There comes a time when you know the Lord will come to your rescue. He always does. If you humble yourself, repent, and pray, He will meet you there.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. [1John 5:19]
God has allowed the existence of evil, evil people, and the evil things they do. Evil is never greater than when it is wielded by the most powerful people in the world and when these powerful people have been made to appear legitimate.
THE EVIL ELITE
They are leaders of governments, corporations, international banks, and the like. They have been in power for centuries. Their hearts are not circumcised unto the Lord Jesus. They have never repented. They live for this world only. They pass their time living in splendor doing whatever they want since they are worth billions or are put in high positions as puppets in which they are given the relative worth of billions.
These people have sold their souls for power and wealth but the vast majority never sees it that way. They do not understand what they are doing because they are deceived by sin and by the deception of their comfortable lifestyle. When they have so much at their disposal and can do whatever they want they have a tendency to believe in their false freedom. It appears to them that it will last forever. Most of them are so caught up in all the fun of their great power and wealth that they just don’t think about it. They do not think about eternity, unless they have been deceived by some false religious belief.
The time will come when they will die. They will then find out that their entire existence was a self-created sham and that they lost to the devil.
The devil controlled them and owned them but they didn’t know that. They were deceived. They will find out at the judgment. It will be pointed out to them that they had great wealth and power and could have used it for the good but instead wasted it all on selfish temporary purposes and tried their best to mold the world in accordance with their own sordid vision.
But don’t try to tell them now. They will not believe you. They are far too entranced by the mere illusion of wealth and power. Most will never change. They are bringing great corruption to the world. There will be an end to their deception and chicanery, and indeed, it has already begun. Truth is breaking out everywhere.
THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S
The Lord can never be pleased when people misuse His assets and destroy His world. These people will pay. It is only a matter of time. Even on this planet in this era there will be a time just as there was when the great empires of old crumbled into the dustbin of history. They were once very great and powerful and the leaders thereof were arrogant and unmerciful. Egyptian pharaohs, Roman emperors, and relatively recent world rulers have destroyed millions of people through the building of their mini-kingdoms and great empires and subjected good people to slavery and poverty all in the name of their own ill-gotten wealth and stolen power. They paid for it all through the loss of their souls. Their kingdoms were eventually destroyed and they all went to hell.
That’s exactly where the current crop of human elites is heading. The vast majority will never repent of their great sins and will all go to hell. They will be destroyed forever. Justice will be served.
HELP IS ON THE WAY
But for His own people, those who take it on the chin and subject themselves to suffering and rejection for the cause of truth and the Gospel, He will certainly rescue them. He will come to their aid. He will come to your aid soon. KEEP THE FAITH.
Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching. At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. [2Timothy 4:14-18] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Every one of you reading this is the result of a single WINNING race contestant who let nothing stop him from achieving his one and only goal: Being first to reach the egg!
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1Corinthians 9:24]
In traditional churches this is represented as winning the contest to become the one who controls everything at the very top—becoming the one who commands the bridge and inhabits the one and only pulpit, while everyone else sits back in silence giving full credit and obedience to the worthy one who won the summit.
This, of course, is a complete reversal of that which the Lord Jesus created. Rather than all the spoils going to a single man at the top of the mountain, whether it is a small mountain with a dozen or a massive Everest with tens of thousands over which the single winning contestant rules, the Lord has instead created a process in which every single one of His children can succeed and reach their full potential as a fully developed disciple instead of a mere silent spectator.
We can call these spectator churches. Only one person is allowed to speak. However, I would like to bring your attention to a much different paradigm straight out the Gospels:
Have you ever noticed just how many regular everyday people actually spoke to the Lord? It can easily be argued that the Lord allowed such freedom of speech and the right to question only for the reason of creating a spiritual opportunity for growth and teaching. Really. Go read the gospels and see if this is not true. There was always someone somewhere coming up to Him and asking for His help or asking a question, even His enemies. He never denied them. He always allowed them to approach Him and speak up.
NEWS FLASH: THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN MOST CHURCHES.
You are a non-entity. Your presence rarely matters. The service would be the same whether you were there or not. You will be the same whether being there or not. You spend your time tucked away on a bench and are refused any participation except for group-oriented pre-planned participation. Your heart remains the same. It has no outlet.
During the Lord’s ministry, though, you could actually go talk to Him. Your freedom of speech would be restored. He would treat you with respect and honor your input. And from that YOU WOULD GROW AND DEVELOP.
This is His intention. There is no possible way you would ever make it to the egg otherwise and the egg would remain unfertilized and all the greatness the Lord put within you would be wasted and come to nothing simply because you were never allowed to speak up and be who the Lord created you to be.
This is why so many churches are so boring. Ninety-nine percent of all God’s resources (YOU!) are not being utilized. God has created a great world of incredible diversity and action but the faux lords of Christianity are determined to tamp everything down, organize creativity out of existence, and form a strictly controlled unit of virtual automatons who merely parrot what they are told and exist zombie-like in a vast sea of silence occupying mere pews or folding chairs. This is NOT the picture of lively anointed believers dedicated to excellence. This misuse and non-use of God’s greatest resources must stop.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. [Romans 12:1-8] 
We must each continue to strive to achieve our ministry callings. There is an egg somewhere depending on you to get there.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
When I was in college many moons ago I learned about prerequisite courses. I could not take a specific class, for example, if I did not take another class first.
IN THE BEGINNING
The prerequisite courses were generally introductory 101s and oftentimes a repetition of basic high school courses. Much of the first two years of college contains classes like this. On the surface it appears to be a good idea in order to fill in any education gaps using a college level standardized form and facilitate a greater understanding of the foundational stuff required for the higher learning of junior and senior years.
On the other hand it is an opportunity to force students to extend their university years and bring more income into the institution. One might reject that notion, but colleges and universities exist to make money. Even public colleges supported by government subsidies are in it for a buck. Someone is making money somewhere, and a lot of it, or such institutions would largely not exist. If anyone thinks otherwise, one needs to check their naiveté filter.
Idealism runs high in the college level age group and can easily be taken advantage of. Parents face tremendous societal pressure to enroll their children in so-called institutions of higher learning even though many know such places are highly compromised with alternative education agendas and often deliver much less than advertised and much more that is never advertised.
This brings me to two points:
(1) Christians are generally uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings.
(2) Christians face tremendous societal pressure to become members of “churches.”
These two are symbiotically connected. It brings me to two further points which explain the preceding points:
(1) Many “churches” generally keep people uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings through alternative education agendas.
(2) Most “churches” strongly pressure people to attend all services and buy into everything being taught in order to be a member in good standing.
This process creates a low-denominational heavy traffic roundabout difficult to disengage from and pretty much explains perfectly why so many Christians continue to: (1) Work very hard doing what they’re told by religious authorities, because they want to do the right thing, and (2) No matter how hard they work at attending “church” and go through all the prescribed motions, they get out on the other side one day in the distant future still generally uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings. What did they actually achieve?
It is the same reason why so many hundreds of thousands of college graduates are educated in specific areas but generally brain dead regarding subjects they should be extremely proficient at, and why their overall knowledge base is severely lacking on even the most rudimentary levels. When such young, bright idealistic though naïve students finish an extensive college academic program only to be dumb and dumber in much of the knowledge that matters most but highly skilled in subjective social indoctrination that is most often anti-Christian, anti-freedom and liberty, and pro-status quo in nature, it portends that a deceptive alternative agenda is in the works.
THE “BUSY CYCLE” ENFORCED BY SOCIETAL PRESSURE
Why do millions of people continue to support such an academic system?
Why do millions of Christians continue to support such systematic “churches?”
The answer to both questions are the same: Societal Pressure.
The only way to gain the necessary knowledge to exit the busy cycle is to leave the traffic circle. Why? Because the busy cycle keeps people from gaining the necessary information to escape it. Therefore, people have been conned to support the very thing that is keeping them from gaining the answer to get off the merry-go-round.
THE LORD’S PREFERRED DISCIPLES
This is why the Lord Jesus did not choose religious academics to begin His movement. He chose no clergymen or priests or reverends or rabbis or scribes or tenured professors or administrators or sold-out money-loving status quo addicts or the socially ascendant. Really. He never chose any of those kinds of people. He obviously knew such people were agenda-driven, that their agendas would clash with His purpose, that they possessed highly inflated self worth, that they would insist on attempting to build their own kingdoms within His, based on their limited and subjective knowledge, and that they would fight Him at some point or every point along the way. What He prefers are raw recruits willing to leave all and start over with total trust in Him as their only Shepherd and Teacher.
His discipleship course requires that everyone start at the beginning. He demands that His prerequisites be honored. He commands a born again experience.
The apostle Paul said this:
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” [1Corinthians 1:26-31]
Thus, the Lord—a hard working manly Carpenter with a powerful though gracious bearing—preferred choosing regular down-to-earth people like Himself. He chose fishermen and blue collar workers. He chose those with searching, honest hearts who never fully engaged in what they deemed compromised programs. He also chose those often despised by society such as tax collectors. He even associated with great sinners. Any of these would have been the kiss of death for any “acceptable” ministry, and it proves that His ministry was the opposite of those who always respond to societal pressure and keep the wheel to nowhere turning.
He usually went outside the usual and found His disciples down by the seaside and along the roads in the small out-of-the-way places and among the societal rejects and so-called misfits. He never judged by the outer appearance but looked on a person’s heart.
DEFINING A NEW COVENANT CONGREGATION
As far as “church” is concerned, real disciples could congregate anywhere, with a building or not with a building, under a tree or in a boat, or even by the thousands on a gently sloping hillside. Finding a place to meet was never a problem.
Also, regarding how many people must be gathered to constitute an actual “church,” the Lord made this most profound statement:
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” [Matthew 18:20]
This means that an authentic, genuine Christian meeting can be held virtually anywhere on the planet with as few as two people, and if the two are gathered together in His name He will support it. Not only that, He will attend it!
I know this may be a very hard concept to grasp due to so much anti-New Covenant Christian indoctrination, but real Christianity is actually quite simple and open in its approach and allows for a tremendous amount of learning and knowledge in both the natural and spiritual fields.
There are certainly vital prerequisites, however, though these prerequisites commanded by the Lord Jesus have been rejected for one illegitimate reason or another, usually pride, by many Christians. They are designed to assist us in defeating the oppressive power of sin, break the spell of societal pressure, provide an exit from a fruitless, circular religious lifestyle, gain the powerful anointing and strength needed for our work, and open a giant secret spiritual entrance door into His kingdom:
Peter said to them,
“And each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
“And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:38-39] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Much of what passes for open dialogue remains agenda-based, market-driven, and brand-centered. It majors on division and ignorance rather than love and an honest search for truth.
THE NEED FOR NEW WINESKINS
Concerned Christian people continue to discuss the fact that with each succeeding generation here in America, more members of the younger generation are opting out of church membership and decline attendance at churches. The claim is made that as many as two-thirds of young people are “walking away from the church” by the time they reach college age. I hear what should otherwise be quite learned and mature ministers speak about the American culture diverging from the traditional church to the point that a great divide has transpired and something within the American culture must change quickly in order to stop this process or all will be lost.
I say ministers such as these have got it all backwards. They are making excuses for their own irrelevance and inability or unwillingness to reach out effectively. They continue to insist on old wineskins and the rejection of new wine. Of course, many ministers and churches have long since watered down their programs to virtual nothingness in their efforts to be seeker friendly. They offer almost zero conviction for sinners looking to be saved. Their programs are essentially spiritually worthless though they may appear to be successful outwardly. Some of these have even managed to grow into mega churches using this approach. Instead of being salt and light, they have lowered themselves to the culture, which has absolutely no salt and no light.
THE REAL AND CORRECT APPROACH
This is the opposite approach that should be taken. The Lord Jesus never took this approach. He told the truth regardless of what it cost Him. Though He would go anywhere and talk to anyone regardless of their condition or station in life, He never lowered Himself to become like the culture but commanded that we must become like Him. That’s bold.
It’s the picture of an otherwise impossible, incredible personal strength bringing forth reactions in others of utter shock and soul-shattering conviction while wrapped in pure humility and grace.
This was the great love of God within a Man doing all to reach us, but with a heavenly respect we do not deserve and completely devoid of compromise. In other words, God is expressing His greatness and devotion by never changing or reducing His greatness but also relaying that He will pay any price for us even unto dying for us. Quick question: How many great and powerful people do you have in your life willing to die for you?
The reaction to the powerful presence of the Lord Jesus by the unrepentant evil forces was, as in accordance with natural law, opposite and equal. No one continually attacks a righteous man, for example, and eventually kills him in a rage if that man represents no threat to an evil kingdom and is the epitome of Mr. Nice Guy. Though warm and accommodating, the Lord is also the epitome of salt and light—spiritual salt with its powers of preservation and accentuation, and a shining light that both reveals the path ahead and exposes all the evil minions and their disguised and disgusting operations and enterprises.
When the Lord Jesus walked among them His commanding presence was greatly felt and duly noted. Sinners were scared. Demons were petrified. Strong men were taken aback. He was the opposite of the wimpy pastors of then and now.
They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. [Mark 1:22]
“Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” [John 7:46]
Is the American culture growing farther away from God in a general sense? That argument can certainly be made although one must recognize the fact that there are millions of righteous people here existing in relative obscurity off the social media radar. They get little or no press. Their presence must be factored in instead of us going only by the great sins of the headlines and major media. Therefore, rather than the entire country about to fall off a cliff with no hope of a turnaround, what is actually happening is that there is a large contingent of unacknowledged Americans living their lives in such a way that better defines them as mountain climbers rather than cliff fallers.
This means the entire construct of a divided America being the difference between good wholesome conservative church-goers on the right who have been correct all along and should not even think about changing, and another group of largely young leftist liberal activists intent on replacing whatever remains of American traditional righteousness and morality is not only pure nonsense and completely wrong, it is not conducive whatsoever to bringing real spiritual solutions and honest communication. In addition, if one were to total up the membership lists of these two groups one would discover that they don’t come close to comprising all of America. One would actually discover that about half the country is missing and largely unaccounted for. Where are they?
Many are not attending church or marching in the streets. They simply don’t buy into the Divide and Conquer strategy put forth a few decades ago designed to drive major media ratings and earn corporate profits. This unrecognized population group also sees that untold billions of dollars are being wasted not only by bloated government programs but also by what may be termed ineffective traditional Christianity doing what it has always done, and it does not want to be a part of that scenario either. It may be that the bulk of these Americans are not avowed Christians but they have a level of righteousness that often exceeds that of the other two groups.
Many social justice warriors on the left thoroughly believe they have joined a righteous cause and some of their arguments are solid. Many conservative traditional Christians on the right have also proven to have solid arguments as well. The big unknown and largely undefined group of Americans that do not fit either category also have solid reasons for living the lives they live and believing as they do. The odds are that these three groups will remain separate and continue to believe their respective ways are the best, although I must note that the third is not actually a group by definition, but simply a collection of all those who are not in the other two. The first two groups, in a general sense, wrap their entire identities within their group’s practices and mores and are most likely to be more strident and less likely to change. They are forever stridently defending their positions against one another as if doomsday will quickly descend without their contribution and that the earth will blow up or Christianity will be destroyed. Thus, both reject any attempt at dialogue toward finding common ground.
COMMUNICATING WITH LOVE AND RESPECT
The third group? Not so much, which makes it unique in that it is often more open minded and willing to listen. It has not bought into the left-right paradigm and consequently remains free. And this is the key. Once one has jettisoned communication and refuses to promote dialogue and discussion with sincerity and humility, then one has eliminated the only means of bridging the gap. Remember, the reason someone came up with the concept of the political right and left is because the people on these sides have usually gone beyond the point of no return regarding the middle, which is supposedly inhabited by everyone else. (But I don’t mean the muddled middle, the dwelling place of apathy and a disregard for staying somewhat informed.) I am instead referring to the location which has no left, right, or middle compass bearings. This is the place where people can communicate with both sides and promote such communication. Though many reject the idea, it is actually possible to communicate with people in which one has no discernible agreement.
For Christians, isn’t this exactly what we are supposed to do? Did not the Lord command us to go out and witness and share the Gospel? And are not the odds fairly high that we will find disagreement in the process?
Real Christians understand that it is often the case that a person must be compelled to leave a burning, sinking ship only because he or she does not perceive that the ship is burning and sinking.
Real Christians are sent out on rescue missions knowing full well they may be blasted by the very people they are trying to help. It is that way in sharing the Gospel with non-Christians. Sadly, it is also that way in attempting to share truth with Christians. Both have their fallout. Elements of both will reject you. But opening lines of communication with both can also be richly rewarding.
I am glad someone was persistent with me when it came time to share the Gospel. I may never have met the Lord otherwise. And I am also glad that once I became a Christian other believers were willing to share more truth with me. Much of the latter, however, eventually did not come through personal discussion but by literature. This is why written works and books are so greatly beneficial. The authors thereof do much research, capture facts and truths of the ages, and preserve them on the written page which lives on after their passing. Books have an extremely long shelf life, pardon the pun, and exist as an excellent form of learning and communication though it is obviously not direct. Also, we live in a time when almost all preserved books and publications of the past, even the ancient past, can be accessed. This is proving excellent in the discovery of greater truth, especially when it comes to Biblical truth and the Lord’s teachings.
Up until the last few years we were all subjected for the most part to direct censorship and a complete lack of access to other points of view and the truths inherent within such truths. Now the only thing stopping a searcher of truth is laziness, a lack of spiritual hunger, or a stubborn attitude in insisting one already knows it all and has it right. The latter attitude is what has always caused evil people to gain control and authority over others and imprison them within the confines of fake knowledge, false interpretations and narratives, and downright propaganda. Indeed, using this particular means is how the devil is often most successful. Rather than communicate such people greatly prefer to repress truth and indoctrinate.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” [Matthew 7:1-2]
There is a right way and a wrong way to communicate. It must never be for purely selfish reasons. It must be because of a desire to help others. It must be because one is compelled to share truth and answers with those who are searching for it and need it. Communication must model the Lord’s method. He obviously knew His teachings would last two thousand years and taught in such a way to reflect that, and in a manner that translates into all times and cultures. We should all know that there is no law against godly love and most people will see no need to defend against it. This is why our communication will be incredibly more effective if we show forth the love of God and make the person we are talking to the object of respect and honor rather than simply wanting to win an argument.
The Golden Rule of Real Communication is that is must be based on the Golden Rule.
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 7:12] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
One of the worst things that ever happened to Christianity was that it became official, as in, “This is the way you do it—this way and no other way.” And, of course, everyone has their own version of that.
It is still such a difficult truth to grasp, to compare what the Lord’s movement was way back then in comparison to official renditions of the present. To outside observers they were just a group of haggard men with dusty feet and sandals, and flowing threads from homemade looms, traveling around with yet another perspective on the national belief. Unlike every other message being perpetrated then or now, however, their message—the Word—was a word new in every way but which existed from the foundation of the world. Regardless of what those who couldn’t see saw, those men and their Leader preached not just one of many variations of truth, though such a thing is not possible and exists only as a mental construct, but the fullness of the only Truth. It was pure, it was powerful, and it was fully liberating.
CHOOSING THE KINGDOM AND THE KINGDOM MEN
Their world had become gloomy and predictable and saturated with a longing for what once was but could never ever be again, and in that cold void a lower echelon creep class of really first class dark-souled sinister quasi-humans took over and rose to the top of control like scum on a pond. They were dream dashers and fermented vermin, and the Lord knew from the start what would be needed to destroy them.
He chose men of the earth with tough skin and weeping hearts. They had done all their spiritual seeking in secret until He came and then the emotions flowed like streams in arid lands. They could not put words to the feelings they felt when He got around them but it was like someone turned on an internal faucet and allowed them to be what they were created to be. From the aforementioned gloom, great joy broke out among them. They became happy and secure, and had crossed over a spiritual threshold that previously had been hidden and denied, and they began to be fulfilled, soaking up the Lord’s presence like a dry and thirsty sponge.
He chose them because He knew they would let it all flow—that Spirit river He released—and would then know how to help others exit the phony front and enter the King’s realm. He chose them because they had not become overcome by the powerful gloomy and mysterious forces that raid men’s brains like disease and cause them to walk about enchanted and lost though repeatedly told they are found, when they know in their hearts it’s not true. In reality, the only “found” ones among them, those whose lives actually amounted to something who acquired honor and respect, though misguided and coerced, were the ones who found their authority over everyone else to be the big prize. And they played it to the hilt in expertly covering their deception so none would know or see the resulting unfortunate enchantment or its cause that had descended upon the hearts of a captured people.
BEYOND THE FACADE OF SURFACE PERSPECTIVE
The Lord could not afford to be fake in any way. His ragtag group was organic and real and made no apologies for being human nor did they even try to cover it up or dress it up or slick it down or make it presentable so as not to be human but a mere shallow façade of faded-out glory. Instead, the Lord taught them how to find their glory and walk in their glory and eventually be filled to overflowing with His glory, and that demanded an adherence to truth, and this is why the great vaunted fakers hated them so. They knew they had killed their own glory long, long before and could never get it back without Him because they had sold out to a false vision and identity of what they insisted was “the right way to do it—our way and no other way.” They, like so many fake Christians of now, were invested up to their eyeballs in a false anti-God paradigm masquerading as official spirituality.
But their way then, just like the way of so many now, is nothing but a shiny version of death. And if the sacred zombies of now could talk to the sacred zombies of then the former guys would tell them they’ve died a thousand deaths since putting off their mortal coil and know it’s all over for them with no escape, and that their future is nothing but a deserving judgment into the eternal doom awaiting, and they would tell those who have taken their path to please get off of it and don’t be fools like they were.
They can’t, however, speak from the grave and they cannot warn but they would if they could, not that it would do any good because the faux bros of now know they’ve sold out to the dead brand they’ve inflicted on so many others and they know they would never get along with fully submitting to the Lord Jesus anyway.
So they go on in their splendor with so many deluded ones fawning over their every word, not even aware that the giant spotlight they walk in is supposed to be His and His alone, and instead of being fearful of what they’ve done and the price they will pay they just keep on running it out there day after day.
They believe they have reached a summit and deserve it and prove it since they actually have attained it in that they are actually up there, on a stage, raised up to be noticed and heard, but it is so strange that the higher they go the less sense with regard to truth they make, the less spiritual effect they have, and the more they fulfill the Lord’s perfect phraseology that transcends all time and every culture:
“For you have taken away the key of knowledge;
“You yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.” [Luke 11:52] 
What happens to all the many millions of those who sit out there in the faceless crowds on the other side of official legitimacy trying to enter? And why must they always be denied and somehow instead be satisfied with mere crumbs under a table? Why are those few who have mustered the high places continually denying everyone else the right to ascend as well? Could it be because they have actually achieved nothing at all? The Lord said that though they have gained full control and rule over everyone else and have deemed their respective versions of Christianity “official,” they have actually never even entered the place the Lord said we must and they refuse to let anyone else in their charge enter it.
Does this not prove and reveal the existence of a deceiving sleight of hand process in the works?
Christianity was never meant to be show time. It was the Pharisees, those great fancy-robed and headdressed thespians of yesteryear, who demanded a stage and a platform on which they could perform and pontificate, while pressuring all others to conform and desiccate, and who demanded the same vaunted high places of antiquity condemned by God on which demons danced undaunted and from which the unseen principalities and powers of this world ruled.
Perhaps this is why the Maker of the universe went virtually unrecognized when He entered the very world that He created: He is the antithesis of the showboating religious stage player. Official Christianity has thus rendered Him unseen and effectively unknown.
This is why the great many “official” Christians who have yet to enter His kingdom but desperately want to are told they are already in it by those who never entered it themselves.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
All real Christians have God-given talents and gifts, and are called into some form of ministry. Our purpose is to fulfill our callings. Here is how the Lord provides for us in that process:
A VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION:
The spiritual harvest brought forth by our work for the Lord is not the same as our personal compensation.
Real Christians are noteworthy for putting the work of God first regardless of any recompense they may or may not receive at the time. They know the Lord will always provide but they don’t necessarily wait around for the provision when there is work to be done.
Now, this must be explained a tad. The Lord Jesus never calls anyone into His work without taking caring of him or her. He always provides for His disciples. As I have written about on this site several times, when the Lord called His original twelve to leave all and join His ministry it also involved leaving their present means of making a living. He told those who were fishermen, for example, to drop their nets and follow Him. There is no way He would do this unless He had the wherewithal to provide for them through an alternative means, and this is key.
YOKED TOGETHER WITH THE LORD OUR PROVIDER
For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. [1Corinthians 9:9-10]
The Lord will always do His part. He will always provide His portion. Consider it this way: A real Christian is in covenant with the Lord. The two share the same yoke. The yoke will fit only two people [See my post: The Yoke’s On You].
When two oxen are yoked together there must be time for these two massive and powerful animals to learn to work together. They are each independent with strong wills. The person who is plowing never wants to diminish the power of his oxen or emasculate them in any way for the sake of making them work together, as this only defeats the purpose. He does not want their strength reduced but if anything, he wants to maximize it. That is the entire point of attempting to yoke them together.
The Lord Jesus does the same with each of us. Rather than regiment us and remove our personal power, strength, individual gifts, talents, personality, and independence (all of which He gave us when He made us) for the sake of conforming us to a very low common denominator, which causes us to become essentially spiritually worthless within a mass homogenized group (sound familiar?), He attempts instead to redirect us and put us in a place where all that we are may be utilized fully and where we can be fully developed and fulfilled.
But in the beginning, before salvation, He knows each of us is otherwise hopelessly lost in sin and thoroughly compromised, so He first seeks to bring us to repentance, bless us with a new birth, wash away our sins, fill us with His Spirit and strength, and welcome us to His kingdom. This must start with our own personal hunger. We must seek Him. We must begin manifesting faith in Him. Of course, He is already seeking us and in fact sacrificed His very life for us, but unless we do our part anything He wants to do for us is rendered impossible.
This is why each of us must also sacrifice our life for Him. This dynamic connects two lives sacrificed for the other, yoked together as a team, which makes possible the coming forth of great spiritual production and fruitfulness.
Here is a simple way to see it: The Lord will always do His 50%. He is ever faithful. We must also be faithful and do our 50%. When a disciple does his or her 50%, which is something vitally necessary but often overlooked, then great and powerful things happen. We see then, that the reason such great and powerful things do not happen is because we are simply not doing our 50%. Consider the establishment of the 100% as that which brings forth the fruit of covenant.
SOWING SPIRITUAL THINGS FIRST
If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. [1Corinthians 9:11-15]
I’m going to stop here and reveal the aforementioned distinction further. There are many ministers of the Gospel who consider themselves professionals. In other words, they see ministry as a career. They see it as a job. They will not perform their jobs without a paycheck. They also do their level best to cover themselves within society as legitimate members of society. They do not want to be seen as persons without standing. This is part of why they demand a salary and position. These people, which make up the majority of ministers, would never last a day working with Paul (he’d run ‘em off), which probably means they would last less than a day working with the Lord. Real ministers of the Gospel know they came into the world with nothing (that they had anything to do with), that they came into the kingdom the same way, and that they are incredibly fortunate to have any blessing beyond that.
Real ministry is rigorous. It is not for those who make selfish demands. We are called as babes but must become spiritual adults ASAP or we will get wiped out in battle. Therefore, we must be fully trained by the Lord. The New Covenant writings explain very well what this training looks like. We are bought with a price. The Lord Jesus has purchased us with His own blood.
Once we sign up we not only gain the benefits of living for God but we primarily gain the opportunity to work for Him and with Him according to His will and not our own. In other words, real ministry is not like going off to college and choosing a major or deciding on our own what job we want. The Lord has already decided those things. Our job is to say “YES SIR” and do what He says in accordance with the way He made us, and with respect for our individual giftings and callings. This is in part why Paul relays the following very hard but incredibly fruitful truth:
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1Corinthians 9:16-24] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Christians say they want a Great Awakening but most don’t want to change. That’s why the Lord almost always has to go outside to find the right people to drive it.
