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THE LORD’S POWERFUL “WOE TO YOU!” REBUKATHONS (PART 4)

The parallels are uncanny. Many cannot see the forest for the trees. The corrective is rejected as destruction progresses. Christians are fiddling as the city burns…   

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OPENING STATEMENTS:

From Part 1: Much of Christianity in America has either rejected or forfeited its spiritual vitality and strength. Christians must seek the Lord’s full anointing.

From Part 2: By the time the Woe’s come it is apparently too late…

From Part 3: There is GREAT need of direct open rebuke of many Christian entities in America (most). Such will never, of course, come from the inside.

THE PRECEDENT

God had been rebuking and correcting the wayward nation of Israel for centuries. He had done this primarily through His prophets. The time arrived, however, when the prophets were no more…

This distinct nation had a miraculous beginning and was preserved repeatedly over many centuries by God who always kept His covenant with it though the nation strayed repeatedly and committed national adultery on a semi-regular basis. Things had gotten so bad regarding the nation’s inability or desire to remain chaste that a divorce and dissolution of the covenant was acknowledged at one point, in the time of the prophet Jeremiah while Josiah was king (640-609BC):

Then the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the LORD. [Jeremiah 3:6-10]

Already, three centuries before this, a few years after Solomon died in 930BC, the nation had split in two. It became “Israel” in the north composed of ten tribes and “Judah” in the south composed of three. (The twelve tribes had become thirteen as Joseph’s tribe became two, named after his sons.) The northern nation of Israel, composed of the vast majority, lasted only two centuries. It had grown increasingly wicked, refusing to repent, driven to this end mostly by its rebellious leaders. It ceased to exist in 722BC when carried off into permanent captivity. That constituted the divorce.

The nation of Judah remained in the south, composed of the three remaining tribes of Judah, Levi, and Benjamin, until its wickedness also caused the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586BC, and the resulting national exile as it was removed to Babylon for a total of seventy years. This constituted a national separation rather than an outright divorce but was only predicated upon God’s unending love for His people and His adherence to the covenant. Also, there were a great many things left to accomplish to fulfill the prophetic plan.

He would preserve what was left of the former nation to preserve the dedicated Remnant within it due to its undying faithfulness to the covenant. However, it did no good to preserve the Remnant unless there was a plan to come to its rescue, to deliver it from the clutches of evil, to end its subjection to the slavery of wicked authoritarians, both religious and monarchical, and to bless it with spiritual LIFE. He would fight for these people, His true sons and daughters. He would go to spiritual war for them. He would continue in His quest to lead and guide them, correct them, teach them, provide for them, and love them as their spiritual Father.

For the full working out of this long term goal and its all-encompassing consequences for the world at large, God also had to become that which He had intended from before the very foundation of the world: He must be His nation’s Messiah and Savior. To that end He must be the Sacrifice Lamb, the one who would go so far as to die for His Bride, expressing with His entire heart the greatest love, which included shedding His blood for her spiritual cleansing and salvation, and then raising her up to spiritual greatness.

Therefore, what was left of the nation was safeguarded and protected as it had always been: HE MUST PRESERVE THE MESSIANIC GENERATIONAL LINE. He must do this even though the majority of His people turned against Him, served other gods, embraced the devil’s religious cults, and did it all with a stiffnecked, rebellious, unmanageable attitude, always creating problems and fomenting crises that never had to happen. Sound familiar? The line began with Adam. Then Adam fouled up the plan bigtime. The line continued with Abel. So the devil stirred up Cain to kill him. And voila! No coming Savior. Then 130 years later Adam finally repented and got his act together. He could now have a son to replace Abel. This was Seth. The line was restored. And on it went. The enemies of God were forever trying to stop the Savior from arriving by attacking the bearers of the pure generational line that would eventually result in His long awaited arrival. They failed.

