Those who create their own versions of Christianity which differ from the original are MOCKING GOD. They have no respect or honor for the Lord Jesus, WHO IS GOD.
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him, and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?” And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming. [Luke 22:63-65]
All the major denominations of first-century Judaism were not just wrong; they were operated by blasphemous pretenders who mocked God by creating their own distinct religious belief systems, fleshly interpretations of Scripture, and mental constructs based on wrong thinking due to their great sin and distance from the Lord. Everything they created differed significantly from the original. Their desire was not to be in good relationship with God and not to preach Truth but to gain earthly power and prestige, unbridled authority over people through the medium of religion, and enrich themselves monetarily.
Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:14-15]
“The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” [Revelation 2:8-9]
THE REAL AND THE UNREAL
He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:9]
What possesses a person to make departures from Holy Writ? What causes Christians to reject the original teachings of the Lord and create their own? Why do they believe they have the authority to do this? Why do they think they can get away with it? What is so wrong with original real Christianity that they feel justified in rejecting it, or tweaking it, and changing it to better suit themselves? Don’t they know it is the responsibility of a follower of the Lord Jesus to conform to Him and His teachings rather than create offshoots merely based on His teachings?
There should be no Christian denominations. Every single one has departed from the original by their very creation. If all believers in the Lord would adhere to His curriculum there would be no need of another. Catholics fight with Protestants and Protestants fight among themselves and they both fight against the Pentecostals and Charismatics who also fight among themselves. There are even divisions within denominations. Churches split but so do denominations. Some of this is playing out right now. It is part of the reason they increase, at times exponentially. If they all abandoned their respective alternative Christian belief systems, slaughtered their sacred cow religious slants, and embraced the Lord’s curriculum only, Christian denominations would no longer exist.
OUT OF DARKNESS
On the other hand, Protestantism was progress. Some Protestant denominations progressed more than others. They were seeking greater Light. Most found some Light and were on a progressive spiritual track to gain more early on. Some continued. Some stopped at certain points. Wherever they stopped and set up permanent camp is when a denomination was formed. They deemed themselves in their own minds far enough down the road from Catholicism to justify discontinuing their spiritual progress. Instead of continuing onward through the fog toward the bright shining light of a new day they apparently still remained out on the vast plain of Shinar and proceeded to build their own Towers.
Here a Ziggurat, there a Ziggurat, everywhere a Ziggurat.
In essence, however, this was only an illusion. Roman Catholicism has long termed Protestants as “departed brethren.” If they truly departed, however, they would have departed completely and conformed to the Lord’s original. Most never did this. Maybe the Lord was leading them out. If so they should have kept going all the way—all the way back to the first century. But none of the major Christian denominations ever did any such thing. Therefore, did they really depart at all?
We know the Protestants retained some Roman Catholic doctrines. We know they maintained Catholic formats. They looked and believed different in part but they also continued to look very similar. The new Protestants felt more comfortable being “Catholic light” than embracing Acts Chapter 2. Sound familiar?
Keep in mind that the real Christians in the world, those who had forever remained faithful and true to the Lord Jesus, obviously still existed at that time five hundred years ago as they always had since the very beginning. But because they were obscure like their Master and preached the Truth like their Master and were never in it for power, prestige, authority, or money like their Master, they were also persecuted like their Master. They were looked down upon by this world like their Master. They were written out of perceived history like their Master. And they were rejected by denominational Christianity the same way their Master was rejected by denominational Judaism.
For those who may not know, I will say this again. The Lord Jesus will have nothing to do with halfway followers. He only accepts those who give their entire hearts to Him. What is the proof of this? How can anyone know who actually does this? What is the test? Here you go: They will believe and act exactly like the original first-century believers.
THE LOVE TEST
“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]
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” [John 14:15]
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me;” [John 14:21]
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” [John 15:10]
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” [John 15:13-15]
“…Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” [Matthew 28:20]
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; [1John 2:3-4]
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.” [John 8:31-32]
THE HATE TEST
One can discover the unreal by the way they treat the real. Unreal Christians are Christian persecutors. Real Christians never persecute anybody. Unreal Christians use fear, force, guilt, shame, anger, deceit, trickery, and insistence upon their various non-Scriptural traditional means, methods, and beliefs to get their adherents to conform to a common denominator. This creates their false unions (Towers). We know that great masses of people can be psychologically brainwashed, indoctrinated, conditioned, and programmed, even to their own detriment, in order to remain socially viable and accepted members within their group.
The Lord Jesus, however, never engaged in any of this and never taught such. He was forced by who He is to often remain a largely solitary Man even among His own. He also taught that His disciples would be treated as He was and they were. They had to learn to stand alone much of the time against the onslaught of those who bought into false paradigms and fruitless works who often resorted to force and hatred as means to compel conformity. The fearful always fell for such; they had no faith to counteract their fear. They found solace in joining such groups because they knew the leaders thereof would then leave them be and their social standing, low denominator as it was, would remain in place. Being part of such groups helped relieve anxiety and fear. It made them feel as though they belonged. They could thus relax within their faux social constructs, gain the support thereof, and not have to deal with their sin or the higher requirements of God.
The Lord Jesus, however, rejects such unrepentant cowards. He has nothing to do with these mulish misled mockers. He will not have in His Community anyone who refuses their entire heart.
He will never give His love to an unfaithful masquerading bride.
© 2022 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.
There are two Christianities in the world: The first is the real one created by the Lord Jesus and preached in the first century. The second is the amalgamation of all others.
It might appear virtually impossible for all the various forms of Christianity on the planet to actually come together in general agreement. Imagine each Christian denomination and independent church great and small and here and there casting off and discarding their particular individual identities, distinctive doctrines, and exclusive characters, and then glomming themselves together in a worldwide kumbaya moment as one might throw various colored waxes into a gooey melting pot. Specific identifiable shades all fade out into an indistinct brownish gray-like beigey non-hue. Former Protestants sit with former Catholics around a welcoming campfire singing folksongs accompanied by an acoustic guitar or two while heart-struck with philia love and their new unity-mix faith which encompasses all God’s children in warm fellowship all aglow.
However, if you hold this painting before you using both hands and turn it just a tad and then tilt it up a bit to catch some light you’ll gain an entirely different perspective and suddenly see that our hypothesized mass union has in fact already occurred. The otherwise impossible unity has already been achieved. How? Well, you see, this particular Christian unity is not based on a consensus of doctrines and practices but on opposition against the original. Thus, it matters not that the bright white light of the first-century original real Christianity happened to fall upon a flawed oppositional prism and scattered out into a million different off colors each dissimilar in its own right. Why? Because each is tainted with the commonality of rebellion.
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” [Luke 6:46-49]
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [1Corinthians 3:11]
Though the first of the preceding passages refers to individuals, the same holds true for individual Christian organizations (churches, ministries, denominations, etc.): They are either built on the only correct Foundation or they are not. The Lord Jesus is not only the Chief Cornerstone but the very Foundation of His Community (Church, Ekklesia, Qahal, etc.) and, of course, He should be. It belongs to Him. He started it. Original Christianity is His movement. When one becomes a real Christian he or she accepts the totality of the Lord’s teachings, not merely what one feels like accepting, and does what He says. He or she comes to the Lord, hears the words of the Lord, and acts on the words of the Lord. All of them. Whoever does this joins His spiritual Community. There is only one. And there is only one Leader.
It is therefore relatively easy to understand the process which resulted in so many different Christian organizations, each one different from the original to varying degrees. Whether those who started such were well-intentioned or not doesn’t change the fact that they failed to build on the correct and only Foundation. They also took liberties with their doctrines and practices. They each have different beliefs and traditions. And it may appear as though many churches and denominations are still standing though built on the ground sans the Lord’s Foundation but this is either because the flooding torrent has yet to arrive or they have long since died internally and only their outer shells remain. It could also be that outer shells is all they ever were.
