Sin generated a maelstrom of evil upon God’s perfect Creation. Every time someone sins evil is released. Sin is the real deadly virus. Sin is the real pandemic.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ALTAR CALLS?
Much of Christianity, that which refuses the Lord’s full authority, and that which I have long termed Unreal Christianity, has, in recent years, especially the last two, become that much more obvious regarding its true nature. There is no greater proof of this than its outright refusal to preach and teach the truth about sin.
If you don’t preach sin there is no conviction of sin experienced by the hearer. It is conviction of sin which tells a sinner he is one, is in possession of sin, and must do something to eliminate it from his account and be cleansed. The sinner is then drawn to the Lord Jesus, who paid for his sins, to have his sins eliminated, gain power over sin, and receive salvation. This is clearly a vital component of the Gospel message.
However, instead of telling sinners they are sinners and attempting, per the Lord’s New Covenant teachings, to bring them to real salvation and transform them into disciples, the proponents of Unreal Christianity do the very opposite. They don’t want to bring it up. They are afraid of the negative reaction from unrepentant sinners. They are afraid people will leave their church. They are afraid of losing their social standing in the local community. They are afraid it will negatively affect their market share. They know it’s bad for the bottom line. They might even go out of business. They would thus rather coddle sinners and bless them on their way to hell. They are fearful and faithless. The New Testament reveals them as deceptive imposters.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
One may note the strong and unwavering Biblical directive on correctly measuring up to God’s righteousness standard in this statement:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. [James 2:10]
In this declaration, the brother of our Lord states clearly that anyone who does not keep the Law of Moses in full is guilty of violating the entire Law. It does no good to keep as many as nine of the Ten Commandments, for example. One must keep all ten or one stands in violation. God doesn’t grade on the curve. He demands 100%. We must score an “A.” Of course, there are actually a total of 613 commandments in the entire Torah. Imagine acing that test. Seeing as how it appears to be an impossible task, how can one actually attain God’s standard of righteousness?
In addition to the Law of Moses which lists and defines sins, and which primarily concerns “the mere performance of externals,” the Lord Jesus goes even further in His teachings to incorporate “the inner stirrings of motives.” He obliterates the idea of a religious checklist in which one can outwardly appear to keep the Law (or church protocol) while possessing an uncircumcised heart filled with sin and corruption. His teachings expose the false standing of the likely majority of Christians in America who only pretend to be Christians, hide their true nature, carry hidden sin, and compromise with the enemy. In mining the depths of the following example of the Lord’s teaching in this regard, in which He insists on getting to the very root of the problem and leaving no stone in a stony heart unturned, one can see just how far one must go to live a truly righteous life:
“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” [Matthew 5:21-22]
From this, it is apparent that violating the sixth commandment involves much more than Thou Shalt Not Kill. In the Lord’s Community, we are supposed to love our brothers and sisters as true family members. If one becomes angry with his brother to the point of a break in relationship and refuses any attempt to make peace, he is guilty of a relationship trespass violation and becomes “liable to the court” the same as one who commits murder. Now, keeping in mind that murder was a stoning offense (the death penalty), being angry with one’s brother is a much worse offense than we may realize. Anger itself is not the problem because anger in itself is not a sin. The apostle Paul, quoting Psalms 4:4, taught this:
“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” [Ephesians 4:26]
We know the Lord was angry on occasion as was Paul, but what both are getting at is continuous anger with no forgiveness. This not only results in a break in relationship, which the Community of the Lord must never have, but causes the object of the anger to be falsely characterized as unworthy of relationship, essentially meaning he is evil and beyond redemption. To make sure anger does not lead to such a separation, one must deal with it before the sun goes down so it won’t gain power and eventually become set in concrete.
The Lord then goes further and speaks of the highest court, the Sanhedrin, which had the greatest earthly authority among the Israelites to pronounce sentence. Here, the Lord says whoever says to his brother “You good-for-nothing,” (Raqa) will also be guilty of violating the murder commandment. This is probably an Aramaic word. It means “empty” or “good for nothing,” One authority (Bruce) says, “Raca expresses contempt for a man’s head=you stupid!” The Lord says this is a great offense against one’s brother, even greater than being angry with him. Even so, the Lord does not stop at this point because there is yet a greater offense than these two that also deserves the same sentence as murder. However, it appears that the first two contain the possibility of redemption. The third does not. What could be so bad that is not actual murder but would cause one to be in grave danger of hell? –“You fool!” Yes, calling your brother a “fool” will do it. The Greek word is Moros, defined as “dull, stupid, or foolish.” Bruce says it “expresses contempt for his heart and character=you scoundrel!”
Thus we see that, though a man be not guilty of actual murder, he can still violate the sixth commandment by having murder in his heart. This evil condition starts with unresolved anger and a refusal to forgive. It grows into accusing one’s brother of being empty headed, good for nothing, and stupid. Beyond that one expresses utter contempt for his brother’s heart and character and accuses him of being a fool and a scoundrel. Note that the accused brother in question, probably originally guilty of a minor infraction that caused his brother’s anger, is most likely none of these things but has been subjected to character assassination and had his good name slandered, all because someone was offended at some slight and then built up the offense into a bonfire. The sixth commandment does not spell out these details but the Lord Jesus sure does. If the willfully sinning unrepentant angry man is able to convince enough people of these lies, the innocent man could actually lose his place in the Community by being effectively convicted by false charges and innuendo, have his reputation destroyed, and suffer greatly in life as a result.
Consider this while you consider the existence of so many Christian “denominations” and how the extreme disunity they caused ever happened in the first place. Each denomination exists because it diverted from the original or diverted from another denomination but stopped before it advanced to honoring the original.
The Lord Jesus started only one Church (Ekklesia)—the Community of the Called-Out Ones. He has only ever had one Church. He still has only one Church. It is composed only of real Christians. A real Christian is defined as one who is 100% under the Lordship of the Lord Jesus. Regarding sin, real Christians fully obey the Lord’s teachings regarding being completely freed from sin. They do this through initial repentance as a type of sacrifice on the altar of burnt offering in which the cleansing Blood of Jesus is applied coupled with full immersion in water invoking the Name of Jesus for the remission of sins per the command in Acts Chapter 2, and ongoing repentance of sin as required:
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:38-39]
The entire purpose of real Christianity is to free people from their manifold sins, from the destruction their sins cause to themselves and others, and from the deadly disease of sin which wracks their souls, and then bring them into the New and Living Way:
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. [Hebrews 10:19-22]
Our great Founder, the One who created His Creation—all that exists around you sans sinful man’s additions to it—decided on His own before He ever created anything that He would have to one day pay a visit here, walk among us, teach us the truth and the proper way of living, and then, in the greatest act of love anyone could ever possibly make, and in His case, the greatest act of love of all time, actually surrender His perfect life as a perfect sacrifice to make payment for our sins and to save and deliver humanity.
His sacrifice works because He never committed any sin, not a single one, in His entire life as one of us. He obeyed the Law of Moses to perfection, never violating a single proviso. Obviously, no one had ever done this before or since. His perfection was in part unequivocally proven upon His resurrection from the dead. He actually defeated death. Death could not hold Him. “It was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24). He was and remains the only perfect antidote or cure for all sin for all time.
WHY UNREAL CHRISTIANITY FAILS THE LEGITIMACY TEST
It doesn’t properly address the sin problem.
Again, the whole point of Christianity is to address what we must do about sin, which is defined as “missing the mark” or violating the laws and teachings of God which exist to lead one to righteousness. Christianity is supposed to have the means to allow people to be cured of and released from their deadly disease that will cause them to struggle through life, lose their souls, and go to hell. The teachings of the Lord Jesus perfectly address this. He tells us what sin is, how it got here, and how to get rid of it. His teachings instruct us on how to stop sinning, overcome the hold that sin has on one’s life, and cease being slaves of sin. If this central teaching of the Lord Jesus is not being properly and correctly addressed by a minister, church, or denomination (and many ministers, if not most, no longer preach about sin), then it should be obvious that those ministers, churches, and denominations are frauds. They may be clueless brainwashed frauds in that they are too deceived to know it or more likely, they know they are frauds but don’t care. They don’t care because they are not in it for the right reasons. They are merely using the platform for their own purposes.
