Monthly Archives: December 2018

AWAY IN A MANGER: HE FIXED HIS TENT AMONG US

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         And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14]

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         In the preceding verse, the word “dwelt” comes from a Greek word which means “To fix one’s tabernacle or tent,” and “To dwell.” There is no doubt this Greek word came from a Hebrew original. God Himself fixed His tent among us.

THE TIME OF HIS VISITATION

         It was in the autumn of the year. The Feast of Sukkot or Ingathering was the last on the annual calendar. It was a weeklong event celebrating the harvest. Also called the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths, it hearkened back to that in-between time in the vast and lonely Sinai desert when Egypt was long gone and in the remote recesses of their rear view mirror. The Promised Land was up ahead in the distant future. It was an unsettled time of transition and hope.

         “You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” [Leviticus 23:42-43]

        These booths were crude, temporary dwellings. Constructed of entwined boughs and branches from desert flora and brushwood, these canopied shelters served as impermanent homes as commanded by the Lord. As in all things spiritual with fleeting types and shadows, their otherwise ostensible purpose and full meaning was known only by Him. The Hebrew word is sukkah. The first time it is used in Scripture, it refers to a corral Jacob built for his livestock, the location of which eventually became the settlement of Sukkoth east of the Jordan.

         In escaping Egypt and entering the unknown and ultra-challenging wilderness of Sinai, the sons of Israel were a nation in the making and a people on the move. Forty years of wandering were on tap in order to learn to walk by faith and know the voice of the Lord. It would be a hard lesson for the current populace of that time, being thoroughly engrained with worldly vestiges of a foreign and pagan nation. It would take long years for the Lord to extract the fetters which opposed spiritual life and add the building blocks of circumcised hearts and willing minds. In His own wisdom He chose an unruly and rebellious people with stiff necks and hard hearts to eventually show forth His glory and to bring to this world the hope of celestial communion.

         These rustic booths of branches were thus a stark opening lesson in spirituality 101—that of pure and holy humility—the door which makes all else possible. Whoever declines the offer and refuses to cross this threshold chooses instead to harbor their pride. It should thus be obvious that God chose the most humble of circumstances to enter into this world.

AWAY IN A MANGER

        While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” [Luke 2:6-12]

      Newborn babies are completely vulnerable. They are entirely dependent on their parent’s love and protection. God had carefully chosen Joseph and Mary if for no other reason than their great faith and obedience born of a humble nature to serve and please the Lord. Mary did not understand why she was chosen but she readily complied. Joseph had a tad tougher row to hoe and it took a few angelic visitations to get him on track. As long as these two remained faithful all would be well, but there was no guarantee.

         There is also no guarantee for anyone in this life outside the will of God. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Each of us enters this world just as the Lord did but each of us is also initially unaware of God’s purpose. Discovering His purpose is the true quest of life. It is what gives our lives meaning. He’s got it all covered as long as we don’t rebel. We know by the life He lived that rebellion and disobedience were never part of His nature. Some of us learn the lesson somewhat easily by comparison to those who fight all the way. For the majority, it is far too high a price and for them, this life is the only home they will ever know. In the drive to escape all things humble they construct the most humble and temporary life of all compared to the glories of heaven.

         The tabernacles of the Lord’s people are temporary. They are necessary for now. We exist to please Him and nothing pleases Him more than to take care of us, rescue us from the ravages of sin, and bless us. This demands a process not at all unlike the process He chose to be with us. He meets us where we are.

       And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. [Luke 2:13-16]  

GETTING OUR WINGS

        I love the Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life and the overall message it conveys. It illustrates the important role of each person and signifies the far-reaching effect each of us has on the lives of others. We all know the line spoken by George Bailey’s young daughter at the very end of the movie: “Look Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.” For every person who overcomes his or her personal pride and surrenders to the Lord, the same thing happens. A miracle takes place.

        “I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [Luke 15:10][1] 

         By humbly giving our lives to the Lord as He gave His for us, we also effectively fix our tent as He did. From such humble beginnings, He is then able to bring us out of Sinai into our personal Promised Land, a place of greatly meaningful service to Him and to others.

          I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.    

         © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

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AUTHORITARIAN CHURCHES ARE NON-SCRIPTURAL: WATCH OUT FOR THOSE WHO LORD IT OVER YOU

       The Lord Jesus created a spiritual Community in which He is the sole authority and each of His children is free to minister. Authoritarian churches oppose the entire idea.

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          And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” [Luke 22:24-26]

         A great many Christians cringe at this truth. They do not know who the Lord Jesus really is. Instead of supporting Him they support any number of authoritarian preachers who have absolutely no spiritual accountability to anyone. Everyone in such circles knows these men are “the boss” and have been indoctrinated to believe this is how the Lord wants it. It is like so many other things that Christians have been coerced to believe in and it is very convenient for the power boys.

         However, as false authority increases the Lord’s authority decreases.

         That’s why most of these places are spiritually dead or far less than what they could be otherwise. The people in these churches have traded the Lord’s authority and the great miraculous events that could transpire there for man’s authority and no such spiritual events.

         Christians in general have been taught that the Lord’s original ministry is gone with the wind. It was there, it ended, and now we should never expect anything like it ever again. This garbage was taught by egghead theological idiots over many centuries and as a result dead tradition has taken over in most churches. And whenever the Lord Jesus even attempts to shine some light He gets slammed. These people will pay.

         Nothing will ever change as long as Christians continue to violate their own God-given rights as believers and give up their own spiritual authority so one man in a pulpit or a small cabal in charge sucks up all the power for themselves. Such power grabs never took place during the early first century New Covenant era by real believers, but only by the false apostles, etc:

        For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. [2Corinthians 11:13-15]

        Paul always had to defend himself and his ministry from attack by such false apostles. They talked a good game but could never come through in the clutch and had no actual spiritual power. Just like the majority of ministers today, they actually opposed the Lord Jesus. The only reason they had any authoritarian power was because they convinced many people to follow them instead of following the Lord. This is why so many Christians also do not follow the Lord but instead follow their preachers and teachers and particular denominations. Otherwise, why would the Lord have said the following?

