Blog Archives

ALL BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO REPENT

 

To repent means to change one’s mind. It means one must allow for new Truth to update one’s mindset. Unfortunately, this demands a commitment many cannot make.

.

Gonna change my way of thinking

Make myself a different set of rules

Gonna change my way of thinking

Make myself a different set of rules

Gonna put my good foot forward

And stop being influenced by fools

                                             Bob Dylan [1]

LAST DAYS ARCHETYPE

The Lord Jesus taught that real salvation demands radical change. He expressed a true turn or burn message. He actually stated this literally. He said His own nation would eventually burn due to its refusal to repent. He did everything He could to get this message across.

And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’” [Luke 23:27-30]

This prophecy points directly to the Sixth Seal of Revelation:

Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” [Revelation 6:15-17]

One might say the Lord failed in His warning. In reality, though He knew the nation was at an end and would cease to exist forever in forty years, and that it would actually involve destruction by fire, He never came to His people to save the nation itself. Why would He try to save a nation that was already destined for destruction? He certainly wanted His nation to be saved and preserved. Again, He did everything He possibly could to gain that outcome.

It must be remembered, however, that He had been fighting that battle of preservation for multiple centuries. He was the one who created the nation in the first place. It was His nation. It began with Abraham. He called out Abraham for this very purpose. He created the miracle child Isaac to exist as the first generation of His nation. Thus, the future nation of Israel was founded on a miracle. And there were untold miracles performed by God to preserve the nation throughout its long history. No one was more involved in creating, preserving, and blessing the nation of Israel than God. He loved Israel with all His heart.

Therefore, no one was more saddened by what ended up happening to His nation than the Lord. His heart was broken. You can see this in the words He spoke to those women lamenting Him. They were words drenched in pathos. He had done everything He could over the many centuries of its existence to keep what ended up happening from happening, but to no avail. He lost the battle. Ironically, those who won the battle against Him destroyed their nation. They destroyed His nation.

And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” [Luke 20:9-16]

And it was all because they refused to change their minds. They refused to allow for new Truth to update their mindset. They had already committed to a different mindset which they adhered to totally which left no room whatsoever for the introduction of anything else. Though absolutely nothing the Lord Jesus taught was ever refuted by His enemies according to the Law of Moses and objective truth, they rejected Him anyway. Why? Because their minds were made up. They were stubborn as mules. Not even the Lord could get through to them. They were obstinate, hard-headed, religious rednecks. At one point their off-the-scale close-mindedness caused the Lord to exclaim the following:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” [Matthew 23:29-33][2]

Even then the Lord was thinking of their souls and their eternal destination. Again, He knew they were lost and many were filled with the devil. He knew they were the religious leaders of the most wicked generation of Israel to date. And that is saying a lot in light of so many evil generations of the past. Their world class obstinacy was one thing, but something even greater was the abject weakness of all those who submitted to them. Almost everybody in Israel was scared to death of those guys. There was such rampant fear in the nation drummed up by its leaders, next to no one was willing to challenge them. They knew they would be destroyed if they did. They knew their evil leaders controlled pretty much everything and could make their lives a living hell. How did such an outcome ever transpire in a nation created by God? How could a nation founded on spiritual freedom devolve into such a hellhole? To save their nation, all the people had to do was turn to God and repent. All they had to do was change their sorry way of thinking and get right with God, and then God would have taken care of the rest.

BUT NO! This proved there was something more than simple fear of religious leaders going on. It proved the majority of people actually preferred being led around like a bunch of stupid morons by idiots in charge. Otherwise they would have to do what God required. And what God required was crucifixion of the flesh. He required an elimination of sin from their lives. He required that they quit engaging in sinful practices. He required a total clean up on Aisle One. He required a circumcision of the heart. And though the sins of the average Israelite was less than that of those who led them, they still preferred a life of sin (though often sins of omission) to making the necessary changes that God required.