The status quo likes things the way things are in general and their status quo status is proved by their willingness to go only so far toward necessary change, and it is not very far.
This is why we rarely get anywhere and why those on the edge of truth who are trying to bring it forth always get slammed by those holding back. But the Lord Jesus will not be denied. He is bringing this, and will bring it, and if He has to He will leave all nominal and unwilling Christians behind.
HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF
He has done this countless times before. He will never allow the intransigence of His own supposed people to hold Him back. There are many, many more people who want Him and love Him with ALL their hearts and are willing to do anything He says, even though most of these do not qualify as “Christians” by those who set themselves up as judges. These relative outcasts have paid a great price to be in that place of closeness to the Lord and have suffered greatly for it. For many, their lives have been destroyed in the process of staying on the path but they don’t care about the price that must be paid.
They want God. They want reality. They are tired of playing games and believing promises that never come true. They are tired of people never keeping their promises or coming through for the Lord. They see clearly that all of these so-called spiritual heavyweights in control and all their sycophant often clueless congregants have actually sold out and really don’t want any change unless it brings further personal benefit to themselves.
Beware any religious leader who looks good and sounds good but never has any real desire to get out of Egypt or makes peace with living in the Sinai.
WE WERE MADE TO BE IN THE PROMISED LAND, just as it was way back then, except now it is obviously not geographical but spiritual, and if God needs to leave an entire generation behind, believe me, HE WILL DO IT.
But for all real Christians it is time to go forward. It is time to let go of all the idols and false doctrines and compromise and things that keep Christians from embracing the full will of God. The Lord is trying to do something absolutely great and spiritually unprecedented in America, and the majority of Christians continue to reject it. This is a terrible turn of events but it is the foreseen reaction to this great move of God by those who study Awakenings and revivals. There is always a very strong and evil reaction to such great moves in the early going by those who claim to be holding the fort but are actually only clutching onto their own personal benefits and standing. They have given in to both personal pride and spiritual pride and would rather sit on their tuffets in comfort back home than engage the enemy on the field of battle.
I will close with this very profound food for thought:
“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. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
About a decade and a half ago there was a Christian conference relatively close by and would take place in just a few days. It featured a man I’d seen on television countless times. I made it a point to be there.
His name is Hugh Ross. In 1986 he started a ministry called Reasons To Believe, “Where Science and Faith Converge.” I encourage you to visit this website and look around.
As a young man he began looking for spiritual truth and, like so many of us with a hunger for God, began searching world religions. When he began his research into Christianity he was immediately struck by what he found in the first chapter of Genesis—it made perfect sense from a scientific point of view. He was amazed by the accuracy. He soon became a Christian. He also eventually became an astrophysicist.
I planned on getting there early with hopes of meeting Mr. Ross. I walked into a relatively mid-sized conference facility about the size of a very large classroom. There were many people milling about as new arrivals wandered in. I took a seat on the front row. At some point Hugh Ross walked in and went up to the front. He gave an informal talk and said we would wait a little longer until everybody arrived, and then sat down a couple of seats from me.
People who know me very well know I pray about everything, and I pray about everything in the context of God’s will, knowing for a fact that God’s will is always the best. A person can never do better than the will of God. Well, on the way over I had asked the Lord if it would be okay if I could talk to this man. Then when I got there the man sits down two seats over. No one approached him. I didn’t waste any time introducing myself and we began a brief discussion.
Hugh Ross is not a young earth creationist. For this reason alone many Christians don’t like him. Some see him as a heretic. It does not matter how well he explains everything from both a purely Biblical perspective and from pure science, many Christians judge him right off the bat as soon as they find out he doesn’t believe the Universe was created about 4000BC.
We had a great talk. I was trying to shed light on the nature of God and how the Bible clearly states that the Lord Jesus is the Creator though so many Christians recoil at that fact. He agreed. We spent most of the conversation, however, discussing young earth versus old earth creationism.
Hugh Ross is a solid Christian. He believes the Bible is the absolute Word of God. He makes an excellent case both Biblically and scientifically why young earth creationism is lacking. He is a very gracious man but has certainly seen his share of Christian persecution (that is, persecution from Christians). Then he said something very profound. Remember, this is a very brilliant man who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart. He lives to serve Him. He is low key, humble, relaxed, and the very opposite of professorial.
We were discussing why so many Christians can’t see eye to eye on the creation issue. I have also faced many fights in this area even though most of the time I really don’t have a dog in that fight. Why can’t the young-earthers, who have traditionally composed the much greater percentage of creationists, find it in their heart to fellowship with those with a different perspective? Why can’t they honor the beliefs of others? Hugh answered my question perfectly:
“Because they see it as a salvation issue.”
I was somewhat taken aback and went silent for a few seconds. I was thinking. “Of course. I knew this, or I should have, and I have certainly applied this to other Christian doctrines and beliefs.” But still, in that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It is why so many Christians favor separation over unity. It is why there are approximately four billion Christian denominations. The separatist Christians believe EVERYTHING is a salvation issue.
Though I always spend much more time in study and research than the average Christian, I am almost always forced to prove everything. This is impossible, of course. When Christians believe they have all the light and truth on an issue, they become not only dogmatic but very judgmental. They close their eyes and ears. Those who do the larger work and pay the greater price know the truth, however. They work very hard to see an issue from as many perspectives as possible. Those who rarely or never do the work usually only believe something because that is what they have been told. They can only see it one way.
What if a Christian is walking in all the light he has? What if he loves the Lord? Must he also be absolutely perfectly right in every doctrine taught by a particular denomination or pastor or single believer in order to be saved? Are Catholics saved? Are Protestants? Are Pentecostals? In all actuality we have millions of distinct beliefs within Christianity in general and there is no possible way anyone can believe it all. Much of it is contradictory. Much of it comes forth from people who insist they are right and never budge. What is being preached on one side of town is often the very opposite of that which is preached on the other. There is no way both can be right. But both can be wrong.
This is why I always make my final and only appeal to authority to the Lord Jesus. It is only His curriculum that is perfect and it must be His entire curriculum that we learn and live by. Not everything in His teachings, however, is a salvation issue. We should never, ever be divided as a result of such. If two Christians believe the Lord Jesus CREATED the universe but differ on how He did it or how long it took, that’s okay. Both of these Christians can still be saved. Besides, we were not there. We don’t know exactly how He did it.
The Lord came across this problem often and just as often He had to do some rebuking. His greatest rebukes were always for the hard core religionists who refused to see anything other than the way they saw it and would disfellowship a person in a heartbeat for not seeing it their way. What we should be doing is working harder and studying more and praying more and fasting more instead of thinking we’ve cornered the market on truth.
I found out later that evening that Hugh Ross and I did not believe everything the same way. But it didn’t matter. Wherever we differed on beliefs, they were not salvation issues. I’ll never forget that brief though deep discussion we had. He was humble enough and approachable enough to give me a few minutes of his time right before he was to give a major talk to so many of his ministry’s supporters.
Please readers, keep up all the great work. Keep doing your study and research. Keep reading the Word. But most of all, knowing we are all at different spiritual places based on our discipleship and knowledge level, let us not make everything a salvation issue and thus a disfellowship issue. The Lord only has ONE community. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters with regard to who is in it and who isn’t is His. Let us all try to keep the salvation issues among the salvation issues, such as the simple teaching that decides salvation as quoted here:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:8-22] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
RECOMMENDED READING FROM MY FRIEND LISA:
There are two Christianities. One is real. One is fake. The following will help you tell them apart:
The reason Unreal Christianity is a big bulky non-innovative high-dollar extremely low bang-for-your-buck non-New Testament intractable overly bureaucratic religious sluggish slow-moving massive blob dictated to by institutional seminary-trained boshheads, cold-minded clerics, and charged-up dense denominators endlessly parroting the centuries-dead Ichabod gloryless company line is because, principally, the Lord Jesus is not in charge.
That is a problem.
When one reads the New Covenant writings with a clear head and pure heart without all the mind-numbed artery-clogging casuistic falsely-interpretive nonsense nomenclature and grossly obese religiosity and churchianity content, one discovers an incredible streamlined living and loving Community of Called-Out Ones exhibiting cleanliness, quickness, Spirit of God-fueled power needing next to zero overhead and fitting into any and all cultures with a life-giving new-life Gospel message for anyone anywhere on the planet.
It is fast. It is mobile. It is loving. It is caring. It is merciful. It is self-effacing. It is filled with joy. It is creative, fruitful, and productive. It is easily financed. It never requires large money outlays to be powerfully effective. The members love each other, always support each other, and always develop quickly into strong mature and secure disciples. Rather than pour everything into a building with one guy preaching there is often no building and a hundred guys preaching. They go anywhere demanded, do anything commanded, suffer any hardship, overcome evil with good, and battle raging hate with pure love.
And it can’t be stopped. Kill one member and ten more pop up. Try to eliminate it and it only grows larger. Try to destroy it and Great Awakenings break forth. Persecution only makes it more powerful. When the devil jabs he gets knocked over the ropes with a ferocious left hook. When he fights dirty he gets pounded into the ground. When he uses lies and gossip he and his entire operation is revealed for all the world to see. When he tries to hide he gets outed. When he brings darkness he is exposed with a million mega watt game spotter.
There is thus no comparison between real Christians and the fake pretentious pretenders. One is led by the Lord Jesus and the other is not. One is filled with His Spirit and the other is not. One can move mountains and the other cannot. One can raise the dead and the other is the dead. One believes and the other disbelieves. One obeys and the other rebels. One is faithful and the other is a cynical denier of spiritual reality. One will inherit the Kingdom and gain eternal life and the other will …not.
SHEEP AND GOATS
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
“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 25:31-46] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
At first the prophets were respected. Then their pronouncements caused discomfort. Then the people got angry. Then the prophets were rejected.
This is the way it always goes. The message of the prophets never changed. The only thing that changed was the reaction to the message. The reaction was worse in relation to the prophet’s closeness to home. Rejecting truth caused unrepentant people to turn inward, ingrown, and interbred. They eliminated the possibility of receiving the seed of God which always came from without. They became anti-fruitful, grew spiritually lazy and sluggish, and wanted an easy time of things. God would have nothing of it.
The Lord Jesus spoke nothing but Truth. The Truth inevitably caused a bad reaction. The bad reaction denoted the place the reaction came from in that the hearts of such people had grown far away from God though they all considered themselves just fine with God.
THANK YOU LORD THAT WE ARE NOT LIKE OTHER RELIGIONS
Christianity in general likes itself and sees no problem. This is the problem. The Lord is fixing the problem. That’s why we are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. But the Awakening is still being opposed by the very people who should be supporting it. They oppose it because they like things the way they are. They are resistant to change. This is not new. They take the correcting and reforming words of the Lord as an offense.
I wrote the following 16 months ago: Americans Deciding with Their Feet: The Ongoing Exodus from Traditional Christianity. It speaks of the fast-approaching future, ready or not, some of which has already arrived, which demands TC get its act together or face complete irrelevance.
I have written hundreds of well-researched articles like this reflecting the exact scenario regarding the closed hearts and minds of so many so-called Christians who oppose the Lord while claiming to support Him. The evidence for this should be obvious to any nominal believer by the very lack of evidence among the unreal believers of actually obeying the Lord and carrying out His plan.
“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” [Acts 7:51]
Their hearts are not right. They resist. They oppose. None of it surprises the Lord. He has a bit of experience in this area. The same spiritual dynamic always happens and it always happens the same way. For a refresher course, it goes like this:
(1) An obscure nobody suddenly speaks forth something so profound and so different that the first reaction from the entrenched religious traditionalist status-quo is silent shock (“What did He just say?”).
(2) They try to throw Him off a cliff.
IDOL O’ PROTOCOL
This is exactly what they attempted. Only it was not, as one may suppose, the actions of some strange evil street protesters who advocate for killing everyone who doesn’t believe exactly everything they believe. But wait. It kind of was. But before they assumed that form they were nice church-law-abiding pew-sitting go-along-with-the-program types who somehow found great spiritual nourishment in silently watching the pros perform while making sure such pros performed in exactly the way they were accustomed. They had no hankering for anyone even thinking of doing anything even the slightest bit different or break in any way from the correct time-honored protocol.
Then the Lord Jesus broke protocol. Actually, on His very first visit to His home town church after beginning His ministry when asked to read He proceeded to the front, turned and faced the crowd, and read a very familiar passage. Then he said some other things from right out of the very Scriptures those people supposedly honored but never, ever mentioned. About this time and in that process He let everybody know that things would be different from now on and demonstrated it by very calmly picking up the dead carcass of religious protocol in His strong and mighty construction-worked hands and slamming it against the nearest wall splintering it into a thousand pieces. It was pretty cool. The church people were not happy. Here is the narrative:
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’”
And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.”
“But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. [Luke 4:16-29] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Having squandered its influence within society, traditional Christianity no longer has much effect on the culture.
This is what happens when the great strength and power of Real Christianity is removed and virtually relegated to the sidelines. The Truth has been systematically retracted and replaced with false notions borne by dead religionists without a clue. The process then continues to replicate itself, having made the reality of that which the Lord Jesus brought forth in the beginning the object of ridicule and thus rejection.
And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘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.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9]
THIS IS WHY GREAT AWAKENINGS MUST HAPPEN
The traditional religionists gain full control. They remove everything that has to do with real life. They set up systems in place which corral and control the people, turning them into mere automatons doing their bidding. Why does one rarely notice that the advantages of such a setup always rise to the top for the benefit of those in control?
The Lord Jesus, as part of His real curriculum, demanded that His disciples be servants. This does not mean that we are only supposed to serve Him which we obviously must, but that we have a general sense of being a servant to all. Being a servant, then, must demand that we think of others and their condition of life. This must mostly be the case among the members of the Community. It does not mean that those outside the Community must not also be loved, but that those within the Community have already complied with the commands of the Lord and submitted to Him. These real members have given themselves to the Lord to be used as He decides. The benefits thereof must obviously then go to them, as this is what the Lord taught. How can He bless a person with salvation, for example, unless that person complies with the necessary commands toward salvation? In other words, there is no salvation without repentance.
Whoever then has complied with everything the Lord has commanded to be a member of His Community is thus in a place and position in which the Lord can bless with the full benefits of His Kingdom.
HOW IS THE FOLLOWING SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN?
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Mark 10:29-30] 
Christians have been conditioned by pretenders to expect next to nothing from the Lord. They read their Bibles. They study the Gospel. They do in-depth research into the New Covenant epistles of Paul and the others. And they discover there are great benefits that go along with being a member of the Lord’s real Community. And they wonder where their benefits are and why such are often so hard to come by. These people, however, have never been in it for the benefits. That’s not why they signed up. They joined because they met the Lord and accepted His great love and returned that great love. They want to be with Him. They want to serve Him. They also want to be within a Community in which we all love one another and watch out for one another.
This cannot happen in fake communities. Such groups simply do not have the goods. They do not possess the ability to gain the benefits. Why? Because they are not real. That’s why I call it Unreal Christianity. They are not connected to the Lord. They are not connected to the Lord’s great life and power. There is no spiritually regenerative power as that which was released in the very beginning.
In short, the fake places have no Pentecost events. This is because they reject Pentecost events. The people there are not Spirit-filled and don’t want to be. They have created and set up faux communities in which the Lord is not present and thus has no power or control to significantly change things for the better. The controllers of these institutions prefer their man-made set-ups because the benefits go to them. They know they have little power to significantly help the members thereof as the Lord Jesus did in the beginning, but they refuse to change to allow the Lord control.
THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG
This is also why the culture has greater influence on these places than vice versa. The original Church from its very creation had greater power than any other entity on the planet. EVERY SINGLE MEMBER WAS GIVEN THIS GREAT POWER. It was never meant only for some ridiculous higher class. The Lord meant it for everybody. When one reads the historical record within the Book of Acts he sees the powerful coming forth of a people released from all shackles, from the shackles of sin and also from those of cultural arrangements that had always previously kept them down and out. Just as the Lord said, these people were now FREE:
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32]
The word translated as free means to be released from the dominion of sin, to be set at liberty, and even to be released from liability. This is real freedom! Once a person gains this freedom it means all things are possible. When people gain this freedom they get really happy really fast! That’s what happened at Pentecost. An incredible release took place. People were set free from virtual prisons. Joy broke out all over. They gave themselves to their new Lord and Master and were no longer under the sway of masquerading imposters who promise everything and deliver nothing.
Dead religious tradition had made a deal with the devil and kept them bound. The Lord Jesus set them free.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord Jesus is available. He has never stopped being available. All things are possible with God.
THE FAUX BROS
The faux brethren are preaching a different Gospel. It brings no honor to the Lord. But it does bring them a living, and that is what they desire the most.
“Christianity” is very different behind the scenes. Once a Christian performer leaves the stage he or she can be seen for what they really are. I remember very well the early days when idealism gave way to reality. While the reality of the Lord was always the same the Lord showed me how the faux brethren change when away from the spotlight. I wondered then, just how a Christian performer is supposed to represent himself in public. There is obviously no way he can maintain the same persona and attitude as the one presented onstage.
Again, these were the very early days of my new Christian experience. Everything was brand new, holy, and pure. I had no reason to doubt anything presented as spiritual reality. The preaching I became associated with was powerful and convicting. It was obviously inspired and anointed.
But I began to realize that I never saw that kind of preaching outside a church venue, unless it was a larger church venue transported to a rented auditorium or something similar. Why did I never see that kind of incredible preaching out on the street in a non-official setting?
THOSE BRUTAL ROMANS
This is how the early believers did it. They had no church buildings. There were in fact no church buildings for almost three centuries and yet those powerful early believers turned the Roman Empire on its ear. One must keep in mind that the Romans were brutal. That is probably the best one word description of their entire culture. They perfected crucifixion, for example. Gladiators fought to the death as entertainment. Massive crowds came to the many entertainment venues to see human beings suffer and die. Once the early believers became more numerous and were seen as a threat, they too were sentenced to die in entertainment venues, often ripped apart by wild beasts. Imagine being one of those early stalwarts of the faith.
Despite all the persecution and barbaric brutality, the early believers actually brought the Roman Empire to its knees. They did it with love. They did it by making themselves vulnerable. They were never two-faced. What you saw was what you got whether they were behind closed doors, in small settings, or out in the public on the street. They learned all of this from the Lord Jesus. It is exactly the way He was and the way He did things. He was always the same and He is still the same.
Official Christianity, however, has been transformed into a stage production. Preaching has become an art form. Yet, such is not close to being new. The Lord called the Pharisees and those like them hypocrites. Though the word has a different connotation now, hypocrites were stage performers. They were actors. The Lord called the Pharisees actors. They were merely acting out a part. Their outward performance was never how they really were. Off the stage and out of their religious costumes, they were the opposite. They were as fake as the day is long.
It should be obvious that without church buildings and professional preachers most Christians would have no clue what to do. Yet again, the early Church never “went to church.” They had no “church” to go to. Today, most Christians go to church in order to have church. Back then, real Christians were the Church. They couldn’t hide once they were out of the spotlight because they didn’t want to hide and the “spotlight” was a 24 hour a day proposition.
There are still Christians that are like this. They are always the same. They can do the will of God wherever they are. However, they are not professionals. They can’t be fake. It is simply not in them. Because of this they usually don’t have an easy time collecting donations. People are so used to having only one out a thousand presenting themselves as worthy “official” ministers that they are conditioned to support them, even though the great bulk of Christian work—99%—is being done by non-supported nobodies who must work closely with the Lord to gain a necessary living doing whatever they must. These are the real Christians. There are a few real Christians on stage and before cameras but are very, very few. You will know they are real because they do not perform. What they are in public is the same as what they would be in your living room or on the street.
It is largely why most of the early Great Awakening is not visible—it is not happening in official venues in churches, on stage, or on television. The controllers of those venues do not want a Great Awakening. They oppose it. It is too threatening to their cushy status quo. Almost all of it is happening out there among the nobodies, the forgotten Christians, the rejected Christians—the ones who never have and never will make the grade to be prime-time players. They are all lousy actors. They can’t make a living that way. But they are real— just like the Lord.
OUR LOVING FATHER
And the Lord Jesus is with them. He is always available. He takes care of them all because they have each presented themselves to Him as a living sacrifice to be used in whatever way He wants. These are true disciples. The one thing they have in common is their pure love and desire to help. Part of that involves believing the Lord for a miracle when a miracle is called for. They KNOW the Lord will always take care of them and one another and they have experienced the Lord’s miracles to that end. The Lord does miracles for them out of love and concern, however. He never does it as part of some twisted religious stage show. He blesses us in this way because He loves us and cares about us and because He can. He wants to meet our needs and if we let Him and obey Him and trust Him He can and He always will.
And sometimes He blesses us with a miracle not because there is a dire need but simply because He just wants to bless our socks off. He’s in love with us. He sometimes just can’t help Himself.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The closer one gets to the truth the more the world will hate you. This includes the religious world. And sadly, it includes Unreal Christianity.
During Paul’s travels he continually learned firsthand the terror arising from those opposed to the Lord Jesus. The worst offenders were those who claimed to know God. They were the ones far away from the reality of Truth who insisted they had it right. Paul did his best to convince them they were not right. He had the same fight the Lord had.
If a Christian takes the time to think about all the opposition the Lord faced and why, he or she might begin to understand what this world is really all about. But again I must reiterate that the world itself, though fallen from God and unaware of the truth, and in opposition to Him as a result of its blindness, does not necessarily have an inborn hatred of Him.
A DIFFERENT GOSPEL
This is only exhibited by those who are also fallen far from Him but insist they are not. How did these religious people gain control? We have major Christian denominations that continue to sink farther away from the Lord’s Truth though many were founded in great spiritual strength. How is it that such great numbers of “Christians” insist that the New Covenant is wrong and they are right? Why do they react adversely to New Covenant Truth while insisting their version is the correct one?
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2 Corinthians 11:3-4] 
They can’t back it up. They are in opposition to the New Covenant. If Paul came traveling their way they would reject him as soon as he started teaching. His teachings, which he learned directly from the Lord, are not their teachings. We continue to have major figures rise in the Christian world in America and gain great followings while preaching a Christianity opposed to the Lord. Their teachings, their manner, their chosen man-made doctrines, and their non-New Covenant formats are all different from that which the Lord brought forth in the beginning. Indeed, the history of Christianity in general is a continual falling away from the Lord’s original. Though there has always been a Remnant in the world illustrating the full Light of the Lord, His Light for most grows less and less. For many it has gone out completely.
TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT
One can test this. All one need do is check on how much of the New Covenant Scriptures are preached and taught in these fake assemblies. There is much of the Lord’s teachings they never touch. According to their standard much of the New Covenant writings including the teachings of the Lord in the Gospels is never heard. Such teachings are not conducive to their false agenda. They have another purpose in mind and it does not involve the full Truth. The great bulk is never mentioned. We never hear the Lord’s insightful teachings with regard to repentance and reform, for example, and the great battle we must each engage in to bring forth His Kingdom in all its fullness.
The only thing this false preaching does is coddle sinful flesh. It tells people they are right when they are wrong. The agenda for most is thus not to reveal error and promote Truth, but to allow people to remain far away from God in a continually unborn again condition. This may work in the here and now but I really don’t know how these people can live with themselves.
Here is the truth: Every Christian will have to stand before the Lord one day all alone and give an account of his or her life. Wouldn’t it be better to do it now and every day instead of waiting until that day?
I want to thank all of you for your support. Many of you have been loyal for years. You are all a blessing. I have had many former loyal readers, however, who reached a point in which they felt they must reject this site. They never or rarely give any explanation. The truths I am offering here are rarely challenged and when they are we have good discussions. This must be our course. This is what the early believers did. There were so many things the Lord called on them to do that did not look right or feel right but in the end they rejected their own reservations and embraced the Lord. They obeyed Him. It was very difficult and it often cost them greatly but there was no higher reward.
For those of you who like to pray or who may be intercessors I would appreciate your prayers at this time. Thank you.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The angel returned with his report and presented it to the Lord: The churches are dead. They act like they have it all together but are spiritually dead. They are congregations of pretenders…
The Lord Jesus did all He could do in the first century to bring the false religious leaders to repentance. He failed. It was, of course, not His failure. It was theirs. They refused. It did not matter how well He revealed their many errors. They were dead set on maintaining their dead religious ways.
There is a clear record in the Gospels of all their many failures and wrong actions. He tells them plainly that though they believed themselves to be right with God they did know God.
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE
It is no different today. Pick out any church on any street in America and the odds are huge that the leadership there will be out of fellowship with the Lord Jesus and are actually in opposition to Him. They look great. They have a great level of control and almost everyone there does what they are told. They are dead churches because the people are dead, the leadership is dead. There is a completely different standard of spirituality. Their standard is something otherworldly. It does not line up with Scripture. It is infused with false doctrines and teachings and this is borne out by its complete lack of spiritual effectiveness.
The Lord tries to get their attention but they refuse. They are smug. They are arrogant. They go about in their quiet manner looking and acting exactly like the world because that’s what they are—they are a picture of the unregenerate sinful world wrapped up in dead religious grave clothes. They are all prepared for a funeral.
“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] 
REFUSING THE PROPER COMPARISON
The Lord failed to convince the Pharisees and Sadducees to repent. He has so far failed to get this particular church to repent. A church like this is representative of many churches in America. Each one proves everyday that the Lord Jesus is not in charge. Their ministry looks nothing like His. They are dead. And they force everyone who becomes part of the congregation to be dead like them.
As long as no one makes the proper comparison to the clear New Testament record of what a group of believers is supposed to look like no one is ever the wiser. All of these people want a church in which they can continue to be sinners and remain distant from the Lord and never be made to get right with Him.
They absolutely hate being convicted. They refuse to surrender to the Lord and thus force themselves to surrender to the church status quo.
They are filled with sin and corruption but no one there knows it because they refuse the Lord’s light and correction that would expose them for what they are. They want compromised Christianity, a place where they can be as worldly as the day is long so they can maintain their love of this world and their focus on worldly success.
At best they want a halfway house. They want to be in that strangely mythical place, somewhere between heaven and hell. They loathe the full expression of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Lord’s truth does not interest them. They reject Him. They are not for real.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
HYSTERIA: 1. A psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions. 2. Behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess. 
THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY
…The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
They all said, “CRUCIFY HIM!”
And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “CRUCIFY HIM!”
When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.”
And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” [Matthew 27:20-25]
THE DEMON WHISPERERS
The hysterical people intent on killing an innocent Man refused to listen to reason. They were egged on by demonic religious leaders who had such powerful control of their minds they could make them do anything. The religionists knew exactly what words to use, exactly what stories to spin, and exactly how to gain the greatest reaction. They were unchallenged masters of the medium.
The hysterical people had been programmed over several decades to do the bidding of their masters. One can always tell a CULT by the way the cult leaders are treated:
The mind-numbed crowd will never turn on its masters regardless of their purely evil nature and powerfully sinister actions.
Instead, they will always place full blame on their innocent victims.
Cult leaders can turn their pit bull masses on anyone or anything at any time whenever they apply the proper triggers. In this case they triggered the final inner mechanism in their wicked arsenal by arousing, at the perfect time, the maximum level of cultural inner hatred, and once it was fully armed, they released it full bore upon their greatest enemy for maximum impact.
THE POWER OF RELIGION
There is a reason religion has the power it does. There is a reason religious shysters use religion to gain control of people and coerce their money. It is lucrative. It answers the two basic and fundamental needs of narcissistic authoritarians, many of whom are cleverly concealed charlatans: (1) Authority, and (2) Money. These religionists take power and money as their right.