         But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25-28] [1]

       The Lord has given us the clear antidote to spiritual pride and the desire to take authority over others. He taught that if anyone wants to be great or first he must eliminate this destructive desire by doing the very opposite and becoming a slave. The early believers called this process “crucifying the flesh.” It is the flesh that wants to take over, not the spirit. This is why most pulpits are manned by flesh men and not spirit men, meaning, of course, that most Christian preachers, ministers, and teachers have never submitted to crucifying their flesh, never submitted to circumcising their hearts, and have never been filled with the Spirit of the Lord. If they had been they wouldn’t do the things they do. They would not insist that all things spiritual revolve around them. They would recognize that the Lord’s way is Community and a Community spirit. They would acknowledge the importance and viability of all real believers. They would take a back seat and become a real servant.

         The way up is down.

         © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

THE DOMAIN OF DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT OF SPIRITUAL REALITY

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         For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son… [Colossians 1:13]

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         The apostle Paul spoke of first-hand experience. He knew well what had actually happened to him out on that dusty Damascus road. He knew it was a rescue.

         “But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me…” [Acts 22:6][1]   

         Think about this. Paul was apparently not seeking God. He did not appear to be on a search for truth. He had a very strong attitude about what his religion was, what it entailed, and what was required. And he was hell bent on not only performing all the rites and believing all the beliefs of his religion but would do all in his power to force others to do the same. Whoever did not believe as he did would be made to pay.

         He was determined to get them. It was part of his religion to get them. They were nothing but evil heretic Jews who defied the universal synagogue as defined by the Pharisees. Other Jewish sects were recognized by the Pharisees, of course, especially the Sadducees who controlled the temple and ran Jerusalem, and who were also tied into the great wealth of this world and politically aligned with the Romans. But for any up-and-coming offshoot Jewish sect which did not abide by the dictates of the master cult, these must be stomped on and eradicated using any method possible. This was Paul’s attitude as it was with the majority of the cult, though perhaps no one of these had as strong a conviction as he did or were as willing and able and energized to do serious damage.

THE PRESENCE OF THE DEVIL

         It was the work of the evil one. The cult had fought the Lord Jesus every step of the way. It was absolutely opposed to Him and never gave an inch. The Lord knew where those guys were heading. He knew their future. He knew they had already crossed a line of no return and that there was nothing He could do to stop them. They were determined to fight it out to the end and would eventually destroy themselves and their nation forever. Some of them did not know they had been terribly deceived. Most of them bought into the devil’s program because that’s exactly what they wanted and would do it a thousand times over. They were comfortable in the domain of darkness. They loved it. They loved all the sin and vileness, all the corruption and robbery, and all the power and sense of personal pride it brought them.     

         What the Lord had started as good, beginning with Abraham and continued later with Moses, they had transformed into something evil with the mere appearance of good. As long as no one ever challenged them they were able to maintain their exterior benevolent facade. But they obviously were not benevolent at all. It was only a front, a pretense, with an ulterior agenda. They had joined a very dark force to gain their power but never or rarely acknowledged this openly. Again, some of them were deceived. They thought they were doing right.

         Some were not deceived, however, in that they had come to see the cult for what it was but were too frightened to reveal this. To protect themselves and their families, they never said a word.

         I have seen this exact phenomenon in Christianity. It is obvious for all to behold once one studies Christian history. The exact pattern always emerges. Some strong personality starts a new faction or belief system, or simply reveals more spiritual truth. Some of these have been given actual spiritual light and revelation. Eventually, however, standard operating procedure takes over and transforms the new effort into an organized cult built upon a personality or specific doctrines that differ from others. A few of these manage to outlast smaller versions and grow to become official Christian denominations only because of the numbers of people involved. The large numbers are what give the denomination its perceived legitimacy.

         Of course, each of these, simply because they were not Roman Catholic, were collected into the obverse pool of Christian bodies referred to as “Protestant.” These were the ones known specifically as protesters against Roman Catholicism. Why would they protest? What was there to protest against? Incidentally, regardless of any new “reforms” within Catholicism since the Protestant Reformation, Catholicism is still pretty much as it ever was. It really has not changed all that much. One might focus on a minor change here or there and perceive it as major but this is only a matter of perspective. Overall, and effectually, the Catholicism of today is essentially the same as the Catholicism of then. So whatever the Protestants protested against then they could certainly do the same today.

         And the Catholics could certainly fight back. In its history, the Roman Catholic Church has had the same attitude of the ancient Pharisees in that it worked overtime to stomp out any and all dissent or mere perceived dissent. This is one of the main planks it used to gain and maintain power. They would never have become a worldwide religious monolith otherwise. It had used the same methods as its namesake to gain converts and take territory. Many if not most Catholics simply do not know this or they reject it. The Catholicism they possess in their heads is not the Catholicism of reality and history.

         The same is true for Protestants. They have rewritten their histories to reflect a kinder and gentler account, both because their present members for the most part no longer believe as their progenitors did and also because they want to eliminate anything that does not reflect present cultural values. I always find it quite interesting that Christian groups refuse to acknowledge that which gave them power and put them on the map in the beginning, as if they were embarrassed about it. Perhaps they don’t feel comfortable attempting to answer the harder questions. They do not like their origins and past but insist on maintaining their organizations.

GOD NEVER PROMISED US A PLATFORM THRONE

        Both Catholics and Protestants killed a lot of people only because they differed in beliefs and mostly because those killed believed in the real Gospel and were determined to serve the Lord Jesus rather than whatever faux lord was thrust upon them. I have thought, for example, about the ridiculous level of hubris and arrogance it took for some dumb human obsessed with self importance to sit his fat backside on a religious throne and accept completely undeserved honor as some kind of religious potentate. We see this, obviously, with Catholic popes, but we also see it just as obviously with Protestant leaders, though their thrones are not as ornate or evident. We also see it, strangely enough, in the Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Nondenominational world.

        I don’t know who first invented these ubiquitous large and often ornate chairs or platform thrones but whoever it was needs to be spanked. First of all, there should not be a platform (a stage). If the platform was not there then the platform throne would not be there. Yet we still see to this day some religious pride guy and his minions squatted in giant chairs up on high to make sure everyone on the premises knows full well who is in charge. If you want to check this against spiritual reality, just imagine the Lord Jesus insisting on His disciples carrying around a very large and decorated throne chair that He could sit in all the time everywhere He taught and preached (and maybe be carried around in.)

