the world upside down and largely convert the Roman Empire. The bulk of American Christians remain spiritually out-of-touch wimps and juvenile rebels by comparison.

Which brings us to our present reality. In the same way the in-your-face major propaganda media gets the bulk of attention, so do your major media Christian ministries and churches. Most are all compromised by money and are a mere shell of what they could be otherwise. They all talk a good game and sometimes a great game. They cannot, however, walk the walk. But there are millions of obscure Christians who do. There are real Christians in America who are severely disadvantaged but walk tall in the Lord anyway doing the best with what they have.

As what I believe is a perfect example, there is my blogging friend Bill. He was diagnosed with ALS at 36 years of age, about 24 years ago. They said he would die long ago but continued to live anyway. As his body continued to fail, he continued to live for God and keep the faith anyway. He reached a point when he could no longer move or speak. He started a blog anyway. He was blessed with a computer rig that allowed him to communicate using his eyes. He wrote a great number of posts in this condition and if you did not know his circumstances you would never have known his circumstances by his writing because it was no different than a fully healthy person’s work. He was cheery and often funny. He told the truth. He faced his condition like a man. He remained ever faithful, never using his condition as an excuse not to work for God and attend to his calling. He has been a great inspiration to many, doing better work than many pulpit ministers, but Bill was largely obscure and unknown. However, he was certainly known to the Lord.

He graduated yesterday. And he has left a great witness. Multiply Bill by a million. Think of all the “nobody” Christians doing their job steadily and consistently. These people are the true salt and light of Christianity in America. Most of them are lacking in some area or areas but they continue on. Many have been rejected but they remain true to God. They are not compromised by anything and certainly not by money. They have a relatively small circle of associates but are effective nonetheless. The Lord knows all of these His children and supports them though it may appear meager by comparison. These are the people making a difference. They tell the truth, get blasted for it, and continue telling the truth anyway.

This is the central difference between real Christians and unreal Christians. The real guys follow the playbook. They study it and know it. The fakers live in their own compromised worlds operating according to a different gospel, of which are a great many that are not of the Lord. The real Christians produce real spiritual fruit and operate according to real spiritual gifts. They don’t discount, remove, or neglect the Book of Acts or treat it as no longer applicable. They know what works and reject that which doesn’t. They know the solutions to our current predicaments and work toward applying them in the best way they can. They know the Lord Jesus has ultimate power and authority and still works miracles. They know all things are always possible with Him and therefore have a never-say-die attitude.  

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

“Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen. Our fathers in turn received it, and they also brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations that God drove out from our fathers, until the time of David. David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:

‘Heaven is My throne,

And the earth is the footstool of My feet;

What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord,

‘Or what place is there for My rest?

Was it not My hand that made all these things?’

“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, and you have now become betrayers and murderers of Him; you who received the Law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

Now when they heard this, they were infuriated, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God…” [Acts 7:44-55][1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

MERRY CHRISTMAS

May the richest blessings of Christmas be upon you and yours, dear readers, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, from whom all blessings flow.

 

 

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

WHY THE CHRISTMAS STORY IS ALSO A PARABLE (2020)

“Okay, here’s what the Lord’s going to do. He must go stealth. The enemies are always waiting at the doors and ready to pounce. He will bypass them. He will go in under the radar. They will never recognize Him.”

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“But that’s going to make things very difficult for the people He chooses to work through.”

“Yes, but they love Him. They know what they signed up for. They will answer His call.”

“It would seem some would never answer that call. They may even think it was the enemy. Anything that would cause so much discomfort, rejection, and pain may be seen as coming from the wrong source.”

“Yes, but that is only true for those who don’t really know Him. The ones who hear His voice, well, they will certainly act. They will obey. They will know it is not because He doesn’t love them or is purposefully causing them to sacrifice so greatly without a higher purpose somehow being involved.”

“How does He manage to do this?”

“He speaks to their hearts. He shows them things in their spirit. It is a form of communication that escapes detection from outside sources, and those who receive cannot even readily relay what it is they hear because they sense no one will understand.”

“So they act.”

“Yes. They act. He knew Mary would act. He knew she would obey. It was completely her decision, of course. But that’s what a calling is. It is not only the Lord telling people they have been chosen or called into a particular service, it is also that He already knows they will say yes. They say yes because they hear His voice and love Him, but also because they know, deep within, that the calling He gives them answers a profound need and desire in their hearts. They want to serve, but they want it to be right. Many serve incorrectly, thinking they are serving Him, but never get the satisfaction they desire, or that deep feeling in their hearts. They feel like they are working very hard but not getting anywhere. This never happens with Him. Those who hear His voice and obey know something substantial happens when they do. They know they are entering an area in which their soul is satisfied, filled, and blessed. Mary knew this.”

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. [Luke 1:26-38] [1]

© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN!” (5-Part Series)

Blog Pic 12.25.19

 

Dear Readers: The following series, based solely on the New Testament, is an in-depth study of Mary, the mother of our Lord. I wrote it last year at Christmas time. Some of you are already familiar with it and have added sterling comments. I highly recommend these posts, as you will undoubtedly fill in many of the blanks regarding Mary’s life and calling. There is actually very little in the New Covenant Scriptures regarding her but much can be gained by drawing on several intriguing clues. She was an exceptional person and deserves a closer look into a life extremely well lived.

 

Dec. 12, 2019: MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN” (Intro)

Dec. 13, 2019: MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN” (Part 1)

Dec. 18, 2019: MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN” (Part 2)

Dec. 22, 2019: MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN” (Part 3)

Dec. 24, 2019: MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN” (Part 4)

Dec. 25, 2019: MARY HIGHLY FAVORED: “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN” (Part 5)

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© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

IT’S HAPPENING: DARKNESS AND ITS VEILED MINIONS ARE BEING EXPOSED

Greater light is shining on the Judases, their nefarious deeds, and their criminal connections. Those aligned with evil are becoming ever more obvious.

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CHOOSE FOR YOURSELVES TODAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE

Whoever is not standing up and fighting against the fraud is a part of the fraud. Whoever is supporting the faux elect is for the fraud and consequently against the truth, against justice, against We the People, and effectively against America. If one has no problem with egregiously violating the Constitution of the United States it then explains perfectly why so many of these people do what they do. They will not let the mere letter of the law stop them but will simply find a way to get around it. They will make under the table deals, obey their lobbyist masters, and sell out to the highest bidder even if it involves a foreign country and even if that foreign country proves to be an enemy of America.

Isn’t it interesting that one person may have a conscience in such good working order that even the slightest infringements upon it set off clanging alarm bells while another person can commit the most heinous crimes, including the white collar variety (which is often the very worst form since so many people are negatively affected) without even registering a single decibel?  

Regarding one’s relationship with God, if one is not fully on board with the Lord Jesus 100% then one is against Him. There is no middle ground. One is either for Him or one is against Him. One will either acknowledge, believe, and apply the fullness of His teachings or one stands in direct opposition to Him. If one does not know the fullness of His teachings one must learn. This means one must be teachable. Being teachable demands humility. This is how one becomes and remains a good disciple. Good disciples are those who follow the Lord Jesus exclusively and refuse to honor replacements, substitutes, or counterfeits. Good disciples are those who also refuse to honor teachings and doctrines that did not originate with the Lord Jesus.

