Those who refuse to be led by the Lord, who always has our best interests at heart, will instead be led by people who only have their best interests at heart.
The current Judas in the headlights is a collection of spineless establishment Republican leaders, otherwise thought of as good guys by many Americans, in high positions of controlling political power. They refuse to stand up for what’s right because they will likely be exposed for participating in a clandestine money and power grab associated with the stolen election, or they are deathly afraid of political attacks from the minions of the opposing party. Rather than stand and fight for what’s right they would rather hide out and wish the whole thing would go away. These shirkers were at first amused that a few patriots would actually attempt bringing light to darkness, then became somewhat incensed that these few patriots had no intention of halting their course. As the light began shining brighter and more people came on board, they then began growing fearful.
Funny how that happened. There were a great many ordinary Americans who were eyewitnesses to the fraud but were too fearful to come forward. They were well aware of the nefarious character of the people they were dealing with. A few brave souls came forward anyway and have paid a great price. As is always the case, once the few courageous ones step forward, despite the threats, and tell their story, it emboldens others to come forward as well. These few bold ones have now transformed what would have otherwise been a story never told, fully suppressed by mainstream media outlets and major social media platforms, into a nationwide news event exposing the fraud and shining a light on the fraudsters (including the media). If this evil effort is not defeated by being fully subjected to the Constitutional law of the land and proper justice there will never be another honest election in America. This means the will of We the People will be gone forever and with it individual freedom and liberty. It means the end of America as we know it.
KNOWING THE WORD OF GOD IS VITAL TO AVOIDING PERSONAL DECEPTION
The great thing about such current happenings, and what makes our day much different from so many previous occurrences of great evil, is that there are enough individual truth-tellers with the means to “shout it from the housetops” that they cannot all be suppressed, even by an extremely powerful MSM sold out to lies and misinformation constantly repeating false narratives. If one does not think this is true, that the media is a vast colluding propaganda outlet, here is a simple test to prove it: Turn off your TV. Quit watching any and all news channels whether broadcast or cable. They pretty much all repeat ad nauseam the same talking points now anyway so you won’t be missing anything. In this way they won’t be able to keep you misinformed and deceived. It might be a hard bridge to cross and it might be difficult to believe at first that what I’m saying here is true, but you’ll figure it out eventually.
Then replace the time spent there with time in the Word. The same dynamic takes place when you make Bible reading your main reading activity. It may be hard to accept but most people who call themselves Christians have never read the Bible. Those Christians in this category are at an extreme disadvantage. Not only are they unaware of God’s Word, they have filled the place in their hearts that should be occupied by it with knowledge that largely originates from non-spiritual sources, and much of it is not even based on fact. Of course, this remains unknown to the holder and believer in the knowledge because they have no higher reference point to confirm it.
This is what the Word of God does. One must understand that the Word of God as contained in the Bible is actually the WORD of GOD. Because it is the Word of God it takes precedence over all other knowledge. This is especially true in the New Covenant Scriptures. The New Testament contains the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus, His full curriculum. How can one be a Christian and not have a great hunger for His Word? All real Christians read and study His Word when they first become real Christians. They want to know all the teachings of their Lord and Master. Their desire is to study His Word and know it, and this goes for all believers not simply the few who desire some form of called-out ministry. Of course, all real Christians are ministers of the Gospel called into His service. Most never attain to any position of prominence or respect and remain obscure, but this means nothing whatsoever to the reality of their walk. It only means that some are put in the spotlight by God for His purposes, such as the original apostles, for example, or that many others put themselves in the spotlight for their own purposes.
We have seen how this works in the natural world throughout history. Strong men insist on their way, desire great wealth and power, and don’t care what they must do to attain it. They will commit any sin to get there. They simply don’t care. The majority always has to put up with such narcissistic morons. Most people would rather just live their lives in peace and walk in freedom, but for the majority this has never happened. They are always subjected in some way to an evil ruling class, even within many forms of organized Christianity. Again, many people are not aware of this but if the few evil people controlling things against the will of God at any time in history, who gained power because the majority allowed it, would have somehow vanished, the rest of humanity could have suddenly walked in much greater freedom and possessed a veritable abundance compared to their usual meager rations allowed by the ruling class. Such an event would have shined a light on all the great wealth that had been stolen from the people of the world and how much more there would be for everyone otherwise. Is not the same dynamic applicable in our times?
AMERICA FADED FROM FREEDOM TO FEAR
I posted an article on November 21 about the arrival of the Pilgrims on the 400th anniversary of the great event. I mentioned them in another article I posted on Thanksgiving. They had taken a long hard road to gain religious and political freedom. They escaped the evil hand of wicked political and religious authority. Once they arrived here they were far enough away that the evil hand couldn’t reach them. They created a great foundation of future freedom. A century and a half later the greatest generation of Americans paid an even greater price for future freedom in the Revolutionary War. Of course, since then, the same evil controllers who were at one time too far away and too unable to take over have since taken over. This has happened in a step-by-step process. They run the country now. America has long since been captured. It never had to happen and would not have happened if Americans had stayed true to God as they once did. Our great forebears were not perfect but were certainly much better than us. They would not have put up with a fraction of what Americans now routinely weakly accept.
The majority has succumbed to fear. This also apparently includes the majority of Christians. Once one falls into fear one can be coerced into doing things previously unthinkable. They become easily controllable. If the majority knew the Word of God and walked with God it would never have surrendered. God is very clear on this subject. Throughout His Word He is forever telling us to steer clear of fear. God tells us that fear is a killer and a thief. He also tells us that faith in Him is a life-giver, that being filled with His Spirit fills one with courage, and that evil is always forced to surrender and flee in His presence. The Word of God states that God dwells in the presence of His praises and that He is only a prayer away. Whatever the problem may be He has an answer for it. But one thing is certainly clear: He will never allow great evil to have the upper hand if His followers support Him. He will protect and bless His children. But we know from the example of ancient Israel that when the majority succumbs to evil the nation eventually falls.
So now we know why all of this has happened. We know how very powerful evil people have essentially taken over the country. Some of the lower minions in positions of power are being exposed for engaging in evil deeds as so many others have of late but nothing is ever done about it. They are all getting away with it. Man’s justice does not apply to them. It is because they are connected to the powerful evil people running things who protect them. Such are the benefits of belonging to the right clubs. Nevertheless, these people have sold out. They have sold their souls. They made the decision to live for this world. Evil has risen to the top in America and now controls pretty much everything. And it all happened because lazy Christians allowed it. It happened because Christians allowed themselves to be led by spiritual morons who are actually not spiritual at all. It happened because most Christians surrendered to the enemy rather than fully submit to the Lord Jesus.
“BRETHREN, WHAT SHALL WE DO?”
American Christians in general must first take off their dark glasses of deception. They must cease insisting on their weak traditional ways which no longer work. They must understand that they can no longer avoid the fight, that the fight is upon them, that this should be obvious, and would be obvious if they were right with God. The level of evil is off the scale. We are on the verge of losing everything. The people wielding this well-planned evil laugh at Christians every day and have absolutely no respect for us. And it is little wonder. The battle before us is such that we must be stronger spiritually than ever before. There is a growing Remnant standing with God who give it their all but more MUST join in. More MUST wake up. What are they waiting for? Are they simply afraid?
With John the Immerser the corrective began with a powerful call to national repentance. It was the same with the Lord when He began His ministry. It was the same on the Day of Pentecost when the first thing Peter said was “Repent!” Christians on the fence must turn from their sins and unfruitful ways and turn to the Lord. They must rededicate their lives to the Lord Jesus. Removing sin from one’s life alone is a huge benefit but is only a starting point. The cleansed residence must then be filled with the Holy Spirit. If one is not sure what this means study the Book of Acts intently. Ask the Lord for the fullness of the same experience they had. Next, one must begin reading the New Testament and not stop until completing it. The Lord’s teachings shed great light upon our souls, strengthen us, make our path clear and clean, and expose the enemy. Rather than giving in to worry and fear, nominal Christians will instead gain strength and purpose and join the spiritual fight. Going 100% for God makes all the difference.
Doors will open. Favor will happen. Blessings will ensue to a greater degree. One will gain spiritual maturity. One will be equipped for spiritual battle. Whenever enough Christians do this the enemy flees in terror. The entire dynamic is turned completely around. Rather than the enemy taking authority over the Lord’s people, the Lord’s people, through His great power and presence, take authority over the enemy. The Lord showed us how this is done. We MUST follow His example.
It is the only way to victory.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Jewish New Year, known as Rosh Hashanah, the “Head of the Year,” started Friday night, September 18, at sunset. Those who take it seriously know that God still uses His calendar. Pay attention.
A NEW BEGINNING
Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’” [Leviticus 23:23-25]
There are actually two general traditional Hebrew calendar beginnings. The earliest is the sacred or festival calendar which begins in the spring with the first month of Nisan. The later civil calendar begins in the autumn with the seventh month of Tishrei. The first day of Tishrei—today—is Rosh Hashanah. It is a traditional time for a new beginning.
Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Feast of Trumpets. This is taken from the blowing of the shofar or ram’s horn to announce the beginning of the New Year. Since days begin at sunset, based on the Genesis account, Rosh Hashanah began on Friday night (last night) at sunset and ends tonight at sunset. As an example, sunset in Washington DC occurred last night at 7:10pm EDT.
This is also the first day of the ten “Days of Awe.” It is time to seek the Lord, to consider one’s spiritual condition, and to repent. It is a time to prepare for the coming year and make sure one is right with God. Traditionally, one’s spiritual condition at this time sets the tone for the entire coming year.
This is especially applicable, I would think, for the year 2020. The next month and a half will be incredibly intense, even more so than this past summer. This intensity will likely remain until the end of the year and probably into January. Major decisions must be made. Everything is heading into a massive funnel and the vortex created by the pressure will create outcomes possibly never seen before. There is intense pressure from several scenarios topped off by the plandemic, the great worldwide financial reset, the presidential and congressional elections, and tremendous social unrest. Millions of people are extremely angry and cannot seem to contain themselves whatsoever.
For Christians, our spirituality, walk with the Lord, and personal interactions will be greatly tested. It is most necessary to be properly prepared. The tenth day of the “Days of Awe” is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It begins at sunset on Sunday evening, September 27. The following passage gives an indication of the importance of this day:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord. You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.” [Leviticus 23:26-32]
A CURIOUS PORTENT
The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg yesterday is quite the coincidence. She was obviously a very important American and high profile person, greatly admired and respected. She died before the sun went down on the last day of the civil year right before the onset of Rosh Hashanah. It goes without saying that such is an incredibly rare occurrence and must signal something quite profound.
© 2020 by R.J. 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.
The term adult is overrated. It is often ill-defined and based on a confined perspective. In reality, when compared to God, eternity, and an ancient earth, we are all mere newbies, children trying to find our way.
YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME
We see ourselves as sovereign. It is this way from childhood. Some children are more vocal than others on the subject and the little highnesses don’t hold back when perceiving a challenge to their noble standing. Once they understand they’re behind the generational eight ball, however, at least for the present, and the big people have the drop on them, they begin making plans for the future—“When I get big…”
Wiser children are a tad more circumspect. They somehow understand intrinsically that their little lives are good or at least not so bad. They have shelter and food and… toys!
“But they’re just using toys to keep you in line and under their authority.”
“What? You don’t like toys?”
“Toys are just tools of the capitalist bourgeoisie to train you as future oppressors of the proletariat.”
“I gather by your lack of proper retort that your brainwashing has already progressed to a probable point of no return and I must therefore and forthwith identify you as my enemy and insufferably target you with my considerable wrath, the first thrust of which is leaving you bereft and alone in the midst of this sordid establishment to suffer the misery of a wasted existence built on false hopes and dreams rather than join the glorious people’s revolution and overthrowing the man!”
“Johnny, are you spouting Communist propaganda again? Okay, to the playpen…”
“You may imprison me but my heart will stay free!”
“Want some apple juice?”
(The little Commie might have been more successful if he had conformed his propaganda to the interactive fine art of playing with toys. He overplayed his hand.)
THE SIN PANDEMIC
Here is an interesting fact. Many years ago, three months before I gave my heart to the Lord, I was witnessed to for the first time. Then, three months later, I was witnessed to once more, by the same person (It bore fruit). And guess what? I don’t remember ever being witnessed to again. That little factoid doesn’t speak well of American Christianity in general which surrendered its previous hard-charging evangelistic DNA maybe a century or so ago. And I was raised in a denominational church but I don’t recall ever hearing the term “witnessing.”
But there we were. And there they were, telling me about a big new change in their lives. I had already heard something about it. They were close friends, a young married couple. This was the first time they came over to see me since it all went down and tell me the weird news in person. Only it wasn’t so much them telling me about them but them telling me I had to also be like them. I was roughly their age, and was doing a good job of being friendly and open.
My associates and I had always prided ourselves on being open-minded and often partook of great conversations on any number of subjects and were never concerned about getting too deep. In fact, getting deep was cool. We were young adults. Everything was new and open. Being dogmatic was better left to canines. It was much more fun to hear many different points of view and gain information. No one owned the information and if you didn’t care for it, it was no big deal.
We opposed any form of censoring for the simple fact that we could end up missing good ideas and positive information, and things we might apply in our lives to make them better. Conforming to a dead orthodoxy was the last thing we wanted.
But these people, who I used to know and hang out with, had changed in what I soon perceived to be in a not so good way. I started feeling pressure. Are they trying to sell me on something? Really? And the answer was yes, they were. Rather than a conversation it switched over to a sales pitch. I started getting irked. The smiles were gone from their faces. I know now what was going on. They themselves were under pressure. They felt they had to do this, to witness to me, to tell me I must change…”
I got quiet briefly, my mood transformed from being welcoming, open, and very friendly to a tad somber. I’m sure I must have lowered my eyebrows and effected a somewhat borderline dismayed expression. At last I told them that if they didn’t stop they may as well leave. (What they were doing was not cool. Not in the least.) He looked more upset than she did and said “Let’s go.” She showed more concern and didn’t want the visit to end on a bad note but they’re the ones that brought it on. They overplayed their hand.
WITNESSING IS A FORCED OPTION
So you see, sinners don’t like being referred to as sinners. No one likes to be thought of as inferior in need of a major remodel and paint job. Pride always kicks in. We stand up for ourselves and should. It is in the heart of every person to defend their honor regardless of morality level. There might only be a half tank or so left but good things still reside within and besides, aren’t these people a tad arrogant to think they’re better? This is why witnessing is tricky and witnessers must have some level of proper training. The Lord did this. He prepared His men before sending them out.
I think a much better witness would have been for my friends to come over still exulting in the joy of the Lord as I know they did in church and at home. They were too young then spiritually, as we all are early on, to understand that witnessing is a forced option in that it happens no matter what we do or how we do it. What I saw was a religious sales pitch. What they saw was the need to make me convert just as they had. Although they didn’t really convert. They were actually gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit and had a powerful and positive life-changing experience. If they had come over with absolutely no pressure tactics and allowed me to see the big change for the better in their lives simply by their love, joy, and outward actions, I would have been more impressed. It would have planted a seed within that would have grown into greater curiosity on my part and later on I might be more willing to open up, likely when I was down or struggling.
And this is exactly what ended up happening. They changed tactics and began praying. The whole church prayed for me. Over a three month period I felt my swagger and manly security slowly slipping away. I began being more aware of my shortcomings. In a tender and loving way the Lord was showing me my sin. The Lord Himself was witnessing to me! He was preparing me for what He knew I really wanted, and part of the preparation was “breaking up the fallow ground of my heart.” He was plowing deep furrows in my heart is what He was doing. He was getting the soil ready to receive the Gospel seed. When the time came for the final witness I was ready.
That second time around it was exactly like what I had suggested before. It was a time of smiles, laughter and joy. Whatever it was they had, I wanted it.
But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” [Luke 18:16-17]
© 2020 by R.J. 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.
Today’s Lesson is about New Covenant water baptism. There is only one legitimate form and formula. The apostle Peter proclaimed this in no uncertain terms, and Early Church history confirms it.
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
The Lord Jesus made water baptism an extremely important and vital component of His teachings and ministry. It has never been optional. Also, His original method has never been subjected to change by Him. Nevertheless, to this present point in Christian history, we have had about as many water baptism forms and formulas as we have had pretty much everything else that has divided Christianity. And there is no excuse for it. The Book of Acts makes it very clear that there was only one original New Covenant water baptism and it was intended to stay if effect throughout the Church Age.
The word baptism comes from a word that means to immerse totally or overwhelm. All ancient Jewish ritual immersion methods were just that—total immersion. John the Immerser obviously followed this practice. His was a baptism of repentance. His calling was to prepare the nation for the coming King and his kingdom. But he also prophesied the complete destruction of the nation. He knew only a believing Remnant would accept and obey the Messiah and properly repent. These would prove it by bringing forth the fruit or evidence of repentance in their lives. John only used one form of water baptism.
THREE NATIONAL BAPTISMS
There were only three national water baptisms of the nation of Israel throughout its history. Each involved the authority of a prominent spiritual personage representing (1) the Law, (2) the Prophets, and (3) Truth and Grace. The first two were mandatory, as is the third.
The very first baptism was at the Exodus. It is associated with the Red Sea. It took place upon the birth of a new nation just released from Egyptian bondage. It was a baptism unto Moses upon his authority:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. [1Corinthians 10:1-4]
The second national water baptism was for repentance. It is associated with the Jordan River. It was also for the purpose of manifesting the Lord Jesus to Israel and separating those who recognized and accepted their Messiah from those who did not, and to prepare each group for their ultimate fate. It was a baptism unto John upon his authority:
Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’” Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. [Matthew 3:1-6]
The third national water baptism, in conjunction with repentance, was for the total remission of sin and as preparation for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit as the 120 did in the Upper Room. It is associated with Living Water. It was an opportunity to get spiritually clean, appeal to God for a good conscience, release the hounding burden of one’s sinful and rebellious actions against the Lord Jesus, and gain a personal, reconciled relationship with Him. Whoever may have a casual attitude toward water baptism has likely never fully considered the great cost of purchasing our salvation. Greater love has no one else. He gave His life on our behalf. He did it through His own shed blood.
The third baptism was unto the Lord Jesus, upon His authority, using His Name:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” [Mark 16:15-16]
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:45-47]
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 2:38] 
New Covenant water baptism is a perfect illustration of the virgin Bride taking the Name of the Bridegroom.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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.
Peter commanded the people that they must fulfill two conditions to get right with God and receive the promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
It began with faith. They believed. This is exactly how it started with Abraham. It took the Upper Roomers less time to develop this faith fully, this complete trust and confidence in the Lord.
For Abraham, he was one man alone and God was an invisible Spirit. In time he began to listen closer—he would pursue—he was spiritually hungry. He had experienced the futility of his family religion and graven idols, and sought spiritual reality the only way he knew how. Yet, it was evident that God spoke first. Abraham felt His voice within. In time his hearing improved. He deciphered what he felt. He began to understand God’s greetings and responded in kind. Once communication was established the relationship grew and Abraham’s confidence in his new spiritual Father and Friend developed and matured.
For the disciples, God was manifested directly to them in human form. They were blessed to spend time with Him daily. One would think their relationship with Him would develop faster, and it did, but it was certainly not any easier. They had to learn how to shift to spiritual learning and no longer resort to instantaneous default understanding, that which merely came naturally. It would take much effort. It is why His students were disciples. They were not only receiving head knowledge from their new Teacher but an entirely new curriculum involving every aspect of their lives. It was 24-hour-a-day learning with a universal application.
In the early going, once true faith comes forth, one sees oneself in God’s eyes and is quickly struck by the presence of previously unrecognized or unacknowledged personal corruption. The presence of sin is initially shocking. One perceives how damaging it is to a relationship with the Lord and is embarrassed to be in His presence. There is an urge to run, to get away quickly. It is why we collapse in a heap at His feet. We do all in our power to get clean. This is real repentance. It is a wholesale turning away 180 degrees from a former lifestyle that fits in perfectly in a fallen world. It’s a no-brainer for sinners to have good relationships with sinners. But such is impossible with God. It is difficult to wrench oneself away and a person must make the choice to either live for God or live for this world. The 120 chose correctly.
Soon, in the crowd of thousands gathered to hear Peter’s powerfully anointed message, a great many others would also choose correctly. They too were on the verge of collapse, having been powerfully convicted of their personal sins and rebellious actions toward their Messiah. Some of them had been hearing God’s voice just as Abraham did in the beginning. It came as a perceived thought, as a feeling, and as something quite real but intangible. They couldn’t figure it out but it seemed as though someone was trying to contact them. Many neglected the voice. Others, intrigued, listened more closely.
As John Wesley spoke his now famous words relating to his early conversion experience, the Israelites who paid attention to the loving voice “felt their hearts strangely warmed.”
He was calling them to new life.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Everyone there was an Israelite—the good guys, the bad guys, and those in between. The entire story, from Abraham to Pentecost, was the saga of a single, small, obscure nation on a sliver of land in the Middle East. This nation was chosen by God two millennia before, long before it ever was a nation, when it was only prophesied as such, when it only existed of a man, a woman, and a hoped-for miracle child. Isaac was his name. Within him were all the future participants, including the greatest One of all.
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 
Among the Israelites before him, shock and awe plastered on their faces, were undoubtedly some of those who directly participated in clamoring for the Lord’s crucifixion fifty-three days before. The conspiracy that started in the cold, hollow darkness of a few dark hearts, those with great influence, those with the ability to pull strings on a whim, had extended to down line roll players, each playing a part. For these wicked ones it truly was a passion play. They wrote the script, they chose a director, they set the scene, and they hired actors. They even hatched a diabolical plan to compromise the Roman government which otherwise had the power to shatter their dream through laws against such supreme injustice and vendetta politics.
Pontius Pilate, though one who often flaunted his power in taking personal liberties with Roman law, sometimes to the edge, was well versed in such jurisprudence. He was certainly in authority and didn’t shrink from it, but was also under authority. He would have to answer for his actions. Having been called on the carpet before due to prior acts of government malfeasance, most notably in excesses against the native population he presided over, Pilate faced enough perceived threat from his superiors that he was ripe for compromise. And the plotters knew it. They knew they had cards to play that could tie him in a knot. And they did. And their plot worked perfectly. Until, that is, a little resurrection problem.
But you see, in their warped minds, the Man they crucified was just another nutcase nuisance who believed Himself to be somebody—another pretender—a false prophet—a magician. He was a violator of the Torah, they said, while they, of course, obeyed every jot and tittle. If they had to resort to an evil backstabbing conspiracy to take Him out, so be it.
And now Peter was looking directly into their hearts. His eyes flashed with the power of heaven. It was a familiar look to them. They had seen it before in another Man’s eyes…
Powerful, unrelenting conviction came upon them like a load of dirt from the sky. “He knows I’m guilty!” some thought. Peter did not lay the blame just on those direct participants but the whole lot of them. They opposed the Lord to a man. And now in a sudden rush it all came together in their previously deceived and distorted minds. They no longer saw a magician but their Messiah! We killed our Messiah!
Peter was not merely preaching to the instigators in the crowd before him, or the crowd itself, but directed his message to the whole nation:
“Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made Him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 
Imagine being given a great promise. And imagine getting direct clues in the interim that the promise was greater than previously imagined. Then imagine finally receiving it and… Do you see? The promise never changed. The people did. Their sin and rebellion warped their minds and blackened their hearts. But praise God He gives us second chances! Praise God He is forgiving and compassionate! Praise God He is sincere and loving! Because this wasn’t the end for these morons, but a new beginning! Their rocky hearts had been busted wide open by the powerfully anointed sledgehammer preaching of Peter. He kicked their backsides black and blue. He mopped up the parking lot with them. They were left absolutely defenseless and destroyed. Exactly how the Lord drew it up.
Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, brothers?” 
They were all brothers! These were all Israelites! —The apostles, all the Upper Roomers, the entire crowd—they were all members of the same nation. Not everyone in the crowd took the message to heart but thousands did, and there would be many thousands more. The prophesied Remnant was coming forth.
National destiny was granting yet another chance for the children of Isaac.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © New Revised Standard Version
 © The New Jerusalem Bible
They killed the Lord Jesus but He didn’t stay dead. It was a nice effort although a failure. Every other effort to destroy His living legacy also failed. All present and future efforts will end in failure as well.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]
It was the Lord Himself who was the initial target. Herod tried to get Him in the very beginning. There were probably pre-ministry attempts on His life that Scripture does not record. After stepping into open destiny He was under constant threat. The following are four historical instances of such murder attempts from each gospel to illustrate what He faced on a daily basis:
Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. [Matthew 2:16]
The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. [Mark 11:18]
Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.” [Luke 13:31]
For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. [John 5:18]
We can gather from the preceding accounts that the Lord had many enemies, both civil and religious. We also know the Lord never committed a single sin, never violated the Torah, and never broke any legitimate civil law. He was accused of violations, but interestingly, only by the actual violators.
It reminds one of Catholics and Protestants taking turns burning each other at the stake. Catholics killed some people representing a threat who did not believe and practice the Catholic religion properly. Protestants killed some people representing a threat who did not believe and practice whatever Protestant religion properly. Protestants killed non-Catholics. Catholics killed non-Protestants. Why all the killing? Why were these crazy religionists so threatened?
We know why the Pharisees were threatened. They didn’t spend two centuries formulating their perfect religion only to have the Lord reveal it for what it really was. There were no prophets during the time the Pharisees created their belief system, loosely based on the Law of Moses, but heavily dependent on oral commentaries and connections to Babylon. Because there were no prophets in the land no one had the spiritual anointing to object and expose them. It wasn’t until John the Immerser came forth that a true prophet was once again in the land of Israel/Judea. After him, of course, came forth the greatest Prophet of all time. These two revealed Phariseeism for the sham it was and its connection to the devil. It was just another thing prophets were sent to do on a routine basis. Prophets kept the land clean from false beliefs and interpretations. They stood only for the real Word of God.
This same dynamic invaded Christianity in that new denominations were only based on the New Testament. Additions were made. Subtractions were made. Commentaries were added. This is what the New Testament really means, they said. The new denominations, of course, must have a priesthood or clergy to denote the real and rail against the unreal. But they were only defending their own man-made belief systems and not the actual New Covenant Scriptures. Hence, when they gained enough power, they forced people to believe what they advocated and installed strong penalties for those who refused, including, of course, the death penalty.
All this within a religion of peace? Right.
Regardless of all the initial attacks against the Lord, His men, and the early believers by unbelieving Jews, the Lord’s Community not only survived but thrived. Try as they might they could not destroy it. Keep this in mind when trying to differentiate among various Christian denominations and their early histories. The Lord NEVER operated this way, never would, and never will. If you chose not to follow Him or believe His teachings He would still love you. The early Community of the Lord never advocated for such a thing. But false religions know they can be destroyed without using every tool at their disposal including the death penalty. Real Christians know the Lord is eternal, His Word is eternal, the Gospel is eternal, and nothing will ever eliminate Him or them.
This means New Covenant Truth is an ever-present threat against the forces of evil. Unreal Christianity is an enemy of the truth. Whatever religion or belief system is anti-Lord Jesus or antichrist is an enemy of the truth. One either honors the Lord and the fullness of His teachings or one does not. But if one does not, he or she is okay to believe whatever he or she wants to believe without being under threat by the Lord. The Lord threatens no one. He never stoops to such lowlife tactics as do the false religionists.
He does warn us, however, that sin is a killer, and unless one does something about it one will pay. One will lose one’s soul. He paid the price for sin with His life. He can remove sin from a person. He can clean us up. He will remove the power of sin in a person’s life. Only He can cure us of the sin disease. This requires repentance on our part. If one refuses the Lord’s free gift then one stands in opposition to Him by his or her own choice. Unlike false religions, including the Christian variety, the Lord never forces conversion. Forced conversions are false conversions.
Those who oppose New Covenant Truth are the enemies of God. Those who create false religions and belief systems espousing this and defending them to the point of taking lives are the worst offenders.
And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” 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.” [Luke 9:20-24] 
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There can be no unity without division. All evil must be separated from the good. This is one’s life in a nutshell, to go one way or the other by the time he exits into eternity.
The Lord called them disciples. They were those who would follow Him successfully. Their first task was to lay down their lives and allow the inherent sin and evil within to be purged out.
It was not at all easy nor was it supposed to be. His standard is the highest. He said all sin and evil must go. To assist in achieving such a monumental task He required His followers to take up an unseen personal cross—a crude and roughhewn, raw and rasping deadweight to serve as an ongoing execution stake.
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.” [Luke 9:23]
ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE DISCIPLES
It stems from the word discipline. This invokes extremely hard work. The spiritually lazy need not apply. Discipline does not refer to mere busyness but to the wrenching chore of somehow being conformed to His image and living the life He lived. One’s humanity will always fight the process and most of the time human nature wins. This is why most of what we presently call Christianity is composed of losers and fakers who refuse to do it right and settle instead into a faux form they can handle without getting right with God. They would rather be comfortable within society and create a religion and deity to suit themselves. I guess they figure they will be clever enough to convince the Lord of their artificial righteousness at the Judgment. This is not a good plan.
Since everyone who comes to the Lord is a sinner, the first order of business is plowing up the sin field and sowing it with salt. This process must go down deep to the very roots. All vestiges of sin and evil must be removed and eliminated. This process—initial repentance—allows for breaking up hard fallow ground and creating deep, pure nutrient-laden soil within which the Gospel seed can be successfully planted. Repentance is thus likened to the process of decomposition and death. The richest soil is that in which the greater decomposition takes place. Think of a healthy compost heap.
THE LEVEL OF REPENTANCE RELATES DIRECTLY TO REAL SALVATION
“Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” [Mark 4:3-8]
With no repentance the seed is stolen by the devil. With little or shallow repentance, whatever may spring up is weak and dies quickly. It must be noted that the level of initial repentance one engages in is directly related to surviving eventual persecution. If one attempts an easy way he will later fall away. He is too wimpy to survive the inevitable spiritual attacks that will surely come. If he had been harder on himself he would have been stronger:
“In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.” [Mark 4:16-17]
DIVISION FIRST, THEN UNITY
“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” [Luke 12:51-53]
So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. [John 7:43]
Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. [John 9:16]
A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?” [John 10:19-21]
BRINGING FORTH SPIRITUAL FRUIT
No unregenerate human being has the required spiritual seed to bring forth spiritual fruit. It must come from the Lord. This is why one must be born again of the Spirit and not simply the flesh. Some unregenerate humans may be very nice and friendly people willing to help and do good things but they are worthless spiritually. The good things they may do are never eternal. Thus, the Lord put a premium on spiritual things, the same kind of things He was associated with and brought forth during His ministry.
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’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:8-12]
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]
Those against Him are the minions of anti-Messiah. Everything they do is in opposition to God. They build societies according to their false anti-liberty paradigms. They deceive millions to follow them and reject the Lord. They cause destruction, disruption, mass murder, and poverty.
It might interest those who may not know that the Christmas season as we know it arose primarily among European Christian cultures that honored the birth of our Lord Jesus. This tradition carried over into America. His birth signified a great new hope for the world. He was seen by these people as one who came to save us from sin and evil and rescue us from the hand of the enemy.
Anyone with a modicum of knowledge regarding ancient history knows this planet has been plagued for millennia by evil, rotten dictators who force slavery and the building up of societal models which are anti-liberty and which serve only them. In contrast, the Lord Jesus wants everyone to be free and fulfilled. People in general have always gone along with the evil because they felt they had no choice. Whoever might speak out against the injustice would often end up dead. All those too afraid to do so became congealed among the supporters of evil.
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]
Of course, the evil dictators and their sycophant minions would also eventually end up dead. And then they would have to face a holy God. They would no longer be sitting on their earthly thrones, would no longer have body guards or armies to protect them, a false media to lie about them, and no one to come to their rescue. At that point justice would be meted out. These unrepentant evil people would not be allowed to infect God’s perfect universe ever again. They would be annihilated and cease to exist forever.
Back on the surface of the three dimensional world, great state funerals convince majorities that these were actually good men and everyone better recognize them as such. Transforming an evil man’s character borne out by all his evil deeds against humanity into a false sainthood is a great trick and one that most appear to accept handily. Many will even stand up for such evil men and vouch for their character but in doing so they prove their distance from the Lord.
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]
Thus, the perpetrators of evil are also excellent at creating the grand illusion. There is only one antidote to this, only one way to escape deception. Otherwise, people live their lives believing that which is false but believe to be true. They are propagandized. They are indoctrinated. They are deceived. They are otherwise hopelessly fooled. When the curtain goes up they watch the show. They take it all in. They do not know the show is not real but a mere set-up. They do not know that the curtain is false and does not actually go up but goes down. The false curtain hides reality. The false curtain conceals the truth.
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. [Luke 23:44-45]
When this miraculous occurrence took place upon the death of the Lord it revealed to everyone present that they had been living according to a religious sham. The torn curtain of the temple no longer concealed the truth but exposed the fact that there was nothing there. The Holy of Holies was empty. There was no Ark of the Covenant. There was no presence of God. God was actually over on the cross and the real temple—the temple of His body—the veil of His flesh—had just expired. The real temple had been walking among them for approximately three and a half years. This temple was indeed filled with the presence of God. This was the real Holy of Holies.
And they killed Him.
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]
Since that time there have been two types of people in the world. One is with Him and one is against Him. There is no in-between.
Those with Him are the blessed ones. They love Him. They trust Him. They believe in Him. They follow Him. They obey Him. They work for Him. They give their lives for Him. They do not and cannot hide who they are. The world opposes them.
One is deceived by the illusion and the other sees the illusion for what it is.
But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. [2Corinthians 3:15-18] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
They’re all dead and in the grave. Their mortal remains are all that remain in this three dimensional world. But they still live on. They have gone to the other side.
To those human beings who have no belief in a spiritual world, they truly are the intelligent animals they claim to be. Though intelligent might be a stretch. It is not so intelligent to have what is otherwise the obvious evidence of God’s presence and creation all around us and still not see.
Have they been taught out of the truth? I suspect this is true. I remember, as a tyke, the wonder of it all. I believe with all my heart that all very young children are very close to God. They don’t question His presence. They don’t question spiritual reality because they don’t question goodness and life and laughter and joy. Even babies laugh out loud. I get tickled when they get so tickled they can’t stop laughing.
One wonders what happens to most humans as they get older. It can be argued that maybe their environment is bad or their parents are not so good or whatever. But this is all a crock. There have been so many born of a low estate with strong challenges that later left that estate simply because they willed themselves to and refused to be brought down by circumstance. I know my own family was neither rich nor poor. We had a good house and ate well. My parents were responsible. They loved us.
Speaking of eating well in otherwise humble conditions I heard of one man who came from a very poor family but said they always had plenty of food. He said he knew this was true because when he was a hungry kid he often asked for seconds and his Dad said he already had plenty.
It used to be that families made do with a whole lot less. You do the best you can. The Lord looks upon our lives and will help if we have any faith but I believe He protects us anyway. But it is our own wills and bad choices that get us in trouble. At the end of the day we are solely responsible and will have to face the Lord alone. I think it is wise to practice this. I think it is a smart thing to do to picture ourselves before the Lord at the judgment:
“What do you have to say for yourself?” And we would say “You died in my place Sir. Without You I have no chance. I have tried to do my best. I committed many sins but repented a lot also. It took a long time but You finally convinced me that I am worthy of eternal life but only because You say so, and I believe You, and I know You love me, and I love You, and you paid my way to make it possible…”
And then I think, wait, hold on, shouldn’t one’s judgment before the Lord be a time of great joy? I mean, if we have been living by faith and trust in Him and are really trying hard to be a good Christian and have achieved something or another for Him, shouldn’t we believe that He will give us great news? I am not talking about presumption or spiritual arrogance and pride but just looking at it the way a child would. Would a young happy innocent child expect anything less than spending forever with his or her heavenly Father? This is why I think many Christians have made it all too complicated.
Those who have gone before would tell us this. They had found that the secret to living for the Lord and eventually getting to heaven was along these lines:
First of all, take the Lord at His Word. If He says the default destination of every soul is hell and that’s where you’re going without Him and all He can do for you then that’s where you’re going unless you do something about it. If He says there is another Way, a road that starts with a small gate and involves a narrow road pushed in on both sides by pressure that is sometimes not at all so comfortable, and that if one chooses this road and stays on it no matter what then one will eventually get to the destination which naturally occurs at the end of that road. We know this about every other road. No one travels without destinations in mind. The Lord’s Way has a destination.
Secondly, we have to know why we are here. The first church I belonged to after my born-again experience majored on teaching witnessing. We were always being told to go out and witness to others. So I did. A lot. With many. I was so anointed and had so much to say and everything was so brand new. I wanted everyone to know what I knew and how great the Lord was. A few years later in a new church I learned about something that was relatively new back then, or at least new to me. It was a “spiritual gifts” test based on Romans Chapter 12. Through this test I found out that I had a teaching gift. Teaching always came up first and prophesying second. This made perfect sense because I had an insatiable hunger for the Word of God and loved telling others everything I learned. Long before this I had already bought a brand new leather bound Thompson Chain Reference Bible and one of those big Strong’s concordances. I was always doing word studies and etc.
Knowing who I was and why I was here made it a lot easier to live for God. I know this will sound goofy to some who have no qualms about making fun of spiritual things, but I had discovered my mission in life. I have tried my best to honor my calling and stay on point in my mission, but as all real Christians know, we are simultaneously fighting a spiritual war and sometimes the enemy gets in some good licks and slows us down. Sometimes we mess up on our own. Sometimes we get knocked right down on our butts and it takes a while to get back up and get going again. But if we do what we had always done we will get back up. We will go on. It is due in part to a strong sense of duty and responsibility but it’s also because the work we are called to is something we enjoy and which actually charges our spiritual batteries. We also want to go stomp the devil the way he stomped us. We must never let the big idiot have the final say or the last lick. One must get up to fight again and give that piece of garbage yet another black eye and bloody lip.
Those who went before us know this also. Those solid and powerful believers did damage to the idiot’s disgusting little kingdom and rescued souls by the thousands. They knew what could be done and they did it. Their examples give us great inspiration because we see that they were just human as we are human, and the Lord was able to work through them, often in a mighty way, which gives us confidence that He can do the same with us. What a great thing it must be to complete one’s course and come to the end of the narrow road with the Lord Jesus Himself there to greet us! How cool is that?
So I encourage you all to continue on and know that if they could do it we can do it. It might seem highly unbelievable that flesh and blood human beings can somehow be transformed from this three dimensional world into an unseen spiritual world when for all practical reasons it looks like we just die and go to the grave and that’s it. But real Christianity, that which is based exclusively on the teachings of the Lord Jesus, says the grave we see is not the end of us but merely the end of a flesh and blood temple housing an eternal spirit until a future resurrection, and that we will live on forever in great joy and peace with the Lord. If we believe this and stay on the road, what He says will happen will happen. We will get there. But we must have a purpose. We must have a reason to live this life that brings honor to Him.
Those that went before us figured out early on who they were and what their purpose was and then they got after it and stayed after it. Attending to their callings made their life’s work possible, and it made life go by relatively fast. The more they paid attention to their walk the easier it was to stay on the road.
Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” [Luke 2:46-49] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
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.
Regarding what the Lord Jesus requires of Christians, we have the benefit of ancient Hebrew history. We can discover from their example the spiritual definition of obedience. We can know what honors the Lord and what does not.
The origin of what Biblical historians call Yahwism, which many centuries later developed into the rudimentary forms of early Judaism, began with a few solitary men wandering in vast open wilderness regions and barren deserts. The population of the planet was a small fraction of what it became in later ages, and a man could wander for great stretches and never see another. Such boundless open scenery and limitless night skies, ablaze with distant starlight and an ever-phasing meandering moon, set loose the imagination of these nomads and awakened cosmic wonder regarding Creation. Some paid more attention than others.
STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
Many centuries earlier, after the fall of Adam and Eve and their banishment from the garden, they wandered in the wilds for 130 years on a subsistence diet doing whatever they must to survive. They had been separated from God by sin and severed from communication with Him, and their own relationship with each other was no doubt often strained to the point of breaking. Every day brought another reminder of their calamitous disobedience and rebellion, and how the new god they had chosen had abandoned them soon after and caused disaster. Adding to their torment, Adam and Eve’s good son Abel, the one from whom the Messiah would have descended, had been murdered in his relative youth over a century before.
Amid this dismal backdrop, we have a better understanding of the depressing condition of Adam’s protracted life in exile. After long decades of worry and introspection, and vainly seeking an unknown undiscoverable land of comfort and rest, if only a brief oasis, Adam at last surrendered. There in the midst of a stark and unforgiving landscape so unlike the wonderful abundant garden of his early memories, he found a place of repentance: He got right with God. As the fruit of obedience, joy returned, and they were immediately blessed:
Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 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 4:25-26] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
This is a must-read article. Please tell all your friends. There is an anointing here that can be applied to otherwise impossible situations and bring victory.
So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. [John 11:17]
The forty days officially began on August 21. The fortieth day begins tonight at sunset. We are about to complete the same forty day period the Lord completed just prior to the start of His ministry in which He fasted for the duration and then went toe-to-toe with the devil.
This is one of those counterintuitive training methods that makes no sense in the natural and causes nominal Christians to recoil in horror. Rather than train conventionally as one may train for a prize fight in which a boxer imbibes in the best nutrition and a regimented workout lasting for several weeks in the effort to eventually outlast an opponent in the ring, the Lord did the opposite. He went far out into the wilderness all by Himself. It is recorded that He was out there with the wild beasts. Every day and night for forty days He had nothing to eat whatsoever. He prayed always. He prepared to the hilt. But it was all spiritual preparation.
This kind of training and fight preparation is no longer taught by what we may term “official” Christianity and hasn’t been for many centuries. Most of today’s Christian ministers laugh at the very idea of teaching such a method of gaining spiritual victory. They keep almost everything in a purely natural and non-supernatural mode because the stakes they seek cater instead to material and “worldly” success.
Now, please note that I like success. The Lord grants success. He is really into success. But it also must be noted that the spiritual must come first and must come correctly or whatever “success” one may have will soon be lost. When the Lord went to war on our behalf and on behalf of our future success He had in mind a way to buy back our freedom from the ravages of sin and bondage. That was His obvious priority. To that end, and because He loves us so, He was more than willing to subject himself to such austere and extreme training methods and face off with the ugly, gnarly, hell’s angel dipwad responsible for screwing everything up and turning His perfect creation into fallen destruction and His perfect sinless holy humans into spiritually dead, broken, compromised, and hell-bound shells of themselves.
And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13]
Who else would love like that? Who else could love like that? Well, HE did it. And it cost Him everything. Whatever we do for the Lord and others is great and duly noted but based on the practices of Christianity in general most Christians not only fail to do the least in this regard for the Lord, they don’t even see the need for it, as in “What’s the point?” This attitude is borne out by people completely unaware of the concept in that they see no connection between much prayer, fasting, standing in faith, and fighting spiritual battles with eventual great spiritual victories which would otherwise have no chance of happening.
The Lord Jesus, however, taught the why and how every day of His ministry. He showed us how it is done. His disciples did what He said and had great spiritual success. The entire Roman Empire was evangelized within a century and a half, so much so that the leaders thereof eventually threw in the towel. If those mighty spiritual warriors could do that then why can’t we do it now? It is not that we can’t. It is that the definition has changed. And because the definition has changed there is no longer any need for the great spiritual practices of the originals because Christian success is no longer defined by doing the impossible but by doing exactly as this fallen world is doing.
If the Lord could defeat the devil without a forty day fast and all night prayer sessions and making Himself poor and putting up constantly with religious idiots trying to kill Him then why did He do all those things? Why did the apostles do all those things? They knew, of course, that it was the only way. There was no other way. It was also why they were all filled with the Holy Spirit according to the real New Covenant method and thus gained supernatural strength to fight such battles and do the impossible.
VICTORY ON THE FORTIETH DAY
I just got through fighting such a battle. It was very difficult. I knew from the beginning that the Lord had a plan and a solution but that did not make it any easier. I had to stand in faith consistently over a full forty days. My faith grew. That was part of the reason why it lasted that long. It was an opportunity to increase my faith. The process was fraught, however, with ups and downs and dead-end failure and inspiration and bright spots and hope and temporary depressing defeats and rallying and an incredible amount of prayer and much fasting. There were some I counted on that let me down, others that helped in increments, and at the end a great blessing that the Lord saved for the very end that made it all possible and made the victory complete. I know this will probably sound far-fetched but the victory truly did come on the very last day.
My forty day time period began three days before the solar eclipse. I had a very unfortunate event take place on August 18. It was a very big deal. I was quickly in an impossible situation. I immediately stated that it was no surprise to the Lord and that He had a plan though I had no idea what it was. In my previous post, Forty Days Toward Victory, I was writing on Day 24 and stated that I was in the middle of trying to make something happen that had to happen in order to continue and that it demanded strong faith and a relentless approach.
As mentioned before, the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was also the day of the new moon which began the Lord’s forty days and which would end with the Day of Atonement on September 30. Those who understood the stakes and decided to participate knew that America itself was hanging in the balance and that the nation had better repent. That was not possible unless Americans repented and properly prepared for what was coming. I knew something was up and that the Lord had great plans for this autumn, but there would be a price to pay to bring it forth. I wrote about this in At the Crossroads: Will America Repent?
My fortieth day, that is, the fortieth day after the unfortunate recent event in my life, was on Wednesday, September 27. I stayed in faith until then. It was not easy. Yet that day was the exact day the Lord brought forth an otherwise impossible victory.
There are many very interesting aspects to the story of the raising of Lazarus. This was a man who along with his sisters, Martha and Mary, was a very dear friend of the Lord. Lazarus had gotten very sick. A messenger was sent to find the Lord so He could come and help. The Lord was found at a distance. But instead of immediately rushing to the side of His good friend He did something curious. He waited two days. He essentially waited for Lazarus to die. And He gave His friends no warning whatsoever that He would do this.
So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. [John 11:6]
By the time He went to the home of Lazarus, His good friend had already been dead for four days. The Lord was hammered with, “If only you had been here…”
When I began this article I planned to go into greater detail about the Lazarus story, but I am running long and need to start closing. One thing I will say is that the Lord showed me several parallels to my situation. He could have warned me but He didn’t. He just let it happen. He could have arranged things to where it would not have been so bad but He didn’t. In the case of Lazarus, He could have rushed back and healed Him and that would have certainly been a miracle. But He wanted something better, something much greater. He wanted to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Consider this perspective. The Lord could fix your current problem, but if you allow Him to He can bring a much greater miracle. I know this happened in my case. I was looking for the path of least resistance and the lesser way out. But the Lord had already determined, “No, I am going to do something much, much better.” It meant the problem had to be much worse. It meant the problem had to be impossible. It would require resources I didn’t have. It would require Him to come through in the nick of time.
A friend gave me a book over four years ago. I never read it. I didn’t care for the author so much. I kept the book, of course. I put it right up there on my bookshelves. But I never had any desire or inclination to read it. Then, last week, when my situation was most dire and it looked like all hope was lost, the Lord led me to that book. I began reading. I started feeling better. I got inspired. Then I realized that the Lord wanted the very best for me and I should go for the whole enchilada, to go for the best possible outcome, to not settle for a mere partial victory, like the healing of Lazarus, for example, but for an actual resurrection from death. In other words, for an impossibility.