ABRAHAM

This small and obscure ancient nation composed of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was blessed to be the only nation on earth to have an actual covenant with the Creator of the universe. The far-reaching agreement was initially a compact of only two parties, the Lord and the nomad Abram, whose name meant “exalted father” or “father of elevation.” Later, as recorded in Genesis 17:5, God changed his name to Abraham, which means “father of a multitude.” In context, it is translated as “father of a multitude (הָמוֹן hāmôn) of nations (גּוֹי gôy).” Thus, Abraham was not only the progenitor of the nation of Israel but was also the father of other nations as signified by the Hebrew word goy, pluralized to goyim.

Regarding the name Israel, this had also been the result of a rename by God. It became the new name of Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. Jacob fathered the twelve sons whose descendants became the twelve tribes. One may recall that Isaac, the promised one, actually had twin sons by his wife Rebekah: Esau and Jacob. But the eldest, Esau, had no part in God’s covenant after he thought so little of it and sold his birthright.

Thus we have a man named Abraham who fathered the child Isaac by miraculous means though he had previously fathered his first son Ishmael by purely natural means thirteen years before. After Isaac was born and raised and after Sarah died, Abraham married again to a woman name Keturah and became the father of six more sons. There is also an indication that he had other children besides these by women other than Keturah because Genesis 25:6 refers to his “concubines.” Most if not all of these sons and later descendants settled to the east of Canaan. Isaac’s son Esau and his future offspring comingled with them to a degree. The sons of Abraham thus became the ancestors of many Middle Eastern peoples.

Therefore, Abraham truly became the father of many nations which later were referred to as “Gentiles” in that they were all distinct from the nation of Israel though they all descended from the same man.

Yet there is another aspect to Abraham’s fatherhood, one much more significant. There is another nation that arose through his miracle son Isaac. This particular nation is descended from Abraham but not through natural means. It is comprised of many nations in the natural yet is but one nation in the Spirit. The apostle Paul taught this truth as follows:

For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.

For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. [Romans 4:13-25]

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 THE END

We see then, starting at the time of the Promise in 1876BC until the Exodus from Egypt 430 years later, that the original nation of God’s covenant had grown large, unified, and strong resulting in the victorious Conquest of Canaan in circa 1400BC. It was not long, however, until it fell into a pattern of fits and starts, national sin and deliverance, and then suffered a disastrous split about five centuries later from which it never recovered.

By God’s grace it continued through all its iniquity and waywardness for another millennium until its prophesied end, due only to its repeated violation of the covenant and hatred of its Founder. When He arrived in His land, according to a multitude of prophetic statements, the movers and shakers who controlled the nation, those who had drifted far from God, did not recognize Him. They failed to see Him for who He is and refused to honor Him. Unreal Christianity has the same problem and will suffer the same fate.

In the following statement, the Lord’s sorrowful lament for His people and pained anguish of His rejection and all He could have otherwise done for them bleeds through. It is a passage filled with pathos and lost love, characterizing the tragedy of what had become of a people so blessed and cared for, less than forty years before the end. This time there would be no mere separation or divorce, but termination:

“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]

This passage came at the end of the Lord’s greatest rebukathon in Scripture in which He held nothing back. Still, it did no good. They refused to repent. All hope was lost. It was the Last Days—the final generation—the time when all the prophesied events regarding the nation’s fiery conclusion would be fulfilled a mere four decades later. The Lord had done all He could do. Essentially the only thing left was speaking the final pronouncements through prophetic Woe’s.

And once the Woe’s come, it’s pretty much over.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

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?

“Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

“Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” [Matthew 23:13-36][1]

© 2023 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 LORD’S POWERFUL “WOE TO YOU!” REBUKATHONS (PART 3)

There is GREAT need of direct open rebuke of many Christian entities in America (most). Such will never, of course, come from the inside.

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NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATIONS

Those in control have long since gained full control of the “inside.” No one on the inside who discovers corruption or notices incorrect unscriptural practices and attempts to clean it up will ever get very far without consequently being shown the door post haste. It doesn’t matter if it’s a worldwide cabal masquerading as a Christian denomination or a little church somewhere with dishonest leaders operating on the sly. Whoever stands against whatever’s wrong by the Lord’s anointing will suffer at the hands of the resident corrupt authority. They do this to protect their racket. Sadly, the leadership usually has the support of the congregation which is often too clueless to understand and sees such an attempt at reform as an attack or too fearful to challenge their betters. Just as the Lord’s great Woe’s came from without by a great Prophet and prophetic rebukes of old came forth from outside the religious establishment by OT prophets, so must this great rebuke also come from without in most cases.

