The Lord Jesus died for individuals. By this He attributed infinite worth to each person. You are the crown of creation.
All individuals are thus qualified to accept His grace. His grace is undeserved favor. He is willing to grant to every individual complete, absolute, total undeserved favor. One cannot work for it. One cannot earn it. One cannot purchase it. It is a gift, an extreme gift of the greatest kind.
It did not come cheap. It cost the Lord Jesus EVERYTHING. He gave all He had and everything He is. He gave His entire heart. He put heaven on the line to come here and rescue us. But again, He did not do this as though He were rescuing a group. He is not in love with a group. He is in love with individuals. That He loves all individuals the same does not lessen His absolute love for all.
GOD IS LOVE
The only person who could possess and express such love is the Creator Himself. There have been many arguments on this subject by people who claim that a loving, benevolent God would never allow for the existence of so much hate and evil as exists on this planet and that if He was all that loving He would at least put an end to it. However, those who bring this argument rarely or never identify the real cause of the hate and evil they claim God is responsible for. He is only responsible for giving human beings the ability and freedom to make their own choices. Some choose to manifest such hate and evil.
He obviously does not desire such nor does He sanction it. He certainly allows it, though, but only because individual freedom is impossible otherwise. People must be allowed to choose whether they will engage in love or hate. They must be granted the ability to do good or evil. Otherwise they have no freedom. This would portend that God has no respect for them. In contrast, some religious “leaders” will certainly exhibit great disrespect for individuals in that they will do their utmost to curtail their freedom so as to get the results they desire and in so doing create religious automatons with bound minds and bound hearts. They might as well put everyone in jail especially those who might do something wrong even before they do it. These people are irresponsible.
THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY
The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, is certainly responsible for his Creation. It is why He has created something much better than anything mankind has devised and it is actually something He created in the very beginning that mankind deviated from. Thus, the culprit is not God and never has been God. The culprit is mankind. Mankind is the entity responsible for the creation of hate and evil. And mankind is not a faceless mass but is composed of individuals. Each individual is consequently responsible for his or her own sin.
Some individuals feel remorse. Some individuals have a conscience in good working order and know when they do wrong and also want to remedy it. They wish it had never happened. They wish they had never performed the sinful deed whatever it may be and whatever weight it may carry. The Lord has made a provision for this. We call it repentance. We call it making a confession of the sin. It must be confessed. It must be acknowledged. It must be seen as sin. If so, it can be absolved. If we confess our sins to the Lord with the proper motive and a contrite heart and seek to do our best to end such an activity He will not only remove it from the record but do His part to help us overcome. This takes active participation. The inception of this participation is strictly between the Lord and the individual.
The long history of the world’s various governments, in general terms, obviously denotes no such respect or love for individual rights but only the privilege of those few who compose the upper class. It is the same in both the secular and religious realms. The vast majority has always existed far below the small minority which wrested power. In the Lord’s Kingdom, however, there are no classes. There is only the Lord and everybody else. All are equal before Him. He shows no partiality. In His Kingdom the individual is afforded the most respect and each individual qualifies.
As some, though very few, governments progressed, the people associated therewith understood that governments which govern best are those which govern least. This gave rise to individual liberty and individual rights which such newly formed governments were created to protect. This form of government, however, demands individual responsibility and maturity which also demands the necessary level of sacrifice for others, starting at the family level, and such must always be absolutely non-coercive. This form is closest to that of the Lord’s Kingdom in that people must be free to grow and develop.
As for those tyrants, haters of mankind and supporters thereof who reject this truth, of which hell will largely be populated, their eternal judgment will be based on their lack of love for the Lord Jesus and for individuals. Conversely, the people who will eventually make heaven their eternal home are those who possess and demonstrate the same love for the Lord and for others that He demonstrated for each of us. We are not saved by this since salvation is by His grace alone, but this love is a byproduct of salvation. For those who insist that human beings are not capable of such love they have a failed argument. It is only an excuse on their part since they do not possess such love. Because they do not have it or care to express it if they did, they do not see how anyone else can. We have examples of this love in the multitude of individuals loving other individuals and often to the ultimate degree.
