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EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 15)

Beyond the spiritual manifestations of the infilling of the Spirit, there were also the emotional and physical ones. To outside observers, it appeared as though the Upper-Roomers were drunk or high on something.

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8  LESSON 9  LESSON 10  LESSON 11  LESSON 12  LESSON 13  LESSON 14

LESSON 15

Acts 2:12-15

12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” 14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day… [1]

In the ancient city of Babel, God transformed the one language of all people into many languages. The people could no longer understand one another and were consequently dispersed into separate regions. Conversely, on the day of Pentecost, the languages of the dispersed peoples of the world were spoken by the power of one Person who resided within many. This was a reversal of the confusion of Babel. This act would unite instead of divide. The builders of the city and tower of Babel were united against God. The constructors of the Church are united for Him. This was the clarion call sent out to all nations to join the kingdom without walls, the spiritual kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the new Jerusalem.

But as now and throughout the church age, some were not impressed. Some people openly mocked the work of the Spirit, claiming the boisterous activity and loud voices were merely the actions of the inebriated and ignorant. Though there have always been excesses, were the Upper-Roomers excessive? Was the Lord Jesus excessive? When He walked the earth, His detractors called Him a wino. Is it merely coincidence that the same accusation emerged once again?

Something about the disciples’ behavior reminded the naysayers of common drunks. Sweet wine, or “new wine,” was that which was produced the same year of its harvest. It was very intoxicating. In a relatively joyless world of difficult toil and little natural merriment, wine provided a relaxing and welcome respite from the rigors of the work week. Maybe few Jews drank to excess but those who did were obvious to all. It was indeed a cheap shot to label the Lord’s people Sunday morning Mardi Gras revelers under the influence of strong drink, but what else were the mockers to think? Such a thing had never happened before. It was relatively early in the day and a house load of fellow Israelites had taken on the apparent appearance of festival-goers too impatient or undisciplined to at least wait until evening before engaging the vino.

But the majority of those below sensed something else. Instead of simply making a quick judgment based on minimal evidence, they were drawn to the spectacle in wonder. The Spirit of God was everywhere around them. They began to feel what the Upper-Roomers were feeling. Joy was spilling out of the windows. Great smiles and laughter abounded. A release was taking place. Over and over the same thought kept running through their awestruck and somewhat confused minds, What does this mean?

Peter, sensing that the time had arrived to explain the current happening, moved to the forefront and prepared for his address. He was no longer the impetuous fisherman, but the articulate and well-versed spokesman of the “fishers of men.”

© 2020 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.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 14)

While the unprecedented and astonishing miracle was taking place in the Upper Room with those inside oblivious to the outside world, a great stirring was occurring in the streets below: They had an audience.

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8  LESSON 9  LESSON 10  LESSON 11  LESSON 12  LESSON 13

LESSON 14

Acts 2:5-11

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”

The Lord said they would be witnesses. I remember many years ago I heard a New Testament studies teacher expounding on the subject. He was a brilliant man and a friend, who has since made the big trip. By this time in my walk I had witnessed to countless people but I had never before heard one particular thing that man spoke forth. It stood out within his teaching and has remained strong in my memory ever since. He said, “Witnessing is a forced option.” What he meant was that Christians are witnesses twenty-four hours a day whether they want to be or not, or whether they think they are or not. We are not witnesses only when we are witnessing.

While that particular thought settles in, let’s think about the mindset of the believers in the midst of the greatest event of their lives. Many had their eyes closed, lost in the Spirit, emotions spilling forth. There were loud voices of praise at various levels, male and female, bass, alto, soprano, all speaking forth in languages they had never spoken before. Most were unaware of their surroundings, being completely focused on the Lord. Tears were streaming. Smiles were beaming. Pure joy was breaking out all over. They had been clothed with power from on high.

And in the midst of it all, those on the streets below, Jews from all over the empire in town for the great Feast of Weeks, were beyond perplexed. It was unprecedented for them as well.

