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THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE 2020

The Declaration of Independence

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

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

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

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

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

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

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

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

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

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

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

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

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

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

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

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

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© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

WAKE UP!

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

AS GOES CALIFORNIA SO GOES THE NATION?

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

FIGHT BACK!

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

GET FILLED WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT!

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

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

WE THE PEOPLE?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

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

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

CHOOSING AN EARTHLY KING

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

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

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

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

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

CHOOSE FOR YOURSELVES TODAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE

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

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

RECOGNIZING THE BANKRUPT FOLLY OF THIS WORLD

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

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

GOD ALSO CONVICTS CHURCHES

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

EPHESUS

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

SMYRNA

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

PERGAMUM

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

THYATIRA

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

SARDIS

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

PHILADELPHIA

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

LAODICEA

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

FUTURE PROJECTIONS AND WARNINGS REJECTED

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

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

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

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

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

And no one answers 911. What a shocking surprise.

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


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

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

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THEY SHOWED US HOW IT’S DONE 

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A crisis always reveals concealed reality…

 

An attack reveals one’s preparedness or lack thereof…

 

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

 

CANCELLING CHRISTIANITY

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

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

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

LURKING JUDAS

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

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

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

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

HE STEADFASTLY SET HIS FACE TO GO TO JERUSALEM

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

RECOGNIZING THE DEVIL

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

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REVEALING INVISIBLE EVIL

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

THE MAJORITY IS UNDER A TRANCE

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

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

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

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

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

SABBATH REST?

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

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

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

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

WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN

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

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

THIS IS WHY GOD MADE PROPHETS

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

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

They simply cannot recognize the devil.

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


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

 

BE FILLED WITH HIS COURAGE FOR THE BATTLE AT HAND

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

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THE ARENA OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE

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

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

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

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

NO MIDDLE GROUND

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

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

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

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

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

MAKING YOUR ELECTION SURE

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

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

ONE IS EITHER ALL IN OR ALL OUT

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

AMERICA IS BEING RITUALED: STAY SPIRITUAL!

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

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

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

GRAB YOUR CROSS. WHAT?

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

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

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

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

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

TEARING YOU DOWN TO BUILD YOU UP

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

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

WHAT MEANETH THIS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

CHRISTIANS AND RACE: KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON THE LORD!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STAY FOCUSED

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

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

BACK TO THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE HUMAN RACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

REJECTING PENTECOST DESTROYED THEIR COUNTRY

Election Day 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THE DAY OF PENTECOST 2020

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

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THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS

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

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

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

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

PAY ATTENTION

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

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

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

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

But neither will the Lord.

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 22)

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

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

LESSON 22

Acts 2:38-39

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

WATER BAPTISM

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

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

THREE NATIONAL BAPTISMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 21)

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

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

LESSON 21

Acts 2:37-38

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

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

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

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

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

REPENT…

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

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

He was calling them to new life.     

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

REMEMBERING THE LORD’S ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN

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

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

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

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

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

ASCENSION PRETENSION?

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

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

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

UP, UP, AND AWAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE 2020 ASCENSION ANNIVERSARY

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

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

Imagine if you were there.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

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

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

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

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

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

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

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

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

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

NEW COVENANT LEADERSHIP

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

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

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

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

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

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

BEAUTIFUL SPIRIT

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

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

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

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

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

Instead of How Great Thou Art.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 20)

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

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

LESSON 20

Acts 2:36-37

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

[2] © New Revised Standard Version

[3] © The New Jerusalem Bible

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 19)

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

INTRODUCTION   

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

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

Ch 2: LESSON 15 LESSON 16 LESSON 17 LESSON 18                         

LESSON 19

Acts 2:33-35

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT

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

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

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

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

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

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

OPENING THE DOOR FOR THE DOOR WHO STANDS AT THE DOOR

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

HAPPY NINTH BIRTHDAY REAL CHRISTIANITY

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

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

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

THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN

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

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

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

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

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

MY LATEST POSTS REGARDING THE PLANDEMIC

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

March 16, 2020: PANICKED OVER A TRICK PANDEMIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 4, 2020: SUBMITTING TO HELLBOUND AUTHORITARIANS

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101

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

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

THE GREAT AWAKENING CONTINUES

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 18)

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

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

Ch 2: LESSON 15  LESSON 16  LESSON 17

LESSON 18

Acts 2:25-32

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

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

Tel Dan Inscription

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

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

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

THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

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

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

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

THE SON OF DAVID

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

SUBMITTING TO HELLBOUND AUTHORITARIANS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.      

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 17)

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

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

Ch 2: LESSON 15 LESSON 16

LESSON 17:

Acts 2:22-24

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

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

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

SAVED

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

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

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

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

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

I went unto the Keeper, and settled long ago.

Long ago, long ago,

Yes, the old account was settled long ago;

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

When the old account was settled long ago.

The old account was large, and growing every day,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MISSION POSSIBLE

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 16)

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

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

Ch 2: LESSON 15

LESSON 16:

Acts 2:16-21

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

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

THE PROPHET JOEL

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 15)

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

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

LESSON 15

Acts 2:12-15

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 14)

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

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

LESSON 14

Acts 2:5-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pentecost was a reversal of Babel.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 13)

It happened fast: A loud sound of wind filling the house—A visible Light filling the Upper Room—Division into smaller Lights upon each believer—Speaking new languages by the power of God…

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INTRODUCTION   

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

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

LESSON 13

Acts 2:1-4

1 And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, 2 when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and that settled on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled—diffused throughout their souls—with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages, as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression (in each tongue in appropriate words). [1]

THE TONGUE IS A FIRE

The last member of the human body to yield to the Spirit of God is the tongue. The Lord’s brother James held nothing back when writing the following revelatory verses—strong, intense, and filled with spiritual import—explaining this phenomenon:

Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. [James 3:3-8] [2]

Speech is a powerful force. It is a great gift from our Creator. Humans are hardwired with the ability to speak. Small children gain the use of extremely complicated language skills, grammars, and word dictionaries with no scientific explanation. We take it all for granted but the evolutionists among us are stymied by this otherwise impossible ability possessed by mere babes.

As all things human can be corrupted and have been corrupted, so it is with speech. In the beginning, God spoke creation into existence. Sinful man destroys by the same power. This is yet further proof that every human is estranged from God until delivered from sin and born anew from above. Those who would gain the Lord’s spiritual life must humble themselves and surrender all. It is not an easy process. As illustrated perfectly by James, the tongue is the deadliest and most sinful member of our body. It dies the hardest.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

It is no wonder then that the Lord chose speech as an outward sign. It is the last to yield to the Spirit of God and the first to break forth in praises to Him. And this is exactly what the 120 did that morning. Like newborn babes who cry at birth, the first significant thing we ever do under our own power and will, so were these new born babes in the Lord crying forth. They had no idea what they were saying. Remember, these believers were disparaged as mere unlearned and ignorant Galileans, most of whom had no higher education or training. They were certainly not linguists. Yet, from the depths of their hearts, enabled by the newly indwelling Holy Spirit, they were all speaking perfectly and fluently in languages they had never learned.

Again, the same inexplicable phenomenon takes place with babies, whose first word is spoken as early as six months. By eighteen months there are multiple word sentences. They are soon communicating with eye-contact and inflection. Though they pick up this ability in part empirically, most arrives miraculously. Language is far too complex for such unaware babes to develop it at such a young age without some unknown, unexplainable ability.

So it was with the Upper-Roomers. Their speech was miraculous. The sign was unmistakable. The hand of God was evident.    

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] The Amplified Bible © 1965 by Zondervan Publishing House. All Rights Reserved.

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 12)

Pentecost was an either-or option. Though most were not aware of this and many refused to acknowledge the possibility, the nation would either get right with God or suffer complete destruction.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10   LESSON 11

LESSON 12

Acts 2:3

3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

This was the event prophesied by John the Immerser four years before. He also made a second prophecy that worked in tandem with the first. This was not unlike what the prophet Moses had proclaimed in the early days of the nation. In essence, Moses said that obedience to God equaled blessing and disobedience the opposite. He told the people exactly what would happen to them if they honored the Lord or dishonored Him. The latter was not good.

It may sound as if God was making unfair ultimatums or unreasonable demands, or that He somehow must force people to respect Him. The reality is that God is holy and perfect. He is the Creator. And He knew their hearts. He knows everybody’s heart. He knows those who strive for His morality and righteousness and those who couldn’t care less. The following, as spoken by Moses, is an example of the either-or option:

“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country…” [Deuteronomy 28:2-3]

“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country…” [Deuteronomy 28:15-16]

The apostle Paul said the Law acted as a disciplinarian or schoolmaster before faith came (Gal. 3:24-25). Those who strove to keep the Law in the times of Moses and Joshua were not necessarily gaining salvation through such, since that could only come through faith, but their personal life and society was certainly superior compared to those who did not.

John the Immerser echoed Moses in this regard in that he presented the nation of Israel an either-or choice. Though the Jews had always seen fire as a symbol of the Divine Presence of God, and though it in a sense acts as a purifying agent, fire is primarily presented in the New Testament Scriptures as an agent of destruction. John said this fire was coming soon and would consume entire forests and remaining grain stalks:

“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12][1]

The Day of Pentecost began this process. Over the next forty years an Israelite Remnant would submit to the Lord Jesus and be saved. The rest would reject Him and choose the same fate as the city of Jerusalem itself—the fiery destruction of their souls. 

The Upper Room was a wheat barn.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 11)

While the Spirit of the Lord continued to move among the believers as an unseen wind “filling the whole house,” a visible manifestation also took place, centered among them in the Upper Room.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10

LESSON 11

Acts 2:3

3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

Wind is the movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. Wind fills a relative void. The lower the air pressure in a given location, the greater the onrushing air there is from a high pressure zone to fill it.

The Upper-Roomers had spent ten days emptying themselves. This was done through much repentance, much fasting, much prayer, much worship, and many tears. They were preparing themselves as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2). [1] It was a human low pressure zone. No pride. No sin. No spot, wrinkle, or blemish (Eph. 5:27).

UPPER ROOM DIMENSIONS

Although there is no way of knowing exactly, implications in Scripture would indicate that the Upper Room was probably the same size as the Tabernacle (tent) of Moses, which was 10 x 30 cubits. Based on the Hebrew long cubit of 20.4 inches, the Upper Room would have been 17 x 51 (867 square feet).

An interesting thing happens, however, if it was 840. This number is divisible by every number from 1 to 12 except 9 and 11, which are not especially good numbers for an event like Pentecost (9 is the Biblical number of finality or judgment and 11 signifies disorder and imperfection). In order to arrive at this “perfect” number of 840, the cubit would have to be 20.08 inches, completely within the realm of probability. Based on such, the Upper Room would be 16.73 x 50.2 feet. It would contain 134 feet of perimeter wall space allowing the majority to sit on benches along the walls, and overall floor space would allow each person an average of 7 square feet.