        His great humility and example thus destroys all these stupid unrepentant religious lamebrains and all their prideful and arrogant attitudes. The tables will turn one day. They will get theirs. The first will be last. These ever-present departures into darkness, whether it is the tendency to kill rather than discuss or the desire to indulge one’s flesh instead of crucifying it, will be dealt with by the Lord in His way and in His time. He is very patient that we come to our senses. He intercedes for us. He does His best. He even gave His life. But it is apparent that His perfect example and attitude have not been accepted or emulated by most of what is termed Christianity.

        As it was with the false Jewish sects of the first century which refused the Lord and eventually killed Him, the same has happened among great numbers of supposed Christian believers. The LIGHT has come but most still prefer the domain of darkness.

          Like Paul, many Christians need to be rescued.

          © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

EXPOSING THE ILLUSION BY REMOVING THE VEIL

         “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]

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       Those against Him are the minions of anti-Messiah. Everything they do is in opposition to God. They build societies according to their false anti-liberty paradigms. They deceive millions to follow them and reject the Lord. They cause destruction, disruption, mass murder, and poverty.

          It might interest those who may not know that the Christmas season as we know it arose primarily among European Christian cultures that honored the birth of our Lord Jesus. This tradition carried over into America. His birth signified a great new hope for the world. He was seen by these people as one who came to save us from sin and evil and rescue us from the hand of the enemy.

         Anyone with a modicum of knowledge regarding ancient history knows this planet has been plagued for millennia by evil, rotten dictators who force slavery and the building up of societal models which are anti-liberty and which serve only them. In contrast, the Lord Jesus wants everyone to be free and fulfilled. People in general have always gone along with the evil because they felt they had no choice. Whoever might speak out against the injustice would often end up dead. All those too afraid to do so became congealed among the supporters of evil.

         “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]   

         Of course, the evil dictators and their sycophant minions would also eventually end up dead. And then they would have to face a holy God. They would no longer be sitting on their earthly thrones, would no longer have body guards or armies to protect them, a false media to lie about them, and no one to come to their rescue. At that point justice would be meted out. These unrepentant evil people would not be allowed to infect God’s perfect universe ever again. They would be annihilated and cease to exist forever.

       Back on the surface of the three dimensional world, great state funerals convince majorities that these were actually good men and everyone better recognize them as such. Transforming an evil man’s character borne out by all his evil deeds against humanity into a false sainthood is a great trick and one that most appear to accept handily. Many will even stand up for such evil men and vouch for their character but in doing so they prove their distance from the Lord.

         “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]

         Thus, the perpetrators of evil are also excellent at creating the grand illusion. There is only one antidote to this, only one way to escape deception. Otherwise, people live their lives believing that which is false but believe to be true. They are propagandized. They are indoctrinated. They are deceived. They are otherwise hopelessly fooled. When the curtain goes up they watch the show. They take it all in. They do not know the show is not real but a mere set-up. They do not know that the curtain is false and does not actually go up but goes down. The false curtain hides reality. The false curtain conceals the truth.

         It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. [Luke 23:44-45]

         When this miraculous occurrence took place upon the death of the Lord it revealed to everyone present that they had been living according to a religious sham. The torn curtain of the temple no longer concealed the truth but exposed the fact that there was nothing there. The Holy of Holies was empty. There was no Ark of the Covenant. There was no presence of God. God was actually over on the cross and the real temple—the temple of His body—the veil of His flesh—had just expired. The real temple had been walking among them for approximately three and a half years. This temple was indeed filled with the presence of God. This was the real Holy of Holies.

          And they killed Him.

         “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]

         Since that time there have been two types of people in the world. One is with Him and one is against Him. There is no in-between.

         Those with Him are the blessed ones. They love Him. They trust Him. They believe in Him. They follow Him. They obey Him. They work for Him. They give their lives for Him. They do not and cannot hide who they are. The world opposes them.  

          One is deceived by the illusion and the other sees the illusion for what it is.

         But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. [2Corinthians 3:15-18] [1]

         © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

CHURCH AS WE KNOW IT IS NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF ORIGINAL NEW COVENANT COMMUNITY

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      The Lord Jesus created a Community that is spiritually strong and knowledgeable due only to the combined brilliance of all members, not the limited low wattage of a few.

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            On the Day of Pentecost in the upper room the visible presence of the Spirit of God separated into 120 small flames and these were distributed to rest on the head of each person present. It was an outer representation of the infilling of the Holy Spirit taking place at that moment. This powerful and miraculous occurrence was clearly representative of the legitimacy and ministry of each and every real believer.

        This original Spirit-filled Community of the Lord that started with 120 grew by the thousands but maintained its initial structure and ministry model. The Day of Pentecost experience never ceased. We have clear references to it and the evidence of miraculous occurrences throughout the Book of Acts which proved the ministry of the Lord Jesus continued onward and unabated yet through His disciples. We also have glimpses of what occurred in Christian meetings of that time, but perhaps no better account exists than what the apostle Paul describes in his first letter to the Corinthian believers. This letter was written at the crossroads port city of Ephesus in about the year AD 57. The following descriptive illustration gives us a much fuller picture of what actually transpired in Christian gatherings in the first century:

         What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. [1Corinthians 14:26-33]           

         This passage in the fourteenth chapter of First Corinthians contains an actual look into what most Christians today would call a “church service.” What the apostle Paul writes about, however, looks nothing like most church services of today or of pretty much any day, even among Spirit-filled people. Back then, the Lord Jesus made sure everyone He wanted to be involved was involved and that meant everyone, though not necessarily in each gathering. The point is simply that He wanted each of His children to have the opportunity to contribute. After all, each believer is a member of His Body. Each member has a purpose and a function, and without each respective part something is missing and this negatively affects the Community as a whole. Thus, He wants everyone, not just a few, spiritually engaged.

