Blog Archives

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

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         Every real Christian must make a difficult but rewarding decision. He or she must leave home and all that is familiar in order to enter the kingdom of the Lord.

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         This world is not my home I’m just a passing through

         My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue       

         The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

         And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore [1]

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         And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. [Exodus 2:22 KJV]

         Gershom was the firstborn son of Moses. Moses named his son after his current experience. He had arrived in a new land about a year before and was still trying to find his way. This was a man used to the high life and lofty standing of being the adopted grandson of the Egyptian Pharaoh. He went from prince to pauper in a fortnight and had to flee Egypt with his life on the line.

RUNNING ON EMPTY

         Never having time to catch his breath, he headed east across the blistering sands of Sinai and kept traveling onward toward the rising sun in his own early version of the Texan’s runaway scrape. “What happened to me?” he thought. A fleeing fugitive, sottish with fear and disillusionment, on the run from Egyptian justice, he had killed a man in a fierce fury after seeing a Hebrew kinsman being beaten up without mercy.

         One may wonder what God saw in an avenging man slayer but what He did see was a man who had great pride in his heritage. God saw him as a man who would go to bat for his people. But at that time, with sweat pouring and fright raging, Moses looked like anything but a hero.

THEN CAME MOSES

         He came into the land of Midian. These were distant relatives of his ancestor Abraham. Abraham was the first stranger in a strange land:

         “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you… [Genesis 23:4]  

         Girls were trying to water their flocks but the other shepherds kept running them off. In reading the historical text we find that this was an everyday occurrence. It always took these sisters much time to gain access to the well because of the others who were intent on hindering them. Sound familiar?

         And suddenly Moses was fighting for justice again. This was a powerful man, a man who demanded respect. He saw to it that the girl’s flock got their water and one can picture the other shepherds looking on from a distance knowing that there was something about the new stranger, that one better not mess with him, that one could see by that look in his eye that he meant business.

         The sisters went home and told their dad. Their dad jumped their case. “What is wrong with you! Go find him and bring him to dinner!” This began an entirely new chapter in the life of Moses. He married one of those sisters and when his son was born he still felt like a stranger in a strange land after a very strange turn of events. But regardless of the desert remoteness, his home a million miles away, and thoughts of palace living gone forever, the blessings kept flowing. The Lord had a plan.

         Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God… [Exodus 2:23] [2]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] This World Is Not My Home © 1952 by Albert E. Brumley, Acclaim Music

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

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SALVATION OF JEWS WITHOUT JESUS? NOT ACCORDING TO MOSES AND PETER

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         “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]

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         Both of these men had sterling Hebrew credentials. The first, Moshe, was chosen by God as a prophet, deliverer of his people, and  lawgiver. Without Moses there would be no Hebrew nation.

         The second man, Peter, was chosen by the Lord Jesus as the man to whom He gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Peter’s name in Hebrew is Kefa, and his given Jewish name before the Lord changed it was Shim’on Bar-Yochanan. Peter used the kingdom keys on the first Day of Pentecost showing the way to salvation and as the central leader and spokesman of the early Jerusalem Church.

       Regarding Hebrew credentials, no one has more sterling credentials than the Lord Jesus Himself: A member of the Tribe of Judah, He is a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David.

THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME

         The New Covenant writers made it very clear that there is no salvation without Messiah Jesus (YeHoshua HaMashiach), as His very name means “YHWH-Salvation.” The apostle Paul (Sha’ul), a “Hebrew of Hebrews” in his own words, cites absolutely no distinction between Jews and Gentiles in his teachings regarding those in need of salvation:

       For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” [Romans 10:11-13]

         The entire Community of the Lord for the first seven to ten years of its existence after Pentecost was composed entirely of Jews. There were no Gentiles until the inclusion of an Italian named Cornelius, whose salvation came through the ministry of Peter, the historical account of which is listed in Acts Chapter 10.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JEWISH NATIONAL TITLES

         The first man called a Hebrew in Scripture was Abram (Genesis 14:13). In general terms, the descendants of the Patriarchs were known as Hebrews until the Conquest of Canaan under Joshua, after which they were known as Israelites. The nation was divided into two kingdoms after Solomon’s death, and the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were dispersed into permanent exile in 721BC and were slowly assimilated by other nations.

