GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]
God ran two qualifying tests upon 32,000 prospective warriors. The vast majority failed. What are God’s qualifying tests regarding the New Covenant?
There are Christians in the world who believe being a Christian is no big deal. The vast majority of Christians have never done much to differentiate themselves from the world. They are Christians only in the cultural sense. Their parents were likely Christians of a particular denomination and they merely became adherents of the same only because it was the group their parents and family belonged to. They were simply raised that way. It is often the case that these denominational connections go back several generations.
Some denominations are more authoritarian than others and thus engage in greater enforcement through the application of greater religious control, indoctrination, intimidation, and even fear. These methods have always worked extremely well and are in part why the most populous Christian denominations have such great numbers. And it also helps, of course, to have been around a very long time.
The major Christian denominations have been around for centuries. One would like to think their great numbers must be due to their acceptance of the Gospel and its propagation. Their success, however, is not necessarily because they have historically stood for the original teachings of the Lord Jesus but because they have stressed certain teachings to the exclusion of others, watered down His teachings, and even appropriated different “gospels” to suit their cause. One should think, regarding this, that their cause should have been serving the Lord Jesus and honoring His Gospel:
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! [Galatians 1:6-9]
When one particular denomination gained the upper hand many centuries ago it did so largely through executive fiat and forced conversions. It became illegal to belong to any other Christian denomination than the one they set forth as the “legitimate” one. In other words, only one denomination was ruled the official one and all others were forced to disband or they would be persecuted until they did. This meant that not only the then existing few Christian offshoots that gained a following but also contained gross error were declared illegal, it also meant real Christianity was declared illegal. Why? Because the real Christianity of the early to middle first century created by the Lord Jesus and embraced by the first Christians had come to look so different from what became the mainline syncretic denomination of three centuries later that both could not possibly exist together in harmony. There were far too many differences. It was also impossible to achieve their goals using the Lord’s methods.
Hence, the real was rejected and a form of the unreal was embraced. Whereas the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to take the real Gospel into the entire world and allow each person the freedom to arrive at a personal decision one way or the other, the predominant Christian denomination went into the world as a conquering religious juggernaut with a decided imperialist character often in direct competition against the Lord.
The great Protestant Reformation, peopled by those who protested against the gross illegalities, false doctrines, rampant authoritarianism, and rejection of the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus and the early church by “official” Christianity, made great strides toward reform and correction. A great part of their success was due to the relatively new Gutenberg Printing Press, invented circa 1450, that made it possible to get the written Word of God into the hands of individual believers. The Word of God had been completely unavailable to Christians for a great many centuries and these believers had no choice but to trust the extremely few ecclesiastics in power that had access to it. Rather than make the Word available they had done the opposite. They closed it off to all and used the lack of the Word of God as a control mechanism. They made sure it was never translated into the native tongues of all those “conquered” by forced conversions. The written Word of God was retained only in the official language of the denomination. In order to have access to it, one would have to be a member in perfect standing, have the proper education, and participate in every initiatory and maintenance rite demanded. This, of course, eliminated 99% of the population. An ignorant, illiterate, and fearful population was absolutely perfect for controlling and dictating to and the masters of such were able to maintain “Christian” religious control for a very long time.
Sadly, the new Protestant denominations eventually also engaged in some of the same corrupt practices of the former to varying degrees. They also discovered it was impossible to control people according to the Lord’s teachings and if they would have any success in the world they must make allowances for authoritarian control also. Those Christian denominations which have existed for so long have thus done an excellent job of growing and maintaining their organizations. This, of course, does not mean they are right according to the Lord’s standard. It only means they have excelled in gaining religious market share, kind of like the successful ministers on Christian TV.
CORRUPTION IS PROGRESSIVE
The Lord’s standard is perfect. His standard perfectly agrees with His teachings and the early historical record. The application of His standard allows for Truth and spiritual purity, and keeps incorrectness and corruption at bay. But as in everything else, if not subjected to ongoing correcting and cleansing, corruption only grows and metastasizes over time. The reason why is otherwise easy to understand but cannot be grasped when one is deceived or under the heavy thumb of religious potentates. If corruption is never properly addressed or allowed to be opposed, and if righteous opposition forces are continually overcome, then corruption will not only remain but flourish. It will increase. It will eventually reach a point of full corruption and darkness. And because the hubris and arrogance of the leaders within it grows as well, corrupt organizations become, in their own estimation, bulletproof and beyond censure. They feel they are so superior and powerful they can never be defeated.