NO ONE IS AS SMART AS ALL OF US

         In most church services, of course, the opposite happens. What is more, rule by one or a few is the law, unwritten or not. By this we know who is in charge. If the great bulk of believers are made to sit down in orderly rows and stay quiet, never contribute except in some largely inconsequential collective manner, and believe they really have nothing to give anyway compared to the brilliant spiritual giant in the pulpit, then why even try? It doesn’t take long to figure out that one better go along with the program if one wishes to have a favorable and positive “church” experience and maintain social approval and acceptance. To do otherwise is to invite suspicion, be perceived as a mild antagonist, or even eventually be cold-shouldered or blackballed.

         There are a great many Christians who spent many years as the good soldier in their respective churches even after discovering Biblical truths that contradict church as they knew it. I know I have. But I always held my peace and attempted a possible discussion later. I did my best to go along with whatever we were all expected to go along with. I figured the people in charge knew a lot more than I did even though I rarely had any of my questions satisfied or answered properly. After my rookie year or so I simply quit asking. I could never get a straight answer. The attitude presented to me by those in charge led me to develop a much closer walk with the Lord and that led me to much more study and research to go along with my often essentially incessant Bible reading. Since there were rarely any viable ministry opportunities in church services, I used my own personal study and prayer time as a principle outlet. Whenever I did get a chance to contribute in a more meaningful way, I certainly engaged and it was good.

         One might recall the example of Stephen who was greatly anointed of the Lord to tear into the wicked unbelieving religious leaders the same way his Lord had done. I certainly never did that and rarely saw it done in my entire church career. Those kinds of diatribes were allowed only by the guy in the pulpit. Regarding what was sometimes displayed there will have to wait for another possible post down the road. The difference, of course, is that we are all part of a spiritual community and Stephen was strongly rebuking non-believing Messiah-hating spiritual enemies and defending himself and the Lord against false charges. We, on the other hand, are supposed do our best to maintain fellowship according to the Lord’s will.

         Regarding our early, developing personal ministries, most of us thought the leadership would eventually come around and recognize our anointing. We were even taught we must wait on God but surely, they said, recognition would come. This does happen with a few, but for most the recognition never comes. That was my experience. Actually, that’s not exactly true, because some in leadership certainly did recognize what I had, they just never officially acknowledged it or rarely allowed a place for it. I knew then that I had something the Lord gave me that they did not want. I was strong spiritually but sometimes insecure socially in the presence of leadership because I knew they disagreed with me even though they knew I had legitimate questions.

         It was also because I was growing more knowledgeable than them and beginning to find holes in the church doctrines and bylaws, though that was not my intent. I never wanted to break fellowship and I wanted good relations, and this caused me to walk an endless tightrope in my attempt to please the Lord and honor my calling while also striving to get along with those who stuck to convention. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was challenging their standing. It was only later when I began to realize that many preachers are not really interested in Biblical truth beyond a certain point and are more interested in keeping their jobs. I never saw ministry as a job.

         This is the story of who knows how many believers, perhaps millions. I know many of you reading this can identify with it. Perhaps many of us have had similar paths. Maybe that’s why we have these blogs. They are excellent outlets. Imagine all the prayers that went forth before there was ever an internet or the possibility of being able to use our own internet sites as personal ministry. This was something that many of us never imagined. The internet has served to be a viable ministry option, especially for those who have no other opportunities, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Christians are now using it. This can only be a good thing. Consider it internet “fellowship” or an overall online Christian community.

         “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35][1]  

        The constant tension of “official leaders” attempting to bar the door within their venues to real ministry as per the New Covenant model could be because they are intimidated and insecure, and may see themselves as somewhat improper or compromised in the full light of the Lord’s teachings. In other words, honest believers obeying the Lord have a difficult time fitting into incorrect or wrongheaded church models, but because the leaders thereof are so invested in their programs, they attempt to force people into them rather than get their own act together and get with the Lord’s program.  

         The Awakening is changing this.         

         © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION AND SWAMP DRAINING (COMING TO A CHURCH NEAR YOU?)

Blog Pic 12.10.18

© 1971 by Walt Kelly

     

      You say it can’t happen here? It’s been happening here. Great Awakenings and Christian persecution always go together.

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           All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. [2Timothy 3:12]

         The difference between Christian persecution in America and the rest of the world is that in America Christians persecute Christians.

         Notwithstanding the fact that there is certainly a multitude of cases in which the government and other secular institutions have attacked Christians and Christian organizations for their Biblical beliefs, most persecution does not come from that direction. Even though the United States Constitution has been shredded and cast aside by very powerful people who will never let the law of the land stand in their way from doing whatever their money and influence grant them, and though this has been going on for a very long time, government itself has rarely or never been the main perpetrator.

         For one thing there is the vast Christian voting bloc that candidates must have to one degree or another to have success. But most Christian voters are uninformed and Biblically illiterate or they would never support so many successful candidates. When they do support them and believe the untruths from the campaign trail, the vast majority of voters never hold the successful candidate’s feet to the fire once they gain office. The candidates know this, of course. They know all they have to do is put on a big show when running for office and then switch gears once they gain office. They know Christians will almost never hold them accountable and that they would never be able to do much after the fact anyway. The candidates know that once the big show is over the voters will have exhausted themselves and must return to normal life. The voters may feel they have done their part and must now leave it up to whatever is going to happen. They also want to keep the newness of new office holders and administrations fresh because it gives them a good feeling.

         This happens every election. Yet, over the last few years America has certainly adopted a new “throw the bums out” approach that has not happened before. One can see this in the large turnovers that have been taking place every two and four years. What Americans still do not comprehend, however, is that even though they do this nothing substantial ever changes. I and many others have been saying for many years that there is effectively no difference in the two major political parties. Both are sold out to the money powers and are much more influenced by lobbyists than voters. That is who they cater to. Also, there are some very powerful member organizations in which the members thereof, many of which are office holders, see to it that their interests always come first. These people have taken over a long time ago. They are the people most often in office. They were selected before they were elected.

         The current administration has shown great promise and it could be the case that a few good things may keep happening long term. It is probably too much to hope for, however, to see such continue as would happen in a real reform effort. Great change for the better usually only happens over a relatively large length of time. Real reform of this kind does not happen fast because there is so much evil to weed out. The greater concern for now, however, is that any reform which has begun may be cut short due to the powerful interest and control of those who strike back. They took over long ago and most American Christians either don’t know they exist, feel powerless against them, or are simply too apathetic to sustain a drive.