“The one who is not with Me is against Me; and the one who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Luke 11:23]

THE HUMBLE MAN ON THE DIFFICULT ROAD

Regarding the Lord’s full curriculum and His absolute leadership, real Christians learn that if you want to get something done regarding one’s calling and life’s mission, and what the Lord Jesus commanded all of us to do, one will ultimately have to depend exclusively on Him and likely forego enlisting any possible assistance from those in positions of high religious authority. Why would they help you expose them? Almost all of them are sold-out. They would have never reached their exalted positions otherwise. They are only there because of the money, the authority, and the prestige. Their job is to convince one to seriously consider the beneficial aspects of the organization (club) and join their side. This is always a conscience test and is no different than the devil’s temptation of the Lord. The following is an example of making the right choice even though it has serious costs attached:

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. [Hebrews 11:24-26]

Here we see the contrast that exposes the frauds. What a disgusting thing it is to see the Lord’s perfect humble example completely trashed by high religionists who affect the opposite demeanor and fake their way through their sold-out religious existence. They look like Pharisees, they act like Pharisees, they talk like Pharisees, they love money like Pharisees, and when exposed they hate like Pharisees. The Lord’s teachings fully address this issue. He also addresses the sad reality of so many so-called Christians getting faked out by these pretenders even to the point of refusing the spiritual reality revealing them. It proves they are not following the Lord but follow instead mere posers and hirelings. And this explains perfectly why so much Christian “work” and effort goes nowhere toward solving major spiritual problems and why so many churches and America itself has descended into a deep abyss of depravity. Busyness does not necessarily equate to being about our Father’s business. It should be obvious that much of what is done in the Name of the Lord is not authored by Him.

BURSTING NAÏVE BUBBLES

What you see is what they project. If you cannot see past their projection then they are doing a great job of deceiving you. As Christians, perceiving deception is Christianity 101. Yet here we are, a nation infested with faux preachers and dirty politicians appearing as angels of light. They despise you, they take advantage of you, they rip you off, they laugh behind your back, they take you for granted, and they continue as always with their masquerade. A rookie politician with little money or power eventually becomes extremely wealthy and authoritative. He pads his own nest and removes your freedoms. And you voted for him. The people put him in power. He used that power to exalt himself and lower you. And he keeps getting reelected.

It has now been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that the 2020 election was not just rife with fraud, it was fraud. The whole thing was a fraud. This was a clear-cut stolen election. And now we know such election fraud has been in place on a nationwide scale for at least 15 or 20 years. It was somewhat subtle before this year. There were certainly some in the past who were chosen and given the votes to insure their place in power just as there were those who were denied. How many candidates actually won but were made to lose?

Again, you can easily identify the shysters by their response to the 2020 election: Those who are relentlessly rooting out the fraud and the fraudsters, reporting this news incessantly, and the millions who support them are the honest ones, the good guys. Those who insist that nothing illegal happened and those who have already surrendered to the fraud including making deals with the fraudsters are the dishonest ones, the bad guys. There is absolutely no doubt about this. It is simple to see. Clear lines of spiritual battle have been drawn. For those who love and desire the truth, the evidence for the fraud is massive, substantial, colossal, and immense. And it keeps getting worse. For those who love money, authority, and prestige at the expense of truth, however, there is nothing to see here. You will never convince them otherwise. They are beneficiaries of the fraud. They hate anyone who exposes their darkness. They will try to destroy anyone who reveals their fraud and hinders their illicit cash flow. Mexican drug cartels have nothing on these guys and are mere kindergartners by comparison.

DETESTABLE IN THE SIGHT OF GOD

“The one who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and the one who is unrighteous in a very little thing is also unrighteous in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true wealth to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant 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.”

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were ridiculing Him. And He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of people, but God knows your hearts; because that which is highly esteemed among people is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:10-15][1]

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


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

 

EMBEDDED CLUES TO THE GREAT AWAKENING: MY LATEST ARTICLES SINCE ROSH HASHANAH (9/18/20)

Sometimes we need a big picture perspective. We need to step back from our immediate detailed focus, take a break, and expand our horizons.

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Those who pay attention and do their research gather puzzle pieces on a daily basis. These puzzle pieces act as clues. Soon, several pieces put together give us bigger clues to the completed puzzle. Though the picture may be far from being seen in toto, there is enough to perceive direction and eventually enough to gauge trends. And every now and then a major clue is discovered that opens up larger doors.

One of those major clues presented itself on September 18, 2020. At sundown of that particular day, one of the most important days of the Lord’s ancient calendar began. It was the start of the Jewish New Year. This was Rosh Hashanah. It began the “Ten Days of Awe,” a time of great introspection, repentance, and getting right with God. These ten days would culminate with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In Jewish tradition, the state of a person on that date would dictate his or her condition and position for the entire year to come.

On this year’s particular Rosh Hashanah, at some point before sunset, long time Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. She passed away on the last day of the civil year. She died just prior to the advent of the New Year. This set in motion a series of events that brought us to this day. The story, of course, is far from being complete. There are still many puzzle pieces to come.

I’ve done my best to keep track of things and report to you my findings in every post I’ve written since then, which I list here, including the one I wrote that very evening of September 18 a full twelve weeks ago. My loyal readers may recall reading some or all of these posts. Others may see something here that appears curious. Whatever the case, and whether we call these articles “Clues to a Masquerade” or “A Picture of Unfolding Revelation,” there is much material here to assist one in seeing the current bigger picture. Blessings to all:

09.18.20:

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

09.19.20:

ROSH HASHANAH 2020: A CURIOUS PORTENT

10.02.20:

THE REAL BIRTHDAY OF JESUS: ENTERING THE SEASON OF OUR JOY (2020)

10.09.20:

FORCED VACCINATIONS? COMPULSORY MASK-WEARING AS MERE PRELUDE

10.16.20:

HIDDEN WEALTH TRANSFER [1]: YOUR FUTURE IS BEING STOLEN

10.17.20:

HIDDEN WEALTH TRANSFER [2]: A BRIEF HISTORY OF GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING (AND REFORM?)

10.20.20:

HIDDEN WEALTH TRANSFER [3]: “FEDERAL FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS 56, CLASSIFIED ACTIVITIES”

10.23.20:

HIDDEN WEALTH TRANSFER [4]: THE MISSING TRILLIONS

10.28.20:

THE MIRACULOUS DRAFT OF FISHES

10.31.20:

EVIL’S FRENZIED RETORT IN COUNTERING THE GREAT AWAKENING

11.03.20:

ELECTION DAY 2020: TRUTH AND THE GREAT AWAKENING

11.21.20:

THE REJECTED BECOME THE CHOSEN: SEPARATIST PILGRIM PIONEERS AND THE JOURNEY TO AMERICA

11.22.20:

REMEMBERING JFK (2020)

11.26.20:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2020: FIGHT FOR YOUR COUNTRY

11.30.20:

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD

12.03.20:

THE REPUBLICANS ARE COLLUDING WITH THE DEMOCRATS: THE SACRIFICING OF AMERICA

12.09.20:

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE MAJORITY TURNS ITS BACK ON THE LORD JESUS

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

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE MAJORITY TURNS ITS BACK ON THE LORD JESUS

Those who refuse to be led by the Lord, who always has our best interests at heart, will instead be led by people who only have their best interests at heart.