That’s what I decided. I saw in that moment that it was what the Lord wanted. I had perfect faith in the BEST outcome because I knew it was the will of God. It was still impossible but because I knew the Lord wanted to go that route I was all in. He would make a way. I started praying and believing to that end all the more. I was at my absolute lowest on the thirty-third day. Then hope began to arise. The last week was still very difficult but as the Lord had planned all along, and I am so glad He gave me the strength to do His will, the victory came on the fortieth day. YES!
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
Now, regarding the Lord’s forty days, the fortieth day begins at sunset today. It begins the Day of Atonement, which is representative of having all of our sins washed away. It was the one day during the entire year that the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the nation. Only the high priest could go in there. And he could only do it once a year. The Lord Jesus is our High Priest. Only He can make atonement.
When the sun goes down Saturday evening, September 30th, the forty days will be complete. What started with an incredible nationwide celestial event, a full transcontinental solar eclipse, will end in a way that only the Lord knows. After that we will see what the Lord has had in store all along. After that we will begin to see all the various “Lazaruses” being raised from the dead.
When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” [John 11:43-44] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but the current forty days of preparation is proving to be a giant challenge. Spiritual warfare is strong but a great victory is coming…
And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13] 
The Lord Jesus began His ministry with forty days of prayer and fasting. In His case, he fasted the entire time, both day and night.
There are only three men listed in all of Scripture who have ever gone on a full forty day fast. This does not mean others did not do it. Undoubtedly, many did. But only Moses, Elijah, and the Lord Jesus have been listed as having done it. Moses did it twice.
You may note that these three were also on the Mount of Transfiguration together. Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets. The Lord Jesus represents everything good, but primarily in this case He represents Salvation and Grace. In fact, the Name above every name means “YHWH-Salvation” or “YHWH sets free.”
Regarding the actual timing of the Lord’s forty day fast, it began with the new moon of the twelfth month on the Hebrew civil calendar, toward the end of summer. It extended into Rosh Hashanah, the “head” of the year or the Hebrew New Year, and continued for another ten days to Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement.
As of today, we have now entered into Day 24 of the forty-day period of repentance, fasting, prayer, and preparation. The forty days began this year on the afternoon of August 21 and will end on September 30. Of course, in one of the most incredible celestial and spiritual signs most of us will ever experience, the forty days began this year with a full solar eclipse that crossed the full length of the continental United States and no other country. This had not happened in almost eight centuries. Please see my post Solar Eclipse Across America Signals Onset of Repentance.
I always try to fast one day per week. It is an excellent spiritual practice and is clearly Scriptural. Give your body a break one day per week and it will repay you greatly. God had instructed His people to let their agricultural land lay fallow (no plowing or planting) every seventh year. By doing this it would allow the land to regain its health and vitality, and restore its nutrients. It naturally follows that if one will fast every seventh day it will give one’s digestive system and related systems an opportunity to do some very necessary housecleaning and repair. It is a greatly restorative practice but requires a strong will.
Longer fasts are tougher. Two days isn’t so bad. I’ve gone longer, and achieved incredible spiritual results, but I’ve never come anywhere close to forty days. Many people have, however. Yet, one should never attempt it unless clearly directed by the Lord.
During this forty day period I have been fasting a lot more than normal. I have also been praying a lot more. There has also been a great increase in spiritual warfare. I have had to walk in very strong faith as a result of something very challenging that happened just prior to August 21. On the day it happened I felt great. Then boom! Uh Oh. I wasn’t expecting that! This is going to be very hard to deal with, I thought.
Afterwards I reached a level of spiritual well-being that I had not experienced in quite a while. I should not have been feeling so good! It made no sense in the natural. I quickly professed, almost immediately, that this not so good event in my life never surprised the Lord and that He had a plan to deal with it. I have been dealing with it ever since. It is one of those things that you have to walk out. There is no ready solution in the natural and no solution is possible without the Lord’s direct help.
I prayed and fasted all the more. There were times when things got really bad and I had to tough it out. There have also been some very bright spots. I started seeing the possible means to a solution. As I write this, I am in the midst of another very important part of this whole thing that must be fixed soon so other parts can proceed. I am certainly walking by faith. I KNOW the Lord has the answer. It is my job to stay in faith and keep walking it out. At the end I will come into a great blessing that would have been impossible otherwise.
For those of you who are relating to this I want you to be encouraged. Many of us have been through severe crises in our lives. There are wonderful people who have recently lost everything as a result of the recent hurricanes. There are times when we know if the Lord doesn’t come through we are pretty much done. I remember many times being backed against a wall with no solution whatsoever in sight and all I could do was do my best to stay in faith and trust the Lord. I have also seen the most incredible, tremendous spiritual victories and was amazed at what the Lord could do.
But remember, it is not only that the Lord can do it, it is because He is motivated by His great love for us that makes Him want to do it. He wants to bless us! But it must be done the right way. We must have the correct spiritual mindset. We must walk in faith. The Lord always responds to faith. We must be humble.
Thus, we are in this special time of preparation, fasting, prayer, and repentance for the same reason the Lord was. Something profound will happen afterwards. That’s what the victory of the Day of Atonement is all about. I believe there is something especially profound this year. We must humble ourselves in order to be exalted. We must do the humbling. He will do the exalting.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
REGARDING THE CURRENT FORTY DAY PERIOD, SEE THE FOLLOWING RECENT SERIES POSTED AUGUST 9-23, 2017:
PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN
There is absolute power and authority in His Name. And He has given real Christians the use of His Name to activate His authority!
“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” [Acts 3:16]
If you are looking for a miracle the first thing you need to do is believe in the Lord Jesus. You must know that He loves you. You must also know that He is the one who brought the whole thing up to begin with, in that miracles are His idea. We learned this from Him. We didn’t make it up.
Why then do we sometimes think He would rather not be involved in the very process He created? We never need to convince Him. It has always been His idea. He performed miracles. He taught His disciples how to perform miracles. They taught others how to perform miracles. Miracles have never ceased and continue today.
Well, actually, let me rephrase that. Miracles always cease or become impossible when there is no faith involved. There must be faith. Faith is very powerful. A person must possess it. It may exist within a person in latent form. If so it must be activated.
If a person believes miracles are no longer possible or that they ceased to exist at some point then for that person there can be no miracles, simply because that person believes in the opposite of what the Lord told us to believe.
This is a very interesting point of doctrine because one cannot be saved without faith. Salvation requires faith. Why would one believe the Lord for the greatest miracle—salvation and eternal life—but not for anything else? The Lord taught no distinction in faith, in that one may have one kind of faith for salvation but not for anything else. Faith is faith. It is all-embracing. It can be used for anything the Lord used it for.
But remember, what we are talking about here is faith in Him. Is He shooting straight with us? Is He telling us the truth? Can we really trust Him? Is He for real? Can I really trust my life with Him? When He says He has paid for my sins and can wash them all away, and that He can deliver me from sin and its effects, is He really telling me the truth? Can I really trust Him? If He can take my sin away and actually bless me with eternal life and save my soul, and keep me from eternal destruction, is He telling the truth? Can He really do all that?
It appears that most Christians believe He can. The only way they can believe that is if they have a measure of faith in Him. It is impossible otherwise. Since we have faith for salvation, all we must do from that point is simply believe in other miraculous works beyond salvation.
A MEASURE OF FAITH AND FIRST THINGS FIRST
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. [Romans 12:1-3] 
Regarding the use of our faith, there are conditions. Before one can use their faith for anything else, they must first use it for salvation. They must first believe that the Lord can save them from sin. Whether or not one possesses a latent measure of faith or not, faith must arise at some point or salvation is impossible. I don’t know about you, but I thought I was a good guy before my salvation experience, until I heard the Word of God from an anointed minister of the Gospel. I got convicted. I found out I was a sinner.
Of course, I knew that. But because there had never been any solution to it, I, like most people, simply learned to live with it. It may be our conscience telling us we did wrong. Whatever. All honest people of a sound mind know they do wrong. The Word of God calls it sin. The worst sin is sin against the Lord. But when people go about their daily lives sinning on occasion they just continue on. They don’t know what else to do. They try to do right but do not always succeed. Some just give up. Their sin can become a heavy burden. They try to deal with it.
But again, when we are told by the Lord through one His ministers we have sinned, and when our conscience bears witness to that fact, the first reaction is to fix it, and for the first time it looks like there may actually be a solution that really works. That’s why a real minister will not only tell people about their sin, he will also tell them how to be rid of it.
ACTIVATING YOUR FAITH
Somewhere in that process a person believes what the Word of God says and believes he can be set free. That is faith. Whether the faith was always there or not does not matter, because it is there at that moment. A person believes at that moment. He activates his faith.
He is then told he must repent, which means to turn away from sin and quit sinning. Once a person does this properly, according to the Biblical model, the Lord Jesus is then able to forgive and wash away all prior sins committed by that person. The Lord also gives a person power over sin so he can stop sinning. More on that later.
Water baptism is part of this process and that is why it is always closely connected in Scripture with initial faith and repentance. Water baptism is also conducted unto the Lord Jesus and His Name must be invoked as it was all throughout Scripture. Again, there is great absolute power in the Name of Jesus. Many people get delivered at baptism. All former connections to bad spirits and whatever else are severed. A person becomes totally delivered and set free and actually feels a release! Something very profound happens! It can be a very emotional experience and should be.
Salvation is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone. Imagine being taken from certain death on the road to hell to new life on the road to heaven! This is what the Lord made possible through everything He did for us, including giving His very life on the cross. It is why His Name is above every name and carries absolute authority.
Therefore, one’s faith in the Lord Jesus manifested powerfully for salvation can also be used for other things. Keep that in mind as you seek the Lord’s help for your present need, no matter how great it may be. Be blessed!
“All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Pentecost required the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. It was the only way He could share His Holy Spirit with us.
God not only had to become a human being, He also had to live a perfect life, die without sin, rise from the dead, and be glorified. God had to become a Man in order to then give His Spirit to mankind. There was no other way this could ever happen, and is the actual purpose and meaning of Pentecost.
He explained it this way:
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” [John 7:37-39]
A PERFECT LIFE
No one had ever lived a perfect life before. No one had ever obeyed God to the fullest and fully walked out the given plan. The Lord Jesus never missed a step. He became last in all things through complete humility and unselfishness in order to become first in all things. He became last on our behalf as a suffering Servant and became first on our behalf to be our conquering King. Through this process He defeated all evil and the powers thereof. The world, the flesh, and the devil no longer had the upper hand over humanity. He thus gained greater power than any other existing entity as a human being.
He had always been God but not as a Man. Humanity had been rid of God’s full dominion since the fall of Adam. Humanity had been defeated by evil and had fallen from innocent glory. God would have to restore it. The only way to do that was to become one of us. No one else could possibly qualify. There must be another Adam, a Last Adam:
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. [1Corinthians 15:42-47]
A PERFECT SACRIFICE
The New Covenant definition of perfect is complete. God demands a perfect, or complete, sacrifice. Nothing else will work. You can’t give the Lord a mere portion of your heart even if you give most of it. It works the same way in marriage. It is the main reason so many marriages fail. One member is being deceptive. Sometimes both are. A less than full-hearted effort with God will never work either.
When the perfect sacrifice was made, sin was paid for in total and a closed door was opened unto spiritual life. The open door later manifested in the miracle of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord. The first sacrifice was made by the Last Adam, the Lord Jesus, when He offered Himself. After that the 120 disciples in the Upper Room had to make a full and complete sacrifice of themselves. They had to become clean vessels, first through total faith in the Lord, and second through total repentance for their sins.
During the ten days after the Lord ascended to heaven until Pentecost they all prayed, fasted, repented, and prepared. They were also immersed in water in the Name of Jesus. By the time the ten days were up all those remaining in the Upper Room for the duration had made the proper sacrifice. While waiting according to the Lord’s command “for what the Father had promised,” they emptied themselves completely so they could be brand new vessels filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.
THE PROMISE IS FOR YOU
Thursday, June 1st is the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost means “fiftieth” day. It always takes place on the fiftieth day from the Feast of First Fruits. The Lord Jesus rose from the dead on First Fruits. In that year, it was also the first day of the week, the equivalent of our Sunday. Pentecost was on the first day of the week then as well.
On the Hebrew calendar, the day of First Fruits is the 17th day of the month of Nisan. The Day of Pentecost is the 7th day of Sivan. The equivalents this year on our calendar are as follows:
Nisan 17, First Fruits: Thursday, April 13, 2017 (Began Wednesday at sunset)
Sivan 7, Pentecost: Thursday, June 1, 2017 (Begins today at sunset)
How do we know these dates are correct? Because the Hebrew calendar is lunar-solar. The months begin with the actual new moon. The new moon prior to Nisan 17 began on Nisan 1, which was March 28th on our calendar. The new moon took place the day before on March 27 at 9:57PM CDT. This marked the exact beginning of the month of Nisan and from that we can calculate the Day of Pentecost, which begins at sunset tonight.
THE PROPER PREPARATION
There are stirrings in the Spirit. The Lord is bringing something forth. Well-known Christian figures are now confirming what I have been saying for almost seven years. They are reporting the stirrings of revival in various locations. Let us all continue to be properly prepared. The Great Awakening and Pentecost go together.
And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. [Hebrews 12:26-29] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Christians say they want a Great Awakening but most don’t want to change. That’s why the Lord almost always has to go outside to find the right people to drive it.
The status quo likes things the way things are in general and their status quo status is proved by their willingness to go only so far toward necessary change, and it is not very far.
This is why we rarely get anywhere and why those on the edge of truth who are trying to bring it forth always get slammed by those holding back. But the Lord Jesus will not be denied. He is bringing this, and will bring it, and if He has to He will leave all nominal and unwilling Christians behind.
HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF
He has done this countless times before. He will never allow the intransigence of His own supposed people to hold Him back. There are many, many more people who want Him and love Him with ALL their hearts and are willing to do anything He says, even though most of these do not qualify as “Christians” by those who set themselves up as judges. These relative outcasts have paid a great price to be in that place of closeness to the Lord and have suffered greatly for it. For many, their lives have been destroyed in the process of staying on the path but they don’t care about the price that must be paid.
They want God. They want reality. They are tired of playing games and believing promises that never come true. They are tired of people never keeping their promises or coming through for the Lord. They see clearly that all of these so-called spiritual heavyweights in control and all their sycophant often clueless congregants have actually sold out and really don’t want any change unless it brings further personal benefit to themselves.
Beware any religious leader who looks good and sounds good but never has any real desire to get out of Egypt or makes peace with living in the Sinai.
WE WERE MADE TO BE IN THE PROMISED LAND, just as it was way back then, except now it is obviously not geographical but spiritual, and if God needs to leave an entire generation behind, believe me, HE WILL DO IT.
But for all real Christians it is time to go forward. It is time to let go of all the idols and false doctrines and compromise and things that keep Christians from embracing the full will of God. The Lord is trying to do something absolutely great and spiritually unprecedented in America, and the majority of Christians continue to reject it. This is a terrible turn of events but it is the foreseen reaction to this great move of God by those who study Awakenings and revivals. There is always a very strong and evil reaction to such great moves in the early going by those who claim to be holding the fort but are actually only clutching onto their own personal benefits and standing. They have given in to both personal pride and spiritual pride and would rather sit on their tuffets in comfort back home than engage the enemy on the field of battle.
I will close with this very profound food for thought:
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
In Old Covenant terms they were called prophets. They were sent by God to stand up strongly for truth, speak out forcefully against error, and expose outright corruption in high places.
“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:51-54]
Hold on to your hats folks, because 2017 will be a bumpy ride. It will also be a year of great blessing.
We have already seen the beginning of the overthrow of entrenched establishment principles, priorities, and prime movers and shakers. Three extremely powerful political dynasties have been pushed aside. The Powers That Be are doing one of two things they never thought they would be forced into. The first is to admit they never thought the day would come when the challenge against their authority has actually made their defeat possible. The second is scrambling around in their shocked amazement in the effort to gain or maintain a piece of the current pie.
Since corruption can never be eliminated wholesale at any given time in this corrupt and fallen world of mankind, it is not possible to eliminate all the compromised players and many will find a place on the new team. But the fact that three teams have been pretty much rendered ineffective and unwanted lets them know they are no longer in Kansas and that things for them could get even worse. They know an unraveling when they see it. They can feel the pulse of angry lesser power centers composed of millions of individuals who would otherwise have no power at all but have been forced into a new mindset after decades of being treated like chattel.
These people are not associated with mere street rioters blowing off steam, running around like proverbial headless chickens accomplishing nothing productive.
Instead, they are strong and vested members of various communities with various backgrounds who have had enough and are willing to challenge a compromised status quo. Their bravery will go nowhere, of course, and rarely has, if only the few forthright ones come forth with no support of great majorities, and this is where it gets interesting.
In Christian circles, it is very easy to single out the one or two with an honest willingness to live for the Lord and speak the truth. It is easy to turn a church against them. There are long-held traditional ways in which to do this and the perpetrators are very good at it. They know how to make themselves look good and make those who follow the Lord look bad. One simple method is to activate the church gossips to stir up the people. This has always proven to be quite effective.
But at present, there are far too many real Christians coming forth. They cannot be treated in the usual way. Rather than the usual occurrence of a few coming forward and getting quickly slammed and eliminated, as had happened with Stephen, there are now too many real Christians to be dealt with in the usual dismissive and indifferent manner. Not only are they too numerous, they are too informed. Much groundwork has been done over the last few years exposing corrupt leadership. Corrupt leadership has actually been forced by powerful former witnesses to reform themselves, but they only do it incrementally, as their heart is not in it.
An overall general reform has come forth but only exists as a foundation of sorts at present from which much greater reform can take place now and in the future. Also, there are many, many more real Christians on the cusp of coming forth. They are just waiting for the right time or inspiration. Their minds are made up. They are fed up. They want to do the right thing. All these people know that real reform must happen.
A SPIRITUAL EXAMPLE
There was a time when the Lord sent me to a new church, but it took a lot of work to get me there. Here is how He did it:
I was a member in good standing in a previous church. It was borderline large and a few years later achieved mega church status, largely built on the persona of the preacher. (No! Really?) I had a good record there and many friends and associates who respected me. I did what I was told. I went through all the proper channels and obeyed church protocol. But I was also following the Lord and this caused a problem. Over time the leadership there, composed of one man and the usual yes men, developed a different opinion. They began to make life difficult. They were revealing their cultish side.
Of course, they treated anyone this way if they did not fall into line and obey whatever they were pushing from on high. They, like so much other entrenched church leadership that continues to exist, some far worse, prefer to operate with smiles and “love” but much of this is mere window dressing. Their exterior can change in a flash. Sometimes their interior is exposed. It is often much different than their exterior. They hide their full personas to protect their real intentions and agenda.
It was certainly not all bad. In many ways it was a great place. But that is not the issue. Many churches do much good. But real disciples of the Lord know the difference between Sunday school and spiritual reality. They know there is a devil and they know the devil goes to church. Even the leadership knows that. But what most Christians don’t know is that the devil is often IN the leadership, something those in power refuse to consider or acknowledge for obvious reasons.
The main objective for the majority of religious establishments is power, control, and money. Otherwise they would look like the Lord and His ministry, but most know they can’t operate that way and must therefore establish other methods to do what they want. Whoever within the congregation that follows the Lord Jesus first and not them is always suspect.
The Lord started telling me to leave. I resisted the Lord. I was far too loyal. I would stay the course. The Lord started sending witnesses my way to tell me to get out of there and go to another church. He knew the leadership in my current place would never support me because I was too much of a challenge even though I did not see myself that way, was struggling to survive, and was only being what the Lord created me to be. Compromised leadership always has a problem with such people. I initially paid no attention to the Lord and did not even know it was the Lord. Nevertheless, some reform was happening. Here is one small example:
The preacher was always talking about money. He was a great preacher. Really gifted. But he was obsessed somewhat with money and was always engaging in small sermonettes on the subject. A friend of mine in another church in a different city far away told me how they collected money in their church. They never took up offerings. Instead, they had a box in the back of the church. Members gave when they gave without any prompting whatsoever or coercing. There was also no condemnation. The church had no money problems. In fact, it was a relatively large church and the preacher took no salary.
I thought this news was very refreshing. I thought it was cool. I mentioned this in passing to a friend in my church one day. I was not saying it to be critical but simply because I thought it was a great idea. He thought so too. I never told the leadership. That was the extent of it. Guess what happened? Within a very short time I came to church one day and there was a large tastefully constructed collection box matching the trim installed on the wall of the vestibule. I kid you not.
There were other things like this.
THE TWO WITNESSES
The Lord sent me a witness. Christians talk about the places they attend. This first witness brought my attention to a new church. The Lord was directing me to it. I had never heard of it. That was the purpose of the first witness. This person had no idea what was going on and was not in any way trying to proselytize that I know of, but merely giving an excellent report in conversation and probably had no idea the Lord was in it. I didn’t know it was the Lord.
Then the Lord sent me a second witness. The two witnesses did not know each other. This second witness, which came several weeks later, was a man of excellent character. Like the first, this was not an overt witness either because the man didn’t even know what the Lord was doing in reference to me. But he happened to mention the church he was attending. It was the same church.
It got me thinking. He put the place on the map, so to speak, and made it a distant possibility. No other church ever came up in conversation like this. But I was still adamant about being loyal and not leaving my current church, even though life kept getting more difficult. It got so difficult that I was forced to change anyway and make relatively desperate moves.
We left. We needed support but there was no support coming and never would be. This is what the Lord had been warning me about. He tried to get me to make a shift earlier before things got worse. He knew I was open to attack and was no longer covered even though I should have been and never warranted their behavior. The leadership there was actually reacting to my calling and not necessarily me personally. Their cold shoulder made me vulnerable, the enemy attacked, my life was going downhill, and they took that as a sign that I was not worth supporting. This, obviously, was not financial support but merely the support all believers should have from their community. I was actually supporting them. I had worked hard and had given a lot of money that was earned with difficulty. I gave by the Lord’s direction. I even supported a new building program financially and donated free labor.
But again, they did not appreciate my calling. The Lord was bringing conviction upon the leadership and they didn’t like it. They reacted by turning against one of the messengers. Incidentally, in my time there the leadership began making big moves to correct their financials. I had never seen that before.
After being forced out through the usual cold shoulder church tactics and due to the Lord increasingly withholding His blessing as a way to get me to move on, I spent months mulling my options and trying to figure out the next step. During this time, the strangest thing happened. The Lord began blessing. I wasn’t even going to church. It involved quite a dramatic change for the better. Just getting out of there allowed the Lord to bring blessing. He was making a way.
THE THIRD WITNESS
Six months later I came into contact with the third witness. Remember, the Lord had already blessed me with two clear witnesses over a year earlier. The third witness hit the ball out of the park. It was amazing. The Lord Jesus is always faithful! I had never met the man. He was a well-known minister from a different city with an excellent reputation and also had no knowledge whatsoever of my past situation with the other church. By this time I had pledged to never attend any church ever again and I was maintaining that line of thought as a mature follower of the Lord overly loyal to a fault.
Completely out of the blue, the third witness suggested to me that I look up a good friend of his. This friend of his was a church pastor. He just happened to be the pastor of the very church the other two witnesses had been telling me about! I was in a very large locality with hundreds of churches. The odds of this happening without the Lord’s direct involvement were absolutely impossible. It had been the Lord’s plan all along but my own misplaced loyalty had been getting in the way.
