COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (and the Inevitable Fork in the Road)

         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

         Cognitive Dissonance is defined as “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.” [1]

         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.

SAY WHAT?

         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] [2]

         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.

         Onward.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

          Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] © Merriam Webster

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

LIFE IS BASEBALL, Not Tennis

tonyconigliaro - Copy         “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.

NolanRyan - Copy         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.

RayChapman - Copy         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.

Dickie Thon - Copy         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 because their skin was the wrong 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.

Willie Mays Hank Aaron Roberto Clemente - Copy

Future Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron in 1961

         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

TedWilliams - Copy         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 steve-dalkowski - Copyto 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.” [1]

         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

Herb Score - Copy         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] [2]

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 reallyAP SCHILLING BLOODY SOCK BASEBALL S FILE BBO USA MA 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.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] The Suitors of Spring © 1970 by Pat Jordan

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

DEFINING THE WORTHY: Qualifying Clergy, Church, and Ministry Donations (2)

         “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:

  1. They do very little if any Bible reading or study on their own.
  2. They depend far too heavily on whatever preachers or teachers they submit to and rarely go beyond that agenda.
  3. 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] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

DEFINING THE WORTHY: Qualifying Clergy, Church, and Ministry Donations (1)

         “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] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

OUR WORLD: A Simulation of Reality

         Those who have bought into this world will possess it only as long as they draw breath. When their physical bodies die they will be shocked to discover that this world is a mere temporary illusion. It does not, cannot, and will not translate into eternity.

         “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Matthew 16:26]

         We live in an era of great knowledge, relatively recent, and one with incredible new discoveries made every day. Our known technology is far advanced, but one must know that even higher forms of three-dimensional technology also exist but remain hidden. This has little effect on the majority of people since most are not even aware of revealed technology.

         It works the same way with knowledge. There are a few who know very much though most people know little. The less one knows the more likely one will be deceived by the temporary illusion this world offers. It is a world based strictly on the five senses and on the knowledge gained through mere sensory data. This world is thus incredibly limited. It is why we long for something more.

         As stated on this site a few times, the facts regarding the extreme limitability of this world of mankind can be illustrated by the universe and what we know about it. We know much, of course, and the majority of our knowledge regarding it has only been discovered over the last century or so. There is a misconception in this area, however, in that most of us are so overloaded with all the new scientific knowledge of outer space, our solar system, the sun, the moon, our own atmosphere, and orbital geography, that it appears as though we know much more than we actually do.

         In fact, with all the knowledge we possess and the great scientific discoveries we have made, we still don’t know very much at all about our own universe. In further fact, we would fail every test regarding our knowledge of its nature. We give off a vibe that we know it all, but we actually know far, far less than advertised.

         To put a number on it, 95% of the universe is UNKNOWN. We only know 5% which is clearly a failing grade. Imagine having a test at school and getting only one correct answer out of twenty. That’s the classification of a dunderhead.

         Most of the universe is composed of what scientists call Dark Energy and Dark Matter. They know it is there by the effect it has on what we do know about, but the most brilliant among us have no clue what these things are. Also, an unwanted side effect in gaining new knowledge keeps rearing forth its ugly head, in that the more we discover, the more we discover what we don’t know. This should make us all the more humble but instead has the opposite effect.

         Because we do not grade as we should, we skewer the results to make us look brilliant. We are not brilliant. Human beings are generally complete morons. Anyone who does even a cursory study of human history should know this. Some argue that we as a race are getting better, that we have long since grown out of our archaic, cave man, doofus, primitive past and are presently highly enlightened.

         But I must remind one and all that in the last century, the great 20th century of human history when knowledge and technology exploded and brought forth such huge advances, that it also brought forth the worst behavior and human-caused events in the planet’s history. For example, roughly 200 million human beings were murdered in the 20th century, most by official governments and official government leaders through duly approved means (not including abortion), and with the approval of a good percentage of the people who managed to stay alive.

         Therefore, how is it that human beings are so enlightened? This too is an illusion. It is created by denying and playing down the obvious evils in human nature and human events and overly promoting the good, though the good only amounts to about 5%.

         “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

          Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

ANTI-DISCIPLESHIP: The Problem of Willful Immaturity

         The Lord Jesus commanded us to be excellent disciples. We must be fully trained. The majority of Christians refuse this command. Most Christians are willfully immature. 

         “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” [Luke 6:40]

IGNORANCE IS BLINDNESS

         Some people have very low IQs. Their intelligence level is not their fault. There are low IQ people in the world who have achieved masterfully. I believe the Lord is proud of them. I believe the Lord is proud of anyone who overcomes against great odds to achieve great things. He taught many times in His parables on this theme. He implied clearly that it is never about what a person may start out with but what a person achieves even though the odds are stacked against success.

         Most such people do not achieve, of course, which only makes those who do stand out all the more in showing what is actually possible.

         Some people start well but are shut down repeatedly by circumstances not under their control. But they refuse to stay shut down. They get back up, are knocked down, get back up, then something comes against them from out in left field and knocks them down again. They think a minute, get their bearings, refuse to be defeated, and get right back up. They start to figure out that as long as they get back up and go at it again they have a chance. But they also start to see that every time they get back up after the enemy tries to destroy them that the enemy has less power.

         It is the same with disciples of the Lord Jesus. These are the real Christians. They take the Lord’s commands and instructions seriously. They are thanked for their great desire to do right by God by being attacked all the more. And for those who know and have been through it, the very worst attacks are those by friends.

         Why do some Christians act like first-class asses? Why are some Christians filled with so much hate? There are reasons, you know. Here’s one of them:

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

         This exact dynamic has been playing out for a very long time among Christian adherents though most of it has gone unacknowledged or is completely unseen. It is unseen due to ignorance. Many Christians are ignorant because they refuse to obey the Lord and do their proper work. When Christians refuse to be real disciples they become ignorant of spiritual things. This ignorance creates a wall. The wall shields them from the truth. They can’t see it. They become blind to truth. Then they act out on what they know, which is not much, and attempt to defend their place of ignorance and laziness, which is not defendable. Then they resort to anger and hate to defend themselves. Thus they become not only all the more stupid but all the more close-minded and hateful.

         We know what happens with human inbreeding. We know that inbreeding causes problems and if it is not stopped the problems grow worse over time. The people thereof become more prone to mutations and disease. Inbreeding is not healthy.

         The same thing happens with Christian denominations and churches. If there is no free flow of the Holy Spirit, no new ideas, knowledge, or new applications, no cross-pollination, and especially no emphasis on obeying and following the Lord and walking in real discipleship, the people thereof will grow spiritually stupid and ignorant of the Word of God. They become stagnant. They become inbred. They see their little place as the entire world. They see everyone else as inferior. This inbred condition causes a distrust and hatred of all things and all people unlike themselves. There is only one solution for this terrible condition and dreaded disease:

         READ THE WORD OF GOD. STUDY INTENTLY THE PURE TEACHINGS OF THE LORD JESUS. DO THIS ON YOUR OWN. LET IT BE STRICTLY BETWEEN YOU AND THE LORD JESUS.

         Anyone who refuses to read the Word of God is deceived. Let me repeat: ANYONE WHO REFUSES TO READ THE WORD OF GOD IS DECEIVED. PERIOD.

         They are spiritually blind. It is not possible to see without the one who is able to heal blind eyes and grant sight. It is especially problematic when Christians are thus blind. It is most problematic when Christian leaders are blind. Sadly, there’s a bunch of them. Christian Pharisees are everywhere, hidden in plain sight.

         And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? [Luke 6:39] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

DEFINING SIN: The Spiritual Revolution Depends on YOU (5)

THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY

         Isn’t America supposed to be a Christian nation? If so, whoever wants to blame the government, lobbyists, political parties, and the great money powers as the cause of our current state is barking up the wrong trees. These entities merely stepped into a void that was created when American Christians vacated their place of responsibility. I’ve been saying this for decades and have been getting slammed by Christians for decades for saying it. I have now noticed that others are saying it. It’s about time.

         The facts are clear. There is only one responsible party for America’s decline: Christians and the ministers they choose. Which Christians are most guilty? The Lord said this:

         “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” [Luke 12:48]

THE ELITE

         There is no doubt there is an evil elite in this world that possesses great power. Its members are in the process of finalizing the one-world globalist government of the Last Days as prophesied in Holy Writ. This structure is enveloped with a false and deceptive surface light but contains an inner core of pure darkness.

         Real Christians are the only ones who can possibly possess the spiritual power to overcome this powerful darkness. There are very popular and powerful ministers in this country with GIANT platforms but they almost never use them for the right reasons, such as revealing the devil and defining sin. Could it be they never would have achieved their great success had they used their platforms properly?

THIS COULD WORK!

         Here’s a suggestion:

         Make a list of the top 50 influential Christian leaders in America—those who are extremely influential, wealthy, and well-connected—including mega pastors, Christian television personalities, and ministers of any denomination. Suggest strongly that they start DEFINING SIN specifically and speaking out very powerfully against sin, including the very worst sins such as abortion. Suggest they do this every single time they speak in public ministry, at churches, at conferences, on television, on radio, on the internet, and out in public. Suggest they begin using their tremendous wealth, influence, advantage, and giant platforms to teach other Christians to do the same.

         I guarantee you things would start turning around. It wouldn’t take long. Though there would be a tremendous backlash from the forces of evil in the beginning and some of these people would get powerfully slammed, people in this country would start getting convicted. They would start repenting of their sin. They would start receiving what their souls have been crying out for:

(1) Discovering what sin is

(2) Discovering the sins they are guilty of and have on their account

(3) Discovering the great power sin has over them

(4) Discovering the way to be released from the power of sin and be free

         The real Gospel would then start doing the work it was designed to do. Light would shine. Darkness would flee. America would change. The Great Awakening would begin coming forth in great mighty waves. This is exactly what happened when the Lord Jesus came. A Great Powerful Awakening took place in the land of darkness and the shadow of death! But what also happened?

         He got crucified.

REAL CHRISTIANS

         So now you know why the suggested Big 50 will never take our suggestion, even though a few of them have already been unjustifiably maligned by anti-Christian enemies. The simple fact is that there is not a Stephen among them. They are nothing more than members of a Christian elite with their own personal agendas. The American Great Awakening, therefore, is dependent on the kind of people Paul defined in the following passage.

         It is dependent upon YOU.

         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. [1Corinthians 1:26-29] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

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PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

DEFINING SIN: The Lord Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament Definition of Sin (2)

DEFINING SIN: The Growing Movement To Ban the New Testament as Anti-Semitic Hate Speech (3) 

DEFINING SIN: Declaring Independence (4)

DEFINING SIN: Declaring Independence (4)

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         Keep yourself free from sin. [1Timothy 5:22]

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JULY 4, 1776

         It’s been 240 years since the Declaration of Independence was written. America declared to the entire world on the above date that it had grown to adult status and would be moving on into full independence.

         It was a forced departure. The distant government had come down way too hard on individual liberties and had not appreciated what the colonists had achieved. It instead treated them as mere chattel, took them for granted, and insisted on rule simply for the sake of rule. It was dictating from afar with little or no respect for the people.

         Their strong arm had the opposite effect. The American colonists thus made the right decision to secede and rid themselves of an overreaching, bureaucratic, close-minded, and entrenched power concerned only for its own interests.

         Therefore, the United States of America was founded on the principles of freedom, God-given individual rights, and personal liberty at any and all costs. The only possible way to facilitate these was for Americans to say goodbye to their arrogant overlords and be willing to fight.

         And now, 240 years later, on a much lesser scale but in the same spirit, the British people have said the same things to the European Union. Why? Because the leadership of the European Union has become extremely top heavy, unresponsive, dictatorial, and unappreciative of the British. As I said before, the EU needs the UK much more than the UK needs the EU. Let’s hope the United Kingdom maintains its backbone, doesn’t cave, and makes the absolute best of the current British Exit.

WHAT HAPPENED TO US?

         And now, with the express agreement of the American people by voting into office those who are doing the very opposite of that which our Founders fought and died for, America has become much like the EU. America has caved in long ago to a leadership structure that is far worse than what the leadership of England was prior to the Revolution.

         Has the American government at present become what it was designed by the Founders to be? Not at all, but it is not the government’s fault. The government itself is largely benign. There’s a lot of great people working in government. The Word of God says government in general is actually good and necessary. Americans should never be anti-government. But limited government is best. Limited government is the government of a free, strong, and independent people. The desire for limited government was exactly what the American Revolution was all about.

         The Constitution as written by the Founders certainly advocated for extremely limited government and the promotion of great individual freedom. As the government has grown in scope and power, however, individual freedom has greatly shrunk. This is a basic mathematical corollary. When one increases the other decreases. It’s impossible to have big government and great liberty at the same time. It works the same with light and darkness.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

         On July 4, 1776 there existed a pronounced desire for individual freedom, a spirit of independence, the strength and courage to seek it, unlimited hope, a belief in the future, and tremendous opportunity. Today, there is comparatively less of all of the above. Liberty is fading.

         This fade to darkness is due only to the following: A turning away from the Lord Jesus, a growing acceptance of and redefinition of sin, and a huge lessening of human morality and righteous resolve. 

         How did this happen? Does the escalation of America’s moral failing dovetail with the nanny state and mammoth government? Are the two related? Are they connected? There is no way the Founders envisioned our current arrangement. Individual freedom is presently not only crashing but burning.

        Here’s how government growth happened in part: It responded to those lobbying the most. These are the ones who gain the most influence. This is what created the blatant dual standard of justice that has become so obvious as of late. Individual Americans have never managed to create a large enough voting bloc to lobby for their own interests and are therefore left out of the inner circle of great influence. It is in part why the great Middle Class of America that once was is no more.

         Much of this has happened due to a basic Divide and Conquer strategy that has worked perfectly. Such a strategy not only promotes division, it also promotes hate.

         Also, Americans put far too much trust in political parties. Political parties always have their own personal agendas and until this year, only promote their own. And even though the original framers of the government structure built it in such a way to eliminate or at least limit the inevitable greed and corruption they were all too familiar with that was used against them, the limitations have failed.

         Though built with strong checks and balances to severely limit corruption, those checks and balances have largely been overcome and eliminated by corruption. It is not necessarily the case that the founding documents have changed in letter to violate the founding principles; it is that the founding principles are largely ignored. The Bill of Rights is routinely violated every day and the violations are increasing with no apparent solution in sight. Without great change, individual rights will continue being outlawed one by one. The more disruptions that take place in society, the less freedom there will be and the more individual rights will be violated, except for the rights of those in the protected class. Darkness has thus descended upon the land. The remedy?

         “Let there be light.” [Genesis 1:3] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

DEFINING SIN: The Lord Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament Definition of Sin (2)

DEFINING SIN: The Growing Movement To Ban the New Testament as Anti-Semitic Hate Speech (3)

DEFINING SIN: The Growing Movement to Ban the New Testament as Anti-Semitic Hate Speech (3)

YOU NEVER HEAR THIS STUFF ON CHRISTIAN TELEVISION:

         Did you know that the Biblical New Testament—that which contains the entire teaching curriculum of the Lord Jesus, His record of miraculous works, the history of His salvation-producing death, and the truth of His glorious resurrection—has been vociferously attacked by very powerful Americans who want to destroy it and have plans to do that very thing?

         Did you know that millions of Christians support these very people and are so clueless they don’t even know their own enemies?

         Did you know a very high ranking individual of another faith wrote a book twelve years ago essentially demanding a total ban on the New Testament and that he did this because he claimed the New Covenant writings are anti-Semitic?

         Did you know there are many large organizations of Christians partnering with anti-Christians in which the Christians refuse to witness to the unbelievers as if the Gospel did not apply to them?

         If you didn’t know any of this you had better start waking up because the time will come in America when the New Testament will not only be slammed as hate speech, laws will be passed against it, and a total ban will be proposed. Mark my words. The time is approaching faster than you may think. And the worst part? Many so-called Christians and influential Christian leaders will actually support it.

         Sin is growing out of fashion as a concept. It is trending out of acceptance as a principle. It is no longer perceived among mainstream Christians in America as a tenet of acceptable belief.

         None of this is new in world history. Most of the world has traditionally resided in spiritual darkness from time immemorial. There is no question about that. Spiritual darkness even invaded the so-called Holy Land well over two thousand years ago and remains there still. When the Lord Jesus appeared on the scene His arrival was characterized as LIGHT shining on the darkness. What darkness? The majority of the Hebrew people dwelling there at that time did not think their nation was in darkness. And yet the honored and incredibly accurate Old Testament Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote this:

         “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.” [Matthew 4:15-16] [1]

         Many of you know these verses well. But how well have you noticed the clear reference to darkness? This wasn’t just any darkness. Remember, this was Galilee, the former land of the northern tribes of Israel. But even at the time of the prophecy he called it the land of Gentiles. I would argue, though, and argue very correctly that even before the time of the Assyrian Captivity when the northern tribes were marched off and removed from the land, the land was in darkness. In fact, the land was so dark during the time of the Israelite kings it actually grew less dark after the Hebrews left. If this seems like a strange notion, I suggest you study the idolatrous history of the Northern Kingdom and its wicked kings.

STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND

         The Assyrian Captivity began right around the time Isaiah began his ministry in about 740 B.C. The final deportations took place after the fall of Samaria and final defeat of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Imagine then that Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah 700 years before the Light appeared. And he prophesied of a time when the land would not only be dark but would be referred to as “the land of the shadow of death.” That’s pretty serious. That was a very dark land.

         Could America be characterized this way? Well, one must consider that in the 43 and a half years since a reprobate Supreme Court legalized wholesale in-womb baby killing in what used to be the land of the free, upwards of 60 MILLION babies have been murdered. And this great infanticide has never been stopped no matter what solution has been proposed and attempted. Billions of dollars and millions of man hours have gone into the fight to stop it and nothing has worked yet. The Supreme Court could have overturned the outrageous decision at any time. It could overturn it now. But it won’t. Could it be dwelling in a place of darkness? Is not America of the last 43 plus years the land of the shadow of death? And do we therefore need a bright new LIGHT to shine forth and expose this terrible darkness and end all this wanton murder and destruction?

         I vote in the affirmative. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the mega dollar preachers with mega church followers and giant worldwide television and social media presences to do anything about it. Don’t wait for the billion-plus member Roman Catholic Church to do anything about it. There is a majority of Catholics on the Supreme Court and they refuse to do anything about it! And don’t wait for your mainline gigantic Protestant/Evangelical church bodies to do anything either because they won’t. They have billions of dollars to work with but they waste most of it every day on not only doing nothing to alleviate the darkness and death, but actually promote it and spread it around. How?—At the voting booth. Why do Christians keep voting these people into office?

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Old Testament Scriptures are listed in All Caps in the NASV95. Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

DEFINING SIN: The Lord Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament Definition of Sin (2)

DEFINING SIN: The Lord Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament Definition of Sin (2)

        Many Christians erroneously believe the Old Testament has been eliminated by the New Testament but the Lord Jesus NEVER said this. In fact, He said the following:

         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19] [1]

         In this passage, the Lord Jesus grants full approval of the entire Torah, accepts it in every respect without question, and allows for no elimination of any single law. He is saying that the Law of Moses is perfect and complete, just as the apostle Paul later taught in his writings, and He endorses the Law wholeheartedly. The Lord Jesus put His entire ministry and mission on the line by doing this, tying Himself entirely and absolutely to the Torah and its existence at least until heaven and earth passes away.

         Therefore, the notion that the Old Testament or the Law of Moses is no longer viable or in play could not be more wrong: Every definition of sin regarding personal human behavior is still 100% in effect. So if people say, “Well, since Jesus never said anything about this sin or that sin, it must be okay to practice such,” the correct response is that He actually did since He endorsed the Law and the Prophets. If the Law of Moses said something was a sin, it is still a sin to this day and the Lord Jesus agrees.

         Also, if the Torah said a particular action or behavior was a gross sin, or a complete violation of God’s intent, or an abomination, then it was and remains an abomination. You can tell which sins were the worst by the penalties attached to them. The worst sins had the sentence of death as the penalty, signifying the outright heinousness of the behavior and ultimately the total contempt for the Lord and His Law.

         Therefore, even though the Gospels do not address every single specific sin or the worst sins that required the death penalty, the Lord endorsed the written Torah, which does.

THE ORAL LAW

         Of course, the original written Torah was added to in a sense and amended with the addition of the unwritten oral law, which began about the time of the Babylonian Captivity and grew in content until the first century A.D. This oral law did not change the written Law (the Torah—the Law of Moses) which remained intact, but it had changed and corrupted the original intent of the written Law. The Lord Jesus addressed this corrupting influence on many occasions, rebuking those Torah-teachers who advocated for its use in altering the original.

         (Many Christians are guilty of the same practice, having altered the original teachings of the Lord Jesus to suit their own taste and limited understanding, and in some cases changing His intent and meaning entirely.)

         Since the New Testament thus defines sin by the Lord’s support of the Law and the Prophets, there is actually no distinction between the two in defining sin. Sin is still what it has always been and it still incurs a penalty. Many people do not understand they are paying a penalty for sin in some form or another at present based on some past or present sin, which they do not recognize as sin. They do not consciously make the cause and effect connection between the two.

         But God is not mocked. What we plant is what we will harvest. The ultimate penalty for unconfessed sin comes after physical death. It is not the Lord’s fault if people choose to die in their sins having rejected the only cure and the only cleansing agent—the Blood of Jesus.

         The worst sins require the death penalty. The Lord Jesus paid that death penalty in full on our behalf. He fulfilled the requirements of the Law regarding sin and whoever applies the penalty He paid toward their own sins will have their long list of violations against God and man expunged, and their official record of sin will be erased as if it never existed.

         This is the Lord’s grace. This is His mercy. This is His love.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

         Medical doctors are trained to diagnose the cause of a physical problem and administer the proper care toward returning a patient to good health. Defining the problem is often not so difficult though some cases can be tricky. With the help of support staff and any number of devices, however, they most often come to the correct conclusion regarding the cause.

         It is usually the case that the illness or injury is caused by the patient, directly or indirectly, either by a bad diet, bad decisions, negative lifestyle choices, or reckless and irresponsible behavior. We know there are always correct choices available that greatly limit the odds of poor health. Patients rarely make this connection, however, and refer to fate or predisposition (“it runs in the family,” for example). Also, illnesses and disease often do not manifest until years down the road. The cause and effect is thus not perceived. People often get sick based on wrong choices in the past.

         The human body, though, is amazingly resilient and responsive to the proper treatment. For example, rather than pollute the body by eating garbage thinly disguised as food or drinking tap water loaded with chlorine and other chemicals, one can begin drinking purified water and eating real food packed with the necessary nutrients that not only supply energy but greatly build up the immune system to successfully win the fight against sickness and disease and allow for optimum health.

         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. [1Corinthins 9:24]

SIN IS RUNNING RAMPANT

         Sin is a powerful disease, far worse than any other. It has reached epidemic proportions in America. Rather than attack its spread and seek the only cure, however, the deadly disease has instead been embraced. Many strains of the disease have been reclassified wrongly as benign. In an unbelievably counterintuitive manner, sin in general has moved far beyond the toleration stage and is presently entering the stage of popular acceptance. Since the only cure has been rejected by the most influential and powerful among us, sin is seen as inevitable and many who previously resisted have weakly given up the fight and surrendered to both its causes and effects.

         In a wrongheaded effort to be socially acceptable (liked), and to not appear as old fashioned preachers of the pure Word of God, the majority of Christian ministers in America no longer preach about sin. They don’t feel comfortable doing so and are easily embarrassed by unbelievers who question their motives. They know what the hot button issues are and would rather not take a chance on sacrificing themselves or their ministries. So they make it nice and keep it low key. They smile a lot. They dance all around the obvious. They do not want to offend. They attempt an impossible “classy” method of ministry that totally fails against the ugliness of evil. They reject striving for the spiritual success of others, derived only from properly applying the real Gospel, for other forms of personal success.