For all intents and purposes, every single Christian denomination and local church in the country has established controls of which no one outside of the power structure can bring any effective correcting voice. The “power structure” may be large and include both overall denominational hierarchies and local church hierarchies. Or it may be absolutely small and exist as a single “pastor” of an independent body. Whatever the case, it is very important to establish church ruling structures in which nothing or nobody can bring a word which might differ from church agendas and doctrines or standard operating procedure. This reveals many Christian ministries, therefore, not as entities existing to honor the truth of the Lord’s teachings but their own distinct interpretations of the Lord’s teachings thereof and whatever they allow to be allowed.

And because the success of the enterprise is that which is most important, including, of course, the success of those in control who draw their sustenance and in many cases their excess monetary gains from the enterprise, of which they cannot exist or operate, controlling whatever has proved to be monetarily successful is mandatory.

It is therefore a matter, then, of what is considered “success.” From this we can derive two basics. There is the usual form of success—that of the “bottom line” measured only in terms of necessary monetary income which supports the material structure and salaries thereof. Secondly, there is the spiritual success of the church or ministry reflected in the spiritual development, maturation, and effectiveness of the members.

Of course, the Lord always placed spiritual success first and foremost. He had next to nothing of the former, that of material outlays. He had no electric bills or mortgage payments because He had no church buildings. However, during His ministry, He definitely had need of shelter in that He often stayed at someone’s house and even told people on occasion He would be staying at their house. This means private residences were important and served as necessary shelter. Now, such a fact may appear obvious, but the point is that the Lord drew a distinction, a large one, between the private residence and the public “church building.” Regarding His own ministry, He honored and made use of the former but had no use whatsoever of the latter. Though he sometimes taught in the synagogues He never built His own synagogue or commanded His disciples to do so.

At present, and throughout much of history, especially of the last few centuries, this dynamic of priorities has completely flipped. The original first-century Community of the Lord met almost exclusively in private residences and had their meetings there, and though this did not only take place for a few years or even a few decades after Pentecost, as some wish to assert in defense of their incorrect beliefs, the house church standard actually transpired for centuries. This proves the Early Church maintained the exact procedure in this regard as did the Lord.

PRIORITIES

What this entails, then, is that the juxtaposition from the spiritual to the material which represents itself in church buildings etc. and the large material outlays thereof, is that the first and foremost spiritual priority of the Lord and His true disciples has become secondary. Rather than putting spiritual priorities first which results in strong developed spiritual disciples able to win spiritual victories, take great ground for the Lord and His Kingdom, and go forth as powerful witnesses for the salvation of great numbers, we are left with mostly “successful” non-spiritually developed non-disciple congregants that prioritize monetary and material success as most important. This mindset is perfectly represented in buildings much larger than their members’ individual houses so all the residences of such houses which make up the congregation can meet together at the same time.

It is interesting then, that the Lord was never concerned about such. There were times during His ministry when multiple thousands of people were following Him—they were following Him in the literal sense. Great masses of people, likely as many as 20,000 or more, were literally following Him around. This was a perfect representation of what happened during the Sinai wanderings fifteen centuries before when the nation of Israel, having escaped from the slavery of Egypt by the Lord’s hand at the Exodus, were going about the desert terrain, not haphazardly with no direction, but as trailing God’s every move. They did this for forty years:

The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. [Exodus 13:21-22]

It is interesting, therefore, that the Lord Jesus did not care about sheltering these great crowds of people following Him. As we picture such scenes we usually never consider the weather. It was not always dry and sunny. There had to have been times when it was quite cold, when storms rose up or when it rained, maybe heavily or in a cool drizzle. Consequently, there were those who likely carried the means for a crude shelter composed of a blanket and thin tree branches or some such. The point here is that, in the course of the Lord’s ministry to His people, it was impossible to house all these thousands in a designated building. Maybe when the weather got bad many went home. Maybe the relatively harsh conditions weeded out the committed from those swayed by what they thought were excessive physical discomforts.