THE STEPHEN EFFECT
The lesson to be learned here might be called the Stephen Effect. Because Stephen was so powerfully anointed and filled with the Spirit of the Lord, the religious idiots he revealed could not hide. If he had said nothing at all they still would have been greatly uncomfortable just being around him. They were powerfully convicted. Compromised Christian leadership acts exactly the same way. It is why they attempt to get rid of people that make them feel convicted.They would much rather be surrounded by adoring fans.
Most Christians refuse to make the connection that this is exactly the way the Lord makes us all feel if we are not right with Him. He convicts us. He does it to help us. He does it to purify the Church.
Since the Lord convicts us, should we get rid of Him?
Christian leadership almost always rejects the spirit of reform, especially when it comes from someone they do not respect or from the outside. But what else can the Lord do? They have already taken control of everything inside. The Lord must always send someone from outside.
Isn’t this always the case? Is not this the true nature of a prophet? Isn’t this exactly why Hebrew leadership was always killing Hebrew prophets? Those who were sent by God? Isn’t that exactly why they killed the Lord?
STEPHEN THE WHISTLEBLOWER
Why was Stephen even brought to trial before the mighty Sanhedrin in the first place? What in the world did he do that was so bad? What law did he break? How did he violate the Torah? What did he do that was so wrong that it got him killed? Could it possibly be that his chief offense was provoking conviction?
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council. [Acts 6:8-12]
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
When John the Immerser blasted onto the scene he warned his hearers of losing eternal life and loosing national destruction. The means of avoiding both was encapsulated in one word: REPENT.
REPENTANCE DRIVES GREAT AWAKENINGS
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:7-10]
John did something then that next to no American Christian does today: He blasted the religious leaders. These were men who had total control of the religious establishment in first-century Judea. They controlled the entire Temple complex. They controlled every single synagogue. Their control was such that John was preaching way out in the wilderness.
In today’s terms these would be the religious leaders who control denominations, churches, seminaries, and major Christian media, including publishing and television. The Pharisees and Sadducees had a lock on all things religious back then just as Christian controllers have a lock on most things Christian at present. Both have a single denominator: MONEY.
ONLY TWO GODS FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE
Getting to the root of Christian intention begins with the simple question: Is it serving the Lord Jesus or is it serving the money-god?
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. [Luke 16:13-14]
One will either submit to the Lord Jesus and make money a servant, or one will submit to the money-god and make oneself its servant.
If one serves the Lord, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the Lord and His teachings. If one serves the money-god, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the money-god and its teachings.
Here’s is a quick contrast and illustration: John the Immerser served the Lord. His life looked like the Lord. The Pharisees and Sadducees served the money-god. Their lives looked like the money-god. Compare both to the present.
John warned everybody, but especially the brood of vipers otherwise known as the Pharisees and Sadducees, that the entire nation was about to suffer complete destruction for one principle reason: IT CHOSE THE MONEY GOD.
Money can make you and it can break you. If there was a way to exist without it we would never have to deal with its powerful influence and temptation. We would never have to submit to its effects. But the international money system has been with us a while and unless we somehow manage to go completely off the grid we have little choice but to enter the game and play according to the rules.
It is for this reason that most people believe there is no escape and the only solution is to try to gain as much money as possible in order to gain the upper hand. In other words, the way people think they can beat the powerful effect of money on their lives is to defeat it by gaining enough of it that it no longer rules them but becomes their servant.
This works for some people. For a while. It never works for the vast majority. The system has limited resources. Some are able to gain the upper hand and remain relatively personally free or at least maintain the appearance of freedom, and do not seem on the surface to be anxious regarding money matters. If one does win the money battle by doing whatever they feel they must to gain authority over it by having much of it, it rarely lasts. One must keep doing whatever it takes to gain access to the money well. Most do it legally. Some do not. But even if one does find a way to beat the system, so to speak, and gain great piles of gold, one cannot leave this world with it. It must all stay right here where one found it.
MONEY IS NO GOOD OVER YONDER
It has been said that rich people don’t have armored trucks full of money following their hearse to the graveyard. Money does not translate into eternity. To the degree that one depends on money is to the same degree that one does not depend on the Lord. This equation portends one’s final location in the afterworld and often whether one even believes in an afterworld.
One of the best things that can ever happen to a person is to discover early on in life that the pursuit of money for the purposes of mastering life is a heartbreaker. The money-god is a deceiving, bewitching taskmaster. It is a hard lesson to learn. It can be quite cruel. On the other hand, if money always comes relatively easy then the odds of having a spiritual life with the Lord are next to zero. Most people will always choose much money over a disciplined spiritual life. Here’s why:
Making the decision to give oneself totally to the Lord involves:
(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus instead of faith in the money-god and all it portends.
(2) The need to repent, which means one must accept the fact that one is a sinner and a violator of God’s laws and commandments. Who wants to do that? Especially in these days? To admit that one is messed up like this, that one is not the great person he or she thinks he or she is can have a devastating effect on one’s psyche. And yet the Lord is persistent. He says that prior to our born again experience we are sinners. He says we violate His laws. He says we have uncircumcised flesh that must be dealt with. This fleshly nature is not always on display but certainly reveals itself on occasion, with some people much more than others, especially when under stress.
TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT
A simple test to prove God is right and humans are compromised in this way is to simply see how often we violate the Golden Rule. Do we always treat others the way we want to be treated? Do we do this especially when we are stressed out or under a lot of pressure? Do we always contain the pressure that builds up, find a way to keep it from building up, manage to channel it off in some safe way in which nobody is hurt, or even stop it completely in the very beginning? Do we always master our impulses? Do we have impulse control or do we simply vent all the time everyday at everybody?
If so, it is the opposite of real discipleship and thoroughly proves the need for heart circumcision surgery and real repentance. It proves the Lord knows exactly what He is talking about though many people may successfully hide their true nature. Occasional mess-ups are understandable. A lifestyle of trashing others and violating the Lord’s teachings is not.
The Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. He is not fooled by outward appearances. He knows what a dirty, fleshy, sinful, uncircumcised heart looks like. It doesn’t matter how much one may try to cover it up and deceive people about one’s true nature. God knows. And He demands that we fix it! The Pharisees and Sadducees fooled almost everyone because they dressed to look the part. They were mere religious actors. That’s what hypocrites are—stage players. Is it any wonder then that the majority of Christian leadership at present does all its work on a stage? What would they be without the stage? It was money that made the Pharisees and Sadducees successful. They served the money-god while pretending to serve God. IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME TODAY. God is not fooled.
A FOOL’S PARADISE
If there appears to be a way around the repentance and discipleship the Lord demands, most people, including most Christians, will do the end run. They will run from God. They will find substitutes in which they can keep themselves in charge. They will choose counterfeit belief systems, of whatever variety, in which they do not have to submit to the Lord. They will try to convince themselves and everyone else that they are good people.
Of course, they are playing a fool’s game. There is no other way than the way the Lord Jesus prescribed. Better to find this out early in life than to build one’s house on sand, but most people always end up building their house on sand and it works great as long as everything remains constant. But we all should know this is ridiculous. Next to nothing in this life remains constant. Change is ever-burgeoning, is always messing up the best laid plans, and the tide always comes in and wipes out sand castles no matter how well or elaborately they are constructed. Wise people know this. Yet, there are apparently not many wise people when it comes to applying known knowledge if it clashes with one’s authority.
“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.” [Luke 9:24]
Real repentance is the end of one’s personal authority. What unrepentant religious leaders do not know, however, is that they do not have any personal authority anyway because they are bound by sin. And they are deceived about it. Sin is in charge but they are not aware. They reject the notion. They are not accountable. Most are spiritual adulterers. It is why they refuse to preach the real Gospel. It is why the Lord stated what He did in the preceding verse. The word “lose” in that verse is translated from the Greek word apollumi. This word means “to destroy.” It is only by losing one’s life (or destroying it) through real repentance and submitting fully to the Lord Jesus that one breaks the power of sin and the powerful grip of the money-god. The Lord gave His very life to set us free from this monster.
OPPOSING THE GREAT AWAKENING
Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
As did John the Immerser, the Lord warned the people of His nation that total destruction was soon coming and that it was coming because they rejected His love and leadership for the love of money. The more He attempted to bring forth a Great Awakening the more the religious leaders who were sold out to the money-god opposed Him. Their continued rejection of the Lord and His real teachings, their intransigent rebellion against truth, their refusal to repent, and their worship of mamônâi brought forth a witch’s brew of arrogance, ignorance, and religious pride. It increasingly enflamed their wicked uncircumcised hearts and removed all semblance of impulse control. They sowed the seed of murder and reaped over a million deaths. Literally.
THROWN INTO THE FIRE
As time marched on toward 70AD, they became ever more strident in their opposition to the Lord. They were incorrectly fulfilling Newton’s Third Law of Motion. They were resisting that which they should have surrendered to and surrendering to that which they should have resisted. They had a completely different agenda. Their persecution of the Lord’s people—those who chose the Lord as Messiah—increased dramatically. They were doing to them, on an ever-advancing scale, exactly what they did to the Lord.
The same dynamic is at work today. Christian Pharisees and Sadducees look great on the outside and preach what sounds like the real Gospel. They don’t look compromised. They look successful. They’ve been in control seemingly forever. Their status quo rendition of official Christianity appears as the only accepted rendition, but it has little or no resemblance to the Lord’s original and has almost zero impact within the spiritual world. They can’t handle anything they can’t control. They can’t handle anything that exposes them as pretenders. They can’t handle anything from which they cannot extract a living. It would be good if they could learn from the past.
Judea had been in the midst of a Great Awakening during that final generation in the first century and the religious leaders continually put much effort toward their opposition to it. The more they tried to stop it the more it grew and yet they could never stop opposing it. Their unrighteous stand for the old dead religious order—the only one they could control, the one that gave them power and wealth—was thoroughly compromised by a love of money and service to the money-god. Their unrighteous rebellion must eventually end. Their opposing reaction to God’s action must finally stop. Justice was demanded. Only God could administer it. He did. Judea was no more. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, by fire, exactly as John prophesied.
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 10:10]
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
REVEALING THE ANTICHRIST
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.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. [2John:7-11]
There are people in this world who insist one does not have to be in covenant with the Lord Jesus to be in covenant with God. The Word of God, however, makes it clear that one cannot possibly be in covenant with God if one is not in covenant with the Lord Jesus. Even most Christians are unclear on this concept. The enemy has muddied the waters and thus muddied their thinking, deceiving them into believing in something that does not exist. Many Christians are actually not in covenant with God even though they believe they are. Many others insist they are in covenant with God though they reject the Lord Jesus.
The promises of God only exist within a covenant relationship. If there is no covenant, the promises do not apply. The Word of God says that whoever does not have the Son does not have the Father, therefore one must be in covenant with the Lord Jesus in order for the promises to be active and applied.
The New Covenant with the Lord Jesus is a blood covenant. He shed His perfect, precious blood for each member in covenant with Him. He gave everything He had for His people. He loved us before we ever loved Him and He proved it. We must also be in blood covenant with Him as He is with us, in that each of us must give a totality of our entire life to Him, including our entire heart.
We begin the process of entering into covenant with Him, of beginning the new birth, by expressing belief in Him, by having faith. Faith must always come first. This faith, however, is a 100% faith. The covenant cannot work any other way. He gave all. He demands all from us.
The second condition that must be fulfilled entirely is full repentance. Sin must be dealt with. Each person to enter the covenant with God, who is holy and pure, must also be holy and pure. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. Without the Lord Jesus one is still in sin. Period.
LOVE ON THE ROCKS
To illustrate, imagine a man and woman about to become married but one partner refuses to give his or her entire heart to the marriage relationship. Imagine one of the partners insisting that he or she must keep their options open. It should be obvious that a marriage based on such a faulty foundation is doomed to fail. The reason many people enter into such relationships is because the uncommitted partner pretends to be committed and deceives the other partner.
Many so-called Christians do exactly the same thing with the Lord. They enter into covenant on their terms and not His. Of course, He is not fooled. There is actually no covenant at all if it is not His covenant. He never agreed to the terms and never entered into it. Christians deceive themselves and are deceived by false leaders into believing in a false covenant and that they are in covenant with God when they are not. They do not have full faith in the Lord. They have never fully repented. They remain in their sins.
ONE WAY TO GOD
No one is in covenant with God without being in covenant with the Lord Jesus. If one does not have the Son then one does not have the Father. One is either in full covenant with the Lord Jesus or one is not. There is no in-between and there are no exceptions. There exists only ONE New Covenant. It is a blood covenant. There is only one Son. There is only one Messiah. There is only one way to God.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The President-Elect, on his first official trip in that capacity to Washington DC, has taken a decidedly humble approach. He has been cordial, gracious, sincere, and low-key.
There was talk in October, at the lowest point of his political campaign, when something really bad from his past erupted forth and was set to derail it all, that he was strongly advised to own up to his great wrong and apologize. He had a decision to make. Prophetic voices claiming to hear from God were told that if he took the humble approach he would get through it. He would otherwise be finished.
He ended up owning up to what he did, faced it like a man, and apologized to the nation at the next debate.
It was supposed to be his coup de grace, the death blow, that which would finally finish him off. It failed. It failed because he knew that if he was to continue the race he had only one chance to be successful. He had averted the trap so many, many times before. Any of those things would have destroyed another candidate or campaign but the things that destroyed others never came close to destroying him.
The intelligent people knew why. This man had been much more thoroughly tested throughout his life and career than any of the other candidates. They all had to play the PC game for the sake of their careers and they knew it. They were largely all bought and paid for. But this man had no master. And even though he had made a move toward the Lord long before this, that move would have to be tested. Therefore, though what was sprung upon him in October certainly came through his enemies who no doubt had held it for the right time to administer a crushing blow, it was also the case that the Lord allowed it. It was a door he would have to walk through. The road to the Presidency had to go through that erupting scandal. And though he survived all the others he would never survive that one.
Unless he took a humble approach and showed a contrite heart.
He survived. The road continued.
As a result, he emerged the winner.
There have been reports of divine intervention during the election. Whatever the case, the vast majority of Americans know something entirely unprecedented and unexpected has occurred. Almost no one on the losing side saw it coming. Ninety-nine percent believed wholeheartedly that their victory was assured. Perhaps the same amount of people on the eventual winning side, on the other hand, were cautiously optimistic or hoping for the best, though there was an undercurrent of foreboding. Many millions had been praying. It was all going in one direction.
On Tuesday night, among other sites, I was following in real time the New York Times election graphics on the internet as the national vote was coming in. According to that website, the President-Elect began the evening with only a 15-20% chance of victory. For reference, before you read further, you must see this link: False Forecast
After the initial votes came in supporting the projected scenario of a huge loss for the eventual President-Elect, the totals began changing dramatically. The graphic was flipping. The candidate who started out at 80% began drifting down. The one who started at 20% began trending up. These two lines that started from the left side of the graphic very far apart continued coming toward each other, then actually met in the middle. The graphic was then projecting that each candidate had an equal chance.
Then the lines crossed over each other and continued. The projected winner kept falling. The projected loser kept rising. He rose all the way to 95%. Long before he had actually garnered the needed electoral votes he was already projected as the winner. The graphic never changed. The one who expected to lose big by all the experts, the polls, and the losing side had actually won.
This is all new territory. No one has ever done this before.
Is it possible that it happened without the Lord’s involvement?
“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” [Matthew 23:12]
“So the last shall be first, and the first last.” [Matthew 20:16] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]
The Lord Jesus arrived at exactly the right time. One would think it was actually not a very good time at all, especially in light of what eventually happened to Him. He came to His people when what was left of the nation of Israel had brought forth the very worst generation in its history. That says a lot, since the ancient Hebrews had manifested some really bad generations over the centuries.
He came at a time when the religious kingpins had gained complete control and had corrupted the entire spiritual establishment. The sect of the Sadducees, the high upper class of well-to-do Establishment power brokers, were in bed with the Romans and had control of the Temple. But remember that the Lord God never wanted a Temple in the first place, and that the Temple in Jerusalem in the first century was empty: There was no Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.
The Ark had disappeared to history 600 hundred years before and is still missing to this day. Without the Ark of the Covenant, what exactly was going on at the Temple in the first century? This is a perfect type of the majority of churches in America that refuse the presence of God but continue to go through the motions anyway.
Consider the following:
But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’ [2Samuel 7:4-7]
“David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE? WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’ You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” [Acts 7:46-51]
As soon as Stephen said this his fate was sealed. Those religious authorities not only murdered him seconds later, they acted exactly like the pack of wolves they were just before:
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:54]
Did Stephen hit a big old giant religious nerve or what?
The sect of the Pharisees had control of the synagogues, which meant they controlled all religious thought and actions, supervised all behavior, and demanded that everyone follow their strict but incorrect interpretation of the Law and Prophets. They had gained the seat of Moses but the Lord told His own disciples to not do what they do. There are many powerful rebukeathons directed by the Lord against the Scribes and Pharisees throughout the Gospels. There are also many parables revealing their illicit behavior and inherent wrongness. The Pharisees were always against the Lord, always trying to trip Him up, always attempting to disparage Him in the eyes of the people, and also always trying to kill Him.
Was the Lord Jesus constantly hitting a big old giant religious nerve or what?
In light of the fact that the Holy of Holies was empty, the people were struggling under a curse, and the religious Establishment looked great on the outside but were evil within, shouldn’t more people have noticed the real Ark of the Covenant? Shouldn’t they have perceived the real Temple?
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19]
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
So why did the Lord Jesus arrive at such a time? The religious authorities who had been engaged in so much wanton destruction for so long, whose forebears had killed all the prophets, had gained complete control.
Evil had been elevated to the very top of the pyramid.
“Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. [Matthew 16:3-4]
Sound familiar? Let’s return to the topic verse:
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]
The Lord Jesus arrived when He did to redeem His people who were under the Torah. For greater clarification, Paul also said this:
For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— [Galatians 3:11-13] 
The Lord came to set His people free at a time when they needed it most. He would become the Sacrifice Lamb. He had to be born under the Law and that particular generation was more “under the Law” than any prior generation.
The word “redeem” in these two passages from Galatians is from the Greek exagorazo, which means: (1) to redeem (1a) by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off (1b) metaph. of Christ freeing the elect from the dominion of the Mosaic Law at the price of his vicarious death (2) to buy up, to buy up for one’s self, for one’s use (2a) to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.
Paul said that Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Torah. That’s a powerful statement. Quite pejorative. The curse of the Torah? This explains how the Pharisees gained control of the people. It explains why that generation was the worst. It explains why He came as a bright Light into a land of great darkness. It explains why they hated Him.
This Jewish sect had fully recognized the evil of the Sadducees and Pharisees, how they had gained control of the Temple and the synagogues, and essentially the entire religious Establishment. And they told them all to go stick it in their collective ear by leaving all and going to the wilderness. They would not put up with all the religious chicanery and shenanigans. Their problem was not that they left but that they had no power as witnesses to stay on the scene and do anything about it. They knew they were defeated and could never change the status quo. But they did a great service to the Lord by shaking the dust off their feet and refusing to be a part of the evil.
This is also why John the Immerser conducted his ministry out in the wilderness, away from all the religious and political intrigue. He proved in part that his ministry was from God because much of the nation went all the way out there to see him. It was a powerful movement within what was left of the nation of Israel and set in motion the Lord’s own movement. What these two movements portend is that REPENTANCE must always come before GRACE. American Christians must properly repent before the Great Awakening can come forth. A big part of this repentance is renouncing everything wrong within “Christianity” instead of supporting it or merely walking away from it.
BLINDED BY DECEPTION
Though the spirit of repentance is rising, there is still very little repentance in America for incorrect, non-New Testament church practices and church formats, the teaching of false doctrines, the clergy-laity division, or the refusal to be filled with the Lord’s Spirit allowing Him full control. This is due in part to ignorance, willful ignorance, deception, and outright rebellion, but at its heart is a curse. In Galatians, Paul quoted the following OT verse:
“‘Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’” [Deuteronomy 27:26]
The point here is that Moses taught that the entire Torah must be honored. Anything less not only rendered it ineffective, it brought on a curse.
James reiterated this teaching of Moses in the following:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. [James 2:10]
The Lord Jesus made it clear that we are either with Him or against Him. There is no middle ground. It should therefore be obvious that we are not allowed by Him to choose whatever part of His teachings we like and reject the others. But Christianity in general has been guilty of this for centuries and certainly remains guilty at present.
It was the same in the first century. Though the people were under a curse, they continued to support the status quo. They continued going through religious motions that had no real effect on their spiritual lives. They were beat down, and they were scared. They wanted real change for the better but could not make it happen.
Until the Lord Jesus.
And until Pentecost.
After that the flood gates opened.
For such a time as this.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’” [Luke 22:25]
In revealing His original and prototypical ministry model, the Lord Jesus set the perfect example for His followers in positions of authority:
“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” [Luke 22:26]
REJECTING THE LORD
But like boiling the proverbial frog, it did not take long for His teachings on the matter to become completely rejected by later generations of “Christians.” The frog sits in the pan, in comfortable water, but if one turns up the heat ever so slightly and gradually, the frog will never notice, even to the point of being boiled alive.
It is the enemy’s ultimate strategy to take a secret gradualism approach. Anything else will tip his hand and make his sinister machinations obvious. He must start small. The goal, of course, is to take power by stealing authority. I explained this in Part 1 of this series.
It began at the beginning. The devil and his fallen rebellious cohorts were cast down to Planet Earth by the Lord God prior to Adam’s creation. The planet became their abode. Their evil presence, as a sinister spectral fog, spread across the earth and covered it like a dark shroud.
Then the Lord God decided to invade the darkness. In keeping with His humble servant plan, He would strike at the very heart of the devil by sending forth a spiritual warrior that initially appeared to the powerful, arrogant evil one as a mere dog. How humiliating.
The Lord God thus created the most humble of superior beings by creating him from the very earth itself—He was an organic being, sharing many of the organic physical traits of mere animals. In this, Adam was highly unlike angels, and even fallen angels.
But then, the Lord God would bless this organic, natural being with celestial star power. Adam would thus also be like the myriad of shining angelic beings among the heavens. He would be both an organic man and a spiritual man. In fact, Adam would be like God:
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]
One of the great secrets of spiritual success is great humility. This is why Real Christians must go through a complete and thorough repentance process to begin their born again experience. Repentance is humiliating. It kills human pride. It allows for a brand new start by destroying the old. The way up is down. Through repentance, and ongoing repentance, we always know who is really in charge. It assists in making a follower of the Lord very powerful in spiritual warfare.
However, this spiritual process has been largely lost and rejected by the lords of Christianity. For example, you see the same ridiculous anti-New Testament leadership model on display day after day, Sunday morning after Sunday morning, and splashed all across the airwaves. It is a model in which the 99 are lost in the pew as mere spectators without a voice and the 1 “found” sheep is bleating away incessantly up in the forefront on a high platform in a big pulpit under the spotlight and before the camera. He or she hogs it all. No one else is ever allowed to speak.
There is no law against this and if everyone wants to engage in the practice that is fine. BUT IT IS NOT NEW TESTAMENT. IT IS NOT THE LORD’S MODEL. It can and has given rise to arrogance, power-seeking, and much cash. It provides the perfect place for the flesh. Perhaps the Scripture could be read this way:
And He said to them, “The kings (leaders) of the Gentiles (Christians) lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’” [Luke 22:25]
The Greek word translated as Benefactors is euergetes. It appears only once in the New Testament. Strong’s defines it as thus: (1) Benefactor (2) A title of honour, conferred on such as had done their country service, and upon princes. A.T. Robertson defines it as a “doer of good.”