         This has never been the Lord’s way. He addressed sin directly. He loves us enough to tell us the truth. He always makes a perfect diagnosis and follows it up with a perfect cure. His entire mission is to bring salvation from sin.

         How can He do this unless He teaches that sin must be rejected? Therefore, any so-called minister who refuses to properly address sin and define it so people can discover what’s causing the problem and receive the cure is a phony.

         There are presently millions of Christians in America who believe wholeheartedly that what used to be clearly defined as blatant sin is no longer sin at all. They have shifted their priorities. They have fully joined the world. It is obvious that their major influence is no longer the Lord or His Word. Many others have adopted causes and created organizations with unbelievers that are completely removed from the scope of New Covenant ministry. These Christians, many of whom are very influential Christian leaders, have essentially rewritten the Word of God. They have joined the enemy. They have no excuse.

         “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.” [John 15:22] [1]

IS MURDER A SIN?

         Most Christians still believe murder is a sin, for example, unless it involves killing defenseless babies. Then, for many, it is okay. War deaths of any definition are considered by most Christians to be justifiable, though most are ignorant of actual causes and motives of wars. But like every other sin being accepted these days as not sin at all, there will probably come a time soon when even murder will not be characterized as sin, though this is largely already the case.

         In fact, government leaders the world over have justified murder in all forms as acceptable under their own guidelines. Many have long since appropriated the necessary cold heart and indifferent attitude toward killing. To easily prove this, it has been generally estimated by many statisticians and authors that in the last century, from the year 1900 to the year 2000, approximately 200 million people were murdered through the direct efforts of the leaders of legitimate, recognized governments. For perspective, 200 million is about two-thirds of the entire population of the United States. Based on these statistics, it appears as though the perpetrators of these killings do not believe murder is a sin.

YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME

         You see, the problem people have with accepting the reality of sin is that they must also accept a higher law and a higher authority to pronounce, define, and render penalties with reference to law violations. People in general do not like such restrictions on their chosen behaviors, because it demands responsibility. It demands accountability for one’s illicit actions. And as this world grows darker, the lovers of darkness desire ever-greater control, not only for the allowing of their own sinful behavior but that of society in general. Part of that control involves rewriting the rule book on:

(1) Good and Evil

(2) Right and Wrong

(3) Acceptable Behavior and Aberrant Behavior

(4) What will be Allowed or Opposed

         Because they have rejected the Lord Jesus they must also reject His Word. They end up in the only remaining logical place of such rebellion: They must overturn His entire curriculum, turn everything upside down and backwards, and thus redefine good as evil and evil as good.

         The one thing they oppose the most is real Christianity. The one Person they oppose the most is the Lord Jesus. So anyone who actually joins up with the Lord wholeheartedly according to His directive and methods, and believes and teaches the real Gospel, will also be the subject of their wrath. This is already happening, of course, right here in what used to be free America, as anti-Christian hate is presently rising precipitously.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Continued…]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

THE PEOPLE! United Kingdom Exiting the European Union

         In an incredible come from behind win, the British people have achieved the greatest victory for nationhood in the last quarter century.

         Not since the fall of the Berlin Wall has something this far-reaching and dramatic taken place, proving at once that great solidarity and a stiff upper lip in the face of arrogance and unrelenting fear tactics can bring down a giant.

         How ironic that the losing Prime Minister is named David.

         I had just posted an article on Wednesday, the day before the British vote on Thursday, regarding the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States entitled The People vs. The Establishment. In the article I stated that the central theme of the election this November was a battle between the entrenched elites and the American people in general who have been dictated to, patronized, misinformed, shut out, disrespected, taken full advantage of, and taken for granted. I had noted the anger of the American electorate in a post last August, Prophetic Words from Last November and the First Republican Debate, and in another post in March of this year, The American Political Climate is Fixing to Blow Sky High, I predicted the eventual nominees.

         The same spirit was present in the UK but in the beginning the big boys never thought a British move out of the European Union had any real chance. But as the day of the referendum approached the Leave camp actually gained a good lead. Then, in reaction to the polls, the EU forces began pulling out all the stops. On came the lies and fear tactics. It worked. The polls became much closer.

         The early returns showed a clear Remain victory, but as the day progressed, and into the evening, the tide began turning. In the end it was announced, in a great shock to the entire world, that Leave had won. The UK had professed its independence and would be leaving the European Union. There would be a British Exit. Here’s an informative link from the BBC regarding the regional vote: EU Referendum: The Result in Maps and Charts

         This was a huge and humiliating loss to the world’s financial and government elites. It conveys to the rest of the world that there is hope for the common man, independent nations, responsive governments, and certainly great hope for America.

         So as I watched the network news the next evening, expecting to hear at least some semblance of congratulations, it was all negative, proving that the MSM is carrying water for the big boys. Rather than speak of a great victory for the British people, they reported on the unbelievable shock of defeat. But believe me, this was no defeat for anyone but Goliath.

         Unprecedented change is upon us and will continue throughout the year.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

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SEE ALSO (PROPHETIC CONTENT!):

FIELD OF DREAMS? REGARDING THE AMERICAN VOTER AND THE 2014 ELECTION

THE PEOPLE vs. THE ESTABLISHMENT: Defining the 2016 Presidential Election

ARISE, SHINE        

         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.

WHITEWASHED TOMBS

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

         What the Lord is saying here is that it was relatively simple to fool simple-minded people who are taught to strain out gnats but swallow camels. The current PROBLEM, however, is so big it has expanded way beyond the proverbial elephant in the room everyone there refuses to acknowledge.

         It is no longer a mere elephant. It is a DINOSAUR. It is the biggest and baddest dinosaur that ever existed and it exists right in front of everyone and most people cannot see it, refuse to see it, don’t want to see it, and force themselves to be blind so they will never have any chance of seeing it. It is therefore hidden in plain sight. Why are so many Christians in America so willingly blind and asleep?

THE GREAT AWAKENING

         But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” [Ephesians 5:13]

         We are in the midst of a powerful awakening in this country but as always, it is often the “Christians” who see it last. I remember many years ago when I first noticed this phenomenon. It came through music. I noticed very few if any innovative Christian musicians and writers back then. Christian music would never change until secular music changed. When secular music developed different styles the Christians would copy it. When it went off in a different direction the Christian music would go off in that same direction. These people were obviously not following the Lord but the world.

         Why were they not more innovative and creative? It was largely because they were being told by the industry what was acceptable. They had also been raised in such a way that they took their cue from church leadership instead of reaching a place of maturity to think on their own. Whether they were naturally innovative or not, they could never be innovative because they were trained to be the opposite.

         This is why the Lord was so against the Pharisees: They had made everything illegal except what they allowed, and everything they allowed was what kept them in power.

         Sound familiar?

      The coming presidential election in America is completely and absolutely unprecedented. This has never happened before in American history. So don’t be fooled. This is not about the usual.

         It is NOT about Republican/Democrat.

         It is NOT about Liberal/Conservative.

         It is NOT about the usual opposites playing against one another. This game was started by those in power long ago to keep Americans fighting among themselves and against one another instead of fighting against the evil elite in power. It is why the evil elite have been so successful in gaining power and wealth and keeping power and wealth, and why Americans in general have surrendered and gone to sleep.

         But a few refused to keep sleeping and have managed over the last few decades to begin waking others up. As a result many ARE waking up and are beginning to see the real battle and the one driving the battle against them. People are seeing that the establishment is not only corrupt but can be defeated.

         Americans are finally beginning to see the devil.

         Satan is being exposed.

THE WHITEWASH IS COMING OFF

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

         No, this election is not about the usual Divide and Conquer strategy. The paradigm has changed completely. This coming election is just another sign of what is really going on in America. It is a symptom of the Great Awakening. Therefore, the 2016 Presidential Election is only about one thing:

         THE PEOPLE vs. THE ESTABLISHMENT

         This exact phenomenon happened in the first century. The Lord Jesus was not pro-Pharisee. He was not pro-Sadducee. He was not pro-Herodian. He was not pro-Zealot. He was not even pro-Essene.

         HE WAS PRO-KINGDOM OF GOD! And His kingdom is all about love and freedom. It is about liberty. It is about salvation. It is about getting out of spiritual prisons. It is about human beings being released from the debilitating effects of sin and spiritual slavery. It is about having a powerful King who is also a loving Father, instead of being ruled by evil people who are sold out to the devil.

         Keep in mind that the Lord is never restricted by humans. He will even use humans that look completely unacceptable. What else is He going to do? Who wants to step up first and say, “Hey! Use me because I am most acceptable and perfect!”?

         The reality is such that such people have been claiming this for centuries, yet they are nothing but whitewashed tombs. The people the Lord actually works through know what they are, have accepted their humble status, and are humble to the core. They NEVER seek the glory due only to the Lord, but they will certainly step into the spotlight if the Lord directs them to.

         The Lord was in the spotlight. Peter was. Paul was. All the apostles were. The 120 on the Day of Pentecost were. But they were not in the spotlight because they chose it or thought they were worthy of it. They were in the spotlight because the Lord Jesus put them in it. They didn’t want it but willingly complied. This is in part what made them worthy of it.

THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST

         It is about being a Servant. The Pharisees and many Christian leaders of today are not servants at all but spotlight-seekers. It is no different in Washington D.C. There may be a few who are for real but the majority are sellouts. They have sold their souls to the devil for money and power. Americans are sick and tired of it. But they have been sick and tired of it forever.

         That’s why what is transpiring now in politics is an extension of sorts of the spiritual Great Awakening. Real Christians in America are also sick and tired of Christian Pharisees and Christian Sudducees and Christian Herodians and Christian Zealots and Christian Essenes in power running many churches and ministries. It is an obvious sign that as these Christian pretenders have gained so much power and most of the leadership positions that the country has sunk deeper into oblivion with no apparent cure.

         Now, there has always been a Christian witness. There have always been good things getting done. There have always been people being born into the kingdom and doing good work for the Lord. But if we relate our current times to those of the first century, we see many parallels. We see a nation that had become the most corrupt in its history. And we also see a movement that began toward light but in great need of a Leader right when the Leader showed up! The few people who wanted light and salvation recognized Him. A huge unprecedented spiritual movement began in that nation long ago that had NEVER happened before. A few saw it coming right before the Lord Jesus arrived and tried to step into His place but they each came to nothing.

         The movement was all about The People vs. The Establishment because almost everyone in power of any kind had become corrupted and they were spreading the corruption to all the people. The Lord Jesus was driving the movement then just as He is now. That He must use human beings is a simple necessity. The apostle Paul was being used in a very powerful way but the man kept talking about his shortcomings and fallibility. His humanness did not disallow his use. God can and will use anybody if their heart is right.

         It is time for all real Christians to wake up and get with the Lord’s program. We live in an unprecedented time. No one must be revered above the Lord Jesus or it will stop the flow of His Spirit and direction. But everyone, not just an elite few, must know they are worthy because He has made us worthy. Each of us can be used and must be used. Our forebears of long ago were used mightily and destroyed dinosaurs. So will we:

         “Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Luke 8:8] [1] 

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

SEE ALSO:

THE AMERICAN POLITICAL CLIMATE IS FIXING TO BLOW SKY HIGH (3/15/16)

PROPHETIC WORDS FROM LAST NOVEMBER AND THE FIRST REPUBLICAN DEBATE (8/6/15)

One Fruit Two Fruit Good Fruit Bad Fruit

This one has a little star

This one has a little scar… (ouch!)

READER COMMENT:

         “Did you know that vineyard growers prune their vines more severely as the plants age in order to achieve maximum yields? From the plant’s point of view there is lots of cutting going on, but from the grower’s point of view the future holds great promise… grapes, grapes, and more grapes.”

LINK TO ARTICLE:

One Fruit Two Fruit Good Fruit Bad Fruit

The Price of Betrayal

READER COMMENTS:

         “How often we allow the betrayal of a trusted friend, relative or brother to sour our relationships…not only with them, but with God as well. Some even withdraw from the fellowship of the Body. It’s like the betrayal raises a wall between us that can only be breached by the person causing the hurt…and so we wait for apologies, never expecting to receive them. We forget that to be forgiven we must forgive (Matthew 6:14). Let us never forget that a betrayer can be forgiven (Peter is a prime example). If God can forgive, why not I?”

         “In one point of view, Jesus had to suffer the cross alone. We as imperfect men and women could not have gone with Him that time. Many have had the fortitude to do so since. Jesus bought my freedom that day, I am very thankful. If a man went with Him that day, would things be different? I believe it was God’s plan all along. A gift to save us who cleave to the cross, and yes, to teach us, we can not be saved any other way.”

LINK TO ARTICLE:

The Price of Betrayal

The Promise By Faith

READER COMMENTS:

         “This most definitely resonates!

         “By the way, I really like your tag line: ‘Thank you for your visit (your reputation is ruined).’ Nice to know my husband and I have some company!”

LINK TO ARTICLE:

The Promise By Faith

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

READER COMMENTS:

         “WOW! This is a POWERFUL post RJ! I find it stirring… to be bold, strong, and courageous for the Lord! And, to not shrink back, or look to the right or left, or “God help us” if we should look down or beneath us.”

         “I thought I would start here, because it looked like the beginning. The fresh air that I smell is the blowing of the Holy Spirit in this post. Looks like I have some reading to do in order to catch up! Looking forward to it. I have gotten to the point in my life where I can no longer tolerate the stale or the fake. I want the REAL. Looks like I have found some. Thank you.”

LINK TO ARTICLE:

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

SHOUT TO THE LORD

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

         If you claim to be a Christian and your voice is not being heard, the odds are good that your words have been censored. Your voice has been silenced. Your speech has been imprisoned.

         The first thing the Lord Jesus does with new disciples is free their speech. He encourages people to talk. He did this in His ministry.

         In fact, He chose the freeing of voices as the principal sign of Pentecost.

         Whenever you read a passage in the Gospels about the Lord healing a mute person, it is a sign for all—a Miracle Parable—that reveals His intention to free the voices of His people. The mute people in the Gospels were not only real people in real time, they were also parabolic types of muted people throughout time—those whose voices have been shut down—those whose speaking has been disallowed.

         Now that you know this, look at the real meaning in the following:

         They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him.

         Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva; and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!” And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.

         And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it. They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” [Mark 7:32-37]

YOU ARE WORTHY

         First Amendment rights do not apply in many churches. If one’s mode of Christian congregating disallows for communication and spiritual edification through the use of EVERYONE’S voice, then that mode contains a serious flaw. It is a flaw that results in spiritual problems for the congregation as a whole, because it silences whoever has the anointing of God to speak and be heard but cannot, due only to man-made religious conventions that oppose the will of God.

         It is no secret that the majority of Christian congregation methods disallow anyone from talking except the chosen few—the very few chosen few. We all know this is true. Christians have been conditioned to keep silent in the churches.

         Yet the Lord Jesus says:

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

         (Just don’t say it in church, okay?”)

         One of the reasons Christian blogs have exploded on the internet within the last five or ten years is because many if not most of these Christians had nowhere else to speak. Most were never allowed to speak in church or even in Bible studies. Our entire framework of Christian meetings and congregational gatherings has only ever allowed for the voice of the one percent, which results in religious control rather than free expression, and the consequent dumbing-down of the great majority.

         The greatest evil, however, perpetrated by those who buy into this anti-God system that silences the voices of 99% of all Christians, is making them feel completely unworthy, and thus unworthy of speaking.

SUPERFLUOUS STAGE PLAYERS

         The Lord jumped all over the Pharisees’ case and kept telling them they were nothing but a bunch of evil actors (hypocrites) pretending to be something they were not who gained and kept control over the masses of people by transforming everything into a stage play with themselves as the only participants, and certainly as the only ones with speaking parts.

         So what do many later Christians do? And what do the Christian elite of the present do? They transform everything into a stage play with themselves as the only primary participants, and certainly as the only ones with speaking parts.

         In fact, if one were to remove the stages, platforms, and dual-class seating arrangements which always separate the chosen few occupying their positions of control from everyone else, making real fellowship impossible by forcing the 99 out of 100 to focus on the backs of everyone’s head instead of their faces, there would be little “Christianity” left in America. Almost everyone has been conditioned over long decades and even centuries to adopt these strange formats which were never used as fellowship formats by the Lord Jesus or the early community of believers.

EVERYONE PARTICIPATES

         Yes, whenever the Lord spoke to large numbers of people, all were focused on Him. But whenever He taught His disciples, He sat down among them in a rough circle using an open and organic format, so they could all see one another as well. This format greatly aids in the development of koinonia in which each person is allowed to contribute and thus develop spiritually as a real disciple. Using one’s voice allows one to mature.

         Thus, what they had was dynamic. Everyone was part of the process. Everyone had a voice and was allowed to use it. Real Christianity thus exploded fast and the Gospel traveled fast and MILLIONS ended up in the kingdom of the Lord relatively fast. It happened that way because everyone was being used of God instead of the mere “chosen few” who demand control and their own authority much more than the spiritual interactivity arising from koinonia.

         Those real Christians were allowed to use everything they had for the Lord, especially their voice.

         So there’s your clue: If you are not allowed to speak in your Christian meeting, it is most likely not the Lord Jesus holding you back. He wants you involved. Your input is needed. Nothing can replace your voice.

COME ALIVE: THIS IS THE JESUS GENERATION   

         From this we know it is not the enemy from without that is holding back the Great Awakening, since the Lord has given His people power over such enemies. The real enemy is much closer to home. The real enemy is the power vested in compromised Christian leaders and all those who support them in forcing their own personal agendas in part through silencing the voices of millions of believers, and making them what is essentially a quiet collective supporting without question those in control, and rendering all potential Pentecosts absolutely impossible.

         IT IS OFTEN THE PEOPLE CONTROLLING THE STAGE, PULPITS, SPOTLIGHTS, MICROPHONES, AND TV CAMERAS WHO DISALLOW THE VOICES OF EVERYONE ELSE.

         It is obvious they consider themselves as the only ones worthy and everyone else as unworthy.

         “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” [John 7:18] [1]

         In order to be the Lord’s celebrity one must be an anti-celebrity.

         This is why the Lord often has to do something outside the scope of ultra-organized religion to get anything done. It is why John the Immerser stayed out in the wilderness. It is the only way to overcome the control of the religious leaders with only their own interests and enterprises at heart and not the Lord’s or those of the majority of the people. Whenever such controllers are in authority it inevitably shuts everyone else out, other than, of course, their hand-picked, sold-out, “safe” ones who only speak what they are allowed to speak. Indeed, that which is allowed by them to be spoken is often not of the Holy Spirit, which proves further the deadness of most church services and why the Lord Jesus is not in charge.

         Before they silenced the majority’s voice, they silenced His voice.

         So again, the Lord’s model for His lively, spiritually-healthy, vibrant, organic Community and also for Great Awakenings involves first the opening of deaf ears and the removing of tongue impediments so that every single one of His people can “begin speaking plainly” as did the mute man, and “speaking the mighty deeds of God,” as did all of those in the Upper Room.

         And since all Great Awakenings begin with Great Repentance, one of the first things everyone must do is repent for allowing their great power of speech to be silenced and not made available for the Lord’s use.

SHOUT TO THE LORD

         Real Christianity involves ALL of His children and ALL of their voices.

         As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

         Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

         But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” [Luke 19:37-40]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

CHANGES OF A LIFETIME

         The world is going to hell. And even though any Biblically-literate Christian knows this, based on any number of many prophecies and references in the Holy Word of God, there is still a giant disconnect in actual application to our present.

         We say it. We hear it. We read it. But it sounds so strange when somebody actually MEANS it. It sounds scary as Hades when we actually hook up the wires and smell the ozone and see the flash and it all hits us at once.

         THE LORD MEANS IT. HE IS SERIOUS. THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

         It is no dream, but a nightmare, one of yooge proportions.

         The world is going to hell.

         In my lifetime I have seen the greatest changes in the moral sphere that America has ever seen. I used to think about my grandfather who was in his late teens when the Wright Brothers took off and left the earth for a few seconds on a windswept beach, having put their bicycle-building and repairing expertise toward flying in the sky instead of riding streets. Their impossible act led to a jet engine a few decades later which my grandfather saw at about fifty, and then, in his mid-eighties he actually saw men go to the moon. In one lifetime my grandfather, a range-rider and cowboy, saw all of this.

         And what have I seen? I have seen a time when there used to be loving moral families with fathers and mothers and children who took care of one another and stayed together and loved first and sacrificed and had happy times though not much money because they understood love and respected it and were blessed. And now innocent little children are being taught that there is no such thing as mommies or daddies or boys or girls and there are no gender standards whatsoever and the only thing this will do is further screw everyone up to the point that confusion reaches an apex of undefinable proportions. “What am I?” “That’s for you to decide.” “But I don’t know!” “That’s your problem.”

         The world is going to hell. Because it keeps listening to so-called experts who specialize in channeling the devil and all the devil wants to do is the opposite of the Lord, and the Lord is GOOD and HOLY and PURE and GREAT and LOVING and KIND and PERFECT and all He wants for us is the best. But we live in a world going to hell…

         People of the present think things have just recently taken a turn for the worse but our own Supreme Court went totally reprobate OVER 43 YEARS AGO.

         In 1971 the blues rock band Ten Years After had a song called “I’d Love To Change the World.” I can guarantee you they weren’t conservative Republicans or church-goers. The opening lyrics to the song said it all:

.

         Everywhere is freaks and hairies

         Dykes and fairies

         Tell me where is sanity…

 .

         I’d love to change the world

         But I don’t know what to do

         So I’ll leave it up to you… [1]

 .       

         The world had certainly gone nuts by that time which means the world in our time has gone stark raving mad. And the inmates running the asylum are convinced of their own morality which is the actual opposite of real morality and with every new wave of unbelievable demonic dogma foisted upon us there is heard the distant strains of ancient words echoing forth to those who still have ears to hear:

         Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;

         Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;

         Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

         Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

         Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink,

         Who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

         Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble and dry grass collapses into the flame, so their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust;

         For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. [Isaiah 5:20-24]

         WHY DID GOD SEND PROPHETS? What else could He do when both the civil AND religious authorities joined up with the devil? What else could He do when He could find so few to stand up for Truth and Love and the Lord’s Holy Way?

         The prophets knew their ultimate fates and their deaths proved exactly what they were speaking out about—that the authorities who used to be good a lifetime ago have now gone bad and have sold themselves out like cheap prostitutes to the highest bidder.

         The only chance left is the same chance there always was, though He used to be honored much more than today.

         My grandfather grew up with horses and buckboards and lived to see a moonshot in a single lifetime.

         I, on the other hand, have lived to see the world shot.

         But evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. [2 Timothy 3:13]

         My advice is stand with the Lord Jesus. Be bold. Preach the Word. Fight the good fight of faith. Be a light in the darkness. Answer hate with love. Don’t back down.

         Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. [Ephesians 6:10] [1]

         The Lord’s kingdom is forever.

         But the world is going to hell.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] © 1971 Alvin Lee 

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

LIVING IN THE MIRACLE REALM: Connected to the Vine (3)

         Miraculous works were not only a sign proving the legitimacy and authority of the Lord Jesus and His ministry, they were vital to carrying it out. His overall ministry has never ceased but continued with His original disciples and continues at present. In order to achieve what the Lord has called us to achieve we must use every ministry tool and weapon that He used. We must live in the Miracle Realm.

.

WE MUST BE CONNECTED TO THE VINE AT ALL TIMES

         To achieve miraculous works, the following conditions must be applied:

         “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

         I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

         If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

         If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” [John 15:4-7]

         The word “abide” comes from the Greek word meno: “To stay or remain.” In order to produce spiritual fruit, it means one must maintain the vital spiritual relational connection to the Lord Jesus at all times.

         But again, most of those who call themselves Christians have never been connected to the Lord in the first place, and they remain that way because they have never had a real born again experience. Thus, they are unconnected.

         It is impossible to become a fruit-producing branch of the main Vine without a starting point.