THE COMMITTED

Many years ago I was in our large church building at the beginning of a service. A friend of mine was making a few announcements up at the pulpit and then spoke a few sentences about spiritual commitment. He said something about a breakfast of ham and eggs. He said the chicken was involved but the pig was committed.

This draws an excellent contrast. Christians who are committed go way beyond being “involved.” They never quit. They are in it for the duration. They take their covenant vows to the Lord seriously. There is no greater covenant than one’s covenant with the Lord Jesus and those who never violate it are in it for the long haul and whatever that may entail. They will let nothing, absolutely nothing, stop them.

Christians who are committed express the same commitment the Lord made. No one ever had a more difficult life. No one ever suffered as much pain. He suffered in every way possible throughout His life. His sufferings reached every part of His being. But He would not stop. No inconveniences would stop Him. No suffering and no pain would hinder His purpose and objective. Whatever challenge presented itself He would overcome and did.

Though we may say “Yes, but that was Him. We are not Him.” This is true, but only in a sense. In reality He subjected Himself to life as a human being in this physical world and achieved His objective within it having to deal with the same stuff we do. He overcame it all, showed us how to do it, and maybe most importantly, spiritually equipped us to do it. And this is where the majority of Christianity, as opposed to a minority which is equipped, refuses to go. It rejects the equipping part. It may appreciate His example and achievements but rejects the idea that it can perform as He did. And what is the result? It does not perform as He did.

And this is not because this multiple millions-strong multitude of non-equipped Christianity doesn’t have the potential. It is because it refuses. It considers the means to be spiritually equipped as far too humiliating and inconvenient. It knows such equipping is bad for material and financial “success” and its respectable place in the culture. Such an attitude necessitates massive REBUKE.

THE REAL AND THE UNREAL

We know from the Parable of the Sower that only one in four sowers will yield a crop. Only one in four planters will have a fruitful harvest. The other three will have no harvest whatsoever. Among those who yield a crop, some will do better than others: “Some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” One would think the varying success levels are somewhat based on commitment and dedication.

Before proceeding, there must be a definition in terms. We must know the Lord’s definition of success. Only 25% of all sowers were successful. Breaking this down further, on average only 8% were successful enough for a 100% return. What does the Lord mean when He speaks of a crop? Is He not speaking of the lost being found? Is He not referring to souls being saved and coming to full commitment in Him?

The seed sowed is the message of the Kingdom. It is the Gospel, the Good News. The harvest is PEOPLE. Yet the harvest of people does not refer to how many people one can stack up in the pews of churches as viable members. It has nothing to do with affixing a particular denominational name or title upon said people or placing them under the headship of a particular “pastor.” The people of the harvest all belong to the Lord Jesus. They are His sheep and belong to no other, and as His sheep they follow and obey His teachings and not those of anyone else. They are fully committed to the covenant they make with Him:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” [John 10:27-28]

It should not be difficult, therefore, to identify His sheep as opposed to other sheep who merely claim to be His sheep. The Lord taught specifically on this subject. He made several statements regarding it such as:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” [Matthew 7:21-23]

The main prerequisite here to be counted as one of the Lord’s real sheep is doing the will of the Father. But it does not mean that anyone who prophesies, casts out demons, or performs miracles is practicing lawlessness because the initial Community of the Lord did these things always just as did the Lord. In fact, we are instructed to do these things. No, the inference is that there are Christians who attempt to do these and other things but not under the Lord’s authority or by His spiritual power. He is saying that whoever performs his or her Christianity but not fully under His authority is not actually following Him and is thus operating on his own in a state of lawlessness.

The Greek word translated as “lawlessness” is defined as: 1. Properly, the condition of one without law — either because ignorant of it, or because violating it. 2. Contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness.