Of course, the Lord Jesus was teaching how it came to pass that His disciples would fight about who would be the best and the top leader. Even among the Lord’s apostles in the early going there was behind the scenes intrigue, displays of pride, and a scrambling about to gain the top leadership position. How often the Lord must have been amused. He was in fact telling them that they had previously been subjected to a false model of leadership, and that these so-called Benefactors or “doers of good” had actually created the false title for themselves in the effort to legitimize their stolen place of “honor,” though it was occupied for the most part by men who were dishonorable.
It was the civic form of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Does anyone really believe that the Roman emperors, those who demanded they be worshipped as gods, were honorable doers of good? Well, if one fell into the category of upgrading their meager lives by becoming the recipients of Roman government-dispensed bread and circuses, then Yeah, I guess they would be considered “good.”
But the Lord inferred that they weren’t good. He also inferred that His disciples were acting like idiots by engaging in a power struggle to see who would be the greatest among them. What patience for relative children the Lord showed. You know He had to have a slight chuckle at their nonsense. (No! Me! I’m the one! It should be Me! No, you’re a dingbat fisherman! I’m the best! Look, you clowns, you’re both wrong! I’m the best…)
LORDING IT OVER THE BRETHREN
In reality this kind of garbage has been going on behind the scenes in churches for untold centuries. “Ministers” will fight for prestige, money, dedicated pulpits, and the opportunity to officially speak their minds whenever they feel like it with no possibility of accountability or the voices of others (or facts). Once they gain the speakership and fight off all comers and run off anyone who sees things differently they can safely rule and reign in their little faux kingdoms with nothing but docile pew-sitters arrayed out before them.
For the congregation, it is natural selection in reverse. It is the survival of the unfittest.
The same thing happens in government, even in a country with a Constitution that forbids it. Well, just as it has happened in most of “Christianity,” so it has happened here.
THE ORIGINAL ANTICHRIST
For the Hebrews it did not start with Gentiles taking over at some point and ruling over them. It reached its zenith with one of their own, the one they called the greatest, the one who actually inspired the dunderhead disciples whether they knew it or not. This man could have written the book on palace intrigue. But even before the great Solomon, the man who taxed his people into the poorhouse, who refused all prophets, who turned his nation into his own private ungodly fiefdom and laid the foundation of its own destruction, and before the coming of the first Hebrew king, Saul, the Lord God sent forth a very strong and clear prophetic warning about what the Hebrew people were doing to themselves by putting men in the place of God and what their future held as a result.
See if any of the following sounds familiar. The Lord God released it about 30 centuries ago using His form of Biblical WikiLeaks:
The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”
So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you:
“He will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots.
“He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
“He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers.
“He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants.
“He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants.
“He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work.
“He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.
“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”
Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us…” [1Samuel 8:7-19] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
The Old Testament Scriptures have a lot in common with WikiLeaks: There is no holding back on revealing ancient Israel’s corruption and eventual destruction.
The same will happen for each of us on an individual basis at the Judgment. All of our sin and corruption will be revealed. We will be judged accordingly. Unless, of course, our hard drives have been wiped clean by the Blood of Jesus through real repentance.
Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. [Hebrews 13:12-13]
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS
We live in an age in which the general level of corruption has gained Biblical proportions. Christians have long predicted this would happen. Yet now that is has, many people have become apathetic and indifferent toward it, and feel powerless to do anything about it. The same thing happened to ancient Israel.
How does a nation go from being the specially chosen people of God in whom He entrusted His pure Word, manifested His holy presence, and loved with all His heart, to a nation so corrupt it actually murdered Him? That’s pretty much Mount Everest on the corruption scale. But as I’ve said so many times before, this is not an indictment of the ancient Hebrew people, but an indictment of the entire human race. It was the Lord who decided to choose a people. But in seeing what His own people did we should also see what any nation would do. We should also see, then, what has happened to America.
Ancient Israel got into trouble every time it turned away from God. Every time the nation as a whole began slacking off and dishonoring their unique spiritual heritage—essentially becoming like any other godless nation on the planet—it not only descended into a pit of depravity, its depravity actually exceeded the depravity of the pagan nations surrounding it.
We recall several intervals when corruption went off the scale. These were times when the heart of the nation had so turned away from their loving Father that they no longer wanted Him around. If you think it hurts to be rejected by someone here and there imagine how the Lord must have felt when He was rejected by His own people in whom He had invested His entire heart and life, and long centuries of care and protection. One of these intervals in which Israel took a giant leap downward—insisting nonsensically on jumping into a deep pit of slime as it were—is recorded in the first book of Samuel:
The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.” [1Samuel 8:7-8]
Samuel felt rejected because the nation refused to hear him, but the Lord said no, it is not you, it is Me. They are not listening to you for one reason: You work for Me. They don’t want Me…
So how did Israel become the most corrupt nation? And how can anyone say such a thing? There were obviously some really bad nations at that time engaging in all manner of ungodly and immoral practices. I will answer with Scripture:
“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.” From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:15-17]
We know from the Biblical record and extensive historical research what had happened to this land so many centuries before and exactly how the people therein arrived at a state of complete darkness, spiritual death, and in great need of repentance and restoration to the Lord God. The Northern Kingdom of Israel bit the dust long before the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But Judah had its own moment of utter darkness and absolute corruption, right before it ceased to exist forever:
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” [Acts 2:22-23]
The Northern Kingdom had essentially only rejected the Lord. The Southern Kingdom murdered Him. Was the destruction of Jerusalem forty years later the Lord’s retribution against a vile, corrupt people? Or was it actually the case that when Judah rejected its long-awaited Messiah it actually rejected every means of its own life and protection? Unlike every other nation, ancient Israel was entirely dependent upon the blessings, protection, and grace of God. It could not exist for long without Him, except in a grossly corrupt form. What more could the Lord God have done to showcase this fact and take responsibility for His wayward, corrupt people but actually show up among them as one of them in a final loving effort to get them back on the right path for their own good?
Can you imagine some good people showing up at a man’s home when times are bad and he needs some help and they shower him with love and groceries and some money to help him pay some bills to get him back on his feet and he turns to them with rage and demand they get their sorry backsides the hell away from him and never come back? And every time someone else tries to help he does the same thing? We all know what will become of this man. His final end will not be because of outward judgment but because of inward hardheartedness, rebellion, and stupidity.
America has a corruption problem because far too many of the people in positions of authority have become corrupt. This has become obvious but nothing changes. Americans keep voting corrupt people into office. Until recently most Americans either didn’t care or were too willingly ignorant to know. But this is changing. Light is starting to shine…
Part of the proof we have that the OT Scriptures are for real is that no nation writes such an incriminating history of itself. History is always written by the victors and by those with alternative agendas, and is thus skewed. This is not the case with the history of the ancient Hebrews. It is all exposed and it is all true.
THE FAITHFUL REMNANT
Intermixed with all the corruption in ancient Israel, however, is a crimson stream of repentance and righteousness, and an ongoing longing by an everlasting Remnant to do right by God. This Remnant remained viable until the first century when Messiah arrived. Though He was rejected by what was left of the nation as a whole and certainly by the entire religious establishment, there were thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Jews in the first century who recognized their Lord and Savior and embraced the Messiah wholeheartedly. They no longer identified with the corrupt outward nation. For those, their lives were saved. YHWH-Salvation saved them. They repented as per John the Immerser’s instructions, as per the Lord’s commands, and as per Peter’s demands on The Day of Pentecost. This believing Remnant of Jews became the very people that continued bringing forth salvation into the world.
“…For salvation is from the Jews.” [John 4:22] 
In those times long before this when the ancient nation of Israel had turned back to God, the course of the nation was righted, corruption was exposed and eliminated, the guilty parties either repented or were removed from power, and the Lord was once again in the right place in order to care for His people. This is the Lord’s heart. That He often had to use outside people is only a testimony to the fact that a corrupt elite in power will NEVER correct itself.
In ancient Israel, it was the anointed judges and prophets who were used of God as a corrective force, whose voices could only be silenced by death. Most of these did die and were silenced. The corrupt elite were not only slowly destroying their own nation, they were destroying their very souls.
In America at this time corruption at very high levels is being exposed. Much of this is unprecedented. But it will do no good whatsoever if the corruption never registers with the majority of the people. It could be the case and is in part probably the case that at least half of America is also corrupt and is therefore compromised from doing anything about the corrupt people in power. Much of America is simply blind and unaware of the facts. Many simply do not care. For all the proper percentages of the population and whatnot, a study of ancient Israel will give much perspective.
As I said in a recent post, America is doomed without a Great Awakening. The Good News is that an Awakening has begun, as I have been saying all along from the beginning of this blog five and a half years ago and over six years ago when I received the revelation. The first Great Awakening that began in 1734 was designed in part to create a nation. Perhaps the oncoming Great Awakening is designed to save the nation. But nations can never be saved unless individual citizens are saved and salvation can never come without true heart-rending repentance, a turning away from sin and false gods, a complete repudiation of systemic corruption, and an absolute turning toward and acceptance of the Lord Jesus, the sacrifice He made on our behalf, and His full authority and dominion.
The outward nation of ancient Israel was destroyed forever almost two-thousand years ago. The eternal Kingdom of the Lord Jesus began then, and it was composed entirely of Jews and those of Hebrew extraction for the first seven to ten years of its existence. That’s right—the Community of the Lord Jesus, His Qahal, His Ekklesia, was founded by a Jew and consisted only of descendants of Isaac in its initial years.
The ancient nation of Israel was essentially born again.
Perhaps America can be born again also.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
Some people are able to lie with a straight face continually with no reservations whatsoever without feeling even the slightest hint of guilt.
Though liars may be quite successful and never face justice in the here and now, in the eternal sense, they do not pass Go. They do not collect $200. In the next world there will be no Get Out of Jail Free card. Barring repentance (a very unlikely scenario for the vast majority of those who habitually bear false witness as a way of life and for getting ahead), they will go straight to hell:
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:8]
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. [1Timothy 1:8-11]
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1Timothy 4:1-2]
AHAB AND JEZEBEL
Ahab was a proud Israelite of royal blood. He came from a line of kings who were each generally more treacherous than the one before. “How can I top my forebears on the wickedness scale?” thought Ahab. “I know! I’ll marry an immoral, lying, demon-possessed Baal-worshipping daughter of a foreign king!
Her name was Jezebel. It is pronounced in the original Hebrew as Ee-zeh’-bel. She hated anyone determined to serve the Lord but had an especially powerful and passionate hatred for God’s prophets. She hated Elijah most of all.
Why so much hate? –Because she was so closely aligned with the devil. One could figure out the devil’s demeanor by her actions. She was a great barometer for the way demons think and operate. Thus, modern Jezebels hate real Christians more than anybody else. They hate real Christians with a prophetic anointing the most. And they absolutely despise the most mature real Christians with a prophetic anointing.
The original Jezebel set her heart on murdering Elijah but failed. The man who later came in the spirit and power of Elijah, the great forerunner John the Immerser, did not fare as well. The Jezebel of his time, the evil Herodias, succeeded in killing him. John’s murderer, like Jezebel, was also an adulterous queen married to a king (Herod Antipas) in defiance of the law and used her own daughter’s dirty dancing to complete the dirty deed.
Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?”
And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel; and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin.
“Of Jezebel also has the LORD spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’ The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.”
Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the sons of Israel. [1Kings 21:20-26]
THROW HER DOWN
Now in the eleventh year of Joram, the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah.
When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?”
Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot.
When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. Therefore they returned and told him.
And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’” [2Kings 9:29-37] 
It seems the longer justice awaits, the bolder Jezebels become, and the more bullet-proof they think they are. But one thing is certain. There is always Jezebel justice in the end.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Dear Readers, I have been very busy as of late and have not been able to post, yet I feel that with the limited time I have I need to post something about the current political situation in America.
First of all, some of you may recall that I wrote a post last summer about the current political atmosphere, and that Americans are in general very, very angry with elected politicians: Prophetic Words from Last November and the First Republican Debate. It is a must read.
This is especially true among Republican voters, who were fit to be tied after their elected representatives completely caved to the Democrats and essentially lied about everything they promised during the election of 2014. It had been building up even before that, of course. But Republican voters turned out en masse in November of 2014 which resulted in a landslide and a great increase in the House of Representatives.
Then, those Republicans who were elected with such an incredible mandate blew it all and squandered it away, like some nitwit who can’t handle winning a big lottery.
Strangely enough, though, even Democrats have taken on a very powerful angry edge. It is no surprise to anyone who pays attention that the hate index within the American Left has been rising precipitously, as well as the outright un-American attacks on the freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights. There is no way in the history of the world that Bernie Sanders, for example, would be having the success he is having now if it was not for this particular time and political climate. He has no chance, of course, but he is doing very well and much better than expected. Hillary might make a great decision to choose him as her running mate. Why? Because a vast squadron of young 20 and 30-somethings have thrown in with Bernie to an incredible degree, and even though they do not appreciate Hillary, they will support her if Bernie is her running mate.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump has obviously tapped into what Republican voters are angry about with regard to career politicians and a non-responsive Washington, though I do not think he had any idea in the beginning that things would have worked out this well for him. Barring a comet striking Earth or some other very weird situation, Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination, which will set up a cage match between him and Hillary.
There is always the very slight chance that Hillary may be indicted, but I don’t believe it. The Republican establishment in general is already on record saying that it will support Hillary if Trump is the nominee. Someone of Hillary’s stature has been and will continue to be protected.
What does any of this have to do with Real Christianity?
For starters, the Great Awakening is obviously also happening in the political sphere. Last Friday I told someone that this year has great parallels to 1968. Since then I have heard the same thing from many pundits. I will not get any credit for this but I saw it before they did. What happened in Chicago last week at the almost Trump rally was eerily similar to what happened at the Democrat Convention in Chicago in 1968. Look it up. The anger of Americans is beginning to spill forth like Niagara, and many otherwise collected people are choosing off and are willing to fight. The emotional tone is ratcheting up into the Stratosphere. And we’ve only just begun.
Again, these days have been building for decades. The great majority of Americans feel totally left out, taken for granted, taken advantage of, and cheated by their own clueless government. They know Washington no longer cares about them or the country whatsoever and is only using them for their own purposes.
What to do? As real Christians, we must remember that times such as this are really no surprise. In fact, I and so many others have been predicting this for years. For the young ones, however, those with no strong knowledge of or experience with past political events going back beyond thirty years, this all looks new and they are in danger of being deceived and deceived greatly. I would caution everyone, especially Christians, to not get too caught up in the rhetoric and strong emotional overtones of these political times, largely because the country has already been divided to the point that this election could destroy American goodwill and unity forever.
There is never any place for such hate, but there are millions who have already bought into the hate mode to the point that they may not recover. And whatever anyone thinks about Christianity we do know this: In essence, the teachings of the Lord Jesus are 100% about love. Therefore, regardless of what may be at stake in this election, Americans in general and Christians especially must put love first. Love the Lord and love each other. The young people back in 1968 were saying exactly the same thing. But they got a rude awakening when their idealism was shattered by hate, hate, and more hate.
If you have become a hater, I strongly suggest you get rid of that attitude post haste and become a lover. That’s what the Lord Jesus is—a Lover. He loved so much He gave His life for us all. No one can top that. Being a Lover means being a Giver and also a Forgiver. Following the perfect example of the Lord creates a loving atmosphere, a loving supportive community, and a great deterrent to the hate, violence, and vitriol of this fallen world.
Though it might sound silly in these powerfully emotional political times, love is still the answer, but it must be fought for, especially now.
Love, Love, Love. Love the Lord. Love your neighbor. Stay true to the pure teachings of the greatest One who ever lived.
Love ALWAYS works.
“At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” [Matthew 24:10-14] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:12]
The grain kernel of wheat is composed of two parts: The inner part that we eat and the inedible outer hull. The inedible part must be separated from the edible part. There are two ways to remove the outer hull: Threshing and Winnowing.
Threshing was used on grains in which the hull was attached tightly to the grain kernel. In the days of our Lord, such covered grains were either soaked in water, or were lightly milled or even pounded upon to loosen the hull in order to remove it. The latter processes often damaged the edible grain.
However, when dealing with grains in which the hull was relatively loose and light, little or no threshing was required. A winnowing fork was used instead to cast the grain into the air allowing the wind to separate the inedible hulls from the edible grain kernels. The light, papery hulls would float or fly away in the wind while the edible grain fell to the ground to be collected. These light separated inedible hulls are called chaff, a word derived from Middle English.
In both of these methods the unfit for consumption outer hull had to be removed from the grain kernel. Once removed the hull residue (chaff) was burned.
Keep in mind what the Lord Jesus had to go through as the new seed of all creation. He was baptized by John as our example though it was personally unnecessary. And though He had no hard outer hull He underwent the extreme process of hull removal on our behalf.
Both John the Immerser and the Lord Jesus used the rich imagery of hull removal in their preaching as illustrative of the process of salvation. The otherwise soft, warm, and loving human heart, characterized perfectly by the happy innocent hearts of young children, becomes hardened by a life of sin and rebellion against God. In time a hard outer shell forms over the human heart and creates an entirely different human nature from the original.
This requires what the Lord refers to as heart circumcision:
“So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” [Deuteronomy 10:16]
“Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else My wrath will go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.” [Jeremiah 4:4]
Since human will and free choice must be involved in the process of salvation, the outer hulls of our hearts can only be removed by voluntarily submitting to the process of spiritual threshing or winnowing. For those with very hard hulls the process will be more difficult. For those with lighter papery hulls removal will be less difficult. But in either case, since all have sinned regardless of degree, ALL hearts MUST be circumcised or salvation is not possible. EVERYONE MUST undergo a new birth.
We can see by the very clear illustration of heart circumcision (circle cut) that salvation and new birth (being born again) is actually a reverting back or returning to one’s original created condition. Though real Christians will still have to battle their old nature in this world after undergoing a new birth and receiving real salvation, the new nature takes over and regains authority over the old sin nature.
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! [2Corinthians 5:17 NRSV]
He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 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 1:11-13]
“You must be born again.” [John 3:7]
Submitting to heart circumcision is not an easy choice but obviously the best choice anyone could ever possibly make. If we have a hard outer shell on our heart, it is not so fun to subject ourselves to light milling or necessary pounding to remove it. It is also not so fun to be thrown up in the air with a winnowing fork so our old nature can become dust in the wind.
Keep in mind that John the Immerser was sent to soak the nation of Israel in water to loosen its national hull and thereby gain a softening of its national heart prior to the Lord’s ministry. The goal was threefold: (1) Making the national heart receptive to the Lord (2) Gaining national repentance—a wholesale turning away from sin and rebellion against God—and (3) Undergoing a national heart circumcision.
The nation of Israel would thus be divided based on its response to John’s ministry and later the Lord’s. The first camp would include all those who honored John’s and the Lord’s ministry and complied. The second camp would be composed of all those who did not.
The Lord referred to the first camp as being composed of sheep, wheat, and good trees with good fruit—“the blessed of My Father.”
He referred to the second camp as made up of goats, chaff, tares, and bad trees with bad fruit—“accursed ones.”
For all those who refuse the great opportunity of salvation and being included in those returning to the Lord’s original sinless creation, however, something must be done with them.
If it was grain kernels with very hard and stuck fast outer hulls that refused the proper treatment toward removal, such grain would be no good for anything and would certainly not be edible. But even if it was grain with light papery hulls, if winnowing was refused it also would remain inedible.
The only thing to be done with such bad grain that still contained an otherwise edible kernel was throw it in the pile of the inedible chaff that was removed from the good grain.
This is what John meant when he said the following:
“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:12]
In order for the Lord to continue the process of new creation, the following verses illustrate more examples of allegorical entities which must be eliminated through the ultimate means of purification—Fire:
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:10]
“The tares are gathered up and burned with fire.” [Matthew 13:40]
“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire.” [Matthew 13:41-42]
“The angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire.” [Matthew 13:49-50]
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones (goats), into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…” [Matthew 25:41]
“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.” [John 15:5-6] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:10]
The Lord Jesus made it very clear in His teachings that fruitless discipleship is no discipleship. In other words, if there is no spiritual fruit there then there is no discipleship there. Real discipleship bears good fruit. It is impossible for it to not bear good fruit. A good tree always bears good fruit.
As did John the Immerser, the Lord Jesus also said:
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:19-20]
He was talking about false prophets. He likened false prophets to ravenous wolves. He said ravenous wolves were bad trees bearing bad fruit:
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” [Matthew 7:15-16]
In comparing sheep to wolves the Lord is comparing good trees to bad trees. Wolves are ravenous. It means they are very hungry and will kill to satiate their hunger. Wolves kill sheep in order to eat sheep. False prophets do the same. They not only rip off the sheep—removing from them all their valuable externals—they will also eat up everything the sheep are composed of—everything that comprises their lives. In the best case scenario they will transform the sheep into trees bearing fruit for the sole benefit of the wolves.
We may call these zombie sheep. They obey their voodoo masters the false prophets. They do not have any critical thinking skills. Their minds are not their own. Their minds have become religionified. They have fallen into a cult, though it may be a “respectable” denomination or world wide organization. Such sheep do not bear good fruit.
Imagine creating such sheep. It sure makes life easy for the wolves. They do whatever the wolves tell them to do, especially when it comes to money, their primary fruit. Take away their primary fruit and they also become worthless to the wolves. They are already of no worth to the Lord. They have rejected Him and His pure Word. Therefore, they will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
The Lord Jesus is THE Good Tree. He bears fruit, and it is always good fruit and only good fruit. It is also always available. All real disciples also bear only good fruit since they are good trees which came from THE Good Tree.
Unreal disciples usually don’t bear any fruit, though some bear bad fruit. The Lord said any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. John said it also. This is pretty self-explanatory, but one thing remains. What, exactly, is good fruit? What is spiritually representative of grapes and figs? Here you go:
“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance…” [Matthew 3:8]
And what is the fruit, or the proof, of repentance?
“Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?”
And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”
And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”
Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.” [Luke 3:8-14] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
FROM PART 1: Much more importantly, most people are walking around in sin, with sin attached to them, with sin stamped on their minds, with sinful souls, and with much sin on their account. But they don’t know it. The sin is not acknowledged. It is unknown to them. The possibility of its presence is refused. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t there…
We live at a time in which people are highly encouraged to have frequent medical checkups. There are also many new checkup procedures not available in the past and instrumentation that is much more sophisticated toward discovering health problems or potential problems. Within certain industries and corporations, medical examinations are required for employment and periodic health screening is required to stay employed.
I just read an article about aging former NBA basketball players. The greatest professional basketball player who ever lived, regarding not only incredible playing ability but also work ethic, hustle, and heart, and a huge contribution toward winning, was, in my studied opinion, Larry Bird.
His impact was such that without him his team would not only not have won, they would have been largely mediocre. He had great teammates. Some are in the Hall of Fame. But there is no question he was always by far the best, and they all knew it. He did everything to win while also playing completely within the rules, including the unwritten rules. He respected the game. He was a winner who often willed his team to win. He always gave the fans their money’s worth.
That is why the following is all the more remarkable. It was discovered through medical testing after his playing career that he had a heart problem. He had the problem most of his life but never talked about it. He had spells that he kept to himself. He came close to buying the farm, apparently, on several occasions.
I prayed for Larry Bird today. He just turned 59 years old. There have been several ex-NBA players who have died around his age, some recently. Some have died much earlier. It has often been due to heart attacks. Larry Bird believes that the former players who are most susceptible are big men like himself (he’s 6’ 9”), who have worked and hustled the hardest. He believes all the very hard work at such an incredible level of play, in addition to great size that makes the heart work harder, greatly increases the chances of a shorter life. That’s why, he says, you don’t see many old big men. Even very tall non-basketball players will die on average sooner simply because of their size. Short men, in reality, will have a decided tendency to live longer.