THE BIG EVENT

Pentecost was an explosion of spiritual power and truth—the dunamis of God torqued down to a manageable level for reception within humanity but fully concentrated for the work at hand. They were filled with joy! It was both a release and a reception for those fortunate ones in the Upper Room. In a matter of minutes their pain was gone—the pain of the past, of unrealized dreams, of bitter life in a cold world dominated by the devil’s minions. This was the upper hand! The right hand of God reaching down to infuse them with His strength and might! Though they continued to dwell in houses of clay, they became dynamic and demonstrative.

At nine o’clock in the morning they appeared drunk or high on mushrooms. Joy to the nth degree was ensconced on their shining faces and they were each filled with that very agape love of the Lord that He tried to teach them about previously. They were now as He was, filled to overflowing with a power to work miracles and love others without measure, even enemies who may maim and slander.

As the rushing wind of the Spirit continued to swirl around among the disciples, a visible manifestation accompanied the audible. In the middle of the large Upper Room a great energized Light suddenly appeared, seeming to manifest from thin air. The Spirit of God filled the entire space! The Jews had long considered fire to be a sign of God’s presence and purifying energy and here was God Himself as such fire. He did not come to consume, though, but to infill all these who had properly prepared for His arrival. The warm and engaging Light instantly began dividing into many smaller portions and each of these tiny fire-like Lights began moving about in every direction, this way and that, locating every disciple, and hovering over their heads.

120 small flickering manifestations of God’s presence appeared upon everyone there, and then, as all beheld the great miracle, the Spirit of the Lord entered into each disciple and took up residence in their hearts.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

APRIL 19, 1775: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BEGINS

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

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On the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes made their famous rides to Lexington and towns along the way warning of British troops heading in their direction with the intent to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock and capture the American armory at Concord.

FROM THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS:

On the night of April 18, the royal governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, commanded by King George III to suppress the rebellious Americans, had ordered 700 British soldiers, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith and Marine Major John Pitcairn, to seize the colonists’ military stores in Concord, some 20 miles west of Boston.

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A system of signals and word-of-mouth communication set up by the colonists was effective in forewarning American volunteer militia men of the approach of the British troops. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” tells how a lantern was displayed in the steeple of Christ Church on the night of April 18, 1775, as a signal to Paul Revere and others.

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On April 19, 1775, British and American soldiers exchanged fire in the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord. At Lexington Green, the British were met by approximately seventy American Minute Men led by John Parker. At the North Bridge in Concord, the British were confronted again, this time by 300 to 400 armed colonists, and were forced to march back to Boston with the Americans firing on them all the way. The American Revolution had begun.

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CONCORD HYMN by RALPH WALDO EMERSON (APRIL 19, 1836):

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By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

And fired the shot heard round the world.

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The foe long since in silence slept;

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;

And Time the ruined bridge has swept

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

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On this green bank, by this soft stream,

We set today a votive stone;

That memory may their deed redeem,

When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

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Spirit, that made those heroes dare

To die, and leave their children free,

Bid Time and Nature gently spare

The shaft we raise to them and thee.

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© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 10)

“Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” [John 20:21-22] 

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INTRODUCTION   

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

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9

LESSON 10

Acts 2:2

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Our author Luke characterized the loud sound from heaven that morning as a strong and driving wind, a bearing breeze “bringing forth.” But rather than the prevalent word for wind he used another—pnoe—which primarily means “breath” or “breath of life.” It had a purpose and destination: It was the holy breath of God.

The first thing we must recall is this:

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

Adam had been formed—created from the element-rich dry soil of the earth—though was in an inanimate condition. He was the highest life form of Creation and made in God’s own image. This is beyond profound. For such a being there could only be one animating force possible. It must be the breath of God.

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:8]

Though this verse is well known, it is also otherwise well known for containing a subpar translation. In the New Testament, there are a total of thirty-one occurrences of the Greek word for wind—anemos. As in Acts 2:2, this is not one of them. The word “wind” in this verse is from the Greek word pneuma which is translated as “Spirit” in every other instance of its use in the passage. Thus, the Lord never said, “The wind blows where it wishes,” but more like “The Spirit goes where it will.”

Now, let’s try this verse again and see how closely it matches up with Acts 2:2:

The Spirit goes where it will and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:8]

And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. [Acts 2:2]

The 120 people in the Upper Room were about to be born again, or born of the Spirit, just as Adam was once literally born of the Spirit, or the breath of God. The Lord specifically told Nicodemus that no one could see (perceive, discern, discover) or enter into the kingdom of God unless he was born again.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:6-7][1]

No one of us remembers our physical birth. Not so with our mothers. It goes without saying, of course, but human birth is a powerful process and unforgettable experience. So is the new birth. It denotes a completely new life and a total transformation. After all, it is the Spirit of God we are referring to here. He is like a rushing mighty wind. There was a sound, a noise. He filled the Upper Room and the entire house with His presence. He would soon fill each person with His Holy Spirit.

He would breathe new life into them just as He did with Adam.  

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 9)

Today’s theme is Christian Unity. For those of you who missed Lesson 8 posted Sunday morning, it contains an excellent typology and is a prerequisite for Lesson 9. I am using Acts 2:1 for both. 

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INTRODUCTION   

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

Ch 2: LESSON 8

LESSON 9

Acts 2:1

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

A few years ago I made a comment to a friend of mine, a Christian book author, which he found quite amusing. He laughed out loud. We were discussing the Day of Pentecost and the Upper Room, as well as the apparent oxymoronic concept of Christian unity. I said the reason there were only 120 in the Upper Room was because it was the maximum amount of Christians the Lord Jesus could possibly gather together in one place that would remain in spiritual unity.

Since that time, of course, Christianity in general has split into roughly a million pieces with segments fighting segments. It long ago became an idiotic display of morons insisting they must adhere to their simplistic revelations of the moment and immediately build fortresses on the spot willing to defend them to the death against all comers.

The worst thing that ever happened in this regard was what the spiritual fruitcake Constantine did early in the fourth century. Some think he legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire. He actually did nothing of the sort. What he did was create a new syncretic form of Christianity based extremely loosely on Scripture that gave major precedent to human control which bypassed completely the sole authority of the Lord Jesus. This is the religion he legalized. It was the one he fully controlled. All other forms of Christianity were declared illegal, including real Christianity! Constantine and his minions certainly achieved unity in his new enterprise, of course, but it was based strictly on forced submission and authoritarian religious control. All Christian denominations and many churches have adopted the exact format ever since.

It was the very opposite in the beginning. The only central authority was the Lord Jesus and no other. He ruled from on high. He was the only King of real Christianity and remains that way. Below Him every real member in His Community is exactly equal. There is no clergy class. There is no laity. There are none who wrest control over others and set up their own fiefdoms. Whoever the Lord places in the forefront must be the greatest servant of the group. Such servant leaders, as the apostle Peter, must be extremely humble and very careful not to take the spotlight from the Lord. This is why the vast majority of those we refer to as “Christian leaders” are mere pretenders. Some are much worse than others.

The only way to gain actual Christian unity is for each individual believer to first gain 100% unity with the Lord. This demands total repentance and total surrender. When two or three who have done this decide to be in unity with each other, the Lord is there and confirms the spiritual union. From this point on, the individual members of the group increase. It is exactly the same as cell division. It starts with one, one becomes two, two become four, etc. Thus, there are only two necessary components:

1. Initial spiritual union with the Lord

2. Lateral spiritual union with each other

Both are based on serving. This is exactly as the Lord taught. But the big boys hate the very idea. How can they rule over others under such a scenario? How can they transform Christianity into a method to gain riches and a good living doing such serving? How can they create their own little domains or immense worldwide religious kingdoms without a ruling hierarchy and top of the pyramid figurehead? Such commandments of the Lord are utter nonsense to them. They don’t serve the Lord and never have. These are the destroyers of Christian unity. They even destroy the possibility.

The Lord Jesus, however, remains the King of His one and only kingdom. It consists only of those who honor Him only, bow the knee to Him only, and invoke only His holy Name above every name and no other. This is exactly what the 120 did on the Day of Pentecost. They set the example for what all Christian meetings should be.

May we all submit to the King.

“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” [John 17:22-23]   

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! [Psalm 133:1]

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. [Ephesians 4:1-6]  

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. [Colossians 3:12-17] [1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 8)

They had been tarrying for ten days. The relative few who remained for the duration in faithful obedience to the Lord’s final instructions had been fasting, praying, and preparing themselves for the highly anticipated promise of the Father.

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INTRODUCTION   

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

LESSON 8 

Acts 2:1

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

It was early morning on the first day of the week, fifty days after the Resurrection of the Lord. A second Sabbath had passed. The 120 were gathered together in the large Upper Room, the home of Mary, mother of John Mark. No one knew what would happen. They did know it would be a big event, something that had never previously occurred. Throughout the long age of the Hebrew nation from the time of Abraham nineteen centuries before, God had been preparing His people. And now, millions of Israelites later, they were minutes away.

From the vantage point of the Upper Room, historically located on the city’s high southwestern hill, disciples looked down upon the old city of King David immediately eastward across the valley in the glint of sunrise. The former village of the Jebusites, first secured by Israel in 1003 BC, was ornamented gloriously with Jerusalem’s new temple glittering in the morning sun. There, amid the clatter and bustle of street life below, the temple priests attended to their quotidian duties as they had for centuries on end, ever since Solomon completed the first temple over a thousand years before. Unfortunately, due to egregious national sin and rebellion, his magnificent edifice was destroyed by invading Babylonians in 586 BC. After the Hebrew Captivity a second temple was constructed, being completed exactly seventy years later, fulfilling in part the following prophecy:

“For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.’” [Jeremiah 29:10] [1]

By the time King Herod began his energetic building projects in Jerusalem fifty years before this historic Day of Pentecost, the substandard second temple, of no comparison to Solomon’s original wonder, was in serious architectural decay. It was five hundred years old and had not only suffered the onslaught of time but also the ravages of several foreign incursions. Herod actually had to rebuild it entirely. This made it the Third Temple. Religious law, however, and the insistence that temple service must be perceived as perpetual, refused to acknowledge this obvious distinction and rendered this third temple as a continuation of the second, a fact somewhat lost to history.

Meanwhile, back in the Upper Room, there was another form of construction in the works. What King Herod had done in the natural with ornamental dressed stones, the Lord Jesus was doing in the Spirit beyond the perception of the shallow minded and dull hearted. He was building another Temple—the Real One—which all relative Old Testament prophecy pointed toward and of which the other temples were mere three-dimensional types and shadows. The real Temple would be a spiritual house composed entirely of Living Stones.