Every day somewhere in the world there are people sacrificing their lives in some way for another. Some of them sacrifice in the greatest way. This is the greatest love. The Lord sees their sacrifice and records it. Those who love in such a way are not doing it for the record, to be noticed, or for some fake religious reason. They are doing it because they have love in their hearts for others even though they may not personally know them. How many risk their lives for another person in need that they had only just met?
We often see this in disasters and accidents. For example, we saw a lot of this activity in the hurricane-spawned floods last year in the Houston, Texas area. Everyone was helping everyone it seemed. There was a massive amount of volunteer activity. Many contributed monetarily. Some gave great amounts of money that went toward not only saving lives in the moment but helping people get back on their feet after their lives had essentially been destroyed. Many people lost everything. But many people were also helped to make a new start.
THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION
That’s what happens when we give our lives to the Lord Jesus. He saves us from the destructive and alienating power of personal sin. His salvation requires a new birth. We make a brand new start! We become reconciled to Him. Old things pass away. We accept and receive His great love for us as seemingly mere individuals lost in a sea of humanity. But He knows our names. He knows our hearts. He knows each of us individually. Because of this, we are not to be characterized as “mere.” He died for you. He died for each of us. But He also rose again. This means that each of us, as individuals, can also rise again. That was the entire point of His life and resurrection.
We can demonstrate this in the here and now. Like so many of the flood victims who were loved and assisted toward a brand new life after losing everything, so can each of us begin anew knowing we have a heavenly Father who loves us with the greatest love. His love is eternally self-renewing in that it overcomes everything that runs down or has run down. Since He is the Creator, He can overcome the natural tendency of deviation, dissolution, decay, and destruction from and of His perfect original creation of which each individual person is the greatest part.
The Lord Jesus saves us one at a time. It is the only way He can eliminate hate and evil. We must cooperate with Him to eliminate any hate, evil, and sin in our own hearts. It starts with each of us. We are individuals. And each one of us means more to the Lord than His own life.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new!” [Revelation 21:3-5] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]
For the early believers, salvation included an experience. It constituted a complete change—an actual spiritual circumcision of the heart. Their lives were entirely transformed and the transformation was undeniable. Each individual had become a new creation. It happened through a prescribed course of action. It did not happen by osmosis. They had to make a conscious decision to leave the old and become the new:
…That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. [Ephesians 4:22-24]
As the centuries passed, however, Christianity became ideological. It became philosophical. It became led by men who never had such an experience. Converts who had never fulfilled the New Covenant requirements of the new birth were accepted into the Christian fold. Indeed, many if not most of these conversions were coerced.
They created a counterfeit construct. Their agenda was diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Lord in this context, in that they rejected the call for spiritual transformation and instead created mass groupings of cultural Christians, or what may be termed Christians in Name Only. They manipulated their constituents, those unaware of the spurious nature of the dogmatic belief system thrust upon them, to follow it without question and instituted penalties for those who did not, and greater penalties for those who failed to honor their leaders properly.
Consequently, those subjected to the fable generators obeyed them without hesitation, even against their own conscience and ethical beliefs, thinking their superiors were wise above measure and in possession of a higher truth they could personally never master or fully understand. Their surrender was such that they feared the repercussions of not honoring their respective religious ideologies more than they feared not standing up for the Lord Jesus, as if His judgment of their eternal status was inferior to their present societal status within their chosen religious cultures.
As time passed, future generations of these people took cultural pride in their faux Christian constructs and the leaders thereof, not wishing to even consider the possibility of other alternatives, including the only correct one.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. [2Timothy 4:3-4]
MOCKING THE NEW BIRTH
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]
The majority of those who call themselves Christians have never had a true born again experience. Though the experience is fully documented in the New Covenant writings, excuses ad infinitum have come forth over the years toward rejecting it and even mocking it. It is clear the people who do this are either unaware of Scripture or have been taught one of these excuses as a point of doctrine. It must be acknowledged that unregenerate flesh hates the idea of being spiritually crucified and it is therefore no wonder it will always fight for self preservation, even if said preservation destroys any chance of spiritual preservation.