         One must become disconnected from the fallen world of sin and one’s place in it. One must leave the old and join the new. This can only be done through a personal decision at some point in one’s life. And the only way to prove such a decision is correct is by the later production of the same spiritual fruit the Lord Jesus produced. Cultural Christians may be doing all sorts of humanitarian works on the surface and appear as real believers, but until they actually fulfill the conditions set forth by the Lord, they are incapable of spiritual works, and they will never perform the works of the Lord.

THE POWERFUL NAME OF JESUS

         Again, His teachings are very clear. They are not confusing:

         “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” [John 14:13-14]

         What I am going to say now will be strongly opposed, not by the enemy, but by the majority of Christians. The Lord said to ask anything IN HIS NAME. But the vast majority of “Christians” fail at the very beginning of their supposed conversion because they not only have never been born again as the Lord said we must be, but have never been baptized in the Lord’s Name. In fact, many have never been baptized at all.

          This is a much bigger problem than people think it is. (Please refer to my writings on baptism.) The Lord and the early believers knew that water baptism was vitally important. If one refuses water baptism in the Lord’s Name how can one be right with the Lord?

LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, MIND, AND STRENGTH

         Regarding the lack of miracles, here’s another clue. The Lord Jesus said:

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

         Most Christians refuse to keep all the Lord’s commandments. It is not possible, therefore, that they really love Him. They simply see Him as someone other than God and the fullness of their devotion is not directed toward Him. Thus, they will never perform the works of the Lord.

JESUS IS GOD

         And here is even more:

         “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:12-18] [1]

         The Lord Jesus, THE TRUTH, is obviously also the Spirit of Truth. He just said it in the preceding passage. He is the Helper. He is the Comforter. He said He will not leave us as orphans, which clearly means, if we so chose, that He will be our parent, which means, HE IS THE FATHER. This entire passage in John 14, remember, is about identifying the Father.

         But also, as the Spirit of Truth, HE IS THE SPIRIT. He said He was presently with them, but would soon be IN them. “I will come to you.” That happened at Pentecost.

         There’s another giant clue: Most Christians refuse Pentecost.

         So there you have it. We have all the reasons we need concerning why some Christians cannot do the miraculous works the Lord Jesus did. Most Christians don’t come anywhere close to doing the same things He did, and sadly, most Christians are perfectly fine and content with this.

MIRACULOUS WORKS ARE A SIGN OF THE LORD’S PRESENCE

         You will find as you study the Gospel accounts in-depth that something very otherworldly was going on in the ministry of the Lord. Of course, most Christians know this and support it. But the otherworldly supernatural character of the Lord’s ministry continued after He ascended. It continued in the ministries of His real disciples afterwards, it continued after them, and it continues today.

         But don’t be fooled. There are obviously many charlatans and deceivers who claim miracles, signs, and wonders but the only sign many of them are concerned about is the dollar sign and the only wonder is how they continue to get away with it.

         Christians must never be content with surface-oriented Christianity or being mere cultural Christians. We must all be born again. We must all receive the spiritual power of the Lord. We must all enter the Miracle Realm and live within it, as did the Lord Jesus and all real disciples since His time.

         He is depending on us to be full-fledged mature disciples so He can work miracles through us and thereby fulfill all the abundant life promises of His Word for a fallen world.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

.

MUST READS:

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 1)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 2)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 3)


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

LIVING IN THE MIRACLE REALM: Spiritual War (2)

         Miraculous works were not only a sign proving the legitimacy and authority of the Lord Jesus and His ministry, they were vital to carrying it out. His overall ministry has never ceased but continued with His original disciples and continues at present. In order to achieve what the Lord has called us to achieve we must use every ministry tool and weapon that He used. We must live in the Miracle Realm.

.

SPIRITUAL WAR

         We are in a war. It is the greatest war of all time. It has been going on continuously since the spiritual fall in the Garden when sin entered the world. The enemy knows all he has to do is apply enough temptation to get a person to sin and then everything spiritual in that person’s life will be cut off. Such a person will become spiritually blind and completely ineffective.

         Therefore, the first reason that most Christians cannot perform miracles as the Lord did is because they have sin in their lives. Of course, human pride is greatly offended at this and will oppose the solution all the more. Most Christians have never had a real born again experience and thus they have never truly repented, and thus, the blood of Jesus has never been applied. They remain in their sins though they may otherwise look and act like a Christian. They have never fully repented.

         Of course, such is Christianity 101. It is not that most Christians have failed the course but that they refuse to take the course.

         Many Christians go through their Christian routine knowing full well there is a weight upon them and a problem, but having no clue what it is or what to do about it, since they have rejected the otherwise obvious answer (sin), they cease trying to figure it out and simply learn to live with it. They accept a powerless Christianity and simply go through religious motions completely outside the Miracle Realm.

WHAT ABOUT REAL CHRISTIANS?

         For sincere believers—THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THE LORD JESUS REQUIRES WHATEVER THE PERSONAL COST—there are also reasons why they are having a hard time manifesting the works of God.

         Again, we are in a war. Science tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is the same in the spirit: EVERYTHING A REAL BELIEVER ATTEMPTS TO DO FOR GOD WILL BE OPPOSED—EVERYTHING.

         Therefore, if you really want to get it done you must understand that one attempt will usually fail. It is often the case that ten attempts will fail. If one is easily discouraged then forget it. It is not that the Lord is not involved, however, it is that the enemy is resisting. He is fighting you. You must overcome him. The Lord showed us how.

         Remember, Daniel prayed for three weeks without hearing anything at all. Then an angel showed up. The angel said the Lord heard Daniel’s prayer at the very beginning. But the angel, the messenger the Lord sent right away, had to engage in warfare with a powerful demon to get the answer to Daniel. That’s why it took 21 days. Daniel did his part by continuously praying and believing, and staying in faith for as long as it took for the answer to arrive.

OUR POWERFUL WEAPON OF FASTING

         The Lord Jesus was fasting all the time. He began His ministry with a 40 day fast. If one refuses to fast then forget it—one will never do the miraculous works of God.

OUR POWERFUL WEAPON OF PRAYER

         He was also praying all the time, sometimes spending hours every night in prayer, and there were times when He prayed all night long. If one refuses to pray the right way, or pray unceasingly, or pray IN FAITH, or pray as if all depended on one’s prayers, then forget it—one will never do the miraculous works of God.

OUR POWERFUL WEAPON OF GOD’S WORD

         The Lord was also always quoting the Word. THERE IS GREAT POWER AND ANOINTING IN THE WORD OF GOD! He used it as yet another weapon. If one refuses to use the real Word of God then forget it—one will never do the miraculous works of God.

         Indeed, all three of these are very powerful spiritual weapons. They each must be utilized to achieve the will of God.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

.

         MUST READS:

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 1)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 2)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 3)

LIVING IN THE MIRACLE REALM: Miracles Are Real (1)

         Miraculous works were not only a sign proving the legitimacy and authority of the Lord Jesus and His ministry, they were vital to carrying it out. His overall ministry has never ceased but continued with His original disciples and continues at present. In order to achieve what the Lord has called us to achieve we must use every ministry tool and weapon that He used. We must live in the Miracle Realm.

.

THE MIRACLE REALM

         All of us wonder sometimes why our prayers are not answered. We wonder why we feel so out of touch spiritually and why the Lord seems to be a million miles away. While such things happen from time to time for dedicated disciples, for most Christians, they happen all the time.

         This is one reason: The majority of Christians in the world have never entered the Miracle Realm.

         Let me explain.

         The Lord Jesus said His real disciples would do the same things He did. Before we go further, please focus on His words in the following passage:

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:12] [1]

         Now, consider that. The Lord spoke these words very sincerely. He left no doubt as to their meaning. The words apply to every real believer from that time until the present. He said that every REAL believer will do the same works that He did during His ministry and would also do even greater works.

         Now consider the following phenomena:

         The Lord Jesus could actually SEE otherwise invisible demons.

         The Lord was also well-acquainted with angels, as were the members of His early Community. You remember that Peter was busted out of jail by a walking talking angel the night before he was to be executed. Joseph, the Lord’s human father, had one dream after another featuring an actual angel appearing to him in dreams and giving him specific commands.

         The Lord Jesus Himself appeared to Paul on more than one occasion.

         All of these things happened as a matter of course in early Christian history. For most Christians since and for most Christians at present these kinds of things NEVER happen. Most Christian leaders are so out of touch spiritually they have joined the devil in claiming such things no longer happen, can’t happen, and haven’t happened since the first century. And because of this, most Christians have been taught to NOT believe.

         In other words, if it doesn’t happen to me or at my church then it simply can’t be real.

         This is what I term Surface-Oriented Christianity. It’s not spiritually real. It has no power. Whatever the denomination, it is as unreal as the day is long. I am not judging the hearts of individuals, but merely agreeing with the actual teachings and ministry of the Lord Jesus and standing on His Words instead of the words of any other.

         Let me explain something even further. As a follower of the Lord, I have been around a long time. I am very familiar with Catholic churches, Protestant churches of almost every form, Non-denominational churches, and many Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. I am very familiar with mega churches and many forms of small home groups. I could go on. I have been to roughly a million Christian services and meetings and conferences of pretty much any and every form.

         But very rarely, relatively speaking, have I seen or experienced the works the Lord did during His ministry.

         BUT I HAVE SEEN THEM. THEY DO EXIST.

         It is just that, again, relatively speaking regarding all Christian experience and considering all denominations, the Lord’s miraculous works are very rare. Everyone knows this. Some Christians even think they don’t happen at all and never could.

         There are reasons for this. I can tell you exactly what those reasons are, but I also know that most Christians are simply not interested. For the few who are interested and really want to break through and be used of God in a mighty way, stayed tuned…

         In the meantime I suggest the following articles:

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 1)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 2)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 3)

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

WHERE IS THE LOVE? Identifying Christian Pharisees

         “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]

         How does one identify a real Christian Pharisee? Like their spiritual forebears of the first century, a Christian Pharisee is initially known primarily by one thing. And this one thing is both an indicator of such a person’s heart, as it is at the core of his or her being, but is also on the immediate surface, and often boils forward to said surface in a rapid flash which defies any possibility of impulse control.

         The first indicator of a real Christian Pharisee is therefore no secret whatsoever in that it reveals itself without restraint in all its unchecked fleshly power as it rises quickly for the kill in response to any perceived sleight or lack of absolute respect demanded by such a one for otherwise arbitrary reasons.

         Here it is: CHRISTIAN PHARISEES ARE EXTREMELY AND VERY EASILY OFFENDED AND ARE WILLING TO FIGHT ANYONE ANYTIME ANYWHERE AT THE DROP OF A HAT TO PROTECT AND HONOR THEMSELVES AND THE BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS THEY HAVE BOUGHT INTO AND SOLD OUT TO WITH NO REGARD WHATSOEVER FOR THE GOLDEN RULE OR HONORING THE LORD JESUS.

         They refuse to engage in any rational dialogue in the sense of arriving at greater truth because they believe they already possess all truth. They refuse and deflect any form of possible persecution by always beating the other person to said persecution and thus becoming the epitome of the persecutor. Their method is one of insistence that they are right, have always been right, and will always be right, and insist that anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe can just as soon go straight to hell.

         They believe with all their hearts that they have captured and possess the very top of the pyramid, that they are superior to all, and that all others must comply with their religion or belief system and every part of it, both in dogma and practice, or be remanded to a state of total rejection.

         They then project this attitude upon the “god” of their choosing and insist that “god”, their god, is absolutely on their side and only on their side and is also against the same people they are against. They will go to any lengths to destroy anyone who even slightly touches their massive sacred cows and golden calves as if simple murder is nowhere close to being good enough and doesn’t do proper justice to the immense offense perpetrated upon them.

         This very thing happened to the real God, the only God, the God of all Creation, when He showed up here as one of us, as a human being, to save us and set us free. Of course, they couldn’t touch Him until He willingly laid down His life on our behalf. Once He made Himself vulnerable, however, His enemies wasted no time in inflicting upon Him the very worst they could offer and if they had the opportunity they would have tortured Him and murdered Him many times over.

         It’s right there in your Gospels. It’s all over the New Testament. It’s infused throughout Christian history. It is why the real saints of the Lord always took it on the chin while doing the real work of the Lord and teaching the real Gospel. The incredible and completely unjustified persecution against them identified them as real disciples who acted out of love and for the truth, and it also perfectly identified the haters who would always rather gossip, slander, libel, and defame, and even murder, maim, destroy, and generally go stark raving nuts in defense of their evil hearts and ungodly agendas.

         “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? [Matthew 23:33] [1]

LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW

         Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

         Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8]

         Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

         Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [Romans 13:8-10]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

          Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE: The Fig Tree (Part 5)

THE FIG TREE

         On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. [Mark 11:12-14]

         Why did the Lord curse the fig tree? The narrative said it was not the season for figs.

         Actually, a fig tree produced fruit three times a year. In about April, which was the time the Lord saw the tree in question, every healthy fig tree would bear what are known as “early figs,” also known as “unripe” or “untimely” figs. These immature figs were very small, were edible, though certainly not comparable to the full fruit which would come later, and most fell to the ground with the wind. They appeared as the first leaves appeared on the tree.

         In about June, the first mature figs appeared, the first actual crop, and were said to grow out of the “old wood,” or the shoots from the prior year.

         In August or so, the final crop of figs came forth, from the “new wood,” or new shoots of the present year.

         From this we know that if a tree will be fruitful and not barren, it will send forth fruit roughly at the same time, or very shortly thereafter, as it sends forth its first leaves, though the first fruit is a far cry from what will come later. The Lord Jesus knew, therefore, that because the tree He came upon already had leaves but no “early figs,” it would never produce any figs.

         Keep in mind also that He was hungry, that He saw the tree “at a distance,” that He had to put time and effort into reaching it, and that He expected to find food. This is obviously indicative of His long journey to visit and rescue His beloved people.

ISRAEL

         As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”

         And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.” [Mark 11:20-23] [1]

         Mountains are associated with spiritual high places, places of great power. The little that was left of the Jewish nation in the first century had long since been subverted by a political association between the religious leaders and Rome. This was especially true of the Sadducees who had no belief in spiritual things whatsoever, not even the resurrection. It was also true of Annas and Caiphas, the High Priest. They were living only for this world, had achieved great wealth and power, and had joined “the mountain,” represented by the great earthly power of the Roman Empire.

         The fig tree was representative of the Israel of that time, which made an outward show of national legitimacy and religiosity, but was actually fruitless and spiritually barren. It is the same today.

         When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:41-44]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

          Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

FURTHER PROOF:

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 1)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 2)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 3)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 4)

         Tonight at sunset marks the beginning of Iyyar 5 on the Hebrew calendar. It was on this date in 1948 that the modern state of Israel was created. Iyyar 5 corresponded then to May 14 on the Gregorian calendar.

         The modern state of Israel was created by non-believers—among the movers and shakers was not a single believer in the Lord Jesus. In fact, many were atheists, including the first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who was also a lifelong Communist/Marxist/Socialist and admirer of Lenin.

         Among unbelieving Jews, no actual descendent of Abraham is historically more rejected, hated, or despised than the Lord Jesus, who continues to be viewed as a false Messiah and evil interloper.

         He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. [John 1:10-11]

         Abraham was the first to be called a Hebrew. The Hebrews descended from Abraham. Abraham had descended from Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. Noah had descended from Adam.

         The Lord Jesus—YeHoshua HaMashiach—descended from Adam, through Noah, through Noah’s son Shem, through Abraham, through Abraham’s son Isaac, through Isaac’s son Jacob, and through Jacob’s son Judah. He also descended through King David. Hence, the “Son of David” is the rightful and final heir to the throne—the King of kings and Lord of lords:

         These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” [Revelation 17:14]

         Here we see that the CHOSEN PEOPLE are those who are with the Lord Jesus.

         In fact, the New Testament refers to REAL CHRISTIANS as the CHOSEN PEOPLE at least 16 times.

         Therefore, in order to qualify as one of the chosen people, one must be CALLED BY, CHOSEN OF, and FAITHFUL TO the Lord Jesus.

         “For many are called, but few are chosen.” [Matthew 22:14]

         Those who are called and chosen by the Lord Jesus MUST ALSO BE FAITHFUL to the Lord Jesus or there is no covenant with Him.

         The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is His Kingdom. There is no other. He is the only King. It is His community. His community is comprised of all those who are chosen by Him. He is the only one who chooses the members. Anyone can apply for membership, but applying for membership in no way proves chosen status. One must not only apply, one must be chosen. And the Lord Jesus is the only one who does the calling and choosing.

         “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.” [John 15:16-17]

         This is what the members of His real community look like:

         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. [1Corinthians 1:26-29] [1]

         Regarding these real chosen people of the Lord’s community, one cannot be faithful to the Lord Jesus or one another without loving one another. The faithfulness to and love of the Lord Jesus is that which creates an ongoing covenant with Him. Loving one another in the Lord’s community is that which creates an ongoing covenant with one another.

         Therefore, it is impossible to be a member of the CHOSEN PEOPLE if one rejects and refuses to honor the Lord Jesus as Messiah, Lord, King, and “God with us.”

         Without acknowledging the Lord Jesus as God, there is no possible covenant with Him:

         Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

         Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. [1John 2:22-23]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

FURTHER PROOF:

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 1)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 2)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 3)

Happy Fifth Birthday, Real Christianity!

         I created this site five years ago in anticipation of the Great Awakening in America. The Lord Jesus revealed to me a few decades ago what the future of America would be, but much more than that, what the future of American Christianity would be.

         Although there have been many people who received similar reports, there have been relatively few who have received reports from the Lord concerning the changing nature of Christianity in America, how it happened, how it would continue to happen, what to prepare for, and how to get back to the original—Real Christianity.

         There was so much information coming in. I had been telling people for years just exactly what I was seeing but most paid little attention. I had always been curious, since my incredible born-again experience, why so few Christians cared so little about spiritual reality and actual New Testament truth. I saw that most Christians were on a closed-minded routine track and were well-conditioned to reject anything that didn’t line up with their chosen beliefs and church practices.

         It was no different in the first century.

         I reached a point in which I had to start recording all that the Lord was showing me. I am not claiming to be anything more than what I am, but I discovered long ago that the Lord blessed me with the ability to see things. Right after I was born again I had an insatiable desire to read the Word of God and could not read fast enough. I even spent my lunch hours at work reading the Word. I worked very hard, but for little pay, and couldn’t afford much. I lived in small apartments. I had no television. There was no internet.

         I was given a small paperback Bible by a friend who had also been gloriously saved a few months before. Later, with my hard-earned cash, I bought a new Thompson Chain Reference Bible and a Strong’s exhaustive concordance. A friend gave me a large paperback, the complete works of Josephus, for Christmas. I was on my way.

         As the years passed I began spending all my free time reading and doing in-depth research. I had my job in which I earned money, but I also had my real job, my vocation, that which drove me and motivated me. It was what the Lord called me to do.

         It was my desire to be a preacher, as that was the only possible ministry choice back then. I preached some, taught Bible studies, and did a ton of witnessing. I had yet to understand that the great majority of the Lord’s ministers are not the one’s in pulpits, however. I didn’t realize that my desire to be a minister had already been achieved, but because I was not an official minister, I was not respected as one, even among my own friends. That was a hard lesson to learn.

         I never stopped. I have been loyal to the Lord all these years.

         As I said, the time came when I was receiving so much information from the Lord Jesus, including by revelation, which can only be received directly and not through reading or study, and had gained so much knowledge, that I had to do something with it.

         I told a very good friend one day, “Someday I’m going to write a book and call it Real Christianity.” Well, for those of you who have not written a book, I can tell you that it is very hard work, especially the kind of book I would write. Everything had to be footnoted and supported with facts. Everything had to line up with the Word of God. It was, however, a true labor of love.

         I eventually achieved the dream. The book was no small read and contained about 330 pages. It was extremely well-written and documented. I expected big things, that I would get the word out. But to my great disillusionment, my book was not received. In fact, it was largely rejected.

         Now, I knew this was only because of one reason. It was the same reason that so much of what I had shared in the past was not received. People just could not see what I could see. I was almost always ahead of the curve and most of the time WAY ahead of the curve. I spent so much time and effort working toward the gaining of truth, at my own expense, that I left most people behind. I did have some friends, of course, who also saw some of what I saw, and we were accountable to one another. I knew what I had was real. Nevertheless, I continued to attempt to gain official legitimacy for my work. I was never afraid of anyone on the planet challenging me on what I learned. That was not the problem.

         The problem was trying to get other Christians to get it, to see it, to want it, to get engaged, to wake up, to break out of dead traditional molds, and to have a real love for the real truth.

         When I completed the book, before it was printed, I made a very handsome copy and presented it to my church. I had been a faithful, tithe-giving, official member of this church for almost six years. I had a great reputation. I got along great with the pastor and elders. One of the elders was assigned to look over the book and get back to me. I had been believing all along that this would help birth me into ministry, at long last. I had proven to be a faithful servant on all accounts. We were giving large amounts of money to the Lord through the church. And I was doing so much work regarding writing and research in addition to my job…

         They rejected it. The elder assigned to read it suddenly turned on me. The news spread fast. In a short time, after all my faith, hope, and very hard work, I was suddenly trashed and rejected. This man destroyed the Golden Rule. I found out yet again, even in doing things so well and in establishing an extremely good record over many years that Christians will turn on you in a heartbeat. This man, an otherwise very good guy, was no Berean. It is the same with many Christians. In case you’re wondering, the spiritual dynamic of which I speak works this way:

         The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

         Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

         But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring up the crowds. [Acts 17:10-13] [1]

         The Lord had me stay in that church for almost another year. I remained a good guy. But it was obvious that the leadership had changed their tone toward me. I kept tithing (large amounts). I stayed faithful. They grew more and more distant. I kept thinking, “If only you would read this book with an open heart toward God with a good attitude. If only you would be noble-minded and eager for truth…”

         But they refused. The time came, after the Lord gave them much time and opportunity, again, almost a year, that the Lord told me it was time to leave. I heard this very clearly. I left on the best terms possible but because I had become relatively invisible due to their rejection and cold-heartedness, it was a quiet exit.

         That was many years ago, of course. Since I started this site I have discovered that many of you have had similar experiences if not the exact one. I have received an absolute ton of support here, but lately, that support is waning. This is why:

         I keep putting more and more very deep and solid Biblical truths on this site and it causes a falling away simply because of the same dynamic above. Yet, this is what the Lord called me to do. Because I have worked so hard over the years, have done so much research, have prayed, fasted, attended a million church services, and have written extensively, I have gained the fruit of my labors. I have received much insight, revelation, and knowledge. I have put it all to the test, and have also been thoroughly tested. I have seen the future.

         But when I show the future, it looks very different from the present and is usually rejected. There have been umpteen times when what I present is rejected, but when someone else presents exactly the same thing it is accepted. Many people finally see what I see years later, and accept it, but they curiously continue to give me no credit. (This is a completely different spiritual dynamic!) The main thing, of course, is that the Lord Jesus gets ALL the credit. Suffice it to say that all real Christians, however, will be able to relate to His sufferings. Just give it time.

         For those of you who are still with me and support me, I have a request. I could use your help. I have made my book extremely easy to buy. It is available in E-Book format for about $10. The print book is available for a little more. Just click the icons on this site. It is how you can help me financially.

         I never ask for money. I do not take donations. I never have, except on extremely rare occasions. I work for a living. The oil field, in which I had been working, is pretty much dried up. Many people are hurting and are without jobs. I have returned to construction, but a past injury has recently flared up and makes it a tad bit of a challenge, although I have been working through it and will continue. I also mow yards.

         If this causes you to lose respect for me there is nothing I can do about that. I remain a genuine minister of the Gospel. It is my calling and is why I’m on the planet. Most genuine ministers operate the same way. I continue to write and post as I am able. The Lord is GOOD and He sustains me. I am blessed.

         The time will come when all real Christians will be in heaven but for right now there is much work to be done! I work to earn money not just for survival but primarily to support the ministry the Lord has called me to do. I am the only one supporting it financially. Thanks to all of you who read and who have bought the book. I appreciate it. I request your prayers. If anyone may have a clue regarding how I can do a better job of getting the word out and honoring the Lord Jesus, please let me know. All of us have our own individual challenges but I know the Lord will see us through.