The Chief Corner Stone, the one the builders rejected, was already set.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101: Acts Chapter 1 Review

Dear Readers: Now that we have completed Acts Chapter 1, it is a good time to review. Please check to see if you have completed the Introduction and each Lesson. Blessings to all.

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INTRODUCTION : Announcing a new teaching series and discussing format. (March 29)

LESSON 1 : Acts 1:1-3 (March 30)

LESSON 2 : Acts 1:4-5 (April 1)

LESSON 3 : Acts 1:6-8 (April 3)

LESSON 4 : Acts 1:9-12 (April 4)

LESSON 5 : Acts 1:13-15 (April 6) 

LESSON 6 : Acts 1:16-20 (April 7)

LESSON 7 : Acts 1:21-26 (April 9)

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© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 7)

The lost apostleship of Judas Iscariot had to be restored. The eleven must again become the twelve. The lesson of Judas is that any believer can become a traitor.

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6

LESSON 7

Acts 1:21-26

21 “Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. [1]

Even though it was prophesied in the distant past there would be a man who betrayed the coming Messiah, it was never written in stone that Judas must take the course he did. It was a choice, the result of his own will. There were signs all along that there was something wrong with him that needed attention. And then he betrays the Lord with a kiss? How can any man so blessed be such a jackass?

Most of us would consider being one of the apostles as the highest possible honor. Imagine being with the Lord every day, being taught by Him, and being a witness of His majesty. This was the greatest Man who ever lived living an extraordinary life willing to pay the highest price for those He loved. Walking with Him, regardless of the challenges and persecution, would have been an absolute trip.

But Judas was a thief. He ripped off the Lord. He stole money dedicated to ministry. He griped about perceived excess or waste, even though he ended up wasting his own life. There is no excuse for such behavior, not then and not ever. He was a liar, a pretender, and a manipulator. It appears that other apostles didn’t like or trust him. The Lord called him a devil (diabolos), being defined as one prone to slander, vicious gossip, fraudulent accusations, and bearing false witness. Judas characterized an entire group of people. Was this why the Lord chose him? To reveal to His followers what they would face and to thus be prepared? All the apostles were tempted but Judas was the weak link. He refused to discipline himself properly. He never allowed the circumcision of his heart. He chose to oppose.

There had to be twelve. One must be chosen to replace him. It had to be a man who followed the Lord from beginning to end and witnessed His resurrection. The original twelve apostles represented in part the twelve tribes of Israel. Judas had much in common with the progenitor of the tribe of Dan, who was the likely ringleader in betraying Joseph and sending him off to Egyptian bondage. At some point in history this tribe disappeared. There is no record of Dan in the Book of Revelation tribe list. This lets us know what becomes of traitors.

Matthias (gift of God) was chosen as an honorable replacement to resurrect a dead apostleship and restore fullness to the twelve. The thief would be replaced with a giver. It was the highest of honors for one who must have been a thoroughly humble man.

Matthias was an apostolic example of the new birth.

© 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.

THE HEBREW MONTH OF NISAN 2020: ATONEMENT AND RESURRECTION (Part 4)

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I originally began studying the Hebrew calendar with reference to Biblical events many years ago and have written several papers and studies concerning them. The following post begins the republishing of a series of posts I first made in 2012 and then again in 2014. I have done some major updating and also installed the correct dates for this year. Though the spring feasts have been fulfilled, it does not mean these dates do not have current significance. I encourage you to continue studying God’s calendar on your own, and see how this time of year might be applied to a new beginning in your own life.

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THE MONTH OF NISAN

Nisan 14 / April 8, 2020 (Began at sunset on April 7):

Four days after crossing the Jordan River, and exactly forty years after the first Passover in Egypt, the nation of Israel celebrated its first Passover in their new land:

While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. [Joshua 5:10]

They had received this teaching from Moses:

“Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.” [Exodus 12:5-6]

Also on this date, the Lord Jesus became our Sacrifice Lamb:

So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” [John 19:16-19]

We know that the Lord Jesus died on the cross at some point after the ninth hour—about 3:30PM. [1] The time was according to the Hebrew manner of reckoning the hours in the day, which began at sunrise. On that particular day, there were actually about 12.5 hours between sunrise and sunset, and sunrise took place sometime between 6:00 and 6:30AM. However, the Gospel accounts do not say the Lord died at exactly the ninth hour, because other events took place after the ninth hour and before His death. It is safe to say He died somewhere between just after the ninth hour and with enough time remaining to bury His body before sunset.

Also, this particular Nisan 14 was a Thursday, not a Friday. It was the fifth day of the week. Five is the Biblical number of Grace. The Lord did not die on a Friday. He died on a Thursday.

On the equivalent of that Wednesday evening, the Lord and His disciples ate the Passover meal. He then suffered the trauma of Gethsemane. After being up all night, shuttled around to various false trials, and beaten severely, our Lord Jesus had been stripped of His clothes and nailed to the cross at the exact time of the Temple morning sacrifice, which was at the third hour of the day. This was somewhere between 9:00 and 9:30AM.

Over six hours of excruciating pain and suffering later, the Lord died. His body continued hanging on the cross until it was taken down at the request of Joseph of Arimathea, by the light of a full moon just then rising over the Mount of Olives. [2]

If the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, it possibly meant the sacrificial lambs were slaughtered a day before the Sacrifice Lamb. There remains ample conjecture concerning Passover dates because Jewish sects, such as the Essenes, honored different dates. Yet the Lord must have partaken of the Passover since it was commanded in the Torah, and it was during which He instituted the New Covenant by introducing His broken body and shed blood as a memorial.

Could it be that the Lord’s death was progressive? It certainly appears that the “death angel” passed over the Garden of Gethsemane the night the Lord made His final surrender. At some point that night the sins of the world were placed upon Him. This was a legitimate form of death. There was no protection for the Sacrifice Lamb. It would have cancelled out His purpose. Once sin was placed upon Him, the spotless Lamb became sin on our behalf. [3] He continued “dying” until the next late afternoon when He breathed His last, when full payment was made, and when all was finished.

The original Passover in Egypt took place in the middle of the night, when the death angel “Passed Over” each house while looking for the shed blood of lambs upon the door posts and lintels of the dwellings. Whichever family’s house did not display the blood of a perfect lamb suffered the loss of its firstborn son.

Those families whose houses displayed the blood were representative of having the blood of Jesus displayed on their hearts as a substitute sacrificial firstborn Son, who died in place of their actual firstborns, and thus suffered no loss.

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Nisan 15 / April 9, 2020 (Begins at sunset on April 8):

After crossing the Jordan, the nation of Israel ate the produce of the Promised Land for the very first time:

On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. [Joshua 5:11]

This was the first day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pesach 1, a day of holy assembly, which concluded with Pesach 7, another high holy day on Nisan 21. [4] It was the day after the Lord was slain, the sixth day of the week, and equivalent to our Friday.

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Nisan 16 / April 10, 2020 (Begins at sunset on April 9):

It was on this day that the manna which God provided for forty years during the wilderness wanderings ceased. From that point forward, Israel would only eat the food of their new land.

The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year. [Joshua 5:12]

This was a Sabbath day. Manna never fell on a Sabbath, but a double portion always fell on the day before—the sixth day of the week (Friday morning). Therefore, there was still manna left over from Friday to eat on this day, but it never fell again. In the week of the Lord’s passion and death, this day was also the seventh day weekly Sabbath, which always fell on a Saturday.

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Nisan 17 / April 11, 2020 (Begins at sunset on April 10):

The Captain of the Lord’s host appeared to Joshua:

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

It was also on Nisan 17 that the events of the week culminated in the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

Scripture says that the Lord was resurrected on the first day of the week, which would have been equivalent to our Sunday. This means He was actually crucified, as stated previously, on Thursday, Nisan 14. That evening at sunset, after Joseph and the others had taken the Lord’s body off the cross, prepared His body for burial, and encased Him in the tomb, it become Nisan 15. This was not only the high holy day of Pesach 1, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Friday), it was also the day before the weekly Sabbath (Saturday).

Then, after the weekly Sabbath was over and the night had passed, Sunday morning dawned. This was Nisan 17, or the day of First Fruits, which took place after the Passover Sabbath each year. [5] On the agricultural calendar, it was the beginning of the barley harvest, and our Lord Jesus was the First Fruits, the choicest portion. Imagine the scene, then, as all these days and prophetic events played out perfectly, and imagine the shock and delight of Mary Magdalene at the tomb that morning:

But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” [John 20:11-16]

He had been physically dead, just as He said He would be, for three days and three nights:

“For just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” [Matthew 12:40]

But on that resurrection morning of Nisan 17, also in keeping with another prophecy, a new Temple was raised by the Lord Jesus Himself that will never be destroyed again:

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19] [6]

This is the hope that every real Christian has, to be a living stone, part of the Real Temple—the Body of Christ, that the Lord is currently building with Himself as the Chief Cornerstone, and that one day he or she will also be resurrected bodily just as the Lord was, to spend eternity with Him and one another forever!

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Matthew 27:45-50, Mark 15:33-37, Luke 23:44-46

[2] Mark 15:42-47

[3] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[4] Exodus 12:18

[5] Leviticus 23:11, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 6)

The 120 were gathered together in the Upper Room. The apostle Peter took his place as spokesman for the group. Keep in mind that this assembly was the entire Early Church, from the Greek Ekklesia, which is defined as “the community of the called-out ones.”

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5

LESSON 6

ACTS 1:16-20

16 “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘LET HIS HOMESTEAD BE MADE DESOLATE, AND LET NO ONE DWELL IN IT’; and, ‘LET ANOTHER MAN TAKE HIS OFFICE.’

This was Luke’s first recorded post-Ascension message of the followers of the Lord Jesus. They had a safe place at Mary’s house. Though the Lord was no longer physically present in the environs of Jerusalem, His small group of disciples was still considered a dangerous heretical faction. From the limited perspective of the Jewish religious leaders, however, with the Lord finally out of the way, there remained a consensual relief not presently threatened by the existence of His small band. But this would soon change.

Regarding the traitor, the greatest villain known to history, he did have second thoughts. He was assisted in his dastardly deed, however, by the devil himself, along with the murderous and conniving chief priests, which assisted in pushing him over the edge.

And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. [Luke 22:3]   

One wonders at the arguments Satan may have made that at last convinced Judas to act. It was more than the man’s love of money. In essence, though, he was simply deceived. His bad spirit, bad attitude, constant grumbling and complaining, and refusal to adhere to real discipleship, caused the man’s unregenerate flesh, his sinful human nature, to remain forever on display. This condition is common to all, and without self-imposed restrictions, wreaks havoc. It is why all real Christians must at the onset deal strongly with this spiritual enemy and defeat it if they hope to have any chance at serving the Lord.

