Category Archives: Teaching

THE UNDYING THREAT OF NEW COVENANT TRUTH

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      They killed the Lord Jesus but He didn’t stay dead. It was a nice effort although a failure. Every other effort to destroy His living legacy also failed. All present and future efforts will end in failure as well.

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         “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]

          It was the Lord Himself who was the initial target. Herod tried to get Him in the very beginning. There were probably pre-ministry attempts on His life that Scripture does not record. After stepping into open destiny He was under constant threat. The following are four historical instances of such murder attempts from each gospel to illustrate what He faced on a daily basis:

       Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. [Matthew 2:16]

         The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. [Mark 11:18]   

         Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.” [Luke 13:31]

         For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. [John 5:18]

         We can gather from the preceding accounts that the Lord had many enemies, both civil and religious. We also know the Lord never committed a single sin, never violated the Torah, and never broke any legitimate civil law. He was accused of violations, but interestingly, only by the actual violators.

         It reminds one of Catholics and Protestants taking turns burning each other at the stake. Catholics killed some people representing a threat who did not believe and practice the Catholic religion properly. Protestants killed some people representing a threat who did not believe and practice whatever Protestant religion properly. Protestants killed non-Catholics. Catholics killed non-Protestants. Why all the killing? Why were these crazy religionists so threatened?

     We know why the Pharisees were threatened. They didn’t spend two centuries formulating their perfect religion only to have the Lord reveal it for what it really was. There were no prophets during the time the Pharisees created their belief system, loosely based on the Law of Moses, but heavily dependent on oral commentaries and connections to Babylon. Because there were no prophets in the land no one had the spiritual anointing to object and expose them. It wasn’t until John the Immerser came forth that a true prophet was once again in the land of Israel/Judea. After him, of course, came forth the greatest Prophet of all time. These two revealed Phariseeism for the sham it was and its connection to the devil. It was just another thing prophets were sent to do on a routine basis. Prophets kept the land clean from false beliefs and interpretations. They stood only for the real Word of God.

         This same dynamic invaded Christianity in that new denominations were only based on the New Testament. Additions were made. Subtractions were made. Commentaries were added. This is what the New Testament really means, they said. The new denominations, of course, must have a priesthood or clergy to denote the real and rail against the unreal. But they were only defending their own man-made belief systems and not the actual New Covenant Scriptures. Hence, when they gained enough power, they forced people to believe what they advocated and installed strong penalties for those who refused, including, of course, the death penalty.

         All this within a religion of peace? Right.

         Regardless of all the initial attacks against the Lord, His men, and the early believers by unbelieving Jews, the Lord’s Community not only survived but thrived. Try as they might they could not destroy it. Keep this in mind when trying to differentiate among various Christian denominations and their early histories. The Lord NEVER operated this way, never would, and never will. If you chose not to follow Him or believe His teachings He would still love you. The early Community of the Lord never advocated for such a thing. But false religions know they can be destroyed without using every tool at their disposal including the death penalty. Real Christians know the Lord is eternal, His Word is eternal, the Gospel is eternal, and nothing will ever eliminate Him or them.

         This means New Covenant Truth is an ever-present threat against the forces of evil. Unreal Christianity is an enemy of the truth. Whatever religion or belief system is anti-Lord Jesus or antichrist is an enemy of the truth. One either honors the Lord and the fullness of His teachings or one does not. But if one does not, he or she is okay to believe whatever he or she wants to believe without being under threat by the Lord. The Lord threatens no one. He never stoops to such lowlife tactics as do the false religionists.

         He does warn us, however, that sin is a killer, and unless one does something about it one will pay. One will lose one’s soul. He paid the price for sin with His life. He can remove sin from a person. He can clean us up. He will remove the power of sin in a person’s life. Only He can cure us of the sin disease. This requires repentance on our part. If one refuses the Lord’s free gift then one stands in opposition to Him by his or her own choice. Unlike false religions, including the Christian variety, the Lord never forces conversion. Forced conversions are false conversions.

         Those who oppose New Covenant Truth are the enemies of God. Those who create false religions and belief systems espousing this and defending them to the point of taking lives are the worst offenders.  

        And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” [Luke 9:20-24] [1]

         © 2019 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.

ALL HOPE HAD VANISHED: THEN THE LORD SPOKE LIFE TO DEATH

     

     He had just been at Capernaum. A Roman centurion’s slave was on death’s door. Due to the centurion’s great faith, the Lord Jesus was able to heal the sick man without ever even seeing him.

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         He traveled with His disciples south from the northern environs of the Sea of Galilee through small towns and fishing villages along the west shore and then out across the plane to the southwest. Passing by the 1,886 foot rounded peak of Mount Tabor jutting up obtrusively on the right about six miles east of Nazareth, they continued on past Endor to the south. Arriving at the outskirts of the ancient town of Nain they were soon accompanied by a large party of locals no doubt enthralled by the many wonders and miraculous happenings associated with the Lord.

       However, rather than any expectancy regarding the immediate event in process before them upon entering the town, all parties adopted a hush of respect for the great mourning suddenly in their midst. A lonely, bereft widow had just lost her only son. Just inside the gate of the village, amid the weeping and wailing of mourners, the Lord’s disciples turned attentive caring eyes toward the procession playing out before them—a dead man was being carried on a crude bier in the opposite direction on the way to the hillside tombs within eyeshot close by. Amid the ordered tumult, the Lord’s gaze fell upon the dark-clad grieving woman whose life’s misery was now compounded beyond bearing. Her much crying since the dread event had lapsed into an intolerable somber anguish without any foreseeable remedy during her few remaining years.

         This was her only son, her only begotten son, a dead son of a dead father. What hope was left? If not for this otherwise chance meeting with someone whose life and mission could relate, who had always known His eventual fate and the dreadful effect it would have on His own mother, and who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities,” the bedraggled procession would continue onward to the place of death and perpetual remembrance.

          But that was not going to happen. Not this time.

         When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. [Luke 7:13-14a]

        I believe He was weeping when he told the woman to stop weeping. What could she have been thinking? How incredulous she must have been in that brief moment. Do not weep? What? But she followed His movements. No one said a word. He walked over and placed his hand on the coffin. The procession stopped. The usual ongoing heartbreak and pain associated with life in this world stopped. All eyes were upon Him. He acted in such a way that no one had a chance to impede His interruption, as all were likely shocked at what was playing out before them. What is this stranger doing?

         And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!” [Luke 7:14b-16]   

SPEAKING TO A DEAD MAN

         When something is done, it is done. It is over. This is what we are taught. Life teaches us this, often brutally. Yet the New Testament narratives persist in telling us this is not necessarily true. Are these just a bunch of old stories? Did the Lord actually do all those impossible things? Once one considers such he may as well throw it all out—throw out the New Covenant, throw out the Gospels, throw it all out. It’s either all true or none of it is true. Though many have done this and will never express any real faith in the Lord, others have seen His hand. It may not be as dramatic as the events of this story but are life-changing nonetheless. In many cases it is not the Lord stopping a horrendous event (often because He will not violate human will) but giving us the otherwise impossible strength to deal with it and overcome it. Such is just as viable and powerful.

         For example, though he gave this poor grieving widow her only son back, he did not stop the man from dying in the first place. He did not stop the death of His friend Lazarus. He was notified that Lazarus was sick but purposely waited two days before he headed over there. His sisters suffered great grief. He also did not stop His own death and thus allowed His mother to suffer terribly as a consequence of it. But in all three cases He raised the dead. In two cases he brought great joy to grieving mothers by doing something otherwise impossible.

         Everyone will die. We know the above two guys died twice. But the Lord promises that those who have faith in Him will rise again. There is a resurrection coming for all. Some will be resurrected to eternal life.

         In the meantime it could well be the case that something has died that the Lord wants to resurrect in the here and now. Maybe it’s something that suffered death as a result of spiritual attack and warfare. Maybe it exists in a weakened condition needing a spiritual jolt to live again.

      Whatever is attempted for the Lord will suffer attack. Some attacks are powerful. Sometimes such attacks succeed. It could be that the attack was so potent and soul wrenching that one cannot muster the strength, ability, or desire to fight back effectively. One wonders of how many things the Lord wanted done that never got done due to losing spiritual battles. Sometimes we do fight back but can’t quite get there. We try. We give maximum effort. We exhaust ourselves in the attempt. And we still know we must try again until we finally succeed.

         Regardless of how it all works out or what is supposed to happen, don’t ever forget that the Lord in fact spoke to a dead man. He did it more than once. Imagine the people standing around that heard it. And then, shockingly, the dead man also heard it and actually responded.

         The dead man sat up and began to speak. [Luke 7:15] [1]

         Is there something the Lord may be telling us?

         © 2019 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.

A SHOCKING REVELATION

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      Something was wrong in the church. Great spiritual effort was being made to no avail. A hindrance was blocking progress. What could it be? I began praying earnestly to find out.

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         We were young, in our early to late twenties. In the space of six months to a year the Lord brought forth a new membership group by ones and twos in an otherwise small traditional church. We provided a new strength and energy. The church had been struggling. The existing congregation had recently moved from its previous location and built a large, tasteful building. It had not gone as planned. There might have been a split. The church maintained a solid core of strong faithful believers but most were older and determined to maintain traditional practices. The Lord, however, was doing something new.

A NEW AWAKENING

         A nationwide revival of sorts remained on the move. It began around 1960 and spread throughout all denominations. Prior to that time there had been a great divide between Pentecostals and Protestants. The Azusa Street Revival, which began in 1906, had brought Christians of many stripes together for a brief time but after only a few years a major divide had ensued. There were initially arguments among Pentecostals that resulted in splits that created what later became major Pentecostal denominations. Mainline Protestants were at first intrigued with the movement but in general had a hard time giving up or changing their long-held traditional practices. Nevertheless, there was a lot of healthy mixing and cross pollination. In time though, these two groups returned to being estranged from one another.

         What took place in 1960 was possible in part because a relatively few Protestants in key positions of authority were somewhat secretly engaging in Pentecostal practices. Because they were discreet it caused no scandal. They perceived the otherwise questionable practices as perfectly natural and solidly New Testament based. These believers would be used by the Lord to assist in opening doors when the new movement began. By the mid 1960s even Catholic priests and nuns were receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. It was in a certain sense a non-threatening revival, somewhat the opposite of Azusa Street, which blew the doors off and created a powerful worldwide movement. The 60s awakening spread steadily throughout all denominations and even began the new phenomenon of non-denominational churches. The traditionalists could not stop it but likely had great success at times in slowing it down. Non-Biblical traditions die hard.

         In the late 1960s a great many young people, especially it seems, on the west coast, began coming to the Lord. Some of these had no traditional underpinning and therefore had no understanding of how they should properly present themselves. In all the pictures of the Lord Jesus they had seen He wore long hair and a beard so the young men wore long hair and beards. Those who had dressed like hippies pretty much continued dressing like hippies after they became born again Christians. Their hearts were in the right place but their new attitude of spiritual freedom didn’t go over so well among buttoned-down conservative Christians. Even traditional Pentecostal churches had a major problem with this.

         By the 1970s battle lines had formed. It was yet another new guard-old guard paradigm. We know from the Word of God that the prior generation always has a problem with whatever new thing God is doing and regularly opposes it. The new generation, thoroughly enmeshed in the Lord’s new purposes, continues on, as they should, in obedience regardless of the opposition and obstacles. And the old does all in its power to maintain and hang on.

MY NEW CHURCH

         It was this very thing that I was born into. The Lord needed new blood and provided it. The latest members added much new energy and exuberance. It turned out to be a great mix. We thoroughly respected and honored our elders in the Lord, the older people who had supported the church for many years and kept it going. After the big move they had a problem. Most of the shiny new pews were empty every service and remained that way for the most part after the new influx. To rectify the problem the pastor was always preaching about the need for witnessing. This went over the heads of most of the older saints but us younger people took it seriously. We were determined to fill up the church.

       We had a meeting in a couple’s apartment. It was decided that we would continue witnessing all the more but also go on an extended fast and devote much time to prayer. I had learned all about fasting when I joined this church. We were expected to fast one day every week and go on a two day fast every quarter. These were real fasts that allowed only water or coffee. I was great at this. I often fasted two or three days a week though not in succession. I discovered early on that 24 hours was doable but going beyond that very difficult. Some of the guys had decided to fast for a week or two, and one guy pretty much indefinitely. This is how serious we were. We had a great passion to see people saved!

         I continued witnessing up a storm and bringing people to church. We were all on fire for God. This greatly assisted the older saints and gave them a charge. They appreciated how respectful we were and for all the new life! The big fast eventually came to an end. One man fasted an entire two weeks while never missing a day of work. We were praying all the time.

UH OH

         But not much changed. The church building remained as it was. We might have gained a new member or two. I couldn’t understand it. I began seeking the Lord earnestly in prayer. I kept asking what the problem was. I was still a relatively young Christian and had a lot to learn. I was naïve regarding church practice and churchgoers, believing everyone to be solid believers in step with the Lord. Remember, I had been wondering what was causing the problem in the church and why all of our efforts weren’t going anywhere. I had to know why.

         While praying one night alone I finally got an answer. I was stunned. It was the kind of answer one never expects to receive. The Lord had spoken very clearly. He said, “It’s the pastor.” That was all He said. He never said what the problem was. I had no idea what it could be. I never asked. I really wasn’t interested.

         I didn’t know what to do. I decided at last to reveal this shocking answer to my best friend and his wife, the ones responsible for witnessing to me which led to my salvation. I was very careful. I knew he greatly honored the pastor and held him in high esteem. I did my best to reveal the answer in as gentle but strong a way as possible. With the three of us gathered at their house one night, both of them expectantly waiting, I revealed what the Lord had told me. My friend almost immediately hit the roof. I couldn’t believe it. I was asked, or told, to leave. I had arrived there with them and ended up having to walk home. His wife, who never reacted as he had, came outside after me. She asked if I was okay. I will never forget her loving manner and her open tender eyes. But the relationship was broken. I don’t think I ever told anyone else. It wasn’t long after that incident that I had to move on. I moved away to start again. They stayed.

         About a year later the news had reached me. I found out what the problem had been. I discovered why our heartfelt sincere work for the Lord had been unfruitful. While we were busy witnessing, fasting, and praying, our pastor had been having an affair with a church member.

            © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD

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       A Christian can determine how much love and respect he has for the Lord Jesus by whether or not he actually believes this statement and is willing to apply it.

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         And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26]

          Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” [Mark 10:27]

         But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” [Luke 18:27]

I KNOW GOD LOVES ME ‘CAUSE I’M RICH

       Many Jews of the Lord’s time believed prosperity was a sign of God’s approval. The Sadducees were certainly well off. The Pharisees were lovers of money. Accordingly, those without such prosperity, though otherwise hard workers and sincere commandment keepers, were undoubtedly looked upon by more than a few as essentially forsaken or rejected of God. They were seen, even among themselves, as somehow falling short due to some unknown inexpressible inherent weakness. They likely believed that God knew something about them or their character that excluded them from His greater blessings.

         This is why the Lord’s disciples were shocked at His teaching regarding the rich:

         And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” [Matthew 19:23-25]   

THE RICH YOUNG RULER

         There is a man referred to in Scripture as “the rich young ruler.” But don’t go searching for this particular collection of terms because you will not find it. It does not exist. The phrase appears nowhere in the New Testament. It is actually a descriptive compilation using separate single words from three different passages in three different gospel accounts which were later conformed into a whole, likely by preachers and Bible expositors.

         In the gospel of Matthew, this individual is referred to directly as “someone” and “the young man.” He is referred to by implication as “a rich man.” In the Matthew narrative it says he was one who owned much property. In Mark he is called “a man” and by implication “wealthy” and “a rich man.” Mark also says he was one who owned much property. In Luke the man is referred to as a “ruler” and by implication “wealthy” and “a rich man.” He is also said in the narrative to be extremely rich.

         So here we see an overall synopsis of a nameless historical character who unknowingly in his time provided a teaching example for all time. He became the subject of an object lesson that is still used today to present an eternal truth relative to everyone: Will we trade what we consider riches for a walk with the Lord? Will we take the chance? Will we risk everything? Those who do have satisfied themselves, at least to some degree, that all things truly are possible with God. In other words,

         They know that whatever they must surrender of this world to make the transformation to spiritual life simply does not matter and they would do it anyway regardless of what their new future may be.

         They know what the Lord has done in bringing them into the light and adopting them as His children, and that their life has changed dramatically for the better.

       They know as well that the Lord will provide spiritual riches far more valuable than whatever they surrendered.

         They also know He will bless them with compensation of a material or monetary nature necessary for sustaining one’s life in this world.

        (As an illustration, I will quote George Bailey from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, when he finds out that Clarence the angel has no money: “Ah, well, it comes in pretty handy down here, bub!”)

         The English word “ruler” is from the Greek word archon. Generally, this is one who has rule over others in either the religious or civil realms. The members of the Sanhedrin or synagogue officials were referred to as archons, as were civil magistrates and judges. Beyond these there were also men of wealth and influence known by this term. Scripture is not definitive on what kind of ruler the young man was but it appears clear that he had inherited great wealth from his father who must have been a significant individual. Hence, the young archon felt responsible not only for what he possessed and his own reputation but that of his father as well, who had undoubtedly worked very hard to attain his possessions and place in life.

         Yet we also know that this “rich young ruler” had spiritual things on his mind. Something had been nagging at him. From his demeanor there was no doubt he respected his father but he also had little or no input into the creation of the wealth he now possessed. He was grateful but he wanted something more. He knew there must be more. He had heard about this new prophet called Jesus and made it a point to address Him when he discovered the Lord was near.

         In the narrative we find that the man was raised well in that he knew the Law of Moses and kept it from his youth. Why could he not be satisfied? He was rich, a man of honor, from a good family, and respected the commandments of God. Why would he ever ask the following question: “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). Had he not already fulfilled what the Law required? There is something missing here, and it is indicative of a person who is dutiful and respectful of God, his family tradition, and his culture, but is otherwise empty on the inside. His spirit is crying out for more, for spiritual sustenance, and his heart for something beyond the wealth of material and social benefits.

         When I was a young man my friends and I, though not Christians at the time or familiar with Scripture, would discuss such topics as wealth and social structure. We were raised on the lower end of middle class. We were not against wealth necessarily but could certainly see the adverse effect it had on people. In general, people with money appeared arrogant. They saw themselves as better than others. I was on a spiritual quest then and was searching for truth. Consequently, I was not as concerned with giving myself over to the acquisition of wealth and position. We worked. We earned money. But it wasn’t an obsession. I knew there had to be more. We talked about the concept of either owning stuff or stuff owning us.

         The Lord understood right away what the problem was. This is what that young man so long ago was going through. In his heart of hearts he wanted to follow the Lord. But with all of his wealth, obligations, and upper class authority over others he knew he could not. The simple solution then, was for him to just get rid of all his stuff, surrender his social status, and quit living for this temporary world. These things were holding him back! They were keeping him from going where he wanted to go and being what he wanted to be.

         “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Luke 18:22]

         Think about that. Would you rather have the world’s temporary treasure or treasure in heaven? If you lived back then and were given a direct invitation from THE LORD JESUS to come and follow Him and hang out with them and do all the fun stuff they were doing, would you do it? Could anything possibly be better?

          But the wealthy young archon could not. He couldn’t do it. And this is the test.

EXCUSES AD INFINITUM

         “He would have to give up everything!” And I answer that by saying that everyone who comes to the Lord has to give up everything. And whatever one must surrender is relative to one’s station in life. There is always a great cost because one must give his or her entire heart.

         “But what about making up for all one has surrendered or lost!” Well, I say, the Lord makes provision for that. He said as much in the same passages:

         “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” [Matthew 19:29]

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

          And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Luke 18:29-30] [1]

          If the young man had actually done it, if he had chucked it all in and threw in his lot with the Lord, the Lord would certainly have taken care of him. The cries of his heart would have been answered. Whatever he needed concerning the good things of this world the Lord would have given him. He would be rid of the monetary, family, and social obligations keeping him from a higher call. He would have activated his faith, trust, and confidence in the Lord. This in turn would have opened up a door to an entirely new life previously thought to be something that did not or could not ever exist. He would have entered into the glorious kingdom of heaven on earth. His heart would have been filled to overflowing with pure joy. Most importantly, he would have had a King who loved him.