         Nevertheless, the Great Awakening has already begun and sides are being chosen. This is also happening among Christians.

CHINA

         I have written about the Christian Great Awakening in China several times on this site. Forty years ago, China was in very bad shape from a Christian perspective. It was a vast non-Christian swamp. Christianity in China had been severely persecuted under the Chinese Communist regime and effectively wiped out. Most American Christians don’t know this or care much if they do, but the Chinese Communists had murdered roughly forty million Chinese, a staggering number. But after Mao died in 1976 a miracle began. The Christian presence in China began coming forth. It was obviously very small at first and, as usual, the early spiritual pioneers paid the biggest price. But the underground church has grown exponentially and overall current numbers of Chinese Christians indicate approximately 200 million. Trends indicate that China will soon become a Christian nation.

         Christianity, of course, is illegal in China, except for those Christian organizations that receive the Chinese government stamp of approval (and are thus government controlled). Conversely, raids on underground house churches and others continue in force.[1] Regarding government control, the same thing has long since happened in America. Only those churches and Christians organizations approved by the government are free to be what they are and they largely escape any persecution. The 501c3 boys made a deal to limit their effectiveness and their voice, and are thus hopelessly compromised. We have the same licensing process here as they do in China though it appears much less obtrusive. Any Christian group in America that neglects to gain this government approval will subject itself to scrutiny. Most of these never make it to the radar screen because they are far too small and inconsequential. They are also mostly independent, scattered, and unaligned. They represent little or no threat.

       If they grow large enough or become connected enough to gain a voice they will certainly show up on the radar. For example, there was much persecution against many Christian groups under the prior administration when government agencies were weaponized against them. Many of these were destroyed as a result as were the lives of the people involved. As a real Christian, do not ever think the Freedom of Religion right as guaranteed in the Constitution will protect you. Yet, it is there and will certainly act as a protector if enough real Christians get involved and protect one another. But American Christians almost never do this. There will always be a few selected causes and individuals that Christians will defend if such causes gain enough attention and notoriety. That which happened with an American pastor’s recent release from a Turkish prison is a great example. But these causes can often act as brakes on the overall cause of all Christians undergoing persecution here because it makes them that much more invisible.

LURKING JUDAS

         For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? [1Peter 4:17] [2]

         Churches and denominations protect themselves. They will always fight believers who do not believe as they do and do not strictly believe and obey all their church doctrines and denominational bylaws. It does not matter that most of these churches and denominations never preach the full Gospel or that they teach non-New Covenant doctrines. The only thing that matters to them is protecting their swamp and the people who run it. This is why the people with the real power to do something never do anything to press real reform. It is the same reason the Old Testament prophets were always disassociated single individuals with no protection whatsoever except that which came from the Lord. The kings would never protect them, of course, or only very rarely. The prophets were always persecuted.

         If they came for a mega church pastor in America, well, then, everybody in the country would know about it. But when has this ever happened? And why is it not happening?

         This proves beyond anything else, perhaps, that the bigger the church the bigger the compromise and the bigger the odds are of a pretender or compromised minister in charge. There are far too many Christians, churchgoers, and “pastors” in this country that if they decided to demand that reform must come then I guarantee you reform would come. But they never do this. They have a different agenda. They would rather protect themselves and let all the struggling persecuted Christians in America fend for themselves. This is why it is not the government that is the overall problem. If anything, though there have certainly been documented cases of abuse by government entities directed against Christians, the government really doesn’t care what you do as an individual Christian as long as you obey the law. And when the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion you are not violating the law by preaching and teaching the real Gospel!  

        No, the bulk of Christian persecution in America does not come from government, it comes from other Christians. This reveals that the most effective Christian enemy is not in that other swamp in need of draining, but most likely in one much closer.

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] 100 Christians Snatched in Overnight Raids on Underground Chinese Church

[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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

A GREAT AWAKENING PRIMER: STRONG INDIVIDUALS CREATE STRONG CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES

Blog Pic 12.06.18       

      The individual is the deciding difference. Strong, independent, spiritually mature Christians dedicated to the Lord are the building blocks of churches made in their image.

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          I have an old history book. It is old in the sense that it was originally written in 1930 but has been updated several times. The book itself is in great shape. I found it several years ago in a vast library book sale in Plano, Texas. My copy has a 1969 copyright. It is an excellent book. Entitled The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II, it covers the century from just after the Civil War to the late 1960s.

       Chapter IV is called Labor and it deals with the initial sorting out process of labor relations with reference to the post war economy, increasing industrialization, and the rise of impersonal corporatism. This chapter covers the story in our country’s history from after the Civil War until the dawning of the 20th century, a roughly forty year period of vast transformation regarding the conditions and opportunities of working men and women and how labor was forced to make immense adjustments.

         The Civil War itself was great change. It never should have happened. When one studies the real causes of the war behind the overt and official though false narrative, one sees the shrouded figures of economic henchmen intent on taking a spoil. The name Civil War is obviously part of that false narrative. Southerners prefer the term The War of Northern Aggression because that’s exactly what it was. It was a power play to gain the vast reaches of the South and Texas by the northern industrialists and the money powers. By fighting the war, the South, which had the Constitution wholly on its side, was merely protecting itself and attempted to win against all odds as did the original thirteen colonies against the Brits in the American Revolution. The odds were greatly against victory then as well.

         Updated figures show that upwards of 750,000 Americans were killed in the Civil War. There was a forced unconstitutional draft on both sides. Factories were turning out war materiel on a mass scale. Soldiers fought according to an old outdated method that left them wholly vulnerable to modern armaments. Thousands died in single battles. Arms and legs were shot off (or sawed off later). The lives of young Americans had suddenly become very cheap. Approximately one third of Southern men in the prime of life met their doom. The South never recovered. These were the great men, on both sides, of strong character and vitality, American men shortly descended from the greats who won the Revolution. But they were being butchered. It was a terroristic war, one whose excesses and brutality could never possibly be forgotten. In that short four year period from 1861-1865, American men, especially in the South, were transformed from free, independent, and liberty-loving to mere chattel used, abused, and forsaken. It was a betrayal of the highest order.