They then begin to lower their guard. They fail to understand that initially buying into corruption for whatever reason allows for corruption to spread unchecked throughout the entire organization. The corruption extends to a corruption in decision making. The organizational unifying adhesive begins to fail. Then communications start to break down. Fissures appear. Light shines into the fissures. Light exposes the corruption. And just as sunshine is the best disinfectant, Light begins its cleansing action. A few insiders previously under the entrancement of the outwardly legitimate organization start seeing the oozing gunk leaching out in fissures everywhere and reach a point of great awakening. The blinders come off. They see the masquerade for what it is. They wake up to the ruse and become animated toward correction. They cease being part of the problem and become part of the solution. This is why most of the great Christian reformers were previously members of corrupt Christian denominations.
This is the world we live in. Despite its fallen nature it is still a world of both darkness and light and not darkness alone. Though darkness may thrive for a time, the light will eventually expose it. Great people, those who act as did the Lord, understand that the Truth of the real Gospel must go forth and are willing to take on the spiritual fight and do the will of God. These people are always grossly outnumbered in the beginning. Many of them pay dearly. They will lose their good reputations. They may lose their earthly goods. They may even pay the ultimate price. This is what happens when the corrupt majority turns against them. Sound familiar? But the only other choice is to let darkness prevail.
That the majority of the world is wimpy in this regard and refuses to fight the enemy does not mean the enemy cannot be successfully fought. The Lord Jesus proved this. The Early Church proved it. Untold millions were saved from sin and the dominance of evil. They kicked demonic backsides and took their names. This was and remains the Lord’s approach. But for those Christian organizations that refuse the Lord’s full program and have no desire or ability to fight the enemy, but instead have a lust for control, power, worldly wealth, and prestige, they simply join up with the enemy. And the enemy accommodates them.
Remember, it is the Gideon Paradigm. The Lord always proved the majority is wrong. The majority is always fearful. The majority will always oppose Him. The majority chooses the broad way that leads to destruction. Thus, if one is not willing to face off against the majority then one simply cannot be His disciple. And if one looks the other way and refuses to bring the necessary reforms and corrections to oneself and one’s own Christian denomination and would rather exist as a nameless nobody within a fearful, compliant, corrupt majority, then one can call himself a Christian all he wants to. As long as he stays within his member denomination as part of the non-reform corrupt majority and maintains the support of the majority as his proof of right standing with God, he may prolong the charade but will never fool the Lord.
Reasonable people would agree that it would be far better to actually get right with God in the here and now according to God’s requirements than face Him at the Judgment unprepared, even though one may have been falsely granted full commendation and approval by his member denomination. It should be obvious that trusting the Lord and His teachings regarding one’s soul is better that trusting one’s Christian guru. Christian denominations cannot dictate right standing with God and cannot confer righteousness by one’s mere good standing within them. Nevertheless, the majority of Christians would rather have right standing within their Christian social circles and overall culture than have right standing with God. And in case there is any confusion on this matter, actual spiritual righteousness is a gift. It cannot be falsely appropriated or earned. It was bought with a price. It was obtained by a great Sacrifice. The only way one will ever receive actual righteousness is by submitting 100% to the Lord Jesus. Substitutes will never qualify.
CHRISTIAN QUALIFYING TESTS
Rather than spell this out I will direct your attention to Acts Chapters 2. I stated in Part 5 of this series that of the many thousands who heard His teachings and followed Him during His ministry, He only chose 120 for the Upper Room. These 120 individuals had to be qualified for the honor. That only 120 did qualify suggests costly requirements. It further suggests that many desired to be disciples and tried to be disciples but were unwilling to be the disciples the Lord needed them to be. When one considers the absolute miracle of Pentecost one must also consider the absolute miracle that the 120 not only obeyed the Lord Jesus in full but got along with one another perfectly. They demonstrated the love of God. They were each willing to become brand new solid and strong empty vessels to be filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit.