The following is a third Scriptural passage regarding the one Foundation, the implications thereof, and additional truth regarding how the Lord’s actual spiritual house must be built and what happens if one strays from the blueprints:
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
“The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,”
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense;”
For they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. [1Peter 2:4-8]
CHURCHES AS FRANCHISES
Most people understand the importance of uniformity when it comes to corporate franchises. Each franchise must adhere to the regulations and guidelines which allow for every franchise to appear and function as every other franchise regardless of location. It is why individual franchises within a particular corporation all look the same, function the same, and have the same product as every other one though they may be located throughout a large geographical area or even all over the world.
Interestingly enough, several Christian denominations mirror this exact model in that all their individual churches look essentially the same, function the same, and have the same product as every other one though they may be located throughout a large geographical area or even all over the world. They also have the equivalent of a corporate headquarters and a management hierarchy (a pyramidal tower). Their individual churches must also show a profit as do business franchises. That is, each must prove it is able to collect enough local donations to keep the doors open, provide for the pastor and leadership team, fund local sub-ministries, and support the denomination. Also, just as it is in business, correct advertising, financial, and sales methods must be utilized. And though independent churches without denominational support often must sink or swim on their own, member churches of a denomination have the comforting privilege of accepting assistance from the overall organization when needed.
One wonders then, seeing such uniformity within business franchises and denominational churches, why the majority of Christians including Christian leaders fail to see the same need for uniformity when it regards the Lord’s original. Why don’t they put the necessary effort into conforming to His standard rather than their own? Why do they allow for church and ministry leaders to gain such big spotlights there is no room for the Lord? And most troubling, why do they often remove the Founder from His own movement?
Could it be because it’s the only way to continue building their Tower?
© 2022 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.
The Book of Genesis states clearly that the land of Eden was located in the area of the Tigris-Euphrates headwaters in what is now a region predominated by eastern Turkey.
It is where YHWH Elohim planted the garden in which He later placed Adam and Eve. The garden is initially characterized as a garden of trees—an orchard—“every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food.” The Greek Septuagint calls this abundant fruitful garden Paradise. The home of Adam and Eve was a place of divine perfection and both natural and spiritual order.
Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. [Genesis 2:10-14]
Eden was located in what is now the Armenian Highlands, an area rich in water resources, the location of several rivers, their tributaries, large natural lakes, and springs. The source of the Tigris River is primarily Lake Hazar and is also fed by many small tributaries in the area. The Euphrates begins not far from the headwaters of the Tigris at the confluence of two smaller rivers, the Karasu and Murat, which flow west from the eastern ranges. This area of confluence is now Lake Keban. (There are many relatively new hydroelectric dams on these rivers.)
The greater region has most probably changed appreciably since very ancient times. It was likely a relatively peaceful place with a different climate before the advent of much volcanic activity and the associated uplift which created mountains, etc. For example, Mount Ararat is presently an inactive volcano which last erupted in 1840.
WHEN WAS ADAM?
Christians have postulated various dates for the creation of Adam based on different criteria, one of which follows an exact rendering of the listed patriarch’s ages in Genesis which gives a date of about 4000BC (Young Earth). Others say such a late date is unreasonable because it fails to consider and/or ignores scientific facts. These place Adam as far back as 50,000 years ago, or at various dates since, including just after the Ice Age, known scientifically as the Last Glacial Maximum of 11,000-8,000BC when the Pleistocene ended and the Holocene began.
As the great glacial ice sheets began melting and retreating to the north, the resulting meltwater caused sea levels to begin rising precipitously. From approximately 20,000-13,000BC, the ocean level rose about 45 feet. Then from about 13,000BC to roughly 4,000BC sea levels rose another 375 feet for an overall total of approximately 420 feet. Since 4000BC the ocean level has remained constant.
It was not until after the Ice Age that evidence of human habitation appears on the historical record. Evolutionary theory claims that homo sapiens sapiens first appeared from out of nowhere 200,000 years ago (the big leap forward) but offers no actual evidence of transition or habitation at such an early date. According to Young Earth theory, the flood of Noah took place around 2300BC. Yet, interestingly enough, we have clear evidence of three roughly distinct cultures emerging circa 6000BC or even earlier in the same Armenian Highlands location where Eden once existed. We also know that Noah’s Ark came to rest after the flood in that same region.
So here we have (1) Eden, (2) the garden of Eden, (3) the place where Noah landed the Ark (the mountains of Ararat) and likely began his sailing journey, and (4) the evidence of human habitation and the rise of three distinct cultures all in the same geographic area. It is a great thing that over the last few decades among a few erstwhile researchers, proponents of both science/ancient history/archaeology/etc. and the Biblical record have utilized both to come to a meeting of the minds rather than stay incommunicado over perceived insurmountable differences.
THINGS TO PONDER
There are central differences of opinion among Christians regarding our origins and the Genesis record. Most of what we believe is what we have been taught. It is most often the case that Christians do not challenge their beliefs to any significant degree if at all and therefore rarely change their minds. If we continue to frequent institutions which support our beliefs and ban any and all challenges to them we develop a mindset of enforcement rather than enquiry and thus do not see the need of any research regarding them. When a person in another institution in another part of town has an opposing view which he also refuses to test properly we should see why we do not communicate and why fellowship is not possible.
There are some who believe Creation commenced in 4000BC. There are some who believe it was earlier and likely much earlier. There are some who believe that Noah’s flood was worldwide. There are others who believe it was a local flood. Some believe that the Genesis 1 Creation story is the same as Genesis 2 but that Genesis 2 is more specific. Others believe these two are separate accounts, which means God created human beings in general in Genesis 1 but created two specific human beings (among the others elsewhere) with a distinct purpose in Genesis 2.
I have found that the best way to go about finding the truth is allowing what we think is true to be challenged. Our own individual research can do that. Over many decades of open-minded truth-seeking Biblical study and research, I am absolutely convinced that the Biblical record is true. I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. But I can guarantee you that I have tested many Christian doctrines against the Word of God and found many to be unsupportable. We can do the same concerning our ancient origins if we have an inquisitive mind to do so. I believe the benefits gained are well worth the effort.
Truth never fears a challenge.
© 2022 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.
In Part 1 we discussed the basis for the great sin of those who decided to settle on “a plain in the land of Shinar” to eventually build the Tower. What was their motivation?
I posted Part 1 last Thursday. I had hoped to post Part 2 the next day. Then my research took me to places I had not planned to go. The trail kept going deeper into uncharted territory. I had to keep following it. And as is often the case, new research has a tendency to take precedence over schedules…
For example, I found one interesting quasi-scholarly article from several years ago which put forth a thesis that the Biblical land of Shinar was not necessarily in the southern region of Mesopotamia, the place scholarly consensus locates ancient Sumer, but actually quite a ways further to the northwest in what is now eastern Syria. The author made many good points. He made enough good points that I had to question what I had come to believe in the past on this subject. And if you may be wondering, I have done some deep dives into far ancient history and the origins of mankind over many years. It is always interesting what one discovers.
I always start with Scripture. I believe Scripture is inspired by God. I use the Book of Genesis as an ancient factual foundation and framework from which to build out the historical record. Of course, Genesis is relatively brief and often starkly brief but God always gives the pertinent information necessary to get His point across. Due to its concise nature, however, it allows for many different scholarly opinions and perspectives regarding the actual ancient historical and chronological record. There are a few basic reasons for such differences:
(1) Some scholars are less interested in being open minded and going where the truth takes them and more interested in maintaining whatever status quo belief they have accepted as the truth. Such people have a vested interest in their interpretation of ancient history in that their churches, ministries, and Bible schools have adopted a particular viewpoint which disallows any further light or updates based on new information. In other words, it would be significantly inconvenient to modify their mindsets since such would cause systemic change which the majority within their institutions et al simply would not understand. They make the decision, therefore, to protect the institution and the majority opinion thereof at the expense of truth.