The Upper-Roomers were already fulfilling their call to be witnesses and did not even know it.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] [1]

Every one of those temporary residents of Jerusalem and the city dwellers themselves were receiving a forced witness. They had no choice in the matter. They heard unlearned and ignorant Galileans, given away by their accents, “speaking of the mighty deeds of God,” in their own respective languages. It was the first instance of this “sign for unbelievers,” as Paul mentioned, which would be given again and again—the evidence of a surrendered heart and the fruit of holy speech. It was also an awakening moment for those on the outside looking in.

Pentecost was a reversal of Babel.

© 2020 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.

Progression Regression: The World is Going to Hell (Part 2)

Ziggurat

BLAST FROM THE PAST!

Still Topical After All These Months (Part 2):

https://getrealchristianity.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/progression-regression-the-world-is-going-to-hell-2/

Progression Regression: The World is Going to Hell (Part 1)

The World's Sovereigns of 1889

BLAST FROM THE PAST!

Still Topical After All These Months:

https://getrealchristianity.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/progression-regression-the-world-is-going-to-hell-1/

Slow Motion Explosion: Part 1

         The world is blowing apart. The money boys keep trotting out their smiling dunces commissioned with the task of keeping you asleep and stupid. These pinheads on patrol are so obviously playing roles one wonders how they remain successful.

         Until one is reminded yet again that it is all about money.

         People have bills to pay. Most are overextended. Many are up to their armpits in financial owings. If their debts were immediately called for they would be completely unable to pay and would quickly implode, since they possess only pennies on the dollar.

         Hence, there is worry and fret, and a blind hope that someone, anyone, will bless them with the good news that all is alright and everything will be okay.

         Even if it is always a bold-faced lie.

         Ever wonder why the political thespians never seem to have a care in the world other than pleasing their puppet masters? Why they smile in the face of disaster and laugh as ships are sinking? Their job is not to correct things but give false encouragement to willing dupes who must know that the money flow will continue to keep their little boats afloat.

         But unless one’s boat is a God-constructed ark it is destined to sink like a rock.

         You see, the money boys have been at it for almost an exact century. They have built a worldwide economic Tower of Babel and are constantly shoring up shortcomings and faulty foundations. It is a Mammonian Monster built to eat you alive but must continually convince one and all to voluntarily submit to its clutches.

         And the world has complied. Why?

         Because the world has by and large rejected the God of the Universe—the Lord Jesus Himself.

         He has an economy too, you know. His works infinitely better. He will never use you or abuse your trust. His love is unconditional so He will never betray you the way a debt economy will—the way a debt economy will throw you out headlong into the cold streets over being unable to pay. The Lord’s system is not based on debt, but the opposite.

         It is based on giving:

         “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

         “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.

         “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Luke 6:30-38] [1]

         For blind members of the devil’s economy, such statements are ridiculous. And they continue to believe lying jerks who use them and rob them blind. To the money boys, people are mere producing units and must continually be convinced to keep producing and trusting and paying exorbitant taxes and fees to keep their swindler’s circus ripping you off.

         There is only one thing they must have that they cannot control: They must have your faith. You must continue to believe in their state of the art deception and sleight-of-hand tactics which appear as the direct opposite.

         In order to insure this they periodically scare the hell out of you.

         But something different is now happening in the world. The dupes of the devil’s banking system are starting to see through the cracks. Like poor boys of a century past, many are peering in through slits in a board fence at the real show behind the scenes. Information technology has released a Pandora’s Box of possibles, and some of those possibles are allowing for the escape of truth.

         So, guess what’s on the immediate horizon?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 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.

Progression Regression: The World is Going to Hell (Part 2)

         The world cannot be captured and ruled without religion. The elites at the top of the pyramid have always known this. In ancient Sumer, the early architectural form of pyramid was known by the later Akkadian term as ziqqurratu. The original ziggurats indigenous to the lower Mesopotamian region were multi-tiered rising step structures consisting of successive increasingly smaller stages. The overall pyramidal form reached its zenith with a small temple enclosure at the very top. It was in this temple where the priests communed with the gods and received instructions for the people. No one was allowed at the top except the very highest of the priesthood.

