Yearly Archives: 2017

RESISTING THE AWAKENING: Finding Fault Leads to Closed Minds and Hard Hearts

         Christians say they want a Great Awakening but most don’t want to change. That’s why the Lord almost always has to go outside to find the right people to drive it.

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         The status quo likes things the way things are in general and their status quo status is proved by their willingness to go only so far toward necessary change, and it is not very far.

         This is why we rarely get anywhere and why those on the edge of truth who are trying to bring it forth always get slammed by those holding back. But the Lord Jesus will not be denied. He is bringing this, and will bring it, and if He has to He will leave all nominal and unwilling Christians behind.

HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF

         He has done this countless times before. He will never allow the intransigence of His own supposed people to hold Him back. There are many, many more people who want Him and love Him with ALL their hearts and are willing to do anything He says, even though most of these do not qualify as “Christians” by those who set themselves up as judges. These relative outcasts have paid a great price to be in that place of closeness to the Lord and have suffered greatly for it. For many, their lives have been destroyed in the process of staying on the path but they don’t care about the price that must be paid.

         They want God. They want reality. They are tired of playing games and believing promises that never come true. They are tired of people never keeping their promises or coming through for the Lord. They see clearly that all of these so-called spiritual heavyweights in control and all their sycophant often clueless congregants have actually sold out and really don’t want any change unless it brings further personal benefit to themselves.

         Beware any religious leader who looks good and sounds good but never has any real desire to get out of Egypt or makes peace with living in the Sinai.        

PRESS ON!        

         WE WERE MADE TO BE IN THE PROMISED LAND, just as it was way back then, except now it is obviously not geographical but spiritual, and if God needs to leave an entire generation behind, believe me, HE WILL DO IT.

         But for all real Christians it is time to go forward. It is time to let go of all the idols and false doctrines and compromise and things that keep Christians from embracing the full will of God. The Lord is trying to do something absolutely great and spiritually unprecedented in America, and the majority of Christians continue to reject it. This is a terrible turn of events but it is the foreseen reaction to this great move of God by those who study Awakenings and revivals. There is always a very strong and evil reaction to such great moves in the early going by those who claim to be holding the fort but are actually only clutching onto their own personal benefits and standing. They have given in to both personal pride and spiritual pride and would rather sit on their tuffets in comfort back home than engage the enemy on the field of battle.

         I will close with this very profound food for thought:

         “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”

         Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32] [1]

         © 2017 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.

JUDGMENTAL CHRISTIANS: Breaking Fellowship Over Non-Salvation Issues

         About a decade and a half ago there was a Christian conference relatively close by and would take place in just a few days. It featured a man I’d seen on television countless times. I made it a point to be there.

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         His name is Hugh Ross. In 1986 he started a ministry called Reasons To Believe, “Where Science and Faith Converge.” I encourage you to visit this website and look around.

         As a young man he began looking for spiritual truth and, like so many of us with a hunger for God, began searching world religions. When he began his research into Christianity he was immediately struck by what he found in the first chapter of Genesis—it made perfect sense from a scientific point of view. He was amazed by the accuracy. He soon became a Christian. He also eventually became an astrophysicist.

THE CONFERENCE   

         I planned on getting there early with hopes of meeting Mr. Ross. I walked into a relatively mid-sized conference facility about the size of a very large classroom. There were many people milling about as new arrivals wandered in. I took a seat on the front row. At some point Hugh Ross walked in and went up to the front. He gave an informal talk and said we would wait a little longer until everybody arrived, and then sat down a couple of seats from me.

         People who know me very well know I pray about everything, and I pray about everything in the context of God’s will, knowing for a fact that God’s will is always the best. A person can never do better than the will of God. Well, on the way over I had asked the Lord if it would be okay if I could talk to this man. Then when I got there the man sits down two seats over. No one approached him. I didn’t waste any time introducing myself and we began a brief discussion.

         Hugh Ross is not a young earth creationist. For this reason alone many Christians don’t like him. Some see him as a heretic. It does not matter how well he explains everything from both a purely Biblical perspective and from pure science, many Christians judge him right off the bat as soon as they find out he doesn’t believe the Universe was created about 4000BC.

         We had a great talk. I was trying to shed light on the nature of God and how the Bible clearly states that the Lord Jesus is the Creator though so many Christians recoil at that fact. He agreed. We spent most of the conversation, however, discussing young earth versus old earth creationism.

         Hugh Ross is a solid Christian. He believes the Bible is the absolute Word of God. He makes an excellent case both Biblically and scientifically why young earth creationism is lacking. He is a very gracious man but has certainly seen his share of Christian persecution (that is, persecution from Christians). Then he said something very profound. Remember, this is a very brilliant man who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart. He lives to serve Him. He is low key, humble, relaxed, and the very opposite of professorial.

         We were discussing why so many Christians can’t see eye to eye on the creation issue. I have also faced many fights in this area even though most of the time I really don’t have a dog in that fight. Why can’t the young-earthers, who have traditionally composed the much greater percentage of creationists, find it in their heart to fellowship with those with a different perspective? Why can’t they honor the beliefs of others? Hugh answered my question perfectly:

         “Because they see it as a salvation issue.”

         I was somewhat taken aback and went silent for a few seconds. I was thinking. “Of course. I knew this, or I should have, and I have certainly applied this to other Christian doctrines and beliefs.” But still, in that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It is why so many Christians favor separation over unity. It is why there are approximately four billion Christian denominations. The separatist Christians believe EVERYTHING is a salvation issue.

         Though I always spend much more time in study and research than the average Christian, I am almost always forced to prove everything. This is impossible, of course. When Christians believe they have all the light and truth on an issue, they become not only dogmatic but very judgmental. They close their eyes and ears. Those who do the larger work and pay the greater price know the truth, however. They work very hard to see an issue from as many perspectives as possible. Those who rarely or never do the work usually only believe something because that is what they have been told. They can only see it one way.

         What if a Christian is walking in all the light he has? What if he loves the Lord? Must he also be absolutely perfectly right in every doctrine taught by a particular denomination or pastor or single believer in order to be saved? Are Catholics saved? Are Protestants? Are Pentecostals? In all actuality we have millions of distinct beliefs within Christianity in general and there is no possible way anyone can believe it all. Much of it is contradictory. Much of it comes forth from people who insist they are right and never budge. What is being preached on one side of town is often the very opposite of that which is preached on the other. There is no way both can be right. But both can be wrong.

REAL CHRISTIANITY

         This is why I always make my final and only appeal to authority to the Lord Jesus. It is only His curriculum that is perfect and it must be His entire curriculum that we learn and live by. Not everything in His teachings, however, is a salvation issue. We should never, ever be divided as a result of such. If two Christians believe the Lord Jesus CREATED the universe but differ on how He did it or how long it took, that’s okay. Both of these Christians can still be saved. Besides, we were not there. We don’t know exactly how He did it.

         The Lord came across this problem often and just as often He had to do some rebuking. His greatest rebukes were always for the hard core religionists who refused to see anything other than the way they saw it and would disfellowship a person in a heartbeat for not seeing it their way. What we should be doing is working harder and studying more and praying more and fasting more instead of thinking we’ve cornered the market on truth.

         I found out later that evening that Hugh Ross and I did not believe everything the same way. But it didn’t matter. Wherever we differed on beliefs, they were not salvation issues. I’ll never forget that brief though deep discussion we had. He was humble enough and approachable enough to give me a few minutes of his time right before he was to give a major talk to so many of his ministry’s supporters.

         Please readers, keep up all the great work. Keep doing your study and research. Keep reading the Word. But most of all, knowing we are all at different spiritual places based on our discipleship and knowledge level, let us not make everything a salvation issue and thus a disfellowship issue. The Lord only has ONE community. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters with regard to who is in it and who isn’t is His. Let us all try to keep the salvation issues among the salvation issues, such as the simple teaching that decides salvation as quoted here:

         For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

         For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

         But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

         AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:8-22] [1] 

         © 2017 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.

RECOMMENDED READING FROM MY FRIEND LISA:

You are saved by grace? or works? or faith? or fruit? Can Grace save you?

IDENTIFYING THE SHEEP AND GOATS: Differentiating Real Disciples from the Bogus Boys

         There are two Christianities. One is real. One is fake. The following will help you tell them apart:

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       The reason Unreal Christianity is a big bulky non-innovative high-dollar extremely low bang-for-your-buck non-New Testament intractable overly bureaucratic religious sluggish slow-moving massive blob dictated to by institutional seminary-trained boshheads, cold-minded clerics, and charged-up dense denominators endlessly parroting the centuries-dead Ichabod gloryless company line is because, principally, the Lord Jesus is not in charge.

         That is a problem.

        When one reads the New Covenant writings with a clear head and pure heart without all the mind-numbed artery-clogging casuistic falsely-interpretive nonsense nomenclature and grossly obese religiosity and churchianity content, one discovers an incredible streamlined living and loving Community of Called-Out Ones exhibiting cleanliness, quickness, Spirit of God-fueled power needing next to zero overhead and fitting into any and all cultures with a life-giving new-life Gospel message for anyone anywhere on the planet.

         It is fast. It is mobile. It is loving. It is caring. It is merciful. It is self-effacing. It is filled with joy. It is creative, fruitful, and productive. It is easily financed. It never requires large money outlays to be powerfully effective. The members love each other, always support each other, and always develop quickly into strong mature and secure disciples. Rather than pour everything into a building with one guy preaching there is often no building and a hundred guys preaching. They go anywhere demanded, do anything commanded, suffer any hardship, overcome evil with good, and battle raging hate with pure love.

