KICKING AGAINST THE GOADS
I wrote my first book, Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church, in the 1990s in part to show the clear distinction between real and unreal Christianity. It released a sword of separation.
All Christians must understand that the New Covenant writings contain contrastive material. The Word of God is designed to draw clear distinctions, cause sharp divisions, and assist one in making positive decisions. It presents Light and darkness, good and evil, sheep and goats, wheat and tares, and righteousness and sin. Real repentance is challenging (understatement alert). Personal sin, false beliefs, contrary attitudes, and uncircumcised hearts all must be addressed. It is not an easy process nor should it be. The Light shines on the darkness and everything hidden in the darkness gets exposed. Whenever one comes to the Lord he or she is exiting darkness and entering Light.
THE SWORD OF SEPARATION
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” [Matthew 10:34-36]
Over the last quarter century, the spiritual climate in organized American Christianity has radically changed. Previous errors have been compounded. It is apparent that American Christians in general have consistently rejected the fullness of the Gospel. Most have certainly rejected the Book of Acts. The instructions and warnings of my book went unheeded. One might recall that the 1990s were considered the good times. Does not the Lord always warn during the good times that bad times are soon coming if one does not stay right with Him?
Real Christianity is based firmly on the full teachings of the Lord Jesus and the New Covenant writings. Our Lord is the Master. What He says goes. He instructs us to build our entire lives upon His foundation. Most of what we term “Christianity” has never done this. This means most “Christians” are actually not on the Lord’s side at all. Maybe most are deceived. It is more likely most simply refuse to follow the Lord as He said we must.
A Christian’s bullheaded balking at the Lord’s direction becomes evident, as kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14), when he or she reaches a point of refusal to go any further or in the right direction, though the Lord gently applies pressure to do so, and he or she insists on staying put wherever personally anchored or wander off wildly on a course of his own choosing. From the Lord’s perspective, those who have pledged their lives to Him have no call to refuse Him. But not only does an apparent majority of Christians refuse Him and decide on their own how far their discipleship will go, some are also guilty of persecuting the Lord (Acts 26:15). This is not something to have on one’s Christian résumé.
The Lord has never needed large numbers of followers to have a great impact in the world. I have consistently reiterated this point in all my writings going back decades. What He actually needs are fully obedient followers who trust Him fully and make a stand as He did. It is easy to discern a Christian who is not standing properly with the Lord because they do not put His teachings first. Instead, they will appeal to church leaders or teachers or writers or speakers or whoever else that has an alternative perspective and agenda which most often includes false and opposing denominational doctrines. They cannot understand that they have been compromised. Rather than put their trust in the Lord Jesus they put it in others and in themselves though outwardly insisting otherwise. This likely explains the great amount of Cognitive Dissonance among Christians.
The best way to break free from any accepted “Christian” belief that is contrary to the Lord’s teachings is to simply pray for direction and then dive in to His teachings. Don’t pick and choose. Have no agendas other than learning His full curriculum. Read the gospels focusing on all of His statements. Get familiar with everything He taught. Do your best to apply it. We are all a work in progress in this area in one sense. In another, however, we must understand that the early members of His initial Community immediately hit the ground running from the very start. They didn’t know everything as individuals but were always open to instruction; they acted on what they knew and continued. Also, the Community as a whole did know pretty much everything and it is why every voice mattered. They believed and practiced the adage, “Nobody is as smart as all of us.” What one didn’t know another did. When one was not operating correctly or speaking fullness of truth another lovingly corrected him. Fellow believers were never censored. It was an organic fellowship of the Spirit. They never waited to become “perfect” disciples in knowing and applying everything the Lord said before doing their Christian duty, though they certainly believed in everything the Lord said. They preached and taught the most foundational and important teachings first and went from there. They put first things first.
The first thing is salvation from sin and establishing trust and faith in the Lord Jesus. This requires a complete change and transformation of one’s life, initially through repentance of sin and walking away from all sinful practices. Ongoing obedience must follow. And because the Lord would never leave us powerless or defenseless against powerful spiritual enemies He commanded we be filled with His Holy Spirit. Those filled with His Spirit in the first century turned the world upside down. Every real Christian has the same influential impact.
Most Christians, however, are not filled with His Holy Spirit as the originals were and are thus not much of a threat to the enemy. This is largely why the enemy has come into America like the proverbial flood. It is why the enemy now controls pretty much everything.
The majority of American Christians insisted on being spiritual wimps, biblically illiterate, and embarrassed by the Lord Jesus.
The enemy has taken full advantage and likely couldn’t believe it would be so easy. And now, after a quarter century, much of American Christianity, compromised by sin and enslaved to mammon, has gone over to the enemy.