When Judas saw the Lord condemned, and that he had been deceived by the priests and elders, he felt great remorse. He tried to return the money but they wouldn’t take it.

“I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. [Matthew 27:4-5][1]

According to tradition, the Field of Blood was located just beyond the southern edge of the old city of David on the other side of the Hinnom Valley.

This had otherwise been known as Gehenna, the allegorical destination of the wicked.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 5)

After watching the Lord rise up before them enveloped by a cloud, the disciples removed from Mount Olivet and returned to Jerusalem per the Lord’s command. It was time to await the promise.

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4

LESSON 5

ACTS 1:13-15

13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. 15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said…  

This Upper Room was most likely in the house belonging to Mary, the mother of John Mark, as mentioned in the twelfth chapter of Acts after Peter’s miraculous release from certain execution:

…he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. [Acts 12:12] [1]

It was a very large room which, of course, implies a large house. This denotes Mary, a probable widow, as a woman of means. Mark was a cousin of Barnabas, the apostle Paul’s traveling partner, which made Mary his aunt. One can deduce that the respective fathers of Barnabas and Mark were brothers who were wealthy enough to (1) Own a large high end property in Jerusalem with servants, and (2) Send Barnabas, a man of letters with probable training under a rabbi to school. Barnabas was also the most likely writer of the Book of Hebrews.

The Last Supper was held in this same Upper Room, which made the private home a regular place of meeting for the Early Church. In fact, the entire Early Church at that time could take up residence within it. All eleven apostles were there along with possible family members. The Lord’s brothers were there, maybe all four, as was, of course, His mother Mary. Many other women were there, which must have included Mary Magdalene. With all of these together, it came to about 120 people, on the one hand a large group for a house church, but on the other relatively quite small.

After preaching to perhaps hundreds of thousands over a three and a half year period, having a large band of following disciples, and appearing to as many as five hundred after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus only gathered 120 dedicated praying disciples in the Upper Room awaiting the Day of Pentecost.

This should enlighten us to His selection process.

© 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.

THE HEBREW MONTH OF NISAN 2020: THE TIME OF OUR VISITATION (Part 3)

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I originally began studying the Hebrew calendar with reference to Biblical events many years ago and have written several papers and studies concerning them. The following post begins the republishing of a series of posts I first made in 2012 and then again in 2014. I have done some major updating and also installed the correct dates for this year. Though the spring feasts have been fulfilled, it does not mean these dates do not have current significance. I encourage you to continue studying God’s calendar on your own, and see how this time of year might be applied to a new beginning in your own life.

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THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. [Matthew 16:1-4]

The Majority never noticed anything. Messianic hope was alive and thriving but most were looking in the wrong place. The people had been deceived by a bunch of silly interpretations of Biblical prophecy over the previous half century—interpretations with an agenda that had next to nothing to do with actual prophecy—that which was delivered by God’s actual prophets.

Much of the false prophecies of that time had more to do with making money and grabbing authority. It is no different now. The prophecy preachers took over starting in the 1960s and the vast majority of believers believed just about everything they preached and taught, considering the main themes they all had in common. Money started flowing in, especially after they started writing books and going on television. It was a money-making boon, something no one had ever seen before, and many jumped on the bandwagon. The new-found wealth and authority energized these prophecy preachers all the more.

The inevitable range wars began breaking out as many different teachers taught many different things. They had to fight for the market share they gained and it became a joke when they became much more interested in their point of view instead of the truth. They had to keep up the charade, because to change their interpretations of prophecy meant the money flow might stop. They continued to prop up their stuff regardless of new truth based on solid research and much more valid perspectives that most people, as usual, ignored. They ignored it because it didn’t come from what they viewed as an authoritative source, and most Christians then, like most Christians now, are led around by the nose by those they surrendered their authority to, and thus rejected the truth.

These willingly deceived Christians were told to believe what they were taught and to never question anything, as that would be heresy. But according to the Lord, the real heresy is refusing to take on the mantle of a real disciple:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15 KJV]

Real Christians must FOLLOW THE LORD, not the present equivalent of the first century false prophets and fakers. They must do this in order to stay in obedience to Him and stay above deception. Otherwise, “God’s people” become nothing more than useless willing dupes with absolutely no critical thinking skills, no desire to research it all out on their own, and no willingness to rock the boat for the sake of truth.

Again, the exact same thing happened in the early first century and it was why the majority rejected the Lord. It was also why what remained of the Jewish national state was destroyed forever forty years later.

And in our time, as at that time, a point in history arrived when it was too late. Just like in the first century, most Christians of today believe in a very particular sequence of events they firmly believe is actual prophecy, and have no clue they are deceived and deluded. “Official Christianity” in America, that is, the prime movers and shakers that control most Christian wealth, authority, and media (especially television), have adopted what they believe is an orthodox viewpoint of upcoming prophetic events yet are missing it entirely. Because they have supported a false view of Biblical prophetic events, they have brainwashed most believers into believing a false view of Biblical prophetic events.

Real prophecy is certainly coming forth, however, though most Christians are blind to it. The Lord repeatedly warned us of very strong deception. It would be good at this particular point in history to review our beliefs. Perhaps the powerful verses in this post will help us see that which is really happening in “Official Christianity,” and why most within it remain unaware of what is otherwise in plain sight.

Please consider The Signs of the Times.

THE MONTH OF NISAN

Nisan 10 / April 4, 2020 (Began at sunset on April 3):       

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER;’ but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” [Matthew 21:10-13]

Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS?’ But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. [Mark 11:15-18]

And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF?’” [Matthew 21:14-16]

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.”

Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said. [Luke 19:41-48] [1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 4)

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

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3

LESSON 4

ACTS 1:9-12

9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. [1]

Luke reports the event in an understated matter-of-fact manner. The likelihood is strong that he wasn’t there so he must have received the information from those who were. Since he wrote The Acts of the Apostles about thirty years after the Ascension, it is most probable that many of the firsthand witnesses had already passed on. Nevertheless, I don’t believe Luke would have relied on secondhand information, no matter how credible. Who might have provided their testimony? There was a large group there, not only the eleven apostles. Some of them probably later traveled into the far reaches of the Greco-Roman world. The apostle Paul, whom Luke spent much time with, would certainly have known many who were there that day.

Regarding the Lord’s departure, it must have been hard on everybody. Maybe the thoroughly unique and otherworldly method He chose took some of the edge off. He knew He would still be with them, though in spiritual form. But His disciples likely felt that an unseen floor had dropped away. They spent almost every day of the last few years with Him. He taught them everything they knew. They would miss Him terribly. We have all had such heartfelt goodbye moments, sometimes involving those we would never see again.

As they stood there on the Mount of Olives between Bethany and Jerusalem peering up into the sky at the Lord’s strange private rapture, the disciples were enthralled with an event never possibly experienced before, lost in their goodbyes, and momentarily overcome with loss. How would they manage without Him?

Then the two angels suddenly showed up with more of the matter-of-fact narrative as if the Ascension were a mere ho hum event. “Why are you guys still standing there looking into the sky?” With that statement they announced yet another event, one stranger than the first.

He’s coming back.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 3)

In the first century AD, the Israelites continued to be obsessed with the restoration of their kingdom. Other than brief independence under the Hasmonean Dynasty (c142-37 BC), they had been ruled by foreign powers since the Babylonian Captivity six centuries before.

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1   LESSON 2

LESSON 3

ACTS 1:6-8

6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” 

The Lord continued attempting to patiently explain to his disciples that His was a spiritual kingdom. In His Olivet Prophecy, as recorded in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21, He warned them that great tribulation was coming and what was left of the nation of Israel would cease to exist within a generation.

Then He shifted His answer to the immediate future when they would be endowed with a power giving them greater ability to understand. He told them they would become dynamic witnesses of the Gospel message. The Greek word is dunamis and is defined as “strength, ability, inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth.” This would be an entirely different ballgame. The powerful OT prophets and John the Baptist had the spiritual power of God upon them, but they were not indwelt by the Spirit of the Lord. In fact, the Lord said:

11 “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” [Matthew 11:11]

How is this possible? John was obviously a great and fearless preacher, the forerunner of the Lord. He had what would otherwise be an impossible objective—to prepare the collective heart of the nation for a soon arriving future. For many, if not most, it would be a future of growing tribulation and destruction. The independence and freedom sought by the Jews would continually diminish just as John had prophesied:

7 So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 9 “Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Luke 3:7-9] [1]

smaller percentage of the people did repent, though not enough to save the nation, and it was the Community of this repentant Remnant composed entirely of Israelites that the Lord initially gathered as a spiritual people for a spiritual kingdom. For this, they would have to be like Him and receive His power. They must each be filled with the Holy Spirit.

© 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.

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THE HEBREW MONTH OF NISAN 2020: CROSSING THE JORDAN (Part 2)   

4/3/2020: According to the official Hebrew calendar, Nisan 10 begins tonight at sunset, meaning the anniversary of the Jordan River Crossing is tomorrow, April 4. In reality, however, according to the lunar cycle, it is today. See the above link for historical content.

THE HEBREW MONTH OF NISAN 2020: CROSSING THE JORDAN (Part 2)

BlogPic4220

 

I originally began studying the Hebrew calendar with reference to Biblical events many years ago and have written several papers and studies concerning them. The following post begins the republishing of a series of posts I first made in 2012 and then again in 2014. I have done some major updating and also installed the correct dates for this year. Though the spring feasts have been fulfilled, it does not mean these dates do not have current significance. I encourage you to continue studying God’s calendar on your own, and see how this time of year might be applied to a new beginning in your own life.

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THE MONTH OF NISAN

Nisan 10 / April 4, 2020 Saturday (Begins at sunset on April 3):

Three days had passed since Joshua sent out the two spies. The long-awaited crossing of the Jordan River by the entire nation of Israel into the Promised Land was about to take place. This was a monumental event for the Hebrew people. Forty years after leaving Egypt, they were almost home.

At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.” [Joshua 3:2-3]

So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off.

So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. [Joshua 3:14-17]

Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. [Joshua 4:19]

The spiritual equivalent of crossing the Jordan River is profound. It compares to a time when training and preparation has ended and a full grasping of what one has trained for begins. Joshua and Caleb were effectively sentenced by the unbelief of the prior generation to forty years in a place they did not really belong. These two stalwart warriors had been ready to take the land forty years before. Imagine how ready they were at this time. They were bursting with desire to take the Promised Land.