Note: It is impossible for those hungry in heart searching for truth to hear the real Gospel and not be convicted of sin. This conviction is designed to activate faith, which leads one to repentance, which then leads to salvation. Unless one’s temple is thoroughly cleansed through proper repentance by washing away all sin with the Blood of the Lamb, the Holy Spirit of the Lord will not take up residence within it. The same is true for churches. This is why it is imperative to preach and teach about the disease of sin. Refusing to address sin and expose it allows for its destructive hidden presence to remain and allows the enemy a place of residence and a foothold from which to operate.
THE PRESENCE OF THE DEVIL
The Lord Jesus saw fit to give us a perfect allegory in His time of false shepherds in action which can be applied to any time or geographic location. The first century Hebrew/Israelite major religious parties, the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, had control of almost all religious thought. Almost every Israelite of the first century AD identified with one of these three parties, mainly, of course, the first two.
One of the reasons the Essenes are not addressed in the New Testament Scriptures is because they were not involved as movers and shakers in the overall society at that time. The original group of them had long since left town in the middle of the second century BC. Happiness for them was Jerusalem in their rear view mirror as it was the only way to appease their conscience regarding the sinister machinations transpiring in the City of David. They took up residence out in the wilderness to the east, close by the northern edge of what the later Romans called the Mare Asphaltum. Scholarship consensus maintains these Essenes were the monastic group inhabiting the ruins of Qumran associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient writings discovered initially in 1947. As former members of the viable Zadok priesthood, this group of men left the temple and Jerusalem because they grew disgusted with what became the official priesthood of that time—a shady group placed in power through political means.
Over the next two centuries this illicit priesthood in Jerusalem became staffed through political appointments which had nothing or little to do with God’s original intent. The political had merged with the religious. Sound familiar? Rather than the priesthood addressing sin as the Torah commanded, the appointees thereof merely went through religious motions appearing as real while saturated with sin and fraud, not the least of which was masquerading as being legitimate. This corruption started a fight for control which eventually congealed into two main religious parties that controlled Jerusalem, Judea, and Galilee, and also the temple and the synagogues: The Sadducees, who worked hand in glove with Rome and had authority over Jerusalem and the temple, and the Pharisees who controlled the local synagogues.
These two parties made a mockery of God, the prophets, and Moses the lawgiver, by appropriating their own versions and wrongheaded interpretations of God’s Word, which even included mass exclusions of Holy Writ (the Sadducees) and a wholesale rewriting of Scripture through ultra-interpretive, casuistic, and specious renderings, the so-called Oral Law, which, in the words of the Lord Jesus, invalidated the Word of God! (the Pharisees). Think about that. These religious leaders were so wicked they both trashed Scripture and rewrote it while pretending to teach it! This is exactly what Unreal Christianity has done and is doing.
Also, keep in mind that the prophetic word had ceased 250 years before that time, in the late 400s BC, so there were no Hebrew prophets correcting these ultra-erroneous shysters. At present, of course, in American Christianity, we have a parallel condition. It explains why most ministers and churches get away with their multitudinous errors. They are all non-Prophet organizations.
KNOWING THE TREE BY ITS FRUIT
The majority of that which is referred to as Christianity in America is incomparable to the original. It refuses the truth of Scripture regarding sin, refuses to teach it, and thus refuses the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus. It has rejected God. It merely uses the Lord and Scripture for its own purposes without actually submitting to Him. Again, maybe the majority of those engaged in this are completely duped, but if so it is the greatest duping ever known to mankind. Why? Because they have the Word of God. They read it. They teach from it. They claim to honor the Lord Jesus. And all in all, they disregard and refute anything in His curriculum they do not feel comfortable with or agree with. Remember, one both strives to follow the Lord fully and obey His teachings fully or one is in violation of not following Him at all. This halfway walk of the false ministers who pick and choose what they believe and teach, and make a god to suit themselves, is the height of ministerial evil but it is an evil couched in faux righteousness. It is an evil that leads people toward the pure and holy stream but never gets them there. They would never allow anyone under their jurisdiction to partake of it. They only want to get close enough to appear real without actually being real. This means they are exactly the same as the ancient Israelite Pharisees and Sadducees though with simulated Christian clothing.
In other words they are mere actors. On a stage. Loving the limelight and place of honor. The Lord called them false stage players or hypocrites. And all unreal Christians deceived and captured by Unreal Christianity are living in a controlled simulation. It appears to be real but is nothing more than a choreographed program in which people go through spiritually meaningless motions which have no effect on their eternal soul and their personal sin. They enter church services as sinners and they leave church services as sinners. They substitute false religious rituals heavy on surface connotations with little or no spiritual effect. The vast majority have never repented of sin properly or had a real born again experience, both of which the Lord Jesus said was mandatory for all. This is deception of a very high order.
There is no new thing under the sun. The world has never been devoid of religious charlatans. No matter what the righteous may do expose their trickery and eliminate their influence they always somehow manage to creep back in and establish a foothold. In closing, the following passage is a great refresher on this recurrent “goats as sheep” problem that presently exists as a nationwide mainstream false representation of Christianity. It gives a great explanatory illustration of these pretenders in action. It exposes those of today just as it did those of yesterday. Read, watch, and pray:
Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”
After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”
But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:1-14]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 See A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament
 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.
They have crossed over into full-fledged iniquity. They break the law routinely and no longer care. They are determined to have their way. They will not be restrained by anything including the Constitution.
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:19-21]
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’” [Matthew 7:23]
In reading the preceding verses, remember who the Lord’s ministry was directed to. At that time He was obviously not referring to the world at large but only the land associated with His direct ministry. Much of the context of the Gospel message is lost without this proper frame of reference.
HIDDEN EVIL (IN OTHERWISE PLAIN SIGHT)
Going back to ancient times, there have always been people in the world who gained enough power and money to do absolutely anything they desired. They reached a point of no restrictions. Though the possibility existed that some of these people possessed enough self discipline to restrict their behavior, and though outward observers, including those researching history, may have thought the best of such powerful people, the reality is that the vast majority, in essence, all of them save a possible one or two here and there, crossed over into absolute hedonism.
Consider this hypothetical question: If a person has gained so much power and money he can do anything he wants and no one can stop him, do you think he will limit himself? The Word of God is clear on the depravity of unregenerate humanity bound by sin and out of relationship with the Lord. Those who sow to the flesh will reap the sinful fruit of the flesh. Those who do so with powerful means and no restrictions will reap the greatest of sinful fruit. The Lord Jesus expounded upon this issue in the following:
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:34-38]
Reflect on the Biblical illustration of Solomon, a person many Christians highly honor, as one who fits the preceding passage perfectly. He reached a point in which he gained zero accountability and did whatever he wanted (because he quit on God and eliminated God’s prophets). Rather than one wife, for example, he appropriated several and many more “concubines.” As time proceeded there were never enough women to satisfy his lust. He eventually possessed over a thousand:
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. [1Kings 11:1-3] 
Can you then see the distinct likelihood that other powerful people like Solomon with zero accountability might have grown tired of attempting to satisfy their lust with grown women and branched out? The Old Testament spells this out exactly. The Law of Moses describes specifically the sins which one should never engage in. It involves the most disgusting practices you can imagine. It’s all right there in black and white. Great tyrants who could do whatever they wanted were doing such things. No one could stop them. Then their disgusting sins permeated the entire nations over which they ruled and those nations became as corrupt as the disgusting leaders. Then the nation of Israel engaged in the exact behavior. Repeatedly. Over and over. The rumors that abound in our day of powerful people engaging in such lawless behavior are rampant. Remember, they can do anything they want and no one can do anything about it. They have embraced absolute lawlessness. They possess the means, the motive, and the opportunity.