Here is one way to differentiate some of the real from the unreal when it comes to Christian ministers: The real ones will do the job the Lord called them to do whether they get paid or not (unreal ministers never work without getting paid); whether they are appreciated or not (unreal ministers will never work without ongoing full respect); and whether they are overly protected or not (unreal ministers will never subject themselves to real persecution).
The real ministers of the Gospel will never quit no matter how everyone else may quit on them. They will always continue on though their good names and characters are falsely and wrongly trashed.
The following ALWAYS applies to the real guys:
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.” [Luke 6:22] 
REVIVING THE DEATH CULT?
The Lord Jesus—GOD HIMSELF—GOD WITH US—THE LONG-AWAITED MESSIAH—had arrived just as prophesied at the perfect time and He threatened the Death Cult and everything it stood for. He made war against it and would soon end it. He not only prophesied against its complete destruction but led the charge against its destruction.
The Death Cult would be completely incompatible with everything He planned to do in the future. It was a purely opposing force, rebellious to the core. It must therefore be eliminated.
Due to its refusal to admit fault and surrender, outright war to destroy it forever was the only alternative. This was the core construct of the spiritual war of the first century. It is why 70AD Jerusalem had to happen. It is also why God would never support its resurrection.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © Merriam-Webster
 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.
I can never forget the testimony of a man who was a very good friend. Long ago, someone took the time to witness to Him, casting personal risk aside.
He was probably in his mid-to-late thirties and about a decade and a half older than me. He had a loving wife and a bunch of kids. I had never known him before he was born again but he had been a rough character, a man no one would mess with. He was a solid family man and he worked hard. He was a construction worker, a foreman, and lived in the country some distance away. He had a hard row to hoe to pack up a large family with several little kids and head off to church four times a week, but he was always there. His smile lit up the whole place. He was a great example of how the Lord could melt even the most powerful heart.
When Charlie met the Lord Jesus, he finally met his match, and then some. Charlie found out that the Lord was a lot stronger than he was, that He was a bigger and better Man, and that He was the greatest man’s Man who ever lived. Charlie surrendered to his Maker.
I don’t know who witnessed to him but that family’s salvation was one of the great boons to our group. I have worked in construction for many years. I worked in the oil industry a long time as well. I have met hundreds of strong men. There is a culture in these blue collar fields that one had better respect. I am ever thankful to my Dad for teaching me early on how to thrive in the world of real men who do their job, who won’t be denied, and who know there is a job to be done, that must be done, and will get done.
But among all these guys I have still never met a man who was as physically strong as Charlie. My Dad always taught me when I was a kid to give a strong handshake, and I did. But this man had the strongest handshake I ever felt, and that was decades ago. I know he had to torque it down when he shook hands with other men because, if he wanted to, he could mash your hand to a pulp. I am serious. He could break your hand. The best defense is to squeeze the other guy’s hand harder than he is squeezing yours, or just as hard. But it wouldn’t work with him. He was strong as an ox. Two oxes. There were times when I had him in a good grip and looked him in the eye and told him to go a little more and he would smile and clamped down just about an extra ounce and I knew my hand would be withered in a heartbeat and quickly told him to back off. This has never happened with anyone else. Ever.
So now I think I know what happened to that guy with the withered hand in the Bible. He met Charlie before Charlie got saved.
It’s hard to explain to people who have never been filled with the Holy Spirit about the transformation that takes place. Charlie was undoubtedly a very rough character but after he was filled with the Lord’s Spirit his face glowed like an angel. He was God’s middle linebacker, still tough as nails and solid as a rock but with a loving, tender heart. He was always smiling and trying to hold back from laughing in that shy way he had. He could not contain all the joy the Lord filled him with though he tried. Every service he was back there in the back row. He did that because he had so many young kids, about half a dozen, and did not want to disrupt the service. He and his lovely wife, also filled gloriously with the Holy Ghost, were all lined up back there. The kids always stayed in line but were still kids and were also smiling all the time. They made it work. It is not natural to make little kids do that but they managed it very well. They were such happy people. I think Charlie knew even more than I did that he had been hell bound and got rescued. He would be forever grateful and showed it always.
He told me that before the Lord rescued him he drank a half bottle of hard liquor every day. He smoked two or three packs of cigarettes every day. And he worked very hard every day. This man was tough as nails. Then somebody witnessed to him. Some real Christian answered the call and witnessed to Charlie. Charlie could have done some serious damage.
We all know how some will go off half-cocked when they get witnessed to. There is sometimes a lot of hate and one must have enough love to overcome it. Only the Lord has that kind of love but He must work through people to show it. This is a hard, tough world, and many people are filled with a lot of pain. They’ve been treated bad and they’re angry. And they don’t like it when told it is somehow their fault. They need our help and understanding.
When the Lord reached out from heaven through a brave witness, instead of getting angry, Charlie listened. Maybe he knew he was a mess and really wanted to change but wasn’t going to be forced into becoming some fake girly man and succumb to religion. The Lord knew that. So he sent Charlie a real witness to witness about the real thing. The Lord was not going to force Charlie to surrender his manhood but just the opposite. He wanted him to be the real man he wanted to be but with a godly heart.
The Lord filled Him with His Spirit. He delivered him from his cigarette habit. He took away his desire for alcohol. Charlie stopped cussing and fighting and began smiling and loving. He could still break you in two, though, and you had to be careful—you had to watch out for exuberant hugs. He became a solid witness for His Lord and Savior and though he didn’t talk much he was the very picture of Christian strength.
I want to close with a funny incident that will give you a tad more insight into the joy we all felt in Charlie’s presence. Before I go on, there was one thing I touched on previously about Charlie but didn’t tell the whole story.
Charlie was so full of spiritual joy he continued smiling and doing these little laughs even after we all settled into our seats and church got going. It was just part of his good nature that the Lord accentuated with His own. This was an active Spirit-filled congregation of lively people so it was not always possible to contain one’s self. Charlie would often continue expressing his happiness and gratitude throughout the service. He was way in the back but everyone always knew it was just Charlie being Charlie. Some of us may say “Amen!” but he would do a chuckle. It added greatly to a joyful atmosphere.
One night, a traveling minister came to the church. He was a big guy in a black suit with a commanding presence. He was also blind. He’s up there preaching and we’re down there in the pews, being properly respectful if not more so, and not quite sure what was transpiring before us. It was pretty hushed.
Well, the preacher must have said something Charlie really liked. Showing his unbound appreciation, Charlie did one of his customary good-natured manly chuckles that just happened to project quite well. The preaching stopped. The combination of church quiet and back bench acoustics made the preacher think he was being laughed at! It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen in church and I could write a book on the subject. The blind preacher rebuked Charlie from the pulpit! He hollered, “You may think this is funny! But I’m preaching up here!”
We all started stifling laughter at the initial shock and some of us turned around and looked back at poor Charlie who obviously meant no harm and was real embarrassed. He was red as a beet and had a weird grin on his face coming down from a joy high and was not quite sure what to do. But just like his Lord, Charlie took it like a man. And he understood.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The world is filled with hungry people searching for life and truth. They know there must be something more than this temporary surface existence. We must reach out to them.
CAN I GET A WITNESS?
I remember well my early experience as a rookie Christian. The church building was relatively new but somewhat sparse. There were many empty pews. It needed filling up. The preacher was always preaching about witnessing. I certainly complied. I was always witnessing—at work, on the street, wherever I was, whatever I was doing—I was always witnessing.
Why? Because people were going to hell. They needed to be saved. I had dodged hell and so must they. The Lord turned me on to His incredible life and love and I wanted the whole world to have what I had. Before being shown the path of salvation, I didn’t know I was on the wrong road. I was a sinner but didn’t know it before I met the Lord.
For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. [Hebrews 2:1-4] 
THE FIRST WITNESS
I rejected them the first time they came. These were close friends. A young married couple. I was a tad younger. I had known them a few years. We hung out together. I hadn’t seen them in a while. The news was they got religion and I could not understand how they could be so dumb. They used to be so cool. What the heck happened to them? If they had joined a cult it would have been different. Weird but different. But they joined a church! What a joke! The great respect I had for them was no more.
They came over to tell me all about it. They said I needed to do what they had done. I was very friendly and open. I listened to their story. But they were brand new Christians and were not so good at what they were trying to do. They certainly had the heart and desire but they came on pretty strong. I was too mature for that. I knew too much. I could see through them. I was nice to them and tried hard to understand. We had a relatively good discussion at first. I told them I was happy for them but I could not go in that direction. I wanted no part of their church stuff. I didn’t want what they were selling. They persisted. I told them if they didn’t stop they needed to leave. I stayed strong. I never lost my cool. They got bummed out and left. They had done their best. I knew they cared. But they failed in their mission and were sad. That was that.
THE SECOND WITNESS
Then one day, after three months of no contact with them, I received a second witness. They never gave up. Instead, they went into prayer with other unknown people who shared their concern. This is a very important point because the Lord often has to do things in the Spirit that we are not aware of to have ultimate success. We usually never know about all the in-between things that must happen in spiritual warfare and prayer battles. In this case, He had to prepare me for another opportunity which would in all probability be the last. There might not ever be another chance in my life like this one. It was imperative that I receive this Word. Sometimes, people build up a hardness of heart that can never be overcome.
To remedy that, the Lord had managed to break me down over that time. I went from being strong and confident to somewhat insecure. I had no idea what was happening but the Lord had been preparing me for a second witness. He was plowing a field and I was the field. He knew I had been searching for Him for roughly four years but I didn’t know that. I was searching for TRUTH. That’s what I was after. I had determined right out of high school that I would find out what was really going on behind the scenes in this world. I had been doing an exhaustive search of various belief systems the world over. I knew there was something more and was determined to find it. I would never stop. By that time in my young life I had already rejected organized Christianity because the version I knew (and knew very well) offered nothing on a deep spiritual level.
Keep in mind, however, that though I was completely fed up with “Christianity,” I never ever rejected the Lord Jesus. I always thought He was the coolest Guy. How could anyone in their right mind be against Him?
For the second witness only she came over. She had given her life to the Lord before her husband and was instrumental in getting him saved. Both had strong born again experiences but her gifting made her more persistent. Both had matured spiritually and she did a better job this time. There was less pressure and more joy.
At one point when we were talking she suddenly said, “Wow! I feel the presence of God in this room!” I didn’t know what she was talking about but I felt it too. This was not the same kind of witness as before. She didn’t come alone after all.
Thanks to the Lord Jesus who never gave up, and to the loving witness He sent who never gave up either who went out of her way to find me and tell me all about the Lord and spiritual reality, the scales on my eyes fell off. It was the Lord’s presence on that occasion that made the difference. I suddenly realized it all made sense. This was it! I had been searching for truth for so long and had found it. The truth was Him. I surrendered to the Lord that night. It was easy and the best decision I ever made.
NOW COMES THE HARD PART
I also had to submit to the Lord’s next directive. This is the way it works. The Man gave His life for us. We give our lives to Him. And that makes Him the One in charge. We must do what He says. We must trust Him.
He wanted me to go somewhere. When I found out where, it was the last place I ever thought I would find truth. He wanted me to attend their dreaded church. Oh no! It would be like going to the blasted dentist. But worse. I had been forced to go to church about a million times growing up and had learned to want no part of it. There was nothing there anyway. All that had long since become way back in my rear view mirror. This church thing was going to be a hard sell. It took more convincing and more “preparing.” Long story short, the Lord won the argument. I was in no position to fight Him. I went.
I found out churches are different! This one was nothing like the one I grew up in. The people were lively and happy. I was very well received. There was an excitement in the air. This was a place with the presence of the Lord. Later on I heard the Word of God from a very good preacher. I had never seen or heard preaching like this. The Word of God came alive. I was almost instantly convicted. The Lord planted the Gospel seed in my plowed up heart. I gave Him my life, hook, line, and sinker, and never looked back. A few weeks later I was filled with His Spirit!
After my born again experience I set my mind on telling everyone I knew about the Lord Jesus—the One who saved me, the One who went to the cross in my place. I wanted everyone to have the salvation I had. Sin no longer had any power over me. I was set free. I wanted everyone else to be set free also. Combining my strong spiritual hunger with a powerful born again experience set me loose as a witnessing juggernaut.
In time I found out that people in general didn’t share the same passion I had. I often had the same experience of the two who first witnessed to me when I rejected them. It can be discouraging. It is hard to understand why a person does not want all the Lord has for them and had to die to make it available. I learned that many people are simply not so spiritually hungry. They are happy with life as it is. They would rather stay on the surface. I had to learn to follow the leading of the Lord more closely.
Witnessing is therefore not so easy but is obviously vital. There is no other way to be saved. We are commanded to tell the Gospel story. People must know the truth—the TRUTH. We must turn people on to the Lord. Whatever He has put on your heart and called you to do, be encouraged. There is an inexhaustible supply of every spiritual means available that can be applied. It truly is the case that all things are possible with God.
Many people were doing their share of witnessing in that relatively small congregation I was blessed to be a part of long ago. We had success to a degree but it never resulted in the level of success we wanted until much further down the road. Many would visit. Few would stay. But some of those who did stay were solid and strong. In time, several years later, the floodgates opened.
In my next post I will introduce you to one of the people there in those early days. His name was Charlie. He was a bad dude brought into the love of the Lord because someone made a bold move and the serious risk to witness to him.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
The greatest expression of manhood is the Lord Jesus. He is the only correct example. The era of frauds is over. Real American Christian men want to be like Him.
THIS IS INDEED A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION
I’ve written about this phenomenon in the past, for several years. My particular priority on the issue, since this is a Christian website, is to focus on the dearth of real men within general organized Christianity. What happened? It is really a sad state of affairs.
Many American men have been blessed to have had their born again experience among people who put no shackles on the fullest expression of the Lord within an individual, whatever that expression might be. Though they had already proven their manhood prior to their new birth, getting filled with the powerful Spirit of the Lord, just like those people back on the Day of Pentecost, suddenly transported them into an ultra level of manhood—spiritual manhood—that can never be explained to the unexperienced.
The Lord Jesus knew what He was doing when He invented the whole thing. He was fixing to send His men into a dark, evil world, a veritable spiritual jungle, to rescue the lost and all those overcome by the devil’s evil kingdom. For all the sissy religious eggheads who think He would do such a thing without equipping them properly are probably as stupid as they look. He obviously knew the level of fight His men would face from untold numbers of demon-possessed idiots and shrill followers of religious nutcases as ignorant as the day is long and prone to hateful eruptions of emotional tornados and earthquakes on a moment’s notice.
So the Lord thought, “What do I give them so they can compete and overcome? What force must fuel the Gospel? What kind of power will give them a chance against such powerful entrenched evil? I know. I will give them Myself.”
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” [John 20:21-22]
And there you have it. The Lord made it possible to be filled with His Spirit so we can go out and do the same thing He did, which is namely kicking the devil’s backside all over creation.
“The Church is not only supposed to be loving, kind, and gentle, but also able to kick the corpulent posteriors of demons and take their names.” From: Real Christianity
That is why the men He chose and sent were powerful, gritty, sinewy, stalwart men with strong backbones and fisherman’s hands—blue collar workers for the most part—to turn the tide against the hardhearted silly girly men who liked dressing up like ladies in fine embroidery doing their best Louis the Fourteenth and having hissy fits on a regular basis.
HE WENT OUT CONQUERING AND TO CONQUER
But the Lord’s men, these Apostles, those champions of the world, as manly as they were, would be no match for the evil minions of the mission at hand if they only acted from mere natural strength, even if they could whip any other men on the planet. No, they would need more. Besides, the Lord was not sending them out to beat people up but just the opposite: They would have to be strong enough to take a beating without striking back. They would have to love in a world filled with hate.
But not against the devil. The Lord empowered them to crush the devil. The Lord has clearly instructed that the fight is never against people. He said He did not come to condemn the world but to save it. We are all in this fight together and the battle is for people, that we may all be set free from the destructive power of sin. It is the devil that opposes this. He wants no one to be saved, set free, and delivered. He obviously wants no one to be filled with the Spirit of the Lord because he knows such people can crush him. People do themselves a grave disservice by agreeing with the devil and siding with the devil in their opposition to the only One who can save them. This is also part of the devil’s work, of course. The devil deceives people into believing he is their friend and the Lord is the enemy.
This is why, against the devil and all his unseen demon idiots, the Lord intended a no-holds-barred slugfest of utter destruction and evisceration. The devil’s kingdom must be raided and invaded so people can be saved. Against the devil, there are supposed to be great left hooks from out of nowhere bashing his silly face and uppercut gut punches sending him over the ropes. For that, the Lord’s apostles would need something really, really powerful. And that is why the Lord gave them His very Spirit.
THOSE WHO CLAIM TO KNOW OFTEN DON’T KNOW SQUAT
You have no doubt heard a lot of bullcorn over the years about the “Holy Spirit.” Much of it sounds pretty girly and is obviously sent forth by so-called Christians who don’t have a clue. The Lord said this would happen. They don’t have a clue because of instead of being sent they just went. Most of them are lost in space and thus refer to the Holy Spirit as something spacey and ethereal, completely different than the mighty and powerful Spirit of the Lord Jesus. What they call the Holy Spirit is something else entirely. I will leave it to the Lord to work out all the blasphemy stuff in this regard because He said that’s what we must do, and He will work it out. But in the meantime the facts must be told and the facts in this regard are such that the men the Lord sent out originally were (1) Manly Men as opposed to girly men, and (2) Powerful filled-with-the-Spirit Manly Men instead of empty religious girly men. Whoever may want to argue with that is free to do so but the Word of God, if applied, will destroy those arguments.
This is why it is so refreshing, for men especially, to see what has just happened in this country. And it is just the start. It is a time of American men finally throwing off all the garbage laid on their backs for the last several decades and return to being what the Lord created them to be. This must especially happen in the Christian realm. Christian men must now actually become Christian men. There have been a few who have been advocating for this seemingly forever, as I have been, largely to no avail. Or they get it all twisted, or they turn it in the wrong direction, or they try to do it within a system that opposes it, which makes their fight meaningless and doomed to failure.
Somebody invented a weird doctrine long ago that says in order to be good Christian men, men must become women. But the facts are otherwise clear that God gave Adam permission to be a man when He created Him a man. Period. God never put Eve in charge of the orchard.
If we as Christians could only see that the Day of Pentecost marked a strikingly clear beginning—A REVOLUTION—and that the old was done away with and the new way truly came upon us, and that it meant we were supposed to engage as the Lord engaged and become the powerful spiritual people He had always planned for, then this new Great Awakening could come forth all the more.
Most Christians, however, insist on never going beyond the promise of the written gospels. Most Christians don’t even know the Book of Acts exists much less have read it and they certainly don’t live it.
He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” [Acts 19:2]
And there’s your problem. Far too many have taken on religious clowns as “leaders” and have been led right into the quicksand of unbelief. They have thoroughly rejected anything and everything that must transform us into the people the Lord needs to destroy the devil which means they have essentially made peace with the devil and succumbed to his leadership. They also reject the Lord’s powerful empowerment and insist on operating through sinful, wimpy, compromised, uncircumcised, and unregenerate flesh. As Napoleon Dynamite would say, “Idiot!”
The Lord said exactly the same thing about the religious leaders of his time. It is now time for their proponents of the present to get the same treatment. It is time for real Christian men in America to throw off the yoke of effete religious compromise and be what the Lord made them to be. The first step is repenting of fake compromised manhood and any glorification of flesh, and become as the Apostles and all the other men of the first century community of the Lord.
In the spiritual realm, all of our so-called manliness without Him, regardless of how it may be manifested, is just a little mound of estrogen with a pink ribbon around it. Spiritual estrogen is for women, and perhaps it could be the case that when Christian men become spiritual men, real spiritual women could quit carrying the burden. Nevertheless, most “Christian” get-togethers nowadays in America are devoid of testosterone by design and are nothing but mere estrogen fests doing their best to keep real men completely out of the loop, except for the one guy in the pulpit, of course.
THE HERO RIDES A WHITE HORSE
I will end this post with a portrait of the Founder. He has never changed. His message has never changed. HE IS A MAN YOU JUST DON’T MESS WITH. This has not stopped a horde of fakers from trying to do that very thing but their judgment is coming. They will never get away with it. Their little kindergarten show doesn’t fit the future. The good news for today is that their whitewash is coming off. This always happens when God opens the sky and sends a spiritual rain!
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who support the Lord Jesus and those who oppose the Lord Jesus. Those who support Him support truth and oppose error. Those who oppose Him oppose truth and support error.
“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 3:20-21]
THEY ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT
Error hates the light. It knows the light will expose it. It knows the light will ultimately kill it. It must therefore protect itself from light. To this end error will always oppose light for sheer self-preservation.
Though often reserved and unperceived, enjoying its dark place in the dirty shadows where the vermin and cockroaches roam, once error is exposed it reverts to its true nature—it rises up on its huffy hindquarters, rears its ugly head, and makes a complete jackass of itself.
Since it has no defense against bright shining truth other than taking on the persona of a first class idiot, it will be that idiot. It will own that idiotness. It will go off half-cocked at a moment’s notice. It will do the stupidest things ever done, things that make no sense whatsoever, in the effort to deflect attention from its crimes and keep its perverted little world intact against light, its deadly enemy.
And rather than face a fair fight, error greatly prefers to remain hidden in the dark shadows where no light penetrates. Error is chicken and a gutless wonder, and in the end will be nothing more than a fading howl sucked into a black hole in the far reaches of distant space.
SUNSHINE IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT
Christians who actually follow the Lord Jesus and know His Word know that He is the Light—the great powerful brightest shining light there is—and that He loves shining His light on all darkness, because He obviously knows darkness is the real enemy. He didn’t just talk the talk, He walked the transparent walk. He revealed the light out in the open for all to see. How is it possible for light to act otherwise? How can light be hidden? Why would light want to hide itself? That makes no sense whatsoever. It is the nature of light to be out in the open and lead the way. This is exactly how light fights the war on darkness.
This is why the Lord Jesus had a transparent ministry. There was no other way for the light to shine. Once He stepped out into the public eye and began His public ministry, He stepped forth as a bright shining beacon for all to behold. His central goal was to SHINE and to REVEAL DARKNESS, and thereby save and set free.
“For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Mark 4:22-23]
He will continue to bring forth greater and greater truth to expose all the lies and all the error. The people standing in the place of lies and error will no longer have any place to hide. Truth will expose them. They may rant and rave and go crazy and all the rest or they may descend deeper into their dark dungeons, dank caverns, and slimy pits, but the Lord will find them. He will send great powerful light. He will pour it into all their secret places. All their evil deeds will be revealed. They will be exposed. Unless they surrender they will never recover.
ERROR HIDES IN THE DARK BECAUSE ITS WORKS ARE EVIL
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell
The worst errorists are the official errorists. These are the people who have power and authority. Some are state sponsors of error. They are the people who stand in the place of legitimacy. They are the ones who demand honor but are dishonorable. While claiming to be upholders of the law they routinely violate the law. While claiming to be upholders of the Gospel they routinely violate the Gospel. While claiming to be upholders of the golden rule they routinely violate the golden rule.
Here is a fact I want everyone to know regarding this:
There is a God. He is the epitome of goodness. He is righteous and pure. He is powerful and strong. And unless these people change their ways and climb out from under their rocks, God is going to get them. He does not want to get them. He wants them to change and get right. He wants them to come into His light. But if they refuse, if they continue in their ever-increasing evil deeds with no desire to change for the better, and if they keep treating innocent people badly and using their great power to harm those who have chosen the light, God will certainly get them. It is only a matter of time.
THESE PEOPLE WILL PAY
God’s Creation is good. At least it was originally. But then evil people began fouling it up. The Word of God is clear that the evil set in motion millennia ago will only get worse over time simply because evil is progressive. Unless it is checked it grows ever more evil. There are things going on right now, a portion of it right out in the open, that are so unspeakably evil that past generations could never even fathom the possibility of their emergence. We might call this the unashamed darkness. Darkness usually knows its place. It knows its place is in the haunt of secrecy and hidden shadows. But some within the darkness are so vile they violate the darkness code. It is their attempt to make darkness appear as light.
Errorists are becoming the same way. They are flaunting their error openly and egregiously, and talking even louder and getting in your face all the more. They have come out of their dark and dirty little hovels in a last-ditch effort to fight the light while they still can. Some of them know what most who are supposedly in the light don’t know: The Light is increasing. It is shining brighter. No one knows this more than those who are truly in the light and those who are in abject darkness.
The dark errorists have been getting a pass for a long time. They have been able to operate in the open, legitimately, as if they had God’s blessing. But these people do not believe in God. In fact, they hate Him. But they love their darkness. They love their error. They have made themselves their own gods. They think they can get away with anything and that they will get away with it forever. They think their power has become too great to be successfully challenged. They have grown successful and powerful and have no intention of changing or turning back.
Their success has gone to their heads. They have blinded themselves to the truth. They cannot see and they refuse to consider the abyss that awaits. They have bought into the dark side. They are invested in it. They like its fruits. They like their false façade of credibility. They refuse to acknowledge the good Creator.
THE WORST ERRORISTS ARE “CHRISTIAN” ERRORISTS
Thus, the Lord has had no choice but to bring a war against them. It is the war of light against darkness. It is the war of truth against error. It is truly a War On Errorism.
All those on the side of darkness and error will be exposed for what they are. The Lord knows the perfect way to do this. He will shine His light and shine it ever brighter to expose all darkness. He will shine it even within all their dark little secret places they have become accustomed to hiding within, thinking they will always be hidden.
They have control. They sit in the seat of Moses as it were, but actually in the place of the Lord. They are pretending to be His. Every time the Lord sends someone to correct them they run him off. They hate the correcting voice of God. They hate any semblance of reform. They specialize in the character assassination of real prophets and teachers. They abhor the fact that God can always find a way to expose them and their error.
The need of correction and reform would mean they are in error and are wrong, and they cannot have that. It is too convicting. It makes them look bad. It hampers their ability to receive funding and collect donations. It makes them look like a bad investment. It makes them look bad in the eyes of the community. They have great fear of being branded for what they actually are. They are great at fooling people but they can’t fool everyone and they certainly can never fool God. They are fools to think they can.
As a testimony to their coming fate, here is a little story about what happened to some other people who took the same road:
He began to speak to them in parables: “A man PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT, AND DUG A VAT UNDER THE WINE PRESS AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey.
“At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others.
“He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.
“What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others.” [Mark 12:1-9] 
The War on Errorism is a vital part of the Great Awakening.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
In Old Covenant terms they were called prophets. They were sent by God to stand up strongly for truth, speak out forcefully against error, and expose outright corruption in high places.
“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:51-54]
Hold on to your hats folks, because 2017 will be a bumpy ride. It will also be a year of great blessing.
We have already seen the beginning of the overthrow of entrenched establishment principles, priorities, and prime movers and shakers. Three extremely powerful political dynasties have been pushed aside. The Powers That Be are doing one of two things they never thought they would be forced into. The first is to admit they never thought the day would come when the challenge against their authority has actually made their defeat possible. The second is scrambling around in their shocked amazement in the effort to gain or maintain a piece of the current pie.
Since corruption can never be eliminated wholesale at any given time in this corrupt and fallen world of mankind, it is not possible to eliminate all the compromised players and many will find a place on the new team. But the fact that three teams have been pretty much rendered ineffective and unwanted lets them know they are no longer in Kansas and that things for them could get even worse. They know an unraveling when they see it. They can feel the pulse of angry lesser power centers composed of millions of individuals who would otherwise have no power at all but have been forced into a new mindset after decades of being treated like chattel.
These people are not associated with mere street rioters blowing off steam, running around like proverbial headless chickens accomplishing nothing productive.
Instead, they are strong and vested members of various communities with various backgrounds who have had enough and are willing to challenge a compromised status quo. Their bravery will go nowhere, of course, and rarely has, if only the few forthright ones come forth with no support of great majorities, and this is where it gets interesting.