Here’s our lesson: When one is given a promise by God one must then prepare for the arrival of that promise. We think it will happen right away, right after receiving the revelation of the promise. But the actual achievement of the promise is often years into the future. It is like a seed that must be activated and generated into a fruit-bearing plant.

The specific promise God has made to each of us is activated by ongoing prayers of faith.

Praying in faith—believing the promise will happen and praying for it to happen—is how it does happen.

One must put in the required effort to show oneself worthy. One must effectively pray it in, call it forth, and walk it out. One must allow for and actively participate in the Lord’s preparation and training for an event that would otherwise be impossible. Our part is to believe and pray consistently so the Lord can continue the preparation.

It is like the development of a baby in the womb. There is a particular gestation period, but the birth of the promise will never happen without one’s spiritual effort. Ceasing to believe and pray ceases the development. Continuing to believe and putting one’s faith into action through consistent faithful prayer, regardless of circumstances or apparent lack of fruit or progress, is what keeps the promise on track.

Though Joshua and Caleb understood this, the prior generation did not and would not. The prior generation was a collection of faithless, complaining gripers always looking back to Egypt (the world) instead of forward to the Promised Land (the kingdom). God would have to use Moses and these two men, Joshua and Caleb, to train and prepare the next generation in belief, so that belief would be established with the nation of Israel, and so that Israel would be victorious when the time of the promise came to pass.

This is why crossing the Jordan is so important.

To attain the promise, one must cross over from the old into the new. But this is not possible without a Sinai “crucifying the flesh / establishment of belief” experience. There are no short cuts.

The next event on the calendar is indicative of covenant. All the men of the second generation, the generation of belief, had never undergone circumcision while wandering in the Sinai. The entire previous generation that left Egypt had died off, except for the faithful and valiant Joshua and Caleb.

After crossing the Jordan, the men of Israel were circumcised on the first day in the Promised Land. This indicates our own circumcision of heart as we enter God’s kingdom.

Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way. Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. [Joshua 5:7-8]

Also on this date, the Passover lambs were chosen in preparation for the Passover. The following is the account of the first Passover preparations in Egypt forty years before the Jordan crossing, just prior to the Exodus:

Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.’” [Exodus 12:1-3]

The Israelites were commanded to keep and prepare each individual lamb for the next four days.

It was also on this exact date, Nisan 10, that Messiah Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. He was the perfect Lamb chosen by God and made officially public on the exact prophetic date. Though the people celebrated Him as the King Messiah, it was actually the unveiling of the suffering Servant Messiah, the Lamb of God, four days prior to His atoning death.

They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple… [Mark 11:7-11] [1]

Beginning this Saturday with the Jordan River Crossing, consider what the Lord may be doing in your life relative to these events over the following four days until Nisan 14 (April 8). There are many important anniversary dates coming up over the next week, but for now, it is almost time to enter the Promised Land.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 2)

The Gospel of Luke is the only one which sets the scene regarding the Lord’s last morning before ascending to heaven. He adds more detail in the opening of Acts. We now continue with the narrative:

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1  

LESSON 2

ACTS 1:4-5

4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Many Christians are familiar with the incident in which the Lord appeared to two men on a road west of Jerusalem on the day of His resurrection. That afternoon they were heading to the small village of Emmaus, about seven miles away, when the Lord Jesus approached and began walking with them. Luke is the sole gospel writer to record the full story, though it is also briefly mentioned in Mark 16:12. After an eventful evening the two men quickly returned to Jerusalem and met with the apostles and the others, excitedly telling them what happened. While there the Lord again appeared to all of them and began His final instructions. It was then that we have the only occurrence in the gospels of “the promise” as mentioned above: 

49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” [Luke 24:49]

In both books Luke records the Lord’s commandment that His disciples remain in Jerusalem to await the big event. It will happen in a matter of days. Before they can be His witnesses they must receive His power and anointing. He called it an immersion in the Holy Spirit (from the Greek baptizo, meaning “to submerge or overwhelm”). Though the specific terminology “promise/Father” is recorded nowhere else but these two verses to this point, there are several other gospel references. The first time Luke mentions it is in the following when he also pairs the two baptisms:

15 Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, 16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” [Luke 3:15-16]   

One of the most profound events referencing the baptism in the Holy Spirit is recorded in the Gospel of John. It is in Jerusalem at the temple on the final day of the feast of Sukkot in the fall of the year. From it we can gain a greater understanding of the significance and timing of the baptism:

37 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. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 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][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.

THE CONTROL TEST: PROVING THE MAJORITY COMPLIANT

two person standing under lot of bullet cctv camera

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

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HIDDEN THREATS EVERYWHERE ON A DAILY BASIS

When a person ventures into public areas everything he touches has already been touched by many other people. At the grocery store, for example, every item on every shelf has been handled by any number of people by the time it got there. Were any of them sick? How about the last guy to touch the item, the store employee that stocks the shelves, was he sick? One grabs a grocery cart that had been handled by an endless succession of people including the employees who went out and rounded them up from the parking lot. Every item in the produce section was handled by probably even more people on its way there and many of those items have no protective containers. How about the floors? What did people track in? What unseen entity did one step on or in during the day and then track into the house?

At the checkout line one unloads one’s groceries onto a conveyor belt that everybody else has used. Might any of them have been infected with something? If using cash to pay one may wonder how many thousands of people touched that cash on its way in and out of one’s wallet. If paying with a card, one uses a machine that has been touched by thousands who likely left unseen residual reminders of their presence which now transfers to your hands and your card, the latter of which goes back into your wallet infected with whatever. When one breathes, everything in the air around a person goes into one’s nose and mouth, travels to one’s lungs, and possibly enters one’s bloodstream. Not everything breathed in necessarily goes back out when exhaling.

Drinking unfiltered tap water likely does more to promote illness than breathing in possible pathogens. Tap water is loaded with chlorine, ammonia and many other unsafe chemicals. It is basically swimming pool water. Those with knowledge of built-in pools know what happens if one fails to keep the chemical levels correct. The water will turn green due to the presence of all the little unseen life forms that also like to swim and hang out there. They must be killed. Chlorine and other chemicals work very well. The same thing must obviously be done in municipal water systems which have infinitely more extremely serious contaminants than swimming pools. If one tests the water in either, one will get about the same result. Tap water, of course, is said to be safe because the chemicals in it are diluted to the point that they have no detrimental effect on one’s health. Right.

Over the last few weeks, there are suddenly many people who now comply, though not before, with the directives handed down from on high, such as hand-washing, using sanitizers, wearing face masks, donning gloves, trying not to touch their face while out in public, and attempting to keep the suggested proper distance from other people. They are responding very well to control directives. It is obviously good advice, but most never engaged in any of these protective efforts before. Every year hundreds of thousands die from the flu but this is never reported, meaning most people go about blissfully unaware of the danger or are simply too apathetic to act. Perhaps that’s why hundreds of thousands die from the flu.

But some people are already aware of the manifold threats to health out there. They have known most of their lives the great value in washing their hands and using sanitizers. They do their best to steer clear of unhealthy people and avoid those who are infectious. They never drink tap water but only the best purified water available. They have learned the value of organic Vitamin C. Those are the first two items in one’s pro-health anti-getting-sick starter kit. In addition to those one knows to take an excellent organic multiple vitamin, most of which one will never find in the usual haunts. Such vitamins provide a wealth of nutrients for the body starved by the lack of proper nutrients in most food available today. From there one can add additional supplemental vitamins as necessary. Vitamin D, for example, is excellent (among many other things) at defeating viruses. The Creator has blessed us with a wealth of proper foods to keep us healthy and strong.

THE KEY IS HAVING A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM

The issue before us then, is not simply obeying control directives from on high during times of crisis that come and go, but being disciplined enough to take care of one’s health on a daily basis regardless of whatever else is happening or where one might reside. Many people have been preaching this for decades. The Creator has already blessed us with immune systems that fight off those evil little entities that cause sickness and disease.

THEREFORE, WHAT ONE MUST CONCENTRATE ON IS TAKING CARE OF ONE’S IMMUNE SYSTEM AND PROVIDING IT WITH EVERYTHING IT NEEDS TO BE AS HEALTHY AND AS STRONG AS POSSIBLE.

This is the real test. It is not principally about being fearful of exterior threats using exterior means but insuring interior protection. It is about being healthy enough to withstand the enemies of our health from the inside out. Those who educate and discipline themselves in this regard have the best chance at staying healthy and avoiding illness.

It is obvious, however, that only a relatively few people do this. Judging by the way many people look and function nowadays it is readily apparent they refuse to address the real problem. Weakness of will, lack of discipline, absence of critical thinking, and wholesale acceptance of authoritarian directives often prove weakness of health, lack of proper information and truth, and gross personal irresponsibility. By throwing caution to the wind and placing all of one’s faith in the medical industrial complex—excellent for many treatments but also a massive earnings-engineered economy in itself in which the profit-incentivized leaders thereof are treated as gods—it is no wonder that the time was ripe for scaring everyone to the point of mass hysterical panic and unadulterated obedience toward their worshipful masters.

Such people continually pass the control test. Rather than doing their own research, being extremely careful about whatever they ingest, and doing their due diligence to steer clear of the causes of illness, one of which is fear, they simply decide to bow down and obey a few effortless orders until the all clear sign is given and then quickly return to their unhealthy lifestyles.               

Their behavior proves the existence of a compliant majority under authoritative control.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 1)

After writing his gospel, “about all the things Jesus began to do and teach,” Luke begins Acts by recalling the morning of the Ascension when the Lord gave final instructions to His chosen apostles.

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INTRODUCTION

LESSON 1

ACTS 1:1-3

1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. [Acts 1:1-2]

Luke refers here to the Gospel which bears His name as the first of a two volume work. Though many accounts of the Lord’s life and teachings had previously existed in various forms and lengths from which to draw, Luke set out to write the definitive gospel. He would attempt to write the story sequentially, “in consecutive order,” fill in any gaps, and put the previous accounts into a workable whole. All agree that he did a masterful job. He would do the same with The Acts of the Apostles, though would also act as his own historical eyewitness on many occasions, which was not the case previously.

The “beloved physician” was a man of culture. As he did in the introduction to his gospel, he refers to an eminent associate named Theophilus, who likely lent his assistance and donated funding for the project. This man, whom Luke refers to in his gospel as the equivalent of “your excellency,” was probably a Gentile believer who held a relatively high office. Acts begins as if a letter to a friend recounting the life of the Lord Jesus until His Ascension into heaven. Luke uses the final instructions of the Lord to His close disciples as a starting point for his second volume, which draws in the reader and sets the tone for an energizing new phase of ministry in which all believers would participate in taking the Gospel to the entire world.

