Christians believe in a Creator. We believe the Creator made us in His image. Christians are also highly intelligent and knowledgeable, and prove that faith in God and scientific fact are not mutually exclusive.
Though proponents of secular science insist there is no God, they are also forced to believe in an unexplainable original uncaused cause. They must admit, no matter how distasteful it may be, that they’ll most likely never make it to the rainbow’s end. They have no idea how Creation, or the “Universe,” came to be at its earliest instant, though they content themselves with the highly implausible possibility they may figure it out someday. In the meantime, the surrender towel they threw into the ring remains there, above the canvas, stuck forever in suspended animation. For them, discovering the origin of Creation has reached a dead end. They can go no further. Though such anti-God proponents et al are saturated with scientific knowledge up to that point, if indeed their vast pronouncements of scientific reality are indeed factual, their otherwise powerful brains come up short at explaining beginnings. Could it be their absence of faith makes the original uncaused cause forever undiscoverable to them?
TRACING OUR ROOTS
For those who engage in the work of genealogy, often inspired to trace their personal family tree, it can be an intriguing and exciting adventure, especially when finding a slightly harder to locate previously unknown link in the chain. They continue going back in time adding more pieces to the puzzle. As they do the effort grows more difficult. The people one searches for become increasingly harder to find. Though one may have success in the early going mapping out ancestral generations, even going back several centuries, one discovers an eventual unwelcome interval when the trail is lost, when he must expend more time and energy on finding the next ancestor in line who has inadvertently perchance made himself scarce, than discovering all the other ancestors up to that point. Inevitably, whether Mr. Scarce or another after him is eventually found, one will reach a dead end. There will be no more ghosts of the past located.
Upon reaching this place, a person must simply face reality. The records grow scarce to the point of non-existence or at least it appears that way. With no written records one has nothing to work with. There is always the hope that maybe something will be found to grant another clue but the odds are against it. Even professionals with relatively unlimited budgets can only go so far.
ONCE UPON A TIME
As a way to remedy such an occurrence, what if one simply started making things up? What if one simply began creating ancestral characters? As an aside, we know that primitive people with no written records have oral histories stretching back into the distant past. They particularly honor the great ones of their bygone times who performed outstanding deeds to better the cause of their people. In time, the honor they give such ancestors becomes ancestor worship. And inevitably, such great ancestors become deified. They transform them into gods. Later generations approaching and appearing in the present accept such “history” without question. They believe wholeheartedly in the legends of their clan. It helps to make them what they are though much of their history is contrived.
Secular science does the same. Rejecting any idea of a Creator, an original personal uncaused cause, they insist on finding purely scientific and factual answers without getting bogged down in foggy legends or what they often term religious nonsense. On the surface, of course, this is good. On the other hand, however, without keeping an open mind to possible spiritual origins beyond their understanding, even though much in such a field is obviously suspect and easily refuted by facts, such people have a decided tendency to grow ever more cynical. It is why many of these people refuse to believe in God. The concept of God looks like a fairy tale. Some of them consider invoking God to be a cop out. And with such unbridled skepticism it is only a hop, skip, and a jump into outright mockery. With such an arrogant attitude which insists only on the use of what their intelligent but extremely limited brains can fathom, they eliminate the very place where the bulk of answers are found.
In the meantime, they must continue with their version of Creation based purely on the discoveries of the scientific method. They continue going back in time (by the billions of years) explaining to the best of their ability how it all came to be. And then they reach the same dead end. They are at a loss to explain it any further. Their only conclusion for the riddle of the Universe is an original uncaused cause. An unknown beginning. Even if they go back to a single point from which the entire Cosmos emerged or burst forth, there is no satisfactory scientific explanation for that single point. How did it get there? Do they think the process of minimizing the Universe to a single subatomic particle in the great distant past makes it easier to understand and accept our origins? Intelligent thinking people know better. The scientists know better. They still refuse, however, to consider a possible spiritual reality or something or someone beyond their ability to see or perceive.