In Christian circles, it is very easy to single out the one or two with an honest willingness to live for the Lord and speak the truth. It is easy to turn a church against them. There are long-held traditional ways in which to do this and the perpetrators are very good at it. They know how to make themselves look good and make those who follow the Lord look bad. One simple method is to activate the church gossips to stir up the people. This has always proven to be quite effective.
But at present, there are far too many real Christians coming forth. They cannot be treated in the usual way. Rather than the usual occurrence of a few coming forward and getting quickly slammed and eliminated, as had happened with Stephen, there are now too many real Christians to be dealt with in the usual dismissive and indifferent manner. Not only are they too numerous, they are too informed. Much groundwork has been done over the last few years exposing corrupt leadership. Corrupt leadership has actually been forced by powerful former witnesses to reform themselves, but they only do it incrementally, as their heart is not in it.
An overall general reform has come forth but only exists as a foundation of sorts at present from which much greater reform can take place now and in the future. Also, there are many, many more real Christians on the cusp of coming forth. They are just waiting for the right time or inspiration. Their minds are made up. They are fed up. They want to do the right thing. All these people know that real reform must happen.
A SPIRITUAL EXAMPLE
There was a time when the Lord sent me to a new church, but it took a lot of work to get me there. Here is how He did it:
I was a member in good standing in a previous church. It was borderline large and a few years later achieved mega church status, largely built on the persona of the preacher. (No! Really?) I had a good record there and many friends and associates who respected me. I did what I was told. I went through all the proper channels and obeyed church protocol. But I was also following the Lord and this caused a problem. Over time the leadership there, composed of one man and the usual yes men, developed a different opinion. They began to make life difficult. They were revealing their cultish side.
Of course, they treated anyone this way if they did not fall into line and obey whatever they were pushing from on high. They, like so much other entrenched church leadership that continues to exist, some far worse, prefer to operate with smiles and “love” but much of this is mere window dressing. Their exterior can change in a flash. Sometimes their interior is exposed. It is often much different than their exterior. They hide their full personas to protect their real intentions and agenda.
It was certainly not all bad. In many ways it was a great place. But that is not the issue. Many churches do much good. But real disciples of the Lord know the difference between Sunday school and spiritual reality. They know there is a devil and they know the devil goes to church. Even the leadership knows that. But what most Christians don’t know is that the devil is often IN the leadership, something those in power refuse to consider or acknowledge for obvious reasons.
The main objective for the majority of religious establishments is power, control, and money. Otherwise they would look like the Lord and His ministry, but most know they can’t operate that way and must therefore establish other methods to do what they want. Whoever within the congregation that follows the Lord Jesus first and not them is always suspect.
The Lord started telling me to leave. I resisted the Lord. I was far too loyal. I would stay the course. The Lord started sending witnesses my way to tell me to get out of there and go to another church. He knew the leadership in my current place would never support me because I was too much of a challenge even though I did not see myself that way, was struggling to survive, and was only being what the Lord created me to be. Compromised leadership always has a problem with such people. I initially paid no attention to the Lord and did not even know it was the Lord. Nevertheless, some reform was happening. Here is one small example:
The preacher was always talking about money. He was a great preacher. Really gifted. But he was obsessed somewhat with money and was always engaging in small sermonettes on the subject. A friend of mine in another church in a different city far away told me how they collected money in their church. They never took up offerings. Instead, they had a box in the back of the church. Members gave when they gave without any prompting whatsoever or coercing. There was also no condemnation. The church had no money problems. In fact, it was a relatively large church and the preacher took no salary.
I thought this news was very refreshing. I thought it was cool. I mentioned this in passing to a friend in my church one day. I was not saying it to be critical but simply because I thought it was a great idea. He thought so too. I never told the leadership. That was the extent of it. Guess what happened? Within a very short time I came to church one day and there was a large tastefully constructed collection box matching the trim installed on the wall of the vestibule. I kid you not.
There were other things like this.
THE TWO WITNESSES
The Lord sent me a witness. Christians talk about the places they attend. This first witness brought my attention to a new church. The Lord was directing me to it. I had never heard of it. That was the purpose of the first witness. This person had no idea what was going on and was not in any way trying to proselytize that I know of, but merely giving an excellent report in conversation and probably had no idea the Lord was in it. I didn’t know it was the Lord.
Then the Lord sent me a second witness. The two witnesses did not know each other. This second witness, which came several weeks later, was a man of excellent character. Like the first, this was not an overt witness either because the man didn’t even know what the Lord was doing in reference to me. But he happened to mention the church he was attending. It was the same church.
It got me thinking. He put the place on the map, so to speak, and made it a distant possibility. No other church ever came up in conversation like this. But I was still adamant about being loyal and not leaving my current church, even though life kept getting more difficult. It got so difficult that I was forced to change anyway and make relatively desperate moves.
We left. We needed support but there was no support coming and never would be. This is what the Lord had been warning me about. He tried to get me to make a shift earlier before things got worse. He knew I was open to attack and was no longer covered even though I should have been and never warranted their behavior. The leadership there was actually reacting to my calling and not necessarily me personally. Their cold shoulder made me vulnerable, the enemy attacked, my life was going downhill, and they took that as a sign that I was not worth supporting. This, obviously, was not financial support but merely the support all believers should have from their community. I was actually supporting them. I had worked hard and had given a lot of money that was earned with difficulty. I gave by the Lord’s direction. I even supported a new building program financially and donated free labor.
But again, they did not appreciate my calling. The Lord was bringing conviction upon the leadership and they didn’t like it. They reacted by turning against one of the messengers. Incidentally, in my time there the leadership began making big moves to correct their financials. I had never seen that before.
After being forced out through the usual cold shoulder church tactics and due to the Lord increasingly withholding His blessing as a way to get me to move on, I spent months mulling my options and trying to figure out the next step. During this time, the strangest thing happened. The Lord began blessing. I wasn’t even going to church. It involved quite a dramatic change for the better. Just getting out of there allowed the Lord to bring blessing. He was making a way.
THE THIRD WITNESS
Six months later I came into contact with the third witness. Remember, the Lord had already blessed me with two clear witnesses over a year earlier. The third witness hit the ball out of the park. It was amazing. The Lord Jesus is always faithful! I had never met the man. He was a well-known minister from a different city with an excellent reputation and also had no knowledge whatsoever of my past situation with the other church. By this time I had pledged to never attend any church ever again and I was maintaining that line of thought as a mature follower of the Lord overly loyal to a fault.
Completely out of the blue, the third witness suggested to me that I look up a good friend of his. This friend of his was a church pastor. He just happened to be the pastor of the very church the other two witnesses had been telling me about! I was in a very large locality with hundreds of churches. The odds of this happening without the Lord’s direct involvement were absolutely impossible. It had been the Lord’s plan all along but my own misplaced loyalty had been getting in the way.
THE STEPHEN EFFECT
The lesson to be learned here might be called the Stephen Effect. Because Stephen was so powerfully anointed and filled with the Spirit of the Lord, the religious idiots he revealed could not hide. If he had said nothing at all they still would have been greatly uncomfortable just being around him. They were powerfully convicted. Compromised Christian leadership acts exactly the same way. It is why they attempt to get rid of people that make them feel convicted.They would much rather be surrounded by adoring fans.
Most Christians refuse to make the connection that this is exactly the way the Lord makes us all feel if we are not right with Him. He convicts us. He does it to help us. He does it to purify the Church.
Since the Lord convicts us, should we get rid of Him?
Christian leadership almost always rejects the spirit of reform, especially when it comes from someone they do not respect or from the outside. But what else can the Lord do? They have already taken control of everything inside. The Lord must always send someone from outside.
Isn’t this always the case? Is not this the true nature of a prophet? Isn’t this exactly why Hebrew leadership was always killing Hebrew prophets? Those who were sent by God? Isn’t that exactly why they killed the Lord?
STEPHEN THE WHISTLEBLOWER
Why was Stephen even brought to trial before the mighty Sanhedrin in the first place? What in the world did he do that was so bad? What law did he break? How did he violate the Torah? What did he do that was so wrong that it got him killed? Could it possibly be that his chief offense was provoking conviction?
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council. [Acts 6:8-12]
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
When John the Immerser blasted onto the scene he warned his hearers of losing eternal life and loosing national destruction. The means of avoiding both was encapsulated in one word: REPENT.
REPENTANCE DRIVES GREAT AWAKENINGS
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can 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.
The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:7-10]
John did something then that next to no American Christian does today: He blasted the religious leaders. These were men who had total control of the religious establishment in first-century Judea. They controlled the entire Temple complex. They controlled every single synagogue. Their control was such that John was preaching way out in the wilderness.
In today’s terms these would be the religious leaders who control denominations, churches, seminaries, and major Christian media, including publishing and television. The Pharisees and Sadducees had a lock on all things religious back then just as Christian controllers have a lock on most things Christian at present. Both have a single denominator: MONEY.
ONLY TWO GODS FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE
Getting to the root of Christian intention begins with the simple question: Is it serving the Lord Jesus or is it serving the money-god?
“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.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. [Luke 16:13-14]
One will either submit to the Lord Jesus and make money a servant, or one will submit to the money-god and make oneself its servant.
If one serves the Lord, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the Lord and His teachings. If one serves the money-god, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the money-god and its teachings.
Here’s is a quick contrast and illustration: John the Immerser served the Lord. His life looked like the Lord. The Pharisees and Sadducees served the money-god. Their lives looked like the money-god. Compare both to the present.
John warned everybody, but especially the brood of vipers otherwise known as the Pharisees and Sadducees, that the entire nation was about to suffer complete destruction for one principle reason: IT CHOSE THE MONEY GOD.
Money can make you and it can break you. If there was a way to exist without it we would never have to deal with its powerful influence and temptation. We would never have to submit to its effects. But the international money system has been with us a while and unless we somehow manage to go completely off the grid we have little choice but to enter the game and play according to the rules.
It is for this reason that most people believe there is no escape and the only solution is to try to gain as much money as possible in order to gain the upper hand. In other words, the way people think they can beat the powerful effect of money on their lives is to defeat it by gaining enough of it that it no longer rules them but becomes their servant.
This works for some people. For a while. It never works for the vast majority. The system has limited resources. Some are able to gain the upper hand and remain relatively personally free or at least maintain the appearance of freedom, and do not seem on the surface to be anxious regarding money matters. If one does win the money battle by doing whatever they feel they must to gain authority over it by having much of it, it rarely lasts. One must keep doing whatever it takes to gain access to the money well. Most do it legally. Some do not. But even if one does find a way to beat the system, so to speak, and gain great piles of gold, one cannot leave this world with it. It must all stay right here where one found it.
MONEY IS NO GOOD OVER YONDER
It has been said that rich people don’t have armored trucks full of money following their hearse to the graveyard. Money does not translate into eternity. To the degree that one depends on money is to the same degree that one does not depend on the Lord. This equation portends one’s final location in the afterworld and often whether one even believes in an afterworld.
One of the best things that can ever happen to a person is to discover early on in life that the pursuit of money for the purposes of mastering life is a heartbreaker. The money-god is a deceiving, bewitching taskmaster. It is a hard lesson to learn. It can be quite cruel. On the other hand, if money always comes relatively easy then the odds of having a spiritual life with the Lord are next to zero. Most people will always choose much money over a disciplined spiritual life. Here’s why:
Making the decision to give oneself totally to the Lord involves:
(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus instead of faith in the money-god and all it portends.
(2) The need to repent, which means one must accept the fact that one is a sinner and a violator of God’s laws and commandments. Who wants to do that? Especially in these days? To admit that one is messed up like this, that one is not the great person he or she thinks he or she is can have a devastating effect on one’s psyche. And yet the Lord is persistent. He says that prior to our born again experience we are sinners. He says we violate His laws. He says we have uncircumcised flesh that must be dealt with. This fleshly nature is not always on display but certainly reveals itself on occasion, with some people much more than others, especially when under stress.
TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT
A simple test to prove God is right and humans are compromised in this way is to simply see how often we violate the Golden Rule. Do we always treat others the way we want to be treated? Do we do this especially when we are stressed out or under a lot of pressure? Do we always contain the pressure that builds up, find a way to keep it from building up, manage to channel it off in some safe way in which nobody is hurt, or even stop it completely in the very beginning? Do we always master our impulses? Do we have impulse control or do we simply vent all the time everyday at everybody?
If so, it is the opposite of real discipleship and thoroughly proves the need for heart circumcision surgery and real repentance. It proves the Lord knows exactly what He is talking about though many people may successfully hide their true nature. Occasional mess-ups are understandable. A lifestyle of trashing others and violating the Lord’s teachings is not.
The Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. He is not fooled by outward appearances. He knows what a dirty, fleshy, sinful, uncircumcised heart looks like. It doesn’t matter how much one may try to cover it up and deceive people about one’s true nature. God knows. And He demands that we fix it! The Pharisees and Sadducees fooled almost everyone because they dressed to look the part. They were mere religious actors. That’s what hypocrites are—stage players. Is it any wonder then that the majority of Christian leadership at present does all its work on a stage? What would they be without the stage? It was money that made the Pharisees and Sadducees successful. They served the money-god while pretending to serve God. IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME TODAY. God is not fooled.
A FOOL’S PARADISE
If there appears to be a way around the repentance and discipleship the Lord demands, most people, including most Christians, will do the end run. They will run from God. They will find substitutes in which they can keep themselves in charge. They will choose counterfeit belief systems, of whatever variety, in which they do not have to submit to the Lord. They will try to convince themselves and everyone else that they are good people.
Of course, they are playing a fool’s game. There is no other way than the way the Lord Jesus prescribed. Better to find this out early in life than to build one’s house on sand, but most people always end up building their house on sand and it works great as long as everything remains constant. But we all should know this is ridiculous. Next to nothing in this life remains constant. Change is ever-burgeoning, is always messing up the best laid plans, and the tide always comes in and wipes out sand castles no matter how well or elaborately they are constructed. Wise people know this. Yet, there are apparently not many wise people when it comes to applying known knowledge if it clashes with one’s authority.
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” [Luke 9:24]
Real repentance is the end of one’s personal authority. What unrepentant religious leaders do not know, however, is that they do not have any personal authority anyway because they are bound by sin. And they are deceived about it. Sin is in charge but they are not aware. They reject the notion. They are not accountable. Most are spiritual adulterers. It is why they refuse to preach the real Gospel. It is why the Lord stated what He did in the preceding verse. The word “lose” in that verse is translated from the Greek word apollumi. This word means “to destroy.” It is only by losing one’s life (or destroying it) through real repentance and submitting fully to the Lord Jesus that one breaks the power of sin and the powerful grip of the money-god. The Lord gave His very life to set us free from this monster.
OPPOSING THE GREAT AWAKENING
Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
As did John the Immerser, the Lord warned the people of His nation that total destruction was soon coming and that it was coming because they rejected His love and leadership for the love of money. The more He attempted to bring forth a Great Awakening the more the religious leaders who were sold out to the money-god opposed Him. Their continued rejection of the Lord and His real teachings, their intransigent rebellion against truth, their refusal to repent, and their worship of mamônâi brought forth a witch’s brew of arrogance, ignorance, and religious pride. It increasingly enflamed their wicked uncircumcised hearts and removed all semblance of impulse control. They sowed the seed of murder and reaped over a million deaths. Literally.
THROWN INTO THE FIRE
As time marched on toward 70AD, they became ever more strident in their opposition to the Lord. They were incorrectly fulfilling Newton’s Third Law of Motion. They were resisting that which they should have surrendered to and surrendering to that which they should have resisted. They had a completely different agenda. Their persecution of the Lord’s people—those who chose the Lord as Messiah—increased dramatically. They were doing to them, on an ever-advancing scale, exactly what they did to the Lord.
The same dynamic is at work today. Christian Pharisees and Sadducees look great on the outside and preach what sounds like the real Gospel. They don’t look compromised. They look successful. They’ve been in control seemingly forever. Their status quo rendition of official Christianity appears as the only accepted rendition, but it has little or no resemblance to the Lord’s original and has almost zero impact within the spiritual world. They can’t handle anything they can’t control. They can’t handle anything that exposes them as pretenders. They can’t handle anything from which they cannot extract a living. It would be good if they could learn from the past.
Judea had been in the midst of a Great Awakening during that final generation in the first century and the religious leaders continually put much effort toward their opposition to it. The more they tried to stop it the more it grew and yet they could never stop opposing it. Their unrighteous stand for the old dead religious order—the only one they could control, the one that gave them power and wealth—was thoroughly compromised by a love of money and service to the money-god. Their unrighteous rebellion must eventually end. Their opposing reaction to God’s action must finally stop. Justice was demanded. Only God could administer it. He did. Judea was no more. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, by fire, exactly as John prophesied.
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 10:10]
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I’ve been writing about the current Great Awakening since I began this blog in May of 2011. Though it remains in the early stages, there should no longer be any doubt that it is coming forth.
Here is a prediction of five years ago: 2011: The Year in Review.
When I first received the revelation and told a few of my associates, they had yet to see any indicators. And as I have explained a few times on this site in other posts, as time passed, they reported back that they were certainly seeing them. Remember, when the Lord brings something forth gradually over time it looks to most observers as not a new thing at all; it merely looks like life as usual. But when one receives a revelation of what will happen beforehand and then observes it coming forth exactly as predicted, one has a front row seat, so to speak, of a revelation becoming reality.
In the five and half years of this blog I have often put forth truth that has been soundly rejected and even disparaged by some Christians. This is all part of the process. People in general resist change. People invested in untruth don’t appreciate their stock being depreciated or their beliefs being questioned. All Christians are, of course, completely ignorant of all things spiritual in the beginning. That’s why it’s a born again experience. The problem is that the majority appear to stay in the beginning and resist further development. They invest in certain doctrines and beliefs and resist the consideration of greater truth.
CHURCHES AS ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
I often use the elementary school illustration for churches in general. Why? –Because they are. Most churches, though they may be great places filled with wonderful people, are elementary. The majority of the Christians in these places do not care for greater truth. They do not want to graduate to the third or fourth grade. Thus, they remain unaware.
Anyone who spends a lot of time studying hard and doing in-depth research knows it is very difficult work. It is not the realm of the lazy. Christians who would rather take it easy can always find a place to fit in, because many churches are comprised of such people. This is not a knock against them but simply an acknowledgement of reality.
Some Christian groups make it to high school but they are very few and far between. Almost no churches at all in America ever get to the spiritual university level. This means individual Christians, if they want to grow, develop as strong and mature disciples, and gain greater truth and revelation, must do the vast bulk of it on their own.
YOU GOT YOUR GOSPEL WHERE? THE DESERT?
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. [Galatians 1:11-12]
The problem arises, however, that when the apostle Paul came back from Damascus and the desert, much of it being alone with the Lord for three years receiving revelation, and returned to Jerusalem, the first disciples he met up with did not fully believe his conversion. It is also why, later in his travels, many unbelieving Jews did not understand what he was talking about or trying to relate, and thus rejected his teachings. This is in part why Paul later found such great success among the Gentiles. They were less concerned about obeying cultural religious precepts and keeping up appearances within religious establishments and much more concerned with a practical application of real Christianity that changed their lives for the better.
It is obviously right and good to protect and stand for the ancient paths, as long as the ancient paths were authored by the Lord. It is terrible thing, however, to stand up and fight for untruth, false doctrines, bad narratives, and outright deception. The Christians who fall for this stuff and never correct it have only themselves to blame. I confess right now to you all, my readers, that I have believed stuff that turned out to be wrong, but as Paul said once, I believed it from ignorance. I didn’t know any better. It’s what the preacher said. It’s what the book author said. It’s what I was taught. Whatever. Through continuing study I discovered facts that proved unfacts wrong.
But again, with reference to Paul, the man who goes to the desert often finds he is no longer welcome when he returns. The people you used to hang with want you to junk all the new truth the Lord gave you and return to being a dummy. They will not work to be a better disciple and they get upset when their lack of greater discipleship is exposed. They get convicted. It is often the case that a person doesn’t have to say anything at all and still get a bad reaction. It is how the enemy works. The enemy goes into demonic derangement syndrome in a heartbeat and flies off the handle. Here is a case in point:
And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” [Luke 4:31-34] 
Do you notice how the Lord was being a real Man and speaking with great authority? And had the dunamis to back it up? That usually never happens in many churches. The Lord, however, during His ministry, was POWERFUL. He shook things up. The people were amazed. The religious leaders were shocked. He was a real man’s Man and beyond. People took notice. Sinners were instantly convicted. But demons were scared to death. That’s why the synagogue demon flipped out. And this is also why they flip out in churches when someone brings in some real truth that clashes with the accepted curriculum.
People who have never been to the wilderness or the desert will usually never accept anything from the wilderness or the desert.
In the next post I will list some trends to watch for in the coming year. Until then I encourage you to look over some of my recent posts and especially posts that concern the Great Awakening. There is a search box in the left column entitled Seek, and Ye Shall Find.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Many years ago I was working as the lead carpenter on a residential job in a relatively upscale section of a large city. The homeowners were a respected middle-aged couple. He was a professor at a local university. She was from England. The state governor lived nearby.
The professor was a good guy, relatively happy, and bookish. Because of his job he was rarely home and I never talked to him much. She had a strong English accent, a proper manner, and was well educated. It was one of the reasons we had good conversations. I was relatively well-read and knowledgeable of the classics.
Due to the way I was motivated as a witness for the Lord, I had slowly begun to talk to her during breaks about spiritual things and we eventually had some limited conversations about Christianity. They were Christians, of the Protestant variety. I had an idea to invite them to church like I did with so many people I witnessed to, but I figured it would be a difficult thing to accomplish in their case.
I was going to a large Spirit-filled church at that time. It was known by one visiting teacher who spoke there on occasion as “The Church of What’s Happening Now.” It had gone through a big growth phase a few years earlier and had been transformed from a small old-school Pentecostal church to an innovative and wonderful place due to a large influx of newly born again university students and younger people. Many of these were set free to use their youthful expertise to make some powerful positive changes. It was a great place to be.
The day came when I suggested we get to know each other’s Christian traditions better by actually attending each other’s churches. She was open to the idea. It took a long time to get to this point. I was always one to move slowly because I knew how the enemy could disrupt a good plan at a moment’s notice. She asked her husband about it. And what a joy it was when she told me they were agreeable. I was just a young carpenter on a job site and they were up there in the social ranks. I could not help but see the hand of God.
We agreed to go to their church first. My wife and I met them there. I cannot remember the denomination, but it was one of those upscale places where everything was relatively quiet and low key amidst high-end adornment and a very traditional setting. The place was very tastefully decorated.
The service was somewhat monotonous compared to what I preferred and was used to. There was certainly no moving of the Spirit of God. It was intellectually-based. But my wife and I were thoroughly polite. The older couple liked us. Afterwards, as I recall, we shared a small meal on site and got to know each other a little better. There were smiles all around. I appreciated their wonderful attitude and the way they embraced a young couple interested in finding common Christian ground.
It might have been the next week when they were to reciprocate and visit our church. My wife was in the choir so it would be just me in the pew. It turned out her husband the professor couldn’t make it. Maybe he didn’t want to. This was, as everyone knew, a large Spirit-filled Pentecostal church pretty much on the very opposite end of the spectrum from their much more traditional format. I’m sure it must have invoked some difficulty for them.
I met her out in the vestibule and she was polite and smiling, and somewhat upbeat. I believe she really was interested even though the place was never something she would choose on her own. Again, she was from England, was used to a high church format, and moved in some high circles. It was so cool that this was actually happening.
Though I greatly appreciated Spirit-filled gatherings, I confess that I had also developed an embarrassment of Pentecostal excess. This was the early 1980s. I was still connected to some very old school Pentecostal people and traditions, some of which were really silly, and some even a tad dark. There was a thread of redneckism to be dealt with. There was also an anti-intellectual element. It is certainly true that many Pentecostals came from the other side of the tracks and were not necessarily very well educated. But I can also honestly say that I had never met more warm, fun, and engaging people. Most were open to the Lord and were willing to do whatever He required, reputations be damned.
So there we were, standing in the pews while the choir sang. It was a tremendous choir. So much about this place was so far ahead of the curve. It set the tone for many churches across the country. Long before the word “progressive” was appropriated and used for other purposes, I used to refer to this place as “Progressive Pentecost.” Many great things happened there. There was an openness to many fields of study. It was composed of all ages and races, a truly open and colorblind church.
I can’t remember exactly what happened next. It seems it was still in the early part of the service. We were all standing. I remember I had worked so hard to get this lady to visit. She trusted me. I had always shown her the grace of God. I was certainly concerned that some excessive thing might happen that would turn her off but was never prepared for what did happen. I was trying so hard to be low-key and normal, maybe a hard thing to do in a full blown Pentecostal service among many hundreds of people. To affect this attitude in my attempt to be cool and not a religious redneck, I happened to have my hands in my slacks pockets as I stood there. I was really hoping that she would be touched by the Spirit of God and had been silently praying.
In the midst of a little commotion on the platform the preacher suddenly grabbed a microphone and started speaking to the crowd. There was a move of the Spirit and I think he was trying to get everyone’s mind on God and to pay attention. Of course, I would think everyone WAS paying attention. We could all feel the Spirit of God. Everyone was respectful and obeying protocol. But rather than let the Lord wash over us and bless us with some peace and His presence, the preacher, as he was wont to do, had to take over.
Completely messing up a good thing, he actually started to berate people. He’s walking quickly across the platform and pointing out individuals and then back to the other side, his eyes going from those closest to those toward the back. Everyone was on eggshells. This happened way too much but because of our respect for the proceedings we all thought it was God, that God was anointing him to go off like that. I learned later that was not the case. I got older. I grew spiritually. I eventually figured out that this anointed man of God who did so many wonderful things had a tendency to turn into a complete nutcase on occasion.
Now, most of us do this. Sometimes we are very tired. We do not get enough sleep. The pressures of life can be very strong. We lose our tempers. We prove our humanity. But in the course of a church service when people really need the Lord, it should never happen or should at least be rare.
As he was raising his voice and pointing people out I began to get seriously embarrassed for my visitor. I was afraid this would happen. But I never expected what did happen. Why? –Because I had obeyed the Lord and was guided by Him to bring this classy friend of mine to church in hopes of her growing in the Lord, being introduced to something new and great, and possibly getting filled with the Holy Spirit!
The preacher’s crazy eyes fell on me. He pounced. I couldn’t believe it. “Get your hands out of your pockets!” Wait. What? He had no clue whatsoever what the Lord was up to with my visitor or what I was attempting to accomplish.
Right away she told me she had to leave. She saw him looking at her also and was shaken. She wasn’t waiting around. She had to get out of there. Still smiling, she began to exit the pew. I followed her out. We talked briefly at the doors but it did no good. She was leaving.
The entire witness was ruined. All the prayer, effort, and work was wasted. A wonderful opportunity went right down the drain. Right at the finish line.
There are so many stories like this. The lack of accountability among the preacher ranks has always been the chief reason why such things happen. It is why the Lord always appointed several elders in the early churches and NEVER a single “pastor.” And such sordid behavior is certainly not contained to Pentecostal churches. It happens everywhere, in all denominations, and is continually reinforced and rarely challenged. There are far too many blowhards who do and say whatever they feel like and next to no one in the churches has the guts to speak correctively. Everyone knows what will happen if they do.
Perhaps we are now in a time when that can change.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
From the very beginning the Lord built into His ministry model committed followers pledged to carry on His legacy. He trained distinctly loyal men recruited largely from the working class and lower levels of society.
He had no need of anyone already vested in and sold out to this world. Such men could never be counted on when the going got rough. They were culturally comfortable and would inevitably desert or betray Him. As it was, Judas Iscariot proved that even qualified disciples could go bad.
