Blog Archives

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: Announcing Part 4

Hello everyone. Hope all is well. I completed Part 4 of this series and will likely be posting it on Monday morning, March 29. It is entitled Spiritual Resurrection. There are many Biblical facts within it that some may not be aware of so I hope it will be interesting to you and fill in some gaps in your understanding. I wrote it on Thursday and it turned out to be five pages but I think it reads well. Because it’s been several days since I posted Part 3 I am making this announcement to make you aware it is on the way and to prepare for it.

The Lord Jesus greatly desires reconciliation with everyone and has done all He can to make that happen. When we do our part it does happen. The following is the central passage in His Word revealing The Ministry of Reconciliation:

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [2Corinthians 5:18-20]

Thanks to all of you who have read all or parts of this series so far, and thanks for the many excellent comments that have added to our understanding of the subject matter. You are all appreciated. If anyone wants to read parts they may have missed I have added links and their titles below. Be blessed. See you on Monday.

3/11: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

3/14: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

3/17: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

3/29: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4) Coming Monday

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:7]

.

RETURNING TO GOD

The innocence of early childhood can be regained. Our sin can be removed. We can become completely spiritually cleansed. This is what the Lord’s perfect sacrifice achieved if one chooses to apply it. He not only provided a free ticket to heaven but allowed for the complete removal or remission of our sins. The weight of years of sin can be absolutely removed from a person freeing one not only of the incessant conviction of one’s conscience but the actual extraction of the sin content stuck fast in one’s being. The Lord Jesus provided the only means to do this. There is no other way. And He did it not only to free any who may be willing but primarily to restore relationship with Him.

This is the Ministry of Reconciliation that the apostle Paul refers to in his second letter to the Corinthian believers. He explains it as the ultimate reaching out from God to us. It is why God had to become one of us. It is why He had to live a sinless life. And it is why He had to sacrifice His perfect life on our behalf. He had to defeat death. The only way to do that was to die without sin. It was the greatest act of love possible and illustrates perfectly the degree to which God was willing to go to ransom our souls and restore us to the original intention He had for each of us. He never wanted anyone to be burdened with sin and separation from Him.

FREEDOM AND SIN

God created human beings as free individuals allowed to make choices. If one does not possess the freedom to choose then one has no freedom. True freedom means one can choose anything. One might not have the means but retains any number of possibilities within reasonable parameters. Most people have limited and often severely limited means. Their possibilities are woefully finite. Others have greater means. Regardless, each choice one makes has its own ramifications, either good or bad.  

Everyone will eventually choose wrong to varying degrees and incur bad results. It may be that we do not understand the seriousness of bad choices when we make them and the impact they will have upon our lives. It is often the case that the results stretch far into the future. Thus, there is not only the ever growing cumulative weight of sin to deal with in the life of the sinner but the personal time bombs waiting down the road that will surely go off on schedule. Sometimes a single sin choice can have a devastating effect on one’s future and affect many people. Sometimes people make such choices willingly with an apathetic attitude. Sometimes people are entirely selfish and simply do not care what happens to others as a result of their bad choices.

Whatever the case may be one always has the choice of making the one choice that makes all the difference for the better. When people get convicted of crimes that involve fines or jail time they understand they must pay the cost of their crimes by paying the fines and going to jail for however long it may be to fulfill the requirements of their sentencing. They will not be free of these obligations until the requirements are fulfilled. Imagine then, the blessing of having someone else pay one’s fines and serve their jail time for them. Imagine if one is convicted of a crime requiring the death penalty but someone else dies in one’s place. To those who simply refuse to attempt an understanding of sin and eternal life this will make no sense and they will not consider the possibility.

Others, however, have a gnawing sense of sin in their lives. They have a working conscience that convicts them. They may try to silence their conscience through inebriating substances or simply remain functionally inebriated so they will not have to deal with the subject of sin. Again, sin is very powerful and if not dealt with properly through spiritual means it will have to be dealt with through physical means that have no effect on the soul but only deaden the feelings of the body and mind toward it.

People have also been taught to deaden one’s feelings through religion. If they simply go through their religious rites and rotes it will give them a feeling that all is well. This is, of course, bewitching. It is a false feeling. It is highly deceptive and damaging. The process may indeed keep them in somewhat better mental shape than not having such an outlet but will have no actual effect upon one’s sin. Right standing with God demands that we get rid of sin. Unless we do it His way—the only way—the only way that actually works—we will remain in our sins though we may have been convinced or convinced ourselves otherwise.

The devil is a liar. Human nature is often quite despicable. This world is a fake sensory illusion for the most part that deceives and defrauds. There are those who want to use you, control you, scare the hell out of you, and enrich themselves through you. But the best of those at such things are those who are excellent at appearing as the very opposite of what they actually are in order to gain your trust. They insist that all is above board and everything they ask one to submit to will be wholly beneficial. It obviously helps that an unthinking majority buys into such fakery which makes the participants thereof more comfortable and secure.

The best among such manipulative entities are those in the realm of religion. The very best of them are those within fake forms of Christianity, together of which as an overall entity I refer to as Unreal Christianity. The leaders within this realm are highly proficient at the presentation of illusion as something real. They are actors. They are actually only surface-oriented though suggest spiritual depth. They make much use of symbolism. Their efforts have an ultimate purpose which is to keep people from spiritual reality and use them instead for their own means. As the Lord called the Pharisees whitewashed tombs, one may refer to the entities that make up Unreal Christianity, regardless of size, as whitewashed cults.

THE REAL AND THE UNREAL

Real Christianity is that in which the Lord Jesus has total control and authority. Unreal Christianity is any entity in which the Lord Jesus does not have total control and authority.

All Christian organizations are composed of people. Each person makes a choice to join and participate. Each person has his or her reasons for doing such. Each person submits to the authority thereof. He or she willfully surrenders to the dictates and beliefs of the religious organization. This is in essence a contract in which the individual consents to the terms of those who author the contract. There is obviously no negotiation of terms.

It is generally the same when one becomes a real Christian. The main difference, of course, is that one submits to the actual Founder and not mere pretenders and hirelings. One voluntarily chooses to surrender wholeheartedly to the Lord Jesus. The Lord then gains control and authority over one by his or her individual submission to Him. By the terms of the covenant one is bought with a price. Real Christians owe Him their lives. He ransomed them from the enemy. He saved them from the debilitating effects of sin. He did this freely of His own will. He demonstrated the greatest love possible. He absolutely proves His love in this way.

