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REAL CHRISTIANITY DEMANDS IMPOSSIBLE VICTORIES: RISING TO THE CHALLENGE IN 2018

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       Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19]

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         We call it the Church. This word is from the Greek word Ekklesia. The Hebrew word is Qahal. It refers to the entire worldwide congregation of the Lord Jesus. Relationally, it is a spiritual community composed of all believers working together. It was known in the beginning as “The Community of the Called-Out Ones.” It has never referred to a single denomination though some have appropriated the title.

         The Church is not a building. Though we call them “churches” today that was not the case in the beginning. In fact, there were no official church buildings for THREE CENTURIES. The early believers met almost exclusively in private homes. They did not “go to church” in order to “have church.” Real Christians ARE the Church.

         The best chance the enemy had at destroying the Church was destroying the Lord. If God’s enemies could manage to kill Him before He did any more damage to their kingdom they would succeed at eliminating the possibility of the Lord’s movement reaching the powerful spiritual level it was blessed with at Pentecost. The devil knew he could never allow that to happen or he would lose it all.

         So the Lord had to be destroyed. They tried it several times, even at the beginning of His ministry at Nazareth, but continued to be woefully unsuccessful. No matter how hard they tried they couldn’t get Him.

          They claimed He was a liar, a false prophet, and certainly a false messiah. They said He was demon-possessed. They insisted He was crazy, something even His own family considered. They also said He was a drunk and a glutton. Imagine that. After a forty-day fast? Those idiots did everything they possibly could do destroy Him and His reputation. They attempted to destroy His good Name. Many were convinced by their lies.

       But those who felt compelled to believe in Him were never convinced by such falsehoods. They knew all of these false pronouncements were lies. They knew the Lord’s enemies must lie about Him and slander Him in an attempt to destroy Him so they could save their own lives and their own reputations. They had previously succeeded in convincing almost everybody that they were right, that they were legitimate, that they were in religious control legally and by divine right. This meant the entire temple complex. It meant every synagogue. The bad guys had taken control of the entire operation.

        “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]

          They dressed very well for the part. They did anything they could to look like holy men, to look like men separated out by God for His purposes, and claimed exclusive religious authority over the people. They created a higher caste in which they deemed themselves the only worthwhile members. They relegated everyone else—the 99%—to the lowest of the low and thereby created another class, one of voiceless nobodies with no authority, and denied them a proper spiritual education, allowing them to be taught only the false doctrines and dogmas of their exclusive club. Whoever dissented was made to pay. They even violated the Law of Moses by creating their own unwritten interpretation that eventually gained more prominence than the Law itself.

        “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:23-28]

        When the time came for the Lord to lay down His life and fulfill His calling as the Sacrifice Lamb to buy back our freedom and rescue us from sin and death, His enemies pounced. They worked very hard for that opportunity. They could hardly believe their good fortune. They had lied about Him repeatedly and did everything they could and it finally paid off. All of their filth and innuendo and slimy lies and slander and libel finally came to fruition.

        When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” [Matthew 27:24-25]

         After the Lord had already been beaten up to an inch of His life and was hanging on the cross those people still were not through. They had to keep pounding away verbally to get in as many shots as they could before He died.

         Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him. [Mark 15:29-32]

         We all know the rest of the story. The Lord died. They killed Him. They released as much of their hate and vitriol as they could. For almost three days the Lord’s reputation was completely destroyed. He was just one more false prophet who met His fate. All the great things He had done in His ministry were largely forgotten. Even His own close disciples huddled in fear, knowing they could very well be next. There was no solution for this incredible miscarriage of justice. All was lost.

         Then the Lord Jesus did the impossible. HE ACTUALLY RAISED HIMSELF FROM THE DEAD JUST LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD.

          They did indeed destroy the Temple. The enemies of the Lord were exulting in their great success. They had eliminated the threat to their wicked and despicable kingdom. And yet, forty years later they were the ones who were destroyed forever.