THE SPIRIT OF JUDAS
The problem arises from a consistent refusal to do what the originals did and instead substitute their own various forms of “Christianity” which look nothing like the original. The most reprehensible consequence of all the false gospels and False Teachers is their rejection of the Lord Jesus and His teachings and those who truly follow Him. Therefore, long before such disruptive times as these when so much hate and division is being openly presented, real Christians in America have had to deal with such throughout their entire walk. They are used to it. They are quite familiar with betrayal. Such negativity is not necessarily coming from non-Christian Americans, however, most of whom really don’t care all that much what real Christians believe, or even from secular authority which has most often been neutral and even supportive of religious freedom. No, the worst battle has always been with the various forms of what I term “Unreal Christianity.” This is where most of the hate and rejection has consistently come from. This can only mean the devil has an established presence there.
It was no different in the first century. The very worst and most extreme persecution of the Lord’s followers came from among their own. It came from religious leaders and family members. It was brother against brother. Even the Lord’s own family were against Him for a time. Some within the nation saw the Light and received the Lord as the long hoped for Messiah. Others hatefully rejected Him. This dynamic remains in place. Some Jewish people, a relative few, the Messianic Jews, have embraced the Lord Jesus. The rest reject Him, hate Him, and mock Him. It was the relatively small group of unbelieving Messiah-rejecting Israelite/Judean religious and political leaders and those indoctrinated by them that led the effort in murdering the Sacrifice Lamb. They turned against their own blood, against vast numbers of their own nation. Remember, as I have always pointed out, the entire original Community of the Lord Jesus, every single one of the 120 in the Upper Room, and all twelve apostles were also composed only of Israelites/Judeans, including the Apostle Paul. For some of you, such a betrayal might be familiar.
The movement started by the Lord Jesus which later became termed “Christianity” was originally an entirely Israelite/Judean movement for roughly nine years. There were no Gentiles until the time the apostle Peter was sent by the Lord to preach to and preside over the salvation of the Gentile Cornelius and his family/associates (See Acts Chapter 10). Those people all received the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the exact manner of those on the Day of Pentecost. Peter was initially shocked by this. In time, Gentile believers far outnumbered Israelite/Judean believers. Regardless of nationality, the Lord Jesus always consistently did the exact thing on every occasion of a new spiritual outpouring and it is all recorded in the Scriptural history book of the Early Church. Each occasion was an exact repeat of Pentecost.
However, from that time to the present, scads of false or incomplete gospels have been presented and the majority of “Christians” have believed and accepted something very different or incomplete compared to that of the originals. Those Christians who are participating and having a positive effect in the current Great Awakening have one primary thing in common: They are fully dedicated to the Lord Jesus. They have pledged to do His will. They do their best to know and obey His teachings. They identify with the Early Church of the first century. They will not stay in a place where He is not fully supported. They want the full curriculum of the Lord. They want to excel. They have become aware of the difference between the real and unreal. If the Lord directs them to, they will walk away from the faux bros.
COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM
It is why so many have walked away. They are tired of sleepy time Christianity and less than the best Churchianity. They are tired of hanging around the willing sleepers and pew droolers. They want the whole catalogue. They want to be exactly like the originals. THEY WANT EVERYBODY TO WAKE UP. They are tired of all their spiritual efforts pretty much going nowhere because only watered-down common denominator stuff is accepted so the stragglers won’t be offended. (We must never offend; it keeps the money from rolling in.) Things keep getting worse, the people in charge still refuse to change and get right with God, and those who see know the Titanic has struck an iceberg and is going down.
The great Ark of the Lord, however, sails on unimpeded. It’s got this cool Upper Room that keeps going 24 hours a day. There is much joy! The Lord guides His ship expertly and anyone and everyone is welcome aboard, though a few New Covenant papers will have to be signed.
Remember, according to the Gideon Paradigm and the Upper Room 120, all it takes is a comparative few to have great success and rout the enemy. It is not necessarily the big crowds that make the difference but the obedient few separated from the rest and united in heart and Spirit. The Lord proved this with Gideon’s 300. He proved it with the 120.
And He proves it every day when as few as two or three are gathered together in His Name.
Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. [Daniel 12:3] 
© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on November 1, 2021, in Current Events and tagged Come Out From Among Them and Be Separate, Community of the Called-Out Ones, Cornelius, Discipleship, Early Church History 101, False Forms of Christianity, Gideon, Lord Jesus, Pentecost, Real Christianity The Nature of the Church, Spiritual Warfare, The Early Church, The Great Awakening, The Upper Room, Unreal Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.
Wonderful message, thank you RJ. As one pastor put it so well, church is not a ‘club’ (needless to say he was not popular and was forced to ‘move on’).
Church is also not about giving God a checklist of our needs, as is so popular these days. It’s not about grabbing prophetic words here and there to tickle our fancy as is also common today.