Thus, the terms of the Lord’s covenant are clear: There must be 100% submission. Our trust in Him must be 100%. Our faith must be 100%. Our obedience must be 100%. We must have a personal spiritual genesis. Anything less than this will never work. He gave everything He had in His life including making a supreme sacrifice to pay for our sins and remove them forever. He initiated a blood covenant. The only way this covenant can work is if we also make a 100% commitment to Him as He did for each of us. Our blood must be figuratively shed in repentance as a type of blood sacrifice in which we destroy our old lives in order to bring forth the new.

“Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose (destroy) it, and whoever loses (destroys) his life will preserve it. [Luke 17:32-33]   

It is why He said we MUST be born again. Receiving the complete remission of our sins demands a new birth. Receiving His salvation demands a new birth. Being fully reconciled to the Lord Jesus demands a new birth. It is the only possible way the covenant can work. Without a new birth there is no covenant. This is exactly what the Lord Jesus taught. All of His teachings reflect this. The entire New Testament reflects this. Written throughout the New Covenant Scriptures is the central theme of an entirely new birth that must take place for each individual if the covenant is to be ratified. The Lord has already fulfilled His part of the covenant 100%. He awaits each of us to fulfill our part. We must never settle for anything less because if we do, regardless of how we may think or feel, we will come up short of the full requirements which He initiated and expects us to fulfill. Without fulfilling the requirements we will never receive the spiritual benefits of the covenant. We will remain in our sins.

His teachings on this are not secret but fully transparent. Whoever reads and studies the written Word of God will discover them. We are blessed to have this record of His full curriculum and one can be certain that the Lord has made this record available so all will have the opportunity to know. His teachings reveal the new birth, the new covenant, and the new and living way. His teachings reveal the reality and necessity of the cross through which we can be reconciled to God.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. [Hebrews 12:1-3] [1]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued] 


[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.

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

There are two types of Christians in the world—those who desire and choose to have an actual relationship with God, and those who are content to pretend they have one.

.

Thanks to everyone who read and enjoyed Part 1 of this series. In Part 2 we will learn the applicable New Testament English words and their Greek counterparts relevant to this study and also the verses where they occur. This will get a tad technical but I will keep it as concise as possible. It is important to gain a better understanding of the original Greek words and their meanings. As you read consider the apostle Paul as he dictated the NT letters from which we derive this study. Think about the original copies he created by the Lord’s inspiration and the rounds they made to the many groups of Christians in the various cities of that time.   

BIBLE VERSION

Those who follow this blog know my Bible version of choice is the New American Standard 1995 Update. This is an excellent version and likely the most literal. It is extremely important when doing NT word studies to use an accurate version faithful to the Greek and limited to its original transmission. The three translated English words used here are from the NASB95. They are (1) reconciliation, (2) reconciled, and (3) reconciling. The next section gives us a brief overview of each.

WORD STUDY

RECONCILIATION

The word reconciliation occurs four times in the NT. Each one is translated from the same Greek root word. Three of these occurrences are applicable to this study.

The Greek root word is katallagh. It is pronounced kat-al-lag-ay’. The following definition is from Strong’s Concordance (#2643):

(1) exchange (1a) of the business of money changers, exchanging equivalent values (2) adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favor (2a) in the NT of the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ.

The following are the three applicable verses in which this word occurs:

And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. [Romans 5:11]

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, [2Corinthians 5:18]

namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. [2Corinthians 5:19]

RECONCILED

The word reconciled occurs seven times in the NT and is translated from three different Greek root words. Five of these occurrences are applicable to this study and are translated from two Greek root words.

Four of these occurrences are from the Greek root word katallasso. It is pronounced kat-al-las’-so. The following definition is from Strong’s Concordance (#2644):

(1) to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value (1a) to reconcile (those who are at variance) (1b) return to favor with, be reconciled to one (1c) to receive one into favor

The following are the three applicable verses in which this word occurs:

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. [Romans 5:10]

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, [2Corinthians 5:18]

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [2Corinthians 5:20]

One occurrence is from the Greek root word apokatallasso. It is pronounced ap-ok-at-al-las’-so. The following definition is from Strong’s Concordance (#604):

(1) to reconcile completely (2) to reconcile back again, bring back a former state of harmony

The following is the one applicable verse in which this word occurs:

yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— [Colossians 1:22] 

RECONCILING

The word reconciling occurs once in the NT and is also translated from the Greek root word katallasso as is the word reconciled (See the preceding).

VERSES IN CONTEXT

The title of this series is The Ministry of Reconciliation. The phrase ministry of reconciliation appears only once in the NT, in 2Corinthians 5:18. There are three epistles where Paul refers to this ministry: Romans, 2Corinthians, and Colossians. Regardless of the book of Romans appearing first in the NT among Paul’s letters, Paul wrote his Corinthian letters before he wrote Romans. Of these three he wrote Colossians last. According to New Testament scholars Conybeare and Howson,[1] Paul wrote 1Corinthians in the spring of 57 and 2Corinthians in the autumn of that year, both in Ephesus. He wrote Romans from Corinth in the spring of 58. He wrote Colossians in Rome in the spring of 62.  

From this we know he first revealed the Ministry of Reconciliation in 2Corinthians. Also, of the nine applicable occurrences of the three English words of our study, five occur in the three verse segment of 2Corinthians 5:18-20. Thus, we refer primarily in this study to Chapter 5 of that book, notably to verses 17-21, as the definitive passage of Paul’s teaching:

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [2Corinthians 5:17-21] [2]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] The Life and Epistles of Saint Paul by W.J. Conybeare and J.S. Howson

[2] 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 MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4)

 

WORSHIP JESUS

Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus.

CHRISTIAN WITNESSING: A CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE

BlogPic72820

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?”

“Okay.”

(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][1]

© 2020 by R.J. 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.

JESUS IS THE ANSWER

climate people street weather

Those in high positions of authority are not revealing all they know. Others in lesser positions may be clueless but will dutifully comply with the agenda and continue to drive the panic.