         And it can’t be stopped. Kill one member and ten more pop up. Try to eliminate it and it only grows larger. Try to destroy it and Great Awakenings break forth. Persecution only makes it more powerful. When the devil jabs he gets knocked over the ropes with a ferocious left hook. When he fights dirty he gets pounded into the ground. When he uses lies and gossip he and his entire operation is revealed for all the world to see. When he tries to hide he gets outed. When he brings darkness he is exposed with a million mega watt game spotter.

         There is thus no comparison between real Christians and the fake pretentious pretenders. One is led by the Lord Jesus and the other is not. One is filled with His Spirit and the other is not. One can move mountains and the other cannot. One can raise the dead and the other is the dead. One believes and the other disbelieves. One obeys and the other rebels. One is faithful and the other is a cynical denier of spiritual reality. One will inherit the Kingdom and gain eternal life and the other will …not.

SHEEP AND GOATS

         “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

         “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

         “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

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

         “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [Matthew 25:31-46] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

REJECTING THE TRUTH (When It Hits Too Close To Home)

        At first the prophets were respected. Then their pronouncements caused discomfort. Then the people got angry. Then the prophets were rejected.

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         This is the way it always goes. The message of the prophets never changed. The only thing that changed was the reaction to the message. The reaction was worse in relation to the prophet’s closeness to home. Rejecting truth caused unrepentant people to turn inward, ingrown, and interbred. They eliminated the possibility of receiving the seed of God which always came from without. They became anti-fruitful, grew spiritually lazy and sluggish, and wanted an easy time of things. God would have nothing of it.

         The Lord Jesus spoke nothing but Truth. The Truth inevitably caused a bad reaction. The bad reaction denoted the place the reaction came from in that the hearts of such people had grown far away from God though they all considered themselves just fine with God.

THANK YOU LORD THAT WE ARE NOT LIKE OTHER RELIGIONS

          Christianity in general likes itself and sees no problem. This is the problem. The Lord is fixing the problem. That’s why we are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. But the Awakening is still being opposed by the very people who should be supporting it. They oppose it because they like things the way they are. They are resistant to change. This is not new. They take the correcting and reforming words of the Lord as an offense.

          I wrote the following 16 months ago: Americans Deciding with Their Feet: The Ongoing Exodus from Traditional Christianity. It speaks of the fast-approaching future, ready or not, some of which has already arrived, which demands TC get its act together or face complete irrelevance.

         I have written hundreds of well-researched articles like this reflecting the exact scenario regarding the closed hearts and minds of so many so-called Christians who oppose the Lord while claiming to support Him. The evidence for this should be obvious to any nominal believer by the very lack of evidence among the unreal believers of actually obeying the Lord and carrying out His plan.

         “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” [Acts 7:51] 

         Their hearts are not right. They resist. They oppose. None of it surprises the Lord. He has a bit of experience in this area. The same spiritual dynamic always happens and it always happens the same way. For a refresher course, it goes like this:

(1) An obscure nobody suddenly speaks forth something so profound and so different that the first reaction from the entrenched religious traditionalist status-quo is silent shock (“What did He just say?”).

(2) They try to throw Him off a cliff.

IDOL O’ PROTOCOL

         This is exactly what they attempted. Only it was not, as one may suppose, the actions of some strange evil street protesters who advocate for killing everyone who doesn’t believe exactly everything they believe. But wait. It kind of was. But before they assumed that form they were nice church-law-abiding pew-sitting go-along-with-the-program types who somehow found great spiritual nourishment in silently watching the pros perform while making sure such pros performed in exactly the way they were accustomed. They had no hankering for anyone even thinking of doing anything even the slightest bit different or break in any way from the correct time-honored protocol.

         Then the Lord Jesus broke protocol. Actually, on His very first visit to His home town church after beginning His ministry when asked to read He proceeded to the front, turned and faced the crowd, and read a very familiar passage. Then he said some other things from right out of the very Scriptures those people supposedly honored but never, ever mentioned. About this time and in that process He let everybody know that things would be different from now on and demonstrated it by very calmly picking up the dead carcass of religious protocol in His strong and mighty construction-worked hands and slamming it against the nearest wall splintering it into a thousand pieces. It was pretty cool. The church people were not happy. Here is the narrative:

         And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

         “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”

         And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

         And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’”

         And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.”

         “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

         And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. [Luke 4:16-29] [1]

         © 2017 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.

SPIRITUAL FREEDOM and the Losing Legacy of Traditional Christianity

         Having squandered its influence within society, traditional Christianity no longer has much effect on the culture.

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         This is what happens when the great strength and power of Real Christianity is removed and virtually relegated to the sidelines. The Truth has been systematically retracted and replaced with false notions borne by dead religionists without a clue. The process then continues to replicate itself, having made the reality of that which the Lord Jesus brought forth in the beginning the object of ridicule and thus rejection.

         And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9]

THIS IS WHY GREAT AWAKENINGS MUST HAPPEN

         The traditional religionists gain full control. They remove everything that has to do with real life. They set up systems in place which corral and control the people, turning them into mere automatons doing their bidding. Why does one rarely notice that the advantages of such a setup always rise to the top for the benefit of those in control?

         The Lord Jesus, as part of His real curriculum, demanded that His disciples be servants. This does not mean that we are only supposed to serve Him which we obviously must, but that we have a general sense of being a servant to all. Being a servant, then, must demand that we think of others and their condition of life. This must mostly be the case among the members of the Community. It does not mean that those outside the Community must not also be loved, but that those within the Community have already complied with the commands of the Lord and submitted to Him. These real members have given themselves to the Lord to be used as He decides. The benefits thereof must obviously then go to them, as this is what the Lord taught. How can He bless a person with salvation, for example, unless that person complies with the necessary commands toward salvation? In other words, there is no salvation without repentance.

         Whoever then has complied with everything the Lord has commanded to be a member of His Community is thus in a place and position in which the Lord can bless with the full benefits of His Kingdom.

HOW IS THE FOLLOWING SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN?

         Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Mark 10:29-30] [1]

         Christians have been conditioned by pretenders to expect next to nothing from the Lord. They read their Bibles. They study the Gospel. They do in-depth research into the New Covenant epistles of Paul and the others. And they discover there are great benefits that go along with being a member of the Lord’s real Community. And they wonder where their benefits are and why such are often so hard to come by. These people, however, have never been in it for the benefits. That’s not why they signed up. They joined because they met the Lord and accepted His great love and returned that great love. They want to be with Him. They want to serve Him. They also want to be within a Community in which we all love one another and watch out for one another.

         This cannot happen in fake communities. Such groups simply do not have the goods. They do not possess the ability to gain the benefits. Why? Because they are not real. That’s why I call it Unreal Christianity. They are not connected to the Lord. They are not connected to the Lord’s great life and power. There is no spiritually regenerative power as that which was released in the very beginning.

         In short, the fake places have no Pentecost events. This is because they reject Pentecost events. The people there are not Spirit-filled and don’t want to be. They have created and set up faux communities in which the Lord is not present and thus has no power or control to significantly change things for the better. The controllers of these institutions prefer their man-made set-ups because the benefits go to them. They know they have little power to significantly help the members thereof as the Lord Jesus did in the beginning, but they refuse to change to allow the Lord control.

THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG

         This is also why the culture has greater influence on these places than vice versa. The original Church from its very creation had greater power than any other entity on the planet. EVERY SINGLE MEMBER WAS GIVEN THIS GREAT POWER. It was never meant only for some ridiculous higher class. The Lord meant it for everybody. When one reads the historical record within the Book of Acts he sees the powerful coming forth of a people released from all shackles, from the shackles of sin and also from those of cultural arrangements that had always previously kept them down and out. Just as the Lord said, these people were now FREE:

         So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32]

         The word translated as free means to be released from the dominion of sin, to be set at liberty, and even to be released from liability. This is real freedom! Once a person gains this freedom it means all things are possible. When people gain this freedom they get really happy really fast! That’s what happened at Pentecost. An incredible release took place. People were set free from virtual prisons. Joy broke out all over. They gave themselves to their new Lord and Master and were no longer under the sway of masquerading imposters who promise everything and deliver nothing.

         Dead religious tradition had made a deal with the devil and kept them bound. The Lord Jesus set them free.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.

NEED A MIRACLE?

         The Lord Jesus is available. He has never stopped being available. All things are possible with God.

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THE FAUX BROS

         The faux brethren are preaching a different Gospel. It brings no honor to the Lord. But it does bring them a living, and that is what they desire the most.

         “Christianity” is very different behind the scenes. Once a Christian performer leaves the stage he or she can be seen for what they really are. I remember very well the early days when idealism gave way to reality. While the reality of the Lord was always the same the Lord showed me how the faux brethren change when away from the spotlight. I wondered then, just how a Christian performer is supposed to represent himself in public. There is obviously no way he can maintain the same persona and attitude as the one presented onstage.

        Again, these were the very early days of my new Christian experience. Everything was brand new, holy, and pure. I had no reason to doubt anything presented as spiritual reality. The preaching I became associated with was powerful and convicting. It was obviously inspired and anointed.

         But I began to realize that I never saw that kind of preaching outside a church venue, unless it was a larger church venue transported to a rented auditorium or something similar. Why did I never see that kind of incredible preaching out on the street in a non-official setting?

