Galatians Relations—Dismiss the Bris: Abraham’s Real Descendants (Part 1)

         Brother Paul, the one who would not be stopped, the one who insisted on the truth, the one who was revered and respected by all and whose discipleship set a bright glaring standard for the early community of the Lord, had his first go at epistle-writing with his extraordinary, incisive, and revelatory letter to the Galatians.

         He wrote it somewhere in the vicinity of 48-52 AD, probably around the year 49. It had only been about a decade and a half since the Lord’s resurrection and Pentecost, and Paul was already having to apply major corrections to the believers in Galatia and Christians in general.

         They had been subjected to Judaizers, up from Jerusalem (See Acts 15), who insisted upon the adoption of long-held Jewish religious traditions and practices as mandatory for salvation. Though believers in the Lord, they had yet to see the full light of the Gospel and the liberty all followers of the Lord had been called to.

         Paul applied a strong corrective with this first letter to make the rounds, and explained it not only from a Gentile point of view, but from a strong Jewish perspective as well, since he, as a Jew and former Pharisee, was at least the equal of those who were adamant about circumcision et al, and most likely far superior.

         Consider the newness of the times then, all that was being sorted out, and the powerful spiritual warfare taking place with reference to the doctrinal realm and the truth of the Lord’s teachings. And then, apply this short masterwork to today, and consider its full implications concerning the need to return to first principles, the simplicity of the Gospel, and the power of truth to set us free from false doctrine and dead religion.

         I’ve divided the book into two parts—Chapters 1-3 in Part 1, and Chapters 4-6 in Part 2. Be blessed.

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GALATIANS

Chapter One:

         Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia:

         Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

         I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

         As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

         For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

         For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

         But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

         Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.)

         Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they were glorifying God because of me.

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Chapter Two:

         Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

         But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.

         But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.

         But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

         But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

         But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

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Chapter Three:

         You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

         So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

         For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”—in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

         Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

         What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.

         Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

          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. [1]

         © 2014 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.

RECOMMENDED MUST READS:

REAL CIRCUMCISION: HEARTS SEWN UP WITH BLUE (Part 1)

REAL CIRCUMCISION: HEARTS SEWN UP WITH BLUE (Part 2)

Pharisees’ Conspiracies and Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

         But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. [Matthew 12:14-15a]

         There were many attempts on the Lord’s life during His ministry but all attempts failed. One of the reasons such attempts failed is illustrated in the verse above: He withdrew from there.

         The hateful and despicable Pharisees, those who could never do anything straightforward and honest out in the open but were ever of a mind to conspire behind the scenes, were constantly huddling together in small secret groups. In this particular case it was probably with the Herodians, discussing among themselves how to stop the God of all Creation from attending to the very ministry designed to save them as well. In their perspective, of course, the Lord Jesus was certainly not God—He was the farthest thing from YHWH they could imagine—and was not even a prophet.

         In fact, in their grossly contorted religious view, He was nothing good whatsoever, but a mere phony and a pretender. To them such a conclusion was obvious because He and His teachings were so very different from them and theirs—their perfect traditional theologies and liturgies—and the fact that religious and social appearances seemed so unimportant to Him while they reveled in their masquerades and political connections, and were wholly dependent upon them.

         They also hated Him because He could do things they could not, and the people recognized this and pursued the Lord Jesus for the good He did and great love they felt from Him, which meant the people the Pharisees had so successfully corralled and brainwashed for so many long decades quit honoring them and their dead heartless religion that did nothing of any consequence for the soul.

         These religious elites thus felt greatly threatened by a single Man who proposed no threat toward good but certainly toward evil, lies, and deception, and cared not in their hearts if such a Man cast a Light on them since they were foresworn to never repent and join Him (because they saw themselves as the epitome of rightness and righteousness already—the supreme leaders of the chosen people), and to never accept under any conditions whatsoever such a false Messiah who made them feel so uncomfortable about themselves to the point that His murder became top priority at all costs.

         Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

         “BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES. HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT; NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS. A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF, AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY. AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE.”

         Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. [Matthew 12:15b-22]

         Here we have a fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy in one verse taking place in the life of a single man, who was just as real as you or I, and just as much in need. When Christianity starts going south, Christians no longer see themselves as sinners in need but as cultural Christians living according to other belief systems and dogmas than the Lord’s pure curriculum, and fallen into taking political sides and becoming issues-oriented rather than God-dependent.

         When people at last see and admit they have been made blind and mute by deceptive and extremely evil, secretive demonic influence, they RUN to altars of repentance in the attempt to get free, just as the blind and deaf man did in the above passage. He needed help, of course. A demon had taken control of him and rendered his natural ability to see and speak unworkable. It was not that his eyes and mouth could not function due to any biological defect, but that the demon put clamps on their operation.

         As a result, the man was rendered powerless. He could not see, illustrating a lack of spiritual insight, and he could not speak, meaning someone or something had silenced his voice. This man was in obvious fear. He most likely had no idea that a demon had taken control of him, only that he could not see nor speak, and that he was not the person God had created, but much less. When this happens to thousands of people at a time and even more, nations are changed. A populace becomes in great need of Light though they cannot see the need fully, and are often made to believe they must reject the cure. They become afraid to speak. They dare not challenge those who rule them for fear of being subjected to worse.

         How many such people in need during the Lord’s time entered into bondage due to the religious influence of the Pharisees, who certainly had no answer for the man’s predicament, but might certainly have been the cause? The Lord Jesus rescued him, though, and did it quickly. The man’s speech and eyesight were restored, and his great fear vanished.

         All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

         And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

         “Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” [Matthew 12:23-29]

         The man’s house had certainly been plundered. The question concerns how the man was bound. How did a demon get into this man’s body, steal his property, make him blind and mute, and plunder his house? This speaks in general terms of nations. Isaiah referred to the Gentiles in his passage, something the Pharisees no doubt had a great problem with, since they hated the Gentiles with a passion. To them, the world consisted of them and human animals—those to whom the Torah did not apply and who could be used and abused in any way they saw fit.

         And these Gentiles mentioned in the prophetic writings of a Hebrew prophet would have justice proclaimed to them. Justice! At last! And from a Hebrew Messiah! In whose great Name they will hope!

         The obvious connotation here is that the Gentile nations would be in darkness awaiting the great Light. The further question is who put them in this darkness? How did demonic influence so take hold in their respective nations that whole countries were rendered blind and mute? These things don’t just happen. Someone or something causes it. Someone makes decisions toward it. Yet, many Christians are made to believe that victims are in their predicament by their own choosing and through their own fault, and are therefore unworthy of help.

         THANK THE LORD JESUS HE DOES NOT HAVE THAT MINDSET OR ATTITUDE.

         It is a simple fact that “sinners” in great need of help and deliverance go to “houses of worship” all the time and never get the help they need. Though a great production takes place on Sunday mornings, such people almost always leave the way they arrived. The love and power of God simply does not exist in such places, meaning such congregations in their own right have become blind and mute, and unable to help as the Lord did. How did they get this way?

         “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

         “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” [Matthew 12:30-32]

         Uh oh. It appears as though the Pharisees are still here. If they would attack the Lord so strongly and even gnash their teeth at Stephen, they would certainly have a great problem with any of that Pentecostal, Charismatic, weirdo stuff some people engage in. They were never able to kill the Lord through all their secret plots until He reached the point in time in which He would lay Himself down as the Sacrifice Lamb. And no matter what they ever said about Him or did do Him, it could all be potentially forgiven.

         But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a different story. The fact is that Unreal Christians have blasphemed the Spirit of God repeatedly throughout history and are still engaged in the process today. And they wonder why they cannot do the things the Lord Jesus did. They will never admit to being blind and mute, only that what they have remains religiously proper and in no need of correction.

         Just like the Pharisees.

         “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

         You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

         The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.” [Matthew 12:33-35] [1]

          © 2014 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 Fix Is In: Delusion Illusion (Part 2)

         The ministry of John the Immerser was to prepare the way for the ministry of Messiah.

         Part of the preparation was preparing hearts.

         Part of it was to prepare the spiritual eyes and ears of the people who possessed them, though all were most likely affected by the general blindness of the nation at that time.

         “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

         “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

         “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” [Matthew 13:13-16]

         One may wonder why most of the people could not see and hear, and why only a few did. The above passage reveals the answer:

         “The heart of this people has become dull.”

         The word “dull” is translated from the Greek word pachuno, which is translated into English as “to make thick, to make fat,” and metaphorically, “to make stupid (rendering the soul dull or callous).”

         The Hebrew word from the Isaiah passage regarding this sad heart adjective is shaman, and means, “to be fat, make fat, grow fat, or become fat; to show fatness.”

         It is variously translated as fat, dull, gross, sluggish, and insensitive, the latter of which appears to be the modern PC definition, which segues from identifying Christians who can’t understand squat no matter how hard one may try to fix their sub-Forrest Gump spiritual IQ with words right on target but extremely offensive—to a nice word which renders such individuals as merely somewhat out of touch with God with no harm done to one’s religious or church social status (or preaching credentials).

         The Lord, however, pulled no punches, as did prophets before Him. For whoever may care, it is extremely serious to claim to be a Christian without knowing or wanting God. Just as the Lord said that blind people leading blind people will result in multiple AAA calls to rescue from ditches, so is it the case when preachers with fat hearts lead people with fat hearts. The whole congregation, church building and all, falls into a proverbial ditch, lists to one side, and remains there as a spiritual testament to fat hearts out of touch with God everywhere, while attendance continues by people who make downward adjustments and learn to walk on a slant.

         These people cannot see or hear, though they have eyes and ears, and cannot understand, though possessing a mind. It must be noted that their blindness and deafness is, quite strangely, willing. They have closed their eyes and ears by choice. They have also closed their minds. They have willingly chosen to become spiritual dullards with heavy eyelids, sound-deadening headphones, and minds the Lord could not squeeze truth into with the assistance of compressed air or pneumatic tools. Imagine an entire nation of people like this before John the Immerser appeared, topped off with fat-hearted religious leaders who wouldn’t know God if he became a Man and looked them in the face.

         It is often the case that our brains are less than lightening fast, but we enjoy those moments when trying to grab hold of something intellectually difficult and actually succeeding, and having a happy “Aha” moment when the tumblers all come together in the correct order and we finally “get it.” Christians with fat hearts never get it, so they build mathematical and verbal formulas they do get, such 1+1=2 (I think) and c-a-t, and then proceed to build their entire religious super structure around such kindergarten principles and easy to understand concepts, thus dumbing-down future generations within that particular Christian culture if said foundational and structural concepts become fully accepted and remain.

         This is exactly what the nation of Israel did. The Hebrew prophets, who could see, hear, and understand extremely well (and paid the price for it—both in getting there and staying there), and had the spiritual equivalent of world-class athlete’s hearts, lean and strong with no blockages or cholesterol problems but expressing the epitome of perfect working order with all chambers, valves, and parts pumping and opening and closing like that well-oiled machine we hear so much about with the express result of KNOWING God first and speaking forth His Word second, that all could hear from the Lord On High and thus subvert the devil’s deadening process on the understanding of sinful human beings racked with the ongoing consequence of spiritual disease.

         Don’t blame the prophet for having a heart for God,

        And for being strong and anointed and doing his job.

         The prophets were the cure for blindness and deafness among God’s people, but when the Hebrew priests finally succeeded in killing them off, finishing the job started by the Hebrew kings, principally Solomon, Mr. Fat Heart himself, and took over—priests who had no prophetic abilities and did not know God—the cure ceased to exist for four centuries and the anti-cure did anti-work on the hearts of the people.

         Therefore, the nation of Israel did not just become spiritually stupid as by some generational downward drift due to laziness or whatever, but by and through the leading and teaching of those who had no business leading and teaching and were never called by God for that service.

         The Pharisees were the later evolutionary product of those Hebrew priests and the very blind men leading the blind people they created that the Lord Jesus was talking about.

         Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”

         But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:12-14]

         The same, exact, and what should be obvious parallel is playing out today, in that so many Christians over so many decades and even centuries have been led around by the blind though they neither realize nor acknowledge they are blind and refuse to admit their ears simply do not work and their hearts look like a giant sack of potatoes rolling down a hill.

         The Greatest Prophet is the cure but the cure is deemed too strong, too powerful, too mean even, and completely inappropriate for our traditional Christian comfort levels and far too much to deal with when one is thoroughly ensconced in a fleshly anti-world of illusion and preoccupied with pride and money and uncrucified flesh and religious standing and social cred that would all and must all dissolve in an encounter with the King—Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1).

         The Lord did not mince words in the Matthew 13 passage and expressed perfectly and clearly the fate of the dull at heart.

         One can almost hear the prophet Nancy singing, with the end notes heading down the stairs,

         These hearts are made for burning

         And that’s just what they’ll do

         One of these days these hearts

         Are gonna burn all over (Gehenna)…

         Why did John the Immerser say the following to the nation of Israel?

         “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

         Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

         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 3:7-9]

         Fat hearts cannot produce good fruit.

         Good fruit results from the process of repentance.

         Repentance allows for closeness to God.

         Closeness to God creates lean, athletic, and pure hearts.

         Pure hearts break the power of the Delusion Illusion.

         “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8] [1]

         © 2014 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.

John MacArthur’s “Strange Fire,” Reviewed by Dennis Balcombe

         For those who want further education and insight into the powerful Worldwide Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement, especially in the Far East and China, the following review of John MacArthurs book Strange Fire is a must read for all believers.

         The review, or rather the strong critique, is written by Dennis Balcombe, a minister of 45 years in China, who recounts ample evidence of the miraculous work of the Spirit of the Lord used to counteract MacArthur’s perspective.

         I am certainly not defending Pentecostal/Charismatic excess, fake revivals, nor the shenanigans of some ministers in that field, but I stand with Balcombe in standing up for the obvious truth of the work of God in the world in these last days.

         And remember, though spiritual growth in North America has lagged behind, The Lord has used believers here to sponsor and kick off many of the movements elsewhere, and a national Great Awakening is now beginning to come forth on these shores as well.

        The review is comprehensive, well-written, and informative. Settle in and enjoy, and consider the price others have paid that we must also pay in order to receive the same powerful outpouring in America. © 2014 by RJ Dawson.

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Link: John MacArthur’s Strange Fire, reviewed by Dennis Balcombe            

© Copyright The Pneuma Review 2014. All rights reserved.

The Fix Is In: Delusion Illusion (Part 1)

         There are professional sports in which it is fairly obvious that the proceedings are a farce. It’s not real. It may look real to some, but it’s actually all a set-up.

         Then there are sports in which people swear up and down it can’t possibly be fixed and that everything must be on the up and up.

         Maybe some of this attitude comes from the idea that most people may be honest, or that they are simply too ignorant or naïve to understand such sinister possibilities. We may call this being naïve to the point of being willing dupes. If so, it is a fatal naiveté. And by fatal I mean that people have bought into the proceedings to the degree that they can never find their way back out. They have not only been deceived, they have been captured.

         Minds can be captured quite easily. Sometimes people suspect they are being played but turn from the idea quickly because the thought is too scary. If such things were true it would mean their life is based in part on falsehood. But shouldn’t they be more scared that it is, and want to do something about it?

         Professional boxing has always had a reputation for subterfuge. Organized crime was involved in the sport seemingly from the get-go. It does not mean that all fights were fixed. It would be too obvious. But many were. There was way too much money involved. Good fighters were paid relatively well. Big gates were consistently produced. Promoters knew exactly what to do to get the best crowds. Boxing became an art of deception. To the common man it was just a fight that people paid to see. To promoters, however, it was a way to make some serious money, to separate as many people as possible from the money in their wallets by promising a great event well worth the price of admission.

         Whenever money is involved, greed happens. And in the case of sports, it is always much more about entertainment than honesty.

         Sports other than boxing et al are seen as impossible to fix. But here’s something to think about: How many sports have rules and officials? And how many of those rules are interpreted by the officials? How many judgment calls are made? When a basketball referee calls a foul is the call always consistent with all calls made by all basketball referees?

         One of the most obvious cases of judgment in officiating in which an official is granted much power to interpret the rules involves balls and strikes in baseball. Though some may think all umpires call the same game behind the plate nothing can be farther from the truth. Each umpire has a different strike zone though the rules only allow for one strike zone. The players must learn all the different strike zones possessed by all the different umpires, the same way they must learn all the pitchers and the different pitches they throw. Some umpires call a lower zone and more hitters are called out by strikes a tad below the knee on good days, and sometimes far below the knees. The players are okay with it as long as the ump is consistent. Other umps have a higher zone. Sometimes umpires will give a pitcher a strike though the pitch is off the plate. Veteran pitchers often get calls that rookie pitchers never get and must earn.

         What does any of this have to do with game fixing? Simply the fact that a whole lot of interpretation is going on, and when games are called (interpreted), the written rules take a backseat.

         Boxing has traditionally had three scorers to call a fight—the referee in the ring and two ringside judges. They award each round to the fighter whom they think did better. If there is no knockout, as is often the case, a boxer wins or loses by the decision of the judges and referee. These judgments are purely interpretative. It is sometimes the case that all three scores are fairly close. Often, though, there are wide discrepancies, which result in split decisions, which mean one judge thought fighter A won, while the other two thought it was fighter B. In the early days, draws were fairly commonplace, meaning neither fighter won.

         It would be better that someone was knocked out, because then a clear winner could be declared. But then, are knockouts actually obvious? Of course not. Fighters were often paid to take a dive. Fighters learned early on that if you wanted to make a living you better play by the rules, but I’m referring to the rules behind the rules. Rule number one was to obey whoever was getting you the money.

         Most fighters never had a chance at any big paydays or championship fights. Those that did had much more say in the proceedings. There were certainly honest fighters. Not everyone was corrupt. But there was also such a thing as institutional corruption. There was and remains such a thing as business as usual. It becomes traditional. People accept it. They like particular sports enough to look the other way. And the promoters of sports know exactly what the people want and they know exactly how to get the paying customer to fork over the cash.

         They know how to jazz up the proceedings. They know how to get peripheral people on board. It used to be that only men and very few women appreciated watching organized sports. The promoters then worked on methods to gain the confidence of the female fan. Sports began being marketed as female friendly and then family friendly. When baseball was the undeniable American pastime, it was certainly family friendly to an extent, but it remained rare in the early days for regular fans to attend games, simply because they often didn’t have the money or the time.

         Radio and then television changed all that. In fact, television changed everything.

         One would think that entire games and matches being televised and put on film would make it far less likely that arranging outcomes could be possible. Actually though, it is easier to deceive people by putting the show right in front of them than in keeping it hidden. This is the very nature of showmanship. The show has never been reality, but the secret of good showmanship is to make it appear that way.

         Movies started out as poor methods of entertainment, but people were so struck by the medium they were not very discriminating. In a relatively short time though, moving pictures or “movies” became so artful and the technology so professional that it was very easy to impress the paying public to pay up to see the show. In reality, movies are a very deceptive exercise in not only giving people what they want but causing them to pay great amounts of cash for the privilege. After a century of moving pictures, next to no one understands what’s really going on in the process, or how whole populations are swayed and deceived by the art and content of the “entertainment.”

         In politics, how many times have we heard about the “smoke-filled rooms” in which powerful movers and shakers make decisions that will affect an entire populace? And how many people actually care? The fact of the matter is that political decisions are always decided behind the scenes with the perpetrators knowing they can manipulate the process after the fact, especially by rigging the vote.

         Now, at this point many people leave the discussion because they cannot handle the possibility that elections may be fraudulent. However, we certainly know that many elections have been, and some were presidential elections. But these were only the ones later discovered. How many fraudulent elections have never been discovered?

         After a while, one begins to notice that much of what is portrayed as legitimate is not legitimate at all, but since people lack total proof or the ability to do anything about it they accept it. Thus, the manipulators behind the scenes continue to get away with their manipulations and even outright lies, since the public at large is either duped, apathetic, or powerless to act. Every now and then, however, someone not only figures it out, but speaks out about it.

         And now you know why God made prophets…

         “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

         And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel. [Luke 1:76-80] [1]

         © 2014 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.

LOVE Your BROTHER, FIGHT the DEVIL

         I wrote my last article here two months ago, on this site’s third anniversary.  I am certainly thankful for all of you who read these articles and are blessed by them, but circumstances at that time caused me to wonder about the future of this blog. On prior anniversaries I had received more support.

         Dwindling readership and a few other factors allowed for some serious disillusionment. From my perspective I worked very hard at receiving and writing, and writing articles with necessary content to possibly assist us all in seeing the things holding us back, recognizing the presence of the enemy fighting us, perceiving the possible lack of doing the will of God, and possibly the biggest problem—not obeying His Word as we should, which has resulted in subpar efforts in many circles and often a complete failure to achieve spiritual objectives.

         Things were going well but then, though some of you remain ever faithful, things began trailing off. I also had to attend to the inevitable practical matters of life and no longer had the time or inclination to write. Thanks for those of you who prayed. Today’s effort might or might not strike any chords, but for the first time since May I’ve felt like writing again.

         If there was another way to reveal those harder truths most Christians want no part of without having to engage in spiritual fights, we would certainly attend to it. But the fact remains that Christianity in general is infused with false doctrine on top of false doctrine. Most Christians know this but stop at doing anything about their own personal false doctrines. The Lord Jesus, however, will never stop. He will have a bright shining community one way or the other, devoid of all teachings not His own, thus evoking the picture of the few people who will actually become and remain part of it, rather than the false paradigm of a giant mass of non-disciples.

         The reality is that the attempt to apply the real curriculum of the Lord Jesus is not at all easy and never has been. In fact, in a fallen world of sin, pain, rebellion against God and righteousness, and the resultant misery that affects us all, it is the most difficult endeavor one could ever engage in, though also the most rewarding.

         It is fraught with heartache. And the worst heartache of all is that which arises from an attack from one’s friends.

         The Lord Jesus suffered this more than anyone. All real Christians will suffer it as well. It is part of the deal, you know. Betrayal is a simple but terrible fact always waiting around a dark corner. It is next to impossible to defend yourself against it because it comes at the hands of those you don’t think you should defend yourself against until it is too late.

         I remember many years (decades) ago during my rookie year. I had a very powerful born-again experience. I had been valiantly searching for truth for many years prior to that time and when the Lord Jesus led me to Himself within a small fellowship of loving believers, it changed my life forever. It was and remains the best thing that ever happened in my life. I wanted everyone to have what I had been given. I tried telling the world about the great joy in my life and the love of the Lord Jesus that sets us free.

         The problem with this approach was that I soon found out that most people, instead of seeing the great change in my life for the better, saw me in a much different light. For whatever reason they were perfectly happy to remain in their sins, refused to consider all I was sharing, could not see and would not see the truth or have any love for it, and remained ensconced in that place far from God where I had also previously been. Only a few listened to or saw my witness.

         Sounds a tad judgmental, I know. But I also know God’s patience will not last forever. He has called ALL OF US to repentance and gags at our dirty attempts at righteousness without Him. There is a giant mess that needs cleaning up, He’s the only One who can do it, He will do it in time, and the major part of the Big Clean is removing sin from His Creation. This poses a problem for human beings because sin is not just floating around out there in the ether—it is resident within human beings. And if a human being refuses to engage in the cleansing process with the Lord by first assisting Him in cleansing the sin from his or her own life and person, he or she will be part of that which goes in the great dumpster on fire.

         Now, such a statement will evoke great high notes of horror from the self-righteous among us, especially those who are religiously self-righteous, and much more especially from those who are Christian religiously self-righteous. Such people apparently see God as a glowing orb of pure love from which could never come anything negative or judgmental and certainly never toward such lovely caring holy people as themselves.

         This is possibly the most disgusting thing about sinful humanity—not only is there a complete lack of recognition of their own sin, there is a complete lack of believing that God would do anything about it in their particular case, because they are so good and if God would ever even think that way about them—demand their repentance that they may be clean and free, as if they must somehow not be so good—well then God can just go stick it in His big giant ear.

         It is a very weird thing when people think they are just as righteous or more righteous than God.

         For those who have never been enlightened or have no knowledge of the Word of God this is understandable, yet because everyone has a conscience no one is without excuse. For Christians there is especially no excuse. This is why of all people on the planet, the most vile, backbiting, and most likely to betray are fake Christians. Of course, they apparently do not know they are fake, but the fruit of the tree defines the tree.

         The hard thing about real Christianity is that we are actually expected by God and even commanded by God to obey His Word. Fake Christians don’t bother with such trivialities.

         At the end of my last post two lunar cycles ago I wrote the following:

         Regardless of what we believe or how we see things, we must remain polite. We must remain brothers and sisters. We must be family. The Lord said the entire everything hangs on only two commandments, and we must always honor those two and obey them above all else:

         One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

         And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:35-40]

         If one reads that post one will see I was writing from the perspective of attempting to obey God and honor His Word, though it is a challenge for all of us. One of the problems I have always faced, however, is having to deal with other Christians who so easily get their panties in a wad over something I may be teaching.

         Recently, a fellow believer reblogged one of my posts. One of this person’s readers wrote a comment disparaging my post. The author of the blog wrote a comment defending my post in a very loving and well thought-out manner. The one who had the problem then said he found nothing wrong with the content of the post, but did not like the spirit in which it was delivered…

         Go figure.

         “Hey Lord Jesus. We know you are from God and we like your teachings but could you please tone it down a little because after all we’re just a bunch of sissy weenies who really only want to suck on religious teets our whole life and have no taste whatsoever for adult food featuring sides of beef and giant filets of wild Alaskan salmon so please give as sugary cereal milk forever and none of these ‘hard sayings.’ Okay?”

         Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? {offend: or, scandalize, or, cause you to stumble}

         What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

         It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

         But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. [John 6:60-64 KJV]

         Anyway, right after I posted my last article expressing my utmost in teaching what we all must do to please God and get the job done at present to help bring forth the very needed Awakening (but also on my part hoping not to offend religious sensibilities—a virtual impossibility but I do try), I get slammed by a brother who took issue with something I wrote that he did not agree with and who conveniently forgot all about the Golden Rule apparently because it did not apply to him and I was indeed worthy of a personal slam and he was self-anointed to deliver the slam. And as always, I never mention names and in this case never even responded, but that did not stop him from naming mine.

         So what do I do? Well, sometimes having the kind of natural human inclinations that would want to grab him by the back of his head, slam his face onto a bar, mash his nose into a bloody mess, and thereby teach him the proper respect the way Augustus McCrae did to that arrogant little San Antonio barkeep in Lonesome Dove, I decided the best thing to do would be to discipline my natural human inclinations in an attempt to honor the Lord and not respond in kind, eat his backhanded attack, take the hit, forgive him, and do the very thing I had also just written about in my last post (which this guy read):

         It is never my intention to offend. I only want to reveal truth. But unlike many others, I will not go to war against my brothers. Like many of you, I know what it’s like to get treated like dirt by those who claim to be doing the Lord’s work. I will teach very strongly when the door opens but when it appears fellowship starts taking a hit, it often indicates a time to fall back on first priorities—loving one another regardless of differences. In that light, however, the Lord never compromised the truth. Paul spent much ministry time arguing about the real revelations of Scripture and truth, but did it in love. Both got into serious trouble as a result.

         In other words, those who decide to go to war against the Lord Jesus are apparently emboldened because they think He’s merely a wimpy forgiverer-lover who acts like a little girl and would never stand up for Himself. In fact, if the Lord wanted to, in His humanity, He could whip all comers in any kind of fight they may wish to bring Him. Bare-knuckle fisticuffs? He’d clean one’s clock, I’m telling you. He simply chooses not to for the sake of righteousness and a willingness to take a hit without responding in kind, since he knows He’s dealing with confused and/or ignorant no-challenge sissies.

         Most “Christians” never think of the Lord in those terms. This is possibly why most “Christians” will end up in hell, because they take God lightly, they take His teachings lightly, they get convicted easily and whine to no end, rebel against Him and any of His disciples who take Him seriously, and refuse to repent if it means admitting they are wrong, even to the point of getting tossed into the fiery dumpster with these guys:

         The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. [Revelation 9:20-21]

         Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. [Revelation 16:9-11]

         In these days of thousands of Christian pulpiteers preaching the devil’s message and taking congregations to hell with them while Christians at large honor their every false word, someone better do a little more than what has been required in the past. Thankfully, the Lord is never surprised by idiots and Judases and always has an ace in the hole in the form of giant spiritual swords to fiercely hack away at sin and devil’s doctrines in high Christian places. He has raised up millions of fearless warriors who comparatively no longer give a flying flip about these sorry little short lives we live, whose minds are on heaven and eternity and achieving the objective, and are willing to go toe to toe with any devil or religious idiot for the sake of obeying their King and doing His work.

         For the few of you who are willing, it remains the time to storm the gates.

         And for those Christians who are confused, THE DEVIL IS YOUR ENEMY, NOT YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER. DO GOD A FAVOR AND GROW A PAIR, AND FIGHT THE DEVIL IF YOU CAN SOMEHOW MANAGE THE DISCIPLESHIP.

         For all you ladies out there in the Lord’s glorious service who never shrink from a fight, my personal thanks to all of you for standing by God and fighting the good fight of faith, often doing far more than your share. It is certainly a fact that Christianity in general is greatly overpopulated by women, but a remnant thereof continues to shame men who shrink from His service or refuse to get off the pew.

         “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. [Proverbs 31:29-31]

         Many believe that if one does not work then one must not eat. But the Word also says that if one refuses to fight the enemy, or fights God’s people instead of the enemy, then one must not only not eat, but face judgment.

         Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

         But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.

         Therefore, do not throw away your confidence,[1] which has a great reward. [Hebrews 10:28-35] [2]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Strong’s Concordance: #3954 parrhesia {par-rhay-see’-ah} Meaning: 1) freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech 1a) openly, frankly, i.e without concealment 1b) without ambiguity or circumlocution 1c) without the use of figures and comparisons 2) free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance 3) the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity

[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.

RECOMMENDED MUST READ: LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE 

Real Christianity: Three and Free

         Hello everyone. It has now been three years since I started this site on May 10, 2011. Thanks to you all for reading, commenting, and subscribing. I also give special thanks to those of you who have been with me from the beginning or thereabouts, and those who reblog my posts on your own sites. I’m not sure, but it could be that your reputation is ruined twice over.

         I knew from the beginning that the topics I would write about would not necessarily be popular, so I am thankful for the support this blog has received. Though it may appear sometimes that I just barge right in and begin offending right off the bat, I actually try my best to be as tactful as possible. I’m not necessarily trying to win an argument here, but I must reveal what has been revealed to me. I want you all to know that I do, or have done, a ton of research to support my articles. I work very hard at creating works that support what I know to be true, doing much editing, over and over again, to get each post in the form I feel it deserves (though the inevitable typos slip through anyway).

         I have no other agenda than to obey and honor the Lord and present New Covenant and historical truth. I am not trying to support any denomination or denominational beliefs. I don’t have a pastor looking over my shoulder. I attempt to go strictly by what the Lord Jesus reveals through His own teaching, and the teachings of those who were taught by Him directly so long ago.

         In that light, no one has it all, all of us are in need of more knowledge and revelation, and all of us probably have some level of teaching that the Lord’s teachings do not support. Therefore, we must not only continue to study to show ourselves approved, but be humble enough to know we don’t know everything, and that some of the stuff we know and think is true is actually incorrect.

         The latter presents itself at worst in the behavior of the Pharisees, who thought they had it all down perfect but were actually wrong on most accounts. They were more concerned with winning arguments and with their own religious pride and standing. As are many Christians, they were invested in their beliefs and most of them refused to consider alternatives. The Lord had grown exasperated with their religious redneckism.

         Their own Scriptures said they were generally stiffnecked, and it has been my experience over several decades that Christians insist on competing with that stiffnecked attitude. Many Christians refuse to hear anything that might make them feel uncomfortable regarding their chosen path. As a solution, for those humble and wise enough to accept it, I suggest we all present our doctrinal apologetics toward the Lord’s teachings, not the teachings of others.