INSISTENT INSINCERITY

Keep in mind most of these people went to church every week (synagogue). They did what they were told by the leaders thereof. They bought into the program. For many, however, they never actually gave their hearts to God. They only obeyed because they were required to do so. To do otherwise would put them on the outs in society. Doors would close. They would be looked down upon. They would no longer be welcome at the cool kids table. Their popularity would plummet. They would be cancelled. They would get stuck with a low social credit score. Yet as long as they continued to surrender to the religious leaders in charge and obey the main prerequisites they could otherwise sin to their hearts content. The main prerequisites were based on:

(1) We are in control here and you must surrender to our control. (2) What we teach is what you must believe. You are to have no other teachers or doctrines before you. You must have no independent religious or spiritual thought. What we say is what goes. If you don’t understand it you must believe it anyway. (3) In order to be in good standing you must make a full commitment and dedicate yourself fully to our program. If so, all will go well with you. (In other words, you will avert our wrath and the possible disfellowship which could break your back socially.)

The people of the nation thus discovered that as long as they paid the proper obeisance to the religious leaders they could be free to do what they wanted within the set parameters. Some freedom was better than no freedom. As long as they deferred to them, genuflected before them, and essentially kissed their ring then all would go well. Whether they saw themselves as religious sellouts is another issue. There were certainly some who were completely brainwashed and actually believed all the tripe presented to them. Maybe this was the majority. It probably was because over time the constant pontificating from those who dwelt on high would have had an effect. The total lack of any alternate viewpoints would also serve to cause most to become indoctrinated. The fact that no one could ever stand up to the idiots in charge would eventually remove the backbone of the nation and cause it to become docile and subservient toward them. Once the big boys were successful at eliminating any testosterone directed in their direction, the men of the nation were made impotent toward them. They thus couldn’t change their nation for the better if they wanted to.

All the ultimate testosterone and manliness was thus reserved only for the religious elite in charge. Only they were allowed to throw their weight around. Only they could do whatever they wanted and get away with it. The law didn’t apply to them. Only they had no accountability except to themselves which was a circle to nowhere. Sound familiar? And because they controlled the rage factor they could draw up a rage response among those they controlled at any time. Because the men were held in estrogen prison they were ever-burning to get out and allowed the opportunity to vent. Then, whenever they got the word from on high they could be easily directed to enter into instant rage response mode and attack whoever they were directed toward, which were always those with the audacity to question “the elders” and “our tradition” or (aghast!) whoever may preach or teach a different message.

The Lord Jesus had managed to subvert this demonic process much of the time because the people in general were overcome by His great love and compassion, and His willingness to do miracles in their midst to help them. He would heal blind eyes, eliminate their illnesses in a flash, bless them with everything their souls were longing for, forgive and remove their personal sin, assist the poor on a grand scale, and even raise their dead on occasion. He was a force! He was winning hearts and minds!

In the end, however, everyone realized they would also have to change their ways, repent, change their way of thinking, love their enemies, change their hearts, submit fully to God, change their minds, and stop engaging in dead religion.

It was simply too much. There would be way too much to change. Their entire lives would be affected. They would have to start over. It was just too much. It would require way too much faith and too much effort. It would be much easier to simply continue on as before. And that’s the choice they made. They declined the great spiritual power the Lord offered them to make changes for the better.

THE REMNANT

This was not the case for the Remnant. There were some, many untold tens of thousands of Israelites, who actually did obey the Lord Jesus. They recognized Him as their Messiah. They saw that He was the great I AM. They became aware of just who this Man was and the great privilege they were allowed to know Him, be with Him, and honor Him. This brought forth the very first Great Awakening! For forty years the Lord’s new born again Spirit-filled people continued to work toward the salvation of as many of the people of their nation as possible. Many were saved, taught, and made secure. Many developed and came to full spiritual maturation. It was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Israel in all its history, even though the good guys, those who believed in love and loving, were outnumbered and always had to face the incessant hateful wrath of the bad guys.

But the wrath, rage, and hate of the rebellious religious tyrants along with those under their control—the unrepentant majority of insincere, spiritually lazy, surrendered silent sellouts who chose to continue being influenced by fools—caused them all to be without the one thing they needed to save the country: None of them were saved. How could they therefore save the nation or anything else? Their lack of salvation and lack of saving ability left only one other outcome: Their national rebellion and sin content insured they be destined for destruction.

And it was all because they refused to repent.

They refused to change their way of thinking.

They refused to allow for new Truth to update their mindset.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Copyright © 1979 by Special Rider Music

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

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: New Testament References to the “Last Days” (3)

Christians of today believe they are living in the “Last Days.” Christians in the first century believed they were living in the “Last Days.” Both cannot be correct.