         The only remaining tribes of the original Israelite nation were Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, and these constituted the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The people of this Kingdom went into exile in Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 586BC. They were allowed to return to the land of Judah a half century later. Since the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah and because the three tribes composing it had somewhat maintained their distinct Israelite identity, the relatively small remainder of the original Hebrews/Israelites became known as Jews from that time forward.

MOSES PROPHESIES OF THE COMING KING

         “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well. I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.’” [Deuteronomy 18:15-19]   

         This prophecy and commandment delivered by Moses was referenced by Peter during the first days of the early Church when he spoke to a gathered crowd of Jews in Jerusalem right after the miraculous healing of the lame man:

         “Moses said, ‘THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’” [Acts 3:22-23]

          If someone polled Christians on whether or not they believed that the content of this Scriptural passage was true, many would say no. Of course, many would have never heard of it to begin with so it would appear foreign on two counts: On the first because a probable majority of Christians have never read the Book of Acts, and the second because they have been conditioned to believe that Jews can be saved without Jesus.

         But the Lord Jesus made it a point to anoint Peter to preach this word early on in the Church’s history and make a clear authoritative reference to Moses so all the Jews there would hear the truth.

THE BOLDNESS OF PETER AND THE SALVATION OF JEWS IN ACTION:

        “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.’ For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” [Acts 3:24-26]

         Many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. [Acts 4:4] [1]

         After the awesome display of the Lord’s miraculous healing of the lame man, the bold preaching of Peter, the massive salvation of thousands of Abraham’s descendants, and the powerful display of God’s love, the Jewish religious leaders showed up and threw Peter and John in jail.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Is God Three People? THE ONGOING REVELATION OF JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (9)

         Dear Readers: Thank you for all your support this year. I believe the content in this current series is indispensible regarding the coming Great Awakening in America. We must all grow closer to the Lord Jesus. He must be exalted in this nation. His real identity must be known. Christian persecution will continue rising in America in 2016 and we must all be prepared. Please help make this current series reach as many believers as possible. Be blessed!

         “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM…” [John 8:28 NAB]


         God is not three people. There is no such thing as three persons in a “Godhead.” Most Christians don’t even know what a “Godhead” is. The term derives from a bad translation. It began in the King James Version of the Bible, which is over 400 years old.

         “Godhead” only appears three times in the KJV New Testament. The word also appears in other versions. The NASV95, a much better translation, uses the terms “Divine Nature” and “Diety.”

         Other versions use the terms, “God,” “that which is divine,” “divine being,” “divinity,” “existence,” and “God’s being.” These terms are derived from only three Greek words. Each word refers to the singular.

THE ONE GOD OF THE ANCIENT HEBREWS

         The entirety of Old Testament Scripture NEVER teaches anything closely resembling a trinity of persons. To the Hebrews, NOTHING COULD BE MORE HERETICAL. It was the ancient Hebrews, and only the ancient Hebrews, who were originally blessed by the one God with the great revelation that God is one Being. Every other nation on the entire planet believed in a plurality of gods, a sad fact which the Old Testament refers to multiple times. The idea that God was one Being was rejected as heresy by all other nations and the Hebrews paid dearly for the truth God gave them.

         But they prevailed. God blessed them. God multiplied them and raised them up. Then the day came when Egypt, the greatest nation on the planet, destroyed itself in attempting to force God’s hand and force His people to remain slaves.

         Though Israel later proved itself to be unfaithful and became an adulterous nation which reverted to gross idolatry and a belief in multiple false gods, God remained faithful and there remained a small remnant of faithful believers in His one nation.

THE PROPHETS

          No Hebrew prophet ever preached about God being a multiplicity of persons. The entire idea makes absolutely no sense whatsoever anyway. One must remember that when the “Trinity Doctrine” was officially formalized and adopted by Constantine in 325AD, the resultant theology which came much later was superimposed upon Holy Writ in a deceptive attempt to transform truth, and especially the truth of the Lord’s real identity. It is also why the Lord’s powerful Name was eliminated from water baptism.