ALL THESE HAVE I KEPT FROM MY YOUTH UP
A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [Luke 18:18]
The gospel story of the rich young man seeking greater discipleship illustrates the Lord’s selection process perfectly. He was used as a living example to reveal why the Lord would not choose disciples who were compromised socially or monetarily.
When the young man first spotted the Lord, he actually ran up and fell on his knees before Him. This individual, who had kept the Torah from his youth, appeared upstanding and sincere, and was certainly devoted to his father and family.
Jesus confirmed that the man had indeed been observant of the Torah as instructed by Moses. Though he hailed from the privileged class, the young archon looked like a great ministry candidate. But to make sure the man’s heart was in the right place the Lord said he must do just one more thing to inherit eternal life:
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Mark 10:21]
At once the man was floored with the unexpected. He never saw it coming. Even the observers were shocked by the Lord’s command. The young man, so rich and comfortable in this temporary fallen world, stood before the Lord contemplating deeply the ramifications of such a course of action. In considering all his options, his hesitancy had already given him away. He went from confident and contented to very sad and insecure in a mere moment. Money had too great a hold on him. He could not break free. There is no record of a verbal response. The young man turned down a one-in-a-million chance and slowly walked out of history.
But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. [Mark 10:22]
CHURCHES BOUND BY MONEY
Part of the reason the Lord displayed an open acceptance of non-servitude to money was because He knew how bewitching money in itself could be toward people without full integrity. He set the example. He would never have been overcome, but He also had to demonstrate the proper distaste and inherent wrongness for the attempt to achieve spiritual objectives through money. The Lord said it is IMPOSSIBLE to serve God and wealth. One can therefore serve only one or the other.
Money is necessary for ministry to an extent, of course. It is essentially benign. It only gains an untoward connotation while in the hands of unregenerate or compromised people who make it their be-all and end-all.
Because the church realm has historically forced itself into subsisting on donations, and since one must ask to receive donations, it is obvious that the compromised leaders thereof spend much more time and effort begging and even demanding money from others than they do in seeking assistance from the Lord in faithful and humble prayer.
That’s why non-Spirit-filled churches and denominations—those composed of non-disciples like the Torah-observant rich man in Luke’s gospel—reject real discipleship and replace the Spirit of God with money. They are not seeking the spiritual success instructed by the Lord but a different form of success made impossible without money. They are by and large successful in ministry only because of money. Such institutions have proven this over many centuries. They have done quite well completely devoid of the Lord’s control, authority, and spiritual power. They have easily bypassed the Lord by convincing people to support them monetarily. That is the secret of their success.
REAL CHRISTIANS UNBOUND BY MONEY
In contrast, the Lord Jesus teaches that His disciples can be spiritually successful whether they have any money or not. Think of Peter and John who were used as vessels of the Lord in the healing of the lame man as recorded in the Book of Acts. They told him they had no money, but would give him what they did have—the healing power of the Lord and eternal life.
As real Christians we must first commit to the Lord and be His disciples. That’s the top priority. This will involve surrendering whatever we have been dependent on beforehand. He will then grant us the spiritual power and anointing we need. At some point after that He will give us the money we need. The money must be subject to Him and fit within the parameters of discipleship. When He does give us money it is almost always based on need rather than want. The desire to store up large amounts of money for no ostensible purpose is actually self-defeating for the spiritual man or woman. Money is necessary but it is only good if it is properly subjected to the Lord. This is what sanctifies it. The majority of “Christian” money and holdings are not sanctified because such are not fully subjected to the Lord. If money will not be sanctified it is better to not have it.
This is in part why “Christianity” in general spends multiple billions of dollars with absolutely no spiritual effect. Most of it is spent improperly. There is very little spiritual return on the investment. Why? Because it is spent on lands, buildings, furnishings, stocks, businesses, salaries, maintenance, and etc—much of the stuff the Lord never spent it on. The great bulk of it never reaches the ones who need it most.
The Lord Jesus died for PEOPLE. He loves PEOPLE. His priority is PEOPLE.
CHRISTIAN CORRECTNESS PROGRAMMING
Unreal Christianity has controlled the outward accepted narrative since it was created many centuries ago after forcing the Lord’s narrative underground. It falsely legitimizes what Christians are made to believe. Though its precepts are based on the Word of God, it deceptively adds its own distinctive doctrines. Such doctrines become traditional and accepted over time. Congregations are none the wiser. They are taught to submit, to be passive and never dynamic. Such Christians become dependent and even addicted to the religion thereof and cannot escape, just as the rich man was bound by money. When presented with the opportunity to break free, most will not. They exist in religious captivity.
Unreal Christianity has survived many fairly recent attempts over the last 50-60 years to expose it for what it is in order to reclaim the narrative. At present it is being seriously exposed but many of its followers still cannot bring themselves to disconnect, in part because it takes a while to admit to being deceived. Most people do not enjoy being told they are wrong. Much pride is involved.
“It is easier to fool people than to convince people that they have been fooled.” [Mark Twain]
RESISTERS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The professional clergy are never going to promote spiritual freedom. They will never fight for anything greater than themselves and their own enterprises. Only the truth can make us free and they don’t practice the truth. Only the Lord does. It is a dominion issue. The Lord Jesus gives us an absolutely perfect example of how this works:
(1) He exposed the fakes.
(2) They murdered Him for it.
(3) He essentially said, “Fine. I will awaken from the dead and blow your minds. I will awaken millions of others also. You cannot and will not ever stop me. ”
A TRUTH AWAKENING
Truth exposes falsehood and deception. It exposes lies. It exposes ulterior motives. It exposes personal agendas masquerading as religiously “good” agendas. Truth exposes everything.
We exist in a time when a Great Awakening is coming forth. IT IS AN AWAKENING BASED ON TRUTH. It is a Truth Awakening. Christians are tired of being kept uninformed of the higher truths taught by the Lord, coddled as children, and used by clergyites who, even if well-intentioned in the beginning, always succumb to the real nature of clergyism: It is nothing more than the religious upper classism of a very few ruling over 99% of everyone else. These blind leaders of the blind, like the Sumerian high priests of antiquity, exist atop their many heaven-reaching steepled ziggurats spread all over the landscape.
They keep their congregants regimented, controlled, programmed, and spiritually uninformed or misinformed. They downplay the Word of God and promote their own theologies. And by means of a clear violation of Scripture, they subsist like ticks off culturally obligated donations, coerced cash, and public collections of money.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:1-4] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2]
REVEALING THE ANTICHRIST
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. [2John:7-11]
There are people in this world who insist one does not have to be in covenant with the Lord Jesus to be in covenant with God. The Word of God, however, makes it clear that one cannot possibly be in covenant with God if one is not in covenant with the Lord Jesus. Even most Christians are unclear on this concept. The enemy has muddied the waters and thus muddied their thinking, deceiving them into believing in something that does not exist. Many Christians are actually not in covenant with God even though they believe they are. Many others insist they are in covenant with God though they reject the Lord Jesus.
The promises of God only exist within a covenant relationship. If there is no covenant, the promises do not apply. The Word of God says that whoever does not have the Son does not have the Father, therefore one must be in covenant with the Lord Jesus in order for the promises to be active and applied.
The New Covenant with the Lord Jesus is a blood covenant. He shed His perfect, precious blood for each member in covenant with Him. He gave everything He had for His people. He loved us before we ever loved Him and He proved it. We must also be in blood covenant with Him as He is with us, in that each of us must give a totality of our entire life to Him, including our entire heart.
We begin the process of entering into covenant with Him, of beginning the new birth, by expressing belief in Him, by having faith. Faith must always come first. This faith, however, is a 100% faith. The covenant cannot work any other way. He gave all. He demands all from us.
The second condition that must be fulfilled entirely is full repentance. Sin must be dealt with. Each person to enter the covenant with God, who is holy and pure, must also be holy and pure. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. Without the Lord Jesus one is still in sin. Period.
LOVE ON THE ROCKS
To illustrate, imagine a man and woman about to become married but one partner refuses to give his or her entire heart to the marriage relationship. Imagine one of the partners insisting that he or she must keep their options open. It should be obvious that a marriage based on such a faulty foundation is doomed to fail. The reason many people enter into such relationships is because the uncommitted partner pretends to be committed and deceives the other partner.
Many so-called Christians do exactly the same thing with the Lord. They enter into covenant on their terms and not His. Of course, He is not fooled. There is actually no covenant at all if it is not His covenant. He never agreed to the terms and never entered into it. Christians deceive themselves and are deceived by false leaders into believing in a false covenant and that they are in covenant with God when they are not. They do not have full faith in the Lord. They have never fully repented. They remain in their sins.
ONE WAY TO GOD
No one is in covenant with God without being in covenant with the Lord Jesus. If one does not have the Son then one does not have the Father. One is either in full covenant with the Lord Jesus or one is not. There is no in-between and there are no exceptions. There exists only ONE New Covenant. It is a blood covenant. There is only one Son. There is only one Messiah. There is only one way to God.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Some church leaders speak of “covenant,” but their actions toward those they are supposedly in covenant with often show they are completely ignorant of its true meaning.”
In Part 1, we discussed the Revelation of Real Relationship. In Part 2, we discussed the ongoing Restoration. In Part 3, we discussed the Revolution in American Christianity coming forth in these early days of the Great Awakening.
In this Part 4 conclusion, we continue the narrative from my book Real Christianity by discussing the ramifications of reform, the counter fight against it, and Redemption.
I encourage everyone to read this entire series. In contains both a guide for current reform and the prior instructional evidence for successful reformation to date.
We are all growing ever-more hungry for spiritual reality in our Christian effort and experience, especially in the realm of community and our relations with one another. The Good News is that much progress has taken place and continues. Your work matters and is having an effect. The Lord Jesus is winning.
Dual-natured Christianity added a whole new dimension to spiritual battle. To show how bewitching this evil spirit can be, many of those who dissented and began great movements away from centralized captivity and toward freedom often built their own version of the way things ought to be and guarded it like a junkyard dog.
As an illustration, imagine draining the water out of one massive dammed-up lake into several smaller dammed-up lakes. Then, drain those lakes by building more dammed-up reservoirs. Eventually, one would arrive at thousands upon thousands of small, dammed-up bodies of water. The lesson here is that Jesus is not interested so much in man-made lakes as He is in naturally flowing rivers and streams.
Is it really all that difficult, therefore, to see why Christianity is much less than what it should be? If some pastors treated their family in the indifferent manner they do their flock, they would probably no longer have a family.
Why such a harsh statement? Congregation turnover, for one reason. It is something that completely escapes our notice the more populous the church happens to be. There are exceptions to every rule, yet the larger the church, the greater the turnover. There are obviously demographics at work in all churches, meaning that a percentage of the congregation will be fluid. Yet, some churches have almost complete housecleaning every five to ten years. Church leadership thinks this is due to people either moving on into ministry, backsliding into oblivion, or refusing to commit to their program, meaning that any fault, in their view, lies largely with the congregants.
Some church leaders speak of “covenant,” but their actions toward those they are supposedly in covenant with often show they are completely ignorant of its true meaning. God has put up with manifest garbage from His own people throughout history, yet He continues to hold to the terms of His covenant with Abraham because it is an everlasting covenant. From the perspective of Christian leaders immersed in centralized authority, a covenant of that sort is just plain silly and is only referred to in the abstract. They know they cannot maintain control according to the terms of such an agreement and therefore reject it outright. Their public discourse leads one to believe that they support the Abrahamic covenant unequivocally, but this is not really the case. If it were, they wouldn’t be fighting to maintain control over their people or vying to gain even greater dominion by seeking more converts over which they might rule.
If God’s people are to grow, they must be free. By God’s grace, some manage to do this within the system. For others, the only real freedom and maturity they acquire arrives after they exit, stage right.
TIME TO MOSEY
Actually, a great exodus began about thirty to forty years ago. Today, the fruit of this search for freedom within Christendom exists virtually everywhere. In large metropolitan areas, in small towns, in suburbia—thousands of non-denominational fellowships have sprung up with no affiliation with any central authority. This means there are no bureaucrats, no mission boards, no paid resident clergy, and no faceless masses yearning for freedom and real growth in the Lord. Right? Well, we only wish.
We have, in this latest movement, carried less of Egypt with us than in the past, but still too much to promote true spiritual freedom. If anything, we are more fractured than before. Instead of having one, or a few centers of religious authority, we now have scads of mini-kingdoms and assorted loose groupings based on former denominational ties. Of course, the majors came through it all basically intact, although many had to compromise their doctrines, liturgies, and stands on issues in order to keep their membership rolls at an operational level.
So, even though progress is being made, we’ve still not come up with the fortitude to rid ourselves of the clutches of carnality, worldliness, and pride. Christendom must continue, therefore, through the blistering sands of the Sinai on its long and winding trek to the promised land, in order to eventually eliminate those who are hell-bent on making and maintaining golden calves. 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Real Great Awakening is a movement of the great rejected majority. It has nothing to do with the Christian Establishment.
THAT’S WHY THEY’RE PROFESSIONALS
People wonder how elected officials go to Washington and become completely different people. Many of them are all fiery on the campaign trail and espouse great ideas. They get the electorate all charged up. Then they go to that bizarre world we call our nation’s capital and seemingly metamorphose back into caterpillars, going in the opposite direction of all their campaign rhetoric.
It is no different with the professional minister. They have the ENTIRE platform. They can say and do anything they want. There is no real opposition in the pews, unless you count the usual contentious minions getting their panties in a wad over some useless personal minutia or some guy with more money and influence who demands a return on his investment and stroking of his pride.
This kind of garbage and so much more has been going on within the framework on this non-New Testament form since it was forced upon us so many centuries ago. The idea that the “men of the cloth” have predominant standing and must be honored at all times has only given rise to the same uber-cloaked Pharisaical super-class monster the Lord Jesus had to battle almost every day of His ministry. And of course it was the greatest of that idiot class way up there in Jerusalem land that eventually killed Him, ridding the world in their minds of one more rabble-rousing religious outsider determined to expose them and bring in the fresh winds of truth and God’s original intentions.
We see this same thing happening again today. As I have already stated in recent posts, Donald Trump would never have gotten elected without the millions of Christians who decided to leave their galley oars, defy their wimpy leadership, and do their part to stem the great tide of evil washing over the land. It remains to be seen, of course, just how much Donald Trump will honor the promises he made to Christians on the campaign trail, especially in light of the current trail of traditional usuals he is appointing to his cabinet. It could be that he has no other choice, that the Republicans will refuse to confirm any prospective official not of their choosing.
One thing is for sure, however, and that is that Trump will continue being Trump, even if Washington also ties him down like all the others and he is only able to affect minimal change. At the very least it will be change in the right direction.
No candidate in the history of American politics has ever been as pilloried, hated, and politically destroyed as was Sarah Palin beginning eight years ago. The invective against her was so over the top and off the wall it can only be understood in spiritual terms. The devil obviously hates her with a passion. But God loves her. I use her as an example here because what happened to her is the same thing that happened to Donald Trump during the recent campaign. The reason he prevailed is in part because he was much more tested over his long life politically even though he was not a politician. He has always had constant run-ins with the press and establishment leaders. He never considered these entities as superior. In fact, all the politicians (and who knows who else) were always begging him for money. (Wow. THAT sounds familiar.) I am not vouching for his past misdeeds but only stating that he has always been a fighter. He knew how to fight and was willing to fight. His success proves that.
But his victory in the 2016 election was largely paved by the fight Sarah Palin faced. He saw what they did to her and knew he would face the same kind of fight but I still don’t think he had any idea how bad it would get. He really owes Palin for what she endured.
And now it comes out that Sarah Palin is so thankful that so many millions of Christians came out in support of Trump, because she knows that didn’t happen for her eight years ago. This was especially true of wimpy Christian leadership. She was classy about it then and never said anything, but this is what she had to say about it this Thanksgiving:
She added a personal note, something she said she’s never talked about in public before: “I was very grateful to see that the church stepped up, because eight years ago, I felt that they didn’t. Besides the attacks on my family and supporters, the most hurtful thing about the election, the vilification, the marginalization, the ridicule that hit us – my family and me, eight years ago – was that I didn’t feel that the church did circle the wagons and step up boldly and say, ‘What? No, that’s not what she’s saying,’ or ‘That’s not what she represents.’ Because some of them knew me.”
“A lot of these famous pastors, and people all over the country, right after the election were sending me their secret confidential little love notes about, ‘Oh, you know, my heart was with ya, and you know if there’s ever anything I can do for you, just let me know, because I believe in you, and I believed in you during the election, I’m so sorry what you went through.’ And would sit there reading this stuff, saying, ‘Well, where were you? Why didn’t you step up? You’re going to have to step up next time, or that next person is going to go down too,” she remembered sadly.
“So yes, thank God. Literally, I’m thanking God that this go-around, enough pastors, enough congregations, enough people who don’t even ever get in the four walls of a church, but know there is greater purpose in our lives and there is a greater being who has everything in His hands — more of the Church stepped up, prayed about this very hard (and they need to keep praying about it). They did their job,” Palin concluded. [Sarah Palin: ‘Grateful to See the Church Step Up’ for Donald Trump Because ‘Eight Years Ago, I Felt They Didn’t’ © Breitbart.com]
Christians in general did indeed step up but the great majority of the professional ministers did indeed not step up.
THE JOHNSON AMENDMENT
During the campaign, when Donald Trump was having closed meetings with Christian celebrities and professional ministers (and the few regular Christians who somehow made it in), he stated his amazement that so many of them never engaged in the fight and never had for multiple decades. He wondered at their wimpy silence. Then one of these Christian church professionals brought up the Johnson Amendment. They told him they were not allowed to speak politically from their pulpits. They explained why. Until 1954 they had that right but Lyndon Johnson and the IRS took it away.
And I say, Well, the Lord Jesus never took it away. You guys are the ones who insisted on buying into the Church Charter business and the IRS-mandated 501c3. Outside of that strange convention Christians can say anything they want. Besides, political speech is often the greatest of speech. America was founded on free political speech. It was the great outspoken patriots who stood up and spoke out politically who brought forth the American Revolution!
THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY WITH FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND ALL YOU WIMP PROFESSIONALS BOUGHT INTO A SYSTEM THAT REMOVES YOUR VOICE. Why? Because you couldn’t make a living otherwise, that’s why. You could only get your massive donations and the donators could only get their tax write-offs through an official government-sponsored religious set-up. By buying into this false paradigm you also ended up eliminating the voices of everyone else within your establishments, so the net results of your selling out is mass spiritual silence, the very opposite of what the Lord commanded us.
YOU SOLD YOUR FREE SPEECH BIRTHRIGHT AS CHRISTIAN LEADERS FOR A BOWL OF DONATION STEW.
That’s why I will continue to report that this current early Great Awakening is a movement of regular nobody real believers who have thrown off the pew and all the other church-related resistance factors. It is not and cannot be a movement that includes the snowflake professional ministers who will only preach in their government-mandated safe spaces with absolutely no opposition from anyone anywhere including the pews. If they were doing what they should be doing they would be getting the Sarah Palin treatment. They would be getting slammed by the devil. Praise God that Sarah Palin stepped up to the plate when she did. She has more FIGHT than most professional ministers put together, including all those big mouth fakers on TV. She paved the way for Trump.
CLEANSING THE TEMPLE
Now, in case you are wondering about Trump seemingly waffling on his campaign promises, it could very well be the case that he’s taking a higher road at present. Also, he might need a lot of help in getting rid of the Johnson Amendment. He will need the help of Congress and many others. If he doesn’t get it done, however, the only ones it should affect are the professional ministers and compromised Christians. They will continue to make the excuse that they can’t speak up, the same way they always have. It is very convenient for them now and would continue to be. Whatever. They have already proven themselves over many decades to be irrelevant wimps. The country has gone down on their watch. They should be ashamed of themselves. Great massive sin has descended, the devil has taken more control, and their presence has done little to stem the tide.
No, it was the millions of American Christians who left the reservation either bodily or in mind that made the difference. The same current anti-Establishment attitude against the entrenched political class has also been brewing in real Christian circles now for a few decades against the entrenched professional minister class. Christians are tired of being led by irrelevant sissies. They’re tired of being dictated to by sell-outs. They want the temple cleansed. They want to be led by the Lord Jesus.
And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” [John 2:14-16] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
We have much to be thankful for. We are blessed. But we must reserve our greatest thanks for the Lord Jesus. With Him all things are possible!
And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them. [Mark 10:13-16]
THE WEALTHY POSSESSED BY POSSESSIONS
As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.”
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” [Mark 10:17-23]
THE CHILDREN NOT POSSESSED BY POSSESSIONS
The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.” [Mark 10:24-31]
Please note that when the Lord taught to give to the poor He was referring to the humble poor and never those demanding a handout. If they beg it is only because they are trying to survive and it’s the only thing they know to do. They would rather never have to ask for help. Many never do. They want to be successful. They want to work and be productive.
There were many poor in the Lord’s day. There was one man who was lame from birth and could not work. He was over forty years old. The only thing he knew to do to survive was beg for alms. Many people had given him alms during his life or he would never have survived. But when Peter and John, who knew this man, after Pentecost, approached him yet again, they did not offer money, because they had none. Instead, they gave the man what he had always wanted—to be whole, to be productive, the serve the Lord the best way possible, and to excel. How do we know this? Look at his attitude after he received his long sought miracle:
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 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!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.
With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. [Acts 10:1-10] 
This man had an attitude of gratitude. He was faithful. He waited for his miracle for over forty years. When he at last received it he gave the Lord all the glory! Imagine how many children entered into the kingdom as a result of this man’s faithfulness, obedience, and thankful attitude. Good job!
ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Be thankful for all you have received.
Be thankful for all you are going to receive.
Be thankful for the One who gave it all for you.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“In the beginning, spiritual relationship came naturally. Nobody had to come up with a program to promote relationship between members…”
In Part 1, we discussed the Revelation of Real Relationship. In Part 2, we continue the narrative from my book Real Christianity by discussing the Restoration:
In the beginning, spiritual relationship came naturally. Nobody had to come up with a program to promote relationship between members. The early believers understood that the relational purity they each came to possess upon their new-birth experience was instantaneous. For example, when a baby is born, that child becomes an immediate member of its family. The baby’s family relationships result from the birth, not from trying to create them at a future date. It is the same in the Church. Relationship is a byproduct of joining the community.
It doesn’t exist properly in many churches that have attempted to establish it, however, and this denotes a problem. It could be a problem of immaturity and lack of proper spiritual insight, or it could indicate a problem of resistance against God. Real Christianity has real relationship. Unreal Christianity has little bona fide spiritual relationship between members but only a substitute or inferior form thereof. Such unreal relationship creates no unity or intimacy among members. Thus, the quiet discord that exists beneath the surface in most churches is due to neglect or rejection of that which brings unity. When individual members of the same church never establish relationship, spiritual unity is victimized, and true fellowship is not possible.
It’s jarring to think that what the early church once was is what we in the present are trying to become. Sadly, there was a point in history when the early community of saints which brought light to millions began to have less effect on a dark world. They were faced with mass conversions to a state religion which was Christian in name only and, thus, were increasingly perceived as heretics by the unreal brethren and as world aliens to everyone else. The real believers had become the spat upon and rejected scum of the earth. Wherever they went, they were truly strangers in a strange land.
The Qahal  of the latter portion of the church age met a parallel historical point, though in reverse, a few centuries ago. By the early 1900s, restoration reached a new level and has been steadily increasing since. We are now at another fork in the road. One way leads toward our destiny; the other way embarks on yet another endless circle. This juncture marks the point of no return for those who decline to follow the Lord into the next and possibly final transition. The very narrow way which the Church is pressing through at this writing is forcing her to abandon excess weight and baggage, as well as those elements which might have assisted her in the past but are now only slowing her down. One of these elements is class division. It must be left on the entry side of the eye of this present needle. 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Qahal is the Hebrew equivalent for “Church,” and is the word most likely used by Jesus.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“There is a reason people have problems in their attempt to minister together. The chief obstacle which has been in the way for the greater portion of the church age is still in the way…”
I have written extensively on this subject. My book, Real Christianity, delves deeply into the issue. I have taught many Bible Studies on the topic.
Though the following excerpt from the book is relatively brief, it presents the historical and Biblical essence of Real Relationship and helps every believer to discover how it positively affects his or her Christian experience and discipleship.
Speaking of which, I highly recommend buying my book. It has received excellent reviews. Its pages are loaded with truth that reveals this application of the Lord’s teachings, the Divide and Conquer tactic against it, and so many other methods of the enemy that strive to limit and even stop the progress of the Lord’s real Community by eliminating real spiritual relationship, both with the Lord and with one another.
Thank you and be blessed:
There is a reason people have problems in their attempt to minister together. The chief obstacle which has been in the way for the greater portion of the church age is still in the way. We exist in the midst of a major revelation, which Christendom has repeatedly failed to apply properly. This attests to its freshness. That it had to come by revelation shows the depths of our collective naiveté. Of course, many in the pew saw the need for it long before the pulpiteers, but were powerless, in their estimation, to do anything significant about establishing it since it seemed to be in opposition to the status quo. Indeed, the ruling clergy is threatened by it and has therefore tried to water it down or channel it in a “safe” direction. But such puny attempts by even punier autocrats will never succeed against the will of God.
What is this major revelation? Put simply, it is real relationship. Its fundamental hindrance is the clergy-laity division which was firmly established by the fourth century A.D. Remember, the Church, or Qahal,  which Jesus initiated was a community—the community of called-out ones. In the early days, there were no class distinctions or divisions—everyone participated in a meaningful, fulfilling way. At present, though we might try, we will never arrive at real relationship church-wide, until we do away with the clergy-laity split. 
Many churches have attempted to incorporate spiritual relationship between members into their objectives, and most of them think they have succeeded. This reveals at least a small amount of religious pride which must be eliminated as well. The clergy can attach any label it desires to a thing, but labeling is often as far as it gets. Those who have made great starts in the heat of great opposition, on the other hand, should be commended for their stand and supported for stepping out. In takes more time than we think, however, before real relationship is established within a group, and those who have begun the process must press on. When we at last lay to rest the evil root which causes division in the Church, we will have:
1. True recognition of each and every one of God’s people
2. A revelation of the inestimable worth of each member of the congregation
3. The utilization of this worth toward the building of real community
4. The functioning of every person in the Church according to his God-ordained purpose within his destined ministerial calling
5. The maturing of the Church into an organic ministering fellowship (the body of Messiah) with any number of horizontal relationships between members, yet only one direct vertical relationship—that between each member and the Lord Jesus 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Qahal is the Hebrew equivalent for “Church,” and is the word most likely used by Jesus.
 The word “Laity” originates from the New Testament Greek word laos (lah-’os). It is defined as a people group, whether socio-political, socio-religious, or cultural-ethnic. It generally refers to the “common people,” as a crowd, a populace, or a nation. It is also used as the people of God. When used in the latter sense, it means all of the people collectively. It is easy to see how the meaning of this word was corrupted when class division entered Christianity.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I wrote the following response yesterday in answer to a loyal reader’s comment:
One should notice that the great majority of “church leaders” have played little role in the presidential election. The news that most of these deciding Christian voters went off the reservation in their support for the Trump candidacy is coming forth. It is another sign that Christians have not only seen through the MSM fakery and the Washington DC corruption wheel to nowhere, but are also starting to see the irrelevance of their own churches and that church leadership in general would rather everyone sit down and be quiet rather than engage in their ministries, answer their callings, and honor the Lord Jesus.
We have been hearing for quite a while about the 1% or the actual .1% that controls everything and gains all the goodies, but a few more Christians are finally starting to see the 1% as their own irrelevant church leadership.
Though it is great that Donald Trump has so many Christian advisors, it is not so great that many of them are church and ministry “leaders” with their own vested interests. The ones who make the real difference are the forgotten, neglected, and largely rejected 99%.
