To be a socially acceptable follower of the Lord Jesus, one must never stand up for Him the way He stood up for us. Those who do are cancelled by the culture. It is why traditional Christianity often bypasses the Lord and creates inoffensive derivatives so one can practice his faith safely and securely, largely beyond the reach of persecution, and maintain the desired worldly connections of wealth and social standing.
PROVING A CHRISTIAN’S AUTHENTICITY
What defines a real Christian? Is there a Biblical proof? How does anyone know who may be for real and who is merely posturing? To begin answering these questions, we actually have a treasure trove of New Testament tests to turn to. Keep in mind, however, that the Lord often employed parables, those wonderful story tales containing couched, embedded meanings revealing hard truth in a seemingly innocuous manner. Therefore, the answer we seek, which can only be derived from His teachings, wholly and exclusively, are often rejected by some due to an inability to understand His hidden connotations reserved only for those with “eyes to see.” The spiritually obtuse, whose perspective may also be marred by religious prejudice or predisposition, will thus likely never arrive at the correct definition.
The NT method for defining real Christians is also rejected based on (1) its perceived limited scope, in that extra-biblical references are excluded, and (2) its non-acceptance of mere traditional standards of socially acceptable behavior (actually a faux proof) which are believed by some to indicate virtuous intent though lacking actual NT familiarity and knowledge, most specifically of the Lord’s full curriculum.
In other words, defining a real Christian relates directly to one’s relationship with the Lord Jesus. If there is no actual relationship it is not possible that one is truly a Christian in the New Covenant sense, which is the only sense that matters in the spiritual realm. If there is a relationship, it is because a person made a decision to create one, meaning he not only said yes to the Lord’s invitation but fully accepted His predetermined terms (which apply to all and, of course, apply equally). This means a believer submits to New Covenant discipleship, subjects himself to the Lord’s entire curriculum, and does his best to learn it, know it, and apply it.
Based on these requirements, it is easy to see that the likely majority of those who profess Christianity are not actual disciples of the Lord simply because they do not fulfill the requisites thereof. Many, however, follow and obey the teachings of others who claim to follow the Lord, possess a willingness to accept doctrines that are not His, and subject themselves to traditional religious organizations claiming Christianity but which reject the Lord’s full standard. That many Christians are deceived makes no difference in the academic sense, and to claim ignorance speaks directly to one’s personal failure to have a personal relationship with Him, the lack of which is never the Lord’s fault.
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:27]
Though Christian discipleship is not easy, neither was the price paid to make it possible.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 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 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.
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] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Dear Readers: Thank you for all your support this year. I believe the content in this current series is indispensible regarding the coming Great Awakening in America. We must all grow closer to the Lord Jesus. He must be exalted in this nation. His real identity must be known. Christian persecution will continue rising in America in 2016 and we must all be prepared. Please help make this current series reach as many believers as possible. Be blessed!
“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM…” [John 8:28 NAB]
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]
The Lord Jesus warned us about heresy. When one studies His teachings intently without bias or preconceived religious notions, there is a constant theme running throughout His entire curriculum:
“I AM GOD.”
Now, right off the bat, many Christians have a problem with that. They do not consider the Lord Jesus to be God. But it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or believes if it disagrees with what the Lord Jesus taught. Consider the following:
“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” [Matthew 10:38]
It is impossible to be a real Christian without sacrificing one’s life for Him. The cross points directly to sacrifice. The Lord Jesus calls whoever would be His real follower to self sacrifice on a cross.
The cross He is talking about, though figurative, is absolutely necessary to the new life He desires to give us. Without one’s personal sacrifice upon a cross it is impossible to be a real Christian and have new life in Him.
In essence, unless one takes up his cross, he does not consider the Lord Jesus to be worthy of such a personal sacrifice.
This presents a problem, however, for those who want to be Christians but refuse to sacrifice their lives. The problem is solved by simply changing the rules regarding what it means to be a Christian. Changing the rules is actually changing the Lord’s teachings to suit one’s desires, which is exactly equivalent to denying the Lord Jesus.
And it is this denial of the Lord Jesus by not considering Him worthy that has spawned Unreal Christianity.
UNREAL CHRISTIANITY DENIES THE LORD JESUS
Yet, the majority of “Christians” are still unclear on the concept. They refuse to put the Lord Jesus in first place. There is one predominant reason for this:
When the classic “Trinity Doctrine” was invented and officially established THREE CENTURIES after the Lord Jesus taught His original followers, it established that the Lord Jesus was not Immanuel— “God with us”—but merely the second person of a three person union.
What is even stranger than this concept of a three person union is the belief that the second and third persons are somehow not as worthy or important as the first person, even though the classic trinity doctrine never states such a thing. It states that each of the three persons is completely equal to the other.