THOSE BRUTAL ROMANS

         This is how the early believers did it. They had no church buildings. There were in fact no church buildings for almost three centuries and yet those powerful early believers turned the Roman Empire on its ear. One must keep in mind that the Romans were brutal. That is probably the best one word description of their entire culture. They perfected crucifixion, for example. Gladiators fought to the death as entertainment. Massive crowds came to the many entertainment venues to see human beings suffer and die. Once the early believers became more numerous and were seen as a threat, they too were sentenced to die in entertainment venues, often ripped apart by wild beasts. Imagine being one of those early stalwarts of the faith.

         Despite all the persecution and barbaric brutality, the early believers actually brought the Roman Empire to its knees. They did it with love. They did it by making themselves vulnerable. They were never two-faced. What you saw was what you got whether they were behind closed doors, in small settings, or out in the public on the street. They learned all of this from the Lord Jesus. It is exactly the way He was and the way He did things. He was always the same and He is still the same.

STAGE PERFORMERS

         Official Christianity, however, has been transformed into a stage production. Preaching has become an art form. Yet, such is not close to being new. The Lord called the Pharisees and those like them hypocrites. Though the word has a different connotation now, hypocrites were stage performers. They were actors. The Lord called the Pharisees actors. They were merely acting out a part. Their outward performance was never how they really were. Off the stage and out of their religious costumes, they were the opposite. They were as fake as the day is long.

         It should be obvious that without church buildings and professional preachers most Christians would have no clue what to do. Yet again, the early Church never “went to church.” They had no “church” to go to. Today, most Christians go to church in order to have church. Back then, real Christians were the Church. They couldn’t hide once they were out of the spotlight because they didn’t want to hide and the “spotlight” was a 24 hour a day proposition.

REAL CHRISTIANS

         There are still Christians that are like this. They are always the same. They can do the will of God wherever they are. However, they are not professionals. They can’t be fake. It is simply not in them. Because of this they usually don’t have an easy time collecting donations. People are so used to having only one out a thousand presenting themselves as worthy “official” ministers that they are conditioned to support them, even though the great bulk of Christian work—99%—is being done by non-supported nobodies who must work closely with the Lord to gain a necessary living doing whatever they must. These are the real Christians. There are a few real Christians on stage and before cameras but are very, very few. You will know they are real because they do not perform. What they are in public is the same as what they would be in your living room or on the street.

         It is largely why most of the early Great Awakening is not visible—it is not happening in official venues in churches, on stage, or on television. The controllers of those venues do not want a Great Awakening. They oppose it. It is too threatening to their cushy status quo. Almost all of it is happening out there among the nobodies, the forgotten Christians, the rejected Christians—the ones who never have and never will make the grade to be prime-time players. They are all lousy actors. They can’t make a living that way. But they are real— just like the Lord.

OUR LOVING FATHER

         And the Lord Jesus is with them. He is always available. He takes care of them all because they have each presented themselves to Him as a living sacrifice to be used in whatever way He wants. These are true disciples. The one thing they have in common is their pure love and desire to help. Part of that involves believing the Lord for a miracle when a miracle is called for. They KNOW the Lord will always take care of them and one another and they have experienced the Lord’s miracles to that end. The Lord does miracles for them out of love and concern, however. He never does it as part of some twisted religious stage show. He blesses us in this way because He loves us and cares about us and because He can. He wants to meet our needs and if we let Him and obey Him and trust Him He can and He always will.

         And sometimes He blesses us with a miracle not because there is a dire need but simply because He just wants to bless our socks off. He’s in love with us. He sometimes just can’t help Himself.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Christianity Is Not Popular

         The closer one gets to the truth the more the world will hate you. This includes the religious world. And sadly, it includes Unreal Christianity.

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         During Paul’s travels he continually learned firsthand the terror arising from those opposed to the Lord Jesus. The worst offenders were those who claimed to know God. They were the ones far away from the reality of Truth who insisted they had it right. Paul did his best to convince them they were not right. He had the same fight the Lord had.

         If a Christian takes the time to think about all the opposition the Lord faced and why, he or she might begin to understand what this world is really all about. But again I must reiterate that the world itself, though fallen from God and unaware of the truth, and in opposition to Him as a result of its blindness, does not necessarily have an inborn hatred of Him.

A DIFFERENT GOSPEL

         This is only exhibited by those who are also fallen far from Him but insist they are not. How did these religious people gain control? We have major Christian denominations that continue to sink farther away from the Lord’s Truth though many were founded in great spiritual strength. How is it that such great numbers of “Christians” insist that the New Covenant is wrong and they are right? Why do they react adversely to New Covenant Truth while insisting their version is the correct one?

         But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2 Corinthians 11:3-4] [1] 

         They can’t back it up. They are in opposition to the New Covenant. If Paul came traveling their way they would reject him as soon as he started teaching. His teachings, which he learned directly from the Lord, are not their teachings. We continue to have major figures rise in the Christian world in America and gain great followings while preaching a Christianity opposed to the Lord. Their teachings, their manner, their chosen man-made doctrines, and their non-New Covenant formats are all different from that which the Lord brought forth in the beginning. Indeed, the history of Christianity in general is a continual falling away from the Lord’s original. Though there has always been a Remnant in the world illustrating the full Light of the Lord, His Light for most grows less and less. For many it has gone out completely.

TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT

         One can test this. All one need do is check on how much of the New Covenant Scriptures are preached and taught in these fake assemblies. There is much of the Lord’s teachings they never touch. According to their standard much of the New Covenant writings including the teachings of the Lord in the Gospels is never heard. Such teachings are not conducive to their false agenda. They have another purpose in mind and it does not involve the full Truth. The great bulk is never mentioned. We never hear the Lord’s insightful teachings with regard to repentance and reform, for example, and the great battle we must each engage in to bring forth His Kingdom in all its fullness.

         The only thing this false preaching does is coddle sinful flesh. It tells people they are right when they are wrong. The agenda for most is thus not to reveal error and promote Truth, but to allow people to remain far away from God in a continually unborn again condition. This may work in the here and now but I really don’t know how these people can live with themselves.

         Here is the truth: Every Christian will have to stand before the Lord one day all alone and give an account of his or her life. Wouldn’t it be better to do it now and every day instead of waiting until that day?

         I want to thank all of you for your support. Many of you have been loyal for years. You are all a blessing. I have had many former loyal readers, however, who reached a point in which they felt they must reject this site. They never or rarely give any explanation. The truths I am offering here are rarely challenged and when they are we have good discussions. This must be our course. This is what the early believers did. There were so many things the Lord called on them to do that did not look right or feel right but in the end they rejected their own reservations and embraced the Lord. They obeyed Him. It was very difficult and it often cost them greatly but there was no higher reward.

         For those of you who like to pray or who may be intercessors I would appreciate your prayers at this time. Thank you.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.

DEAD PEOPLE WALKING

         The angel returned with his report and presented it to the Lord: The churches are dead. They act like they have it all together but are spiritually dead. They are congregations of pretenders…

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         The Lord Jesus did all He could do in the first century to bring the false religious leaders to repentance. He failed. It was, of course, not His failure. It was theirs. They refused. It did not matter how well He revealed their many errors. They were dead set on maintaining their dead religious ways.

         There is a clear record in the Gospels of all their many failures and wrong actions. He tells them plainly that though they believed themselves to be right with God they did not know God.

I SEE DEAD PEOPLE

         It is no different today. Pick out any church on any street in America and the odds are huge that the leadership there will be out of fellowship with the Lord Jesus and are actually in opposition to Him. They look great. They have a great level of control and almost everyone there does what they are told. They are dead churches because the people are dead, the leadership is dead. There is a completely different standard of spirituality. Their standard is something otherworldly. It does not line up with Scripture. It is infused with false doctrines and teachings and this is borne out by its complete lack of spiritual effectiveness.

         The Lord tries to get their attention but they refuse. They are smug. They are arrogant. They go about in their quiet manner looking and acting exactly like the world because that’s what they are—they are a picture of the unregenerate sinful world wrapped up in dead religious grave clothes. They are all prepared for a funeral.

         “For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:27-28] [1]

REFUSING THE PROPER COMPARISON   

         The Lord failed to convince the Pharisees and Sadducees to repent. He has so far failed to get this particular church to repent. A church like this is representative of many churches in America. Each one proves everyday that the Lord Jesus is not in charge. Their ministry looks nothing like His. They are dead. And they force everyone who becomes part of the congregation to be dead like them.

         As long as no one makes the proper comparison to the clear New Testament record of what a group of believers is supposed to look like no one is ever the wiser. All of these people want a church in which they can continue to be sinners and remain distant from the Lord and never be made to get right with Him.

         They absolutely hate being convicted. They refuse to surrender to the Lord and thus force themselves to surrender to the church status quo.

         They are filled with sin and corruption but no one there knows it because they refuse the Lord’s light and correction that would expose them for what they are. They want compromised Christianity, a place where they can be as worldly as the day is long so they can maintain their love of this world and their focus on worldly success.

         At best they want a halfway house. They want to be in that strangely mythical place, somewhere between heaven and hell. They loathe the full expression of the Kingdom of Heaven.

         The Lord’s truth does not interest them. They reject Him. They are not for real.  

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THAT’S HYSTERICAL

         HYSTERIA: 1. A psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions. 2. Behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess. [1]

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THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY

         …The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”

         They all said, “CRUCIFY HIM!”

         And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?”

         But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “CRUCIFY HIM!”

         When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.”

         And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” [Matthew 27:20-25]

THE DEMON WHISPERERS

         The hysterical people intent on killing an innocent Man refused to listen to reason. They were egged on by demonic religious leaders who had such powerful control of their minds they could make them do anything. The religionists knew exactly what words to use, exactly what stories to spin, and exactly how to gain the greatest reaction. They were unchallenged masters of the medium.