         May each of you, my dear readers, be blessed super abundantly and grow ever-closer to the Lord Jesus. He did it all for you. Thank you for the last five years.

         Onward.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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


PLEASE NOTE:

          You can locate every article prior to this year through the above Article Archives tab, organized both by category and calendar year.

          There is also the Reader Favorites tab right next to it listing links to the 30 most popular articles.

          On the top left is the Author/Book tab which gives a brief description of the book this blog is named after, as well as many comments.

          All 2016 posts are in the Latest Articles—Feed Your Spirit column to the left (scroll up/down).

.

          If you’re interested in gaining some perspective regarding the last five years, I’ve included links to each prior anniversary, as follows:

Happy First Birthday, Real Christianity (5/10/12)

Happy Second Birthday, Real Christianity (5/10/13)

Real Christianity: Three and Free (5/10/14)

Happy Fourth Birthday, Real Christianity! (5/10/15)

FIFTH COLUMN CHRISTIANS: How the devil Created Unreal Christianity

         “FIFTH COLUMN”: Clandestine group or faction of subversive agents who attempt to undermine a nation’s solidarity by any means at their disposal.

         “A cardinal technique of the fifth column is the infiltration of sympathizers into the entire fabric of the nation under attack and, particularly, into positions of policy decision and national defense. From such key posts, fifth-column activists exploit the fears of a people by spreading rumours and misinformation, as well as by employing the more standard techniques of espionage and sabotage.” [1]

THE JERK WHO STARTED IT ALL

         The devil is the original jerk.

         A jerk, in this sense, with a wide inclusion of corresponding names and titles denoting derivative evil and subversive activities, is someone driven to do all in his or her power to mess up a good thing.

         The Garden, east of Eden, built by the Lord God, was absolutely perfect.

         Adam, the first human, created by the Lord God, was also absolutely perfect.

         And Eve, wonderful Eve, the first woman, also created by the Lord God, was not only absolutely perfect but the crown of creation. With all due respect to Adam, there was no possible better created being than Eve. After the Lord God made her He was done. He saved His best for last.

         But of course, the devil had to come along and screw it all up. (The devil is such a rotten little reprobate.) He lives to destroy, to rottenize everything he touches, and to do all is his power to transform the perfectly moral and beautiful into gross immorality and ugliness.

         The sad thing about this idiot is that he possesses such a powerful ability to lie and cheat and deceive that EVERYBODY ends up listening to all his sorry tripe and most obey him their entire lives with no recourse or ability to stop.

THE ONLY CURE:

         He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

         But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:11-13]

THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL

         Adam listened and at first he told the devil to bug off. Adam remained loyal to the Lord God.

         Eve listened and at first she fought him. She quoted the Word of God. But the devil kept on in his sly and slimy manner and started making sense to her. Adam was nowhere around. The devil isolated her and caught her on her own. She had never been taught directly by the Lord God but by Adam. Thus, the devil simply attacked her husband’s credibility in order to attack the credibility of the Lord God.

         Interestingly enough, Eve began to listen:

         “Maybe Adam got it wrong…”

         “How do I really know that Adam learned everything he taught me from the Lord God?”

         “Maybe this alternative picture the devil is painting in the real reality…”

         The devil encouraged her to use her human eyes, her human understanding, and her human imagination. The forbidden fruit suddenly looked good to her, both to her eyes as a thing of beauty and also for food. She also fell for the lie that eating the fruit would make her wise and that she would replace the Lord God. She would be equal to the Lord God. SHE would be the Lord God.

         The original fifth columnist gained his first convert.

ADAM’S EVENTUAL FAILURE

         What the hell happened to Adam? Why did he no longer resist sin and temptation?

         He had successfully defeated the pukey little devil on every other occasion. He was never fooled by his lies before. His education by the Lord God in spiritual things had been perfect.

         Why did he not resist his wife’s manipulation?

         If you can answer this question you will know how Christianity in general has been almost completely subverted and transformed into something completely different from the original, WHICH IS PERFECT.

         The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” [Genesis 3:12] [2]

         And with that the devil made his second convert.

         Since that time the devil has managed to create many more converts. There are more unreal Christians on the planet than real ones. The faux bros have listened to the devil’s suggestions and eaten the forbidden fruit.

         Unreal Christians have never undergone required heart circumcision as per the Lord’s commands, but have certainly succumbed to backbone removal.

         Could it be because many of the people you see in pulpits are nothing but undercover Christian Fifth Columnists blinded by the devil and won over to his cause?

         It certainly appears that they and their congregations have all fallen into their respective pits.

         “FIFTH COLUMN:” Clandestine group or faction of subversive agents who attempt to undermine a nation’s (Christian group’s) solidarity by any means at their disposal.

         “A cardinal technique of the fifth column is the infiltration of sympathizers into the entire fabric of the nation (Christian group) under attack and, particularly, into positions of policy decision and national (Christian group) defense. From such key posts, fifth-column activists exploit the fears of a people by spreading rumours and misinformation (false doctrines and teachings), as well as by employing the more standard techniques of espionage and sabotage (lies and deception).” [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] © 2016 Encyclopedia Brittanica

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

DEFEATING THE RULER OF THIS WORLD: Christian Heroes and Villains

DEFEATING THE RULER OF THIS WORLD: Christian Heroes and Villains

         We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. [1John 5:19]

WARNING    

         The apostle John said the entire world lies in wickedness and is under the power and authority of the devil. Because I would think that “professing Christians” are not anti-John, I would think that “professing Christians” would agree with him.

         But most do not. This falls under the heading the Lord referenced when He said that some people honor Him with their lips but actually refuse to obey Him. Unless one is under a deceptive trance, most likely a trance of the religious variety, one must agree that one of the main problems the Lord has is convincing “professing Christians” to actually obey Him.

REJECTING TRUTH IS A SIN!

         On the other hand, if a “professing Christian” is otherwise under a deceptive trance, he simply cannot obey Him because he does not have “eyes to see” or “ears to hear.” And this is obviously why most of that which is perceived as “Christianity” is not the real thing. It simply can’t be the real thing, (1) Because it looks nothing like the Lord’s original, and (2) Because no one within it actually obeys Him.

         This is what churches should look like:

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:12]

         Therefore, the problem is not that the Lord cannot get His own people to obey Him, it is that most of those who refer to themselves as Christians are not really Christians. How can they be if they do not obey the Lord? They are certainly not doing the works that He did.

         “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]

         Of course, the Lord said they can’t obey, or actually do not obey by their own choice, because they only act on what they know, which means they simply cannot “see.” How can anyone act on what they do not see?

THE BIGGER PROBLEM

         So it appears that the bigger problem, the problem for unreal Christians that is bigger than their rebellion, disobedience, living in sin, or insisting on believing things the Lord never taught, is the problem of perception—they are spiritually blind.

         Now, this is not said to cause offense, but is a simple statement of fact.

         One wonders how Christians can read the Gospel accounts and not see that the Lord continually made statements about the spiritual blindness of His own people. These statements have obviously not had the intended impact upon Christians in general. Most Christians must think that yes, the great majority of the Hebrew people, from the late Patriarchal Age until the first century AD, could certainly be spiritually blind, deaf, deceived, and compromised by sin, but certainly not us.

         The facts, of course, are not that the Lord said His own people were especially more prone to rebellion against Him and thus to spiritual blindness than others, but that ALL people the world over are prone to rebellion against Him and thus to spiritual blindness.

         In other words, it’s not a Jewish problem, it’s a human problem.

THE RULER OF THIS WORLD

         This takes us back to the very powerful statement that John made about who really runs this world and how the power of this evil entity has essentially blinded the entire world to the Truth:

         We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. [1John 5:19]

         From the very clear perspective of the early first-century Community of the Lord Jesus, they saw themselves as us against the world, especially since this perspective was confirmed by none other than John. The early Christians—the real Christians—knew that there were only two master kingdoms on the planet: The righteous Kingdom of the Lord Jesus and the evil kingdom of the devil, the god of this world.

         The apostle Paul confirmed this truth—the fact that the devil runs the entire world and everyone other than real Christians support the devil, most completely unaware—and Paul completely agreed with John’s statement by writing the following:

         And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2Corinthians 4:3-4]

         The Lord Jesus also referred to the devil as the ruler of this world. The devil was ruling the world at the time of the Lord’s temptation. But the Lord, when speaking of His coming crucifixion, said this:

         “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” [John 12:31]

         What He meant by this is that the devil would be defeated at the cross and all the devil’s garbage would, at the crucifixion, begin to be cleaned out of the world. Therefore the real Gospel has two main objectives while this cleaning out process proceeds:

         (1) The salvation of souls—rescuing people from the devil’s kingdom, his control, and the power of sin—and transferring them to the Lord’s Kingdom.

         (2) Taking authority back from the devil for the Lord Jesus, the only real King, through the power of His Name.

         Paul said the Gospel is veiled to those who are perishing because the devil has blinded their minds. Now think about that. How is it possible that one cannot see the BRIGHTEST LIGHT in the entire Universe? It can only be due to spiritual blindness of the worst kind.

A VERY THICK GARMENT

         The word “veiled” in the above passage is from the Greek word kalupto. This word appears 8 times in the entire New Testament. It appears 4 times in the Gospels. It is translated as (1) cover, (2) covers, (3) covered, (4) concealed, and (5) veiled.

         Based on these definitions, the veil or covering that causes the blindness must be very, very thick, as the ultimate blackout curtain. The real Gospel (there’s only one) is hidden to everyone not in the Kingdom due to a very thick covering. What is this covering?

         And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

         Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?”

         Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” [John 9:39-41] [1]

         In this passage the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus also perfectly agree with the two passages written by John and Paul, especially, of course, since He’s the one who taught John and Paul. The Lord also paints a picture of only two kinds of people in the world:

         First of all, before seeing “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,” EVERYONE is blind. EVERYONE. But the Lord said He came so that some will be healed of their spiritual blindness, “that those who do not see may see.” These are people who will readily accept the Good News and will repent of their sins, since it is their sin which causes their spiritual blindness.

         The other kind of people in the world comprises those who will never be healed of their spiritual blindness simply because they refuse to admit they have any sin. They reject the only cure. They insist they are righteous without the real Gospel. Their “no Gospel” righteousness, in the eyes of God, however, is characterized by the following:

         For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. [Isaiah 64:6]

         If you want to gain more insight regarding this spiritual phenomenon, you can read the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John, from which I quoted earlier. It is a perfect allegory created by the Lord in the three dimensional world with an actual blind man who was made to see. The Lord Jesus was teaching a lesson, and for those who can see, He taught it perfectly. He showed how we can be healed of our spiritual blindness by having our sin removed.

         Our sin is exactly as a filthy garment that covers our spiritual eyes.

         Now perhaps you can see how the devil has blinded the entire world, and how there is only one cure for this blindness. In the same way he tempted the Lord in the effort to get Him to sin, without success of course, he tempts us.

         He knows that if he can get us to sin he can make us spiritually blind.

         This is why we must always do our best to obey the Lord’s actual teachings. They are designed to rescue us from the sin that blinds us, give us eyes to see and ears to hear, bring us to full spiritual health, and empower us to defeat the enemy through His indwelling Holy Spirit and the power of His Name.

FAKEWORLD

         Anything and everything outside the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus on this planet is nothing but a façade, an illusion, and a powerful deception. The devil is a liar, and everything He says and creates is a lie. It is not real. Other than those in the Lord’s Kingdom, the devil is fooling EVERYONE.

         This is why the Lord said that those who refuse to repent of their sin and stop sinning can never be healed of their blindness. This is especially true of those who have been deceived by some form of religion. As long as they stay under the power of their religion they will always be made to believe a lie. They will always respond to the illusion. They will always obey the devil, even though they are unaware of it.

         Therefore, in the final analysis regarding the purpose of this article, the majority of “professing Christians” are also blind simply because they refuse the real Gospel and they believe in something that masquerades as the real Gospel. The fake gospel, in all its many forms, does not have “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” Whenever it is applied to the blind man of John 9, the blind man stays blind. He might have the same willingness to honor God, but because he chooses a powerless unreal gospel, he stays blind and he stays in his sin. Many churches are filled with such people.

         This is the main problem, of course, with all the devil’s fake gospel forms—they actually do nothing at all about sin. People who choose fake gospels may think they are delivered from the power of sin but they keep denying the proof that repeatedly shows up in their lives that they have not been delivered, in that they have little or no resistance to sin: They keep sinning. Uncontrollably.

         As a result, they have created a false form of righteousness which includes sin. They insist they are righteous, though the fruits of repentance do not exist in their lives. Their spiritual blindness makes it impossible for them to obey the Lord.

         And instead of defeating the ruler of this world, they have joined him.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

“CHURCHIANITY? WE HAVE A PROBLEM” Supporting Old Wineskins Means Rejecting New Wine

         You don’t find it in traditional “church.” You don’t find it in pretty much any form of ultra-organized Christianity, that is, that which is organized by man.

         If people are the central planners, central organizers, central leaders, and central motivators, then the Lord Jesus is not.

         And that’s the PROBLEM. It’s why you never see real, lasting revival in such places.

         It’s why those in some places, in the effort to at least appear spiritual, have given themselves over to pure emotionalism because they simply do not have the real thing. They’ve substituted mere human virtue, emotional good feeling, and shallow spirituality, and have made these the priority. They want everyone to be comfortable, which means they also, by forced option, want people to be comfortable in their sin. No one in these places wants to say anything against their “church” because they cherish it as their support group, strengthening gym, and bless-me club. How then can it ever improve spiritually?

         No one wants to say anything or even feel anything against the leaders thereof because it makes them feel uncomfortable. If there was some sort of legitimate process toward solutions, like in the early church, people would have a viable outlet, but as it is, the most anyone can ever do is keep to themselves anything that doesn’t agree with the status quo.

         NO ONE WHO HAS SOLD OUT TO ANY OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS WANTS TO BE THOUGHT OF AS A DEVIANT OR SOCIAL PARIAH, AND THUS THEY ALL FOCUS ON FITTING IN RATHER THAN SPEAKING OUT FOR THE LORD, WHEN SPEAKING OUT IS CALLED FOR. THE SILENCE INFLICTED UPON THEM INDICATES THAT THOSE IN CHARGE ARE PERFECTLY FINE WITH THE SET UP.

         Of course, it takes the real anointing of the Holy Spirit to speak out. To stand up. To see what the problem is. To bring into the light what the problem is. And to actually give real solutions to fix the problem.

         But very few in these places really want to fix the problem regardless of what they say or do because it will involve what I just wrote of above, and no one wants to be that guy.

         Well, here’s a news flash: Over the last thirty years or so the Lord Jesus has been pouring out His Spirit and His anointing and His Truth and many, many individuals have been strengthened and anointed and encouraged to OBEY the Lord Jesus in order to do His will, and not the will of others who have decided to take His place.

         These anointed individuals are loving and kind and wonderful people, yet each and every one of them eventually found walls and closed doors and closed minds and hard attitudes and were forced out.

         THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED TO THE LORD JESUS.

         But why? —Because He did the same thing that all these other anointed real believers have been doing. He refused to go along with the false religion the religious controllers of His time were pushing. He was sent to preach the one real Gospel. He would teach nothing else.

         Of course, all the people who could no longer stay in a place in which the Lord Jesus was not in full control were either silenced or forced to leave, and it caused the light in such places to dim and many lights have eventually gone out completely. The same thing happened when the Lord left the synagogues.

         When He walked in He was a BRIGHT LIGHT that exposed all corruption and everything false. When He walked out the place returned to its state of darkness. THE LIGHT WAS REJECTED. DARKNESS WAS ACCEPTED. They felt more comfortable in darkness. They didn’t appreciate the Lord exposing them for what they really were. They hated feeling convicted and rather than repent and get rid of their sin they got rid of Him.

         And it was all in the effort to maintain a compromised or dead status quo and keep the people in charge who were in charge, exactly as it is today.

         The believers who have traditionally been forced out did not want to be “in charge.” They wanted the Lord Jesus to be in charge! And they all knew that if He was in charge the same things that happened in His historical ministry would happen there. But the powers that be almost always nix this because they simply do not understand the truth nor do they want it. Most really believe in what they are doing and think their places are just fine and even great exactly as they are. Many are deceived.

         Here’s another news flash: The compromising of American churches didn’t just happen because the members grew cold, it happened due to a secret organized agenda that most members know nothing about. The general members didn’t cause it, but they have agreed with it.

NEW WINE AND NEW WINESKINS

         But what goes on in the vast majority of these places, again, looks nothing like the Book of Acts. Even though there are a few people who remain “loyal” to their establishments while also seeking a great outpouring from the Lord, they don’t understand that they keep trying to force the Lord’s NEW WINE into old wineskins!

         When push comes to shove they refuse to allow for the Lord’s NEW WINESKINS and continue to honor, support, and remain loyal to the OLD. Such old wineskins can never allow for the very thing they seek, but again, getting rid of the same old same old is anathema to these people. They have therefore chosen the old wine over the NEW WINE.

         “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” [Luke 5:37-39]

         How do we know someone else is standing in the Lord’s place? How do we know that someone else is in charge? How do we know that someone else is deciding on policy, on what will be taught, on what doctrines will be allowed, what people must believe, and on which “ministers” can speak?

         Simple: Next to nothing in these places actually looks like the ministry of the Lord Jesus or that which happened in the early church. Some give forth the appearance. Most do not. And the members thereof have grown satisfied in dry desserts and dusty creek beds and empty lakes and waterless oceans. There’s no water in their swimming pools and yet everyone is acting like there is. That’s weird. But not so much if everyone there is doing it.

         So there’s your PROBLEM. It was the same problem the Old Testament prophets faced. It was the same problem John the Immerser faced. It was the same problem the Lord Jesus faced. And it was the same problem the original apostles of the Lord faced. You either joined ‘em or you fought ‘em. Most fought ‘em.

         IT’S WHY THEY WERE ALL MARTYRS.

         Today, church members in general don’t want to be martyrs. They don’t want to be anything close to a martyr. They are satisfied that the Lord Jesus is not in charge, that His Holy Spirit is not welcome, that they have no powerful outpourings, and that they are bound by teachings and doctrines that are not His.

         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] [1]

THERE IS A SOLUTION

         It doesn’t have to be this way. But anyone who knows and has done the research and has studied revivals in detail KNOWS why they happen and why they end. They happen because enough people greatly desire as top priority the Lord’s Truth, the Lord’s control, and the Lord’s spiritual outpouring, exactly as that which happened in Acts 2. These saints of God make great demands upon themselves to achieve this end. They have to fight through so many other Christians thinking they are idiots and malcontents. They must have great courage and must persevere against great odds. THIS is how revivals happen. And when enough of these people are successful and are able to fight off all enemies, most especially religious enemies, GREAT AWAKENINGS happen. Amen!

         But revivals end when the human religious controllers manage to fight back and take control once again. When they wrest control back from the Lord, the same old spiritual deadness ensues. They destroy the NEW WINESKINS and rebuild the old.

REVIVAL ANYONE?

         Here is the Lord’s guarantee for all of who really want the best: The 120 people in the Upper Room were all in one accord. Each and everyone knew the Lord Jesus must be in charge, must be honored 100%, and must be allowed to do whatever He wanted to do. They were all surrendered to Him and His Truth and His entire curriculum. They LOVED Him with all their hearts. And though tens of thousands followed the Lord in His ministry, only 120 were willing to go all the way to the Lord’s fullness and toward complete obedience.

         As a result it was the 120 who were blessed with Pentecost!

         If any group of people, or church congregation, or members of a ministry do exactly as the 120 did, the guarantee is that the same outpouring will happen for them.

         All of this means it is our choice. The Lord forces no one. That’s in part why most churches are dead and compromised and filled with false doctrines. These places are the antithesis of spiritual health. Though they may look great on the outside, to the eye, and though that is exactly what many of them strive for, all it does is serve as a deceptive shiny wrapper on the far less than optimum spirituality within.    

         So again, any group anywhere can change their tune and get right with God, but this will never happen until they finally acknowledge that they have a problem.

SUCCESS!

         Some churches and groups have done this! They have proven it. Some are proving it right now. But we are still in the early stages.

         Always keep in mind that the real Christians of the early community of the Lord actually defeated the Roman Empire in its evil battle against them. If that doesn’t prove the Lord’s power and ability, what does? Rome was the greatest empire the world had ever known until the present empire being built up all around us. The same kind of war is beginning to come forth.

         However, our early forebears fought a spiritual war against demonic entities. They fought the devil but loved the people.

         And the kind of love they showed, and it’s best characteristic, and its greatest example was illustrated perfectly by the Lord’s suffering and death on the cross.

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

         This is our challenge.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

REAL REVIVAL, REAL WORSHIP, AND REAL DECEPTION

         I could hardly believe what I was seeing. The revival director was bent over on the floor of the stage on his hands and knees kissing another man’s feet—a clergyman. And he stayed there and kept at it. As far down to the floor as one can get. Kissing his feet.

         And I thought, he probably means well. He probably thinks he’s doing the right thing, a good thing.

         But here’s the problem, and it’s a BIG one:

         For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” [Romans 14:11]

         In this passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans, the apostle quotes from the writings of the prophet Isaiah, whom the Lord is speaking through:

         “Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save.

         “Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

         “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.

         “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” [Isaiah 45:20-23]

         In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he quotes from this passage yet again, this time identifying the God who spoke by the mouth of Isaiah over 700 years before. Paul also reveals the actual Name of God in its fullest revelation—the Name which is above every name:

         Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

         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, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Philippians 2:5-11]

         Though our current English translations claim that Paul said Jesus Christ is “Lord,” in the original letter he used the word Adonai, which is what the Hebrew teachers used as a substitute word for YHWH. Therefore, when Paul said the Lord Jesus is Adonai, he was saying the Lord Jesus is YHWH.

         This is key, because the same identifying dynamic occurs in the Isaiah passage, in which the word “LORD” is translated from the Hebrew Adonai, which was a written substitute for the name YHWH.

         The Name of Jesus is the English rendering of the Hebrew Yehoshua, which means “YHWH-Salvation.” And what this clearly signifies is that the YHWH Isaiah refers to is the same Person that Paul is referring to when it comes to every knee bowing down.

         Also, it must be noted that the apostles refused worship toward themselves, claiming correctly to be mere men, though mere men with the power of the Lord. This point is proven well when Peter met Cornelius for the first time. Cornelius had great respect for Peter and when he first met him he bowed down to the floor and began to worship him:

         When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” [Acts 10:25-26]

         The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, always accepted such worship. Actual worship in its original meaning involved the act of bowing down, bending the knees, and actually becoming prostrate before the object of one’s worship. It is why Cornelius acted the way he did. It was often used to show extreme respect for other human beings in positions of authority. Indeed, if people did not show the proper worship and great respect they could lose their lives. Such was the power of kings and especially the Roman emperors.

         But, of course, Peter absolutely refused any such worship. No one would ever be bowing down to him, bending his knees before him, laying prostrate before him, or kissing his feet. To do this to another human being is an abomination before the Lord.

         Again, as Peter very clearly stated, and one can know he stated it with much emphasis:

         “Stand up; I too am just a man.”

         Now hear this, other than toward the Lord Jesus:

         Real Christians are NEVER to worship another human being.

         Real Christians are NEVER to bow down to another human being.

         Real Christians are NEVER to bow their knees to anything or anyone other than the Lord Jesus.

         Real Christians are NEVER to kiss anyone’s ring.

         AND REAL CHRISTIANS ARE NEVER TO KISS ANYONE’S FEET.

         All of these are very clear forms of worship and to worship another human being is an abomination. All human beings are sinful and require the shed blood of their perfect sinless Savior, so even one who is cleansed from sin has no right whatsoever to accept worship, based on their former condition. Any human being who actually accepts such worship, as opposed to the apostle Peter who absolutely refused, is placing himself in the place of God. This has not, however, stopped certain clergymen from actually insisting they are substitutes for God and demand that they must stand in His place.