.

BOY HOWDY, THIS GOT UGLY QUICK

From the beginning, back in early January or so, there were a few rational people who saw what was happening, as the few often do, and began warning against the warning. Since then both sides have ramped up their rhetoric, though the rational voice has been completely deluged by now. Once the major media gets on board and begins relentlessly driving the narrative it is case closed. That’s because the majority of Americans are addicted to the major media and treat it like God.

You might have heard me say this before a time or two, but this phenomenon is not unlike what goes on in many churches, in that members have knee jerk reactions in times of such trouble to seek out their leaders and abide by their pronouncements. Mainline Christianity is thus no different than the mainstream media, in that they all say the same thing, never tell their people to not honor them as difference makers, but accept their middle man role and dole out the advice, which not surprisingly sounds exactly like the government’s advice.

I was at the grocery store late last week. It’s a big store, and relatively new. There were loaded and semi-loaded shopping carts and shoppers waiting in a ridiculously long line that snaked all the way along the main drag checkout area to the far end and down an aisle. It was probably that way on the other side of the store also. I had never seen such before in that store. And when a store has about thirty or so check out stands that says something. I didn’t notice how many were actually in operation but it appeared to be most.

While finding my place in line, almost halfway down a central aisle, still somewhat amazed, I did what I always do. I tried striking up a conversation with the man in front of me but he wasn’t very talkative. Another middle-aged woman came by, with a small child, and a young man in a wheel chair with a leg injury. They asked if this was the line. They had to cut across from their direction. I said yeah and she, with a big smile and jovial attitude, and a slight incredulous manner, dutifully lined up behind me. As we got closer to the front of the store the line parted in two, one for shoppers with lesser items. And we waited, and shuffled along. I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing by now.

I was successful in this particular line in finding someone to discuss the situation with, and we carried on a conversation the rest of the way to the checkouts. Our theme, of course, was this strange happening and the current crisis which suddenly jumped out of nowhere but without what one would normally associate with such a crisis. There were not thousands dead, for example. Not even hundreds. At that time, across the entire country, there were about fifty and most of them were in one specific location in one state.

But the authorities continued saying it was about to get much worse. By that time a national panic was in the works. It was not based on reality, however, but on projected reality. I was not thinking there was not a potential crisis but that the crisis continued to appear overblown. Those voices I told you about back in January, who were saying the crisis showed all the signs of being manufactured? Well, they continued on, some with greater fervor, trying their best to tell the truth of the matter. But as always, you had to search for them. The mainstream media was now in lockstep, all saying the same thing, that the end of the world as we know it is upon us, and for all of you out there who are unprepared, well, you better hunker down, bunker or not.

Even the President was reluctant to get on board. He knew the entire thing was fishy, apparently, but was soon forced to go along. Again, I am not saying there is not a real danger here, but only that it’s been blown entirely out of proportion. Nevertheless, national fear has now set it. It is being taken advantage of to drive an agenda. I tried to warn you with my latest posts. You can gain a lot by reading them. You will have greater understanding of how this crisis was planned and carried out. You may figure out who’s driving it and for what reasons. It gives the PTB a good look into the present American psyche. And it lets them know who the lemmings are.

WHAT ABOUT GOD?

Meanwhile, for all real Christians out there, those who actually follow the Lord Jesus, especially those who have been around a while and are mature disciples, what is presently occurring is not so earth-shattering. They have already been through much worse. When whatever crises that happened to them took place, it wasn’t national news. No one except a very few knew about those occasions. They had to weather the storm though, and do their best to overcome and survive. The world at large didn’t care. It didn’t know. These were private struggles. But the Lord came through for each and every one. He made a way where there was absolutely no other way. They learned all the more to live by faith in their Savior who loves them, and trust Him. They have confidence in Him. They know He does what He says. They learned to not give in to fear and panic, especially when it regards a largely manufactured crisis.

It is good that you can’t find any hand sanitizer anywhere. People know what they need. It is good that the nation is being instructed to wash their hands. Really? That says a lot, that the people of a nation this large and influential doesn’t even know they should wash their hands. A hundred and fifty years ago, no one knew germs existed. They never made the connection between unsanitary practices and conditions with disease and illness, or on some occasions, general pandemics. And then America apparently forgot this knowledge. And America continued to slip headlong into the worst social practices ever when very few understood or cared that such behavior has a massive downside. When the majority practices such the end of that nation is in sight.

So this, again, is a test, on several levels. Doing one’s best to stay away from the virus is good. Taking all the proper precautions is good. Those who do the best in this regard will have the better chance. Maybe this will help the country turn the corner. Maybe Americans will discover that proper sanitation actually works. Maybe they will learn to be more disciplined regarding how they protect their bodies, what they put into their bodies, and what they engage in with their bodies. Maybe more people will get the big idea that the Lord’s instructions along these lines are there to protect us.

But I’ll believe when I see it. I have been teaching whoever might listen about all of these things for several decades now, and have only seen things get worse overall, though there does exist a percentage of the country that pays close attention to healthy lifestyles and nutrition. Most people prefer ignorance and apathy. This makes them easily led. They are then taken advantage of and steered into whatever thinking is desired at the time. They become dense to the truth they need. They make the mistake of being led by the wrong leaders. These wrong leaders, whether civil or religious, don’t really care about people but only their own interests and agendas. When I see it among Christians, however, it is most disconcerting. People think they are escaping an evil world and joining Christianity but are unaware they are often only jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, so to speak. And then they continue to be misled.

Those who refuse anything less than the full truth never stay in a place where they discover the full truth does not exist. They move on. They continue seeking. Perhaps this is why all the spiritual greats mentioned in the Word of God were relatively obscure in their times and associated with only a relative few, especially the Master Himself. Not only did few follow Him, He suffered terribly by this world’s leaders, most of whom never knew Him or appreciated Him.

My advice at this time is the same for any other time: Seek the Lord. None of this is any surprise to Him. And carry on in your work. Never trust those who merely talk the talk but rarely or never walk the walk. You will be led astray. Rather, seek the One who has already walked it out and will even walk a mile with you, or a hundred, or a million.

You can trust a Man who gives His life so you can live.

2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

PANICKED OVER A TRICK PANDEMIC

red apple fruit with black background

.