OUR TOP PRIORITY
I say all this to say that there is a correlation toward today’s overt universal mandatory medical screening and pretty much zero spiritual screening, which means we also live at a time when a person’s physical condition is treated in the opposite manner of one’s spiritual condition.
The same authority figures who desire and demand proper health screening as a top priority generally have no desire whatsoever for proper spiritual screening. This can only be due to placing this life and this realm above the next life, and for many it is because they do not believe in an afterlife. Most people certainly do not respect the Gospel.
This life is so very temporary. The next life is eternal. Living for this life at the expense of the next life will cost a person his soul. Our top priority must always be getting right with God. To that end we must all undergo spiritual checkups beginning with initial repentance. We must deal with our sin and be rid of it. We must stop sinning. The Lord Jesus has given us a way to do this.
Stay tuned. I will break down the following in our next lesson:
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
There was a vacation house out in the woods pretty far from the nearest town. It was located in the middle of a 1200 acre section of private land. There were no restrictions upon its building site or construction, though it was well built. The owner chose the site for its natural settings and views, but he didn’t pay much attention to the topography. He lived a thousand miles away and there were no close neighbors.
One day it began to rain in those woods and the rain didn’t let up for several weeks. The locals had never seen anything like it. Unbeknownst to the vacation house owner, he built his little hideaway in a very old flood plain.
At the height of the rains the flood waters had risen to four feet in the house and remained standing for a few days before slowly receding. The house was knocked slightly off its pier and beam foundation in the beginning which also damaged the framing in several places. This in turn damaged the roof’s integrity and several large leaks had developed allowing rain to pour in.
By the time the owner managed to check on his house several weeks later he was shocked at the damage. It was inundated by black mold. The wood framing had started to rot. Every insect and bug known to man had taken up residence in the house as well as a vast array of critters, including rodents, and even small mammals. The house was still filled with drying mud.
When the man started repairs he discovered that the mold had reached the tops of the walls in places. Even after removing all the wallboard and insulation he saw that the entire structure was affected. The critters had also taken up residence in the attic. Everywhere was mold, rot, and the byproduct of two months of small animals. The odor was overwhelming. It was an absolute mess.
He had no insurance. He checked with his lawyer on local laws. The next day he cleared out a break around the perimeter of the structure and made ready a few hoses from the well. After waiting for a day that had no wind, he set the house on fire and burned it to the ground.
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12] 
Today’s lesson begins with a simple truth: Fire removes the disgusting filth of corruption.
Corruption, of course, comes in many forms. There is the actual physical tangible filth that adversely affects the five senses, but there is also intangible corruption. For example, sin is intangible. You cannot see it. But you can certainly see its effects.
Picture a very clean mansion beautifully decorated in which everything is in perfect condition and every appearance, even the clothing of the inhabitants, is perfectly tailored and pleasing to the eye. Then picture the intangible sinful condition of the inhabitants. Picture their evil hearts and machinations, and the gross behavior they engage in behind the scenes.
The Lord Jesus says the intangible is much more real than that which is seen. If one could actually see the unseen corruption in the midst of the perfect and beautiful setting clearly seen with the naked eye, one’s opinion would change.
But most people never see this. Most people simply do not have spiritual eyes. They are very easily swayed by the illusory perception of their five senses.
Please see the following chart and look it over: Electromagnetic Spectrum
As I’ve taught before, the visible light portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum is an extremely small part of the overall Spectrum. There is much more light that is unseen rather than the very little that is seen. 95% of the entire Universe cannot be perceived by the five senses.
Therefore, whoever bases their beliefs on mere sensory data cannot possibly have the full picture since the vast majority is completely unknown.
To bring this home and make it more visceral, there are people walking around right now with problems in their bodies and they don’t even know it. They go about their daily business as if the problem isn’t there. They cannot see inside their bodies. Imagine that. Something so close to us and so much a part of us and we don’t even know.
Much more importantly, most people are walking around in sin, with sin attached to them, with sin stamped on their minds, with sinful souls, and with much sin on their account. But they don’t know it. The sin is not acknowledged. It is unknown to them. The possibility of its presence is often refused. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t there…
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church:
Like the Wizard of Oz, the ruling class has established a powerful and sometimes fearsome image of itself. Its members have set themselves up as the sacred and the laity as the profane. The laity, if brave enough to seek personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains, often do so at the feet of the big boys, who have been enormously successful at promoting their big daddy image for centuries. Of course, the laity receives only religious tokens for the most part, if anything at all. The important thing is image. The great Christian controllers must believe that if the laity perceives them as merely human, and not ultrahuman, it would cause such disillusionment within Christendom that a complete breakdown would take place.
But one man’s breakdown and loss of power is another man’s revolution and recovering of freedom. Ask George Washington. Ask Martin Luther. Ask the Lord Jesus Himself. It was the benefactors of the religious clergy spirit of His time who were so incensed by His radical teachings and so petrified over losing control because of His growing movement that they savagely murdered Him, revealing to all, for all time, their true motivation and character. 
Make no mistake about it. When the Lord Jesus arrived on the scene he immediately engaged in spiritual war against powerful forces. The human appendages of such forces had discovered centuries before that great power over large populations could be gained in the realm of religion.
Like the rest of the planet, the ancient nation of Israel also suffered from such demonic interlopers and we have the proof of this religious invasion in the historical accounts of the Old Testament scriptures. Israel had devolved from being the pure people of God to a nation of religious hybrids ruled over by bloodthirsty kings set on complete dominance and an overthrow of God’s rule.
By the first century AD the political kings had long since morphed into religious “kings.” The aforementioned paganistic and syncretized religious practices of ancient Israel had by that time become largely congealed under the banner of Pharisaism which was dominated at the top by those whom the Lord referred to as children of the devil. They did not appreciate His terminology.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” [Matthew 23:15]
Though these evildoers did exactly as the evil Israelite kings before them in taking dominion over the populace for their own benefit, the subjugated people felt powerless to overcome. There are two reasons for this:
(1) The people had accepted their lot with a defeatist attitude and simply surrendered to the dominant controlling clique and its rewriting of the Mosaic Code, as the nation of Israel had formerly fallen under the sway of evil civil leaders.
(2) The people had become enchanted by the ultra-human power of religion and got absolutely lost in deception and darkness, unable to see and absolutely unequipped to fight back.
Then, as now, there was only one cure:
“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.”
From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:15-17] 
For those who repented, they were able to overthrow the Wizard of Oz that had them trapped, deceived, and bound by joining up with the Lord Jesus. They received “personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains.” His pure LIGHT gave them eyes to see. His great LOVE gave them the support and encouragement they lacked. His POWERFUL Holy Spirit gave them strength to fight. His TRUTH set them free.
For our study, this is the difference between Unreal and Real Christianity.
(1) The people have accepted their lot with a defeatist attitude and have simply surrendered to the dominant controlling clique and its rewriting of the Gospel, as the nation of Israel had formerly fallen under the sway of evil religious leaders.
(2) The people have become enchanted by the ultra-human power of religion and have gotten absolutely lost in deception and darkness, unable to see and absolutely unequipped to fight back.
For those who repented, they have been able to overthrow the Wizard of Oz that had them trapped, deceived, and bound by joining up with the Lord Jesus. They have received “personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains.” His pure LIGHT has given them eyes to see. His great LOVE has given them the support and encouragement they lacked. His POWERFUL Holy Spirit has given them strength to fight. His TRUTH has set them free.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 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.
For those who believe in the false concept that only those with the Lord’s blessing and approval always have abundance, where does that put the apostle Paul? Where does that put Peter and John in the following?
But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” [Acts 3:6]
Would that the majority of Christian ministers had this spiritual power and ability, but they don’t. And they never will because they always put this world above the Lord’s spiritual kingdom. They always put money ahead of spiritual power. Their priority is always funding and having control, instead of more of the Lord Jesus, His love, His spiritual power, and His control.
In reality, putting the Lord Jesus, His kingdom, His righteousness, and one’s obedience to Him first actually does result in abundance, although the term is relative. By having the right priorities, one can have both the spiritual power of God and also be blessed by God materially and financially (to whatever degree He decides is appropriate).
Nevertheless, because the compromised ministers with wrong priorities make up the vast bulk of “ministry,” they also garner the vast bulk of the money.
This also means, of course, that honest ministers with the power and real love of God are in the decided minority. That is not necessarily bad on the surface, but it is when the majority—Unreal Christianity—treats them with contempt, cuts exorbitantly into the general Christian funding pool, and discriminates against them as illegitimate ministers.
But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. [James 2:9]
Why one cannot see the arrogant me-first outlook on the part of the Christian elite and those with religiously correct social standing most often means such a one is a part of that group—One can’t see the forest for the trees if one is one of the trees.
If one’s top priority is to fit in socially both in church and the community and be financially successful then it is impossible to do the will of God and hence, be blessed by God:
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.
And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:13-15]
There was a time when the apostle Paul openly REBUKED the apostle Peter. Imagine that. Here we have two of the Lord’s very best men who were both used in spiritually tremendous ways. Both were filled with the Spirit of God. Both had been used for great miracles. Yet Paul thought Peter was wrong enough to be rebuked.
What would Paul think of all the current minister frauds of the present? If Paul would rebuke Peter, he would obviously rebuke, and much more severely, all of the money-grubbing elitist frauds who have made money, power, prestige, success, and a perfect outer image their priority. If such people would rebuke their own it would be a great sign, but such never happens.
It is the same with sycophant church boards and congregations who never speak out about the error from within. That means the only rebuke possible must come from without.
It also means that the Lord Jesus never leaves Himself without disciples with a strong and powerful anointing, like the apostle Paul, in any generation.
It means that, for all real Christians, part of their discipleship allows for possible rebuke by God, not for harm, but to insure that His community is strong, healthy, in possession of the full truth, and able to perform spiritually for the benefit of others. Whoever inoculates oneself from this process through the shield of gaining an improper exalted position, wealth, and influence has chosen the wrong path, and without repentance and redirection will lose one’s soul.
The author of the Book of Hebrews said it this way, at first quoting from Proverbs:
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. [Hebrews 12:5-8]
In this we see who the real illegitimate children are and exactly why America is in decline: For the most part, spiritual imposters are in control. They have no salt, no light, and no power with God to successfully and effectively fight a spiritual war with evil. As a result, evil has gained the upper hand.
The Lord Jesus knew exactly what the reason for the decline of His own nation was, just as this writing is revealing what is causing America’s decline. The Lord also dealt with it directly in a powerful and confrontational way by exposing the false religionists for who they were and laying the blame exactly where it belonged.
If one seeks the party most responsible for the spiritual decline of America, forget the usual suspects. The reason for the decline is elsewhere. Look no further than the few in charge within Unreal Christianity, since they are the ones with the authority to make the most substantial choices that affect everyone else.
In closing, let’s look once again at the incredible statement of the Lord Jesus, for which this series is titled. All Christians must consider its implications. Its application reaches very far. It is at once a severe rebuke but it also puts things in stark spiritual perspective. All real Christians must learn this truth:
Now the Pharisees,
Who were lovers of money,
Were listening to all these things
And were scoffing at Him.
And He said to them,
“You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men,
“But God knows your hearts;
“For that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”
[Luke 16:14-15] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
THE NON-PROPHET / FOR PROFIT MINISTRY MODEL: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (2)
“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.”
They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication…” [John 8:37-41]
One of the many things the Lord Jesus was falsely accused of by religious people was illegitimacy in both physical birth and ministry calling. Everyone except His own mother and maybe a few others believed he was conceived in a sinful union out of wedlock. It is also apparent that some people thought Joseph was not His real father. Though they were correct, it was certainly not for the reason they thought.
There were many other lies told about Him. He was said to be crazy, demon-possessed, a drunk, a glutton, a false prophet, and a liar. Even with a preponderance of obvious miracles performed by Him, most still did not believe the truth but preferred the lies. Only a relatively small percentage of His own people thought He was who He said He was.
Hence, it was next to impossible for the Lord Jesus to have a good reputation within society in general, even though He is perfect, had never sinned, and never did anything wrong. He kept the Law of Moses perfectly and in the right spirit.
A GOOD REPUTATION WITH GOD OR MEN?
Therefore, rather than personal reputations, the Lord cares much more about correcting whatever keeps people from real discipleship, such as false doctrines, false teachings, false operations, and false set-ups. He cares about removing all the stuff He never put there. It is far better to have a great reputation with the Lord and be thought of as an idiot in the eyes of the world than it is to reject God’s correction and sell out to His enemies.
This presents a problem for the fakers, however, because much of the income in many ministries is tied to such things. Consequently, there is a ton of not-so-good stuff hidden behind the scenes that no one ever sees and the people involved must keep it that way or they will lose funding. It is the same in many churches.
That is why the most important reason no one speaks out about minister frauds is because some of them bring in the greatest amount of cash. The cash not only enriches them, but in a general sense enriches everyone associated with them.
It is the idea of a rising tide raising all ships. It is why so many ministers attempt to get their boat out on that particular body of water even if financial pirates are present. There’s just way too much money and influence to sail away from.
Any churchgoer who pays any attention whatsoever knows that every individual church or ministry has to establish a good reputation and must always defend that reputation. One would think this would be based on fending off lies and otherwise unfounded malicious attacks that arise primarily from unseen evil forces intent on doing damage to a God-founded entity. These could in part be malcontents and disgruntled former members with axes to grind. But such are not the real reason for defensive ministry postures.
Though such spiritual attacks do occur from time to time, most “attacks” are not attacks at all, but simply someone pointing out the sin and error most often found within church leadership. As a result, church leadership has long-since instituted a no-rebuke hierarchical set-up that protects it not only from actual attacks, but also from the Lord’s rebuke.
This non-rebukable, non-accountable, top-of-the-pyramid leadership structure can thus go about its business with no fear of any possible spiritual correction that might harm its outward reputation.
As a result, such non-New Testament leadership models grow ever-corrupt (with pretty faces) in their unceasing quest to dodge necessary correction in order to keep their monetary and worldly success and societal reputations intact—the leaders thereof have gained great esteem in the sight of men but not so with God.
“And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.
“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men…” [Matthew 10:11-17] 
Church leadership learned a long time ago how to circumvent and censor the honest, informed people in their churches who, by the anointing of God and because of their love for the Truth, act as their Lord and Master did when He pointed out the spiritual errors of the religious elites of His time.
Because the majority of that which can be classified as “church leadership” has obvious vested interests in their respective enterprises, they must protect those interests at all costs. What they need are supporters with money, the same way any legitimate business needs clients and customers. They need people who ask no questions, accept everything as presented, and always give as directed.
Most churches and ministries are run like a business. If one disagrees, try doing church as usual with no money.
A business cannot exist unless it has a commodity or product to sell. Good businesses create good products and people are willing to buy said products. Many churches and ministries are actually no different. If they are to exist and be successful they must have a good product that produces a good revenue stream. Without money they are out of business. It is a very simple proposition.
Some ministers are actually honest about this. They know very well the nature of the set-up. They also know, however, that because they are honest they must do things the Lord’s way. They know that whatever money they receive must come with the approval of the Lord Jesus attached to it. They will not ask for money otherwise. They know the entire money issue is never “business as usual.” They know the money they receive as donations or earn through their own labor is due to the Lord’s blessing and approval.
However, many ministers do not follow this clear spiritual protocol. They act like they do, but this acting is the same as all their other acting. They have in fact bought into an act that has been around for centuries. Maybe some of them are deluded, but most know it is a very simple proposition—money will either make them or break them. For them (the vast majority of Christian ministers), money is the solution. Without money they cannot operate or even exist.
The very few honest ministers reject this entire notion. They know it is not Biblical. They know it does not stem from the teachings of the Lord. They know the Lord has called them to a specific work and as long as they draw breath they will do that work come hell or high water, whether they have any money or not.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. [Hebrews 6:4-6 RSV]
First of all, it must be noted that the great bulk of that which is called “Christianity” is not real Christianity, but something entirely different. It is not watered-down Christianity. It is not less-than-the-best Christianity. It is not weak or backslid Christianity. Instead, it is a completely separate entity.
With reference to the above verses of scripture, the clear facts are:
(1) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never tasted the heavenly gift.
(2) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never become partakers of the Holy Spirit.
(3) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never tasted the goodness of the Word of God.
(4) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never experienced the powers of the age to come.
For all of these reasons, it is therefore impossible for those who make up the great bulk of Christianity to commit apostasy simply because they never had the real thing to begin with.
Apostasy is a conscience decision of the human will to quit on the Lord Jesus and walk away. Whoever does this can never be restored again to God until they make the decision on their own to return to God. No one else can thus force repentance upon them.
But the majority of those called “Christians” are not real Christians and never have been. They are playing a game with their chosen form of Christianity and have substituted empty and powerless replacements that have no actual spiritual effect whatsoever. The only thing distinguishing these people from non-believers is the exterior wrapping. And as a person associates with a larger group of people clothed with the same chosen exterior wrapping, such a person feels completely secure within said group and becomes convinced the group is the “right” group or an “approved” group.
How do we then distinguish real Christianity from the many counterfeit forms? Here’s how: Real Christianity has the power of God. This power is released through the use of the Name of the Lord Jesus and through His pure Word.
However, the only people who can use the Name of the Lord Jesus properly and legally are those who have completely surrendered their lives to Him. These are real believers who have have given Him their entire heart. They have subjected their hearts to full heart circumcision. They have turned away completely from all sin, disobedience, and rebellion against the Lord. This is the nature of repentance. They have also been filled with the Spirit of the Lord with the outward evidence of a complete change in their speech—their tongue, the most unruly member of the body, has been completely subjected to the Lord.
In the act of real repentance, the tongue is the very last member of the body to yield to God. Once this happens, an immediate proof of the occurrence follows: The new believer begins praising God in a new language. The person’s speech is at once given over, as if a switch was flipped, to praising God and even prophesying of the things of God. This is all very clearly spelled out in scripture.
James wrote the following:
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. [James 1:26]
For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.
Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.
For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. [James 3:2-8]
It is obvious then, that a tongue never yielded to God proves sinner status and non-discipleship, regardless of anything else by which a person claims to be a Christian. The yielded tongue, however, with miraculous speech following, proves a new birth.
This new birth then allows for invoking the powerful Name of Jesus. Its use, as given by the Lord, results in miracles. The use of the Lord’s Name is only given to real disciples.
This is also why each and every real believer as recorded in the Book of Acts invoked the Name of Jesus in water baptism. The reason why is otherwise simple: Without the Name of Jesus there is no spiritual power.
We can see, therefore, that if there are no miracles within a Christian group, it obviously follows that there is no spiritual power, which indicates the group is not right with God. It proves that the group has never yielded to God.
Real Christianity is distinguished by the following:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
“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 16:16-18] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:44]
To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. [Titus 1:15-16]
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight! [Isaiah 5: 20-21]
One of the greatest evils in this fallen world is evil people in positions of great power. And the worst kind of evil people are those who pretend to be good.
As sin increases exponentially and the authority of the devil continues to invade powerful positions of authority, millions of otherwise moral people with sound minds are so affected and influenced by the power of evil in authority figures that, barring a close walk with God, they also become depraved.
And despite the presence of any number of maniacs engaged in isolated incidents, the worst maniacs are those who use their positions of great power to corrupt huge populations.
For such people, the very best course of action is to repent and get right with God while they still can.
Barring that, they choose the worst course of all—choosing the devil as their father—and expose themselves to the worst judgment of all—eternal separation from God—that perpetrated upon themselves from which no one else can be blamed. They become the worst the human race has to offer and those who should never be in any position of authority.
They will receive the justice they deserve when they face God at the Judgment.
The Word of God states that prior to making a decision for God everyone is a sinner bound for hell.
Most people, including most professing “Christians,” do not believe this. Never mind that their own personal history is laden with sins acknowledged or not (most often not), the history of the world clearly reveals, from anyone’s perspective, that it is absolutely true.
Mankind’s history is one of sin, depravity, immorality, murder on a grand scale, and pure evil. Such sin is in every society, culture, and nation that has ever existed.
No one can disprove this because it is impossible to disprove. One won’t get far if one tries and will consequently silently close the book, put it away, and stare with great disillusionment into thin air at the revelation.
This world is no playground. Those who believe it is eventually get creamed. People learn early on that they must defend themselves and quickly seek some form of protection for the purpose of survival. A few, very few, are ultra-protected and blessed with unlimited money and appear to be beyond judgment.
But for such people who have chosen a very temporary dream world, they must know that human bodies do not last forever: They wear out; they get old. And the people existing within said bodies will have to leave the comforts of home one day and enter into what is a completely mysterious future from their perspective.
Eternity is a great unknown for them because they risked everything on this life and living for this world, this very short sojourn that all humans get a chance at, without doing anything whatsoever to prepare for what comes after, which leaves them completely unprepared.
Such people are bold and strong when young and vibrant, when they seemingly have the world by the tail. They shoot their mouths off though they often have no real clue about whatever subject they may be discussing.
Most never consider the cost paid by parents or others, but mostly the cost paid by God to both create them AND die for them to purchase their salvation. They laugh at the idea. They take for granted the cost paid to get them to the place of their comfort from which they choose the opposite of the correct attitude and adopt instead a brash, spoiled-brattish stance revealing them to be the mere posers they are.
THE DOWNWARD SLOPE
But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. [Matthew 12:14]
All nations go through stages. Great nations are led by great people who are mature, moral, and battle-tested. The final stages of a nation, however, are staffed by the opposite.
When nations go bad, it is because the people in said nation grow immature. They live off the great strength of those who have gone before them, who knew the price that must be paid for greatness.
Immature, spoiled people then choose likeminded people to be their leaders. A nation’s leaders are always a reflection of the populace. Poor nations are poor because they lack the moral strength and resolve to do something about it, and evil leaders rush in to take charge, since no one stops them. They end up taking everything for themselves.
In America, it used to be that political leaders must pass a very strict test placed before them by society at large. It included a morals test. But presently, the idea of a morals test placed upon prospective leaders is a joke. We have not had a series of moral leaders in a long, long time.
Why? Because the country has drifted downward. It began the descent by drifting downward morally. Once morality was thrown out the window no one could put a morals test on leaders. Hence, leaders became depraved.
But there is something else. When a nation of 300 million begins to go bad it takes a while. And while it is descending toward a moral cesspit having lost its way, and thus making completely idiotic choices for leaders, it goes relatively slow. There are many within the down-sliding group that continue to speak out and warn, and the warnings are always given with sufficient time to change course.
But not so with the chosen evil leaders. Their decline into abject immorality is relatively fast. Depending on the immoral state of the country, there are fewer and fewer checks and balances against evil overseers. No one can thus stop them without a drastic course correction.
WHO’S THE BOSS?
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” [Luke 12:48] 
In America, the Constitution states the people are the masters and government representatives are servants of the people. Hence, the people are the boss and must therefore always take their responsibility seriously.
This is why, even in a place like America—always imperfect but overall historically more moral and especially free than most other countries—it creates the saddest state of affairs when decent people choose evil people to lead them.
They choose them because they believe their lies. The people are cheated, but the people actually cheat themselves.
Why? Because a big part of immorality is willful ignorance. Americans knew better but neglected their homework and became a nation filled predominantly with ill-informed voters who chose people to lead them for all the wrong reasons.
And now we are stuck with a few, very few, in very, very powerful positions who no longer listen to voters AT ALL.
And why should they? They know the majority of voters are stupid which can easily be proven by their own elections and appointments.
And they know if they can deceive the American public so easily while merely running for office, they can deceive them that much more easily once they gain office.