         Wrongheaded theologians began applying Trinitarian theology to a few verses here and there in the attempt to authenticate it upon the minds of their underlings. The OT prophets would have destroyed such theologians in a debate. They would have each insisted and proved that the classic “Trinity Doctrine” was absolutely false and full of holes in that it portrays God as being composed of three people.

         “Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.” [Isaiah 44:8]

          “I am the LORD (YHWH): that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. [Isaiah 42:8]

THREE PERSONS IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THREE PEOPLE

         Christians theologians do not use the term “three people” when referring to God. They prefer the term “three persons.” They insist that “people” and “persons” are two completely different words with different meanings. Hence, if one says “God is three persons” one is correct. But if one says “God is three people” one is incorrect. Such a belief is beyond ridiculous and is nothing more than ultra-religious semantic jargon used in the attempt to prove something unprovable.

THE ONGOING REVELATION OF GOD’S REAL IDENTITY

         In Genesis 1, God is known primarily by the Hebrew word Elohim. He is always referred to in the singular. ALWAYS.

         In Genesis 2:4 a change occurs. It is the actual beginning of the second Genesis creation story. From this point on, God began being known by the words YHWH Elohim:

         This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD (YHWH) God (Elohim) made earth and heaven. [Genesis 2:4]

         The name YHWH was considered so incredibly reverent and holy that is was not even written down by Hebrew scribes in the original OT Scriptures. Instead, the substitute word Adonai was used. Adonai is translated as “LORD” in English versions of the Old Testament and this is why “LORD God” is used in your Bible instead of YHWH God. “LORD God” is translated from YHWH Elohim.

         Of course, YHWH is not actually a word in the typical sense but a descriptive Name of God using four Hebrew letters which illustrated a greater relational closeness to His creation. It comes into use just as Adam is created. It is singular. God is always referred to in the singular. ALWAYS.

“JEHOVAH” IS A CORRUPT AND INCORRECT TERM

         Thousands of years later, this name of God—YHWH—was corrupted into the form many Christians are familiar with—“Jehovah.” Of course, there is no “J” in the Hebrew and the ancient Hebrews NEVER used this corrupted form. All Christians who use the corrupt term “Jehovah” should cease using it upon learning this truth and begin referring to the real term—the actual OT name of God—YHWH.

I AM WHO I AM

         In Exodus 3:14 an even greater revelation of God came forth:

         Then Moses said to God (Elohim), “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God (Elohim) of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”

         God (Elohim) said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

         God (Elohim), furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD (YHWH), the God (Elohim) of your fathers, the God (Elohim) of Abraham, the God (Elohim) of Isaac, and the God (Elohim) of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.” [Exodus 3:13-15]

         Only a few people were relationally close enough to God to use and understand this Name. Moses was the first.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


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

“If Isaiah Said That He’s A Liar!”

         If you had to pick one single Old Covenant verse of Scripture that proves the utter fallacy of a later all-encompassing man-made doctrine ascribed to by most Christians, it would be the following:

         For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. [Isaiah 9:6]

         Here we have a direct prophecy from one of the strongest and most prolific prophets revered by all, whose pronouncements are loaded with prophetic content that later came to pass exactly as proclaimed.

         This man was quoted by both John the Immerser as the Lord’s forerunner, and also by the Lord Jesus Himself during His ministry among us. The Lord quoted Isaiah extensively. In fact, the Lord quoted Isaiah’s words in stating that He was the long-awaited Messiah.

         This prophet’s words are used by Philip and Paul in the Book of Acts, and Paul quotes him many times in the Book of Romans, considered by many to be his best and most profound teaching epistle.

         There is no doubt among honest Bible scholars that the truth within the truth that Isaiah continued to preach regarding the future Messiah was that the coming One would not be a mere man—He would be God:

         But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,

         “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

         Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

         “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,”which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

         And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. [Matthew 1:20-25]

         In this passage, Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14. This word Immanuel only appears twice in the Old Covenant writings, and both are in the Book of Isaiah. The word refers to the coming Messiah. And Isaiah said the Messiah would be God.