When the Lord Jesus came on the scene, He let everyone know that He was about to free the sheep from their religious enclosures and allow them to run free in great fields of rich green grass and clear running waters!
WHEN HE IS IN CONTROL THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT ALWAYS HAPPENS FOR HIS PEOPLE.
Otherwise, it’s the spiritual equivalent of sardines in a can and an endless yearning for what could be.
I started writing posts about the 2016 Presidential Election well over a year ago. Then I began writing posts in October about the election in an ongoing series that were purposely parabolic in nature. For reference, see the column at left. I like writing in this manner for several reasons. First, the articles generally do not become dated. Second, they are designed to make us think and use our own spiritual cognitive abilities and critical thinking skills to arrive at the meaning, which can be multi-faceted. Third, the stated truths expose invisible spiritual enemies.
The truth I want to reveal in this post is something I have been writing and teaching about for almost three decades. The Lord taught on this subject often. He revealed it’s truth in any number of parables and teaching stories. But due to the nature of an overpowering deception brought on by a false ministry model that almost all Christians are familiar with and comfortable within, as if it was the only model, the truth the Lord wants to reveal goes right over the heads of most believers.
Rather than go into yet another detailed study of the subject, let me put it this way:
If every single real Christian went to work at becoming what the Lord created him or her to be and began doing what the Lord created him or her to do instead of wasting away doing so much less, all of us together could turn this entire world upside down just like our powerful spiritual forebears did so long ago.
The reality is that only a few are answering their callings and most of those teach everybody else that they have no other calling than supporting them. Thus, Christians in general have traded who they really are in the Lord for who someone other than the Lord wants them to be.
This means that the great majority of Christians, in America especially, are NOT in the spiritual work force and are NOT on the spiritual battlefield. For example, instead of sending nine men out to the field during a baseball game we are sending one man out. That’s fine if the enemy also sends out one but the enemy doesn’t do that. He sends out his entire horde. In addition, the one who is sent out usually does very little effectively against the enemy and for the Lord because he or she has a different agenda to fulfill.
Regardless of what anyone may think about the election or about the winning candidate’s character, the fact of the matter is that Donald Trump showed us how it’s done. He had the whole deck stacked against him and began taking powerful shots from the very beginning, not only from political enemies but from his own party. He won anyway.
The Lord is trying to show us something here. He is telling us that EACH of us matter and that EACH of us must go to work! But if you listen to the Christian professionals they’ll tell you to sit down and hush and work only for them. Thank the Lord there is still enough people in this country with an independent American backbone. That backbone has now revealed itself.
I think of so many of you who have dedicated yourselves to serving the Lord through whatever means you can, especially to all these blogs we are all familiar with. They might not look like all that much if only a few are engaged, but there are probably a hundred thousand Christian blogs. We now are doing independent movies and music. The technology is here that anyone, on their own if need be, can find any platform, go right to work, and eventually reach thousands of people with the Gospel.
All this while most Christians in America are still taught to live in the far distant past when none of these technological ministry avenues were available. Instead of the 1% claiming all the ministry and shutting almost everyone else down, wouldn’t it be better if every Christian was in some form of real ministry?
American Christians must STOP being mere spectators. We must all answer the call.
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too… and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” [Acts 17:6-7 NKJ]
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There were many accurate prophecies of the election of Donald Trump, some going back years. Mr. Trump and his supporters faced much ridicule from the beginning and he was given no chance. This proved the existence of an arrogant hubris on the part of those who rabidly opposed him, in that they believed their position was one that could never be overcome.
How do people wind up in such a condition? There are several theories. One is that sin makes people blind as bats. Another is that great pride always precipitates great falls, because one buys into the false belief of being beyond rebuke and the inevitable take down. It is a far better defense to know that victory can be lost in a heartbeat and one must therefore strive to fend off defeat rather than simply insist on the belief that defeat can never possibly happen.
Millions of people ended up with great massive dripping gobs of runny eggs all over their faces last Tuesday night, and these millions included great portions of an evil elite intent on stomping on and stamping out all opposition regardless of means. They had been hateful, arrogant, and condescending. And now they are left moaning and drowning in pity parties in pools of tears wondering how such a disaster could have ever befallen them. Oh woe. The only thing left to do was throw a massive fit, and the fit continues.
We will know further that this current awakening is indeed a move of God by the complete failure and disaster inflicted upon those who continue to fight it. We have already known for decades that the MSM is morally and journalistically bankrupt. The election results only confirmed it. We also knew the government was growing more corrupt, mainly because the checks and balances designed by the Founders to stop corruption were no longer functioning properly or at all. Most had sold out and were happy in their selfishness at the expense of the nation.
Well, the nation, over several years now and over several elections, has basically been saying to hell with you. But the nation kept losing. It did not have the power to overcome. It was a very sad thing to see so many good Americans at a complete loss of what to do and how to overcome. The deck was greatly stacked against them.
But then, American Christians finally started getting their sorry lazy act together. They had been spending most of their time on material non-spiritual pursuits. The great majority of churches had become completely spiritually irrelevant. They still are. I know. I was there for a long time and it made me angry for a long time because I kept seeing Christians acting like morons. After serving my tour of many, many years as the good soldier, a polite, church-going, do-whatever-they-tell-me-Christian even though I knew so much more (but only a few cared to listen or apply the proper spiritual truths), the Lord told me to leave. I never took that directive lightly and did receive confirmation. Oh well. I had always gotten so much more work done on my own anyway.
A STIRRING REMNANT
On Tuesday night, November 8, we all saw the results that American Christianity is beginning to come alive. A giant is stirring. Granted, the giant has been a big, lazy, ignorant oaf for the most part, caught fast in the nets of dead traditional religiosity and overcome by untold numbers of demonic clergy spirits, scared to death of breaking custom, not properly honoring culture, or being seen as a deviant.
IT APPEARS AS THOUGH ENOUGH CHRISTIANS HAVE NOW LEFT THE RESERVATION.
We now have solid evidence that they decided the 2016 Presidential Election. According to Wikipedia, citing exit polling data provided by Edison Research, these are the numbers:
Christians comprised 75% of the total electorate:
24.00%: Other Christian
The other 25% of the electorate was composed of “No Religion” (15%), “Other Religion” (7%), and Jewish (3%).
Of the Christians who voted for Donald Trump, these are the percentages of the total electorate:
13.20%: Other Christian
Of the Christians who voted for Clinton, these are the percentages of the total electorate:
10.80%: Other Christian
In scaling these numbers out to 100%, we find that:
60% of Protestants
55% of Other Christians
52% of Catholics, and
61% of Mormons voted for Donald Trump.
Overall, Trump won the Christian vote by 56% to 44%.
Since Mormons only account for 1% of the Christian vote and Catholics almost split the vote, these two were largely inconsequential to Trump’s victory, although Catholics did vote for Trump by a 52-48 percent margin.
It was the Protestants and Other Christians who voted for Trump that made the difference. These two groups accounted for a whopping 29.4% of the total electorate, almost 40 million Americans.
According to Penny Nance, the President of Concerned Women for America, Donald Trump won a historical 81% of the Evangelical vote, the best since Ronald Reagan.
It is estimated that 134.5 million Americans voted, which is 58.1% of eligible voters. Based on that number, 100.9 million voters were classified as Christians. Of that total, 56.49 million Christians voted for Donald Trump.
Though these numbers are not perfectly scientific and remain preliminary, they do give an excellent indication of the actual numbers. We know there was a so-called hidden vote. It came from the forgotten Americans. The majority of these were Christians. This proves the Great Awakening is indeed coming forth, the Remnant is stirring, and a big leap forward has taken place.
Be encouraged. But whatever you do, DON’T RELAX. This is only the beginning.
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. [Hebrews 12:1-3] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
When soldiers go to war they should not be surprised when the enemy attacks them. If they are surprised it is due to bad training and clueless instructors who have no idea what real war is all about.
When an individual joins up with the Lord, he should know that he’s not joining a peace love dove happiness commune with a bunch of shallow spiritual hippies and a goofy guru completely oblivious to the powerful forces of evil.
To deny evil in this world is to deny reality. Those who attempt to create evil-free societies without going to war against evil will always fail. It is only a matter of time until they fail. They might continue on as communal groups but only as ineffective fossils with regard to original idealistic intentions.
THEN COMETH THE WARRIOR
When the Lord Jesus was born into this fallen world no one saw that His birth was an attack from heaven by a powerful Warrior against an entrenched extremely evil enemy. They only saw a baby. He did this on purpose, of course. He came in like a Lamb. And He kept His life very humble and low key.
But then the day came to go to war:
Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph… [Luke 3:21-23]
God became one of us at His conception and birth. The Lord Jesus had always been God even while in training. The day came, however, when His training was complete. He signaled to the world that He must be baptized in water like everyone else, even though He required no repentance. He also signaled to the world an echo of the future Pentecost when He must also be anointed for service through a visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Mark used the term “Spirit.” Matthew used the term “Spirit of God.”
Though Jesus was God He still needed to be anointed for service. Prior to beginning His ministry, He had to have the power and anointing that would be required to not only engage in miraculous works and teaching, but to also successfully fight the enemy. Being born into this world was the beginning of heaven’s attack. Being anointed for service by the power of the Spirit of God signaled the conclusion of His training and the beginning of open warfare.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. [Matthew 4:1]
When the Lord was baptized in water it was His own personal Red Sea Crossing. He then went into “the Sinai” for forty days. One must recall that the nation of Israel was originally intended to spend only forty days in the Sinai before taking the Promised Land, but they proved to be completely unfit and faithless at that time. God made it their penalty to wander for forty years instead.
The Sinai wandering was indicative of killing the flesh. One already kills “the world” by leaving it and joining the Lord’s Kingdom. But after successfully defeating the world and the flesh one must then face off against the devil.
Without the infilling of the Spirit of God as at Pentecost, one will have no chance whatsoever. The devil will either render a Christian completely ineffective or destroy him. Satan is a powerful spiritual enemy. If the Lord Himself needed to be anointed for service and for spiritual warfare then so does every one of His disciples. This is exactly what Pentecost is for.
The temptation of the enemy is impossible to overcome without completely surrendering to God and receiving His power. Defeating the enemy is, of course, impossible as well. If one goes to war trained improperly without the proper weaponry and strength one will have no chance. Spiritual warfare demands the best. Why do Christians wonder about the attacks that come their way as if it is something that is not supposed to happen? Did not the Lord warn us?
“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.” [Matthew 5:11-12]
The Lord Jesus came in like a Lamb. He submitted Himself as the Sacrifice Lamb at the end. But during His ministry, under the great power of His Holy Spirit, He was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He came to fix things, to set things aright, to reform a system that had grown hopelessly corrupt, and to usher in the Kingdom of God. The evil people hated Him with a passion. They didn’t like anything about Him. They attacked Him relentlessly. He stood up to all of it.
Here’s the key: He knew what was in store. He was not surprised by all the hate. He knew the entire world was against Him. He knew they hated Him. He went behind enemy lines when He arrived here. He fought the enemy long and hard. He was subjected to the most vile insults, innuendo, and lack of respect that no one had ever been subjected to before or since.
But He was ready. He was anointed.
TORRENT OF HATRED
We are entering into days when the level of outright hatred in America has achieved Biblical proportions. Whoever will attempt to engage in any level of reform will be attacked vociferously. But this has always been the case for real Christians. They are not surprised. Real Christians remember a level of surprise as rookies, in not understanding why so much unwarranted hatred was coming their way. Then they understood what every well-trained soldier knows: The enemy is not your friend. The enemy hates you. The enemy will attempt to destroy your life. The enemy will try to kill you. If the enemy is not trying to get you, you’re not doing your job. Those Christians unaware of this are as ducks on a pond.
The Lord Jesus was subjected to all of these things, as were His men. The more authority and power they had, the more they were attacked. Why? BECAUSE THEY WERE BEING POWERFULLY EFFECTIVE AT DESTROYING THEIR ENEMY. They were exposing him and applying solutions to eliminate his corruption. What else is the devil supposed to do, just sit back and let you win? He will throw everything he has at you. You better be able to throw everything back at Him.
When the enemy is on the run you must keep him on the run. This is how you do it:
Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.
Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron. The sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camps.
Then David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem… [1Samuel 17:48-54] 
David was powerfully anointed for service. He attacked the enemy in the Name of the Lord. He did not just knock Goliath down with a small rock sunk in the giant’s head from a mere sling, HE ALSO CUT OFF THE GIANT’S HEAD WITH THE GIANT’S OWN SWORD.
He then took the bloody symbol of the devil’s former authority to the place of God’s authority in the capital city and put it up in a place where everyone could see it.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The President-Elect, on his first official trip in that capacity to Washington DC, has taken a decidedly humble approach. He has been cordial, gracious, sincere, and low-key.
There was talk in October, at the lowest point of his political campaign, when something really bad from his past erupted forth and was set to derail it all, that he was strongly advised to own up to his great wrong and apologize. He had a decision to make. Prophetic voices claiming to hear from God were told that if he took the humble approach he would get through it. He would otherwise be finished.
He ended up owning up to what he did, faced it like a man, and apologized to the nation at the next debate.
It was supposed to be his coup de grace, the death blow, that which would finally finish him off. It failed. It failed because he knew that if he was to continue the race he had only one chance to be successful. He had averted the trap so many, many times before. Any of those things would have destroyed another candidate or campaign but the things that destroyed others never came close to destroying him.
The intelligent people knew why. This man had been much more thoroughly tested throughout his life and career than any of the other candidates. They all had to play the PC game for the sake of their careers and they knew it. They were largely all bought and paid for. But this man had no master. And even though he had made a move toward the Lord long before this, that move would have to be tested. Therefore, though what was sprung upon him in October certainly came through his enemies who no doubt had held it for the right time to administer a crushing blow, it was also the case that the Lord allowed it. It was a door he would have to walk through. The road to the Presidency had to go through that erupting scandal. And though he survived all the others he would never survive that one.
Unless he took a humble approach and showed a contrite heart.
He survived. The road continued.
As a result, he emerged the winner.
There have been reports of divine intervention during the election. Whatever the case, the vast majority of Americans know something entirely unprecedented and unexpected has occurred. Almost no one on the losing side saw it coming. Ninety-nine percent believed wholeheartedly that their victory was assured. Perhaps the same amount of people on the eventual winning side, on the other hand, were cautiously optimistic or hoping for the best, though there was an undercurrent of foreboding. Many millions had been praying. It was all going in one direction.
On Tuesday night, among other sites, I was following in real time the New York Times election graphics on the internet as the national vote was coming in. According to that website, the President-Elect began the evening with only a 15-20% chance of victory. For reference, before you read further, you must see this link: False Forecast
After the initial votes came in supporting the projected scenario of a huge loss for the eventual President-Elect, the totals began changing dramatically. The graphic was flipping. The candidate who started out at 80% began drifting down. The one who started at 20% began trending up. These two lines that started from the left side of the graphic very far apart continued coming toward each other, then actually met in the middle. The graphic was then projecting that each candidate had an equal chance.
Then the lines crossed over each other and continued. The projected winner kept falling. The projected loser kept rising. He rose all the way to 95%. Long before he had actually garnered the needed electoral votes he was already projected as the winner. The graphic never changed. The one who expected to lose big by all the experts, the polls, and the losing side had actually won.
This is all new territory. No one has ever done this before.
Is it possible that it happened without the Lord’s involvement?
“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” [Matthew 23:12]
“So the last shall be first, and the first last.” [Matthew 20:16] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Good Morning Everyone,
I wrote the following post back in June, 140 days ago. I posted it a day before the Brexit vote in the UK. At that time, all indications were that the Brexit vote would fail and that the UK would remain in the European Union. In a shocking upset, Brexit won. The polls were wrong. The victory sent shock waves across the world.
Last night a much greater shock transpired in America. Its reverberations are still being felt all across the nation and the planet. Again, the polls were wrong. Very wrong. Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. I congratulate him on a hard-won victory. This is an unprecedented historical moment.
The PEOPLE have spoken.
The world is changing before our eyes but the majority still sleeps. There comes a point when one must acknowledge that sleepers continue sleeping not because they need any more rest but because they have thrown the alarm clock out the window.
Truth is the alarm clock. Establishment purveyors have barred it from the premises. They have chosen their respective versions of shallow, sleepy time reality for all under their care and are thus causing many to miss the boat. Noah’s Ark is floating off. You know the rest. (“Hey Noah! Wait up!”)
Keep in mind that many who end up very hot and bothered will end up that way for the same reason so many Pharisees did.
“So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:28]
What the Lord…
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But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]
The Lord Jesus arrived at exactly the right time. One would think it was actually not a very good time at all, especially in light of what eventually happened to Him. He came to His people when what was left of the nation of Israel had brought forth the very worst generation in its history. That says a lot, since the ancient Hebrews had manifested some really bad generations over the centuries.
He came at a time when the religious kingpins had gained complete control and had corrupted the entire spiritual establishment. The sect of the Sadducees, the high upper class of well-to-do Establishment power brokers, were in bed with the Romans and had control of the Temple. But remember that the Lord God never wanted a Temple in the first place, and that the Temple in Jerusalem in the first century was empty: There was no Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.
The Ark had disappeared to history 600 hundred years before and is still missing to this day. Without the Ark of the Covenant, what exactly was going on at the Temple in the first century? This is a perfect type of the majority of churches in America that refuse the presence of God but continue to go through the motions anyway.
Consider the following:
But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’ [2Samuel 7:4-7]
“David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE? WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’ You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” [Acts 7:46-51]
As soon as Stephen said this his fate was sealed. Those religious authorities not only murdered him seconds later, they acted exactly like the pack of wolves they were just before:
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:54]
Did Stephen hit a big old giant religious nerve or what?
The sect of the Pharisees had control of the synagogues, which meant they controlled all religious thought and actions, supervised all behavior, and demanded that everyone follow their strict but incorrect interpretation of the Law and Prophets. They had gained the seat of Moses but the Lord told His own disciples to not do what they do. There are many powerful rebukeathons directed by the Lord against the Scribes and Pharisees throughout the Gospels. There are also many parables revealing their illicit behavior and inherent wrongness. The Pharisees were always against the Lord, always trying to trip Him up, always attempting to disparage Him in the eyes of the people, and also always trying to kill Him.
Was the Lord Jesus constantly hitting a big old giant religious nerve or what?
In light of the fact that the Holy of Holies was empty, the people were struggling under a curse, and the religious Establishment looked great on the outside but were evil within, shouldn’t more people have noticed the real Ark of the Covenant? Shouldn’t they have perceived the real Temple?
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19]
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
So why did the Lord Jesus arrive at such a time? The religious authorities who had been engaged in so much wanton destruction for so long, whose forebears had killed all the prophets, had gained complete control.
Evil had been elevated to the very top of the pyramid.
“Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. [Matthew 16:3-4]
Sound familiar? Let’s return to the topic verse:
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]
The Lord Jesus arrived when He did to redeem His people who were under the Torah. For greater clarification, Paul also said this:
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”— [Galatians 3:11-13] 
The Lord came to set His people free at a time when they needed it most. He would become the Sacrifice Lamb. He had to be born under the Law and that particular generation was more “under the Law” than any prior generation.
The word “redeem” in these two passages from Galatians is from the Greek exagorazo, which means: (1) to redeem (1a) by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off (1b) metaph. of Christ freeing the elect from the dominion of the Mosaic Law at the price of his vicarious death (2) to buy up, to buy up for one’s self, for one’s use (2a) to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.
Paul said that Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Torah. That’s a powerful statement. Quite pejorative. The curse of the Torah? This explains how the Pharisees gained control of the people. It explains why that generation was the worst. It explains why He came as a bright Light into a land of great darkness. It explains why they hated Him.
This Jewish sect had fully recognized the evil of the Sadducees and Pharisees, how they had gained control of the Temple and the synagogues, and essentially the entire religious Establishment. And they told them all to go stick it in their collective ear by leaving all and going to the wilderness. They would not put up with all the religious chicanery and shenanigans. Their problem was not that they left but that they had no power as witnesses to stay on the scene and do anything about it. They knew they were defeated and could never change the status quo. But they did a great service to the Lord by shaking the dust off their feet and refusing to be a part of the evil.
This is also why John the Immerser conducted his ministry out in the wilderness, away from all the religious and political intrigue. He proved in part that his ministry was from God because much of the nation went all the way out there to see him. It was a powerful movement within what was left of the nation of Israel and set in motion the Lord’s own movement. What these two movements portend is that REPENTANCE must always come before GRACE. American Christians must properly repent before the Great Awakening can come forth. A big part of this repentance is renouncing everything wrong within “Christianity” instead of supporting it or merely walking away from it.
BLINDED BY DECEPTION
Though the spirit of repentance is rising, there is still very little repentance in America for incorrect, non-New Testament church practices and church formats, the teaching of false doctrines, the clergy-laity division, or the refusal to be filled with the Lord’s Spirit allowing Him full control. This is due in part to ignorance, willful ignorance, deception, and outright rebellion, but at its heart is a curse. In Galatians, Paul quoted the following OT verse:
“‘Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’” [Deuteronomy 27:26]
The point here is that Moses taught that the entire Torah must be honored. Anything less not only rendered it ineffective, it brought on a curse.
James reiterated this teaching of Moses in the following:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. [James 2:10]
The Lord Jesus made it clear that we are either with Him or against Him. There is no middle ground. It should therefore be obvious that we are not allowed by Him to choose whatever part of His teachings we like and reject the others. But Christianity in general has been guilty of this for centuries and certainly remains guilty at present.
It was the same in the first century. Though the people were under a curse, they continued to support the status quo. They continued going through religious motions that had no real effect on their spiritual lives. They were beat down, and they were scared. They wanted real change for the better but could not make it happen.
Until the Lord Jesus.
And until Pentecost.
After that the flood gates opened.
For such a time as this.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Regardless of who gets elected on Tuesday, one thing is certain: America has become absolutely divided into two distinct halves and each half has coalesced into powerfully unified blocs in complete opposition to the other.
The Presidential Election will only cement this divide.
One side still possesses a modicum of respect and honor, is still able to feel shame and thus possess a level of humility which leads to apology and even repentance when called for, is aware of right and wrong, and honors America. It displays real love, is largely unselfish, and understands that sacrifice for the greater good is a must. It acts as a preserving and building agent, and can be counted on to do the right thing. If judged on its overall deeds and intentions, this group would do well before the Lord.
The other side, however, has descended into a disgusting pit of sinful slime in which some members engage in the most vile practices known to man, unleash and let fly with the most repulsive language that would gag a maggot, and displays a level of hatred that makes the devil himself stand up and applaud. And though the majority of this second group may not engage in all these evil practices, it supports the evil practices of their group instead of renouncing them. Many in this group fulfill the following: …paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron…
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
The effort to divide America has been in the works for several decades and has now been achieved. The conquering of America will now follow. America is no longer “one nation, indivisible,” but two nations, and thus there is no longer “justice for all.” In fact, the entire idea of justice has become a joke. Though America was created as a Republic and not a Democracy, both the majority and the individual were protected under the Constitution.
This is obviously no longer the case. One branch continues to reject core Constitutional principles by legislating from the bench and thus violating the rights of the majority while also eroding the Constitutional rights of the majority of individuals. The other two branches have been hopelessly compromised by money and a largely unseen and secretive ruling elite. The three branches no longer serve, honor, respond to, or obey “We the People.”
The following excerpt is from my prophetic book Real Christianity. I wrote it over twenty years ago. I knew it then. I warned against it then. Christianity in America paid no attention then and it stills pays no attention. But this record remains and will stand as an excellent testimony of unheeded warning. For young or uninformed Christians of today unaware of this truth who think the current sinister happenings in America have suddenly descended at this time without warning, it is only because God’s repeated warnings have been repeatedly rejected.
I predicted that an anti-Christian ruling elite was taking over the country over twenty years ago and that it had almost achieved its goal. I also gave the means of stopping it. However, the means was rejected then and has continued to be rejected by the dingbats in charge of American Christianity. Though conditions were very bad then, this is why conditions in the country are so much worse now than they were twenty years ago.
This is also why the same division that has happened to the country has happened to American Christianity. It has also been divided into two distinct camps. The majority camp, Unreal Christianity, looks the part and talks the talk but refuses to walk the walk. The minority camp, the Remnant, the one composed of all Real Christians, is the only hope remaining for both American Christianity and the country itself. Why? Because the Lord God of heaven and earth—the Lord Jesus—dwells in the latter. He has control within Real Christianity. He is the actual effective King of this body because Real Christians have given Him and only Him complete control. Because of this a Great Awakening is coming forth.
Read the following excerpt from my book and relate it to today. You will discover in part how the inexplicable has happened in America and why all guilty parties deserve their fate:
In ancient Israel, the spirit of Nimrod rose from within. The Old Testament gives us a Hebrew king list which is largely composed of one despot after another who ruled the descendants of Jacob with complete disregard for God’s first intention—His children’s life and liberty. When the people of Israel turned their back on God, they turned their back on everything, and thus received the leadership they deserved.
The USA will also fail to stop the current Nimrod insurgency if we don’t get our priorities straight. Each citizen of this country is guaranteed by the Constitution the right to life. This right has been greatly curtailed, paradoxically by the government itself, that is, the government of “We the People.” We have surrendered much of the substance of our original right to life. We have created a hierarchical, bureaucratic machine which has no feeling or regard for our true welfare. We now largely look to the government instead of to God for answers to our problems. Even though our government was built in such a way to keep Nimrod from taking over, Nimrod is about to come to power anyway—we created him, and the exact creation has transpired within American Christianity.
In the early church, God spread out power and authority evenly among His people, but in the majority of today’s churches, the religious upper class rules with a velvet-gloved iron hand. If one doesn’t think this is true, then one has never challenged the ruling class as Jesus did. Those who do find out post haste that it has a dark side, that it often regards its dependents with contempt, and that its holy exterior remains that way only as long as one remains its fool:
And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. [Luke 4:28-29] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’” [Luke 22:25]
In revealing His original and prototypical ministry model, the Lord Jesus set the perfect example for His followers in positions of authority:
“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” [Luke 22:26]
REJECTING THE LORD
But like boiling the proverbial frog, it did not take long for His teachings on the matter to become completely rejected by later generations of “Christians.” The frog sits in the pan, in comfortable water, but if one turns up the heat ever so slightly and gradually, the frog will never notice, even to the point of being boiled alive.
It is the enemy’s ultimate strategy to take a secret gradualism approach. Anything else will tip his hand and make his sinister machinations obvious. He must start small. The goal, of course, is to take power by stealing authority. I explained this in Part 1 of this series.
It began at the beginning. The devil and his fallen rebellious cohorts were cast down to Planet Earth by the Lord God prior to Adam’s creation. The planet became their abode. Their evil presence, as a sinister spectral fog, spread across the earth and covered it like a dark shroud.
Then the Lord God decided to invade the darkness. In keeping with His humble servant plan, He would strike at the very heart of the devil by sending forth a spiritual warrior that initially appeared to the powerful, arrogant evil one as a mere dog. How humiliating.
The Lord God thus created the most humble of superior beings by creating him from the very earth itself—He was an organic being, sharing many of the organic physical traits of mere animals. In this, Adam was highly unlike angels, and even fallen angels.
But then, the Lord God would bless this organic, natural being with celestial star power. Adam would thus also be like the myriad of shining angelic beings among the heavens. He would be both an organic man and a spiritual man. In fact, Adam would be like God:
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]
One of the great secrets of spiritual success is great humility. This is why Real Christians must go through a complete and thorough repentance process to begin their born again experience. Repentance is humiliating. It kills human pride. It allows for a brand new start by destroying the old. The way up is down. Through repentance, and ongoing repentance, we always know who is really in charge. It assists in making a follower of the Lord very powerful in spiritual warfare.