        “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:43-44]

         And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.” [Luke 21:5-6]

         Though they killed the Lord and killed a great many of His followers in the first major persecution wave of the early Church, He didn’t stay dead and all of His followers gained eternal life. But Jerusalem was destroyed. The temple was destroyed. Those evil people were all put out of business. And every single one of the Lord’s people thrived. No matter what anyone tried to do to them they kept going. They kept preaching. They kept teaching. They kept loving. They often suffered greatly but then just got right back up again and kept on going. They would never stop unless they were killed. Nothing anyone tried worked. If they died they went to heaven. If they stayed alive they kept doing the work of the Lord. They pulled together. They worked together. They loved each other. THEY EVANGELIZED THE ENTIRE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THEN WENT TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.

         The lesson to be learned here is that if you are a real Christian you will certainly have enemies who will hate you and want to take you out. It all depends on the effect you are having upon those enemies. If you are a Christian in love with the world you will be safe, of course, but friendship with the world is enmity with God. Here is an example of the proper attitude of real Christians:

         But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

        They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. [Acts 5:34-42]

        There is a Great Awakening coming to America. Christians are waking up. Many have been bound by religious garbage. But so many of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about. You have been attacked in the past and have been trying to recover ever since. Some of you have suffered greatly and wonder if you will ever regain the fight and spiritual vitality you once possessed. It appears as though the enemy has gained the victory and even that the Lord doesn’t much care. These are all lies. The enemy will get his. Here is my advice:

         Even if you have not suffered so much but know you are not operating at top speed and full strength, you must allow the Lord to raise you back up by raising yourself up. I am not referring to some lame self-help stuff. This is a purely spiritual situation. The Lord has called each of his children to go work in the fields and no one else can do your job. You must take the time right now to begin reevaluating everything and determine to return to full strength in this coming new year. I will close with this:

         Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. [Isaiah 40:28-31]

         The Hebrew word for “wait” in this passage is qavah. It means to not just wait passively but to wait patiently, eagerly, hopefully, and expectantly. It is an active word connoting being filled to the brim in faithful anticipation of what the Lord is going to do, namely, that He will provide NEW STRENGTH and ENERGY and POWER and will overcome all of one’s weariness and tiredness, and by implication even lethargy. Then one will RUN without getting tired and WALK without getting weary. This waiting eagerly for the Lord will allow one to receive strength enough to run a spiritual Ironman Triathlon! So we must not just sit around waiting in a static sense but wait dynamically and actively and with great faith. The waiting itself is waiting in strength which we provide in anticipation of the Lord’s providence of GREAT STRENGTH that only He can provide. It could be that the more we put into the waiting, the greater the Lord’s providence will be!

         Don’t ever forget that real Christianity demands impossible victories. In the Lord’s case they threw everything they had at Him and even killed Him but it did no good. They still lost. They were the biggest losers this world has ever known and so are those who attack the Lord today and His people. Such attackers are losers, and unless they repent they will prove it eternally by losing their souls. Don’t let them stop you, especially those wolves in places of authority dressed like sheep.

         Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to WAIT for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” [Acts 1:4-5] [1]  

          © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


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

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PROPER PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST: A PERFECT SACRIFICE

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         Pentecost required the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. It was the only way He could share His Holy Spirit with us.

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         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] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Easter Idolatry (and Something About a Resurrection) 2016

          Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of “Christians” would rather dispense with any and all work regarding study toward truth, it still boggles the mind at least somewhat that so many can be so fooled so willingly, and be so stubborn in insisting upon the embrace of what should be clear idolatry.

          When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, in whom he had a strong hand in placing in ministry, he stressed upon him the necessity of staying on top of things spiritually. He taught him exactly how the devil liked to muddy the waters and confuse people with false concepts and dumb traditions whose desired effect was the same, in that “Christians” would end up confused and ignorant. Thus, he told him,

          Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

          The enemy of our souls is very crafty in that way, especially when it comes to religious traditions, and none more so than the purely traditional religious holiday of “Easter.”

          The strange combination of fertility symbols—bunny rabbits and chicken eggs—is pure testimony to the fact that traditions can get really weird and should give people an idea of just how weird the devil is and how weird people can get.