It is strange that people don’t see this. The evil of the powerful mostly remains behind a curtain. The likely reason is centuries-old psychological conditioning in that the subjects of such people are forced to fear their leaders and what will happen to them if they attempt to call them out. There have always been stiff penalties. Offending those in power has traditionally resulted in societal rejection and prison. Revolting against them has resulted in death. This is how the world has always been run. The ones who gain power and their sycophants step on everybody else to get there and keep a boot on their face after they do. Whoever objects to the sin and lawlessness of those who gain power are made to pay and some are made to pay exceedingly as examples to check whoever else may have such tendencies. This is likely why most people refuse to consider the subject. The Lord Jesus, however, has forever remained undaunted regarding such. He strives to root out and expose the evil. He knows the great harm it causes. In the nation of Israel’s case the Lord sent prophets. Even so, what happened to the prophets?
We could get into a long list of such powerful unaccountable people from ancient times to the present in both the secular and religious fields, including “Christianity” of course, even if we restrict it to the world’s most powerful at the top of various hierarchies and pyramids. But for the purposes of this short paper I will limit the scope to just one guy to illustrate what is possible and to honor the Lord for using this person as an early example in His Word:
The first great empire on the planet was created by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, the “land between two rivers,” in about 3000BC, roughly occupied at present by the country of Iraq. The Bible refers to this land as Shinar. A man by the name of Nimrod created and ruled over this first of all empires and did so with an iron fist. It was not an easy task to run roughshod over the entire population of the vast region and cobble together a union of city states. To streamline the process Nimrod gave very little or no heed to “human rights” or what any of his potential subjects may have thought of the process. He was determined to rule the world and he achieved his goal. In the process everyone under his rule became slaves to various degrees. Those who bucked the process were simply eliminated.
How do we know some revolted? The bigger question, in my estimation, is why did not everyone revolt? Why was there not a wholesale revolution? Why did they not stop him from coming to power? What Nimrod engaged in was a total mockery of humanity and rejection of the inherent liberty of each person. He had no respect for the mass of people. He would only use them for his own ends. Once he gained enough toadies bound to his will, those who had the same evil outlook in life who wanted only to satisfy their flesh with the usual sinful practices, and paid them off with such, he had enough of an army to fight the few who were bold enough to oppose him. Though the great majority were likely greatly offended at what was happening, likely only a relative few, as always, had the boldness to put their lives on the line to prevent it. In the case of ancient Sumer it obviously did no good. It was the end of an egalitarian social structure and the beginning of a collectivist one-man-rule dictatorship model later emulated by others, notably ancient Egypt and eventually Rome. Ironically, those early Sumerian tyrants are credited with creating “civilization.”
NIMROD IS HERE
To better explain the following verses of Scripture regarding Nimrod, I wrote the following passage about twenty five years ago. It is an excerpt from my book Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church. What I wrote then has turned out to be prophetic. What I wrote then has now essentially come to pass. The warning I gave then was largely rejected by the very people (Christians, especially those in “leadership”) who should have taken it to heart. See if any of the following sounds familiar. Remember, I wrote the following in approximately 1995:
Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. [Genesis 10:8-12]
Nimrod was the great-grandson of Noah, the grandson of Ham and the nephew of Canaan. In this verse he is called a “. . . mighty hunter before the Lord,” but this phrase is not very clear. Its surface meaning is a tad ambiguous, and its deeper meaning is hard to judge on the basis of its simple translation. Therefore, an in-depth explanation is called for. This will get somewhat confusing, but the end result in greater understanding is worth the effort.
- To begin with, the English word “mighty” in the above verse is translated from the Hebrew word gibbor which means “powerful,” but by implication, a “warrior,” or “tyrant.”
- Tsayid is the Hebrew word which was translated as “hunter,” yet tsayad is the proper word for hunter or “huntsman.” Tsayid actually means “the chase” or “hunting.”
- “Before” is taken from the word paneh which means “the face (as the part that turns),” or as the preposition “before” in the sense of being “against.”
- “The Lord” in this case is, of course, YHWH, the “Self-Existent or Eternal.”
When translated closer to the original intent, the following sense emerges: “Nimrod was a powerful warrior-tyrant hunting the face of YHWH.” Now, what exactly does it mean to hunt the face of YHWH?
First of all, it helps to be aware of the terminology of early Genesis. In the first fifteen chapters, the word paneh (face) is mentioned eighteen times. On seventeen of these occasions, “face” is a reference to the face of the deep, the waters, the earth, and the ground. On one occasion, there is a reference to the face of YHWH. 
Of course, even though God appeared in theophanic form on occasion, Nimrod wasn’t hunting God’s human face but the façade which marked the boundary, or surface (presence) of the Lord, or in other words—the Lord’s dominion. He was against the Lord in this sense. Nimrod’s name means “rebellion.”
In essence, Nimrod’s objective was to hunt, or chase after, the kingdom of God. He either did this in direct competition against God, as one who would build his own kingdom, or he labored under great deception, thinking he was seeking the kingdom according to God’s will and by God’s plan. In either case he was wrong, and the effect was the same.
Throughout the ages and continuing into the present, countless Nimrods have established control over the unsuspecting by wresting away their freedom. They create governments which place themselves in supreme authority over the masses. They swell up like Thanksgiving Day parade balloons with the life they steal from their subjects—those who innocently trust them—those defenseless ones who eventually become nothing but inert husks, mere shells of destitute humanity. As fish out of water, a people lose their energizing spark and eventually breathe their last breath, while those who destroyed them build monuments to themselves.
It is for this very reason that the founding fathers of the United States of America sought to place ruling authority in the hands of “We the People.” This would prevent another Nimrod from taking over. History clearly shows us that this experiment in government known as the USA has been the most successful of all that have ever existed, hands down. Why? It is due simply to the fact that when people have authority, they have freedom, and when they have freedom, they have the chance at life. That is why the Declaration of Independence refers to the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No other government in the history of the world had ever stood on such a principle, with one exception.
Many centuries earlier, an extremely limited form of government was created which depended on one thing to make it work—obedience to God. The nation was ancient Israel. This form of government failed because its people did not “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,”  nor did they “love your neighbor as yourself.”  The government that God gave to Israel was also formed to keep a Nimrod from taking over, but that objective failed and we have documented proof to verify it.
In ancient Israel, the spirit of Nimrod rose from within. The Old Testament gives us a Hebrew king list which is largely composed of one despot after another who ruled the descendants of Jacob with complete disregard for God’s first intention—His children’s life and liberty. When the people of Israel turned their back on God, they turned their back on everything, and thus received the leadership they deserved.
The USA will also fail to stop the current Nimrod insurgency if we don’t get our priorities straight. Each citizen of this country is guaranteed by the Constitution the right to life. This right has been greatly curtailed, paradoxically by the government itself, that is, the government of “We the People.” We have surrendered much of the substance of our original right to life. We have created a hierarchical, bureaucratic machine which has no feeling or regard for our true welfare. We now largely look to the government instead of to God for answers to our problems. Even though our government was built in such a way to keep Nimrod from taking over, Nimrod is about to come to power anyway—we created him, and the exact creation has transpired within American Christianity.
In the early church, God spread out power and authority evenly among His people, but in the majority of today’s churches, the religious upper class rules with a velvet-gloved iron hand. If one doesn’t think this is true, then one has never challenged the ruling class as Jesus did. Those who do find out post haste that it has a dark side, that it often regards its dependents with contempt, and that its holy exterior remains that way only as long as one remains its fool:
And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.[Luke 4:28–29] 
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
 Genesis 4:14
 Deuteronomy 6:5
 Leviticus 19:18
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
For all the senseless sins of humanity
For all the hate
For all the children
Whose lives are snuffed out
By their parents.