3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. [Acts 1:3] [1]

Luke reiterates the vast body of eyewitnesses who experienced the Lord’s living presence for almost six weeks after His resurrection. The apostle Paul said they were at least five hundred in number. These many accounts give conclusive proof of His resurrection as do manifold thousands of Jews embracing Him as Savior and Messiah. He was not a ghost but fully human and able to perfectly relate and communicate as He had before. God became manifest in flesh and remains so today.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Introduction)

 

Today begins a new teaching series entitled Early Church History 101. Each post will be based on passages from our only text book, The Acts of the Apostles. Your interaction and dialogue are encouraged.

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INTRODUCTION

Because this is an introductory course, I hope to post on as near a regular schedule as possible and keep the lessons fairly brief, hopefully interesting, and possibly compelling. I suggest engaging in your own research as you see the need.

Our goal is to become better acquainted with the beliefs, practices, and accomplishments of the Lord’s original Community. It served as a prototype and foundation of the Church Age which began at Pentecost in AD 32 and continues to the present. During this almost two thousand year period, the Lord Jesus never taught any subsequent transition or alteration which would negate or change the beliefs and practices of our early forebears. We in the present must therefore respect and seek to emulate their holy and courageous example as they worked in close cooperation with the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Early Church was sent into an often hostile world with the life-giving Good News in the opening salvos of a spiritual war destined to cover the planet. Their accomplishments were nothing short of miraculous.

The author of The Acts of the Apostles is Luke—Early Church historian, gifted writer, the beloved physician, oft traveling companion of the apostle Paul, and also author of his masterful “first account,” the Gospel of Luke. It is possible that Luke did not originally affix a title to Acts but the title we have is likely correct. However, based on the author’s chosen vocabulary and grammar, he clearly indicates that this historical record is a continuation of the ministry of the Lord, which means it could have been titled The Acts of Jesus. Some have suggested The Acts of the Holy Spirit.

Inserting Apostles in the title, however, serves primarily to indicate the Lord working through His original twelve (minus Judas Iscariot), but certainly was not limited to them. In fact, it was the entire Community through whom He worked, which includes each and every believer, though the apostles were the most spiritually mature at the time. Because they were His initial chosen ones who followed Him throughout His ministry and witnessed the Resurrection, they were the men primarily utilized in the early years. This was especially the case with the apostle Peter, whom the Lord powerfully anointed on that first Day of Pentecost in ancient Jerusalem to set the many authoritative precedents of the Early Church which continue until today.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

THE HEBREW MONTH OF NISAN 2020 (Part 1)

 

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I originally began studying the Hebrew calendar with reference to Biblical events many years ago and have written several papers and studies concerning them. The following post begins the republishing of a series of posts I first made in 2012 and then again in 2014. I have done some major updating and also installed the correct dates for this year. Though the spring feasts have been fulfilled, it does not mean these dates do not have current significance. I encourage you to continue studying God’s calendar on your own, and see how this time of year might be applied to a new beginning in your own life.

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THE MONTH OF NISAN

According to the ancient lunar-solar Hebrew calendar of modern Rabbinic Judaism, Yesterday, March 26 was the first day of the month of Nisan. Historically, this is a very important month and, coinciding with the season of spring, denotes a new beginning.

Nisan is the first month of the festival, or ecclesiastical year.

It is most often the seventh month of the civil year.

In an intercalary year, when there are thirteen months instead of twelve, it is the eighth month.

The name Nisan is Babylonian, and was named during the 70 year captivity in Babylon in the sixth century BC. In the Old Testament, in the Torah, this month was originally known as Abib (or Aviv) in most Bible versions. The word Abib means, “fresh, young barley ears,” and refers to the time of the year when the barley first becomes ripe.

Each Hebrew month begins and ends with the new moon. But because the official rabbinic calendar is predetermined, technical problems arise. The calendar is not dynamic but fixed to allow for the setting of dates decades or even centuries in advance.

For example, the actual new moon which began the current lunar month took place in the USA this past Tuesday morning, March 24, at 4:28 Central Daylight Time.

However, the official Hebrew calendar did not start the new month of Nisan until Wednesday, March 25 at sunset. This is in part because Hebrew days always begin at evening, in keeping with the account in Genesis 1:5: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” This is also due to the static nature of the Hebrew calendar, in that the month should have actually began a day earlier.

So, technically, Nisan 1 began in the USA on Tuesday, March 24 at sunset. You’ll have to check your own lunar cycle wherever you may live in the world to discover when Nisan 1 began in your area.

The following list of dates includes the happenings of this time of year in relation to the days of the ancient calendar of the Hebrews. Since God’s original calendar remains in effect, these days are very important. Each feast day carries prophetic overtones. The spring feasts were all fulfilled two-thousand years ago when Messiah Jesus arrived as our Sacrifice Lamb and Redeemer.

To eliminate confusion, the listed dates are according to the official rabbinic calendar.

Regarding the month of Nisan:

Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” [Exodus 12:1-2]

There are several significant events in Biblical history that took place on Nisan 1, the above passage of Scripture being one of them. God still pays close attention to His calendar and His timing for personal events in our lives often involves calendar dates. Many of us are feeling a new spiritual beginning of some sort at this time. What follows is a sampling of important dates to orient us to the beginning of this new season.

Nisan 1 / March 26, 2020 Thursday (Began at sunset on March 25):

It was on this date that the Mishkan was set up for the first time:

Now in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. [Exodus 40:17]

The nation of Israel had left Egypt after the first Passover almost one full year before this event. The people had been in the Sinai since the Exodus from Egypt, and because of their lack of faith, they denied themselves entry into the Promised Land many months before and were destined to wander in the desert a full forty years. In that time the design was revealed, and the elements needed for the tabernacle were built, including the Ark of the Covenant. It was on this date that the tabernacle in the wilderness was set up for the first time in its history.

This is indicative of a new spiritual start and a new beginning. It is indicative of the beginning of a new ministry. Since the Great Awakening in America is on course, though in the early stages, the beginning of a new chapter is undoubtedly taking place now. We are in transition to a greater fulfilling of this process, and individual believers are sensing this in their own lives and walking it out. Many are feeling a strong tug on their hearts to get closer to the Lord, whatever that may involve.

The next section is dedicated to two different eras: (1) The nation of Israel entering into the Promised Land for the first time thirty-nine years after the Mishkan was erected in the Sinai, and (2) The events of Passion Week almost fifteen hundred years later.

The Mishkan had repeatedly been set up for ministry and taken down in various locations as the nation of Israel traveled about the Sinai. At the end of their wanderings, Israel stood at the precipice of destiny. The prophecy was about to be fulfilled. They were now on the threshold of entering the Promised Land forty years after leaving Egypt, and would soon partake of their first Passover in the new land.

Notice the similarity of events when compared to Passion Week, to be discussed in Parts 2 and 3, when our Lord first entered Jerusalem as the officially recognized and honored Messiah. Is there any doubt that God creates new beginnings and fulfills prophecy on a specific timetable according to certain dates?

Nisan 7 / April 1, 2020 Wednesday (Begins at sunset on March 31):

While the nation of Israel was camped on the eastern side of the Jordan, two spies, or scouts, were sent out by Joshua across the Jordan River to Jericho to gather intelligence for the first battle in the conquest for the Promised Land.

Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it.’” [Joshua 1:10-11]

Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. [Joshua 2:1] [1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

CHRISTIANS IN LEAGUE WITH THE ENEMY: THE TRAITOR WITHIN

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There is no effective difference between those in powerful positions on the world stage engaging in mass subterfuge who actively oppose the Lord Jesus, and deceived Christians who support them unequivocally.

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Though blissfully unaware, they are willing accomplices. They will not get a pass. Failing to correct this great wrong before passing into eternity means facing their Creator on the wrong side of justice. They will be shocked by the verdict. The Lord alludes to this outcome in the following:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” [Matthew 7:21-23]

You may be wondering what He means by “lawlessness.” On the surface it should be plain to see that He referred to such people as apparently successful users of His Name without knowing the bearer of the Name—they didn’t know the Lord Jesus personally. The Greek word is anomia. Though some Bible versions translate the word as “iniquity” or “evil,” the root of such is actually defined as “without the law, contempt for the law, or violation of the law.” In this case, the word must indicate the violation of God’s law.

How were these people who appeared to be disciples in good standing with the Lord Jesus and therefore keepers of His law actually violating it? Looking further into anomia, we discover that it points to something familiar: One can be violating the law unknowingly. He can be ignorant of it. He can be unaware of its existence. This also portends deception. And, as always, ignorance of the law is no excuse. This is why those Christians who violate their conscience, even to a small degree, open themselves up to blurred spiritual vision and an inability to properly delineate right and wrong.

THIS IS WHY GOD MADE PROPHETS

There is a gross misconception among “prophetic types” and those who follow them that prophecy is one of two things, either foretelling, which is obvious, yet primarily forthtelling. This is not necessarily untrue in that prophecy is not only seeing the future and pronouncing it before it arrives, but also addresses particular actions or steps one may take, for example, to get right with God, prepare for a certain outcome, or partake on a certain course. However, there is a third aspect just as important—correcting those in authority. For example:

“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][1] 

In other words, those Christians in authority without proper accountability due to the stature of their office must have a means of receiving correction, not primarily for their own benefit but for those subjected to their authority. And because God knew beforehand that people in authority would attempt to claim accountability by surrounding themselves with sycophants, yes men, and the rubber stamp guild, He determined that prophets must be independent so as not to be compromised by the same egregious false concessions made to maintain illicit authority.

Authority figures who engage in immorality or injustice, or refuse to be accountable to God are compromised, even though they may legitimize their power to their heart’s content barring any uprising by those under their rule. If the ruled over are content to live for less and usually much less than God intended that is their choice. God obviously saw this happening beforehand also. Therefore, the prophet also exists to encourage and strengthen those who refuse illicit religious rule and demand God’s rule and His righteousness. 

CONSPIRACIES EXIST BECAUSE THEY WORK

The murder of the Lord Jesus was the end result of a conspiracy. The plan was carried out in stealth by those who hated Him. They had tried to get Him several times without success but at last succeeded once gaining the valued assistance of a traitor.

They needed an inside man. They needed a dupe they could deceive. Dupes are not necessarily unintelligent but are compromised by a false perception of reality. The false perception arises from believing and acting on lies or propaganda masquerading as truth. All perceived knowledge must be vetted. If not, it entails a lack of discretion and proper discipline, which makes one susceptible to incorporating principles that are selfish in scope and evil at their core, though such evil is rarely perceived. In order to be fooled, that is, to accept the making of moral concessions, they must engage in an effort, however small and seemingly innocuous, to compromise their conscience.

And it is the violation of their conscience—that wonderful entity possessed by all that acts as an arbiter of good and evil—that opens the door not only to potential evil but also to deception.