          People color, decorate, and hide Easter eggs for later finding every year and no one really knows why they do it. Few really care about this weird combination anymore and refuse to do anything about it, even after the tradition became weird to the point that the Easter Bunny laid the eggs. But when so-called Christians not only accept it en masse but combine it further with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it gives further proof that the minds of religious people are not so different from the minds of drug users.

          It was back in 1966, when a different Timothy, the LSD guru Timothy Leary, first advised his young charges to “Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out.” Leary claimed he got this expression from another man of the times, the expression guru Marshall McLuhan, a man way ahead of his time who also coined other terms such as “the medium is the message.”

          Of course, the devil was aware of this little factoid for a tad while longer than Mr. McLuhan and used it well in every religion he ever created. The idea that the actual message is not at all a message but the delivery system itself is what makes false religions so diabolical.

          It is obviously apparent that the proponents of and believers in false religions do not understand that they have become part of the sinister plot by voluntarily engaging in the stage play—the spiritually meaningless religious participation pageant—that makes them guilty of not only completely missing the real message but making the medium the message.

         What is this medium? And what is it specifically when it comes to false forms of Christianity? As I explain in defining a real Christian, I will also explain by defining Unreal Christianity:

          A real Christian is anyone whose spirit becomes fused with the Spirit of God:

          But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [1Corinthians 6:17]

          Every real Christian follows and obeys the Lord Jesus as His Master, Lord, Shepherd, and Teacher.

          Therefore, Unreal Christianity is composed of all other “Christians” of varying stripes who merely claim the name without fulfilling the above requirements. As a result, Unreal Christians are obsessed with the medium, the expression, the pageant, the stage production, the repeat-after-me rote repetitions, the formal geographic gatherings, and the religious routine.

          This cannot help but make them part of an idolatrous practice, though benign in appearance, in that they worship the higher Christian class with all the brass and the shallow and meaningless routine of religion.

          This is actually no different whatsoever from the incredible influence Timothy Leary gained over hundreds of thousands who obeyed his pronouncements and actually did turn on, tune in, and drop out. Religious “Christians,” however, had already been doing that very thing for centuries. Untold millions remain turned-on to surreal counterfeits of the Lord’s original, tuned-in to the religious gurus thereof, and have effectively dropped-out, by their own choosing, of the Lord’s real community.

          It is for this reason that we still have this false idea of a large rabbit laying Easter eggs and why no kid in America sees anything aberrant about it, and also why grown up “Christians” see nothing aberrant about mixing this weird stuff with the Lord’s resurrection.

“EASTER SUNDAY”

          “Churches” all over America will not be celebrating the day of the Lord’s Resurrection Sunday but will instead be celebrating “Easter.” Some will celebrate “Resurrection Sunday.” This is good terminology though the majority has fought its acceptance now to the point that few ever try to use it as before. No, Easter is the overwhelmingly insisted-upon approved term for this day, for without it there is no pageant, and without the pageant there is no medium, and without the medium there is nothing, since there is no actual message beyond the medium.

          Though only a few care, the origin of this term should nevertheless be looked into.

          Longtime readers of this blog know that there is much to gained from the Lord’s actual calendar. I have written extensively on the topic. Our current Gregorian Calendar is worthless from a celestial viewpoint since its months and years have nothing to do with the actual movements of the sun and moon. From where did it originate? It actually originated from the same people who gave us the “Easter Holiday” (Latin: Pascha)—Both were invented by the Roman Catholic Church.

          With all the other changes from truth 17 centuries ago, this was yet another. In creating his new hybrid syncretic religion, Constantine I simply appropriated a very well known and practiced springtime pagan festival that had been around for many centuries in many cultures for his own purposes.

          It was the consistent modus operandi of the Catholic religion to appropriate local customs of religiously subjugated people, change the names of said customs but keep the dates and culturally significant aspects, and then adopt them as official. In this way the people still had all their pagan holidays, though renamed. They were forced to adopt the Catholic religion and honor its magistrates, but otherwise felt comfortable by maintaining their pagan religious traditions.