So they make things up. In much the same way primitive tribes construct a legendary reckoning of ancient ancestors, filling in gaps as they go with fictional stories based loosely on suspect oral histories, so must science, the supposed facts people, come up with “answers” to fill in their knowledge gaps in order to complete the story, or their version of events. For backup they rely on one another. It becomes nothing more than circular logic or baseless biased reasoning. It happened that way because we say it did and we are the ones who know because we are the ones with all the credentials. And thus science destroys their one major caveat by becoming religion.
I understood early in life that there must be something more. Looking around and sizing things up brought me to the conclusion, even as a kid, that things simply didn’t add up. Rather than plunge ahead into life with no thought of trying to figure it out, I always allowed for a belief in what may be termed higher things. Though unknown, of course, there must be something else out there I could not perceive but could at some point possibly discover. Such a belief and inevitable search allowed for a drag of sorts on doing what society expected and demanded regarding full attention toward excellence in completing a prescribed course. We understand that devoting full attention to whatever it is we must do makes the job easier.
However, as we mature and face our responsibilities, we collect out of necessity a growing number of hot glowing irons in the fire at the same time, each of which demands our attention, and therefore the idea of devoting full attention to any single one can only happen on an effective piecemeal basis. For those whose lives are so simple they only engage in a single activity and can thus give full devotion to it, I would think their chances of success would be relatively high in that particular field. For most people, however, they must devote themselves to any number of activities, engaging in them all at the same time in turn, like the guy who juggles bowling balls and meat cleavers. Life gets tricky that way. But it also tells us, through our previously unknown ability to excel at several activities at once, that we can spare some time for higher things as well, even though the latter might not be a top priority.
However, until our personal search for truth moves to the top of the list, we will never excel in that endeavor. And without such excelling God will forever remain in the distance.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. [2John 1:7-9]
There is only one “Teaching of Christ.” There is only one real Gospel. The teaching of Christ is His entire curriculum. Those who refuse to teach, believe in, and obey the entire curriculum of the Lord Jesus do not have God. Period. They are not for real and should never be trusted.
They have rejected both the Father and the Son.
IDENTIFYING THE FATHER AND SON
The Father and Son are a package deal. The Father and Son cannot be divided. The Father and Son are not two separate entities and never have been:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1:1]
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14]
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” [Matthew 11:27]
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’” [John 14:8-9]
The Bible clearly identifies the Word of God. But it also reveals that The Word of God is not separate from God. In fact, it clearly states that the Word of God IS God. The Word of God and God are not two separate entities, but the same entity. If the Word of God IS God, and there is only ONE God, then how can the Word of God be something or someone other than God?
The Word of God became flesh. In other words, God, the one and only God—the YHWH of the Old Testament—became a human being. We know this human being as the Lord Jesus. Therefore, the Lord Jesus is God. God came forth among us no longer as merely the spoken Word, but as THE LIVING WORD.
Therefore, if one denies that the Lord Jesus is God, then one has denied the Father. The Lord Jesus said exactly the same thing on many occasions.
“He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” [John 5:23]
Also, if one accepts the Son, then one must accept Him entirely. One must acknowledge Him as the one and only Messiah and Savior of the world, and one must acknowledge that He died for our sins and rose again. One must teach, believe in, and obey His entire curriculum.
Failing this, one rejects the Son, since the Son demands total obedience:
“He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” [Matthew 10:38]
If one rejects the Son, it is impossible to ever know the Father. Why? Because it is only the Son who reveals the Father. It is not the Father who reveals the Son, but the Son who reveals the Father.
Regarding major monotheistic religions on the planet, Judaism denies that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. By denying the Lord Jesus, Judaism has denied the Father. Therefore, “the Father” referred to by the Lord Jesus must be someone different than the one adherents of Judaism worship.
Islam denies that the Lord Jesus died for our sins and rose again. By denying the Lord Jesus for who He is and what He has done, Islam has denied the Father. Therefore, “the Father” referred to by the Lord Jesus must be someone different than the one adherents of Islam worship.
Returning then, to the narrative from John’s second letter, it is impossible to divide Father from Son. However, as indicated, there are those who teach that it is possible to have the Father without acknowledging the Son. This is a lie. It is absolutely refuted by the New Covenant writings.
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. [1John 2:2-23]
If “Christians” believe the lie that one can have the Father without the Son and incorporate it into their thinking, they will become convinced that other belief systems are just as viable as the Lord’s pure and original teachings. They will especially become convinced, and thus deceived, that monotheistic religions which honor a single “god” are actually honoring the one God of the Bible.