           And he would have seen that all things are indeed possible with God.

           © 2019 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.

THE MORE FALSE AUTHORITY THERE IS, THE LESS SPIRITUAL LIBERTY THERE IS

       

        All Christian authority is possessed only by the Lord Jesus. He permits the use of His authority only by those who completely submit to Him. His authority within others is never disconnected from Him.

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           And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” [Matthew 28:18]    

          Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” [Luke 24:44-49]

        It is not possible to be real witnesses of the Lord in the way He intended without receiving His power. This is why, forty days after the Resurrection and right before His ascension to heaven, He told the relatively few disciples He still had that they must receive His power first and be His witnesses second. To receive His power they were instructed to go back to the Upper Room, the same place where they had the Last Supper on the night of His arrest. They were to prepare themselves and wait in expectation for the promised outpouring of His Spirit.

HIGHER POWER

         So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free?’”

         Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

         “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” [John 8:31-36] [1]

          (Notice how the Lord said there were slaves of sin in “the house.”)

        Many Christians have no understanding of the spiritual liberty made possible by the death and resurrection of the Lord. If He had not undergone that process He would not have had the means to release us from the power of sin and make us “free indeed” (instead of pretend free). In spiritual terms, repentance is representative of death. Without the death of the old there can be no birth of the new. We must hate sin and turn away from it. We must do our part to kill it. We must “lose” our life in order to find it.

        His resurrection had to precede our resurrections. But before we experience bodily resurrection we must experience a spiritual resurrection. We must be born again in order to gain spiritual liberty. But one does not become free from the power of sin by osmosis. One’s spiritual resurrection is an event! One knows when it happens! Thus, those Christians indifferent to spiritual liberty and the Lord’s spiritual power have yet to experience these events and are likely unaware of their existence. He knows we all need His authority and power to overcome the power of the evil one. Without it we are defenseless and unaware. He would never send His witnesses into the world (from then until now) without properly training and equipping them. Most important in this regard, of course, is receiving His Holy Spirit.

BYPASSING THE SPIRIT

      Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [2Corinthians 3:17]    

         Various substitutions for the Lord’s correct spiritual model have been made by Christian religious authorities throughout the Church Age. It began in the early centuries with a drift toward philosophical thought and authoritarianism. This was a wrongheaded attempt by religious dullards to establish the Lord’s authority within unregenerate wannabe potentates.

         The result was nothing more than political authority dressed up in a ridiculous religious costume.

          Rather than having authority spread out and shared among several equal elders within Christian gatherings the way the Lord taught and the early Community demonstrated, the faux Christians developed a pyramid scheme with one guy at the top, whether it was local bodies with a single overseer in which all authority was vested, or hierarchical structures with a false “bishop” over large geographical areas.

       The alternate models perhaps reached their fullness during the 16th through 18th centuries at the time of the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment. What transpired was a high degree of ecclesiastical intellectualism and the strict authority thereof which continued to serve as a replacement for the Lord’s spiritual Kingdom. The clergy class had been well formed by this time, as Protestants learned well by the longtime example within Catholicism. Individual spiritual liberty, for the most part, did not exist within these structures. Due to their high level of spiritual pride and worldliness, the clergyites deemed the process of repentance and spiritual birth distasteful. 

          Even the laity, the voiceless and largely Biblically ignorant masses (by design) refused to forsake the false models constructed by those who transformed Christianity into a deceptive Nicolaitan power grab and money siphon over unsuspecting followers.

          The followers are just as guilty as the false authority that rules over them and obstructs their freedom.

            © 2019 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.

UNREAL CHRISTIANITY MAKES THE TRUTH IRRELEVANT

        “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:9]

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       “Your tradition” is any Christian belief or teaching that is not found within the teachings of the Lord Jesus. Some of these should be obvious. The reason they are not is because the Christians espousing and believing such are either Biblically illiterate or have been indoctrinated with a false teaching.

         Those who put the Lord Jesus first and are true disciples actually read and study His teachings. They become very familiar with them. They do their best to follow them and obey the Lord. If a Christian refuses to do this or is too lazy to do it, he or she is not a real Christian or at least will not be one for long. If such people remain churchgoers or insist on their particular brand they will end up being deceived the same way the followers of the Pharisees were deceived.

         It was the Pharisees and scribes that the Lord was addressing in the preceding Scripture. These people were evil. They showed it by their actions. They absolutely hated the Lord and everything He stood for. They hounded Him constantly and did everything they could to destroy His reputation. They lied about Him always.

         Unreal Christianity does exactly the same thing. Its members create a Jesus they feel comfortable with, one that suits them, according to their own limited understanding. This Jesus is not the real Jesus. It is only a figment of their imagination. The proponents of Unreal Christianity refuse to honor His pure teachings because they could never carry out their real reason for existence otherwise. They do not want to follow and serve the Lord Jesus; they want to be followed and served.

         That’s why they created a mass laity underclass and keep it subverted to their will. They gain their monetary and social support from this class. They do it through indoctrinating (brainwashing) their followers away from the Lord’s truth and toward their own impure teachings. They use fear, especially the fear of social exclusion. Because they are dealing with spiritually lazy people it is not so difficult to keep them dumbed-down. Some of their followers may be well-versed in their own denominational teachings but that only furthers their Biblical illiteracy.

         Why? Because the substitution of impure teachings makes them oblivious of the Lord’s real teachings. Or they are taught that the Lord’s real teachings are actually heresy and steer their followers away from them. There are millions of Christians who have thus been taught to hate the real teachings of the Lord.

         Regarding any particular issue, one cannot believe truth and untruth at the same time. Regarding a collection of beliefs, the percentage of false teachings and interpretations one holds is directly proportional to the lack of truth they hold. If one fills one’s brain with untruth there will be little left for truth. Another corollary is thus: The more one accepts that which is not true but only appears that way, the less one has a desire for truth. When people are no longer hungry for truth they will not seek it. Whatever then is left in their head is what they believe and what they believe is false though they think it’s true.

         It’s called deception. The Pharisees were masters at deceiving people. So are the Christian Pharisees. They have a different motivation. They put money and social standing above the Lord. They are also excellent liars.

         “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” [John 8:43-45][1]   

THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT AGENDA          

         Though their followers would be shocked if they could shake themselves from their zombie status and see their leaders and churches for what they actually are, this rarely happens. Not only that, they don’t want it to happen. They often run from the truth. They cover their ears. The truth is far too upsetting. They would have to acknowledge their deception and admit their wrongheadedness. They would have to realign their lives. Such an occurrence is far too much for them to accept. Their pride can’t handle it. They would rather maintain their fake lives, stay socially connected, and keep the money coming in. Thus, actually following the Lord is out of the question. Following Him in some convoluted false manner is preferable. They are not actually following Him or obeying Him but convince themselves that they are. Where’s the proof? How can they deny Him and also obey Him?

         The early followers of the Lord Jesus teach us how it is done. What they believed is what we are supposed to believe. What they did is what we are supposed to do.

         However, the beliefs and practices of the Lord’s early Community are different from those of pretty much every Christian denomination. It is why one rarely or never sees the results the early Christians had within these compromised organizations. Their rejection of truth makes the truth irrelevant.

            As we say in Texas, most are mere drugstore cowboys. They are all hat and no cattle.

           © 2019 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.

REVEALING THE FATHER’S NAME

          “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” [John 5:43-44]

IF HE CALLS HIMSELF A CHRISTIAN AND ENDS UP IN HELL IT’S HIS OWN FAULT

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 3)

        Desperation for money and spiritual faith don’t go together. People who do their Christianity for money are desperate. If they build their lives and ministries that way they only build away from God.

 

       And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]

         One of you, my readers, had a recent post in which you quoted a famous preacher. I can’t remember the exact words. He had been a minister for decades and said something recently to the effect that he had really messed up a lot of people. I thought his sentiment, or apology, was in one sense a tad refreshing. Of course I also thought that it was about time he finally admitted what so many had always known. This guy was a first class idiot. The devil played him like a banjo. I used to wonder how such an obvious shyster managed to fool so many people.

          I don’t name names here. It’s not the way I work. If you know who I’m talking about and care to comment, don’t use his name. It could be that he might actually be repenting. It may be possible that he has headed down redemption road. But it could also be, and likely is, that he’s still the shyster he always was.

         And there are a lot just like him. The celebrity Christian world has gotten really dark recently. There was steady progress toward that goal. They may still look bright the way the devil looks bright with his fake lighting. They may be more rich and powerful than ever. They may command respect and have lesser “ministers” cowed and afraid to say a word. But the Lord knows the truth. He knows what they are. They took the wrong road long ago.

         Were they desperate? Well, if a man needs to make a buck and he’s really down on his luck he forces himself to do absolutely anything he can to survive. If he’s a good man he does honest work the right way. But there are men in this world who refuse to work like a man and instead seek an easy way out. “Ministry” has always been one of those easy ways. Once a man gets past that first plea for cash and gets a little offering money and sees how easy it was to do, his conscience doesn’t bother him as much. He then figures if a little money is okay why not more?

         I remember stories of this guy raking in so much cash he was paying ten thousand dollars for one night in a hotel. They could buy anything. While the people in congregations all across the country were trying their best to live right before God and were struggling to buy another used tire for their old car or more baling wire to hold it together and doing their best to feed their kids right, these fake idiot ministers had no money problems whatsoever. It would be different if they earned it. And it’s not wrong to give or receive help. But all these guys do is take up collections. There’s nothing hard about that.

         The Lord’s example means nothing to them. They don’t care. They reach a point early on when they can never go back. They are too dependent on the easy money. They had become masters at getting it. There was a guy in the gospels that did something similar but not as a preacher. He was just your common every day little runt rip off artist. And he found redemption:

         He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” [Luke 19:1-10]

         Based on this story I would say there’s probably somewhere in the vicinity of several trillion dollars that needs to be restored to Christians who were ripped off by fake ministers. It would great if every one of these high-living low-life idiots would make restitution just as little Zaccheus did. But that idea is a pipe dream. There may be one or two here or there but most of the whole lot will keep being what they always were.

          And now they have a lot more power. They have also made good friends with the world and the line between both has gotten so blurred it no longer exists. Nothing will convince them to give it up. They believe their success is due to God’s blessing. Their big brotherhood gives them solid protection. And though they know all about the gross sin among them they strive to keep it hidden so the others won’t suffer.

        That’s in part why you never see one of these guys rat out another. They know if they do they will likely lose their place at the trough.

         The Lord will have to separate these goats out from His sheep.

MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN

          When you do it right you have to struggle. I’m old enough to remember the tales of old-timers when I was new to the Spirit-filled life back in the 1970s. I heard about how, in their early days, they often barely had enough to eat. These were good Christian people and real ministers. I was told they had to depend on prayer and “pray things in” just to survive. Think about that.

         I also remember a young evangelist who preached at our church. He had a wife and small children. They would travel the country in their car. He was dependent on offerings. These people received very little. I remember how thin he was but also how much the Spirit of the Lord had shone forth in his face. He was so sincere. He told the following story as I remember it:

         “We spent what little money we had from our last offering. I had what I thought was just enough gas to take us a few hundred miles to our next destination. We were traveling at night. It turned out that gas starting running low and we still had many miles to go. We decided to pray. We had a small console in the front seat. We asked the Lord if he would please bless us with the money we needed so we wouldn’t be stranded. I kept driving on in the dark and at last found an open gas station still a ways from our destination. My wife and I prayed again because we had no money for gas. Being satisfied that the Lord honored our request we lifted up the console and there before us was a five dollar bill…”  

         I remember another story from that time. I had a friend who was married with two small children and money was tight. His wife knew how to pray. She had to go buy a few groceries one day but had very little money. She asked the Lord for help. While walking to the store she heard a little rustling behind her and saw what looked like a small bit of rolled-up paper. She continued walking and it kept following her! I remember her laughing when telling the story. She finally stopped to pick it up and it was two or three dollar bills. She was able to buy some milk for her kids.

         The point with these stories is that the people involved had more desperation for the Lord instead of for mere money, and because their priorities were right they had greater faith. They knew when they prayed that the Lord would provide. They had no doubt. He didn’t dump gold bars on them but gave them what they needed at the time.

         “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:5-6] [1]

         Those who are monetarily successful in the ministry without using or needing faith and prayer are likely never receiving anything from the Lord. They are nothing more than carnal people using carnal means and are duded up to appear outwardly spiritual. When the time comes that they desperately need personal faith and prayer they’ll be up you know what creek without a paddle.

         But the Lord’s real sons and daughters will ALWAYS be provided for by Him. And I say Amen to that.

            © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued] 


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

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 1)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 2)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 2)

       The Lord Jesus taught that His followers would do what He did. Since this is obviously not the case among the majority of Christians it proves such Christians are not for real. Something is off.

 

         The evidence of His presence is always obvious. When He shows up, believe me, you will know it. When the evidence is lacking His active presence is lacking. The Lord is omnipresent, of course, but that does not mean He has the authority to work. Human beings have free wills and most often reject Him. Thus, restrictions upon Him in Christian circles must be removed. Because one never sees any evidence of His miraculous work in most Christian gatherings it means not only that restrictions upon His work exist in such places but also that they were often put there on purpose and by design.

         Why would so-called Christians do this?

        Again, it is an authority issue. Let me give you a simple example. There are a great many free websites in the world. One can go to such sites and gain free information. Much of this information is excellent. People work very hard at bringing forth the information they present and then give it out for free. This is essentially what the Lord Jesus did with His teachings and what He taught His disciples to do:

         “Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8]

         “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” [Romans 8:31-32] [1]

         But then there are those websites who keep much of their information behind a pay wall. There is nothing wrong with this. It is their right to do it.

         What model do most Christian churches and ministries use? One should notice that the offering always precedes the preaching. One may also notice that celebrity preachers sell tickets. Christian music artists have almost always done the same. Regular church singers never do this. It is because they are most likely not talented enough to charge for their efforts. Can anyone imagine the Lord Jesus insisting on an offering before He would teach? As it was, whatever money His ministry was blessed with by people giving freely likely never went to Him. He had pared down His life to such an extent that He needed very little to live on.

         I bring this up because there is a clear connection between churches and ministries who install a pay wall and exhibit a decided lack of evidence of the Lord’s presence and authority. These two most often go together. If the Lord was there and was allowed to work, miracles would happen. But someone else is in charge and that someone is charging for the services. They refuse to “have church” for free. They refuse to preach for free. They are professionals and they demand payment.

         Now, I believe in giving. I have given very large untold amounts in my time. I have given more money away to churches and ministries than most Christians have by far. I know this because statistics prove the majority of Christians give little or nothing. [2] But I also learned long ago to give it to the Lord. Though I was giving through the medium of a church or ministry, I was actually giving to the Lord Jesus through them, and I did my best to only give where He directed. The Lord also taught me long ago to never pay tithes. The tithe is not a tax. I have given tithes. I give the tithe to the Lord Jesus. If you pay tithes you will likely not receive the promised blessing or increase whatsoever.

         So again, we have this phenomenon in which the Lord Jesus taught for free and gave everything for free. HE EVEN GAVE HIS VERY OWN PERFECT LIFE FOR FREE. This was the greatest life ever lived in which He never, ever sinned. And He gave it away? His salvation is thus absolutely free. Whoever attempts to charge a person for salvation will have to answer to God.

         Since the Lord never charged anyone for anything He ever did in His ministry, where do the majority of “ministers” get off in charging for their “services?” The Lord even did miracles for free. He healed so many hurting sick people for free. They never had to pay a dime. He raised the dead for free. Fake ministers have no power to do miracles. But they charge money for what they offer. They operate behind a pay wall. Most people should see the connection between preachers who only work for pay and who never operate in the Spirit in which there is no evidence of the Lord’s presence. Non-Christians see the connection. It’s much easier to see the fakers from the outside.

        There is an old song by Charlie Daniels, [3] before he began living as a Christian, in which he expresses this idea perfectly. Here is the particular verse:

           Jesus walked on the water and I know that it’s true

           But sometimes I think that preacher man’d like do a little walkin’ too [4]

           © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

[2] Church Giving Statistics, 2019 Edition

[3] Charlie Daniel’s Testimony

[4] Written by: CHARLES EDWARD DANIELS Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 1)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 3)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 1)

       There can be no unity without division. All evil must be separated from the good. This is one’s life in a nutshell, to go one way or the other by the time he exits into eternity.

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         The Lord called them disciples. They were those who would follow Him successfully. Their first task was to lay down their lives and allow the inherent sin and evil within to be purged out.

         It was not at all easy nor was it supposed to be. His standard is the highest. He said all sin and evil must go. To assist in achieving such a monumental task He required His followers to take up an unseen personal cross—a crude and roughhewn, raw and rasping deadweight to serve as an ongoing execution stake.

         And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” [Luke 9:23]  

ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE DISCIPLES

         It stems from the word discipline. This invokes extremely hard work. The spiritually lazy need not apply. Discipline does not refer to mere busyness but to the wrenching chore of somehow being conformed to His image and living the life He lived. One’s humanity will always fight the process and most of the time human nature wins. This is why most of what we presently call Christianity is composed of losers and fakers who refuse to do it right and settle instead into a faux form they can handle without getting right with God. They would rather be comfortable within society and create a religion and deity to suit themselves. I guess they figure they will be clever enough to convince the Lord of their artificial righteousness at the Judgment. This is not a good plan.

         Since everyone who comes to the Lord is a sinner, the first order of business is plowing up the sin field and sowing it with salt. This process must go down deep to the very roots. All vestiges of sin and evil must be removed and eliminated. This process—initial repentance—allows for breaking up hard fallow ground and creating deep, pure nutrient-laden soil within which the Gospel seed can be successfully planted. Repentance is thus likened to the process of decomposition and death. The richest soil is that in which the greater decomposition takes place. Think of a healthy compost heap.

THE LEVEL OF REPENTANCE RELATES DIRECTLY TO REAL SALVATION

        “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” [Mark 4:3-8]   

         With no repentance the seed is stolen by the devil. With little or shallow repentance, whatever may spring up is weak and dies quickly. It must be noted that the level of initial repentance one engages in is directly related to surviving eventual persecution. If one attempts an easy way he will later fall away. He is too wimpy to survive the inevitable spiritual attacks that will surely come. If he had been harder on himself he would have been stronger:

         “In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.” [Mark 4:16-17]

DIVISION FIRST, THEN UNITY

       “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” [Luke 12:51-53]

           So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. [John 7:43]   

         Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. [John 9:16]

         A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?” [John 10:19-21]  

BRINGING FORTH SPIRITUAL FRUIT

         No unregenerate human being has the required spiritual seed to bring forth spiritual fruit. It must come from the Lord. This is why one must be born again of the Spirit and not simply the flesh. Some unregenerate humans may be very nice and friendly people willing to help and do good things but they are worthless spiritually. The good things they may do are never eternal. Thus, the Lord put a premium on spiritual things, the same kind of things He was associated with and brought forth during His ministry.

          Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:8-12][1]

          © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 2)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 3)

HEAVEN WILL BE SPARSELY POPULATED

Blog Pic. 6.3.19         

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

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           If you like wide open spaces free from the maddening crowd you will love heaven. It will not be because heaven’s perceived billions will be spread out in such a way over a limitless expanse that it appears relatively empty, but because its population relevant to planet earth will be disproportionately less than many can imagine. This means most humans will never get there.

A HUNDRED MILLION TO ONE

         It reminds one of why the Creator is so generous with seeds so as to greatly boost the chances of fruitfulness. It appears He is thus wasting seeds but in reality He is only increasing the chances of fertility, productivity, success, and abundance.

         One might keep in mind that every human being is the result of one very strong unrelenting little fighting spermy guy who fended off all the other loser spermy guys to make it first to the interior of the great egg at the finish line.

          On average, when the sower sows his seed, 100 million sperm are released. 100 million. That’s roughly 30% of the current population in the USA. Yet these 100 million are reduced down to only one winner. So though we characterize extremely long odds as “a million to one,” this ratio is one hundred times that. This means 100 million minus one are losers. They never get to the finish line. The vast majority all die along the way.