         At best, we look to the Lord’s example of learning, knowing, possessing, and sharing truth. Usually, the only times He got really upset was with the Pharisees and their close-minded, we-know-everything attitude that drove them to kill rather than see the light. Seeing the light demands humility. We must all know at all times that deception surrounds us and is sometimes so powerful and thick we are astonished when we see the light in respect to former beliefs.

         As Christians, we are blessed to have the writings of the New Testament. We are blessed to have an actual history book of the early community of the Lord. We know what they believed, what they did, how they lived their lives, and what they taught. And we know they were given miraculous confirmation of all they taught, the same as it was with the Lord. We know they gave it everything they had and put their lives on the line.

.

         In early December of last year, I was blessed with more time and made a concerted effort to work very hard and create as many posts as possible based on what the Lord was downloading at that time. There was a lot on the back burner (many back burners), and I proceeded to write a lot partly in an effort to catch up. It started on December 9 with the first of a two-part article entitled Forced Religious Conformity: Human Graven Images. Within a month I made 7 posts.

         But something very interesting happened in early January of this year. I began receiving the nucleus of a long article that regarded a frontier crossing I was embarking on, and one I knew many of you were also.

         It began on January 14 when I posted the first of a three-part series called Entering The Miracle Realm.

         From that point on I had crossed a threshold into some kind of deeper spiritual zone. Sounds weird, I know, but the article reveals what was happening then. I remember one of you pointed out that something in my posts changed at that particular time (Thanks Susan). I know I was dealing with some serious challenges, one of which was a serious back injury that seemed to come out of nowhere. Such fun happenings were no doubt due, at least in part, to spiritual battle. I also got pretty sick a couple of times, and I rarely ever get sick. Things were going on in the spirit. Ground was being gained. I certainly paid the price for that but it’s all part of the process.

         Also, it was at that time that blog activity began picking up. Hits increased somewhat dramatically. Things had dipped quite a bit last November when I had so little time. I managed to get back on par in December. Then, January of this year set a new record. February set a new record. March set a new record. And April of this year stayed right up there.      

         From January 14 until April 29 I made another 31 posts. This does not include a couple of posts I made in February regarding my son’s motorcycle accident. I had asked for prayer and received a huge response from you all and remain very thankful. He has made a full recovery.

         From May 10 of last year until December 9, 2013 I had much less time to write and only managed 18 articles, so that adds up to about 56 posts or so for my third year (but 31 in a recently completed 3½ months!).

         Overall, I managed to go over 200 posts for the three years about a month back.

         I’m not sure what happened this month but the bottom has fallen out. It could be I am no longer receiving. Part of it involves having less time and being involved with many more practical matters.

         But I think the main thing is probably the latest article content. I know I have lost readers that used to like my stuff, no doubt because disagreements arose. As I said before, I try very hard to present the truth I have learned and be tactful about it. I want you all to know, though, that I am constantly reading, doing much research, fact-checking, and trying my best to hear the Lord. This often involves new truth, and that often brings offense. We must remember that the Pharisees (and Christian Pharisees since) gained the religious ascendancy during the Lord’s time and had swayed the people to their perspective. Of course, they never thought it was a mere perspective but absolute truth. We must be careful to not make this our problem. Religious pride is a killer.

         The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. [Psalm 51:17]

         I wrote my first book in part dealing with the fact that we have about four million Christian denominations, off-shoots, and even more doctrines that often contradict one another. I always reiterate the point that there is only one Lord Jesus and He teaches only one curriculum. This means the vast majority of Christian teaching is somehow suspect. We must get back to our roots. But in doing that many sacred cows are inevitably revealed for what they are and offense comes.

         It is never my intention to offend. I only want to reveal truth. But unlike many others, I will not go to war against my brothers. Like many of you, I know what it’s like to get treated like dirt by those who claim to be doing the Lord’s work. I will teach very strongly when the door opens but when it appears fellowship starts taking a hit, it often indicates a time to fall back on first priorities—loving one another regardless of differences. In that light, however, the Lord never compromised the truth. Paul spent much ministry time arguing about the real revelations of Scripture and truth, but did it in love. Both got into serious trouble as a result.

         Regardless of what we believe or how we see things, we must remain polite. We must remain brothers and sisters. We must be family. The Lord said the entire everything hangs on only two commandments, and we must always honor those two and obey them above all else:

         One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

         And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:35-40]

         Again, looking to His example, He often taught with great power and authority. At other times He used tact. We must be sensitive to the Lord and one another. The point is to reveal the truth that sets us free. Otherwise, all we are doing is teaching the commandments of men that keep us in bondage.

         “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…” [Luke 12:1] [1]

         Keep up all the wonderful work you are doing and keep showing the love of God. Great things are happening! We remain in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. The Lord is in charge.

         Later.

         © 2014 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.

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PLEASE CONSIDER PURCHASING MY BOOK. THANKS.

Tied To The Whipping Post

         For the few people on the planet who go through life as living a fanciful dream with no worries or pain, having all their desires indulged and living in a state of bliss, ignorant or otherwise, good for you.

         For everyone else, theres a reason people sing the blues.

         I subscribe to a few blogs that deal with the issue of abuse. The people who author the blog posts therein have been through some bad stuff. Those who read their blogs have a place to go to read of the plight of others and know they are not alone. I consider these people heroes for not being defeated, for rising up as best they can, and for trying to help others find healing and a new life.

         The people on this planet who have suffered terrible abuse by others—people who have no concern whatsoever of the great pain they instigate or the tremendous suffering they cause—know that this place we call Earth is not some idyllic wonderland. Their ongoing suffering and the memory of horrific events perpetrated against them tells them every day that we are all surrounded by enemies, acknowledged or not and perceived or not, and such enemies must be dealt with.

         This is why all of mankind’s cultures throughout history have created societal laws or a system of laws. Such laws were created as a form of protection, to keep people from engaging in crime against those who do not, and to bring justice against evil people who act out on evil inclinations and desires. Of course, since sin was and remains endemic to all, all had evil inclinations and desires, though not everyone acted upon them. People were still blessed with a conscience to know right from wrong, though many individuals destroyed their conscience through ongoing willful sin with no remorse.

         Ever since sin entered the actual idyllic paradise God did originally create, mankind became the enemy of mankind. People could no longer trust one another. Everyone was watching his backside all the time. Thus, families did their best to gather together and remain together, and even grow with the addition of new generations. They did this to create some form of community where the goodness of humanity might exist and prevail. If their law contained the law of love, they were often able to remain bonded and life became better.

         For the individual, though, it was pretty rough. And for those singled out for abuse not because they necessarily sinned in some minor way as did everyone else, but because they were seen as deserving of abuse because they were different, they had no recourse toward love and protection.

         To relate this to the present day, imagine someone giving their life to the Lord Jesus and thereby violating the family code or leaving the family religion. Though most people living in a pluralistic Western society might not understand the violent reaction often received against such new believers, there are real Christians all over the planet who understand it directly, as they are treated with such vile contempt they are deemed worthy of complete rejection and extermination. Their treatment is based on the laws of the society or religious culture. In other words, had the new believers not violated the laws put in place to protect the members of the society against other beliefs, they would not be treated so harshly.

         We see the same reaction in the West, of course, but because we have freedom of religion in places like America, one doesn’t generally get killed for choosing to become a disciple of the Lord. One still receives their share of outright hatred and rejection, however. If they come from a family that professes no certain faith, one that is largely secular in attitude and belief, then the new believer will be seen as an idiot for “getting religion” or “joining a cult.” If the new believer comes from a religious family, it is worse. And if the new disciple comes from a Christian family or group of one sort or another, they will often be treated the worst.

         Why? Because religion contains the worst laws. Religious laws are not based on love. They are not based on fairness or justice. They are not based on the best outcomes for individuals. They do not consider the individual. They have little to do with honoring a person’s heart, good intentions, or dreams. And most of all, they have next to nothing to do with assisting an individual in finding his or her place in the Lord.

         Perhaps this is why religions love large congregations of submitted “like-minded” people where individuals are perceived as mere faces in the crowd who toe the mark and never question squat.

         Unreal Christianity hates the Lord Jesus though it openly avows love and honor toward Him. Because it is counterfeit, the love of the members is counterfeit. Their concern for others is counterfeit. Like other religions in the world that do not take kindly to someone casting aspersions upon it or rejecting it, the members of one of the various forms of Unreal Christianity will only accept you into their group as long as you abide by the laws, precepts, and cultural understandings of their religion. Barring that, one must at least remain one of them in name (which qualifies as a form of honor), though one rarely practices or honors the unique rituals or specific observances and bylaws.

         But the worst thing one can ever do is leave and become a real disciple of the Lord. This immediately puts one’s former religion in a bad light. It puts one’s former culture in a bad light. It puts the members thereof in a bad light. And unless a new believer formerly hung out with a bunch of cool people who try real hard to love everybody and never judge anybody, and usually never make a big deal of someone moving on toward whatever they may seek, the new believer cannot help but suffer some form of rejection. It simply goes with the territory. Real Christianity demands a full commitment. By accepting the Lord, one must say adios to any group not subjected to the Lord to which he or she formerly belonged.

         If you’re wondering about the title of this article, the Allman Brothers wrote a song called Whipping Post forty-five years ago. The way I felt today reminded me of it.

         I saw them perform live in a former life. They were an exceptional band and their music calls to mind a better time when the country was a tad more idealistic. The members did not necessarily live according to Christian morals, and in fact were hell-raisers. But they sure made great music. I quit listening to their stuff a long time ago, but I listened to that song today for the first time in decades.

         I can’t be sure, but I think Gregg Allman must have been thinking of the Lord when he wrote it. Either that or he was influenced by someone else. Back then almost everyone still had Biblical knowledge to various degrees from childhood, unlike today. There was a respect for the Lord then, even among sinners. Whipping Post is about a strong man getting his heart destroyed, something many people can relate to.

         Returning to the narrative, the whipping post was a further place of the Lord’s suffering toward the ultimate place, before they at last offed Him and got rid of the Man who kept making them feel bad about themselves and their sinister little arrangements, both religious and monetary.

         The Lord Jesus had also in effect left His family religion, so to speak, and prophesied of His nation’s destruction rather than come to its defense as a mighty warrior throwing off the Roman oppressors. The ruling religious leaders hated Him for that and deemed Him an anti-Messiah.

         Toward that same characterization, He engaged in way too many diatribes against the clergyites of His day and nation who foisted upon the people a fake belief system, but one in which the religious leaders deemed perfect. He exposed them for their complete lack of love and mercy, and their insistence upon religious legalities. He railed against them for putting the people of His nation in religious bondage and forcing them to remain there upon fear of excommunication.

         Thus, when they finally got their chance at administering the deadly 39 stripes they exulted in it. Tying the Lord to the whipping post and watching Him get ripped was a turn-on for these idiots. No doubt they exclaimed, “You reap what you so!” and “Serves you right!” and “That’s what you get!” and “We tried to tell you what would happen but you didn’t listen!”

         Such hateful rhetoric just adds to the affliction of the abused, as if their innocence and righteousness was the sanction of their suffering. How many abused people are told their maltreatment is their own fault?

         The same ill-treatment generally happens to real Christians in one form or another at one time or another. Yet, if a real Christian somehow manages to live life without suffering such things, I am not questioning their standing in the Lord and never will, but there is the question of effect. The New Testament clearly reveals the suffering of saints at the hands of non-disciples of the Lord. Each had their own form of being tied to the whipping post.

         Paul had a contract on his life pretty much his whole life after giving His heart to the Lord Jesus. He continually suffered abuse way off the scale. It was as if his enemies believed him to be the worst enemy possible and they must eliminate him at any cost or be eliminated. Maybe they had a point.

         We know real Christianity always wins the war though it may suffer loss in various battles, and though it often looks just the opposite at any point in time. Since the lives of individual human beings are infinitesimal in relation to the planet’s history, it is no wonder few can behold the long-term trend of real Christianity’s success. Yet the Lord is a winner, always was and always will be, and will not be judged according to a flawed standard.

         It is not about numbers and never has been. If the Lord ends up with three people in heaven He will be happy. He blessed us all with a choice and the choice is ours, not His. He did everything for us that He can possibly do, and honors our free will and individual choices always. This is something mankind’s religions never do. Their protocol always involves force and fear, and trying to cram as many scared and ill-informed people into their paradigm as possible. The leaders thereof then use them and their resources for their own purposes which is all part of creating a religious elite and maintaining its power.

         Step out of line and see what happens. You could be directed to the nearest whipping post.

         Always remember, though, that the Lord survived the post. They killed Him but He didn’t stay dead. And because of the love and power He grants to His children in this world, neither do they stay dead, even if they’re still drawing breath. We know it is not easy, and for some it is very difficult. But there is always the strength made available to get back up, get healed, and live again. It involves using the authority on our part to love our enemies anyway, and forgive them, and pray for them. It requires being filled with the Lord’s strength and love, and an ongoing refreshing of the Holy Spirit.

         The Lord forgave His enemies from the cross. He had the same attitude at the post. We must do no less.

         “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.” [Luke 6:35] [1]

         Hang in there. Be strong. Love everybody. The Lord will see you through.

         © 2014 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.

That They May Add Sin To Sin

         The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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THAT THEY MAY ADD SIN TO SIN

         “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!” [Isaiah 30:1-2]

         Christian rulers have no doubts about where they stand. With every thread of their being, they know they are right. They know their position is the correct one.

         Thus, the clergy spirit is very deceiving. This is how it remains in power. If the Christian ruling class were to display even a hint of uncertainty with regard to its core principles, its foundation would be weakened. Therefore, the clergy recognizes that to admit error is to admit fault. In other words, those who are passively going along with the clergy’s program should never be given an opportunity to consider the possibility that their leaders have been compromised.

         Though some believe themselves to be superior, the Scriptures state very clearly that humanity has an exceptionally sorry and rebellious nature:

         “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” [Isaiah 53:6]

         This is why many people don’t put any real faith in the Bible—they simply cannot handle the fact that they are inherently sinful. Most of those who have heard the gospel message yet remain in their sins are in strong denial. A lot of these people are “Christian.” Some are “Christian” leaders. These deceived individuals have no effect on the purity and strength of the real Church since they are not yet members. The problem for the body of Christ arises when those who are members fail to ongoingly replenish themselves through the refreshing of the Holy Spirit. This failure leads to a strengthening of the lower nature, which then leads to sin and a loss of contact and fellowship with God. Therefore, the same deception occurring in non-members can occur in real members. When the true becomes weak, it allows the false to grow strong. When people fail God, they give aid and comfort to the enemy.

         Is it possible for a Christian to never commit a sin? There are those who seem to think so, but they’re either (1) on drugs, (2) from a different planet, (3) deceived, or (4) prideful, arrogant, and high-minded. (Choose your poison.) Obviously, those in leadership are just as susceptible to sin as those not in leadership. However, according to the convoluted logic which most Christian rulers engage in, it would be better to keep such facts behind closed doors since there is so much potential for scandal.

         Those who have chosen to follow man instead of God prefer leaders who are better than they are. They don’t appreciate it when they discover that their leaders have misrepresented themselves. Even if they are aware that their leader is human, they would rather not know what makes him human. Hence, the cover-up. Besides, as far as the clergy is concerned, why confuse the laity over who’s in charge? Why allow the laity to think it could lead?

         The reason the sin of the clergy is proportionately rarely revealed is because, as a class, they work to keep it hidden. This is an art, of course. Covering one’s sin goes hand in hand with image building, but the Word states that creating images is also a sin.

         In Exodus 20:4–6, the second of the Ten Commandments flatly states:

         “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

         The word “idol” is translated as “graven image” in many Bible versions. The Hebrew word is pecel, and implies an image of a man or animal made from metal or wood. The word “likeness” in the stated verses is from the Hebrew temuwnah. This word has a more general definition—“form, representation, likeness”—but suggests three dimensionality. Both of these words connote something fashioned or shaped to be worshipped or served.

         Hence, image building is designed to cover inherent flaws and promote a false representation of reality—a three-dimensional fashioning of an object other than God to be submitted to, and thus, to serve. Therefore, the intention of the Second Commandment is to protect God’s people from the temptation of honoring another above Him and consequently losing or never establishing both one’s blessed relationship with the Lord, and one’s dominion in Him. The most fully evolved form of an idol today is a living human being.

         Even so, the professional clergy class has been very successful in promoting their image of sanctity and sinlessness. That they must sin to cover up their sin doesn’t seem to concern them. The alternative is to be found out and subsequently lose their power and prestige. Of course, these facts are general in scope. There are many members of the clergy who are not trying to hide personal sin. They must be careful, however, to avoid defending and protecting the traditional image of their class. Jesus wore the clothes of a simple working man, yet the majority of professional ministers insist on clerical collars, business suits, ties, fanciful robes, and the like. Why dress in this manner, if not to create a certain image or be recognized as a clergyman?

         Though many sins of the clergy have started to leak out as of late, they have been treated as isolated incidents, instead of as the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As is the case with all cover-ups, once leaks begin to flow unchecked, raging currents are sure to come. The professional Christian clergy is like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, except they’ve used up all their fingers and are running out of toes. This strategy won’t work, just as their halos won’t work at bailing water.

         When it comes to the sin of the laity, however, failures and transgressions are treated much differently. Instead of working to keep them concealed, the laity is encouraged by the clergy to bring their sins out into the open. While the clergy remains behind a mysterious wall of piety, the laity is supposed to be transparent. Why this obvious double standard exists, and why it is rarely challenged, attests to the power and scope of the clergy spirit’s subterfuge.

         If the laity reveals sin, shortcomings, faults, and so forth, how can their stature ever match the standing of the ones who don’t? In politics, a candidate attempts to compare his strengths with his opponent’s weaknesses while concealing his own weaknesses and refusing to acknowledge his opponent’s strengths. Is it any different in church circles? How can there be true Christian community under these dual class conditions? Are the controllers trying to insure that the controlled remain in a state of submission? Is this why they insist that the laity alone hang out its dirty laundry? Or are they simply trying to enforce the notion that clergy members are somehow closer to God?

         Like the Wizard of Oz, the ruling class has established a powerful and sometimes fearsome image of itself. Its members have set themselves up as the sacred and the laity as the profane. The laity, if brave enough to seek personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains, often do so at the feet of the big boys, who have been enormously successful at promoting their big daddy image for centuries. Of course, the laity receives only religious tokens for the most part, if anything at all. The important thing is image.

         The great Christian controllers must believe that if the laity perceives them as merely human, and not ultrahuman, it would cause such disillusionment within Christendom that a complete breakdown would take place. But one man’s breakdown and loss of power is another man’s revolution and recovering of freedom. Ask George Washington. Ask Martin Luther. Ask the Lord Jesus Himself. It was the benefactors of the religious clergy spirit of His time who were so incensed by His radical teachings and so petrified over losing control because of His growing movement that they savagely murdered Him, revealing to all, for all time, their true motivation and character.

         © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Getting Slammed For Righteousness?

         Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

         For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

         You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

         It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

         But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. [Hebrews 12:1-8]

         The one who demonstrates the most courage, who possesses the most backbone, who is willing to stand tall above everyone else for truth and against injustice, lies, and treachery, gets exactly what our Lord Jesus got.

         No greater Man has ever lived, and no other man in all of human history had the book thrown at Him like Jesus did. He made powerful enemies.

         The psycho religious idiots hated Him and tried to kill Him at every turn. And then the powerful banking and money interests finally had enough, and administered the coup de grace in concert with the religious nuts.

         The zealots backed off, betraying the One who would set them free. The majority of His own people betrayed Him as well, considering Him foul, crazy, and cursed of God.

         The Lord Jesus, by His great light, love, and shining example, revealed this rotten, sinful, fallen, and dark world for exactly what it is, and also revealed the father of lies who rules it as the “god of this world.”

         So if anyone wants reality, real reality, this is it. And it illustrates why most of those who call themselves Christians will never stand tall the way the Lord did. They will never put themselves in harm’s way, they will never learn, believe, and tell the full truth, they will never distance themselves from the love of money, and they will never do the will of God if it also makes them look like a nut, as the Lord looked like a nut to this fallen world.

         Therefore, many Christians have adopted a “stay safe” mentality and outlook, preferring the “You Go First” principle of allowing the other guy, the courageous guy, to take the hit so they don’t have to. It’s a wimpy, no testosterone approach that achieves absolutely nothing for God.

         Yet the evidence cannot be any more clear: Getting slammed for righteousness is the price paid for being (1) spiritually effective, (2) bringing the proper conviction upon sinners, and (3) hitting the devil between the eyes.

         They killed Stephen for acting exactly as his Lord and Savior. Note who it was that killed him.

         Then they killed James, one of the Lord’s inner circle. Note who it was that killed him.

         Then they tried to kill Peter, the man chosen by the Lord as the key man. Note who it was that tried to kill him.

         It started at the top with the Lord. Whoever had the guts to stand tall got it next. And on it continued and continues today. Millions of Christians have been killed since and the killing continues. This fallen world hates real Christians because they represent the greatest threat to the “god of this world” and all those working and living for him.

         What happens then, if instead of “Christians” doing the usual and allowing the bravest to step forth and be killed, millions of real Christians all step forth at the same time?

         It happened in the first century and in the remaining years of the Roman Empire. It happened during the Great Reformation. It happened during the early Great Awakenings in America. It continues to happen in China. Former Muslims are showing great backbone in Muslim countries in standing up for the Lord. It is happening on a large scale in Africa. In India. In South America. It’s happening everywhere, though is not yet what it will be.

         And now it is beginning to happen in America. Christians here are realizing that many have nothing left to lose, and they will not surrender their faith in God. They will not betray their Savior. They will not back down.

         That’s why it is happening, why it will continue, and why Christians will win. The enemy will stand down. After the brutalizing and killing of Christians begins, some of those doing the brutalizing and killing will start backing off, seeing the horror of their acts.

         Many of the Lord’s own people who had rejected Him later came running to Him in great repentance. They finally saw the truth, and saw Him for who He is. Their eyes were opened.

         Let us be thankful that we still have so many law enforcement and government officials in this country who stand up for the founding principles of the nation. Many of them are followers of the Lord. Many of them have good hearts and seek righteousness. They can always be counted on to do what is right.

         They counterbalance and bring conviction of conscience to the violaters. Any law enforcement or government official in this country at any level who violates the Law of the land and trashes the Constitution of the United States of America, and rips up the Bill of Rights and stomps it like some idiot anti-American is not worthy to be a law enforcement or government official in this country.

         There is never any viable reason to do this. Our Founding Fathers never said anything about the need to violate the law for any greater purpose, or suspend the Constitution, or forcibly remove or deny the rights of the people. Those who do it anyway and get away with it only do it because they are not challenged, or because they are hellbent on enforcing a contrary anti-American agenda.

         And again, the only challenging one needs to do is the kind of challenging the Lord did.

         And if the only way those in power will see the evil of their ways is by gazing upon the dead bodies of Christians who stood tall for God and truth, then it must be like it has always been before, and will have to be again.

         Unless we forget, freedom of conscience, freedom to serve and worship the Lord Jesus, and freedom to live in moral liberty had become nearly eliminated in Europe prior to the founding of America. It had become nearly eliminated by idiot monarchs and fake Christian leaders who would do anything for power and wealth. It necessitated the impossible journey of the Separatists to these shores.

         I am hoping that the majority of Americans have not become so cold hearted and weak that they will not rise up against the coming atrocities. But then again, if the daily mutilation and butchering of 55 million innocent and helpless babies doesn’t wake people up to show some mercy and cry a tear or two, maybe nothing will.

         But this Great Awakening is happening nonetheless. Those with spiritual backbones will be right in the middle of it, acting just like their Lord, and they will shine at the judgment.

         When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

         Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

         Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

         Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

         Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

         Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

         Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

         Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

         You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

         You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

         Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:1-16] [1]

         © 2014 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.

Rejecting The Lord’s Sacrificial Death: Why Are Christians Supporting a Third Temple?

         And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.

         And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

         At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left.

         And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

         In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

         The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. [Matthew 27:33-43]

         This abuse has continued unabated for almost 2000 years. The Lord Jesus made a perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind but a particular camp has rejected His salvation from day one. It had always been their desire to continue with business as usual, which involved an endless succession of sacrificial animals.

         Many do not take the time to consider what serious blood-letting this animal sacrifice system entailed. Over the course of 1500 years during the sacrificial system, perhaps millions of animals were killed to seemingly pay for the sins of the Hebrew people. Of course, it is taught that these sacrifices were not the actual payment for sins, yet the sacrifices had become legal necessities. It ceased being a moral question and became a legal requirement.

         It is generally taught in Christian circles that the sins of the world were actually “rolled forward” by these sacrifices. It is taught that these sacrifices were “types and shadows” of the real sacrifice.

         Regardless, all of these sacrificial victims were living, breathing creatures that were routinely slaughtered for religious purposes. After a while, there was no more feeling for these victims. The killings had become so routine and quotidian, it provoked no further feeling of remorse or meaning. Rather than understanding that these animals were somehow paying the price for human sins, which should have provoked great remorse in the benefactors, hearts grew very cold instead, and as the dead animals piled up toward heaven, the nation of Israel was not in the least bit affected.

         Christians also seem totally unaffected. Not only are Christians just as cold-hearted regarding this blood-letting practice, they are also quite confused, and there is good reason for it.

         On the one hand the Levites were continually pushing the sacrificial system as mandatory and binding. They had no reservations whatsoever regarding the ongoing process and considered it vital and absolutely indispensible.

         On the other hand we have this:

         “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts? Bring your worthless offerings no longer, incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.” [Isaiah 1:11-14]

         There seems to be a difference of opinion between the priestly and prophetic voices.

         The prophets were telling the priests and the nation that God has no pleasure in the routine religious sacrificing of animals, in that it no longer had any meaning. Of course, no one listened but no one ever listens to prophets, at least not for long. It appears that the prophetic voice does not necessarily exist to bring about the proper change of heart but to merely provide a witness.

         The Lord Jesus was telling this story often. In fact, His life was this story.

         He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. [John 1:11]

         So many of His parables were on this theme. He came to shed light and right the course of His people and all He got from them as a national entity was shame and rejection. He warned them what would happen as a result, and in 70AD the nation, the city of Jerusalem, and the great glorious temple of which they could never do without were all utterly destroyed. The destruction that Israel had often wished upon all its neighbors had suddenly come upon them. It is estimated that over a million Jews were killed in the battle against Rome which they provoked.

         It did not have to be that way.

         “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]

         To the end, He taught and practiced a message of love for all, as did all His real disciples. Those who opposed Him, however, practiced a pure doctrine of hatred toward all but their own tiny group.

         What kind of people do this? How far from God can a people be who would continually kill the voice of God, even unto killing the Word of God Himself? The answer is apparently pretty far, as far as distance can be, and the spiritual equivalent of from one end of a continuously expanding universe to the other. There was absolutely no agreement whatsoever with anything the Lord Jesus did by the religious rulers of the nation at that time. Nor was there any acknowledgement or love for Him.

         Who were these people? Why did they possess so much hatred? Why did the nation of millions allow themselves to be led by these despicable, cruel, and ruthless leaders?

         We know that a great many of those who followed the teachings of Moses and the prophets later believed in the Lord Jesus and saw Him as their Messiah. They gave their lives to Him and obeyed His teachings. Some authorities even believe that more Jews believed than disbelieved. All through the Book of Acts we see this playing out—those who refused to believe in the Lord but sticking with their religion, and those who accepted Him wholeheartedly.

         By accepting the Lord they never surrendered their status as Jews or Hebrews. The Lord Jesus was a Jew and claimed to the Samaritan woman at the well that salvation is of the Jews. All the original apostles were Jews or Hebrews, be they Galilean or Judean, as was the entire community of the Lord for the first seven to ten years of its existence.

         Therefore this is not a Jewish question. The Jewish people did not kill the Lord, but those who DID claimed to be Jews. Peter said the Jews killed the Lord but he himself was a Jew.

         After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, why did these Jews/Hebrews who joined up with the Lord Jesus have no problem with the fact that there was no longer any temple?

         For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. [Hebrews 9:24-26]

         Can it be more clear? How about the following?

         For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.

         For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

         Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE. THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”

         After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.

         By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. [Hebrews 10:1-10]

         This obviously means there was no longer any need for the temple and the temple sacrifices.

         But guess what? A seeming majority of Christians have somehow come to believe in the necessity of a new temple! Christians are out there preaching that we need to have a new temple and restart the temple sacrifices!

         Many Christians have the same mindset as those in the first century who wanted to hasten the Messiah’s arrival by making things happen. Thus, they are in full agreement with non-believing Jews that a new temple must be constructed on the site of the former ones.

         They also believe that this must happen because prophecy says it must happen! They even believe that the Lord cannot possibly return until the Third Temple is built!

         Now, let me make this as perfectly clear as possible: The Lord Jesus is not in agreement with this as is clearly shown in the previous Scriptural passages. Isaiah and Jeremiah had also prophesied against the entire sacrificial system over 2500 years ago! The author of Hebrews spelled it out perfectly. One must reject a good portion of the New Testament to accept the need for another temple.

         Yet, the purveyors of this contrary religious belief will do it anyway. They are doing it anyway. A seeming majority of Christians are fully on board to support the non-believing Jews in building a new temple, and they don’t care a whit if it means starting WWIII in the process!

         The New Covenant teaches that the real temple is composed of people, not stone. Christians read these passages all the time but their meaning must continually fly right over their heads. Some other element has entered in which renders ineffective the pure Word of God. This in turn has allowed for a complete contradiction which many Christians have fully accepted with no understanding of why or having the ability to explain it.

         Could this be the strong deception the Lord Jesus warned us about?

         It is no wonder then that such Christians are often completely confused, and doing things and believing in things that make no sense. They are supporting those who oppose the Lord. They have lost all sense of reference to the events of the first century, or never had any reference to begin with, or have rejected it outright though it has been presented.

         For the Lord and His people, there is no need for another temple, because they are the temple.

         For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost. [1 Thessalonians 2:14-16] [1]

         © 2014 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.

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         PLEASE NOTE NEW ARTICLE AT ABOVE HEADER TAB: “BLOOD MOON DECEPTION”

The Hebrew Month of Nisan 2014: Atonement and Resurrection (Part 4)

Nisan 14 / April 14, 2014 (Began at sunset on April 13):

          Four days after crossing the Jordan River, and exactly forty years after the first Passover in Egypt, the nation of Israel celebrated its first Passover in their new land:

          While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. [Joshua 5:10]

          They had received this teaching from Moses:

          “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.” [Exodus 12:5-6]

          Also on this date, the Lord Jesus became our Sacrifice Lamb:

          So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” [John 19:16-19]

          We know that the Lord Jesus died on the cross at some point after the ninth hour—about 3:30PM.[1] The time was according to the Hebrew manner of reckoning the hours in the day, which began at sunrise. On that particular day, there were actually about 12.5 hours between sunrise and sunset, and sunrise took place sometime between 6:00 and 6:30AM. However, the Gospel accounts do not say the Lord died at exactly the ninth hour, because other events took place after the ninth hour and before His death. It is safe to say He died somewhere between just after the ninth hour and with enough time remaining to bury His body before sunset.

          Also, this particular Nisan 14 was a Thursday, not a Friday. It was the fifth day of the week. Five is the Biblical number of Grace. The Lord did not die on a Friday. He died on a Thursday.

          On the equivalent of that Wednesday evening, the Lord and His disciples ate the Passover meal. He then suffered the trauma of Gethsemane. After being up all night, shuttled around to various false trials, and beaten severely, our Lord Jesus had been stripped of His clothes and nailed to the cross at the exact time of the Temple morning sacrifice, which was at the third hour of the day. This was somewhere between 9:00 and 9:30AM.