         After the war, labor suffered. The identity of the American working man was forced to undergo great change in order to fit into the new reality. Workers were cheap. The great money powers gained such control that labor was whatever they said it was. One was forced to play by their rules. If not, a man lost his job and was quickly replaced by another. Millions of new immigrants entered the country to add to the cheap labor pool. It was during those last decades of the 1800s that a completely new form of movement began in this country in the attempt to right these wrongs. It was the beginning of Labor Unions.

        The following passage from the book gives an excellent indication of the thinking process of American workers as they were confronted with the new economic reality and what they attempted to do to save themselves by fighting back. It was in reading these words that I saw yet another direct indication of what happened to American Christianity, which also suffered great change for the worse at the same time:

         In the years after the Civil War two rival approaches—reform unionism and trade unionism—vied for the allegiance of the American workingman. The reform unionists rejected the factory system, with its division of labor and its sharp differentiation of interests of employer and employee, and sought to restore a society which valued the independent artisan. Determined not to become machine tenders assigned to a small part of the process of production, they strove to preserve their status as craftsmen. To safeguard equality of opportunity, they fought those forces of monopoly, especially in finance, which they believed aimed to shackle the worker. They viewed themselves as members of a ‘producer class’ which embraced master as well as journeyman, farmer as well as artisan. [1]

         Thomas Jefferson had a dream of America becoming a vast agrarian society composed of individual Americans working the land. Constitutional principles and directives that every man must be free did not last so long, however. Jefferson’s dream died less than a century later at the hands of dominant money-first power barons who merely wanted to use labor for their own empire-building purposes as if flesh and blood humans with hopes and dreams were not attached to said labor. One can see by the preceding quote from the book that working men saw themselves as much more than mere workers used as machine parts. They were skilled artisans. They were masters at their trades.

         This resonates with me, because I can identify as a master at my trade. I spent many years as a multipurpose self-employed independent carpenter and contractor from the time I was a young adult. I never cared for highly specific quantity-ordered specialty trades within the trade, though I did participate on occasion. I certainly do not fault those who prefer such, but real carpenters should be able to build a structure inside and out instead of simply focusing on one aspect of the trade for the sake of greater and faster production. We have long since gone from one end of this equation to the other. The same thing happened after the Civil War. The independent artisans and craftsmen found a harder row to hoe, less appreciation for their skills, and less demand overall. It became a production game. Wages went down. Craftsmanship suffered.

        The same thing has happened in Christianity. In the beginning the Lord had a real Community composed of various spiritual trades based on spiritual gifting and anointing. As I mentioned in a recent post, Romans Chapter Twelve lists seven motivational giftings of which every real believer has one primary. This is where he or she excels. It is a labor of love. Christians should never waste time trying to be something they are not. And churches must stop rejecting those believers who demand being what the Lord created them to be. The reason they are rejected is for the same reason the economic controllers want human machines that always do what they’re told and simply continue to drone on and on. Pews are filled with such people who rarely do anything but sit and watch and give their money to support a system that goes nowhere spiritual very fast. It’s pathetic.

         What about a church filled with mature independent spiritual artisans who are masters of their craft? THAT is the Lord’s model. Until more Christians become aware that their churches are mere authoritarian perpetual elementary schools in which next to one rises above a third grade level, nothing will change. Those who do progress discipline themselves toward much study and training on their own, which means they outgrow their pastors very early on and only attend because they believe they must or they like the social aspect.

       The good news is that things have changed. We are progressing. But just like the mainstream news media which caters only to veritable babies in high chairs due to its ridiculously dumbed-down and often phony content while gaining most of the outward attention, most churches benefit primarily those few who run them and make money off them. Everyone else is made to grab a galley oar and row, and give money, not their heart or talent. Thus, an unbelievable amount of pure Christian talent has been wasted and shunted aside for the sake of catering to the big boys—the clergyized robber barons who make everything centered around and in support of them. These authoritarian controllers who have captured the money, the power, and the limelight may appear sincere and fool people with their fake smiles and false Pharisaic attitudes, but they are not fooling the Lord.

         He wants His people to be free. And mature. He wants them to fully develop their talent and giftings. He then wants these strong and independent spiritual artisans to work together in community. This is what a real church is. It is what He created in the beginning. They proved what they were by pretty much converting the Roman Empire! Most Christians today have problems converting themselves. And what have we done here in America? Instead of converting others to the Lord Jesus, Christians have largely been converted to and taken over by the culture. It’s the main reason why America is hanging on for dear life.

         There are certainly fighters for the Republic and those trying to save the country, as well as those trying to reform American Christianity, but they graduated from Sunday School a long, long time ago. All Christians who haven’t and refuse to progress should be utterly ashamed.

           Their false tradition is a killer.

          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] [2]   

            © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II © 1930, 1937, 1942, 1950, 1962, 1969 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Sixth Edition.

[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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

Election Day 2014         

       The level of deception regarding our so-called “leaders” is so thick most Americans are completely deceived and have no idea what these people really are. They are certainly not with the Lord.

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          Their world is not His world. He created a world of love, beauty, and peace in which people get along and treat each other right. They created a world in which people are impoverished, in which they suffer and die needlessly, and in which a very few at the top become incredibly wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyone else. They love war and profiting from war. They have no reservations about killing mass numbers of people and then calling it good and necessary. They create the “bad guys” and the “good guys.” They finance both sides.

         Most people do not know this or care. The sad thing is that most Christians are just as oblivious. They are ignorant of this reality because they believe the incessant false propaganda and false narratives and are hopelessly glued to their televisions and mass media, and refuse to do their own research or consider alternatives. Most of all, they refuse to read the Word of God, have a real walk with God, and engage in spiritual warfare against the enemy. This makes them thoroughly susceptible to deception. The mass media is owned by just a few corporations and it is ridiculously easy for them to deceive the bulk of the people, especially in America.

         So here we have yet another who has gone onto a reward that is the opposite of what most people think. The desperate and evil people who live a life of committing petty crimes with long rap sheets are properly looked upon by law-abiding people as lowlifes who refuse to play by the rules and cause problems for others. But what if someone kills a million? What if a small cabal decides to have a World War to satisfy their own financial and geopolitical interests and increase their power and authority? What if these people suck up all the wealth, gain all the power, impoverish the world, and do the very opposite of what the Lord Jesus taught? What are they?