         Though this may appear clear on the surface and though the Lord’s Name means YHWH-Savior, the above passage from Matthew presents a challenge. For from it we learn that the Father of the Son is the Holy Spirit. Huh?

         Now, if you want to get into a heated argument with any Bible-believing descendant of Abraham at any time in history but especially since the time of Isaiah, tell him or her that the following foundational passage in one of their revered books is actually not true:

         “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” [Deuteronomy 6:4] [1]

         This very passage contains the great truth that divided the Hebrews from every other nation on the planet. No other nation believed in one God, but a multiplicity of gods. This is the heritage of all ancient religions, the greatest of which stemmed from the greatest empires that ever existed on the planet.

         Does anyone think the ancient Sumerians or Egyptians were ignorant? If so, how did they manage to build such powerful empires? How did they manage the brilliance that brought forth so much knowledge into this world? The Sumerians are credited with creating civilization! These laid the foundations for later greater empires, namely the Greeks and Romans, who were possessed of some of the most brilliant people to ever walk the planet. So much of our knowledge is gained from them.

         And they all believed in a multiplicity of gods.

         But not the Hebrews. Never the Hebrews, not until they lapsed into their backslidden condition. Regardless of their many falls into sin and idolatry, their ancient Scriptures continued to consistently and overwhelmingly refer to their God as a single individual. They had to fight constantly to put forth such a view, since all other nations believed they could not be more wrong (“You one god morons!”).

         Thanks to the Hebrew remnant, the truth of One God was preserved. We now can refer back to these historical documents and we even know when they were given. Suffice it to say that Isaiah the prophet was one of the strongest of voices who gave no quarter regarding this truth, and brought it farther along than perhaps any other prophet since the prophet Moses. And it was Moses who gave us Deuteronomy 6:4 as quoted above.

         Also, we must keep in mind that the purveyors of God’s great truths—the Old Covenant Hebrew prophets—were most often rejected and castigated by their own people. The ancient Hebrews put Moses through hell. Many of the Hebrew prophets were murdered by other Hebrews. They were often treated like garbage. Yet they held fast and proclaimed the truth of God come hell or high water, or a posse with a hanging rope.

         Now, it is one thing to attribute to God the fact that He is one, but it is quite another to refer to that same God as the coming Messiah, which is exactly what Isaiah did. Isaiah made the claim that a Messiah would come—A Human Being—A Man—and that this Man would be God Himself, otherwise known as YHWH or the Great “I AM.”

         That’s pretty bold.

         And it pretty much destroys a later man-made doctrine, a doctrine formulated through bypassing the heart and spirit and by banking on mere substandard mental processes with zero revelation from God in an attempt to make everything jibe with regard to philosophical reasoning, existing tradition, and man’s very limited intelligence.

         Isn’t this exactly what the brilliant Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman priests and philosophers did in their completely failed but accepted attempt to proclaim deity?

         It was these brilliant religious men, beginning with the ancient Sumerians 5,000 years ago who invented what were later referred to by the Romans as “triads,” in which the three most powerful and popular gods were lumped together into a single entity. Every ancient pagan religion had their triads, and the membership of each often changed with the blowing wind.

         But the ancient Hebrews knew for a fact that all those brilliant pagan theologians of the ancient world had no idea who God really was. The Hebrews knew who their God was, and they knew He was THE God and the ONLY God. He proved this many times by all the miraculous things He did for the tiny nation and by the love He expressed for it.

         The ancient Hebrews also knew who the pagans did know. They knew those guys didn’t just make up all that stuff regarding their religions and all the gods they worshipped. They knew those pagan priests were intimately knowledgeable with the demons who gave them their power and knowledge. And they knew it originated with the rebellion in the Garden.

         The revelation of one God was the most radical belief in all the ancient world and we must give credit where credit is due, to our Lord first in that He founded a people who would initially honor Him, and to the ancient nation of Israel itself for proclaiming Him.

         As a result of YHWH revealing Himself to the Hebrews and by the Hebrews revealing YHWH to the world, the light of God outed the devil for the poser he is. The adversary was exposed. The devil could no longer exclusively deceive everyone that he was the ruler of the Universe. It made possible the removal of the dark cloud in the minds of men that had enshrouded them ever since the eating of the forbidden fruit. This explains all the spiritual warfare since those times, and why much of Christianity has lost that war.