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The current Judas in the headlights is a collection of spineless establishment Republican leaders, otherwise thought of as good guys by many Americans, in high positions of controlling political power. They refuse to stand up for what’s right because they will likely be exposed for participating in a clandestine money and power grab associated with the stolen election, or they are deathly afraid of political attacks from the minions of the opposing party. Rather than stand and fight for what’s right they would rather hide out and wish the whole thing would go away. These shirkers were at first amused that a few patriots would actually attempt bringing light to darkness, then became somewhat incensed that these few patriots had no intention of halting their course. As the light began shining brighter and more people came on board, they then began growing fearful.

Funny how that happened. There were a great many ordinary Americans who were eyewitnesses to the fraud but were too fearful to come forward. They were well aware of the nefarious character of the people they were dealing with. A few brave souls came forward anyway and have paid a great price. As is always the case, once the few courageous ones step forward, despite the threats, and tell their story, it emboldens others to come forward as well. These few bold ones have now transformed what would have otherwise been a story never told, fully suppressed by mainstream media outlets and major social media platforms, into a nationwide news event exposing the fraud and shining a light on the fraudsters (including the media). If this evil effort is not defeated by being fully subjected to the Constitutional law of the land and proper justice there will never be another honest election in America. This means the will of We the People will be gone forever and with it individual freedom and liberty. It means the end of America as we know it.

KNOWING THE WORD OF GOD IS VITAL TO AVOIDING PERSONAL DECEPTION

The great thing about such current happenings, and what makes our day much different from so many previous occurrences of great evil, is that there are enough individual truth-tellers with the means to “shout it from the housetops” that they cannot all be suppressed, even by an extremely powerful MSM sold out to lies and misinformation constantly repeating false narratives. If one does not think this is true, that the media is a vast colluding propaganda outlet, here is a simple test to prove it: Turn off your TV. Quit watching any and all news channels whether broadcast or cable. They pretty much all repeat ad nauseam the same talking points now anyway so you won’t be missing anything. In this way they won’t be able to keep you misinformed and deceived. It might be a hard bridge to cross and it might be difficult to believe at first that what I’m saying here is true, but you’ll figure it out eventually.

Then replace the time spent there with time in the Word. The same dynamic takes place when you make Bible reading your main reading activity. It may be hard to accept but most people who call themselves Christians have never read the Bible. Those Christians in this category are at an extreme disadvantage. Not only are they unaware of God’s Word, they have filled the place in their hearts that should be occupied by it with knowledge that largely originates from non-spiritual sources, and much of it is not even based on fact. Of course, this remains unknown to the holder and believer in the knowledge because they have no higher reference point to confirm it.

This is what the Word of God does. One must understand that the Word of God as contained in the Bible is actually the WORD of GOD. Because it is the Word of God it takes precedence over all other knowledge. This is especially true in the New Covenant Scriptures. The New Testament contains the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus, His full curriculum. How can one be a Christian and not have a great hunger for His Word? All real Christians read and study His Word when they first become real Christians. They want to know all the teachings of their Lord and Master. Their desire is to study His Word and know it, and this goes for all believers not simply the few who desire some form of called-out ministry. Of course, all real Christians are ministers of the Gospel called into His service. Most never attain to any position of prominence or respect and remain obscure, but this means nothing whatsoever to the reality of their walk. It only means that some are put in the spotlight by God for His purposes, such as the original apostles, for example, or that many others put themselves in the spotlight for their own purposes.

We have seen how this works in the natural world throughout history. Strong men insist on their way, desire great wealth and power, and don’t care what they must do to attain it. They will commit any sin to get there. They simply don’t care. The majority always has to put up with such narcissistic morons. Most people would rather just live their lives in peace and walk in freedom, but for the majority this has never happened. They are always subjected in some way to an evil ruling class, even within many forms of organized Christianity. Again, many people are not aware of this but if the few evil people controlling things against the will of God at any time in history, who gained power because the majority allowed it, would have somehow vanished, the rest of humanity could have suddenly walked in much greater freedom and possessed a veritable abundance compared to their usual meager rations allowed by the ruling class. Such an event would have shined a light on all the great wealth that had been stolen from the people of the world and how much more there would be for everyone otherwise. Is not the same dynamic applicable in our times?

AMERICA FADED FROM FREEDOM TO FEAR

I posted an article on November 21 about the arrival of the Pilgrims on the 400th anniversary of the great event. I mentioned them in another article I posted on Thanksgiving. They had taken a long hard road to gain religious and political freedom. They escaped the evil hand of wicked political and religious authority. Once they arrived here they were far enough away that the evil hand couldn’t reach them. They created a great foundation of future freedom. A century and a half later the greatest generation of Americans paid an even greater price for future freedom in the Revolutionary War. Of course, since then, the same evil controllers who were at one time too far away and too unable to take over have since taken over. This has happened in a step-by-step process. They run the country now. America has long since been captured. It never had to happen and would not have happened if Americans had stayed true to God as they once did. Our great forebears were not perfect but were certainly much better than us. They would not have put up with a fraction of what Americans now routinely weakly accept.

The majority has succumbed to fear. This also apparently includes the majority of Christians. Once one falls into fear one can be coerced into doing things previously unthinkable. They become easily controllable. If the majority knew the Word of God and walked with God it would never have surrendered. God is very clear on this subject. Throughout His Word He is forever telling us to steer clear of fear. God tells us that fear is a killer and a thief. He also tells us that faith in Him is a life-giver, that being filled with His Spirit fills one with courage, and that evil is always forced to surrender and flee in His presence. The Word of God states that God dwells in the presence of His praises and that He is only a prayer away. Whatever the problem may be He has an answer for it. But one thing is certainly clear: He will never allow great evil to have the upper hand if His followers support Him. He will protect and bless His children. But we know from the example of ancient Israel that when the majority succumbs to evil the nation eventually falls.

So now we know why all of this has happened. We know how very powerful evil people have essentially taken over the country. Some of the lower minions in positions of power are being exposed for engaging in evil deeds as so many others have of late but nothing is ever done about it. They are all getting away with it. Man’s justice does not apply to them. It is because they are connected to the powerful evil people running things who protect them. Such are the benefits of belonging to the right clubs. Nevertheless, these people have sold out. They have sold their souls. They made the decision to live for this world. Evil has risen to the top in America and now controls pretty much everything. And it all happened because lazy Christians allowed it. It happened because Christians allowed themselves to be led by spiritual morons who are actually not spiritual at all. It happened because most Christians surrendered to the enemy rather than fully submit to the Lord Jesus.

“BRETHREN, WHAT SHALL WE DO?”