.

In Part 2 I listed every passage of Scripture in the New Testament that referred to “This Generation.” Each passage referred to the same generation. That generation was obviously the generation that existed in the first century AD. That generation began with the birth of the Lord Jesus. It ended in 70AD with the complete destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and what was left of the nation of Israel. Israel was thus no more, exactly as the Lord Jesus had prophesied forty years before.

The Lord Jesus said that last generation of Israel would see the fulfillment of all the prophecies made about that time, which was referred to by New Testament writers as the “Last Days.” Why were they the “Last Days?” –Because they were the last days of Israel. “This Generation” was the final generation.

THE NATION OF ISRAEL

The nation of Israel had begun with the call of Abraham. This took place in approximately 1876 BC when Abraham was 70 years old. It was birthed with the miraculous birth of Abraham’s son Isaac in 1846 BC, which represented the first generation. The nation was birthed in great joy, as Isaac’s name means at root, “to laugh,” or “laughter,” or “he laughs.” Isaac was a very happy child! One pictures little Isaac as a happy, smiling, joyous, laughing baby and little boy.

Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” [Genesis 21:6]

Isaac grew up and was blessed with a loving wife. Rebekah gave birth to the first-born twins Esau and Jacob in 1786 BC. Though Esau was born first he had no heart for God. God thus chose Jacob as the new heir. Later, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

Jacob/Israel had twelve sons. His sons married and began having children. Some of these children grew up and had children. Ten years after the great Patriarch Isaac died, when the young four-generational family group of Jacob consisted of seventy-plus persons, they left the land of Canaan in approximately 1656 BC and went to live in the Goshen area of Egypt. This was made possible by Jacob’s son Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers when he was seventeen years old and ended up in Egypt, preparing the way for his family’s future salvation. Joseph rose to become the second-most powerful man in Egypt by the time he was thirty. This family group of seventy-plus persons consisting of generations two, three, four, and five was the original nation of Israel.

All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all, and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy. Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. [Genesis 46:26-28]

Untold multiple generations later we arrive at the time of the last generation of the nation, initially characterized by great joy and laughter once again with the miraculous birth of the long hoped-for promised Redeemer and Messiah. A Great Light had come into a land of darkness. When the Lord Jesus was thirty years old His forerunner, John the Immerser, prophesied about Him and the nation of Israel in the following:

Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Luke 3:15-17]

This verse has been misinterpreted often yet is actually quite clear. John is speaking in terms anyone there could understand: The wheat will undergo a harvest. The Messiah, winnowing fork in hand on His threshing floor, will do the work of separating the edible grains from the useless chaff. He will gather the wheat (the saved and redeemed of Israel, the sheep, the righteous) into His barn. But He will burn up the chaff (the unsaved and unredeemed of the nation, the goats, the unrighteous) with unquenchable fire.

He will thus baptize (immerse) the redeemed of Israel with His Holy Spirit, but will baptize the unredeemed with fire.

We see these two fates of the nation again in the following illustration of John:

“Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Luke 3:9]

In both of these prophetic pronouncements of John we see that the final generation (“this generation”) of the nation of Israel is under pressure to get right with God and produce good fruit. We see that the axe of judgment is already poised against the nation. The axe is about to drop. But before the end comes, as the nation will be divided by those who will either become wheat or chaff, so will the nation be divided by those who will be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit of God to produce good fruit and those who will do the opposite. Again, the nation of Israel will be divided into two distinct parts during the final generation.

On that great Day of Pentecost at the beginning of the final thirty-eight years of the nation and continuing until the end, the Holy Spirit will be given to all those who properly repent and are cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb. This large group of the redeemed within the overall nation of several million, most likely the smaller of the two groups by percentage, will honor their Messiah and prove themselves with consistent discipleship and as trees bearing good fruit. At the conclusion of the final thirty-eight years the end will come when the besieged city of Jerusalem and the great Temple will be burned by unrelenting fire in a great conflagration just as both John the Immerser and the Lord Jesus had prophesied roughly forty years before. The end of Israel arrived in 70 AD.