          Over six hours of excruciating pain and suffering later, the Lord died. His body continued hanging on the cross until it was taken down at the request of Joseph of Arimathea, by the light of a full moon just then rising over the Mount of Olives.[2]

          If the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, it possibly meant the sacrificial lambs were slaughtered a day before the Sacrifice Lamb. There remains ample conjecture concerning Passover dates because Jewish sects, such as the Essenes, honored different dates. Yet the Lord must have partaken of the Passover since it was commanded in the Torah, and it was during which He instituted the New Covenant by introducing His broken body and shed blood as a memorial.

          Could it be that the Lord’s death was progressive? It certainly appears that the “death angel” passed over the Garden of Gethsemane the night the Lord made His final surrender. At some point that night the sins of the world were placed upon Him. This was a legitimate form of death. There was no protection for the Sacrifice Lamb. It would have cancelled out His purpose. Once sin was placed upon Him, the spotless Lamb became sin on our behalf.[3] He continued “dying” until the next late afternoon when He breathed His last, when full payment was made, and when all was finished.

          The original Passover in Egypt took place in the middle of the night, when the death angel “Passed Over” each house while looking for the shed blood of lambs upon the door posts and lintels of the dwellings. Whichever family’s house did not display the blood of a perfect lamb suffered the loss of its firstborn son.

          Those families whose houses displayed the blood were representative of having the blood of Jesus displayed on their hearts as a substitute sacrificial firstborn Son, who died in place of their actual firstborns, and thus suffered no loss.

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Nisan 15 / April 15, 2014 (Began at sunset on April 14):

          After crossing the Jordan, the nation of Israel ate the produce of the Promised Land for the very first time:

          On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. [Joshua 5:11]

          This was the first day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pesach 1, a day of holy assembly, which concluded with Pesach 7, another high holy day on Nisan 21.[4] It was the day after the Lord was slain, the sixth day of the week, and equivalent to our Friday.

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Nisan 16 / April 16, 2014 (Began at sunset on April 15):

          It was on this day that the manna which God provided for forty years during the wilderness wanderings ceased. From that point forward, Israel would only eat the food of their new land.

          The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year. [Joshua 5:12]

          This was a Sabbath day. Manna never fell on a Sabbath, but a double portion always fell on the day before—the sixth day of the week (Friday morning). Therefore, there was still manna left over from Friday to eat on this day, but it never fell again. In the week of the Lord’s passion and death, this day was also the seventh day weekly Sabbath, which always fell on a Saturday.

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Nisan 17 / April 17, 2014 (Began at sunset on April 16):

          The Captain of the Lord’s host appeared to Joshua:

          Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. [Joshua 5:13-15]

          It was also on Nisan 17 that the events of the week culminated in the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

          Scripture says that the Lord was resurrected on the first day of the week, which would have been equivalent to our Sunday. This means He was actually crucified, as stated previously, on Thursday, Nisan 14. That evening at sunset, after Joseph and the others had taken the Lord’s body off the cross, prepared His body for burial, and encased Him in the tomb, it become Nisan 15. This was not only the high holy day of Pesach 1, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Friday), it was also the day before the weekly Sabbath (Saturday).

          Then, after the weekly Sabbath was over and the night had passed, Sunday morning dawned. This was Nisan 17, or the day of First Fruits, which took place after the Passover Sabbath each year.[5] On the agricultural calendar, it was the beginning of the barley harvest, and our Lord Jesus was the First Fruits, the choicest portion. Imagine the scene, then, as all these days and prophetic events played out perfectly, and imagine the shock and delight of Mary Magdalene at the tomb that morning:

          But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

          When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

          Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” [John 20:11-16]

          He had been physically dead, just as He said He would be, for three days and three nights:

          “For just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” [Matthew 12:40]

          But on that resurrection morning of Nisan 17, also in keeping with another prophecy, a new Temple was raised by the Lord Jesus Himself that will never be destroyed again:

          “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19][6]

          This is the hope that every real Christian has, to be a living stone, part of the Real Templethe Body of Christ, that the Lord is currently building with Himself as the Chief Cornerstone, and that one day he or she will also be resurrected bodily just as the Lord was, to spend eternity with Him and one another forever!

          © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 4 of 4]

   PLEASE NOTE NEW ARTICLE AT ABOVE HEADER TAB: “BLOOD MOON DECEPTION”


[1] Matthew 27:45-50, Mark 15:33-37, Luke 23:44-46

[2] Mark 15:42-47

[3] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[4] Exodus 12:18

[5] Leviticus 23:11, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

[6] 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 Hebrew Month of Nisan 2014: THE TIME OF OUR VISITATION (Part 3)

         The Majority never noticed anything. Messianic hope was alive and thriving but most were looking in the wrong place. The people had been deceived by a bunch of silly interpretations of Biblical prophecy over the previous half centuryinterpretations with an agenda that had next to nothing to do with actual prophecy—that which was delivered by God’s actual prophets.

         Much of the false prophecies of that time had more to do with making money and grabbing authority. It is no different now. The prophecy preachers took over starting in the 1960s and the vast majority of believers believed just about everything they preached and taught, considering the main themes they all had in common. Money started flowing in, especially after they started writing books and going on television. It was a money-making boon, something no one had ever seen before, and many jumped on the bandwagon. The new-found wealth and authority energized these prophecy preachers all the more.

         The inevitable range wars began breaking out as many different teachers taught many different things. They had to fight for the market share they gained and it became a joke when they became much more interested in their point of view instead of the truth. They had to keep up the charade, because to change their interpretations of prophecy meant the money flow might stop. They continued to prop up their stuff regardless of new truth based on solid research and much more valid perspectives that most people, as usual, ignored. They ignored it because it didn’t come from what they viewed as an authoritative source, and most Christians then, like most Christians now, are led around by the nose by those they surrendered their authority to, and thus rejected the truth.

         These willingly deceived Christians were told to believe what they were taught and to never question anything, as that would be heresy. But according to the Lord, the real heresy is refusing to take on the mantle of a real disciple:

         Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [2 Timothy 2:15 KJV]

         Real Christians must FOLLOW THE LORD, not the present equivalent of the first century false prophets and fakers. They must do this in order to stay in obedience to Him and stay above deception. Otherwise, “God’s people” become nothing more than useless willing dupes with absolutely no critical thinking skills, no desire to research it all out on their own, and no willingness to rock the boat for the sake of truth.

         Again, the exact same thing happened in the early first century and it was why the majority rejected the Lord. It was also why what remained of the Jewish national state was destroyed forever forty years later.

         And in our time, as at that time, a point in history arrived when it was too late. Just like in the first century, most Christians of today believe in a very particular sequence of events they firmly believe is actual prophecy, and have no clue they are deceived and deluded. “Official Christianity” in America, that is, the prime movers and shakers that control most Christian wealth, authority, and media (especially television), have adopted what they believe is an orthodox viewpoint of upcoming prophetic events yet are missing it entirely. Because they have supported a false view of Biblical prophetic events, they have brainwashed most believers into believing a false view of Biblical prophetic events.

         Real prophecy is certainly coming forth, however, though most Christians are blind to it. The Lord repeatedly warned us of very strong deception. It would be good at this particular point in history to review our beliefs. Perhaps the powerful verses in this post and the following video will help us all to see that which is really happening in “Official Christianity,” and why most within it remain unaware of that which is actually happening in otherwise plain sight.

         Please consider the Signs of the Times.

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Nisan 10 / April 10, 2014 (Began at sunset on April 9):       

         When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

         And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER;’ but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” [Matthew 21:10-13]

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         Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple.

         And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS?’ But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

         The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. [Mark 11:15-18]

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         And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

         But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF?’” [Matthew 21:14-16]

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         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.”

         Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

          And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said. [Luke 19:41-48] [1]

          © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         PLEASE NOTE NEW ARTICLE AT ABOVE HEADER TAB: “BLOOD MOON DECEPTION”


[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 Hebrew Month of Nisan 2014: Crossing the Jordan (Part 2)

Nisan 10 / April 10, 2014 (Began at sunset on April 9):

          Three days had passed since Joshua sent out the two spies. The long-awaited crossing of the Jordan River by the entire nation of Israel into the Promised Land was about to take place. This was a monumental event for the Hebrew people. Forty years after leaving Egypt, they were almost home.

          At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.” [Joshua 3:2-3]

          So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off.

         So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. [Joshua 3:14-17]

          Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. [Joshua 4:19]

          The spiritual equivalent of crossing the Jordan River is profound. It compares to a time when training and preparation has ended and a full grasping of what one has trained for begins. Joshua and Caleb were effectively sentenced by the unbelief of the prior generation to forty years in a place they did not really belong. These two stalwart warriors had been ready to take the land forty years before. Imagine how ready they were at this time. They were bursting with desire to take the Promised Land.

          Here’s our lesson: When one is given a promise by God one must then prepare for the arrival of that promise. We think it will happen right away, right after receiving the revelation of the promise. But the actual achievement of the promise is often years into the future. It is like a seed that must be activated and generated into a fruit-bearing plant.

          The specific promise God has made to each of us is activated by ongoing prayers of faith.

         Praying in faith—believing the promise will happen and praying for it to happen—is how it does happen.

          One must put in the required effort to show oneself worthy. One must effectively pray it in, call it forth, and walk it out. One must allow for and actively participate in the Lord’s preparation and training for an event that would otherwise be impossible. Our part is to believe and pray consistently so the Lord can continue the preparation.

          It is like the development of a baby in the womb. There is a particular gestation period, but the birth of the promise will never happen without one’s spiritual effort. Ceasing to believe and pray ceases the development. Continuing to believe and putting one’s faith into action through consistent faithful prayer, regardless of circumstances or apparent lack of fruit or progress, is what keeps the promise on track.

          Though Joshua and Caleb understood this, the prior generation did not and would not. The prior generation was a collection of faithless, complaining gripers always looking back to Egypt (the world) instead of forward to the Promised Land (the kingdom). God would have to use Moses and these two men, Joshua and Caleb,  to train and prepare the next generation in belief, so that belief would be established with the nation of Israel, and so that Israel would be victorious when the time of the promise came to pass.

          This is why crossing the Jordan is so important.

         To attain the promise, one must cross over from the old into the new. But this is not possible without a Sinai “crucifying the flesh-establishment of belief” experience. There are no short cuts.

          The next event on the calendar is indicative of covenant. All the men of the second generation, the generation of belief, had never undergone circumcision while wandering in the Sinai. The entire previous generation that left Egypt had died off, except for the faithful and valiant Joshua and Caleb.

         After crossing the Jordan, the men of Israel were circumcised on the first day in the Promised Land. This indicates our own circumcision of heart as we enter God’s kingdom.

          Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way. Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. [Joshua 5:7-8]

          Also on this date, the Passover lambs were chosen in preparation for the Passover. The following is the account of the first Passover preparations in Egypt, just prior to the Exodus, and forty years before the Jordan crossing:

          Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel,saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.’” [Exodus 12:1-3]

          The Israelites were commanded to keep and prepare each individual lamb for the next four days.

          It was also on this exact date, Nisan 10, that Messiah Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. He was the perfect Lamb chosen by God and made officially public on the exact prophetic date. Though the people celebrated Him as the King Messiah, it was actually the unveiling of the suffering Servant Messiah, the Lamb of God, four days prior to His atoning death.

          They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple… [Mark 11:7-11] [1]

          Over the next four days beginning Thursday with the Jordan River Crossing, consider what the Lord may be doing in your life relative to these events. There are many important anniversary dates coming up over the next week, but for now, it is time to enter the Promised Land.

          © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         PLEASE NOTE NEW ARTICLE AT ABOVE HEADER TAB: “BLOOD MOON DECEPTION”


[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 Hebrew Month of Nisan 2014 (Part 1)

         [The following begins the republishing of a series of posts I made two years ago. I have done some major updating and also installed the correct dates for this year. I originally began studying the Hebrew calendar with reference to Biblical events many years ago and have written several papers and studies concerning them. Though the spring feasts have been fulfilled, it does not mean these dates do not have current significance. I encourage you to continue studying Gods calendar on your own, and see how this time of year might be applied to a new beginning in your own life.]

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         According to the lunar-solar Hebrew calendar of modern Rabbinic Judaism, Tuesday, April 1 was the first day of the month of Nisan. Historically, this is a very important month and, coinciding with the season of spring, denotes a new beginning.

          Nisan is the first month of the festival, or ecclesiastical year.

          It is most often the seventh month of the civil year.

          In an intercalary year, when there are thirteen months instead of twelve, such as 2014, it is the eighth month.

          The name Nisan is Babylonian, and was named during the 70 year captivity in Babylon in the sixth century BC. In the Old Testament, in the Torah, this month was originally known as Abib (or Aviv) in most Bible versions. The word Abib means, “fresh, young barley ears,” and refers to the time of the year when the barley first becomes ripe.

          Each Hebrew month begins and ends with the new moon. But because the official rabbinic calendar is predetermined, technical problems arise. The calendar is not dynamic but fixed to allow for the setting of dates decades or even centuries in advance.

          For example, the actual new moon which began the current lunar month took place in the USA on Sunday afternoon, March 30, at 1:45 Central Daylight Time.

         However, the official Hebrew calendar did not start the new month of Nisan until Monday, March 31 at sunset. This is in part because Hebrew days always begin at evening, in keeping with the account in Genesis 1:5: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” This is also due to the static nature of the Hebrew calendar, in that the month should have actually began a day earlier.

         So, technically, Nisan 1 began in the USA on Sunday, March 30 at sunset. You’ll have to check your own lunar cycle wherever you may live in the world to discover when Nisan 1 began in your area.

         The following list of dates includes the happenings of this time of year in relation to the days of the ancient calendar of the Hebrews. Since God’s original calendar remains in effect, these days are very important. Each feast day carries prophetic overtones. The spring feasts were all fulfilled two-thousand years ago when Messiah Jesus arrived the first time, and the fall feasts will be fulfilled when He returns at some point in the near future.

          To eliminate confusion, the listed dates are according to the official rabbinic calendar.

Regarding the month of Nisan:

          Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” [Exodus 12:1-2]

          There are several significant events in Biblical history that took place on Nisan 1, the above passage of Scripture being one of them. God still pays close attention to His calendar and His timing for personal events in our lives often involves calendar dates. Many of us are feeling a new spiritual beginning of some sort at this time.

          What follows is a sampling of important dates to orient us to the beginning of this new season.

Nisan 1 / April 1, 2014 Tuesday (Began at sunset on March 31):

          It was on this date that the Mishkan was set up for the first time:

          Now in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. [Exodus 40:17]

          The nation of Israel had left Egypt after the first Passover almost one full year before this event. The people had been in the Sinai since the Exodus from Egypt, and because of their lack of faith, they denied themselves entry into the Promised Land many months before and were destined to wander in the desert a full forty years. In that time the design was revealed, and the elements needed for the tabernacle were built, including the Ark of the Covenant. It was on this date that the tabernacle in the wilderness was set up for the first time in its history.

          This is indicative of a new spiritual start and a new beginning. It is indicative of the beginning of a new ministry. Since the Great Awakening in America is on course, though in the early stages, the beginning of a new chapter is undoubtedly taking place now. We are in transition to a greater fulfilling of this process, and individual believers are sensing this in their own lives and walking it out. Many are feeling a strong tug on their hearts to get closer to the Lord, whatever that may involve.

          The next section is dedicated to two different eras: (1) The nation of Israel entering into the Promised Land for the first time thirty-nine years after the Mishkan was erected in the Sinai, and (2) The events of Passion Week almost fifteen hundred years later.

          The Mishkan had repeatedly been set up for ministry and taken down in various locations as the nation of Israel traveled about the Sinai. At the end of their wanderings, Israel stood at the precipice of destiny. The prophecy was about to be fulfilled. They were now on the threshold of entering the Promised Land forty years after leaving Egypt, and would soon partake of their first Passover in the new land.

          Notice the similarity of events when compared to Passion Week, to be discussed in Parts 2 and 3, when our Lord first entered Jerusalem as the officially recognized and honored Messiah. Is there any doubt that God creates new beginnings and fulfills prophecy on a specific timetable according to certain dates?

Nisan 7 / April 7, 2014 Monday (Began at sunset on April 6):

          While the nation of Israel was camped on the eastern side of the Jordan, two spies, or scouts, were sent out by Joshua across the Jordan River to Jericho to gather intelligence for the first battle in the conquest for the Promised Land.

          Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it.’” [Joshua 1:10-11]

          Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. [Joshua 2:1] [1]

          © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         PLEASE NOTE NEW ARTICLE AT ABOVE HEADER TAB: “BLOOD MOON DECEPTION”


[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.

$$$ Contract With The Devil: No Sellouts In Heaven (Part 2)

          “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” [Mark 4:18-19]     

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         The Lord Jesus taught His followers to take on what is essentially a non-wealth credo, to appear to the world as not only credible but perfectly innocent regarding the “deceitfulness of riches.”

         If one has this attitude he can then be trusted with money. If one does not he will compromise his morals and attempt to enrich himself, will eventually lose his soul in the process, and possibly take many with him.

            For perspective, contrast the Lord Jesus with King Solomon. The latter possessed the land and bound the Lord’s people with exorbitant taxes and slave labor to enrich himself. The Lord did the very opposite, in that He personally supported his disciples financially, including their families, but took next to nothing for Himself. He treated them like kings. He stepped into the low place and afforded them a higher place. Which of these two best reflect Unreal Christianity?

         Money in itself is, of course, not evil. It is the love of money and one’s dependence upon it other than the Lord that is evil and bewitching. Not only can the real Christian break this evil power by engaging in the proper attitude and spiritual mindset as taught by the Lord, he can also break the spirit of poverty that might be inflicting him.

         Many of the poor are poor because they do not do things God’s way regarding money. But the Lord was voluntarily of low income for a purpose. He had authority over a relatively large amount of ministry income but used next to none of it for Himself. By this example, He teaches us there are times His people must be voluntarily of low income for a purpose also.

         We have learned that proper giving actually increases our incomes instead of what would seem to be the opposite. Giving properly with a right heart breaks the spirit of poverty. But much more importantly, proper giving breaks the deceitful and bewitching power of mammonas, the false god of riches and avarice, over us, and gives it no foothold in our lives.

         Would that all Christians, Christian ministries, and Christian “churches” practice this truth. That most do not should be obvious. The fact that it is not obvious for many Christians means they are in a state of enchantment brought on by a love of money and the fear that they may not gain it or will lose it. Those who use it improperly not only enrich themselves with God’s money but build monuments to themselves and their false beliefs.

         Perhaps this is why the Lord and His original disciples never built “church” buildings or ministry centers or whatever. And perhaps this is why they met in homes or in public places. And perhaps this is why they were ostracized by well-to-do society—a society that looked down on them because they possessed none of the accoutrements of wealth or at least minimal standing in the culture.

         And no more evident was this disdain toward them exhibited than by the members in good standing of religious establishments. Presently this disdain descends especially from “Christian” establishments—some of the most judgmental, absconding, condescending, and contemptuous of all.

         Let no one ever forget that the Lord was killed by His own, that the apostle Paul received most of his persecution from his own, and that most real Christians throughout history have received the worst of it from their own. And the majority of such persecution was and is due to the persecutors being threatened in a way that involved their wealth, power, religious prestige, and standing in this world.

         “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Luke 16:13]

         “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” [Luke 14:33]

         At this point, further explanation is demanded. Christianity 101 states that each human being is a sinner in need of the salvation paid for by the Lord through His sacrificial death. For those who accept the Lord’s salvation, they must also accept the fact that He purchased them by His blood. In other words, the Lord Jesus has rightful claim to those who are blessed with the salvation He paid for to set them free. He paid our ticket out of jail. He gives us power over sin. He blesses us with abundant life. This is the most all or nothing transaction possible regarding any human being.

         Part of giving our lives to Him involves being willing to walk away from everything we possess. This is what He means by giving up our possessions. In reality, though, this NASB95 translation and others like it are somewhat poor. Check out what the Young’s Literal Translation says:

         ‘So, then, every one of you who doth not take leave of all that he himself hath, is not able to be my disciple.’ [Luke 14:33]

         Now, compare that with The Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern:

         “So every one of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has cannot be my talmid.” [Luke 14:33]

         Now let’s consider the context. The Lord was explaining that our discipleship must require such single-minded loyalty to Him that we will “hate” our family members by comparison. The Lord, of course, is not telling us to hate. The translation comes off that way, but what he is saying is that not even any family opposition must deter one from his or her discipleship. So, if one is willing to give his entire life, carry his cross, and renounce family and the family religion if need be, walking away from one’s material possessions is not that big a deal.

         It is all a question of loyalty to God and a recognition that He owns the title deed to everything, to the entire planet and the universe itself. And He obviously also must have authority over His children.

         But Peter still had his house because we know the Lord stayed there. So Peter had not given up his house. But he did give it up for the cause of the Lord and His community. This is the point.

         In Acts, when the disciples went “house to house” they had houses to go “house to house” to (Acts 2:46). They were doing this after they sold their property, possessions, and goods (Acts 2:45). What they did when they sold their possessions etc. was give up their extra stuff to those in the community that lacked, and offered their stuff to be shared if need be.

         BUT IT WAS ALL VOLUNTARY. IT WAS NOT COERCED. IT WAS NOT SOME AUTHORITATIVE FORCED SOCIALISM.

         Those who gave and shared had to do it with a spirit of love and compassion, with no condemnation or judgment for anyone who did not give or share. This was the Lord’s exact attitude. He did not lay guilt trips on people. But He explained that if one were to join His community, he or she must deny self and any individual ownership toward possessions in case the Lord needed those possessions for another, or the money their sale could bring.

         Isn’t it obvious that if the Lord calls a person into ministry, and a person surrenders to the Lord for ministry, the Lord Jesus pretty much has authority over that person? How much more then does He have authority over his or her stuff?

         Regardless of how plain this truth is, it is almost never applied in “official” churches or ministries, and as a result most Christians have thrown the entire concept right out the window. They won’t touch it with a million-foot pole. This proves official churches are not real communities, but mere collections of disassociated people who share geography weekly. Some good stuff does happen. Some give, and some give a lot. Many share in some way.

         Imagine then, how much more could be shared if there was not the monumental expenditures of church buildings and all their related expenses. But that’s another teaching for another time. (See my book!)

         “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” [Luke 6:43-45]

         “For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.

         “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

         “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.

         “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Luke 12:30-34] [1]

         It does seem as though there is a contradiction here. The Lord told His disciples to seek the kingdom first, and all that the world seeks would be given to them. He then tells them to sell their possessions.

         Could it be the Lord is telling them to take their restrictive personal ownership out of the equation? Remember, the Lord had need of things that other people owned, and He somehow gained access to those things (He needed money to pay a tax and gained it from a fish).

         He needed a colt to ride into Jerusalem upon that someone else owned. He needed an upper room for the Last Supper that someone else owned. He accepted monetary donations from others. If those who owned the possessions He needed did not possess them, the prophesied Biblical events that must take place would never have taken place. Therefore, personal ownership and having title to possessions is necessary, is not wrong or evil in itself, and I do not think He is telling us as a point of doctrine to go sell everything we own, though He might tell that to some, and there might be occasions when we must.

         There is a spiritual principle at work here that He wants us to know and use. If a possession owns us, it is not good. If the money we possess possesses us, it is not good. How can we be free in the Lord if we are bound by riches and possessions? How can we serve God if we serve mammon?

         Whoever owned the upper room shared it when it was needed for God’s purposes, as did the one who owned the colt. But because they had title, they took care of the possessions for whenever they might be needed. This shows both a complete willingness to share and give, but also the responsibility required to take care of them.

         There was a man whom the Lord had blessed, and it was most likely not a financial blessing. He had given this man the Words of Life, and the gentleman was eternally grateful. When the time came that he needed to bless the Lord, this man gave not only of the fullness of his heart, but blessed the Lord with a very expensive possession that he owned and had just built. With his gift, one of the greatest happenings in human history took place. And the really cool thing about it, whether the man knew it would work out that way or not, was that the Lord would end up giving it right back.

            His name was Joseph. He owned a tomb…

         © 2014 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.

$$$ Contract With The Devil: No Sellouts In Heaven (Part 1)

         In serving the Lord Jesus, a believer can have no conflict of interest of any kind that would keep him from doing his duty. He must be sold out to the Lord.

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         Many,  however, are lovers of money and material goods, which often stems from being a lover of self. Lovers of self and money cannot be lovers of the Lord.

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         Those who do not love the Lord are not aligned with Him and are consequently defenseless against the forces of evil.  

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         The enemy is a blackmailer. He will always attempt to buy a person’s silence through such a conflict, and he preys on the conflicted for the opening in their armor. Once finding it he begins slipping in the sword of threats and fear.

         The two principle ways he does this is through threatening harm to one or one’s loved ones, or threatening one’s income.

         Many have been silenced especially by the latter. Everybody has a price. The enemy starts there first. If one is willing to compromise one’s walk with God over fear of losing money the devil never has to go any further—he never has to threaten harm.

         Most people are bought off long before they are threatened with physical harm. They cannot fathom losing their job or income over a spiritual or honesty issue, or for possibly taking a stand. This is especially true if it’s a relatively high paying job with perks that took a person much time and effort to acquire. But the same is true on the other end of the scale for those dependent on government welfare or entitlement income. It is obvious that for most people, money is the top priority.

         Yet the clear words of the Lord continue to echo forth:

         “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Luke 16:13]

         The Lord demonstrated this statement in His own life by living what amounted to a virtual life of poverty. Along with the above statement, He mentioned something else that rarely or never gets mentioned by Christian ministers who buy into the money lie.

         I’m certainly not harping on it, but merely acknowledging its presence. He said it for a reason. There’s a spiritual purpose for its existence. It’s in the Gospels. It’s a part of Holy Writ. It must dovetail with all the other statements of the Lord Jesus somehow. And it applies to all disciples:

         “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” [Luke 14:33]

         The Lord Jesus was threatened with death on numerous occasions, including the very first day of His ministry in Nazareth, but His would-be murderers were never successful. However, at the end of His ministry, when He cleaned out the Temple, those who hated Him had gone ballistic because the Lord attacked their dirty money scheme. This happened simultaneously with the Lord reaching the point where He would lay down His life. This action allowed them to get their hands on Him when their hate was at its depraved zenith. They then relished the fact that they had Him and could inflict upon Him all the pain and misery they had long desired in their hearts.

         This juxtaposition of the Lord’s highest demonstrated love and His enemy’s highest demonstrated hate displays itself repeatedly throughout history regarding His people who are called by His Name. Persecution raises its ugly head in the most pronounced manner whenever the dirty money of evil people is threatened. They will do absolutely anything to protect their wealth and the power derived from it.

         And this love-hate paradigm is also at its greatest height when the wealth and the means to gain it are in the religious realm.

         Hence, the Lord’s ministry reached its zenith when He attacked all the evil wealth-oriented schemes of the House of Annas that had been located within and around the temple complex in Jerusalem. By doing this He was reclaiming His own land that Abraham had initially claimed for Him from the evil Canaanites. The new temple complex had not only been built by Herod, an Idumean and descendant of Esau, it had been stolen by Herod, and the evil House of Annas the High Priest worked in conjunction with him. This cabal also included the Sadduccean Party.

         As a result of the Lord’s bold action He was hit with everything the devil had, but only because He made Himself vulnerable by removing His protection in order to fulfill His calling as the Sacrifice Lamb.

         There will never be any real physical persecution against Christians until they attack the evil spiritual powers that be on this earth, as the Lord said we must. He said the gates of hell would not prevail against his people. But in the process the devil will strike back, especially when it concerns an attack against his and his people’s ill-gotten wealth.

         At those times when the Lord’s people must be vulnerable, as He was, they will be persecuted. But any and all real persecution against His people always results in great spiritual gains. In other words, there must be a price to pay for the spiritual victories and gains that take place, and this distinguishes real Christians from fake ones.

         The current Great Awakening in America fits this profile exactly. Though still in the early stages, real Christians are standing forth for the truth and God’s way of doing things, and are consequently standing against the evil which is resident in this country and the world, including the evil machinations of illicit, unconstitutional actions by those in authority, and especially against those using money for evil means.

         This is not necessarily a direct assault. It is merely the standing up for what is right that happens to affect those who are not right. If the Lord did not clean out the temple He would have effectively been in agreement with the evil that had become resident there. This is why there are so many millions of compromised Christians. They have chosen to silence their voices and have refused to be used of God to clean up evil precisely because they have chosen to embrace the very evil they should be standing up against.

         Many Christians hear this repeatedly and are certainly convicted, but still cannot bring themselves to act. Much of this is because their leaders and churches are also compromised and continually look the other way and make excuses.

         And though the evil money masters in this world are forever going about their deceptive, unscrupulous behavior in their lust for wealth, it is only when real Christians attack the evil of serving mammon within Christianity that the devil gets the most riled up.

         For example, if the church or ministry one is associated with does not subscribe to the Lord’s proper methods regarding money and remains silent, then one is essentially in agreement with the evil practice that is resident there, no matter how good or proper it may appear.

         Those who do speak out know, however, that they will pay a price, and are often branded as malcontents or evil in some way, simply because they speak out as the Lord did.

         Many real Christians have spoken out and have been banished in some way or another. It may start with simple indifference, gossip, and exclusion, but it will end in “disfellowship,” a word falsely used by power and wealth controllers within “Christian” establishments who are threatened with being revealed for what they are, and the demonic wealth practices they ascribe to becoming exposed.

         And if one wonders what these may be, simply look at the Lord’s example—He never became enriched with “ministry” money. In fact, He made sure He would do the very opposite by going 180 degrees in the opposite direction, even doing things He did not have to do, to make absolutely sure He would set the right example for His people to steer absolutely clear of being taken in by the temptation of loving money.

         This is why He made Himself to be of very low income in pocket, yet always having access to whatever He may need. Imagine the freedom, faith, and confidence He had regarding things that normally only money can buy: He could multiply bread and fish, He could tell Peter to go get money out of a fish’s mouth to pay a tax (for both of them), He could acquire a donkey on a moment’s notice for His ride to the temple, and He could even procure an entire upper room when it was necessary.

         Consider the following passages and let it build your faith:

         When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” He said, “Yes.”

         And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?”

         When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.” [Matthew 17:24-27]

         Right.

         When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” [Matthew 21:1-3]

         Okaaay…

         And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.”

         The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. [Mark 14:13-16] [1]

          © 2014 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.

Bizarro Christianity—It’s Much Worse Than You Think (Part 2)

         Regarding Unreal Christianity and the identification of its various elements, I decided when I first started writing on the subject that I would not name names. 

         For one thing, there are far too many names. For another, unless one names all, it appears one may be singling out some and not mentioning others. Such an approach could portray a possible bias or improper agenda. Also, we don’t want to fall into the trap of picking the splinter out of our brother’s eye while having a tree trunk stuck in our own.

         It is therefore my position that, like anything else, we must each figure it out for ourselves through the Lord’s leading—the Word of God reveals truth—and draw our own conclusions. Otherwise, we run the risk of being uninformed, a willing dupe, or the victim of religious dogma.

         The reasoning here is simple and straightforward—we will each face the Lord alone as self-governing individuals at the judgment, so it’s best to live as self-governing individuals in this life. This is exactly what being a disciple of the Lord entails.

         Like a complex, drawn-out math problem, we must all understand how we arrived at a particular answer and doctrinal position instead of simply parroting a response, robot-like, and end up believing a sanctioned, authoritative conclusion possibly unsupported by actual fact. If not, we may possess a religious conviction based on prejudice, false assumptions, or cultural preconceived notions.