         There is much to study here. The information is available. It takes a lot of work. One will not only have to find historical truth but wade through great swamps of obfuscation, lies, and misinformation. The evil ones promote their own. As a testimony to their power and influence, the greatest Man who ever lived ended up dead on a cold hillside nailed to a cross, thoroughly rejected by all while evil people are propped up as great and adorned with adoration. These evil people would put Him there again and again. But instead, the great evil people are applauded and lauded as the world’s finest. All their sycophants who owe their careers to them honor them and pay them endless respect.

         Consider organized crime families and how they support one another. They call them families for a reason. They engage in evil practices as a way of life but still have love for another. They know they are all successful because everyone involved does their part and obeys the directives that bring them success. But then consider these people on a much, much larger scale. Start wondering about why the earth is filled with so much evil and pain. It doesn’t have to be this way. It is not inevitable that the world must be evil. It is evil overall compared to what it could be because a handful of evil people have made it that way. There is a reason the Lord taught us the proper rules by which to live. If everyone lived the way He wants us to it would be a beautiful world of love and peace. There would be no World Wars. There would be no poverty.

         Now, there will always be evil people in the world, but guess what? Law-abiding citizens have always greatly outnumbered the outlaws and by this have helped to keep evil in check. But when evil people gain the controls of the machinery and rig everything to support their lust of gaining ever more riches and power, and they don’t care at all what they do to other people, and will kill people by the millions to serve their ends, well, now you have a problem. There is then no possible way to get such evil, rich, powerful people out of that place they wrested for themselves.

        Unless the Lord Jesus intervenes. He is our only chance. My suggestion for all Christians is to take the blinders off and start doing greater research. One will initially be shocked at what one finds. More Christians will then have a much greater understanding of why certain people absolutely hated the Lord Jesus, despised Him, and vowed to kill Him on countless occasions. They never succeeded and never would have unless He willfully laid down His own life as a sacrifice for us. And they rejoiced that they could finally get their hands on Him. They inflicted the most pain and torture they could imagine upon Him to satisfy their hatred and blood lust. If they could have done this to Him a thousand times they would have, and would have loved every minute of it.

         Since they cannot, they turned to inflicting pain and murder upon His followers. The evil people running the world have done this ever since. They hate the Lord and they hate His kingdom. They hate His people. They hate real Christianity. If they could they would eliminate all real Christians. They have certainly tried.

         But an interesting thing always happens in their pursuit of this goal. I remember being shown this revelation as a young believer and was absolutely enthralled at the prospect: Every time the evil ones kill a real believer greater good comes from it and even more believers spring up in his place. Every time they fight to destroy the Lord’s people the Lord raises up even more people. The devil can’t win. So he took a different path. Instead of trying to eliminate them, he thought, I will deceive them and pacify them. I will convince them they are fine when they are not. I will tell them their sin is not sin and they can do whatever they want. As he continued thinking along these lines he realized he had come upon the perfect plan: It is much better for me to fool Christians and create false “Christian” entities that refuse to teach and preach the real Gospel. By this I will capture their minds and hearts. Then I will turn the “Christians” against each other.

        Of course, there are actually only a comparative few real Christians in the world, exactly as the Lord taught, as opposed to the unreal variety. The real guys suffer the bulk of the attacks for obvious reasons. The fake Christians remain warm and fuzzy and snuggled in their beds, spiritually brain dead and brainwashed. They don’t even know who the real enemy is. Then they end up honoring the evil anti-Americans who never show any signs of real repentance for all their evil deeds and by this they crucify the Lord afresh.

          The cabal honors its own. But justice awaits on the other side.

        “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? [Matthew 23:27-33] [1]

            © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

POWER OF THE STEEPLE, BY THE STEEPLE, AND FOR THE STEEPLE

         The framers of the United States Constitution fully understood that absolute power corrupts absolutely. They had first-hand knowledge of the consequences that result from the abuse of power.

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         It is for this reason that they devised a form of government that greatly diluted authority. They installed checks and balances within the framework of the Constitution in order to arrest the corrupting ability of absolute power. The founding fathers were very aware from their knowledge of past governments and their present circumstances that great abuses resulted from a one-man show.

         Only Jesus is sovereign.[1] Everyone else is clearly inferior and subordinate to Him, whether they acknowledge it or not. The gap between Jesus, the Lord God of all Creation, and the entity most like Him is so vast it would be impossible to calculate. The only chance which humanity has to experience and continue in fellowship with Him is through applying the sacrifice of His sinless tabernacle to themselves, as a substitutionary death, which in turn gives life.

         The Lord stated that no one has greater love than the one who surrenders his own life for the lives of his friends.[2] A kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil (in death) in order to bring forth new life.[3] Accepting His life-giving death is the only way that mankind can be reconciled to Him. Once reconciled to God, a person can become “godlike,”[4] but only through the introduction of the Spirit of Jesus into his being.[5]

         Only Jesus is worthy of absolute power. Only Jesus can control it. Only Jesus cannot be adversely affected by it. When a human being is given power, he must be given checks and balances as well. In this way, he has a good chance of not being destroyed by power, or more importantly, not destroying others by it. This is why the concept of the “one-man show” church should be anathema to Christianity. This concept comes in many varieties. Other than a single individual, the “one man” could be a pastor with a sycophant board of elders, or even a worldwide hierarchy pledged to a single leader. In each of these varieties, individuals have no voice, no power, and simply do what they’re told.

         We should never forget, however, what absolute power does to people. It corrupts the holders thereof and their yes-men, and in time alienates those subordinates who are passionate for positive change, inevitably causing rebellion against the abuse of power and the neglect of those under that power. If able to unite, the neglected will rise up to rightfully extract power from corrupt leadership. This rising up or rebellion against reprobate authority serves as a check on the flagrant mishandling of authority. A successful rebellion of this kind is called a revolution. A successful Christian rebellion is called a reformation.

         The great Reformation of the sixteenth century was nothing more than a rebellion against corrupt, absolute power. The American Revolution of the late 1700s was exactly the same, though in a different arena. If the American Revolution had failed, George Washington would have been guilty of treason against the English throne and would likely have ended up with a rope around his neck. Many thousands were burned at the stake during the Reformation, not because they were heretics, but because they challenged corrupt leadership. Each of these celebrated, successful rebellions proved to be far-reaching, long-lasting remedies against the pox of nefarious authority that had come to be concentrated in the hands of one man.