         Now, these little guys can actually live up to about five days once implanted. This means they have five days to get to the egg. So it is not just each other they are competing against—they are also competing against time. Each one of them has the highest of callings but only one in a hundred million actually gets to fulfill it. Many of them get lost. Many run out of steam. Many get sidetracked. Many don’t have the capacity to get very far. They say this is nature’s way of insuring that only the very best make it to the very end. Only one gets there. There is no second place.

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

         It is the same with humanity. Billions of people exist but the Lord Jesus said only a relative few will make it to the eternal goal. It is not necessarily because He sets very high restrictions. It is mostly because human beings in general are stupid, lazy, selfish, and prideful. Most do not seek truth. Most do not seek deliverance from sin. Most people do not understand that seeds must be planted and that this action calls for sacrifice and self surrender. Most of those who do understand it cannot bring themselves to do it, or do it consistently, or they try but give up.

          Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” [John 12:24-25]  

          Survival of the fittest is also true in the spiritual realm. The Lord Jesus gives us the tools and opportunities to succeed but we must put it all to work and we must always trust Him faithfully regardless of circumstances. The human spirit is extremely strong. Once it is directed properly and functioning properly per the Lord’s will there cannot help but be success. This success, however, is according to the Lord’s standards and not those of this world. Worldly standards dictate that the apostle Paul, for example, was a loser. He left this world with no material possessions beyond the clothes on his back, no retirement, no 401k, no nothing. But according to spiritual standards he perhaps did more for the Lord Jesus and His kingdom than anyone else. All real Christians are still blessed recipients of Paul’s writings to this day.

         How much more can the same be said for the Lord Jesus Himself? He accomplished infinitely more than Paul or all the rest of us put together. He not only made it to the egg but He made it to the greatest egg of all time and opened up a door and a trail for us to get there as He did. Even so, most “believers” will never make it. This is why:

          “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” [Matthew 13:18-23]   

           No one overcame as many obstacles in completing His course as did the Lord. The early believers illustrated for future generations how one must go about living for God, doing His will, and achieving the objective. They did not have it easy but they did it anyway. Most of today’s Christians take the opposite approach. Most will all die in the opening salvos and machine gun fire on the beaches of Normandy.

           It is an exceedingly tough journey for the little spermy guys to make it to the egg. Not only must they expend energy on the trip, they must also conserve the energy they will need for the end of the trip. Why? Because the egg is actually covered by a thick layer which makes it all the more difficult for conception to occur. The few sperm that get there must have enough left in the tank to penetrate the outer layer of the egg. This is where the remaining few greatest die. Imagine making it that far and not being able to complete the objective.

         This exact seed journey scenario mirrors life in a general sense, but it perfectly captures life in the spiritual sense. The Kingdom of the Lord is therefore only for those who have the unrelenting drive to make it all the way, to dedicate themselves completely to the Lord Jesus, and be determined against often ridiculous odds to complete the course.

              All real Christians will go though the following in the process:

          “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12]

           If one is going to make it to heaven one will have to overcome all the persecution along the way. One will have to maintain love and always forgive. One must contend with betrayal and potential traps. The obstacles can be immense. There may be vast scorching waterless deserts to cross or giant mountain ranges with deep snow and icy winds. There will always be much resistance. Many elements of the journey will refuse to cooperate. At times the objective will appear impossible. But because the real Christian is blessed with the indomitable spiritual seed of the great Creator, he has the ability to overcome everything and continue to press on. On one occasion, Paul illustrated the challenge set before us as follows:

           I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. [1Corinthians 9:23-27][1]

         If Paul knew he could miss the mark, we should all know we could also. He put forth maximum effort to stay qualified. We should also. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything significant knows that it takes much work and dedication. This is even truer when it comes to working in the Lord’s kingdom. And it is entirely true when it comes to properly graduating from this life into the next.

            There will only be a relative few at the ceremony.

            © 2019 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.

THE INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGNTY OF EACH REAL CHRISTIAN

        When the American colonies were first formed a few centuries ago, each was a sovereign entity. After the Revolutionary War (1775-1781), each colony became a separate sovereign state.

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         Each state was responsible for its own laws and welfare under the general umbrella of coexistence with the other United States. The Federal government had no jurisdiction in the internal affairs of the thirteen states, each of which was akin to a separate nation.

CREATING AN ENTIRELY NEW AMERICA

         The War of Northern Aggression (1861-1865), otherwise known as the Civil War, changed all that. The Federal government made the decision to grossly violate the Constitution by invading and destroying the Southern states. It also stole the authority of not only those states but all the states in the union. After the Civil War the states were no longer sovereign entities and were only separate states in the administrative sense. All states from that time forward were forced to bow to the newly garnered power of the Federal government.

        It is obvious, thus, that central control and power in Washington DC has only grown more immense and unaccountable over time until the present. And though there have been attempts at intervals in American history since the Civil War to correct this wrong and stem the tide, each has failed to curtail the overriding power of the Feds. Those who know history know such federal power was not the vision of the Founding Fathers. Indeed, after the Revolutionary War they had attempted to write a new Constitution (1787) that would continue to respect the sovereignty of states but also grant a greater unifying force at the federal level. Their effort diverged from the first constitution, the Articles of Confederation (1777), which was written and ratified during the war. Article II of the Articles of Confederation states the following:

         Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

         Thus, in the effort to grant a greater unifying force in the new Constitution of 1787, they took a great risk by granting the possibility of too much federal control. As opposed to the former Articles of Confederation, the Founding Fathers granted what eventually became far too large a loophole within the new Constitution that would eventually allow for unscrupulous and immoral scoundrels to usurp the authority of the states and thereby destroy the authority of the citizens of those states. Since that time, by deviating from the clear intent of the law, authority was unlawfully granted to those who gravitated to yet another man-made government ziggurat in which the few ruled over the many and from which great spoils could be extracted from the citizenry.

         The natural course of this action after 154 years is that much of the vast wealth and authority of America is owned by less than one percent, which is quickly growing to an even smaller fraction. The more they gain the more we lose. Foreign entities and dual citizens are buying up and controlling much of the country. Americans are being squeezed like never before. We are long since past the time of another Revolution, something Thomas Jefferson said we must have at not so long intervals, to maintain the freedom and liberty of the people. It was We the People who originally had the power and wealth. It was what the Constitution called for and to which the original sovereign states agreed to.

THE REAL CHURCH AND THE EVIL FAKERS

       But again, that sovereignty is long gone, as is the original freedom and liberty of Americans. This exact occurrence has also taken place within institutional, traditional Christianity: One must enter a “church” on their terms. One must sit down among a sea of people and remain silent. One is a mere spectator. On must go through choreographed routines and submit to dry “liturgies.” By this practice, if one never matures spiritually, one grossly violates the teachings of the Lord Jesus. He created a Community in which each of His followers has an independent mind and spirit. Each must walk in the freedom and liberty of the Lord. Each believer understands he or she has a duty to the Lord to participate significantly. Indeed, His is a participatory Community that demands the involvement, input, and contribution of every member.    

         According to His teachings, each real Christian is a sovereign entity accountable only to the higher power of the Lord. Any other authority is only lateral. It is why He refers to His people as a family and a Community. Everyone is the same. Each is equal. The only difference is that some believers are more mature than others but all begin at the same place and each can develop to full maturity. Followers of the Lord were never to rule over other believers. These simple facts easily tell us whose methods are wrong and who has robbed individual Christians of their God-given authority and freedom in the Lord. The vast majority of Christians and Christian leaders have gotten it wrong over these last twenty centuries. An extremely small class, the Clergy, has taken over and believes itself to be far superior. The vast 99% of everyone else, the Laity, has surrendered to a false authority as a wimpy dog to a pack leader. The people who comprise these classes will not fare well at the Judgment. The Lord will reprimand one for taking authority He never granted and He will reprimand the other for never taking the authority He did grant.

        Until then, however, millions of real Christians worldwide have thrown off their shackles and insist on doing Christianity the way the Lord Jesus intended. They are having a far greater impact than most people, especially unreal Christians, are aware of. It is the false Christians who are the chief persecutors of the real Christians. But it has always been this way. It is up to real believers to take on and maintain their sovereign authority, walk in spiritual maturity, take the battle to the enemy, and assist the Lord Jesus in doing the work and living the lives He has called them to. This is the only road to spiritual success. It is the only way to fully honor Him. It is the only way to get the job done.

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE

         For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29][1]

          © 2019 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.

THE SECOND COMMANDMENT PROHIBITS GRAVEN IMAGES: WHAT WAS GOD THINKING?

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       God is against graven images. He is against idols. It is why the ancient Jews expressed a vigorous rejection of such imagery. There must be a compelling reason.

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         The Hebrew word for idol is pecel. It is defined as “a carved, graven, or sculpted image.” God’s injunction against such images is further defined by the Hebrew word temunah, which follows it. This word is most often translated as “likeness,” and is also defined as “form, similitude, picture, or shape.” What God is describing here is basic statuary of any size. Here is how Merriam-Webster defines the word statue: “A three-dimensional representation usually of a person, animal, or mythical being that is produced by sculpturing, modeling, or casting.” [1] That pretty much covers it.

         “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” [Exodus 20:4-6 NKJV]   

      The preceding is the second commandment as it appears in the list of the Ten Commandments, which is known in Hebrew as the Ten Words (Aseret HaD’vareem). This list of ten, or Decalogue, appears twice in the Old Testament, in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. The ten comprise an initial set of compulsory imperatives directed to the nascent nation of Israel which had just been delivered from prolonged Egyptian bondage. The commandments were designed as a foundational moral code and components of a covenant. From these ten we can construe the behavior and way of life essential for right standing with God. We can also discover what is most important, i.e. our relationship with Him, since the first three commandments refer to how mankind must think of God and relate to and honor Him. The last five commandments tell us which sins and bad behavior God considers to be the most heinous and despicable, which must be eradicated at all cost in order to create an ethical and peaceful community.

THE HISTORICAL SETTING, CIRCA 1446 BC  

         The descendants of Jacob had arrived at the mountain of God in the early part of the third month after the Exodus. God had wasted no time in bringing them to an unprecedented supernatural nexus in the remote wilderness of Arabia. The great mass settled in and camped below the majestic mount, while Moses ventured up to meet with God. After getting his instructions he returned, gathered up the elders, and delivered the covenant pronouncement he had just received. The people immediately agreed to it wholeheartedly. Moses climbed the great mysterious height once again to relay the message to the Lord. He was instructed to tell the people to consecrate themselves, wash their garments, and prepare for the third day. They must all be warned to not go up the mountain or even touch its border on pain of death.

         So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. [Exodus 19:16-20]

         Take a moment and consider what you just read. Does it sound believable? Biblically literate Christians in general become notoriously complacent regarding such passages due to their familiarity with accounts such as this one, often to the point of no longer being effected by them as they should be. But rookie believers or non-Christians must see them differently. One cannot read this for the first time and not be emotionally affected. It gives us a picture of God many would rather not reflect upon.

         There was thunder, lightning flashes, a thick cloud upon the mountain top, and the incessant high decibels of a ram’s horn. All the people down below were shaking in fright. Can you imagine being in that place, having never experienced anything close to that? There was fire, ascending smoke, and the entire mountain quaked violently. Picture Moses actually having to go up there. I would think God was dead serious about the covenant He was making with Israel and expected everyone else to be as well. Whoever may happen to discount the severity of the setting and not respect the laws God was giving may likely be beyond hope.

EDITING THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

         Would you believe that a particular Christian denomination which embraces statuary decided to eliminate the mention of idols and graven images in its preferred version of the Ten Commandments? Agree or disagree, editing the Ten Commandments is a bold move. Perhaps they may wish to mull over what happened at the mountain of God and reconsider. Though they have no discernible respect for the commandment, have never repented for the obvious editing, and justify their actions persistently, God had specific spiritual reasons for the prohibition and has never rescinded it.

        There is something in that particular denomination that is vitally dependent upon graven images and idols, so much so that it was willing to actually remove one of God’s commandments in order to keep them. What is it, exactly, about these graven images and idols? What spiritual power do they have? How are they used? Why could they not do without this statuary? Why are the leaders of this religion so willing to confront God Himself and insist they will not be subjected to His commandments? The ancient Israelites did the same on countless occasions. They often refused the whole counsel of God and took to picking and choosing what laws they would comply with and which to reject.

         This exact attitude also leads to pure idolatry, in that people choose to create a deity to suit themselves.

        They create a god in their own image, according their personal wants and desires. Rather than live under the command of God and subject themselves fully to Him, and thus rightfully subject themselves to all of His laws and teachings, they instead make themselves the personal arbiters of God’s laws. It is the same with so many Christians who refuse to believe in and follow the entirety of the teachings and commandments of the Lord Jesus but instead create syncretic hybrid religions loosely based on Christianity, Christian denominations, and various offshoots.

         If one has a proper attitude before the Lord he knows he must either follow the Lord Jesus completely or not follow Him at all. Such a person knows he would be better off never following the Lord at all than submit to a false or incomplete form of Christianity. Once we choose the Lord Jesus it is never in our power to choose what He does with us or what He wants us to believe. When we choose Him we also choose His entire curriculum. When some people insist they are Christians but refuse the Lord’s full curriculum or create another, it is a clear sign of rebellion and disobedience on their part and signifies that their heart has yet to be circumcised.     

WHY IS GOD AGAINST IDOLS AND GRAVEN IMAGES?

         I don’t pretend to know the whole counsel of God on this subject, but it should not be difficult for us to figure it out. One may recall that the Israelites, after having experienced the incredible spectacle of God on the mountain and agreeing wholeheartedly to the covenant, shortly thereafter decided to make a golden calf and engage in extremely wicked acts right there in that same location. Somehow or another, that false idol had assisted them in their bad behavior. Even though they saw the effects of God’s presence on the mountain, they were more impressed by a three dimensional crafted idol which they could easily behold with their natural senses. God would prefer that we behold Him supernaturally, though we can’t see Him. He would prefer we do not make counterfeits that substitute for Him or spiritual things. Statuary may be legitimized as mere representations or art, but God has a different opinion. He says that creating idols, graven images, and statuary eventually leads to worshipping and serving them.

         “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” [Exodus 20:4-6] [2]

         He is a jealous God. He refuses to allow the imposition of any false gods or deceptive demonic entities in His place. He demands that we worship and serve Him and not be led astray into serving idols. He loves us enough to tell us the truth—that He is the only One who is both loving and compassionate, and able to save us. He shows great lovingkindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments. What happens to those who don’t? What happens to those who edit His commandments?

         Somehow or another, though the advocates of statuary vociferously deny this, there is a hidden understated worship of these abstract representations, though they may be mere statues and works of art. They portend a mental visual within the minds of their beholders which overrides reality, to the extent that reality is replaced with a faux portrayal which serves to reject reality and the desire to discover truth. The people who accept these carved images as benign eventually accept them as genuine representations, but they are not photographs. They are not even good representations, in that they do no service to the original organic flesh and blood historical figures but are mere stylized versions heavy on presence but lacking in human frailty and flaws.

         Regarding representations of otherworldly figures or those whose actual portraiture is unknown, the creation which results is based merely on the whim of the artist or whoever may be directing the artist. Whoever then may behold such statuary as genuine realistic renderings can be convinced, often easily, that whoever or whatever is supposedly represented had actually appeared as such though there is obviously no proof whatsoever. For example, whoever carves a statue of Moses is merely making up the resulting image since no one knows what Moses actually looked like. No one knows what any Biblical character looks like. But this has not stopped Christians from several denominations which reject God’s second commandment from manufacturing millions of statues, paintings, and iconography throughout most of the Church Age. And it has not stopped millions of beholders from becoming grossly spiritually confused, sidetracked, and barricaded from spiritually reality.

         Rather than attempting to experience God in some grand architectural wonder filled with statuary and beautiful art, I suggest heading out to a distant, desert wilderness all alone. If fortunate, one may meet the same Person Moses did.

         © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[1] © 1995 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, Tenth 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.

SHUNNING THE SHYSTER SHEEPFOLD: FINDING THE HIDDEN DOOR OF LIFE

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       The religious elite hated Him. He looked nothing like them. He was never a member of their religious denominations. He belonged to none of their clerical orders or preacher unions.

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         The classic clergyman has long since taken over Christianity. Christians have been made to believe that the lone preacher in a pulpit having full sway over a congregation is the model started by the Lord to which everyone must submit. This is absolutely wrong.

         It was never that way in the beginning. Why is it that way now? Why has it often been this way throughout much of Christian history? How did we get here? The scope of this article is far too large for this format, so I will have to be relatively brief. I have gone into great detail about this subject in my first book which I feature on this site in case anyone may be interested further on the subject. Suffice it to say that though my book is the result of decades of study and personal experience, is filled with New Covenant scriptural passages, is based directly on the real teachings of the Lord Jesus, and reveals the history of the early Church, some Christians show little interest most likely because the truth contained therein conflicts with the Christianity they are familiar with and comfortable within.

         In other words, if someone wants to write an acceptable Christian book it would be best to stick with the conventional outlook and never ruffle any feathers. The same is true when starting a ministry: Don’t rock the boat. Remain with the tried and true. Use the traditional methods Christianity has adopted to bring in people and get them to support it financially. Everyone knows there can be no ministry success without financial success. Everyone knows there must be a central leader to make it all work. And everyone knows that a successful leader must have style, a charismatic attitude, and good preaching and teaching abilities.

         What relatively few know, apparently, is that such churches and preachers are more the result of Madison Avenue than the New Testament, and that such ministries and leaders most often look absolutely nothing like the Lord.

         The truth of the matter is that the Lord went far out of His way to prove that a real Christian leader is a non-leader. The apostles were non-leaders. The entire early Church was composed of non-leaders. Why? Because they all understood they already had a Leader and that they must have only the one Leader. This truth is proclaimed repeatedly all throughout the Gospels and New Covenant writings. Even the Lord’s own example proves it. Though He is God, and though there is only one God, He showed up as a humble servant. He taught His men to be humble servants. He even said the greatest among them must be the greater servant.

         Now, understand, there were actually no “great’ among them as the world defines greatness. These were not great men but the very opposite. This is part of the reason the religious elite hated them so much. They saw the Lord’s men as absolutely unqualified. They did not look right, they did not dress right, they did not talk right, they had no religious pedigree, and they did not graduate from the right ministry schools or actually any official ministry schools. The Lord’s ministry school was seen as a rebel outfit far off on the outskirts. Not one of the many Jewish religious denominations supported them or recognized them. They would never have been accepted even if they had gone through all the proper channels and applied. They were rejected in the beginning and throughout their lives. In this, every single one of the Lord’s original faithful followers were exactly like Him because it was the same thing they did to Him.

          These evil religionists were jerks of the highest order. Most of them never repented and thus most of them went to hell. The same is true for all the fake Christian ministers since then. One can spin it any way one wants to but the Lord will not stand for any deviations of the true path in order to have outward worldly “success.” The price He paid was far too great. The price they paid was far too great. And now, presently, there remains a large number of real Christians worldwide who have paid the same great price. They have been rejected by the religious powers that be. This is a requisite for being accepted by the Lord. He made it very clear that not only will His followers be rejected by the world, they will also be rejected by the religious world. They were thus not so surprised when it happened and learned to move on.

          “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:14]

         Most Christians are nothing more than followers of their leaders. They believe what their leaders believe. They accept what their leaders teach them to accept. They reject what their leaders teach them to reject. They do not stand on their own feet. They cannot defend the New Covenant writings because they are largely unfamiliar with the New Covenant writings. Their churches and ministries are merely based on the New Covenant but few of them know it or follow it exclusively. If they did they would have to leave the club. Their leaders would be disappointed in their approach and their gaining of knowledge, and if they progressed too far their leaders’ disappointment would grow into anger.

      Thus, the only way traditional Christian leaders maintain their glowing outward appearance is by keeping it fake and never subjecting it to challenge. They are uncomfortable with challenge. It exposes their weaknesses. It exposes the fact that their foundations are not as strong as supposed and are only that way because they surround themselves with people who believe exactly as they do. In fact, they train all their followers to do that very thing. They indoctrinate them. This is how they keep everyone on the same page and thus remain in their place of authority.   