American Christians in general must first take off their dark glasses of deception. They must cease insisting on their weak traditional ways which no longer work. They must understand that they can no longer avoid the fight, that the fight is upon them, that this should be obvious, and would be obvious if they were right with God. The level of evil is off the scale. We are on the verge of losing everything. The people wielding this well-planned evil laugh at Christians every day and have absolutely no respect for us. And it is little wonder. The battle before us is such that we must be stronger spiritually than ever before. There is a growing Remnant standing with God who give it their all but more MUST join in. More MUST wake up. What are they waiting for? Are they simply afraid?

With John the Immerser the corrective began with a powerful call to national repentance. It was the same with the Lord when He began His ministry. It was the same on the Day of Pentecost when the first thing Peter said was “Repent!” Christians on the fence must turn from their sins and unfruitful ways and turn to the Lord. They must rededicate their lives to the Lord Jesus. Removing sin from one’s life alone is a huge benefit but is only a starting point. The cleansed residence must then be filled with the Holy Spirit. If one is not sure what this means study the Book of Acts intently. Ask the Lord for the fullness of the same experience they had. Next, one must begin reading the New Testament and not stop until completing it. The Lord’s teachings shed great light upon our souls, strengthen us, make our path clear and clean, and expose the enemy. Rather than giving in to worry and fear, nominal Christians will instead gain strength and purpose and join the spiritual fight. Going 100% for God makes all the difference.

Doors will open. Favor will happen. Blessings will ensue to a greater degree. One will gain spiritual maturity. One will be equipped for spiritual battle. Whenever enough Christians do this the enemy flees in terror. The entire dynamic is turned completely around. Rather than the enemy taking authority over the Lord’s people, the Lord’s people, through His great power and presence, take authority over the enemy. The Lord showed us how this is done. We MUST follow His example.

It is the only way to victory.

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

THE REPUBLICANS ARE COLLUDING WITH THE DEMOCRATS: THE SACRIFICING OF AMERICA

 

When the nation of Israel made the fateful decision to eliminate their Messiah, it demanded that all parties and factions work together to that end.

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The three major religious parties in first century Israel were the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes. Another emerging party, gaining strength and support, was mainly political. These were the Zealots. There were other lesser factions. One may wonder how this religious and political splintering could have happened since the Lord created a single nation of people in the beginning.

It took many years and much spiritual rebellion. It took a wholesale turning away from God. It took putting selfish interests first. It took putting money first. It took developing a hatred for one’s brother. After so many centuries of such gross sin and revolt, and the embracing of demonic deities, it is a wonder that the nation of Israel lasted as long as it did.

Prior to the first century AD, the Lord had done everything He could. At last the time came for the Lord God Himself to arrive in person. The gospels present this history. In the end He was even willing to sacrifice Himself for His people, and He did. But for the nation itself it did no good.

Then He created a new nation, a spiritual nation, one in which, as in the beginning, He was in charge and everyone honored Him as such. Physical Israel failed due to the rebellion, sin, and spiritual intransigence of its people. They preferred the ways of pagan nations. They wanted to be like them. They surrendered the courage it required to be a lone spiritual beacon in the world and a great witness for the Lord. Save for the very small Remnant of righteous within it, they doused their light.

The spiritual nation would not revert to the worldly ways of physical Israel. Spiritual Israel would thrive and has thrived ever since. Physical Israel ceased to exist forever in AD 70. Again, the Lord did everything He could do to avert the disaster they brought upon themselves. Having a splintered nation was actually a good thing because it kept the people as a whole from uniting together against Him as well as allowing truth to exist among at least some.

One may recall the Tower of Babel incident when all the people united together against God. They came extremely close to achieving their secular dream of bringing all cultures and peoples under one umbrella with their own anti-God belief system. Sound familiar? But God had the final say. He simply caused them to be divided by introducing many new languages. They could no longer communicate.

THE UNIPARTY

I have been stating for decades that there are actually not two major political parties in America but one. They are Republican and Democrat on the surface. They do have ideological differences. But at their heart, they are both sold out to power and wealth. Both are compromised. Both are beholden to the great money powers of the world. Their god is money. This is why you very rarely see any mention of the Lord Jesus among them, whether Republican or Democrat. They both serve money.

Depending on one’s point of reference and overall knowledge, one may not see these facts at all. It is true that Christians in general feel more comfortable in the Republican Party. Real Christians who follow the Lord, obey Him, and believe in and stand for the Lord’s teachings would rather support a political party that stands for issues important to them, but if one steps back and takes a long look, one will notice that most of the Christian beliefs Republicans advocate for never get too far. It may look otherwise but this is only due to accepting far less than what is otherwise required. Republican politicians know all they must do is talk a good game and their supporters will support them. They can say they always try to make progress but those dastardly Democrats always stop them.

This, of course, is grossly incorrect. There were many times when the Republicans controlled both houses and the presidency but failed to take full advantage of the situation. We could have had sweeping reforms on several occasions but it never happened or did not last very long. Those who were paying attention got the big idea that both parties were colluding together at the top. They played their cards well, however, through their political theater antics to make Americans believe they opposed each other. It was actually the opposite. Both parties love money, love enriching themselves, love selling out to the great money interests and even other nations, and serve money with abandon. Through their law-breaking in acquiring wealth at the expense of We the People, they prove what they actually are. Rather than honor the Constitution they honor themselves.  

COLLUSION OF THE RELIGIOUS SECTS

The Lord Jesus was so powerful the nation of Israel had only two choices: It could surrender to Him wholesale, repent, get right, cease their sinful love affair with money, power, and prestige, end their filthy sinful practices, and do what it should have been doing all along. Or it could simply kill Him. We all know the path they chose. They could not have achieved this, however, unless each of the major religious and political factions came together in perfect unity. Regardless of massive differences they actually achieved the great miracle of ceasing their constant bickering and fighting amongst themselves. They actually quit hating each other and came together in full agreement to hate the Lord Jesus. They redirected all the hate for one another and the world toward Him. They even demanded that His blood be upon them. All of them insisted they were doing this dastardly act of sound mind and will, wanted to do it, and wanted full credit for doing it. They wanted no one to misunderstand their objective.

Of course, they were too stupid to understand that by killing Him they were killing themselves—they were committing national suicide. This is why the story of Judas Iscariot was the story of Israel in the life of one man. Judas sold out to money, sold out the Lord, and then killed himself. It took almost forty years for what was left of the nation of Israel to kill itself. Call it slow suicide. They planted the suicide seed and that seed came faithfully to the fore, grew up into a big ungodly tree, and reached full manifestation in AD 70.

The nation was destroyed forever. The third temple was destroyed. Everything associated with it was destroyed. There was no longer any need for the temple and sacrificial system. The city of Jerusalem was absolutely destroyed and sowed with salt. The only structure remaining was the massive Roman fort of Antonia. Out in the wilderness near the Dead Sea, the Essene community was destroyed. The Sadducee party was destroyed. The lone holdout Zealots, who had taken control of everything, were eventually destroyed, first at Masada, and then during the last revolt of AD 132-35.