THE “LAST DAYS”

Thus we see that what was referred to as the “Last Days” were actually the last days of Israel which took place almost two thousand years ago in the first century AD. Though referred to with other terminology, the following are the five Scriptural occurrences when the exact term “Last Days” is referred to in the New Testament by at least three if not four different writers, which greatly adds to its credibility (dates approximate):

ONE / 32 AD   

15 “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy.’” [Acts 2:15-18]

TWO / 64 AD

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. [2Timothy 3:1-5]

THREE / 63 AD

1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. [Hebrews 1:1-2]

FOUR / 50-60 AD

1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! [James 5:1-3]

FIVE / 65 AD

3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. [2Peter 3:3-7] [1]

We can see that four of the above five works were written just as the nation of Israel was coming to a close, in the twilight hour so to speak. They served collectively as a latter bookend to the former bookend at Pentecost. Each is filled with dire language describing very well the final times. Since Pauline authorship of the Book of Hebrews has never reached a consensus it could very well be that these were four different men using the exact “Last Days” terminology at a time when the end was extremely close and they could feel it in their spirit. The great Jewish Revolt against Rome began in mid-summer of 66 AD. Vespasian’s siege barricades began being constructed around Jerusalem in the spring of 67 AD. This was one of the signs of warning the Lord gave to His people dwelling there concerning when they should depart.

Only those who honored Him, who had treasure in heaven, would heed His words.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: A Brief History of Misapplied Prophecy (1)

THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: “This Generation” (2)

 

Tish’a B’Av: The Destruction of the Temple

         Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” [Matthew 24:1-2]

.

         As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.” [Mark 13:1-2]

.

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

.

         When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.

         “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:41-44] [1]

.

         At sunset tonight begins the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. It was on this exact date that both ancient temples of the Jews met their complete destruction.

         Because this infamous date falls on the Jewish Sabbath this year, it will be commemorated on Sunday.

         The original Temple of Solomon, which began construction circa 966 BC, was completely destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC on the 9th of Av.

         It has now been exactly 2600 years since that date, and is a clear multiple of 13, the Biblical number of rebellion.

         A second temple was built 70 years later, completed in 516 BC, though it in no way resembled the magnificent glory of the original. This temple had degraded significantly for five full centuries until the time of Herod the Great.

         In approximately 19 BC, Herod began a massive overhaul of the entire temple mount area that was not fully completed until 64 AD.

         Regarding the second temple built in 516 BC, it was essentially completely deconstructed and rebuilt by Herod on a far grander scale, taking less than two years to complete. Though it was not referred to as a third temple, this is a mere semantic overreach insisted upon by Herod and the religious leaders of that time and has always been known as the Second Temple.

         It lasted less than 90 years.

         On this date in 70 AD, on Tish’a B’Av, it was completely destroyed by the Romans, exactly as the Lord Jesus had prophesied.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

The Real Chosen People (Part 3)

         “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” [John 15:16]

         Most of the people who refer to themselves as some form of “Christian” choose God on their terms. But God chooses real Christians on His terms. Thus, unreal Christians create their own unholy covenant with God according to their own stipulations and provisos. It is not a real covenant, though, because God is not involved in it. He signed none of the papers. He did not agree to the terms. Such minor details do not concern the pretenders, however. They continue onward by themselves insisting God is with them. And these people preach about the Jews being stiff-necked? 

         Many “Christians” have been duped into thinking they have the power to choose Messiah Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But Christians don’t do the choosing. What they do, before they become real Christians, is have a hungry heart for truth and light. They know there must be something much more than this temporal world of sin. As a result they begin searching for that “something more.” In the process they find belief systems, gurus, false forms of Christianity, and eastern religions that look real and are quite promising. But after looking within these and practicing their tenets for a while, they continue to move on because there is no heart connection. They do not feel fulfilled. They are not satisfied. Something is missing. Knowing this, they realize they have identified yet another fake. Most people in the world are content with fakes, but real searchers of truth never allow this for themselves. They continue seeking, not knowing God is attracting them magnetically by His Spirit until they are chosen.

         For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]  

         Among every pagan nation in the ancient world, each dwelling in deep darkness and rebellion, God chose one nation to represent Himself: 

         For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face. [Deuteronomy 7:6-10]

         Fifteen hundred years later, the very nation He called forth to be His own rejected Him. It became the opposite of faithful. It no longer loved Him or kept His commandments. It chose to hate its own Messiah.