Most Christians understand the concept of sin but have also accepted varying definitions of it. There is, of course, from a New Covenant perspective, only one definition. From the Greek word hamartia, it is defined as “missing the mark,” “to err,” and even “to be without a share.” That is, whoever is in sin or is in possession of unconfessed sin misses God’s requirements for inclusion within His Community. If someone wants to create another community, however, and call it Christian, and does not acknowledge this definition or fails to require the only cure for sin, then its members are off the hook and will receive no conviction from peers or even from their own conscience, though the latter will take some time.
Thus, justifying sin is in league with justifying the rejection of the new birth. Both of these protect resident sin and unregenerate flesh, and the acceptors of such a non-New Covenant belief system will receive no power over sin and one will thus be subjected to its ravages.
The Lord Jesus went through great personal expense to buy our freedom and we, by comparison, even through a full born again experience, pay nowhere near the same price, but any price we pay is a bargain. To be rid of sin is the goal. To be filled with His Spirit is the further goal. Yet both are also Christianity 101 and prerequisite to anything further. The apostles began this way. Mary, the Lord’s mother, began this way. The 120 began this way. Prior to Acts 2 they were essentially no different than they had ever been on a spiritual level. The new birth awaited. The circumcision of their hearts had yet to take place. Such could never happen without the Spirit of the Lord.
Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” [Acts 1:4-5] 
So they waited. They went to the Upper Room and prepared themselves. They paid the price. Some likely dropped out and never made it to the day of the great event. By giving it their all the 120 made themselves worthy. They never substituted mere religious ideology for spiritual reality. They wanted the real thing and nothing would stop them from their goal.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The birth of Seth, Adam’s third son, took place when Adam was 130 years old. For 130 years, the Messianic generational line was cut off. It was a time of rebellion and apostasy.
As stated in the previous post, Adam was in exile for a spiritually significant period of time after his banishment from the Garden of Eden. That time period was a multiple of the number 13. A study of Biblical numbers associates the number 13 with rebellion. Its first occurrence in Scripture is as follows:
Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled. [Genesis 14:4]
There is no doubt that the Lord affixes certain meanings to numbers and one can discover many truths using this method. The number 10 is characterized as ordinal perfection, or the perfection of Divine order. We see examples of this in the Ten Commandments and the tithe. Also, Noah was of the tenth generation listed in Scripture since Adam, and the ark builder represented the completed order of the antediluvian age. When the number 10 is combined by multiplication with the number representing rebellion, we arrive at the number 130, which is the number of years Adam spent out of fellowship with the Lord. When he returned, God marked the occasion with a new birth.
THE SECOND GENERATION: TRANSITIONING TO A NEW SPIRITUAL AGE
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. [Genesis 5:3]
The birth of Seth, listed in Genesis as the third son of Adam and Eve, represented a return to God after a long exile. Though there was no going back to the garden, Adam’s original nature was restored. This state of righteousness with God is indicated in the preceding verse—Adam’s new son Seth was made in his image, according to his own likeness, as Adam was originally created in God’s image. However, in looking closer at the numbers, we discover that Seth, though certainly righteous, bore the marks of spiritual suffering associated with being a transitional figure.
Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. [Genesis 5:6-8]
The transitional period from the birth of Seth to the birth of his son Enosh was 105 years. The multiples represented in this number are 3, 5, and 7 (3 x 5 x 7 = 105). These three significant numbers are the second, third and fourth primes. (Prime numbers are those whose only other multiple is 1.) They represent, in order, divine completeness or perfection (3), grace (5), and spiritual perfection (7). Thus, the 105 year period was marked by the spiritual meaning of these three numbers.