The only entity remaining was the greatly weakened vestige of the Pharisee party. Elements of this party eventually retooled and began a long process of reinstituting itself. By AD 200 or so they had committed their oral law to writing. They still fully rejected their Messiah and were determined to buckle down and be reestablished in the same hatred for Him they had always possessed. Regardless of the rest of the world’s opposition they managed to grow stronger and unified over time. They perfected a method of gaining wealth from the nations. Today the almost defeated Pharisee party has risen into great prominence in the world. And it is still powerfully and dutifully opposed to the Lord Jesus.

THE CURRENT CRISIS IN AMERICA

“No servant 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.” [Luke 16:13][1]

We now know, and there is no doubt, one full month after the 2020 election, that this election fraud and theft was not just the work of the Democrats. It was the work of Democrats and Republicans colluding together. Both parties are, of course, sold out to wealth, power, and personal enrichment at the expense of the country. In this case it is America itself that is being sacrificed. The leaders of these parties and many influential members among them had decided they must stop the current trend toward a rebirth of America. They must stop the greater freedom and liberty coming to pass for individual Americans. They must stop the Great Awakening. They knew if they didn’t they would lose their place. They would lose the promise of greater wealth and their current prestige. Because they had already sold out long before this, it was not at all a difficult decision. The trick would simply be fooling the American people on what it actually was they were doing. All the major wealth centers were involved, whether perceived as right or left. The major corporate media was obviously involved. Major government departments were involved. And I could go on. The entire narrative of 2020 beginning back in March was all part of the same plan to achieve this end. Many Americans have suffered greatly so far but it is nothing compared to what they plan after their hoped-for great victory: This time they will at last achieve invincibility. No one will ever be able to touch them again.

We know the ones involved in this great swindle in part by their supreme inaction. Those in positions of power doing nothing are the guilty ones. Those advocating for allowing the theft to be officially certified are the guilty ones. As I wrote in my previous post, these people and organizations, including both major parties, at least at the highest federal levels, are the current equivalent of the pro English Parliament and King party of American Revolutionary times. They are the ones who would rather sell out than stand for freedom and liberty for all. Rather than fight for it, those American Tories of the 1770s slinked away into the shadows. Some left the country. Others aided and abetted the enemy when it arrived here in force. They had no care or concern about the coming birth of America. Nor do the current Tories of today. They love themselves more than they could ever love the country. They are beholden to another king, an evil one. They actually despise real American patriots.

We are seeing this now. They are being exposed.

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


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

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD

On July 4th of this year, a penumbral lunar eclipse began which crossed the entire American continent. Early Monday morning at 3:42am (CT), America experienced another.

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This second penumbral lunar eclipse also crossed the entire continent. These two lunar eclipses are the only ones affecting America in this most difficult year of 2020. They may be considered as bookends. They may also be considered as spiritual signs:

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Day to day pours forth speech,

And night to night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words;

Their voice is not heard.

Their line has gone out through all the earth,

And their utterances to the end of the world. [Psalm 19:1-4][1]

A penumbral lunar eclipse takes place when the Moon moves through the faint, outer part of Earth’s shadow, the penumbra. This type of eclipse is not as dramatic as other types of lunar eclipses and is often mistaken for a regular Full Moon.[2]

The July eclipse had a penumbral magnitude of 0.355. This means only 35.5% of the moon’s surface was covered by the Earth, and for many it was barely perceptible. Tonight’s eclipse had a much greater magnitude of 82.9%.  

GOD ALSO SPEAKS THROUGH NUMBERS

It is obviously quite interesting that the first eclipse began on July 4th, the 244th birthday of America, which happened to occur during the 4th month since the beginning of spring. In case you’re wondering, 4 is the Biblical number of Creation. It refers to God’s created works and is the number of material completeness. For whatever ultimate reason, we were inundated at that time with the number 4.  When the July 4 eclipse began, it denoted the completion of America’s first 244 years since Independence was declared.

However, the multiples comprising the number 244 are not good: 4 x 61. The number 61 is the 18th prime number, which is comprised of 2, the number of division, and 9, the number of finality or judgment. There has certainly been growing division in America and this past summer marked a high point at that time. It also looked as though judgment had fallen and many thought it portended the end.

But there is good news! The July eclipse also denoted the beginning of year 245. This number’s multiples are 5 x 7 x 7. The number 5 is the Biblical number of grace and 7 denotes spiritual perfection. So we have spiritual perfection to the second power (72) times grace beginning on July 4, 2020. Also, it is exactly five lunar cycles since then until now. This also clearly indicates a time of grace with two lunar eclipses traversing the entirety of America as bookends.  

And here’s something also pretty cool: From Saturday evening July 4 until Sunday evening November 29 is 148 days. This means the next day, the actual night of the eclipse on November 30, is day number 149. This is a prime number. It is actually the 35th prime number. And here we see again the two numbers of 5 and 7, or grace and spiritual perfection. This is what these last five lunar cycles have represented for America, since our country’s birthday until now.

KEEP THE FAITH

What follows this time of grace? Keep in mind that anything the Lord does the enemy tries to counteract it. The greater the work of God the greater the enemy’s response. The apostle Paul taught us that there will always be more grace than sin. The Lord Jesus taught us that His Light will always overcome any and all spiritual darkness. Though courage has been generally lacking in America since the spring when this great attack began, a relative few courageous ones have been here since the beginning. In fact, some very courageous Americans began sounding the alarm very powerfully back in March. Their witness began gaining ground all year long. More and more people heard the truth that overcame the false narrative but lacked the courage to act. Now that we see how far the enemy would take it, even to the point of stealing the election which was all part of the original plan, it allowed a greater percentage of Americans to get the big idea.

Americans in general are like a good man under attack who tries all he can to not engage or commit to a fight even though the fight is upon him. He will do this until backed into a corner when he no longer has the luxury of putting it off. At this point the “flee or fight” response becomes reduced to the “fight or surrender” response. We are seeing this very clearly now. People who we thought were good fighters have revealed themselves as mere chickens. They’ve already thrown in the towel. In fact, the few who are currently leading the charge and fighting with all they have on the front lines are people most Americans had never heard of until now. On the flip side, many of those they thought would lead the charge are nowhere to be found.

COURAGE IS CONTAGIOUS: WAKING A SLEEPING GIANT

The courageous ones throughout this entire ordeal have been sowing the seeds of courage. And now we see courage spreading, coming forth, and rising up. More Americans are getting baptized with courage. Righteousness in America has been cornered and backed up against a wall. We will now see what America is actually made of. Will American patriots weakly surrender or will they fight? There is no more opportunity to flee.

I am reminded of what Marshall Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander-in-chief of the Combined Japanese Fleet at the beginning of WWII after the attack on Pearl Harbor supposedly said: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” What he actually said, a month later, was the following:

“A military man can scarcely pride himself on having ‘smitten a sleeping enemy’; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack.” [3]

THE CURRENT GREAT AWAKENING

America, the sleeping one, the one slumbering, dreaming, and refusing to face up over the last several decades against an ongoing attack against her freedom, liberty, and very substance, has now been backed up against a wall for which there is no retreat. The only thing left to do is either fully surrender or fight back with great courage. Remember, this is a spiritual war. We must use spiritual means. We must fight with spiritual weapons.