Essentially, it means acting apart from the Lord Jesus. The Pharisees and others in His time did the same in that they acted apart from the very God they claimed to serve as perfectly stated in the following verse using the exact word:

“So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:28][1]

This statement is spoken within the framework of the Lord’s greatest rebukathon contained in Scripture, a long passage contained in Matthew 23:13-36. This 24 verse passage contains eight occurrences of the word “Woe.” It is truly a shocking overall rebuke.

The same rebuke, at least, is required at present for American Christianity in general. And though this rebuke may or may not be conveyed in spoken form in all or most cases, it will certainly be conveyed through other means. It has actually already started and has been ongoing in part. There was a time when the shysters could get away with it either due to relatively easy economic means in which they could gain what they needed for their enterprises and also due to relatively easy deception in that so many Christians were simply unaware of the Lord’s real and full teachings and had too much misplaced respect and fear of Christian authority.

But due to the Great Awakening, when unobstructed access to the Word of God and superfluous research and study materials have been made available through limitless digital means, Christians are becoming aware of the former deception at the hands of the lawless fakers who look great outwardly but are spiritually empty inwardly. People are seeing that so much of what was formerly presented as absolutely necessary is not. They are also seeing that was is absolutely necessary has been either greatly downplayed or rejected outright by the Christian Pharisees in control.

The greater Light is exposing them. The same thing happened during the Protestant Reformation when Christians regained access to the written Word of God in their own languages and were shocked by what it actually said, in that it differed greatly from what had been pushed upon the unsuspecting people before then. The lawless ones of that time who refused to serve the Lord Jesus but instead served themselves are no different than those in our day.

Part of the forthcoming great rebuke replete with manifold Woe’s will involve a reversal of Unreal Christianity’s economic and material priorities. Another part will involve revealing the real and also the great strengthening and blessing of those Christians who have been doing the will of the Lord but under trying circumstances.

Many such trying circumstances were due to so much of the overall Christian pie being hoarded, gorged on, and scarfed down by the morbidly obese religious shysters concerned only with their own “success” and rarely with the spiritual success of the Lord’s sheep in their pasture.

WOE TO THEM.

© 2023 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 LORD’S POWERFUL “WOE TO YOU!” REBUKATHONS (PART 2)

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By the time the Woe’s come it is apparently too late…

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GOSPEL OF MATTHEW [14]

Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” [Matthew 11:21-24]

Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” [Matthew 18:7]

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.” [Matthew 23:14]

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” [Matthew 23:15]

Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’” [Matthew 23:16]

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” [Matthew 23:23]

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.” [Matthew 23:25]

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” [Matthew 23:27]

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,” [Matthew 23:29]

“But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!” [Matthew 24:19]

“The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” [Matthew 26:24]

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GOSPEL OF MARK [2]

“But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!” [Mark 13:17]

“For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” [Mark 14:21]

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GOSPEL OF LUKE [15]

“But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.” [Luke 6:24]

Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.” [Luke 6:25]

Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” [Luke 6:26]

Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!” [Luke 10:13-15]

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” [Luke 11:42]

Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and the respectful greetings in the market places.” [Luke 11:43]

Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it.” [Luke 11:44]

“But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” [Luke 11:46]

Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them.” [Luke 11:47]

Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.” [Luke 11:52]

He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!” [Luke 17:1]

Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people.” [Luke 21:23]

“For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” [Luke 22:22][1]

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© 2023 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 LORD’S POWERFUL “WOE TO YOU!” REBUKATHONS (PART 1)

Much of Christianity in America has either rejected or forfeited its spiritual vitality and strength. Christians must seek the Lord’s full anointing.

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WOE

The following is a study of every occurrence of the word “Woe” in the four gospels. We will look closely at this list to see who the Lord directed His “Woes” against and why.

This word “Woe” occurs in 27 gospel verses.

It occurs a total of 31 times.

Each time it is spoken by the Lord Jesus.

Each time it is spoken by Him in great intensity and emotion in His powerful anointing.