[The preceding is an excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]


[1] Matthew 28:18

[2] John 15:13

[3] John 12:24

[4] John 10:34-38, Psalm 82

[5] Romans 8:9-10

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

HONORING THOSE WHO WENT BEFORE US

       They’re all dead and in the grave. Their mortal remains are all that remain in this three dimensional world. But they still live on. They have gone to the other side.

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         To those human beings who have no belief in a spiritual world, they truly are the intelligent animals they claim to be. Though intelligent might be a stretch. It is not so intelligent to have what is otherwise the obvious evidence of God’s presence and creation all around us and still not see.

         Have they been taught out of the truth? I suspect this is true. I remember, as a tyke, the wonder of it all. I believe with all my heart that all very young children are very close to God. They don’t question His presence. They don’t question spiritual reality because they don’t question goodness and life and laughter and joy. Even babies laugh out loud. I get tickled when they get so tickled they can’t stop laughing.

         One wonders what happens to most humans as they get older. It can be argued that maybe their environment is bad or their parents are not so good or whatever. But this is all a crock. There have been so many born of a low estate with strong challenges that later left that estate simply because they willed themselves to and refused to be brought down by circumstance. I know my own family was neither rich nor poor. We had a good house and ate well. My parents were responsible. They loved us.

        Speaking of eating well in otherwise humble conditions I heard of one man who came from a very poor family but said they always had plenty of food. He said he knew this was true because when he was a hungry kid he often asked for seconds and his Dad said he already had plenty.

          It used to be that families made do with a whole lot less. You do the best you can. The Lord looks upon our lives and will help if we have any faith but I believe He protects us anyway. But it is our own wills and bad choices that get us in trouble. At the end of the day we are solely responsible and will have to face the Lord alone. I think it is wise to practice this. I think it is a smart thing to do to picture ourselves before the Lord at the judgment:

         “What do you have to say for yourself?” And we would say “You died in my place Sir. Without You I have no chance. I have tried to do my best. I committed many sins but repented a lot also. It took a long time but You finally convinced me that I am worthy of eternal life but only because You say so, and I believe You, and I know You love me, and I love You, and you paid my way to make it possible…”

         And then I think, wait, hold on, shouldn’t one’s judgment before the Lord be a time of great joy? I mean, if we have been living by faith and trust in Him and are really trying hard to be a good Christian and have achieved something or another for Him, shouldn’t we believe that He will give us great news? I am not talking about presumption or spiritual arrogance and pride but just looking at it the way a child would. Would a young happy innocent child expect anything less than spending forever with his or her heavenly Father? This is why I think many Christians have made it all too complicated.

         Those who have gone before would tell us this. They had found that the secret to living for the Lord and eventually getting to heaven was along these lines:

         First of all, take the Lord at His Word. If He says the default destination of every soul is hell and that’s where you’re going without Him and all He can do for you then that’s where you’re going unless you do something about it. If He says there is another Way, a road that starts with a small gate and involves a narrow road pushed in on both sides by pressure that is sometimes not at all so comfortable, and that if one chooses this road and stays on it no matter what then one will eventually get to the destination which naturally occurs at the end of that road. We know this about every other road. No one travels without destinations in mind. The Lord’s Way has a destination.

         Secondly, we have to know why we are here. The first church I belonged to after my born-again experience majored on teaching witnessing. We were always being told to go out and witness to others. So I did. A lot. With many. I was so anointed and had so much to say and everything was so brand new. I wanted everyone to know what I knew and how great the Lord was. A few years later in a new church I learned about something that was relatively new back then, or at least new to me. It was a “spiritual gifts” test based on Romans Chapter 12. Through this test I found out that I had a teaching gift. Teaching always came up first and prophesying second. This made perfect sense because I had an insatiable hunger for the Word of God and loved telling others everything I learned. Long before this I had already bought a brand new leather bound Thompson Chain Reference Bible and one of those big Strong’s concordances. I was always doing word studies and etc.

         Knowing who I was and why I was here made it a lot easier to live for God. I know this will sound goofy to some who have no qualms about making fun of spiritual things, but I had discovered my mission in life. I have tried my best to honor my calling and stay on point in my mission, but as all real Christians know, we are simultaneously fighting a spiritual war and sometimes the enemy gets in some good licks and slows us down. Sometimes we mess up on our own. Sometimes we get knocked right down on our butts and it takes a while to get back up and get going again. But if we do what we had always done we will get back up. We will go on. It is due in part to a strong sense of duty and responsibility but it’s also because the work we are called to is something we enjoy and which actually charges our spiritual batteries. We also want to go stomp the devil the way he stomped us. We must never let the big idiot have the final say or the last lick. One must get up to fight again and give that piece of garbage yet another black eye and bloody lip.

        Those who went before us know this also. Those solid and powerful believers did damage to the idiot’s disgusting little kingdom and rescued souls by the thousands. They knew what could be done and they did it. Their examples give us great inspiration because we see that they were just human as we are human, and the Lord was able to work through them, often in a mighty way, which gives us confidence that He can do the same with us. What a great thing it must be to complete one’s course and come to the end of the narrow road with the Lord Jesus Himself there to greet us! How cool is that?

         So I encourage you all to continue on and know that if they could do it we can do it. It might seem highly unbelievable that flesh and blood human beings can somehow be transformed from this three dimensional world into an unseen spiritual world when for all practical reasons it looks like we just die and go to the grave and that’s it. But real Christianity, that which is based exclusively on the teachings of the Lord Jesus, says the grave we see is not the end of us but merely the end of a flesh and blood temple housing an eternal spirit until a future resurrection, and that we will live on forever in great joy and peace with the Lord. If we believe this and stay on the road, what He says will happen will happen. We will get there. But we must have a purpose. We must have a reason to live this life that brings honor to Him.

         Those that went before us figured out early on who they were and what their purpose was and then they got after it and stayed after it. Attending to their callings made their life’s work possible, and it made life go by relatively fast. The more they paid attention to their walk the easier it was to stay on the road.

         Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” [Luke 2:46-49] [1]

         © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”