Based on Luke’s historical record, the 120 Upper Roomers passed the following universal tests:
1. 100% faithfulness and obedience toward the Lord Jesus, their recognition of His atoning death as the complete and only payment for all sin, their acceptance of His full teaching and discipleship curriculum, and their absolute belief in His resurrection from the dead.
2. 100% repentance of personal sin and a full turning away from sin and their former life to their new life in the Lord.
3. 100% immersion in water invoking the Name of Jesus the Messiah, their only Master and Savior.
We know these were the initial tests in part because it is exactly what Peter preached by the anointing of the Holy Spirit right after he and the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit. Whoever would thus become a member of the Body of Christ must do as they did and meet the standard the Lord put forth. This standard was consistent throughout the early historical record in the Book of Acts and New Covenant Scriptures and all the early believers held it in common and were also filled with the Holy Spirit in the same manner.
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:38] 
© 2021 by RJ 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.
“You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:9]
“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]
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.
 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.
He didn’t read the fine print.
The New Testament is the fine print. It includes anything and everything one must know in order to secure one’s heavenly eternity. It includes primarily the unabridged original teachings of the Lord Jesus. It also includes the first Christian history book explaining in full detail exactly what it means to be a real Christian by seeing Real Christianity in action. The New Testament includes as well several preserved letters of correspondence and teaching explaining in great detail the actual teachings of original first century Christianity, most of which were written by Paul the apostle, who was also the best teacher of the early Christian Community.
The early believers paid close attention to the Lord’s teachings. In their mature state they followed them to the nth degree. But this did not make them legalistic like the later dogmatic DAs of Unreal Christianity who, like the Pharisees, loved legalism and forced indoctrination. They majored on the letter (though they didn’t follow it) but disdained and rejected the Spirit. Paul said this:
Our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. [2Corinthians 3:5-6]
Those who major on the letter refused to be filled with the Spirit as per the Lord’s command. They will not walk in the Spirit, teach the Spirit, or be empowered by the Spirit. Consequently they walk around like religious zombies in new suits while deluding the world into following the dead faux forms of Christianity which the world is deceived into believing are the real thing. They also work very hard at attempting to make the real thing appear illegitimate.
Some people, however, can see right through religious camouflage. Apparently, most people cannot. Thus, most Christians in the world do not follow the Lord Jesus; they follow their own pastors, ministers, reverends, denominational hierarchies, and etc. The more of a following the substitutes get the more powerful they become and the more easy it becomes to spout their false Christian teachings.
SO WE ARE WHAT WE ARE WHY?
There are a few people, and only a few, who manage to discover the roots of their particular denomination. If they remain loyal to their denomination that’s as far as they go. If one is a Protestant, that is, a religious descendant of those who fiercely protested against the Roman Catholics, his roots go back about five hundred years at the most. If one is Catholic, his roots go back to Constantine in the early fourth century. That’s about seventeen hundred years ago. Of course, the Lord Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago. Wouldn’t it be smart to just keep going back until arriving at the source?
“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] 
Of course, the vast majority of Protestants and Catholics have absolutely no idea of their actual denominational roots, nor do they care to put any effort into discovering them. Denominational lifers are what they are for various reasons, none of which has anything to do with actually following the Lord Jesus. Why? Because when one actually begins following the Lord Jesus one will intently read all of His teachings and then begin studying His teachings in-depth. When one does this he will find discrepancies between the Lord’s teachings and those of his church or denomination. He will then seek answers for why this is so. His innocent queries will inevitably lead to the leadership. The leadership will then downplay such questions and attempt to further circle the wagons around the straying sheep in an effort to get him back into the denominational corral. This often works. Those who succumb are doomed to being longtime members of a mere religious club who care more for social inclusiveness rather than the Lord’s truth.
Though they start out great following the early truth trail they get cut off at the pass by the religious chucklehead posse.
They then become denominational Christians in which their own denominational teachings always trump the pure teachings of the Lord. Whenever questions arise they never ask “What did Jesus teach?” Instead, they ask, “What does my church teach?” Or “What does the Pope teach? Or Martin Luther, or John Calvin, or John Wesley, or Fatboy, or Smiley. Or “What does my own pastor teach?”