Whatever this actually is—a pandemic, yet another disease scare, a hoax, a biowarfare attack, or a government response testthe REAL pandemic remains unacknowledged.

.

It’s getting worse. The infection rate continues to rage and rise, in some places exponentially. The worst perpetrators thereof are either too preoccupied to notice or care, or owe their lives to practices which make them vulnerable. If they stop they lose everything and their kingdoms crumble. They built their lives on dirt foundations with no escape hatch and could lose their existence of error when the big one hits. Many are so tied-in to a lesser-based life they will never get free without major disruptions from which they may never recover.

Yet there has always been a way out. Most humans see it, though, as too way out. Their social credibility suffers at the prospect of embracing it. Thus, those with the most invested in the fake world have the most to lose in leaving it, and choose a temp existence over long-term reality. This is why the Master opined on this quizzical matter by saying the worst are often first, in that they are less invested and more free to enter. Their baggage is the kind happily left behind. And besides, they’ve usually been treated like outskirts scum by the success party and denied membership since their résumés don’t add up. But the Master’s door is always open.

The rich man faithless deniers do anything they want with access to anything money can buy but will end up in the hot place with Mr. Dives craving a mere rain drop on their desert palates to no avail, while all the poor little faithful formerly sore-ridden Lazarus’ hang out safely in Abraham’s comfy air-conditioned crash pad. This reversal of fortunes is really cool when you think about it and does justice proud. It proves once again that playing by the rules of a dog-eat-dog world will get you a dead dog death in the long run regardless of manifold plaques on your wall and trophies in your case. None of those sorts of things are transferable to the great beyond.

Therefore, this latest scare we must beware means more effort wasted on things that don’t matter and playing right into the hands of the unseen gear grinders always coming up with more dastardly plans to insure their control and lessen yours. If you can’t see through it you must clean your windshield, change your perspective, and try harder to focus. Maybe take off those dark shades that look so cool. And don’t trust the ones the Master instructed us not to trust but trust Him.

Only He has the cure for the real pandemic.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

REAL SPIRITUAL WARFARE: HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE AN EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN

Blog Pic 61219

.         

        When a real believer obeys the Lord in presenting the real Gospel, the enemy strikes back and open spiritual warfare ensues.

.

          Most Christians prefer non-spiritual warfare Christianity. Most Christians don’t even know what spiritual warfare is. Many have never even heard of the term. It is thus obvious that they are not at war.

        How is it that a great Man preaching love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and joy was treated as a despicable criminal? It is because the people treating Him this way are despicable criminals. Whoever hates and rejects the Lord Jesus tells the whole world they are the world’s biggest and vilest creature and is the farthest from God (one could not be any farther). Whoever loves the Lord Jesus and strives to honor Him is the one who is closest to God.

         Paul was sent on a mission. He was sent to preach the Gospel and rescue souls. What most people miss is that he was sent as a spiritual soldier into spiritual war. The Lord told him he would suffer for this. In watching one of the many D-Day memorials recently there was a clip I am sure many of you have seen. It shows General Eisenhower, the supreme commander of all allied forces, greeting paratroopers right before their mission. The video said that 40,000 paratroopers would parachute into northern France behind enemy lines. It also said that Eisenhower expected 80% casualties. In other words it was effectively a suicide mission. Yet here were all these soldiers geared up for battle in good spirits. They obviously had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Though many volunteered for the armed services, most were drafted and obeyed their government in good faith when forced into the service. The men on this particular mission would soon be decimated. I don’t know what the final figures were. Perhaps some of you reading this do. But it was a disaster.

         Also, about 2,000 men died in the initial D-Day invasion. Most were killed right away, as soon as they began. Their crafts were blown away on the open sea. Many were strafed by machine gun fire as soon as they lowered the ramps of their boats. They had little chance. They were lambs led to the slaughter. It is said that both of these groups had to be sacrificed for the greater good so the successive waves could succeed. But again, I don’t think most of these men had any idea what they were in for.

         This is what happens when you attack an enemy. The enemy will attack back. At that point you either quit or attack back again. The last man standing wins. It cost the lives of tens of thousands very early in this opening battle to bring eventual success. But it was the first group that suffered the highest casualties. Whoever is on the front lines gets hit the hardest.

         This is why right-thinking people understand what the Lord Jesus really did and why He should be highly honored and respected more than any man. He put His life on the line for all the others who came after. It is the same for His original apostles who were the first wave sent into an evil world with the Gospel. These men would be hit the hardest, and they were. The Lord prepared them perfectly. They learned it all from Him. They saw how He handled everything thrown His way. They experienced evil striking out at Him every day. They knew they must learn from Him and grow, and develop spiritually and be strong. They knew that when their time came they would have to be ready and attack with full force, and also have much and keep much in their reserve tanks for ongoing battle. Otherwise they would fail.

UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

         After doing exactly what the Lord told them to do at Philippi, they were beaten bloody and thrown into a filthy prison. But instead of feeling bad about what happened they praised the Lord Jesus. This set the stage for even greater miracles:

      “Hey Silas, can you imagine how much we accomplished today? The devil threw everything he had at us!”

         “He certainly did, Paul.”

         “The Lord knew exactly where to send us and what to say. The enemy had a fit. Now we know the people in league with the devil who have sold out to the enemy, and who the people are we need to rescue. We know what is holding them back, what is constraining them. We know this is a little hell hole of the devil but with many people who want to be free.”

         “And will be free! And are being set free!”

         “Yes! Let’s sing to the Lord and praise Him!”

         The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

         But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. [Acts 16:22-34][1]

         It was only after all of the above was accomplished that Paul and Silas were released and free to go in peace. It cost them with blood and suffering but they accomplished what the Lord sent them there to do. They showed themselves to be good and effective servants of the Lord by successfully attacking and defeating a powerful spiritual enemy and opening up doors of salvation.

         They won the spiritual battle.

         © 2019 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.

HEAVEN WILL BE SPARSELY POPULATED

Blog Pic. 6.3.19         

        “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]

.

           If you like wide open spaces free from the maddening crowd you will love heaven. It will not be because heaven’s perceived billions will be spread out in such a way over a limitless expanse that it appears relatively empty, but because its population relevant to planet earth will be disproportionately less than many can imagine. This means most humans will never get there.