And other beautiful children
Born deaf or blind
Who love their lives
And give their might to prove their worth
While privileged ones
Throw theirs away
For so many so rebellious
No one can reach them
Intent on evil
Who deceived them?
And on it goes
Century after eon
Nothing ever changes
Man’s inhumanity to man
Brings untold misery
And hard, hard work for nothing
Destroyed in a day
She said it wasn’t worth it
And darkness descended
But what of another choice?
What of beauty?
What of kindness and love
What of joy?
Why the hate and discontent?
When air can be so pure
And nature so rich?
How can creatures so bright
Descend into such a pit?
Day after day after day
Misery upon misery
And evil people in power
Will no one ever stand to save?
Will we let it all slip away?
Day after day, tears fall
Year after year, tears fall
The dry void receives the wet
Salty, salty tears
The levels rise
And continuing upward
So much sin
So much pain
So much flat out rejection
Of the cure
Of the means to stop it
To live right
To get it right
To stop the bleeding
But they would not
And the levels rise
More tears, flowing daily
Won’t you stop?
Won’t you try to live right?
Won’t you take care of one another?
I’ve given all I can give
I can give no more
And the levels rise
Filling the earth
Overcoming all bounds
An unending stream
Of the Creator’s anguish
Oceans of tears
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]
So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD. [Judges 6:6]
For those of you who read Part 1 of this series, which is a prerequisite for Part 2 and future segments, you know we concluded on kind of a down note with an ending left hanging in the air. Therefore, the preceding quote from Judges 6:6, in standing on its own, will not convey the true meaning of this chapter or how it came to be that the Midianites took power and control over the Israelites. How did a heathen tribe of people opposing God take authority over the people of God?
For this, which I listed at the end of Part 1, we return to the opening verse of the Book of Judges Chapter 6:
Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years. [Judges 6:1]
And there you have it. The reason Midian rushed in and caused untold havoc over the Israelites is because God gave them authority over His own people to do that very thing. I could spend the next several paragraphs explaining this in much detail but in this instance it is better to simply get to the heart of the problem: The Israelites turned their back on God. They violated their covenant with God. They removed themselves from the yoke of God. They no longer wanted to be yoked together with a gentle God humble in heart in an easy yoke with a light burden that blessed them with peace, safety, and plenty. They rebelled against God and for planting the seed of rebellion against Him Israel got rebellion right back in its face.
So even though in one sense God gave them over to the Midianites, in another sense He allowed it because He could not do much about their obstinate choice anyway. In short, His covenant demands His people do their part and when Israel no longer did its part the nation opened up a door toward destruction. However, it wasn’t simple laziness and non-adherence to an agreement by both parties, but a wholesale turning away from holiness and the upright lifestyle they pledged to lead. They went from doing right to doing evil. That is quite the precipitous drop and a total breach of faithfulness, fidelity, and proper conduct.
In Part 1 I related this to what has been happening in America over the last many decades. American Christianity has gone from having much influence to having much less and rather than setting the standard of righteousness has largely adopted the mores of the culture. Of course, Christianity in America has always had its blind spots and a decided tendency to live according to extra-Biblical mandates rather than solely by the fullness of the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus but even then had a relatively high level of righteous conduct especially compared to other belief systems in this world. American Christianity has historically existed as salt and light and a preservative of the overall culture. Some will undoubtedly take offense at that yet the teachings of the Lord Jesus have no equal. No other belief system comes close regarding one’s responsibility toward God and one another. What other “religion” or belief system in the world adheres to the following enriching teachings of peace and love?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” [Matthew 5:43-45]
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” [Matthew 6:24-25]
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ [Matthew 22:36-39]
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:31-37]
In Part I of this series I mentioned Wokism as the antithesis to the Great Awakening. In the above latter verse of Scripture from Luke’s Gospel we see that a central tenet of the Woke is the very opposite of what the Lord taught. Cancel culture is all about destroying people, judging people, and condemning people. There is no actual love or mercy there. Not only are the Lord’s preceding teachings poles apart regarding generally accepted standards of human behavior, they are also obviously difficult to carry out. Real enemies are those who hate another and find another despicable and assign blame to others even though such others are often innocent parties. Group think is such that those who prescribe to it lower their otherwise normal relations with their fellow man and latch onto hateful behavior thinking it is justified. But the Lord’s teachings never allow for any of this. And even if one’s enemy is guilty it doesn’t change the Lord’s overall intent. His standard is the same in all circumstances and reduced down to the simple but very direct it becomes the following:
“Love your enemies.”
“Serve God, not wealth.”
“Love God. Love your neighbor.”
“Treat people the way you want to be treated.”
“Do not judge or condemn, but pardon.”
It is apparent that, prior to Judges 6:1, the ancient nation of Israel was doing these things at least in part but enough to satisfy God in that they were putting forth effort and actually succeeding. In fact, prior to the Midianite invasion in verse 6:1, Israel had a long time of peace, protection, and prosperity. Here is the verse immediately before:
And the land was undisturbed for forty years. [Judges 5:31]
Israel had been doing very good. The land was at rest. There was no fear. One can relate Israel’s behavior on either a large or small scale. It is indicative of countries, nations, and large groups on the one hand but also of small groups, immediate families, and even individuals on the other. God’s standard is always the same. By being in covenant with Him it gives us the greatest chance to live right, be righteous, and engage in righteousness. Without that connection one will undoubtedly fall under the sway of human authority rather than God’s authority. Since human authority has historically been seasoned with fear to varying degrees in that a fearful populace is much easier to control and manipulate, the replacement of God’s authority with human authority is often driven by fear. Humans fear that which they cannot control whether it’s an invasion or a disease. And unless they manifest trust in God they must place their trust elsewhere. The following passage illustrates this:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. [1John 4:18-21]
Humanity without the Lord Jesus is a lost cause. Human beings are sinful fallen creatures always coming up short of what they could be otherwise. We only have multiple reams of documentation and libraries full of sinful and disgusting human activity on this planet for multiple millennia to prove it true. As another indication that things have gotten progressively worse, approximately 200 million people were killed in the prior century, not counting abortions, and most of these by human governments. These governments were obviously acting outside the will of God and in direct rebellion against Him.
Though previously successful in living for God with the spiritual fruit to show the world, Israel had simply quit trying. God blessed them for forty years, and it could have been effectively forever. The nation apparently grew bored with righteousness and reached a point of weakness when it could no longer resist temptation. The people then went full bore into disobedience and wholesale into sin. That which was healthy started becoming rotten. And that which grew rotten, though not yet completely rotted away and therefore still possibly turned around and saved, needed a stimulus in a positive direction. Since their pride was such that they would no longer bend their knees in prayer and get on their faces before God they would have to be driven there for their own good and the good of the nation into the future. Perhaps the wholesale slaughter of their newly-embraced evil lifestyle would get their attention. In this case, the nation of the Midianites would serve as a corrective and the means to get Israel back on the right track before it committed national suicide.
So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD. Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD on account of Midian, that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery. I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land, and I said to you, “I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me.”’” [Judges 6:6-10] 
© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
The term adult is overrated. It is often ill-defined and based on a confined perspective. In reality, when compared to God, eternity, and an ancient earth, we are all mere newbies, children trying to find our way.
YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME
We see ourselves as sovereign. It is this way from childhood. Some children are more vocal than others on the subject and the little highnesses don’t hold back when perceiving a challenge to their noble standing. Once they understand they’re behind the generational eight ball, however, at least for the present, and the big people have the drop on them, they begin making plans for the future—“When I get big…”
Wiser children are a tad more circumspect. They somehow understand intrinsically that their little lives are good or at least not so bad. They have shelter and food and… toys!
“But they’re just using toys to keep you in line and under their authority.”
“What? You don’t like toys?”
“Toys are just tools of the capitalist bourgeoisie to train you as future oppressors of the proletariat.”