(2) Some scholars simply are not very good at their profession. It is why some have put forth the wackiest of ideas from somewhere out in left field. They either do not have the proper background information which usually easily disproves their notions, simply do not know any better, and don’t seem to care about becoming better informed, or maybe they are taking a sensationalist tack with their theories to gain attention and notoriety.
(3) And then there are those compromised by money. Most people are apparently unaware that money talks and in this case paychecks and prestige talk. If one knew the percentage of people in society who were willingly compromised in this way they would be shocked. It is not a small number. In fact, it is most likely a decided majority. That includes academic professors who generally teach what they are taught to teach and told to teach. There is no room for modifying their curriculum to include newly discovered information if it somehow puts a damper on what they have been teaching for years. But this is due primarily to economic reasons in that the entity—colleges, universities, etc.—are built on specific knowledge models which may or may not be true because such models work best for making monetary profits. Many churches work the same way.
I could go on but those are the basics. One may notice that it was all three of these, at least in part, that essentially got the Lord Jesus killed. He came in as a shining Light proclaiming pure Truth and those who didn’t put Truth first hated Him for it. They didn’t appreciate their hidden darkness being exposed. And keep in mind that some of the most wonderful, nice, and polite people, including ministers, can suddenly be transformed from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde when they are exposed for what they really are.
RETURNING TO THE GENESIS NARRATIVE
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. [Genesis 11:1-2]
We must therefore understand that simply because a general consensus of opinion exists does not mean that opinion is necessarily correct. Most people are not of a mind to question authority or check their betters but simply believe what they are told in that they allow themselves to be indoctrinated. They have been taught that having everybody on the same page is healthy and good for society when the opposite is true.
I’m going to be running some things by you, my readers, in this series, that may appear to be somewhat foreign or unusual and it will require you to think deeper on the subject and consider doing some additional research. It’s all for the sake of truth. Also, please keep in mind that I don’t have any ulterior agendas. The preceding three points do not apply to me. This is a free site. You can take it or leave it. Of course, your contributions are most welcome. I certainly believe in community involvement, dialogue, and discussion. Comment threads on this subject will likely be quite revealing and informative.
Remember, the issue at hand is the sad truth that Unreal Christianity has built a modern Tower of Babel that puts to shame the original that existed millennia ago out on the distant windblown plain of Shinar built by religious rebels too fearful of Truth to honor it and too disobedient to God to honor Him.
Both stories have the same outcome.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Throughout our Christian Age, countless Christians have taken liberties to create and adopt beliefs and practices which were never granted or supported by the Lord Jesus.
There is only one New Testament. It contains the only original record of the teachings of the Lord Jesus. It is upon His teachings that Christianity bases its entire existence. He is the chief Cornerstone. His teachings are the foundation of our instruction. They contain the code by which real Christians live—the standard—the only means by which to bring forth spiritual fruitfulness and please God. There should therefore never be any deviation in any direction to any degree from His original perfect curriculum.
In reality, there is likely no other major belief system or “religion” of any kind that contains more deviations, more divergences, more departures, more differences, and more digressions from the original. It is truly the saddest state of affairs among all such sad states, from a New Covenant perspective, which illustrates a complete disregard for the Author and Finisher of our Faith and the high price He paid to bring us the only perfect belief system in existence—so perfect that it’s full and correct application results in the only means to actually rescue people from eternal damnation.
LET’S PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE
There was a time in the very early days on this lovely earth of ours many millennia ago when all the people of the earth (a relative few compared to later billions), instead of venturing forth over the planet as the individual adventurers they should have been in obedience to the Lord’s commandment and positive desire for them, decided to instead all hang out together as an ancient collective, so to speak. They had an entire planet to explore but opted instead to be a congealed mass of low common denominator conformists believing only what everyone else believed. Sound familiar? It helped that there was only one language:
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. [Genesis 11:1-2] 
The Biblical Shinar is the same as ancient Sumer. Though much research has transpired regarding this geographical area, one cannot be definite regarding all aspects. For example it is said that there was another people that existed in the area prior to the Sumerians. These are termed the Ubadians. They are said to have arrived as early as 4500BC. Some sources claim they spoke an earlier language than the later Sumerians who arrived roughly 1000-1200 years later.
Incidentally, I have researched ancient Sumerian, the language of ancient Sumer circa 3500-2000BC, and discovered that it was a language isolate in that it belongs to no known language family. This has been contested by a few but remains the consensus view. It is also the oldest known written language in the world. Archaic Sumerian, its oldest form, has been proven to exist as early as 3100BC. Sumerian gradually began disappearing as a spoken language in circa 1750BC but continued to be used in cuneiform writing until that medium ceased to exist at around the time of our Lord. 
Is Sumerian also the oldest spoken language in history? The debate at present usually names Sumerian and Sanskrit, the latter language indigenous primarily to India, as the earliest of the world’s spoken languages (Sumerian no longer exists), although there is ongoing debate about the actual origin of Sanskrit. Some claim it also originated circa 3000BC but this is a reach. However, Sanskrit is an Indo-European language (Indo-Aryan branch) which must share origins with whatever was the first Indo-European language spoken. That language was obviously distinct from Sumerian and must have come into existence later.
From the Biblical perspective, it certainly appears that Sumerian was the very language spoken at the time of the Tower of Babel incident, which would make it the one language spoken then and the original common language of world history. In this regard, one must keep in mind that the Old Testament historical texts contained the only general written world history for many centuries, going back to well over 2500 years ago. Moses had collected the world’s history through Egyptian sources during his time (1526-1406 BC). His history was passed down orally among the Hebrews until committed to writing centuries later. Yet, it was not until roughly two to three centuries ago that much ancient history as we now understand it was developed, aided in large part through the new science of archaeology.
During this entire time, then—three and a half millennia—the world had already possessed the record of Genesis. Of course, with the advance of science, primarily in the 1800s, the Biblical record of Genesis suffered ongoing attacks as being merely a collection of ancient myths unworthy of modern scientific knowledge. Yet, archaeology continued to prove the Biblical record as correct and the early “scientific” naysayers as wrong.
I have studied the beginnings of archaeology which took place in the early 1800s. I have studied the work of those men as they continued their pursuits in the Middle East and primarily the “Holy Land.” It was modern archaeology in its infancy. Palestine was one of their first targets. They wanted to dig up the tells (buried stratified city mounds) of ancient Israel to prove or disprove the Biblical record. From there they branched out to other lands mentioned in Holy Writ. Their discoveries were astounding. Hidden beneath the sands and strata of the Middle East were the actual long lost cities of the ancients and the Biblical record, proving to all but the most incredulous skeptics that the Bible was historically accurate.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Moses, the writer of Genesis, was right. The God who spoke to him was obviously right. The only legitimate time-tested record for the ancient origins of mankind, therefore, continues to name that ancient land between two rivers—Mesopotamia—as the place where it all began.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 The Graeco-Babyloniaca Once Again © 2007: “The latest datable cuneiform tablet that we have today concerns astronomical events of 75 AD and comes from Babylon. It provides a terminus post quem, at least for Babylon.”
The “Elephant in the Room” paradigm fits perfectly here, as almost everyone knows about the problem but next to no one admits it’s there or has the courage to do much about it.