The enemy is indigenous. It is an enemy within. It is Judas slinking away in the night. It is two-faced people who sell out to money and prestige. Over the last month we have seen these people more clearly. They refuse to fight. They refuse to engage. If you wait on them to lead the charge you’ll be waiting until it’s too late. As it was during the time of the American Revolution, we see the three kinds of Americans revealing themselves from the shadows yet again:

  • The establishment status quo Tory cowards fully supporting a distant “parliament and King George”
  • The selfish, illiterate, clueless ones with no resolve and no willingness to get involved whatsoever
  • Patriotic courageous individual Americans who still stand for Freedom and the Constitution

245 years ago, it was the latter group, only consisting of about 30-33% of American colonists, who decided they could no longer live under the thumb of increasing oppression and decided to risk it all. It was a long hard fight in which they lost more battles than they won. But they discovered that as long as they did fight and continued to fight, they could not be defeated. There were many times when it looked as though all was lost but in the end THEY DEFEATED THE GREATEST MILITARY POWER ON EARTH AND WON THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. They created the greatest country on earth and allowed for the freest people who ever lived.

Their back was certainly up against the wall in the beginning, but they acknowledged their courage, took possession of it, were built up by it, displayed it over and again, and absolutely refused to quit regardless of circumstances. The coming weeks will reveal what America is made of.

Regarding the future, we’ve been given celestial clues, as the Psalmist stated: “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God.”

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

[2] https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/penumbral-lunar-eclipse.html

[3] https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2018/12/29/pearl-harbor-the-sleeping-giant-awoken/

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2020: FIGHT FOR YOUR COUNTRY

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.

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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.  

THE REJECTED BECOME THE CHOSEN: SEPARATIST PILGRIM PIONEERS AND THE JOURNEY TO AMERICA

Dear Readers: Today is the 400-year anniversary of the Pilgrim’s arrival in America, one of the greatest events in history. What follows is the real story. Please keep this event in mind during this current time of American crisis. Be encouraged to keep up the fight for righteousness and the defeat of great evil. The Pilgrim’s faced astronomical odds against success but regardless of years of religious persecution, rejection, and great personal hardship, they overcame it all and made their righteous dream of spiritual liberty and freedom a reality.

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In the 1590s English Separatists and dissenters were finding life in England ever more difficult. Several were sentenced to hanging in an enhanced effort to kill off the movement toward spiritual liberty.

Laws were passed that made exile to the European continent the punishment and death if one ever returned. England would thus stop at nothing to rid itself of unwavering Christian reformers. There was no going back for those who had gone so far with God. Queen Elizabeth was determined to wipe them out and the level of her persecution continued until her death in 1603. She had no heirs and her passing thus ended the generational line of the ultra-dysfunctional Tudor monarchs.

The new king was James Stuart I (1566-1625), the then present king of Scotland under the name of James VI. He had ascended the Scottish throne at a mere thirteen months of age in 1567 when his mother, Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587), had abdicated. As “King of Great Britain” James I united England, Scotland, and Ireland under his leadership. Though his mother was a loyal Catholic, James was raised as a member of the Protestant Church of Scotland. The developing church was attempting to continue the reform movement began a decade earlier by essentially removing all things Catholic, but James obviously felt more comfortable with those men manning church offices whose ecclesiastical nature lent them to monarchial rule.

Of course, that’s what bishops and ruling prelates are by nature and why such offices were created. The Presbyterians were setting up a national polity in which churches would be administered by the Biblical model of elders and overseers, which simply does not mix with monarchy any more than does oil and water. The comfort level for kings had always involved close trusted ones, be they civil or clergy, and James was thus not prepared to get on board with the movement toward spiritual truth. In becoming king of England he had quickly embraced an anti-Puritan sentiment, which gives one an idea of his treatment of Separatists and other dissenters who continued pushing for reform and refused to conform to non-Biblical tenets. The Puritans still maintained membership in the Church of England and had consequently escaped the larger wrath of Elizabeth, but the heat began rising. Yet, regardless of the new king’s negative attitude toward them, it was their own compromise and apprehensive middle-ground approach that relegated them as unfit for the spiritual frontier. They were not of a mind nor possessed the strength of purpose to be used of God in the necessary major way as those Separatists who had given their all. The Puritans as a group had remained far too connected. They were unqualified as pioneers.

After Elizabeth’s reign of terror, it seemed there remained only one Separatist church community in all of England. Located in the hamlet of Gainsborough, most of its members had fled to Holland two years later. There remained a few holdouts of this group in the town of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, and it is here the story gets interesting. In Scrooby there lived a man who became postmaster there in 1590. He had attended Cambridge in his youth and later became greatly interested in the new Christian reformation movements. By the early 1600s he had taken under his wing a young man from Austerfield while ministering in the Scrooby area as a reforming Puritan when persecution raised its head once again. A group of perhaps 50 were meeting secretly at Scrooby Manor, having managed to cobble together a small community from the remains at Gainsborough, when the decision was made in 1607 to break ranks completely with the Church of England and establish themselves as Separatists. Thence began the great adventure.

The two men were the postmaster William Brewster (c.1566-1644), who would become a leading Elder at Plymouth Colony, and his young protégé William Bradford (1590-1657), the future Governor thereof. These two were undoubtedly placed together by Providence. Bradford’s father died when he was only a year old and his mother when he was seven. The orphan was forced to live with several relatives in the interim. He met Brewster at the meetings of the Puritan Richard Clifton when only a young man of about twelve and at last found an appropriate father-figure. From this he received a better upbringing and someone to direct his already keen interest in the Reformation movement.

The restrictive spiritual atmosphere in England was such that the young congregation decided they must leave the mother country and sail across the channel to Holland to live according to their convictions. Yet, as another indication of the severe trials and fight to come their way, they were robbed of all their possessions by the officers of the ship they hired and imprisoned for attempting to leave England illegally. They remained undeterred, however, and were able to make their getaway the next year, finding peace and religious toleration in The Netherlands. After a year in Amsterdam amid the bickering of two other congregations, they moved to the city of Leiden, approximately 100 strong, and settled into a peaceable and productive life.

One can see by the trials they faced and tests they passed that God was preparing them for a much greater mission. Others had disqualified themselves for one reason or another, be it a lack of faith, selfish attitudes, inability to work together, or loyal connections to the state church, which prohibited a lack of complete loyalty to God. Those connected, as the Puritans, had not considered their inevitable betrayal through their association with ecclesiastical authority and the throne or the temptation of looking back. We see the same thing in the ancient history of the Jews when God had to remove all Egyptian influence and fleshly nature from His people through their wanderings in the Sinai desert. These Separatist future founders of the American Plymouth Colony had proved their loyalty to God by both their obedience to Him regardless of greatly challenging circumstances, and also their complete separation from the world.

In Leiden, Brewster began publishing books for sale in England and was soon under arrest by English authorities in 1619, who had accused him of the same crime as William Tyndale—printing up non-official religious works that did not toe the mark of the accepted Anglican confession. The Dutch government agreed with England in a political move and confiscated the printing equipment. Brewster was able to escape to England and hide out. It was during this time that plans were made to make the most radical move of all—securing a land patent from the London Virginia Company.