         Such a structure was perfect for controlling a society. Each major city had its own temple complex. There was great pomp and religious pageantry associated with these ancient temples. The priesthood was either faking everyone out, knowing they were mere men engaging in a deceptive religious stage play, or was actually being dictated to by demonic forces. In reality, it was a combination of the two in that demons merged with humans. In their human nature, the pagan priests knew they were deceiving the public by presenting something inwardly contrary to the outward display.

         They had a secret, hidden agenda.

         Those lower in the religious hierarchy generally believed in the myth and were transfixed and ruled by it. They dedicated their lives to religious service thinking it was the highest of callings. As they climbed in stature and esoteric knowledge, however, some began to perceive that what they had been taught did not match up with reality. Their indoctrination was merely a façade. They had been deceived as had everyone else but suddenly found themselves as part of a small but powerful elite group. They had completed the majority of the required initiatory degrees and discovered their religion was actually about something else entirely. And as it is in all such secretive clandestine groups, one knows too much to leave. Oaths had been taken along the way. They had gained much power and prestige. They were connected—part of a small cabal of high-end movers and shakers.

         The hidden agenda was about control over the masses for the benefit of the elite.

         Most people never make the connection or get the big idea, and are deceived by the pomp and ceremony. They are fooled by titles and degrees. They honor such people because they perceive them as far above themselves and very close to God.

         Their heads are in the heavens. They do their work on elevated stages. They wear special clothing that sets them apart. They have soaring resumes and rule over churches and ministry organizations. They possess a holier-than-thou arrogant and high-minded attitude. The higher they climb, the more their supporters increase and hang on every word spoken. They rarely climb down off their high horse and mix with the common people. They wear fake smiles and attitudes, talk a lot but say little, and refrain from teaching anything that may compromise their comfortable lifestyles. As classic Pharisees, they talk very good but do next to nothing. Once they build their ziggurat, nothing ever changes. They bask in the glory and support of the people, and become completely enamored of their own self. If they discover they have been compromised by demonic forces, it is too late to change. They cannot go back. They cannot stand the thought of losing their power and prestige.  

         Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the tyrannical city! She heeded no voice, she accepted no instruction. She did not trust in the LORD, she did not draw near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions, her judges are wolves at evening; they leave nothing for the morning. Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men; her priests have profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law. The LORD is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame. [Zephaniah 3:1-5]

         There are two principle spiritual movements going on in America at the moment. One regards the early beginnings of a national Great Awakening consisting of faceless nobody real believers with sincere hearts and absolute dedication to the Lord Jesus at all costs. The other is a fake movement made up of largely deceived masses unaware that they are being manipulated by elitists for alternative purposes.

         In ancient Sumer, the elites used any and all methods of control that existed. Such methods were mere tools in the hands of artisans. Through military conquest, political intrigue, and monetary power they gained absolute control. But religion was their greatest tool. It was mixed in with all the others and the people were none the wiser.

         Beware the mixing of Christianity with political economic interests.

         The Lord Jesus and His men were not Zealots, Scribes, Sadducees, or Pharisees. They did not attempt to rule politically or through military might. They were not in bed economically with the Romans. And they certainly did not try to rule through the medium of religion. Instead of a ziggurat, the Lord had no place to lay His head, preached in the streets, from boats, in the wild, and at the base of a great hillside, though it is now mistakenly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. Later, His men were hounded everywhere they went. The only honor they received was from God. The world hated them. And as that world continued to preach progression toward the top of a mythical pyramid, it actually consistently regressed toward eventual destruction and hell.

         Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” [Genesis 11:1-6] [1]

         American Christians are at a fork in the road. We are either living stones being built up as a spiritual house and all-inclusive holy priesthood under the sole authority of the Lord Jesus,[2] or we are burned man-made bricks comprising a fake Christian ziggurat held together by the tar of hypocrisy and religious control. There is no other alternative.

         © 2011 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.