But again, if one refuses to acknowledge the Son, then one does not have the Father.
Thus, the Incarnation of God into human form—the Lord Jesus Christ coming in the flesh—must be recognized and believed OR ONE WILL BE OVERCOME AND DECEIVED BY THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT.
THE DEVIL IS A DICTATOR
The devil wants to be in charge. Always.
He does not believe in community or group counsel.
He will not tolerate any dissent. He will brook no interference whatsoever in any of his plans.
He must be front and center, in complete control, surrounded by yes men.
His sub-tyrants, fallen angels and human sellouts, are mere sycophants.
He has an agenda, and he achieves it through lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion, and giving people money, power, titles, authority over others, and whatever else their hearts desire in exchange for becoming his servant and obeying him in all things.
By refusing to serve the Lord Jesus, one serves the devil by default.
There is no actual spiritual middle ground, but only the appearance of such. Those who refuse the Lord Jesus and think they are also refusing the devil from the safety of a mythical, objective middle ground are deceived.
THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT IN GOVERNMENT
The antichrist spirit has always revealed itself in human governmental forms throughout man’s history, including, of course, the ancient world when its presence was far less subtle. Uninformed and unintelligent people are always much more easily manipulated and the majority of people in the ancient world fit that category.
Barring keeping people uninformed and unintelligent, one must keep them indoctrinated. In fact, it is much easier to control and manipulate people through mass indoctrination, since they can be used to further one’s agenda. Otherwise, those in power must use pure force and fear.
The power of force and fear certainly works, and governmental forms can certainly use such “assets,” but only on a very low scale. Better to indoctrinate them with a “one size fits all” education process that denies truth and promotes what can only be termed misinformation and half truths. In other words, there must be enough truth in the faulty equation to deceive people but not so much that the enemy and his illicit plans are exposed.
ADAM AND EVE
The devil thrives on deception. He must fool people. It is the only way he can be in control. He won his authority over the human race in the very beginning by using this exact simple method on gullible Eve, who then convinced her husband to do likewise.
Adam, of course, was never deceived by the devil or by Eve, because he was already in possession of the full truth. He had a pure walk with God his entire life. He knew right from wrong, he knew truth from error, and he knew all about the devil’s methods. He had obviously already been tested by temptation and passed.
Eve, however, presented a challenge to everything he knew. He remembered life without her when the days of his longing came upon him, when the Lord said it is not good for the man to be alone. Adam did not want to return to those days. But he also did not want to sin and fall away from God.
He was, at least in his mind, which was quite weakened and compromised in that moment, on the horns of a very serious dilemma. Eve had already decided. She already took the bait. She had already sinned. She already fell for the lies of the devil. She ate the fruit.
She was overcome by the antichrist spirit.
But Adam remained on the other side. He had not yet done any of those things. He suddenly saw, like a bright flash of lightning in his troubled brain, that he would have to choose one or the other. He could no longer have both.
Would it be God? Or would it be Eve? If he chose God he would have to banish Eve from the Garden and lose her forever. If he chose Eve, well, we all know how that turned out.
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT
It was at this point that males began worshipping females. The entirety of ancient goddess worship can be traced back to this incident. Adam went from loving God with all of his heart and loving his wife with all of his heart to betraying God and essentially obeying and worshipping his wife. It was through this that he opened himself up to serving the devil. Obedience can be equated with worship.
This bewitching spiritual gene mutation (flaw) was later manifested in many otherwise great men who felt compelled to obey their wives against the will of God, which always caused major problems. It even showed up in Abraham, whom God referred to as His friend.
Of course, problems can also ensue if one does the right thing, especially in these days, and one may see obeying one’s wife instead of God as the lesser of two problem-producing scenarios. If a Christian questions the preceding truth or what worship is and where it should go, there is this:
Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” [Matthew 4:10] 
That is exactly what Adam should have said. It is what Abraham should have said.
THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT IN RELIGION
Though real Christianity is referred to as a “religion,” this is absolutely untrue.