Hence, Americans have chosen leaders who have zero respect for them and treat them exactly as they feel they should be treated according to their evil inclinations and attitudes.
This makes them maniacs.
Americans should be ashamed.
Things are backwards and upside down.
Americans should do what is required to right the course and regain control.
It begins with repentance and getting right with God.
We have been taken over by Political Pharisees.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Nothing shuts people off from greater truth than religion. The religions most notorious for this diabolical practice are the various forms of Unreal Christianity.
The devil started the practice of preaching disbelief in God and His Word in the very beginning, when he put doubt in the heart of Eve by questioning the legitimacy of God’s true intentions. Indeed, satan’s question to Eve, “Has God Said?” (Genesis 3:1) has been the devil’s mantra ever since.
He flat out lied to a gullible Eve who had professed evil intentions in her heart. Though she knew exactly what God really said, what He taught, and what He commanded, her desire was to explore the limits of sin and visit the very place and the only place God commanded must never be visited. Her desire to explore evil was cleverly disguised as an attempt to become “spiritually aware,” to become authoritative and strong, and even to become like God Himself. She decided she must break out of what she perceived as limitations curtailing her freedom.
I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR.
Though Eve incorrectly perceived herself to be boxed in, a box certainly existed. It was actually Pandora’s Box. And when she opened it, thinking she was opening some great Christmas present that would usher her into a wonderful world of spiritual knowledge and freedom, she discovered that God had never limited her at all, but was trying to protect her. The commandment to never partake of the evil tree was actually God’s protective shield of her soul and life. She had incorrectly believed that God was obstructing her from a higher, better place.
People must be allowed to choose. It is why God never forces anyone’s will. And that is why this world has become an ever-growing, festering, gigantic trash dump and manure pile of sin.
It all resulted from the incorrect actions of Eve, who, though greatly deceived by the devil, made it all possible through her own rebellious and manipulative desire to be like God, on her terms, through pride and because of pride, with no perception whatsoever of the real DOOR.
Religion is not that door. Unreal Christianity is not that door. The purveyors of false religions tell us to do anything and everything other than the only thing and the real thing that will allow us to meet the Lord, and they draw the line and bar the door at that one thing: Real Repentance.
Why is real repentance so important? It is when the Blood of Jesus is applied to the cleansing of one’s soul.
False Christian religions do not preach repentance. If they did, everyone who walked into a service on any given day would hear all about it, every service, in a clear and understanding manner. To hell with people getting saved, set free, and delivered from sin, they say. They refuse to be disciples of the Lord and do what it takes to be used in that way. All they really want is religious power, money, and converts. They want a religious social club. Most preachers/priests/reverends are far too concerned with the things that benefit themselves and their religious enterprises. They are anti-examples.
The example of John the Immerser, however, is a perfect example. The reason he preached far out in the wilderness is because God wanted him to have nothing to do with the established false religions of the Jews.
The Sadducees did not even believe in spiritual practices or the resurrection. They were sold out to this world and were in bed with money, power, and the Roman government, and it benefitted them greatly. They were evil. There are many present examples of large bodies with false mindsets within overall Unreal Christianity who believe and practice exactly as did the Sadducees.
And exactly like still more forms of present Unreal Christianity, the Pharisees thought they were perfect, and believed they were perfectly teaching the real Word of God. The Lord Jesus even implied that they were, except they never practiced it. They made up a plethora of their own unwritten rules and extra-Biblical beliefs, exactly as the many forms of false Christianity later did, and continue to do today. The Lord Jesus said the Pharisees were children of the devil. He would say the same thing about Unreal Christianity.
John had to be set apart from all that diabolical religious nonsense. He had one message—REPENT. He commanded all who came to hear him to repent, to stop sinning, to get right with God, and to break free from corrupt religious practices that did the opposite of what they preached. God chose him as a perfect vessel for the process, “the greatest man ever born of a woman” (Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28).
John was a prophet. He was the last Old Testament prophet. He had the anointing of Elijah. He HAD to be out in the wilderness away from all the corruption of false religion or he would have never achieved his calling. And he did achieve it. He did exactly as the Lord commanded him and did an excellent job.
Where are the John the Immersers of today?
The Lord Jesus also preached the message of repentance, of course. Everywhere He went He commanded repentance as the door to THE DOOR. Eve rejected repentance and chose spiritual and personal pride, which amounted to religious pride. It was the exact thing the Pharisees did. The devil became Eve’s father that day, and Adam, like a complete idiot, not wanting to lose Eve, chose the devil as well.
The apostles all preached repentance. “REPENT” WAS THE VERY FIRST WORD PETER USED WHEN GIVING THE ANSWER ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.
In the vast majority of “Christian” church services, one never hears the word repent. It’s just not a nice thing to say. People will get mad. It would create a hassle. Who needs that? Substitutes and counterfeits are put forth instead. Why do the purveyors of Unreal Christianity do this? Why do they deny to the people the one thing that will begin the process of eliminating their sin and bring them closer to God?
It is for the same reason the Pharisees did what they did. They wanted people to honor them, not God. What a strange twist—John told it exactly right but was out in the middle of nowhere looking and acting and speaking like the complete opposite of a clergyite and got great results. His ministry turned around the heart of an entire nation!
Where are the John the Immersers of today?
AN ALTERNATIVE AGENDA
The majority of “Christian” adherents have closed their minds to God’s reality. Exactly like Eve and the Pharisees, they have desired the opposite of that which God commands. They do it for personal pride and advancement, and standing within this world’s culture. They even ascribe to and mix in as leaven the worldly cultural practices and beliefs of a fallen world in order to gain the benefits of the culture. Their desire is for wealth and power in this world through the practice of their religion, and will listen to nothing that hinders that desire and pursuit.
The fruit of this garbage is all around us. For the most part, “Christianity” is indeed DEAD.
Real Christianity, however, is advancing powerfully.
By refusing to succumb to the devil’s lies and false diabolical doctrines, the disciples of real Christianity understand repentance for the door it is. Their minds are open to the things of God and they do not care about any personal inconvenience or rejection by others. As a result, they have entered THE DOOR and are filled with the Spirit of God, and they have the evidence to prove it, unlike the fakers who claim the same but are deficient of proof.
The Lord is against dead religion that cuts people off from THE TRUTH, especially that of the “Christian” variety. It is up to each of us as individuals to choose correctly and break free from Unreal Christianity, all false doctrines, and fake preachers/priests/reverends, strangers all, who refuse the ministry of repentance from sin, notably religious sin—spiritual pride, the first sin—and obey and follow the Lord Jesus unto LIFE in Him:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:1-10]
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
It makes no sense. Unless one is really into religion.
America remains saturated with dysfunctional churches and non-functioning “pastors,” and 90% of everyone in the pew is completely oblivious to the problem.
The few “Christians” who actually read the Bible, and study it, and do it with an open mind, know that there is a huge ginormous incredible one-end-of-the-Universe-to-the-other disconnect between what the Word of God actually says and what most churches believe and practice.
If one cannot see the devil in this then one is deceived.
Why did the Lord Jesus receive such a hard time from religious people, especially religious leaders? And why do most Christians think the opposite would happen if He visited their own particular church? They really think He would find most of what transpires on refrigerator row perfectly fine and dandy and would respond with several “Good job’s” and handshakes all around. I’m not saying this would not or could not happen. I’m only saying the odds of it happening are astronomical.
For the few Christians who study the Word, they know there was a weird dynamic always playing out in the Old Testament. The Lord would hear the cries and moans and incessant caterwauling of His people because they screwed up yet again, just like they did a million times before, and He would answer their prayers and send them relief in the form of prophets who at great personal risk and possessing an extremely uncomfortable lifestyle would tell the people exactly what they needed to do to fix things.
The people would listen, change their sorry tune, get right with God, and lo and behold good things would start happening! Then they would begin descending into chaos again and the cycle would have to start all over. Oh, and they would, of course, usually kill the prophets. You know, par for the course.
But how do the majority of American churches, ministries, “pastors,” “Christian” television personalities, and any other standard ministry set-up respond to even the slightest corrective voice sent by God as a blessing to fix things?
They show him or her the door. They disfellowship in a heartbeat not because someone is lost in sin and disobedience but because THEY are lost in sin and disobedience. Anyone who is not on board with their unbiblical stuff is seen as an enemy.
What happens as a result is that these “leaders” go that much further off the deep end precisely because they have successfully eliminated the corrective voice of God.
Just in case someone doesn’t know the following, I must state it here for all of us to hopefully get the big idea: GOD WORKS THROUGH PEOPLE.
And you know what else? THE PEOPLE GOD WORKS THROUGH ARE HUMBLE, SELF-EFFACING, AND NON-SPOTLIGHT-ORIENTED.
Just like their Master.
Even though most “Christians” think the Lord Jesus would love their spiritual enterprises if He ever visited, the reality is that most want no part of the Lord Jesus and would never allow Him full authority in their churches, and usually allow Him no authority.
How do we know this? Again, because American “Christians” are largely Biblically illiterate. Why? Because they hire some guy to do all that stuff for them so they can assuage their conscience by going through an hour or two of rote and ritual on Sunday mornings. The problem here is that, since they have little or no spiritual experience or actual Biblical knowledge, they can never serve as a check against whoever they allow in the pulpit. How do they know the dude is right?
(Other than that he explicitly obeys their denominational beliefs and does everything the same exact way the Episcobapterians and Universal churchites did it a million years ago because religious spirits must be appeased.)
This is why the vast majority of churches would NEVER allow the Lord Jesus absolute full authority if He ever visited.
News flash: The Lord Jesus is still here in the form of His Holy Spirit but has already long since been proven unwanted by most churches simply because what most “Christians” do looks nothing whatsoever like what He and His disciples did.
And whenever someone brings this up he or she gets the cold shoulder, the gossip, the bad looks, and the silent treatment.
Of course, most “Christians” think all that is deserved because the people in question are idiots and are deserving of disfellowship.
They believe this because they simply cannot make the connection to the disfellowship the Lord Jesus suffered, and He suffered disfellowship more than any man in history, and still suffers disfellowship to this day.
The same with His original disciples. And the early community of believers. And the underground church in China that is currently blowing the doors off to the tune of millions and millions even though they still suffer great persecution. Those people won’t stop until they fix the whole country! All this while America continues going downhill fast because higher-ups have made a deal with the devil and the majority looks the other way.
Quick question: Have you ever noticed that Great Awakenings and great persecution always go together, and that if there is no persecution it is an obvious sign of dead Christianity?
And have you noticed how it follows then that the one’s being persecuted in churches are being persecuted simply because they are pointing out this deadness and lack of familiarity with the Lord’s ministry and teachings?
Kind of exactly like the Old Testament prophets.
Well, the Lord Jesus was and remains the greatest of all prophets and He got the same thing they got and to a much greater degree.
When’s the last time you saw an American “pastor” dragged out of His church and executed? No? Okay then, how about something less? No? Of course, real shepherds are victims of persecution but such guys are few and far between and you probably don’t hear much about them.
Maybe because they are obscure and non-flashy and don’t particularly care for religious titles and clergyesque appearances and spiritual circlespeak.
You know, kind of like the Lord?
Most “pastors” call the cops and use lawyers to protect themselves and depend on their bodyguards and private surveillance personnel, and are willing to sue at the drop of a hat to protect their image and enterprise and as a result ARE ALSO PROTECTED FROM GOD.
God cannot get to them in any loving and understanding way because these people bar the door against anyone or anything they see as potential enemies.
As a result of their self-imposed and bought-with-good-money security shield they cut themselves off from God’s corrective voice and by their own doing build their own giant and slippery slide into the heart of hell. They have it great in the here and now but unless they repent will suffer in the long term.
Worse than that, however, is all the people they will take with them. But their followers have no excuse because none of them speak any corrective to the gross dysfunction, partly because they know what happened to those who did.
This is why the majority of American Christianity is hopelessly dysfunctional.
It refuses correction.
This is the opposite of repentance.
IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN PURE UNADULTERATED SPIRITUAL PRIDE.
Real Christians, however, know all about repentance. They’ve hit the deck more than a million lousy boxers. THEY KNOW THAT HUMILITY IS A DOOR INTO GREAT SPIRITUAL SUCCESS. They have taken the cue from their Master who taught them how bewitching religious pride is, the worst of all forms of pride, and they know they are merely a hop, skip, and jump from ending up deceived and requisitely hell bound.
If one wants sin to take root and grow like muck in a swamp as ancient Israel did so many times, all one must do is murder God’s humble unpretentious messengers (murder comes in many forms). In this way, dysfunction as usual proceeds accordingly and those in power enjoying all the perks stay in power and also stay in power over their people as they continue to deceive them and take their money.
One last thing: All of the Lord’s spiritual giants spent much, much time all alone with God, usually in a desert, and learned everything they knew directly from Him.
Everyone is responsible for their own walk with God and whoever puts anyone between himself and the Lord Jesus will be deceived and suffer spiritually for it. Honor the message of those God has sent but never, ever honor them above the Lord or even yourself. Otherwise, you can never become a real spiritual giant but will forever remain under their thumb.
We all must mature but we will never mature by submitting to middlemen and imposters.
What follows is some scriptural food for thought on the subject, spoken by a former religion addict who formerly thought murdering those unlike himself was infinitely greater than loving them but got knocked on his butt by a loving God determined to correct the man’s extreme dysfunction.
Once receiving correction, the man received great revelation, and became a spiritual giant. Think about it.
For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me;
But I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:11-17] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The northeast has had an exceptionally snowy winter. And it’s not over yet. Residents have experienced cold and snow way beyond the norm in an ongoing series of repeated winter storms and blizzards blowing in with gale force winds, much of it concentrated on the inner coastal areas of New England.
The city of Boston has set new all-time snowfall records. The area’s snowfall is greatly out of proportion compared to other usually more prolific geographic snowy spots known for large accumulations and relatively high averages. Is all this random?
Boston set a new season snowfall record on Sunday, measured from July 1 to June 30, with just over 9 feet to date. This had never happened before in official recorded history. The city also set by a large margin a new all-time winter record, and destroyed the previous monthly record with 64.9 inches in February, eclipsing the old mark of 43.3 inches set in January of 2005.
The official measurements date back to roughly 1870. Unofficial record-keeping dates to the 1700s. There is no way to know for sure what the actual records are from the time of Boston’s founding, but residents of the Boston greater metropolitan area, which adds up to about 7.6 million people including commuters, have seen the record snowfall firsthand and generally refer to this as the worst winter in memory.
Boston was founded in 1630. It could certainly be the case that the new official records were exceeded in all that time, but comparing the snowfall totals of the last 145 years gives a good indication that the current snowfall has been decidedly extreme. The previous annual record was set two decades ago. The snowfall is increasing at what appears to be an exponential rate with new records being set at shorter intervals.
Adding this to all the other strange weather patterns happening in recent years all across the country tells us something is up. Other records are being broken as well. There is no comparable data for many of these events in recorded history and therefore no portent of what is to come, but it does not look good.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE PILGRIMS
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. [Daniel 2:21-22 KJV] 
In 1620, the English Separatist Christians, also known as the Pilgrims, landed at Plymouth Rock. They were the first English settlers in the region and founded Plymouth Colony, the second colony in America.
These believers had suffered greatly for their faith while in England, and even had to flee to the European continent to escape persecution before coming to America. The Separatists had withdrawn completely from the English state church—the Anglican—many decades before, due to strong beliefs in pure New Covenant teachings. They paid for it severely. Many lost their lives and were imprisoned long before later brethren made it to these shores.
There is confusion regarding the many denominations of the English Reformation of the 1500s, such as the Presbyterians, Puritans, and Separatists, but it was the latter group that the Lord had chosen to get to New England first.
The Puritans were relative latecomers to America and had always insisted on keeping one foot in the official Anglican Church. They proved their lack of resolve by not only succeeding in avoiding much persecution, but also waiting for others to do the heavy lifting and putting forth a strong witness. Once the ocean highway was built by the pioneering Pilgrims they began infiltrating Plymouth Colony and the Boston area in droves.
Thirteen years before the Pilgrim landing, in 1607, it was the Anglicans who began the first English settlement on the American continent, but this was to the south in Jamestown, Virginia. The Jamestown settlement experienced great hardship and was actually abandoned briefly in 1610. It had a purely economic motive rather than the spiritual motive of Plymouth.
Regarding New England, though the Separatists were obviously the group closest to the heart of the New Covenant and the Gospel, they were soon overrun by all the others who later ventured to America. Still, they laid the initial spiritual foundation. The Puritans overlaid the Pilgrim’s foundation with their own, which included an ecclesiastical culture and governance, much legalism, and the aforementioned connection to the hybrid high church Anglican assembly. Nevertheless, there was a strong Christian presence in the New England colonies overall and the Puritans eventually distanced themselves from the Church of England.
THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING
The first American Great Awakening began a century later in late 1734 in Northampton, Massachusetts in a small church community led by Jonathan Edwards. It eventually spread like the proverbial wildfire throughout the northern colonies and later as far south as Georgia. This proved to unite many of the members of the various denominations, though the old school Christians fought the revival tooth and nail. The Awakening proved to be the initial unifying force of the young confederation of colonies that a few decades later rebelled against harsh English rule and won independence in the American Revolution.
It must be noted that the Revolution against the English throne had achieved in the secular what the Separatists had achieved in the Spirit. Both parties made the decision to risk everything and attempt an impossible goal. Both were driven by something otherworldly beyond the natural scope. Without those strong disciples of the Lord a century and a half before the Declaration of Independence was signed—those who were willing to risk it all in bringing the Gospel to a new continent—there would have been no American Revolution, no freedom, and all the blessings of God made possible since.
THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING
The Second American Great Awakening in the early 1800s spread rapidly primarily under the preaching of Charles Finney beginning about 1825. The next ten years were his most active as a revivalist. Again, God’s choice was not conventional. Though a Calvinist, he rejected much of the Old Divinity Calvinism, and preached against strict Predestination, proving that the doctrine of some people being born for heaven and others for hell to be heretical.
Finney caught much flak from his detractors during his ministry. He was a strong advocate of preaching against sin and demanded repentance, exactly as had the Lord Jesus and the early believers. Jonathan Edwards had done the same. Both of these men were humble and unpretentious. Both fought against great odds. Both were seen as odd.
Finney preached thousands of messages in revivals throughout his life and also founded Oberlin College in Ohio. His revivals were primarily located in upper New York state and Manhattan.
The First Great Awakening of Jonathan Edwards’ time had spread throughout New England, New York, and Pennsylvania.
The Separatists Pilgrims had established Plymouth Colony, which at its height covered most of the southeastern part of what is now the state of Massachusetts. This colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.
There is no doubt that great spiritual happenings were a matter of course for the greater New England and northeast region. The people there had been abundantly blessed by God. Later history, however, reveals the unfolding of a spiritual disaster.
What has happened to the great Christian presence in the Northeast? In the region where great revival fires spread and untold numbers of people were saved there is now a general spiritual coldness, distance from God, and a growing hatred of real Christianity. As the record snowfalls of Boston portend, the hearts of millions have grown cold in an ever increasing spiritual snowstorm.
Could the snow records be a sign? Could it be that the record snowfall is a clear indication of the great apostasy of the region?
Boston’s snowfall record goes back to the beginning of official record keeping in about 1870. Charles Grandison Finney died in 1875. Coincidence? How could a place with such a powerful Christian spiritual history become the very opposite at present? What is the cause of the northeastern states’ descent into such a freezing cold spiritual condition?
In looking once again at the impossible journey of the Separatist Pilgrims almost 400 years ago and the great spiritual foundation they set, and also at not one but two powerful Great Awakenings that shook the northeastern part of the country, it should give all believers serious pause over what can happen when people drift away from God. The spiritual temperature in the region is matching the frigid winter lows but remains constant all year long, and has resulted in a relative spiritual ice age.
Keep your seeing eyes peeled. After just witnessing the greatest all-time snowfall upon the exact land claimed for God by the Separatists four centuries ago, there are not only warnings to be heeded but signs to be sighted.
Something tells me the present early stages of the Great Awakening will not be having any breakouts out in Boston.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]
I wrote the following on a friend’s blog recently:
Repentance always precedes individual salvation.
National repentance always precedes national Great Awakenings.
Speaking the real Word of God reveals truth,
Which reveals sin,
Which causes one to see their sin,
Which brings on repentance.
Real Christians must have the courage of their convictions and beliefs and speak forth because preaching, teaching, speaking forth, and writing about the truth begin the entire process.
Otherwise, repentance never happens, people remain spiritually blind, unregenerate, believe lies, are deceived, and die in their sins.
Regarding truth, who else is going to reveal the truth of God’s Word but real Christians?
Since the driving force of every personal salvation or Great Awakening is repentance, two of the main reasons hindering the current Great Awakening in America are:
(1) The very sad fact that mass numbers of Christians in America are guilty of pure idolatry in several forms but mainly because of the ridiculous worship of vain Christian “leaders” past and present rather than worship of the Lord Jesus, and
(2) A complete, utter, total, and stubborn refusal to repent of the many questionable and/or what should be obvious false teachings and beliefs of said “leaders,” as well as the acceptance of historical and current false narratives which serve to put many Christians in bondage, blind them to the truth, and weaken their resolve, which makes them anti-disciples and followers of frauds rather than the Lord.
False doctrine within general Christianity has always been a plague from the very beginning, and we have the apostle Paul’s writings to attest to the fact that false doctrine existed then and would greatly increase:
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. [2Corinthians 11:13-15]
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. [Acts 20:29-30]
IGNORANCE IS BLISS
Americans love their denominations and man-made doctrines which would otherwise be obvious as such but are instead hidden in plain sight. They are hidden because many Christians, on their own respective planets, have become convinced that what they have is the best that can possibly be though it consistently fails to pass the evidence of truth test, and have become satisfied with substitutes and counterfeits and thus weak toward further searching because:
(1) Many Christians have been hoodwinked (brainwashed) into believing things that are not true for the sake of an ulterior agenda by false Christian “leaders,” and
(2) Many Christians do not have the courage to stand up for and speak out on the actual truth of God’s Word for fear of being seen as a deviant among their religious culture and rejected by it, and
(3) Many Christians are invested up to their eyeballs in a false narrative and most fail to acknowledge this or leave their organizations that push false doctrine even after they know or suspect it is false doctrine, because to leave or acknowledge the false doctrine or confront their false “leaders” would cause them to lose their entire investment in the enterprise which many people have spent a lifetime establishing.
This is why those who are most invested are those who are least likely to repent and get right with God, which is exactly why the Lord said prostitutes and tax-collectors would get into His kingdom long before any clergyites or their followers.
Until the hindering and obstructing “Christians” in this country have the guts to admit they are wrong about so many false beliefs created by unspiritual false “leaders” whom they follow instead of the Lord Jesus and their resultant watering-down and making of no effect the Word of God, their stubborn lack of repentance will slow, hinder, and restrict the Great Awakening process until they finally surrender to the truth or quit on God (“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot…”).
But since the Great Awakening has already begun, it is also the fact that a very powerful and strong conviction is presently in the works for the sins of “Christian” idolatry, laziness, lack of discipleship, worldliness, being sold out to the serving of mammon, a refusal to preach the truth, fearing for one’s social, cultural, family, or church standing, looking out for number one, and an overall dissing of the Lord Jesus, His teachings, and the full truth He longs to bring forth.
My warning to all who claim to be Christians living in America at present is—JUDGMENT BEGINS WITH THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? [1Peter 4:17-18]
We are past the point of the Lord being patient with fence-sitting clergy-following “Christians” to any further degree. He has great plans and is determined to make them happen. The pressure to conform to His truth is ramping up. It is time to choose sides. That which is hindering is being exposed.