There still remain many successful churches in America, though an increasingly larger number over the last several decades are of the mega variety. You may be a member of a successful church and are thus blessed. Many are getting it right, seek the Lord every day, and are willing to do anything He says. There are also a great many unchurched real Christians, some of which are part of small organic groups or maybe even on their own. Many seek fellowship on the internet which has proven to be a great medium for sharing information and encouragement. Formerly silenced ones have found their voice. It can be a tough spiritual landscape but the Lord is always faithful. All things remain possible. Awesome things are getting done. However, there also exists a flip side…
PROVING MY THESIS
We live in a time when authoritarian, dishonest, sell-out politicians have skyrocketed into a high arc over the land, effectively spouting “catch me if you can,” as if trying to best all the crooked ones before them on what they can get away with, something one may think impossible, yet they achieve it day after day. These boys and girls are getting their marching orders from above, of course, and are only obeying their puppet masters who remain ensconced behind the curtain, out of view and out of mind of most. The puppets you see are not only controlled but likely forcibly controlled if you get my drift. And Americans in general, over and over and over again, do absolutely nothing about it.
Except talk. And vent. And gripe/complain/mumble—worthless ventures all. Except when some trustworthy Americans (including a few elected reps), do actual truth-telling with facts and research that cannot be denied or discounted, expose dishonesty, and give well thought-out solutions for every single problem. These Americans are, of course, most often denied and castigated, as any reformer knows, including those attempting to reform off-kilter Christianity, because the solutions therein put an end to in-house corruption, fraud, and graft and make it difficult for grifters and abusers to carry on their devil’s work. Sadly, such solutions are also rejected by those who would benefit most because the great many refuse to do their own research or question authority, stay glued to the TV, and keep trusting the word of the appearance-based shallow people instead of listening to the warnings of the good guys because the major media makes the bad guys look like good guys and the good guys like bad guys. Sound familiar?
Thus, the great stringed people know the majority won’t do anything to stop them. They used to have at least a modicum of fear and expectation of reprisal from voters but of course many don’t anymore because voting is often fixed at the national level. And if you think this coming November will result in appreciable change when a great red wave will supposedly replace all those evil blues, you will be gravely disappointed once again. Even if elections were not corrupted, these people (actors) are all on the same team. It is the Uniparty. Until the voting system is reformed your votes count generally for effectively nothing. It’s become far too easy to game the system. If people still cannot see this after what happened in 2020 then its lights out.
I wrote a post about the great election steal of 2020 exactly one month after it occurred on December 3, 2020. You can find it here: THE REPUBLICANS ARE COLLUDING WITH THE DEMOCRATS: THE SACRIFICING OF AMERICA. Well, guess what? After almost twenty months this collusion has only expanded exponentially in that Republicans are supporting virtually everything the Democrats are putting forth and not stopping most of it. This sacrificing of the country has continued unabated since that time, has accelerated, and is now accelerating greatly. I told you in recent posts about the ongoing destruction of the economy, the ongoing destruction of the supply chain (diesel anyone?), and the ongoing destruction of the food supply. None of this is happening by accident. It has all been planned. It is impossible for such things to occur unless some great outside force CAUSES it. Along with everything else, therefore, Americans must wake up. They must stop supporting the enemy. The enemy is no longer merely at the gates. He is inside. He is at the controls.
Regarding what could have been done and should have been done to stop this, even at such a late date, there was a duly elected gentleman in power not long ago that decided to stand down instead of stand up. As it turned out he was nothing but rhetoric at a time when action was demanded. You know what kind of leaders you have at the moment of crisis and at that moment, as the opportunity was still viable, he let it all drain out. He frittered it away. There were people with the goods on the enemy who tried to get him to act but to no avail. He now continues to speak in rallies in hopes of a return but that ship has sailed. His time has passed. Whoever is putting their hope in him is missing the mark. The time for action is NOW.
“I, only I, am the Lord, and there is no Savior besides Me.” [Isaiah 43:11]
All real Christians must now understand that the only remaining chance that exists is one far beyond any possible usual and tried and true. None of that exists anymore. It’s gone. No one is coming to save you in that area. I wrote about this a year ago in my post of May 10, 2021 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of this site: HAPPY TENTH BIRTHDAY REAL CHRISTIANITY. That post received a relatively great response with many Likes and Comments. It was very well received. However, most of those readers are now gone. I have had several people say great things about my work and then they suddenly disappear. I have tried to engage them and discover the problem to no avail. What do you call it when one greatly appreciates you and your work, follows you for years, makes positive comments, reblogs your work on their sites, and then suddenly disappears?
This is sad. Really sad. I’m sure I’m not the only one this is happening to, of course. It is a time when we should be putting relatively minor differences aside and uniting against the enemy, but appreciable differences, apparently, still remain strong. The Divide and Conquer approach against American Christianity has had great success. Love is still the answer but appears to always be in short supply when needed most. Nevertheless, I am greatly appreciative of those of you still reading my work. Thank you. Christians may not agree or even not agree on much at all but can still love one another anyway.
A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
A few days ago I read a post by a friend. Part of it involved the story of a non-believer visiting a church at some point in the recent past. This person had dressed inappropriately on purpose. She was going to test the people there. If anyone said anything negative she would leave and likely turn her back on God. Everybody there ended up treating her well and she eventually gave her life to the Lord. They loved her into the Kingdom. I left the following comment:
That’s a great testimony of how it should be done. I have a massive amount of church experience so I’ve seen this kind of thing many times. Once, in the late 1980s, a young couple visited the church I was attending. I had never seen them before. They had a great attitude, were smiling and happy to be there. They sat right behind us. The young man had a dangling metal earring in one year. No big deal, right? Well, to my chagrin and great embarrassment, during the service the pastor called him out, rebuking him for the earring from the pulpit. I could hardly believe it. Needless to say, I never saw them again. I saw a lot of this.
Though there have always been rednecks in churches, I think most of this stuff began happening on a large scale in the 1960s to 1970s when so many young adults were coming to the Lord. The traditionalists often treated them like lepers. Granted, many simply didn’t know any better but the overreaction to their appearance was a gross violation of the Lord’s teachings and still is. One wonders how many quit on their pursuit of God based on the way they were treated.
When I first visited a church (traditional, conservative, but with a new group of young adults) in the mid 1970s at the invitation of a good friend I trusted who was recently saved, my hair was really long. Thank goodness I was among some cool understanding people, at a prayer meeting, some of whom were also recently saved or just knew how to treat people. Nobody cared about my appearance or said anything. They were happy I was there. A week or so later, my decision for the Lord made with no looking back, I got a haircut. A real one. No one ever told me to or even suggested it.
We MUST allow the Spirit of the Lord to do His work in bringing whatever conviction is necessary. We MUST trust Him and allow for His timing. In the meantime we MUST love people and not judge them.
Since then (June 17), my comment has received seven Likes, most from readers I do not know, proving that the subject matter is something most identify with. It has historically always been a bad problem but has essentially never gone away. Christians in general remain committed to their sects and divisions. Too many still possess not so great attitudes. If we try to engage in any type of cross-communication we often get stuck with the ecumenical label. If a Christian questions the beliefs of another Christian offense takes place. If Christians judge other Christians or non-Christians, however, their judgments often stand and are supported. The people in charge should know when violations of the Lord’s teachings take place but apparently most do not or simply do not care. Protecting the “pastor,” church, denomination, or institution is much more important than addressing any wrongs. This prerogative trumps obeying the Lord Jesus. It trumps obeying the Golden Rule. In reality, anything that violates the Lord’s teachings should be thrown in the river but if some churches do this there won’t be much left, which likely explains the protocol.
I am saying all this to say that I have been involved in this fight for decades. I have pretty much always known what the problem was and discovered the solution long ago. (It is simply a matter of returning to our roots.) The bigger problem is that most Christians refuse to address the problem and would rather let the problem stand in order to protect themselves from having to change and get right with God. They see necessary positive and reformative changes as too all-encompassing.
We see the same approach to reforming the voting system. Those at high levels know this could reveal systemic corruption on a wide scale. It would reveal that a great many were never properly elected and that a great many more were denied legitimate victories.
Churches in general do not appreciate the idea that they might be engaging in something that is incorrect or teaching incorrect or incomplete doctrines. In general, much of Christianity hates the very idea of reform. Rather than repent and change for the better they effectively stone those the Lord sends to correct them. Yet, was not the Lord often forced to use this very method?