“I gather by your lack of proper retort that your brainwashing has already progressed to a probable point of no return and I must therefore and forthwith identify you as my enemy and insufferably target you with my considerable wrath, the first thrust of which is leaving you bereft and alone in the midst of this sordid establishment to suffer the misery of a wasted existence built on false hopes and dreams rather than join the glorious people’s revolution and overthrowing the man!”
“Johnny, are you spouting Communist propaganda again? Okay, to the playpen…”
“You may imprison me but my heart will stay free!”
“Want some apple juice?”
(The little Commie might have been more successful if he had conformed his propaganda to the interactive fine art of playing with toys. He overplayed his hand.)
THE SIN PANDEMIC
Here is an interesting fact. Many years ago, three months before I gave my heart to the Lord, I was witnessed to for the first time. Then, three months later, I was witnessed to once more, by the same person (It bore fruit). And guess what? I don’t remember ever being witnessed to again. That little factoid doesn’t speak well of American Christianity in general which surrendered its previous hard-charging evangelistic DNA maybe a century or so ago. And I was raised in a denominational church but I don’t recall ever hearing the term “witnessing.”
But there we were. And there they were, telling me about a big new change in their lives. I had already heard something about it. They were close friends, a young married couple. This was the first time they came over to see me since it all went down and tell me the weird news in person. Only it wasn’t so much them telling me about them but them telling me I had to also be like them. I was roughly their age, and was doing a good job of being friendly and open.
My associates and I had always prided ourselves on being open-minded and often partook of great conversations on any number of subjects and were never concerned about getting too deep. In fact, getting deep was cool. We were young adults. Everything was new and open. Being dogmatic was better left to canines. It was much more fun to hear many different points of view and gain information. No one owned the information and if you didn’t care for it, it was no big deal.
We opposed any form of censoring for the simple fact that we could end up missing good ideas and positive information, and things we might apply in our lives to make them better. Conforming to a dead orthodoxy was the last thing we wanted.
But these people, who I used to know and hang out with, had changed in what I soon perceived to be in a not so good way. I started feeling pressure. Are they trying to sell me on something? Really? And the answer was yes, they were. Rather than a conversation it switched over to a sales pitch. I started getting irked. The smiles were gone from their faces. I know now what was going on. They themselves were under pressure. They felt they had to do this, to witness to me, to tell me I must change…”
I got quiet briefly, my mood transformed from being welcoming, open, and very friendly to a tad somber. I’m sure I must have lowered my eyebrows and effected a somewhat borderline dismayed expression. At last I told them that if they didn’t stop they may as well leave. (What they were doing was not cool. Not in the least.) He looked more upset than she did and said “Let’s go.” She showed more concern and didn’t want the visit to end on a bad note but they’re the ones that brought it on. They overplayed their hand.
WITNESSING IS A FORCED OPTION
So you see, sinners don’t like being referred to as sinners. No one likes to be thought of as inferior in need of a major remodel and paint job. Pride always kicks in. We stand up for ourselves and should. It is in the heart of every person to defend their honor regardless of morality level. There might only be a half tank or so left but good things still reside within and besides, aren’t these people a tad arrogant to think they’re better? This is why witnessing is tricky and witnessers must have some level of proper training. The Lord did this. He prepared His men before sending them out.
I think a much better witness would have been for my friends to come over still exulting in the joy of the Lord as I know they did in church and at home. They were too young then spiritually, as we all are early on, to understand that witnessing is a forced option in that it happens no matter what we do or how we do it. What I saw was a religious sales pitch. What they saw was the need to make me convert just as they had. Although they didn’t really convert. They were actually gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit and had a powerful and positive life-changing experience. If they had come over with absolutely no pressure tactics and allowed me to see the big change for the better in their lives simply by their love, joy, and outward actions, I would have been more impressed. It would have planted a seed within that would have grown into greater curiosity on my part and later on I might be more willing to open up, likely when I was down or struggling.
And this is exactly what ended up happening. They changed tactics and began praying. The whole church prayed for me. Over a three month period I felt my swagger and manly security slowly slipping away. I began being more aware of my shortcomings. In a tender and loving way the Lord was showing me my sin. The Lord Himself was witnessing to me! He was preparing me for what He knew I really wanted, and part of the preparation was “breaking up the fallow ground of my heart.” He was plowing deep furrows in my heart is what He was doing. He was getting the soil ready to receive the Gospel seed. When the time came for the final witness I was ready.
That second time around it was exactly like what I had suggested before. It was a time of smiles, laughter and joy. Whatever it was they had, I wanted it.
But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” [Luke 18:16-17]
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Today’s Lesson is about New Covenant water baptism. There is only one legitimate form and formula. The apostle Peter proclaimed this in no uncertain terms, and Early Church history confirms it.
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
The Lord Jesus made water baptism an extremely important and vital component of His teachings and ministry. It has never been optional. Also, His original method has never been subjected to change by Him. Nevertheless, to this present point in Christian history, we have had about as many water baptism forms and formulas as we have had pretty much everything else that has divided Christianity. And there is no excuse for it. The Book of Acts makes it very clear that there was only one original New Covenant water baptism and it was intended to stay if effect throughout the Church Age.
The word baptism comes from a word that means to immerse totally or overwhelm. All ancient Jewish ritual immersion methods were just that—total immersion. John the Immerser obviously followed this practice. His was a baptism of repentance. His calling was to prepare the nation for the coming King and his kingdom. But he also prophesied the complete destruction of the nation. He knew only a believing Remnant would accept and obey the Messiah and properly repent. These would prove it by bringing forth the fruit or evidence of repentance in their lives. John only used one form of water baptism.
THREE NATIONAL BAPTISMS
There were only three national water baptisms of the nation of Israel throughout its history. Each involved the authority of a prominent spiritual personage representing (1) the Law, (2) the Prophets, and (3) Truth and Grace. The first two were mandatory, as is the third.
The very first baptism was at the Exodus. It is associated with the Red Sea. It took place upon the birth of a new nation just released from Egyptian bondage. It was a baptism unto Moses upon his authority:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. [1Corinthians 10:1-4]
The second national water baptism was for repentance. It is associated with the Jordan River. It was also for the purpose of manifesting the Lord Jesus to Israel and separating those who recognized and accepted their Messiah from those who did not, and to prepare each group for their ultimate fate. It was a baptism unto John upon his authority:
Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’” Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. [Matthew 3:1-6]
The third national water baptism, in conjunction with repentance, was for the total remission of sin and as preparation for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit as the 120 did in the Upper Room. It is associated with Living Water. It was an opportunity to get spiritually clean, appeal to God for a good conscience, release the hounding burden of one’s sinful and rebellious actions against the Lord Jesus, and gain a personal, reconciled relationship with Him. Whoever may have a casual attitude toward water baptism has likely never fully considered the great cost of purchasing our salvation. Greater love has no one else. He gave His life on our behalf. He did it through His own shed blood.
The third baptism was unto the Lord Jesus, upon His authority, using His Name:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” [Mark 16:15-16]
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:45-47]
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 2:38] 
New Covenant water baptism is a perfect illustration of the virgin Bride taking the Name of the Bridegroom.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Peter commanded the people that they must fulfill two conditions to get right with God and receive the promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
It began with faith. They believed. This is exactly how it started with Abraham. It took the Upper Roomers less time to develop this faith fully, this complete trust and confidence in the Lord.
For Abraham, he was one man alone and God was an invisible Spirit. In time he began to listen closer—he would pursue—he was spiritually hungry. He had experienced the futility of his family religion and graven idols, and sought spiritual reality the only way he knew how. Yet, it was evident that God spoke first. Abraham felt His voice within. In time his hearing improved. He deciphered what he felt. He began to understand God’s greetings and responded in kind. Once communication was established the relationship grew and Abraham’s confidence in his new spiritual Father and Friend developed and matured.