Of course, all of these people are mere men but judging by their fawners they are worshipped as deities. They are never questioned. Questioning one’s pastor is the new unforgiveable sin. It only works in that tiny location, however. When you walk away and shake the dust off your feet you get to be “saved again” and discover the Lord still loves you. You also rediscover cool things like eyesight and liberty and sunshine and places where seldom is heard a discouraging word.
For a New Testament illustration regarding what happens to people who actually question the leadership or particular church doctrines, there is that which happened to the Lord and pretty much all of His early followers: If one was a member of a local synagogue and everyone there did everything they were told to do by the leadership and believed everything they were supposed to believe, then all parties, especially the leadership, were all smiles. It was a quasi-contented and quiet place though there was likely a massive cloud of fear just under the surface. All the good guys—the no power or influence members who desired truth and love—were scared spitless to speak or act or move in any such way which may be rendered religiously incorrect because they knew their entire lives were built on being members in good standing. And that meant following the controllers 100%. There was no independence of thought or seeking of truth. There was certainly no liberty in the Spirit. There was only a sad and spineless kowtowing to “the leadership.”
When one stepped out of line, those beautiful contented costumed clergy boys were suddenly transformed into stark raving mad lunatics who wanted to abuse, maim, and kill. They always had rocks very handy at their disposal.
Does this sound familiar? Because it also accurately describes roughly 90% of Christian “churches.” It used to be that they would disfellowship a person in a nano second but seeing the error of their ways and that it too easily revealed themselves as the Christian Pharisees they were, they reverted to the tried and true Silently Disparage, Gossip About, Reject From Fellowship and Communication, and Treat Indifferently Method. This works just as well and allows the good members thereof to practice world class Holier-Than-Thou smugness. You know, just like the Lord did.
SOMETIMES, TRUTH IS SO INCONVENIENT
The reason so many of these kinds of Christians are so apathetic toward the Lord’s teachings is because it doesn’t matter anyway. They are all told what to believe. They can only legally believe what they are told. If they divert from that they bump up against the edges of their party boundaries. Many therefore refuse even an attempt to seek further Biblical truth because they may inconveniently discover greatly discomforting facts which depreciate the investment in their chosen religious culture. This could in turn cause a weakening of one’s personal foundation and social standing. What then?
In the words of Luke Skywalker, “NO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O…!”
© 2019 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.
THE WORD OF THE YEAR
Dictionary.com has chosen the word Identity as its 2015 word of the year.
Miriam-Webster’s word of the year isn’t a word—it’s a suffix: -ism
The word looked up most often was Socialism.
FRACTURING THE POPULACE
I haven’t done much research on why such words were chosen but their choices are appropriate regarding the further push by several groups toward fracturing the American populace through identity politics.
The accuracy of these choices reflects the ongoing overly selfish attitudes of current agendas and movements, and an ever-growing rejection of practicing the Golden Rule:
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 22:35-40]
The overwhelming advancing avalanche of ubiquitous social media over the last few years has actually resulted in the very opposite of a cohesive society. Rather than the long-held acceptance of a national American identity in which one is proud of one’s country, America is being destroyed from within through the social suicide of societal conflict and internecine warfare.
Imagine the members of a professional baseball team suddenly turning on one another on the field of play with fights breaking out between individual players of the same squad. Instead of the usual bench-clearing brawl when members of opposing teams fight each other to protect one’s teammates, what is currently taking place in America is the equivalent of teammates fighting one another toward the complete destruction of the team.
The promotion of the individual member over the team constitutes no team and an impossibility of success. While it is true that individual rights are sacred and America is a very diverse country, it does not mean that the interests of the individual must always rule over and rule out the social construct of the nation since such aberrant behavior will only result in the eventual destruction of the society itself. We must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We may all believe different things but must also believe in national unity. And national unity must never be coerced.
THE COMMUNITY OF THE LORD JESUS
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase. [Acts 9:31]
The only unity that will survive all attacks against it from both within and without is the community created 2,000 years ago by the Lord Jesus. It is a union based on love and respect for both the Lord first and for one another. It is held together by the Spirit of God. When individual members go beyond their individual mandates, divisions will appear which must be healed. Such healing is always possible through the promotion of the community itself but never against the rights of the individual.