It also states that even though there are three persons, it does not mean there are three gods. It states there is only one God.
Later false teachings, however, which gave rise to predominant belief, state that it is only the first person who should be honored the most, who actually has the most power and authority, and who is the actual God. Where does that leave the second and third persons?
The first person then, according to this belief—the Father, or God the Father—is the actual God among the three persons. Thus, the proponents of the classic trinity doctrine break its own rules by giving the implication that the first person is greater than the other two persons, one of which is the Lord Jesus.
Thus, again, the second person—the Lord Jesus—is secondary to the first person, which is a complete destruction of the teachings of the Lord Jesus, who never taught anything even closely resembling a three person union in a “Godhead.”
The Lord Jesus never taught that God is three people.
What He actually taught was that we must give our lives to HIM. We must follow HIM. We must obey HIM. We must be HIS disciples. This obviously means HE must be in first place.
He never taught us to bypass HIM and follow the Father:
And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
“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.
“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” [John 12:23-26] 
1. One can never be glorified without first being crucified.
2. In order to be crucified one must take up one’s cross.
3. Unless a seed is planted in the earth and dies it remains merely a seed.
4. Each human being is a seed. A seed is worthless until it is planted.
5. Only seeds that are planted in the ground and die (are crucified) rise to new life and bring forth spiritual fruit.
6. The word “lose” in the above verse means to destroy, which means one who refuses to be planted as a seed in the effort to save his life actually chooses to destroy his life. It is only through destroying one’s old life (undergo real repentance) that one can rise again to new life.
7. The new spiritual birth demands an end to the life created by the first natural birth.
8. One will never serve the Lord Jesus, follow the Lord Jesus, be where the Lord Jesus is, or be worthy of the Lord Jesus without voluntarily submitting to real repentance and undergoing a new spiritual birth, which entails taking up one’s cross, which means sacrificing oneself for HIM.
He is worthy. He is God. He must be first.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
The way to life is through the door of death. A seed must be planted in the soil of death in order to bring forth new life. Unless one is born again (after dying) one will never enter the Kingdom of God.
What is this death?
The first mention of it in the Bible is the following:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” [Genesis 6:5-7]
The King James Version puts it this way:
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. [Genesis 6:6-7]
The door of death is repentance.
Personal repentance is therefore the part each individual plays regarding the one person he or she has full control over. When a person is convicted of personal sin through the light of the Gospel message, it is his or her opportunity to do just as God did in the above passage.
“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.” [John 12:24]
Prior to one’s born again experience, a person is spiritually worthless. He or she is a sinful entity deserving of death, or absolute death, as the wicked people of Noah’s time were deserving of extermination.
Imagine how gut-wrenching it must have been for God to wish He had never created human beings! He was sorry for it! He regretted it! If He had to do it all over again, He never would have created Adam and Eve. That is exactly what this passage reveals. It also reveals the absolute depravity of unrepentant humanity.
People are inherently sinful and wicked, and God hates this sin and wickedness. He was not only sorry for creating human beings, He owned up to it and did something about it. Except for one man whom God considered righteous and the seven members of his family, God destroyed the entirety of humanity.
And all those throughout history who have never properly repented will also be destroyed eventually.
But by His grace He has granted each of us one chance to escape proper, otherwise inescapable judgment. The default position is hell. Every human being who has ever lived will go straight to hell. You will not pass Go. You will not collect $200.
Unless you repent.
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” [Luke 13:1-5]
It is therefore incumbent upon each of us to repent, to die to ourselves, to crucify our flesh, and to “lose” our life:
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. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” [Luke 9:23-25]
This is a very misunderstood passage of Scripture. Many nominal Christians are either not aware of it or never apply it properly. It is another one of those “all or nothing” teachings of the Lord that demands real discipleship and true repentance.
The words “lose” and “loses” in the passage are from the Greek word apollumi, which means “to destroy.” It is the same Greek word found in the following verse, though translated directly:
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy (apollumi) both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:28]
This total soul and body destruction is what transpires when a human being suffers the final judgment in the lake of fire. It is the exact same destruction that must take place at repentance.
Now, this is obviously a very strong teaching that most Christians refuse to accept. The easy-believe crowd rejects it. Fake preachers never preach it. Soft denominational Christianity has discarded it long ago.
This is why most of those who call themselves “Christian” have never had a true born again experience:
“You MUST be born again.” [John 3:7]
There is no new birth if there is no real repentance, no destruction of one’s former life, no wholesale turning away from the life of sin and self, or no total subjection to the Lord Jesus.
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose (destroy) it, and he who has lost (destroyed) his life for My sake will find it.” [Matthew 10:37-39]
One will never discover one’s real life without destroying one’s sinful life.
The way of life is through the door of death.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1]