For the disciples, God was manifested directly to them in human form. They were blessed to spend time with Him daily. One would think their relationship with Him would develop faster, and it did, but it was certainly not any easier. They had to learn how to shift to spiritual learning and no longer resort to instantaneous default understanding, that which merely came naturally. It would take much effort. It is why His students were disciples. They were not only receiving head knowledge from their new Teacher but an entirely new curriculum involving every aspect of their lives. It was 24-hour-a-day learning with a universal application.
In the early going, once true faith comes forth, one sees oneself in God’s eyes and is quickly struck by the presence of previously unrecognized or unacknowledged personal corruption. The presence of sin is initially shocking. One perceives how damaging it is to a relationship with the Lord and is embarrassed to be in His presence. There is an urge to run, to get away quickly. It is why we collapse in a heap at His feet. We do all in our power to get clean. This is real repentance. It is a wholesale turning away 180 degrees from a former lifestyle that fits in perfectly in a fallen world. It’s a no-brainer for sinners to have good relationships with sinners. But such is impossible with God. It is difficult to wrench oneself away and a person must make the choice to either live for God or live for this world. The 120 chose correctly.
Soon, in the crowd of thousands gathered to hear Peter’s powerfully anointed message, a great many others would also choose correctly. They too were on the verge of collapse, having been powerfully convicted of their personal sins and rebellious actions toward their Messiah. Some of them had been hearing God’s voice just as Abraham did in the beginning. It came as a perceived thought, as a feeling, and as something quite real but intangible. They couldn’t figure it out but it seemed as though someone was trying to contact them. Many neglected the voice. Others, intrigued, listened more closely.
As John Wesley spoke his now famous words relating to his early conversion experience, the Israelites who paid attention to the loving voice “felt their hearts strangely warmed.”
He was calling them to new life.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Everyone there was an Israelite—the good guys, the bad guys, and those in between. The entire story, from Abraham to Pentecost, was the saga of a single, small, obscure nation on a sliver of land in the Middle East. This nation was chosen by God two millennia before, long before it ever was a nation, when it was only prophesied as such, when it only existed of a man, a woman, and a hoped-for miracle child. Isaac was his name. Within him were all the future participants, including the greatest One of all.
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 
Among the Israelites before him, shock and awe plastered on their faces, were undoubtedly some of those who directly participated in clamoring for the Lord’s crucifixion fifty-three days before. The conspiracy that started in the cold, hollow darkness of a few dark hearts, those with great influence, those with the ability to pull strings on a whim, had extended to down line roll players, each playing a part. For these wicked ones it truly was a passion play. They wrote the script, they chose a director, they set the scene, and they hired actors. They even hatched a diabolical plan to compromise the Roman government which otherwise had the power to shatter their dream through laws against such supreme injustice and vendetta politics.
Pontius Pilate, though one who often flaunted his power in taking personal liberties with Roman law, sometimes to the edge, was well versed in such jurisprudence. He was certainly in authority and didn’t shrink from it, but was also under authority. He would have to answer for his actions. Having been called on the carpet before due to prior acts of government malfeasance, most notably in excesses against the native population he presided over, Pilate faced enough perceived threat from his superiors that he was ripe for compromise. And the plotters knew it. They knew they had cards to play that could tie him in a knot. And they did. And their plot worked perfectly. Until, that is, a little resurrection problem.
But you see, in their warped minds, the Man they crucified was just another nutcase nuisance who believed Himself to be somebody—another pretender—a false prophet—a magician. He was a violator of the Torah, they said, while they, of course, obeyed every jot and tittle. If they had to resort to an evil backstabbing conspiracy to take Him out, so be it.
And now Peter was looking directly into their hearts. His eyes flashed with the power of heaven. It was a familiar look to them. They had seen it before in another Man’s eyes…
Powerful, unrelenting conviction came upon them like a load of dirt from the sky. “He knows I’m guilty!” some thought. Peter did not lay the blame just on those direct participants but the whole lot of them. They opposed the Lord to a man. And now in a sudden rush it all came together in their previously deceived and distorted minds. They no longer saw a magician but their Messiah! We killed our Messiah!
Peter was not merely preaching to the instigators in the crowd before him, or the crowd itself, but directed his message to the whole nation:
“Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made Him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 
Imagine being given a great promise. And imagine getting direct clues in the interim that the promise was greater than previously imagined. Then imagine finally receiving it and… Do you see? The promise never changed. The people did. Their sin and rebellion warped their minds and blackened their hearts. But praise God He gives us second chances! Praise God He is forgiving and compassionate! Praise God He is sincere and loving! Because this wasn’t the end for these morons, but a new beginning! Their rocky hearts had been busted wide open by the powerfully anointed sledgehammer preaching of Peter. He kicked their backsides black and blue. He mopped up the parking lot with them. They were left absolutely defenseless and destroyed. Exactly how the Lord drew it up.
Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, brothers?” 
They were all brothers! These were all Israelites! —The apostles, all the Upper Roomers, the entire crowd—they were all members of the same nation. Not everyone in the crowd took the message to heart but thousands did, and there would be many thousands more. The prophesied Remnant was coming forth.
National destiny was granting yet another chance for the children of Isaac.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © New Revised Standard Version
 © The New Jerusalem Bible
I began the early research of Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church, in 1992. The Lord told me then what the future would be. That future is now coming to pass.
Mine was a voice that got it right. The book is a record from the past correctly foreseeing the future. Though soundly rejected at the time, including by the leadership of my own fellowship that I was dutifully supporting per the Lord’s will, the Lord revealed to me why the disintegration of traditional Christianity in America would not only continue but accelerate. If you’re into prophecy and possibly followed the major prophecy teachers of that time who never saw the Great Awakening coming, the following passage from my book may interest you. It was originally drafted almost twenty-five years ago:
“If the ruling clergy class has been mandated by Jesus to be the movers and shakers of His teachings in this country, it has apparently messed up. Whatever guilt they do carry they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge, which makes correction impossible. This is why God is removing them—they refuse to act wholly on His behalf. And if you don’t think this is true, that they’re becoming history, check the stats. Their numbers are dwindling in this country, while the numbers of “nobodies” who simply want to do God’s will are rising dramatically. Will America be saved? No. But when certain people get out of the way and other people mature en masse, hundreds of thousands of hungry souls will find salvation, and America’s greatest great awakening will take place.” 
There has been tremendous transformation, much Christian turmoil, and great spiritual warfare over the last quarter century. Many never understood the long term goal or supported it and preferred a dying status quo. This always happens in the early stages of reform and correction. Because there remain many disaffected Christians with dubious resumes and axes to grind, and by which people may judge yours truly, I am listing the following aspects of my overall profile to demonstrate a solid career church attendance and participation record, not to crow about accomplishments but to illustrate my dedication and faithfulness to the Lord. I spent many years as a dutiful church-going Christian attending untold numbers of church services and related assemblies. I bought into the program. I honored authority. I gave it my best. You might say I paid my dues. At one time or another I participated in pretty much every church-related and non-church related volunteer (non-paying) ministry task there was, including the following:
- Extensive street witnessing
- Wide-ranging personal evangelism and counseling
- Church follow up and visitor chauffeuring
- Sunday School recruiting director and bus driver
- Church seasonal program participant (multiple)
- Church seasonal program carpenter and set builder
- Church building remodeling
- Church property maintenance
- Usher (church and major offsite productions)
- Church softball coach and team builder
- Church services recording engineer
- Post service prayer counselor and altar worker
- Pulpit preacher
- Group Bible Study teacher
- Home Group leader
- House church creator and director
- And much more
I also engaged in extensive personal Bible study, reading, and research, becoming familiar not only with Scripture but also secular and historical knowledge relating to Scripture for use in witnessing and teaching. As I grew more knowledgeable I inevitably began discovering the differences between how churches and ministries were conducting themselves in relation to how our spiritual forebears did things in the beginning of the Lord’s Community. These differences fell into three principle categories: (1) Church Doctrine, (2) Church Format, (3) Ministerial Authority.