         NO ONE STANDS IN THE PLACE OF THE LORD JESUS.

         That is why it was so disconcerting and shocking to see a fairly well-known “minister” laying prostrate at the feet of another man, a religious leader, worshiping him and kissing his feet, while the other man made no attempt to stop him, but stood there and accepted it as if he was worthy.

         This alone proves it was a compromised, deceptive “revival” though there were many other proofs.

            This event happened very recently. As is my policy, I don’t name names. But it happened. Search for it. Look it up. Of course, in one particular Christian denomination there is a head guy who has always accepted such worship. And this has always been an abomination before the Lord. Yet, this has not stopped some very well-known and powerful American ministers from recently meeting with Him and honoring Him anyway. Whether or not they are personally deceived, they are certainly engaging in deception. Why do they honor a mere man whose office has historically mandated that the one sitting on the throne is a substitute for the Lord Jesus in the earth?

         THE LORD JESUS IS THE ONLY KING.

         THE LORD JESUS IS THE ONLY ONE WORTHY OF WORSHIP.

         WHOEVER ELSE ACCEPTS WORSHIP IS OF THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST.

         The real revival—the real Great Awakening—will come forth in great power the more the Lord Jesus, and only the Lord Jesus, is worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. It will come forth with no clergy icons and fake ministers clogging up the process and accepting great undue respect and honor. It will come when there are no stages and platform thrones when only a few high brows are at the top hogging all the attention while the great masses are gathered below worshipping them. It will come when we do exactly as did the 120 did in the Upper Room.

         This is exactly how the first Great Awakening happened in the first century. There were no “churches” then and such buildings would not even officially exist for three hundred years. There was no high clergy class taking authority over a low laity class filled with the nameless and powerless then. Even those with the great power of the Lord who were filled with his Holy Spirit knew they were mere men and women and refused any form of worship or undue respect whatsoever.

         But boy, have things changed. If you want to know the one reason we DON’T have great revival, that’s it—the worship of people who have taken the place of God.

         During the REAL Azusa Street Revival of 1906, William Seymour, the primary director in a sense, spent much of his time in services on his face before the Lord Jesus or with his head in a shoe box! That’s how they all acted at that time in that place in the beginning. The love and presence of the Lord was so extremely powerful that everyone there knew who the Boss was. No one dared accept any glory for themselves. There was absolutely no pride, especially religious pride.  It was an extremely humble setting. There was NO platform or stage. There was NO pulpit. They were all as self-effacing and humble as could possibly be. They surrendered EVERYTHING to the Lord Jesus.

         The revival ended when they took it all back.

THE REAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION

         The real anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection took place the morning of April 25. On the Hebrew calendar, which is an actual lunar-solar calendar lined up with celestial events, it is Nisan 17. Most Christians missed it completely and even refused to acknowledge it.

         Nevertheless, pay close notice to what the Lord’s disciples did when they saw the Lord Jesus after He rose from the dead. It you want real revival it makes all the difference in the world:

         Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

         The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

         And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.” [Matthew 28:1-10] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Everybody Must Get Stoned: Reaping the Reward of Spiritual Attack

         I remember in my late teens I became a big fan of Walt Whitman, the 19th century poet. The man pretty much invented what became known as “free verse.” He called his poems songs. Some were very long, as if he were writing poems as prose. I am currently writing from memory, as something is telling me not to spoil it by looking up the actual poems, etc, and to simply write what I recall. Maybe it will give this post a closer and more intimate feel.

         But there was a poem he wrote called something like When I Heard the Learned Astronomer. Walt Whitman was at a lecture. Remember, this was about 150 years ago. The gist of the poem was about this astute scientist droning on about the intricacies of the Universe and his calculations and a bunch of intellectual claptrap, while Whitman finally had enough and was thinking, “Man, how can you take all the beauty and wonder of the crystal clear night skies, and the bright stars, and planets, and the moon…

         There is a big and bright full moon hanging in the sky as I write this, and it defies intellectual introspection, and I think the Creator wants us to just appreciate it, and wonder, and not have our simple minds all clouded over and crammed with relatively useless mathematical garbage about the moon, and simply appreciate the celestial glory…

         This is what Whitman ended up saying in that particular poem he wrote so long ago. Again, I haven’t read it in what must be decades, but I saw the full moon tonight. I went outside for a while a few minutes ago and was bathed in its light. And I saw the clear sky, and the stars. And I thought about what Whitman was trying to say…

         We do the same things as Christians in preaching or teaching the Lord’s Gospel, or whatever it is that we do. We have a tendency, and I am certainly guilty, of focusing on the intellectual, and the spiritual math, and the exact word studies. Now, all of this is quite necessary and the Lord blessed me with the anointing to do this many moons ago, and I do it, and I love it. But I am trying to reach a balance with this post…

         You see, spiritual things often cannot be diagrammed and spelled out and made sense of, and are often the epitome of the counterintuitive. This is especially true of spiritual warfare and attacks which many times come by complete surprise and out of the blue. Would that we could set up war plans like military planners and know our enemy to the point that we know what’s coming, but this is rarely the case. Spiritual attacks usually come out of nowhere and the only real defense is staying as close as possible to the Lord so we will at least be strong enough to take the hit.

         The point here is that sometimes the devil’s a snake. At other times he smells blood like a shark and rushes in for the kill. Often, after having to undergo this kind of stuff, it makes you think, “What the hell?” Then we remember the Lord, and his original twelve, and all the other disciples from that time, and the early community of the Lord in Jerusalem and throughout an evil world and the undeserved pain they all had to suffer. And we can relate. We’re therefore fortunate to be able to relate.

         [Incidentally, the Last Days plan is beginning to accelerate, and a relatively quick rise of great hatred for real Christians in America is starting. Be prepared. As I wrote in Real Christianity twenty years ago, bloody persecution is coming to this country. Most did not believe it then. Most Christians are still so out of touch they still don’t believe it, or perceive it. But again, be prepared.]

         As James wrote (pretty sure it was James, or John—remember, I’m not doing my usual checking and ultra-editing and whatnot, I’m just writing my thoughts as they occur), he wrote something about real Christians getting blamed for things they are not guilty of, and suffering undeservedly, and saying it is a good thing. He taught that it was spiritually good for us to get slammed for no good reason, but only because a devil got stirred up and saw an opening and attacked. In other words, the very essence of persecution is being hated without a cause.

         The Lord said this about Himself. He taught it, that it was something His disciples would go through. He also taught that there would be times when such slamming happens when no one who should will back you, or come to your rescue, or fight back for you on your behalf, but just kind of stay uninvolved. I know there are some of you reading this who can relate. Sometimes the spiritual attack is so severe and so unwarranted our brothers and sisters and friends keep their distance. Again, it happened to the Lord many times. In His greatest time of need His friends were nowhere to be found. Most people had decided He was guilty and was merely getting what He deserved.

         One time, after a particular teaching, many of His followers walked out on Him, and He said to those who remained, “Will you leave Me too?”

         Imagine that. This is God we’re talking about. Again, I know some of you reading this can relate. You know what it’s like to be left on your own, wounded, to fend for yourself. Of course, we’re not alone. We’re never alone. The Lord is there, especially in those kinds of times. But it’s still hard. It’s the kind of thing that drives one to the ground.

         I remember a former pastor, long ago, preaching about this. He was talking about a pain so great but you can’t confront anybody. You can’t fight back. The devil is pouring it on. He was talking about falling to the floor in prayer in his bedroom, and managing to crawl into the closet, and crawling way back there in the back, all the way back to the hunting boots, and crying out to God.

         It happens. It’s the nature of spiritual battle. But joy comes in the morning. Or maybe a few days later. Or something. But if we handle it right the Lord always works it out. It makes no sense in the natural, just like some egghead drawing circles and mathematical formulas on a chalkboard does absolutely no justice to the wonders of the night sky.

         By the way, though the great masses of traditional Christianity have already celebrated their “Easter” almost a month ago, we are presently on the eve of Passover. We crossed over the Jordan River on Monday. It is also Nisan 14, the time on the Lord’s calendar of His passion—His undeserved suffering—and His crucifixion. He paid the price. He never retaliated. He let them slam Him.

         And this year He is once again doing it alone, since, as I said, the vast majority of Christians jumped the gun last month because they’re following a meaningless Gregorian calendar invented by an egghead theologian who ironically invented an anti-celestial calendar that has no bearing on what’s going on in the sky or the Spirit.

         The Lord’s undeserved suffering puts things in proper spiritual perspective. Everything He did He did for our benefit, even for the times when we must share in His suffering with suffering of our own. Such times are great opportunities for gaining spiritual ground and reaping rewards. His own death proves this. There could be no glorious resurrection otherwise.

         And because He rose again to new life so will you, and so will I, and so will we all—those of us who count ourselves as His real disciples and live to tell about it, even if we die in the process.        

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND

         Every year I always look forward to a particular anniversary—The Crossing of the Jordan River. The spiritual implications of this date are off the charts. Every real Christian should be paying absolutely close attention to this time, both in one’s personal walk with the Lord Jesus, but also to that which He is doing for His community in general. This has everything to do with the Great Awakening.

         I believe the implications of the Jordan River Crossing are especially pronounced this year. Please pray and seek the Lord so you can be in tune with what He has planned.

         The anniversary of the Crossing of the Jordan River is Nisan 10 on the Hebrew calendar, which occurs this Monday, April 18, 2016.      

.

         “Okay Joshua. Listen up. It’s time to take the Promised Land.”

         “Cool. Hey look! There it is!”

         “Yep.”

         “But…”

         “What’s the problem?”

         “Uh, Sir? Look at all those people!”

         The land was filled with dirty rotten Canaanites. They were everywhere. These were the most vile people on the planet. The Lord had often said that judgment must wait until the fullness of sin arrived. It certainly looked like that now. The Canaanites were all engaging in the filthiest, dirtiest, most evil practices ever known to mankind. What can be fairly certain is that when the Lord uses His own people to bring judgment against evil people, the evil people in question have without doubt reached the place of ultimate sinfulness.

         “Those people look really, really evil, Lord. And powerful. Are you sure about this?”

         “Sure about what?”

         “About going in there!”

         “What are you talking about? It’s your land. Go in there and take it. I promised it to you didn’t I? And I always keep my Word.”

         “Well thanks for the promise and the land but I didn’t know it was going to be crawling with those guys! Those are some bad people, Lord!”

         “Hold the phone, little man. Weren’t you and Caleb saying forty years ago you wanted to take the land way back then? And those other wimps said, ‘Oh no! We look like little grasshoppers next to those giants! We’ll get creamed!’ But you said, ‘Back off you pansies! We can do this!’ So what’s the problem now?”

         “I don’t know, Lord. It just looks like there’s millions more and they’re all over the place and this is gonna be a lot tougher than I thought…”

         “Well why in the world do you think I’ve been telling you to be strong all this time? I’ve been telling you this over and over. Look Joshua, you’re the strongest and most courageous leader I’ve got. Don’t chicken out now.”

         “Um, I’m not being chicken but just thinking it’s going to be a lot harder than I thought…”

         “So does that change things? What else are you going to do? You want to go back to Egypt like all those dead Judases wanted to do?”

         “No Sir!”

         “You want to rot out there in the Sinai? That place is spritually dead and is good for pretty much nothing except making you guys strong and yearn for your real land. You can’t go back there.”

         “No Sir.”

         “So what’s the problem? Are you going to let a few million depraved sin-filled evil little Canaanite squatters keep your land? Are you going to just let them rip you off? Well? What do you say, boy? Those demon-possessed jerks are sitting on YOUR land eating crops from YOUR fields living in houses made on YOUR property from YOUR building materials. Are you just going to let that go on? What else are you going to do? Where else can you go? There IS no other place.”

         THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND. THIS LAND IS MY LAND. FROM CALIFORNIA TO THE NEW YORK ISLAND. FROM THE REDWOOD FORESTS TO THE GULF STREAM WATERS. THIS LAND WAS MADE FOR YOU AND ME. [1]

         “Then how did all those all those evil people get there?”

         “Because they’re lying cheating sinning arrogant evil hell-bound squatters beyond redemption and all those compromising Unreal Christians made a deal with the devil and instead of stopping them joined up with them. All those pretenders and rip-off artists and squatters on YOUR land think everything belongs to them. They don’t deserve it, they don’t take care of it, they are not responsible, they have no integrity, they are rebellious against Me, and they corrupt everything they touch. They have ripped off my children to get everything they have and they will never stop until they ARE stopped. Now, DO YOU WANT TO TAKE YOUR PROMISED LAND?

         “Yes Sir!”

         “Then take it. NOW.”

         Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.

         “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.

         “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

         “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

         “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:1-9] [2]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] © Copyright 1956 (renewed), 1958 (renewed), 1970 and 1972 by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

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

EXPOSING THE POSERS: Why Prophets and Truth-Bearers are Subject to Such Intense Hate and Hostility

         One of the great things about the Lord Jesus, found in no other, is His ability to simultaneously reveal truth and expose deception. He shines an incredibly BRIGHT, quasar-pulsing LIGHT on the false construct of fallen, sinful mankind upon this planet—in New Testament terms, the world—and destroys the con, the fraud, the sham, and the ruse.

         This is why the forces of darkness hate Him so much. They can’t hide. They successfully conceal themselves and their underground, off-the-radar, highly deceptive machinations from everybody else, but not from Him.

         This is especially true for religious fraudsters, and most especially true for unreal Christians and fake Christian “leaders,” probably the most self-deceived people on the planet. They act like they know it all but regarding the Lord’s real curriculum and compared to the Acts model, most don’t know squat. Their religious pride and smugness is off the charts.

         The Lord’s demand for honesty is also why the Lord Jesus will never allow His own children—real Christians—to construct false images about themselves or be mere posers, as are so many unreal Christians, who must do such to pass themselves off as authentic.

         Such faux bros are not authentic but only pretend to be. It is why they do not like close inspection. They are very easily offended by the Lord’s pure light and are greatly convicted by the pure Word of God. They much prefer hobnobbing with other shallow-minded, largely Biblically illiterate (by choice), and appearance-oriented folk due to the obvious comfort factor. Most churches are composed of such pretenders and posers—those who prefer to hide—and is why such places always run off the bright lights who innocently expose their silly shenanigans.

THE PLAGUE OF PHARISEES

         Of course, the first-century Pharisees were the masters of the false image medium, and their present-day descendants have maintained this mastery, successfully taking full advantage of modern media. The original Pharisees, however, were not Biblically illiterate, but the very opposite. Neither were they shallow-minded. It is curious then, that they missed the mark so badly. And that’s how the Word of God defines sin, as “missing the mark.”

         The Pharisees misfired so badly they not only missed the broad side of every barn known to mankind, but entire galaxies. And yet they considered themselves, among themselves (there was little or no dissenting opinion within their own group regarding their superiority and high standing), as brilliant and as close to God as is humanly possible. (Sound familiar?) And yet the Lord characterized the Jewish non-believers, including the Pharisees mentioned in John 8:13, as thus:

         “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:44]

         Keep in mind that this narrative in John 8 is a purely intra-Jewish dispute—everyone in the chapter was a Jew—which includes the author of the fourth Gospel, traditionally named as John. The Lord Jesus is obviously Jewish, especially since He is from the tribe of Judah. Jews are listed in the chapter as believers in the Lord and also as non-believers by implication. The point, though, is that the Lord was drawing a very distinct contrast between the real and the unreal, and was exposing the false-image fakers for what they really were.

“GRAVEN IMAGES”

         This construction of false outer images to deceive an unsuspecting public is one of the principle components of the Lord’s commandment against graven images, which proves the non-believing Jews and Pharisees listed in John 8 were actually grossly violating the Torah, though they did not know it and refused to believe it. They were deceived and even self-deceived by their false interpretation of the Word and their departure from the truth:

         “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.” [Exodus 20:4]

         “You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.” [Leviticus 26:1]

         “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female…” [Deuteronomy 4:15-16] [1]

THE WIZARD OF OZ PHENOMENON           

         The Lord’s children must be real, and that is not easy. Unreal Christians, conversely, must build false images of themselves as a way to pass religious inspection. Unreal Christian leaders also do it to take control and command authority over others, and as a way to enrich themselves.

         As I have written in Real Christianity, the most fully formed graven image (or idol) is a LIVING HUMAN BEING.

         The man-made, exalted “Christian” clergy class invented itself for this very reason. The members thereof hide behind a curtain of false piety and holiness, and demand undeserved honor and respect, which never matches their actual deeds. The great majority of their clueless followers give them exactly what they want, which means the few who see them as they actually are and attempt to expose them end up receiving what the evil perpetrators should receive. This is in part why the Lord Jesus was crucified. The evil religionist followers, inspired, deceived, and led by evil religious leaders, turned their wrath upon the innocent party to protect the very guilty false-image party.

         The same thing happens to real Christian innocent parties at present in so many false Christian venues, as attested to by so many real Christians who have been made to pay for the sins of others.

         It has been said, of course, that the devil goes to church. In reality, the devil owns many churches. They are his enterprises and not the Lord’s. In these places he has complete control and does not appreciate the Lord’s shining lights and truth-bearers bringing their witness.

DISCIPLESHIP DEFINES DISTINCTION

         How do we know the difference between the real and the unreal? This is what real discipleship is about. The closer we get to the Lord Jesus, the more mature we become in Him. The more knowledgeable we are about His written Word, the more we will get to know and understand the Living Word. The more our relationship with Him matures, the more we will be able to see what He sees, and the more He will reveal to us.

         Putting the Lord Jesus first sorts things out, removes deception, exposes false reality, and sets us free.

PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION

         Of course, the enemy doesn’t like being exposed, so any attempt to reveal his false environment for what it is will not be appreciated and will be met with strong hate and extreme prejudice.

         This is why innocent and good-hearted real Christians, the only real spiritual children of the Lord, are viciously slammed beyond all reason and out of all proportion. The attacks come from an unseen evil enemy whose only recourse is to engage in wanton character assassination, slander, libel, and even murder.

         It is why the Lord was so savagely and hatefully beaten, tortured, and killed, though He never sinned or did anything wrong. It is why Stephen only lasted a few seconds after one of the greatest, anointed, honest, and exposing speeches in Christian history (See Acts 6-7). The enemy was so enraged by the truth pouring forth from Stephen that they even gnashed their teeth at him!

         Therefore, if one wonders why the people who are externally friendly, loving, and supportive are suddenly transformed into hating, rejecting, and slandering crazies—something that would otherwise make no sense whatsoever—it most likely reveals the fact that one has exposed a nerve, an ultra-sensitive nerve, and are innocently and often unknowingly exposing a false image—a human front—perhaps created over many years, and also quite possibly a very evil religious spirit.

         Such deceiving poser proponents cannot allow anyone to know what they really are, as their entire life is built upon a false foundation. Once exposed, their house of cards will come crashing down very quickly. They will have no leg to stand on. They will explode in a heap. This is why they must attack so viciously against such harmless innocent witnesses. It is also why they must surround and align themselves with birds of a feather—fellow posers—believers in the lie—those who are blind to truth and real morality. The crowd, the congregation, the family, the group—these allow them to hide and access strength they don’t have individually.

         Once their attack commences, and once they successfully survive (temporarily) by throwing the honorable party under the bus (or a pile of rocks) and seemingly get away with a huge injustice, the Lord instructed us to leave them alone.

         THEY ARE BLIND LEADERS GUIDING THE BLIND AND BOTH WILL EVENTUALLY FALL INTO A VERY DEEP PIT. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.

         Perhaps from within said pit they will at last see the truth and find salvation.

         But as long as they are playing the faker game on the surface they will most likely never repent and find real salvation, since they have already appropriated for themselves a false salvation through a false gospel or counterfeit belief system of their own rendering.

         The devil is a liar.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Easter Idolatry (and Something About a Resurrection) 2016

          Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of “Christians” would rather dispense with any and all work regarding study toward truth, it still boggles the mind at least somewhat that so many can be so fooled so willingly, and be so stubborn in insisting upon the embrace of what should be clear idolatry.

          When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, in whom he had a strong hand in placing in ministry, he stressed upon him the necessity of staying on top of things spiritually. He taught him exactly how the devil liked to muddy the waters and confuse people with false concepts and dumb traditions whose desired effect was the same, in that “Christians” would end up confused and ignorant. Thus, he told him,

          Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

          The enemy of our souls is very crafty in that way, especially when it comes to religious traditions, and none more so than the purely traditional religious holiday of “Easter.”

          The strange combination of fertility symbols—bunny rabbits and chicken eggs—is pure testimony to the fact that traditions can get really weird and should give people an idea of just how weird the devil is and how weird people can get.

          People color, decorate, and hide Easter eggs for later finding every year and no one really knows why they do it. Few really care about this weird combination anymore and refuse to do anything about it, even after the tradition became weird to the point that the Easter Bunny laid the eggs. But when so-called Christians not only accept it en masse but combine it further with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it gives further proof that the minds of religious people are not so different from the minds of drug users.

          It was back in 1966, when a different Timothy, the LSD guru Timothy Leary, first advised his young charges to “Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out.” Leary claimed he got this expression from another man of the times, the expression guru Marshall McLuhan, a man way ahead of his time who also coined other terms such as “the medium is the message.”

          Of course, the devil was aware of this little factoid for a tad while longer than Mr. McLuhan and used it well in every religion he ever created. The idea that the actual message is not at all a message but the delivery system itself is what makes false religions so diabolical.

          It is obviously apparent that the proponents of and believers in false religions do not understand that they have become part of the sinister plot by voluntarily engaging in the stage play—the spiritually meaningless religious participation pageant—that makes them guilty of not only completely missing the real message but making the medium the message.

         What is this medium? And what is it specifically when it comes to false forms of Christianity? As I explain in defining a real Christian, I will also explain by defining Unreal Christianity:

          A real Christian is anyone whose spirit becomes fused with the Spirit of God:

          But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [1Corinthians 6:17]

          Every real Christian follows and obeys the Lord Jesus as His Master, Lord, Shepherd, and Teacher.

          Therefore, Unreal Christianity is composed of all other “Christians” of varying stripes who merely claim the name without fulfilling the above requirements. As a result, Unreal Christians are obsessed with the medium, the expression, the pageant, the stage production, the repeat-after-me rote repetitions, the formal geographic gatherings, and the religious routine.

          This cannot help but make them part of an idolatrous practice, though benign in appearance, in that they worship the higher Christian class with all the brass and the shallow and meaningless routine of religion.

          This is actually no different whatsoever from the incredible influence Timothy Leary gained over hundreds of thousands who obeyed his pronouncements and actually did turn on, tune in, and drop out. Religious “Christians,” however, had already been doing that very thing for centuries. Untold millions remain turned-on to surreal counterfeits of the Lord’s original, tuned-in to the religious gurus thereof, and have effectively dropped-out, by their own choosing, of the Lord’s real community.

          It is for this reason that we still have this false idea of a large rabbit laying Easter eggs and why no kid in America sees anything aberrant about it, and also why grown up “Christians” see nothing aberrant about mixing this weird stuff with the Lord’s resurrection.

“EASTER SUNDAY”

          “Churches” all over America will not be celebrating the day of the Lord’s Resurrection Sunday but will instead be celebrating “Easter.” Some will celebrate “Resurrection Sunday.” This is good terminology though the majority has fought its acceptance now to the point that few ever try to use it as before. No, Easter is the overwhelmingly insisted-upon approved term for this day, for without it there is no pageant, and without the pageant there is no medium, and without the medium there is nothing, since there is no actual message beyond the medium.

          Though only a few care, the origin of this term should nevertheless be looked into.

          Longtime readers of this blog know that there is much to gained from the Lord’s actual calendar. I have written extensively on the topic. Our current Gregorian Calendar is worthless from a celestial viewpoint since its months and years have nothing to do with the actual movements of the sun and moon. From where did it originate? It actually originated from the same people who gave us the “Easter Holiday” (Latin: Pascha)—Both were invented by the Roman Catholic Church.