THE COMMUNITY IS ONLY AS STRONG AS IT’S INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS
However, this never means that each individual must be coerced into forced compliance and come under strong-armed religious control, since such an agenda will result in the complete ineffectiveness of each person who is called and gifted by the Lord.
There must be balance. There must be harmony. The individual members of the Lord’s community are called to love and serve one another and this necessitates a humble attitude shared by all.
We are currently seeing the opposite of this attitude in America within virtually every segment of society. It obviously includes “Christian” segments, which are often the worst violators. Christian denominations have been some of the worst violators of spiritual community in history and their legacy lives on in the present. Most “Christian” churches are obvious violators of individual spiritual freedom in that they not only coerce everyone to obey their false religious programs but refuse the authority of the Lord Jesus as well. The Lord’s sheep are supposed to follow HIM and real Christians do because they each recognize the Lord Jesus as their Shepherd.
“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” [John 10:2-5]
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me…” [John 10:27]
THOSE MOST GUILTY OF DESTROYING THE LORD’S COMMUNITY
Most “Christians,” however, have chosen other shepherds to follow, and honor them instead of the Lord Jesus. Ultimate blame for the breaking up of the nation can be laid in part on such false and powerless “Christian” religious models with counterfeit leaders which possess only superficial community and which effectively destroy real spiritual unity. Regarding the present fracturing of America, Unreal Christianity has set an excellent example toward that end. Nothing good will come of such social and spiritual unraveling through the promotion and glorification of religious strong men.
Identity politics might have had a somewhat meaningful and necessary beginning forty years ago, but it has resulted at present in nothing more than a ripping apart of the American fabric. It causes governmental force to increase to protect society overall and such government overreach eventually destroys all individual rights. Therefore, there is no doubt that such societal division is being fostered and promoted by elite powers hiding behind the curtain, whose goal is to destroy the abilities and means of free individuals to maintain their individual liberty, strength, and abilities, and who would otherwise create a greater community to overcome their evil machinations.
WHY DO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES LOOK AND ACT LIKE MEGA CHURCH PASTORS?
The strong man is taking over. But this exact dynamic has already taken place among the majority of “Christian” churches and ministries. Think about that when considering the origins and rise of the antichrist.
A slow motion explosion, based on false identity politics, is our current track. It began several years ago with an outbreak of narcissism based on false praise for all, regardless of their lack of meaningful individual accomplishment which would otherwise promote proper praise.
It ends when such recipients of false praise promote one of their own—THE ULTIMATE DESTRUCTIVE NARCISSIST, as has already happened in part and will continue—since they identify with such a one, and thus promote the strong man toward the destruction of society.
Such social engineering never works. Such societies and communities always destroy themselves.
And though the coming antichrist will achieve his long desired One World Government, One World Economy, One World Religion, and One World Everything Else sitting as the god of this orb high atop his pyramid, his evil kingdom won’t last long. Ruin always follows such hubris.
And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” [Luke 10:18] 
The seeds of destruction germinate best in the -isms of lies, pride, and me-first identities.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The great blessing of this blog is communicating with so many awesome people hard at work for the Lord Jesus! Very encouraging! Thanks to all of you for reading.
Real Christianity is now four years old. I have posted 280 articles.
You can locate every article prior to this year through the above Article Archives tab, organized both by category and calendar year.
There is also the Reader Favorites tab right next to it listing links to the 30 most popular articles.
All 2015 posts are in the Latest Articles—Feed Your Spirit column to the left (scroll down).
On the top left is the About the Book tab which gives a brief description of the book I wrote that this blog is named after, as well as many comments.
Speaking of which, there have been many excellent comments made by you guys through the years, including as of late, which are greatly appreciated. Actual real Christianity involves real community and all of us must communicate what the Lord has put on our hearts. The one rule I have is obey the Golden Rule.
In my recent posts we have discussed the presence of spiritual strongholds and spiritual blindness. Loyalty is a great quality but loyalty to the wrong thing will cut one off from greater truth. One way or the other, for the real Christian and dedicated disciple, the Lord Jesus will eventually strip away everything from one’s knowledge base that is not true. THAT is a painful process. But much more painful is the loss of brothers and sisters who refuse the process.
