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Did you know that the Biblical New Testament—that which contains the entire teaching curriculum of the Lord Jesus, His record of miraculous works, the history of His salvation-producing death, and the truth of His glorious resurrection—has been vociferously attacked by very powerful Americans who want to destroy it and have plans to do that very thing?
Did you know that millions of Christians support these very people and are so clueless they don’t even know their own enemies?
Did you know a very high ranking individual of another faith wrote a book twelve years ago essentially demanding a total ban on the New Testament and that he did this because he claimed the New Covenant writings are anti-Semitic?
Did you know there are many large organizations of Christians partnering with anti-Christians in which the Christians refuse to witness to the unbelievers as if the Gospel did not apply to them?
If you didn’t know any of this you had better start waking up because the time will come in America when the New Testament will not only be slammed as hate speech, laws will be passed against it, and a total ban will be proposed. Mark my words. The time is approaching faster than you may think. And the worst part? Many so-called Christians and influential Christian leaders will actually support it.
Sin is growing out of fashion as a concept. It is trending out of acceptance as a principle. It is no longer perceived among mainstream Christians in America as a tenet of acceptable belief.
None of this is new in world history. Most of the world has traditionally resided in spiritual darkness from time immemorial. There is no question about that. Spiritual darkness even invaded the so-called Holy Land well over two thousand years ago and remains there still. When the Lord Jesus appeared on the scene His arrival was characterized as LIGHT shining on the darkness. What darkness? The majority of the Hebrew people dwelling there at that time did not think their nation was in darkness. And yet the honored and incredibly accurate Old Testament Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote this:
“THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” [Matthew 4:15-16] 
Many of you know these verses well. But how well have you noticed the clear reference to darkness? This wasn’t just any darkness. Remember, this was Galilee, the former land of the northern tribes of Israel. But even at the time of the prophecy he called it the land of Gentiles. I would argue, though, and argue very correctly that even before the time of the Assyrian Captivity when the northern tribes were marched off and removed from the land, the land was in darkness. In fact, the land was so dark during the time of the Israelite kings it actually grew less dark after the Hebrews left. If this seems like a strange notion, I suggest you study the idolatrous history of the Northern Kingdom and its wicked kings.
STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND
The Assyrian Captivity began right around the time Isaiah began his ministry in about 740 B.C. The final deportations took place after the fall of Samaria and final defeat of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Imagine then that Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah 700 years before the Light appeared. And he prophesied of a time when the land would not only be dark but would be referred to as “the land of the shadow of death.” That’s pretty serious. That was a very dark land.
Could America be characterized this way? Well, one must consider that in the 43 and a half years since a reprobate Supreme Court legalized wholesale in-womb baby killing in what used to be the land of the free, upwards of 60 MILLION babies have been murdered. And this great infanticide has never been stopped no matter what solution has been proposed and attempted. Billions of dollars and millions of man hours have gone into the fight to stop it and nothing has worked yet. The Supreme Court could have overturned the outrageous decision at any time. It could overturn it now. But it won’t. Could it be dwelling in a place of darkness? Is not America of the last 43 plus years the land of the shadow of death? And do we therefore need a bright new LIGHT to shine forth and expose this terrible darkness and end all this wanton murder and destruction?
I vote in the affirmative. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the mega dollar preachers with mega church followers and giant worldwide television and social media presences to do anything about it. Don’t wait for the billion-plus member Roman Catholic Church to do anything about it. There is a majority of Catholics on the Supreme Court and they refuse to do anything about it! And don’t wait for your mainline gigantic Protestant/Evangelical church bodies to do anything either because they won’t. They have billions of dollars to work with but they waste most of it every day on not only doing nothing to alleviate the darkness and death, but actually promote it and spread it around. How?—At the voting booth. Why do Christians keep voting these people into office?
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]
 Old Testament Scriptures are listed in All Caps in the NASV95. 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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Many Christians erroneously believe the Old Testament has been eliminated by the New Testament but the Lord Jesus NEVER said this. In fact, He said the following:
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19] 
In this passage, the Lord Jesus grants full approval of the entire Torah, accepts it in every respect without question, and allows for no elimination of any single law. He is saying that the Law of Moses is perfect and complete, just as the apostle Paul later taught in his writings, and He endorses the Law wholeheartedly. The Lord Jesus put His entire ministry and mission on the line by doing this, tying Himself entirely and absolutely to the Torah and its existence at least until heaven and earth passes away.
Therefore, the notion that the Old Testament or the Law of Moses is no longer viable or in play could not be more wrong: Every definition of sin regarding personal human behavior is still 100% in effect. So if people say, “Well, since Jesus never said anything about this sin or that sin, it must be okay to practice such,” the correct response is that He actually did since He endorsed the Law and the Prophets. If the Law of Moses said something was a sin, it is still a sin to this day and the Lord Jesus agrees.
Also, if the Torah said a particular action or behavior was a gross sin, or a complete violation of God’s intent, or an abomination, then it was and remains an abomination. You can tell which sins were the worst by the penalties attached to them. The worst sins had the sentence of death as the penalty, signifying the outright heinousness of the behavior and ultimately the total contempt for the Lord and His Law.
Therefore, even though the Gospels do not address every single specific sin or the worst sins that required the death penalty, the Lord endorsed the written Torah, which does.
THE ORAL LAW
Of course, the original written Torah was added to in a sense and amended with the addition of the unwritten oral law, which began about the time of the Babylonian Captivity and grew in content until the first century A.D. This oral law did not change the written Law (the Torah—the Law of Moses) which remained intact, but it had changed and corrupted the original intent of the written Law. The Lord Jesus addressed this corrupting influence on many occasions, rebuking those Torah-teachers who advocated for its use in altering the original.
(Many Christians are guilty of the same practice, having altered the original teachings of the Lord Jesus to suit their own taste and limited understanding, and in some cases changing His intent and meaning entirely.)
Since the New Testament thus defines sin by the Lord’s support of the Law and the Prophets, there is actually no distinction between the two in defining sin. Sin is still what it has always been and it still incurs a penalty. Many people do not understand they are paying a penalty for sin in some form or another at present based on some past or present sin, which they do not recognize as sin. They do not consciously make the cause and effect connection between the two.
But God is not mocked. What we plant is what we will harvest. The ultimate penalty for unconfessed sin comes after physical death. It is not the Lord’s fault if people choose to die in their sins having rejected the only cure and the only cleansing agent—the Blood of Jesus.
The worst sins require the death penalty. The Lord Jesus paid that death penalty in full on our behalf. He fulfilled the requirements of the Law regarding sin and whoever applies the penalty He paid toward their own sins will have their long list of violations against God and man expunged, and their official record of sin will be erased as if it never existed.
This is the Lord’s grace. This is His mercy. This is His love.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]
 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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