      The Lord Jesus did the very opposite. During His ministry, He was no religious indoctrinator. He made DISCIPLES, not mere church members or congregants. The discipline He taught covered every facet of their lives. He left no stone unturned. He went straight to the heart. If one was going to follow Him they would have to give everything. If one was unwilling to do this, to any degree, He would not accept them.

         When a person joined His school, he or she dedicated everything, including one’s heart, exclusively to Him. He must be recognized as the Leader, and most importantly, as the only Leader.

        This authority aspect has certainly been adopted by official Christianity. The difference, of course, is that leaders other than the Lord must be recognized. The idea that Christians must totally respect and honor their leader has become so ingrained there is no escape from the mindset unless one somehow comes to understand the fallacy of the concept. This is only attained by growing closer to the Lord. We can take a relative shortcut by simply reading and studying the New Covenant writings in depth. The more one does this the more one notices the difference between the Lord’s original model and the later fake models. One also comes to the conclusion that The Lord Jesus as the only Leader model is not only the only one taught in the New Covenant writings but the only one that works on a spiritual level.

         But who really cares about this? How many Christians will go to such lengths? Answer: Real Disciples. Christians have already proven over many centuries that they can create alternative Christian models that not only work on a natural level but work great with absolutely no spirituality involved whatsoever. As an aside, it is truly amazing that the Book of Acts has survived since the vast majority of Christians rejects it and wants no part of what is contained therein. This is also due to religious conditioning. It is sad that such a great void has transpired, even to the point that faux Christians become deceived by their own chosen narratives and perceive no reason to escape or search further. Unless they see otherwise it won’t end well.

         And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets;’ and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’” [Luke 13:23-27]   

         Apart from these, for those Christians who want the full truth and greatly desire a full and rich spiritual experience and lifestyle with the Lord Jesus, they reject the lifeless religious models with their spiritually dead “leaders.” They refuse to waste their lives playing religious games. They want the Lord. They want all of His spiritual reality. They are fascinated by what happened in Jerusalem in the early first century. Because of this they prove their spiritual hunger for the Lord and the truth, and by this, namely, their faith and their spiritual hunger, the Lord can guide them home. Their spiritual hunger acts as a beacon and attractive force that the Lord can use to help them find Him. Of course, before salvation we are the ones who are lost. This spiritual hunger homing device helps to guide us from out of our lost condition, as one may be lost in a natural wilderness and guided out by natural methods. Without this genuine faith and spiritual hunger, something which arises completely from the individual and is not phony or a constructed religious artifice, the Lord has nothing to work with, which means lost people stay lost, but only due to their own will and desires.

         However, if people who wish to stay in their lost spiritual condition also desire some type of outward Christian expression, either to partially satisfy their conscience or to gain or maintain social or religious acceptance, there are many such Christian expressions to choose from. There are churches one can join that require no actual spiritual repentance, that require no born again experience (something the Lord Jesus demands) or only a weak simulation thereof, and no total surrender of oneself to the Lord. One must submit, of course, just not to Him. They must submit to a denomination and the clergy class that runs it. They must submit to a personal leader who is not the Lord. They must submit to a Christian curriculum only loosely based on the new Covenant. Their focus must be not on real first century Christianity but the lesser Christianity they have joined themselves to. For most Christians, this obviously works for them. They like it. They accept it. They go no further. They find a place in Egypt or the Sinai to make their camp and they stay there. They never get to the Promised Land because they don’t want to go to the Promised Land.

         Those who do get there must follow a Leader who does not look like a leader. Following this Leader will gain them no worldly prestige. In fact, following Him will cost them everything. It is a harrowing journey. Imagine being lost in one of this world’s evil hell holes surrounded by evil people doing evil things with no respect for life. How could one ever escape without a real guide? And though most people refuse to acknowledge it, the planet itself has become an evil hell hole. Though it does not use the exact phrase, the New Covenant writings refer to our planet as a “fallen world” because it is inhabited in part by millions of outwardly extremely rebellious and evil people, some of whom are at the very top. These people don’t care about the Lord Jesus. They hate Him. They rebel against their Creator. They also hate His followers. This is just a standard fact taught clearly by the Lord.

          Case in point:

         “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” [Matthew 10:24-25]

         To summarize, there had to be a very powerful reason the outward civil and religious leaders and their followers hated the Lord to such a degree. It could not be something relatively insignificant. It could not be based on a few differences of opinion. It had to involve polar opposites. What we arrive at then, based on a great many clues put forth by the Lord Himself, specifically within His many diatribes against them, is that they majored in outer religiosity though they possessed dark hearts. Their over-the-top external ostentation existed in part to hide what they really were. They found that people were weirdly attracted to such outward extravagances as religious clerical dress and graven images, including the living human kind. So they did the following:

       “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.” [Matthew 23:5-7]

         On the Christian side of things, Protestant leaders insist on various titles but prefer the word “pastor.” This has also been adopted by Catholicism. Of course, Catholic priests are still one’s “father,” something the Lord taught against directly. Such titles, such as “rabbi” or “pastor” serve to denote the man in charge. Christian churches used to have only one pastor but then the mega churches adopted the title of “Senior Pastor” to differentiate the head honcho from all the sub-pastors. In the mega churches it gets quite ridiculous and comical, and even embarrassing, to see so many goofy titles is use. No matter what job an “official leader” has in many of these places, they are some kind of “pastor.” It gets really stupid when a “song leader” or “minister of music,” a position never even alluded to in the New Testament or associated with “pastoring” becomes a “pastor of music” or some inane variation. Both rabbi and pastor were words that came into relatively late usage. The word pastor is only mentioned once in the New Testament and it is a bad translation. It only proves that such official ministers don’t really care about the truth and insist on furthering a false idea.

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:8-13] [1] 

       Hence, the Lord wanted nothing to do with all the outward adorning of religion, whether clerical dress or superfluous titles which were used to deceive the unsuspecting. He thus appeared as a simple man. He was not handsome. He had no outer charisma. He did not look so much like the standard image depicted in pictures and movies. He never wore his hair long like a woman. He had nothing in His outer appearance that would draw in silly religious women attracted to shallow religious leaders. Religious men hated Him but real men saw Him as a real man that they could follow. He was rugged and outwardly strong and tough. He had weathered skin from years of doing manual labor, something the soft and pallid religious leaders never did. He used all His money for others. He had no home and certainly no church building. He never advocated for the building of synagogues or churches. The natural world in the great outdoors was His place of assembly. With a smaller group He sat down on a log or a rock when He taught or used a friend’s humble house. He had no pulpit. He traveled on the open roads by foot.

        Since the Lord Jesus is God Himself and He chose this path and taught it to His followers, where do the clergy boys get their authority to violate His teachings? Why have they created a counterfeit Christianity that draws in millions of people and then imprisons them within their whims and false teachings? Why do they insist on indoctrinating their followers away from New Covenant truth? Why do they insist on taking over and demanding their own way? Their preaching is fake and their manner is fake. They are all about self-promotion. It can be as subtle as their name on a church sign or as ridiculous as their big fat mug on a highway billboard. The more they promote themselves the less they promote the Lord and the less likely anyone under their sway will find anything more than basic surface-level Christian truths. They refuse the Book of Acts or use it only for their own purposes.

         Now, if it appears I am only referring to traditional denominations, it is also the case that Pentecostals and Charismatics are sometimes the worst offenders. Many of these people drag in a lot of stuff from Egypt and outright weird stuff that comes from who knows where. They also suffer from a lack of correct spiritual leadership and do their own part in promoting a clergy class.

         Remember, the Lord said there is only one door into His kingdom. It is a relatively small, humble, obscure, and unadorned door that most people never find or reject if they do. It looks like the opposite of what most humans think such a door into such a great place should look like. It is not pretentious, costly, or highly regarded. Most people walk right past it with no acknowledgment. To the world at large this door is relatively invisible.

         But for the spiritually hungry in heart who yearn for truth and seek it out, who want spiritual reality and purity with no carnal human strings attached or false religious facades, these people will eventually find that door. They will never stop until they do. And when they find it they find the answer their heart has longed for.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:7-10]  

         © 2019 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.”

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.”

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.”

A GREAT AWAKENING PRIMER: STRONG INDIVIDUALS CREATE STRONG CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES

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      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.”

SELLOUT MINISTERS WHO REFUSE TO TEACH THE TRUTH

       Teaching the Truth is hard. It is not for the squeamish or religious sissies. It will cost you everything.

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          There’s a fat boy minister who sold out a long time ago who has managed to deceive enough people to gain a very comfortable living and much undeserved respect and honor from Christians who appreciate his ability to bring in high television ratings and subsequent elevated funding. There are obviously many ministers like him. In fact, most are like him. They have done all they can to insure monetary success and high community social standing as if that was what the Lord taught us to strive for.

          Of course, the Lord never taught this. As I have related here several times a fact that most never know, believe, or teach, the Lord Jesus worked very hard throughout His life and earned a lot of money prior to His public ministry. He then used that money for His ministry. He called relatively young men into His ministry and told them to drop whatever they were doing and follow Him exclusively. This meant they had to quit whatever they had been doing to earn money. This meant their wives and children would no longer have any money coming in for support. What were they to do?

       Because general Christianity is relatively grossly unaware of the basic facts of New Covenant Scripture, it can hardly be expected that general Christianity would know such facts as I am presenting here. The Lord Jesus was simply supposed to be a person who dutifully and quietly went about His business as a young man and young adult earning a little money as a carpenter. There is generally little or no understanding that He was actually quite successful monetarily. One might ask, after thinking about it, how someone could not be monetarily successful if one worked hard and obeyed all the commandments. The Lord Jesus is as moral as one can be. He worked hard and never wasted His money. He must have had a lot.

       We know this is true from Scripture itself, though most ministers choose to either downplay it or reject it, or change the clear meaning of Scripture (but what else is new?). The following is what the apostle Paul said on the subject:

         For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. [Corinthians 8:9]

         It has usually been argued that the Greek word used here refers to spiritual riches, not monetary riches, which makes no sense, of course, especially within the context of the verse. If this was true, then the Lord was spiritually rich and then became spiritually poor so we could become spiritually rich. The problem with this is that it is impossible for the Lord Jesus, who is God Himself, to become spiritually poor. It can be argued that this indeed is what happened while He was on the cross when the sin of the world was laid upon Him, when Paul seems to say the Lord actually became sin:

          He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [2Corinthians 5:21] [1]

       However, the words to be do not appear in the Greek. This makes the supposition incorrect. Paul never said what many ministers think he said. The Lord Jesus never sinned in His entire life. Therefore, the Lord did not become sin but was treated as sin. He was a sacrificial substitute on behalf of all those (us) who should otherwise have been there. Each person who ever lived should have suffered His fate but He did it for us. He suffered and died on our behalf.

         His sacrificial death as a sin offering is activated when we believe in Him, follow Him, obey Him, and dedicate our lives to Him. Otherwise His sacrifice does not apply.

         But getting back to the Lord Jesus and the money He earned, this must have been true because He had to support twelve men and their families after He called these men into full time ministry. If one begs to differ then one must believe the apostle’s wives and children were forced to become dependent on family or friends after their husbands ran off on a wild goose chase with an obscure itinerant preacher. Or they will argue that the Lord had somehow gained enough ongoing donations to support His cause, which would make Him dependent on outside donations. He certainly did accept donations but He could have made it monetarily on His own. Also, one must remember that He was given an unknown amount of gold as a baby which was likely taken well care of and possibly invested, as His teachings on investing money at interest would suggest.

       According to the Lord’s example, ministry was never for earning money and making riches, which means the sellout ministers are violating His teachings. But who cares, right? Don’t they violate His teachings anyway by either not teaching them in their fullness or teaching things He never taught? I would think these compromised sellouts, like Mr. Fat Boy himself, would be very concerned about their eternal futures because they will have a lot of explaining to do when so many ministers who actually lived and taught correctly will be put before them as examples. And no one was a greater example than the Lord Jesus Himself who did indeed become poor so others could become rich.

         This obviously means it is perfectly fine to work hard earning money honestly and becoming monetarily rich according to His will.

         Though He had a lot of money He earned the bulk of it with “the sweat of His face” and then gave it all for the ministry He was called to. He used much of it to support His first disciples (students) who were BLESSED not only to attend His school but attend it for free! How many “Bible schools” do you know of in which this is true?

        Here’s one more thought: I have known people who worked hard and earned money which they later used for ministry. As one example, I knew a man who was an independent oil man who later started a church and from which he never drew a salary. None of the other men helping him ever drew a salary either. They served in ministry for free. His church ended up becoming very large. They had a very large building and associated buildings. All that real estate had to have cost a lot of money but it was all initially provided for free of charge. There was obviously no debt.

        They also never took up donations during services. There was never an “offering” in which ushers passed a plate or reached in the pews with velvet baskets on long poles to extract money as if the church was a beggar on the street. (“Please help the beggar Christians! Please help the beggar Christians!”) No, this church community only had a small obscure box in the entry to collect donations anyone may want to give and that was all. They never even mentioned anything about collecting money during services and yet funding was never a problem. I found it all very refreshing.

         If this resonates with you I suggest you stick to your beliefs and scruples all the more as they reflect what the Bible really says on the subject and continue exposing (and praying for) the faker sellouts like Fat Boy however you are directed to. The Lord certainly did this regarding the hard core religious fakers and sellouts of his time.

         But it cost Him everything.

         © 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.

Please See This Link From Linda’s Bible Study: BLIND WATCHMEN


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.”

HATE MOB: FUTURE REPERCUSSIONS

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         When they killed the Lord they thought that was it. He was dead. They dodged a howitzer. They would remain in power. And all their dirty deeds would remain hidden to history.

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         Except that particular scenario was not the way it turned out. Not long after the pathetic kangaroo court of strident misfits where lies ruled and truth was sentenced to death the vicious perpetrators quickly realized it was not yet over and made an otherwise brilliant political move:

        Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. [Matthew 27:62-66]   

         Once again, using the power of a foreign government for their own purposes as they had when they convinced Pilate to crucify their hated but innocent challenger, they convinced him to station a full Roman guard at the tomb. They also convinced him to seal it with the Roman stamp of approval whereby anyone who violated the seal would have to answer not to them but the Romans. One wonders how this menacing self-righteous mob had the wherewithal to engage in such outright subterfuge with nary a peep from their collective conscience. Perhaps they had no conscience. More likely they had no heart. Most likely they were getting their assignments from the dungeon master himself.

         There was money on the line, and much political power. Their enemy had the audacity to expose them for what they were—a collection of sold-out hell-bound idiots intent on using every trick in their ominous arsenal to stop what must happen and what God willed to happen. Did they know they were fighting against God? Would they have stopped if they did?

         With the tomb secure they slunk back to their evil lairs and dens of iniquity to wait out the remainder of the aforementioned three days whose passing would at last secure their future. They threw everything they had at Him. They destroyed His reputation. They said He was crazy. They called Him a drunk and a glutton. They later claimed He was a fornicator with a well-known harlot. They accused His mother in the worst way possible by claiming He was illegitimate. They even said He was demon-possessed. The Lord’s family members were mortified at what all these false accusations meant for their future.

         This hate mob knew it was either Him or them and it wasn’t going to be them without throwing everything they had at Him.

         In doing this, however, they unknowingly exposed themselves. Sane people looking on saw them not as they saw themselves, as holier than thou, as far better than lowlife unintelligent commoners. No, the outer world rightly saw them as crazy religious nuts, as people with an inbred sense of arrogance and narcissism such that all people everywhere must bend before them forever. This included the One who came to save them and deliver His people, from which they sprung, and from which they went off on an otherworldly tangent the likes of which the world had never seen.

        The three days were up. Now they could breathe again. Now they knew everything would be alright. The false testimony of lying witnesses had stood up! It was believed! The pretender had met His match in them. No one would ever again challenge their master of the universe status or try what He had tried. All possible candidates would surely hold back as cowardly dogs.

AND NOW IT BEGINS. NOW IT ALL BEGINS…

          While in such a state of deep contentment, sitting far back in their leather-bound chairs and smoking victory cigars, they reveled in their triumph. The morning light appeared over the Mount as a welcome harbinger of sunny success. Then suddenly, no, this cannot be, there was a great rumbling of the earth. The place shook like an olive tree during harvest. The front door was cast ajar. It seemed it would never stop. And then, there was quiet, several moments of quiet—a deathly quiet, only to be broken by distant hurried footsteps growing louder. A young man appeared in the door opening.

            Uh Oh.

     Still slack-jawed and open-mouthed, terror on their faces, they received the inconceivable news from the shocked and harried messenger.

         “The earthquake… The tomb… It happened just like He said! The Romans can’t explain it! Nothing like this has ever happened before! He’s gone!”

         Talk about your best-laid plans. The future repercussions were now unstoppable. They knew it. But nothing could ever keep them from fighting against the inevitable. And with every opposing move they dug themselves deeper in their holes. The holes became ruts. The ruts became graves. They could never go back. It was they who loosed the evil genie. And it was they who would now receive the full impact of the fate they meant for others.

         Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. [Galatians 6:7] [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.”

THE DESIGNATED HECKLERS

         What would happen in any of our hallowed church services if someone in the congregation stood up and started heckling the preacher in the name of “correcting” him?

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          Everywhere the Lord went during His ministry He enjoyed support and success, and the joy of knowing He was making a difference in the lives of those He loved.

        Then the hecklers showed up. They couldn’t help themselves. They lived to confront Him, question Him, tell Him He was wrong about everything, complain about Him, call Him names, call His mother names, and generally be ongoing everlasting pests that dogged Him without end.

         They were never satisfied. Every correct answer He gave was never good enough. For the most part He stayed calm and collected, knowing He was dealing with dimwits. They never cared so much about all the good He was doing or could do, but only that He wasn’t doing it their way. He wasn’t teaching their way. He wasn’t teaching what they taught (and thank goodness for that). He didn’t buy in to all their religious stuff. He wasn’t into getting rich off the ministry or turning it into a job. He didn’t care so much about making a name for Himself, so to speak, or standing up for His honor and His character. He knew He was only passing through and that most would reject Him. In that process, He strove to find the few who appreciated Him and were open to His ministry. He came to help but was often treated really bad by incessant detractors.

         There were times when He had to be strong and tell ‘em off. His many rebukathons are never heard in most churches and ministries today. Many ministers wish these powerful and strong words of His that make many nominal believers (themselves included) so uncomfortable, had never been recorded. Such words don’t sound very loving. Though the Lord Jesus IS Love and no one could possibly be more loving, many Christians believe He didn’t sound so loving at all when He ripped the Pharisees and their associated ilk to the core of their being.

HIPPIES IN LEISURE SUITS

      Some churches and ministry organizations have effectively eliminated all things discipleship. They don’t want to mention anything even closely resembling spiritual warfare, hardship, or suffering. Everything is all bright and peachy keen and rainbows and lollipops and many of these people look and act like hippies in leisure suits. These people love everyone who believes exactly as they do.

         “Um, the Lord was crucified. It was a bloody, violent death. All of the original twelve, except apparently, John, died the violent bloody deaths of martyrs. Paul had his head cut off. So did James. So did John the Immerser. Anything like that ever happen around here?”

         Such hate portends the presence of a very violent enemy who will stop at nothing. When given the chance this enemy will kill every real Christian he possibly can. Millions of real Christians have died such a death. They all stood tall. They are all great heroes. Though you rarely hear about it in churches and most ministries, not to mention, obviously the main stream media, real Christians are presently undergoing severe persecution all over the planet and have been for a long time, especially in places like China where they are having a major impact.

         In America, we don’t see this. It is because American Christianity in general is not much of a threat. It is also because we have laws against it. It is because America is the one country in the world that has the highest level of religious freedom written into its founding Constitution. This does not mean there will not be persecution. This does not mean there is not persecution. It only means the persecution comes in a different form. The persecution still comes to the greatest extent that it can and the perpetrators thereof certainly wish they could do much more, as was done to the originals. But alas, the enemies of the Lord are restricted by freedom principles established by our founders and the great American patriots of that time. No other country ever had such great ones and that’s why no other country has our freedoms, especially the freedom to serve the Lord Jesus the way He has called us to do.