          With all the other changes from truth 17 centuries ago, this was yet another. In creating his new hybrid syncretic religion, Constantine I simply appropriated a very well known and practiced springtime pagan festival that had been around for many centuries in many cultures for his own purposes.

          It was the consistent modus operandi of the Catholic religion to appropriate local customs of religiously subjugated people, change the names of said customs but keep the dates and culturally significant aspects, and then adopt them as official. In this way the people still had all their pagan holidays, though renamed. They were forced to adopt the Catholic religion and honor its magistrates, but otherwise felt comfortable by maintaining their pagan religious traditions.

          It was a perfect compromise. The Catholic Church, like the Roman Empire, subjugated cultures through religious force, whereas Rome had previously done the same through military force. Rome never cared about what anyone believed in detail or what they practiced. All they cared about was that the people they subjugated and enslaved honored the Roman emperor as God, obeyed Roman laws, and paid all tributes and taxes. The Catholic Church did the same: The Pope must be honored as Supreme Pontiff and Vicar (substitute) of Christ, all Roman Catholic religious practices must be honored, and all tribute must be paid.

          None of this, of course, had anything to do with the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus or worship of Him. It was all about religious control. And this is the origin of a pagan festival with “Christianity.”

          Easter was the Anglo-Saxon name of an ancient pagan goddess of fertility who was worshipped in the spring of the year and was also related to the sunrise, like many various sun gods of the ancient world. The pagan festival had a common origin and purpose, though many later cultures had various names for it. The exact term is traced from the Middle English estre, from the Old English eastre. Going further back in time, eastre is related to a common female goddess known to all ancient cultures by different names.

          The Lord Jesus and the original community of believers never practiced such a pagan holiday or any other, and all calendar events were based on the Hebrew lunar-solar calendar. The Lord was actually crucified on a Thursday, on the Hebrew date of Nisan 14, and rose again on a Sunday, on Nisan 17. Due to the moveable feast decrees of the early Catholic Church at Nicea, the actual dates no longer applied and a false structure was adopted so every year would involve the same days. This was all done for the sake of religious control since so many millions of coerced converts had to be adapted to a systemized annual structure.

          Hence, the days in questioned had to be condensed. The Wednesday evening “Last Supper,” which actually also fell on Nisan 14 (the Hebrew day date began every sunset), was moved to Thursday, the Thursday death of the Lord was moved to Friday (Good Friday), the Hebrew Sabbath became “Holy Saturday,” and Nisan 17, the day of the Lord’s resurrection, became “Easter Sunday.” These days remain the same every year though the dates change annually on the actual celestial calendar.

         This year, Nisan 17, the actual date of the Lord’s resurrection, does not occur for another month! Nisan 17 falls on April 25, 2016!

         This proves how far off the Gregorian calendar is with regard to the actual original dates as decreed by the Lord’s calendar. It proves how wrong the moveable feast decrees of the Catholic Church are, and what’s more, it proves how almost all of Protestant Christianity still follows the lead of the Catholic Church.

         Just because everybodys doing it doesn’t make it right.

EASTER TRADITION OR RESURRECTION POWER?

          Even though we have all of this historical background readily available, it is a clear testimony to the power of pagan tradition, religious rote, and clergy control that the idolatry of Easter continues to coexist with the Lord’s resurrection. Mere pagan religious rituals and customs continue edging out the reality of the resurrection and what it must mean directly to each and every person, in that every real Christian will also experience the same resurrection as that of the Lord one day.

          The early believers associated the spiritual power of the Gospel they preached with resurrection. It is to the same degree that the Easter Christians have little or no spiritual power since they honor the Lord’s resurrection from death in name only and rarely or never identify with it personally. These people generally do not believe in being born again, even though the Lord said it was a must, and what is new birth but a resurrection?

          Since the raising from physical death by the Lord Jesus is the greatest event in human history and proves everything about real Christianity, it should not be forced to coexist with anything. Like everything else practiced by our original forebears taught directly by the Lord, we should all return to the simpler, honest, and much powerful spiritual practices they engaged in for His sake and for the sake of the truth.

          Regarding the subject of this article, we are left with two choices:

          (1) “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 7:8-9]

          (2) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11: 25-26] [1]

          © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

The American Political Climate is Fixing to Blow Sky High

         Dear Readers, I have been very busy as of late and have not been able to post, yet I feel that with the limited time I have I need to post something about the current political situation in America.

         First of all, some of you may recall that I wrote a post last summer about the current political atmosphere, and that Americans are in general very, very angry with elected politicians: Prophetic Words from Last November and the First Republican Debate. It is a must read.

         This is especially true among Republican voters, who were fit to be tied after their elected representatives completely caved to the Democrats and essentially lied about everything they promised during the election of 2014. It had been building up even before that, of course. But Republican voters turned out en masse in November of 2014 which resulted in a landslide and a great increase in the House of Representatives.

         Then, those Republicans who were elected with such an incredible mandate blew it all and squandered it away, like some nitwit who can’t handle winning a big lottery.

         Strangely enough, though, even Democrats have taken on a very powerful angry edge. It is no surprise to anyone who pays attention that the hate index within the American Left has been rising precipitously, as well as the outright un-American attacks on the freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights. There is no way in the history of the world that Bernie Sanders, for example, would be having the success he is having now if it was not for this particular time and political climate. He has no chance, of course, but he is doing very well and much better than expected. Hillary might make a great decision to choose him as her running mate. Why? Because a vast squadron of young 20 and 30-somethings have thrown in with Bernie to an incredible degree, and even though they do not appreciate Hillary, they will support her if Bernie is her running mate.

         On the Republican side, Donald Trump has obviously tapped into what Republican voters are angry about with regard to career politicians and a non-responsive Washington, though I do not think he had any idea in the beginning that things would have worked out this well for him. Barring a comet striking Earth or some other very weird situation, Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination, which will set up a cage match between him and Hillary.

         There is always the very slight chance that Hillary may be indicted, but I don’t believe it. The Republican establishment in general is already on record saying that it will support Hillary if Trump is the nominee. Someone of Hillary’s stature has been and will continue to be protected.

         What does any of this have to do with Real Christianity?

         For starters, the Great Awakening is obviously also happening in the political sphere. Last Friday I told someone that this year has great parallels to 1968. Since then I have heard the same thing from many pundits. I will not get any credit for this but I saw it before they did. What happened in Chicago last week at the almost Trump rally was eerily similar to what happened at the Democrat Convention in Chicago in 1968. Look it up. The anger of Americans is beginning to spill forth like Niagara, and many otherwise collected people are choosing off and are willing to fight. The emotional tone is ratcheting up into the Stratosphere. And we’ve only just begun.

         Again, these days have been building for decades. The great majority of Americans feel totally left out, taken for granted, taken advantage of, and cheated by their own clueless government. They know Washington no longer cares about them or the country whatsoever and is only using them for their own purposes.

         What to do? As real Christians, we must remember that times such as this are really no surprise. In fact, I and so many others have been predicting this for years. For the young ones, however, those with no strong knowledge of or experience with past political events going back beyond thirty years, this all looks new and they are in danger of being deceived and deceived greatly. I would caution everyone, especially Christians, to not get too caught up in the rhetoric and strong emotional overtones of these political times, largely because the country has already been divided to the point that this election could destroy American goodwill and unity forever.

         There is never any place for such hate, but there are millions who have already bought into the hate mode to the point that they may not recover. And whatever anyone thinks about Christianity we do know this: In essence, the teachings of the Lord Jesus are 100% about love. Therefore, regardless of what may be at stake in this election, Americans in general and Christians especially must put love first. Love the Lord and love each other. The young people back in 1968 were saying exactly the same thing. But they got a rude awakening when their idealism was shattered by hate, hate, and more hate.

         If you have become a hater, I strongly suggest you get rid of that attitude post haste and become a lover. That’s what the Lord Jesus is—a Lover. He loved so much He gave His life for us all. No one can top that. Being a Lover means being a Giver and also a Forgiver. Following the perfect example of the Lord creates a loving atmosphere, a loving supportive community, and a great deterrent to the hate, violence, and vitriol of this fallen world.

         Though it might sound silly in these powerfully emotional political times, love is still the answer, but it must be fought for, especially now.

         Love, Love, Love. Love the Lord. Love your neighbor. Stay true to the pure teachings of the greatest One who ever lived.

         Love ALWAYS works.

         “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

         “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” [Matthew 24:10-14] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Catholics Speaking in Tongues! The Spirit-Filled Movement of the 1960s

         In light of the fact that the Pope was recently in the news again and let everyone know what it means to be a real Christian, there is a powerful anniversary for Roman Catholics that he should have paid attention to that gives one a much better indication.

         The Catholic Charismatic movement is now 49 years old. It was in early 1967 when the Spirit-filled movement reached Catholics in a major way.

         The movement had started among denominational Christianity around 1960. All of the sudden, Christians of many Protestant denominations began getting baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues, exactly as it happened in the Book of Acts.

THEY SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES

         Many were skeptical of the movement but the movement continued unabated. If you want to read a good introductory book of that early time, I suggest They Speak with Other Tongues by John Sherrill. John Sherrill also wrote The Cross and the Switchblade with David Wilkerson.

         Sherrill was indeed one of the skeptics. Early on, he thought the entire phenomenon of speaking with other tongues to be a farce. But as he yielded to the Lord Jesus and continued seeking, he found actual proof that he was wrong.

         Just as the Pope is wrong. He made a false judgment and got called out on it. By the way, there has never been a tongue-talking Roman Catholic Pope that we know of, including the current one. Yet there are perhaps millions of tongue-talking Spirit-filled Catholic Charismatics the world over. I don’t have the space here to go very deep on the subject, but if you are interested, and you should be, there are many books and publications on the topic.

         Here is one from 1969: Catholic Pentecostals

         The simple fact is that the Lord began pouring out His Spirit on traditional Protestants of almost every denomination in the early 1960s and then began doing the same with Catholics. Priests and nuns were getting Spirit-filled. They were all speaking in tongues. Imagine that.

PENTECOSTAL PIONEERS

         It’s hard for me to imagine in one sense because I was raised Catholic. I never saw anything in my circle. It must have been very well hidden. In the defense of those early Pentecostal Catholics, I am sure they had a very fine line to walk.

         I left Catholicism while still in high school. Then, about five years later, by the Lord’s great grace, I was blessed with the same experience! Though I found the Lord in a Pentecostal church, I began meeting with Spirit-filled Christians of many traditions. There was a lot of cross-fellowship back then. We visited many Spirit-filled black churches. THAT was fun. Many black people in America had been Spirit-filled for decades and had a rich experience by that time, though many denominational white Christians were just then coming into the experience.

         Of course, Pentecostalism also had a rich tradition among predominantly white churches in America long prior to 1960. It didn’t take long with all the cultural shifts in America in the 1960s for whites and blacks to begin worshipping the Lord together, although the Azusa Street Revival in 1906 got that ball rolling.

         William Seymour, a black preacher from Texas went to Los Angeles and was promptly kicked out of an early meeting. He then began leading a small group of all colors and cultures that soon exploded into one of the greatest Awakenings in America history. This white and black Christian togetherness is another largely untold story at present, in that real Christianity has been most responsible for bridging racial and cultural divides.

         Roman Catholics would seem to never have any acceptance for speaking in tongues, but I also attended many Catholic Charismatic meetings in the 1970s. Some Spirit-filled Catholics left Catholicism but many others stayed. There were so many being Spirit-filled and speaking in tongues that Catholic leadership had quite a dilemma on their hands. They couldn’t do anything whatsoever to stop it so the hierarchy reverted to channeling it in what they thought was a relatively safe direction.

         Denominational Protestants did the same. Many Protestant denominational leaders and church pastors did everything in their power to stop the movement. This is all history and again, the record is very clear and available for anyone of you who may wish to inquire further.

         No, when the Pope said building protective walls is not Christian, even though the Vatican itself is surrounded by tall protective walls and has been for over a thousand years, he was wrong. He is also wrong to choose against Spirit-filled reality like the majority of Catholics have done, a spiritual dividing wall that the Lord Jesus never sanctioned. Regardless, and knowing the true pioneers will always be a minority, we should pay some honor to those original Spirit-filled, tongue-talking Catholics of 1967 who loved the Lord Jesus so much and wanted everything He had for them that they boldly defied staunch convention and joined the movement.

         We should also honor all those Protestants who took it on the chin in the early 60s and did the unthinkable. I know VERY WELL what it is like to be castigated for making the right choice. For those who know, there is no wrath quite like the wrath of stubborn Christians who insist on their dead orthodoxy and man-made beliefs. The Lord often called his own people hard-headed and stiff-necked. It’s all over the Old Testament Scriptures. And it has also been the case among the majority of Protestants and Catholics in this world.

         Therefore, it is great to have a historical record, and a very recent one at that, to prove the truth of the Book of Acts experience. It only doesn’t happen for those who don’t want it. Conversely, for all those who do want it, the experience is readily available. The Lord Jesus is ever faithful.

         The 1960s Spirit-filled outpouring has been forgotten somewhat, and many Christians have never even heard of it. This shows how bad things have become for many in that they are oblivious to recent spiritual history. Hopefully, the current Great Awakening will continue to shed more light on those times.

         I highly recommend to all Christians out there who have never had a real Book of Acts Spirit-filled experience to at least begin reading up on what took place in America in the 1960s. The research will enlighten you.

         Again, congratulations to all those Catholics who were Spirit-filled in 1967. Happy Anniversary! And may the Pope join you soon and gain greater understanding of what it means to be a real Christian.

         And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:4] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Purification by Fire: SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF (4)

         “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:12]

         The grain kernel of wheat is composed of two parts: The inner part that we eat and the inedible outer hull. The inedible part must be separated from the edible part. There are two ways to remove the outer hull: Threshing and Winnowing.

THRESHING

         Threshing was used on grains in which the hull was attached tightly to the grain kernel. In the days of our Lord, such covered grains were either soaked in water, or were lightly milled or even pounded upon to loosen the hull in order to remove it. The latter processes often damaged the edible grain.

WINNOWING

         However, when dealing with grains in which the hull was relatively loose and light, little or no threshing was required. A winnowing fork was used instead to cast the grain into the air allowing the wind to separate the inedible hulls from the edible grain kernels. The light, papery hulls would float or fly away in the wind while the edible grain fell to the ground to be collected. These light separated inedible hulls are called chaff, a word derived from Middle English.

         In both of these methods the unfit for consumption outer hull had to be removed from the grain kernel. Once removed the hull residue (chaff) was burned.

         Keep in mind what the Lord Jesus had to go through as the new seed of all creation. He was baptized by John as our example though it was personally unnecessary. And though He had no hard outer hull He underwent the extreme process of hull removal on our behalf.

         Both John the Immerser and the Lord Jesus used the rich imagery of hull removal in their preaching as illustrative of the process of salvation. The otherwise soft, warm, and loving human heart, characterized perfectly by the happy innocent hearts of young children, becomes hardened by a life of sin and rebellion against God. In time a hard outer shell forms over the human heart and creates an entirely different human nature from the original.

HEART CIRCUMCISION

         This requires what the Lord refers to as heart circumcision:

         “So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” [Deuteronomy 10:16]

         “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else My wrath will go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.” [Jeremiah 4:4]

         Since human will and free choice must be involved in the process of salvation, the outer hulls of our hearts can only be removed by voluntarily submitting to the process of spiritual threshing or winnowing. For those with very hard hulls the process will be more difficult. For those with lighter papery hulls removal will be less difficult. But in either case, since all have sinned regardless of degree, ALL hearts MUST be circumcised or salvation is not possible. EVERYONE MUST undergo a new birth.

         We can see by the very clear illustration of heart circumcision (circle cut) that salvation and new birth (being born again) is actually a reverting back or returning to one’s original created condition. Though real Christians will still have to battle their old nature in this world after undergoing a new birth and receiving real salvation, the new nature takes over and regains authority over the old sin nature.

         So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! [2Corinthians 5:17 NRSV]

         He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:11-13]

         “You must be born again.” [John 3:7]

         Submitting to heart circumcision is not an easy choice but obviously the best choice anyone could ever possibly make. If we have a hard outer shell on our heart, it is not so fun to subject ourselves to light milling or necessary pounding to remove it. It is also not so fun to be thrown up in the air with a winnowing fork so our old nature can become dust in the wind.

         Keep in mind that John the Immerser was sent to soak the nation of Israel in water to loosen its national hull and thereby gain a softening of its national heart prior to the Lord’s ministry. The goal was threefold: (1) Making the national heart receptive to the Lord (2) Gaining national repentance—a wholesale turning away from sin and rebellion against God—and (3) Undergoing a national heart circumcision.

         The nation of Israel would thus be divided based on its response to John’s ministry and later the Lord’s. The first camp would include all those who honored John’s and the Lord’s ministry and complied. The second camp would be composed of all those who did not.

         The Lord referred to the first camp as being composed of sheep, wheat, and good trees with good fruit—“the blessed of My Father.”

         He referred to the second camp as made up of goats, chaff, tares, and bad trees with bad fruit—“accursed ones.”

         For all those who refuse the great opportunity of salvation and being included in those returning to the Lord’s original sinless creation, however, something must be done with them.

         If it was grain kernels with very hard and stuck fast outer hulls that refused the proper treatment toward removal, such grain would be no good for anything and would certainly not be edible. But even if it was grain with light papery hulls, if winnowing was refused it also would remain inedible.

         The only thing to be done with such bad grain that still contained an otherwise edible kernel was throw it in the pile of the inedible chaff that was removed from the good grain.

         This is what John meant when he said the following:

         “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:12]

         In order for the Lord to continue the process of new creation, the following verses illustrate more examples of allegorical entities which must be eliminated through the ultimate means of purification—Fire:

         “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:10]

         “The tares are gathered up and burned with fire.” [Matthew 13:40]

         “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire.” [Matthew 13:41-42]

         “The angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire.” [Matthew 13:49-50]

         “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones (goats), into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…” [Matthew 25:41]

         “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” [John 15:5-6] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church  


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

THE GREAT AWAKENING: Please Pray

         Hello friends. I want to take a short break from my current series and tell you all that I greatly appreciate your support. Your ongoing comments and likes contribute to a small community here and it is always enjoyable to see us interact with one another for the sake of the Lord’s truth. You are all a great blessing to me.

         Regarding my latest series, Purification By Fire, I especially want to thank Richard Barker and my friends across the pond who contributed so much traffic. Thanks to you all.

         I have noticed that many more believers are getting on board with the Great Awakening. Five years ago this was not the case. The Lord spoke very clearly to me in September 2010 that America was in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. Not one person I talked to then, including ministers of the Gospel, saw it or believed it. Much has changed since.

         I took the Great Awakening revelation of September 2010 and by the Lord’s anointing turned it into a 340 page book, well-documented, researched, and extensively footnoted. Shortly after finishing that book I began this blog site, which is now approaching 350 articles.

         Many are now seeing what the Lord showed me then. There are even so-called official ministers talking about it. This is encouraging but it also exposes many of the fakers as merely latching on to something that came through the hard work and spiritual warfare of so many unrecognized real Christians.

         I have continued writing and teaching since, and doing much research, though, like most of you, must earn my own keep. I have not yet been able to publish the book but it is certainly a book that needs to get out there. I would appreciate your prayers toward that end.  

         In living for the Lord Jesus, we all have our own individual core Christian beliefs and experiences, many of which did not come easy. If there are any two things vitally true about real Christianity that we must all pay more attention to than appears to be called for, however, they are: (1) The ongoing search for greater truth and the exposing of deception, and (2) Spiritual warfare.

         Sadly, both of these are traditionally very low priorities in traditional Christianity and are often neglected and rejected entirely. Those who refuse to engage in such are very clearly unclear on the concept. They do not know that the enemy never fights fair and that he must resort to an ongoing agenda of deception, obfuscation, and confusion.

         The enemy attempts to transform the great and pure shining light of the Lord’s truth into something indecipherable, irrational, unknowable, and senseless. The enemy also attempts to convince Christians that spiritual warfare is a ridiculous and unnecessary concept totally unsuited to our modern enlightened worldview.

         But, my friends, the spiritual facts are actually quite clear: The devil is a liar. His job is to keep people from becoming real Christians and from progressing spiritually once they are. His job is to hide himself and make all those who reveal him and his lies to appear as nitwits. Now, for sure, there are certainly those “Christians” who fit the bill, and when push comes to shove the enemy will highlight such people to prove his point.

         For real Christians, however, especially strong veterans who know their enemy, the only chance the enemy has against them is to first do everything in his power to discredit them, and if that doesn’t work, to eliminate them. For historical reference read the Book of Acts. Look at what happened to the Lord Jesus and his original apostles. The first thing the enemy did was destroy their reputations through outright lies and slander. We know the rest. It showcases this truth and puts everything in proper perspective. The devil is a bad guy and can do damage, but “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1John 4:4).

         Therefore, the antidote to the enemy’s attempt to discredit and eliminate the good guys is to discredit and eliminate the bad guys. But when I say bad guys I mean the invisible bad guys. We do not fight against people. In fact, the whole point of real Christianity is to save people. The very Name of the Lord Jesus in the original Hebrew—YeHoshua—means YHWH-Salvation. Salvation means “to set free.” He came to set us free. Once we have been set free it is our job to set others free. We do this through the particular ministries the Lord has called each of us to do through the gifts, talents, and anointing He has blessed us with.

         Let us remember to fight the inclination against the compromising effects of the enemy’s warfare by taking the fight directly to him and being the offensive force the Lord created us to be. But we must remember that the enemy has gained ground by taking authority in places of protection. When Christians refuse to attack the enemy because they think he cannot possibly be in control in such places he gets a free pass. This is deception at its highest. In other words, unreal Christians have been taught and conditioned to obey and honor people in league with the devil who appear to be legitimate and in league with the Lord.

         You will know them by their fruits. Many are in pulpits and places of religious authority. Many of them are not overtly evil but merely powerless and worldly. Rather than submit to the Lord’s full curriculum they have bought into religious counterfeits. Many are deceived, oppose the Lord Jesus, and don’t even know it.

         So remember, we must all:

         (1) Continue in the ongoing search for truth and the exposing of deception, and

         (2) Engage in spiritual warfare.

         Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

         Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?”

         Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice…” [John 18:36-37] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Purification by Fire: THE FRUITS OF REPENTANCE (3)

         “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 3:10]

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         The Lord Jesus made it very clear in His teachings that fruitless discipleship is no discipleship. In other words, if there is no spiritual fruit there then there is no discipleship there. Real discipleship bears good fruit. It is impossible for it to not bear good fruit. A good tree always bears good fruit.

         As did John the Immerser, the Lord Jesus also said:

         “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:19-20]

         He was talking about false prophets. He likened false prophets to ravenous wolves. He said ravenous wolves were bad trees bearing bad fruit:

         “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” [Matthew 7:15-16]

         In comparing sheep to wolves the Lord is comparing good trees to bad trees. Wolves are ravenous. It means they are very hungry and will kill to satiate their hunger. Wolves kill sheep in order to eat sheep. False prophets do the same. They not only rip off the sheep—removing from them all their valuable externals—they will also eat up everything the sheep are composed of—everything that comprises their lives. In the best case scenario they will transform the sheep into trees bearing fruit for the sole benefit of the wolves.

         We may call these zombie sheep. They obey their voodoo masters the false prophets. They do not have any critical thinking skills. Their minds are not their own. Their minds have become religionified. They have fallen into a cult, though it may be a “respectable” denomination or world wide organization. Such sheep do not bear good fruit.

         Imagine creating such sheep. It sure makes life easy for the wolves. They do whatever the wolves tell them to do, especially when it comes to money, their primary fruit. Take away their primary fruit and they also become worthless to the wolves. They are already of no worth to the Lord. They have rejected Him and His pure Word. Therefore, they will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

         The Lord Jesus is THE Good Tree. He bears fruit, and it is always good fruit and only good fruit. It is also always available. All real disciples also bear only good fruit since they are good trees which came from THE Good Tree.