         The hysterical people had been programmed over several decades to do the bidding of their masters. One can always tell a CULT by the way the cult leaders are treated:

         The mind-numbed crowd will never turn on its masters regardless of their purely evil nature and powerfully sinister actions.

         Instead, they will always place full blame on their innocent victims.

         Cult leaders can turn their pit bull masses on anyone or anything at any time whenever they apply the proper triggers. In this case they triggered the final inner mechanism in their wicked arsenal by arousing, at the perfect time, the maximum level of cultural inner hatred, and once it was fully armed, they released it full bore upon their greatest enemy for maximum impact.

THE POWER OF RELIGION

         There is a reason religion has the power it does. There is a reason religious shysters use religion to gain control of people and coerce their money. It is lucrative. It answers the two basic and fundamental needs of narcissistic authoritarians, many of whom are cleverly concealed charlatans: (1) Authority, and (2) Money. These religionists take power and money as their right.

         Here is one way to differentiate some of the real from the unreal when it comes to Christian ministers: The real ones will do the job the Lord called them to do whether they get paid or not (unreal ministers never work without getting paid); whether they are appreciated or not (unreal ministers will never work without ongoing full respect); and whether they are overly protected or not (unreal ministers will never subject themselves to real persecution).

         The real ministers of the Gospel will never quit no matter how everyone else may quit on them. They will always continue on though their good names and characters are falsely and wrongly trashed.

         The following ALWAYS applies to the real guys:

         “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.” [Luke 6:22] [2]

REVIVING THE DEATH CULT?

         The Lord Jesus—GOD HIMSELF—GOD WITH US—THE LONG-AWAITED MESSIAH—had arrived just as prophesied at the perfect time and He threatened the Death Cult and everything it stood for. He made war against it and would soon end it. He not only prophesied against its complete destruction but led the charge against its destruction.

         The Death Cult would be completely incompatible with everything He planned to do in the future. It was a purely opposing force, rebellious to the core. It must therefore be eliminated.

         Due to its refusal to admit fault and surrender, outright war to destroy it forever was the only alternative. This was the core construct of the spiritual war of the first century. It is why 70AD Jerusalem had to happen. It is also why God would never support its resurrection.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.

WITNESSING FOR THE LORD: Meet Charlie, the Strongest Man I Ever Met (2)

         I can never forget the testimony of a man who was a very good friend. Long ago, someone took the time to witness to Him, casting personal risk aside.

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         He was probably in his mid-to-late thirties and about a decade and a half older than me. He had a loving wife and a bunch of kids. I had never known him before he was born again but he had been a rough character, a man no one would mess with. He was a solid family man and he worked hard. He was a construction worker, a foreman, and lived in the country some distance away. He had a hard row to hoe to pack up a large family with several little kids and head off to church four times a week, but he was always there. His smile lit up the whole place. He was a great example of how the Lord could melt even the most powerful heart.

         When Charlie met the Lord Jesus, he finally met his match, and then some. Charlie found out that the Lord was a lot stronger than he was, that He was a bigger and better Man, and that He was the greatest man’s Man who ever lived. Charlie surrendered to his Maker.

         I don’t know who witnessed to him but that family’s salvation was one of the great boons to our group. I have worked in construction for many years. I worked in the oil industry a long time as well. I have met hundreds of strong men. There is a culture in these blue collar fields that one had better respect. I am ever thankful to my Dad for teaching me early on how to thrive in the world of real men who do their job, who won’t be denied, and who know there is a job to be done, that must be done, and will get done.

         But among all these guys I have still never met a man who was as physically strong as Charlie. My Dad always taught me when I was a kid to give a strong handshake, and I did. But this man had the strongest handshake I ever felt, and that was decades ago. I know he had to torque it down when he shook hands with other men because, if he wanted to, he could mash your hand to a pulp. I am serious. He could break your hand. The best defense is to squeeze the other guy’s hand harder than he is squeezing yours, or just as hard. But it wouldn’t work with him. He was strong as an ox. Two oxes. There were times when I had him in a good grip and looked him in the eye and told him to go a little more and he would smile and clamped down just about an extra ounce and I knew my hand would be withered in a heartbeat and quickly told him to back off. This has never happened with anyone else. Ever.

         So now I think I know what happened to that guy with the withered hand in the Bible. He met Charlie before Charlie got saved.

         It’s hard to explain to people who have never been filled with the Holy Spirit about the transformation that takes place. Charlie was undoubtedly a very rough character but after he was filled with the Lord’s Spirit his face glowed like an angel. He was God’s middle linebacker, still tough as nails and solid as a rock but with a loving, tender heart. He was always smiling and trying to hold back from laughing in that shy way he had. He could not contain all the joy the Lord filled him with though he tried. Every service he was back there in the back row. He did that because he had so many young kids, about half a dozen, and did not want to disrupt the service. He and his lovely wife, also filled gloriously with the Holy Ghost, were all lined up back there. The kids always stayed in line but were still kids and were also smiling all the time. They made it work. It is not natural to make little kids do that but they managed it very well. They were such happy people. I think Charlie knew even more than I did that he had been hell bound and got rescued. He would be forever grateful and showed it always.

         He told me that before the Lord rescued him he drank a half bottle of hard liquor every day. He smoked two or three packs of cigarettes every day. And he worked very hard every day. This man was tough as nails. Then somebody witnessed to him. Some real Christian answered the call and witnessed to Charlie. Charlie could have done some serious damage.

         We all know how some will go off half-cocked when they get witnessed to. There is sometimes a lot of hate and one must have enough love to overcome it. Only the Lord has that kind of love but He must work through people to show it. This is a hard, tough world, and many people are filled with a lot of pain. They’ve been treated bad and they’re angry. And they don’t like it when told it is somehow their fault. They need our help and understanding.

         When the Lord reached out from heaven through a brave witness, instead of getting angry, Charlie listened. Maybe he knew he was a mess and really wanted to change but wasn’t going to be forced into becoming some fake girly man and succumb to religion. The Lord knew that. So he sent Charlie a real witness to witness about the real thing. The Lord was not going to force Charlie to surrender his manhood but just the opposite. He wanted him to be the real man he wanted to be but with a godly heart.

         The Lord filled Him with His Spirit. He delivered him from his cigarette habit. He took away his desire for alcohol. Charlie stopped cussing and fighting and began smiling and loving. He could still break you in two, though, and you had to be careful—you had to watch out for exuberant hugs. He became a solid witness for His Lord and Savior and though he didn’t talk much he was the very picture of Christian strength.

         I want to close with a funny incident that will give you a tad more insight into the joy we all felt in Charlie’s presence. Before I go on, there was one thing I touched on previously about Charlie but didn’t tell the whole story.

         Charlie was so full of spiritual joy he continued smiling and doing these little laughs even after we all settled into our seats and church got going. It was just part of his good nature that the Lord accentuated with His own. This was an active Spirit-filled congregation of lively people so it was not always possible to contain one’s self. Charlie would often continue expressing his happiness and gratitude throughout the service. He was way in the back but everyone always knew it was just Charlie being Charlie. Some of us may say “Amen!” but he would do a chuckle. It added greatly to a joyful atmosphere.

         One night, a traveling minister came to the church. He was a big guy in a black suit with a commanding presence. He was also blind. He’s up there preaching and we’re down there in the pews, being properly respectful if not more so, and not quite sure what was transpiring before us. It was pretty hushed.

         Well, the preacher must have said something Charlie really liked. Showing his unbound appreciation, Charlie did one of his customary good-natured manly chuckles that just happened to project quite well. The preaching stopped. The combination of church quiet and back bench acoustics made the preacher think he was being laughed at! It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen in church and I could write a book on the subject. The blind preacher rebuked Charlie from the pulpit! He hollered, “You may think this is funny! But I’m preaching up here!”

         We all started stifling laughter at the initial shock and some of us turned around and looked back at poor Charlie who obviously meant no harm and was real embarrassed. He was red as a beet and had a weird grin on his face coming down from a joy high and was not quite sure what to do. But just like his Lord, Charlie took it like a man. And he understood. 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

WITNESSING FOR THE LORD: Shining a Light on the Path of Salvation (1)

         The world is filled with hungry people searching for life and truth. They know there must be something more than this temporary surface existence. We must reach out to them.

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CAN I GET A WITNESS?

         I remember well my early experience as a rookie Christian. The church building was relatively new but somewhat sparse. There were many empty pews. It needed filling up. The preacher was always preaching about witnessing. I certainly complied. I was always witnessing—at work, on the street, wherever I was, whatever I was doing—I was always witnessing.

         Why? Because people were going to hell. They needed to be saved. I had dodged hell and so must they. The Lord turned me on to His incredible life and love and I wanted the whole world to have what I had. Before being shown the path of salvation, I didn’t know I was on the wrong road. I was a sinner but didn’t know it before I met the Lord.

         For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. [Hebrews 2:1-4] [1]

THE FIRST WITNESS

         I rejected them the first time they came. These were close friends. A young married couple. I was a tad younger. I had known them a few years. We hung out together. I hadn’t seen them in a while. The news was they got religion and I could not understand how they could be so dumb. They used to be so cool. What the heck happened to them? If they had joined a cult it would have been different. Weird but different. But they joined a church! What a joke! The great respect I had for them was no more.