DEFINING GREATNESS

         I have an internet friend. His name is Bill. He has a disease that leaves him bound in a wheelchair unable to move or even talk. But he has a blog. He has had it for years. He says what he wants to say. Even though his body almost doesn’t work at all he still manages to speak his heart and lift up the name of Jesus. He would probably wish I would shut up about Him but I appreciate him and see him as a very great man. He is a hero. He has effectively said, “Fine. My health is pretty much gone. But I’m still here. AND I AM GOING TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO DO REGARDLESS.” The enemy will never stop him. Ever.

         Many of us have suffered greatly and suffered great losses. But we go on. We see what happened to the Lord. We see what they did to all the early believers. We see how real Christians are persecuted all the live long day by those who insist on perpetrating suffering to uphold their own beliefs and traditions. Because we have laws in America, all these people can do for the most part is bring insults and attempt to destroy one’s name and character.

         I have another internet friend. Her name is Kat. She is one of those stalwart ones who preach against abortion, including right out on the sidewalks in front of abortion mills. It is her life. The Lord called her to it. She knows many more have been called but most don’t go. It is too hard. They don’t want the hassle. She works extremely hard and is very dedicated. You probably don’t want to know about all the insults and threats she and her associates have suffered. It is pretty much ongoing. She has effectively said, “Abortion is a great evil. It must end. Babies must be saved. AND I AM GOING TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO DO REGARDLESS.” The enemy will never stop her. Ever.

THE REAL GOSPEL

         We know by the Lord’s example what we must do. As Christians we are all called to help Him save the lost. The mature are all specialists by gifting according to the Romans 12 model. Those of us who have been at it a long time have been slandered and reviled, and this never stops. Most people are never a problem. Even non-believers can be quite friendly and charming, and even supportive. There will always be some unbelievers, however, who are quick to strike out and show the hatred in their hearts. But most don’t do this. Those who do are miffed because their beliefs get challenged.

         Well, that’s pretty much what the real Gospel does. It challenges beliefs. When the real Gospel comes to town all the little imps come out of their hovels and start throwing hissy fits. They get their panties in a wad. These are those who have bought into something contrary to the Gospel and do not appreciate being told they have been deceived. The real Gospel thus causes powerful reactions. For one person, it is Good News that sets him or her free and makes life abundant and joyous. For another, it is heresy, and strange and weird and off-putting and evil. One accepts it with open arms and another rejects it with a passion.

        Regarding the Lord’s Gospel preaching method (since He created the Gospel), the following are two differing approaches depending on the audience:

THAT DOESN’T SOUND SO LOVING

         “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 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.” [Matthew 23:23-28] 

BUT DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY…?

         “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” [Luke 6:27-36]

CORRECT SPIRITUAL BEHAVIOR

         From these passages we know there will be designated hecklers and that they must be loved. The Lord taught this. No other curriculum teaches this. Most people think it is impossible to bridge such a contrary gap. The chasm is too wide. You can’t get there from here. Paul wrote:

         Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. [Romans 12:9-14] [1] 

         On the one hand the Lord’s enemies were always coming after Him with a passion with a firm belief that their job was to heckle Him always to prove themselves right and Him wrong. Otherwise they knew they would lose. They had to defend their enterprise, their chosen belief system, and their hand-picked “facts.” On the other hand the Lord said to love them, something no one can really do except with His help. The fact that He loved them did not stop Him from telling them off. But a word of caution here: It is relatively easy to tell someone off. It is not so easy to turn the other cheek. What this means is that the more the designated hecklers come after those they insist are wrong, the more they will be subjected to the same treatment in some form or another from someone or something else. The Lord was strong enough to take it and thus was both strong enough and qualified to dish it out when necessary. (Plus, He was never wrong.)

         The designated hecklers are not lovers because if they were lovers they would not be heckling. What the Lord did during His rebukathons was not heckling. It was telling the truth about their real motivation for the sake of illustrating correct spiritual behavior. But it cost Him. He knew it would cost Him. Loving them was what kept Him from feeling otherwise about them, and that is the lesson.

         It is the triumph of love over hatred and good over evil.

         © 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.

THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN

         And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.” [Revelation 12:9-10]

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FROM THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA:

124 Accuser: <a-kuz’-er> This word, not found in the Old Testament, is the rendering of two Greek words:

(1) Greek: kategoros, that is, a prosecutor, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, or one who speaks in a derogatory way of another (Acts 23:30, 35; 25:16, 18; Rev 12:10);

(2) Greek: diabolos, meaning adversary or enemy. This word is rendered “accuser” in the King James Version and “slanderer” in the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version (2Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3).

According to the rabbinic teaching Satan, or the devil, was regarded as hostile to God and man, and that it was a part of his work to accuse the latter of disloyalty and sin before the tribunal of the former (see Job 1:6 ff; Zechariah 3:1 f; Revelation 12:10).

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THE ADVERSARY AT WORK         

        We gather from the Book of Job that The Adversary (HaSatan) is in the business of doing everything possible to denigrate the people of God. As the early conversation goes, the Lord holds up Job to be a good example and a fine servant:

         The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” [Job 1:8]

         The Adversary was just getting started. He had plenty of fuel left. He rammed it into high gear and began telling the Lord it was only because He protects him so, and makes him virtually impervious to attack. He said:

         “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” [Job 1:9-11]

         And this, thus, is the challenge. The Lord indeed protects His people but there are times when they must be tested. They are often tested, as per the Lord’s example, when something profound is about to happen. They must be found with no pride or arrogance. In essence, they must be tested and submitted to a process by which they can be purged of anything possibly within them that causes them to act like the enemy.

OVERCOMING THE FLESH

        “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [Matthew 26:41]   

         In New Covenant terminology, there is much reference to “the flesh.” It is defined as that part of a person which is indicative of one’s lower nature, that of purely natural processes, in which one acts according to one’s pure sinful humanity rather than according to the Spirit. The process of discipleship is therefore an ongoing progression toward developing a spiritual nature rather than a carnal one. The carnal nature wants to always be first, number one, and act out of personal pride. It is the antithesis of spiritual humility.

        As I mentioned in my last post, the Lord Jesus said we must be as children. Young children have yet to develop the carnal nature brought on by advancement in sin. They are often joyous, happy, trusting, and humble. In answer to those of His disciples who were arguing about which of them might be the greatest, the Lord put forth the following:

         But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.” [Luke 9:47-48]

         The Lord obviously has a different definition of greatness. One sees this greatness in Him, as He is the most humble Man who ever lived, very self-effacing and always willing to turn the other cheek. He allowed Himself to be persecuted in such a way that those close to Him did not understand. In saying at His ongoing trial right before His death that His kingdom was not of this world, it helps explain so many of His actions when it appeared He never took up for Himself the way most people do.

        He knew who He was, of course, but also lived according to a higher standard that is contrary to living according to basic human nature, in which selfishness and pride must rule.

         The Lord Jesus was filled with the Spirit of God without measure, as the Father in His fullness dwelt within Him. He is God in flesh. But He still had His flesh to deal with. He overcame His flesh on an ongoing basis and never, ever allowed it to have the upper hand. Because He disciplined His flesh in such a powerful manner, His flesh was always subservient to His Spirit. This took a lot of work, the kind most people know nothing about, which also includes many Christians. Overcoming the flesh is a must for the spiritual disciple of the Lord. It is the only way one’s spirit can rule. But long before that occurrence can ever happen, one’s spirit must be born. It is why all real believers undergo a born-again experience. Otherwise, the flesh, or lower human nature, remains in charge.

         Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [Galatians 5:19-21]

       Those who do practice such things must be under the Law. They have not taken authority over their lower nature and must therefore be ruled from without by a higher power. They must be told what they can and cannot do on a daily basis. Their conscience must always be at work to give them every opportunity of assistance toward knowing right and wrong, since they cannot control themselves. It is, of course, possible to overcome the dictates and desires of the flesh somewhat through personal (non-spiritual) discipleship of a kind, but this usually involves the mere strapping-on-of-the-plow for singular purposes which have no bearing on taking full control, since such is impossible. Those who appear to achieve it only give the impression of overcoming their lower nature but at best all they do is temporarily suppress it. There is only one way to defeat the flesh and bring it under subjection and that is by the Spirit of God.

WINNING THE BATTLE

        Perhaps this is why there must be an accuser. As in the previously stated ISBE definition, the accuser is as “a prosecutor, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, or one who speaks in a derogatory way of another.” This is what HaSatan did to Job. The Lord spoke of Job in glowing terms. He was quite proud of His child. But the devil had to do his part, in that he must make every attempt to prove to God that Job was indeed not so great at all. He felt strongly he could prosecute him successfully if given the chance.

       “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” [Matthew 5:10-13]

         When people join in with the devil to help him in his work, they engage in the insults as listed above. The flesh hates such insults, in that it will always strike back against attack and accusations if at all possible, unless greater damage may be done to it. What the Lord taught in this regard is absolutely completely contrary to the will of the flesh. He said disciples must rejoice when under persecution and undergoing slander? Yes. It is counterintuitive. It makes no sense to a carnal mind. But all this is illustrated in the life of Job. He was put to the test. His life was virtually destroyed. He lost everything. But he never lost his faith in God. He was being made fun of and accused even by his friends. His own wife told him to curse God. How many could hold up under such an onslaught? How many can withstand such ongoing adversarial tactics? How many can overcome the Accuser of the Brethren?

         Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” [Mark 15:29-31]    

         But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” [Luke 23:33-35] [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.

DANCING WITH THE DEVIL

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      Engaging the enemy to advance one’s present cause will demand eventual future payment, and the latter will be much greater than the former.

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         Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. [John 11:47-53]

         They knew they could never get the job done on their own. They were not powerful enough. They knew they must actually engage their avowed enemy in order to kill their greatest enemy. It was at the preceding meeting when a conspiracy of much greater comport was brought forth. They had conspired before on several occasions. They had gotten together in their secret, grungy little hideaways and poured over the possibilities of how they might do Him in but it always came to no avail. They failed on every previous occasion.

         But when they at last decided on the most diabolical trick of all, to engage the Roman Empire in their sad little conspiracy, they were on the road to success. In common parlance this is called “selling one’s soul to the devil.” We know this is done. There is certainly a devil and he will certainly work to advance the cause of those who want the same things he wants, and it doesn’t matter if they like him or worship him or not. He knows the very act of their willing engagement is enough to please and satisfy him, and gives him that much more of an opportunity to advance his own cause.

         The way this generally works is one decides to invoke a higher power to gain personal power and wealth, and the ability to satisfy one’s lusts to the nth degree. The devil is only too willing to comply. If one believes this process is not possible and is only a fanciful myth, one might want to know that even the Holy Scriptures state that the devil is the overall ruling power of this present world and that his power and authority is superseded only by the Lord Himself:

         Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2Corinthians 4:1-4]

         One may wonder how the devil has such power that he can make people oblivious to the Gospel which would otherwise set them free. How does he blind them? It is actually very simple: They must be unbelieving. If one chooses not to believe he subjects himself to spiritual blindness. If one has no love for the truth the truth will consequently be hidden to him. The Lord protects His Truth and His Gospel and does not throw His pearls before swine. Because they do not believe, they cut themselves off from any advancement or blessing from the Lord.

         This leaves them with only two choices. They can attempt to make it in this world only through their own power and strength which includes help from other unbelievers. Most, however, have no such access to higher human power or wealth and know that those who have it will probably never allow them in their exclusive clubs. Their lives, then, are destined to be humble.

         The second choice is to invoke the only other higher power available. Many unbelievers want no part of this, though. They are wise enough in their own eyes that such a route will cost them later and their personal desires are such that they would rather do without or with very little and thus maintain their own pride and limited freedom. Historically, these people usually comprise the lower classes. They are not tied into those with wealth, the higher classes, and refuse, possibly from fear, any close association with the devil. Their understanding is limited but at least they are not sell-outs.

         Regarding those who refuse to be denied, however, they simply do not care about any future payment. They have enough confidence in themselves that they feel they will find a way out of that when the time comes or simply continue to negotiate and make future deals. When the political/religious leaders of the Jews in the first century decided to make a deal with the Romans to get the Lord, it was not as if they were not already well aware of invoking high demonic powers. This had already been part of their modus operandi.

         The Lord Jesus had already revealed their hearts and motives on this and rebuked them for it. He told them and the entire nation what they were. They were exposed.

         They had no legal authority to kill Him but the Romans did. It was thus to the Romans they went but only in a very deceptive, conspiratorial way. They rigged things behind the scenes in such a way that they essentially grabbed Pontius Pilate by the, well, by the heart, we will say. He had no idea what was going on until the trap was sprung. When it was he suddenly saw his entire career and reputation going up in flames if he did not comply with their wishes. To say this was diabolical on their part is somewhat of an understatement, if that is possible, in that I think they must have greatly impressed the devil with their conniving.

         They were thinking only about the present. If they did think at all about the future they never expected what would eventually happen. They effectively not only sealed their own fate, they sealed the fate of their nation. That the Lord died for the nation is true, but only for the believing remnant. When full payment was eventually called for, the unbelievers were forced to pay in full. They lost it all. And in a strange karmic-déjà vu twist of Biblical proportions, it was those very Romans who brought forth both justice and judgment. The conspirators destroyed themselves with their own scheming brilliance.

         And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” [Matthew 18:2-7] [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.

THE GREAT AVENGER

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       The Lord has made a way of undeserved grace for all who leave the world of sin and rebellion. For those who refuse, He must act to bring justice. He is the only one qualified who can.

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          Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? [James 4:10-12]

TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND THE MESSIAH’S WAY 

         We all understand the concept of justice. We all understand the need for it. We all know it is not right when evil deeds go unpunished, when people get away with doing wrong, and when it appears there is no remedy for such or no means toward the bringing of justice to guilty parties.

          I can assure you, however, that justice always prevails. The Lord will see to it. For now, however, He is obviously more concerned with bringing sinners to salvation. It is why He sends His disciples into a fallen world fraught with danger severed from relationship with Him. It is why He created the Good News for whosoever will, for all those who want to be free and blessed with new life, and will pay any price within His will to gain it.

         Thus, grace. All who eventually gain eternal life will have in common the fact that they recognized their need for salvation. They know they have done wrong. They hate the memories. Their conscience reminds them every day. They exist in a broken condition and they know it. The want to be the best they can be. They want to enter into a realm of good that they know must exist but they can’t find the way.

         He is the Way. Following the Lord Jesus will lead one directly into the Life one seeks.

         But for those who love this world they cannot possibly have any love for the next world or desire for it. They are content here, or at least willing to do whatever they want or think they must to make a way for themselves. It is why mankind’s history is a sordid tale of killings and theft and sexual sin. These are the actions of lustful and desperate people who place no moral restrictions upon themselves once they decide to act in an unlawful manner to get what they want. They may be moral up to a point. But beyond that point they justify sin. They no longer apply any sense of right and wrong. They make their own choices to cross over bridges into places where they act upon their own self will to satisfy evil desires.

TRAINING CAMP

          That is in part why this temporary world is a mere proving ground. We live in the flesh in what looks like a very real and everlasting world but our individual times are actually very short. This world is very much an illusion. The Word of God states that we are given at most about seventy years and that some have more time because of strength. But not much more. And many never even get that far. But even if one lives to a hundred, what is that in terms of thousands of years or eternity?

         Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. [James 4:13-17]

        It is the devil’s job to tempt us away from God and into sin. It is the job of unregenerate flesh and its evil desires to lead us away from God and into sin. It is the job of this fallen faux construct of mankind upon this planet (the world) to distract us away from God and into sin. These are the three enemies all human beings are subjected to. There is no escape from their onslaught other than through the Lord. He knows those who want to be free. He also knows those who would rather live here than in heaven.

         And He knows justice must prevail, that all must receive their just deserts, and that He must be the Judge. I would not think that God wants the job but He knows He is the only one qualified. He must be the one to separate the sheep from the goats. He is also the only one qualified to avenge every wrong. Though the Lord may appear to be a pacifist, it is only because He desires to give everyone every chance during this Age of Grace. He is a God of love and mercy. But He also knows unrepentant sin and rebellion must be dealt with. Thus, He is not a pacifist. He is a Warrior.

         And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

         What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.”

        When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!” But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone?’ Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them. [Luke 20:9-19][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.

LOVING THE LORD JESUS FULFILLS THE LAW (REJECTING HIM VIOLATES IT)

       The Lord Jesus taught something quite radical in the perception of His contemporaries: He had apparently reduced the entire Law of Moses and the Prophets down to only two commandments.

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THE PROBLEM

        This obviously drove the strict religionists, those who couldn’t see spiritually past the end of their nose, right up a wall. They were invested up to their eyeballs in their voluminous religious knowledge. By this teaching He not only seemingly bypassed the entirety of Holy Writ, or at least put the vast law checklist in dubious perspective; He also completely subverted, in their eyes, the capacious and multifaceted oral law, of which only a distinct few were aware. To their chagrin, and with this instruction, He broke down the walls of the sheepfold and made the basis of spiritual knowledge and truth available for everyone.  

         But there is something else He did then that most of the Jewish teachers and many strict Trinitarian Christians miss. He once again equated Himself with God.        

         “And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.” [Luke 10:25-28]

         Did you catch that? The Lord Jesus told the lawyer the same thing He told Moses:

       “So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the LORD.” [Leviticus 18:5]   

         Let’s look at another passage:

         But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:34-40]

THE REACTION

         Of course, the Lord never eliminated any part of the Law but He did fulfill it. He continued to honor all the commandments. He opened the eyes of many and brought the Law and Prophets into proper perspective by assigning priorities. For those, however, who were unwilling or unable to be led to quiet waters and lie down in green pastures, they insisted on their own imposed status quo and it blinded them to further truth.

         Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET?”’ If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question. [Matthew 22:41-46]

         Judging by the extreme reaction of those great Pharisee teachers, something really strange took place on that occasion. One can almost see the popping and sparking of cerebral synapses and smoke coming out of their ears. They were at a complete loss and had no idea how to answer. Their vast repertoire of knowledge had nothing from which to draw. Their data base was empty of information on the topic. They had no idea, according to their own perception and understanding, how the Messiah could be both David’s Lord and his Son. They were absolutely flummoxed.

THE SOLUTION

          If one sees the Lord Jesus as God, then one will see that He must be loved with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind. If one sees the Lord Jesus as merely a secondary personage who is somehow less than God, then one must love Him as he loves himself. Whatever the case, one must at least apply the Golden Rule to the Lord Jesus OR BE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW. And if one understands that the Lord Jesus truly is God, then one must love Him with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind OR BE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW.

         From this there is the inescapable conclusion that our lives are arranged and bear spiritual fruit in direct relation to how we treat the Lord Jesus and whether or not we love Him exactly as He loves us. He already demonstrated His love for us by giving His perfect life as a sacrifice to pay for our sins, which we could never do, and by this He purchased our salvation. He said doing this was the greatest love. Therefore, He has already fulfilled the Golden Rule for every single human being who has ever lived or ever will live.

         But He did more than that. Though He did not need to, according to a strict interpretation of the Law, He actually applied not only the Golden Rule to us but the greatest commandment as well, in that He gave everything He had on our behalf—He loves us with all His heart, soul, strength, and mind.

         The Scriptures say God is Love. The Scriptures also say Jesus is God. Thus, the Scriptures say that Jesus is Love and He obviously demonstrated that love way back then but has also demonstrated it ever since then and still demonstrates it right now. He loves you.

         Even so, because the circumstances of this fallen world and the reality of this life are what they are, we are sometimes subjected to not so good things beyond our control. But there is no detrimental circumstance that has any bearing on His love for us. His love is greater than any such circumstance. Sometimes through faith we can overcome an adverse circumstance. But the first thing we do by faith is accept the possibility of real relationship with Him and move toward it. We take Him at His Word. We establish trust with Him. To complete the relationship-with-God transaction we love the Lord Jesus as He loves us. Whatever He did for us we must be willing to do for Him.

         Follow His example—Love and obey Him with all your heart just as He loved and obeyed “the Father.” That is the answer, my friends.

         Love never fails. [1Corinthians 13:8] [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.

 

CHRISTIAN ZIONISM’S ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

       Christian Zionists must believe the Gospel does not apply to everyone, are embarrassed by it, and would rather not mention it in certain circles.