         So even though I don’t name names, it should not be all that difficult to identify the pretenders and their groups once a disciple gains a complete, pure, and impartial knowledge of the Lord’s teachings, and a mature understanding of His Word. Unlike in His time, when the religious shysters were relatively easy to recognize (and the Lord did identify groups), it is much different at present. There are quantum scads of Christian groups, denominations, and cults, major and minor, and they all claim legitimacy. Yet their doctrines often contradict one another. They cannot all be right, but it’s possible they can all be wrong.

         Regardless of my position, however, many ministries and individuals do name names, and this might or might not be what the Lord desires. I therefore do not necessarily fault those who do, as it may be by the Lord’s will.

         I do admonish each and every one of us, however, to start checking up on things and getting informed, or staying informed, even more than we have been, because the level of deception is rising rapidly like a rocket up the right side of an exponential curve.

         Inform yourself. Read and study. You will be amazed at what you find. It is often shocking. Remember what happened in the late 1980’s with all the Christian scandals? It is much worse than that. There is no comparison. Currently, a far-reaching, behind-the-scenes skullduggery, a plot designed to both deceive and control, has infiltrated many Christian circles, impacting the salvation of souls. It has slimed its way in largely unnoticed by millions.

         This present wave, like all the others over the last two millennia, has effectively established yet another fake Christian subculture. Its unique thought bomb, detonated high in the atmosphere, has resulted in still more radioactive fallout spreading over the landscape, infecting who it may. Consider this article yet another warning.

          Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

          For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [Jude 1:3-4 KJV]

         The establishment of false forms of Christianity, contrary gospels, and acceptance of a “sin in the camp” immorality, deceptively portrayed as “God-approved,” have happened because Christians in general got lazy, ignorant, and complacent.  Christians traditionally have been conditioned to obey their authority figures and never question them, even though such a thing is demonic and not at all Biblical. It’s a clear form of idolatry.

         As a result, some real Christians became weak and Unreal Christians established a major beachhead of unbelief and disobedience. They did not stay STRONG and AWARE of the enemy. Instead of following the Lord they took a pass, laid down, and chose to hire hirelings and pay them to do their work, many of whom fled spiritually when the wolves showed up.

         Currently, such people are a many times worse. Now, if a believer were to express clear Biblical teachings he will often be shot down by such “Christians” who claim the Lord’s teachings are wrong, while their completely unsupportable false doctrines are perceived as correct. Most of the time though, they just close their minds and continue to be led blindly down the path by their chosen blind and diabolical leaders who look exactly like sheep, but are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing. Sound familiar?

         False content has also invaded your friendly neighborhood Christian bookstore. Many books are not even Christian. They appear to be Christian. They may be Christian on the surface. But books that are purely Christian simply do not sell so well. If you don’t think this is true I challenge you to research this on your own. You will then understand why the real Christians in this country are getting the Word out without a profit motive.

         Many Christian bookstores have been taken over by corporate interests with a money mentality, instead of a Godly motive and purely spiritual initiative. The priority is monetary profit (mammon). Real Christians, conversely, are engaging in ministry for free because it is the only way it can be done properly and effectively, without the compromises based on the pursuit of profit or the seeking and/or protecting of one’s income. Ministering for free is how it was done by the Lord and the originals:

          “Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8]

         But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” [Acts 3:6]

         “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.” [Acts 20:33-34]

          Incidentally, the reason I attempt to sell a few books is so I can spend more time writing and sharing what the Lord is giving me, and less time working for money. So far, that has not worked out so well. I have given many books away but have learned that most people who get a free book do not read it. We are more likely to read it if we invest in it. I would have been financially better off by never making my work available, but I am compelled to share what I receive. Thus, I have two fulltime jobs. One is doing the work the Lord has called me to do and the other is earning money so I can do the work the Lord has called me to do.

         Rather than take donations, I prefer to offer a commodity. I have put in decades of research and work into my books and writings and am currently offering a 330 page book filled with exactly what some need at this time for low cost. I have made it as easily available as possible. Thanks to those of you who have read the book and read my articles. I hope they’re a blessing.

         But if I wrote some watered-down stuff and got seriously promoted I would most likely do much better financially. Several best-selling “Christian” books have sold millions recently and have been proven to contain anti-Biblical content, some of it incredibly obvious. This proves my point that many Christians are easily manipulated into untruth and most don’t even know they have been deceived. This is why major promoters don’t want the truth. Neither do any of the major “Christian” institutions.

          It’s not necessarily that they can’t handle the truth; it’s that the truth in general does not sell, nor does it fill pews with the necessary backsides and tithe money.

         Perhaps this is why the Lord only managed to gather a mere 120 people for the original Upper Room Experience.

         Keep in mind, the Lord Jesus was not some podunk rambling rabbi, but GOD. He had preached to tens of thousands at a time. He did every major miracle you can imagine, preached powerfully, taught a perfect and pure message, and then, amazingly, offered Himself up as a perfect sacrifice on our behalf, and ROSE FROM THE DEAD.

         AND HE STILL ONLY MANAGED TO CONVINCE A MERE 120 PEOPLE TO GO TO THE UPPER ROOM FOR TEN DAYS AND AWAIT PENTECOST!

         That’s astonishing, especially in light of today’s easy-believism.

         Today’s marketers could get 120 in five minutes. Many of today’s churches could gather 120 anytime they felt like it, no matter how non-Biblical they are.

         But 120 of one is in no way comparable to 120 of another. The Lord’s 120 were solid as a rock, just like Him. They were willing to do anything and follow Him anywhere, which they did. They served as a solid nucleus for a growing community that had the truth and kept it, had the power of God and used it, and had the love of God and expressed it.

          THEY TURNED THE ENTIRE BLASTED HEATHEN WORLD UPSIDE DOWN! THEY OVERCAME MURDEROUS AND HOSTILE RELIGIOUS HATERS AND THE WORST AND MOST BRUTAL GOVERNMENT THAT HAD EVER EXISTED ON THE PLANET! THEIR ORIGINAL TINY KINGDOM, WITH NONE OF THE NATURAL ELEMENTS NEEDED FOR KINGDOM BUILDING, OVERCAME THE ROMAN EMPIRE!

          Most “Christians” in America can’t even overcome themselves.

          Even so, real Christians in America number in the millions. The fact that George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four bizarro world has not arrived completely is due to their presence. The antichrist spirit hates them with a passion. They are the salt and light that keeps him from taking over completely. For these real Christians, no fight is too hard or too impossible. They know they fight alongside the King of kings. They will not be dismayed or defeated. Kill one and a hundred more spring up. They always rise to the occasion. They can do ALL things through Messiah who strengthens them. And they do it with a smile and a good attitude with love in their hearts.

          So even though things are worse than we think, THEY ARE ALSO BETTER THAN WE THINK. It is because the Lord Jesus is in charge. It is because He has created a giant worldwide community of people with each individual just like Him in some way, and the entire community pretty much exactly like Him overall.

          If others want to join hands with the enemy, compromise the Word, and love money to the point of rejecting the Lord though insisting they have not, they can do what they want and be as deceived as they want. But unless you identify them and stand against them you may be deceived as well.

          The mark of a real Christian is standing up for the Lord Jesus no matter the cost, being willing to fight the enemy no matter the level of battle, and submit your reputations to be trashed by ignorant and deceived people while not lashing back with reciprocal hate but returning spiritual love.

          Many years ago the first pastor I had made a statement I will never forget. He said he had people come up to him and say they loved him, but might as well of said they hated him because it was obvious such hate was in their heart and on their outward expression. Unreal Christians are notorious for this. It’s called being two-faced. It’s the mark of duplicity. It’s acting one way in one’s presence and ripping him or her to shreds behind their back. It is a total violation of the Lord’s love and teachings.

          In the end, the good and bad will be completely separated, but the point must be made that this will not happen automatically at His arrival. The separation of light and darkness has actually been taking place for 2000 years and will culminate at the end when the Lord returns for a spotless community of love with total honor for Him. In the meantime, one better choose the right side with all their heart or one will end up on the wrong side, most likely with a deceived and divided heart.

          “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

          “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” [Matthew 7:24-27] [1]

          © 2014 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.

Bizarro Christianity—It’s Much Worse Than You Think (Part 1)

         We all know many things are currently very bad in this world. The optimist in me does not like this, but facts are facts.

         The world has largely become an accurate reflection of half a century’s worth of mind-altering films, television, and music. The deception is such that the concept of “monkey see-monkey do” programming is rejected outright by its victims, since part of the programming is deceiving people into believing there is no programming at all.

         This is why people are doing the most damnable things en masse, things prior generations never did, simply because the programming was not there—unless you belonged to some group, that is, and almost all major groups were in the religious sphere. And in America, almost all the groups were “Christian” of some form or another.

         This means there was certainly mass programming going on, but compared to today’s very sophisticated and hyper-effective methods, it was inferior, but remained highly effective at capturing minds and changing thought processes.

         It was so effective it became cultural. It was so cultural no one dare leave their religious culture without knowing they may be disowned by the group. People paid a high price to think freely, but most of all, they paid a high price in embracing the real teachings of the Lord Jesus. Breaking free from cultural religious programming most often meant turning away from family and friends forever.

         I used to think quite often that we must be supreme optimists and exhibit strong faith if only to keep bad things from happening, to keep things from getting worse, or believe that dire circumstances can somehow be reversed. The reality is that prayer and faith do change things. It is the power of God answering our prayers and honoring our faith. It is how we allow Him to be involved in our lives.

         But where there is no faith…

         We learn from reading the Word that bad circumstances can be reversed or eliminated. The Lord Jesus states clearly that with Him, all things are possible. So we believe in the impossible, especially as young impressionable saints of God with less life experience. Then, after a few years, we may think, well, maybe I cannot change a bad circumstance no matter how much I pray and believe, but I can comfort those who are going through something really rough and give them a lift. In one sense, this attitude stems from a capitulation to natural reality. In another it may be due to weariness or possibly even frustration. We do know that God doesn’t go around fixing every single lousy thing on the planet, so we may feel powerless regardless of what His Word states.

         Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain: If we desire the supernatural power of God to come to bear against a bad circumstance, it will demand our total involvement. The Lord does things in such a way that it will always demand our involvement, and this is only logical. But we cannot wait for the crisis to happen before we get involved with the Lord and attempt His method. In other words, there is a reason for discipleship. If we refuse to get with His program we are on our own, and can only use the assistance of that which humanity can bring without God. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it does not.

         To put things into immediate perspective, the original apostles were spiritually worthless at the beginning. It took time for the Lord to teach them. It took time for them to apply His teachings. And even after they graduated from His program, they still needed to receive His powerful Holy Spirit for the service He called them to. Without it, they would only possess mere head knowledge with no power, kind of like a car without gasoline or an electrical appliance without electricity.

         We should make this connection, but most Christians do not. That’s why most Christians are like all manner of appliances that may be structurally perfect but have no power source. Without electricity they are exactly the same as being broken beyond repair simply because they will not work. But it always works with the Lord if we submit to Him and do it His way, even if everyone else disbelieves. The original disciples did this, and they obeyed Him all the way to being filled with His Spirit, which gave them the spiritual power to do what He did.

         Now, think about something: If the Lord said all things are possible with Him, does it not mean that sometimes the impossible does not happen simply because we do not believe and do not obey Him? And what if the situation calls for 100% faith and spiritual dunamis for the impossible to happen, but we only give 50%? Or 95%? Obviously, these will not be good enough.

         We understand this in other areas of life. Try going to work Monday thru Thursday but refuse going on Friday. And try explaining that you did a great job and did all that was required on those four days, and that you should be credited with that regardless of whether you work on Friday. You might get away with it once, but otherwise you will likely lose your job. Is it not the same in serving the Lord? This is the picture of what most “Christianity” has become:

         Unreal Christianity is enamored with head knowledge and insists on powerless traditions, and castigates the idea of needing His power to do His work. If this is not the work of the devil nothing is.

         Try starting your lawnmower with an empty tank of gas all the while refusing to fill it with gas. That’s pretty dumb. But the Lord tells us we are the lawnmower and His Spirit is the gas. One Christian gets it and shouts, “No wonder!” and proceeds to do whatever the Lord requires to fill up his tank. Another Christian rejects it and says, “Then I’ll get a push mower you bunch of freaks!”

         How many times did the Lord teach that we must follow Him with all of our hearts and for the duration? That’s all He ever taught! He never taught anything closely resembling working for Him part time, or believing part time, or obeying Him part time, or working for Him halfheartedly, or giving half our heart (try that with your spouse), or picking and choosing those parts of His curriculum we feel comfortable with. With the Lord Jesus, it is all or nothing. PERIOD.

         It is exactly how He lived His life. He taught that this way to live is required for us also, in that our minds and hearts would be made up and we would never be double-minded or express doubt in Him or His methods. He taught that living by faith is a 100% proposition. Otherwise, the enemy will get in, and the enemy will seek to kill, steal, and destroy.

         Yet, though pure faith is the first step, it is an act of obedience. We receive salvation by grace through faith. It takes the gift of grace, which we have nothing to do with (God’s unmerited favor), and faith, something that must come from us. It must be followed with consequent acts of obedience, as is illustrated by the original disciples as recorded in the Book of Acts.

         They did what they had to do, whatever they had to do, to receive the very Spirit of the Lord into their beings. They remained who they were as individuals, but then walked in the closest of all possible relationships with the Lord. This was a pure covenant partnership, a Father-child relationship, and the demonstration of His Spirit in their lives was evident by the impossible tasks they achieved, as it was with the Lord during His ministry.

         Not having this relationship allows the enemy to fill the void. And thus, we have Unreal Christianity, a conglomerate of denominations and sects that refuse the Lord’s full curriculum and thus, its proponents do not possess the pure covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus as did the originals. They have instead substituted counterfeits and have deceived huge numbers who do not put forth the effort to figure it out on their own. This makes them all easy pickings by a very powerful spiritual enemy and his hordes—an enemy much more intelligent but primarily much more spiritually powerful than such false disciples will ever be, especially since they possess no spiritual power at all.

         Currently, the enemy is having a field day. Yes, things are bad. Really bad. But things are much worse than you think. Why? Because most people, including most Christians, are only getting part of the story. The closer we get to God, the more we see. Nevertheless, despite their insistence on mere head knowledge (a seminary degree does not empower one to raise the dead), Christians have become so spiritually unintelligent, uninformed, and deceived in this country that major demonic things are happening all around them, and they are not even aware.

         Churches and ministries have been taken over by the devil. Big churches. Major denominations. Major ministries. Major charitable ministries. It is really bad. It is so bad that the people running these organizations are not even Christians anymore.

         One organization made a deal with the devil a few days ago but just changed course after a backlash they did not anticipate. They found out how much money it would cost them in lost donations. This is a great sign! It shows that there are still some Christians with a backbone to help right the course of the wayward. But this particular wayward organization remains in league with the enemy because they lied about why they reversed course. They continue to prove they are primarily serving money and not serving God, like so many others.

         Would that such compromisers get it together. So many of these have been deceived and co-opted by the devil that when confronted by the clear facts, they either lash out or laugh. It is bad. Many supporters of these organizations don’t even know what’s really going on. They are being deceived. They are supporting the devil’s curriculum instead of the Lord’s. This is pure evidence of otherworldly programming upon the leaders who then pass it on to the followers.

         © 2014 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.

LOCATING THE LORD’S LOYALTY

.Tower of Babel. Pieter Bruegel. 1563.

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for the blatant persecution of His children?

         Achieving the Objective in the Face of Adversity

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for the gruesome and heartless murder of innocent, defenseless babies and insist their murders stem from rights protected by law?

          New York City is the Undisputed Abortion Capital of America

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for the filth of pornography, and deem it “political speech” protected by law thus guaranteeing its freedom to corrupt the land?

         Sacrificial Love: A Shining Witness

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for wicked forms of perversion clearly condemned in Holy Writ upon which the land’s legal system is based?

         Duck Dynasty: I Support Phil Robertson

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for the ripping off and bankrupting of its own citizens through confiscatory tax policies while large percentages of taxpayer monies are wasted each and every year?

         TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose voters elect the advocates of all of the above, not just once or twice, but every single time there is a national election without fail?

         Duping the Majority: A Foolproof Method of Success (Part 1)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose voters consistently complain about the ones they elect without understanding whatsoever that the ones they elect are in office because they elect them?

         Duping the Majority: A Foolproof Method of Success (Part 2)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose seeming majority is either asleep, willingly ignorant, apathetic, or some combination thereof regarding the dire condition of their land, and are growing in numbers and power?

         Duping the Majority: A Foolproof Method of Success (Part 3)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose seeming majority rejects Him, His solutions, and His help to their own detriment due to their rebellion against Him and their obvious fondness of sin, disobedience, and selfishness?

         The Day of Atonement

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose seeming majority of “believers” refuse to trust Him, refuse to teach the real Gospel, refuse to obey His commandments, refuse to surrender to His authority, and refuse to be filled with His Holy Spirit?

         Keep Your Lamp Filled With Oil

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose seeming majority of “believers” look for solutions to their problems from anywhere and anyone but Him, who refuse to honor Him, never stand up for Him, and never defend Him and His teachings against those who continually dishonor Him?

         Cults of Christianity (Part 3)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose land is filled with religious groups that disfellowship and discredit those who attempt to reveal the truth of the Gospel that sets people free, instead of repenting for their phony religious lives and institutions that keep people spiritually dead and in bondage?

         New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 1)

         New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 2)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose land has become a haven for disingenuous hypocrites in love with money, this world, and prestige and are more Pharisaical than the original Pharisees?

         Woe to You, Christian Pharisees!

         “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”

         From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:15-17]

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         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

         “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

         “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-20]

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         And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

         Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” [Matthew 13:10-11]

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         He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

         Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

         And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” [Matthew 16:15-19]

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         “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

         Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:36-39]

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         “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour; and behold, a man stood before me in shining garments, and he said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Therefore send to Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you; he is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

         Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.

         “The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)—you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.

         “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.

         “God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

         While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.

         Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. [Acts 10:30-47]

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         When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe…

            “Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves. And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. [Acts 28:23-24, 28-31] [1]

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         © 2014 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.

First Day of Spring: New Life

        It is the first day of spring.

         Regardless of the many New Year celebrations that occur on various calendar dates, this is the actual beginning of the New Year in the northern hemisphere.

         It has been a long winter, and a very difficult winter for many. Today marks the time to look forward to the inevitable thaw and the bursting forth of new life.

         Officially, spring arrived three minutes before noon CDT, almost 1 o’clock on the east coast and 9:57am on the west. The planet leveled out at that exact time. Scientifically speaking, it is the Vernal Equinox, a time when planet Earth completes its tilt back from the southern hemisphere, which just completed summer.

         It is a time of perfect balance when the sun shines directly on the equator, and when the southern hemisphere experiences the beginning of autumn. This balancing event thus only happens twice a year, and that briefly.

         God created seasons for a reason. The planet tilts on its axis to give the entire planet its fair share of sun and warmth. He does the same with His people in a spiritual sense. Though I am concerned with sounding trite, life actually does consist of ups and downs, mountains and valleys, and the spaces in-between. There are times things for some are going good, while things for others are not so good. For real Christians, it is an opportunity for their good times to be shared with others who may be going through a rough stretch.

         A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

         A voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. [Isaiah 40:3-8]

         John the Immerser quoted these words in part when teaching about the ways of the Lord and about that particular point in history. We are currently at the same kind of historical juncture. The idea of equinox is presently before us in the spiritual realm as well. Let us learn the lesson that we all indeed are our brother’s keeper and act according.

         …The word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.

         And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. EVERY RAVINE WILL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL WILL BE BROUGHT LOW; THE CROOKED WILL BECOME STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH; AND ALL FLESH WILL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD.’”

         So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

         “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.”

         And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?”

         And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”

         And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”

         And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”

         Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”

         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 3:2-17] [1]

         © 2014 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.

Exodus To The Wilderness: The Spirit-Filled Life

         “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

         “But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces!

         “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.

         “This is the one about whom it is written, ‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’” [Matthew 11:7-10]   

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         As Christianity in America goes, so goes the country.

         But instead of changing anything at the source, the majority of Christians in America will remain glued to pews, and blame anything and anyone other than their dead institutions and compromised behavior.

         That’s why the only way to do anything and get anything done is by leaving the institutional, traditional, the-same-way-we’ve-always-done-it-formats and silly belief systems that teach contrary, lifeless gospels in direct opposition to what the Lord taught.

         Ted Williams was a baseball player, an all-time great. He stated early in his career that his goal in life was to have people say, “There’s goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.” That might sound arrogant, but it wasn’t. It was simply a high goal. And by the end of his career half a century ago and even until today, he is without doubt one of the top three hitters of all time, and arguably the greatest. He set a seemingly impossible goal and actually achieved it.

         The Lord gave us an example of who He called the greatest man who ever lived. This man is pretty much the opposite of what a traditional Christian would see as great: He never went to church. He never wore a clergy outfit. He never manned a pulpit. He never went to seminary. He never had any earthly honors.

         Instead, he stayed out in the wilderness far from society. He wore animal skins. He stayed alive eating “locusts and wild honey.” He preached and prayed all the live long day. If one would visit, one would have to go far out of his way and be extremely inconvenienced.

         But the man had crowds all around him. He was flooded with humanity night and day. People went out there and camped out, staying with him and around him for days on end.

         WHY?

         It was simply because in the words of John the Immerser, they were hearing something powerful, strong, direct, clear, and devoid of religious garbage. He preached a pure message with ONE purpose in mind—he was there to obey God and please only Him.

         The majority of Christian ministers do the opposite. There is a long list of people they must honor and please and the Lord Jesus is nowhere near the top.

         John probably set no high goals, but he was without doubt 100% determined to obey God, regardless of all the hate and obstacles thrown his way. Again, the Lord Jesus, God in flesh, called him the greatest up to that time:

         “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!” [Matthew 11:11a]

         Something tells me that professional churchmen have a different opinion, simply because most are the direct opposite of John.

         Imagine the scene. All those people, fed up with the usual synagogue garbage that had no answer whatsoever for the yearning of their hearts and souls, going out to hear John. He gave them something they could get nowhere else. They had been doing everything they were told for years, year after year, and it did not satisfy. What did satisfy?

         John told them the truth! HE CONTINUALLY PREACHED TO EACH AND EVERY ONE THAT THEY WERE IN NEED OF REPENTANCE. Repentance and the release that followed was what they lacked. They knew they were sinners, though constant church-goers. They knew they prescribed to all they were taught, but none of it touched their hearts. They wanted someone to tell them the truth, that they were messed up, incomplete, fearful, and weak, and what to do about it. They were not happy with the status quo!

         Why did they care so much? BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO BE GREAT! They wanted to please God! And they knew they could not please God according to the traditional manner they were taught.

         This is much of the reason why a giant exodus from traditional Christianity has taken place over the last few decades. The end result is that traditional Christianity is by and large left with the remainder, those who do NOT have a passion to please God, but to cower at the feet of men. That’s why traditional Christianity in America is a watered-down mess filled with people-pleasers. No one wants to offend. At best, everyone wants to be the nice guy. The end result has become disastrous.

         Why was John the greatest? Why was he greater than Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and all the prior prophets? What was so special about John?

         For starters, there is nothing in the Biblical record that says John suffered from the same foibles as those other men, great as they were. Noah got drunk. Abraham was chicken and lied about his wife. Moses killed a man. Trumping Moses, David killed a man and stole his wife! These men were no less great for the accomplishments they achieved, but they did not measure up to the standard set by John.

         AND JOHN DID IT WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT. The anointing of God rested upon him as it did on many others prior to him, but the indwelling of God’s Spirit would not take place until Pentecost. The Lord Jesus stated this clearly:

         Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:37-39]

         Unreal Christianity, however, does not care to receive. For the most part, there is no place for the actual life-changing infilling of the Spirit of the Lord among traditional, institutional Christians for the same reason that all the traditionalists during the Lord’s time really wanted nothing to do with John.

         That’s why God put him out in the wilderness. He didn’t want him or his message watered down and compromised. Like Abraham and Moses and other desert dwellers, John the Immerser was out in the wilderness alone with God receiving and preaching a very powerful and clear message. He was sent as a forerunner TO PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD.

         The idiot Pharisees were there, conversely, to fight against and obstruct the way of the Lord.

         They took lifeless religious vows—John took a lifelong Nazirite vow.

         They appeared on the cover of Clergyman’s Quarterly—John looked like a Caveman.

         And those Pharisees and Sadducees bore a striking resemblance to modern day religious Christianity peopled with those who oppose and obstruct the Lord, and are much more intent on protecting their religious turf than obeying God.

         Their goal is not to be the greatest. Their goal is not to be like John. And their goal is CERTAINLY not to be like the Lord. Their goal, at best, is to be the greatest Tee Ball players who ever lived.

         But for those who are passionate for God, there is more to the story—THERE IS A WAY ANYONE CAN BE GREATER THAN JOHN:

         “Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” [John 11:11b]

         Please don’t skim over this. The Lord is stating that His people must not only be more righteous than the Pharisees, they must be greater than John the Immerser! Each and every one!

         Since this generally blows the minds of religious Christians, they immediately blow it off as an impossibility, or apply some other such nonsense to the idea. In other words, most preachers have it as their goal to not be the greatest, but to make sure they make a living, and if they can, to make a great living. And regardless of what the Lord thinks or that their methods don’t work in any effective spiritual sense as taught by the Lord, religious Christians are stubbornly intent on maintaining their traditional, institutional, dead formats and applications.

         “And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” [Matthew 15:3]

         “And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” [Matthew 15:6]

         “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” [Mark 7:8]

         “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:9]

         “…Thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” [Mark 7:13]

         THIS is why John attracted crowds out in the wilderness, despite the fact that he had none of the creature comforts religious people must have. There was no shelter unless people brought their own. There was no giant air-conditioned auditorium with padded seats. There was little or no food. There was water, though, good for drinking and staying alive but mostly great for immersing. There was nothing out there that a religious Christian would find tasteful or desirable.

         Yet, for those who wanted GOD, it was the jackpot! It was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! And it truly was somewhere over the rainbow, “where skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” John’s disciples discovered this, and it began the mass exodus away from dead religion in the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and toward the new life ushered in by the Lord.

         This is exactly what is happening at this writing in America. Again, it began in America several decades ago, but it is now beginning to come forth. As long as American Christians were comfortable and happy with the status quo it could never happen, and for those in such a state it won’t happen. But for those who want the BEST and to be the GREATEST and to pay any price, it is becoming a reality.

         I don’t know how Ted Williams ultimately fared with God. But I know he was the main influence in starting “The Jimmy Fund,” a well-known charity that has since raised about $800 million. He was very often helping child patients, paying their bills, and visiting as anonymously as possible, wanting no publicity. I also know he pretty much achieved his goal of becoming the greatest hitter who ever lived. He did this despite the fact that he lost almost five full seasons while serving in the military during WWII and Korea, and parts of others due to injuries. Had he had those years he would surely have achieved his goal statistically, which already rank among the best.

         John the Immerser achieved greatness, and was in fact the greatest. He did exactly as he was called to do in preparing for and announcing the arrival of the long hoped-for Messiah. There was not the slightest bit of compromise in the man, and the evidence of his success, extremely difficult to attain, is obvious. Imagine preparing an entire nation for the Great Light after it had fallen into such darkness…

         The Lord Jesus, though, was the absolute greatest of all, no contest, hands down. HE WAS THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED. No one else comes remotely close. But guess what? Because He said we could be filled with His very Spirit—

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

         “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

         “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

         “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

         “I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU AS ORPHANS; I WILL COME TO YOU.” [John 14:12-18] [1]

         The infilling of the Holy Spirit—the Helper—the Spirit of Truth—the Spirit of the Lord Jesus—is the difference maker. It is what allows an otherwise dead, traditional, institutional Christian to become great like the Lord is great. It is what allows a spiritual Ted Williams to become the greatest in the world at whatever the Lord has called that person to do. It is how Peter the fisherman went from being a fearful wimpy man at the Lord’s trial to the great preacher at Pentecost and great apostle for decades after.

         For most, the Spirit-filled life is far over the rainbow and it may take a tornado to get there. It is OUT IN THE WILDERNESS. It is in a different place altogether.

         A powerful call of REPENTANCE has gone forth, and such an anointing is always the forerunner of such powerful events and new life. Millions have repented, have rejected dead tradition, have journeyed to uncharted territory, and discovered this place where dreams come true—the Miracle Realm—the Kingdom of God on earth, where the Lord Jesus is King and the only King of hearts.

         As a result—

         WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.

         To the Wilderness!

         © 2014 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.

Real Christians and the Faux Bros

         In my first book, the name of which graces the heading of this blog, I coined the term Unreal Christianity. I also coined the term Unreal Christian(s). When one coins a term one must also define it. The definition is actually uncomplicated and straightforward and is based on the definition of a Real Christian:

         “A Real Christian is one whom Jesus is the Lord of his life.”

         What about Unreal Christians?

         “An Unreal Christian is anyone else.”

         Based on this simple terminology, Real Christianity is defined as that which the Founder taught and practiced. Unreal Christianity is anything else.

         For a further definition, a Real Christian is one who has surrendered his heart and total life to the Lord Jesus, has pledged to honor Him as Lord and God, and has entered into a blood covenant with Him to obey all His commandments and teachings 100% with no reservation whatsoever forever. He has repented of past sins, the sacrifice of the Lord’s life has been applied, and a spiritual circumcision of the heart has been administered. He is born again and has become a new creation as per the Living Word of God.

         An Unreal Christian, in contrast, is one who has not accomplished the preceding, but has instead surrendered to a “Christian” culture, a church, a denomination, contrary gospels, counterfeit teachings, false doctrines and dogmas, and honors the leaders and or leader of such groups, living or dead, rather than the Lord Jesus.

         This is true regardless of group size, whether it be a massive worldwide body, a denomination, or a local cult. Indeed, cults are not restricted by size or societal acceptance. The terminology simply changes. They’re all cults.

         I read an article recently about the very bad behavior of Christians in restaurants following Sunday morning services. Apparently, the majority of waiters are of the very sure empirical reasoning that such Christians are the loudest, rudest, most obnoxious, patronizing, and belittling people on the planet. They call it the church rush. I was also told by a friend a few months back before I read the article that when he managed a restaurant, some of the worst people he ever had in his restaurant were members of a particular large local Christian group (you would probably know them if I named them). My friend did not know that I knew who he was talking about, but I never knew they exhibited such behavior.

         In following this clearly marked trail (super highway), there is a reason non-Christians think Christians are vain, arrogant idiots unable to think for themselves. Actually, there are millions of reasons. In fact, if one wanted to write a book on the subject he better be prepared to top War and Peace, The Encyclopedia Britannica, and the entire works of the Library of Congress. It would take a while.

         Must I be so honest? I learned it from my Boss! Unreal Christianity is worse than all other religions put together. The Lord saved His most powerful and heart-rending rebukes for the religious fakes who stood in His place and tried to pass themselves off as the real thing. He called them a bunch of lying snakes whose father was the devil. Real Christians must do no less.

         Which brings us to a related point: Why do religious people get their panties in a wad so easily? Why do religious people want to fight and kill at the drop of a hat? Why do religious people go to such great lengths to stand up for their false doctrines? There is only one reason: They are absolutely totally convinced they are right. But they identify themselves as wrong by their behavior.

         In other words, as the Lord’s top priority, He was not out to win intellectual arguments—He was out to save the world. But He would argue if He must, though, and did. He definitely had a very specific curriculum and He taught it perfectly, but the curriculum was not limited to the mind or the classroom. He lived the curriculum. He demonstrated His teachings. He showed everyone right out in the open that His methods worked. And He did it all as a Servant who loved.

         Unreal Christians don’t do this, largely because they cannot, but also because they won’t. They do not possess the love, the power, or the knowledge of the Lord’s real teachings. They are fakes.