The community as a whole had become very concerned after ten years of relative comfort and security in Leiden that their children, if allowed to grow up and become established there, would lose both their English heritage and Christian beliefs. The Netherlands was a free pluralistic nation by comparison to England, but the resultant freedom also gave place to a more open mindset regarding moral values and sin. It occurred to the group that the time had come yet again when they must move on if they would maintain their walk with God. Their willingness to suffer so many trials for the sake of the real Gospel had undoubtedly impressed the Lord. Due to their relentless attitude toward holy living and walking in God’s new light, rather than fighting against the movement or holding back like almost every other group, they had become the chosen ones to take not only the Gospel to America, but a community form much closer to Scriptural intent.

The 180 ton Dutch cargo vessel Mayflower was hired in London and sailed to Southampton on the southern coast of England in late July of 1620. Most of the Pilgrim community remained in Leiden, Holland and bought a small ship called the Speedwell to take them to Southampton, from which both ships would sail across the Atlantic to Virginia. The second ship proved unworthy of the journey, however, having leaked on the trip across the English Channel, and after repairs, began leaking again at the start of the great voyage. Stopping at Dartmouth, repairs were made a second time. On their second attempt at the Atlantic crossing, as they reached the open ocean after having traveled roughly 300 miles, the Speedwell continued leaking once again and the Pilgrims were forced to return to England. Many of the passengers had become so tired and frustrated they decided to stay home. Here was yet another test of heart and a further winnowing of the passenger list, from about 120 to 102. Of these, approximately 40-45% were members of the Leiden congregation.

They decided to scuttle the second ship entirely and transfer all their goods and supplies to the Mayflower, making for very cramped quarters and a much less comfortable trip. After losing about forty days, the Mayflower finally set sail from Plymouth, England on September 16 (Gregorian calendar). The second half of the ocean voyage was very rough, having hit the severe northern Atlantic storm season, and piled yet more discomfort and trepidation upon the passengers. Imagine the battle these Pilgrims had with doubt and second thoughts, crammed together in a freezing ship tossed forth like a cork on the frigid seas.

After 66 long days, the sturdy ship arrived intact off the coast of America around November 21, 1620. During the long and fitful journey there was one death but also one birth. The colonists’ destination was the mouth of the Hudson River, part of Virginia at the time, but the captain first sighted land off the coast of Cape Cod. In the attempt to go south the elements were again against them, almost causing shipwreck. As if by divine hand they returned to Cape Cod and dropped anchor. With great courage and whatever stamina remained as the biting cold winds of winter descended upon them, parties were arranged to explore the land for a suitable settlement site. By the next summer, 50 of the original 102 passengers had perished, the majority over the harsh winter, and most of them from disease contracted during the voyage.

From these extremely difficult and humble beginnings Plymouth Colony was built upon the hope and grace of a committed people and the Lord Jesus. Having served as willing pioneers and taking the full brunt of the battle, many more parties were soon making the trip across the Atlantic and adding to the new colony. In time it became a routine crossing peopled primarily by English Puritans who began spreading out into the wilderness. In time the Separatist Pilgrims became greatly outnumbered, though their spiritual stand and way of life had a decided effect on later arrivals.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

ELECTION DAY 2020: TRUTH AND THE GREAT AWAKENING

[November 3, 2020/12:50PM] Two years ago, a week or two before the 2018 election, I predicted that President Trump would win the 2020 election in a landslide.

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There was really no question in my mind regarding this. It’s not because I was 100% pro-Trump and refused to consider any alternative perspective. There were a few things about the Trump administration, and some of the people he chose for his administration, that I would never support. Some of the choices he made, or appeared to make, or at least was given responsibility for making, made little sense regarding many of his public statements and the general theme of his administration. Overall, however, there has been much I have agreed with and appreciated.  

Of course, this is the nature of politics. Why he chose to welcome some people into predominant roles can only be explained that way. Why he chose to participate in the usual Middle East shenanigans, admittedly on a comparatively limited basis, in which his stated goal and policy is refuted by the actual operations, can probably only be explained by the desire to give forth the impression of being true to his stated policy goals, both pre-election and afterwards, while also giving heed to forces he must keep in his corner.

On the other hand, has there ever been a President in recent memory that actually kept the majority of the promises he made during his campaign? There are long lists of such accomplishments compiled for the benefit of anyone who might wish to access them and make comparisons to President Trump’s campaign rhetoric. I won’t get into all that here, but it is obvious that he has largely kept his word and delivered.

And this is certainly proven by the powerful reaction against him and his administration by those who violently oppose his themes and accomplishments, which has since thrown the outcome of this election into confusion.

I am old enough and have spent enough time, since I was very young, following politics and such elections as we are having today to know that most politicians seeking the presidency are outright liars. There is so much behind the scenes that voters don’t know about and will likely never know about, that if they did know about, would probably either cause them to regret their vote or maybe wish they had never voted at all. There are so many deals that must be made with powerful people and controlling factions. It is not rare at all for candidates to make deals with people who would otherwise be dead set against their candidacy. In other words, if one wants to actually get elected, his or her ideology, if they actually have one, will have to be sacrificed, at least in part, but often more than one would believe, in order to get there.

The average voter often has no knowledge whatsoever of how the world actually works, who the great power players are, what is really going on regarding particular operations, or the actual policies hiding behind the stated policies. The average voter is often not aware that the media is absolutely controlled and is told what to report by higher powers. It is still hard for an intelligent person to understand how people in general allow themselves to be controlled by the media, as if what is reported in the major media is actual truth. Other than obvious events experienced by a great many people that can be easily verified, the major media almost never reports the actual truth. This is because they are massive corporations in business to make money. The major media exists at the behest of extremely powerful and wealthy people and is dictated to by them. Intelligence agencies are also very much involved. This is not at all hard to discover but most people never take the time. Most people not only do not understand this but refuse to even consider it. News channels are put forth in such a way that circuses were over a century ago when there was a deficit of knowledge of the known world and people across the country could be easily dazzled by sights and sounds never before experienced.

When one watches the news one is instantly drawn in to believe whatever is presented because the media is seen as the voice of authority. Of course, a few powerful wealthy people bought up all the many newspapers a century ago and have controlled all the content since. They also did the same thing with radio and television. These were, at their initial core origins, nothing more than profit seeking businesses but also existed to drive public opinion. They were seen early on as perfect propaganda machines. Once the owners thereof saw how easy it was to control what people thought through their media presentations it was not difficult to create programming that could sway millions. We have seen the same thing with big tech providers, of course. Most people are not aware that agenda-based AI programs control much of everything presented on major platforms. And when AI failed due to massive amounts of truth infused upon and within these platforms the only antidote remaining to keep people under control to controlled narratives was simple censorship—they simply began kicking people off the platforms and service providers and eliminating their content.

Thus, prior to the internet, everyone who consumed news put forth by the major media was at a supreme disadvantage. There was often no way to know that what was being reported was actually true and not simply some form of covert programming. When one has a monopoly on the media one can make the population believe anything it wants.