Though some Christians reach the point I did, most of these apparently come to the conclusion that the departure from original norms was justified, most likely due to their investment in church culture and an unwillingness to attempt reform. I did the opposite. I believed in and fully supported the original teachings of the Lord and the apostles. And though I tried to maintain excellent relations with church authority (a notoriously challenging endeavor) and most often succeeded, I began attempting dialogue on the many new issues I discovered. Most ministers would acknowledge the differences of course, but never go beyond any elementary attempt to apply correctives. Most never did anything. Because I had to tell what I knew and teach what the Lord taught me, open ministry doors began to close. I had to find another venue. This is when I began to write. Long before I wrote my first book I wrote many notes and detailed Bible studies, and recorded extensive research. I had to get what I knew on paper. It was a lonely pursuit but was such as it had to be.
I continually discovered that ministers in general were not interested in anything non-relatable to their personal beliefs, doctrinal statements, and church formats. Nor were they interested in greater truth or returning to our roots if it meant anything related to actual change. Most saw such reform efforts as entirely inappropriate at best and that they bordered on rebellion or heresy. Their attitude was often based on a fear of personal disruption and inevitable church problems. They insisted everyone in the congregation must buy into the program and remain in that place to assure church success, or something substantial, including their job, may suffer. I also discovered that the majority of church goers simply do not care about reform or doings things God’s way. Most Christians prefer to remain relatively spiritually unaware and allow their chosen leaders and authority figures to do their work for them. Many remain statically fixed on the teachings of mainline theologians and authors of the past or become swayed by flashy speakers and writers of the present. They end up trusting them instead of the Lord Jesus and often never progress beyond an elementary level. They are thus exceptionally easy to manipulate and make real revival impossible.
This is in part why the Lord began telling me what would eventually happen to such churches and ministries in America. He began showing me the future. I tried my best to warn people. Few ever listened. Thus, what has happened to churches since, and it has only been a quarter century, has come to pass exactly as I was shown way back then, and even before that. The latest statistics, seemingly unbelievable as they are, are such that approximately 6,000 to 10,000 churches in America are dying each year on average. That’s about 100-150 per week.
The above author cites no research but another quite reputable source, Church Leadership, claims that 4000 churches were dying annually in 2007. That was an average of 77 per week. If those trends held it would certainly account for 100-150 closures per week at present. Because the majority of traditional Christians in the past never progressed, noticed the trends, or heeded the warnings, but instead fought off any reform effort as if it was the enemy, most of their venues were unprepared for the vast American cultural change that began emerging about thirty years ago.
THE LAST BECOME FIRST
They also didn’t understand that a powerful new group, very small in numbers at the time, was being formed by the Lord to usher in a new generation of reform in order to bring His full teachings to the fore. This group was composed largely of unconnected individuals who suffered various levels of persecution by their own brothers, much like the patriarch Joseph. The traditionalists also did not care that the new emerging generation of younger people wanted more than simply being told to come to church, to sit in church, to stay quiet in church, to go along with the church program with no questions asked, to participate only superficially in church, and to pay church tithes to support something they couldn’t wrap their heart around. Many of us in the prior generation did all that for many years but never received the full benefits we were striving for. We trusted in and respected an authority that ultimately proved itself to be cowardly and non-spiritually responsive. The next generation, however, had less church influence and were largely never indoctrinated to stoically accept things as they were and dutifully comply with a set-up that did little or nothing for their heart.
This is in part why America now has an extremely large population of people with no religious affiliation. It is also why the long-standing American church tradition is fading rapidly. Traditional churches have no answer for this. Their programs no longer work. Many churches have become infested with cultural rot yet still refuse the Biblical directive. Many others have tried ever more watered-down programs but those don’t work either. Such efforts are actually going in the opposite direction.
THE RISE OF THE NEVER CHURCH CULTURE
The young religiously unaffiliated Americans are categorized as the nones. According to the following article, Exodus: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why they’re Unlikely to Come Back, in 1991, the year before the Lord called on me to begin my first book, the nones represented a mere 6% of the American population. In 1972 it represented 5%. There was a slight rise in the 1980s. Thus, in the 19 year period of 1972 to 1991, this small religiously unaffiliated subsection of the American populace ranged only from 5%-8% and stayed relatively stable. It was not until 1993 that the nones began an upward track on the graph. By 1996 their numbers had shot up to 12%, doubling its population of only five years before. This marked 1992 as the year of demarcation, the very year I began my book. This was not a coincidence. It was the year that American Christianity began changing dramatically.
According to the quoted source, the nones increased to 14% in 1998 and remained stable until 2004. But then it promptly rocketed rapidly upward, ballooning to a whopping 25% by 2016. After only 24 years since the pivotal year of 1992, their number had astonishingly grown fourfold. This is the same time period that churches in general engaged in a rapid die off. There is presently no end in sight to this phenomenon and any applied remedy of the present is for the most part too late. This changing church landscape is an obvious fast-happening disaster for those who wrongly decided years ago to stay in spiritual Egypt or the Sinai. Currently, the religiously unaffiliated represent almost one in four Americans. The church world is now suffering major loss with no cure yet it still obstinately refuses to change and get in line with what the Lord wants to do. Because they have been rejecting the corrective for decades, they don’t have a clue how to stop the process and their destruction continues.
Most continue to blame it on the sinful culture, a ridiculous notion that only proves their ineffectiveness, irrelevance, and spiritual laziness. They obviously don’t know what the early believers faced regarding a sinful societal culture or they simply refuse to acknowledge it. The Roman Empire world of the first century was such that most church-going Americans, if transported in time, would be shocked to their core at what they saw. It was a thoroughly lost and wicked culture reveling in gross idolatry. But the early Church thrived anyway against powerful odds. The gist is that the Lord can do anything, anywhere, and wants to. He wants people free from sin and spiritual bondage! It seems that His greatest effort, however, is simply trying to find people who will honor Him and join His cause. Most of those who refer to themselves as Christians in some form or another simply refuse to obey and follow Him. They invent their own low wattage Christian hybrids and substitute these for the real thing.
WHAT ABOUT REAL CHRISTIANITY?
Conversely, remember that small, persecuted, obscure, and rejected group that existed a quarter century ago? Well, with this group something quite different has happened. As dead churches died off it has grown exponentially. Churches may be shutting down by 150 per week on average but real Christians have gone in the opposite direction. Real Christianity is on the rise. For those paying attention who are close to the Lord, this is obvious. Though most of these real believers are effectively invisible, their effect is not. It reminds me of unseen, unknown prayer warriors who do their work in obscurity. The non-believing American culture has certainly gone in the tank and grows more sickeningly depraved every day due to no checks on its behavior, but these people are now losing the cultural battle. They had the world by the tail until about two or three years ago but now their paradigm is suffering major cracks and is on a downward slide. They are also beginning the inevitable historical process of destroying one another.
Thus, a new American culture is emerging, based on the old ways, the ancient paths, and the foundations fought for and won in a righteous revolutionary battle 240 years ago. Real Christians are returning to their roots, following the Lord in big numbers and are undoubtedly affecting the culture in a positive way. It is a movement based on discovering, establishing, and standing up for the truth. These people are meeting and advancing in the same style as their early forebears—behind the scenes, in small non-descript venues of any number of forms and variety, and also through the greatest invention and change agent in human history—the internet. The World Wide Web is directly comparable with the advent of the Gutenberg Printing Press of circa 1450. That remarkable invention dramatically changed the world and ushered in the modern period. It allowed for an immense increase of knowledge and communication which led to the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment. What happened then is happening now but on a much larger scale. The world is waking up.
I encourage all of you to stay faithful and strong. These times are largely unprecedented and we are greatly blessed to be alive and involved in whatever work the Lord has called us to do.
For those of you reading this, especially my faithful readers, please be informed that a spiritual attack against this site is apparently in process. I started this blog in May of 2011. Readership grew steadily. 2018 was a record year. January of 2019 was a record for that month. Then something happened which caused the site to become somewhat invisible as confirmed by some of you.