This dynamic is certainly Biblical. God sent prophets to correct Israel and Israel responded most often by killing them. Yikes. That’s a fine how do you do. We see it in the New Covenant also in the life of Paul, who suffered greatly at the hands of detractors. We apparently must be reminded continuously that all the original apostles except John died violent deaths at the hands of spiritual enemies, and this, of course, happened to the Founder as well. It is apparent they always put truth above togetherness, which is not at all the same thing as New Covenant fellowship, or koinonia.
Perhaps that is why most Christians settle into denominations and/or denominational beliefs and forego the journey into greater truth and a closer walk with the Lord. Perhaps most Christians would rather surround themselves with a congregation of “like-minded” believers. The spiritual frontier is tough, and rejecting the spiritual frontier for a comfortable parlor back east is more socially acceptable. Rejecting an ever greater understanding of the Lord’s real curriculum—the real Word of God—that is not added to and subtracted from by religionists with an opposing agenda is much more comfortable.
And then there is the absolute unwillingness to do the equivalent of what the rich young ruler was supposed to do. The Lord told him to sell everything he had and give the money to the poor and the man refused. So do Christians refuse the fact that they or their leaders, dead or alive, are wrong in some way. They would rather support a false belief and the mere humans who inspired them than scrap it all and learn directly from the Lord Jesus. Why is there this all-consuming need to stay grabbed on to a deteriorating life raft in a stormy sea while continuously rejecting the Lord’s seaworthy ship?
It has been said that the price of freedom is death. Not only will the TRUTH make one free, it will also cause spiritual attacks, some quite severe. It caused the Lord’s death, but praise God He didn’t stay dead, and because He rose again we can all rise again, both in the here and now and forever.
The TRUTH will cause backbiting, slander, gossip, and rejection. It will bring about a strong reaction from evil, unregenerate flesh. The flesh hates the TRUTH and is convicted easily. Most people would rather rage against the TRUTH, fight it, and go to hell than surrender to the Lord.
There are a few well-intentioned Christians who think the receivers of these evil things are somehow responsible or have a screw loose, as they take a purely non-spiritual approach to perceived remedies. Their arrogance is solid, often off the scale, and they are sold out to any number of false diagnoses and relative witch doctor remedies.
“Tell me, Jesus. How does it make it you feel when people hate you? Ahem, ahem… Does it bother you that people think you’re fake? Ahem, ahem…”
But the Lord Jesus stated very clearly that whatever His enemies do to Him they will do to His disciples. It is therefore not the fault of the disciple to be the recipient of evil. It goes with the territory.
It is enlightening to know that the Lord Jesus was and is rejected more than any man. During His time among us He was:
- Accused of being an illegitimate child
- Accused of being a glutton
- Accused of being a drunk
- Accused of being crazy, including by His own mother and siblings
- Severely second-guessed by none other than John the Immerser
- Accused of being demon-possessed
- Accused of being a false prophet
- Accused of being a false teacher
- Accused of being a false messiah
- Rejected by everyone, including His own disciples and close apostles
- Rejected by the entire religious establishment
- Rejected by His nation
- Rejected by the world
- Killed illegally by demon-possessed religionists whose father was the devil and who did everything in their power to rid the world of Him, including lying, cheating, character-assassination, and threatening Pilate to the point that the otherwise very strong man and Roman leader was reduced to a wimpy sissy completely under their demonic thumb. Their power trumped Roman power. Think about that.
We could go on. The point here is that the devil threw everything he had at the Lord and not only did none of it work and never stopped Him, the Lord actually worked that much harder and fought all the more so that we could all be set free from the evil around us.
He was thinking of you and me.
Regardless of everything against Him, HE WON THE VICTORY.
He never quit, would never quit, and walked right through all the sordid slinging flying garbage and innuendo that came His way to the great disillusionment of His many detractors. They wanted Him STOPPED but could not get the job done and it frustrated and scared them to no end.
Therefore, one of the clear marks of a real Christian must be the same. One must have the same experiences. And one must overcome them all.
We are fighting a spiritual war. If you want the Lord to be proud of you, you must fight. You must go forward. You must attack the enemy. You must overcome. You must do the job He put you here to do. And we will overcome if we do things His way, even in the face of the most vile and disgusting attacks, often at the hands of “friends.”