Rather than reject all sin with the desire to serve the Lord and gain His righteousness, see the world from a positive perspective, do right, treat people right, engage in righteous acts, and attempt to spread goodness and joy, however idealistic such a course may be perceived, the conscience compromisers decide they have no choice, in order to get ahead in life, but to reject the Golden Rule (treating others as one wants to be treated) in areas in which they feel infringements are warranted. They deceive themselves by this practice and insist the bulk of their actions are good, or will have a beneficial end, and that somehow the greater percentage of good they do outweighs the minor amount of bad behavior. Or they may think a certain immoral response or ongoing behavior is justified based on prior maltreatment or perceived wrong. 

THE TRAITOR WITHIN

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” [Taylor Caldwell, A Pillar of Iron.]

Like Judas, Christians must be deceived into supporting the enemy and his conspiratorial evil plans, and a great many do. Their lack of insight, spiritual laziness, and a willingly compromised conscience has blinded them to reality. They fail at seeking the Lord with all their heart. Rather than know Him they merely use His Name for their own benefit. As the Lord expressed in the preceding verses from Matthew’s gospel, such Christians appear to be for real but are merely chosen members of a club who all believe the same and therefore support one another in deception. They may practice foretelling and forthtelling but refuse the ultimate truthtelling. The prophetic voice of correction is rejected.

And also like Judas, they have their price.

© 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.

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

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

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This is a difficult concept to grasp for many Christians. It sounds subversive. It appears incorrect. The reality of the matter, however, is that the early 1st century believers were acting exactly in accordance with the Lord’s teachings. They did just what He told them to do. They taught what He taught. They practiced what He practiced. It is not their methods which were odd and non-Scriptural, but those of today. They were not the rebels but the perfect example. Those who refuse to follow their example or engage in their methods are the actual rebels.

And He wasn’t far away from those early believers in a distant unknown heaven but right there with them bringing forth the spiritual fruit of His Word:

And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. [Mark 16:20][1]

THE REAL HIERARCHY

Actually, there isn’t any legitimate Christian hierarchy. There is the Lord Jesus, who has all authority in heaven and earth, which of course, is all the authority there is, and then there are His followers who all exist on the same spiritual plane, equal to one another, below Him. He is the only Leader, Master, and King. If such can be described as a hierarchy then it is the only one that exists in His Kingdom.

There is no legitimate middle man group or professional clergy. What there actually is are all Christian believers at various stages of spiritual maturity. Some have reached full maturity but this does not mean they have license to rule over other believers. The Lord made it very clear that all believers were equal with no one ruling over them except Him. He said the more spiritual maturity one gained the more of a servant he must be. Thus, if anything, there should be a reverse hierarchy in which the spiritual giants among us should navigate to lower and more humble stations rather than climb an ecclesiastical power ladder. Rather than a raised platform or stage there should be a hole in the ground. This is merely Christian Spirituality 101. Humility is a door.

I’m not keeping track of how many churches have suspended their services. I assume it is a great percentage. The leaders thereof were given orders to shut down and dutifully complied. One wonders if this would have happened without the internet, because it is largely internet streaming on various platforms keeping many churches going. There is nothing essentially wrong with this but Christians in general are still not seeing the big picture.

BOGUS TALKING HEAD MINISTRY

About a dozen years ago I was invited to a church service by a friend. I had never been there before. We drove up and parked in a large parking lot. We entered a large traditional church building. There were people milling around in the foyer and a central station where one could get some coffee. All normal things. We entered the usual large auditorium with standard pews and found a place about half way down on the right. After getting settled and looking around, however, I noticed for the first time something really odd. After the worship service it became odder. Instead of a pulpit or a preacher up there on the platform there was a big screen. It suddenly came on and there was a guy on the screen. This was the pastor. He was preaching from a remote location. There were three other churches connected to the transmission doing exactly as we were.

It was absolutely weird, and believe me, I am aware of most of the weird things about Christian practices in general, but had yet to experience such a thing. Here was a guy in a small studio somewhere preaching to a camera with the feed going into his four “churches” and everyone in those four churches were dutifully watching him on a screen. I was generally nice to my friend but let it be known that I thought it was a tad strange. In my heart I knew it was absolutely ridiculous but again, I was nice. I sat there and went through the motions with everyone else but the entire time was wondering how all these people could possibly put up with Mr. Big Brother up there in this weird 1984 style “church.” Everyone could have just stayed home and watched it on the net. Or gathered in small groups in homes. There was no need for the four church buildings and the great expenses they incurred. All that money could have been spent on, oh, I don’t know, maybe people?

AN AWAKENING

Which brings us to the present. All over America former church goers have been forced by strange unprecedented circumstances to stay home from church and watch their pastor or maybe a small service of a few online. So far, people seem to be getting what they need and are greatly enjoying themselves. Some states have ordered, from what I understand, only small groups of ten or less, even in private homes. This is actually about the perfect size of a home group. I would think that after several weeks under these circumstances the innovative intelligent Christians out there would figure out a way to minister to one another and take care of one another and soon discover a brand new method for organic Christianity.

Please stick with me here because this will sound really weird. What if Christians simply did their Christianity at home? And among their neighbors? What if they opened up their Bibles and shared with each other? And prayed for one another? And what if they organized a method to meet each other’s needs and the needs of their neighbors? I have seen many reports of people doing very strange things like collecting groceries and supplies and giving them away. One older woman who likes to sew was making surgical masks for the hospitals or for individuals to wear personally. When you start searching out such events it will astound you what is actually going on out there nationwide. There are apparently millions of good hearted people who have suddenly been released into various unofficial ministries more than happy to do whatever they can to help and provide. Rather than suppress ministry the current shutdown has actually promoted it. This is great news.

It is starting to look like 1st century Christianity out there!

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

NOTE: Please see my friend Barb’s site, My Life in Our Father’s World, for this great post of current ministry in action: A SMALL ACT OF KINDNESS

THIS IS YOUR TIME: GREENER PASTURES ARE CALLING

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

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THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN

Churches are shutting down and forcing the use of other ministry options, such as live streaming on various internet platforms. Even those who were reluctant to make such a drastic change, though ostensibly temporary, have faced the facts of these strange days and complied with the overall transition taking place all across the country.

I will reiterate here that the threat is real but on a much lower level than advertised. There are any number of supposed threats at present that can be ginned up and harped on to drive a panic. It is all in the application. The means to drive a narrative have been here for decades and, of course, have been used repeatedly. What you as a Christian must do is discern the difference between legitimate threats and those which are merely hyped to become much more than what they are. If you are used to always obeying authority figures and never questioning them, then this post is not for you unless you may be willing to see things at least a tad bit differently.

Christians often forget that they are supposed to be serving a Lord who can do anything anytime in any circumstance, in that there truly is nothing impossible with God. In that regard He does not merely suggest living by faith, that is, stepping out of familiar comfort zones and entering a realm of miraculous possibility—He demands it. One cannot be a real Christian otherwise. A large part of a Christian’s means of operation must involve the unfamiliar and the unknown, which requires a close walk and willingness to operate far outside the box of conventionality.

There are some I am speaking to here directly. You have had this very sentiment on your heart for a while now. You are wanting to get it right. You are not as comfortable as you would like to be in going forward but you know you must. From personal experience, let me tell you—there are times when you never reach a fully “comfortable” feeling in making such a move. You feel something like a pressure but it is not really that, but more of a personalized directing into something different. You don’t have the full picture but you know you must act. You are not sure how because you don’t have all the facts. Guess what? You will likely never have all the facts. All you know is that you are being somewhat strongly led in a new direction. There is something out there you must do. There is a move to make. It is actually somewhat exciting but such is contained due to a reluctance to leave familiar surroundings. Sometimes it is geographic but it doesn’t have to be.

Many Christians refuse to obey when such a time comes. They would rather stick with sure security and not take a chance on a possible wrong move or upset a current lifestyle. This is not a bad move to make at first. It is the prudent thing to do. If the Lord has us where He wants us then we must be very careful to fend off any “calls” to a new thing somewhere else which has much more to do with one’s own personal desires or those of another, and usually entail running from God or away from Him. We must always test these things. There are times when it seems the Lord is calling us elsewhere or upward but time will tell if it is really Him or not. If it is not Him, whatever initial leadings we may feel will never get to the point beyond mere consideration. But if it is Him it will not stop. The directing will grow stronger. In these cases the Lord is telling us that the fruitful fields of the future are elsewhere, whether geographic or not, and that current fruitfulness is lessening and will continue to slide.

It could be that the Lord is driving both, in that He will no longer bless a current effort because He wants you to have greater fruitfulness and it can only come if you make a move. I will caution whoever may be reading this, however, that it must be by His direction and you will have to be close enough to Him to hear His voice and be sufficiently inclined to His guidance.

There is a surplus of examples in Scripture. Someone was going about his life as always when the Lord, somewhat suddenly, spoke and began preparing him for a move. There will always be a time of preparation. The Lord will initially speak, often with plenty of time beforehand (but this is according to His reckoning and not our own) and it is up to us to hear. After getting the message we must do the next thing which is to obey. We begin preparing. The Lord continues to speak to our spirit in stronger tones. We keep checking to make sure it’s Him. He will bring spiritual verification during the entire time. Things begin working toward the goal. The old begins to fade. He won’t bless it anymore. The new begins coming into greater focus. The blessing is in the transition but will soon be fully in the new. The new becomes more exciting. We reach a point when we want to do it and it cannot come fast enough but we must still be patient. He always does things the right way with no ups and downs or zig-zags.

It’s okay to make a few incorrect moves because He can fix that, but we must stay in touch. What He can’t fix, however, is willful intransigence and disobedience. This borders on outright rebellion. I have no idea how many Christians make these moves the right way or how many refuse to move altogether. But I know a real Christian is bought with a great price. We do not belong to ourselves but to Him. Each of us cost Him His own shed blood. That being said, we know He always treats us well and it is good to “try the spirits” to make sure what we are feeling or hearing is the Lord. He expects us to do that, of course. There comes a time, though, when we cannot allow conventionality, common sense, social pressure, or other elements to hold us back from the greater life the Lord wants to give us. And it is not primarily for our personal blessing but to be of greater use to Him and for others.

It will involve personal blessing, however. And it will involve all the joy of leaving a not so great but okay place in which fruitfulness is harder to come by though we remain in good standing with Him, into a new place filled with fresh new possibilities, opportunities, wonderful people, and increased spiritual fruitfulness. If this resonates with you, make absolutely sure it is the Lord and His direction. You will have to be mature enough to make the final decision and not depend on another to make it for you.