In general, Christian reform efforts are always opposed by the status quo and I have been personally quite familiar with this over many years. Yet the Lord is always faithful. Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church has had a decided impact on those who heard the message and supported it but was otherwise rejected by the majority. I could tell you some seriously shocking stories of underhanded efforts by so-called Christians, but this is nothing new. It is par for the course. My first book was far ahead of its time but the message inherent within it is timeless and remains fresh, especially now. It is thus a message for today and can assist in sorting out what has happened in the transformation of American Christianity over the last quarter century. For more information you can go to my author page here. I ask only for your prayers. There is much work to be done. Thank you and be blessed.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 From Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]
On January 29, 2018, the US Senate rejected the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The recent stock market nosedive began the very next day.
Yes, I know there are several possible “legitimate reasons” for what happened: Will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates? Are we due for a correction? Did the very first day of the new Federal Reserve chairman send a signal? Is the dollar too weak? There are several of these. But we must never discount possible spiritual reasons.
This is what I wrote yesterday in my post HAS ECONOMIC JUDGMENT RETURNED? THE FUTURE OF AMERICA DEPENDS ON BANNING ABORTION:
“Considering bad signs, however, there was a vote in the Senate a week ago that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks like almost every other country in the world has done. This would have been great progress and no one in their right mind should have opposed it. However, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed to make it out of debate in a 51–46 vote to a final floor vote after Democrats filibustered the bill. 48 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for the bill. 44 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted against the bill. President Trump would have signed it into law had it passed. But almost every Democrat senator voted against it.”
This vote took place late on January 29, 2018. The stock market nosedive began the very next day. This appears to be more proof of the economic judgment pattern I revealed again in yesterday’s post. Did the pro-abortion vote trigger judgment?
The 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade was January 22, 2018. The Dow Jones reached an all time high on Friday, January 26, 2018 of 26,616.
The following Monday, January 29, 2018, the Dow dipped slightly and closed at 26,439. The Senate vote took place late that day.
The very next day the Dow Jones lost 540 points from its high and closed at 26,076. 540 is a multiple of six (man) and nine (judgment). What are the odds of such a strange coincidence happening?
There had not been a drop of that magnitude since June 24, 2016, but that loss was quickly made up. The current big loss of the last week continued, eventually reaching a floor of 23,778 yesterday. That added up to a giant drop of 2,838 points since the January 26th high in only seven business days. The market has currently rallied back and made up part of the losses, but it has been a roller coaster. Is it recovering? Or are we in for more fluctuations and losses in this key year in part due to the failed Senate vote? *
Please read the text of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and consider the vast research and science enclosed within it which proves that babies in the womb definitely feel pain even before 20 weeks of gestation.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
* FEB 8 UPDATE: The Dow Jones suffered another drastic drop today of 1,032 points, at one point coming within 71 points of Tuesday’s low, to close at 23,860. The “correction” continues.
* FEB 9 UPDATE: The Dow Jones dropped to a new low since reaching its all time high on January 26, falling to 23,360, a drop of 3,256 points (over 12%) before recovering to close at 24,190.
The birth of Seth, Adam’s third son, took place when Adam was 130 years old. For 130 years, the Messianic generational line was cut off. It was a time of rebellion and apostasy.
As stated in the previous post, Adam was in exile for a spiritually significant period of time after his banishment from the Garden of Eden. That time period was a multiple of the number 13. A study of Biblical numbers associates the number 13 with rebellion. Its first occurrence in Scripture is as follows:
Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled. [Genesis 14:4]
There is no doubt that the Lord affixes certain meanings to numbers and one can discover many truths using this method. The number 10 is characterized as ordinal perfection, or the perfection of Divine order. We see examples of this in the Ten Commandments and the tithe. Also, Noah was of the tenth generation listed in Scripture since Adam, and the ark builder represented the completed order of the antediluvian age. When the number 10 is combined by multiplication with the number representing rebellion, we arrive at the number 130, which is the number of years Adam spent out of fellowship with the Lord. When he returned, God marked the occasion with a new birth.
THE SECOND GENERATION: TRANSITIONING TO A NEW SPIRITUAL AGE
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. [Genesis 5:3]
The birth of Seth, listed in Genesis as the third son of Adam and Eve, represented a return to God after a long exile. Though there was no going back to the garden, Adam’s original nature was restored. This state of righteousness with God is indicated in the preceding verse—Adam’s new son Seth was made in his image, according to his own likeness, as Adam was originally created in God’s image. However, in looking closer at the numbers, we discover that Seth, though certainly righteous, bore the marks of spiritual suffering associated with being a transitional figure.
Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. [Genesis 5:6-8]
The transitional period from the birth of Seth to the birth of his son Enosh was 105 years. The multiples represented in this number are 3, 5, and 7 (3 x 5 x 7 = 105). These three significant numbers are the second, third and fourth primes. (Prime numbers are those whose only other multiple is 1.) They represent, in order, divine completeness or perfection (3), grace (5), and spiritual perfection (7). Thus, the 105 year period was marked by the spiritual meaning of these three numbers.
The 105 years were completed with the birth of Enosh. Seth lived an additional 807 years after his son’s birth. The multiples of this number are 3 and 269 (3 x 269 = 807). These are both prime numbers. This may get a little tricky but stay with me. The Lord is showing us something substantial with these two multiples. We already know what the number 3 represents, but what about 269? This number is the 57th prime number. The number 57 also has two multiples and both are also prime numbers: 3 x 19 (what are the odds?).
According to the Biblical number scholar E.W. Bullinger, the number 19 is closely associated with Seth’s mother Eve and also the suffering patriarch Job.
THE THIRD GENERATION: THE GREAT AWAKENING
The number 19 gives one a clear indication of the life of Seth after the birth of his son Enosh. Also, when looking at the total number of years that Seth lived—912—we again discover the imprint of the number 19. Note that once more all multiples are primes: (24 x 3 x 19 = 912). This means there was a strong imprint of the same sufferings Job endured upon the entirety of Seth’s life.
Remember, Seth was the restoration of the Messianic generational line after the death of Abel. There was therefore much spiritual warfare associated with his life. His lifetime was marked as a reformation-oriented, spiritually-challenging transition period between Adam’s spiritual renewal and the arrival of a new Great Awakening:
To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:26] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Regarding what the Lord Jesus requires of Christians, we have the benefit of ancient Hebrew history. We can discover from their example the spiritual definition of obedience. We can know what honors the Lord and what does not.
The origin of what Biblical historians call Yahwism, which many centuries later developed into the rudimentary forms of early Judaism, began with a few solitary men wandering in vast open wilderness regions and barren deserts. The population of the planet was a small fraction of what it became in later ages, and a man could wander for great stretches and never see another. Such boundless open scenery and limitless night skies, ablaze with distant starlight and an ever-phasing meandering moon, set loose the imagination of these nomads and awakened cosmic wonder regarding Creation. Some paid more attention than others.
STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
Many centuries earlier, after the fall of Adam and Eve and their banishment from the garden, they wandered in the wilds for 130 years on a subsistence diet doing whatever they must to survive. They had been separated from God by sin and severed from communication with Him, and their own relationship with each other was no doubt often strained to the point of breaking. Every day brought another reminder of their calamitous disobedience and rebellion, and how the new god they had chosen had abandoned them soon after and caused disaster. Adding to their torment, Adam and Eve’s good son Abel, the one from whom the Messiah would have descended, had been murdered in his relative youth over a century before.
Amid this dismal backdrop, we have a better understanding of the depressing condition of Adam’s protracted life in exile. After long decades of worry and introspection, and vainly seeking an unknown undiscoverable land of comfort and rest, if only a brief oasis, Adam at last surrendered. There in the midst of a stark and unforgiving landscape so unlike the wonderful abundant garden of his early memories, he found a place of repentance: He got right with God. As the fruit of obedience, joy returned, and they were immediately blessed:
Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:25-26] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.