The 105 years were completed with the birth of Enosh. Seth lived an additional 807 years after his son’s birth. The multiples of this number are 3 and 269 (3 x 269 = 807). These are both prime numbers. This may get a little tricky but stay with me. The Lord is showing us something substantial with these two multiples. We already know what the number 3 represents, but what about 269? This number is the 57th prime number. The number 57 also has two multiples and both are also prime numbers: 3 x 19 (what are the odds?).
According to the Biblical number scholar E.W. Bullinger, the number 19 is closely associated with Seth’s mother Eve and also the suffering patriarch Job.
THE THIRD GENERATION: THE GREAT AWAKENING
The number 19 gives one a clear indication of the life of Seth after the birth of his son Enosh. Also, when looking at the total number of years that Seth lived—912—we again discover the imprint of the number 19. Note that once more all multiples are primes: (24 x 3 x 19 = 912). This means there was a strong imprint of the same sufferings Job endured upon the entirety of Seth’s life.
Remember, Seth was the restoration of the Messianic generational line after the death of Abel. There was therefore much spiritual warfare associated with his life. His lifetime was marked as a reformation-oriented, spiritually-challenging transition period between Adam’s spiritual renewal and the arrival of a new Great Awakening:
To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:26] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Abraham chose to believe God’s promise and Isaac was the result, though it happened 25 years later.
Mary, the Lord’s mother, told everyone in the beginning that her Son was the result of a miracle pregnancy and birth, but no one believed her. Some did believe, however, when the Lord performed His first miracle, 30 years later.
This means that faith in God’s promises also requires time. The one to whom the impossible promise was made must remain faithful until the impossible promise happens—in God’s timing.
Joseph remained faithful and pure throughout his 13 years in captivity after a great betrayal. His father thought he was dead. No one knew where he was. No one came looking for him. He was completely cut off from his family.
But prior to all the abject misery he was subjected to, God gave him a couple of dreams revealing his future and his future standing. He knew these dreams were God’s Word to him and he never lost sight of their implications and future occurrence.
Therefore, before anything happened or even began to, God gave Abraham a promise—God’s promise to Abraham came first. The angel Gabriel told Mary all about her Son before she conceived. God gave Joseph dreams before the challenging, lonely sojourn he was sent on that resulted in the salvation of his family.
We thus cannot simply believe in something happening unless it first involves God’s promise of its occurrence. We may have specific promises made to us specifically by God, or we may have the promises He makes in His Word, such as abundant life. Though Abraham lost faith halfway toward the promise, he regained it and returned to The Miracle Realm:
Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. [Romans 4:19-22]
The Lord Jesus is THE DOOR to abundant life and the coming true of every promise He makes. But one cannot say he believes in God without also believing in His promises and in His miracle power. Isaac was a miracle. The Lord’s birth was a miracle. Joseph rising from the lowest pit to become the effective ruler of Egypt was obviously miraculous.
If one DOES believe in God, according to the Lord’s definition, the evidence of that faith will be there—miracles will happen. This is why miracles followed the ministries and lives of real believers in the first century. It is also why NO MIRACLES follow the ministries and lives of non-believers, whether they claim to be Christians or not.
Unreal Christianity engages in much fakery and pretension. It insists on its authenticity though the fruit is not there. If the spiritual fruit is not there then the grapevine is either not producing or it likely does not exist in that place.
IF THERE IS REAL BELIEF, THERE WILL ALSO BE REAL MIRACLES. THESE TWO ALWAYS GO TOGETHER. THIS IS THE UNDENIABLE PROOF OF GOD’S PRESENCE.
“…For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” [John 3:2]
The miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit of God are the evidence of real believers who refuse to believe in circumstances that disagree with God.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” [John 15:5-8]
When the presence of the Lord has been rejected, there must be a substitute to give the illusion of authenticity. The Pharisees were absolute masters at doing this. They were incredibly brilliant in putting on fake spiritual performances and this was exactly why the Lord called them stage players. Their speaking ability, intelligence, knowledge, and pageantry was unmatched. They constructed a large, highly detailed living deception, a veritable temple, due to not having the presence of God. They knew most people are greatly impressed by such surface manipulations and the appearance of religious authority. As a result they reveled in the adoration and respect it gained them, including the social standing and wealth.