         Unreal disciples usually don’t bear any fruit, though some bear bad fruit. The Lord said any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. John said it also. This is pretty self-explanatory, but one thing remains. What, exactly, is good fruit? What is spiritually representative of grapes and figs? Here you go:

         “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance…” [Matthew 3:8]

         And what is the fruit, or the proof, of repentance?

         “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

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

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

         And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”

         Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.” [Luke 3:8-14] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Purification by Fire: NEGLECTING SPIRITUAL HEALTH (2)

         FROM PART 1: Much more importantly, most people are walking around in sin, with sin attached to them, with sin stamped on their minds, with sinful souls, and with much sin on their account. But they don’t know it. The sin is not acknowledged. It is unknown to them. The possibility of its presence is refused. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t there…

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         We live at a time in which people are highly encouraged to have frequent medical checkups. There are also many new checkup procedures not available in the past and instrumentation that is much more sophisticated toward discovering health problems or potential problems. Within certain industries and corporations, medical examinations are required for employment and periodic health screening is required to stay employed.

LARRY BIRD

         I just read an article about aging former NBA basketball players. The greatest professional basketball player who ever lived, regarding not only incredible playing ability but also work ethic, hustle, and heart, and a huge contribution toward winning, was, in my studied opinion, Larry Bird.

         His impact was such that without him his team would not only not have won, they would have been largely mediocre. He had great teammates. Some are in the Hall of Fame. But there is no question he was always by far the best, and they all knew it. He did everything to win while also playing completely within the rules, including the unwritten rules. He respected the game. He was a winner who often willed his team to win. He always gave the fans their money’s worth.

         That is why the following is all the more remarkable. It was discovered through medical testing after his playing career that he had a heart problem. He had the problem most of his life but never talked about it. He had spells that he kept to himself. He came close to buying the farm, apparently, on several occasions.

         I prayed for Larry Bird today. He just turned 59 years old. There have been several ex-NBA players who have died around his age, some recently. Some have died much earlier. It has often been due to heart attacks. Larry Bird believes that the former players who are most susceptible are big men like himself (he’s 6’ 9”), who have worked and hustled the hardest. He believes all the very hard work at such an incredible level of play, in addition to great size that makes the heart work harder, greatly increases the chances of a shorter life. That’s why, he says, you don’t see many old big men. Even very tall non-basketball players will die on average sooner simply because of their size. Short men, in reality, will have a decided tendency to live longer.

OUR TOP PRIORITY

         I say all this to say that there is a correlation toward today’s overt universal mandatory medical screening and pretty much zero spiritual screening, which means we also live at a time when a person’s physical condition is treated in the opposite manner of one’s spiritual condition.

         The same authority figures who desire and demand proper health screening as a top priority generally have no desire whatsoever for proper spiritual screening. This can only be due to placing this life and this realm above the next life, and for many it is because they do not believe in an afterlife. Most people certainly do not respect the Gospel.

         This life is so very temporary. The next life is eternal. Living for this life at the expense of the next life will cost a person his soul. Our top priority must always be getting right with God. To that end we must all undergo spiritual checkups beginning with initial repentance. We must deal with our sin and be rid of it. We must stop sinning. The Lord Jesus has given us a way to do this.

         Stay tuned. I will break down the following in our next lesson:

         “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.

         “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

         “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Purification by Fire: VACATION HOUSE and THE LIGHT SPECTRUM (1)

         There was a vacation house out in the woods pretty far from the nearest town. It was located in the middle of a 1200 acre section of private land. There were no restrictions upon its building site or construction, though it was well built. The owner chose the site for its natural settings and views, but he didn’t pay much attention to the topography. He lived a thousand miles away and there were no close neighbors.

         One day it began to rain in those woods and the rain didn’t let up for several weeks. The locals had never seen anything like it. Unbeknownst to the vacation house owner, he built his little hideaway in a very old flood plain.

         At the height of the rains the flood waters had risen to four feet in the house and remained standing for a few days before slowly receding. The house was knocked slightly off its pier and beam foundation in the beginning which also damaged the framing in several places. This in turn damaged the roof’s integrity and several large leaks had developed allowing rain to pour in.

         By the time the owner managed to check on his house several weeks later he was shocked at the damage. It was inundated by black mold. The wood framing had started to rot. Every insect and bug known to man had taken up residence in the house as well as a vast array of critters, including rodents, and even small mammals. The house was still filled with drying mud.

         When the man started repairs he discovered that the mold had reached the tops of the walls in places. Even after removing all the wallboard and insulation he saw that the entire structure was affected. The critters had also taken up residence in the attic. Everywhere was mold, rot, and the byproduct of two months of small animals. The odor was overwhelming. It was an absolute mess.

         He had no insurance. He checked with his lawyer on local laws. The next day he cleared out a break around the perimeter of the structure and made ready a few hoses from the well. After waiting for a day that had no wind, he set the house on fire and burned it to the ground.

         “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. As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12] [1]

         Today’s lesson begins with a simple truth: Fire removes the disgusting filth of corruption.

         Corruption, of course, comes in many forms. There is the actual physical tangible filth that adversely affects the five senses, but there is also intangible corruption. For example, sin is intangible. You cannot see it. But you can certainly see its effects.

         Picture a very clean mansion beautifully decorated in which everything is in perfect condition and every appearance, even the clothing of the inhabitants, is perfectly tailored and pleasing to the eye. Then picture the intangible sinful condition of the inhabitants. Picture their evil hearts and machinations, and the gross behavior they engage in behind the scenes.

         The Lord Jesus says the intangible is much more real than that which is seen. If one could actually see the unseen corruption in the midst of the perfect and beautiful setting clearly seen with the naked eye, one’s opinion would change.

         But most people never see this. Most people simply do not have spiritual eyes. They are very easily swayed by the illusory perception of their five senses.

         Please see the following chart and look it over: Electromagnetic Spectrum

         As I’ve taught before, the visible light portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum is an extremely small part of the overall Spectrum. There is much more light that is unseen rather than the very little that is seen. 95% of the entire Universe cannot be perceived by the five senses.

         Therefore, whoever bases their beliefs on mere sensory data cannot possibly have the full picture since the vast majority is completely unknown.

         To bring this home and make it more visceral, there are people walking around right now with problems in their bodies and they don’t even know it. They go about their daily business as if the problem isn’t there. They cannot see inside their bodies. Imagine that. Something so close to us and so much a part of us and we don’t even know.  

         Much more importantly, most people are walking around in sin, with sin attached to them, with sin stamped on their minds, with sinful souls, and with much sin on their account. But they don’t know it. The sin is not acknowledged. It is unknown to them. The possibility of its presence is often refused. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t there…

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

JUDAS IN THE PULPIT

         As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

         And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. [Acts 4:1-3]

         Most spiritually intelligent people figure it out after a while. Some see it very quickly. Others need a lot of time. Most, it seems, never see it.

         The primary reason for this spiritual blindness is revealed in the preceding passage of Scripture: How did the unbelieving Sadducees and priests come to power and gain control over the people of Israel in the first place? Why did the people let this happen?

         It begins with intimidation and trickery. It often ends in force.

         The key to success for the bad guys is finding people vulnerable to deception, which is apparently not so difficult a task. People become vulnerable to deception through their own ignorance. People are most often ignorant as the result of their own laziness. Therefore, the spiritually lazy are easily intimidated and deceived because of their own ignorance of spiritual matters, and this creates the perfect opportunity for the bad guys (dressed as good guys) to take control.

         This very dynamic just took place again this morning, all across the country. The vast majority of “Christians” still have no clue. They are under a very powerful spell of enchantment.

         This dynamic is also, of course, reinforced every election cycle. Lazy, low and no information voters susceptible to gross deception by their own ignorance creates the ongoing opportunity for the elite to gain ever more power and wealth. The Lord told us this would happen. So did the Founding Fathers, if we didn’t stay alert. Well, most of America has not stayed alert. Many voices keep warning. This is good. But it is not yet enough.

         However, you better hear this voice. The Lord God is in the process of doing something incredibly great though it still remains off the radar of those with compromised vision. WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING. There have been many, many attempts to subvert it, to co-opt it, to shanghai it, and to stop it, but they will all fail.

         These attempts will succeed, though, in sucking in the unsuspecting and spiritually weak. If you believe yourself to be a real Christian it is absolutely imperative for you to get on board with the Lord Jesus one million percent. You will otherwise fall victim to the opposing side. There must be a concerted effort to break free. Remember, the Lord said the deception would be so powerful even His own disciples would fall for it without staying spiritually strong, informed, and connected to Him.

         After being in control for a while the entire process of dominance and submission becomes self-perpetuating. The only thing that can break the religious enchantment and deception upon all those on the inside then, is Great Light from the outside. This is what happened when the Lord Jesus arrived. He exposed the evil workers in charge who had successfully disguised themselves as God’s anointed. They were obviously not anointed. They had no light. They were frauds.

         This is why, in the Acts 4 passage above, these frauds went absolutely nuts. Their crazed and fearful behavior was the result of being exposed by the apostle Peter’s message for what they really were and to losing their religious hold over the people. This is what real spiritual Light does. It exposes religious frauds and it frees people from their grip.

         But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. [Acts 4:4]

         Most Christians of the present, like their ancient Israelite counterparts, have also submitted to the wrong leaders. As a result, they have also become the willing victims and dupes of party line half-truths, misinformation, and pure pulpit propaganda. They do not realize they have been conditioned over the years to always swallow the status quo and do everything they’re told. They have been conditioned to be passive sheep in which the highest virtue is to surrender to total clergy control. Thus, whenever spiritual Light breaks forth, they do all in their power to put it out.

         The following are God’s gifts followed by the conditioned response of religious controllers:

         (1) God gave you a very strong spirit. Emasculate it!

         (2) God gave you an intelligent mind. Dumb it down!

         (3) God gave you a voice. Don’t use it!

         The formula is thus: Laziness + Ignorance + Speechlessness = Deception = Domination.

         If you want a passage of Scripture that perhaps best describes what has become of traditional, institutional Christianity in America, the following pretty much nails it:

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

         Every sheep that has gone astray falls into one of two camps: Those who know it and those who don’t.

         Those who know it know full well that they are in need of the Good Shepherd.

         Those who don’t have been deceived into accepting replacement shepherds. They have been led into a camp that actually opposes the Lord but insist that is not the case. They have become satisfied in their fake pasture.

         The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. [Psalm 23:1-3] [1]

         The lush green pastures the Lord would give them have been replaced by the replacement shepherds with disease-causing chemically-fertilized fields of nutrition-empty faux grass.

         It looks great but you better not eat it or you will get sick and die.

         The Living Water promised by the Lord has been replaced with repackaged sewer water loaded with toxic chlorine and ammonia.

         It looks clean but you better not drink it or you will get sick and die.

         The false gospel they preach has been redacted and censored exorbitantly so as not to offend (betrayal), to bring in maximum monetary profit (thirty pieces of silver), and to grant power to a tiny religious clique of replacement shepherds (Judases). It is worthless toward gaining real salvation and spiritual life.

         It sounds right but you better not believe it or you will get sick and die.

         All of this should be obvious. But when “Christians” absolutely refuse to compare the dead and the almost dead Christianity they are associated with to the real Christianity of the Lord Jesus, in order to differentiate the real from the unreal, they have no way of knowing they have been deceived.

         For example, there are people who have gotten in trouble with the law because they were playing fast and loose and not respecting the law or acknowledging the penalties of breaking the law. As long as they didn’t get caught they were fine and stayed on course. But when they got caught and the penalties were applied they decided to comply completely so as to get free as soon as possible. If they were put on probation they obeyed the terms of probation. If they were fined they paid it. If they went to jail they became model prisoners, caused no more trouble, worked on paying their debt to society, and eventually got free. Then they never got in trouble again for the rest of their lives. They made the decision to be law-abiding citizens. Their resultant freedom and clear conscience allowed them to make full and virtuous contributions to the life God gave them. They got off the wasted life track and got on the productive life track.

         Now, many Christians say they are doing that. But most Christians make lousy comparisons regarding their Christian service. They compare themselves to T-ball players instead of Major League Baseball Hall of Famers.

         If a person compares his Christian life to that of the average American churchgoer he will probably feel okay about himself and feel no pressure to improve. But if he compares his Christian life to that of the apostle Peter he will quickly see a giant deficit. And what happens if one compares his life to the life of the Lord Jesus? Uh oh.

         Also, why does it never dawn on Christians that most of their so-called shepherds and elders look absolutely NOTHING like the apostle Peter, and certainly not like the Lord Jesus? And why are they accepted anyway?

         Here’s why:

         If one’s “pastor” is a spiritual compromiser then there is no pressure for anyone else to be anything more. This is why most Christians gauge their spiritual lives by their chosen authority figures. They would rather not have the pressure of conforming to the real curriculum of the Lord Jesus. They don’t want real discipleship. Not only is it too difficult compared to their easy method, the people they hang with would not appreciate it.

         Why? Because Christians who live lives of real discipleship put pressure on those who don’t. Making a move to be closer to the Lord and be more effective for Him puts pressure and conviction on those who would rather hang back and live in their fake world with fake grass and fake water. They would much rather submit to a fake shepherd and believe a fake gospel. It’s a lot easier. But it is pure betrayal.

         This makes every single one of these “Christians,” especially the ones in the pulpit, a Judas.

         Their ends will all be the same.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Reader Comments: January 2016

         The following are Comments from the Real Christianity Community from my January 2016 posts. Thanks to all of you for reading and for your support. Please see comment section of each post to meet and greet your neighbors and enjoy some blogosphere fellowship! You can also read my responses. I’ve included embedded post links for your convenience. Be blessed.

From:

HIERARCHY HIRELINGS: How Incompetent Posers Gain Authority (Doh!) :

         (1) “This is exactly what I needed this morning and am thankful for the words. I am currently going through a valley in life. Sometimes rugged words like this are what a man needs during a trial.”

         (2) “Oh yes. Indeed yes. We have watched a young but arrogant “pastor” destroy a thriving work, which has gone from 100% to about 25% since he came. He was highly recommended, and we believed in him. He rose to the level of his incompetence, and we learned that God’s Word was right when it tells us not to elevate a novice. We’ve moved on, as have 600+ other people. One of the saddest experiences in our lives.”

         (3) “Great teaching….strong meat, well seasoned, and not drowned in extravagant but needless sauce. Just right, and so very true. I’ve often thought about the “Peter Principle”. To be sure, we reap what we sow. We ought to at least, to be honest with ourselves. If we didn’t start out that way until the Lord got us by the collar, we need to start now. Very encouraging word for today and every day. Be blessed.”

From:

Overcoming Clergy Dominion: BREAKING FREE (5) :

         “‘Religious hybrids,’ an interesting analogy, and food for thought. Kind of weird, thinking about these creatures; one doesn’t know whether to avoid them, or pray for them, or if that doesn’t work, to feel sorry for them. I have noticed that some folks simply don’t want their eyes opened, and they won’t believe even if you tell them the absolute truth. They were born and raised in the system and in the system they will stay….. no matter what LIGHT they are exposed to. However, they should know that whatever Truth they have received, they will be responsible to work out in their lives.”

From:

Defining Fruit: THE PARABLE OF THE TREES :

         (1) “This is excellent. People don’t want the Lord to rule in their lives, they want man to rule over them. They don’t want to live by faith in God, but faith in the flesh or human convention. Mankind by its very nature likes to negotiate man with man. We are not here to negotiate with God, but to OBEY HIM. Obedience is a narrow path.”

         (2) “Here’s a vision I had 2 years ago that fits in with what you’ve posted here: https://tpuccio.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/when-you-come-together-the-body-of-christ/

From:

You Will Know Them By Their Fruits: WOLVES IN WOOL :

         “Even though that excerpt (from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church ) may be twenty years old it’s the most prophetic utterance I’ve heard lately, and has confirmed itself many times over, just like the truth always does. I’m not trying to flatter with words…I’m just saying. I’ve tried to warn “Christians” of the same thing……few listen, and almost no one understands. Why? Because the cultural and doctrinal traditions, (brainwashing), has seeped so deep into the collective conscience, it goes in one ear and out the other. No ears to hear.”

From:

Divide and Conquer: THE CLERGY-LAITY SPLIT :

         (1) “Yes it does sound familiar, and frankly I don’t understand why the churchaholics don’t get it. If I as a relative newbie in churchianity “got it,” then it seems it should be relatively simple for others to as well. I mean, the Lord gave us His instructions in the New Testament with an example to follow. Thanks for the blessing…good stuff!”

         (2) “Familiar indeed! At the root of the topic is the Edict of Milan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Milan When the early Church was co-opted in to be given rights from the Roman government. Certain inalienable rights to receive tax free status, rights to own real and personal property (read copy write laws). Subsequent to them agreeing to this type of governmental homogenization the Church in this compromised state began a downward spiral from “Glorious” to sleep walking, sleeping, and finally dead which has been happening globally for quite some time since. Thank God for remnants! It is this Glorious Church which Yeshua returns for and not the ones that harken back to a nationalized mindset based upon a governmental foundation guaranteeing certain inalienable rights based upon co- opted belief systems. This kind of “earth based” non heaven-non kingdom belief system is the very kind responsible for mobilizing the Muslim faith along with hundreds of others in to believing that man can re-establish a government aligned to that as King David once was given. There are two passages of scripture that address that King David’s tent will be re-established but this event is not tied to anything that either a real Christian or a fake one will do through governmental rights derived from these earthly realms.”

         (3) “Isaiah 29:9 They are dumbfounded and amazed; they are troubled and stagger; they are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10 For Yahvah has poured out on them a spirit of deep sleep, and it has closed their eyes, and also the eyes of the prophets and rulers, and the seers, who see the hidden things. 11 And the vision of all is become to them as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is learned saying, Read this, and he says, I cannot; for it is sealed; 12 and the book is given to him who is not learned saying, Read this, and he says, I am not learned. 13 Therefore master said, Since this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their reverence toward me is taught by the precepts and doctrine of men; 14 therefore look, I will proceed to set apart this people by a great wonder, and in a marvelous manner, and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their prudent men will be taken away.”

         (4) “This is why Jesus said He hated the work of the Nicolaitans. Nico is ‘over’ and laitans is ‘laity’ so the term means conquerer of laity. Here’s a dream I had about 6 years ago that fits with your posting:

https://tpuccio.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/the-end-of-the-church-as-we-know-it-a-second-dream/ 

         (5) “The world crept into the church and ruined it. Worldly/carnal people love class divisions. You might like to read this book: PAGAN CHRISTIANITY? by Frank Viola and George Barna:

https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/pagan-christianity-by-frank-viola-and-george-barna/

         “Speaking of Greek words (I know very little Greek), I met a guy named Harris Himes while I was hitchhiking in Montana and he has studied the Greek New Testament for a number of years. He said that the Greek word pisteuo means ‘continuously faithing.’ Rather than say ‘I was saved 20 or 30 years ago’ I think it would be better to say ‘I abide in Christ’ or ‘I believe in Christ’—present tense, not past tense. I told Harris that I have met certain ‘Christians’ who have told me that they were saved many years ago. But their lives did not bear witness with my spirit—they had no witness—they were conformed to the world. So I have always wanted to ask them, ‘So when did you reject Christ’ or ‘Why are you so conformed to the world?’ http://biblehub.com/greek/4100.htm

From:

IDENTITY Politics and the Fracturing of America :

         (1) “‘United we stand, divided we fall’ is just as true a motto as it ever was. But America is more divided than it ever has been at this critical time. The Lord Jesus said, “A house divided cannot stand.” The household of God, now apostate for the most part, is also more divided than it’s ever been and is crumbling to the ground, except for the true and faithful remnant not part of the well dressed harlot.”

         (2) “Although I kind of get where you are coming from, I am somewhat disturbed by your mixing the political system with the belief system. Didn’t Messiah say, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world?’ We are also told, ‘Judgement begins in the house of YHVH.’ Being American is not synonymous with being a believer in Messiah. Our country is not divided because ‘Christians’ are divided, It is divided because its foundation (democratic republic) is anti-God. The founders and proponents of the USA were Deist, Unitarian, Freemason, etc. The principles this nation were founded on which guarantee Christians religious freedom were originally intended to allow the architects of this government to operate unhindered in their anti-YHVH philosophies. Their intent was to create a system where they could freely promote their agendas without state control. The only individual right we are guaranteed as believers of the One True Living God is the right to become the sons of God, members of His household, and citizens of His kingdom.

         “I do not believe the US is being judged by God. What I see is the law of sowing and reaping. Consequences of bad choices. The country has become the god. The only national unity under God’s design is the individual parts of the Body of Messiah recognizing their piece of the body and fitting in to become a Kingdom not of this world. Until we get this, there can never be peace – not individual, not corporate, not national.

         “The houses, communities, congregations – whatever you call them – that claim the Name of God but usurp His glory, is where He will focus His attention for discipline and judgment. Thank you for bringing the stuff that makes me think.”

         (3) “Revelation 3:18: ‘I advise you to buy of me gold refined in the fire, that you may become rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness may not be seen; and anoint your eyes with salve, that you may see.’ This is a prayer for those who have suffered from the blinding fog of religious paradigms, doctrines and mindsets.”

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

HIERARCHY HIRELINGS: How Incompetent Posers Gain Authority (Doh!)

         “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:11-13]

THE PETER PRINCIPLE        

         According to Laurence J. Peter in his best-selling book, The Peter Principle, “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”

         This management principle has proven to be absolutely true. It explains everything. It illustrates why we have so many incompetent people in the upper levels of power. It contrasts the real world of cause and effect, risk and reward, and survival of the fittest with the fake world of herds without predators.

         Two hunters deep in the woods are suddenly surprised by a very angry bear. They both take off running for their lives, the bear right behind them. One hunter yells to the other, “Do you think we can outrun him?” The other hunter says, “I don’t need to outrun him. I only need to outrun you.”

         This is the real world. It is why God created predators. Predators are the eliminators of incompetence in the natural world. Unless you stay sharp and at the top of your game the bear will get you.

         This is why incompetent people don’t survive long in real world applications. Many meet a quick end. There is simply no place for ongoing laziness, lack of ability, foolishness, stupidity, and bad decisions. The natural world teaches this. Incompetence is never rewarded or allowed. Natural selection means survival of only the fittest.

         In fake world situations, however, the opposite takes place. Rules are written to protect incompetence. Instead of rightfully being killed and eaten by angry bears, incompetent people not only survive, they thrive. Their bad behavior is rewarded. Everybody gets a trophy.

THE BACKYARD WARRIORS PRINCIPLE

         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. [1 Corinthians 9:24]

         I remember when I was about eleven years old I had a birthday party at my house. We lived in a well-kept suburban working class neighborhood. As part of the birthday fun I set up an intricate obstacle course in the backyard. You had to run around the perimeter of the yard as fast as you could under and through this and over and around that—just a bunch of stuff I found laying around that I transformed into world class athletic equipment. Not bad for a kid. It was pretty cool. I had an old army tarp tied to the chain-link fence at a 45 degree angle that you had to crawl under. There was stuff to jump over, like a strategically located metal trash can. Things like that. You had to run the course while being timed. Whoever completed the course correctly and the fastest was the winner. We probably had some small prize.

         The rules were the same for everyone. I invited a bunch of friends over from school and the neighborhood. But someone also invited my young cousin, who was probably about seven or eight. If that wasn’t bad enough I also had an older sister hanging around who was sixteen or so at the time. She had an inordinate desire to lend what amounted to overwhelming assistance to those such as my young cousin who she thought were in great need, as a way to even the playing field. I had a different perspective. I have always been competitive. My concerns about her ruining the competition were soon realized.

         Some of us had already run the course. We gave it everything we had. When a kid was out there running around he was completely on his own. It was sink or swim. Figure it out. Don’t miss anything. Show respect for the process. Everybody else was watching making sure he did it right.