          It was a perfect compromise. The Catholic Church, like the Roman Empire, subjugated cultures through religious force, whereas Rome had previously done the same through military force. Rome never cared about what anyone believed in detail or what they practiced. All they cared about was that the people they subjugated and enslaved honored the Roman emperor as God, obeyed Roman laws, and paid all tributes and taxes. The Catholic Church did the same: The Pope must be honored as Supreme Pontiff and Vicar (substitute) of Christ, all Roman Catholic religious practices must be honored, and all tribute must be paid.

          None of this, of course, had anything to do with the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus or worship of Him. It was all about religious control. And this is the origin of a pagan festival with “Christianity.”

          Easter was the Anglo-Saxon name of an ancient pagan goddess of fertility who was worshipped in the spring of the year and was also related to the sunrise, like many various sun gods of the ancient world. The pagan festival had a common origin and purpose, though many later cultures had various names for it. The exact term is traced from the Middle English estre, from the Old English eastre. Going further back in time, eastre is related to a common female goddess known to all ancient cultures by different names.

          The Lord Jesus and the original community of believers never practiced such a pagan holiday or any other, and all calendar events were based on the Hebrew lunar-solar calendar. The Lord was actually crucified on a Thursday, on the Hebrew date of Nisan 14, and rose again on a Sunday, on Nisan 17. Due to the moveable feast decrees of the early Catholic Church at Nicea, the actual dates no longer applied and a false structure was adopted so every year would involve the same days. This was all done for the sake of religious control since so many millions of coerced converts had to be adapted to a systemized annual structure.

          Hence, the days in questioned had to be condensed. The Wednesday evening “Last Supper,” which actually also fell on Nisan 14 (the Hebrew day date began every sunset), was moved to Thursday, the Thursday death of the Lord was moved to Friday (Good Friday), the Hebrew Sabbath became “Holy Saturday,” and Nisan 17, the day of the Lord’s resurrection, became “Easter Sunday.” These days remain the same every year though the dates change annually on the actual celestial calendar.

         This year, Nisan 17, the actual date of the Lord’s resurrection, does not occur for another month! Nisan 17 falls on April 25, 2016!

         This proves how far off the Gregorian calendar is with regard to the actual original dates as decreed by the Lord’s calendar. It proves how wrong the moveable feast decrees of the Catholic Church are, and what’s more, it proves how almost all of Protestant Christianity still follows the lead of the Catholic Church.

         Just because everybodys doing it doesn’t make it right.

EASTER TRADITION OR RESURRECTION POWER?

          Even though we have all of this historical background readily available, it is a clear testimony to the power of pagan tradition, religious rote, and clergy control that the idolatry of Easter continues to coexist with the Lord’s resurrection. Mere pagan religious rituals and customs continue edging out the reality of the resurrection and what it must mean directly to each and every person, in that every real Christian will also experience the same resurrection as that of the Lord one day.

          The early believers associated the spiritual power of the Gospel they preached with resurrection. It is to the same degree that the Easter Christians have little or no spiritual power since they honor the Lord’s resurrection from death in name only and rarely or never identify with it personally. These people generally do not believe in being born again, even though the Lord said it was a must, and what is new birth but a resurrection?

          Since the raising from physical death by the Lord Jesus is the greatest event in human history and proves everything about real Christianity, it should not be forced to coexist with anything. Like everything else practiced by our original forebears taught directly by the Lord, we should all return to the simpler, honest, and much powerful spiritual practices they engaged in for His sake and for the sake of the truth.

          Regarding the subject of this article, we are left with two choices:

          (1) “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:8-9]

          (2) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11: 25-26] [1]

          © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Easter Idolatry (and Something About a Resurrection) 2015

         Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of “Christians” would rather dispense with any and all work regarding study toward truth, it still boggles the mind at least somewhat that so many can be so fooled so willingly, and be so stubborn in insisting upon the embrace of what should be clear idolatry.