The apostle Paul had been one of these but did a complete 180 when he gave his life to the Lord. Because of his real faith the Lord Jesus took away all the fake props and resulting religious pride, and blessed him with Himself and the actual evidence of His presence.
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1Corinthians 2:1-5]
If one is a Christian that does not believe in miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit, then one is a Christian that does not believe in God, even if he claims to. The claim itself is worthless. It must be confirmed by evidence.
The life of Abraham contained this evidence. The Lord’s ministry contained this evidence. The ministry of the early believers contained this evidence.
As a further test of his faith, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Isaac. Remember, if there’s no Isaac, there is no future Savior of the world and we all go to hell.
WHEN GOD MAKES A PROMISE HE THEN SPEAKS DEATH TO IT. HE DOES THIS SO THE PROMISE WILL NEVER COME TRUE UNLESS IT IS ACTIVATED AND RESURRECTED BY FAITH, AND IN HIS TIME.
Abraham obeyed the Lord’s instruction and set out to sacrifice his son.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. [Hebrews 11:17-19]
Abraham believed in the power of faith and practiced it. He believed in sacrifice and practiced it. He believed in giving and practiced it. He believed in the concept of circumcision and practiced it. He even believed in resurrection from the dead. ABRAHAM OBEYED GOD AND THE MIRACULOUS EVIDENCE OF HIS FAITH WAS DEMONSTRATED IN HIS LIFE.
He lived in The Miracle Realm. His eyes were opened. He saw what no one else could see. Out in the desert he peered almost 2000 years into the distant future and understood the blood covenant. He understood the gift of righteousness. He understood the reason why. Because he believed God He SAW Salvation:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” [John 8:56-58] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
RELATED POST: The Edge of Faith
The Gospel of John mentions that the children of God, like Isaac, are each miracle children:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]
Again, the Lord must be first and there must be a covenant with Him before anything else can possibly happen. The old must die so the new can be born.
WHENEVER GOD BRINGS FORTH A NEW BIRTH IT IS ALWAYS A MIRACLE.
Christians who have never had a new birth experience but claim to be believers are only believers in a religious sense. They are believers according to the will of man, or according to religious man or religion. Without a new birth there is no heart change. There is no circumcision of the heart. If they oppose the new birth they are Ishmaels who mock Isaac and fight against the people of God.
But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. [Galatians 4:29]
The Pharisees who fought the Lord were Ishmaels. Ishmael fought Isaac. He made fun of Isaac. There was no possible way these two could ever be in fellowship. It was impossible—UNLESS ISHMAEL REPENTED AND BECAME A MAN OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE LIKE HIS FATHER ABRAHAM. Some Pharisees repented, for example, and became real believers.
What God impressed upon me regarding the inspiration of this article is that in order to enter The Miracle Realm one must choose to believe God and not believe circumstances that do not agree with God’s promise.
For example, the Lord said he came to give us abundant life:
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]
Therefore, any circumstances that disagree with that life must not be accepted or believed in. He kept telling the people He healed that their FAITH made them well. Their faith, though, had to be combined with God’s POWER (dunamis) and one cannot be the recipient of God’s power without first being the recipient of God:
ONE MUST FIRST BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD BEFORE THE MIRACLE CAN HAPPEN, WHICH MEANS ONE MUST ALSO STOP BELIEVING IN ANYTHING THAT DISAGREES WITH GOD.
When people came to the Lord seeking healing, those who were healed were those who first believed the Lord and believed IN the Lord. The Lord was already there, and His miracle power was already there. His great love and compassion were already there. What they needed was faith in God. If they added their faith in the Lord, believed what He said, believed in what He could do and wanted to do for them, and gave themselves to Him, A MIRACLE HAPPENED. ABUNDANT LIFE HAPPENED.