So, forget about trying to change existing churches, denominations, and institutions for the better. It will likely never happen. Their protection filters are so fine they also block out any possible corrections. The Christians thereof are far too invested. They do not know the Word of God as they should. They simply cannot see the forest for the trees. They will change, however, and do change. They change for the worse. They degrade over time. THIS IS OTHERWISE OBVIOUS. If one looks at history it is a no-brainer. Those who refuse to continue following the Lord Jesus into the fresh new green fields always end up dying out in the resultant spiritual famine which they brought on themselves. And because of this chosen spiritual famine there is currently a plan for actual famine in America gaining steam.
Most traditional Christians are thus pre-primed to reject the current Great Awakening. It doesn’t fit their paradigm.
I recall reading the works of Ralph Neighbor and communicating with him in the past. He is a great source if you’re interested. He often spoke of “The Seven Last Words of a Dying Church” which are “We’ve never done it that way before!”
Christians in America must understand that business as usual no longer works. Anything that deviates from the Lord’s teachings is a sign of disobedience and rebellion and is destined to fail. Christian leaders in general almost never get the memo that God begins warning of bad times coming when good times are happening. Christian leaders in general reject anything that seems to put a damper on their good times.
Imagine a farmer in the past who listens to the Lord, who is close to the Lord. He has been experiencing bumper crops and knows he is blessed of God. Then one day the Lord tells him to prepare for drought. The farmer doesn’t question the Lord. He doesn’t ask to bless him by arranging things to stop the drought. He knows that is an immature approach, something he had tried long before that doesn’t work. Instead, because he hears the Lord and knows His voice, he simply starts preparing for a drought. He knows that somehow or another the Lord will sustain him and his family and help him get through it. So he prepares. He prepares during the great times. He gathers in his bumper crop as usual but prepares for what’s coming. People think he’s an idiot. “Lighten up, man!” When the drought hits, those who never heard from God, either because they are not real Christians, because they grew cold spiritually, or because they continually rejected the warnings, were not prepared. When the drought hits, only those who began preparing during good times and continued following and obeying the Lord Jesus made it through. And though the farmer did try to help others there was simply not enough to go around. HE WAS BLESSED AND PROTECTED. They were not.
Over the last few decades many churches have failed and no longer exist. There are empty and repurposed church buildings in many locations all across the country. It is a trend that is not stopping. Those who got the memo long ago have long since made the proper adjustments. They saw what was coming. When they heard the Word in good times, and their warnings were rejected, it sealed the fate of those greatly “successful” ones who would meet a very challenging future unprepared. And those who obeyed God, who were rejected, made fun of, cast out, and cold-shouldered, who went through tough times due to their bad treatment by other “Christians” and were forced into survival mode, learned how to prepare.
“But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.” [Mark 10:31]
So, none of the current garbage taking place right now is a surprise to God. For those who insist on continuing to do things the way they always have and trust in the things they always have, they will find that what used to work no longer works. It has certainly never worked as good as the original. Most of it hasn’t worked for years but they either don’t notice or don’t care. They can’t see the big picture, don’t care about the big picture, and only care about what goes on in their respective closed-off bubbles. Because the majority of American Christians refused to prepare during good times and continually insisted on depending on their usual traditional way of doings things and not honoring the Lord Jesus or obeying His warnings, they have entered into a future, which is now upon us, unprepared.
One would think, with all the Biblical directives and Old Testament stories at our disposal on this subject, and the many teachings and warnings of the Lord Jesus (the Parable of the Ten Virgins, for example), that Christians in general would be the last to be unprepared for anything.
The opposite is often true.
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.”
And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’” [Luke 13:1-9]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Sin generated a maelstrom of evil upon God’s perfect Creation. Every time someone sins evil is released. Sin is the real deadly virus. Sin is the real pandemic.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ALTAR CALLS?
Much of Christianity, that which refuses the Lord’s full authority, and that which I have long termed Unreal Christianity, has, in recent years, especially the last two, become that much more obvious regarding its true nature. There is no greater proof of this than its outright refusal to preach and teach the truth about sin.
If you don’t preach sin there is no conviction of sin experienced by the hearer. It is conviction of sin which tells a sinner he is one, is in possession of sin, and must do something to eliminate it from his account and be cleansed. The sinner is then drawn to the Lord Jesus, who paid for his sins, to have his sins eliminated, gain power over sin, and receive salvation. This is clearly a vital component of the Gospel message.
However, instead of telling sinners they are sinners and attempting, per the Lord’s New Covenant teachings, to bring them to real salvation and transform them into disciples, the proponents of Unreal Christianity do the very opposite. They don’t want to bring it up. They are afraid of the negative reaction from unrepentant sinners. They are afraid people will leave their church. They are afraid of losing their social standing in the local community. They are afraid it will negatively affect their market share. They know it’s bad for the bottom line. They might even go out of business. They would thus rather coddle sinners and bless them on their way to hell. They are fearful and faithless. The New Testament reveals them as deceptive imposters.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
One may note the strong and unwavering Biblical directive on correctly measuring up to God’s righteousness standard in this statement:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. [James 2:10]
In this declaration, the brother of our Lord states clearly that anyone who does not keep the Law of Moses in full is guilty of violating the entire Law. It does no good to keep as many as nine of the Ten Commandments, for example. One must keep all ten or one stands in violation. God doesn’t grade on the curve. He demands 100%. We must score an “A.” Of course, there are actually a total of 613 commandments in the entire Torah. Imagine acing that test. Seeing as how it appears to be an impossible task, how can one actually attain God’s standard of righteousness?
In addition to the Law of Moses which lists and defines sins, and which primarily concerns “the mere performance of externals,” the Lord Jesus goes even further in His teachings to incorporate “the inner stirrings of motives.” He obliterates the idea of a religious checklist in which one can outwardly appear to keep the Law (or church protocol) while possessing an uncircumcised heart filled with sin and corruption. His teachings expose the false standing of the likely majority of Christians in America who only pretend to be Christians, hide their true nature, carry hidden sin, and compromise with the enemy. In mining the depths of the following example of the Lord’s teaching in this regard, in which He insists on getting to the very root of the problem and leaving no stone in a stony heart unturned, one can see just how far one must go to live a truly righteous life:
“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” [Matthew 5:21-22]
From this, it is apparent that violating the sixth commandment involves much more than Thou Shalt Not Kill. In the Lord’s Community, we are supposed to love our brothers and sisters as true family members. If one becomes angry with his brother to the point of a break in relationship and refuses any attempt to make peace, he is guilty of a relationship trespass violation and becomes “liable to the court” the same as one who commits murder. Now, keeping in mind that murder was a stoning offense (the death penalty), being angry with one’s brother is a much worse offense than we may realize. Anger itself is not the problem because anger in itself is not a sin. The apostle Paul, quoting Psalms 4:4, taught this:
“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” [Ephesians 4:26]
We know the Lord was angry on occasion as was Paul, but what both are getting at is continuous anger with no forgiveness. This not only results in a break in relationship, which the Community of the Lord must never have, but causes the object of the anger to be falsely characterized as unworthy of relationship, essentially meaning he is evil and beyond redemption. To make sure anger does not lead to such a separation, one must deal with it before the sun goes down so it won’t gain power and eventually become set in concrete.