         The Lord proved the Pharisees were fakes. He continually exposed them for what they were. In turn, their reasoned, loving, well thought-out response was to first disfellowship Him, then lie about Him at every turn, then make Him out to be pure evil, then try to kill Him. And this is what Unreal Christianity has always done, except in places like America where the laws do not permit them to kill and sabotage real believers as they did back in Europe or wherever else. But believe me, they possess enough religious hate and ultra-sensitivity that they would kill if it would not inconvenience their lives.

         So they major on the disfellowship part. And THAT, my friends, is why we have four million “Christian” denominations filled with hateful people protecting their turf willing to turn on anyone at any time when their little or giant establishments are threatened or merely perceived to be threatened.

         And if the Lord Jesus Himself showed up in their “places of worship” they would treat Him exactly the same, simply because their unreality is contrary to His reality.

         “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’

         “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

         “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [Matthew 25:41-46]

         As I have stated so often here, the same evidence that existed in the ministry of the Lord Jesus must exist in the ministries He has granted to His followers. Of course, such ministries are mere extensions of His ministry and there is only one. If the evidence is not there, though, don’t believe the teachings. He said the same thing. (Read the following very carefully):

         The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

         Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.

         “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 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. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

         “I and the Father are one.”

         The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.

         Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?”

         The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

         Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

         “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”

         Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp. [John 10:24-39] [1]

         The early community of the Lord had such works.

         Unreal Christianity does not.

         If you don’t see His works, an extension of His love, in your “place of worship” on Sunday morning, something is very wrong.

         It indicates the Lord Jesus is not in charge.

         It denotes an absence of His presence, authority, and power.

         And it points toward yet another establishment of Unreal Christianity—the haunt of the Faux Bros.

         “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.” [Joshua 24:15]

         © 2014 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.

God’s Friends, Enemies, (and Frenemies)

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         If one’s enemies are not the enemies of the Lord Jesus, then one is by default an enemy of the Lord Jesus.

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         The enemies of the Lord are narcissists at heart. They love themselves more than the Lord. They love the idea of taking life by the horns, and by engaging in their own pursuits. Because they have never surrendered their lives to God, their hearts remain uncircumcised and thus incapable of doing the good the Lord requires. And because of that little problem, they find it no problem to break God’s laws whenever they must to advance their own program.

         Many of the most popular and successful people in the world are thus hellbound. They will have their success in the here and now come hell or high water. They will not be stopped. They will lie, cheat, and steal if need be, and give the appearance of forthrightness. These surfacely successful people are the most contemptuous people on the planet and will get their due when the life and health they take for granted fails.

         At that point they’ll join that rich guy that treated Lazarus so bad. They will have traded the possibility of eternal life for the eventual fires of hell. Perhaps if they had been taught this at whatever school or church they attended things could have been different. But in the end they will know. They will know without question that they fouled up big time but simply refused to repent.

         One wonders why the drive for success in this world is so bewitching. One wonders why some people drive themselves toward success to the point of damning their soul forever. What is it that is so great about the pleasures of this life? Why can’t people see that life is short? Why can’t they see that pursuing the pleasures of this world improperly—the desires of the eyes, the desires of human appetites, and most of all, the desire to make a name for oneself and live by personal pride—results in merely temporary happiness?

         For example, consider the great politicians of this country who make it to places of great power. And consider how they had to either cheat to get there or must cheat to remain there. Everyone knows that successful politicians are successful liars, except for very rare exceptions. To politick is to lie. Politics is such that battle is constant, a war of words is always brewing, and people at the top fight like rabid dogs to get their piece of bone. They do it all with a smile and flair, however. It is one of the great wonders of the world.

         But perhaps the greatest wonder is how they continue to do it and get away with it year after decade after century, and the public remains seemingly as stupid and gullible as ever.

         The strange phenomenon makes perfect sense, though, when one discovers that the voters have their own ulterior motives and agendas. Some refuse to vote their conscience because they don’t want to be thought a fool. This is the biggest kind of fool. Some vote for idiots simply because they themselves are idiots. And some know exactly what they’re doing. The evil people with big smiles they vote into office are exactly like themselves. They are both evil, according to the Lord’s definition of the word, because both have an evil agenda.

         Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

         For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. [Philippians 3:17-21]

         For the unseeing unbelievers, passages of Scripture like the preceding are the stupidest thing they ever heard. In their minds, the obvious crazies are those who risk everything on some invisible pie-in-the-sky nonsense that has no bearing whatsoever on reality. And as long as they remain on an upward track of gaining more, whether it be money or power or fame, they will inevitably remain on that track chasing what appears obvious as a visible, tangible carrot that has yet to fail them thus far.

         Like a gambler on a winning streak with no sense to stop, who knows it can’t last, such people continue on in their sold-out state anyway, regardless of warnings, essentially because they are fully invested in their chosen path. The bewitching nature of success presents itself by the lack of any meaningful failures. In other words, probably the best cure for gambling is very early repeated failure.

         Which brings up a strange idea. Because the kingdom of God appears upside down and backward, the reality is that this world and its way of conduct is upside down and backward. Which means great success in this life most often means eternity in hell. Which means one is blessed by not having success until one is safely in the kingdom of God, and one’s success is orchestrated by Him.

         I mean, the Lord was always talking about some unseen treasure that did not involve the usual counterfeits most people fall for. If one were to follow this extrapolation trail, one would then understand why the Lord lived the kind of life He lived, and taught the kind of discipleship He taught.

         But one obviously cannot build big church buildings and great denominations on such discipleship, which means the real gamblers of this world are not the blatant sinners, but pseudo Christians.

         The following passage contains more evidence of lying unreal Christians than most can fathom, but it’s all right there. It can all be applied to what I term unreal Christianity, which continually pokes its skinny finger in God’s eye and continues in ongoing, perverse disobedience, regardless of warning. Such passages are disavowed, put aside, neglected, and rejected, and whoever brings them up gets some form of what the Lord got for bringing them up:

         “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.

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

         “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 23:2-13]

         Now, surely we do not think the Lord was limiting His teaching here to just the Pharisees of the first century, do we? The shoe fits just as much if not much more on the big foot of fake Christianity, because the very things He said not to do is being done by the majority every Sunday morning. If you don’t believe me, read it again. And again. And keep reading until the deception starts to fall away. It’s all there. And He taught it all for a reason, and it’s a reason we better pay attention to.

         Otherwise, we will go into eternity having been convinced we are God’s friends when the opposite is true. Consider the possibility.

         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]

         Had Moses embraced Egypt he would have become God’s enemy. But he made the decision, like Abraham before him, to leave all and be a friend of God.

         “You are My friends if you do what I command you.

         “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” [John 15:14-15] [1]

         This is truly an astounding statement!

         The Lord defines His friends as those who

(1) Do everything He commands, and

(2) Know everything He knows.

         Wow. This explains a few things.

         © 2014 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 Greatest Love

        If a real Christian has anything at all, he or she has a backbone, and will never back down.

         Why would a person surrender their very life in exchange for a belief? Why is a belief more important than one’s life? The law of self-preservation dictates that above all things we must protect and defend our greatest possession—our life—against any attack or threat of attack. Yet, real Christians have historically chosen to choose death rather than choose to discard something they believe in.

         There must be something more to Christian belief.

         If a parent is given a choice to lay down his life or substitute the life of his child, what should be the proper choice? Is it somehow more moral or socially acceptable to choose one over the other? The answer exists in the simple fact that many parents (I would hope every parent), would choose to die and allow their child to live because it is both the obviously correct choice and they would not be able to live with themselves if they chose otherwise. Even though they could protect their life, their life afterwards would no longer be worth living.

         And this is the crux of the distinction: One’s life can be devalued and even greatly devalued by making such incorrect choices. Why? Because healthy, sane people have a conscience, and one’s conscience will put forth a prompt reminder than one has chosen incorrectly.

         Otherwise, human beings could do whatever sinister thing they may wish and never be bothered by the choice they made. In the natural world, for example, animals make choices that often have bad consequences according to the moral beliefs of humans, but the animals that make the choices don’t seem to be bothered by them. If a wild animal, for example, attacks and injures a child, the wild animal probably has no moral conscience regarding the act, does not get depressed by the act, and will likely repeat the act. This can possibly be attributed to instinct or hunger, but the animal’s choice nevertheless causes an injury to a helpless child, and this cannot be construed as a good thing. So we often deem animals as innocent, in that they don’t know any better, but human animals are a different story.

         Therefore, for those who have a conscience in good working order, it will override mere self-preservation, especially when it comes to one’s offspring. Using the natural world as an example once again, even wild animals will protect their offspring with their lives. Many an animal mother will protect her young using whatever extreme measures she deems necessary, and becomes decidedly ferocious in those instances.

         But what is in the conscience of a real Christian that causes him to give up his life rather than surrender his beliefs? It is not so much about giving up his beliefs as it is turning his back on his best friend. The Lord Jesus claimed,

         “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15:13]

         The word “friends” in this usage indicates the most dearly beloved in one’s life. But the absolute most dearly beloved of all people in the life of a real Christian is His Lord and Savior—the One who purchased his life—and the One who first gave His own life to save the ones He considered His most beloved. This is why a real Christian could never surrender his beliefs, because it also means betraying the One who loves him the most.

         What good is life without the One who made life possible? For example, the person who betrayed the Lord to those religious authorities who intended to murder Him had been deceived into thinking he was doing the right thing. He did not know his act of betrayal would result in the Lord’s death. In fact, Satan had possessed this man and essentially blinded him and animated him to act against his conscience. And even though we know Judas was a thief, he still had a conscience in good working order, because after his diabolical act, after the devil went out from him, after clear thinking returned, and after he saw what he caused, he immediately killed himself. There was no way he could live with the knowledge on his conscience of what he had done. His life was no longer worth living. It had become greatly cheapened by his terrible choice. Self-preservation went out the window and the only salve for his horror was the opposite.

         This knowledge should cause a person to immediately reflect on the great love of the Lord, in that though our conscience does the same thing to us when we sin, and though we deserve all that Judas got in the end, 

         THE LORD FORGIVES US AND SILENCES OUR CONSCIENCE—OUR CONSCIENCE IS APPEASED BECAUSE A SACRIFICE HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE.

         We don’t have to run out and find a tree and a rope, because the Lord had already appropriated a cross!

         The Lord Jesus allowed to have happen to Himself what Judas did to himself, and what we should each receive for ourselves. Our conscience convicts us as guilty, but through an act of legitimate repentance on our part, we display a contrite heart and express sorrow for our sin. We hate what we did and never want to do it again. And through this act of knowing we did wrong and being remorseful for it, and because God will not despise a broken and contrite heart, [1] our sin can be washed away by the miraculous cleansing power of the blood of the Lamb.

         Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. [Hebrews 7:25]

         The Lamb of God, through His incredible love and forgiveness, actually acts as a defense attorney on our behalf!

         What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. [Romans 8:31-34] [2]

         This is why so many persecuted Christians the world over always choose to die rather than surrender their beliefs. They know they are loved by God, and they love Him—with all of their heart. He proved His love by giving His life. They prove their love by doing the same.

         And it is not as if they are purposely trying to prove their love, as if they had an agenda to display to the world. No, it is simply because Jesus first showed His greatest love for them while they were yet sinners, and He pursued them, and gave His heart to them, and won their hearts, and they loved Him in return with the greatest love and gave their hearts to Him also, and could not possibly do otherwise.

         Real Christians would never recant in a million years. They would never turn away from their faith because they would never turn away from their Lord. His life is infinitely more important than their own and they always choose to lay down their own life for His.

         The greatest love is funny that way.  

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Psalm 51:17

[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.

STAND With Jesus: Shine Your Light

         The number of unreal Christians in the world dwarfs the number of real Christians.

         There are only a few who, like the original apostles, leave everything to follow and obey the Lord.

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         Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” [Mark 10:28]

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         These men truly did leave everything. They began an entirely new life based on the teachings of their new Rabbi, whom they were just getting to know. It is exactly the same as that which Abraham did, in that he left everything behind, literally, putting Haran in his rearview mirror forever.

         Most people who refer to themselves as Christians never do this. Never. There are honest people among us who don’t follow the Lord at all, but certainly keep their options open rather than claim to follow Him but do not.

         “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went.

         “The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go.

         “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.” [Matthew 21:28-31]

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         There was once a city. It was inhabited and taken care of by people of honesty and integrity. No one knew exactly how it began or necessarily when, but the gleam began to lose its shine and some tarnish emerged. Somehow or another, someone and probably a few other someones began to compromise ever so slightly and got away with it. Nobody spoke out or stood against the breach of total honesty. Some appreciated the idea that the heat was off a little so they could relax and maybe engage in some very minor not so good behavior.

         The drift continued until one man finally stood against the detour into little white lies and less than the best conduct. No one came to his defense, though some certainly agreed that he was right. Not wanting to leave his home he settled into a lonely existence. Some turned against him for his stand. Some sympathized with him and the stand he made but were too fearful or possessed too little integrity to stand with him. He eventually became ineffective because he raised his voice no more.

         After some time had passed another man stood up. He did the same as the first. He noticed that things were going south and longed for the days when things were honest and better. This man was treated the same as the first but worse. Instead of shrinking back, this man stood all the more. He refused to stop speaking against the lies and hypocrisy that had begun to take hold.

         He was told to leave. He refused. His family was shunned. His wife and kids were talked about behind their backs in the most evil of ways. Everything began to cave in on this man and he found no respite from the ongoing cold shoulder and personal attack.

         For the sake of his wife and children, he left.

         Three more people stood against this blatant injustice and one of them was killed. The other two quickly disappeared.

         Every time someone stood against the sin of the formerly honest and upright community they were forced to leave. Some just left anyway. Eventually, all the good people who stood up for what was right were gone, which left only the people who had compromised and accepted lives of sin in various degrees. The former high moral code was transformed into a far different code which raised freedom to sin to the top tier. But those living there certainly did not see it that way. They thought their new code was much better and fair.

         As the city grew worse, those who had to make a choice whether to grow worse with it or leave made their choices, and most stayed. Of those who stayed, the majority continued to stay even as the code grew worse. Many others, who would never have wanted to live in the city when it was good and honest, moved to the city and felt comfortable there.

         Evil was winning.

         Every now and then someone stood up against the sin and was either forced out or killed under mysterious circumstances. The remaining populace loved the freedom to sin with no consequence or hindering from those in control.

         What was once a righteous city became unrighteous, simply because all the righteous people left or were disposed of, and all those who refused to walk in righteousness 100% were compromised and grew less righteous by the day.

         Then the day came when the most evil people of the evil city were chosen as leaders. This made the city grow much more evil that much faster. There was then no control anymore on righting the ship. The city had reached the point of no return.

         The inhabitants, however, laughed it up and enjoyed all the fun they were having. The city was riddled with all manner of disease, most notably that of the soul, but was wrapped in the outer adornment of beauty, and looked to the naked eye as a great and wonderful place. A great living could be earned there. The place was popular and prosperous.

         Then the inevitable happened. The evil the inhabitants embraced was no longer enough to satisfy in the forms they had engaged in up to that point. They needed something more. They needed greater forms of evil to satisfy their lusts. Because there was no righteous check on behavior, many worse forms of sin were engaged in.

         In not too long a time, the outward result of all the sin became evident. The city had created a sinkhole of human depravity. The evil people there who had long since passed the point of reform turned on one another. The population declined. The city became a haunt of dark shadows and foul spirits. There were other evil cities that suffered the exact fate.

         Later, when someone did an accounting of all the inhabitants of the original city, from the time it was first formed as a righteous place of light until its final end, he found a stunning statistic. The people who had left the city over the years had brought forth generations of righteous people who lived blessed lives, and these people eventually outnumbered the residents who stayed.

         They began as small groups and lone stalwarts, were hated, and run off, but because of their stand for righteousness, God blessed them in new locations. They created many more cities with righteous foundations that remained. Most of this was done in faraway places. The evil people never noticed the small righteous cities in faraway places.

         But the righteous people began to notice one another. Though their cities were not only far away but far away from one another, they had no communication for many years, but that began to change. After a while, the people of these small cities discovered that there were many, many righteous people all over the faraway places! They began to engage in true fellowship with one another. Their love for one another progressed to love for everyone in these faraway righteous places.

         The curious thing about all of that, though, was even as they began coming together they did it in such a way that it was never really noticed by all the evil people in the evil cities. These righteous cities had grown in secret.

         It was then understood that the descendants of the original good guys who stood against evil had grown and spread far and wide because the original righteous seed continued being fruitful. Though those first great righteous ones who took their stand against evil were cast out, their uncompromising righteousness brought forth generations of righteous people. And though the righteous never outnumbered the evil people overall, they possessed much more power to stand against and overcome evil through their love and community.

         And all those who had compromised so long ago, even to very small degrees in the beginning, only produced generations of people who compromised further with eventually no hope for redemption.

         The moral of the story? Take your stand with the Lord Jesus. You will take some hits. You will be persecuted. Many will think you’re a complete idiot. They will think you joined a cult. They will try to do you physical harm. You will be innocent of charges but thrown in jail. Some of you will even give your lives.

         All of these things are mentioned in Scripture. The Lord taught these very truths. He said all these things would happen. He explained it all a long time ago. But He also said that those who take their stand with Him will be the eventual winners. He said, with regard to His people, that the last will be first.

         In time, as long as we continue to stand with him in integrity and righteousness, the community of the Lord will grow. Though it will grow off the radar at first, it will eventually be seen by all, and all will wonder at its great numbers and righteous influence, and how it even came to exist.

         The Light of His community will outshine the false light of this world, and shine ever brighter forever and ever.

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         The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. [Isaiah 9:2]

         Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. [Isaiah 60:1-3]

         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16]

         “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” [Matthew 10:27]

         “While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.

         “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

         “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,

         ‘To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light

         ‘And from the dominion of satan to God,

         ‘That they may receive forgiveness of sins

         ‘And an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’” [Acts 26:12-18] [1]

         © 2014 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.

Some Are Sent, Some Just Went

I highly recommend the following article by my friend Susan Johnson at her blog, Manoah’s Wife. Please consider your callings as you read this timely and very important post. You will be blessed:

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Some Are Sent, Some Just Went

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God is Love

          We all probably have different definitions of love. Some have love all around them and do not realize it. Some have none at all.

         Life can be cold. Circumstances can be hard and unforgiving. Survivors make the conscious decision to press on regardless. They know they must keep moving or will be swallowed up in pity and despair.

         People all over the world are celebrating love today. Those with loved ones and close relationships are blessed, and should take the time to count their blessings. Millions of others are not so fortunate, though, and be it a matter of their own mistakes or the coldness of others, it is not a good place to be.

         There is something profound in the heart of people that rarely sees outward expression, and has a distinct timelessness to it, as if we have all lived for thousands of years. It plays out like an ongoing flicker of faded pictures and bright, sunny, and colorful moments, when all was so good and joyful one wore a constant smile and felt filled up and satisfied with an undefined goodness.

         But such a thing is always fleeting. I think it is somehow connected to eternity, and to a long ago distant time before sin and evil entered the world, when life was the opposite of carrying around a load of bricks all the time, as if one could almost levitate due to the lightness of being.

         How is it that human beings are so resilient?

         In answer to our hearts, with regard to the timelessness of our souls, and with great respect for these feelings we have of goodness that once was and that which we long for again, someone has done something none of us could ever do.

         We have our great cultural epics and sagas, traditional stories handed down over many centuries that address these particular desires of the human heart that go beyond time and present limitations, and they somehow keep the spark of wonder alive and keep us going.

         We have these hopes articulated in popular song every once in a while, and they stand out, as if someone expressed a thought from a different place that turned heads and caused people to stop in their tracks at a notion they know but do not understand. Millions of lyrics float past and then one hits a nerve in our minds. A show, a movie—and there’s that theme again. It is rare and maybe most don’t notice: “Is there a heaven?” “Oh yeah, it’s the place where dreams come true…”

         And we hold onto that, and we wait, and we hope, and we try to do our part to get there, and we remember when it was easier to get there and actually be there for seemingly long stretches. For those who are fortunate to have such long stretches last a lifetime they should be overjoyed to the point of helping others get there as well, and many do. There are philanthropists in this world who do great favors for others, giving millions of dollars toward worthy causes, and sometimes anonymously.

         That’s the best way to give, you know. Give in such a way that no one knows you are giving. But also, to give in a way that directly helps your fellow man.

         This can be harder than it seems. Some will take advantage. Some are not looking for help to get beyond a particular hard place, but an ongoing dole. Some institutions rake in billions of dollars but never actually touch the heart of mankind. Churches and ministries are grossly guilty of this as well. So much giving is going on but mankind remains throttled by bad circumstances, incredible need, and a massive deficit of love.

         It is the lack of love that is most glaring but it seems it cannot be answered through our own efforts, at least not anywhere close to the way it must. Many of us do a lot of good things, expecting nothing in return, and do it in a quiet way. And this is very good. But we know we need something more. We need something or someone from beyond this realm.

         Everyone knows this, but many shunt it aside as the dream of a child with no bearing on reality. This is a sad thing because it promotes a hard heart and a cynical attitude. It seems most people reach a point where they put such hopes aside, leave them behind, and face the hard facts of life with a dark exterior and a hardened heart.

         Indeed there are times we must do difficult things. There are times we must reach way down and somehow find the strength to keep going and complete certain tasks, and go for broke, and step on anything that has to do with sappy qualities like love and hope. It is the picture of a man going headfirst against the raging wind into the teeth of a mighty blizzard.

         But one cannot exist this way all the time. One will burn out. The greater qualities of life will die off and shrivel away. Hopes will be dashed and cast away never to be found again.

         If someone thinks this is too strong then one needs to connect with people who are going through hell at this very moment and see that it is true. And to show how resilient such people are, one will see that many face great difficulties but decide to soldier on, and the greats somehow do it with a wonderful attitude and a smile. They know that even though their bodies or lives or marriages or families may be broken, they will do their best anyway. These are the ones who face the blizzard with joy, who even take it as a challenge, and who refuse to be defeated.

         But they need our help. We all need each other. And once we get to a place where we can dream again, we realize there must be more. There must be a way to build a field of dreams, or get off a lonely island, or get out of the rat race, or off the merry-go-round, or away from constant pain and heartache.

         We need someone from way out there somewhere to step into our difficult and often pointless lives and show us the way we know exists but simply cannot find. We need a celestial teacher, a guide, a revealer of how things are done, a mentor to patiently explain things to us who will love us and help us and rescue us and take the time to be with us.

         And he said, “I love You, O LORD, my strength.”

         The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

         I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

         The cords of death encompassed me, and the torrents of ungodliness terrified me.

         The cords of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me.

         In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.

         Then the earth shook and quaked; and the foundations of the mountains were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry.

         Smoke went up out of His nostrils, and fire from His mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it.

         He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet.

         He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped upon the wings of the wind… [Psalm 18:1-10]

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         We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment;

         Because as He is, so also are we in this world. [1 John 4:16-17] [1]

         © 2014 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.

Angry Little Preacher and the Ghost Lady: Christian Conference Redux

         There was once a big Christian conference in a major city several years ago. It was headlined by a big name Christian evangelist from another country. Many local preachers were invited, as were their church members.

         The city convention center was rented out—the place used mainly for NBA basketball games—and was nearly filled. The conference had been publicized for months.

         As one who attended my share of rock concerts in my long ago youth in such large venues, it was interesting to see all the different people from all over the city come in. As an usher, it was my job to assist in finding seating for the attendees, but also to direct people to the VIP section.

         The organizers of the event made sure that all the VIPs, in this case church pastors and official ministers, were ushered toward the front section, which was marked off and guarded. I was posted in the far back entrance on the main floor. Pastors came in with special credentials and I directed them to another usher far down the aisle, pointing them in the right direction. If I recall, the VIPs wore certain badges to identify themselves.

         There was kind of an upbeat atmosphere but muted. In the old days one walked into a concert in such large auditoriums and saw people having a great time and looking forward to the show. The inevitable frisbees were flyin’ around, caught by someone in the crowd and flung again, several staying aloft at once.

         But not at our conference. No frisbees. No beach balls, even. There was one thing, though. It was kind of weird, but then again for those who were used to it not so much. Again, I was at the head of one of the two or so main aisles in the back down which every minister had to walk to reach his seats in the front section below the stage. My friend and fellow usher was about halfway down the aisle before me.

         The next thing I know a young lady of maybe twenty years of age suddenly felt like dancing. In the aisle. Close to where my partner was. She was doing one of those worship dances with large graceful movements, her eyes turned skyward in kind of a blank look, as if she was hearing music no one else could.

         Okay. No problem. That’s why we’re here. Glad someone’s getting in the Spirit. It reminded me of something, though…

         I remember many years before in a church I was attending there was a lady who did these kind of spur of the moment worship dances. Except hers were really weird. And they usually occurred at odd times. This was in one of those kinds of churches where such behavior was okay, and maybe even encouraged. The idea was to let people be free to worship the Lord as they felt led. The associated challenge with this approach is that you would get the occasional weird “leading.”

         For example, we had a tastefully trimmed out walk-in baptistery at the far front behind the pulpit. It was located there so everyone could see the baptismal candidate emerge on the left from behind a wall and walk down the stairs of the filled tank into the water. The preacher would meet the candidate there, sometimes in waders, and do the baptizing. It was cool. Then the freshly immersed believer would rise majestically out of the water all smiles and happy. It was a celebration! People would applaud and praise God, and then the newly baptized would climb the stairs of the tank on the opposite end and exit.

         Well, our particular worship dancer would sometimes find her way to the baptistery entrance in the back, unseen by all, and then suddenly emerge from behind the same wall through a narrow outlet and out onto the platform! She was thin with long limbs and would always be holding her arms outward and upward, eyes almost closed for the most part, and glide around.

         During a service.

         Sometimes during the preaching.

         You hoped you didn’t bring a visitor on such nights.

         She was ghostly and pale and wore long loose-fitting light-toned dresses. It was quite the sight. Some people were muffling laughter. Elbows were poking others in the pews good-naturedly to let them know the ghost lady was doing her thing. Most congregants acted like nothing out of the ordinary was going on which made it even funnier. For the most part everything just kept going as usual—listening to the preacher, watching the ghost lady, trying hard to be respectful, and allowing her to worship the Lord in her own unique way. Good times…

         Well, back to our conference—our young lady was dancing in the main aisle completely oblivious to oncoming traffic. People going down the aisle would have to stand there and wait for a moment, looking for an opening to get past her. Finally my partner asked very nicely if it would be okay if she did not block the aisle and perhaps dance in her seat.

         The next thing I know some older gentlemen sitting in the back row close by came unglued and walked quickly down the aisle, his head and shoulders thrown back, aimed directly at my friend. He began to excoriate my fellow usher who was quite taken aback at the treatment. My partner tried to explain but to no avail. The gentleman came walking back to his seat red in the face and quite steamed. “That young lady wasn’t doing anything wrong and should be allowed to dance!” We looked at one another. Everybody saw the whole thing. He sat down madder than hell.

         I decided to go over to him both to stick up for my fellow usher and also attempt to diffuse the situation. I was very cool. I kind of half knelt down to make eye contact and tried to explain that she was blocking the aisle. Then he started yelling at me. “That little girl is a member of my church and I don’t appreciate this!”

         It was then I realized that this little man was a preacher. Somehow or another, his credentials were messed up and someone told him he was not allowed to sit in the clergy section down front. This all happened before I took my post. He was mad enough to fight because he felt slighted. I told him I would try to fix it. He said he no longer wanted to sit up there. His behavior was familiar to me at the time since I was the father of young kids.

         Again, I tried to reason with him and diffuse the situation. I stayed calm. Then he said something or another and I lost it. He remained sitting and we were face to face and I let him have it with both barrels, speaking as low as I could. His wife sitting next to him was the most embarrassed woman in the whole state, and was probably used to his antics. But the guy would not let up. I returned fire. I stood my ground and manned my post. Then he looked at me and yelled, “I’ve been preaching for thirty years and I don’t need you preaching to me!”

         If he had gotten up out of his seat I could not have guaranteed that I would not have knocked him into next week. That little banty rooster preacher was a serious piece of work and was obviously used to having his way.

         Maybe the preacher’s antics and our little discussion became a sideshow among the crowds in the upper sections. Maybe the whole thing played out like a ghost lady episode.

         As these things go I was later questioned that night about what happened. Nothing ever came of it. The mad little preacher stayed in back the whole evening glued to his seat and later tried to make amends and laugh it off, though he refused to admit any guilt. He even mentioned something about us almost getting in a fight. As it was, the corrective of the Lord was strongly applied as it probably had never been before and if the preacher had chosen for it to be applied further it would have been.

         Moral of the story? Not sure. But maybe if we didn’t have a first class section for bonafide clergyites and Pharisees, such people would not get their panties in a wad in the first place whenever they felt slighted. Their attitudes are the polar opposite of what the Lord Jesus taught. Imagine the people back in the angry little preacher’s church who revered this guy as a man of God!

         The idea of spiritual VIPs is about as far from the example of the Lord Jesus as possible. He was always being disrespected and treated bad and He accepted it. It was part of the territory. He never demanded His own way or threw fits when slighted. Unlike many modern day preachers who demand honor at all times, the Founder of real Christianity took on the persona of a servant. He would have never been invited to a conference like this anyway, much less have been offered any credentials, but if He got in I’m pretty sure He’d have to sit in the back. With a perfect attitude, though, and most likely invisible. 

         I later thought that maybe the little hothead preacher who had been a minister for thirty years was given a chance by God to show real Christianity by taking the mistake in stride and sitting in his back seat with a smile. And what if all the preachers given official credentials had tossed them aside and purposely sat in the back or somewhere unnoticed? Would not that have been a great testimony to the Lord Jesus, to have that entire front VIP section empty?

         But no. Too much pride. Too much sorry religious pride.

         And there’s your main malfunction, all you Rev. Pretenders: You refuse the Lord His place and take it for yourself. This is like trading a million nuclear power plants for a flashlight battery. It’s no wonder you never see a move of God!

         For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? [James 2:2-4]

         “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” [Luke 20:46-47]

         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. [Galatians 3:26-28]

            Clergy and Laity distinctions have no place in the Lord’s community. Period. We must all get with the Lord’s program. Proper humility is the order of the day. Repentance is called for. Religious pride must be destroyed. We must walk not in the strength of sinful flesh but in the power of the Lord’s Holy Spirit.

         If there is one central determining factor in explaining why much of Christianity in America is long since DOA it is because the Lord Jesus has been demoted or kicked out and replaced by impotent imposters.

         I’m not sure what the actual purpose of that conference was, except to see how many Christians from different churches we could gather under one roof in geographic unity. Nothing much happened. There was no great outpouring. The foreign evangelist, greatly used of God overseas, had little effect. But, you know, maybe it was a good networking opportunity.

         For those interested in the real deal, though, who want the Lord Jesus to be exalted to His rightful place of honor and authority, who long for an outpouring of God’s Spirit and even a national Great Awakening, there is a clue from the ministry of John the Immerser. The forerunner of the Great One quoted Isaiah the prophet while preaching to the many seeking repentance and right standing with God. Isaiah tells us exactly what must happen should we choose to be one big happy family:

         A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

         “Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley;

         “Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Isaiah 40:3-5] [1]

         Now there’s a Christian conference worth attending!

         © 2014 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 Yoke’s On You

         The Lord Jesus promises us an easy yoke. Think about that. The existence of an easy yoke implies the existence of its opposite—a difficult yoke, which no one really wants but many already have.

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         “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

         “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29-30]

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            Rather than the counterfeit taskmasters we are used to or the dry, empty instruction of lifeless hirelings that do nothing for our hungry souls, the Lord identifies Himself as a gentle and humble teacher with a guaranteed promise.