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Luke 6:38]
ONE CANNOT GET LIFE FROM GOD UNLESS ONE FIRST GIVES LIFE TO GOD.
If one wonders why the miracle never happens, it is most likely because one has faith in the circumstances or beliefs that oppose God and thus cancel out the power of God. And there is an element of selfishness somewhere. In other words, one practices subtraction instead of addition (giving).
Such UNBELIEF (apistia) is an actual power. It is a kind of anti-faith—a miracle killer—a force that fights against faith. It will support circumstances and beliefs that oppose the Word of God. It is based on what the natural eye can see and not on what the spiritual eye can see. It is based on the comprehension of the natural mind and not on that of the spiritual mind which is aligned and in agreement with the mind of Christ. It stems from an uncircumcised heart.
And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. [Mark 6:5-6] 
Since righteousness is a gift and not something that a person can earn or work up or buy, one can only receive righteousness by receiving the Lord and by first submitting to Him 100%.
Again, one must enter The Miracle Realm to receive righteousness just like receiving any other miracle. AND BECOMING RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD IS A MIRACLE! This is what being born again entails: New birth—the death of the old (unbelief) and birth of the new (faith).
IF THIS IS TO HAPPEN, ONE MUST NO LONGER BELIEVE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE THAT DISAGREE WITH THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS AND DENY LIFE TO ISAAC.
He came in part to heal physically blind eyes, for example. Unbelievers claim such healing is impossible. The circumstances of life say such healing cannot happen, and that no one has the power to make it happen. The Lord Jesus disagrees and says He can make it happen.
He can make anything happen. One must choose, therefore, who to believe. One cannot believe both.
They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:20-23]
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. [Genesis 15:6]
We all know the verse. We have read it and quoted it many times. We have heard it preached and taught in church, on television, and probably on the radio. We all think we probably know what it means.
For me, it has been an ongoing revelation. The idea that Abraham believed and as a result was made righteous never fully satisfied me. I knew there had to be more.
The apostle Paul gives us a very good explanation in Romans 4:
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness… [Romans 4:1-5]
So Abraham understood that the righteousness he must receive would not be the result of his own efforts. He learned that righteousness is purely a gift, as Paul states in the next chapter:
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. [Romans 5:17]
REIGN IN LIFE?
Another pretty big clue is that Abraham received a promise:
Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” [Genesis 15:4-5]
Now, before this, at the beginning of his journey, the Lord told Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make you a great nation…” But He did not specify how this would happen.
Once they arrived in Canaan, the Lord stated: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). Abraham must have assumed it meant he would somehow have a family. All he had, however, was a certain Eliezar of Damascus whom he referred to as one born in his house, though not his offspring. He took his concern to God regarding this and we know the rest of the story:
Abraham and Sarah would have a child though they could not have children.
This is what Abraham believed. He believed the Lord was telling him the truth in promising him he would have a son, though such an event would be physically impossible. This faith in God and belief in His impossible promise coming to fruition is what made Abraham a righteous man.
Later, I understood that Abraham didn’t simply believe something he already saw in the present, he believed in something he could not see in the future, and he pledged himself to God that he would be obedient in whatever God told him to do.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. That made perfect sense and added to the spiritual fact. Most people would never sign off on such a contract. And it was a contract. It was a covenant ratified between God and Abraham and was based on an impossible promise. If Abraham was to believe God, he would have to believe the impossible.
Here is the key: ABRAHAM DID NOT BELIEVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES NO MATTER HOW REAL THEY APPEARED IF THEY DISAGREED WITH GOD’S PROMISE.
Abraham and Sarah could not have children but God promised Abraham he would have a son. This makes no sense to the rational mind. It is scientifically impossible, at least on the surface according to known facts.
The only way for such an event to take place then, is by entering The Miracle Realm. This is what happened. Abraham believed God especially because what God said made no sense. This is where his faith came in.