         They came over to tell me all about it. They said I needed to do what they had done. I was very friendly and open. I listened to their story. But they were brand new Christians and were not so good at what they were trying to do. They certainly had the heart and desire but they came on pretty strong. I was too mature for that. I knew too much. I could see through them. I was nice to them and tried hard to understand. We had a relatively good discussion at first. I told them I was happy for them but I could not go in that direction. I wanted no part of their church stuff. I didn’t want what they were selling. They persisted. I told them if they didn’t stop they needed to leave. I stayed strong. I never lost my cool. They got bummed out and left. They had done their best. I knew they cared. But they failed in their mission and were sad. That was that.  

THE SECOND WITNESS

         Then one day, after three months of no contact with them, I received a second witness. They never gave up. Instead, they went into prayer with other unknown people who shared their concern. This is a very important point because the Lord often has to do things in the Spirit that we are not aware of to have ultimate success. We usually never know about all the in-between things that must happen in spiritual warfare and prayer battles. In this case, He had to prepare me for another opportunity which would in all probability be the last. There might not ever be another chance in my life like this one. It was imperative that I receive this Word. Sometimes, people build up a hardness of heart that can never be overcome.

         To remedy that, the Lord had managed to break me down over that time. I went from being strong and confident to somewhat insecure. I had no idea what was happening but the Lord had been preparing me for a second witness. He was plowing a field and I was the field. He knew I had been searching for Him for roughly four years but I didn’t know that. I was searching for TRUTH. That’s what I was after. I had determined right out of high school that I would find out what was really going on behind the scenes in this world. I had been doing an exhaustive search of various belief systems the world over. I knew there was something more and was determined to find it. I would never stop. By that time in my young life I had already rejected organized Christianity because the version I knew (and knew very well) offered nothing on a deep spiritual level.

       Keep in mind, however, that though I was completely fed up with “Christianity,” I never ever rejected the Lord Jesus. I always thought He was the coolest Guy. How could anyone in their right mind be against Him?

         For the second witness only she came over. She had given her life to the Lord before her husband and was instrumental in getting him saved. Both had strong born again experiences but her gifting made her more persistent. Both had matured spiritually and she did a better job this time. There was less pressure and more joy.

         At one point when we were talking she suddenly said, “Wow! I feel the presence of God in this room!” I didn’t know what she was talking about but I felt it too. This was not the same kind of witness as before. She didn’t come alone after all.

         Thanks to the Lord Jesus who never gave up, and to the loving witness He sent who never gave up either who went out of her way to find me and tell me all about the Lord and spiritual reality, the scales on my eyes fell off. It was the Lord’s presence on that occasion that made the difference. I suddenly realized it all made sense. This was it! I had been searching for truth for so long and had found it. The truth was Him. I surrendered to the Lord that night. It was easy and the best decision I ever made.

NOW COMES THE HARD PART

         I also had to submit to the Lord’s next directive. This is the way it works. The Man gave His life for us. We give our lives to Him. And that makes Him the One in charge. We must do what He says. We must trust Him.

         He wanted me to go somewhere. When I found out where, it was the last place I ever thought I would find truth. He wanted me to attend their dreaded church. Oh no! It would be like going to the blasted dentist. But worse. I had been forced to go to church about a million times growing up and had learned to want no part of it. There was nothing there anyway. All that had long since become way back in my rear view mirror. This church thing was going to be a hard sell. It took more convincing and more “preparing.” Long story short, the Lord won the argument. I was in no position to fight Him. I went.

         I found out churches are different! This one was nothing like the one I grew up in. The people were lively and happy. I was very well received. There was an excitement in the air. This was a place with the presence of the Lord. Later on I heard the Word of God from a very good preacher. I had never seen or heard preaching like this. The Word of God came alive. I was almost instantly convicted. The Lord planted the Gospel seed in my plowed up heart. I gave Him my life, hook, line, and sinker, and never looked back. A few weeks later I was filled with His Spirit!

SPIRITUAL STEROIDS

         After my born again experience I set my mind on telling everyone I knew about the Lord Jesus—the One who saved me, the One who went to the cross in my place. I wanted everyone to have the salvation I had. Sin no longer had any power over me. I was set free. I wanted everyone else to be set free also. Combining my strong spiritual hunger with a powerful born again experience set me loose as a witnessing juggernaut.

         In time I found out that people in general didn’t share the same passion I had. I often had the same experience of the two who first witnessed to me when I rejected them. It can be discouraging. It is hard to understand why a person does not want all the Lord has for them and had to die to make it available. I learned that many people are simply not so spiritually hungry. They are happy with life as it is. They would rather stay on the surface. I had to learn to follow the leading of the Lord more closely.

         Witnessing is therefore not so easy but is obviously vital. There is no other way to be saved. We are commanded to tell the Gospel story. People must know the truth—the TRUTH. We must turn people on to the Lord. Whatever He has put on your heart and called you to do, be encouraged. There is an inexhaustible supply of every spiritual means available that can be applied. It truly is the case that all things are possible with God.

         Many people were doing their share of witnessing in that relatively small congregation I was blessed to be a part of long ago. We had success to a degree but it never resulted in the level of success we wanted until much further down the road. Many would visit. Few would stay. But some of those who did stay were solid and strong. In time, several years later, the floodgates opened.

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         In my next post I will introduce you to one of the people there in those early days. His name was Charlie. He was a bad dude brought into the love of the Lord because someone made a bold move and the serious risk to witness to him.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[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.

REBIRTH OF AMERICAN CHRISTIAN MANHOOD

         The greatest expression of manhood is the Lord Jesus. He is the only correct example. The era of frauds is over. Real American Christian men want to be like Him.

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THIS IS INDEED A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION

         I’ve written about this phenomenon in the past, for several years. My particular priority on the issue, since this is a Christian website, is to focus on the dearth of real men within general organized Christianity. What happened? It is really a sad state of affairs.

         Many American men have been blessed to have had their born again experience among people who put no shackles on the fullest expression of the Lord within an individual, whatever that expression might be. Though they had already proven their manhood prior to their new birth, getting filled with the powerful Spirit of the Lord, just like those people back on the Day of Pentecost, suddenly transported them into an ultra level of manhood—spiritual manhood—that can never be explained to the unexperienced.

         The Lord Jesus knew what He was doing when He invented the whole thing. He was fixing to send His men into a dark, evil world, a veritable spiritual jungle, to rescue the lost and all those overcome by the devil’s evil kingdom. For all the sissy religious eggheads who think He would do such a thing without equipping them properly are probably as stupid as they look. He obviously knew the level of fight His men would face from untold numbers of demon-possessed idiots and shrill followers of religious nutcases as ignorant as the day is long and prone to hateful eruptions of emotional tornados and earthquakes on a moment’s notice.

        So the Lord thought, “What do I give them so they can compete and overcome? What force must fuel the Gospel? What kind of power will give them a chance against such powerful entrenched evil? I know. I will give them Myself.”

         So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” [John 20:21-22] 

         And there you have it. The Lord made it possible to be filled with His Spirit so we can go out and do the same thing He did, which is namely kicking the devil’s backside all over creation.

         “The Church is not only supposed to be loving, kind, and gentle, but also able to kick the corpulent posteriors of demons and take their names.” From: Real Christianity

         That is why the men He chose and sent were powerful, gritty, sinewy, stalwart men with strong backbones and fisherman’s hands—blue collar workers for the most part—to turn the tide against the hardhearted silly girly men who liked dressing up like ladies in fine embroidery doing their best Louis the Fourteenth and having hissy fits on a regular basis.

HE WENT OUT CONQUERING AND TO CONQUER

         But the Lord’s men, these Apostles, those champions of the world, as manly as they were, would be no match for the evil minions of the mission at hand if they only acted from mere natural strength, even if they could whip any other men on the planet. No, they would need more. Besides, the Lord was not sending them out to beat people up but just the opposite: They would have to be strong enough to take a beating without striking back. They would have to love in a world filled with hate.

         But not against the devil. The Lord empowered them to crush the devil. The Lord has clearly instructed that the fight is never against people. He said He did not come to condemn the world but to save it. We are all in this fight together and the battle is for people, that we may all be set free from the destructive power of sin. It is the devil that opposes this. He wants no one to be saved, set free, and delivered. He obviously wants no one to be filled with the Spirit of the Lord because he knows such people can crush him. People do themselves a grave disservice by agreeing with the devil and siding with the devil in their opposition to the only One who can save them. This is also part of the devil’s work, of course. The devil deceives people into believing he is their friend and the Lord is the enemy.

         This is why, against the devil and all his unseen demon idiots, the Lord intended a no-holds-barred slugfest of utter destruction and evisceration. The devil’s kingdom must be raided and invaded so people can be saved. Against the devil, there are supposed to be great left hooks from out of nowhere bashing his silly face and uppercut gut punches sending him over the ropes. For that, the Lord’s apostles would need something really, really powerful. And that is why the Lord gave them His very Spirit.

THOSE WHO CLAIM TO KNOW OFTEN DON’T KNOW SQUAT

         You have no doubt heard a lot of bullcorn over the years about the “Holy Spirit.” Much of it sounds pretty girly and is obviously sent forth by so-called Christians who don’t have a clue. The Lord said this would happen. They don’t have a clue because instead of being sent they just went. Most of them are lost in space and thus refer to the Holy Spirit as something spacey and ethereal, completely different than the mighty and powerful Spirit of the Lord Jesus. What they call the Holy Spirit is something else entirely. I will leave it to the Lord to work out all the blasphemy stuff in this regard because He said that’s what we must do, and He will work it out. But in the meantime the facts must be told and the facts in this regard are such that the men the Lord sent out originally were (1) Manly Men as opposed to girly men, and (2) Powerful filled-with-the-Spirit Manly Men instead of empty religious girly men. Whoever may want to argue with that is free to do so but the Word of God, if applied, will destroy those arguments.