However, this spiritual process has been largely lost and rejected by the lords of Christianity. For example, you see the same ridiculous anti-New Testament leadership model on display day after day, Sunday morning after Sunday morning, and splashed all across the airwaves. It is a model in which the 99 are lost in the pew as mere spectators without a voice and the 1 “found” sheep is bleating away incessantly up in the forefront on a high platform in a big pulpit under the spotlight and before the camera. He or she hogs it all. No one else is ever allowed to speak.
There is no law against this and if everyone wants to engage in the practice that is fine. BUT IT IS NOT NEW TESTAMENT. IT IS NOT THE LORD’S MODEL. It can and has given rise to arrogance, power-seeking, and much cash. It provides the perfect place for the flesh. Perhaps the Scripture could be read this way:
And He said to them, “The kings (leaders) of the Gentiles (Christians) lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’” [Luke 22:25]
The Greek word translated as Benefactors is euergetes. It appears only once in the New Testament. Strong’s defines it as thus: (1) Benefactor (2) A title of honour, conferred on such as had done their country service, and upon princes. A.T. Robertson defines it as a “doer of good.”
Of course, the Lord Jesus was teaching how it came to pass that His disciples would fight about who would be the best and the top leader. Even among the Lord’s apostles in the early going there was behind the scenes intrigue, displays of pride, and a scrambling about to gain the top leadership position. How often the Lord must have been amused. He was in fact telling them that they had previously been subjected to a false model of leadership, and that these so-called Benefactors or “doers of good” had actually created the false title for themselves in the effort to legitimize their stolen place of “honor,” though it was occupied for the most part by men who were dishonorable.
It was the civic form of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Does anyone really believe that the Roman emperors, those who demanded they be worshipped as gods, were honorable doers of good? Well, if one fell into the category of upgrading their meager lives by becoming the recipients of Roman government-dispensed bread and circuses, then Yeah, I guess they would be considered “good.”
But the Lord inferred that they weren’t good. He also inferred that His disciples were acting like idiots by engaging in a power struggle to see who would be the greatest among them. What patience for relative children the Lord showed. You know He had to have a slight chuckle at their nonsense. (No! Me! I’m the one! It should be Me! No, you’re a dingbat fisherman! I’m the best! Look, you clowns, you’re both wrong! I’m the best…)
LORDING IT OVER THE BRETHREN
In reality this kind of garbage has been going on behind the scenes in churches for untold centuries. “Ministers” will fight for prestige, money, dedicated pulpits, and the opportunity to officially speak their minds whenever they feel like it with no possibility of accountability or the voices of others (or facts). Once they gain the speakership and fight off all comers and run off anyone who sees things differently they can safely rule and reign in their little faux kingdoms with nothing but docile pew-sitters arrayed out before them.
For the congregation, it is natural selection in reverse. It is the survival of the unfittest.
The same thing happens in government, even in a country with a Constitution that forbids it. Well, just as it has happened in most of “Christianity,” so it has happened here.
THE ORIGINAL ANTICHRIST
For the Hebrews it did not start with Gentiles taking over at some point and ruling over them. It reached its zenith with one of their own, the one they called the greatest, the one who actually inspired the dunderhead disciples whether they knew it or not. This man could have written the book on palace intrigue. But even before the great Solomon, the man who taxed his people into the poorhouse, who refused all prophets, who turned his nation into his own private ungodly fiefdom and laid the foundation of its own destruction, and before the coming of the first Hebrew king, Saul, the Lord God sent forth a very strong and clear prophetic warning about what the Hebrew people were doing to themselves by putting men in the place of God and what their future held as a result.
See if any of the following sounds familiar. The Lord God released it about 30 centuries ago using His form of Biblical WikiLeaks:
The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”
So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you:
“He will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots.
“He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
“He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers.
“He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants.
“He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants.
“He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work.
“He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.
“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”
Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us…” [1Samuel 8:7-19] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
Every Real Christian has a vineyard granted by the Lord Jesus. The vineyard is a Christian’s ministry. It is the specific spiritual work belonging only to each Real Christian.
No one else is responsible for it. The only way to possess it is by first giving oneself to the Lord 100%. It is His gift. The only way to keep it and make it function is to possess it fully, be responsible for it, guard and protect it, and work it always. This is how it becomes and remains fruitful.
It is the Lord Jesus who chooses the particular vineyard for each of His children. He puts a longing and desire for it in one’s heart. Once receiving it, the believer wants to do nothing else but answer the call, throw oneself into the work, make the work productive, do his or her part, and thus please the Lord. It is a Real Christian’s entire reason for being and only ultimate purpose for living.
THE GARDEN BEFORE THE FALL
The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. [Genesis 2:8]
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15]
One will note the following:
(1) It is the Lord’s garden. He planted it.
(2) In the Hebrew, the garden is defined as “an enclosure.”
(3) The Garden of Eden was specifically an enclosed fruit tree orchard.
(4) The Lord created Adam, chose Adam, and put Adam into His garden.
(5) Adam had two jobs to do with reference to the garden:
1. He had to cultivate it. This meant he had to work it and make it productive and fruitful.
2. He had to keep it. This meant he had to be responsible for it, guard it, and protect it against all enemies.
We know from the initial text of Genesis 2 that Adam did a great job and that the Lord was pleased with him. The garden was very fruitful. He worked very hard to make it productive. He began expanding it into territory previously occupied by wild nature. He was taking dominion of the earth as the Lord instructed him to do.
Also, Adam fought off the serpent who wanted to rip him off. There was always a battle, especially on the periphery. Yet Adam slowly expanded the garden and took fruitfulness into the land of wildness where everything grew of its own accord without a gardener, and where “there was no man to cultivate the ground” (Genesis 2:5). In time, he would expand the garden over the entire planet. The devil never deceived Adam. Adam never gave in to the serpent’s temptations.
In these two things, cultivating the garden and keeping it, Adam excelled. He honored the Lord. To separate faithful Adam from the Lord’s garden of which Adam was in charge, the enemy had to resort to another plan of attack. He eventually found a way around Adam’s dominion. The devil ripped him off.
Naboth was an honorable man who possessed a vineyard. The vineyard had been passed down to him as a family heritage. Naboth’s Vineyard was located next to the palace of King Ahab, a notorious jerk and wicked Hebrew king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The inference in Scripture is that Naboth’s Vineyard predated Ahab’s palace.
Keep in mind that Hebrew kings were never supposed to exist in the first place and only did exist because the ancient Hebrew people rejected the Lord God as their King and demanded mere sinful men to reign in His place. The sad tale of Naboth’s Vineyard is one more lurid example of what happens when men leave their proper place in God and give themselves over to selfishness and evil. Explosive sin and corruption, as evil fruit, always results.
Naboth was an Old Testament type of Real Christian with a spiritual ministry granted by the Lord. To separate faithful Naboth from the Lord’s vineyard of which Naboth was in charge, the enemy had to resort to another plan of attack. He eventually found a way around Naboth’s dominion. The devil ripped him off:
Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no food. But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating food?” So he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.
HATE, MURDER, RIP OFF
Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.” When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’” [1Kings 21:1-19] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
The Old Testament Scriptures have a lot in common with WikiLeaks: There is no holding back on revealing ancient Israel’s corruption and eventual destruction.
The same will happen for each of us on an individual basis at the Judgment. All of our sin and corruption will be revealed. We will be judged accordingly. Unless, of course, our hard drives have been wiped clean by the Blood of Jesus through real repentance.
Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. [Hebrews 13:12-13]
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS
We live in an age in which the general level of corruption has gained Biblical proportions. Christians have long predicted this would happen. Yet now that is has, many people have become apathetic and indifferent toward it, and feel powerless to do anything about it. The same thing happened to ancient Israel.
How does a nation go from being the specially chosen people of God in whom He entrusted His pure Word, manifested His holy presence, and loved with all His heart, to a nation so corrupt it actually murdered Him? That’s pretty much Mount Everest on the corruption scale. But as I’ve said so many times before, this is not an indictment of the ancient Hebrew people, but an indictment of the entire human race. It was the Lord who decided to choose a people. But in seeing what His own people did we should also see what any nation would do. We should also see, then, what has happened to America.
Ancient Israel got into trouble every time it turned away from God. Every time the nation as a whole began slacking off and dishonoring their unique spiritual heritage—essentially becoming like any other godless nation on the planet—it not only descended into a pit of depravity, its depravity actually exceeded the depravity of the pagan nations surrounding it.
We recall several intervals when corruption went off the scale. These were times when the heart of the nation had so turned away from their loving Father that they no longer wanted Him around. If you think it hurts to be rejected by someone here and there imagine how the Lord must have felt when He was rejected by His own people in whom He had invested His entire heart and life, and long centuries of care and protection. One of these intervals in which Israel took a giant leap downward—insisting nonsensically on jumping into a deep pit of slime as it were—is recorded in the first book of Samuel:
The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.” [1Samuel 8:7-8]
Samuel felt rejected because the nation refused to hear him, but the Lord said no, it is not you, it is Me. They are not listening to you for one reason: You work for Me. They don’t want Me…
So how did Israel become the most corrupt nation? And how can anyone say such a thing? There were obviously some really bad nations at that time engaging in all manner of ungodly and immoral practices. I will answer with Scripture:
“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]
We know from the Biblical record and extensive historical research what had happened to this land so many centuries before and exactly how the people therein arrived at a state of complete darkness, spiritual death, and in great need of repentance and restoration to the Lord God. The Northern Kingdom of Israel bit the dust long before the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But Judah had its own moment of utter darkness and absolute corruption, right before it ceased to exist forever:
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” [Acts 2:22-23]
The Northern Kingdom had essentially only rejected the Lord. The Southern Kingdom murdered Him. Was the destruction of Jerusalem forty years later the Lord’s retribution against a vile, corrupt people? Or was it actually the case that when Judah rejected its long-awaited Messiah it actually rejected every means of its own life and protection? Unlike every other nation, ancient Israel was entirely dependent upon the blessings, protection, and grace of God. It could not exist for long without Him, except in a grossly corrupt form. What more could the Lord God have done to showcase this fact and take responsibility for His wayward, corrupt people but actually show up among them as one of them in a final loving effort to get them back on the right path for their own good?
Can you imagine some good people showing up at a man’s home when times are bad and he needs some help and they shower him with love and groceries and some money to help him pay some bills to get him back on his feet and he turns to them with rage and demand they get their sorry backsides the hell away from him and never come back? And every time someone else tries to help he does the same thing? We all know what will become of this man. His final end will not be because of outward judgment but because of inward hardheartedness, rebellion, and stupidity.
America has a corruption problem because far too many of the people in positions of authority have become corrupt. This has become obvious but nothing changes. Americans keep voting corrupt people into office. Until recently most Americans either didn’t care or were too willingly ignorant to know. But this is changing. Light is starting to shine…
Part of the proof we have that the OT Scriptures are for real is that no nation writes such an incriminating history of itself. History is always written by the victors and by those with alternative agendas, and is thus skewed. This is not the case with the history of the ancient Hebrews. It is all exposed and it is all true.
THE FAITHFUL REMNANT
Intermixed with all the corruption in ancient Israel, however, is a crimson stream of repentance and righteousness, and an ongoing longing by an everlasting Remnant to do right by God. This Remnant remained viable until the first century when Messiah arrived. Though He was rejected by what was left of the nation as a whole and certainly by the entire religious establishment, there were thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Jews in the first century who recognized their Lord and Savior and embraced the Messiah wholeheartedly. They no longer identified with the corrupt outward nation. For those, their lives were saved. YHWH-Salvation saved them. They repented as per John the Immerser’s instructions, as per the Lord’s commands, and as per Peter’s demands on The Day of Pentecost. This believing Remnant of Jews became the very people that continued bringing forth salvation into the world.
“…For salvation is from the Jews.” [John 4:22] 
In those times long before this when the ancient nation of Israel had turned back to God, the course of the nation was righted, corruption was exposed and eliminated, the guilty parties either repented or were removed from power, and the Lord was once again in the right place in order to care for His people. This is the Lord’s heart. That He often had to use outside people is only a testimony to the fact that a corrupt elite in power will NEVER correct itself.
In ancient Israel, it was the anointed judges and prophets who were used of God as a corrective force, whose voices could only be silenced by death. Most of these did die and were silenced. The corrupt elite were not only slowly destroying their own nation, they were destroying their very souls.
In America at this time corruption at very high levels is being exposed. Much of this is unprecedented. But it will do no good whatsoever if the corruption never registers with the majority of the people. It could be the case and is in part probably the case that at least half of America is also corrupt and is therefore compromised from doing anything about the corrupt people in power. Much of America is simply blind and unaware of the facts. Many simply do not care. For all the proper percentages of the population and whatnot, a study of ancient Israel will give much perspective.
As I said in a recent post, America is doomed without a Great Awakening. The Good News is that an Awakening has begun, as I have been saying all along from the beginning of this blog five and a half years ago and over six years ago when I received the revelation. The first Great Awakening that began in 1734 was designed in part to create a nation. Perhaps the oncoming Great Awakening is designed to save the nation. But nations can never be saved unless individual citizens are saved and salvation can never come without true heart-rending repentance, a turning away from sin and false gods, a complete repudiation of systemic corruption, and an absolute turning toward and acceptance of the Lord Jesus, the sacrifice He made on our behalf, and His full authority and dominion.
The outward nation of ancient Israel was destroyed forever almost two-thousand years ago. The eternal Kingdom of the Lord Jesus began then, and it was composed entirely of Jews and those of Hebrew extraction for the first seven to ten years of its existence. That’s right—the Community of the Lord Jesus, His Qahal, His Ekklesia, was founded by a Jew and consisted only of descendants of Isaac in its initial years.
The ancient nation of Israel was essentially born again.
Perhaps America can be born again also.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
Some people are able to lie with a straight face continually with no reservations whatsoever without feeling even the slightest hint of guilt.
Though liars may be quite successful and never face justice in the here and now, in the eternal sense, they do not pass Go. They do not collect $200. In the next world there will be no Get Out of Jail Free card. Barring repentance (a very unlikely scenario for the vast majority of those who habitually bear false witness as a way of life and for getting ahead), they will go straight to hell:
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:8]
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. [1Timothy 1:8-11]
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1Timothy 4:1-2]
AHAB AND JEZEBEL
Ahab was a proud Israelite of royal blood. He came from a line of kings who were each generally more treacherous than the one before. “How can I top my forebears on the wickedness scale?” thought Ahab. “I know! I’ll marry an immoral, lying, demon-possessed Baal-worshipping daughter of a foreign king!
Her name was Jezebel. It is pronounced in the original Hebrew as Ee-zeh’-bel. She hated anyone determined to serve the Lord but had an especially powerful and passionate hatred for God’s prophets. She hated Elijah most of all.
Why so much hate? –Because she was so closely aligned with the devil. One could figure out the devil’s demeanor by her actions. She was a great barometer for the way demons think and operate. Thus, modern Jezebels hate real Christians more than anybody else. They hate real Christians with a prophetic anointing the most. And they absolutely despise the most mature real Christians with a prophetic anointing.
The original Jezebel set her heart on murdering Elijah but failed. The man who later came in the spirit and power of Elijah, the great forerunner John the Immerser, did not fare as well. The Jezebel of his time, the evil Herodias, succeeded in killing him. John’s murderer, like Jezebel, was also an adulterous queen married to a king (Herod Antipas) in defiance of the law and used her own daughter’s dirty dancing to complete the dirty deed.
Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?”
And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel; and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin.
“Of Jezebel also has the LORD spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’ The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.”
Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the sons of Israel. [1Kings 21:20-26]
THROW HER DOWN
Now in the eleventh year of Joram, the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah.
When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?”
Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot.
When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. Therefore they returned and told him.
And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’” [2Kings 9:29-37] 
It seems the longer justice awaits, the bolder Jezebels become, and the more bullet-proof they think they are. But one thing is certain. There is always Jezebel justice in the end.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord Jesus created one Church. It signifies the one Community of the Lord Jesus on the earth, composed of every real Christian. The word “church” is derived from the Greek Ekklesia and the Hebrew Qahal. The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is, of course, a spiritual kingdom. It has one King—the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last—YeHoshua HaMashiach.
The moment a religious chartered institution, including an individual local “church,” is formally formed, it becomes a competing entity to the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. It creates a clergy-based leadership team almost always consisting of one man at the top of the pyramid who has been invested with the ultimate power to do whatever he deems appropriate within the bylaws. He usually has a church board, an elder staff, or a small committee of some sort that shares his power in a sense, but most of these are mere sycophants, or yes-man boards who do little more than support him, not much different at all from the way a pack of wolves will honor a single alpha male as pack leader and submit to him completely.
When a man is invested with such power he is bound to fail the Lord’s commission, lead his people astray, and royally screw things up over time. It keeps happening over and over, but such Christians who support this format refuse to see that the set up is messed up and rather than change the faulty format they insist on forcing everyone to adhere to it as the ultimate “right thing to do.”
In other words, a monster is created and rather than kill the monster they insist on supporting it regardless of cost or what it does to people, and whoever has a different opinion is run off or destroyed by said monster. The concept of spiritual peace and love as taught by the Master is thrown out the window and is used and referred to only in the abstract in order to save the man-made substitute.
To illustrate the difference between religious institutions and the one Ekklesia, Qahal, or Community of the Lord, the Southern Baptist Convention is not the Kingdom but a competing entity. The Roman Catholic Church is not the Kingdom but a competing entity. A Pentecostal mega “church” is not the kingdom but a competing entity. These legal religious institutions may or may not have real Christians as members, but such members are often unclear on the concept of the Lord’s original intent and curriculum. Thus, they give too little honor to the Lord Jesus and too much honor to their chosen leaders, who are often compromised.
Judas would not last long in the vast majority of churches unless he made it to the leadership team. In fact, this is where Judas spirits usually end up. But rather than go after the leader as the original Judas did, the real Judas spirit, since it longs for power over people, wants to control the institution. In this sense it works with the leadership team over the congregation. All it needs to accomplish this is a willing leadership team.
The very fact that the Lord Jesus instructed His real disciples to call no one the “leader” except Him, and that most Christians insist on doing otherwise, and that “pastors” love being called “leader” and revel in the authority it brings (though many will affect a faux humble attitude), proves that almost all Christians and Christian leaders insist on violating the following pure commands of the Lord:
“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.” [Matthew 23:8-10]
The preceding commands of the Lord Jesus in Matthew’s gospel are essentially no different than the first three of the Ten Commandments:
Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. 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 the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” [Exodus 20:1-7]
In the Matthew account the Lord Jesus clearly identifies Himself as (1) The only Teacher, (2) The only Father, and (3) The only Leader. In the Exodus account, YHWH Elohim clearly identifies Himself as the only God, which encapsulates everything that God is to His people, such as their loving Deliverer from bondage which always starts the process of salvation.
But Christians in general are grossly confused by these clear facts. They are confused for a reason. They are confused because the very clear commands of the Lord Jesus regarding leadership and authority have been grossly violated. They refuse to see or even consider that He is indeed the only Teacher, Father, and Leader. As a result, they also grossly violate the first three of the Ten Commandments by making idols and worshipping them, and taking the Name of the Lord in vain:
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth… [Philippians 2:9-10]
Because people have it stuck in their heads that an “idol” is a crude little ancient statue made of metal, wood, or stone representing some weird foreign deity and nothing else, they are blinded to the reality of what the Lord was teaching: The most fully evolved “idol” is a living human being. Hence—
“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. [Matthew 23:8-10]
We can add to this many other titles such as “reverend” and “pastor,” the latter of which is a pure corruption of a bad translation and appears only once in the NT. It should have been translated as shepherd. Most “pastors” love their title for obvious reasons, but are not true shepherds and in fact abhor the designation of shepherd due to its inferred lack of status, decorum, and authority. They do not want to be characterized as mere sheep herders off in a pasture somewhere with a stained robe and weathered stick.
If Christians are waiting for reform in this area from the top, such reform will never arrive. We see by what happened to the Lord Jesus that challenging false leadership will be costly. They killed Him. In America, because we have laws against that sort of thing, false leadership resorts to chicken solutions like spreading false gossip and innuendo, blackballing, the use of supreme indifference, quiet hatred, and generally breaking every commandment of the Lord to attack His prophets and maintain personal power. All of this is done to prop up false leadership which proves further that it is false leadership, often infused with the power of a Judas spirit, which uses betrayal of the brethren as the means toward its highest goal: Power over them.
“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 the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” [Exodus 20:5-6] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” [Luke 6:41-42]
The real Community of the Lord Jesus has been achieving spectacular growth, maturing, and getting better and better since the Lord created it almost two thousand years ago, just as He predicted would happen.
But the world is regressing at an ever-faster clip and is going straight to hell.
IN OR OUT
To make your life and perspective much less confusing and muddled with regard to the world scene at present, let it be known that there are only two kinds of people on the planet: Those who reside in the Lord’s Kingdom and those who do not.
It really is that simple. The Lord Jesus continually proclaimed this exact truth. He made it a day and night issue. There was absolutely no misunderstanding whatsoever on this subject within His curriculum. You were either IN or you were OUT.
He wants everyone to be IN. Everyone is invited by Him to be IN. He does not discriminate in any way regarding membership. All are welcome.
But only very few will make it. The vast majority of all human beings who have ever lived will fail, by their own decision, to make the cut. All those who end up in hell will have decided repeatedly throughout their lifetimes to make that destination their choice for various reasons.
The number one reason?
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. [Proverbs 16:18]
Now, if a man happens to be a star player in Major League baseball, for example, then he has ample reason to feel good about himself. There have been many star players who took the opposite approach, however.
One great star and pure Hall of Famer who refused to give in to personal pride was Stan Musial. He was one of the most humble and likeable players in history. He was the opposite of the preening showboat. He went about his day-to-day work in such an incredibly consistent manner that he ended up with exactly the same amount of hits on the road and at home. Some consider that to be a mere coincidence but I consider it a sign. He is number four on the all time hit list with 3,630. He had 1,815 hits at his home ball park in St. Louis, and 1,815 hits at all other ball parks on the road. He was one of the greatest players to ever play the game but if you met him and knew nothing about baseball you would think he was just another guy.
The point here is that Stan Musial and players like him had all the reason in the world to be preening, showboating, boastful, full-of-themselves, focused-on-number-one, narcissistic nitwits. But they chose the humble path. While some later resorted to pumping themselves full of steroids to put up monster numbers and break long-held records (and the results are obvious), the honest and humble players rarely or never allowed their mature skills on the baseball diamond and resultant recognition to define them as greater or better people than anyone else. They knew there were millions of people just as excellent in their own right in their own fields of endeavor though they may all labor in obscurity.
THE REAL AND THE UNREAL
It is people like this who make up the Community of the Lord. They know what they are. They know their faults and limitations. They know that prior to their Upper Room experience they were hopelessly prone to sin and overcome by it, and that they had no recourse to the heart of the problem or remedy to correct it. They know what they would be and where they would end up without the Lord. Though they may be talented and have achieved many good things, they also know they are gifted by the Lord above. They know they are anointed for service and that their walk with the Lord is just that—a relational partnership between a Father and His son or daughter. They owe everything to Him.
This is why it is so disconcerting to see celebrities, politicians, and media members of whatever stripe act as if they are God’s gift to the world though they reject God at every turn. We currently have such a celebrity-oriented atmosphere in America that pure goodness and a desire for real morality is not only no longer toward the top of the list—it isn’t even on the list.
We have the worst, the most depraved, and the sickest individuals in places of high power and prestige who are en masse the greatest collection of sold-out narcissists who ever lived. And you do not only find them in the entertainment sphere, but in politics and the media. In fact, these three spheres have largely been merged. They work together. Once one gets beyond the bright and shiny fake surface, one finds the people at the top of these professions are not only the greatest narcissists, proving that narcissism was the single greatest factor in their rise to power, one discovers they are also the greatest hypocrites.
In their ridiculous upside-down conception of morality, they often hold little back in attempting to destroy the reputations of others who do not agree with them, and they also transform the most evil sins into virtues. While they say many despicable things about others caught in sin, they refuse to acknowledge their own sins which are often far worse. They are also excellent at deceiving ignorant people and the self-righteous to the tune of tens of millions in order to gain power or remain in power.
They will stop at nothing. They will lie repeatedly (forever and always), cheat, and deceive. And they do it with a smile and much laughter. They are depraved and completely deceived themselves as well, of course, because they fail to recognize that their end is just around the corner and that without redemption they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. They have sold out to the devil and the devil’s religion whether they know it or not. While pointing out the splinter in another’s eye, they fail to see the great forest in their own.
“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” [Luke 6:41-42] 
To witness the incredible hypocrisy forever on display among our elected politicians and selected media these days is to know that this country has not long to live. America is about to go the way of all nations, into the dustbin of history as they say. The change has been transpiring for several decades. This country has truly sowed to the wind and reaped the whirlwind. All parties are guilty. Almost all of the people you see at the forefront on any given day have rejected the Lord, have no place in heaven, reside outside the kingdom, serve the devil, sin regularly with no remorse, have their collective conscious burned out, support evil and reject good, and most of all, they think they are the greatest, best, nicest, most wonderful people who ever lived and should be respected, admired, and bowed down to as such.
It is truly hypocrisy on steroids.
The Lord Jesus and His Community is the only chance this country has left.
WITHOUT A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING AMERICA IS DOOMED.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The majority lives in a fallen world. It is a world largely constructed by people separated from the Creator, most of whom have no desire to know Him, much less honor Him. This is especially true of many people who have managed to acquire great wealth and power.
This fact presents an always interesting conundrum for those who choose to acknowledge the paradox of wealthy holders of great power who refuse to honor the Creator while living in very mortal bodies which will one day cease to exist. Yes, they hold great power now. They are incredibly wealthy. The current world of man has been created according to their will and blueprint, and most inhabitants of the planet are so caught up in mere survival they have no time or ability to consider such knowledge.
We assume the world is what it is according to a much higher benevolent power. But this is simply not true. The world of mankind has the devil as its author, in association with sinful, fallen humans, much more than it has anything to do with the Creator.
Cognitive Dissonance is defined as “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.” 
In other words, truth and untruth are both believed as truth at the same time, which causes discord in one’s cognition or ability to understand until one can distinguish between the two. It means primarily that a person has accepted an untruth as a truth and had believed in something that is not true as though it were, and are thus conflicted when presented with actual truth. Since both untruth and truth can never comfortably exist together in a sound mind, one or the other must eventually be rejected. Indeed, accepted reality is reality until someone shines a light on darkness, and reveals accepted darkness and untruth for what it is.
Most will reject newly-presented actual truth since they have lived according to a false belief system or set of false beliefs their entire life and find it far too challenging and uncomfortable to walk away from them. The untruth has incorporated itself throughout their being and has long since been given life through willing and passive acceptance. For the most part it has never been properly challenged. Since no one has spiritual truth until they are presented with it at some point in their life, people unconsciously appropriate belief systems that are not true though they believe them to be. It is their belief in that which is false that makes it true to them. It is their acceptance of the unreal that makes it real to them.
Those hungry for spiritual truth do not have this problem. They had only accepted untruth because it had been foisted upon them somehow but know it fails to satisfy. Because they strive for total heart and soul satisfaction and a true answer to their hunger, they never cease their pursuit of truth until they come in contact with it. When they are presented with it they find it relatively easy to rid themselves of all untruth regardless of what it costs them personally. This is why the Lord is much more able to lead spiritually hungry people to His Truth and to Himself.
The Lord tells us the truth, and because the truth He tells is so shocking and so apart from mankind’s false world views it is usually instantly rejected by most. It is too uncomfortable. What He says seems too far-fetched and simply cannot be right. It flies in the face of one’s accepted reality. It goes against one’s culture. One does not want to become a deviant within his or her group.