The Lord then goes further and speaks of the highest court, the Sanhedrin, which had the greatest earthly authority among the Israelites to pronounce sentence. Here, the Lord says whoever says to his brother “You good-for-nothing,” (Raqa) will also be guilty of violating the murder commandment. This is probably an Aramaic word. It means “empty” or “good for nothing,” One authority (Bruce) says, “Raca expresses contempt for a man’s head=you stupid!” The Lord says this is a great offense against one’s brother, even greater than being angry with him. Even so, the Lord does not stop at this point because there is yet a greater offense than these two that also deserves the same sentence as murder. However, it appears that the first two contain the possibility of redemption. The third does not. What could be so bad that is not actual murder but would cause one to be in grave danger of hell? –“You fool!” Yes, calling your brother a “fool” will do it. The Greek word is Moros, defined as “dull, stupid, or foolish.” Bruce says it “expresses contempt for his heart and character=you scoundrel!”
Thus we see that, though a man be not guilty of actual murder, he can still violate the sixth commandment by having murder in his heart. This evil condition starts with unresolved anger and a refusal to forgive. It grows into accusing one’s brother of being empty headed, good for nothing, and stupid. Beyond that one expresses utter contempt for his brother’s heart and character and accuses him of being a fool and a scoundrel. Note that the accused brother in question, probably originally guilty of a minor infraction that caused his brother’s anger, is most likely none of these things but has been subjected to character assassination and had his good name slandered, all because someone was offended at some slight and then built up the offense into a bonfire. The sixth commandment does not spell out these details but the Lord Jesus sure does. If the willfully sinning unrepentant angry man is able to convince enough people of these lies, the innocent man could actually lose his place in the Community by being effectively convicted by false charges and innuendo, have his reputation destroyed, and suffer greatly in life as a result.
Consider this while you consider the existence of so many Christian “denominations” and how the extreme disunity they caused ever happened in the first place. Each denomination exists because it diverted from the original or diverted from another denomination but stopped before it advanced to honoring the original.
The Lord Jesus started only one Church (Ekklesia)—the Community of the Called-Out Ones. He has only ever had one Church. He still has only one Church. It is composed only of real Christians. A real Christian is defined as one who is 100% under the Lordship of the Lord Jesus. Regarding sin, real Christians fully obey the Lord’s teachings regarding being completely freed from sin. They do this through initial repentance as a type of sacrifice on the altar of burnt offering in which the cleansing Blood of Jesus is applied coupled with full immersion in water invoking the Name of Jesus for the remission of sins per the command in Acts Chapter 2, and ongoing repentance of sin as required:
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. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:38-39]
The entire purpose of real Christianity is to free people from their manifold sins, from the destruction their sins cause to themselves and others, and from the deadly disease of sin which wracks their souls, and then bring them into the New and Living Way:
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. [Hebrews 10:19-22]
Our great Founder, the One who created His Creation—all that exists around you sans sinful man’s additions to it—decided on His own before He ever created anything that He would have to one day pay a visit here, walk among us, teach us the truth and the proper way of living, and then, in the greatest act of love anyone could ever possibly make, and in His case, the greatest act of love of all time, actually surrender His perfect life as a perfect sacrifice to make payment for our sins and to save and deliver humanity.
His sacrifice works because He never committed any sin, not a single one, in His entire life as one of us. He obeyed the Law of Moses to perfection, never violating a single proviso. Obviously, no one had ever done this before or since. His perfection was in part unequivocally proven upon His resurrection from the dead. He actually defeated death. Death could not hold Him. “It was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24). He was and remains the only perfect antidote or cure for all sin for all time.
WHY UNREAL CHRISTIANITY FAILS THE LEGITIMACY TEST
It doesn’t properly address the sin problem.
Again, the whole point of Christianity is to address what we must do about sin, which is defined as “missing the mark” or violating the laws and teachings of God which exist to lead one to righteousness. Christianity is supposed to have the means to allow people to be cured of and released from their deadly disease that will cause them to struggle through life, lose their souls, and go to hell. The teachings of the Lord Jesus perfectly address this. He tells us what sin is, how it got here, and how to get rid of it. His teachings instruct us on how to stop sinning, overcome the hold that sin has on one’s life, and cease being slaves of sin. If this central teaching of the Lord Jesus is not being properly and correctly addressed by a minister, church, or denomination (and many ministers, if not most, no longer preach about sin), then it should be obvious that those ministers, churches, and denominations are frauds. They may be clueless brainwashed frauds in that they are too deceived to know it or more likely, they know they are frauds but don’t care. They don’t care because they are not in it for the right reasons. They are merely using the platform for their own purposes.
Note: It is impossible for those hungry in heart searching for truth to hear the real Gospel and not be convicted of sin. This conviction is designed to activate faith, which leads one to repentance, which then leads to salvation. Unless one’s temple is thoroughly cleansed through proper repentance by washing away all sin with the Blood of the Lamb, the Holy Spirit of the Lord will not take up residence within it. The same is true for churches. This is why it is imperative to preach and teach about the disease of sin. Refusing to address sin and expose it allows for its destructive hidden presence to remain and allows the enemy a place of residence and a foothold from which to operate.
THE PRESENCE OF THE DEVIL
The Lord Jesus saw fit to give us a perfect allegory in His time of false shepherds in action which can be applied to any time or geographic location. The first century Hebrew/Israelite major religious parties, the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, had control of almost all religious thought. Almost every Israelite of the first century AD identified with one of these three parties, mainly, of course, the first two.
One of the reasons the Essenes are not addressed in the New Testament Scriptures is because they were not involved as movers and shakers in the overall society at that time. The original group of them had long since left town in the middle of the second century BC. Happiness for them was Jerusalem in their rear view mirror as it was the only way to appease their conscience regarding the sinister machinations transpiring in the City of David. They took up residence out in the wilderness to the east, close by the northern edge of what the later Romans called the Mare Asphaltum. Scholarship consensus maintains these Essenes were the monastic group inhabiting the ruins of Qumran associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient writings discovered initially in 1947. As former members of the viable Zadok priesthood, this group of men left the temple and Jerusalem because they grew disgusted with what became the official priesthood of that time—a shady group placed in power through political means.
Over the next two centuries this illicit priesthood in Jerusalem became staffed through political appointments which had nothing or little to do with God’s original intent. The political had merged with the religious. Sound familiar? Rather than the priesthood addressing sin as the Torah commanded, the appointees thereof merely went through religious motions appearing as real while saturated with sin and fraud, not the least of which was masquerading as being legitimate. This corruption started a fight for control which eventually congealed into two main religious parties that controlled Jerusalem, Judea, and Galilee, and also the temple and the synagogues: The Sadducees, who worked hand in glove with Rome and had authority over Jerusalem and the temple, and the Pharisees who controlled the local synagogues.
These two parties made a mockery of God, the prophets, and Moses the lawgiver, by appropriating their own versions and wrongheaded interpretations of God’s Word, which even included mass exclusions of Holy Writ (the Sadducees) and a wholesale rewriting of Scripture through ultra-interpretive, casuistic, and specious renderings, the so-called Oral Law, which, in the words of the Lord Jesus, invalidated the Word of God! (the Pharisees). Think about that. These religious leaders were so wicked they both trashed Scripture and rewrote it while pretending to teach it! This is exactly what Unreal Christianity has done and is doing.
Also, keep in mind that the prophetic word had ceased 250 years before that time, in the late 400s BC, so there were no Hebrew prophets correcting these ultra-erroneous shysters. At present, of course, in American Christianity, we have a parallel condition. It explains why most ministers and churches get away with their multitudinous errors. They are all non-Prophet organizations.
KNOWING THE TREE BY ITS FRUIT
The majority of that which is referred to as Christianity in America is incomparable to the original. It refuses the truth of Scripture regarding sin, refuses to teach it, and thus refuses the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus. It has rejected God. It merely uses the Lord and Scripture for its own purposes without actually submitting to Him. Again, maybe the majority of those engaged in this are completely duped, but if so it is the greatest duping ever known to mankind. Why? Because they have the Word of God. They read it. They teach from it. They claim to honor the Lord Jesus. And all in all, they disregard and refute anything in His curriculum they do not feel comfortable with or agree with. Remember, one both strives to follow the Lord fully and obey His teachings fully or one is in violation of not following Him at all. This halfway walk of the false ministers who pick and choose what they believe and teach, and make a god to suit themselves, is the height of ministerial evil but it is an evil couched in faux righteousness. It is an evil that leads people toward the pure and holy stream but never gets them there. They would never allow anyone under their jurisdiction to partake of it. They only want to get close enough to appear real without actually being real. This means they are exactly the same as the ancient Israelite Pharisees and Sadducees though with simulated Christian clothing.