         This is why it is so refreshing, for men especially, to see what has just happened in this country. And it is just the start. It is a time of American men finally throwing off all the garbage laid on their backs for the last several decades and return to being what the Lord created them to be. This must especially happen in the Christian realm. Christian men must now actually become Christian men. There have been a few who have been advocating for this seemingly forever, as I have been, largely to no avail. Or they get it all twisted, or they turn it in the wrong direction, or they try to do it within a system that opposes it, which makes their fight meaningless and doomed to failure.

         Somebody invented a weird doctrine long ago that says in order to be good Christian men, men must become women. But the facts are otherwise clear that God gave Adam permission to be a man when He created Him a man. Period. God never put Eve in charge of the orchard.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR

         If we as Christians could only see that the Day of Pentecost marked a strikingly clear beginning—A REVOLUTION—and that the old was done away with and the new way truly came upon us, and that it meant we were supposed to engage as the Lord engaged and become the powerful spiritual people He had always planned for, then this new Great Awakening could come forth all the more.

         Most Christians, however, insist on never going beyond the promise of the written gospels. Most Christians don’t even know the Book of Acts exists much less have read it and they certainly don’t live it.

         He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” [Acts 19:2]   

         And there’s your problem. Far too many have taken on religious clowns as “leaders” and have been led right into the quicksand of unbelief. They have thoroughly rejected anything and everything that must transform us into the people the Lord needs to destroy the devil which means they have essentially made peace with the devil and succumbed to his leadership. They also reject the Lord’s powerful empowerment and insist on operating through sinful, wimpy, compromised, uncircumcised, and unregenerate flesh. As Napoleon Dynamite would say, “Idiot!”

         The Lord said exactly the same thing about the religious leaders of his time. It is now time for their proponents of the present to get the same treatment. It is time for real Christian men in America to throw off the yoke of effete religious compromise and be what the Lord made them to be. The first step is repenting of fake compromised manhood and any glorification of flesh, and become as the Apostles and all the other men of the first century community of the Lord.

         In the spiritual realm, all of our so-called manliness without Him, regardless of how it may be manifested, is just a little mound of estrogen with a pink ribbon around it. Spiritual estrogen is for women, and perhaps it could be the case that when Christian men become spiritual men, real spiritual women could quit carrying the burden. Nevertheless, most “Christian” get-togethers nowadays in America are devoid of testosterone by design and are nothing but mere estrogen fests doing their best to keep real men completely out of the loop, except for the one guy in the pulpit, of course.

THE HERO RIDES A WHITE HORSE

         I will end this post with a portrait of the Founder. He has never changed. His message has never changed. HE IS A MAN YOU JUST DON’T MESS WITH. This has not stopped a horde of fakers from trying to do that very thing but their judgment is coming. They will never get away with it. Their little kindergarten show doesn’t fit the future. The good news for today is that their whitewash is coming off. This always happens when God opens the sky and sends a spiritual rain!

         And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. [Revelation 19:11-13] [1]

         © 2017 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.

2017 GREAT AWAKENING TRENDS: (3) The War On Errorism

         There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who support the Lord Jesus and those who oppose the Lord Jesus. Those who support Him support truth and oppose error. Those who oppose Him oppose truth and support error.

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         “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:20-21]

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THEY ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT

         Error hates the light. It knows the light will expose it. It knows the light will ultimately kill it. It must therefore protect itself from light. To this end error will always oppose light for sheer self-preservation.

         Though often reserved and unperceived, enjoying its dark place in the dirty shadows where the vermin and cockroaches roam, once error is exposed it reverts to its true nature—it rises up on its huffy hindquarters, rears its ugly head, and makes a complete jackass of itself.

         Since it has no defense against bright shining truth other than taking on the persona of a first class idiot, it will be that idiot. It will own that idiotness. It will go off half-cocked at a moment’s notice. It will do the stupidest things ever done, things that make no sense whatsoever, in the effort to deflect attention from its crimes and keep its perverted little world intact against light, its deadly enemy.  

         And rather than face a fair fight, error greatly prefers to remain hidden in the dark shadows where no light penetrates. Error is chicken and a gutless wonder, and in the end will be nothing more than a fading howl sucked into a black hole in the far reaches of distant space.

SUNSHINE IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT

         Christians who actually follow the Lord Jesus and know His Word know that He is the Light—the great powerful brightest shining light there is—and that He loves shining His light on all darkness, because He obviously knows darkness is the real enemy. He didn’t just talk the talk, He walked the transparent walk. He revealed the light out in the open for all to see. How is it possible for light to act otherwise? How can light be hidden? Why would light want to hide itself? That makes no sense whatsoever. It is the nature of light to be out in the open and lead the way. This is exactly how light fights the war on darkness.

         This is why the Lord Jesus had a transparent ministry. There was no other way for the light to shine. Once He stepped out into the public eye and began His public ministry, He stepped forth as a bright shining beacon for all to behold. His central goal was to SHINE and to REVEAL DARKNESS, and thereby save and set free.

SUNSHINE SUPERMAN

         “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Mark 4:22-23]

         He will continue to bring forth greater and greater truth to expose all the lies and all the error. The people standing in the place of lies and error will no longer have any place to hide. Truth will expose them. They may rant and rave and go crazy and all the rest or they may descend deeper into their dark dungeons, dank caverns, and slimy pits, but the Lord will find them. He will send great powerful light. He will pour it into all their secret places. All their evil deeds will be revealed. They will be exposed. Unless they surrender they will never recover.

ERROR HIDES IN THE DARK BECAUSE ITS WORKS ARE EVIL

         “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

         The worst errorists are the official errorists. These are the people who have power and authority. Some are state sponsors of error. They are the people who stand in the place of legitimacy. They are the ones who demand honor but are dishonorable. While claiming to be upholders of the law they routinely violate the law. While claiming to be upholders of the Gospel they routinely violate the Gospel. While claiming to be upholders of the golden rule they routinely violate the golden rule.

         Here is a fact I want everyone to know regarding this:

         There is a God. He is the epitome of goodness. He is righteous and pure. He is powerful and strong. And unless these people change their ways and climb out from under their rocks, God is going to get them. He does not want to get them. He wants them to change and get right. He wants them to come into His light. But if they refuse, if they continue in their ever-increasing evil deeds with no desire to change for the better, and if they keep treating innocent people badly and using their great power to harm those who have chosen the light, God will certainly get them. It is only a matter of time.

THESE PEOPLE WILL PAY

         God’s Creation is good. At least it was originally. But then evil people began fouling it up. The Word of God is clear that the evil set in motion millennia ago will only get worse over time simply because evil is progressive. Unless it is checked it grows ever more evil. There are things going on right now, a portion of it right out in the open, that are so unspeakably evil that past generations could never even fathom the possibility of their emergence. We might call this the unashamed darkness. Darkness usually knows its place. It knows its place is in the haunt of secrecy and hidden shadows. But some within the darkness are so vile they violate the darkness code. It is their attempt to make darkness appear as light.

         Errorists are becoming the same way. They are flaunting their error openly and egregiously, and talking even louder and getting in your face all the more. They have come out of their dark and dirty little hovels in a last-ditch effort to fight the light while they still can. Some of them know what most who are supposedly in the light don’t know: The Light is increasing. It is shining brighter. No one knows this more than those who are truly in the light and those who are in abject darkness.

         The dark errorists have been getting a pass for a long time. They have been able to operate in the open, legitimately, as if they had God’s blessing. But these people do not believe in God. In fact, they hate Him. But they love their darkness. They love their error. They have made themselves their own gods. They think they can get away with anything and that they will get away with it forever. They think their power has become too great to be successfully challenged. They have grown successful and powerful and have no intention of changing or turning back.

         Their success has gone to their heads. They have blinded themselves to the truth. They cannot see and they refuse to consider the abyss that awaits. They have bought into the dark side. They are invested in it. They like its fruits. They like their false façade of credibility. They refuse to acknowledge the good Creator.

THE WORST ERRORISTS ARE “CHRISTIAN” ERRORISTS  

         Thus, the Lord has had no choice but to bring a war against them. It is the war of light against darkness. It is the war of truth against error. It is truly a War On Errorism.

         All those on the side of darkness and error will be exposed for what they are. The Lord knows the perfect way to do this. He will shine His light and shine it ever brighter to expose all darkness. He will shine it even within all their dark little secret places they have become accustomed to hiding within, thinking they will always be hidden.

         They have control. They sit in the seat of Moses as it were, but actually in the place of the Lord. They are pretending to be His. Every time the Lord sends someone to correct them they run him off. They hate the correcting voice of God. They hate any semblance of reform. They specialize in the character assassination of real prophets and teachers. They abhor the fact that God can always find a way to expose them and their error.

         The need of correction and reform would mean they are in error and are wrong, and they cannot have that. It is too convicting. It makes them look bad. It hampers their ability to receive funding and collect donations. It makes them look like a bad investment. It makes them look bad in the eyes of the community. They have great fear of being branded for what they actually are. They are great at fooling people but they can’t fool everyone and they certainly can never fool God. They are fools to think they can.

         As a testimony to their coming fate, here is a little story about what happened to some other people who took the same road:

         He began to speak to them in parables: “A man PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT, AND DUG A VAT UNDER THE WINE PRESS AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey.