         He promises a light burden instead of heavy and hard to carry burdens and bleak servitude. He promises an easy yoke, signifying His teaching in the service of God instead of the scribal standard that never satisfies the soul. And He attempts to convince us to trust Him regarding His promises and our discipleship under His authority, that our hearts may be fulfilled and satisfied, and that we find the refreshing we seek.

          His intention is to remove us from the fruitless instruction of others (“learn from Me”) and bless us with the spiritual rest and refreshing we need and desire.

         He wants to take us back through the fog of countless incomplete and incorrect teachings and teachers to the beginning, to the foundation, to the well—to the answer. He quotes Jeremiah:

         Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.” [Jeremiah 6:16]     

         There is another word in the original languages closely associated with the one used for yoke in the above narrative, and is used with reference to a yoked pair. It relates to a rough wooden yoke built for two farm animals standing side by side with their heads yoked together at the neck to work in tandem.

          Could it be the Lord is also telling us to be yoked together with Him as in the above? If so, He has already placed Himself in one side of the yoke and is asking each of us to place ourselves in the other side. By this, He would also be saying He will never ask us to do what He is not doing.

         Consider the implications of this arrangement—whatever the Lord may propose to do will instantly involve us doing it as well. He refers to it as His yoke, not ours. Yet, even in that, once we are yoked together He cannot force us to go along. We must make the choice to work with Him BESIDE Him. And because it’s an easy yoke, He will always consider a pace we can handle.

         This is completely indicative of why Abraham was credited with righteousness. When he entered into covenant with the Lord, as pairing up with Him in a yoke, Abraham committed himself to work alongside the Lord and do whatever was required for the rest of his life. This is the commitment a real Christian makes.

         Are we following the Lord within this arrangement? Yes, certainly. Though He is not geographically in front, He still leads, that is, until we learn to work with Him. At that point following Him becomes natural and second nature.

         This is what the farm animals do. When a pair of animals is first teamed up they must learn to work together. It takes time and effort to synchronize themselves one with the other, and is much harder than it may appear. The two may fight and pull against each other in the beginning, and maybe even buck. And since the driver following behind wants strong and stout animals it is that much harder to get them on the same page.

         For each animal, the arrangement is unnatural. It is difficult enough to be strapped to a plow but to be yoked to another animal as well and be expected to work is next to impossible. The physical strictures are beyond uncomfortable. The entire arrangement demands revolt, which includes yet another brutal cruelty—the callous commands of the driver holding the reins.

         How can these two independent farm animals with minds and instincts of their own make such an unnatural set-up work? What if one lags? What if one is trying to set a stronger pace than the other can handle? What if one becomes obstinate like a stubborn mule and refuses to conform? Eventually one becomes the leader and the other follows along until the two arrive at a united and steady pace.

         This can take quite a while. The driver must drive the team but also have enough patience to make it work. A good team is hard to put together, but once successful, a lot more work can be accomplished with a yoked team than with two singles.

         Consider the pastoral scene before us two thousand years ago. The Lord Jesus was teaching disciples very familiar with the particulars of the illustration. These were rural and semi-rural men, most of whom made a living with their hands. They were in sight of the grainfields of Galilee and likely an existing team of yoked draft cattle working a field. The men would understand the spiritual significance of the Lord’s teaching by seeing the scene right before them.

         Imagine, then, those in another rabbi’s school, or one animal in a tandem yoke. The Lord says any other teacher is essentially a mere hireling who has certainly not entered into a committed discipleship covenant with the student, and that a single draft animal in a tandem yoke meant for two is meaningless. In a spiritual sense, a single unyoked worker can certainly appear to work, but without the Lord can actually get nothing done:

         “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” [John 15:4-5]

         Now, considering the implications in the above passage, note in the following verse how the Lord perfectly modeled both the vine and branches figure and the yoke illustration:

         Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” [John 5:19]

         This is a perfect picture of the Father and Son being yoked together. The Father and Son, however, are not separate in the sense that two farm animals are separate, yet the two separate farms animals yoked together actually become one in an effectual sense regarding the work they accomplish. They pull together with the same exact strength walking at the same exact pace. They learn to work together so perfectly they instantly anticipate the other’s moves and make adjustments. If one animal suffers a misstep or an injury the other compensates for it. The two become a team working as one.

         And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs [Mark 6:7]

         Interesting, huh?

         Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. [Luke 10:1]

         As a tandem team of farm animals, so were these disciples. They were learning to work together.

         The yoke teaching is thus:

         (1) The Father and Son are yoked perfectly together.

         (2) Each disciple individually must be yoked together with the Lord (Who is Father and Son).

         (3) One disciple must be paired with another.

         (4) Each pair must learn to work with each other pair.

         The Lord was so successful in making all this unity happen He was able to gather 120 devoted disciples together in the upper room for the Holy Spirit outpouring of Pentecost! That’s not sixty pairs, though, but a single unit composed of 120 individuals. Each one of these were yoked with the Lord which made the yoking together of all possible.

         It was the Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, who provided the spiritual connective. This is also why the single fire which was manifested as the visible presence of God in the upper room separated into 120 parts, was distributed, and rested upon each disciple. This could not have happened if the 120 were not in spiritual unity.

         This unity was so perfectly formed that the 120 functioned as a single ovum given life by the Spirit of God from which the entire Body of Christ would miraculously grow over the next 20 centuries. How did this happen and why does it rarely happen in comparison with all “Christian” expressions?

         The key is in the apostle Peter’s address to the gathering crowd drawn together by the spectacle. Everyone in the upper room had already obeyed the directive later given by Peter or he would not have told the crowd to do something they had not already done.

         Peter explained the prophecy of Joel and He identified the Lord as the Messiah and told them of His death and resurrection. He then revealed the yoking process designed to bind the people of God together:

         “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

         Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:36-38]

         This is the secret. This is the answer. This is the easy yoke.

         “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” [Acts 2:39-40]

         A great many in the crowd did exactly that, which then continued the process of cell division and growth. By the end of the day the 120 had been multiplied to become 25 times as large!

         So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. [Acts 2:41] [1]

         May your joy be full.

         © 2014 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.

Please Take Time To Worship the Lord:

Throwing Down the Hammer: Conviction of Sin (3)

         Animals do some strange things and may be perceived as evil, especially if one finds himself alone in the woods with a hungry bear. But a hungry bear on his own turf cannot be blamed for eating a dumb human (should have had a proper weapon instead of a can of mace).

         The great predator cats like lions and tigers may be seen as evil when they run down, kill, and eat slow, sick, and dumb antelopes. But they are actually doing a great service to the antelope herd by keeping it strong and alert.

         The humans who used to live in the wild among ferocious and deadly beasts were without doubt very strong and alert, since those who were not did not survive.

         The same thing happens with sin. The righteous people who flee sin and find sin abhorrent are morally strong and live on, but those who embrace sin do not and should not survive. And since sin is progressive, it spreads rapidly throughout a populace and always consumes the majority in time, since only a few are willing to do the work associated with living righteously against the tide of popular opinion.

         This is presently taking place worldwide, but especially in America, where the righteous were formerly in the majority. The morality of America has fallen rapidly and, barring a very strong corrective such as great judgment or a spiritual awakening, will never recover.

         The Lord Jesus said the very last days would be like the days of Noah just prior to the great flood, and this fact should give everyone serious pause. Back then, God had to wipe out all humanity except Noah and his family, for example, because humanity in toto had become a vile collection of filthy vermin completely beyond repentance or salvation. Their sin disease had become terminal. He did the same with Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, as vile and egregious as their sin was, He angrily charged certain cities of His own people with a greater sin:

         “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]

         In spiritual terms, this is what is known as throwing down the hammer. Not only were the majority of the inhabitants of these first-century Galilean cities vile, they were most likely extremely self-righteous and deceived by false religion, in that they refused to honor the very clear ministry of the Lord.

         Miracles had no effect upon them. Preaching the Word of God had no effect upon them. Imagine how enraged they must have become when the Lord said the people of Sodom were not as evil as they were!

         In general, the Lord also prophesied the disastrous fate of His own people, stating that the remaining remnant of the kingdom of David would be destroyed, as well as Jerusalem, and even the great Temple. Which begs the question:

         Why do we not think the same won’t happen to us? The sin of this present world far exceeds the sins of those in the past. Present humanity is more disgusting, more vile, more evil, more rebellious, more hateful, more immoral, more damaging to the planet, more in love with power and wealth, more materialistic, more shallow, more stupid, more self-righteous, more headstrong, and much more prideful. And in the good old USA upwards of 60 MILLION innocent defenseless babies have been legally murdered in extremely violent ways with the full compliance of the government through officials put in power by free elections. And abortions continue as you read this.

         Intelligent and well-informed people know exactly what humanity in general has done to this planet. They know humanity has become a vile disease-carrying parasite destroying the world. This is just fact. But why can’t many of these same people acknowledge the cure? They continue to propose correctives that either don’t work, can never work, or merely work in part but have the overall effect of destroying freedom and liberty.

         God does not want that. God loves humanity. He has a better plan. He proposes to cleanse us through and through and restore our liberty. He made us to be morally strong, free, and holy. Without Him the opposite happens, and is happening.

         We say we understand when mankind throws down the hammer, often by force, to fix something or another, but we have a real problem when God does it. Thus, the hammer must come down, is coming down, and will continue to come down. It is designed to help us all toward repentance. Judgment is a viable part of the cure.

         The majority will still squeal about the cure, though. Most will refuse to get right with God, will dishonor God, will pick a fight with God, will think God is an idiot, and hate God, which means many are not only vile but crazy. Once sin permeates and takes over the brain it transforms an otherwise healthy individual into a pompous little dictator, a mouse that roars, or an uproarious little nitwit. What ultra pride is this?

         “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands?’” [Isaiah 45:9]

         Whatever any individual may want to fix regarding the evil humanity is inflicting upon the world, it is a complete waste of time and effort without repentance and the application of the cleansing blood of God. There must be a circumcision of the heart. One cannot get good from evil or fresh water from a polluted pit. Unless a person is cleansed from and given power over sin and becomes a new creation, unless he or she submits to the Lord Jesus and follows Him and obeys Him, and unless he or she goes forth to help humanity with the real corrective, he or she remains subjected to the problem and is also part of the problem.

         But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” [Luke 20:17-18]

         Here we see the fate of sinful humanity—Repentance or Judgment. The spiritually proactive deal with their sin properly and allow the corrective to be applied and by this attain eternal life.

         For those who choose life, it is possible to lay our burdens down. There is relief. Someone really does care. And He proposes the exact and perfect solution. It’s amazing what good can happen if we just get out of the way, let God lead, recognize our place in the order of things, acknowledge the fact that we have a very serious problem and that God has the only corrective, have a respectful attitude toward the Lord and become a servant, and simply let God be God.

         “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

         “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

         “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30] [1]

         © 2014 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.

Throwing Down the Hammer: Conviction of Sin (2)

         God reveals sin. He knows our thoughts and intentions. He knows our secret sins. We may be able to fool many or most, and even ourselves, but we can never fool God.

         Yet strangely, many of us apparently think that if God is the only one who knows, it’s okay, because He’s a nice guy and doesn’t seem to care too much. He is loving and forgiving and kind, and would never want to embarrass us.

         Part of this characterization has some validity, but it’s simply not true overall. God is Love and He is very loving, but it’s not very loving to know someone has a fatal disease and never disclose the information. Imagine a doctor saying to an assistant, “Oh crud. The tests have uncovered something very bad! But I just don’t have the heart to tell my patient!”

         God wants us to know. So He tells us. Or actually, He tries to tell us. But humans generally do not listen, or they cover the ears. Or they get very angry when conviction comes upon them. Imagine getting angry at the doctor for being the bearer of bad news: “Why you! What’s your problem? I don’t need this!” (And then you die.)

         Actually, when people get such news they usually make the decision to comply with whatever the doctor orders and tell their friends and family they will fight the disease and win. They approach it with a great attitude. They show courage and strength, and trust their physician, the medical testing procedure, and the established program that attempts to rid their body of the sickness.

         But when the aforementioned type of belligerent person hears the Word of God and suddenly knows he is a disease-carrying sinner in need of repentance, he often gets angry and stomps out of the room and gets mad at God and all those sorry Christians who think they’re better than everyone else and goes back to family and friends who he knows will agree with him and thus surrounds himself with fellow angry enabling deniers who refuse to acknowledge the truth. (And unless they repent they all go to hell.)

         Others, though, fall flat on their faces before God repenting with much anguish over their many failures and violations of God’s standards and laws. And they continue at this until they are cleansed by the only cleansing agent for a filthy human soul—the Blood of Jesus. They then find peace “that passes all understanding” and receive the abundant life of God. And when God brings His Good News to a people and some hear it and respond properly and positively, He rejoices over their salvation. He paid the highest price for their welfare and is overjoyed when people apply it and their disease of sin is cured.

         He also brings the Good News to those who refuse the opportunity. Such people become that much more strident against Him. They angrily sign their own death certificate. All they do after that point is a detriment to society as a whole. They become rebellious and hard core carriers of the sin disease and infect all they come in contact with. If it is a good thing to quarantine the diseased, is it not also a good thing to quarantine those with the sin disease?

         In effect it certainly is, but since God wants no one to lose his soul, He will usually remain patient and hope they will change their hearts before passing from this realm. Plus, even though it can be difficult to deal with, He would rather such sinners have interaction with those who are set free, in hopes that their living or spoken witness will bring salvation, as in the wheat and tares parable (Matthew 13:24-30).

         The Word specifically states, however, that real Christians must not have close relationships (being yoked together) with willful sinners. This is their method of quarantine.

         Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

         Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.

         Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. [2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1]

         This may be termed a pre-separation, since at the end all sheep will be separated from the goats. In fact, if there is no “pre-separation” for believers there will likely not be any later separation either, since hanging around goats all the time often turns one into a goat. Real Christians must be separate from the world.

         Though most people do not understand the truth and refuse to try to understand, willfully sinful human beings are basically disease-ridden vermin, regardless of outward appearances, and God must sometimes rid the world of such vermin to protect the world and those who try hard to live right. Hardened criminals who engage in vile practices with no heart for others often shuck all pretense, and their mug shots reveal them for the vermin they are.

         But many less obvious willful sinners engage in unseen or unacknowledged sins (though just as deadly) and are mere posers who successfully transform their outer appearance to appear upstanding. For such confidence people, outward beauty is not merely skin deep but transcends to the soul. Some of the best posers are religious posers.

         “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.” [Matthew 23:27-28] [1]

         I wonder if that brought on any conviction?

         © 2014 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.

Throwing Down the Hammer: Conviction of Sin (1)

         “Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?” [Jeremiah 23:29]

.

         “I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” [Revelation 2:23]

.

         Almost everyone on the planet thinks he is a good person. There will almost always be someone in someone’s circle of family and friends to honor him regardless of his faults or transgressions. Many continue to honor family members and friends in this way after they pass on. In most cases, like at most funerals, those who have passed on are perceived as veritable saints. They are commended for their personalities, work habits, virtues, or seemingly inherent goodness. It’s rare that someone is not honored at his funeral.

         There is thus a natural defense mechanism in those who defend the ones who cannot defend themselves, and to pay tribute to those who they deem good and have lived a good life. Because there is an emotional connection and love, and because feelings are tender, we always have a tendency to remember the good.

         But such remembrances are usually not complete. God certainly sees the good things we have done, but He also sees the bad things. He knows our virtues, but He also knows our vices. Like most of us, I don’t think His intention is to trash fallible human beings at such a time, those who have done many good things in life and had good intentions or possessed what may be referred to as a “good heart.” He proved this by becoming one of us and giving His life on our behalf.

         But He will never simply cover over our sins or refuse to acknowledge them as most of us would do. That is our foible. It is up to each individual to face the facts in this regard.

         …For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… [Romans 3:23]

         Sin is the most uncomfortable aspect of humanity. We all know we do things we would rather not (excepting, of course, the super saints among us), and many are actually so bound by sin and out of control they are helpless to stop bad behavior. Other people try everything they know to be righteous and often succeed from a human standpoint, but are haunted by failures they cannot overcome. Here’s a guy with this exact problem:

         “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” [Romans 7:19] [1]

         Since there seems to be no cure whatsoever, the solution for many is to simply redefine sin. If all the bad we do is actually not sin (something wrong or evil), then such actions are merely basic and indigenous expressions of humanity. In other words, if there is no such thing as sin then there is no such thing as sinners. It is relatively simple and easy to deceive oneself regarding this, but even easier when society as a whole teaches and enforces the idea, since individual sinners find comfort and security in numbers. Hence, the trashing of longstanding moral codes that have proven to be very effective historically at keeping people and societies moral. This is especially true of the Law of Moses.

         The Torah has POWER in that it brings CONVICTION.

         But conviction of sin is not comfortable. Humans would rather not believe they are perpetrators of evil. Thus, the acknowledgement of sin is opposed by self-righteousness, and the self-righteous are currently winning the battle since they have become the majority. The concept of sin is no longer a viable issue within society as a whole. The truth of sin has generally been rejected.

         But why is this idea just as strong among “Christians?” Why have so many church officials and congregations redefined sin and even eliminated it? Before the Lord brings conviction of sin to the world, He must first bring conviction of sin to Christians. When He does, all who pay attention find out who the real Christians among us are, because real Christians respond to the conviction. Real Christians respond with real repentance, since they acknowledge their sins and feel anguish, distress, and sorrow as a result. Barring such a response, all non-responders, including unreal Christians, remain unconverted, are no different than unregenerate humanity, and remain in their sins.

         The Word of God shines a light upon us outwardly and inwardly, to the depths of our hearts and down to the very genetic and DNA structure. If one has any sin, the Word will reveal it. This is why conviction of sin is a GREAT thing, because it shocks every individual with knowledge of their disease. And sin is the worst of any and all diseases, metastasizing even to the soul.

         Many people have virus protection for their computers. Also, people go to the doctor and get checkups. They have routine medical examinations. And such examinations, like scanning one’s computer, are so thorough and all-encompassing that anything possibly wrong is rarely missed. The technology for detecting problems, even at a very early level, is impressive.

         Now imagine the Word of God as a sin detector. God searches the soul the way doctors and medical technicians examine the physical body. While their means are impressive, His methods are perfect.

         But they can only work if we make an appointment.

         © 2014 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.

Judgment of Babylon

         Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying,

         “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.

         “Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.

         “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.” [Matthew 22:1-7]

.

         “As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.

         “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.” [Matthew 10:12-15]

.

         America continues its apparent downward slide into the abyss. Nothing anyone does as a corrective works. In fact, whoever tries to correct the course of the country gets rejected. There are obvious public policy solutions. Many people know exactly what to do to fix the mess but their efforts go nowhere.

         In the past, such correctives would have worked. People would have worked very hard to find a solution, they would apply it, and their efforts would pay off. But no more.

         America has been reduced to a nation of talkers and takers. Talk is cheap and taking is theft.

         The doers are frustrated. They wonder why all their work goes nowhere.

         This is the clear evidence of judgment.

         The reason the solutions won’t work, though they should, is because something very evil is in the way.

         The sin of America has become a massive dark cloud stretching from ocean to ocean and into the atmosphere. It holds everything back. It keeps solutions from working.

         And what is even more terrifying, the evil people doing all the evil are allowed to do it. Nothing stops them. They have become arrogant in their power. They know they have free reign to do whatever they want. They know they have been given permission, authority, and a mandate from the people. They have been granted power to wreak destruction and havoc and they know God will not intervene.

         Until the sin of the country is dealt with nothing will change. It will only get worse.

         The devil has been granted permission in several power centers to have complete control. We see the increasing evidence of this every day. We see more evil, more wringing of hands on the part of those trying to stop the tide, and more of nothing being done to stop it.

         Some are certainly trying. But their efforts are failing.

         The percentage of those who no longer care about the evil is growing, and these have joined up with the evil tide because it is good for them personally and financially. They cheer the establishment of evil. They look the other way. They shut their ears and eyes. They no longer see evil as evil. The evil has become good. Sinning has become a virtue.

         He will come forth and everyone will cheer. He will smile and laugh. In a time when all should be somber and repentant, they will instead rejoice and celebrate. He will take his place. And he will speak with defiance.

         “But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.” [Numbers 15:30-31]

         As time advances, the only ones who will stand against the evil are those standing with the Lord Jesus.

         But just exactly as the Middle Class in America is quickly diminishing before our eyes, so is the middle ground—the place where the undecided have traditionally taken up residence. Those caught in the middle continue to be whittled down. Their weariness grows. Their safe place of refuge is going away. Their substance is being consumed.

         Many heard from God several years ago concerning this phenomenon. They prophesied of a future not too far distant when no one would be able to sit on the fence. All people would be forced to take sides. And the ultimate in side-taking involves the separation of the wheat and tares, and sheep and goats.

         We have reached that time in America. It is not fully realized but it is effectively realized. We are at a standstill. Some, out of frustration, try to force change for the better. Millions are desperate. Millions are fearful. They can’t understand why everything is going downhill and nothing works. And they are greatly disillusioned at standing up for right and putting forth great effort only to see their efforts wasted and have their motivation and reputation characterized as wrongheaded and backward. Those who speak the truth and attempt to do what should be done (and must be done) are characterized as evil incarnate and are violently opposed.

         Pardon the illustration, but it truly is a great wave crashing upon the land. The bad guys have taken over.

         This is what happens when people reject God.

         Now, the Good News:

         Real Christians are growing stronger and more united. They have already partaken of the above scenario many years before and started applying the correct corrective: They surrendered to the Lord. He has cleansed them and raised them up. He has filled them with His power and presence. They are coming forth to do His will. These people are a remnant, but they are a remnant that makes a difference. They pray and see their prayers answered. They believe God and God sees them through. They walk in the power of His Spirit and things get done.

         Mere human virtue and a willingness to do the right thing goes nowhere in these last days. The forces of evil have simply become too powerful for humanity. But the forces of evil will never be more powerful than the Lord.

         A national Great Awakening is beginning. It will not be stopped. As a result, good and evil will be clearly defined. Hidden evil will be revealed. The devil will no longer be able to hide.

         But remember:

         “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” [Matthew 10:24-25]

         The Lord told His disciples to not simply walk on after being rejected, but to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony to the unbelievers and as a witness to their future judgment.

         He explained in the parable of the wedding feast that judgment and retribution will surely come upon unrepentant sinners who refuse His grace and kill His children.

         Though the devil and his people receive great joy in killing innocent and defenseless babies, they receive much greater joy in killing God’s people. These are his trophies. Yet, if anyone thinks God will not avenge their deaths, he will one day have a very rude awakening.

         After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying,

         “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”

         “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

         “Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.’ For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.” [Revelation 18:1-8] [1]

         © 2014 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):

http://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:

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

Entering The Miracle Realm (Part 3)

         Abraham chose to believe God’s promise and Isaac was the result, though it happened 25 years later.

         Mary, the Lord’s mother, told everyone in the beginning that her Son was the result of a miracle pregnancy and birth, but no one believed her. Some did believe, however, when the Lord performed His first miracle, 30 years later.

         This means that faith in God’s promises also requires time. The one to whom the impossible promise was made must remain faithful until the impossible promise happens—in God’s timing.

         Joseph remained faithful and pure throughout his 13 years in captivity after a great betrayal. His father thought he was dead. No one knew where he was. No one came looking for him. He was completely cut off from his family.

         But prior to all the abject misery he was subjected to, God gave him a couple of dreams revealing his future and his future standing. He knew these dreams were God’s Word to him and he never lost sight of their implications and future occurrence.

         Therefore, before anything happened or even began to, God gave Abraham a promise—God’s promise to Abraham came first. The angel Gabriel told Mary all about her Son before she conceived. God gave Joseph dreams before the challenging, lonely sojourn he was sent on that resulted in the salvation of his family.

         We thus cannot simply believe in something happening unless it first involves God’s promise of its occurrence. We may have specific promises made to us specifically by God, or we may have the promises He makes in His Word, such as abundant life. Though Abraham lost faith halfway toward the promise, he regained it and returned to The Miracle Realm:

         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. [Romans 4:19-22]

         The Lord Jesus is THE DOOR to abundant life and the coming true of every promise He makes. But one cannot say he believes in God without also believing in His promises and in His miracle power. Isaac was a miracle. The Lord’s birth was a miracle. Joseph rising from the lowest pit to become the effective ruler of Egypt was obviously miraculous. 

         If one DOES believe in God, according to the Lord’s definition, the evidence of that faith will be there—miracles will happen. This is why miracles followed the ministries and lives of real believers in the first century. It is also why NO MIRACLES follow the ministries and lives of non-believers, whether they claim to be Christians or not.

         Unreal Christianity engages in much fakery and pretension. It insists on its authenticity though the fruit is not there. If the spiritual fruit is not there then the grapevine is either not producing or it likely does not exist in that place.  

         IF THERE IS REAL BELIEF, THERE WILL ALSO BE REAL MIRACLES. THESE TWO ALWAYS GO TOGETHER. THIS IS THE UNDENIABLE PROOF OF GOD’S PRESENCE.

         “…For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” [John 3:2]

         The miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit of God are the evidence of real believers who refuse to believe in circumstances that disagree with God.

         “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

         “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

         “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

         “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” [John 15:5-8]

         When the presence of the Lord has been rejected, there must be a substitute to give the illusion of authenticity. The Pharisees were absolute masters at doing this. They were incredibly brilliant in putting on fake spiritual performances and this was exactly why the Lord called them stage players. Their speaking ability, intelligence, knowledge, and pageantry was unmatched. They constructed a large, highly detailed living deception, a veritable temple, due to not having the presence of God. They knew most people are greatly impressed by such surface manipulations and the appearance of religious authority. As a result they reveled in the adoration and respect it gained them, including the social standing and wealth.

         The apostle Paul had been one of these but did a complete 180 when he gave his life to the Lord. Because of his real faith the Lord Jesus took away all the fake props and resulting religious pride, and blessed him with Himself and the actual evidence of His presence.

         And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.

         For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

         I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1Corinthians 2:1-5]

         If one is a Christian that does not believe in miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit, then one is a Christian that does not believe in God, even if he claims to. The claim itself is worthless. It must be confirmed by evidence.

         The life of Abraham contained this evidence. The Lord’s ministry contained this evidence. The ministry of the early believers contained this evidence.

         As a further test of his faith, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Isaac. Remember, if there’s no Isaac, there is no future Savior of the world and we all go to hell.

         WHEN GOD MAKES A PROMISE HE THEN SPEAKS DEATH TO IT. HE DOES THIS SO THE PROMISE WILL NEVER COME TRUE UNLESS IT IS ACTIVATED AND RESURRECTED BY FAITH, AND IN HIS TIME.

         Abraham obeyed the Lord’s instruction and set out to sacrifice his son.

         By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. [Hebrews 11:17-19]

         Abraham believed in the power of faith and practiced it. He believed in sacrifice and practiced it. He believed in giving and practiced it. He believed in the concept of circumcision and practiced it. He even believed in resurrection from the dead. ABRAHAM OBEYED GOD AND THE MIRACULOUS EVIDENCE OF HIS FAITH WAS DEMONSTRATED IN HIS LIFE.

         He lived in The Miracle Realm. His eyes were opened. He saw what no one else could see. Out in the desert he peered almost 2000 years into the distant future and understood the blood covenant. He understood the gift of righteousness. He understood the reason why. Because he believed God He SAW Salvation:

         “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

         So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

         Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” [John 8:56-58] [1]

         © 2014 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.        

RELATED POST: The Edge of Faith

Entering The Miracle Realm (Part 2)

         The Gospel of John mentions that the children of God, like Isaac, are each miracle children:

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

         Again, the Lord must be first and there must be a covenant with Him before anything else can possibly happen. The old must die so the new can be born.

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

         WHENEVER GOD BRINGS FORTH A NEW BIRTH IT IS ALWAYS A MIRACLE.

         Christians who have never had a new birth experience but claim to be believers are only believers in a religious sense. They are believers according to the will of man, or according to religious man or religion. Without a new birth there is no heart change. There is no circumcision of the heart. If they oppose the new birth they are Ishmaels who mock Isaac and fight against the people of God.

         But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. [Galatians 4:29]

         The Pharisees who fought the Lord were Ishmaels. Ishmael fought Isaac. He made fun of Isaac. There was no possible way these two could ever be in fellowship. It was impossible—UNLESS ISHMAEL REPENTED AND BECAME A MAN OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE LIKE HIS FATHER ABRAHAM. Some Pharisees repented, for example, and became real believers.

         What God impressed upon me regarding the inspiration of this article is that in order to enter The Miracle Realm one must choose to believe God and not believe circumstances that do not agree with God’s promise.

         For example, the Lord said he came to give us abundant life:

         “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]

         Therefore, any circumstances that disagree with that life must not be accepted or believed in. He kept telling the people He healed that their FAITH made them well. Their faith, though, had to be combined with God’s POWER (dunamis) and one cannot be the recipient of God’s power without first being the recipient of God:

         ONE MUST FIRST BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD BEFORE THE MIRACLE CAN HAPPEN, WHICH MEANS ONE MUST ALSO STOP BELIEVING IN ANYTHING THAT DISAGREES WITH GOD.

         When people came to the Lord seeking healing, those who were healed were those who first believed the Lord and believed IN the Lord. The Lord was already there, and His miracle power was already there. His great love and compassion were already there. What they needed was faith in God. If they added their faith in the Lord, believed what He said, believed in what He could do and wanted to do for them, and gave themselves to Him, A MIRACLE HAPPENED. ABUNDANT LIFE HAPPENED.

         “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 6:38]

         ONE CANNOT GET LIFE FROM GOD UNLESS ONE FIRST GIVES LIFE TO GOD.

         If one wonders why the miracle never happens, it is most likely because one has faith in the circumstances or beliefs that oppose God and thus cancel out the power of God. And there is an element of selfishness somewhere. In other words, one practices subtraction instead of addition (giving).

         Such UNBELIEF (apistia) is an actual power. It is a kind of anti-faith—a miracle killer—a force that fights against faith. It will support circumstances and beliefs that oppose the Word of God. It is based on what the natural eye can see and not on what the spiritual eye can see. It is based on the comprehension of the natural mind and not on that of the spiritual mind which is aligned and in agreement with the mind of Christ. It stems from an uncircumcised heart.

         And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. [Mark 6:5-6] [1]

         Since righteousness is a gift and not something that a person can earn or work up or buy, one can only receive righteousness by receiving the Lord and by first submitting to Him 100%.

         Again, one must enter The Miracle Realm to receive righteousness just like receiving any other miracle. AND BECOMING RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD IS A MIRACLE! This is what being born again entails: New birth—the death of the old (unbelief) and birth of the new (faith).

         IF THIS IS TO HAPPEN, ONE MUST NO LONGER BELIEVE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE THAT DISAGREE WITH THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS AND DENY LIFE TO ISAAC.

         He came in part to heal physically blind eyes, for example. Unbelievers claim such healing is impossible. The circumstances of life say such healing cannot happen, and that no one has the power to make it happen. The Lord Jesus disagrees and says He can make it happen.

         He can make anything happen. One must choose, therefore, who to believe. One cannot believe both.

         They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”

         And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”

         And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:20-23]

         © 2014 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.

Entering The Miracle Realm (Part 1)

         Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. [Genesis 15:6]

.

         We all know the verse. We have read it and quoted it many times. We have heard it preached and taught in church, on television, and probably on the radio. We all think we probably know what it means.

         For me, it has been an ongoing revelation. The idea that Abraham believed and as a result was made righteous never fully satisfied me. I knew there had to be more.

         The apostle Paul gives us a very good explanation in Romans 4:

         What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

         For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

         Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness… [Romans 4:1-5]

         So Abraham understood that the righteousness he must receive would not be the result of his own efforts. He learned that righteousness is purely a gift, as Paul states in the next chapter:

         For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. [Romans 5:17]

         REIGN IN LIFE?