         Then it was my little cousin’s turn. And what does my older sister do? She starts running the course with him! He appeared to have no clue what to do but probably would have done okay if allowed to run by himself. I still have this mental picture of her leaning over slightly and running off with him with her arm on his shoulder guiding him around. He quickly yielded to her lead. She then decided he only needed to run less than half the layout! And here they come, cutting right through my well constructed obstacle course across the middle of the yard making a total mockery of the game! She’s still right there with her arm on his shoulder, leaning over, telling him what to do while running him back to the start.

         We did not appreciate this. Neither I nor my friends said anything. It was an era when kids showed more respect. She meant well. But what a joke. She almost ruined the whole day with that pathetic display.

         This is exactly how incompetence thrives.

THE JEREMIAH JOHNSON PRINCIPLE

         Again, in the real world only the strongest and wisest survive. America was founded by such people. So was Texas. The few incompetent people out on the frontier were soon dead if they didn’t manage to get back to civilization post haste.

         I am reminded of Robert Redford’s character in the movie Jeremiah Johnson, set in the mid 1800s. There was an early scene when he was way up in the frozen Rocky Mountains trying to catch fish by hand in an icy stream. He was soon in the water. There he was in the deep snow and ice splashing around doing his best to catch a fish to stay alive. The scene then switched to an Indian on horseback silently watching. Later in the movie when the same Indian recognized him in a different setting, he told another, “He fishes poorly.”

         But Jeremiah Johnson survived and then thrived. He figured out how to stay alive in a killer environment. Though he met friends, nobody held his hand. He overcame all obstacles, including some personal losses that ripped his heart apart. That movie was about the real world and survival.

         It is quite the contrast to our present world. Since that time America has largely become a vast, neurotic, socialist nanny state ruled over by bureaucratic incompetents and enablers with selfish agendas in which everybody, regardless of any achievement, gets a little trophy. Many would never be in their positions of authority without some big sister brotherhood opening doors, scripting their work, showing them the way, and refusing to let them stand on their own. It is the complete opposite of survival of the fittest. Because of the ridiculous policy of allowing incompetent idiots to become our “experts” America is going down fast.

         Now, before you think I’m stumping for a certain presidential candidate, I’m not. I’ve been saying this for decades. (That dude stole my thunder.) I have watched this contrary agenda develop over several decades. Of course, many people know what’s going on but almost everybody feels powerless to do anything about it. When some charismatic person comes along who says all the right things and claims to have the answers he gains an immediate following.

         But it rarely or never works. It’s always just words. Those that actually gain power never follow through. The only thing that does work in such cases is following the lead of someone who actually knows what to do and has a proven track record. Such good guys, however, are currently very few and far between, and are becoming extinct. The bad guys have taken over. The paradigm shift of rewarding evil and eliminating the good is almost complete. It’s why Biblical prophecy says the world would succeed in blowing itself up without the Lord’s end-time intervention. Corrupt doofuses in places of authority are the sole cause.

THE LORD JESUS PRINCIPLE

         There is only one Leader who can fix this mess. The reason America is cratering is due only to the rejecting of His leadership. There is no possible way to remove the preserving agent without falling into gross corruption. The more He has been rejected over the last several decades the worse things have become. Though few acknowledge Him, He is the one who holds everything together.

         Also, though the Lord Jesus is the best Father, He never spoils His children. Though He is our Shepherd, He is never the enabler of stupidity, laziness, or incompetence. He only rewards those who give it their all. Whoever will do things His way must be absolutely dedicated and must also be in it for the long haul. One will discover that following His lead allows one to grow stronger and wiser, and possess greater ability to overcome and thrive. He prepares us to be the best. His discipleship methods always work. He is a maker of champions.

THE UNREAL CHRISTIANITY PRINCIPLE

         The reason the Peter Principle has become a burgeoning reality is because the people in power have rejected the Lord’s proper authority and correct management principles. They have replaced them with bulky, unresponsive, impersonal hierarchies and shallow methodologies that reward morons and punish the strong, independent, honest, and righteous.

         GUESS WHAT? THE EXACT THING HAS HAPPENED WITHIN TRADITIONAL AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY.

         Pious pinheads and parading shysters have taken over the outward institutional format and are now the tenured cloth men. We know the majority of these guys have no clue how to right our wayward course or have any desire to, largely because they’re the ones who caused it. They’re invested in it. It serves them very well. These sold-out fakers only exist because foolish people keep throwing money in their coffers, which only enables them and their incompetence. Every time the Lord tries to correct them their supporters reward them. These power-tripping Christian “experts” eventually cold shoulder any real Christians in their vicinity, refuse to support them, and badmouth them, in the sinister effort to eliminate those who would rightfully take their job.

         But this has always been true. Thus, all real Christians must first learn to survive in this fallen world, then learn to fight, overcome, and thrive within it, AND THEN TAKE OVER. It’s how the Lord does things. It’s exactly how He did it. When He was crucified He looked like the greatest loser that ever lived. Three days later He became the greatest winner of all time. If we would be successful we must follow His lead, trust Him, and do things His way.

         This is why the Lord Jesus never coddles His children. He has no use for perpetual babies and whiners. He never hands out participant trophies. He requires us to run the race well without constant enabling. He calls us to follow Him even through the worst spiritual environments that will test us to the nth degree.

THE PAUL PRINCIPLE

         For correct spiritual perspective with respect to real discipleship, consider the fact that the apostle Paul once found himself dead under a pile of rocks. He suffered this fate doing exactly what he was called to do. The Lord Jesus did nothing to stop the brutal attack against him—He let Paul get stoned by a bunch of Jewish religious idiots.

         But He did bless him with a preview of heaven:

         I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows—was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. [2Corinthians 12:2-4]

         That’s pretty cool. And He did bring him back to earth. And He did give Paul supportive friends after he was dragged out of Lystra for dead who stood around him when he suddenly got up:

         But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. [Acts 14:19-20]

         Therefore, it is not that we don’t need help and support from time to time. We obviously should help one another. But such help is usually designed to get us on track or back on track. Both of these should be very few and far between events after our initial discipleship training. After that it’s a matter of running the race well without being hindered or enabled, both of which restrict our mission.

         If the Lord has given you honest and competent authority figures at present, be thankful. We need the wisdom of those who have gone before us who have gained the Lord’s wisdom. But in order to be the spiritual success the Lord needs you to be, you must work at becoming a spiritual adult.

         For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity… [Hebrews 5:13-6:1] [1]

         Live the adventure.

         Climb the Rockies.

         But watch out for rocks.

       © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

        Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Overcoming Clergy Dominion: BREAKING FREE (5)

         The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church:

         Like the Wizard of Oz, the ruling class has established a powerful and sometimes fearsome image of itself. Its members have set themselves up as the sacred and the laity as the profane. The laity, if brave enough to seek personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains, often do so at the feet of the big boys, who have been enormously successful at promoting their big daddy image for centuries. Of course, the laity receives only religious tokens for the most part, if anything at all. The important thing is image. The great Christian controllers must believe that if the laity perceives them as merely human, and not ultrahuman, it would cause such disillusionment within Christendom that a complete breakdown would take place.

         But one man’s breakdown and loss of power is another man’s revolution and recovering of freedom. Ask George Washington. Ask Martin Luther. Ask the Lord Jesus Himself. It was the benefactors of the religious clergy spirit of His time who were so incensed by His radical teachings and so petrified over losing control because of His growing movement that they savagely murdered Him, revealing to all, for all time, their true motivation and character. [1]

         Make no mistake about it. When the Lord Jesus arrived on the scene he immediately engaged in spiritual war against powerful forces. The human appendages of such forces had discovered centuries before that great power over large populations could be gained in the realm of religion.

         Like the rest of the planet, the ancient nation of Israel also suffered from such demonic interlopers and we have the proof of this religious invasion in the historical accounts of the Old Testament scriptures. Israel had devolved from being the pure people of God to a nation of religious hybrids ruled over by bloodthirsty kings set on complete dominance and an overthrow of God’s rule.

         By the first century AD the political kings had long since morphed into religious “kings.” The aforementioned paganistic and syncretized religious practices of ancient Israel had by that time become largely congealed under the banner of Pharisaism which was dominated at the top by those whom the Lord referred to as children of the devil. They did not appreciate His terminology.

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

         Though these evildoers did exactly as the evil Israelite kings before them in taking dominion over the populace for their own benefit, the subjugated people felt powerless to overcome. There are two reasons for this:

(1) The people had accepted their lot with a defeatist attitude and simply surrendered to the dominant controlling clique and its rewriting of the Mosaic Code, as the nation of Israel had formerly fallen under the sway of evil civil leaders.

(2) The people had become enchanted by the ultra-human power of religion and got absolutely lost in deception and darkness, unable to see and absolutely unequipped to fight back.

         Then, as now, there was only one cure:

         “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] [2]

         For those who repented, they were able to overthrow the Wizard of Oz that had them trapped, deceived, and bound by joining up with the Lord Jesus. They received “personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains.” His pure LIGHT gave them eyes to see. His great LOVE gave them the support and encouragement they lacked. His POWERFUL Holy Spirit gave them strength to fight. His TRUTH set them free.

         For our study, this is the difference between Unreal and Real Christianity.

UNREAL CHRISTIANITY:

(1) The people have accepted their lot with a defeatist attitude and have simply surrendered to the dominant controlling clique and its rewriting of the Gospel, as the nation of Israel had formerly fallen under the sway of evil religious leaders.

(2) The people have become enchanted by the ultra-human power of religion and have gotten absolutely lost in deception and darkness, unable to see and absolutely unequipped to fight back.

REAL CHRISTIANITY:

         For those who repented, they have been able to overthrow the Wizard of Oz that had them trapped, deceived, and bound by joining up with the Lord Jesus. They have received “personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains.” His pure LIGHT has given them eyes to see. His great LOVE has given them the support and encouragement they lacked. His POWERFUL Holy Spirit has given them strength to fight. His TRUTH has set them free.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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

OUTING THE CLERGY SPIRIT (4)

         And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’

         “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 22:25-26]

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE WOMAN?

         But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull. [Judges 9:53]

 ENMITY BETWEEN SEEDS

         “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” [Genesis 3:15]

 THE WOMAN AND HER RIGHTFUL HUSBAND

         The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” [Genesis 2:22-23]

THE ATTACK OF THE DRAGON

         A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.

         Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. [Revelation 12:1-4]

THE RIGHTFUL HUSBAND AND THE INTERLOPER

         And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.

         At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.

         And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.

         But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. [Acts 5:11-18] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Defining “Fruit”: THE PARABLE OF THE TREES (3)

         Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness with which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?’

         “Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come, reign over us!’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’

         “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come, reign over us!’ But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’

         Finally all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come, reign over us!’ The bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.’” [Judges 9:8-15]

.

         The trees that produce good fruit never reign over other trees. Never. They refuse. It is not in their nature. It is not the will of God.

         The nature of good trees is to be what they are as God made them and produce good fruit. Good trees do not produce bad fruit. Good trees only produce good fruit.

         Only bad trees reign over other trees. Bad trees produce only bad fruit. Some of their bad fruit is the desire to reign over other trees. Only bad trees reign over other trees.

         In the above passage from the Book of Judges, three good trees are mentioned:

The Olive Tree

The Fig Tree

The Grape Vine

         One bad tree is mentioned: The Bramble

         The Bramble was a thorn bush. It produced no good fruit. It only produced bad fruit. It produced thorns.

         “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit.

         “For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.” [Luke 6:43-44]

CHRISTIANS RULING OVER CHRISTIANS

         Good trees producing good fruit NEVER accept the reign over Christians. Only bad trees producing bad fruit reign over Christians.

         This is a very difficult concept to understand for Christians since the majority has always been ruled over by other Christians. It seems no matter how many times the Lord Jesus tells the story most Christians just don’t get it. They insist that they must be ruled over by one of their own.

ABIMELECH

         In the above passage from the Book of Judges, the people of Shechem chose Abimelech, The Bramble, as their king.

         The name Abimelech literally means, “father is king,” or “Melek (“king”) is father.”

         Abimelech was one of Gideon’s 70 sons. In his attempt to become the sole king and rightful heir of his father, he killed every single one of his brothers except one: Jotham escaped.

         It was Jotham, the lone survivor, who told the Parable of the Trees.

         Abimelech was eventually mortally wounded by a woman who dropped a big rock on his head, crushing it. Yet, so that it would not be said he was killed by a woman, he commanded his armor bearer to run him through with his sword.

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE WOMAN?

         But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull. [Judges 9:53]

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         “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” [Genesis 3:15]

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         “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

         “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

         “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

         “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:10-13] [1]

            © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

You Will Know Them By Their Fruits: WOLVES IN WOOL (2)

        Real Christianity was originally written twenty years ago. Everything I said then has come true or is in the process of coming true. However, the book remains as fresh as if it was published yesterday.

         The reason real Christians still continue to struggle two decades later is not because the enemy has not been identified. It has been. I revealed in the book exactly who the enemy is and who continues to powerfully resist the truth and the consequent spiritual freedom and power the Lord Jesus is bringing forth.

         The enemy is not far. In fact, exactly as the Lord Jesus taught, the bad guys are right next to the good guys. The enemy is intermingled among us exactly as all those invisible fallen angels the Lord Jesus saw and outed. He revealed them. They could not hide from Him as they did from everyone else. And as we continue on toward the Great Awakening, both the invisible fallen angels of our time and their “invisible” human counterparts will be increasingly exposed.

         You will know them by their fruits.

         “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:15-20] [1]

         The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church:

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         Jesus has always maintained a remnant of true believers within the earth. His Qahal has never ceased to exist.

         Though only a small minority compared to the vast collection of Christian adherents in the world, its members continue to honor their Messiah as did the upper-roomers. However, since the Lord’s community has never been concerned with geopolitics, the forced subjugation of people groups, or the writing of very subjective chronicles, it has faded from historical view. Even if this knowledge cannot be satisfactorily documented for the skeptics among us, the fact of the matter is that the characteristics of the first Christian community, the prototype, remain extremely different from most of the churches and church organizations throughout history and modern times, both in practice and doctrine. Christians continue to be tied to structures promoting dual class division and institutional formats which have little to do with real Christianity. Christians have largely rejected the work of their most distant ancestors, and have lost due respect for the truths they taught, and the One who taught them.

         Will we continue to be so blind and arrogant that we place the blame for this fact on them, rather than ourselves? They are the ones who built the foundation. They are the ones who paid in blood to set the example which all successive generations were to follow. If their very immature spiritual juniors of the present continue in this vein of quiet mockery and religious complacency, the Unreal Church of the Conformed will grow even larger with greater determination against truth. In fact, the bloody persecution of real Christians will expand from the present hell-holes of this world and will soon go international. Every nation will take part. The greatest enemies of the present day community of called-out ones, however, are not modern Herods and Neros, but modern religionists intent on protecting their turf. And who are these chief persecutors? Who are the new Christian Pharisees? In what form do they exist today? Who are the ones influenced by the same spirit that gave Saul of Tarsus his commission to fight the Church? Such deceived ones are much closer to all of us than we think. Through their resolute and unwavering stand for their chosen form of Christianity, they have allowed themselves to become the very image of the unreal.

         Our greatest enemy wears virgin wool. [2]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

[2] Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Divide and Conquer: THE CLERGY-LAITY SPLIT (1)

         I have written extensively on the subject of the Clergy-Laity Division. My book, Real Christianity, delves deeply into the issue. Though the following excerpt from the book is relatively brief, it presents the historical and Biblical essence of the Clergy-Laity Division in Christianity and helps every believer to discover how it negatively affects his or her Christian experience and discipleship.

         Speaking of which, I highly recommend buying the book. It has received excellent reviews. [Please see the above *AUTHOR / BOOK* tab for more information.] Its pages are loaded with truth that reveals this Divide and Conquer tactic and so many other methods of the enemy that strive to limit and even stop the progress of the Lord’s real community.

         Thank you and be blessed. From Real ChristianityThe Nature of the Church:

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         By the Middle Ages, the Christian upper class as a whole had grown much more stealthy and clandestine, gained access to greater monetary sources, and amassed more political power than it had probably ever imagined. Eventually, these classes developed titles. You know them today as the clergy and the laity.

            One must note that this split did not take place within the Lord’s Qahal. [1] Jesus never created rank among His children. Class division began in the unreal assembly, and we can trace its origin all the way back to the times of the apostles. As a matter of fact, Paul referred to its propagators as false apostles:

         “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” [2 Corinthians 11:13-15]

         A few verses later, Paul wrote of their management practices, especially of the way they exalted themselves over their congregations:

         “For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.” [2 Corinthians 11:20]

         Keeping in mind the fact that the real community of believers was woven together by love and that they comprised a body, those who submitted to the false apostles were obviously not loved by their leaders, nor were their congregations unified in the Spirit. The word “exalt” in the former verse is from the Greek word epairo (ep-ahee’-ro). It means “to lift up, raise up, or raise on high,” or in other words, to exalt oneself in pride. Jesus instructed His people that the greater leader must be the greater servant and must cloak himself in ever greater amounts of humility. These false apostles did just the opposite, being true to their actual nature.

         After many centuries, the clergy-laity division became standard practice even among those church bodies which gained greater access to truth. The division has remained in most churches to date due only to carried-over tradition and an apparent lack of knowledge regarding the Lord’s proper format. [2]

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         The Divide and Conquer tactic employed by Unreal Christianity was brilliant. As avowed enemies of the Lord Jesus, it put the Christian Pharisees in complete control and regulated 99% of the congregation to wasting away in the pews as ineffectual clergy supporters rather than real disciples of the Lord Jesus:

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         When the splitting of community became official, it easily did more to thwart God’s plan for evangelizing the world than anything else man has devised. The reason why is simple—ninety-something percent of the membership was removed from the process. The “laity” [3] was deemed unqualified for officially ordained Christian service and, consequently, unworthy of receiving God’s call. Yet, there was a time when all believers heard the call of God, and each person heard it from Jesus Himself.

         At the present, due to the entrenched tradition of the clergy-laity division, many Christians never consider the possibility of devoting their lives to God because they have been made to think that God only chooses certain rare holy ones for His work. If this is true, the Lord is breaking His own commandment by judging a good many people as unqualified before they ever get a chance to prove themselves. [See Matthew 7:1]

         The only thing which actually disqualifies a person from ministry is the same thing which disqualifies him from membership in the Church, and that is simply a lack of full commitment to the absolute Lordship of Jesus. There is nothing inherent within any sincere believer which disqualifies him or her from the Lord’s service—somebody else’s service yes, but not the Lord’s. Every Christian needs to know that all legitimate calls to ministry come only from the Lord, and each should be encouraged to find his or her place of service. There are abundant ministry needs to address, very few who feel worthy to address them, and many who were discouraged from entering the Lord’s service by inept ministers who were more than likely never called themselves, at least, not by God.

         Ironically, many headstrong individuals or those with improper motives feel all too worthy. Their self-willed attitude would suggest that they usually never hear God’s call at all, but one much more personal. Such high-minded ones see golden opportunities to use religious structures, systems, and especially people to pad their own nest or at least find a niche… [4]

         Sound familiar?

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Qahal is the Hebrew equivalent for “Church,” and is the word most likely used by Jesus.

[2] Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[3] This word 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.

[4] Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

IDENTITY Politics and the Fracturing of America

THE WORD OF THE YEAR

         Dictionary.com has chosen the word Identity as its 2015 word of the year.

         Miriam-Webster’s word of the year isn’t a word—it’s a suffix: -ism

         The word looked up most often was Socialism.

FRACTURING THE POPULACE

         I haven’t done much research on why such words were chosen but their choices are appropriate regarding the further push by several groups toward fracturing the American populace through identity politics.

         The accuracy of these choices reflects the ongoing overly selfish attitudes of current agendas and movements, and an ever-growing rejection of practicing the Golden Rule:

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

         And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment.

         “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:35-40]

SOCIAL SUICIDE

         The overwhelming advancing avalanche of ubiquitous social media over the last few years has actually resulted in the very opposite of a cohesive society. Rather than the long-held acceptance of a national American identity in which one is proud of one’s country, America is being destroyed from within through the social suicide of societal conflict and internecine warfare.

         Imagine the members of a professional baseball team suddenly turning on one another on the field of play with fights breaking out between individual players of the same squad. Instead of the usual bench-clearing brawl when members of opposing teams fight each other to protect one’s teammates, what is currently taking place in America is the equivalent of teammates fighting one another toward the complete destruction of the team.

         The promotion of the individual member over the team constitutes no team and an impossibility of success. While it is true that individual rights are sacred and America is a very diverse country, it does not mean that the interests of the individual must always rule over and rule out the social construct of the nation since such aberrant behavior will only result in the eventual destruction of the society itself. We must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We may all believe different things but must also believe in national unity. And national unity must never be coerced.

THE COMMUNITY OF THE LORD JESUS

         So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase. [Acts 9:31]

         The only unity that will survive all attacks against it from both within and without is the community created 2,000 years ago by the Lord Jesus. It is a union based on love and respect for both the Lord first and for one another. It is held together by the Spirit of God. When individual members go beyond their individual mandates, divisions will appear which must be healed. Such healing is always possible through the promotion of the community itself but never against the rights of the individual.

THE COMMUNITY IS ONLY AS STRONG AS IT’S INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

         However, this never means that each individual must be coerced into forced compliance and come under strong-armed religious control, since such an agenda will result in the complete ineffectiveness of each person who is called and gifted by the Lord.

         There must be balance. There must be harmony. The individual members of the Lord’s community are called to love and serve one another and this necessitates a humble attitude shared by all.

         We are currently seeing the opposite of this attitude in America within virtually every segment of society. It obviously includes “Christian” segments, which are often the worst violators. Christian denominations have been some of the worst violators of spiritual community in history and their legacy lives on in the present. Most “Christian” churches are obvious violators of individual spiritual freedom in that they not only coerce everyone to obey their false religious programs but refuse the authority of the Lord Jesus as well. The Lord’s sheep are supposed to follow HIM and real Christians do because they each recognize the Lord Jesus as their Shepherd.

         “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

         “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” [John 10:2-5]

         “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me…” [John 10:27]

THOSE MOST GUILTY OF DESTROYING THE LORD’S COMMUNITY

         Most “Christians,” however, have chosen other shepherds to follow, and honor them instead of the Lord Jesus. Ultimate blame for the breaking up of the nation can be laid in part on such false and powerless “Christian” religious models with counterfeit leaders which possess only superficial community and which effectively destroy real spiritual unity. Regarding the present fracturing of America, Unreal Christianity has set an excellent example toward that end. Nothing good will come of such social and spiritual unraveling through the promotion and glorification of religious strong men.

         Identity politics might have had a somewhat meaningful and necessary beginning forty years ago, but it has resulted at present in nothing more than a ripping apart of the American fabric. It causes governmental force to increase to protect society overall and such government overreach eventually destroys all individual rights. Therefore, there is no doubt that such societal division is being fostered and promoted by elite powers hiding behind the curtain, whose goal is to destroy the abilities and means of free individuals to maintain their individual liberty, strength, and abilities, and who would otherwise create a greater community to overcome their evil machinations.

WHY DO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES LOOK AND ACT LIKE MEGA CHURCH PASTORS?

         The strong man is taking over. But this exact dynamic has already taken place among the majority of “Christian” churches and ministries. Think about that when considering the origins and rise of the antichrist.

         A slow motion explosion, based on false identity politics, is our current track. It began several years ago with an outbreak of narcissism based on false praise for all, regardless of their lack of meaningful individual accomplishment which would otherwise promote proper praise.

         It ends when such recipients of false praise promote one of their own—THE ULTIMATE DESTRUCTIVE NARCISSIST, as has already happened in part and will continue—since they identify with such a one, and thus promote the strong man toward the destruction of society.

         Such social engineering never works. Such societies and communities always destroy themselves.

         And though the coming antichrist will achieve his long desired One World Government, One World Economy, One World Religion, and One World Everything Else sitting as the god of this orb high atop his pyramid, his evil kingdom won’t last long. Ruin always follows such hubris.

         And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” [Luke 10:18] [1]

         The seeds of destruction germinate best in the -isms of lies, pride, and me-first identities.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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