A HUNDRED MILLION TO ONE

         It reminds one of why the Creator is so generous with seeds so as to greatly boost the chances of fruitfulness. It appears He is thus wasting seeds but in reality He is only increasing the chances of fertility, productivity, success, and abundance.

         One might keep in mind that every human being is the result of one very strong unrelenting little fighting spermy guy who fended off all the other loser spermy guys to make it first to the interior of the great egg at the finish line.

          On average, when the sower sows his seed, 100 million sperm are released. 100 million. That’s roughly 30% of the current population in the USA. Yet these 100 million are reduced down to only one winner. So though we characterize extremely long odds as “a million to one,” this ratio is one hundred times that. This means 100 million minus one are losers. They never get to the finish line. The vast majority all die along the way.

         Now, these little guys can actually live up to about five days once implanted. This means they have five days to get to the egg. So it is not just each other they are competing against—they are also competing against time. Each one of them has the highest of callings but only one in a hundred million actually gets to fulfill it. Many of them get lost. Many run out of steam. Many get sidetracked. Many don’t have the capacity to get very far. They say this is nature’s way of insuring that only the very best make it to the very end. Only one gets there. There is no second place.

         “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]

         It is the same with humanity. Billions of people exist but the Lord Jesus said only a relative few will make it to the eternal goal. It is not necessarily because He sets very high restrictions. It is mostly because human beings in general are stupid, lazy, selfish, and prideful. Most do not seek truth. Most do not seek deliverance from sin. Most people do not understand that seeds must be planted and that this action calls for sacrifice and self surrender. Most of those who do understand it cannot bring themselves to do it, or do it consistently, or they try but give up.

          Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” [John 12:24-25]  

          Survival of the fittest is also true in the spiritual realm. The Lord Jesus gives us the tools and opportunities to succeed but we must put it all to work and we must always trust Him faithfully regardless of circumstances. The human spirit is extremely strong. Once it is directed properly and functioning properly per the Lord’s will there cannot help but be success. This success, however, is according to the Lord’s standards and not those of this world. Worldly standards dictate that the apostle Paul, for example, was a loser. He left this world with no material possessions beyond the clothes on his back, no retirement, no 401k, no nothing. But according to spiritual standards he perhaps did more for the Lord Jesus and His kingdom than anyone else. All real Christians are still blessed recipients of Paul’s writings to this day.

         How much more can the same be said for the Lord Jesus Himself? He accomplished infinitely more than Paul or all the rest of us put together. He not only made it to the egg but He made it to the greatest egg of all time and opened up a door and a trail for us to get there as He did. Even so, most “believers” will never make it. This is why:

          “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” [Matthew 13:18-23]   

           No one overcame as many obstacles in completing His course as did the Lord. The early believers illustrated for future generations how one must go about living for God, doing His will, and achieving the objective. They did not have it easy but they did it anyway. Most of today’s Christians take the opposite approach. Most will all die in the opening salvos and machine gun fire on the beaches of Normandy.

           It is an exceedingly tough journey for the little spermy guys to make it to the egg. Not only must they expend energy on the trip, they must also conserve the energy they will need for the end of the trip. Why? Because the egg is actually covered by a thick layer which makes it all the more difficult for conception to occur. The few sperm that get there must have enough left in the tank to penetrate the outer layer of the egg. This is where the remaining few greatest die. Imagine making it that far and not being able to complete the objective.

         This exact seed journey scenario mirrors life in a general sense, but it perfectly captures life in the spiritual sense. The Kingdom of the Lord is therefore only for those who have the unrelenting drive to make it all the way, to dedicate themselves completely to the Lord Jesus, and be determined against often ridiculous odds to complete the course.

              All real Christians will go though the following in the process:

          “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]

           If one is going to make it to heaven one will have to overcome all the persecution along the way. One will have to maintain love and always forgive. One must contend with betrayal and potential traps. The obstacles can be immense. There may be vast scorching waterless deserts to cross or giant mountain ranges with deep snow and icy winds. There will always be much resistance. Many elements of the journey will refuse to cooperate. At times the objective will appear impossible. But because the real Christian is blessed with the indomitable spiritual seed of the great Creator, he has the ability to overcome everything and continue to press on. On one occasion, Paul illustrated the challenge set before us as follows:

           I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. [1Corinthians 9:23-27][1]

         If Paul knew he could miss the mark, we should all know we could also. He put forth maximum effort to stay qualified. We should also. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything significant knows that it takes much work and dedication. This is even truer when it comes to working in the Lord’s kingdom. And it is entirely true when it comes to properly graduating from this life into the next.

            There will only be a relative few at the ceremony.

            © 2019 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.

THE DOMAIN OF DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT OF SPIRITUAL REALITY

Blog Pic 12.17.18

         For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son… [Colossians 1:13]

.

         The apostle Paul spoke of first-hand experience. He knew well what had actually happened to him out on that dusty Damascus road. He knew it was a rescue.

         “But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me…” [Acts 22:6][1]   

         Think about this. Paul was apparently not seeking God. He did not appear to be on a search for truth. He had a very strong attitude about what his religion was, what it entailed, and what was required. And he was hell bent on not only performing all the rites and believing all the beliefs of his religion but would do all in his power to force others to do the same. Whoever did not believe as he did would be made to pay.

         He was determined to get them. It was part of his religion to get them. They were nothing but evil heretic Jews who defied the universal synagogue as defined by the Pharisees. Other Jewish sects were recognized by the Pharisees, of course, especially the Sadducees who controlled the temple and ran Jerusalem, and who were also tied into the great wealth of this world and politically aligned with the Romans. But for any up-and-coming offshoot Jewish sect which did not abide by the dictates of the master cult, these must be stomped on and eradicated using any method possible. This was Paul’s attitude as it was with the majority of the cult, though perhaps no one of these had as strong a conviction as he did or were as willing and able and energized to do serious damage.