One thing all of us know, or should know, is that we are in the midst of a great change. Forces of evil are pushing a sinister narrative. The world is changing drastically as you read this. But again, the Lord is not surprised. He remains fully in charge. Our destiny with Him remains on course. New challenges may be throwing a wrench in the works somewhat, but His strength, guidance, and anointing will keep us secure and at peace as our mind is stayed on Him.

For some of you, now is the time to move on to greener pastures.

Vaya Con Dios.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


NOTE: My friend Beverley at Becoming the Oil and the Wine, nominated this site for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Please visit and congratulate Beverley on her nomination and also for her site’s sixth anniversary. Thank you and Be Blessed.

JESUS IS THE ANSWER

climate people street weather

Those in high positions of authority are not revealing all they know. Others in lesser positions may be clueless but will dutifully comply with the agenda and continue to drive the panic.

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BOY HOWDY, THIS GOT UGLY QUICK

From the beginning, back in early January or so, there were a few rational people who saw what was happening, as the few often do, and began warning against the warning. Since then both sides have ramped up their rhetoric, though the rational voice has been completely deluged by now. Once the major media gets on board and begins relentlessly driving the narrative it is case closed. That’s because the majority of Americans are addicted to the major media and treat it like God.

You might have heard me say this before a time or two, but this phenomenon is not unlike what goes on in many churches, in that members have knee jerk reactions in times of such trouble to seek out their leaders and abide by their pronouncements. Mainline Christianity is thus no different than the mainstream media, in that they all say the same thing, never tell their people to not honor them as difference makers, but accept their middle man role and dole out the advice, which not surprisingly sounds exactly like the government’s advice.

I was at the grocery store late last week. It’s a big store, and relatively new. There were loaded and semi-loaded shopping carts and shoppers waiting in a ridiculously long line that snaked all the way along the main drag checkout area to the far end and down an aisle. It was probably that way on the other side of the store also. I had never seen such before in that store. And when a store has about thirty or so check out stands that says something. I didn’t notice how many were actually in operation but it appeared to be most.

While finding my place in line, almost halfway down a central aisle, still somewhat amazed, I did what I always do. I tried striking up a conversation with the man in front of me but he wasn’t very talkative. Another middle-aged woman came by, with a small child, and a young man in a wheel chair with a leg injury. They asked if this was the line. They had to cut across from their direction. I said yeah and she, with a big smile and jovial attitude, and a slight incredulous manner, dutifully lined up behind me. As we got closer to the front of the store the line parted in two, one for shoppers with lesser items. And we waited, and shuffled along. I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing by now.

I was successful in this particular line in finding someone to discuss the situation with, and we carried on a conversation the rest of the way to the checkouts. Our theme, of course, was this strange happening and the current crisis which suddenly jumped out of nowhere but without what one would normally associate with such a crisis. There were not thousands dead, for example. Not even hundreds. At that time, across the entire country, there were about fifty and most of them were in one specific location in one state.

But the authorities continued saying it was about to get much worse. By that time a national panic was in the works. It was not based on reality, however, but on projected reality. I was not thinking there was not a potential crisis but that the crisis continued to appear overblown. Those voices I told you about back in January, who were saying the crisis showed all the signs of being manufactured? Well, they continued on, some with greater fervor, trying their best to tell the truth of the matter. But as always, you had to search for them. The mainstream media was now in lockstep, all saying the same thing, that the end of the world as we know it is upon us, and for all of you out there who are unprepared, well, you better hunker down, bunker or not.

Even the President was reluctant to get on board. He knew the entire thing was fishy, apparently, but was soon forced to go along. Again, I am not saying there is not a real danger here, but only that it’s been blown entirely out of proportion. Nevertheless, national fear has now set it. It is being taken advantage of to drive an agenda. I tried to warn you with my latest posts. You can gain a lot by reading them. You will have greater understanding of how this crisis was planned and carried out. You may figure out who’s driving it and for what reasons. It gives the PTB a good look into the present American psyche. And it lets them know who the lemmings are.

WHAT ABOUT GOD?

Meanwhile, for all real Christians out there, those who actually follow the Lord Jesus, especially those who have been around a while and are mature disciples, what is presently occurring is not so earth-shattering. They have already been through much worse. When whatever crises that happened to them took place, it wasn’t national news. No one except a very few knew about those occasions. They had to weather the storm though, and do their best to overcome and survive. The world at large didn’t care. It didn’t know. These were private struggles. But the Lord came through for each and every one. He made a way where there was absolutely no other way. They learned all the more to live by faith in their Savior who loves them, and trust Him. They have confidence in Him. They know He does what He says. They learned to not give in to fear and panic, especially when it regards a largely manufactured crisis.

It is good that you can’t find any hand sanitizer anywhere. People know what they need. It is good that the nation is being instructed to wash their hands. Really? That says a lot, that the people of a nation this large and influential doesn’t even know they should wash their hands. A hundred and fifty years ago, no one knew germs existed. They never made the connection between unsanitary practices and conditions with disease and illness, or on some occasions, general pandemics. And then America apparently forgot this knowledge. And America continued to slip headlong into the worst social practices ever when very few understood or cared that such behavior has a massive downside. When the majority practices such the end of that nation is in sight.

So this, again, is a test, on several levels. Doing one’s best to stay away from the virus is good. Taking all the proper precautions is good. Those who do the best in this regard will have the better chance. Maybe this will help the country turn the corner. Maybe Americans will discover that proper sanitation actually works. Maybe they will learn to be more disciplined regarding how they protect their bodies, what they put into their bodies, and what they engage in with their bodies. Maybe more people will get the big idea that the Lord’s instructions along these lines are there to protect us.

But I’ll believe when I see it. I have been teaching whoever might listen about all of these things for several decades now, and have only seen things get worse overall, though there does exist a percentage of the country that pays close attention to healthy lifestyles and nutrition. Most people prefer ignorance and apathy. This makes them easily led. They are then taken advantage of and steered into whatever thinking is desired at the time. They become dense to the truth they need. They make the mistake of being led by the wrong leaders. These wrong leaders, whether civil or religious, don’t really care about people but only their own interests and agendas. When I see it among Christians, however, it is most disconcerting. People think they are escaping an evil world and joining Christianity but are unaware they are often only jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, so to speak. And then they continue to be misled.

Those who refuse anything less than the full truth never stay in a place where they discover the full truth does not exist. They move on. They continue seeking. Perhaps this is why all the spiritual greats mentioned in the Word of God were relatively obscure in their times and associated with only a relative few, especially the Master Himself. Not only did few follow Him, He suffered terribly by this world’s leaders, most of whom never knew Him or appreciated Him.

My advice at this time is the same for any other time: Seek the Lord. None of this is any surprise to Him. And carry on in your work. Never trust those who merely talk the talk but rarely or never walk the walk. You will be led astray. Rather, seek the One who has already walked it out and will even walk a mile with you, or a hundred, or a million.

You can trust a Man who gives His life so you can live.

2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

PANICKED OVER A TRICK PANDEMIC

red apple fruit with black background

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

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It’s getting worse. The infection rate continues to rage and rise, in some places exponentially. The worst perpetrators thereof are either too preoccupied to notice or care, or owe their lives to practices which make them vulnerable. If they stop they lose everything and their kingdoms crumble. They built their lives on dirt foundations with no escape hatch and could lose their existence of error when the big one hits. Many are so tied-in to a lesser-based life they will never get free without major disruptions from which they may never recover.

Yet there has always been a way out. Most humans see it, though, as too way out. Their social credibility suffers at the prospect of embracing it. Thus, those with the most invested in the fake world have the most to lose in leaving it, and choose a temp existence over long-term reality. This is why the Master opined on this quizzical matter by saying the worst are often first, in that they are less invested and more free to enter. Their baggage is the kind happily left behind. And besides, they’ve usually been treated like outskirts scum by the success party and denied membership since their résumés don’t add up. But the Master’s door is always open.

The rich man faithless deniers do anything they want with access to anything money can buy but will end up in the hot place with Mr. Dives craving a mere rain drop on their desert palates to no avail, while all the poor little faithful formerly sore-ridden Lazarus’ hang out safely in Abraham’s comfy air-conditioned crash pad. This reversal of fortunes is really cool when you think about it and does justice proud. It proves once again that playing by the rules of a dog-eat-dog world will get you a dead dog death in the long run regardless of manifold plaques on your wall and trophies in your case. None of those sorts of things are transferable to the great beyond.

Therefore, this latest scare we must beware means more effort wasted on things that don’t matter and playing right into the hands of the unseen gear grinders always coming up with more dastardly plans to insure their control and lessen yours. If you can’t see through it you must clean your windshield, change your perspective, and try harder to focus. Maybe take off those dark shades that look so cool. And don’t trust the ones the Master instructed us not to trust but trust Him.

Only He has the cure for the real pandemic.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

WAKING THE DEAD: THE DOOR

silhouette photo of person holding door knob

 

The Door is not a concept. It is not one more Christian ethereal unreality pontificated upon by dead men in the guise of the living. The Door is real. Until one actually enters it, he is asleep to spiritual reality.

CONSTANT TOTAL AMAZEMENT

“My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.” [1]

This is how Christians should be and would otherwise be if the Lord had His way, but most are asleep and spend their lives sleeping. They even sleep at church. Almost everybody there, in most churches, is asleep. Some are even literally asleep (drool alert).

This is an amazing thing. The greatest Man who ever lived. The greatest story ever told. Reams of historical records of His great exploits and accomplishments. No Man anywhere close to His greatness in the history of the world.

And yet they sleep.  

Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory… [Luke 9:32]

And there it is.

DEAD CHRISTIANITY

It is the Lazarus Syndrome. Most of Christianity is dead. It is Lazarus all wrapped up in grave clothes, bound and sleeping in a cold dark tomb. The people who promote this are making a mockery of real Christianity. They are dead Lazarus supporters.

Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” [John 11:21]

“Lord, if You were here our church would not be dead.”

But what is the Lord to do when faithless disobedient dead Christians insist on barring the Door?

And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets;’ and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ [Luke 13:23-27]

The Christian willing dead are evildoers. Those who sponsor and insist upon dead Christianity violate everything the Lord is about. They transform Him into something He never was. This false form of the Lord they created is a perfect example of an absolute violation of the Second Commandment. They have created a god to suit themselves, one which will never convict them of their unashamed sins.

THE DOOR

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me…” [John 10:7-14] [2]

It is impossible to be shown the Door, enter it, find pasture, gain abundant life, and also be spiritually dead. No one sleeps in His presence but will instead be as lively as the day is long and try to tell the whole world about his great fortune. Such people were rescued from a pointless existence in a graveyard. They found the secret of life.

Why then, do most Christians sleep?

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] © 1990 Joe Versus the Volcano

[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.