In other words they are mere actors. On a stage. Loving the limelight and place of honor. The Lord called them false stage players or hypocrites. And all unreal Christians deceived and captured by Unreal Christianity are living in a controlled simulation. It appears to be real but is nothing more than a choreographed program in which people go through spiritually meaningless motions which have no effect on their eternal soul and their personal sin. They enter church services as sinners and they leave church services as sinners. They substitute false religious rituals heavy on surface connotations with little or no spiritual effect. The vast majority have never repented of sin properly or had a real born again experience, both of which the Lord Jesus said was mandatory for all. This is deception of a very high order.
There is no new thing under the sun. The world has never been devoid of religious charlatans. No matter what the righteous may do expose their trickery and eliminate their influence they always somehow manage to creep back in and establish a foothold. In closing, the following passage is a great refresher on this recurrent “goats as sheep” problem that presently exists as a nationwide mainstream false representation of Christianity. It gives a great explanatory illustration of these pretenders in action. It exposes those of today just as it did those of yesterday. Read, watch, and pray:
Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘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.’”
After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”
But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. 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 15:1-14]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 See A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament
 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.
It is a direct result of the false clergy-laity divide. Once that precedent was set, local one man rule quickly followed. Most insist on the “pastor” title.
Everybody calls them pastor. Next to no one ever questions the title nor the position of the title holder. Much worse than this, next to no one ever does any New Testament research on this particular term to verify its legitimacy. Like so many other things regarding traditional Christianity as opposed to the Lord’s original model, the pastor title and one man rule has been successfully embedded in religious concrete with nary a fight. Though it has no legitimate reason to exist, its presence proves the further presence of misinformation by design and millions of Christians unaware of the truth. Those in control would rather not deal with any Biblical truth that challenges their position.
THE LORD’S ACTUAL MANAGEMENT MODEL
For those interested in what the New Testament actually teaches about the Lord’s original model, the following four points explain it succinctly:
- The New Covenant Communities were each ruled exclusively by the Lord Jesus through the medium of His Holy Spirit.
- He appointed men under His leadership to supervisory places of service. These men were generally entitled elders and overseers.
- He appointed other men to associate places of service generally entitled deacons and ministers.
- Each Community was supervised by a group of elders and never by one man.
I have researched this topic for decades and written long papers. I have done exhaustive New Testament studies on the subject. Because I must be relatively concise with this article, I will explain and clarify, though briefly, the New Testament facts regarding the pastor title and position, and why the issue matters. I will be quoting from my book Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church (which contains much deeper research). Each book excerpt will be indented to differentiate it from the post text. Keep in mind that the words pastor and shepherd are not synonymous:
As mentioned previously, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen, which is translated as “shepherd” on every other occurrence of its use. “Pastor” is originally a Latin word and means “herdsman,” which is defined as “a manager, tender, or breeder of livestock.” Though “herdsman” and “shepherd” might appear identical, there is a difference. The Good Shepherd, for example, cannot be identified as a mere manager of livestock, but only as a caring shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. A herdsman, or pastor, is actually more similar to a hired hand in the sense that livestock is seen as a commodity, and the level of personal care is much lower than that of a true shepherd. It is in Ephesians 4:11 that we find the only occurrence of the word “pastor.” If the translators had used the word “shepherd,” as they should have, we quite possibly wouldn’t have today’s “herdsmen” in authority over God’s people, but true shepherds who assist the Great Shepherd. 
Again, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen which is defined as “shepherd.” This Greek word occurs 18 times in the New Testament. Why is it translated as shepherd 17 times instead of all 18? There is absolutely no legitimate reason for this. Since the original King James Version of 1611 was written with a strong authoritarian bias per the king of England and his translators, this was their chance to insert an authority word since the word “shepherd” is disdained by authoritarians as weak and essentially useless for instituting rule. Of course, the Lord Jesus was never referred to as “Pastor” nor were any of His disciples. He was, however, addressed often as Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd not the “Good Pastor.” We must follow His example:
A real pastor is nothing more than, and nothing less than, a shepherd. Many of those who represent themselves as pastors today are anything but. There are many preachers who desire a nice, steady job and a “Pastor” title. There are also quite a few homesick evangelists who would rather settle down in one location to do pastoral work instead of attend to their callings. It should be obvious that the only real pastors are those who are functioning as pastors, that is, caring for and shepherding God’s flock according to God’s will. There are undoubtedly many people who are called to be shepherds who are not serving as such, or else the Church would be in a lot better shape. Most of these are probably wasting away on pews because they don’t feel qualified when comparing themselves to the multi-credentialed big boys in the pulpits. 
Because a great many of our so-called Christian leaders refuse the original New Testament management model of the Lord Jesus, might they also be engaging in other violations? If their desire is to rule over the flock instead of shepherd the flock, their spiritual condition doesn’t really matter. Perhaps this is why so many Christian leaders, including those with a pastor title, seem to always be engaged in some form of hidden sin:
Through deception, each of us can become blind to our own sin at any given time. No one is immune from this possibility. The most susceptible are those who have such a high opinion of their worth and stature the very idea of their fallibility and sinful tendencies escape them. Such “right” supremacists would no longer think it possible to be unaware of or compromised by their own sin than they would think anybody else could possibly serve in their place. When this high-minded attitude is resident within professional Christian leadership, it serves as an obstructing hidden sin against abundant living for those in their care. Hence, it is far too often the case that those who lead congregations do so according to their own will since they are not fully obedient to the will of God. This is not the picture of Jesus working through a person, but a person working of his own accord.
Therefore, many spiritually hungry and unfulfilled seekers of life have unknowingly committed the sin of appropriating for themselves leaders other than Jesus. The Lord makes it very clear that He is the only Good Shepherd, and though a believer may gain assistance from a person of more mature spiritual standing, such a person must never occupy the foremost place of authority in a believer’s life. Such facts bring us to the sad conclusion that many Christian leaders and/or pastors are not true shepherds at all, but mere hired hands. They might indeed care somewhat for those in their congregations, but they certainly don’t possess the same level of care as the Good Shepherd. As hired hands whose salary stems from the pocket of their congregations, they can get by without being tapped-in to God’s payroll and yet maintain their ministerial credentials. The shepherdless sheep, however, are not quite as artful and are often scattered by the wolf. 
HOME GROWN WOLVES
While churches have been hyper-sensitized to all manner of possible minor deviations from doctrinal and cultural protocol arising from the congregation and (Aghast!) mysterious visitors, no one ever looks in the other direction. The dude in the pulpit is thus most often immune. He is rarely queried. As long as he gets the denominational doctrine right people look the other way. This would explain the previous passage regarding sin in high places. Where then, would the enemy strike? Would the enemy seek to clandestinely enter the well guarded congregation, the laity class, where every member must always toe the mark and squeal on those who don’t? Or would he attempt a takeover by going after those high and lifted up with little or no accountability that control the operation? We should all know that the devil will always try to gain control of the few in control in order to control all. This is yet another reason why such false Christian authority positions are highly vulnerable to temptation. It is the opposite, of course, with legitimate, accountable, and transparent Christian eldership groups. These men act in the service of the Lord Jesus and not only watch over the flock but each other as well.