         By the way, if you’re wondering about the title of this article, it was uttered many years ago by a Bible-believing Christian who was first confronted with the fact that Isaiah claimed the Lord Jesus was not only the Son of God and the Messiah, but YHWH. This man had never in his life heard of that verse or any such thing. He got very upset when presented with the clear truth of Scripture as stated in Isaiah 9:6. It was obvious he had more man-made doctrinal teaching than actual Biblical revelatory knowledge, and it seriously messed up his thought process.

         Confronted with God’s truth, and being completely unable to make it fit with what he was convinced was true, the only retort he could come up with was that Isaiah must have been incredibly wrong. Hence, “If Isaiah said that he’s a liar!”

         You don’t suppose Isaiah’s truth also played a role in the Lord’s crucifixion, do you?

         © 2015 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.

Forced Religious Conformity: Human Graven Images (Part 2)

         “So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire…” [Deuteronomy 4:23-24]   

         The problem with mankind’s religions in general is that they have historically been instruments used not for correct and proper spiritual purposes, but as controlling mechanisms of one kind or another in an effort to create a false coerced unity among a homogenized mass.

         Religious abuse is a terrible thing, and it stems from the idea that a particular discovered “truth” must be mandated for all whether or not people understand such a “truth” or buy into it. Religious conversions are forced by the rulers of said religions, and such religious-based rule has been on the planet from the beginning.

         In other words, the statement “This is what we believe here and you will either believe it or you will leave,” is the pro forma underlying credo for all religious establishments. Though often unspoken, it will certainly raise its ugly head when a perceived challenge is made.

         Real Christian love is unconditional. It does not force people into compliance. Yes, the Lord’s teachings are pure and foundational, and must be learned and adhered to if one is to be a good and effective disciple and follower of the Lord. But He loves us. He doesn’t force us. Religion uses force, not love, and this will always result in various levels of abuse.

         The saddest thing about this subject involves the creation of false forms of Christianity and the resultant use of the same evil religious force and control, and the hatred of those who are not members thereof. Fake Christians have mastered the use of a smiling face and gentle manner to mask their true objectives. The Lord Jesus loves and teaches us to love and follows up His love with whatever may be necessary to bring sin-ravaged people into His fold that they may no longer be the victims of false religious conformity and slaves to mere rote and ritual.

         False religionists, including and especially those of the Christian variety, do not possess God’s love. They merely use and abuse people toward their own ends and enrichment.

         A friend reminds us that within the story of the burning bush Moses is told to remove His shoes:

         Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.

         So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”

         When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

         Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” [Exodus 3:1-5]

         Moses is told he is standing on holy ground. What this means is that Moses has entered into a place where God is in charge, and that the “land” belongs to God. He owns it. And He is in authority of whatever happens there. Moses shows his deference to God by removing his shoes, which is a sign of honor and respect toward the rightful owner.

         Which brings us to something I’ve touched on before. In a previous post I asked the question: “What would happen if every single Christian “church,” ministry, denomination, and etc were asked to sign over all authority to the Lord Jesus?” How many would actually comply? How many would give up all authority to the Lord and allow Him to be the sole authority, arbiter, and teacher of all that goes on there? The few people I have talked to about this are in agreement that the answer would be very few.

         And as it stands, the answer IS very few. As a case in point, almost all “churches,” ministries, etc have a senior pastor or executive director. The name of this person is on the literature and is often displayed prominently on exterior signage, such as ABC Church, Pastor John Doe. This fact alone tells us the Lord Jesus is not in charge.

         Yet, we know this anyway because the ministry of the Lord Jesus is not present in most of these places—there are generally no signs, wonders, miracles, divine healings, or Book of Acts experiences. There is nothing to suggest in these places the anointing of New Covenant apostles, prophets, and teachers. Nothing looks like the ministries of Joseph, Moses, Elijah, or even John the Immerser.

         In a nutshell, there is no dunamis, or the spiritual power indicative of the Lord’s authority and freedom to act and minister. This means the Lord has been shut out. And this means He is not the owner of such places. The executive leadership wears the shoes and forces the Lord to go barefoot.

