The Great Pretenders

         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 5:12-18]

         And this is how it always happens. The clergyites in control will always fight against the Spirit of God until they get off their high horses and get on their faces before Him.

         Why have we not seen revival? Why are most church services so dead they might as well be funerals? Most churches are so cold you could ice skate down the main aisle.

         The Sudducees in the above verses had their own version of “The First Church of the Refrigerator” and were so incensed on losing control to the Spirit of God they threw His guys in jail. Modern religionists in America don’t do this anymore. They just treat believers with supreme indifference, keep them out of their “private clubs,” and never allow them to come close to expressing their hearts and revealing truth. These are religious control freaks one and all, and the majority of churches in America remain under the control of such fleshly fruitcakes who fight revival and the manifestation of God’s Spirit.

         And that’s the main reason we as believers find ourselves in such a predicament. There always has to be certain people who are so in love with themselves and their power they will always stifle any possible move of God.

         When there are no Book of Acts manifestations you can be sure humanity is in control.

         I mentioned in a previous post that if a poll was conducted among church leaders to sign a pledge allowing the Lord Jesus to have absolute total control in their churches that very, very few would ever sign it.

         And the reason why is simple—they would lose control. Life would become a challenge. They would likely lose their perks, and most of all, they would lose their high horse reputations. God would fix it so no one would henceforth want to kiss their “hand” and bow down to them anymore. As it is, most believers worship their preachers and reverends and priests and church buildings and non-Biblical doctrines and all the other stuff the Pharisees and Sadducees were guilty of, instead of worshipping the Lord Jesus in Spirit and truth.

         Prayer is the answer—long, hard times of prayer—intense prayer, intercessory prayer, and prayer of no pretense that rightfully moves the heart of God.

         Repentance is the answer—solid, heart-rending, sobbing, snot-dripping repentance that proves one is seeing straight, knows one is nothing without God, and desires to do anything to have all of God and His direction.

         The Lord, however, is truly a Gentleman and will never force His way upon us. That’s why He waits for us to get down to spiritual business. There are so many saints of God with pure hearts who remain under the control of some fleshly, proud, I’m-better-than-you-and-deserve-my-place-in-the-spotlight pinhead who will fight the Lord all day long in the guise of serving Him. Until someone challenges these people they will always remain in control.

         This is what the Lord said about these future Christian pretenders:

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

         “Woe to you lawyers![1] For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.” [Luke 11:52]

         In other words, if your fearless leader refuses the full Spirit-filled kingdom of heaven and key of knowledge attained by the apostles and first century believers, then so too will you, who have bowed the knee not to God but to a fellow human being in the form of God. The apostles were very humble men and suffered greatly for their faith. But they were also great stalwarts in that they learned to live in hardship and carry the banner of the Lord courageously despite their loss of social standing, monetary gain, and religious position.

         Unlike the highly vaunted religious leaders they suffered the loss of all things but WALKED WITH GOD AND POSSESSED THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. They shook the devil’s kingdom to the core instead of joining it like so many unreal Christians and Christian leaders do so today.

         Instead of living as the apostles did, however, we treat them like disconnected museum pieces to admire from afar but never think or desire to have what they had.

         There are actually millions of such real Christians on the planet today who have learned to live for God and will always live for God regardless of powerful persecution and indifference toward them. They will fight any God-directed battle for the spiritual freedom of humanity regardless of dire circumstances, and reject anything that compromises their walk.

         You will know the Lord Jesus is in charge when you see everyone in the vicinity taking a backseat and hitting the deck, especially the high and holy ones who previously thought it would all fall apart if they did not keep their grip on control. Anything not of God will be burned up, of course, and good riddance. But real leaders understand fully that they are nothing and that the Lord Jesus is everything, and every part of the spotlight belongs to Him and Him only.

         Let the Spirit of the Lord be in charge!

         Let Him do what He wants!

         Get the heck out of the way!

         Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,

Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God;

And not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;

Nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

         And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

         You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

         Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

         To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. [1 Peter 5:1-11] [2]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   

[1] Greek—Nomikos: Relating to law, learned in the law, experts in the Mosaic Law. Torah teachers. Those consumed with the letter of the Law but completely missing and neglecting the Spirit of the Law.

[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.

Posted on June 27, 2012, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Amen my friend, exactly right. They don’t really care to reach God, they are more into themselves than they are the word of God and His will. Jesus is simply an afterthought and if the Holy Spirit appears they walk out the door. They don’t even understand what they are missing, if they did they would want more and more instead of less and less. God bless you RJ!


  2. Thank you, Patricia. Excellent comment. The way you phrased it forces one to accept the actual truth, that strong deception is involved, which portends the presence of a strong deceiver…


  3. I believe that we are already seeing the beginnings of God cleaning up His house. Just recently two churches in my hometown closed for lack of people (one which was the church I grew up in). The pablum that had been preached from the pulpits lulled the congregations to sleep and eventually the churches literally died–doors closed, buildings sold.

    It is very encouraging.


  4. Thank you for the comment, Susan. And I must say I laughed out loud when I read your last line! Not something one would expect after the previous sentence.

    Dead churches either start that way or become that way over time. It is either because they never wanted the Lord to begin with or quit wanting the Lord. The fight for spiritual freedom is only for the committed and dedicated. Those who waver will be tempted to go the way of the flesh or side with the devil. And the deception is such that the people involved rarely even know it and end up fighting for the wrong side.

    But it is very encouraging, especially since there are so many vibrant, powerful, loving, and growing communities of the Lord Jesus all across the country that have accepted the Lord with open arms. They still have their challenges because God needs us all to continue growing both as individuals and spiritual communities, and much of what He calls us to is frontier. It demands faith and obedience, and a willingness to take on the forces of evil to reach the lost and reveal the truth that makes us free.


  5. Great piece, RJ, that simply describes that thing none of us want to admit… The body is supposed to be guided and controlled by its Head. A body running around without a mind looks pretty silly doesn’t it? Thanks for bringing truths we need desperately!

    By the way, is “Real Christianity” available in electronic format? Just curious… Blessings.


    • Thank you very much, Mike. Chickens running around with their heads cut off do look pretty silly until all the chickens are doing it. Then it just looks NORMAL. To quote from page 327 of my book:

      “In today’s Christian universe, however, billions and billions of disconnected church bodies the world over underscore the fact that we’re like a huge grounded flock of wing-flapping, zigzagging chickens running around with our heads cut off. Any distinction in the body is supposed to be based on its various parts, such as eyes and ears, and not on incongruous beliefs and doctrines which are contrary to one another…” [Real Christianity © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]

      Regarding the book, in the not too distant future I will be moving out of the acoustic folk scene and going electric. Kindle Reader here I come… Until then I have good old fashioned books available! Thanks.

      [Note: The Real Christianity E-Book is now LIVE! See right hand column of blog for details.]


      • I definitely look forward to adding it to my Kindle… but for now, which is your preferred sale avenue? I know some are more profitable for the author than others.


        • However you buy it is great with me. Thanks. Search for Print Version by Full Title and Author Name at Amazon, B&N, and many other sites, including local book stores. Available internationally.

          Please see my latest post. It should be up soon… Be blessed.


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