This is why it must be up to each individual to find the truth. Again, since the advent of the internet this is possible. The actual news and information out there that reveals the truth is readily available though it will sometimes take a lot of work to discover it. The argument is often made, however, that most people don’t have the time or energy for such, but this is pure bunk. The truth is that many people are simply lazy and would rather do nothing to damage their reputations, job status, and social standing, and will therefore willingly allow themselves to be herded like simple-minded sheep. People either don’t know or refuse to believe they are being manipulated. They apparently cannot believe in such a great evil, especially one that comes in bright shiny packaging.

Regardless of the controlled majority and great evil behind the scenes, and the incessant mind manipulation telling everyone what to think and believe, TRUTH will always prevail. But because evil hates TRUTH, evil will always attack it and try to tear it down. The only thing, however, that evil is successful at eliminating, are the temporary holders of TRUTH. Books can be burned, information can be memory-holed, and people can have their lives and reputations destroyed and can even be killed, but TRUTH is eternal. It must have agents to reveal and express it, of course, and this is a dangerous proposition, but there is no other way for an eternal to be expressed and revealed in a temporary environment, as this world is. Whoever would thus stand for the TRUTH, fight for the TRUTH, express the TRUTH, tell the TRUTH, and be set free by the TRUTH, must have the unrelenting courage to do so. Otherwise evil will win every time.

The Great Awakening is upon us. More hidden TRUTH is being revealed in our time than in any other time in history. Evil has grown desperate. It is pulling out all the stops. This is a great sign. It is a sign that TRUTH is winning. Therefore, it is not difficult to discover which side TRUTH is on and which side evil is on. Evil is on the side that fights against TRUTH because TRUTH is a major enemy. Evil knows TRUTH will eventually destroy it if it doesn’t destroy it first. These two cannot exist together. There was a long time when evil had the upper hand and remained hidden behind a cloak of respectability and most people not only fell for it but were completely unaware of its presence. This is no longer the case.

If TRUTH wins the people win. If TRUTH is defeated it is still there, because it is eternal, but there is no longer anyone around to stand up for it and reveal it and it thus appears to have ceased to exist. This has happened many times in human history when evil perpetrators managed to kill off TRUTH’s major players and all their works. And it could certainly happen now. Evil is without doubt giving everything it has in this regard.

When it’s all said and done a million years from now, all the sell-outs who were aligned with evil for the mere temporary gains of a quickly-spent human life will have been long since eliminated. But the comparative few who stood for TRUTH, even to the point of discovering that TRUTH was actually a Person and had a Name, and gave themselves unequivocally to this wonderful loving Person, to serve Him and honor Him, will shine brightly like stars forever.

Real salvation means joining His side completely, with one’s entire heart, and fighting alongside Him in the fight He fights on a daily basis, against the same evil that tried to eliminate even Him, and actually did for three days. But after His resurrection evil has been scared to death. And the perpetrators of evil remain scared to death to this very day and know the only chance they have is to eliminate forever His TRUTH and His people. This is what actual spiritual warfare is all about. Those who fight for TRUTH must make a full commitment or will have no effect in spiritual battle.

A real Christian, as opposed to an unreal Christian, is one who understands this and gives his or her life in doing something about it.

“The one who is not with Me is against Me; and the one who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Luke 11:23] [1]

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


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

EVIL’S FRENZIED RETORT IN COUNTERING THE GREAT AWAKENING

They spent decades preparing for this day. They have accomplished much and continue with their universal plan. Yet there remains a gritty opposing force, refusing to surrender, and giving them fits.

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It was never part of the original plan. Once they decided to stray from the script and enter the emotional realm, allowing the unreliability of passion to be factored in to a previous hardline discipline, it exposed their vulnerable underbelly. Whether this was due to simple exasperation from heightened warfare, or from weariness of waiting—of shrewdly maintaining a marathon pace—or sensing the finish line so close the need for speed overcame their reason, and being unable to pull back the reins for want of finally achieving the long sought goal, they threw down the gauntlet for a full bore all-systems-go sprint, as if sucked ahead by lateral gravity, which eliminated their former mastery of strict impulse control, which in turn tarnished their former clandestine station behind the veil and revealed them for what they are: These were not high masters whatsoever, other than of guise and guile—but mere Halloween actors dressed to deceive and disappear, and shroud their demonic nature.

ONCE UPON A TIME UNDER A TREE FAR, FAR AWAY

The assumption had been, with every base covered and each of a million different possibilities exhaustively vetted and deduced, that ultimate victory was not only inevitable but thoroughly predictable. An assured smugness had arisen among the perpetrators. The vast intricately detailed planning would surely bring about the desired outcome. How could the powerless possibly overcome it?

In the beginning it was wholly cerebral. They had the means and money. They knew it would take time. They knew it might not work exactly as they envisioned but had hope it would function in some form or semblance to the same effect. In the meantime, they would continue extracting wealth, appropriating political power, and generating the vast propaganda apparatus, which could only increase their chances.

It was a gradualist approach, a multi-generational effort. Nothing could stop them. They existed above all laws and restrictions. As the capstone group atop the pyramid, no one told them what they could or could not do. They were held back only by (1) cultural decorum, (2) an indigenous natural morality shared by all humans to varying degrees, (3) an unwillingness to sully themselves or their perfect plan with unnecessary sleaze and low-level filth which kept the more sordid forms of evil under wraps, and (4) established social barricades beyond the which they preferred not to travel.

The moment arrived when they perceived that such cultural barriers had been imperceptibly holding them back from fuller and faster progress. They had a sudden insight that their plan would never actually work as envisioned as long as such limits were allowed. Due to a better understanding of such mores and why they existed in the first place, and had existed from time immemorial in higher cultures—as hedges against corruption and the very plan they were attempting—they had come to an inevitable fork in the road. Would they recognize themselves as being completely out of line and even against the God of creation and not only moral but natural law and forget the whole thing? Would they care enough about their wives and children and grandchildren and family relations and friends to refrain from subjecting them to association with the evil they were planning? Or would they plow ahead anyway with all caution to the wind, endangering not only their own faint moral compass (essentially trashing what was left of it) but that of humanity as well?

Whether they saw that their plan was actually evil and could never be achieved by a moral people or that ethics were in themselves somehow evil and a mere abstract construct restricting progress—whichever one of these arose first in their minds—it ultimately did not matter because attaining the ultimate prize was of paramount importance and therefore the greater good. In other words, these parasitic creatures disguised somewhat as human beings who had already overcome in large part the dictates of their God-given conscience in attaining their wealth to that point had finally decided they would cross a bridge too far. They had decided that the end justified the means.

Therefore, they would henceforth, from that time forward, do anything whatsoever with no regard for any concepts of good or evil, to gain absolute control and capture the planet. They would own and control everything and no longer cared how they achieved it. This was the new plan, a furtherance of the former, and they were sticking with it. And the people be damned. Each generation of this upper crust clan thus engaged in greater forms of evil by degrees. They no longer called it by such, of course, but merely as the cost of doing business. They were the best. They deserved it. The rest of humanity were essentially nothing more than simple morons—cattle and swine, bovine and porcine—to be herded and processed by their superiors. They would do whatever they wanted with such people, though they numbered in the multimillions and billions. Such human detritus were no different than any other species of animal. It would never matter how many there were since