For the world of man, this response is perceived as appropriate, because, again, the world of man is composed for the most part by lovers of it and those who reject the Creator who are openly rebellious toward Him. It makes no sense for them to accept the Lord Jesus or consider His teachings. They would have to make wholesale changes in every part of their falsely constructed lives to integrate His teachings and they find the whole idea completely asinine.
“But you will die one day, sooner than you think, and will have to account for your life.” This they soundly reject because it is the only intelligent and reasonable thing to do. They cannot fathom any wholesale changes in their life that might compromise or remove their great power and wealth.
“One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” [Luke 18:22-24] 
This young archon was certainly not one of the world’s richest and powerful men, though he possessed incredible worldly wealth. Let’s say someone tried to tell him, “Hey, your money is only so good for so long. It is currently losing value. It can never be translated into the next world. You trust in it way too much. This is actually destroying you. You are putting your faith in an adulterous mistress that will turn on you in a second. It is only a matter of time. You do not possess it. It possesses you.” Well, he would see that he had come suddenly to a very distinct fork in the road, because these are two competing, polar-opposite ideas. He would be forced to choose one or the other. And even though he cannot reject the obvious facts he was just presented with, the odds are almost 100% that he would make no change.
Why? Because the fake world he lives in is comfortable and though he knows it can never last forever he would rather have comfort now than risk it all on possible comfort in a possible next world. Many people never consider such opportunities at redemption and therefore stay deceived about the nature of reality and life. It is not until they die (that is, until the very temporary house of clay they currently live in wears out or is damaged sufficiently in some way) that they are confronted with the actual truth. Most are and will be shocked. And it will be too late.
So, the few great power brokers who have most of the wealth of this world never change a thing regarding their own eternity and continue to put their faith in the fairy tale that they will somehow live forever and/or get away with all their personal sin and the destruction and pain they caused so many in the gaining of their wealth and power. And there will be a special place in hell for them. It is their choice.
But for those who actually believe what the Creator teaches, and applies it wholesale, they discover everything He said is absolutely true and their formerly blind eyes are opened. They see what they had never seen before or could ever see. By trusting and obeying the Lord Jesus, they become aware of the deception they were formerly blinded by and are set free. They then see this fallen world of mankind for what it actually is. They exit the world at the inevitable fork in the road and enter the kingdom.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]
If you feel confused, uninformed or not properly informed, or cognitively conflicted regarding truth, and are not sure what course to take to remedy the situation, I suggest you first begin growing closer to the Lord. His light will shine upon the areas that have need of it and in time He will fill the voids with His truth.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © Merriam Webster
 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.
“There’s a few guys whose sparkling baseball careers were curtailed early. Tony Conigliaro, a young star for the Boston Red Sox in August of 1967, took a fastball to the face and was never the same. He said he heard the ball—a hiss—but didn’t see it.”
. . .
I played many seasons of men’s softball over several years. Had a lot of fun. I built teams and coached. I also ran youth baseball leagues and coached teams for a few seasons and often took my teams to batting cages. Sometimes, after being egged on, I stepped into a cage and took some hacks. The other coaches there were impressed. I was a good hitter. But I was never within a million miles of real baseball.
I remember I once put my young son in an 80 mile-an-hour cage and he was doing well. 80 miles an hour is pretty fast for a kid. He was a good ballplayer, and tough. Then the silly machine threw one inside. My son didn’t flinch. Couldn’t get out of the way in time. Nobody expects a consistent machine to suddenly go that wild. The ball smashed off his hand and did a pretty good number on one of his fingers, drawing blood. He stood his ground. I knew it must of hurt pretty bad but he took it like a man.
On another occasion at an indoor facility, I had my players at a batting cage taking their turns. These were thirteen and fourteen year-old kids who, in real games, were facing about 70 mile-an-hour pitches on average at best, so I probably had them in a cage at about that speed. While there, I noticed another cage set up with a much better machine. No one was using it. I asked around. There was a guy there who I think had played some minor league ball. I asked him how fast the machine was slinging it. We were about to find out. While standing outside the net to the side, close by the plate, someone put a ball in and the other guy, standing right beside me, put a gun on it. The ball was hard to see. Just a blur. Slam. It thudded loudly against the tarp backdrop. The guy squinted a little looking at the radar gun readout and said, “94.” Hmm, I thought. It looked a lot faster. “Would it be okay if I stepped in?”
It had been a long time since I saw anything that fast. I was older and wanted to see what would happen. I got a helmet and a bat and planned to let the first pitch go by to see what it looked like. I’m standing there in the box in my stance ready for some serious heat, watching the machine, the ball, the release… Slam!
I didn’t see it. That’s what I told someone later. Actually though, maybe I kinda did. Just barely, maybe. Maybe it was sort of a blurry elongated whooshing white bullet. Or a fuzzy aspirin tablet. Or maybe I was imagining things. It only takes four tenths of a second for a good fastball to reach the plate, but reaction time is only a little over a tenth of a second. It was more like seeing the release of the ball and then immediately hearing it slam into the tarp. I thought, as I’m standing there just getting buzzed, “There’s no way that’s only 94.” It was pretty quick. Maybe if I took a few more pitches and adjusted to the speed, and… I stepped up again, even more ready this time with a heightened sense of awareness. Machine… ball… Slam! Tarp.
No chance. I walked out. That was that.
MAJOR LEAGUE SPEED
At that time, an average major league fastball was probably just barely 90 miles-an-hour. By 2008 it was 91. Three years ago it was 92. That’s really fast for normal humans. Speed continues increasing. Fastball speed denotes limited effectiveness for hitters.
Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan was the first guy clocked at 100 miles-an-hour forty-two years ago. Using sophisticated radar equipment set up by Rockwell International during a game, he actually hit 100.8 on that occasion but many have said he threw harder in his career, at least 103. Very few can throw that hard. He kept throwing in the high 90s even in his forties. There’s a guy playing now that can throw 105, but he’s only a reliever and he averages much less. Randy Johnson, also a first ballot Hall of Famer, could throw 100. A 6’10” southpaw, Johnson could scare the heck out of you. So could Nolan Ryan. Nolan Ryan was throwing so hard in high school he once broke a kid’s arm. There were kids who were scared to death to step up to the plate. When major leaguers, as good as they are, have the same apprehensions, it speaks loud and clear about the ramifications of blazing baseballs and what they can do to a man.
There have always been a lot of guys who could throw really, really hard. But most were wild. One thing about the major leagues that a lot of people don’t know about is that pitchers are expected to have relatively good control. Everyone uncorks one from time to time or misses badly. But rookies who are somewhat consistently wild in a clueless sort of way, in that there does not appear to be any rhyme or reason to their wildness, make veteran ball players angry. I mean, they get pretty upset. They can tell the difference right off. Major league pitchers are expected to stay in the zone. It’s hard enough for a batter to hit 100 mph pitches as it is without having to worry about one hitting you in the head. You have to trust the pitchers to keep their pitches in a relatively tight zone around the plate if they throw that hard because there is often no way to get out of the way if a ball comes at you. Getting hit always hurts but getting hit by a pitch that fast can do serious damage.
Baseball careers have been ruined by hitters getting hit by pitched balls. One player back in 1920, in a game between the Yankees and Cleveland at the old Polo Grounds in New York, got hit in the head by a fastball. A shortstop for the Indians, his name was Ray Chapman. They rushed him to a hospital and did all they could but he died the next day. He is the only player in major league history to lose his life playing the game. Two years ago, Giancarlo Stanton, a star player for Miami, got hit directly in the face. He couldn’t get out of the way in time. The ball smashed flush into his face causing multiple fractures. Regarding speed, the ball was “only” 88 mph.
There’s a few guys whose sparkling baseball careers were curtailed early. Tony Conigliaro, a young star for the Boston Red Sox in August of 1967, took a fastball to the face and was never the same. He said he heard the ball—a hiss—but didn’t see it. He was out the rest of the year and the entire 1968 season. He made it back in 1969, winning Comeback Player of the Year honors, and also had a great 1970 season when he had many career highs. He was done, though, after half a season in ’71 and a brief return attempt in 1975, his eyesight being permanently damaged.
Back in the early 1980s the Astros had a very good young player destined for stardom named Dickie Thon. Then one day he got hit in the face, the ball breaking the orbital bone of his left eye and damaging his eyesight. After a long recovery and ongoing vision problems, he played several more years but was never again the same player. He was, however, a major leaguer, and that says a lot. These baseball players have to be commended for getting back on the horse, especially after such gruesome injuries. Facing barely visible baseballs that can potentially kill you is a gutty thing, but even more so when perfect health and eyesight is long gone.
BASEBALL AND LIFE
Like these guys, many people have been almost destroyed by life, coming about as close to total disaster as possible, but somehow saving themselves on the brink. They fight. They overcome. Many very courageous people come into this life seriously behind the eight ball and yet still manage to make life work. Life is hard enough as it is, but to have to face it with disabilities, or poverty, or some other almost impossible circumstance makes life almost not worth living. It is hard to even try. But humans have a secret weapon: We are made in God’s image. And the Lord is not a quitter. We all have the ability to win regardless of circumstances or setbacks.
No one understands more than the Lord Jesus how hard life can be. He never did anything wrong but was attacked often. There were multiple death threats. So many people hated Him and still do. This proves another thing about humans: Humans can hate, often for no legitimate reason. Haters can destroy people. So, as I said, living life is hard enough as it is but when good people sometimes have to wade through dirty floodwaters in the process, it makes for a challenge. But it can still be accomplished. One can get up each morning and make up one’s mind to be victorious and get the job done.
Understand, though, that I am not referring to the routine. I am not talking about excellent ball players who work less than their teammates and still do well because they are so loaded with talent and have always been supported. I’m talking about guys who have to fight with everything they have for many years when no when one gives them the time of day or any chance, and they know if they stop it’s all over. There are men who played long careers in major league baseball when pretty much no one thought they were worth the effort in their youth. What they lacked in exceptional natural ability and pure talent, and often greatly lacked, they made up for with very hard work and hard training and by never giving up.
Other players with incredible talent were initially barred from the major leagues simply because of their skin color. But because of their work ethic, perseverance, and love and respect for the game, many became solid major leaguers, some became Hall of Famers, and a few became the greatest of all time. They HAD to believe in themselves early on because next to no one else did. It is the same with perhaps millions of Christians with no outlet or support for their callings, though churches are ubiquitous.
Some players quit too soon. They believe the naysayers and never make it. They walk away before giving it their all. This brings me to something so many Christians just don’t get. Multiple congregations have been taught incorrectly by quack ministers that making it to heaven is a cinch. They really believe that. For them, everything is rainbows and butterflies. Christians are getting killed for their faith and they’re out there like Julie Andrews singing and traipsing their way through mountain meadows—spiritual flower children living in a daydream world. Living for the Lord is NOT easy. Heaven is NOT guaranteed. Membership in the Lord’s community is NOT a right. Salvation is NOT to be taken for granted. It never has been. It’s not supposed to be. If it is than I can assure you it isn’t, if you get my drift.
“If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” [1Peter 4:18 NKJV]
Living for God can be done, of course, and must be done, but it can be the hardest thing one can ever do. To understand this is to consider the opposition. Why is there so much opposition? If there was no wolf hounding a believer’s every step and no devil tempting us and lying his fool head off and no hater humans trashing Christians at every opportunity and no sinful flesh always reminding us of our weakness then, yeah, maybe living for the Lord wouldn’t be so tough. But that’s not reality.
Maybe this is why I love baseball so much. The sport is basically impossible, and it’s certainly impossible to master. If it was easy anyone could play it. Those with any sports brains at all knows there is nothing harder to do in all sports—baseball, football, wingsuit flying, noodling giant catfish, whatever—than successfully hitting baseballs. There is no greater skill required for anything else. It is in part why so many millions of good baseball players never come within a million miles of making a career in the major leagues.
It is even hard for the very best. The masters can’t master it. Even the very best of the best can be humiliated right out there in front of everybody and often are. A player can step up to the plate one day doing nothing discernibly different and suddenly see the ridiculous-to-hit blazing aspirin tablet transformed into a big old bouncy beach ball and start smacking it all over the field like it’s the easiest thing he’s ever done. Then suddenly that same player can’t buy a hit. His ability vanishes. He becomes a total baseball moron. His teammates quit talking to him. They figure he’s jinxed enough and they don’t want to be jinxed. Coaches keep trying to help him, looking for flaws. Sometimes players figure it out and make adjustments. But a lot of the time they just suddenly start playing well again. They move out of the slump as if it never existed. Out of the blue. “I’m back…” Teammates lighten up. All is well.
If you’re a real Christian struggling right now, this is what you HAVE to remember: It’s temporary. Unless you quit. Don’t quit. Don’t ever, ever quit. There is always hope. Things will turn around. Things will definitely get better. Though we may get hit with a hundred mile-an-hour fastball right in the noggin we can get back up and play again. Baseball careers can be ruined by injury but there is no injury or disability that can stop a real Christian from completing the course. Again, all people, Christian or not, are made in the image of God. That image is sometimes hard to see but the Lord knows how to clean us up and get us right and anoint us and help us. He wants us to know that whatever happens is not the end until it is the end, and until then all things remain possible.
IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST
I want to tell just one more baseball story. Ted Williams was among the three best baseball players in the history of the game. He had a goal early in his career to become the greatest hitter who ever lived. I believe he achieved it. Umpires would sometimes call a pitch a ball only because Williams didn’t swing at it. They knew he had much better vision than they did. It is said that Ted Williams probably had the best eyes in major league baseball history. To be the greatest you have to have great eyes. You also have to be intelligent. You have to know what’s coming at you as soon as possible and make split-second adjustments.
In the late 1950s before a spring training game, there was a minor league kid phenom in the Baltimore Orioles organization with a legendary reputation pitching to his team in batting practice. His name was Steve Dalkowski. Ted Williams was watching him from behind the batting cage. The kid was known to be incredibly fast. I mean really, really fast. But he was also wild, as most kids that fast are. It’s very difficult to control a baseball thrown that hard. In later years, many people thought this kid threw harder than anyone ever had. Cal Ripkin Sr., a well-respected longtime player and coach, caught Dalkowski in the minors and reportedly said his pitches would easily clock out at 110. This was before radar guns. Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver said the kid threw harder than Nolan Ryan or Sandy Koufax or anyone he had ever seen. Umpires said the same.
Ted Williams was intrigued. He had heard of the guy but never saw him before. He decided to step in and face the kid. See what he had. So the greatest hitter who ever lived stepped up to the plate. Several baseball writers standing around the cage suddenly grew quiet and gathered around, knowing something really cool was about to happen. In proverbial hushed tones, hard to do at batting practice, the reporters and other players watched as Williams took a few practice swings and indicated to the kid pitcher to bring it. Dalkowski, solemn and serious in this special one-time historical moment, moved slowly through his weird windup and uncorked a laser, a sonic fastball. It came in high and tight and disappeared into the catcher’s mitt after passing inches from Ted’s face. He never flinched. Whoa. What was that? As you’re watching the long ago scene play out in your mind—the ball in the catcher’s mitt, Ted Williams standing there, frozen—we’ll take up the story from Pat Jordan in The Suitors of Spring:
“The catcher holds the ball for a few seconds. It is just a few inches under Williams’ chin. Williams looks back at the ball, then out at Dalkowski, who is squinting at him. Then he drops the bat and steps out of the cage. The writers immediately ask Williams how fast Steve Dalkowski really is. Williams, whose eyes were said to be so sharp that he could count the stitches on a baseball as it rotated toward the plate, says that he did not see the pitch, and that Steve Dalkowski is the fastest pitcher he ever faced and probably who ever lived, and that he would be damned if he would ever face him again if he could help it.” 
He made the right choice. Ted Williams, the man with the greatest baseball eyes of all, didn’t even see the ball.
He was lucky. Whizzing baseballs close to the head happen all the time but players usually see them and can react. Dalkowski’s pitch was so fast that Ted Williams was completely defenseless. He could have easily gotten beaned and suffered a major, career-ending injury. He could even have lost his life. It is said that Dave Chapman, back in 1920, got his cleats caught in the dirt and this contributed somewhat to why he couldn’t get out of the way in time before that baseball busted his skull and did end his life. It didn’t help that the pitcher who hit him had a reputation for being a headhunter. Steve Dalkowski wasn’t a headhunter. He was just hopelessly wild. He was a good guy who was always concerned about hitting people. He was too dangerous. As a result, the man with the fastest pitch in history never made it to the majors.
Tony Conigliaro didn’t see the ball either in the end, and thus never saw it change course toward his head. Same thing happened to Dickie Thon, except he saw it but with not enough time to react. The ball sailed in and unexpectedly kept sailing in. It happens sometimes. These baseballs did what experienced players didn’t think they would do. The pitches acted out of character according to the players’ experience. The baseballs escaped the customary zone. While cognizant of the risks and fully alert, these players really had no chance, but unlike Williams and Conigliaro, Thon, Stanton, and Chapman at least saw the ball at some point.
FROM OUT OF NOWHERE
The worst thing life can throw at you is what you never expect or see coming. There is absolutely no defense against it. But know this: Even though the world is somewhat random, God is not the author of chaos. Human beings can learn through proper teaching and experience what to guard against, be careful of, and when or when not to take calculated risks. There is an unknown element we must deal with, however. It is the only element that certainly is completely random. You can’t really plan for it. You can only defend against it in part, and then only generally. It can act as a 100 mile-an-hour baseball coming right at your head like a heat-seeking missile reacting to your reaction and chasing you down until it pounds you. If you can see it you have a slight chance. Otherwise, forget it.
What is the one unknown element? The element is human choice. If human choice is in the power of evil it can get you. Knowing one’s enemy, then, is one’s only defense. Therefore, you better identify the evil as evil or you will have no chance. You will be blind to the threat. Evil works best when it disguises itself as being harmless or good. This is why two-faced people are the bane of society. They pretend to be something they are not to improperly gain something they want. In short, they cheat. They lie, they deceive, they manipulate, and they connive—with a false front and a smile. They are masters of the Judas kiss.
Many Christians decide, therefore, as a way to protect themselves, to simply reject their spiritual responsibilities. They abscond from their duty. They refuse to go to war. They know there is an enemy and that the spiritual fight will cost them. They don’t want to be a target. So they decide to never get in the game. They would rather watch the game at a distance, safely tucked away in the stands. They decline to engage.
What’s worse, they believe they will go to heaven anyway. This is why some baseball fans make huge emotional investments in their chosen teams. They want to be part of the game and a member of the team but the only way to achieve it is to merely identify with the players and watch from afar. The actual players are working. They’re having fun. They’re getting paid. If they win a World Series they have even more fun and get paid more. Super fans don’t get paid. They don’t even play. They only convince themselves they are part of the team though they make no contribution whatsoever except going to the game and finding their place in the crowd, or following religiously on television. Sound familiar?
Real believers, unlike the unreal variety, don’t do this. They obey their Lord and engage the enemy. Attending to their callings make them subject to attack. As a result, many have taken a sock to the head. Or got a broken arm (this just happened again in a major league game a few weeks ago). Tony Conigliaro suffered a broken arm from another errant pitch earlier in his career. It happens more often than you think. What else explains so many real Christians suffering so many attacks and injuries? Why do so many real Christians get killed? Why do many have their lives destroyed or almost destroyed? It is not because they deserve it. It is not necessarily because they were not prepared, though it could be they trusted the wrong people. It mainly happens because they answer the call to war.
“But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name.” [Luke 21:16-17] 
THAT’S GONNA LEAVE A MARK
If you’re gonna play baseball you’re gonna get hit. Even on defense. A ball can make a bad hop and hit you right in the mouth. I got smashed below the knee on a bullet from left field while sliding into second one time. Had that injury for a while. Blew up like a balloon. While pitching one time a guy hit a rocket line drive right back at me that was hit so hard I couldn’t dodge it and took it right in the thigh. Lucky for me. Even the umpire winced, stopped the game, and asked me if I wanted to come out. I said hell no and kept pitching. That injury to my quad was pretty bad and lasted months. I got hit in the back a few times going in to third base. One time I did it on purpose, moving over with my back to the ball (I didn’t see it but knew it was coming) so I wouldn’t get thrown out. That didn’t feel so good. But I was safe.
I saw a runner coming into second on a double play once who didn’t get down in time and took a rifle shot from the shortstop directly to his forehead. It was pretty loud. He went down in a heap. I saw a pitcher get hit in the head on a line drive and the ball shot straight up into the air after beaning him. That was really loud. I saw a man right in front of me severely break his ankle sliding into third. Heard the crunch. Not good. Then there’s all the many destroyed knees, pulled and torn muscles, infinite hand injuries, broken fingers, and etc that players suffer every day playing the game they love. Anyone who has ever played for a while has seen these things. Injuries are simply part of the game. The only way to avoid them is to stay off the field.
For those followers of the Lord reading this who have suffered some bad stuff due to the evil choices of others, remember first that the Lord warned us. He said it would happen. The devil and his people are wicked. There’s your explanation. The Lord suffered a little bit too. They even killed Him but He got back at them by not staying dead. So remember, with the Lord, the impossible is always possible. Putting our trust in the real Man, the best of all time, allows Him to work wonders in our lives. Whatever the challenge, whatever the struggle, whatever the impossibility, whatever you’ve been through, whatever you’re going through, whatever your goals are and the mountains you face, the Lord can open your eyes to answers. There are always incredible promised lands awaiting us all, sometimes just around the corner.
So here’s my advice: The Lord Jesus will always do His part in your life if you let Him, and because He doesn’t want to mess up your objective by getting in the way, or treating you like a kid, or doing everything for you, or disallowing you from achieving great things according to His will on your own, or ruining the sheer fun of playing the game—
Step up to the plate and dig in.
Life is baseball, not tennis.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 The Suitors of Spring © 1970 by Pat Jordan
 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.
“How in the world did Paul learn directly from the Lord since the Lord had already died, was resurrected, and went to heaven? How was it that Paul appropriated the Lord Jesus as his new and only Rabbi?”
. . .
Most official ministers are not aware of how the Lord Jesus financed His ministry, and there is a very good reason for that. Actually two reasons. The first is a basic lack of knowledge, which is completely understandable in that most members of the clergy are taught by other clergyites in official Bible schools, seminaries, and colleges. Very few of these people learn spiritual truths as did the apostles and even Paul—directly from the Lord.
This method is actually the New Testament model. One may learn the basics as a rookie in churches and Bible Studies from any number of sermons and teachings but at some point must graduate to higher spiritual learning. The apostles were certainly well-versed in Scripture prior to joining the Lord’s school, and the apostle Paul was likely the most well-versed, but these men had no knowledge of the spiritual things the Lord Jesus must teach them. It is why they were often such hard cases and gave off the appearance of being clueless though good-hearted Forrest Gumps. If it had been any of us it would have been the same.
That’s why the general Christian clergy attitude is so defeating and backwards regarding higher Christian education. It is far too controlling, egg-headed, and dogmatic. It leaves little room for free thought. In case you may think I’m starting to drift here, I must remind all that the apostle Paul learned the Gospel directly from the Lord out in the desert somewhere. He never went to any official New Testament school. And in case one may think he was the exception, this was actually not the case. The Lord Jesus made it clear that He must be our only teacher:
“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.” [Matthew 23:8]
Regarding this fact, how in the world did Paul learn directly from the Lord since the Lord had already died, was resurrected, and went to heaven? How was it that Paul appropriated the Lord Jesus as his new and only Rabbi?
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… [Galatians 1:11-17]
Official Bible schools, seminaries, Christian colleges, and churches are not as open and transparent as they purport to be. They are each agenda-based though this fact is often played down or concealed. Each of these institutions has their respective, unique, and exclusive teaching agenda. They each have their own distinctive curriculum and teaching format. Thus, one establishment will frequently disagree completely with another regarding doctrine, liturgy, or ecclesiastical infrastructure, which makes them contradictory!
Because they are agenda-based and not purely New Testament-based, they will be lacking in some of the Lord’s teachings, will have introduced some of their own dogma which is not representative of the Lord’s teachings, and will thus not fulfill the Lord’s directive that He must be the only Teacher.
Let me put it this way: Elementary school prepares us for junior high, which prepares us for high school, which prepares us for college or university if we get that far. Some go beyond this. A university degree thus prepares some students for master’s or doctoral programs. Therefore, as disciples of the Lord, it is understandable to learn the basics through lesser and general means.
I know in my experience, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, I had an insatiable appetite for the Word of God. I was attending church services four times a week but was also doing the bulk of my reading and study on my own. It didn’t take me long to read the entire Bible. I was also engaged in much interaction with many different believers. I got familiar with different denominational beliefs. All of this served as great background and foundational learning. During that early time I also did what I could to buy books and slowly start building my library. All of this set the tone and served as vital prerequisites for greater learning directly from the Lord.
This is where things get interesting. A disciple starts receiving revelation and learning that goes beyond the received education of most, simply because most Christians do one of the following:
- They do very little if any Bible reading or study on their own.
- They depend far too heavily on whatever preachers or teachers they submit to and rarely go beyond that agenda.
- They develop an attitude of suspicion and eventual criticism toward anything and anyone that is not fully ensconced within their own little Christian world.
Regarding the latter, Christian schools of higher learning do exactly the same. Generally speaking, this does not mean that much good cannot be learned in such institutions or even in churches. The key is being led of the Lord Jesus. What is vitally necessary, then, if one is to progress as an effective and mature disciple and learn directly from the Lord, is that one must move on from basic convention at some point to arrive at that place of higher spiritual learning the Lord has for each of us.
“I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” [Proverbs 8:17] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“How was it possible that the Lord could just go up to men and call them into ministry, telling them to leave their jobs and livelihoods, without somehow taking care of them and their families financially?”
. . .
Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” [Matthew 8:20]
No one is more selfless and humble than the Lord Jesus.
I have promoted a truth on this site in several posts and comments that I have never heard preached or taught anywhere else. It has to do with the Lord and money. How did He finance His ministry?
Most Christians never consider this question. Here’s the bigger question, however: How was it possible that the Lord could just go up to men and call them into ministry, telling them to leave their jobs and livelihoods, without somehow taking care of them and their families financially? These men were all working very hard to make a living. Their wives and children needed them. How could they just drop everything and walk off with the Lord? Who would take care of their own?
The reason this equation is a stumper and head-scratcher for many Christians is probably because they have been taught the Lord was poor. The preceding passage of Scripture seems to denote this: He had nowhere to lay His head. But the apostles, their wives, and their children had to be provided for during the Lord’s ministry and their simultaneous spiritual education. The necessary money was certainly not coming from the synagogues or other rabbis. This leaves only one possibility: It came from the Lord. It was He who had the money. There were later donations, of course, but He didn’t go around making collections of the vast sums He would need prior to His ministry.
When one considers all the people He had to take care of, including as well older relatives dependent on these apostle families, the number is substantial. I’ve written before that it could be like it was when Jacob and his extended family moved to Egypt at the behest of Joseph. There were seventy people (Genesis 46:27). It was roughly the same with the Lord.
In our day, we have what is virtually the very opposite: One man becomes a preacher and puts the onus on the many to provide for him. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The standard in the recent past was that a local preacher would take a church and receive the tithe. This was his understood entitlement. If the church was small he would not receive much and would have to work like everyone else to supplement his income. Larger churches had more money. You see where this is going…
The only answer, then, for how the Lord was able to start His ministry from scratch and immediately stock it with chosen disciples was simply that He had to pay their way. He provided for them. This meant He had to have money. Where did He get it? HE EARNED IT. He worked very hard as a carpenter and builder until He was thirty years old. He took care of His mother and siblings after Joseph died. He saved His money for His later purpose in life.
But He was also provided for as well, long before He could provide on His own. It was a picture of divine providence in which heaven was interspersing itself into the needs of humanity according to scriptural promise, investing in the One who would later give everything He had, when the One was very young…
After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [Matthew 2:11] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.