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         They must think unsaved Jews are saved by osmosis through their “chosen people” status and connection claim to the ancient patriarchs, even though John the Immerser called out their forebears on this false claim two thousand years ago:

         “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:8-10]   

         John warned them that the nation was about to go up in flames but some paid him no heed. The destruction of what was left of the nation from its glories of a millennium past was still forty years off. Nevertheless, the axe was already laid at the root of the trees and about to strike. This forty year period was the exact time frame we see throughout the book of Judges when the Lord was continually bringing judgment upon His wayward people who refused His leadership and preferred the rebellion of sin.

THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH

         John was the first Hebrew prophet in over four hundred years. For over four centuries there was no prophetic voice in the land of Judea. In one sense then, the people thereof and especially the religious leaders thereof cannot be blamed for being completely clueless of the prophetic word. By that time they had built up their own version of the way things ought to be without the help, guidance, or direction of God, and indeed did so in actual rebellion against Him. The things of God and the ways of God became absolutely foreign to them in that interim.

         As a result, when John the Immerser suddenly burst forth upon the scene he looked nothing like what they were familiar with. He appeared strange and different, and his incredibly powerful voice and manner was unlike anything they had ever heard or seen. They had no frame of reference. To that point, they had been like know-it-all ignorant teenagers devoid of real living experiences from which to base their rebellious beliefs, and instinctively felt that total rejection was in order, which is what the majority did. Most of the Jewish religious leaders rejected John outright and no doubt had a behind-the-scenes hand in his death. Even though they were great recognized religious leaders, their status meant nothing in spiritual terms. He demanded that they must repent:

          But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance…” [Matthew 3:7-8]

         Why do Christian Zionists seemingly never tell unsaved Jews to repent? Why do Christian Zionists often accept unsaved Jews exactly as they are? Why do they even esteem them highly and insist they are “God’s chosen people” when the New Covenant Scriptures say no such thing? Why do they believe unsaved Jews need not convert to Messiah? Is this how they show the love of God?

MESSIAH JESUS: THE BÊTE NOIRE OF ORTHODOX JUDAISM

         All Christians are commanded by the Lord to know the Gospel and teach the Gospel, and there is nothing in the Gospel that says one can be saved from sin through righteous works or making ancestral claims. Such beliefs are actually revolting in the eyes of a holy God and show a complete contempt for the great price the Lord made on our behalf. If people can be saved without the Lord’s great suffering and death on the cross then why did He have to die? Is there a double standard at work here? Can some be saved without His sacrifice? Whoever makes their personal salvation contingent not on the Blood of the Lamb but on righteous works will eventually have a very rude awakening.

         Until that day, however, many unbelievers double down on their hatred and rejection of the Lord, blaming Him for exposing them for what they are. The combination of their great conviction of sin juxtaposing with their own high-minded and prideful perception of themselves causes a maelstrom of contrary stubbornness and results in an inability to change. It is the act of a person clutching on to his claim to fame and faux right standing, and refusing to surrender to someone whom he insists is inferior and an imposter. The inevitable outcome is that one sees himself as better and greater than the Lord Jesus, which can only result in self-worship.

PAUL TELLS IT LIKE IT IS

         Christian Zionists are seemingly clueless regarding the teachings of the apostle Paul on this subject, who paid a great price to tell his countrymen the truth. Everywhere he went in the beginning years of his ministry he attempted to reach them first. Some Jews were overjoyed to hear him lay out all the prophetic scriptures before them and prove his case that the Lord Jesus is without doubt the Messiah they had all been waiting for. They accepted this truth with open arms. They repented of their sins, just like those three thousand Jews back on that great day of Pentecost. They were baptized in the name of Messiah Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were still Jews. Paul was still a Jew.

         But those Jews who rejected Paul’s teachings, as their associates had rejected John the Immerser and the Lord Himself, were Paul’s greatest enemies. They put out a contract on him early on. Their only answer was murder. There were no greater persecutors than unsaved Jews. But unlike many Christian Zionists, John, the Lord, Paul, and so many others continually showed the great love of God by always trying to reach them. Jesus died for them. What more could He give? Paul was willing to lose his soul for them:

         I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel… [Romans 9:1-6]

HEY JUDE

         Thus, many Christian Zionists have failed in showing the love of God by refusing to preach repentance for unsaved Jews, some of whom would readily accept salvation as they always have. The only reason for this must be a different agenda than the one true Gospel of the Lord. It is this different agenda, like so many others, that has “crept in unnoticed” and become surreptitiously established:

         For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. [Jude 1:4-5]

         Jude wrote the above not too long before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. He goes on to remind his readers of what was soon coming by speaking of other fiery judgments of the past and refers to similar equivalents to that which has occurred in Christian Zionism. He then exhorts his readers to follow the real Gospel and not be deceived by those with an alternative agenda:

         …They speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. [Jude 1:12-13;16-21] 

THE TENDER MERCY OF OUR GOD

         Eternal life cannot be earned. None of us is worthy through our own efforts. Until we are born again we remain unregenerate spiritually, regardless of any high standing or great achievements. It is only the grace of the Lord that saves us activated by our faith. Without the shed blood of our Savior there is no salvation. Our salvation then, whether we are Jew or Gentile, is solely an act of undeserved mercy from a compassionate God driven by His great love for all. There is no substitute. There is no other Way.

         It’s time that Christian Zionists return to the heart of the Gospel and make a greater effort at evangelizing the unsaved Jews they claim to care so much about.

         For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. [Hebrews 2:2-4] [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.

THE MYSTERIOUS ORIGINS OF THOSE WHO REJECT MESSIAH

        Something unusual happened in Babylon during the captivity. After being deported to a faraway land, a clandestine priestly caste laid the groundwork for a new approach toward divine knowledge.

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         Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ And I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’ Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their plans, because they have not listened to My words, and as for My law, they have rejected it also.” [Jeremiah 6:16-19]           

         If one reads the gospels looking for similar clues and seeking this particular theme, it is not difficult to find. In fact, the theme jumps right out at you. Certain religious authorities were always questioning Him. They questioned His teachings, His manner, His motivation, the way He went about things, and even His mental makeup. They repeatedly struck out, however, on all their attempts to discredit Him.

SECRET SECTS A-STIRRING

        One wonders how those people ever gained their religious authority. How did it happen? Many Christians never seek out the back story, but there was a lot of really weird stuff brewing up in good old Judea in the two centuries prior to the Lord’s arrival. There was also really weird stuff going on in the centuries before then but it started getting concentrated and coming together in an organized manner by that time.

        Let’s go further back for even more background, to just prior to the Babylonian invasion of Judah and the first destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586BC. Up to this time, the many spiritual departures and vile depravities that began with Solomon and continued through later generations of kings and priests laid a foundation for the destruction. We know of the strange pagan practices they adopted and never completely disavowed. One can only imagine how deep the sin became, but judging by the manifold mentions in OT lore, it was quite extensive. We know the results but little of the conspiratorial underpinnings. By the time of the Babylonian captivity, the degeneracy and corruption level reached a point that demanded judgment.

       This was the period of the early origin of obscure precursors, factions, and mysterious esoteric sects that had begun forming behind the pages of OT history that would essentially rewrite it and which later came to full fruition. It stemmed from the ongoing sin and rebellion plaguing the dwindling kingdom of Judah. The failing nation, at intervals, had already become the client state of great world powers and most of her final kings were weak, though King Josiah brought a great reform which sadly failed in the end.

         The captivity actually began circa 600BC (many scholars say the first deportation to Babylon took place in 597BC). I will not go into all the particulars, but these early divisions within Judah began to coalesce into distinctive groups and eventually produced the various religious sects, mini-cults, political parties, and whatnot by 200BC and shortly thereafter.

HEADING FOR A SHOWDOWN

         This resultant splintering and ongoing four century sorting out process had begun long before the captivity, however, primarily with the first big split—that between the priests and prophets. There was a war simmering beneath the surface for what should be obvious reasons. The priests and associates were always on the scene daily working in and around the temple and this put them in close authoritative proximity with the political rulers and kings. The prophets, however, were often the wild card which those in authority didn’t like. They didn’t like them precisely because they were largely incorruptible (and paid a great price for it), and could never be counted on to go along with the program since they always followed God’s program.

         But wait. Were not the kings, priests, and prophets all supposed to be on the same page? Did not God create the priestly tribe in the first place and give them a legitimate function? The answer is, of course, yes, but the priestly tribe would often get weirded out and appeared fixated on a never-ending fight with the other major authority God created, that of the prophets, seemingly because of some strange inferiority complex and disagreement with the prophets’ perceived Wild West manner. And compared to them, the prophets definitely had a Wild West manner.

         If Clint Eastwood was involved, for example, he would always be a prophet.

         To outside observers (the ruling authorities), the prophets were always flying by the seat of their pants and making crazy unfounded pronouncements, meaning they could not possibly be like God or be in obedience to God because God just wasn’t like that. He would never do that. He was structured and organized and orderly and demanded strict attention to detail and doing things in a set manner on a consistent daily basis. According to those in charge, the wacko solitary head-in-the-clouds eccentrics with powerful and perfect unsettling utterances and fiery eyes scaring everyone all the time and getting in the face of those who ruled and telling them off for all their many peccadilloes and transgressions proved they could not possibly be on God’s payroll and therefore must be stopped.

         After centuries of this bickering battle the prophets finally were stopped. The prophetic word ended somewhere in the vicinity of 400BC. The preservative was gone. The lights went out. The priests took over. They got their way. And they relished the moment.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

         Over the next two hundred years, from 400BC to 200BC, a sifting and settling process commenced among those vying for the official priestly perspective and narrative. Then, from roughly 200BC and a few decades thereafter, the origin and early beginnings of the later major religious sects emerged. Their beginnings are still historically sketchy, but enough information can be found to follow their trail. These major sects—Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, et al—wayward and odd, and each with its own agenda, claimed close proximity to God but were truly quite distant compared to the rich relationship with the Lord possessed by the early patriarchs and later prophets.

            These new groups came to full flower and strength by the first century AD, just in time to do battle with the greatest of the prophets and His forerunner who was otherwise the best of all time. One wrested control of the people and another wrested control of the temple.

         The Pharisees in particular, most of whom were not priests or overtly priestly but certainly not prophetic, had long since undermined the Law of Moses and created their own hyper-sacerdotal encyclopedic answer-all mega index and then orally codified it, meaning it was known only to them and they controlled it. They were thus the holders of secret knowledge. Their illicit work was only possible because there had been no prophet for over four hundred years to stop them. Thus, the Lord obviously knew what He was doing by creating prophets—in part to keep an eye on and balance out those incommunicado priests and kings in authority that seemed to always have a problem with His authority. The absence of the prophets and the clear voice of heaven—the voice of God Himself speaking through the prophets—allowed the priests to create a non-spiritual dimwit faction that took over everything.

       After surviving early skirmishes and gaining ever-greater power over a couple of centuries, the Pharisee and Sadducee parties and smaller groups like them were used to having their way. They never had a prophet in their face. They had nothing whatsoever to draw on in all their collective experience regarding how to deal with a prophet. There was never a prophetic correcting voice against them. Squabbling among themselves did nothing regarding correction and only served to foment more hatred and division.

         Unlike the prophets, the new religious rulers put their faith not in God but in money, outward appearance, and themselves. They ended up being the epitome of religious spoiled children constantly whining and demanding their way. Every little thing was an offense to them. They were ridiculously easily offended. Everything they said was right—down to the most ludicrous and preposterous detail with little or no bearing on the written Law. They were thus relentlessly pointing out everyone’s errors and tacking on an endless minutia stream of counterintuitive religious do’s and don’ts.

THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU QUIT ON GOD

         One wonders why in the world the rest of the nation didn’t simply rise up and stomp these idiots out of existence and get them off their backs. Was it part of God’s judgment? Being constantly rejected by His people going back many centuries, was God giving the people what they demanded, the same way He allowed them to replace Him with King Saul a thousand years before?

         In searching for the reason why Judea allowed these religious pretenders to gain such prominence and ruin their lives, one discovers the not so secret answer when one acknowledges the results of their sordid rebellion: When the people rejected God they eliminated His strength, power, and anointing within and upon them. They lost their ability to fight spiritual battles. They were thus forced to surrender to the use of their mere natural strength, something demonic forces could easily overpower and much stronger individuals could take advantage of. The people of the nation meekly surrendered, having no wherewithal to overcome their religious oppressors who were intent on control though guised in false light.

         It is for the same reason that the exact religious development has transpired in Unreal Christianity. It should look very familiar.

THE RETURN OF THE PROPHETIC VOICE

         But the Lord God was not through. He would take it upon Himself to return and restore, and do battle with the demonic pretenders to His throne. He would bring freedom to those sincere ones caught up in the struggle who loved Him and wanted to be free to serve and worship Him. He would come for them. He would fight for them. He would put everything on the line for them. In one fell swoop the powerful voice of the prophets was gloriously restored.

         “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs. For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’” [Luke 11:47-51] [1]

         The evil ones returned fire by doing to Messiah what they did to all those prophets. He returned fire by coming back from the dead and claiming His throne. Like those in Ezekiel’s boneyard, He continues to return fire through every man and woman He raises up from spiritual death, anoints with His Holy Spirit, and sends into spiritual battle.

         All glory, honor, and praise to Yehoshua HaMashiach. 

         © 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.

JESUS DESTROYS COMMUNITY DIVISION: ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE EQUAL AND SHARE IDENTICAL ACCESS TO THE LORD

         The Lord Jesus taught us that only He must be in charge. Most Christian leaders reject that directive. This is part of the reason why an alternative form of Christianity was created long ago.

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         Only the Lord Jesus is worthy of praise. Unless anyone out there has done what He did no one else qualifies. Yet we continue to have the equivalent of bowing before religious leaders and kissing their rings as if they somehow managed to grab a hold of something higher than the rest of us and land upon a leadership summit denied to everyone else. In reality, of course, no such place exists within His Community and never has.

         But for any readers out there not yet familiar with this blog and the faithful readers who have supported it for many years, you might have a problem with this simple fact. I say this because in many Christian circles this idea of a higher spiritual class with an extremely small qualified membership continues to persist. Nothing has changed concerning this concept except the surface facade, in that many of these have assumed casual dress and contemporary speech as a way to falsely bridge the gap or appear more relatable. Notwithstanding the Biblical directive to the contrary, people are still drawn to leaders who seem to have it all together but the greater part of their standing is based on mere appearance, and as I have said many times before, appearance is everything.

         Substance matters little. Before we go further, I will insert a single passage of Scripture to prove my point, though I could list many others. From this one passage we can see very clearly the truth the Lord taught in the beginning that has since been rejected by you know who:

         For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29]

        In this single Scriptural passage lies the pure truth of a radical new paradigm and community association model which thoroughly destroys the concept of any clergy-laity class divide or pyramidal leadership model based on a dominating upper class wresting all control at the very top. In this one passage, taught very clearly to the apostle Paul by the Lord Jesus, exists the following:

ONE:

         There is absolutely no distinction whatsoever between what Paul refers to as Jew and Greek, otherwise known as Jew and Gentile. And within either there is no distinction based on race or nationality. In the Lord’s Community both Jews and Gentiles have exactly equal standing. There are thus (1) Believing Jews and Gentiles and (2) Unbelieving Jews and Gentiles. Inclusion in the Community is based only on faith in the Lord Jesus. Among those who follow the Lord there is no difference in status. However, many Christian Zionists will disagree with Paul on this point, as they believe it is possible to be a Jew and still be saved without the Lord Jesus, or that a Jew somehow has higher standing in the Lord’s Community.

TWO:

         If you are a slave or a free man it makes absolutely no difference to your place in the Lord’s Community. You are both absolutely equal. There are no class differences based on socio-economic status. Though we no longer have the high level of forced slavery in the world today as it existed then, slavery still exists in many countries all across the planet and forms of indentured servitude run rampant. This is especially true in dominating oppressive states which strongly fight real Christianity. For those of us who live in relatively free countries, we owe it to our Christian brothers and sisters in such countries to help fight for their freedom.

THREE:

         There is absolutely no difference whatsoever between male and female in the Community of the Lord. Both are equal. While this point may no longer be as radical as it once was in the free world, it was certainly radical when Paul wrote it and continued to be throughout history and most of the world. On the Day of Pentecost there were obviously both men and women among the 120 who were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in languages they had never learned. Among the women there who engaged in the practice was Mary, the Lord’s mother. Christian women might want to acknowledge this. Catholic women might want to especially acknowledge this. We have much knowledge of the role played by women in the early Church. They were often those who made their houses available for spiritual meetings, which was a very dangerous practice in those times. (Remember, there were no official “church buildings” for three centuries and real Christianity was illegal.)

CLERGY-LAITY DIVISIONS DISRESPECT THE LORD

         As an associative point in this discussion, the clergy class came into existence based primarily on economic opportunity and thus education level. This notion continues to persist in that only few Christians apparently have a high enough education level required to be a member of today’s clergy (regardless of denomination). Almost everyone else, regardless of their education level or spiritual standing, accept this class division as Gospel truth when it is clearly no such thing. Thus, the 99% for the most part sit passively and silently in the pews and are completely on their own as individuals, as opposed to the very small higher class which mans all the pulpits and collects all the donations. Why more Christians do not see this otherwise obvious violation of Scripture attests to its long-held traditional standing and inherent subterfuge. It exists to keep the majority of Christians uneducated, silent, out of the spiritual workforce, and to serve the clergy class rather than the Lord.

SERVANT LEADERS

          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] [1] 

        The Lord Jesus taught that all of His children are on equal footing. There are no distinctions and no class divisions. He created no clergy or laity. He created no church or denominational hierarchies. If anything at all, those members of His Community with more authority, which is based only on greater spiritual maturity, are subjected to greater servanthood. In other words, they pay a higher price in blood, sweat, and tears. Perhaps this is why so many Christians want nothing to do with ministry.

         Yet, EVERY SINGLE REAL CHRISTIAN IS CALLED TO SOME FORM OF MINISTRY. To reject one’s calling is a sin, and unrepentant sin causes a big relational problem with the Lord and one another, and will eventually cause one to lose one’s soul.

         The institutional clergy refutes the fact that all are called to serve because its members want to corner the market (and have). Once the majority of such people gain control they then manage to not even answer their own callings, if they ever did to begin with. Thus, the entire process results in removing pretty much everybody from real Christian service.

         And we wonder why Unreal Christianity is failing…

         © 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.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICALITY OR PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY? A QUESTION OF BALANCE

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        Many years ago several members of our church were returning from a service on the other side of town. There were maybe eight or ten of us, all young adults.

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         It was kind of funny because we were in one of those standard yellow school buses that had a former life transporting kids all over creation and we could probably fit our entire congregation within its cavernous confines. It was an old bus. Someone had probably bought it for a song after it was retired and then donated it. Most of us were brand new born again believers.

         Anyway, here we were, fresh from praising the Lord in a small black Pentecostal church that never failed to be a blessing. We visited many such churches back then and it was always a great experience. My first time in one of those churches allowed me to see two things immediately—those believers didn’t mess around. When it came to praising the Lord they gave it everything they had. The preacher, the singers, even the worshipers in the pews—no one held back. The second thing was that we all had the same intentions and love for the Lord. When you meet another real Christian for the first time, even if on the other side of a very large city or cultural divide, you instantly meet another brother or sister. Such divides do not matter. Having the Lord Jesus in common and loving Him with all your heart does that. We are all part of His family.

        We were almost back to our church that night. Then our fun time in our big yellow school bus that became a church bus suddenly stopped. The engine died. It wouldn’t start. Now, though I was in my early twenties, I had already been completely immersed in the practical side of life and had many an untold number of such experiences with cars. I was used to having a car break down and was also used to finding a way to get it back on the road. If that didn’t work you dragged it off to a garage somewhere to get it fixed.

         It’s funny how I look back at those times now. We couldn’t afford wreckers. That was far too much a luxury. If your car broke down, you and a friend got a towing chain and set off on an adventure. If you didn’t have a chain you used a rope. It was not at all as easy as it may sound. A LOT could go wrong when you’re out on the road or a highway linked together like that. But it was cheap. In fact it was free. And that was a good thing, of course, because any other alternative meant doing nothing since it involved too much money already dedicated to other things.