THE PRESENCE OF THE DEVIL

         It was the work of the evil one. The cult had fought the Lord Jesus every step of the way. It was absolutely opposed to Him and never gave an inch. The Lord knew where those guys were heading. He knew their future. He knew they had already crossed a line of no return and that there was nothing He could do to stop them. They were determined to fight it out to the end and would eventually destroy themselves and their nation forever. Some of them did not know they had been terribly deceived. Most of them bought into the devil’s program because that’s exactly what they wanted and would do it a thousand times over. They were comfortable in the domain of darkness. They loved it. They loved all the sin and vileness, all the corruption and robbery, and all the power and sense of personal pride it brought them.     

         What the Lord had started as good, beginning with Abraham and continued later with Moses, they had transformed into something evil with the mere appearance of good. As long as no one ever challenged them they were able to maintain their exterior benevolent facade. But they obviously were not benevolent at all. It was only a front, a pretense, with an ulterior agenda. They had joined a very dark force to gain their power but never or rarely acknowledged this openly. Again, some of them were deceived. They thought they were doing right.

         Some were not deceived, however, in that they had come to see the cult for what it was but were too frightened to reveal this. To protect themselves and their families, they never said a word.

         I have seen this exact phenomenon in Christianity. It is obvious for all to behold once one studies Christian history. The exact pattern always emerges. Some strong personality starts a new faction or belief system, or simply reveals more spiritual truth. Some of these have been given actual spiritual light and revelation. Eventually, however, standard operating procedure takes over and transforms the new effort into an organized cult built upon a personality or specific doctrines that differ from others. A few of these manage to outlast smaller versions and grow to become official Christian denominations only because of the numbers of people involved. The large numbers are what give the denomination its perceived legitimacy.

         Of course, each of these, simply because they were not Roman Catholic, were collected into the obverse pool of Christian bodies referred to as “Protestant.” These were the ones known specifically as protesters against Roman Catholicism. Why would they protest? What was there to protest against? Incidentally, regardless of any new “reforms” within Catholicism since the Protestant Reformation, Catholicism is still pretty much as it ever was. It really has not changed all that much. One might focus on a minor change here or there and perceive it as major but this is only a matter of perspective. Overall, and effectually, the Catholicism of today is essentially the same as the Catholicism of then. So whatever the Protestants protested against then they could certainly do the same today.

         And the Catholics could certainly fight back. In its history, the Roman Catholic Church has had the same attitude of the ancient Pharisees in that it worked overtime to stomp out any and all dissent or mere perceived dissent. This is one of the main planks it used to gain and maintain power. They would never have become a worldwide religious monolith otherwise. It had used the same methods as its namesake to gain converts and take territory. Many if not most Catholics simply do not know this or they reject it. The Catholicism they possess in their heads is not the Catholicism of reality and history.

         The same is true for Protestants. They have rewritten their histories to reflect a kinder and gentler account, both because their present members for the most part no longer believe as their progenitors did and also because they want to eliminate anything that does not reflect present cultural values. I always find it quite interesting that Christian groups refuse to acknowledge that which gave them power and put them on the map in the beginning, as if they were embarrassed about it. Perhaps they don’t feel comfortable attempting to answer the harder questions. They do not like their origins and past but insist on maintaining their organizations.

GOD NEVER PROMISED US A PLATFORM THRONE

        Both Catholics and Protestants killed a lot of people only because they differed in beliefs and mostly because those killed believed in the real Gospel and were determined to serve the Lord Jesus rather than whatever faux lord was thrust upon them. I have thought, for example, about the ridiculous level of hubris and arrogance it took for some dumb human obsessed with self importance to sit his fat backside on a religious throne and accept completely undeserved honor as some kind of religious potentate. We see this, obviously, with Catholic popes, but we also see it just as obviously with Protestant leaders, though their thrones are not as ornate or evident. We also see it, strangely enough, in the Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Nondenominational world.

        I don’t know who first invented these ubiquitous large and often ornate chairs or platform thrones but whoever it was needs to be spanked. First of all, there should not be a platform (a stage). If the platform was not there then the platform throne would not be there. Yet we still see to this day some religious pride guy and his minions squatted in giant chairs up on high to make sure everyone on the premises knows full well who is in charge. If you want to check this against spiritual reality, just imagine the Lord Jesus insisting on His disciples carrying around a very large and decorated throne chair that He could sit in all the time everywhere He taught and preached (and maybe be carried around in.)

        His great humility and example thus destroys all these stupid unrepentant religious lamebrains and all their prideful and arrogant attitudes. The tables will turn one day. They will get theirs. The first will be last. These ever-present departures into darkness, whether it is the tendency to kill rather than discuss or the desire to indulge one’s flesh instead of crucifying it, will be dealt with by the Lord in His way and in His time. He is very patient that we come to our senses. He intercedes for us. He does His best. He even gave His life. But it is apparent that His perfect example and attitude have not been accepted or emulated by most of what is termed Christianity.

        As it was with the false Jewish sects of the first century which refused the Lord and eventually killed Him, the same has happened among great numbers of supposed Christian believers. The LIGHT has come but most still prefer the domain of darkness.

          Like Paul, many Christians need to be rescued.

          © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

NEW COVENANT REALITY VS. RELIGIOUS IDEOLOGY

Blog Pic 4.24.18

       

       Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]   

.

         For the early believers, salvation included an experience. It constituted a complete change—an actual spiritual circumcision of the heart. Their lives were entirely transformed and the transformation was undeniable. Each individual had become a new creation. It happened through a prescribed course of action. It did not happen by osmosis. They had to make a conscious decision to leave the old and become the new:  

         …That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. [Ephesians 4:22-24]  

      As the centuries passed, however, Christianity became ideological. It became philosophical. It became led by men who never had such an experience. Converts who had never fulfilled the New Covenant requirements of the new birth were accepted into the Christian fold. Indeed, many if not most of these conversions were coerced.    

         They created a counterfeit construct. Their agenda was diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Lord in this context, in that they rejected the call for spiritual transformation and instead created mass groupings of cultural Christians, or what may be termed Christians in Name Only. They manipulated their constituents, those unaware of the spurious nature of the dogmatic belief system thrust upon them, to follow it without question and instituted penalties for those who did not, and greater penalties for those who failed to honor their leaders properly.

         Consequently, those subjected to the fable generators obeyed them without hesitation, even against their own conscience and ethical beliefs, thinking their superiors were wise above measure and in possession of a higher truth they could personally never master or fully understand. Their surrender was such that they feared the repercussions of not honoring their respective religious ideologies more than they feared not standing up for the Lord Jesus, as if His judgment of their eternal status was inferior to their present societal status within their chosen religious cultures.