         What could ever dis the Lord more? This is why He made such statements as:

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

         “And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’” [Matthew 15:6-9]

         On the other hand, this is what happens when the Lord IS in charge:

         “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” [Mark 16:17-18]

         We see these accompanying signs throughout the Book of Acts testifying of the authority of the Lord. He has passed on the power of His Name and the infilling of His Spirit to His disciples and they are now doing as He did, in that He is working through them to accomplish the same miracles He did during His ministry as put forth in the Gospels.

         Most ministries never cross the bridge from the Gospels to Acts. They honor the Lord with their lips but refuse to honor Him with the authority He needs to act through them. As a result, most places with a Christian name of some sort are no different than any other worldly establishment in that they possess no spiritual power for effective change. They claim Christianity but do not perform it.

         We know He still performs miracles as He did in the beginning. Testimonies abound. But for the person who does not believe, such testimonies and eye-witness accounts are worthless. They will find a way to explain it away. Those without eyes to see and ears to hear cannot consider the likelihood that the Lord still works as He did in the beginning simply because they cannot see and hear. They are blind and deaf. Until they see and hear there is no sense trying to reveal to them what they will not see or hear.

         Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe. And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word,

         “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘GO TO THIS PEOPLE AND SAY, “YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES; OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.”’

         “Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves. [Acts 28:24-29] [1]

         The Gentiles did indeed listen, but soon after the same dispute began taking place among such Gentile Christians and continued for the next 2000 years, and it has resulted in roughly a million and a half Christian denominations and offshoots.

         The disputing Jews in the above verse were a mere harbinger of the later mass numbers of disputing Christians so screwed up in their various theologies they wouldn’t know the Lord if He showed up in their living rooms and broke bread. Moreover, they would argue with Him over His weird teachings and strange methods and demand that He get with the program.

         And you can bet that few would ever remove their shoes.

         Imagine that.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

How To Stir Up Religious Spirits (And Start a Raging Persecution Fire)

The Death of Stephen by Gustave Doré

The Death of Stephen by Gustave Doré (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         Way to go, Stephen. Now look what you did!

         If only you would have left well enough alone. Why couldn’t you just find a nice little church somewhere and behave yourself? Why couldn’t you just sit down and shut up? Why couldn’t you just keep your crazy opinions to yourself? Didn’t you know this would happen? Didn’t you know those nice people would go crazy when you confronted them with the truth? Now they’re coming after all of us!

         The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

         And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

         Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council. They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.”

         And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.

         The high priest said, “Are these things so?”

         And he said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME INTO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.’ Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living. But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that HE WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM AS A POSSESSION, AND TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM.

         “But God spoke to this effect, that his DESCENDANTS WOULD BE ALIENS IN A FOREIGN LAND, AND THAT THEY WOULD BE ENSLAVED AND MISTREATED FOR FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. AND WHATEVER NATION TO WHICH THEY WILL BE IN BONDAGE I MYSELF WILL JUDGE,’ said God, ‘AND AFTER THAT THEY WILL COME OUT AND SERVE ME IN THIS PLACE.’

         “And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.

         “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family was disclosed to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all.

         “And Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died. From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. But as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, until THERE AROSE ANOTHER KING OVER EGYPT WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT JOSEPH. It was he who took shrewd advantage of our race and mistreated our fathers so that they would expose their infants and they would not survive.

         “It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father’s home. And after he had been set outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and nurtured him as her own son. Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.

         “On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?’ But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND JUDGE OVER US? YOU DO NOT MEAN TO KILL ME AS YOU KILLED THE EGYPTIAN YESTERDAY, DO YOU?’ At this remark, MOSES FLED AND BECAME AN ALIEN IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN, where he became the father of two sons.

         “After forty years had passed, AN ANGEL APPEARED TO HIM IN THE WILDERNESS OF MOUNT Sinai, IN THE FLAME OF A BURNING THORN BUSH. When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I AM THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC AND JACOB.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. BUT THE LORD SAID TO HIM, ‘TAKE OFF THE SANDALS FROM YOUR FEET, FOR THE PLACE ON WHICH YOU ARE STANDING IS HOLY GROUND. I HAVE CERTAINLY SEEN THE OPPRESSION OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT AND HAVE HEARD THEIR GROANS, AND I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM; COME NOW, AND I WILL SEND YOU TO EGYPT.’