         “At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others.

         “He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.

        “What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others.” [Mark 12:1-9] [1]

         The War on Errorism is a vital part of the Great Awakening.

         Enjoy!

         © 2017 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.

2017 GREAT AWAKENING TRENDS: (2) The Rise of Christian Whistleblowers

         In Old Covenant terms they were called prophets. They were sent by God to stand up strongly for truth, speak out forcefully against error, and expose outright corruption in high places.

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         “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

        Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:51-54]

         Hold on to your hats folks, because 2017 will be a bumpy ride. It will also be a year of great blessing.

        We have already seen the beginning of the overthrow of entrenched establishment principles, priorities, and prime movers and shakers. Three extremely powerful political dynasties have been pushed aside. The Powers That Be are doing one of two things they never thought they would be forced into. The first is to admit they never thought the day would come when the challenge against their authority has actually made their defeat possible. The second is scrambling around in their shocked amazement in the effort to gain or maintain a piece of the current pie.

         Since corruption can never be eliminated wholesale at any given time in this corrupt and fallen world of mankind, it is not possible to eliminate all the compromised players and many will find a place on the new team. But the fact that three teams have been pretty much rendered ineffective and unwanted lets them know they are no longer in Kansas and that things for them could get even worse. They know an unraveling when they see it. They can feel the pulse of angry lesser power centers composed of millions of individuals who would otherwise have no power at all but have been forced into a new mindset after decades of being treated like chattel.

         These people are not associated with mere street rioters blowing off steam, running around like proverbial headless chickens accomplishing nothing productive.

        Instead, they are strong and vested members of various communities with various backgrounds who have had enough and are willing to challenge a compromised status quo. Their bravery will go nowhere, of course, and rarely has, if only the few forthright ones come forth with no support of great majorities, and this is where it gets interesting.

         In Christian circles, it is very easy to single out the one or two with an honest willingness to live for the Lord and speak the truth. It is easy to turn a church against them. There are long-held traditional ways in which to do this and the perpetrators are very good at it. They know how to make themselves look good and make those who follow the Lord look bad. One simple method is to activate the church gossips to stir up the people. This has always proven to be quite effective.

         But at present, there are far too many real Christians coming forth. They cannot be treated in the usual way. Rather than the usual occurrence of a few coming forward and getting quickly slammed and eliminated, as had happened with Stephen, there are now too many real Christians to be dealt with in the usual dismissive and indifferent manner. Not only are they too numerous, they are too informed. Much groundwork has been done over the last few years exposing corrupt leadership. Corrupt leadership has actually been forced by powerful former witnesses to reform themselves, but they only do it incrementally, as their heart is not in it.

         An overall general reform has come forth but only exists as a foundation of sorts at present from which much greater reform can take place now and in the future. Also, there are many, many more real Christians on the cusp of coming forth. They are just waiting for the right time or inspiration. Their minds are made up. They are fed up. They want to do the right thing. All these people know that real reform must happen.

A SPIRITUAL EXAMPLE

         There was a time when the Lord sent me to a new church, but it took a lot of work to get me there. Here is how He did it:

         I was a member in good standing in a previous church. It was borderline large and a few years later achieved mega church status, largely built on the persona of the preacher. (No! Really?) I had a good record there and many friends and associates who respected me. I did what I was told. I went through all the proper channels and obeyed church protocol. But I was also following the Lord and this caused a problem. Over time the leadership there, composed of one man and the usual yes men, developed a different opinion. They began to make life difficult. They were revealing their cultish side.

         Of course, they treated anyone this way if they did not fall into line and obey whatever they were pushing from on high. They, like so much other entrenched church leadership that continues to exist, some far worse, prefer to operate with smiles and “love” but much of this is mere window dressing. Their exterior can change in a flash. Sometimes their interior is exposed. It is often much different than their exterior. They hide their full personas to protect their real intentions and agenda.

         It was certainly not all bad. In many ways it was a great place. But that is not the issue. Many churches do much good. But real disciples of the Lord know the difference between Sunday school and spiritual reality. They know there is a devil and they know the devil goes to church. Even the leadership knows that. But what most Christians don’t know is that the devil is often IN the leadership, something those in power refuse to consider or acknowledge for obvious reasons.

         The main objective for the majority of religious establishments is power, control, and money. Otherwise they would look like the Lord and His ministry, but most know they can’t operate that way and must therefore establish other methods to do what they want. Whoever within the congregation that follows the Lord Jesus first and not them is always suspect.

         The Lord started telling me to leave. I resisted the Lord. I was far too loyal. I would stay the course. The Lord started sending witnesses my way to tell me to get out of there and go to another church. He knew the leadership in my current place would never support me because I was too much of a challenge even though I did not see myself that way, was struggling to survive, and was only being what the Lord created me to be. Compromised leadership always has a problem with such people. I initially paid no attention to the Lord and did not even know it was the Lord. Nevertheless, some reform was happening. Here is one small example:

         The preacher was always talking about money. He was a great preacher. Really gifted. But he was obsessed somewhat with money and was always engaging in small sermonettes on the subject. A friend of mine in another church in a different city far away told me how they collected money in their church. They never took up offerings. Instead, they had a box in the back of the church. Members gave when they gave without any prompting whatsoever or coercing. There was also no condemnation. The church had no money problems. In fact, it was a relatively large church and the preacher took no salary.

         I thought this news was very refreshing. I thought it was cool. I mentioned this in passing to a friend in my church one day. I was not saying it to be critical but simply because I thought it was a great idea. He thought so too. I never told the leadership. That was the extent of it. Guess what happened? Within a very short time I came to church one day and there was a large tastefully constructed collection box matching the trim installed on the wall of the vestibule. I kid you not.

         There were other things like this.

THE TWO WITNESSES

         The Lord sent me a witness. Christians talk about the places they attend. This first witness brought my attention to a new church. The Lord was directing me to it. I had never heard of it. That was the purpose of the first witness. This person had no idea what was going on and was not in any way trying to proselytize that I know of, but merely giving an excellent report in conversation and probably had no idea the Lord was in it. I didn’t know it was the Lord.

         Then the Lord sent me a second witness. The two witnesses did not know each other. This second witness, which came several weeks later, was a man of excellent character. Like the first, this was not an overt witness either because the man didn’t even know what the Lord was doing in reference to me. But he happened to mention the church he was attending. It was the same church.

         It got me thinking. He put the place on the map, so to speak, and made it a distant possibility. No other church ever came up in conversation like this. But I was still adamant about being loyal and not leaving my current church, even though life kept getting more difficult. It got so difficult that I was forced to change anyway and make relatively desperate moves.

         We left. We needed support but there was no support coming and never would be. This is what the Lord had been warning me about. He tried to get me to make a shift earlier before things got worse. He knew I was open to attack and was no longer covered even though I should have been and never warranted their behavior. The leadership there was actually reacting to my calling and not necessarily me personally. Their cold shoulder made me vulnerable, the enemy attacked, my life was going downhill, and they took that as a sign that I was not worth supporting. This, obviously, was not financial support but merely the support all believers should have from their community. I was actually supporting them. I had worked hard and had given a lot of money that was earned with difficulty. I gave by the Lord’s direction. I even supported a new building program financially and donated free labor.

         But again, they did not appreciate my calling. The Lord was bringing conviction upon the leadership and they didn’t like it. They reacted by turning against one of the messengers. Incidentally, in my time there the leadership began making big moves to correct their financials. I had never seen that before.

         After being forced out through the usual cold shoulder church tactics and due to the Lord increasingly withholding His blessing as a way to get me to move on, I spent months mulling my options and trying to figure out the next step. During this time, the strangest thing happened. The Lord began blessing. I wasn’t even going to church. It involved quite a dramatic change for the better. Just getting out of there allowed the Lord to bring blessing. He was making a way.

THE THIRD WITNESS

         Six months later I came into contact with the third witness. Remember, the Lord had already blessed me with two clear witnesses over a year earlier. The third witness hit the ball out of the park. It was amazing. The Lord Jesus is always faithful! I had never met the man. He was a well-known minister from a different city with an excellent reputation and also had no knowledge whatsoever of my past situation with the other church. By this time I had pledged to never attend any church ever again and I was maintaining that line of thought as a mature follower of the Lord overly loyal to a fault.

         Completely out of the blue, the third witness suggested to me that I look up a good friend of his. This friend of his was a church pastor. He just happened to be the pastor of the very church the other two witnesses had been telling me about! I was in a very large locality with hundreds of churches. The odds of this happening without the Lord’s direct involvement were absolutely impossible. It had been the Lord’s plan all along but my own misplaced loyalty had been getting in the way.

THE STEPHEN EFFECT

         The lesson to be learned here might be called the Stephen Effect. Because Stephen was so powerfully anointed and filled with the Spirit of the Lord, the religious idiots he revealed could not hide. If he had said nothing at all they still would have been greatly uncomfortable just being around him. They were powerfully convicted. Compromised Christian leadership acts exactly the same way. It is why they attempt to get rid of people that make them feel convicted.They would much rather be surrounded by adoring fans.

         Most Christians refuse to make the connection that this is exactly the way the Lord makes us all feel if we are not right with Him. He convicts us. He does it to help us. He does it to purify the Church.

         Since the Lord convicts us, should we get rid of Him?

         Christian leadership almost always rejects the spirit of reform, especially when it comes from someone they do not respect or from the outside. But what else can the Lord do? They have already taken control of everything inside. The Lord must always send someone from outside.