The Lord found out who His friends were. They were the ones who repented. They were the ones who returned. They were among the relative few who showed up for Pentecost. They were the ones who put their lives on the line.
We are getting closer to a time of Christian persecution in America like this country has never seen. We are also getting closer to the greatest Great Awakening this country has ever seen.
You must remember, though, how things will go. At first, many people will appreciate it. Then, with the advance of greater truth, the resulting conviction, and the lack of desire to repent and accept the TRUTH, they will begin to get miffed. Then, they will do an about face and turn on you like a rabid dog. This process is perfectly captured in the following account:
And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’”
And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.
“But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. [Luke 4:22-29]
They loved Him and spoke well of Him but moments later tried to kill Him. Go figure. They failed to kill Him then and failed in every other attempt also. They only succeeded in finally murdering Him because He allowed it FOR THE SAKE OF OUR SALVATION.
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” [Luke 6:26] 
At some point, a Christian will have to make this connection and figure it out. Until then, such a one is subjected to deception by false prophets (alive or dead).
Whatever the case, I am most thankful for all of you. We have much to do. May the Lord Jesus bless you abundantly.
If you’re interested in gaining some perspective regarding the last four years, I’ve included links to each prior anniversary, as follows. Thanks.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Formerly, truth shone like the sun.
There was no denying it. It stood forth for all to see, and all could see, and all did see.
There was never any thought of questioning something so perfectly, starkly, and prodigiously shining forth.
Truth was like Everest or the Pacific or the vast blue sky above. It was the fruited plain that stretched from horizon to horizon, north to south, and east to west. It had no actual boundaries.
And it was free.
But then, slowly, terribly, a grey darkness drifted in, ever so slightly, deceiving, conniving, covering up, shading, equivocating, and probing—not against the truth, but against the perception of it. For it was perception that mattered.
In other words, one cannot actually question Mount Everest or the Pacific Ocean. But one can question one’s perception of Mount Everest or the Pacific Ocean.
Do they really exist?
How do you know?
Why are you so sure?
Do you just take everything you are told as a given?
Are you so gullible?
Can you not think for yourself?
The darkness, actually a light shade of grey, became somewhat darker. As those who questioned obvious truth became increasingly more perplexed, though they had not been previously, and though they had also shined bright like the sun in innocence and pure faith and love, with glowing smiles and clear consciences, and no reason to worry, their souls also became darker.
Then they became foolish. They eventually became idiots. Truth became lost to them and they became wise only in their own eyes, and they grouped themselves together in communities of ignorance, and they began practicing very strange behavior, and engaging in increasingly horrendous deeds.
They fell completely out of their first estate and tumbled down several spiritual echelons until they were no longer spirit at all but pure animalistic purveyors and practitioners of evil most foul and most dark.
And they liked it.
And they built religious communities and claimed the discovery of new truth and truths and new light and new ways of seeing things and new perspectives with new allowances and laws and manners of living, and they taught them, and these things became a code to live by.
And they did live by them. And their world was as dark as dark could be and all the people were as blind as could be but they smiled and lived and carried on as if they were light and walking in the light.
And they cursed the darkness. The darkness that was actually the light. The light that had never stopped shining. And they cursed the truth as well, and disbelieved it. They disbelieved it in mass.
The truth had never stopped being the truth. Mount Everest was still Mount Everest. The Pacific Ocean was still the Pacific Ocean as it had always been.
And the vast sky was still blue.
But not according to their perception, because their perception had changed, and thus, their perspective had changed, and thus, the obvious was no longer obvious whatsoever.
Professing to be wise, they became fools… [Romans 1:22]
And they hated one another and called each other heretics and started denominations. And they had religious wars over points of doctrine and burned one another at the stake and murdered and maimed in the name of God and for the cause of their religion.
And to this day they continue to violate the two commandments upon which the entire Law of Moses and Prophetic Books hang.
They have lost their way.
They have smiles on their faces but little love.
And they act like they know God.
And go through their routines every Sunday morning.
With eyes that don’t see.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
“In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;
YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,
WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,
OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,
HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,
AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,
AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
“For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it . . . [Matthew 13:10-17] 
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.