         As time passed, future generations of these people took cultural pride in their faux Christian constructs and the leaders thereof, not wishing to even consider the possibility of other alternatives, including the only correct one.

         For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. [2Timothy 4:3-4]

MOCKING THE NEW BIRTH

         But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]

         The majority of those who call themselves Christians have never had a true born again experience. Though the experience is fully documented in the New Covenant writings, excuses ad infinitum have come forth over the years toward rejecting it and even mocking it. It is clear the people who do this are either unaware of Scripture or have been taught one of these excuses as a point of doctrine. It must be acknowledged that unregenerate flesh hates the idea of being spiritually crucified and it is therefore no wonder it will always fight for self preservation, even if said preservation destroys any chance of spiritual preservation.

         Most Christians understand the concept of sin but have also accepted varying definitions of it. There is, of course, from a New Covenant perspective, only one definition. From the Greek word hamartia, it is defined as “missing the mark,” “to err,” and even “to be without a share.” That is, whoever is in sin or is in possession of unconfessed sin misses God’s requirements for inclusion within His Community. If someone wants to create another community, however, and call it Christian, and does not acknowledge this definition or fails to require the only cure for sin, then its members are off the hook and will receive no conviction from peers or even from their own conscience, though the latter will take some time.

         Thus, justifying sin is in league with justifying the rejection of the new birth. Both of these protect resident sin and unregenerate flesh, and the acceptors of such a non-New Covenant belief system will receive no power over sin and one will thus be subjected to its ravages.

         The Lord Jesus went through great personal expense to buy our freedom and we, by comparison, even through a full born again experience, pay nowhere near the same price, but any price we pay is a bargain. To be rid of sin is the goal. To be filled with His Spirit is the further goal. Yet both are also Christianity 101 and prerequisite to anything further. The apostles began this way. Mary, the Lord’s mother, began this way. The 120 began this way. Prior to Acts 2 they were essentially no different than they had ever been on a spiritual level. The new birth awaited. The circumcision of their hearts had yet to take place. Such could never happen without the Spirit of the Lord.

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

         So they waited. They went to the Upper Room and prepared themselves. They paid the price. Some likely dropped out and never made it to the day of the great event. By giving it their all the 120 made themselves worthy. They never substituted mere religious ideology for spiritual reality. They wanted the real thing and nothing would stop them from their goal.

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.

CHRISTIAN ZIONISM’S ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

       Christian Zionists must believe the Gospel does not apply to everyone, are embarrassed by it, and would rather not mention it in certain circles.

.

         They must think unsaved Jews are saved by osmosis through their “chosen people” status and connection claim to the ancient patriarchs, even though John the Immerser called out their forebears on this false claim two thousand years ago:

         “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 3:8-10]   

         John warned them that the nation was about to go up in flames but some paid him no heed. The destruction of what was left of the nation from its glories of a millennium past was still forty years off. Nevertheless, the axe was already laid at the root of the trees and about to strike. This forty year period was the exact time frame we see throughout the book of Judges when the Lord was continually bringing judgment upon His wayward people who refused His leadership and preferred the rebellion of sin.

THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH

         John was the first Hebrew prophet in over four hundred years. For over four centuries there was no prophetic voice in the land of Judea. In one sense then, the people thereof and especially the religious leaders thereof cannot be blamed for being completely clueless of the prophetic word. By that time they had built up their own version of the way things ought to be without the help, guidance, or direction of God, and indeed did so in actual rebellion against Him. The things of God and the ways of God became absolutely foreign to them in that interim.

         As a result, when John the Immerser suddenly burst forth upon the scene he looked nothing like what they were familiar with. He appeared strange and different, and his incredibly powerful voice and manner was unlike anything they had ever heard or seen. They had no frame of reference. To that point, they had been like know-it-all ignorant teenagers devoid of real living experiences from which to base their rebellious beliefs, and instinctively felt that total rejection was in order, which is what the majority did. Most of the Jewish religious leaders rejected John outright and no doubt had a behind-the-scenes hand in his death. Even though they were great recognized religious leaders, their status meant nothing in spiritual terms. He demanded that they must repent:

          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…” [Matthew 3:7-8]

         Why do Christian Zionists seemingly never tell unsaved Jews to repent? Why do Christian Zionists often accept unsaved Jews exactly as they are? Why do they even esteem them highly and insist they are “God’s chosen people” when the New Covenant Scriptures say no such thing? Why do they believe unsaved Jews need not convert to Messiah? Is this how they show the love of God?

MESSIAH JESUS: THE BÊTE NOIRE OF ORTHODOX JUDAISM

         All Christians are commanded by the Lord to know the Gospel and teach the Gospel, and there is nothing in the Gospel that says one can be saved from sin through righteous works or making ancestral claims. Such beliefs are actually revolting in the eyes of a holy God and show a complete contempt for the great price the Lord made on our behalf. If people can be saved without the Lord’s great suffering and death on the cross then why did He have to die? Is there a double standard at work here? Can some be saved without His sacrifice? Whoever makes their personal salvation contingent not on the Blood of the Lamb but on righteous works will eventually have a very rude awakening.

         Until that day, however, many unbelievers double down on their hatred and rejection of the Lord, blaming Him for exposing them for what they are. The combination of their great conviction of sin juxtaposing with their own high-minded and prideful perception of themselves causes a maelstrom of contrary stubbornness and results in an inability to change. It is the act of a person clutching on to his claim to fame and faux right standing, and refusing to surrender to someone whom he insists is inferior and an imposter. The inevitable outcome is that one sees himself as better and greater than the Lord Jesus, which can only result in self-worship.

PAUL TELLS IT LIKE IT IS

         Christian Zionists are seemingly clueless regarding the teachings of the apostle Paul on this subject, who paid a great price to tell his countrymen the truth. Everywhere he went in the beginning years of his ministry he attempted to reach them first. Some Jews were overjoyed to hear him lay out all the prophetic scriptures before them and prove his case that the Lord Jesus is without doubt the Messiah they had all been waiting for. They accepted this truth with open arms. They repented of their sins, just like those three thousand Jews back on that great day of Pentecost. They were baptized in the name of Messiah Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were still Jews. Paul was still a Jew.