It’s about living by His Word, being quick to listen and slow to speak.
It’s about daily thanking Him and building a living living relationship with Him, and walking humbly with Him.
I hope and pray the church everywhere today awakens and returns to worshipping the Lord in Spirit and Truth, to earnestly waiting on God, to carrying our cross daily, and to keep going out into all the world, obeying, trusting, following in the Lord’s footsteps, sharing the Good News, and being led by the Spirit.
Shalom and blessings🙏
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Thank you Susan. Much appreciation. I am reluctant to reply because I do not want to take away from your rich and fruitful comment.
The Remnant is at work. The Awakening progresses. We are winning.
But there remains much resistance among Christians, entranced by sleep induced by such and bound by man’s tradition. Sadly, many no longer even kick against the goads because there are none. They’ve been abandoned to their own desires.
Just as there was the massive Great Awakening brought forth by the Lord in the first century, there was also a revolt against it, the Great Apostasia or “falling away.” The followers of the Lord made it through great persecution and then came into great green fields of spiritual bounty. Those who revolted lost everything.
The same is happening at present. It is another manifestation of the sword of separation. It appears as though whenever the Lord makes a great move and many come into greater Light, there is also a corresponding move among His own or those purporting to be, of resistance, estrangement, disloyalty, rebellion, and betrayal.
The First become Last and the Last become First.
One party has a great desire to continue following the Lord on the spiritual frontier, fighting and defeating the enemy, and walk in the Lord’s resultant blessing, while another refuses and stays behind. It is later proven to be ground they cannot hold.
They choose Ichabod.
This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. [1Timothy 1:18-19]
Many blessings to you Susan
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I agree with every word and thank you for your responsive thoughts, RJ. It is exactly as I have experienced the ‘Christendom’ journey for several years now, realizing the Lord was calling me to break away from worldly churches and take the road less travelled… the long and winding road…
I believe the Remnant is a shining city on a hill and is shining brighter and brighter, yet at the same time our hearts cannot help but break for we are also witnessing the Great Deception and the last Great Falling Away of so many all around us💔 blessings & shalom
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Yes. I’ve been feeling that today. It’s a sad thing. I remember so many great spiritual times in the past. Things have changed dramatically. One does not notice it without a proper comparison. The church routine has devolved. I don’t think the majority realized how much until early 2020 hit but it was likely noticed only briefly before mass compliance set in. Most submitted to the new master without realizing the Master was gone. They had left Him.
Have you noticed how Christians in general were set up for a takeover because they had been conditioned to obey Christian authority indiscriminately with no questions asked?
Thank again Susan. Keep shining your light. Love your work.
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Yes—my former church here in Canada is under the ‘spell’ of takeover — (having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof as Timothy wrote)… They wear masks in church and ‘social distance’ and see nothing wrong with this bizarre behaviour. 💔
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When a person becomes a real Christian, and I mean a REAL Christian, he or she pledges himself or herself to the Lord Jesus 100%. The Lord then becomes the new believer’s highest authority and one’s only ultimate authority. One ultimately listens ONLY to the Lord Jesus in all matters. Christian “leadership” is assumed to have also done this. Many real Christians discover in time, as they mature spiritually, that their “leaders” are often compromised in some way because they notice clear commands of the Lord Jesus not being carried out and other things never commanded by the Lord accepted and incorporated and forced upon the congregation. Forced compliance thus makes slaves of the non-thinking largely Biblically illiterate among the congregation, which is almost always the majority. Those who see then have a choice to make: They will either continue serving the Lord Jesus or stop serving Him and begin serving the compromised “leadership.” Of course, the majority has likely never put the Lord Jesus first anyway, meaning they simply continue serving someone or something other than the Lord.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools… [Romans 1:21-22]
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yes and amen! thank you RJ
Thanks Yvonne. Blessings!
Very challenging blog, but I hesitate to agree with this statement: “This means most “Christians” are actually not on the Lord’s side at all.” Jesus warned us there WOULD be weeds among the wheat, but He emphasized to His followers to wait until the harvest to allow Him to do the separation, gathering the wheat into His barn and burning the weeds with unquenchable fire.
As such, we must also be careful not to rejoice over this separation, but mourn for those lost as Jesus most likely mourned over one of His closest disciples. Judas was the money keeper for the group, a position likely entrusted in love.
The Lord is merciful much more than I am, and so it will be best to leave those who seem to be following Him in His hands. Now, out-and-out false teachers are another matter and should be accused of such, but still out of love for those, like in the RC Church, many of whom do not subscribe fully to some the RC false teaching, but still believe in Jesus as their savior. Many just need Scriptural instruction.
love and prayers,
Thanks C.A. Blessings to you
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