And though the origin of Christianity should be known by all Christians as something learned in a simple introductory course—Christianity 101—the vast majority of those who refer to themselves as Christian have apparently (and obviously) never taken such a course.
This makes them vulnerable and open for indoctrination, which, again, is the ancient ploy of the devil. Whereas the Lord Jesus does all He can to bless all people with truth and freedom, the people who are sold out to religion want the opposite. Deceived themselves, they take their cue from the devil and strive to indoctrinate with their own corrupted form of Christianity as a means to gain converts, gain control over them, and thus control and gain access to their money, time, and resources. Having no legitimate power or ability in themselves, they must act the parasite and suck it out of others, but first must deceive said others into doing their bidding. It is how they become religious kings and potentates, large or small.
Again, this time-honored and hugely productive tactic is right out of the devil’s playbook.
Religion has corrupted and controlled the minds of billions, regardless of its various forms. Whether they are non-Christian religions or corrupted forms of Christianity, they all serve one purpose: to manipulate, indoctrinate, re-educate, and then propagate for the purpose of gaining control and wealth.
It’s all a mind game. The best religionists are those who convince others, often with a gentle manner and smiling face, to do exactly as they say and thus transform otherwise free human beings with vibrant minds into mind-numbed religious robots engaging in endless ritual who exist in a state of abject fear at the prospect of stopping.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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.
“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] 
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.
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
He kept saying He wanted to set people free—free from the disease of sin. Yet, the nation of Israel was awash with synagogues on every street corner, scads of rabbis, a plenitude of priests, and major religious parties such as Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes.
With so much religion, why was there so much sin?
Of course, Israel had been a rebellious nation from the get go. It is a wonder she ever had any success at all. God got them the hell out of Egyptian slavery through centuries of effort and as soon as they’re out the majority want to go back. He gave them an opportunity to enter their own promised land a short time later and the vast majority acted like the bunch of faithless pansies they were. Their penalty? Forty years of wandering around a harsh desert waiting for an entire generation to be killed off. There was even a time when God wanted to kill all of them on the spot and start over with Moses.
Yet, we read this stuff and never take it seriously or have any relational inkling what it means.
But America is fixing to find out.
The judgment has already begun and it keeps getting worse by degrees. But only a few are paying attention. Only a few want to do something about it. Two spies out of twelve were pro-active. Only a small percentage of Americans are willing to do what it takes to right the country. Only about a third of the American colonists were for the American Revolution and were willing to die for freedom. The great majority were against it.
Imagine the fact that roughly 70% of Americans in the early 1770’s were against the Revolution.
Then look at what is happening right now. Look at the economic judgment that has come upon this nation in the last four years. Think about the prior president. Think about the current president. Then understand that they were each duly elected by We the People. Americans continue to be deceived.
Why did ancient Israel rebel against God so often? Why was the nation always getting into serious sin trouble? Why did they repeatedly force God’s hand to continually get them out of trouble by sending judges and prophets and military leaders? Why didn’t they just do what they were told?
Why was America founded by people seeking spiritual freedom after being subjected to intense persecution in Europe? And why are direct descendants of the early colonists now fighting against those who want to restore the country?
Our Lord Jesus said it is impossible to serve both God and wealth. The apostle Paul wrote, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.” Could it be that when a person begins to gain wealth he or she has a tendency to live for and protect their wealth and lose sight of God? Is it possible that a wealthy nation with a relatively high living standard could consequently drift away from God and become lost and blinded in sin? Is not this exactly what happened to ancient Israel?
Still, however, there is a problem. Religion was everywhere. Most Israelites claimed to be living for God. The vast majority of Americans claim to be Christian. Is what happened to ancient Israel happening to America right now?
When Israel was right with God she was given righteous leaders. When the nation went south she ended up with one evil despot after another. These idiot Hebrew kings, especially Solomon, despoiled their own people. He was an evil tyrant, much worse than King Saul. The people were warned repeatedly through the prophets what would happen if they had a human king ruling over them. But the nation insisted on bringing judgment upon itself.
Is this exactly what America has been doing for the last several decades?
Soon, the fortieth year of legalized baby killing will begin. Since the reprobate Supreme Court issued its ruling in 1973, well over 50 million American babies have been legally butchered. Do you think God cares?