He made the decision to believe God’s promise. He chose to believe God. He heard God. He knew he heard God. And he knew what God said. But he also knew they could not have kids. So he believed God had the power to overcome that fact and would overcome that fact—SOMEHOW, SOME WAY.
However, in order for Abraham to enter The Miracle Realm he must first give his life to God. And giving one’s life to God means a person must commit to doing anything and everything God says to do, both in the present and in the future. Abraham did this. He signed off on the covenant. Making the covenant with God always comes first.
Later though, after being faithful for several years, Abraham stepped out of faith. He violated the covenant. He lost faith in God and disobeyed God by choosing to obey his wife who had no faith (barren). He decided to leave The Miracle Realm and go back to the world of man where faith was not required.
As a result they created Ishmael, who was birthed according to purely natural means by someone who was NOT Sarah. This was NOT faith. If there would be a miracle, God said Sarah must be the mother.
Though Ishmael was loved by God, and though Ishmael’s descendants were and are loved by God, Ishmael is not Isaac, Hagar is not Sarah, and the fallen world of man is not The Miracle Realm:
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.
This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
For it is written, “REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. [Galatians 4:22-28] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
The way to life is through the door of death. A seed must be planted in the soil of death in order to bring forth new life. Unless one is born again (after dying) one will never enter the Kingdom of God.
What is this death?
The first mention of it in the Bible is the following:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” [Genesis 6:5-7]
The King James Version puts it this way:
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. [Genesis 6:6-7]
The door of death is repentance.
Personal repentance is therefore the part each individual plays regarding the one person he or she has full control over. When a person is convicted of personal sin through the light of the Gospel message, it is his or her opportunity to do just as God did in the above passage.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” [John 12:24]
Prior to one’s born again experience, a person is spiritually worthless. He or she is a sinful entity deserving of death, or absolute death, as the wicked people of Noah’s time were deserving of extermination.
Imagine how gut-wrenching it must have been for God to wish He had never created human beings! He was sorry for it! He regretted it! If He had to do it all over again, He never would have created Adam and Eve. That is exactly what this passage reveals. It also reveals the absolute depravity of unrepentant humanity.
People are inherently sinful and wicked, and God hates this sin and wickedness. He was not only sorry for creating human beings, He owned up to it and did something about it. Except for one man whom God considered righteous and the seven members of his family, God destroyed the entirety of humanity.
And all those throughout history who have never properly repented will also be destroyed eventually.
But by His grace He has granted each of us one chance to escape proper, otherwise inescapable judgment. The default position is hell. Every human being who has ever lived will go straight to hell. You will not pass Go. You will not collect $200.
Unless you repent.
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” [Luke 13:1-5]
It is therefore incumbent upon each of us to repent, to die to ourselves, to crucify our flesh, and to “lose” our life:
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?” [Luke 9:23-25]
This is a very misunderstood passage of Scripture. Many nominal Christians are either not aware of it or never apply it properly. It is another one of those “all or nothing” teachings of the Lord that demands real discipleship and true repentance.
The words “lose” and “loses” in the passage are from the Greek word apollumi, which means “to destroy.” It is the same Greek word found in the following verse, though translated directly:
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy (apollumi) both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:28]
This total soul and body destruction is what transpires when a human being suffers the final judgment in the lake of fire. It is the exact same destruction that must take place at repentance.
Now, this is obviously a very strong teaching that most Christians refuse to accept. The easy-believe crowd rejects it. Fake preachers never preach it. Soft denominational Christianity has discarded it long ago.
This is why most of those who call themselves “Christian” have never had a true born again experience:
“You MUST be born again.” [John 3:7]
There is no new birth if there is no real repentance, no destruction of one’s former life, no wholesale turning away from the life of sin and self, or no total subjection to the Lord Jesus.
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose (destroy) it, and he who has lost (destroyed) his life for My sake will find it.” [Matthew 10:37-39]
One will never discover one’s real life without destroying one’s sinful life.
The way of life is through the door of death.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1]