         Another pretty big clue is that Abraham received a promise:

         Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” [Genesis 15:4-5]

         Now, before this, at the beginning of his journey, the Lord told Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make you a great nation…” But He did not specify how this would happen.

         Once they arrived in Canaan, the Lord stated: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). Abraham must have assumed it meant he would somehow have a family. All he had, however, was a certain Eliezar of Damascus whom he referred to as one born in his house, though not his offspring. He took his concern to God regarding this and we know the rest of the story:

         Abraham and Sarah would have a child though they could not have children.

         This is what Abraham believed. He believed the Lord was telling him the truth in promising him he would have a son, though such an event would be physically impossible. This faith in God and belief in His impossible promise coming to fruition is what made Abraham a righteous man.

         Later, I understood that Abraham didn’t simply believe something he already saw in the present, he believed in something he could not see in the future, and he pledged himself to God that he would be obedient in whatever God told him to do.

         Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. That made perfect sense and added to the spiritual fact. Most people would never sign off on such a contract. And it was a contract. It was a covenant ratified between God and Abraham and was based on an impossible promise. If Abraham was to believe God, he would have to believe the impossible.

         Here is the key: ABRAHAM DID NOT BELIEVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES NO MATTER HOW REAL THEY APPEARED IF THEY DISAGREED WITH GOD’S PROMISE.

         Abraham and Sarah could not have children but God promised Abraham he would have a son. This makes no sense to the rational mind. It is scientifically impossible, at least on the surface according to known facts.

         The only way for such an event to take place then, is by entering The Miracle Realm. This is what happened. Abraham believed God especially because what God said made no sense. This is where his faith came in.

         He made the decision to believe God’s promise. He chose to believe God. He heard God. He knew he heard God. And he knew what God said. But he also knew they could not have kids. So he believed God had the power to overcome that fact and would overcome that fact—SOMEHOW, SOME WAY.

         However, in order for Abraham to enter The Miracle Realm he must first give his life to God. And giving one’s life to God means a person must commit to doing anything and everything God says to do, both in the present and in the future. Abraham did this. He signed off on the covenant. Making the covenant with God always comes first.

         Later though, after being faithful for several years, Abraham stepped out of faith. He violated the covenant. He lost faith in God and disobeyed God by choosing to obey his wife who had no faith (barren). He decided to leave The Miracle Realm and go back to the world of man where faith was not required.

         As a result they created Ishmael, who was birthed according to purely natural means by someone who was NOT Sarah. This was NOT faith. If there would be a miracle, God said Sarah must be the mother.

         Though Ishmael was loved by God, and though Ishmael’s descendants were and are loved by God, Ishmael is not Isaac, Hagar is not Sarah, and the fallen world of man is not The Miracle Realm:

         For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.

         This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

         But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.

         For it is written, “REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”

         And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. [Galatians 4:22-28] [1]

         © 2014 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 Greatest Secret

           And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

           Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

         “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” [Matthew 10-13]

         In my previous article, I made an attempt to reveal a little light regarding Secret Societies, those mysterious behind-the-scenes organizations often composed of very powerful people.

         The United States of America was in part founded by members of such groups. Our first president was a member in good standing of one such Secret Society and never absolved himself of his lifelong membership.

         Though not all of those who played principle roles in the formation of this country belonged to secret groups, those who did seemed to play a larger role than those who did not. Such was their power at that time.

         Two questions: (1) Because of such facts does it somehow lessen both the necessity and pertinence of the founding this nation, or diminish the individual freedom gained as a result? And (2) What does this have to do with real Christianity?

         Glad you asked (or possibly thought of asking).

         First of all, in order for a group to be established, stay in existence, and remain viable, it often has to use some form of tact or secrecy. For Christians, such secrecy stems from the very parables the Lord Jesus taught. Rather than a cut-and-dried formulaic approach, He used a parabolic form of revealing truth that demanded the direct participation of His followers.

         Instead of the passive forms of indoctrination used by the majority of teachers, religious hucksters, gurus, mystics, and even many philosophers from ancient times to the present, the founder of real Christianity preferred not the usual indoctrination process of forced dogma and non-interactive “sermons,” but alive and lively mutual and reciprocal communication. He wanted discussions. He wanted His listeners to engage, to use their minds, to consider His sayings and respond.

         When this form of teaching is not being used, one can rest assured that a method of instruction designed to bypass critical thinking is being applied in an effort to have maximum impact on impressing relatively unused hard drives and create anything from a shallow-minded cult to a universal sect.

         This method may be fine when properly teaching first-graders how to read or use basic arithmetic. The young ones have no established data bank to accept or refute such instruction and such instruction in its purest form utilizes hard facts and fixed fundamental absolutes. One can thus afford being dictated to somewhat, but later interaction with parents and loved ones regarding such instruction is a must.

         Now, the Lord certainly taught facts and He certainly used and supported the Mosaic code. He never spoke against the Law of Moses but did allude to its misapplication and misinterpretation by certain religious leaders who taught according to rote and demanded unconditional acceptance with no dissent.

         Thus, the casuistic method of the Pharisees appears much like the methods traditional, institutional unreal Christianity has used throughout its long heyday. It is a teaching method that has an answer for everything, down to the atomic level, and engages in dogma-domineering of both large block fundamentals, the smallest minutia, and everything in between.

         Such teaching not only does not need an interactive, responsive discussion, it condemns it.

         The reason most Christians do not see this is because they have been conditioned to accept a false modus and consider the Lord’s actual method as inappropriate at best and outright disrespectful at worst.

         And there’s your problem: “If you do not listen to me properly, give me the floor, and never question my core beliefs then you are disrespecting me as a teacher/minister/reverend/priest/pastor.”

         Such a response usually reveals a person so insecure in his religious beliefs and practices that he must have large artificial constructs all around him to support his standing, rank, status, and stature, and to enforce his absolutist all-encompassing theology and doctrine.

         These people are playing hardball with no ball on a fake field and when they get on a real field with real players they are exposed for the jacked-up pretenders they are. Without such great Hollywoodish props to fake people out they would be standing alone in the midst of people with lively brains who would undoubtedly take issue with their false religious clothdom and hardwired casuistry.

         By the demanding of total allegiance and professing an answer for everything, a prospective disciple (student, congregant) is cut off from hearing God.

         “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]

         The counter intuitive nature of such religious indoctrination, which seemingly exists openly and without guile, must actually depend on secrecy to remain outwardly legitimate. Otherwise, it would not be issued forth as something never to be questioned, and it would not treat dissenters with the vile disgust and anger it is historically known by.

         So, what am I driving at? I’m driving at the actual need for secrecy in many pursuits, such as that used by the Lord (and including the need for it in the founding of a free republic), whether or not some use it incorrectly or for sinister reasons.

         If not for the tight-lipped secrecy and strong organization employed by Secret Societies and others in the founding of this country, there might possibly not be an America. The American Revolution happened with their direct involvement for better or worse as a matter of historical record.

         What this portends is simply the fact that some had one agenda and others had another, but all such agendas agreed on the need for FREEDOM. This is how Great Awakenings work. The real ones begin in the spiritual sphere and ripple out from there.

         During the American Revolution, one man wanted religious freedom because real Christians were denied such freedom for many centuries by evil demon-possessed religious autocrats and pinheaded inbred monarchs in Europe. Others wanted political freedom. Most wanted economic freedom and the liberty from being taxed and regulated to death by those mentioned above.

         In the early centuries real Christianity had no choice but to use secrecy simply to stay alive, since the community of the Lord was made illegal, both by the Jewish ruling authorities and later by the dreaded iron-fisted Roman Empire. Our forebears were wanted men and women, and they had to use tact and genius to do their work of evangelizing the world, often behind the scenes. Many were caught though, and many were killed, but the movement was never stopped.

         As we fast forward to modern America in the last one hundred years or so, we see that much of that which refers to itself as Christianity has indeed been stopped, and has become relatively dead and useless. Nevertheless, the witness of real Christianity has thrived though greatly persecuted. At the height of America’s material wealth and prestige, many Christians succumbed, and wanted no mention of the Lord’s real teachings.

         But now, as America is descending into a moral and economic abyss, a curious and wonderful event is taking place: Real Christians are coming forth. A Great Awakening is happening. What has been done in secret for the last half century or so is now beginning to produce fruit outwardly. The ones formerly involved in the hardest foundational work will be the greatest recipients of the outpouring and the ones most used of God within it.

         I’ll have more on this theme in the immediate future. But for now know this: The Lord Jesus is in charge. He never uses force. He has granted and respects free will. He expects us to use our free wills and our brains. He expects us to utilize every gift and blessing we’ve been granted. And His greatest blessings come to those who do things His way, because His way is the best way. This has been proven historically.

         But those who refuse a closer walk with Him, many “Christians” included, will end up joining the bad guys against the Lord’s people. And most will think they’re doing God a favor:

         “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” [John 16:2]

         (Many Christians in western countries historically blow off such pronouncements because they do not seem to apply. But we better start paying attention.)

         There is nothing to be done about those who refuse to see. They are engaging in willful blindness. They have either been indoctrinated to the hilt, something to which they freely submitted, or they are simply apathetic toward truth. Not even the Lord was all that concerned about healing their blind eyes. By His behavior and teaching method, it was up to them to hear Him. And until they did they were given a steady diet of parables that they neither understood nor applied to themselves.

         But those with eyes to see will know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Revealed truth will fill them, and they will be the recipients, on this earth, of the oracles of God, especially the greatest secret of all:

         …The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. [Colossians 1:26-27]

         And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. [Acts 4:31]

         “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8] [1]

         © 2014 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.

RELATED POSTS:

Blessed Are The Eyes That See

The Partial Bliss of Ignorance

New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 1)

New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 2)

I and My Father Are One and The Same!

The Presence of the Devil

All Seeing Eye         In Secret Societies, the people comprising the lowest levels have no idea what is really going on at the highest levels. A false narrative is put forth as truth, and it is done in such a way to indoctrinate initiates without the initiates knowing they have been indoctrinated.

         Part of the indoctrination process includes infusing the soul and mind of the initiate with the perceived fact that the society he has joined is the best, most prestigious, first in both importance and influence, and most profitable and advantageous for his life and career.

         And to prove this, the initiate will be given an open door into some such benefit he would probably not otherwise receive, such as employment, to go along with his initial benefit of belonging to a group, something everyone needs and desires.

         As the initiate travels upwards through the various degrees, he gains more knowledge and benefits. His life begins being built around and upon the precepts and initiatives of the order, and he begins becoming closer in alignment with the true purpose and intentions of the society, and those toward the upper levels who comprise it.

         As long as the process takes place through a properly paced and methodical fashion the member grows in his awareness, becomes somewhat distant to the members of the lower orders in the sense of only revealing the knowledge allowable and not revealing the higher knowledge he possesses, and continues in his gaining of higher knowledge and growing closer to those in and around his level.

         By ascending this ladder of knowledge, he grows closer to understanding the secret teachings that exist only for those at the top who give themselves wholly to the society, and the more his very life is built upon and within said teachings and the society itself. Though he started out committed, he reaches a point of visceral commitment to the society from which he could never exit without destroying his life and that of his family and future descendants.

         This is why those at the higher levels never leave. The benefits are incredible. They begin receiving the best jobs, the most money, begin moving in the highest circles, and attain a virtual heaven on earth with reference to wealth, material possessions, and political influence. They discover that there is a hierarchy of powerful people who rule the planet, and that they are becoming part of it.

         During the heyday of the mafia, it is said one could never leave after achieving a certain level, simply because he knew too much. The mafia was a society that clearly instructed its members that they were members for life, and to leave would be the equivalent of treason. As long as a member obeyed the dictates of the order, remained loyal, and did whatever was asked of him he would remain in excellent standing and would be the recipient of the full benefits. Part of being an excellent member was never being a “stool pigeon.” One must never reveal anything that was not to be revealed. The penalty for treason was death.

         Thus, those who make it to the highest levels of the most prestigious Secret Societies never reveal anything that would expose them for what they are. They never reveal their influence and machinations behind the scenes, their positions of power, their true means of wealth, or the mystical knowledge they possess that makes them what they are.

         Part of their secret is that they convince lower initiates there are no secrets. They convince them that there is absolutely nothing sinister or held back, that all is open to see for whoever might want to see it, that what you see is all there is, and that the very idea of a Secret Society is absolutely ridiculous.

         But once one climbs the ladder for a while and gets vested, he realizes he was lied to, but for his own benefit and that of the Society as a whole. The key to keeping secrets then, is having a vested interest to do so. By revealing secrets one loses his vesting, or his benefits. It is the equivalent of being bounced from a bar or being a stoolie. Everyone within the society disowns him. No one will help him or grant him a position or employment. He essentially gets kicked to the street. And some pay with their life.

         For any single man it is easier to get out, but the benefits of the society extend not only to the individual and his immediate family, they continue to extend to his descendants. Long term Secret Societies develop a gradualist approach that honors a family line, and as long as the individual descendants toe the mark and do all that is required, the benefits keep coming. This is actually very good for the society because it develops multi-generational loyalty and establishes solid family groups that act as both the foundation and glue that keeps it together and stable.

         But for one to think that only human beings are involved in such longstanding, high level, powerfully influential, and extremely wealthy Secret Societies is not only naïve, it reeks of pure bullheaded, stiff-necked, and close-minded ignorance.

         Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” [Matthew 4:8-9]

         And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” [Luke 4:5-7]

         The Lord Jesus calls the devil “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31, 14:30, and 16:11). This is archon kosmos in the Greek. It refers to that which has been built on this planet by the devil and his invisible guys in concert with fallen humanity. This kosmos is not the planet, it is the fallen world of sinful man built upon this planet. It existed at the time of our Lord when He revealed it, exists now, and existed long before the Lord walked among us.

         It has managed to circumnavigate the globe. It has succeeded in establishing itself almost everywhere and has achieved its greatest level of unity and universality to date. It will eventually succeed in becoming a single worldwide entity in complete control of everything with complete knowledge of everything and everyone.

         Its absolute and total fullness is almost here.

         Yet, there is one, and only one other society on this planet that is not part of this kosmos, and will never be—the community of the Lord Jesus. Hence, there has always been and always will be persecution directed from the devil’s kingdom against the Lord’s kingdom. It is the battle of Light and darkness, and as far as the devil is concerned, one must either join up and worship him or be killed.

         Thus, the devil has built a universal Secret Society with himself ruling from atop a mystical pyramid. But one of the great secrets to his success in denying that he has done any such thing. And even more than this, he denies that he even exists. Its much easier to stay hidden when he indoctrinates people into believing he’s not even there to begin with.

         But the Word of God reveals him. The Lord Jesus exposed him:

         When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. [Colossians 2:15]

         As a result, the Lord Jesus has built a community composed of those who were formerly under the authority of the devil:

         Such were some of you;

         But you were washed,

         But you were sanctified,

         But you were justified

         In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ

         and in the Spirit of our God. [1 Corinthians 6:11]

         Every member of the Lord’s community has been born into it (John 3:3-8). Every member enters through faith and repentance. Every member obeys Him, His teachings, and His commandments. Every member is saved by grace. Every member is wholly committed to Him in love and honor. All of this is required, or there can be no actual fellowship with God or one another.

         But there are deceivers and those who have been deceived. Some who are members of the first group think they are members of the Lord’s group. And one must notice that unreal Christianity in all its forms is built exactly like a Secret Society and is in fact the same thing, and exists as part of the devil’s kingdom.

         Unreal Christianity contains a hierarchy, a mystical pyramid structure, an initiate program, a spiritual ladder, ignorance of its true existence and purpose at the lower levels comprised of most of its members, and secret knowledge known only to those at the top. It is worldly, looks like the world, pays much more attention to head knowledge than possessing a true heart for God and knowledge of Him, and has much more in common with ancient religions than the community of the Lord Jesus. Its members refuse to be filled with the Spirit of God as per the Book of Acts historical model, and has invented a baptismal formula that refuses the Name Above Every Name.

         The Lord warned us to be aware of very strong deception, but most refuse to consider the fact of their own deception. The answer should be straightforward and simple, but because of the devil’s “Secret Gnosis” placed upon and mixed within false forms of Christianity, it is just as the Lord said:

         “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” [Luke 12:1-2]

         To close, John warns us:

         For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

         Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.

         Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

         If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. [2 John 1:6-10]

         And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments… [2 John 1:11] [1]

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Let Every Day Be Christmas 2013

         This really is a great time of year, of course. Regardless of whether one is a practicing Christian or not, people in general have a greater tendency to appropriate the spirit of Christmas during the holiday season. Most are nicer to one another and more accommodating. Many live out the Golden Rule by visiting friends and relatives, engaging in quality fellowship and family time, smiling a little brighter, giving gifts, helping others, and loving one another.

         In other words, we all generally do as the Lord Jesus taught us to do. Though it is not really His birthday, we celebrate it at this time and it makes all the difference.

         After the holidays, however, most people go back to their regular lives of disobedience and indifference toward God. There is a quick return to doing things their way, living their way, sinning their way, demanding their way, hating their way, and forgetting all about the wonder of Christmas.

         For most, this means Christmas is merely a time to briefly touch upon the reality of human existence and the answers and gifts each of us has for each other. It is a faux construct revealing the truth of how most of us wish it could be but will rarely be. It is a time to celebrate the mere idea of the Christmas message. It is a time when people doing good things is culturally legal, where one’s good heart blends with everyone’s and brings no personal disdain as a do-gooder or clueless nice guy. People set aside their prejudices and hatred because the pressure’s off. We get a lift from giving. Joy is allowed a place in our hearts. Those who rarely smile grin a little.

         But it is all only temporary. The New Year will bring a return to the rat race and justifiable lying, cheating, and slander. Bad attitudes are only placed on hold during the Christmas season. Most people do not actually repent. Most people do not actually embrace the Lord and obey His teachings. As wonderful as it all is, Christmastime is often an aberration.

         Why can’t we live out the spirit of Christmas all year long? Some of the reasons are as follows:

(1) It would no longer be a special once-a-year season.

(2) Too much work! (Decorating, shopping, entertaining, family—Yikes!)

(3) People cannot fake love for that long.

         The real reason?

         Most people refuse to make the giant leap toward real repentance and living a spiritually-disciplined lifestyle. Most people cannot conceive of possessing an inner joy all year long. Most people do not know the Lord Jesus and do not want to know Him. And this includes most “Christians.”

         It is far easier to obey one’s will than His will.

         It is far easier to be deceived than know the truth.

         I recently stated on this site that most churches would never allow the Lord Jesus to be in charge of their operations. This also holds true for most of us who say we are Christians. But for those fellowship groups who would agree to let the Lord be the boss, let 2014 be the year we accomplish this at a higher and faster rate, and to a greater degree. Let real Christians do the same. Let us truly love one another, help each other, and see about one another. And let it last all year long.

         My hope this Christmas is that it will continue being Christmas. Keep buying gifts and giving gifts. Keep entertaining and blessing others. Keep the wonder and the happiness and the love. Make your heavenly Father proud. Indeed, make Him cry tears of joy. Move His heart with your attention to His curriculum and course of personal conduct. Make Him pleased with your discipleship. Honor Him as your Lord and Savior who stopped at nothing to bring you abundant life. Love Him with all your heart and love one another as you love yourself.

         Be blessed this Christmas. Be very, very blessed. Remember the One who made it possible. Thanks to all of you who have read my articles, commented on them, and passed them on to others. I especially want to thank those of you who have subscribed and allowed me to send out my “bothersome email updates.” You have all been a great blessing!

         It is my belief that 2014 will be a pivotal year in many respects, but mostly as a year when an even greater number of real believers will be born into the kingdom, when many Christians will rededicate their lives, when many more solid groups, spiritual communities, and fellowships will be formed, and when the Lord’s people become even greater salt and light for such a time as this.

         We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening, a time when the people of God will prove the love and power of God, when the Book of Acts comes to life, when real miracles will become more common and more known, and when real fellowship among all real believers takes place in a way it never has before.

         It is impossible to lose when on the Lord’s side. Allow the wonder of Christmas to stay in your heart all year long. May we all be real and may we all keep loving.

         And may we all have a very Merry Christmas.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Duck Dynasty: I Support Phil Robertson

         I discovered Duck Dynasty about a year ago. It was an immediate hit with me. They were showing one show after another and I kept laughing through each one. It was a good night.

         I found out later they were Christians. And I appreciated them all the more. Standing up for the Lord Jesus is not an easy thing to do these days in America. In my memory, though, it’s never been easy. It’s just getting more difficult.

         Why? Because in the not so distant past people would make fun of you, run you into the ground, call you all manner of derogatory names, gossip about you, and generally make you feel like the biggest idiot who ever walked the earth.

         It has now developed into something much more sinister.

         This has always been the case. Real Christians catch the worst of a sinful world. Unreal Christians simply blend into and become part of a group or a congregation, the way gang members do, or ancient small communities up against the world did. And if this is done in America where people have rights to peaceably assemble and practice whatever their religion may be, they will receive virtually no persecution whatsoever.

         But when the group is small and dedicated to the Lord, the individuals making up the group will have a hard row to hoe. And individuals will have the toughest time. Imagine how hard it was for the Lord after they kicked Him out of the synagogues for good.

         On top of it, the Lord instructs His disciples to remove themselves from their groups at intervals and travel throughout this world of darkness preaching the Gospel to make more disciples. The only way to do that is just get out there and do it. And one must be passionate about it or will have little success.

         Practicing real Christianity is a 100% option. It demands all of one’s heart. It takes everything a person has. Oftentimes, everything one has is only good for staying alive and maintaining. But no believer is asked to experience anything the Lord has not already experienced. He got the worst of it.

         It all goes with the territory:

         “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

         “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

         “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.

         “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.

         “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!

         “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.

         “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:16-28]

         The Lord told us to preach the Gospel. There are two basic parts to the Gospel. One involves the unconditional love of God. One involves repentance from sin.

         Loving and being loved is the easy part. It is a supreme act of love to go forth preaching the Good News to those who are bound by sin and the terrible effects of sin. When the Gospel is presented correctly the way the Lord presented it love comes first. One must have the love of God. It must be real.

         But one must also define sin and expose it. This is the hard part. This is what gets real Christians killed. Prior to hearing the real Gospel preached for the first time I considered myself a good guy. I never really thought that much about sin. But when I heard the Gospel I suddenly knew I was a sinner. I discovered that I was violating God’s laws. I later realized I was living according to a moral code that was perfectly fine and even very good according to a worldly standard, but I came up very short according to God’s standard.

         It grieved me. In my own way I had always loved the Lord, or so I thought. Being raised in a Christian home by good parents gave me an understanding at an early age that Jesus was a cool guy. As I got older and began venturing out into the world I found out that the world was composed of many, many jerks—they treated people bad, had no heart or compassion, cussed like sailors, and had no inkling of love toward the Lord or others.

         And this was only in grade school.

         As I got older it only got worse. We all know this and we deal with it.

         Long story short, I found out that religion is no substitute for the Lord. By the time I got out of high school I went on a search for truth. My hunger for “I knew not what” allowed the Lord to guide me over in His direction.

         He changed my life forever.

         The same thing happened to Phil Robertson though at an older age. He gave his life to God. I’ve included his testimony at the end of this article.

         The words he spoke in an interview that hit the newsstands yesterday have become the equivalent of a shot heard round the world concerning America’s moral compass and our right as Americans to speak freely.

         As anyone who has read my blog knows, I supported Ron Paul for president last year. I believed then and I believe now that he was the best candidate, especially regarding all the issues that have hit the fan as of late. Many people and many Christians thought I was an idiot for supporting him and one of the reasons used was that he was not very forthright regarding the gay issue. He does not believe it is necessarily a black and white issue and is more concerned about the individual.

         I believe what the Word of God says about it. The Word of God defines sin. And the bottom line here is that every person who ends up in heaven was a former willful sinner who had to repent and do his or her best to get right with God. But also, everyone who ended up getting right with God was loved into that place both by God and His people that He worked through. And often the greatest act of love is telling the truth. Good parents teach their children right from wrong. God is the best Parent there is.

         So that which Phil Robertson said was not really about a gay issue. It was about Christians being hammered incessantly by an anti-God agenda that has taken hold in this country, including all manner of threats against them. The number one threat at the moment is financial persecution. The government and all major corporations have bought into this agenda and have been enforcing it. People are afraid of losing their jobs and income if they speak out.

         Phil Robertson got fired from Duck Dynasty, the most popular and successful show in cable television history, as a result of exercising his First Amendment rights.

         The LGBT lobby has been incredibly successful in pushing their agenda. The majority of Christians in America should be absolutely ashamed for sitting around doing effectively nothing for the last several decades while the country becomes what it has become. The Lord called us to be salt and light. He said His people were the preservative in a sinful fallen world that would grow more rotten and dark as time progressed.

         Christians in foreign countries with no rights at all face physical persecution everyday but continue serving the Lord. They are having a huge impact. News flash: Physical persecution of Christians in America is almost here. Prepare yourself.

         Perhaps this is a wake-up call. It is a call for all Americans to get off their duffs and speak out. It is a call to love our neighbor. It is a call to honor the Lord and quit slacking off concerning His commands and directives.

         Thank you for speaking out, Mr. Robertson.

         We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening.

         “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

         “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

         “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

         “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

         “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:10-20] [1]

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Phil Robertson’s Testimony:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTRRtGs94QA


[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.

What is Truth?

         No single person in the history of the world has ever been more misunderstood, disrespected, and dishonored than the Lord Jesus.

         And though He has left us with a preponderance of pure and perfect teachings, most people, especially Christians, do not know His teachings, do not want to know, and are much more interested in transforming His teachings to suit themselves.

         The Lord Jesus has been made out to be anything other than what and who He really is, and false interpretations abound, leaving His actual persona as something very few know.

         There are obvious reasons for this, but such reasons are not so obvious to those who believe incorrectly. In fact, those who create and buy into a false creation of the Lord’s persona conclude that they pretty much know all there is to know, that there is really nothing more to know, and go about their Christian lives in a state of willful ignorant bliss.

         Many Christians do this because they trust whatever their chosen authority figure or figures have told them, they allow their minds to be taken over by those who indoctrinate them, and they never accept any truth that is not approved by their church, denomination, pastor, theological seminary, or Christian guru.

         Thus, they have no passion for truth, no love for truth, and do no searching for truth. As a result, truth may be in their immediate vicinity, but their blindness causes rudeness. This does truth a great disservice.

         As Pontius Pilate gazed into the eyes of the Lord attempting to comprehend the nature of the Man before him, he asks, “What is truth?” [John 18:38]

         Based on the fact that Pilate was a relatively young man, was a shallow non-thinker though quite intelligent, acted as though he had the world figured out, would do anything to protect his turf and keep his job, and was bloodthirsty and seemingly heartless to the core, something about the Lord caused him to pause. Something way down deep in his heart caused a slight stir.

         Pilate asked the big question after the following conversation:

         “Are You the King of the Jews?”

         Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”

         Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”

         Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

         Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” [John 18:33-37]

         After this exchange Pilate showed his true colors. He states that he finds no guilt whatsoever in the Lord, knowing He was brought up on false charges. Yet he is willing to turn the Lord over to a rabid band of murderers and does. Then he decides to have the Lord beaten and ripped up through the barbaric practice of scourging.

         So let’s review: Pontius Pilate essentially accepted the fact that the Lord was innocent and came to testify to the truth, yet by his authority he had the Truth tortured and killed. Pilate showed by his actions that he had no love for truth and could not hear the voice of Truth.

         Because the Lord was not a self promoter, He didn’t go around trying to force people to see who He was. Instead He took the opposite tack. He kept as low a profile as possible and wanted people to see Him for who He was with their own eyes, absent any coercion or religious indoctrination. Meeting Him and getting to know Him would be like meeting and getting to know anyone else.

         And rather than volunteering information about Himself that would likely fall on deaf ears, He waited for people to ask questions, as did His disciples Thomas and Philip in the following passage:

         Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”

         Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

         “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

         Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

         Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’” [John 14:5-9]

         Many theologians, in their bright and shining wisdom, generally fail to understand these simple statements and proceed to tell us what the statements actually mean, what the Lord is actually saying, and what He is not saying.

         So without questioning such religious eggheads most people simply accept their explanations, which are designed to make things less mysterious, more formulaic, and much more satisfying to simple reason and to people with relatively low knowledge quotients with lazy attitudes toward searching things out, but who also must be brought into a religious fold.

         For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. [1 Timothy 1:6-7]

         Regarding Philip’s question, rather than introducing several volumes of theological circlespeak, the Lord responds to him very clearly by telling him exactly who He is, the same way He told Pilate exactly who He is, based on the respective questions each put forth:

1.  He is a King and He has a kingdom.

2.  He is one who testifies to the truth.

3.  He is the Truth.

4.  He is the Way.

5.  He is the Life.

6.  He is the Father.

         There are many such New Covenant Scriptures that make it difficult to classify God in the context of Western thought after centuries of extra-biblical dogma, though the majority of Christians believe that the classic three-in-one doctrine covers all the bases. Yet, if one is after truth and not simply a subpar explanation of truth, one will keep searching until he finds it. Those who don’t care so much will accept alternative doctrines that strive to satisfy the mind (but never the heart), meaning they only care to know of God on a head level, but never seek to know or love Him personally with their heart.

         This tactic might be fine if you’re throwing horseshoes or hand grenades. But building a rocket to the moon entails a tad more fine tuning. Those not willing to put in the hard work never get there and remain earthbound.

         Therefore, those who are satisfied the way Pilate was satisfied will never know the Lord though they claim otherwise, and those like Philip will ask the hard questions and keep on asking until they get the big idea. They will not merely believe the words or teachings of others. They must find out for themselves.

         If not, they prove by their actions that they are not of the truth, because they cannot hear the Lord’s voice. Instead, they have stopped somewhere along the way (if they ever started), and began listening to the voices of others. This is exactly why the Lord said:

         “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:14]

         The Lord stated many times in the Gospels, “Follow Me.” He made it very clear that if one is to be His disciple one must follow Him. That means one better not follow someone other than Him. In the early going we will need the help of others to get started, illustrated by Paul’s statement, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” [1 Corinthians 11:1]

         Paul led by example, and by his example he showed others how to follow the Lord. This verse is corrupted in the KJV by a bad translation to read, “Be ye followers of me.” Paul never said in this verse to follow him. Some have said that Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”

         This is nonsense. Many pastors et al subscribe to this false idea and it has greatly contributed to their congregants following them as spiritual gurus instead of following the Lord. Many follow the dictates of their denomination for the same reason. Though they think they are doing the right thing, they are without excuse. The Lord will never accept the checking of one’s brain at the door.

         Submitting to a shepherd is good, but at some point a real Christian will and must outgrow the need for a shepherd and begin to exclusively follow the Good Shepherd. This is exactly what Paul and the other apostles did, and what all the Lord’s disciples did, though some ceased from their course and invited rebuke:

         For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. [Hebrew 5:12-14]

         To close, all followers of the Lord must be willing to put any doctrine up for examination not to be decided on by a majority, but whether or not it agrees completely with the Word of God. The triad doctrine stemming from ancient pagan religions does not and never has agreed with the Word, for example. The Word of God riddles it through and through as with a truth-testing machine gun, though such a weapon is rarely used by most. Instead, many Christians would rather attack truth, and in so doing attack the very Lord they claim as Master:

         For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. [2 Timothy 4:3-4] [1]

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Forced Religious Conformity: Human Graven Images (Part 2)

         “So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire…” [Deuteronomy 4:23-24]   

         The problem with mankind’s religions in general is that they have historically been instruments used not for correct and proper spiritual purposes, but as controlling mechanisms of one kind or another in an effort to create a false coerced unity among a homogenized mass.