Could this be why the clergy boys double down and also establish protective manned check points toward their hidden ivory towers? And condition the congregation to never question “them that have the rule over you?” Do they set up all this protection to keep people from finding out what they really are and what they’re really up to? This is a far cry from the way the Lord Jesus and His followers ever conducted themselves. The “One Man Show” Ruling Paradigm has thus done great damage to the Lord’s management model and has had a devastating effect on what could have been regarding American Christianity’s positive impact on the country. The enemy has gained a beachhead:
Christianity in general has become too stodgy and complacent to be changed by Him in any appreciable manner, since the will of the people for His control is greatly lacking. Revival and/or renewal do not address the root of the problem, and this consequently demands a new approach. The people who are at least trying to obey Him in this regard are finding some success, and their new-found fresh spiritual forays contrast sharply with conventional methods. It is in comparing the two that we discover a glaring truth.
When the splitting of community became official, it easily did more to thwart God’s plan for evangelizing the world than anything else man has devised. The reason why is simple—ninety-something percent of the membership was removed from the process. The “laity” was deemed unqualified for officially ordained Christian service and, consequently, unworthy of receiving God’s call. Yet, there was a time when all believers heard the call of God, and each person heard it from Jesus Himself. At the present, due to the entrenched tradition of the clergy-laity division, many Christians never consider the possibility of devoting their lives to God because they have been made to think that God only chooses certain rare holy ones for His work. If this is true, the Lord is breaking His own commandment by judging a good many people as unqualified before they ever get a chance to prove themselves.
The only thing which actually disqualifies a person from ministry is the same thing which disqualifies him from membership in the Church, and that is simply a lack of full commitment to the absolute Lordship of Jesus. There is nothing inherent within any sincere believer which disqualifies him or her from the Lord’s service—somebody else’s service yes, but not the Lord’s. Every Christian needs to know that all legitimate calls to ministry come only from the Lord, and each should be encouraged to find his or her place of service. There are abundant ministry needs to address, very few who feel worthy to address them, and many who were discouraged from entering the Lord’s service by inept ministers who were more than likely never called themselves, at least, not by God. 
ESTABLISHING DOMINION THROUGH ARCHITECTURE
Why are church building interiors arranged like theaters, auditoriums, assembly houses, and ancient Roman amphitheaters, with platforms and stages, and lecterns and pulpits? The Lord’s original apostles and the entire first century Christian Community never appropriated any of these. Instead, theirs was an organic fellowship utilizing available organic means. For example, they never had any central meeting house but always met in private homes. They took care of one another. What one lacked another provided. They steered clear of any institutionalism, prideful shows of earthly power, or dominance over the people dogma precisely because they were spiritually powerful humble servants, exactly as their Lord commanded them to be.
This question of church buildings thus pretty much answers itself for those paying attention. To go along with clergy dominance, it helps to create imposing material representations of said dominance. The people need to know who’s in charge. It began about 1700 years ago with the first “cathedrals.” They simply transformed Roman government structures for Christian use and then continued with the government model to showcase their rule over the people. Never mind that the Lord Jesus never engaged in such earthly nonsense. When did the Lord and His men ever advocate for the building of static church buildings? There were no church buildings for three centuries and the early believers managed to turn the world upside down anyway. The Lord’s kingdom was and remains a spiritual kingdom devoid of the mandatory trappings of earthly kingdoms.
Also, when did the Lord Jesus ever act like a duded-up ruling potentate preaching down from on high to the lower class? Is He not the most humble Man who ever lived? Did not the Creator Himself choose to present Himself that way? Why did God enter this world like everyone else, as a mere babe? Is He teaching us something with His perfect attitude? Is He not our perfect example?
There is a massive disconnect in this area. When presented with such information most Christians simply stare and say nothing or get angry and go into defense mode. This is highly unfortunate. I am not saying that good is not being done in traditional Christian settings. But such tradition has most often been a huge drag on what could otherwise be accomplished. And nothing subverts the process more than a solitary strong man in control dictating anything and everything, and building according to his vision instead of the Lord’s vision. These ruling pastors (and this is a perfect grammatical definition) are most often working in direct opposition to the Lord Jesus rather than working in concert with Him. The Lord is thus forced to support them in part because of the limited good done in such places since they are on balance better than nothing at all.
STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]
Imagine rightly praising your first grade child for doing well in his or her school work. Then imagine the idea of praising him or her when the child continues to operate on a first grade level in the second or third grade. Then think about what happens when kids are passed on to the next grades when they never complete the required course work for their previous grade. You will eventually have some really ignorant children and teenagers that simply cannot handle the work which the grade they were passed to requires.
Did you know we have an absolute epidemic of ignorant children in schools? That we have ignorant teenagers actually graduating from high schools? That some of these are actually attending college? In the early years of this country, roughly three centuries ago, children were learning new languages. They were reading the classics at early ages. They were reading the Word of God and understanding it. They had difficult course work but many were mastering it. Have you seen the bright but disciplined children in this world mastering musical instruments? Have you noticed how some children learn practical work at early ages and later become masters at their trades?
We do a great disservice to children by allowing them to be dumbed down rather than instructed properly toward higher levels. How many people notice the miracle of very small children somehow learning complex grammar and language at the age of two to three years old? How did their grasp of grammar and vocabulary suddenly shoot through the roof? The so-called experts have no answer for this. It defies evolutionary thinking. It is impossible that the children learned it on their own. It is not possible to teach it. They acquire a great amount of information and ability at an extremely young age and begin working out complex problems when they should not be able to.
Then they are placed in “schools” with extremely limited learning environments with forced low common denominators that cause their revved up rocket engine minds potentially taking them into outer space to be downgraded to virtual Model T’s and in other cases horse and buggy technology that make it difficult to get on down the road and impossible to travel any appreciable distance. Rather than continuing toward epic flight they are forced into slave galleys pulling at oars to support the institution and its parasitic inhabitants and leaders instead of the other way around.
This exact dynamic has transpired in American Christianity. The arrogant clergy boys and their sycophants have created institutions that serve them instead of serving the people. The people suffer. Christians never get the teaching they need or the Biblical and spiritual knowledge they require. These Pharisaical leaders almost never create a single disciple but maintain dumbed down “congregants” who rarely progress and are next to worthless spiritually. Most American Christians have never had a real born again experience. Most have never read the Bible. Most are Biblically illiterate. Most have a dirt foundation with a future fall. It is almost never the case that such eternal church-going Christians cannot learn or be properly discipled as the Lord clearly commanded. It is that true discipleship is at odds with the traditional curriculum. Keeping the congregation dumbed down and under control is a much better management model because it’s a much better business model. It is better to keep everyone in elementary school perpetually to keep them coming, giving their money and support, and maintaining the rule of the clergy and local “pastors.” The last thing they want is people doing things the Lord’s way. I mean, if everybody developed as real ministers of the Gospel and actually graduated, how could that be good for the local church?
SUPPORTING THE COUNTERFEIT
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46] 
Why is it that most Christians never properly compare the Lord’s ministry style with their own and comprehend the night and day difference? Is it simple cognitive dissonance? Why do so many Christians look upon the Lord Jesus, the original apostles, and the first century Church as primitive and even wacky, and their methods those of a long dead culture that could never work in the present? The reality of the matter is that the Lord’s management model, which is the perfect model, is rejected not because it doesn’t work or cannot work but because it conflicts with what Americans Christians have built in its place.
Why do so many Christians support the Pastor Paradigm? Why does the majority continue to insist on supporting a failed model? The official model is a counterfeit substitute that falls short on many levels. It is why American Christianity in general continues to deteriorate and lose influence. Look around! America and Americans are suffering! Real Christianity is under attack! It is only the current Great Awakening which largely exists outside official channels that is allowing for a vehicle through which the Lord can work. Sound familiar?
They refuse the Lord’s full authority, refuse His perfect management model, and refuse to allow the infusion of spiritual life that so many are desperately praying for. For them it will always be business as usual.
“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]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church 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.
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]
“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.
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.
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.