         “This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND A JUDGE?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN.’ This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you.

         “Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, SAYING TO AARON, ‘MAKE FOR US GODS WHO WILL GO BEFORE US; FOR THIS MOSES WHO LED US OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT—WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM.’

         “At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL? YOU ALSO TOOK ALONG THE TABERNACLE OF MOLOCH AND THE STAR OF THE GOD ROMPHA, THE IMAGES WHICH YOU MADE TO WORSHIP. I ALSO WILL REMOVE YOU BEYOND BABYLON.’

         “Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen. And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David. David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him.

         “However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE? WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’

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

         Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.

         But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

         But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said,

         “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

         Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. [Acts 6:7-8:4][1]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

The Miraculous Red Sea Crossing

         Today is Friday the 13th, a most superstitious day on the calendar. This is the second of three Friday the 13th’s this year. We had one in January and will have another in July, so the day isn’t all that rare.

         But today also happens to be Nisan 21 on the Hebrew calendar. Nisan 21 is the seventh and last day of Unleavened Bread. It is a holy day, as was Nisan 15 last Saturday.

         Traditionally, these seven days marked the time between the nation of Israel exiting Egypt and crossing the Red Sea. It was a time of unleavened bread because they were on the run, first to simply pack up and get out, and secondly to stay ahead of Pharaoh’s army. The king of Egypt first decided to let them go at last, but then changed his stubborn mind yet again. It was a fateful decision, as was every other decision he made against God. If he had left well enough alone after any of the ten plagues, he would have been better off. But because he kept fighting against the will of God and God’s people, he eventually lost everything.

         We can find such a place in Egyptian history when the nation was devastated, but that’s another story for another time. Today, we will remember a miracle.

         If the Red Sea miracle did not happen, there would be no Israel. If there was no Israel, there would be no Messiah Jesus. There would be no sacrifice for our sins. We would all go to hell. But it did happen because there was purpose in it. It was not only to save the nation for the sake of the future birth of the Sacrifice Lamb, it was to save the nation. God loved Israel and He still does, of course.

         But at that last moment, when the world-class army of Egypt was bearing down on them, and when they had no perceivable means of escape, God came through.

         And this is always the point: The more difficult and impossible the circumstance, the greater the miracle, the more love shown through the miracle, and the more glory gained by the Lord.

         In another words, the more magnified God is in one’s life, the more life one has. Our Lord Jesus called it abundant life. It means super-abundant in quantity, and superior in quality. It means the best. One cannot have the best without having the Lord. He proves His love by giving us His best. He proves His love the best by giving us Himself.

         This is what He did for the nation of Israel that day almost 3,500 years ago. It was not God that enslaved His people, and it was not God that decided to go after them one last time. That was strictly Pharaoh’s decision. It was God’s decision to set His people free, which He did, and it was God’s decision to protect them from certain death.

         He didn’t want to wipe out Egypt, but He had no choice. He loved His people.

         And He loves you and me.

         Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. [Exodus 14:21-22][1] 

         I don’t know what your miracle might be this day, but I believe there is a miracle. It might not be as dramatic as the crossing of the Red Sea, but it will definitely show God’s love. I learned a long time ago that the Lord never spoils His children. He wants to bless us and does, but we must be able to receive properly and not let the blessing go to our head or be distanced from God by it. So the Lord must be prudent. His ultimate goal is to get us to heaven with Him forever. He also wants to bless us in this life but such is secondary.

         I read a true story about a young preacher once. He was living day to day and largely hand to mouth, preaching here and there. He didn’t have much money, and never knew what he might receive through offerings, but the Lord always took care of him. One evening after preaching he received a sizable offering. It was enough to pay his bills for an entire month.

         As he was beholding the check with shock and awe, the Lord spoke to him. He told him to give the giant check to a missionary who was also there that night.

         What would you do?

         The young man knew he heard God. He knew He had to obey. And he gave away the offering.