Watch what happens: Judgment upon this nation will continue to increase as it has been. And unless change occurs, watch what happens when the forty-year anniversary takes place a year from now as judgment increases exponentially.
Also, watch what happens to real Christians in this country. Persecution will increase against them exponentially. But what else will also increase exponentially?
Blessing. God’s people are entering a time of exponential blessing and favor. And there are two principle reasons that it has taken a while to get here: We have lacked love. And we have lacked unity. We have lacked doing for one another because we: (1) Did not believe the same. (2) Belonged to different, competing churches. (3) Held contrary doctrines. (4) Possessed more religion than God. (5) Repeatedly disobeyed the real teachings of Jesus. (6) Refused to honor Jesus as God. (7) Refused to repent and live the truth as reflected within the Book of Acts.
I could go on.
Hence, unrepentant selfish sinners will have no cure since they reject Jesus and His wonderful grace, and real Christians will be blessed and taken care of because they honor the Lord and are humble and contrite of heart.
God so loved Israel despite their gross national sin that He showed up in person to help them.
The majority killed Him and lost everything.
The minority, however, were blessed abundantly and made free.
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them,
“Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” [Luke 4:16-21] 
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13
 1 Timothy 6:10
 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.
What is the true essence of historical, first-century Christianity? What did our Lord Jesus actually teach His disciples? Is it anything close to what developed in later centuries?
It is not. It is not close at all. Picture a small band of real men roaming the countryside like homeless artisans working on a new craft, but a craft so new and so unprecedented that its practitioners did not understand what it was or what they were actually attempting to put together.
They are obscure. They blend in according to appearance and dialect, words and movement, and appear as just another group out of touch with the reality of the times.
Judaism did not really exist as a unified religion. The land was inhabited by a splintered collection of various sects and beliefs based on the teachings of any number of prophets and rabbis, both present and ancient, and carried a tone of defeatist lethargy and a longing for what once was.
Only what was had not been in many centuries. The glorious kingdom of Solomon was but a very distant memory that recalled not merely a tarnished legacy but the loss of something precious and unique. It was Solomon’s father David who had carved out and created a kingdom through ongoing wars, but personally lacked the opportunity to see it reach the heights of what this world sees as glory.
Many Jews of the first century gloried in the great exploits of Joshua and King David, and longed for a return to those times when Hebrew men threw off the yokes of oppressors and ran off squatters and pretenders to the their holy land. Could this not happen yet again? Where were all the great warriors?
The priests longed for another Moses. Many wished the powerful prophets such as Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and Jeremiah could return once again and right the nation’s course.
But they knew in their hearts it was too late. There was hardly any kingdom left. Multiple generations of Hebrews had repeatedly and collectively sinned against God with impunity and those of the Lord’s time knew they deserved little. But they continued to yearn anyway. They pined away dreaming of the past as the hated Romans desecrated their lands and liberty.
Could God ever give them another chance?
This was the setting as the little-known Rabbi from Nazareth led His band of men from town to town and throughout the countryside of Galilee. The people wanted real life again and He was fulfilling the early stages of a plan to give them just that, though a very powerful enemy sat squarely on the land like a heavy, dark cloud of oppression.
It was not the Romans. It was religion—dogmatic, heavy-handed, dead, insipid, joy-killing religion. The land had become infused with it over time ever since the last prophetic word was heard over four hundred years before. The priests had achieved their dream of taking over, and created a hybrid strain based on the Mosaic code that had more in common with Communism than the true teachings of the Torah. They had created a strange hard-nosed casuistic conduct code spelling out everything imaginable that a person might be involved with in life. There was an answer for everything and great force to make their congregants toe the mark and fulfill their duty.
And it was sorry to the core. Their approach was entirely lifeless and void, and demanded regimented obedience and heavy fines for non-compliance. It caused great fear among the descendents of those great Israelites who had won their freedom from foreign dominance and slavery. Imagine those mighty ones who had fought for liberty now under the heavy boot of religion, and imagine that it all grew from within the nation by blood descendants. Imagine kings becoming paupers and those on top of the world becoming moles beneath it.
This was Israel in 30 A.D. These were the times when the Messiah arrived on the scene.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.