         But those Jews who rejected Paul’s teachings, as their associates had rejected John the Immerser and the Lord Himself, were Paul’s greatest enemies. They put out a contract on him early on. Their only answer was murder. There were no greater persecutors than unsaved Jews. But unlike many Christian Zionists, John, the Lord, Paul, and so many others continually showed the great love of God by always trying to reach them. Jesus died for them. What more could He give? Paul was willing to lose his soul for them:

         I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel… [Romans 9:1-6]

HEY JUDE

         Thus, many Christian Zionists have failed in showing the love of God by refusing to preach repentance for unsaved Jews, some of whom would readily accept salvation as they always have. The only reason for this must be a different agenda than the one true Gospel of the Lord. It is this different agenda, like so many others, that has “crept in unnoticed” and become surreptitiously established:

         For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. [Jude 1:4-5]

         Jude wrote the above not too long before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. He goes on to remind his readers of what was soon coming by speaking of other fiery judgments of the past and refers to similar equivalents to that which has occurred in Christian Zionism. He then exhorts his readers to follow the real Gospel and not be deceived by those with an alternative agenda:

         …They speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. [Jude 1:12-13;16-21] 

THE TENDER MERCY OF OUR GOD

         Eternal life cannot be earned. None of us is worthy through our own efforts. Until we are born again we remain unregenerate spiritually, regardless of any high standing or great achievements. It is only the grace of the Lord that saves us activated by our faith. Without the shed blood of our Savior there is no salvation. Our salvation then, whether we are Jew or Gentile, is solely an act of undeserved mercy from a compassionate God driven by His great love for all. There is no substitute. There is no other Way.

         It’s time that Christian Zionists return to the heart of the Gospel and make a greater effort at evangelizing the unsaved Jews they claim to care so much about.

         For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. [Hebrews 2:2-4] [1]

         © 2018 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.

You’re Going To Hell!

         Back in the primitive past when Christians were grossly intolerant and actually believed in and followed the Word of God, preachers really said this. They actually told people in no uncertain terms that unless they repented and got right with God they were going straight to hell.

         And people got saved.

         And they dedicated their lives to God.

         And they were ever-thankful for the great price the Lord paid on their behalf.

         And they loved the preacher for preaching the truth.

         Speaking of which, there was once a man, about fifty years ago, who was a self-described drug addict-satan worshipper-bad dude biker, and the kind of guy who could kill a man relatively quickly without a weapon. He happened to hear a preacher once. The preacher shouted, with absolutely no fear, “You’re Going to Hell!!!”

         The hell-bound man repented and gave his life to God. Later, he also became a preacher. And one night, several years later, I happened to be in a small church building where this man was preaching a revival. The little place was packed and the Spirit of God was powerful. The title of his sermon was… ready?

         Known in Hell.

         He quoted from the Book of Acts, or actually, he shouted from the Book of Acts: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” [Acts 19:15 NKJV]

         The big idea was that the devil knows those responsible for wrecking his kingdom. He knows those who attack his gates and steal back souls for the Lord.

         In the Acts story, the evil spirit knew who the Lord Jesus was, and it knew who the apostle Paul was, and was deathly afraid of both. Real Christians are Known in Hell.

         But what about the fake believers?

         Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. [Acts 19:16 NKJV]

         After hearing this nice little Christian message—Known in Hell—I decided that right then and there would be a very good time to surrender to God. The next thing I knew I was up at the front with about a million other people. The kingdom had to add an extra wing that night. And another hell-bound man got turned around and headed in the right direction.

         Now, even though we humans don’t like such talk, for obvious reasons, the default destination for every human is hell.

         And without real repentance, a born-again experience, and surrendering one’s life to the Lord Jesus, the following applies:

         You’re going straight to hell. You will not pass Go. You will not collect $200.

         Because you have repeatedly trashed the commandments of God, because you have rejected the incredible offer of necessary salvation and undeserved grace, because you have dishonored, disobeyed, disbelieved, and disavowed discipleship, you will be eternally disconnected from God and disappear. You get the hot place. You will spend your first big vacation on the other side of earth at Fire Lake.

         In you will go. And you will never return…

         There are certain things that most people refuse to acknowledge. Hell is often at the top of the list. We don’t want to believe there is a hell. We don’t want to believe in the possibility we may end up there. Some think, “How could a loving God ever send anyone to such a place?”

         Here’s how: Because human beings are sinners, to one degree or another. The very fact that God is a loving God is why those who appreciate His offer of grace should not have to spend eternity with sinful, rotten idiots whose greatest sins are questioning the existence and motives of the very God who made them, rebelling against Him at every turn, thinking they know better and are better than Him, and who are so ridiculously lost in their own self-worth and deception they would rather have their pride and sin than eternal life.

         Jude knew about such people in his time:

         Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

         Why would Jude tell them to contend earnestly for the faith? What happened?

         For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

         Oh.

         Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

         I think that’s what we call a precedent.

         And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

         And there’s another precedent. And it gives us all a very good indication of how God feels about a certain lifestyle.

         Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

         But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

         Cain was evil. He offered an unacceptable sacrifice to God. He killed the godly seed. Balaam was a prophet for hire (Send me money and God will bless you!). And Korah and his rebels took a very fast shortcut to hell. These were in part religious people… Is Jude pointing toward unreal Christians? 

         These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.

         Uh oh.

         It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

         Wow…

         But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. [Jude 1:3-19]

         Bingo.

         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. [1 Timothy 1:8-11]

         So the most stupid people of all are those who reject the laws and commandments of God? And live according to their own sinful nature? And refuse to come clean? And trade the lusts of this very short life for the loss of their souls for all eternity?

         Can they be described further?

         “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 what if a person is a liar by profession? What about those who support the murder of innocent babies? What about those who unreservedly and with full knowledge serve mammonas, the god of riches and avarice? Who sell their soul for wealth and power? Who cut out a little section of the planet for their own purposes through illicit means, not caring at all about who they rip off in order to pad their evil little nest?

         “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” [Matthew 23:33]

         And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? [1 Peter 4:18 KJV] [1]

         Um, could it be…

         © 2013 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.