         “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” [Matthew 23:37-39]

         There was always a believing Remnant, however. In the first century, the Lord Jesus managed to gather together the hungry in heart and those searching for truth among His people. He chose them because of their condition of heart. With 120 people, including the remaining original eleven apostles and His own mother, He created His own community. These were people who loved and honored Him, who recognized Him for who He is, and who pledged their lives to serve, obey, and trust Him forever. They are the chosen of the Chosen.

         “Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” [Luke 9:35]

         He chose many more after Peter delivered the first message of the Qahal:

         So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. [Acts 2:41]   

         Can you hear the echo in the writings of Isaiah?

         Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field will glorify Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people. The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.

         Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; but you have become weary of Me, O Israel. You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, nor wearied you with incense. You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; rather you have burdened Me with your sins, You have wearied Me with your iniquities. I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; state your cause, that you may be proved right. Your first forefather sinned, and your spokesmen have transgressed against Me. So I will pollute the princes of the sanctuary, and I will consign Jacob to the ban and Israel to revilement. [Isaiah 43:19-28]

         Was it just a coincidence that what was left of the geographic kingdom of David was utterly ruined forty years after the nation rejected their Savior? Was it coincidence that Jerusalem was razed and the Temple destroyed in 70AD?

         Prior to this, He had made a Way for His real people, whether Jew or Gentile. He established a New Covenant. For forty years He continued adding thousands of believing Israelites, creating a new spiritual nation, as He said He would do through the prophets of old:

         “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” [Jeremiah 31:31-33]

         “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” [Ezekiel 36:26-27]

         As most “Christians” reject the Lord, so did most Jews initially reject the Lord. But of those who accepted the invitation to the kingdom, Peter says:

         And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe;

         But for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE;” for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

         But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. [1 Peter 2:4-10]

         There are only two kinds of people in the world—those who are chosen by the Lord Jesus as members of the New Covenant and those who are not. Real Christians are not only called by the Lord and chosen for His community, they are also faithful and true warriors. Non-members of the New Covenant oppose it.  

         These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the Called and Chosen and Faithful.” [Revelation 17:6-14] [1]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 3]


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

The Real Chosen People (Part 1)

         Many Christians have been conditioned to believe that “The Chosen People” are the Jews, regardless of whether they honor the Lord Jesus as Messiah or not. Christians have been taught that Jews are the only people on Earth who belong to God and will forever belong to God even if they deny that Jesus is their Messiah, if they deny He died to save them from their sins, if they disparage His Name and character, if they actively fight against and oppose real Christianity, especially in Israel, and if they as individuals refuse to repent of their sins and submit to His Lordship.

         For some odd reason, Christians have been taught that the New Testament teachings do not apply to the Jewish people. Why? Simply because they are Jews? We are living in a day when Messianic Judaism is very popular and growing. The followers of Messianic Judaism honor Jesus as Messiah. They are still Jews, of course, but believe in and follow the Lord Jesus as did the Messianic Jews of the first century.

         Well then, what is a Jew? What is Judaism? Historically, after the complete destruction of what was left of the Jewish homeland in 70AD when Jerusalem was invaded and destroyed by the Romans, and when the Jewish Temple was completely razed to the ground and burned, there was only one segment of traditional Judaism that remained.

         The Sadducees ceased to exist, since there was no longer any Jewish state. The Essenes, those likely responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls, also faded away. Some Jewish nationals held out after Jerusalem was destroyed, comprising segments of the Zealot Party, but committed mass murder against one another and suicide on the heights of Masada in 74AD. There were two other large uprisings against the Romans, the largest and last of which was the Bar Kochba Revolt from 132-135AD. After their defeat, there was no longer any effective and organized Jewish resistance against the Romans. It was the end of the Zealots. The Jewish homeland was lost.

         The Pharisees, however, were the one party that lived on. They did not die out as all the other major religious parties had. They continued to exist as the sole religious representatives of the Jewish people. The Pharisees became Judaism, later known as Talmudic or Rabbinic Judaism. The same people who gave the Lord Jesus so much trouble during His ministry and fought the apostles at every turn, especially the apostle Paul, never ceased to exist. They continued teaching as they always had. They continued to deny Jesus as Messiah.