         When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, in whom he had a strong hand in placing in ministry, he stressed upon him the necessity of staying on top of things spiritually. He taught him exactly how the devil liked to muddy the waters and confuse people with false concepts and dumb traditions whose desired effect was the same, in that “Christians” would end up confused and ignorant. Thus, he told him,

         Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

         The enemy of our souls is very crafty in that way, especially when it comes to religious traditions, and none more so than the purely traditional religious holiday of “Easter.”

         The strange combination of fertility symbols—bunny rabbits and chicken eggs—is pure testimony to the fact that traditions can get really weird and should give people an idea of just how weird the devil is and how weird people can get.

         People color, decorate, and hide Easter eggs for later finding every year and no one really knows why they do it. Few really care about this weird combination anymore and refuse to do anything about it, even after the tradition became weird to the point that the Easter Bunny laid the eggs. But when so-called Christians not only accept it en masse but combine it further with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it gives further proof that the minds of religious people are not so different from the minds of drug users.

         It was back in 1966, when a different Timothy, the LSD guru Timothy Leary, first advised his young charges to “Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out.” Leary claimed he got this expression from another man of the times, the expression guru Marshall McLuhan, a man way ahead of his time who also coined other terms such as “the medium is the message.”

         Of course, the devil was aware of this little factoid for a tad while longer than Mr. McLuhan and used it well in every religion he ever created. The idea that the actual message is not at all a message but the delivery system itself is what makes false religions so diabolical.

         It is obviously apparent that the proponents of and believers in false religions do not understand that they have become part of the sinister plot by voluntarily engaging in the stage play—the spiritually meaningless religious participation pageant—that makes them guilty of not only completely missing the real message but making the medium the message.

         What is this medium? And what is it specifically when it comes to false forms of Christianity? As I explain in defining a real Christian, I will also explain by defining Unreal Christianity:

         A real Christian is anyone whose spirit becomes fused with the Spirit of God:

         But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [1Corinthians 6:17]

         Every real Christian follows and obeys the Lord Jesus as His Master, Lord, Shepherd, and Teacher.

         Therefore, Unreal Christianity is composed of all other “Christians” of varying stripes who merely claim the name without fulfilling the above requirements. As a result, Unreal Christians are obsessed with the medium, the expression, the pageant, the stage production, the repeat-after-me rote repetitions, the formal geographic gatherings, and the religious routine.

         This cannot help but make them part of an idolatrous practice, though benign in appearance, in that they worship the higher Christian class with all the brass and the shallow and meaningless routine of religion.

         This is actually no different whatsoever from the incredible influence Timothy Leary gained over hundreds of thousands who obeyed his pronouncements and actually did turn on, tune in, and drop out. Religious “Christians,” however, had already been doing that very thing for centuries. Untold millions remain turned-on to surreal counterfeits of the Lord’s original, tuned-in to the religious gurus thereof, and have effectively dropped-out, by their own choosing, of the Lord’s real community.

         It is for this reason that we still have this false idea of a large rabbit laying Easter eggs and why no kid in America sees anything aberrant about it, and also why grown up “Christians” see nothing aberrant about mixing this weird stuff with the Lord’s resurrection.

“EASTER SUNDAY”

         “Churches” all over America will not be celebrating the day of the Lord’s Resurrection Sunday but will instead be celebrating “Easter.” Some will celebrate “Resurrection Sunday.” This is good terminology though the majority has fought its acceptance now to the point that few ever try to use it as before. No, Easter is the overwhelmingly insisted-upon approved term for this day, for without it there is no pageant, and without the pageant there is no medium, and without the medium there is nothing, since there is no actual message beyond the medium.

         Though only a few care, the origin of this term should nevertheless be looked into.

         Longtime readers of this blog know that there is much to gained from the Lord’s actual calendar. I have written extensively on the topic. Our current Gregorian Calendar is worthless from a celestial viewpoint since its months and years have nothing to do with the actual movements of the sun and moon. From where did it originate? It actually originated from the same people who gave us the “Easter Holiday” (Latin: Pascha)—Both were invented by the Roman Catholic Church.