         I say all that to set the scene for what was about to happen. Again, I was very familiar with the right way to go about doing whatever must be done to get a dead bus back on the road. But that night was different. It was different because I was different. I had recently become a born again believer and was fired up. I had just been in a powerful church service where the place was rocking. The preacher wasn’t some laid back drone going through the motions like you see in some churches, but an anointed minister of the Gospel who took the Lord seriously and believed in the miraculous. (You know, like a baby being born in a manger who happens to be God.) 

         So when the engine died and my natural inclination to go help fix what was wrong was supposed to kick in it didn’t kick in. I had a completely different mindset. I thought it was wrong to immediately respond in a practical manner with no regard for a spiritual effort. I felt it was time to be serious about the Lord! Didn’t He tell us to seek Him? I told the others we needed to pray about it. We needed to pray right away and ask the Lord to fix whatever was wrong. Silence… Crickets… Nobody said anything. I think they all knew they had to honor the sentiment of what I was expressing. They knew I was right but they also knew they better get out there and find the problem. I was having none of it. We were going to pray and the Lord was going to fix the old bus!

         It never happened. What I said was acknowledged somewhat but then ignored. A couple of guys quietly went outside to raise the hood. I couldn’t believe it. I got really angry. I got off the bus and began walking away. In the growing distance I heard it start up. They got the old yellow church bus running again pretty quickly. Maybe the Lord actually did do something. But by that time I was walking home. I wasn’t waiting for a ride back with my friend. While I’m out there not too far away on the highway still as angry as I could be my friend drove by to pick me up. I said forget it. Then he got angry. He drove on and I was left to my thoughts on a long walk back to my apartment. What in the world was I thinking? It’s pretty funny as I reflect back on it. I think the Lord enjoyed it all and probably got a good laugh. He understood, and He knew this was all part of the discipleship learning curve. I also think He was proud of me for thinking of Him first and taking a stand though the application left much to be desired.

         My behavior obviously was not the greatest, but I was serious about my new found faith. We see that same kind of behavior among the Lord’s own chosen ones in the gospels. It’s hilarious when it seems Peter wanted to fight everybody, for example. Those guys were always letting their unbridled masculinity run free. The cool thing about it all was that the Lord supported it. He made them that way. Sure, we must learn to channel it all correctly and He did jump their case on occasion, but Christian men should never allow for even a second the slightest effort toward religious emasculation. And if you want to know the one giant problem with organized Christianity, that’s it.  

        I certainly could have helped find the problem with that bus. You learn to do a lot regarding the fixing of cars when you’re young and you don’t have a lot of money. There are some of you reading this right now who have a practical need but no money to fix it. I understand. Sometimes, even though we are all so incredibly blessed as children of the Lord, we don’t have all that we need and must improvise or simply do without. But if we really believe in the Lord and what He can do, is there really a problem?

        Miracles are not practical. They also don’t happen automatically. They require faith. We must be serious. The Lord says this repeatedly in His Word and demonstrates it for us and proves it to be true. With Him, ALL things are possible. This is just fact. As a young man I was all gung ho for the Lord. I wanted us to pray about that old bus. I wanted to give the Lord the first opportunity to fix it. I knew He could. It would have been a great spiritual ending to a great spiritual night. But even though everybody there believed just as I did, no one agreed with what I felt we should do.

         Why is that? Why didn’t anyone else agree with me that we should at least pray first? I think we all know the answer. We must be practical when it is called for. There are times, though, when practical knowledge won’t work. Though we may be great at fixing things, there are times when it is beyond our ability and know-how to fix something. None of us are Superman. But the Lord is. And if the only way any particular follower of the Lord will actually engage in spiritual things is when all other practical possibilities are exhausted, I guess that’s okay. But wouldn’t it be best to be wise and seek Him first?

         This is the time of year when Christians the world over return to the beginning of the greatest story ever told—the one historical event that changes the spiritual direction and eternal destination of any person anywhere. The Lord Jesus can do anything. Anytime, anywhere, any place, under any conditions—there is nothing He cannot do. He has achieved mythological proportions for those few who actually see His life for what it is, yet most Christians can’t quite get there. This nonsense must stop. There is no such thing as practical-only Christianity. Real Christianity always requires the miraculous. The Lord will often put us in impossible situations just to prove it. Maybe you messed up or maybe someone else messed up or maybe no one messed up. Maybe it is simply the case that the Lord wants to bless you with a miracle. If you have a great need this Christmas and have no other way to make it happen, He can make it happen for you.

         It’s who He is. It’s what He does.

        And the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. [Matthew 2:9-11] [1]      

          © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


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

CHRISTIANS SLANDERING CHRISTIANS: WHAT PART OF “DO NOT JUDGE” DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND?

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       “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:37]

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        When the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees He didn’t name names. He didn’t slander individuals. But this has never stopped “Christians” from engaging in the practice. It began almost two thousand years ago and has never ceased. It continues today in a gross violation of the Lord’s Golden Rule.

         “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5]

THE SLANDER BRIGADE

        Christian history is filled with Christians attacking and slandering other Christians. In fact, some Christians have created “ministries” that do nothing more than malign other Christians and Christian groups. They have decided that they are worthy of doing this. For some bizarre reason, they consider themselves all-knowing experts and thus perfectly able to bring railing accusations against any Christian or Christian group that does not see or practice Christianity they way they do. This is the height of religious arrogance in that the practitioners thereof must assume they have all light and knowledge, and are therefore qualified to thumbs up or thumbs down any believer or group of believers of their choosing.

          Even though the Lord Jesus, on at least one recorded occasion, referred to a particular group of unbelieving Jews and Pharisees as “of your father the devil,” he was not engaging in personal condemnation. He LOVED these people and would have been overjoyed if they had repented. He was merely stating fact in defense of His own teachings after they attacked Him, in exactly the same way the Christian maligners attack those they think are heretics. He did this in a manner which exposed the accusing enemy who was intent on slandering His reputation, and who was hidden very well behind religious clothing and enjoyed a level of popular support.

           To sort this out, first consider the verse in question:

         “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:43-44]

          Now look at these verses:

         “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:17]   

         “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” [John 12:47-48]

SELF-SERVING HERETIC HUNTERS

         It is one thing to search for truth, find it, and attempt to share it. It is quite another thing to condemn Christians who appear deficient of it. Now pay attention to this:

         THE REJECTION OF THE LORD’S TRUTH CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.

         Each of us is walking in the light we have. Some of us are always trying to gain more light. Therefore, if one doesn’t yet have eyes to see everything he is supposed to see, he is never going to see until he gets eyes to see. They must want to see. No one can force them to see. Thus, our focus should be on helping each other “see.” If one does not yet “see” or doesn’t want to see we are commanded to love anyway. The best way the fault-finding heretic hunters can get right with the Lord is to go spend some time with the people they condemn and serve them. Proving one’s love is better than winning an argument.

         I recently saw a website in which a minister who was condemned by a heretic-hunter group actually responded to the article condemning him in a loving way. There was no eye-for-an-eye garbage or the ubiquitous condemnation return fire. This person was not condemning them though they were condemning him. I thought it very refreshing and it obviously let me know who was the better disciple. Regarding who believed what or who was teaching what didn’t matter in that instance. What mattered was obedience to the command of the Lord to love one another.

IT’S “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” NOT “CONDEMN YOUR NEIGHBOR”

         In the final analysis consider the fact that if someone actually does have all light and knows the teachings of the Lord by heart and fulfills them every second of every day, then that person would know who is right and who is wrong. But that person would also know there is a higher order of behavior toward one another and would never judge or condemn someone who knew less.

       Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8] [1]

        By their very behavior the slanderous heretic hunters are condemning themselves by violating the Lord’s Word. Without repentance for their wrongheaded actions His Word will judge them at the last day.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


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

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FAITHWALKERS OF GENESIS: SETH (2)

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       The birth of Seth, Adam’s third son, took place when Adam was 130 years old. For 130 years, the Messianic generational line was cut off. It was a time of rebellion and apostasy.

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         As stated in the previous post, Adam was in exile for a spiritually significant period of time after his banishment from the Garden of Eden. That time period was a multiple of the number 13. A study of Biblical numbers associates the number 13 with rebellion. Its first occurrence in Scripture is as follows:

         Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled. [Genesis 14:4]

       There is no doubt that the Lord affixes certain meanings to numbers and one can discover many truths using this method. The number 10 is characterized as ordinal perfection, or the perfection of Divine order. We see examples of this in the Ten Commandments and the tithe. Also, Noah was of the tenth generation listed in Scripture since Adam, and the ark builder represented the completed order of the antediluvian age. When the number 10 is combined by multiplication with the number representing rebellion, we arrive at the number 130, which is the number of years Adam spent out of fellowship with the Lord. When he returned, God marked the occasion with a new birth.

THE SECOND GENERATION: TRANSITIONING TO A NEW SPIRITUAL AGE

         When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. [Genesis 5:3]   

        The birth of Seth, listed in Genesis as the third son of Adam and Eve, represented a return to God after a long exile. Though there was no going back to the garden, Adam’s original nature was restored. This state of righteousness with God is indicated in the preceding verse—Adam’s new son Seth was made in his image, according to his own likeness, as Adam was originally created in God’s image. However, in looking closer at the numbers, we discover that Seth, though certainly righteous, bore the marks of spiritual suffering associated with being a transitional figure.

         Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. [Genesis 5:6-8]

        The transitional period from the birth of Seth to the birth of his son Enosh was 105 years. The multiples represented in this number are 3, 5, and 7 (3 x 5 x 7 = 105). These three significant numbers are the second, third and fourth primes. (Prime numbers are those whose only other multiple is 1.) They represent, in order, divine completeness or perfection (3), grace (5), and spiritual perfection (7). Thus, the 105 year period was marked by the spiritual meaning of these three numbers.

         The 105 years were completed with the birth of Enosh. Seth lived an additional 807 years after his son’s birth. The multiples of this number are 3 and 269 (3 x 269 = 807). These are both prime numbers. This may get a little tricky but stay with me. The Lord is showing us something substantial with these two multiples. We already know what the number 3 represents, but what about 269? This number is the 57th prime number. The number 57 also has two multiples and both are also prime numbers: 3 x 19 (what are the odds?).

      According to the Biblical number scholar E.W. Bullinger, the number 19 is closely associated with Seth’s mother Eve and also the suffering patriarch Job.

THE THIRD GENERATION: THE GREAT AWAKENING

         The number 19 gives one a clear indication of the life of Seth after the birth of his son Enosh. Also, when looking at the total number of years that Seth lived—912—we again discover the imprint of the number 19. Note that once more all multiples are primes: (24 x 3 x 19 = 912). This means there was a strong imprint of the same sufferings Job endured upon the entirety of Seth’s life.

         Remember, Seth was the restoration of the Messianic generational line after the death of Abel. There was therefore much spiritual warfare associated with his life. His lifetime was marked as a reformation-oriented, spiritually-challenging transition period between Adam’s spiritual renewal and the arrival of a new Great Awakening:

         To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:26] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

FAITHWALKERS OF GENESIS: ADAM (1)

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      Regarding what the Lord Jesus requires of Christians, we have the benefit of ancient Hebrew history. We can discover from their example the spiritual definition of obedience. We can know what honors the Lord and what does not.

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       The origin of what Biblical historians call Yahwism, which many centuries later developed into the rudimentary forms of early Judaism, began with a few solitary men wandering in vast open wilderness regions and barren deserts. The population of the planet was a small fraction of what it became in later ages, and a man could wander for great stretches and never see another. Such boundless open scenery and limitless night skies, ablaze with distant starlight and an ever-phasing meandering moon, set loose the imagination of these nomads and awakened cosmic wonder regarding Creation. Some paid more attention than others.

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND   

         Many centuries earlier, after the fall of Adam and Eve and their banishment from the garden, they wandered in the wilds for 130 years on a subsistence diet doing whatever they must to survive. They had been separated from God by sin and severed from communication with Him, and their own relationship with each other was no doubt often strained to the point of breaking. Every day brought another reminder of their calamitous disobedience and rebellion, and how the new god they had chosen had abandoned them soon after and caused disaster. Adding to their torment, Adam and Eve’s good son Abel, the one from whom the Messiah would have descended, had been murdered in his relative youth over a century before.

         Amid this dismal backdrop, we have a better understanding of the depressing condition of Adam’s protracted life in exile. After long decades of worry and introspection, and vainly seeking an unknown undiscoverable land of comfort and rest, if only a brief oasis, Adam at last surrendered. There in the midst of a stark and unforgiving landscape so unlike the wonderful abundant garden of his early memories, he found a place of repentance: He got right with God. As the fruit of obedience, joy returned, and they were immediately blessed:

         Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:25-26] [1]   

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

HOW TO ENTER THE DOOR OF ABUNDANCE

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      The Lord Jesus, God Himself, the Creator of the Universe, became a human being, just like us, but knew He would have the loneliest calling of all.

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         He also knew, in order to achieve His calling and get the job done, He would have to be last in all things.

OFF THE GRID 

         Since He created everything I think it is safe to say He knows how everything works. He also knows, in the spiritual realm, that the way up is down: 

         But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” [Mark 9:34-35]   

         Now, I can tell you with no hesitation that the Lord wanted to be first. He was already first before He got here and was determined to be first again. It was not a selfish motive, however, but the opposite. No one else could do the job and the Lord knew that. He took it upon Himself to humble Himself to the nth degree and do whatever it took to rescue us even if it meant living a very difficult but perfect life and then sacrificing it all at the end. He had to be first but also had to be last to get there. No one else could have done it. No one else qualified. Here is another example:

         And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.

         “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 14:7-11]  

         Now, consider the powerful ramifications of what the apostle Paul revealed in the following passage regarding the difficult path the Lord had chosen:

         He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]

CHOOSING TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH CHOSEN ONES

          Rather than actually strive for personal spiritual victory, some people who believe they will never be winners like to associate with those characterized as such, if at all possible, as a way to be around winning. Believing they will never be accepted, well-liked, admired, or popular, they strive to associate with the people who are. This is why so many people fawn over the few recognized prominent and distinguished among us. It starts in childhood. It gets ramped up in high school as a manifestation of the popularity contests which thrive in that environment. If one looks better than others, is more talented, or is simply more self-assured, one will rise in the ranks and be seen as better and more worthy of whatever accolades there may be. Many of these got a head start early on and probably always had a strong support group.

         The Lord had none of this, save for Joseph and Mary. He was obscure and most likely not attractive. He had no “charisma.” He was never seen as someone destined for greatness. He had decided all of this in advance. He would arrive as a nobody and people would often treat Him that way. He would never expect any special favors. He would be last:

         Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [Philippians 2:3-8]

         As you can see, the Lord decided He would take a totally opposite road of the so-called popular people and hupokritai. Rather than be a performing, stage-oriented glory hound seeking fame and money, He would instead strive to serve others and help them, and bless them. As a result, no one was more spiritually fruitful than the Lord Jesus. He planted Himself in death as a lonely rejected seed, the last and the only one there was.

         From such a humble beginning so long ago, the fruit of His ministry is still bringing forth a burgeoning, incessant, and abundant yield all over the planet to this day, and continues to increase. He started out last, became the Servant of all, and then gained first place in everything. This means He also became the only Door of salvation and eternal life. No one can get to heaven without Him.

         So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” [John 10:7-11] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

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         Every real Christian must make a difficult but rewarding decision. He or she must leave home and all that is familiar in order to enter the kingdom of the Lord.

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         This world is not my home I’m just a passing through

         My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue       

         The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

         And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore [1]

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         And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. [Exodus 2:22 KJV]

         Gershom was the firstborn son of Moses. Moses named his son after his current experience. He had arrived in a new land about a year before and was still trying to find his way. This was a man used to the high life and lofty standing of being the adopted grandson of the Egyptian Pharaoh. He went from prince to pauper in a fortnight and had to flee Egypt with his life on the line.

RUNNING ON EMPTY

         Never having time to catch his breath, he headed east across the blistering sands of Sinai and kept traveling onward toward the rising sun in his own early version of the Texan’s runaway scrape. “What happened to me?” he thought. A fleeing fugitive, sottish with fear and disillusionment, on the run from Egyptian justice, he had killed a man in a fierce fury after seeing a Hebrew kinsman being beaten up without mercy.

         One may wonder what God saw in an avenging man slayer but what He did see was a man who had great pride in his heritage. God saw him as a man who would go to bat for his people. But at that time, with sweat pouring and fright raging, Moses looked like anything but a hero.

THEN CAME MOSES

         He came into the land of Midian. These were distant relatives of his ancestor Abraham. Abraham was the first stranger in a strange land:

         “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you… [Genesis 23:4]  

         Girls were trying to water their flocks but the other shepherds kept running them off. In reading the historical text we find that this was an everyday occurrence. It always took these sisters much time to gain access to the well because of the others who were intent on hindering them. Sound familiar?

         And suddenly Moses was fighting for justice again. This was a powerful man, a man who demanded respect. He saw to it that the girl’s flock got their water and one can picture the other shepherds looking on from a distance knowing that there was something about the new stranger, that one better not mess with him, that one could see by that look in his eye that he meant business.

         The sisters went home and told their dad. Their dad jumped their case. “What is wrong with you! Go find him and bring him to dinner!” This began an entirely new chapter in the life of Moses. He married one of those sisters and when his son was born he still felt like a stranger in a strange land after a very strange turn of events. But regardless of the desert remoteness, his home a million miles away, and thoughts of palace living gone forever, the blessings kept flowing. The Lord had a plan.

         Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God… [Exodus 2:23] [2]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] This World Is Not My Home © 1952 by Albert E. Brumley, Acclaim Music

[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.

SALVATION OF JEWS WITHOUT JESUS? NOT ACCORDING TO MOSES AND PETER

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         “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]

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         Both of these men had sterling Hebrew credentials. The first, Moshe, was chosen by God as a prophet, deliverer of his people, and  lawgiver. Without Moses there would be no Hebrew nation.

         The second man, Peter, was chosen by the Lord Jesus as the man to whom He gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Peter’s name in Hebrew is Kefa, and his given Jewish name before the Lord changed it was Shim’on Bar-Yochanan. Peter used the kingdom keys on the first Day of Pentecost showing the way to salvation and as the central leader and spokesman of the early Jerusalem Church.

       Regarding Hebrew credentials, no one has more sterling credentials than the Lord Jesus Himself: A member of the Tribe of Judah, He is a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David.

THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME

         The New Covenant writers made it very clear that there is no salvation without Messiah Jesus (YeHoshua HaMashiach), as His very name means “YHWH-Salvation.” The apostle Paul (Sha’ul), a “Hebrew of Hebrews” in his own words, cites absolutely no distinction between Jews and Gentiles in his teachings regarding those in need of salvation:

       For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” [Romans 10:11-13]

         The entire Community of the Lord for the first seven to ten years of its existence after Pentecost was composed entirely of Jews. There were no Gentiles until the inclusion of an Italian named Cornelius, whose salvation came through the ministry of Peter, the historical account of which is listed in Acts Chapter 10.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JEWISH NATIONAL TITLES

         The first man called a Hebrew in Scripture was Abram (Genesis 14:13). In general terms, the descendants of the Patriarchs were known as Hebrews until the Conquest of Canaan under Joshua, after which they were known as Israelites. The nation was divided into two kingdoms after Solomon’s death, and the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were dispersed into permanent exile in 721BC and were slowly assimilated by other nations.

         The only remaining tribes of the original Israelite nation were Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, and these constituted the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The people of this Kingdom went into exile in Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 586BC. They were allowed to return to the land of Judah a half century later. Since the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah and because the three tribes composing it had somewhat maintained their distinct Israelite identity, the relatively small remainder of the original Hebrews/Israelites became known as Jews from that time forward.

MOSES PROPHESIES OF THE COMING KING

         “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well. I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.’” [Deuteronomy 18:15-19]   

         This prophecy and commandment delivered by Moses was referenced by Peter during the first days of the early Church when he spoke to a gathered crowd of Jews in Jerusalem right after the miraculous healing of the lame man:

         “Moses said, ‘THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’” [Acts 3:22-23]

          If someone polled Christians on whether or not they believed that the content of this Scriptural passage was true, many would say no. Of course, many would have never heard of it to begin with so it would appear foreign on two counts: On the first because a probable majority of Christians have never read the Book of Acts, and the second because they have been conditioned to believe that Jews can be saved without Jesus.