         Imagine the scene. He had already seen his future a lot more brightly, and then saw it all seemingly snatched away. About an hour later at a restaurant, he and a bunch of people from the church were having dinner. The young evangelist was approached by a man who knew what had happened, not because the young preacher told anyone—he had made it a point to keep it all secret. The older man knew because God told him. And God also told him that the young preacher was to learn a valuable lesson about giving.

         Long story short, the man gave the young evangelist another check. It was ten times the amount of the first one, to the penny!

         Now, God’s blessings are not always that dramatic, but that particular one was made to serve a purpose. The Red Sea miracle was also made to serve a purpose. It was to show His people how much He loved them. And it was to scare the daylights out of every other nation in the region.

         Today, on Friday the 13th of all days, will be a day of miracles for those who love the Lord with all their heart and obey Him. It could very well be something out of the ordinary. Or it could be a seemingly simple but profound, “I love you.”

         Will you recognize it? Give the Lord Jesus the glory. He loves to come through for His people!

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 4)

         Christians have been unknowingly conditioned to perceive God and the Lord Jesus as two completely different people. How did this happen? Why is it that despite a veritable plethora of pure scriptural references to the absolute deity of Jesus He remains relegated to second-class status? Why do the majority of Christians refuse to give the Lord Jesus His due and honor Him as God?

         It is not enough to say Jesus is God if one continues to see God as someone other than Jesus. Christians often use the terminology, “God and Jesus.” I once saw a Christian t-shirt with the message, “You and me and God make five.” If there was anything at all that the ancient Hebrews learned from YHWH, despite all their backsliding, sin, and later misinterpretation of Scripture, it was one of the greatest facts of all time: God is ONE.

         “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” [Deuteronomy 6:4]

         Yet, from this very clear and strong statement, Christians have redefined what the word “one” means much as someone else in our recent national past attempted to redefine what the word “is” is.

         In Christianese, “one” no longer necessarily means one. One Person now means three persons. “One” now means that the three persons of the “Godhead” [1] are merely united.   

         But that is not at all what YHWH was stating through Moses in the above verse. Moses knew God. He knew Him well, much better than the vast majority of us. There was a relational closeness between the two that was one of the closest anyone prior to New Covenant times had achieved.

         Moses actually SAW God:

         Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”

         And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” [Exodus 33:18-23]

         Since God is Spirit, what is meant in this passage by God’s “face,” God’s “hand,” and God’s “back?” Just Who was “walking” in the garden in the cool of the day looking for Adam and Eve? This phraseology can be explained as a Hebrew manner of speaking or idiom, but there is no doubt with reference to God’s oneness. There was no divine committee in the garden, and no trinity on Mount Sinai with Moses.

         Theologians have utilized a word, “theophany,” which denotes a visible manifestation of God, often in the form of a human being. Of course, God only became a human being once, so any reference to God as a human being prior to the incarnation of Jesus must be studied. Angels often took the form of humanity. God can certainly do anything He wants anytime He wants. In perhaps the clearest and most forthright Old Testament manifestation of God into humanity, we have this:

         Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth… [Genesis 18:1-2] [2]

         As one reads the rest of the narrative, he discovers that these three men were YHWH and two angels. The two angels later went to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family before YHWH destroyed the entire region due to the gross wickedness of its inhabitants.

         Therefore, YHWH appeared as a human being to Abraham. Though theologians might refer to this as a mere theophanic manifestation, the facts are clear that this Person stood, walked, sat down, ate, drank, and spoke openly to Abraham and the two angels. He prophesied that Isaac would be conceived and birthed through miraculous means. Also, this divine visit took place right after Abraham partook in the covenant of circumcision, in which he, Ishmael, and every single male of his household were circumcised.

         Isn’t it interesting that whenever real repentance and commitment take place, and when the covenant of full heart circumcision in the Lord’s blood and His Name is ratified, one receives a full revelation of Jesus?

         And isn’t it also quite interesting that prior to such, “God” remains a mystery?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 4 of 10]


[1] Bad translation as derived from the KJV from the Greek words theios, theiotes, and theotes. See Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, and Colossians 2:9 respectively. A good translation uses the terms Divine Nature and Deity.

[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.