         Religious abuse is a terrible thing, and it stems from the idea that a particular discovered “truth” must be mandated for all whether or not people understand such a “truth” or buy into it. Religious conversions are forced by the rulers of said religions, and such religious-based rule has been on the planet from the beginning.

         In other words, the statement “This is what we believe here and you will either believe it or you will leave,” is the pro forma underlying credo for all religious establishments. Though often unspoken, it will certainly raise its ugly head when a perceived challenge is made.

         Real Christian love is unconditional. It does not force people into compliance. Yes, the Lord’s teachings are pure and foundational, and must be learned and adhered to if one is to be a good and effective disciple and follower of the Lord. But He loves us. He doesn’t force us. Religion uses force, not love, and this will always result in various levels of abuse.

         The saddest thing about this subject involves the creation of false forms of Christianity and the resultant use of the same evil religious force and control, and the hatred of those who are not members thereof. Fake Christians have mastered the use of a smiling face and gentle manner to mask their true objectives. The Lord Jesus loves and teaches us to love and follows up His love with whatever may be necessary to bring sin-ravaged people into His fold that they may no longer be the victims of false religious conformity and slaves to mere rote and ritual.

         False religionists, including and especially those of the Christian variety, do not possess God’s love. They merely use and abuse people toward their own ends and enrichment.

         A friend reminds us that within the story of the burning bush Moses is told to remove His shoes:

         Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.

         So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”

         When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

         Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” [Exodus 3:1-5]

         Moses is told he is standing on holy ground. What this means is that Moses has entered into a place where God is in charge, and that the “land” belongs to God. He owns it. And He is in authority of whatever happens there. Moses shows his deference to God by removing his shoes, which is a sign of honor and respect toward the rightful owner.

         Which brings us to something I’ve touched on before. In a previous post I asked the question: “What would happen if every single Christian “church,” ministry, denomination, and etc were asked to sign over all authority to the Lord Jesus?” How many would actually comply? How many would give up all authority to the Lord and allow Him to be the sole authority, arbiter, and teacher of all that goes on there? The few people I have talked to about this are in agreement that the answer would be very few.

         And as it stands, the answer IS very few. As a case in point, almost all “churches,” ministries, etc have a senior pastor or executive director. The name of this person is on the literature and is often displayed prominently on exterior signage, such as ABC Church, Pastor John Doe. This fact alone tells us the Lord Jesus is not in charge.

         Yet, we know this anyway because the ministry of the Lord Jesus is not present in most of these places—there are generally no signs, wonders, miracles, divine healings, or Book of Acts experiences. There is nothing to suggest in these places the anointing of New Covenant apostles, prophets, and teachers. Nothing looks like the ministries of Joseph, Moses, Elijah, or even John the Immerser.

         In a nutshell, there is no dunamis, or the spiritual power indicative of the Lord’s authority and freedom to act and minister. This means the Lord has been shut out. And this means He is not the owner of such places. The executive leadership wears the shoes and forces the Lord to go barefoot.

         What could ever dis the Lord more? This is why He made such statements as:

         “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]

         “And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’” [Matthew 15:6-9]

         On the other hand, this is what happens when the Lord IS in charge:

         “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” [Mark 16:17-18]

         We see these accompanying signs throughout the Book of Acts testifying of the authority of the Lord. He has passed on the power of His Name and the infilling of His Spirit to His disciples and they are now doing as He did, in that He is working through them to accomplish the same miracles He did during His ministry as put forth in the Gospels.

         Most ministries never cross the bridge from the Gospels to Acts. They honor the Lord with their lips but refuse to honor Him with the authority He needs to act through them. As a result, most places with a Christian name of some sort are no different than any other worldly establishment in that they possess no spiritual power for effective change. They claim Christianity but do not perform it.

         We know He still performs miracles as He did in the beginning. Testimonies abound. But for the person who does not believe, such testimonies and eye-witness accounts are worthless. They will find a way to explain it away. Those without eyes to see and ears to hear cannot consider the likelihood that the Lord still works as He did in the beginning simply because they cannot see and hear. They are blind and deaf. Until they see and hear there is no sense trying to reveal to them what they will not see or hear.

         Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe. And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word,

         “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘GO TO THIS PEOPLE AND SAY, “YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES; OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.”’

         “Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves. [Acts 28:24-29] [1]

         The Gentiles did indeed listen, but soon after the same dispute began taking place among such Gentile Christians and continued for the next 2000 years, and it has resulted in roughly a million and a half Christian denominations and offshoots.

         The disputing Jews in the above verse were a mere harbinger of the later mass numbers of disputing Christians so screwed up in their various theologies they wouldn’t know the Lord if He showed up in their living rooms and broke bread. Moreover, they would argue with Him over His weird teachings and strange methods and demand that He get with the program.

         And you can bet that few would ever remove their shoes.

         Imagine that.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Forced Religious Conformity: Human Graven Images (Part 1)

         Early in my walk with God, less than two years in, a friend of mine and I had a prayer meeting. I had just began to emerge from the fog of rookie training (most of it very good) and saw from a distance the great revelation that the Lord actually DID NOT want His people to be all alike—as some conformed, congealed, regimented, and watered-down mass.

         I began telling my friend that the Lord told me He was not into the business of making such mass-produced manufactured saints.

         Picture God with a big die cutter stamping out replicas like the idol-makers of the ancient world.

         Now, maybe I didn’t get the terminology exactly correct when I heard the message, but I certainly translated the gist correctly. Though the idea of the Lord standing over a copier making copies may appear obviously incorrect to the enlightened and mature among us, one must remember this was the late 1970’s when the majority of churches and preachers thought all rock music was of the devil, ministers of the Gospel were inerrant, and talking in tongues was the practice of insane crazies on the other side of the tracks.

         Though what was termed “Pentecost” had made great strides, and though some Pentecostals had even managed to buy up the tracks, the truths of Book of Acts real Christianity were still treated and reacted to not only with great disdain but great hysteria. And if one knows what hysteria really is, the actual crazies were the ones pointing their boney religious fingers not necessarily at Pentecostal excess or fakery (there’s loads of that stuff), but often the actual work of God.

         So my friend and I started praying. I was over visiting. He was renting an older house built probably 50 years before. It had big rooms and tall ceilings and I remember walking into one room praying pretty intensely and it was the first time I recalled being in the presence of angels. I’ve never seen an angel that I know of in the sense of some giant glowing apparition, but I knew they were around me that night in that room.

         And it was then I got the big idea. That was when the Lord told me He wasn’t turning out children of God the way Henry Ford turned out Model T’s.

         I already had my own bent against that direction anyway. Being raised a Catholic, I was aware of conformity from a very young age—everyone in school dressing the same, acting the same, lined up in regimented rows to go outside the classroom, girls on the left, boys on the right, like long slow moving processions of khaki-clad ducks following a giant penguin. Some of those nuns were very nice and displayed much patience with the incorrigible among us. And some of them were like crazy women with PMS on steroids.

         They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And I say especially if she’s a nun in the 1960s trying to force school kids to conform to the image of God without the help of the Holy Spirit. The level of frustration is off the scale.

         But anyway, the Pentecostal church I was then attending at the time of said prayer meeting (quite the pole shift, huh?) was up to the same tricks. Conformity was the order of the day. I preferred wearing blue jeans, for example, as did several other new converts which by that time was considered barely acceptable, though never on Sundays.

         [Speaking of which, it was my senior class in my Catholic High School that first won the right to wear jeans to school. It had never been done before. Something to be proud of if you knew the times.]

         As a young adult in Spirit-filled churches I witnessed the same attempt to force new believers into religious compliance by yelling that much harder from the pulpit or shaming people into conformity. New believers, like little Catholic school kids, are pretty vulnerable to such tactics, since most want to do the right thing and won’t rock the boat. But coercion has never been God’s way. It doesn’t work. Impressionable young ones are damaged by it.

         So at that prayer meeting with Ken and me in that old house, it was no little thing to have the Lord agree with me on something I had always thought was stupid. Tongues are not of the devil, though most “Christians” apparently still think so, but religious conformity is certainly of the devil because it attempts to disregard the fact that we were each made to be conformed to God’s original design, not some other.

         The Lord Jesus is the most non-conformist Person that has ever lived. Now, He certainly conformed to the will of the Father, but not so much to the will of religious people or the fashion of this world. Which means God was not into your basic everyday Phariseeism. Especially if it’s the Christian kind. He’s just different that way.

         That’s right. God is a religious non-conformist. You’ll never figure Him out. You’ll never tie Him down. You’ll usually never guess what He will do next. (As a standard example, study the many different ways He healed the blind.) He is as unreligious and as unpredictable as can be. Though He is the ROCK and He NEVER changes, don’t try to set your watch by Him.

         “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:8]

         He’s always doing things in such a way that it leaves His enemies perplexed and dumbfounded, especially dumbfounded—God’s enemies are DUMB. He messes with ‘em every chance He gets, or it sure seems that way. Read the Gospels in light of what I’m saying here and see if it isn’t true.

         But our churches? Predictable. Dead, dull, and boring. Rote and ritual. This Sunday the same as last Sunday. All the people lined up in neat rows. Quiet and torqued down. Scared to break convention. Somehow needing a man-made structure and format that works against a move of God and against the very thing their hearts scream for.

         And then we picture the Lord out in the countryside with His men like a flock of sheep, following YES, but as organic and free flowing as leaves on a breeze. And an impetuous Simon Peter routinely blurting something forth, often good and sometimes not so good, whom the Lord never censored. (Try speaking forth like Peter in your church.)

         We also have the incredible spiritual phenomenon of Pentecost described so wonderfully by Luke, a travelling companion of Paul, and quite possibly a disciple of the Lord. How could Luke not have been there that glorious day when the Spirit of God returned to His people? The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is still fought against with great gusto to this day, especially by the majority of “Christian” adherents, which should tell us very clearly how the devil works.

         Regarding religious man’s false conformity, the natural world tells us what God is like (a Living Stone, unprofaned):

         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. [1 Peter 2:4-5]  

         Our church buildings (and inhabitants) tell us what He is not like (every brick the same):

         “If you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your tool on it, you will profane it.” [Exodus 20:25]   

         There is an insistence, if you get my drift, on right angles and plumb walls and straight rows and the linear and broad flat surfaces and steeply pitched roofs and cathedral ceilings and stained glass windows and steeples. (Shades of Babel.)

         Religious man, like the great slave master Nimrod, must have CONTROL. He must wield his stone-cutting tools. He must force compliance.

         But God has built a natural world that is forever in a state of flux, some landscapes changing at a moment’s notice and some gradually over time. Mankind cannot control the natural world though mankind screws it up in the attempt, and in time the natural world simply and patiently takes over again and repairs the damage. And unregenerate mankind certainly cannot control the spiritual world since mankind is fallen in sin and under the authority of the devil:

         We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. [1 John 5:19]  

         The wind moves upon the surface of the sea and roils it up, making today’s water different from yesterday’s. And look at the clouds. Are they ever the same? Sunsets and snowflakes and trees and landscapes are always different and distinct.

         But what about God’s people? Should not each person be totally unique? Where then does all this conformist nonsense come from? It doesn’t come from God. Not on your life. It actually comes from one who has a contrary agenda. He is the one who treats human beings as slaves. And there are no slaves deceptively ensconced in greater slavery than those in religious slavery.

         Never forget that it was all them good Christian boys who distorted Scripture to back up their support for black slavery in the good old USA not all that long ago.

         And it was all them good Christians who had people burned at the stake during the Great Reformation. They were both Catholic and Protestant. They were not interested in doing God’s will but their own. They built and guarded their own religious kingdoms, put their fat posteriors on thrones, dressed up like religious potentates, and killed off and enslaved whoever did not agree.

         Today’s fake Christians in the West merely run off such real Christians and gossip about them. It’s how they protect themselves and their silly little establishments. Yet, if they could kill…

         Considering that, it should cause us all to consider the origins of any and all religious conformity. The more the conformist big boys buy into this false concept and the false doctrines that go with it, the more they distance themselves and their regimented pew sitters from the heart of the Lord, and the more they create an anti-community, one in which people may be close geographically every Sunday morning but a million miles apart otherwise.

         That night long ago in the midst of a two man prayer meeting confirmed something for both of us, and I have never forgotten the lesson:

         A strong and vibrant Church means strong and vibrant individuals.

         And in order to have such strong and vibrant people, they must be allowed to develop. They must be allowed to speak forth. They must be allowed to answer their callings and do their jobs. They must be fed the best spiritual food and given the best spiritual drink. We were put here in part to take on very powerful spiritual entities who have existed for eons. They know their way around. To beat them in battle means we have no other choice than to be like the Mighty Man from Galilee who silenced the Pharisees and calmed the stormy seas.

         But if God must depend on the average pew warmer and pinhead preacher we’re all sunk. Therefore, we must all get off our tuffets if it’s on a tuffet we sit, and get in a spiritual gym, and become more like Him, and stand up and speak forth and do what He put us here to do instead of playing church every blasted Sunday morning of the year.

         The only things we must ever conform to are His will, His Word, His nature, and His way of doing things. The enemy’s greatest fear is millions of the Lord’s children roaming the earth doing exactly as He did. That Christians in general are NOT doing that means most are getting their marching orders and instructions from someone else.

         Wonder who that could be?

         “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

         “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.

         “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.

         “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

         “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. [Luke 8:11-15] [1]

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Behind Enemy Lines: This World is Not My Home

         The apostle Paul was told his fate. After appearing before the man Nero left as a representative, Paul was told he lost his case. He knew what that meant. But he had already known anyway, because the Lord revealed it to him beforehand in the spirit. He was happy that his day had come to see the Lord…

         But he was also greatly saddened because he wanted to keep working. He wanted to minister to others, and to continue revealing the light of the Gospel message and blessing whoever he might. He wanted to continue being used as a vessel for God’s glory regardless of the sacrifice and pain.

         He was a scrapper!

         And so are so many believers the world over who continue smiling as they face great discomfort, neglect, and rejection for knowing and loving their Creator and Savior. And this is their great victory—they can smile! They want to smile, and they cannot help but smile and express their joy, even though at times it may be in their spirit and not visible to others.

         The great hero’s of the faith are those who soldier on regardless of the cost. Like Paul, they are determined to finish their course. Imagine what Paul was thinking as he laid his head down for the last time on this side of eternity. He must have thought about how blessed he was, how he gave it his all, and how he was so fortunate to love and be loved by so many people…

         Then, in his final seconds, he probably thought about how blessed he was in that he was also given the awesome opportunity to present his body as a living sacrifice one final time to honor and glorify his King. He had been doing just that during his entire ministry, and he had the many scars to prove it.

         The reality is that Paul would have never stopped living and working for God. He would have continued until his body simply quit functioning, even though he was most likely racked with pain every day due to all of his injuries and suffering. He knew at the end how short life really is and how much more he wanted to do, but also that his time of departure was not his decision.

         Unless the Lord reveals it, no one knows his or her future. Some who thought they would live long did not. And some who thought their passing was eminent lived on for many more years. We’ll all be checking out at some point, either young or old. We know that. But let it be in God’s timing. And in the meantime, we will do our work for God with courage and dedication, with a heart of love and gratitude, continuing to be thankful for our many blessings.

         Paul gave everything he had in life, and in the end gave everything he had in death, always in surrender and obedience. With nothing more to do or give, his very last thought was probably associated with the following:

         “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” [2 Timothy 4:6-8]   

         “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” [Philippians 1:21]

         There is no sense in arguing with a man with an experience. Paul not only walked with the Lord on a daily basis, the Lord actually made it a tad easier at times by circumventing the usual convention and showing up in 3D:

         And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

         But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.” [Acts 23:9-11] [1]

         Paul understood the stark reality of life on this planet. He knew there was a God. He knew God by name. He knew this world was a temporary place. He knew there was a constant battle going on, and he knew the more he witnessed for the Lord the more the battle would break out around him and upon him. For “Christians” who experience no battle of this kind, it is obvious they are doing little or nothing for God.

         Real Christians understand this is a fallen world and that the human inhabitants of this world are spiritually blind until a legitimate spiritual new birth takes place. When that happens the blind think the unblind are nuts, simply because the ones who see claim the reality of the spiritual world.

         And they reveal truth.

         And they expose the devil.

        And as a result they experience a backlash from evil forces otherwise known as persecution.

         For some, Christianity is only cultural. For others it is merely a ritualistic religion. But for Paul, it was life and death. It was warfare. Due to the nature of his calling and anointing, trouble seemed to follow him wherever he went. He was a wanted man. The devil hated him and repeatedly tried to take his life. But as it was with the Lord, the devil failed on each and every occasion. When the time came for Paul’s retirement, though, it was the Lord Jesus who made the decision. And it must be noted that real retirement for the real Christian is physical death.

         Paul died the same way John the Immerser died. It was relatively quick and painless. And the next thing he knew he was at his retirement party in heaven welcomed with applause and hugs all around. They probably all sported miniature funny hats and had a big cake. And at one end of the group was the Lord, with a big smile.

         Good job, Paul.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Hurricane Sandy: One Year Later

         One year ago tonight I posted a live report of Hurricane Sandy blasting its way upon the Northeast. The “Super Perfect Wicked Storm” affected a total of 24 states from Florida to Maine, cost an estimated $68 billion, and was blamed for as many as 182 deaths in the United States.

         Much of the affected area remains greatly damaged, destroyed, and unrestored. Much will probably never be restored, at least not for many more years.

         Two years ago, I had also written a series of articles about Hurricane Irene, which struck the same area in 2011, and the mysterious Virginia Earthquake that happened at roughly the same time.

         Links to these articles are posted at the end of this post.

         There are many fascinating parallels noted in these articles and I encourage all to keep these events mentally highlighted in light of the overall judgment upon America for its many sins, transgressions, and outright rebellion against our Creator.  

         The subject of God’s judgment upon nations is obviously not easily defined, but we know from Biblical history that such judgment often took place not only upon “Gentile” nations but also upon the very people of God. Israel’s national history is filled with outright sin and rebellion, though the Lord always had a small remnant of those among His people who loved and honored Him. And it is the followers of the Lord who keep a life line connected to Him for the sake of all in these trying times of the present.

         If you are a real believer I encourage you to remain strong and hopeful, keep the faith, and remember that we remain in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. Sin and rebellion is being dealt with as best it can be, in light of human free will.

         The people of God must be loving and kind, continue shining their light, and do whatever is possible to be used of God that He may bring salvation and help to a nation under the power of great sin and deception. There are already so many people helping and lending a hand and giving of their substance to help those in need.

         If you are not a believer I encourage you to consider the Lord and seek His love and presence. You will be introduced to Him through fallible though loving human beings who have received His free salvation and grace.

         Remembering history, we know that the sun will shine again and bright days are ahead.

         Here is the link to the Hurricane Sandy article from last year:

Hurricane Sandy: A Super Perfect Wicked Storm

         The following are related links also enclosed in the above article:

Twin Earthquakes in Virginia: An Interesting Coincidence

YOU CALL THIS A STORM?!

A Lesser Hurricane Irene: The Evidence of Prayer?

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

You Must Be Born Again

         According to the Word of God, the default destination of every human being is hell. Though this is not a pleasant subject or a fun fact, it is true nonetheless.

         And unless something is done by the individual to change the default as it relates to his personal future, the default will not change.

        The Lord Jesus left no wiggle room in this equation. He stated it flatly and cleanly. Whoever wishes to repudiate His words, transform them into something more comfortable, or liquefy them with the universal solvent is obviously not concerned about truth but has both a different agenda and an ulterior motive.

         The truth is clear:

        “You must be born again.” [John 3:7]

         If one must be born again, it proves the first birth, that from the womb, is merely a step in the process that leads to eternal life. If one chooses to stop his progress and never be born again, that is, never change the default, then one will end up living for this world as if it were the destination that matters. And once one does this, one will eventually make choices that concern only one’s life in this world, and therefore will choose to absolve himself of any pesky moral restraints that might hinder his progress, whether or not some level of human virtue is involved.

         Hence, the Torah will not apply. The Law of God will be perceived as restrictive toward one’s goals. The teachings of the Lord Jesus will be seen as unworkable, untrustworthy, non-applicable to our “modern” world, and an albatross around the neck of one’s earthly goals and ambition. Compromise will be the order of the day. Justifying pet sins will become routine.

         If life in the here and now is most important and if our social standing and reputation, whether secular or religious, is paramount, then whatever must be done to achieve such and maintain such will be the priority. This is why there is such a wide gulf that can never be bridged between making this world one’s priority as opposed to the next, though some attempt to do both. And sadly, since they are familiar with the Word of God, the worst offenders regarding this are “Christians.”

         Again, no new birth, no change in eternal destination:

         “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:18]

         What exactly does it mean to believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God?

         Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,

         “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.

         “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

         But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:37-39]

         In this passage John makes a further connection to what believing in the Lord and in His Name entails. He quotes the Lord Jesus as saying that all who believe in Him according to Scripture (not in accordance with man-made doctrines) will receive the infilling of the Spirit of God and become the repository of a living stream flowing forth.

         Moreover, the Lord proclaimed these profound words on the last day of the Feast of Sukkot (or Booths). That He stated such on that particular day is both quite revealing and very significant.

         Are we not traveling through this earth and through time as within a mere temporary dwelling? In other words, if you were a child of the fifties and possessed one of those old mini pedal cars in the form of a real car, or if you rode around on a “big wheel” as a child thirty years later, you certainly did not think, even as a child, that such toys were the end product. You knew they were mere representations of real vehicles. You hoped to grow up one day and get a real car. Why then would one live for this world, and try to gain as much money, as many possessions, and as much authority over other people as possible instead of living for whatever may be the will of God?

         This world is merely a proving ground. It is a test. It is designed to separate the real from the unreal, and to bring forth those who love the Lord and distinguish them from those who do not. It is a celestial halfway house created to cull out the lovers of darkness from the children of light and to reveal and bring forth the sons of God.

         Thus, those who live for this world as if it is the only world do not believe in the Lord or the next world. Or they believe the lie that heaven is the default destination for everyone.

         Returning to the Lord’s quote, with additional teaching, we see:

         “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

         “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:18-21]

         Selfishness is not wrought in God. Greed is not wrought in God. Looking out for number one is not wrought in God. Living for this world is not wrought in God. Refusing to love the Lord with all of one’s heart, mind, and strength is not wrought in God. Refusing to love one’s neighbor as oneself is not wrought in God. Adultery, murder, lying, stealing, coveting—none of these is wrought in God but the majority of human beings practice such things on a daily basis—and never repent—because they have no intention of stopping—because they like it—and because they love the darkness.

         And because of their lack of belief in and obedience to the Lord—the only One who has the cure for the disease of sin—there will be judgment for their sin.

         But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. [Jude 1:17-21] [1]

         Jude is speaking here of certain “Christians.” Unreal Christians. Faux Bros. Tares. Wild wheat. These people are:

         (1) Mockers

         (2) Followers of their own ungodly lusts

         (3) Those who cause divisions

         (4) Worldly-minded

         (5) And last but not least, devoid of the Spirit

         Items 1-4 are due to item 5: Being devoid of the Spirit of God causes one to be all of the above (and more).

         But believing in the Lord according to the Word of God means one will receive the Holy Spirit and thus be transformed in heart and mind. Instead of being worldly-minded and living for this world, one will be spiritually-minded and live for the next. One will no longer strive to fulfill the lusts of one’s flesh, but crucify one’s flesh. One will chuck a dead human mind right out the door and incorporate a spiritual mind, and even possess the mind of Christ. Now that’s a big deal!

         But it takes a big deal to get there.

         It takes real repentance—effectively hurling oneself upon a funeral pyre.

         It takes going under water in the Name above all names, in the powerful sin-destroying and devil-delivering Name of Yehoshua HaMashiach.

         And it takes being filled with His Holy Spirit.

         Many believers worldwide are coming into a greater understanding of these facts.

         Nevertheless, this has always been far too much for the average “Christian,” and it is why the average “Christian” more closely resembles a guy in a costume or a woman at a masquerade. For these people, covering up and deceiving one another is far superior to being transparent.

         Looking and acting like a “Christian” from without, frosting one’s cake with mere human virtue, and thinking salvation consists of being a nice guy and never fighting evil is attributable to pure Phariseeism (and there were many “nice” Pharisees to go along with the jerks).

         In the final analysis, Unreal Christianity has constructed a false front, a Fake World, and as a point of law has rejected the Lord’s definition and method of spiritual birth and has replaced it with any number of counterfeits. Hiding one’s darkness has thus become the norm and is preferable to potentially shining one’s light (or having the Light shine upon one). At the heart of this is simple human pride—that which is much more concerned about outward perception and keeping up appearances.

         But the Lord made a way to destroy such pride. He made it possible to throw off the yoke of pretense and fraud.

         He traveled through this temporary life as one of us and established the means of re-creation. The Spirit of God became resident within human flesh and resulted in a perfect, sinless Human Being—the only begotten Son of God. The Son of God was then glorified, a process that had to take place to allow His Spirit to be given.

         As a result, the Lord’s Holy Spirit can now dwell within “whosoever will,” just as it happened for those at Pentecost and for many millions since, and anyone can be fully born again…

         © 2013 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.

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         Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” [Luke 19:39-40]

         Many Christians have been taught by imposters that being a good Christian means to not only go along to get along, but to sit down, be quiet, and never EVER challenge the watered-down faux food forced downed their throats every Sunday morning.

         Christians have been conditioned to silence the voice the Lord gave them.

         Many have been taught by certain Christian Pharisees with the spiritual testosterone of little girls manning pulpits all over America to find a place in a pew, do everything they tell you to do, never think for yourself, and be the opposite of what the Lord Jesus needs you to be.

         This fits perfectly into their control-oriented little establishments run by ruling cliques who have long since shut out any input by the One who is supposed to be in charge, and transformed what could be major groups of powerful Spirit-filled people of God into empty-minded and soulless clergy followers.

         [If none of this applies to your church, then it could possibly apply to the next one over.]

         The Lord Jesus is not the wimpy sap these clowns portray. He is not a silly religious pinhead as they are. He is not. He is not. He is not.

         HE IS THE GREAT ONE!

         “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” [John 7:46]

         Well, there’s a clue.

         When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. [Matthew 7:26-29]

         Hey! There’s another one.

         And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” [Mark 4:39-41]

         And yet another…

         The more one searches for Scripture revealing the powerful outspoken manliness of the Lord the more one finds it, and thus cannot help but draw contrasts between the real Lord Jesus and the fake one emulated by non-Spirit filled, earthly minded phonies whose hearts have never been circumcised and have all the gumption of pasty-faced prepubescent boys trying to find their way.

         Does anyone care that Immanuel, GOD WITH US, is portrayed by the controllers of many churches and ministries as one who would never make waves, never challenge false authority, never raise a railing rebuke against those who hold His people in check, and never use His voice when anointed to do so?

         What has happened?

         I’ll tell you what. Critical thinking in many churches has become vilified, and thus, true manliness, that born from knowing the TRUTH and acting on it, is gone with the wind in such places. The more control-oriented churches are, the more those running them will kick out the real men who refuse to go along with false paradigms and who also refuse to act like spiritual pansies the way they do.

         Though some men have no constraint whatsoever and take the dark turn into abuse or nutsville does not mean that all men must be neutered. Yet, that’s what’s happened.

         And it sure makes running churches easier. And the more these imposters attempt to control the Lord’s people the more they are attempting to control the Lord. And there’s your problem.

         BE NICE LORD JESUS. SIT. GOOD LORD JESUS.

         And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer.

         Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed. [Matthew 27:12-14]

         “You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” The Jews then said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?” [John 7:34-36]

         When there are no longer any willing voices to stand up for the Lord, churches become ghost towns inhabited by the fearful who represent absolutely no threat whatsoever to the devil and all his trash.

         So who exactly is working for who nowadays, partner?

         Is it in the devil’s interest to silence the people of God? If so, where in the world will he have his best chance at success? Where ARE the people of God? Where do they congregate? The grocery store? City Hall? The mall? Restaurants, theaters, bars? In their living rooms in front of a TV? Where?

         And what do they do when they congregate? Do they make plans on how to best know and obey the Lord’s commands, and destroy the devil’s plans? Do they talk about how they must be serious with God and work under His sole authority, and actually walk it out?

         No. Rarely. Maybe in a few places.

         Would that all who profess Christianity walk the walk. But you can’t walk the walk without talking the talk, and talking is not allowed except for the official talkers.

         As a result, the one thing the vast majority of Christians in churches have in common is their SILENCE.

         Who silenced them? Why has Christianity in general become the religion of the mute? Ever hear the phrase, “Quiet as a church mouse?”

         Save for the one dude doing all the talking and maybe a few selected ones doing some singing, the great percentage of God’s people with mouths to speak do not speak at all, and this is perhaps the greatest victory of the enemy.

         But if ALL prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by ALL, he is called to account by ALL; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.

         What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, EACH one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. [1 Corinthians 14:24-26]

         The early church was outspoken! Members used the voices God gave them. When they were filled with the Holy Spirit they surrendered their speech to God. They emulated their Savior, THE LIVING WORD. They never cowed down, honeyed-up, kowtowed, or cringed. They never blenched, flinched, recoiled, or winced. They didn’t back off. They didn’t silence each other. They realized that human speech was the greatest tool they had and the greatest weapon in their arsenal, AND THEY WOULD NOT BE SILENT.

         Yes, we are supposed to do everything in its proper order but only the Lord God decides who will speak, and why in the world would He ever silence His children? What good is a disciple without a voice? It used to be that people were allowed to testify of the greatness of God. We would hear stories of how the Lord blessed, how He did miracles, and how He answered prayer.

         But no more. Churches are too big. Some wacko or immature one might say something embarrassing.

         As a result, the voices of millions have been shanghaied. It’s past time to put an end to this nonsense.

         “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. [Matthew 10:19-20]   

         If the people of God are not allowed to speak due to corporate inconvenience, or the idea that it would not be appropriate, or that there are too many voices, OR THAT WHAT THEY SAY WILL NOT AGREE WITH THE OFFICIAL NARRATIVE, BELIEF SYSTEM, CHURCH BYLAWS, OR THE PASTOR’S PET DOCTRINES, then something is wrong with the set-up. That some are fed-up with the set-up is obvious. But the PTB always write off such people as malcontents.

         Maybe I’m wrong here, but the Gospels seem to portray the Lord Jesus as a malcontent.

         Who are the real malcontents? Who are the ones who wrested control from the Lord? Who are the ones who treat His people as a bunch of baby sheep better seen than heard?

         This is not the New Testament way. When former sinners devoid of the Lord’s life are saved and filled with His Spirit they instantly become brand new excited lively people with beaming faces, joy in their hearts, and powerful voices ever ready to preach the Gospel, speak of the great things of God, or sing His praises!

         When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to Him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. [Acts 9:26-29]

         Here we have the apostle Paul not able or wanting to contain himself, and the Lord backing him up all the way, and actually giving him the unction to speak. AND SPEAK HE DID. And he never stopped, even with a contract on his head that lasted his entire ministry.

         Would that every pew-sitter in America was emboldened to speak as was Paul. But no. Most have been silenced. They have each surrendered their collective voice to the man in control, the man who can say anything he wants, for as long as he wants, and if anyone has a problem with it the only solution is to leave.

         Hence, a mass exodus to fields of freedom by those who refuse to be silenced, serenaded on the way out by stones shouting forth:

         “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” [Luke 19:38]   

         And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” [Acts 4:18-20] [1]

         The coming Great Awakening is otherwise impossible through official, controlling, authoritative church structures. Perhaps that’s why there were no such things in the first century and for three hundred years during the glory of the early Church. It was the fake religious controllers devoid of the Living Word who vied to shut the mouths of the saints, and it is no different today.

         GIVE YOUR VOICE TO THE LORD.

         Don’t let the rocks have all the fun.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

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