[2] 1 Peter 2:5

Progression Regression: The World is Going to Hell (Part 1)

         The leaders of this world have an agenda. It was the same agenda Nimrod had roughly 5,000 years ago. His agenda was tyrannical world rule and slavery of the human race. For Nimrod, whose name means rebellion, his plan was one of progression. Current politics of progressivism state the same. Its proponents envision a world of peace and prosperity for all, and most people buy into it. The more “progress” they gain toward their idyllic one world wonder, however, the more humanity regresses toward the opposite of what God intended. Their progress is actually rebellious regress, and will have a very rude end.  

         Ancient Sumer (the Biblical Shinar) was the world’s first civilization. It invented agriculture on a mass scale. The Sumerians did this by creating a hierarchical system with a giant slave class at the bottom and a very small class of elites at the top. Prior to that time, humanity existed in a rough equality, an egalitarian collection of many small communities and groups. The powerful elites of Sumer stepped across the line and decided their vision of great things must be accomplished at any cost, hence the use of human slavery.

         From this arrangement, the Sumerians invented a mass economic system, which required the invention of writing. The wheel had long since been invented by their precursors, the ancient Ubadians, and they put it to highly efficient use. Sumer became quite proficient in the sciences and several fields of endeavor, but ruling over all in this new “civilization” was the innovative concept of religion, also on a mass scale. Religious terms were codified, a hierarchy of gods was created and presented in organized form, and the people were indoctrinated en masse. To top off their supreme hubris, they built what came to be known as the world famous Tower of Babel, an edifice whose pinnacle was intended to reach into heaven. The Lord did not like their shenanigans so much, however, and it came to a rude end.

         When thinking of present world elites, one usually does not think about religion. Yet, the creation of a single world hybrid religion is taking place at this very moment and gaining considerable steam. At first, one will think this idea to be beyond ridiculous, but it depends on one’s perspective. American Christianity of the present, in general terms, has long-since backslid from its foundation and is a mere shell of its prior self or something entirely different. Part of this is due to mere sensuality and materialism, and the rebellious raising up of selfish and sinful flesh against the call of the Lord Jesus and the command toward true discipleship.

         The carrying of one’s cross and the ongoing crucifixion of one’s flesh is no longer the top priority among most Christians, and the promotion of self has risen far above it. Therefore, the bulk of what we call Christianity is false and something else altogether. Its merging with other religions should not be all that surprising, as this is built into the prototype invented long ago. Real Christianity of the present, on the other hand, like that of the first century, refuses to be congealed into the merging religious melting pot and will always remain loyal to the Lord Jesus. This strong witness will gain ever-greater trouble for real believers over time.

         By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. [Hebrews 11:23-27]   

         Anyone studying ancient history knows that religion is the best way to capture the minds of people. Military, economic, and political control would fail without religion. Sumer discovered this. All subsequent world empires adopted it—Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Religious control was arguably brought to its height during the Roman Empire, yet even mighty, indestructible Rome had a very rude end. After the fall of Rome, religious control clandestinely moved seamlessly into yet another highly deceptive form. Even after the Protestant Reformation and the great strides toward religious freedom, rule by religion remains with us to this day among Christian adherents.

         The major religions presently on the planet were created the same way ancient Sumer created the first. It was done by decree, by force, and by fear. Those people who refused to get in line with the majority opinion and the hierarchical henchmen were simply eliminated. This is what goes on presently right under our noses. Christian syncretism, a blending of real Christianity with pagan religions, is not new. The blending of all pagan religions is not new either, since each previously mentioned world culture engaged in it. But the blending of all religions of the entire planet, including false forms of Christianity into a single unit is indeed new. Imagine the pride of those engaged in this process, not only in that they actually think they can pull it off and make it happen, but also that they have so little concern for the billions over which they rule.

         Real Christians must always be on their guard, not against the obvious, but against the sly and highly deceptive practices among their own. Adam was deceived by his own wife, for example. David was always being attacked from within. The Lord Jesus was betrayed by one of His own hand-picked disciples. Christians will be deceived and betrayed by Christians. The wheat and tares appear identical. The goats look like sheep. The devil even disguises himself as a wooly wolf:

         “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” [Matthew 7:15] [1]

         These wolves are hungry for you. [Part 1 of 2]

         © 2011 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.