         Again, Jesus was 100% a Jew (Hebrew: Yehudi; Greek: Ioudaios), from the Tribe of Judah, and a direct descendant in the kingly line of David. Every original apostle had Hebrew ancestral roots, and so had every single member of the Community of the Lord we read about in the earliest history of His Movement as recorded in the Book of Acts. For seven to ten years after the Resurrection of the Lord, the entire Qahal of the Lord Jesus was composed entirely of Hebrew descendants, members of the nation of Israel, and of the twelve tribes. It was not until the salvation of Cornelius and his group, as recorded in Acts 10, that the apostles understood that non-Hebrew Gentiles were also to be included among the Lord’s people. Prior to that time, the Hebrew followers of Jesus had somehow assumed that only Hebrews and full proselytes to Judaism would qualify for membership.

         So here we see the first great division, especially after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, of the Israeli people. One Hebrew camp saw that Jesus was indeed their long-awaited and hoped-for Messiah. The other Hebrew camp rejected Jesus as Messiah. The camp of rejecters coalesced around the Party of the Pharisees, the lone remaining representatives of overall first century Judaism. The Pharisees have existed throughout history ever since, and continued as the sole Hebrew organized religious force against Jesus the Messiah.

         What happened to the first century Jewish believers in Jesus? After Cornelius, more and more Gentiles entered the fold of real Christianity. Indeed, the apostle Paul was called by God to be the first and foremost apostle to the non-Jewish Gentiles. Later, at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), it was decided by the Jerusalem Hebrew believers that Gentiles did not have to undergo all things Torah in order to attain official membership in the Body of Christ. As more Gentiles flooded in, ethnic differences between Hebrew and non-Hebrew believers were downplayed over time. This did not mean that Jewish followers of Jesus did not retain their Jewish identity. Such would have been tragic. These first century Jewish believers in Jesus were descended from the great Patriarchs of the distant past and represented the then-current true remnant of Israel.

         Paul, a Hebrew in very high standing, both ethnically (of the Tribe of Benjamin) and religiously (a Pharisee)[1], as well as a solid Roman citizen says this:

         “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

         “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” [Galatians 3:26-29]

         This is a very powerful statement. From this we know that strict Jewish distinctiveness no longer matters with respect to membership in the kingdom of God. Whether one can trace his or her physical lineage to Abraham is no longer an issue. One can be a descendant of Abraham whether he or she is connected by genealogy, Judaism, or Israeli national identity.

         It is not an ancestral link that makes one a seed of Abraham but a spiritual link by faith according to promise.

         The Jewish non-believers discount and reject this entire notion. To them, it destroys Jewish identity. As a result, they hated Paul with the same passion they hated the Lord Jesus (How dare these heretics dispose of our status as God’s chosen people!).

         Which brings us back to the original point: God’s chosen people are only those who honor the Lord Jesus as Messiah. Yet, even as you read this you probably cringe and think such cannot possibly be true. But it’s right there in your Bible. As is this:

         “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.” [Romans 2:28-29]

         Throughout the Gospels and New Testament writings we see, then, that the “Chosen People” are those who are in Christ, who embrace the Lord Jesus as the only Messiah and Savior, whose hearts have been circumcised, who are in spiritual relationship with Him, and who submit to His full Lordship.

         Though the Hebrew people were originally chosen by God as descendants of Abraham, the majority of the Hebrew people rejected God. All one must do is pick up the Old Testament and read a few pages to find that this is true.

         There has always been a believing Hebrew remnant, however, and there were always enough who honored God to keep the ancient nation of Israel intact though diminishing. Israel split in two after Solomon’s death, the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom went into captivity and never returned, effectively ceasing to exist, and only the Southern Kingdom of Judah remained until the time of our Lord as a national entity, which was originally also comprised of the tribes of Levi and Benjamin. After its destruction by the Romans it was the end of the Jewish nation. The unbelieving and disobedient had so outnumbered the believing remnant who dutifully followed YHWH that the geographic and religio-political nation ceased to exist.

         The Community of the Lord, however, began at the same time once the Messiah was revealed. Therefore, there is no hope for those who reject Jesus and look for another. There is no other Messiah and never will be. And without Messiah Jesus, there is no salvation, because He is salvation—it is the very meaning of His Name.

         Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:8-12] [2] 

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1]


[1] Philippians 3:5-6

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