He speaks it against His wicked enemies, against wayward cities, and against errant clueless Israelites.

The word “Woe” is from the Greek word οὐαί (oo-ah’-ee): Alas! Woe!

It is defined as “a primary exclamation of grief” and “an interjection of grief or of denunciation.”

WOE TO YOU!

He used this word primarily against evil Israelite religionists.

Of the 31 total occurrences in the gospels, 14 Woes were directed in strong rebuke against religious leaders. They are listed as follows as they appear in Scripture:

  • Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites [7 occurrences]
  • Pharisees [3 occurrences]
  • Lawyers (Torah teachers) [3 occurrences]
  • Blind guides [1 occurrence]

In addition to the preceding 14 Woes, 3 more Woes were directed against Judas Iscariot—the apostle who betrayed Him—the duplicitous deceitful man who took a bribe and joined up with the religious leaders and played a major part working in concert with their diabolical conspiracy to murder the Lord.

These 3 bring the total to 17 Woes.

17 out of the 31 are thus directed toward religious authoritarians and their supporters. This accounts for more than half the total (55%).

These facts should ring a bell.

They should ring church bells.

They should ring every conceivable bell, buzzer, and alarm all across the country.

WOE TO YOU!

He also spoke Woes against those who act as stumbling blocks against the innocent, against small children, and against His spiritual children, tripping up the ones seeking and living for the Lord:

  • The world [1 occurrence]
  • That man through whom the stumbling block comes [1 occurrence]
  • Him through whom they (stumbling blocks) come [1 occurrence]

WOE TO YOU!

The Lord likewise spoke a number of Woes against those Israelites who would suffer from the severe judgment coming upon the nation at the very end when all would be destroyed including the temple and the city of Jerusalem less than forty years into the future.

Remember, His Woes were also exclamations of grief. The Lord was pouring His heart out.

Those people would also be guilty and deserved such strong rebuke since they supported the wicked primary instigators who brought on the destruction or never did anything to stop them.

The people may otherwise have prevented it or at least saved themselves if not for their cowardice and great fear of the religious authoritarians, their refusal to repent, and their rejection of their Messiah.

The following recipients of Woes are listed as they appear in Scripture:

  • “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!” [Matthew 24:19 and Mark 13:17] “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people!” [Luke 21:23] [3 occurrences]
  • “But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.” [Luke 6:24] [1 occurrence]
  • “Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry.” [Luke 6:25] [1 occurrence]
  • “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.” [Luke 6:25] [1 occurrence]
  • “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” [Luke 6:26] [1 occurrence]

WOE TO YOU!

The Lord also singled out three particular Israelite cities located at the northern area of the Sea of Galilee for severe rebuke, pronouncing Woe’s against:

  • Chorazin [2 occurrences]
  • Bethsaida [2 occurrences]
  • (Capernaum) [2 occurrences]

These three Israelite cities, though they had experienced the Lord’s complete ministry, refused to repent.

He said the first two cities were worse than the sinful Phoenician port cities of Tyre and Sidon.

He said Capernaum was worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. Imagine that.

The Lord said the non-Israelite cities of Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, and Gomorrah all would have repented if they had been blessed with the Lord’s ministry.

Scripture also states that first-century Jerusalem was mystically called Sodom and Egypt (See Revelation 11:8).

What kind of hell holes were these? —Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and Jerusalem?

What would He say about many American cities of the present?

He could obviously also say the same thing about many “Christian” churches, ministries, groups, and institutions of today that, regardless of outward beauty-is-skin-deep faux appearances, have apparently partnered with Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, and Gomorrah as sister cities and are candidates for Woe proclamations as well as the following:

And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” [John 2:14-16][1]

© 2023 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.

Woe to You, Christian Pharisees!

         Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.”

1.  “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”

2.  “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.”

3.  “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.”

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”

4.  “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

5.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.”

6.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

7.  “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?”

8.  “And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering?”

         “Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.”

9.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”

10.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”

11.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

12.  “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? Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 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 23:1-39] [1]

         © 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.