But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” [Ephesians 5:13-14]
Repentance is the only answer and will serve as the only form of relief.
And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’
“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’
“I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 18:9-14] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
People blame God for a lot of things though He is never to blame for anything. Some blame Him for everything. But we certainly cannot blame Him for not warning us.
We are living in a time characterized on many fronts as the quick approach of a point of no return. Correction is no longer merely suggested but demanded. The actions of rebellious sinful humanity on this planet can no longer be sustained. Sinful people have gotten away with so much sin for so long it remains incredible that the Lord has not yet brought great judgment to some.
ABORTION—THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (IN THE NATION)
As I’ve said many times before, one can gauge the incredible sin content in America by merely taking a look at abortion statistics. The heart of America as a country has grown so cold and so weak that only a relative handful of folks acknowledge the incredible evil regarding over 50 million innocent lives murdered in cold blood with no refrain and little remorse.
The vast majority of those in elected or appointed office in Washington DC—the people with all the power—never does anything about ending abortion on demand and haven’t in 42 years. A few talk about it but that’s as far as it gets. And the people who elect them obviously don’t care because they keep electing them.
The vast majority of “Christians” don’t care either. And rather than get the required number doing the right thing to fix this incredible evil, many Christians spend their quality time instead doing things like wondering if they should vote for pro-abortion candidates who mean business and keep the killing going, or voting for liars—those who merely talk but never do and are just as complicit in the evil.
The Lord may say at the judgment, “Why did you keep voting for baby killers?”
Abortion not only kills innocent lives, it panders to the raw lust of people who can’t control themselves and use abortion as their main method of contraception. It creates dark selfish hearts with righteous exteriors, and as such people gain the majority, they exhibit less resistance toward applying the necessary corrective.
The point here is that any nation who routinely kills its innocents in vast quantities with no remorse is worse—WAY WORSE—than the pure evil of mass murderers like Mao (40 million), Stalin (30 million), and Hitler (untold millions).
And the people of such a nation will keep not correcting a very clear gigantic obvious wrong because they simply do not see the problem in it, will not do what it takes to fix it, or are benefitting from it.
Think about that. The babies cannot defend themselves in any way and the babies’ defenders are seen by the majority as deviant idiots. The babies are classified as non-persons and thus have no rights. These multiple murders are NEVER broadcast on the news which results in an “out of sight out of mind” scenario. The majority in America prefers this head-in-the-sand status quo and unless proper change is affected in this society by the comparative few the whole thing will continue on until seconds before going completely off the cliff.
Many people know better but are emboldened in their sin because there is no current reaction to their illicit action.
It is always a matter of time for things to get sorted out. Payment will always be made. It is a sad thing, therefore, to see people allowing themselves to be lifted up in pride and taking on a bulletproof attitude. They incorrectly discern that nothing bad will ever happen to them as a result of their sin since nothing bad has happened to them so far. The only reason they appear to be bulletproof, though, is simply because there are no karma blowback bullets heading in their direction.
History tells us what always happens.
But beyond that, and much more importantly, God always warns us what will happen if we take the wrong road.
THE ANSWER ACCORDING TO EZEKIEL
The following passage from the prophet Ezekiel, who lived in the sixth century BC, teaches us that some things never change. The Lord used this man and spoke through him not only to warn His people of what will happen to them because of their wicked actions, but also to differentiate between right and wrong, and reveal that blessings will follow righteousness.
He warned His people as a way to correct them and get them on the right road. The last thing God wants to do is bring judgment. He is loving, kind, and extremely patient.
Read the following carefully. It contains much truth and many answers that can be applied to our present situation:
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
“Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman,
and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,
then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.
‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.
‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’
“Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.
“When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.
“But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.
“Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have spoken, saying, “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?”’
“Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’
“And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, ‘The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’
“When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die.
“But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness,
if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
“None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live.
“Yet your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right.
“When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he shall die in it.
“But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them.
“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.” [Ezekiel 33:1-20]
SEEK, AND YE SHALL FIND
We are in a sense living in the best of times and the worst of times. Bad things are piling up because of so much sin and rebellion. All of this stuff will have to be paid for. Judgment has come and must continue, and more is certainly on the way.
But at the same time many millions of real Christians in America are doing the right thing and blessings follow them. They have favor with God. They are blessed with grace. They love the Lord Jesus and obey Him. It does not mean that God spoils them or indulges them, but that He loves them, protects them, and strengthens them
If you find yourself in a place where you feel you just don’t have the strength or the faith to get beyond not so pleasant circumstances even though you have tried and continue trying, it does not necessarily mean you cannot. It could be a timing issue. It could be that you are making progress but you don’t see it or are not satisfied with the progress you have made.
Be strong. Seek the Lord. Stand in faith. Continue to pray. You will either successfully climb over the mountain, journey around the mountain, or possibly tunnel right through the mountain. All of this takes much effort and time. It might take a while. But one thing is always true:
So He told them this parable, saying,
“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’
“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [Luke 15:3-10] 
Notice that finding the lost sheep and the lost coin took effort. It took unending effort until the discovery was made. The operative phrase from the preceding passage is “until he/she finds it.”
The effort must be extended until the objective is achieved.
It begins with repentance.
It ends in great JOY.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24]
Real Christians, like their Lord, always end up getting crucified. Let Him explain:
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12]
According to these difficult teachings of the Lord, the following are the real credentials of real believers:
(1) Real Christians will be persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
(2) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be insulted.
(3) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be persecuted.
(4) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be falsely accused of all kinds of evil.
The Lord then taught that real believers are not to strike back in kind, but take the shots that come their way.
This means that when one is insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused for being a real Christian, one is to take the insults, persecution, and false accusations without returning insults, persecution, and false accusations in kind. One must not throw another log on the fire, thus escalating the war of words, but pour water on it instead.
This is certainly a form of crucifixion.
Keep in mind that the Lord was even being insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused while He hung on the cross:
THE MATTHEW ACCOUNT:
And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. [Matthew 27:39-44]
THE LUKE ACCOUNT:
And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”
The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”
But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” [Luke 23:35-41]
And there’s the point.
If the Lord took all of that abuse while hanging on a rough wooden cross with spike nails in His hands and feet and suffering excruciating pain most of us will never know and still managed to say, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), then it is certainly possible to obey His teachings regarding insults and false accusations.
LIKE ONE FROM WHOM MEN HIDE THEIR FACE
We must know that He was insulted repeatedly all the live long day throughout His entire life and especially during His ministry. He had ample reason to strike back in kind but never did, not even from the cross.
Did He have the ability? Most certainly. Could He have climbed down off the cross? Without doubt. Could He have whipped any of those accusing pansies in a fist fight? I have no doubt He could have.
But He didn’t. And it takes a MUCH bigger man to take abuse without returning it. He took it all and never struck back because He had a MUCH higher goal than simply winning stupid arguments or defending one’s “honor” or reputation:
He wanted to ransom the souls of humanity.
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:44-48]
The Lord Jesus not only taught this truth, He lived it. And He commanded all of His followers to do exactly the same.
Yet, “Christians” are some of the most easily offended people on the planet. It does not take much for certain “Christians” to become extremely angry. There are those who insist they are Christians but are as judgmental and condemning as the day is long. Some will betray another in a heartbeat.
For many of these there is simply no impulse control whatsoever. The devil can play them like a drum whenever he feels like it. They are ready to fight in a split second. What is more, such people are proud of their desire and ability to insult and accuse in kind, not knowing or apparently caring that they are doing the devil’s work, especially if they engage in the inevitable maiming and murdering that results from being offended.
Others may exhibit great impulse control and give forth the appearance of godliness. That is, until they feel slighted in some way and then all hell breaks loose. As long as they are never challenged there is no reaction, though many such perceived “challenges” are never personal and have no bad intent.
They may think they are defending the truth, but they are actually egregiously violating the Lord’s commands, especially the love commandment.
But for the real Christian, when one is insulted and falsely accused, often by other Christians of course, one does not strike back in kind though one may certainly want to, and though one may certainly do so very effectively.
Instead, one must allow himself or herself to be crucified.
It is the picture of a crazed little runt poking a giant hibernating grizzly bear with a stick and continuing to do so since he is getting away with it. In time he grows ever more bold. But the day will come when the bear will wake up. At that point the little man better have an exit plan.
All those who rejected and insulted and made fun of the Messiah when He came found out forty years later that crucifying Him actually meant they were destroying themselves, and the same thing eventually happens to all who persecute the Lord’s children. It’s what happens when the cure is rejected.
Better to judge ourselves than judge others:
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? [2 Corinthians 13:5]
Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
For there is no partiality with God. [Romans 2:1-11]
“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” [John 12:47] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
EXCERPT FROM PART 4:
“Proper sacrifice was the answer. Repentance is the first part of the equation. The circumcision of the heart is at the heart of the New Testament. The preaching of the cross is core, foundational, at the nucleus thereof, and points directly to what salvation entails. Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness… [Hebrews 9:22]”
Link to Part 4:
EXCERPT FROM PART 3:
“In Part 2 we learned that Jerusalem was not prepared for the manifest presence of God, any more than many Christian congregations and groups in America are ready. David’s original plan was well-intentioned but not even close to the Lord’s protocol. It seems that in our many and varied attempts to do something for God, we fail to inquire of God, either whether we should do a particular thing, or regarding the method we employ in doing it…”
Link to Part 3:
A common, timeless, under-the-radar, and for the most part unspoken catch phrase often threatens emergence from larynx’s everywhere in response to a single catalyst—rising up and forming as a thin film on the edges of tongues and lips and threatening to bubble and babble forth at any given time.
It reveals clearly and unmistakably the thinking and makeup of those confronted with and easily irked and tested by Truth:
“Don’t confuse me with facts!”
The majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians of one form or another are particularly notorious for this expression and the misguided thought behind it, as are they guilty of grossly and adamantly violating the Golden Rule whenever their beliefs are revealed as false or incomplete.
This denotes two things: (1) It denotes religious pride that should not be there because religious pride cannot survive the crucifying of the flesh; and (2) It denotes a lack of love for the Truth which all real Christians readily embrace regardless of what it costs them personally.
Unreal Christians are also notorious for passing personal conviction off onto others (“You talkin’ to me!?”). Anger begins to boil slowly and can become a seething cauldron if not held in check for fear of confrontation, though sometimes ironically because they wish to obey the Golden Rule. Go figure.
It must be remembered, though, that innocent real Christians throughout the last 2000 years have had no desire to elicit such anger, and this includes the Founder Himself. He never tried to anger people on purpose, as far as I can tell, simply for the sake of making them angry. Yet, His preaching drew huge amounts of anger and vitriol, meaning of course, that the problem was without question in the ears and minds of the listeners.
Now, it is certainly true that many so-called Christians have no problem provoking others for all the wrong reasons. It is not that difficult to get people into a thick lather regarding their beliefs if that is the goal.
But that was not the Lord’s goal. Nor was it the goal of the early believers who turned the world upside down.
Their goal was to preach the Truth that sets people free from the power of sin, and break them free from the clutches of evil and the evil one, that they might possess and live in the abundant life and freedom of the Lord.
But that which became one person’s freedom became another’s reason to fight. Why? Because the Lord and His disciples preached the Truth. And the Truth often hurts. Especially when it reveals false beliefs.
Nevertheless, then and now, the majority would apparently rather stick to their false beliefs, though such may be couched in warm, traditional, family-oriented, culturally-derived, and religiously-dependent benchmarks, including, and somewhat especially, those of the Unreal Christianity variety.
Rest assured, if the Lord arrived for the first time among Christian adherents as He did among His own, it would certainly be Christian adherents who would reject Him and crucify Him. And there is an entire plethora of such “Christian” adherents willing to stand up and do the dirty deed. We know this because it is exactly what such are doing at the moment (and have been for centuries) to real Christians worldwide.
Though most Christians insist on church attendance as a mandatory practice, and while some houses of worship are generally good places with good people, churches in general contain some really bad people. Actually, some really vile people. Actually, as did some of the synagogues of the Lord’s time as told in the Gospel accounts, some churches contain demon-possessed people and some of these devil-hosters run the show.
Of course, this always refers only to other churches and never one’s own.
The point here is that if church attendance is mandatory then it is also mandatory that one had better watch one’s backside while in attendance. Many a church member has exited with long-term knife-in-back syndrome that often never heals because they (first) never prepared for such a possibility, (second) still get no sympathy from said members who always blame the victim, and (three) usually never find a way to extract said knife and often are not aware of the cause of their pain.
It is simply a very sad fact that many forms of Christianity had begun or morphed into hateful culture clubs against the full Truth of the Lord, even to the point of making the early Pharisees look like sashaying sissies in sundresses. History books are filled with such tales.
But if one is willing to peel back and lift a corner of the this world’s present false overlay and take a peek at spiritual reality, one would see it happening right now as well, and in many cases just as bad if not worse than ever.
Christian persecution is rising because it always rises as Light grows brighter and God’s people become bolder in preaching the Truth. And it is not God’s fault that a person must often become a slobbering mess of repentance to gain salvation (something prideful people abhor), in order to make a strong and clean break from sin and deception.
Let us always remember that illicit agendas are universal and that such agendas exist only at the expense of Truth, which allows one to see and understand why concealing evidence that conflicts with Truth is tantamount to the devil’s and this faux world’s survival.
Rejecting facts that challenge beliefs thus becomes a life and death issue for those who built and invested their lives on shifting-sand foundations and the bare ground of dartboard-derived locations. Though their house is destined to fall they never see such nor acknowledge such and fight anyone who thinks or says otherwise.
Pre-conceived notions and belief in false premises and data thus drive a man to protect said data, and many will stop at nothing to rewrite entire books of truth in order to alleviate it and prop up their own false version of events.
Deception is the name of the enemy’s game—that is, the enemies of the Lord Jesus and real believers—and every effort must be made to get out of it if one is in it, and resist it once one is free. Otherwise, the Truth is impossible to behold and hold and one will end up crucifying the very thing and the very One who can set them loose.
So, rather than professing and embracing in one’s heart such inane statements as, “Don’t confuse me with facts!”, let us all take a good hard look at our particular beliefs and see just how closely they line up with the Lord’s teachings. Test everything you believe against the Lord’s curriculum and commandments. An excellent starting point is the Golden Rule. He commanded us to love one another as ourselves and to treat others they way we want to be treated.
Better to resolve the issue now before it’s too late. Better to become a slobbering mess of repentance in the here and now rather than a slobbering mess of regret at the Judgment, when the eternal fate of our souls is decided upon based upon our own obedience or disobedience toward God and actions toward our fellow man during our sojourn breathing air.
After physical death, the blood of Jesus can no longer be applied and cannot cleanse. One’s eternal fate has been sealed.
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.
“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?
“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.
“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [Matthew 25:31-46] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. [Philippians 2:12-13]
Grace is free. Salvation will cost you everything.
There remains much confusion among Christians about what exactly happened when the Lord Jesus went to the cross.
Most Christians have never gone to the cross, would never go to the cross, do not see the need for going to the cross, and sadly, will never relate to the experience.
There is this ill-begotten attitude that the Lord did it all to the point that they must do nothing. There is this completely false idea that a Christian can simply skate through life absolutely, completely, wholeheartedly, and fully assured that he is saved regardless of anything he may do or not do, as if salvation is simply a matter of a one-time mental assent or clueless “Yeah, put me down for that,” while they go about their already unrepentant lives thoroughly grounded in this world.
Some denominations and Christian faux gospels are worse offenders than others. Some denominations do not even pretend to follow the Lord’s teachings on the matter but make salvation contingent upon belonging to the proper club—their club—and strictly adhering to their own church teachings which clash with the Lord’s, and compete with the Lord’s, and end up sending people to hell for believing what is false and doing things that have zero spiritual value.
One would think, that among all Christian things they may want to get right, it would be salvation.
But the majority of “Christians” insist on dissing the Lord, refuse to follow His example and teachings, and would never crucify their own flesh and/or leave their fake groups and denounce their false gospels even if their eternal salvation depended on it.
And it does.
The Lord thought this entire attitude was beyond curious. One would one rather save face than get saved? Why do so many Christians desire remaining cold, unenlightened, and uncrucified rather than obey the Lord’s commands?
How can the resultant suffering and rejection real Christians face in this world compare to losing one’s soul for all eternity?
Makes no sense.
But then again, it does, if one has accepted a false prophet or a false teaching, and such things abound.
There are obviously many more false gospels today than there were in the early days of that first Christian community, though false gospels began from the beginning.
Paul did not pull any punches regarding these evil teachings and made his thoughts quite clear:
I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2Corinthians 11:1-4]
Could it be that bearing a false gospel or a false prophet or the false beliefs of a false denomination is easier than bearing one’s cross? And could it be that it always boils down to this same issue—the offense of the cross?
In Galatians 5:11 Paul refers to this “offence of the cross” (KJV), though it is translated differently in different versions. The following are a few examples:
1) Shame of the cross (Bible is Basic English)
2) Scandal of the cross (Darby Bible)
3) Stumbling block of the cross (New American Standard Bible)
4) Obstacle of the cross (New Jerusalem Bible)
It is obvious that there is something revolting about the cross, especially when an individual Christian must apply it to himself. It follows that Christians will do anything and everything to avoid the cross, which makes them easy fodder for false gospels.
Why do we think it was okay for the Lord to get crucified but not at all okay for us to do likewise?
Why do we think our own personal crucifixion is somehow not necessary though the Lord’s was?
Why do we think we can simply reject all those things the Lord taught about crucifying our flesh, and taking up our cross, and denying ourselves for His sake and the gospel?
Is it not the height of selfishness and pride that the majority of “Christians” applaud the Lord’s trip to Calvary but would never go there themselves?
And then believe they don’t need to?
Why can’t such unreal Christians see that such teaching arose from the devil himself?
Yes, of course, grace is free. It cost the Lord Jesus everything, but for us it’s all free. We can do nothing to add to it by anything we could ever do.
What a crock.
Have any of the proponents of this stuff ever heard of the concept of application? How about being yoked together with the Lord? How about the disciples not being above their Master, and partaking of the same offense, shame, scandal, stumbling block, and obstacle the Lord did on our behalf? Should not all real Christians do the same on His behalf?
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:31-38] 
The fact of the matter is that the real disciples of that time suffered the same things the Lord suffered. They were in fact called to share in His sufferings. They were called to stand up for and preach the ONE AND ONLY REAL GOSPEL. They knew it would cost them but did it anyway. Rather than shun it like so many Christians choose to do, they embraced the cross.
And though grace is certainly free, it cost them everything.
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The ministry of John the Immerser was to prepare the way for the ministry of Messiah.
Part of the preparation was preparing hearts.
Part of it was to prepare the spiritual eyes and ears of the people who possessed them, though all were most likely affected by the general blindness of the nation at that time.
“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
“In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” [Matthew 13:13-16]
One may wonder why most of the people could not see and hear, and why only a few did. The above passage reveals the answer:
“The heart of this people has become dull.”
The word “dull” is translated from the Greek word pachuno, which is translated into English as “to make thick, to make fat,” and metaphorically, “to make stupid (rendering the soul dull or callous).”
The Hebrew word from the Isaiah passage regarding this sad heart adjective is shaman, and means, “to be fat, make fat, grow fat, or become fat; to show fatness.”
It is variously translated as fat, dull, gross, sluggish, and insensitive, the latter of which appears to be the modern PC definition, which segues from identifying Christians who can’t understand squat no matter how hard one may try to fix their sub-Forrest Gump spiritual IQ with words right on target but extremely offensive—to a nice word which renders such individuals as merely somewhat out of touch with God with no harm done to one’s religious or church social status (or preaching credentials).
The Lord, however, pulled no punches, as did prophets before Him. For whoever may care, it is extremely serious to claim to be a Christian without knowing or wanting God. Just as the Lord said that blind people leading blind people will result in multiple AAA calls to rescue from ditches, so is it the case when preachers with fat hearts lead people with fat hearts. The whole congregation, church building and all, falls into a proverbial ditch, lists to one side, and remains there as a spiritual testament to fat hearts out of touch with God everywhere, while attendance continues by people who make downward adjustments and learn to walk on a slant.
These people cannot see or hear, though they have eyes and ears, and cannot understand, though possessing a mind. It must be noted that their blindness and deafness is, quite strangely, willing. They have closed their eyes and ears by choice. They have also closed their minds. They have willingly chosen to become spiritual dullards with heavy eyelids, sound-deadening headphones, and minds the Lord could not squeeze truth into with the assistance of compressed air or pneumatic tools. Imagine an entire nation of people like this before John the Immerser appeared, topped off with fat-hearted religious leaders who wouldn’t know God if he became a Man and looked them in the face.
It is often the case that our brains are less than lightening fast, but we enjoy those moments when trying to grab hold of something intellectually difficult and actually succeeding, and having a happy “Aha” moment when the tumblers all come together in the correct order and we finally “get it.” Christians with fat hearts never get it, so they build mathematical and verbal formulas they do get, such 1+1=2 (I think) and c-a-t, and then proceed to build their entire religious super structure around such kindergarten principles and easy to understand concepts, thus dumbing-down future generations within that particular Christian culture if said foundational and structural concepts become fully accepted and remain.
This is exactly what the nation of Israel did. The Hebrew prophets, who could see, hear, and understand extremely well (and paid the price for it—both in getting there and staying there), and had the spiritual equivalent of world-class athlete’s hearts, lean and strong with no blockages or cholesterol problems but expressing the epitome of perfect working order with all chambers, valves, and parts pumping and opening and closing like that well-oiled machine we hear so much about with the express result of KNOWING God first and speaking forth His Word second, that all could hear from the Lord On High and thus subvert the devil’s deadening process on the understanding of sinful human beings racked with the ongoing consequence of spiritual disease.
Don’t blame the prophet for having a heart for God,
And for being strong and anointed and doing his job.
The prophets were the cure for blindness and deafness among God’s people, but when the Hebrew priests finally succeeded in killing them off, finishing the job started by the Hebrew kings, principally Solomon, Mr. Fat Heart himself, and took over—priests who had no prophetic abilities and did not know God—the cure ceased to exist for four centuries and the anti-cure did anti-work on the hearts of the people.
Therefore, the nation of Israel did not just become spiritually stupid as by some generational downward drift due to laziness or whatever, but by and through the leading and teaching of those who had no business leading and teaching and were never called by God for that service.
The Pharisees were the later evolutionary product of those Hebrew priests and the very blind men leading the blind people they created that the Lord Jesus was talking about.
Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”
But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:12-14]
The same, exact, and what should be obvious parallel is playing out today, in that so many Christians over so many decades and even centuries have been led around by the blind though they neither realize nor acknowledge they are blind and refuse to admit their ears simply do not work and their hearts look like a giant sack of potatoes rolling down a hill.
The Greatest Prophet is the cure but the cure is deemed too strong, too powerful, too mean even, and completely inappropriate for our traditional Christian comfort levels and far too much to deal with when one is thoroughly ensconced in a fleshly anti-world of illusion and preoccupied with pride and money and uncrucified flesh and religious standing and social cred that would all and must all dissolve in an encounter with the King—Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1).
The Lord did not mince words in the Matthew 13 passage and expressed perfectly and clearly the fate of the dull at heart.
One can almost hear the prophet Nancy singing, with the end notes heading down the stairs,
These hearts are made for burning
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these hearts
Are gonna burn all over (Gehenna)…
Why did John the Immerser say the following to the nation of Israel?
“You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Luke 3:7-9]
Fat hearts cannot produce good fruit.
Good fruit results from the process of repentance.
Repentance allows for closeness to God.
Closeness to God creates lean, athletic, and pure hearts.
Pure hearts break the power of the Delusion Illusion.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]