         Isn’t this always the case? Is not this the true nature of a prophet? Isn’t this exactly why Hebrew leadership was always killing Hebrew prophets? Those who were sent by God? Isn’t that exactly why they killed the Lord?

STEPHEN THE WHISTLEBLOWER

          Why was Stephen even brought to trial before the mighty Sanhedrin in the first place? What in the world did he do that was so bad? What law did he break? How did he violate the Torah? What did he do that was so wrong that it got him killed? Could it possibly be that his chief offense was provoking conviction?

        And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

         Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council. [Acts 6:8-12][1]

         © 2017 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.

2017 GREAT AWAKENING TRENDS: (1) Growing Opposition from Money-Serving Status Quo

        When John the Immerser blasted onto the scene he warned his hearers of losing eternal life and loosing national destruction. The means of avoiding both was encapsulated in one word: REPENT.

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REPENTANCE DRIVES GREAT AWAKENINGS

         But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

         The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:7-10]

         John did something then that next to no American Christian does today: He blasted the religious leaders. These were men who had total control of the religious establishment in first-century Judea. They controlled the entire Temple complex. They controlled every single synagogue. Their control was such that John was preaching way out in the wilderness.

     In today’s terms these would be the religious leaders who control denominations, churches, seminaries, and major Christian media, including publishing and television. The Pharisees and Sadducees had a lock on all things religious back then just as Christian controllers have a lock on most things Christian at present. Both have a single denominator: MONEY

ONLY TWO GODS FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE

         Getting to the root of Christian intention begins with the simple question: Is it serving the Lord Jesus or is it serving the money-god?

         “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. [Luke 16:13-14]

         One will either submit to the Lord Jesus and make money a servant, or one will submit to the money-god and make oneself its servant.

         If one serves the Lord, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the Lord and His teachings. If one serves the money-god, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the money-god and its teachings.

         Here’s is a quick contrast and illustration: John the Immerser served the Lord. His life looked like the Lord. The Pharisees and Sadducees served the money-god. Their lives looked like the money-god. Compare both to the present.

         John warned everybody, but especially the brood of vipers otherwise known as the Pharisees and Sadducees, that the entire nation was about to suffer complete destruction for one principle reason: IT CHOSE THE MONEY GOD.

         Money can make you and it can break you. If there was a way to exist without it we would never have to deal with its powerful influence and temptation. We would never have to submit to its effects. But the international money system has been with us a while and unless we somehow manage to go completely off the grid we have little choice but to enter the game and play according to the rules.

         It is for this reason that most people believe there is no escape and the only solution is to try to gain as much money as possible in order to gain the upper hand. In other words, the way people think they can beat the powerful effect of money on their lives is to defeat it by gaining enough of it that it no longer rules them but becomes their servant.

        This works for some people. For a while. It never works for the vast majority. The system has limited resources. Some are able to gain the upper hand and remain relatively personally free or at least maintain the appearance of freedom, and do not seem on the surface to be anxious regarding money matters. If one does win the money battle by doing whatever they feel they must to gain authority over it by having much of it, it rarely lasts. One must keep doing whatever it takes to gain access to the money well. Most do it legally. Some do not. But even if one does find a way to beat the system, so to speak, and gain great piles of gold, one cannot leave this world with it. It must all stay right here where one found it.

MONEY IS NO GOOD OVER YONDER

         It has been said that rich people don’t have armored trucks full of money following their hearse to the graveyard. Money does not translate into eternity. To the degree that one depends on money is to the same degree that one does not depend on the Lord. This equation portends one’s final location in the afterworld and often whether one even believes in an afterworld.

         One of the best things that can ever happen to a person is to discover early on in life that the pursuit of money for the purposes of mastering life is a heartbreaker. The money-god is a deceiving, bewitching taskmaster. It is a hard lesson to learn. It can be quite cruel. On the other hand, if money always comes relatively easy then the odds of having a spiritual life with the Lord are next to zero. Most people will always choose much money over a disciplined spiritual life. Here’s why:

         Making the decision to give oneself totally to the Lord involves:

(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus instead of faith in the money-god and all it portends.

(2) The need to repent, which means one must accept the fact that one is a sinner and a violator of God’s laws and commandments. Who wants to do that? Especially in these days? To admit that one is messed up like this, that one is not the great person he or she thinks he or she is can have a devastating effect on one’s psyche. And yet the Lord is persistent. He says that prior to our born again experience we are sinners. He says we violate His laws. He says we have uncircumcised flesh that must be dealt with. This fleshly nature is not always on display but certainly reveals itself on occasion, with some people much more than others, especially when under stress.

TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT

         A simple test to prove God is right and humans are compromised in this way is to simply see how often we violate the Golden Rule. Do we always treat others the way we want to be treated? Do we do this especially when we are stressed out or under a lot of pressure? Do we always contain the pressure that builds up, find a way to keep it from building up, manage to channel it off in some safe way in which nobody is hurt, or even stop it completely in the very beginning? Do we always master our impulses? Do we have impulse control or do we simply vent all the time everyday at everybody?

         If so, it is the opposite of real discipleship and thoroughly proves the need for heart circumcision surgery and real repentance. It proves the Lord knows exactly what He is talking about though many people may successfully hide their true nature. Occasional mess-ups are understandable. A lifestyle of trashing others and violating the Lord’s teachings is not.  

         The Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. He is not fooled by outward appearances. He knows what a dirty, fleshy, sinful, uncircumcised heart looks like. It doesn’t matter how much one may try to cover it up and deceive people about one’s true nature. God knows. And He demands that we fix it! The Pharisees and Sadducees fooled almost everyone because they dressed to look the part. They were mere religious actors. That’s what hypocrites are—stage players. Is it any wonder then that the majority of Christian leadership at present does all its work on a stage? What would they be without the stage? It was money that made the Pharisees and Sadducees successful. They served the money-god while pretending to serve God. IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME TODAY. God is not fooled.

A FOOL’S PARADISE

         If there appears to be a way around the repentance and discipleship the Lord demands, most people, including most Christians, will do the end run. They will run from God. They will find substitutes in which they can keep themselves in charge. They will choose counterfeit belief systems, of whatever variety, in which they do not have to submit to the Lord. They will try to convince themselves and everyone else that they are good people.

         Of course, they are playing a fool’s game. There is no other way than the way the Lord Jesus prescribed. Better to find this out early in life than to build one’s house on sand, but most people always end up building their house on sand and it works great as long as everything remains constant. But we all should know this is ridiculous. Next to nothing in this life remains constant. Change is ever-burgeoning, is always messing up the best laid plans, and the tide always comes in and wipes out sand castles no matter how well or elaborately they are constructed. Wise people know this. Yet, there are apparently not many wise people when it comes to applying known knowledge if it clashes with one’s authority.

         “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” [Luke 9:24]

         Real repentance is the end of one’s personal authority. What unrepentant religious leaders do not know, however, is that they do not have any personal authority anyway because they are bound by sin. And they are deceived about it. Sin is in charge but they are not aware. They reject the notion. They are not accountable. Most are spiritual adulterers. It is why they refuse to preach the real Gospel. It is why the Lord stated what He did in the preceding verse. The word “lose” in that verse is translated from the Greek word apollumi. This word means “to destroy.” It is only by losing one’s life (or destroying it) through real repentance and submitting fully to the Lord Jesus that one breaks the power of sin and the powerful grip of the money-god. The Lord gave His very life to set us free from this monster.

OPPOSING THE GREAT AWAKENING

         Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

        As did John the Immerser, the Lord warned the people of His nation that total destruction was soon coming and that it was coming because they rejected His love and leadership for the love of money. The more He attempted to bring forth a Great Awakening the more the religious leaders who were sold out to the money-god opposed Him. Their continued rejection of the Lord and His real teachings, their intransigent rebellion against truth, their refusal to repent, and their worship of mamônâi brought forth a witch’s brew of arrogance, ignorance, and religious pride. It increasingly enflamed their wicked uncircumcised hearts and removed all semblance of impulse control. They sowed the seed of murder and reaped over a million deaths. Literally.

THROWN INTO THE FIRE

         As time marched on toward 70AD, they became ever more strident in their opposition to the Lord. They were incorrectly fulfilling Newton’s Third Law of Motion. They were resisting that which they should have surrendered to and surrendering to that which they should have resisted. They had a completely different agenda. Their persecution of the Lord’s people—those who chose the Lord as Messiah—increased dramatically. They were doing to them, on an ever-advancing scale, exactly what they did to the Lord.

         The same dynamic is at work today. Christian Pharisees and Sadducees look great on the outside and preach what sounds like the real Gospel. They don’t look compromised. They look successful. They’ve been in control seemingly forever. Their status quo rendition of official Christianity appears as the only accepted rendition, but it has little or no resemblance to the Lord’s original and has almost zero impact within the spiritual world. They can’t handle anything they can’t control. They can’t handle anything that exposes them as pretenders. They can’t handle anything from which they cannot extract a living. It would be good if they could learn from the past.

        Judea had been in the midst of a Great Awakening during that final generation in the first century and the religious leaders continually put much effort toward their opposition to it. The more they tried to stop it the more it grew and yet they could never stop opposing it. Their unrighteous stand for the old dead religious order—the only one they could control, the one that gave them power and wealth—was thoroughly compromised by a love of money and service to the money-god. Their unrighteous rebellion must eventually end. Their opposing reaction to God’s action must finally stop. Justice was demanded. Only God could administer it. He did. Judea was no more. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, by fire, exactly as John prophesied.

         “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 10:10][1]  

         © 2017 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.