         With all the other changes from truth 17 centuries ago, this was yet another. In creating his new hybrid syncretic religion, Constantine I simply appropriated a very well known and practiced springtime pagan festival that had been around for many centuries in many cultures for his own purposes.

         It was the consistent modus operandi of the Catholic religion to appropriate local customs of religiously subjugated people, change the names of said customs but keep the dates and culturally significant aspects, and then adopt them as official. In this way the people still had all their pagan holidays, though renamed. They were forced to adopt the Catholic religion and honor its magistrates, but otherwise felt comfortable by maintaining their pagan religious traditions.

         It was a perfect compromise. The Catholic Church, like the Roman Empire, subjugated cultures through religious force, whereas Rome had previously done the same through military force. Rome never cared about what anyone believed in detail or what they practiced. All they cared about was that the people they subjugated and enslaved honored the Roman emperor as God, obeyed Roman laws, and paid all tributes and taxes. The Catholic Church did the same: The Pope must be honored as Supreme Pontiff and Vicar (substitute) of Christ, all Roman Catholic religious practices must be honored, and all tribute must be paid.

         None of this, of course, had anything to do with the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus or worship of Him. It was all about religious control. And this is the origin of a pagan festival with “Christianity.”

         Easter was the Anglo-Saxon name of an ancient pagan goddess of fertility who was worshipped in the spring of the year and was also related to the sunrise, like many various sun gods of the ancient world. The pagan festival had a common origin and purpose, though many later cultures had various names for it. The exact term is traced from the Middle English estre, from the Old English eastre. Going further back in time, eastre is related to a common female goddess known to all ancient cultures by different names.

         The Lord Jesus and the original community of believers never practiced such a pagan holiday or any other, and all calendar events were based on the Hebrew lunar-solar calendar. The Lord was actually crucified on a Thursday, on the Hebrew date of Nisan 14, and rose again on a Sunday, on Nisan 17. Due to the moveable feast decrees of the early Catholic Church at Nicea, the actual dates no longer applied and a false structure was adopted so every year would involve the same days. This was all done for the sake of religious control since so many millions of coerced converts had to be adapted to a systemized annual structure.

         Hence, the days in questioned had to be condensed. The Wednesday evening “Last Supper,” which actually also fell on Nisan 14 (the Hebrew day date began every sunset), was moved to Thursday, the Thursday death of the Lord was moved to Friday (Good Friday), the Hebrew Sabbath became “Holy Saturday,” and Nisan 17, the day of the Lord’s resurrection, became “Easter Sunday.” These days remain the same every year though the dates change annually on the actual celestial calendar.

         For example, the official full moon took place this morning (April 4) at 7:05am CDT which marks the exact middle of the lunar cycle. Today is Nisan 15 on the Hebrew calendar. Sunday is Nisan 16. Nisan 17, the actual anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection, is Monday.

EASTER TRADITION OR RESURRECTION POWER?

         Even though we have all of this historical background readily available, it is a clear testimony to the power of pagan tradition, religious rote, and clergy control that the idolatry of Easter continues to coexist with the Lord’s resurrection. Mere pagan religious rituals and customs continue edging out the reality of the resurrection and what it must mean directly to each and every person, in that every real Christian will also experience the same resurrection as that of the Lord one day.

         The early believers associated the spiritual power of the Gospel they preached with resurrection. It is to the same degree that the Easter Christians have little or no spiritual power since they honor the Lord’s resurrection from death in name only and rarely or never identify with it personally. These people generally do not believe in being born again, even though the Lord said it was a must, and what is new birth but a resurrection?

         Since the raising from physical death by the Lord Jesus is the greatest event in human history and proves everything about real Christianity, it should not be forced to coexist with anything. Like everything else practiced by our original forebears taught directly by the Lord, we should all return to the simpler, honest, and much powerful spiritual practices they engaged in for His sake and for the sake of the truth.

         Regarding the subject of this article, we are left with two choices:

         (1) “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:8-9]

         (2) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11: 25-26] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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