         But the Lord Jesus made it a point to anoint Peter to preach this word early on in the Church’s history and make a clear authoritative reference to Moses so all the Jews there would hear the truth.

THE BOLDNESS OF PETER AND THE SALVATION OF JEWS IN ACTION:

        “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.’ For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” [Acts 3:24-26]

         Many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. [Acts 4:4] [1]

         After the awesome display of the Lord’s miraculous healing of the lame man, the bold preaching of Peter, the massive salvation of thousands of Abraham’s descendants, and the powerful display of God’s love, the Jewish religious leaders showed up and threw Peter and John in jail.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

HOW YOUR PROVISION HAPPENS

         All real Christians have God-given talents and gifts, and are called into some form of ministry. Our purpose is to fulfill our callings. Here is how the Lord provides for us in that process:

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A VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION:

         The spiritual harvest brought forth by our work for the Lord is not the same as our personal compensation.

         Real Christians are noteworthy for putting the work of God first regardless of any recompense they may or may not receive at the time. They know the Lord will always provide but they don’t necessarily wait around for the provision when there is work to be done.

         Now, this must be explained a tad. The Lord Jesus never calls anyone into His work without taking caring of him or her. He always provides for His disciples. As I have written about on this site several times, when the Lord called His original twelve to leave all and join His ministry it also involved leaving their present means of making a living. He told those who were fishermen, for example, to drop their nets and follow Him. There is no way He would do this unless He had the wherewithal to provide for them through an alternative means, and this is key.

YOKED TOGETHER WITH THE LORD OUR PROVIDER

         For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. [1Corinthians 9:9-10]

         The Lord will always do His part. He will always provide His portion. Consider it this way: A real Christian is in covenant with the Lord. The two share the same yoke. The yoke will fit only two people [See my post: The Yoke’s On You].

         When two oxen are yoked together there must be time for these two massive and powerful animals to learn to work together. They are each independent with strong wills. The person who is plowing never wants to diminish the power of his oxen or emasculate them in any way for the sake of making them work together, as this only defeats the purpose. He does not want their strength reduced but if anything, he wants to maximize it. That is the entire point of attempting to yoke them together.

         The Lord Jesus does the same with each of us. Rather than regiment us and remove our personal power, strength, individual gifts, talents, personality, and independence (all of which He gave us when He made us) for the sake of conforming us to a very low common denominator, which causes us to become essentially spiritually worthless within a mass homogenized group (sound familiar?), He attempts instead to redirect us and put us in a place where all that we are may be utilized fully and where we can be fully developed and fulfilled.

         But in the beginning, before salvation, He knows each of us is otherwise hopelessly lost in sin and thoroughly compromised, so He first seeks to bring us to repentance, bless us with a new birth, wash away our sins, fill us with His Spirit and strength, and welcome us to His kingdom. This must start with our own personal hunger. We must seek Him. We must begin manifesting faith in Him. Of course, He is already seeking us and in fact sacrificed His very life for us, but unless we do our part anything He wants to do for us is rendered impossible.

         This is why each of us must also sacrifice our life for Him. This dynamic connects two lives sacrificed for the other, yoked together as a team, which makes possible the coming forth of great spiritual production and fruitfulness.

         Here is a simple way to see it: The Lord will always do His 50%. He is ever faithful. We must also be faithful and do our 50%. When a disciple does his or her 50%, which is something vitally necessary but often overlooked, then great and powerful things happen. We see then, that the reason such great and powerful things do not happen is because we are simply not doing our 50%. Consider the establishment of the 100% as that which brings forth the fruit of covenant.    

SOWING SPIRITUAL THINGS FIRST

         If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. [1Corinthians 9:11-15]

         I’m going to stop here and reveal the aforementioned distinction further. There are many ministers of the Gospel who consider themselves professionals. In other words, they see ministry as a career. They see it as a job. They will not perform their jobs without a paycheck. They also do their level best to cover themselves within society as legitimate members of society. They do not want to be seen as persons without standing. This is part of why they demand a salary and position. These people, which make up the majority of ministers, would never last a day working with Paul (he’d run ‘em off), which probably means they would last less than a day working with the Lord. Real ministers of the Gospel know they came into the world with nothing (that they had anything to do with), that they came into the kingdom the same way, and that they are incredibly fortunate to have any blessing beyond that.

         Real ministry is rigorous. It is not for those who make selfish demands. We are called as babes but must become spiritual adults ASAP or we will get wiped out in battle. Therefore, we must be fully trained by the Lord. The New Covenant writings explain very well what this training looks like. We are bought with a price. The Lord Jesus has purchased us with His own blood.

         Once we sign up we not only gain the benefits of living for God but we primarily gain the opportunity to work for Him and with Him according to His will and not our own. In other words, real ministry is not like going off to college and choosing a major or deciding on our own what job we want. The Lord has already decided those things. Our job is to say “YES SIR” and do what He says in accordance with the way He made us, and with respect for our individual giftings and callings. This is in part why Paul relays the following very hard but incredibly fruitful truth:

         For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.

         For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

         For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

         To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

         Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1Corinthians 9:16-24] [1]  

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THAT’S HYSTERICAL

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

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THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY

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

         They all said, “CRUCIFY HIM!”

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

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

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

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

THE DEMON WHISPERERS

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

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

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

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

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

THE POWER OF RELIGION

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

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

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

         The following ALWAYS applies to the real guys:

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

REVIVING THE DEATH CULT?

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

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

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

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] © Merriam-Webster

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

JESUS IS THE ONLY MESSIAH: Whoever Denies the Son Denies the Father

REVEALING THE ANTICHRIST

         For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.          

         Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

         If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. [2John:7-11]

EVIL DEEDS

         There are people in this world who insist one does not have to be in covenant with the Lord Jesus to be in covenant with God. The Word of God, however, makes it clear that one cannot possibly be in covenant with God if one is not in covenant with the Lord Jesus. Even most Christians are unclear on this concept. The enemy has muddied the waters and thus muddied their thinking, deceiving them into believing in something that does not exist. Many Christians are actually not in covenant with God even though they believe they are. Many others insist they are in covenant with God though they reject the Lord Jesus.

REAL COVENANT

         The promises of God only exist within a covenant relationship. If there is no covenant, the promises do not apply. The Word of God says that whoever does not have the Son does not have the Father, therefore one must be in covenant with the Lord Jesus in order for the promises to be active and applied.

         The New Covenant with the Lord Jesus is a blood covenant. He shed His perfect, precious blood for each member in covenant with Him. He gave everything He had for His people. He loved us before we ever loved Him and He proved it. We must also be in blood covenant with Him as He is with us, in that each of us must give a totality of our entire life to Him, including our entire heart.

         We begin the process of entering into covenant with Him, of beginning the new birth, by expressing belief in Him, by having faith. Faith must always come first. This faith, however, is a 100% faith. The covenant cannot work any other way. He gave all. He demands all from us.

         The second condition that must be fulfilled entirely is full repentance. Sin must be dealt with. Each person to enter the covenant with God, who is holy and pure, must also be holy and pure. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. Without the Lord Jesus one is still in sin. Period.

LOVE ON THE ROCKS

         To illustrate, imagine a man and woman about to become married but one partner refuses to give his or her entire heart to the marriage relationship. Imagine one of the partners insisting that he or she must keep their options open. It should be obvious that a marriage based on such a faulty foundation is doomed to fail. The reason many people enter into such relationships is because the uncommitted partner pretends to be committed and deceives the other partner.

         Many so-called Christians do exactly the same thing with the Lord. They enter into covenant on their terms and not His. Of course, He is not fooled. There is actually no covenant at all if it is not His covenant. He never agreed to the terms and never entered into it. Christians deceive themselves and are deceived by false leaders into believing in a false covenant and that they are in covenant with God when they are not. They do not have full faith in the Lord. They have never fully repented. They remain in their sins.

ONE WAY TO GOD

         No one is in covenant with God without being in covenant with the Lord Jesus. If one does not have the Son then one does not have the Father. One is either in full covenant with the Lord Jesus or one is not. There is no in-between and there are no exceptions. There exists only ONE New Covenant. It is a blood covenant. There is only one Son. There is only one Messiah. There is only one way to God.

         Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

COMPETING AGAINST THE LORD: “Churches” versus the Kingdom

         The Lord Jesus created one Church. It signifies the one Community of the Lord Jesus on the earth, composed of every real Christian. The word “church” is derived from the Greek Ekklesia and the Hebrew Qahal. The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is, of course, a spiritual kingdom. It has one King—the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last—YeHoshua HaMashiach.

        The moment a religious chartered institution, including an individual local “church,” is formally formed, it becomes a competing entity to the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. It creates a clergy-based leadership team almost always consisting of one man at the top of the pyramid who has been invested with the ultimate power to do whatever he deems appropriate within the bylaws. He usually has a church board, an elder staff, or a small committee of some sort that shares his power in a sense, but most of these are mere sycophants, or yes-man boards who do little more than support him, not much different at all from the way a pack of wolves will honor a single alpha male as pack leader and submit to him completely.

         When a man is invested with such power he is bound to fail the Lord’s commission, lead his people astray, and royally screw things up over time. It keeps happening over and over, but such Christians who support this format refuse to see that the set up is messed up and rather than change the faulty format they insist on forcing everyone to adhere to it as the ultimate “right thing to do.”

         In other words, a monster is created and rather than kill the monster they insist on supporting it regardless of cost or what it does to people, and whoever has a different opinion is run off or destroyed by said monster. The concept of spiritual peace and love as taught by the Master is thrown out the window and is used and referred to only in the abstract in order to save the man-made substitute.

         To illustrate the difference between religious institutions and the one Ekklesia, Qahal, or Community of the Lord, the Southern Baptist Convention is not the Kingdom but a competing entity. The Roman Catholic Church is not the Kingdom but a competing entity. A Pentecostal mega “church” is not the kingdom but a competing entity. These legal religious institutions may or may not have real Christians as members, but such members are often unclear on the concept of the Lord’s original intent and curriculum. Thus, they give too little honor to the Lord Jesus and too much honor to their chosen leaders, who are often compromised.        

JUDAS

         Judas would not last long in the vast majority of churches unless he made it to the leadership team. In fact, this is where Judas spirits usually end up. But rather than go after the leader as the original Judas did, the real Judas spirit, since it longs for power over people, wants to control the institution. In this sense it works with the leadership team over the congregation. All it needs to accomplish this is a willing leadership team.

         The very fact that the Lord Jesus instructed His real disciples to call no one the “leader” except Him, and that most Christians insist on doing otherwise, and that “pastors” love being called “leader” and revel in the authority it brings (though many will affect a faux humble attitude), proves that almost all Christians and Christian leaders insist on violating the following pure commands of the Lord:

           “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.

         “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

         “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. [Matthew 23:8-10]

         The preceding commands of the Lord Jesus in Matthew’s gospel are essentially no different than the first three of the Ten Commandments:

         Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” [Exodus 20:1-7]

         In the Matthew account the Lord Jesus clearly identifies Himself as (1) The only Teacher, (2) The only Father, and (3) The only Leader. In the Exodus account, YHWH Elohim clearly identifies Himself as the only God, which encapsulates everything that God is to His people, such as their loving Deliverer from bondage which always starts the process of salvation.

         But Christians in general are grossly confused by these clear facts. They are confused for a reason. They are confused because the very clear commands of the Lord Jesus regarding leadership and authority have been grossly violated. They refuse to see or even consider that He is indeed the only Teacher, Father, and Leader. As a result, they also grossly violate the first three of the Ten Commandments by making idols and worshipping them, and taking the Name of the Lord in vain:

         For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth… [Philippians 2:9-10]

         Because people have it stuck in their heads that an “idol” is a crude little ancient statue made of metal, wood, or stone representing some weird foreign deity and nothing else, they are blinded to the reality of what the Lord was teaching: The most fully evolved “idol” is a living human being. Hence—

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. [Matthew 23:8-10]

         We can add to this many other titles such as “reverend” and “pastor,” the latter of which is a pure corruption of a bad translation and appears only once in the NT. It should have been translated as shepherd. Most “pastors” love their title for obvious reasons, but are not true shepherds and in fact abhor the designation of shepherd due to its inferred lack of status, decorum, and authority. They do not want to be characterized as mere sheep herders off in a pasture somewhere with a stained robe and weathered stick.

         If Christians are waiting for reform in this area from the top, such reform will never arrive. We see by what happened to the Lord Jesus that challenging false leadership will be costly. They killed Him. In America, because we have laws against that sort of thing, false leadership resorts to chicken solutions like spreading false gossip and innuendo, blackballing, the use of supreme indifference, quiet hatred, and generally breaking every commandment of the Lord to attack His prophets and maintain personal power. All of this is done to prop up false leadership which proves further that it is false leadership, often infused with the power of a Judas spirit, which uses betrayal of the brethren as the means toward its highest goal: Power over them.

         “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” [Exodus 20:5-6] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

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

         “How in the world did Paul learn directly from the Lord since the Lord had already died, was resurrected, and went to heaven? How was it that Paul appropriated the Lord Jesus as his new and only Rabbi?”

.     .     .

         Most official ministers are not aware of how the Lord Jesus financed His ministry, and there is a very good reason for that. Actually two reasons. The first is a basic lack of knowledge, which is completely understandable in that most members of the clergy are taught by other clergyites in official Bible schools, seminaries, and colleges. Very few of these people learn spiritual truths as did the apostles and even Paul—directly from the Lord.

         This method is actually the New Testament model. One may learn the basics as a rookie in churches and Bible Studies from any number of sermons and teachings but at some point must graduate to higher spiritual learning. The apostles were certainly well-versed in Scripture prior to joining the Lord’s school, and the apostle Paul was likely the most well-versed, but these men had no knowledge of the spiritual things the Lord Jesus must teach them. It is why they were often such hard cases and gave off the appearance of being clueless though good-hearted Forrest Gumps. If it had been any of us it would have been the same.

         That’s why the general Christian clergy attitude is so defeating and backwards regarding higher Christian education. It is far too controlling, egg-headed, and dogmatic. It leaves little room for free thought. In case you may think I’m starting to drift here, I must remind all that the apostle Paul learned the Gospel directly from the Lord out in the desert somewhere. He never went to any official New Testament school. And in case one may think he was the exception, this was actually not the case. The Lord Jesus made it clear that He must be our only teacher:

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.” [Matthew 23:8]

         Regarding this fact, how in the world did Paul learn directly from the Lord since the Lord had already died, was resurrected, and went to heaven? How was it that Paul appropriated the Lord Jesus as his new and only Rabbi?

         For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

         But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:11-17]

         Official Bible schools, seminaries, Christian colleges, and churches are not as open and transparent as they purport to be. They are each agenda-based though this fact is often played down or concealed. Each of these institutions has their respective, unique, and exclusive teaching agenda. They each have their own distinctive curriculum and teaching format. Thus, one establishment will frequently disagree completely with another regarding doctrine, liturgy, or ecclesiastical infrastructure, which makes them contradictory!

          Because they are agenda-based and not purely New Testament-based, they will be lacking in some of the Lord’s teachings, will have introduced some of their own dogma which is not representative of the Lord’s teachings, and will thus not fulfill the Lord’s directive that He must be the only Teacher.

         Let me put it this way: Elementary school prepares us for junior high, which prepares us for high school, which prepares us for college or university if we get that far. Some go beyond this. A university degree thus prepares some students for master’s or doctoral programs. Therefore, as disciples of the Lord, it is understandable to learn the basics through lesser and general means.

         I know in my experience, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, I had an insatiable appetite for the Word of God. I was attending church services four times a week but was also doing the bulk of my reading and study on my own. It didn’t take me long to read the entire Bible. I was also engaged in much interaction with many different believers. I got familiar with different denominational beliefs. All of this served as great background and foundational learning. During that early time I also did what I could to buy books and slowly start building my library. All of this set the tone and served as vital prerequisites for greater learning directly from the Lord.

         This is where things get interesting. A disciple starts receiving revelation and learning that goes beyond the received education of most, simply because most Christians do one of the following:

  1. They do very little if any Bible reading or study on their own.
  2. They depend far too heavily on whatever preachers or teachers they submit to and rarely go beyond that agenda.
  3. They develop an attitude of suspicion and eventual criticism toward anything and anyone that is not fully ensconced within their own little Christian world.

         Regarding the latter, Christian schools of higher learning do exactly the same. Generally speaking, this does not mean that much good cannot be learned in such institutions or even in churches. The key is being led of the Lord Jesus. What is vitally necessary, then, if one is to progress as an effective and mature disciple and learn directly from the Lord, is that one must move on from basic convention at some point to arrive at that place of higher spiritual learning the Lord has for each of us.

         “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” [Proverbs 8:17] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

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

         “How was it possible that the Lord could just go up to men and call them into ministry, telling them to leave their jobs and livelihoods, without somehow taking care of them and their families financially?”

.     .     .

         Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” [Matthew 8:20]

         No one is more selfless and humble than the Lord Jesus.

         I have promoted a truth on this site in several posts and comments that I have never heard preached or taught anywhere else. It has to do with the Lord and money. How did He finance His ministry?

         Most Christians never consider this question. Here’s the bigger question, however: How was it possible that the Lord could just go up to men and call them into ministry, telling them to leave their jobs and livelihoods, without somehow taking care of them and their families financially? These men were all working very hard to make a living. Their wives and children needed them. How could they just drop everything and walk off with the Lord? Who would take care of their own?

         The reason this equation is a stumper and head-scratcher for many Christians is probably because they have been taught the Lord was poor. The preceding passage of Scripture seems to denote this: He had nowhere to lay His head. But the apostles, their wives, and their children had to be provided for during the Lord’s ministry and their simultaneous spiritual education. The necessary money was certainly not coming from the synagogues or other rabbis. This leaves only one possibility: It came from the Lord. It was He who had the money. There were later donations, of course, but He didn’t go around making collections of the vast sums He would need prior to His ministry.

         When one considers all the people He had to take care of, including as well older relatives dependent on these apostle families, the number is substantial. I’ve written before that it could be like it was when Jacob and his extended family moved to Egypt at the behest of Joseph. There were seventy people (Genesis 46:27). It was roughly the same with the Lord.

         In our day, we have what is virtually the very opposite: One man becomes a preacher and puts the onus on the many to provide for him. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The standard in the recent past was that a local preacher would take a church and receive the tithe. This was his understood entitlement. If the church was small he would not receive much and would have to work like everyone else to supplement his income. Larger churches had more money. You see where this is going…

         The only answer, then, for how the Lord was able to start His ministry from scratch and immediately stock it with chosen disciples was simply that He had to pay their way. He provided for them. This meant He had to have money. Where did He get it? HE EARNED IT. He worked very hard as a carpenter and builder until He was thirty years old. He took care of His mother and siblings after Joseph died. He saved His money for His later purpose in life.

         But He was also provided for as well, long before He could provide on His own. It was a picture of divine providence in which heaven was interspersing itself into the needs of humanity according to scriptural promise, investing in the One who would later give everything He had, when the One was very young…

         After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [Matthew 2:11] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

ANTI-DISCIPLESHIP: The Problem of Willful Immaturity

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

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

IGNORANCE IS BLINDNESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

One Fruit Two Fruit Good Fruit Bad Fruit

This one has a little star

This one has a little scar… (ouch!)

READER COMMENT:

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

LINK TO ARTICLE:

One Fruit Two Fruit Good Fruit Bad Fruit

The Price of Betrayal

READER COMMENTS:

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

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

LINK TO ARTICLE:

The Price of Betrayal

The Promise By Faith

READER COMMENTS:

         “This most definitely resonates!

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

LINK TO ARTICLE:

The Promise By Faith

WHERE IS THE LOVE? Identifying Christian Pharisees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW

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

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

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

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

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

          Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

DEFEATING THE RULER OF THIS WORLD: Christian Heroes and Villains

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

WARNING    

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

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

REJECTING TRUTH IS A SIN!

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

         This is what churches should look like:

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

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

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

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

THE BIGGER PROBLEM

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

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

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

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

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

THE RULER OF THIS WORLD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A VERY THICK GARMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAKEWORLD

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

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

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

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

THRESHING

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

WINNOWING

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

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

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

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

HEART CIRCUMCISION

         This requires what the Lord refers to as heart circumcision:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         This is what John meant when he said the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church  


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