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Cults of Christianity (Part 2)

         I’ve been reading an otherwise very good Christian study book recently. It has its merits. But it is like so many other Christian books in that it contains a thread of man’s tradition overwritten upon the truths of God’s Word.

         In particular, the author portrays modern ministry formats as synonymous with that of the early Church. He also suffers under the delusion that only a particular kind of minister/ministry is worthy of receiving funding. Of course, he counts his ministry worthy—he accepts huge sums for his ministry work—millions and millions of dollars.

         This is not necessarily a bad thing at all, but after a while, many people in his position no longer see straight and begin to see only themselves and people like themselves worthy of the hard-earned money that Christians give in support. And because of this they see most other Christians as completely unworthy of receiving a dime.

         And they even compare themselves to the apostle Paul.

         Well, this is interesting. When was the last time you saw one of these big shots taken out and stoned? Most professional Christian “ministers” look nothing like Paul or the original apostles. Many TV preachers and their TV wives look great on TV, all happy and smiling and made up and looking good. Some of them even sport the silly putty effects of halfway decent plastic surgery (others not so much).

         But if we saw Paul on TV it would scare the hell out of us. We would see this greatly disfigured man with facial injuries and a broken, stooped-over body limping around the studio set like Quasimodo, likely bandaged up and probably bleeding from new wounds or old ones that won’t heal. Then, however, we would see the brightness of the Spirit of God shining forth from his smiling face, a face filled with the peace that passes all understanding. And we would gaze upon a man of great character regardless of his bleak outer appearance.

         Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so;

in far more labors,

in far more imprisonments,

beaten times without number,

often in danger of death.

         Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.

         Three times I was beaten with rods,

once I was stoned,

three times I was shipwrecked,

a night and a day I have spent in the deep.

         I have been on frequent journeys,

in dangers from rivers,

dangers from robbers,

dangers from my countrymen,

dangers from the Gentiles,

dangers in the city,

dangers in the wilderness,

dangers on the sea,

dangers among false brethren;

         I have been in labor and hardship,

through many sleepless nights,

in hunger and thirst,

often without food,

in cold and exposure.

         Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. [2 Corinthians 11:23-28]

         Now, I’m not saying all TV preachers and church pastors don’t have a place and I’m not saying they’re all fakers, but many must be mere children by comparison—a bunch of little boys playing with new toys shoving their weight around and demanding that everyone serve them.

         And Christians have learned to serve them without a word because they have been conditioned to do so (or God will get them post haste or wreck their lives or send them to hell). So they serve them without question due to an entrenched traditional intimidation factor. This makes it easy for the little boy ministers who insist on having their way even though they possess no scars anywhere to show forth the true marks of their supposed callings.

         ALL OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES SUFFERED GREATLY DURING THEIR LIVES AND EVERY ONE EXCEPT JOHN DIED A GRUESOME, HORRIBLE MARTYR’S DEATH, JUST LIKE THEIR FATHER BEFORE THEM.

         But the majority of modern ministers in America does not know and will never know this kind of suffering. Many live in nice homes with nice marriages and have plenty of money. Just like Paul, right? Just like the Lord, right? And they think themselves the only worthy ones to receive donations!

         Now, of course, the Lord blesses us with nice things and that’s great, but I do believe He shows no partiality with whom He blesses.

         So why are only a handful of professionals worthy of respect and financial support to the detriment of everyone else? Is it because they’re “official ministers?” Can anything be a bigger cult red flag? One dude or a small group of controllers at the top of a pyramid with all the authority and money?

         ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE MINISTERS. THE LORD JESUS DID NOT CREATE A CLERGY AND A LAITY. SUCH IS MAN’S INVENTION. THE LORD CREATED A BODY OF WHICH EVERY REAL BELIEVER IS A MEMBER. HE CREATED A COMMUNITY ENGAGED IN MUTUAL MINISTERIAL SHARING, OR KOINONIA, IN WHICH EACH AND EVERY MEMBER PARTICIPATES. HE DID NOT CREATE A CULT. [See 1 Corinthians 12!]

         For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3:26-28] [1]  

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 3]


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

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Cults of Christianity (Part 1)

         Christians in general have a generally incorrect concept regarding cults:

         They’re looking in the wrong place.

         In the consensus view, a cult is composed of a small band of nitwits spouting crazy weird stuff led by a powerful pinhead leader so far off base he’s in the center field bleachers. This extremist view of culthood is quite convenient since it equates “mainstream” Christianity as the model of sensible people doing sensible things.

         Kind of like paying lip service to the Lord Jesus in church while preaching about all His great exploits but never, ever doing likewise.

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

         That means no 100% commitments to the Lord and His work, and all it entails. No 180’s. No far-reaching lifestyle changes as the product of extreme heart changes. And no getting the heck out of Egypt and the Sinai, but feeling all warm and fuzzy fully ensconced within the dead cultures of a fallen world.

         It means no raising the dead. No spiritual resurrections. No divine healing. No miracles. No casting out demons. No Book of Acts experiences. No infilling of the Spirit of God. No prophetic utterances. No speaking in other languages never learned. No joy unspeakable.

         It means no real discipleship or fellowship or spiritual authority over evil forces. No real love or compassion for one another. Little mercy or understanding or the willingness or ability to do anything whatsoever for another and each other in order to build a strong spiritual community.

         “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” [Mark 16:17-18] [1] 

         Many churches and ministers are filled to the gills with error and false doctrine and don’t even know it. They act like real Christians but have no power or love to perform like real Christians. And because they are satisfied with such a wimpy and unbiblical status quo and refuse to actually obey the Lord’s commands they are not Christian at all, but something else

         So, what was that about cults again?

         Do churches and ministries usually have one head honcho who sits atop the entire operation “lovingly” dictating church/ministry functions? And is everyone in the congregation expected to go along with the pastor’s “vision” or be seen as a rebellious deviant from the norm?

         Hmmm…

         Instead of a strong community composed of strong spiritual disciples one and all, as in the Acts model per the Lord’s teachings, are not most churches composed of a relatively few young good-hearted Christians (regardless of physical age) who simply don’t know any better (yet) and a majority of pew-sitting traditionalist clergy lovers still stuck in spiritual elementary school after umpteen years? People who wouldn’t scare in the least the least level demon on the planet? People who by their choice are destined to be the nicest people in hell?

         Well?

         Single “pastors” ruling churches is simply not the Biblical model. Many “Christians” regardless of denomination conditionally obey their voodoo masters in the pulpit instead of the Lord Jesus, and as a result their places of worship are in no way communities of believers but something else entirely.

         They are cults. The real deal. That’s how thick the deception is within institutional Christianity. Many churches, large or small, are cults. Many big time preachers have formed personality cults built around themselves. But to call it that breaks all the rules and they attribute such truth-telling to the devil. Yet, these so-called pastors are the ones making mindless robots of their members and almost never strong disciples of the Lord, something we have clearly been commanded to do.

          As a perfect case in point, the Lord Jesus, in order to keep the apostle Paul from being transformed into a celebrity with a false cult built upon and around him, allowed Paul to suffer great, great things.

         He could not allow Paul to become a religious figurehead like some duded up TV preacher, or mega church pastor, or gilded pope. So he must allow Paul to appear as a mere mortal man often with no one to rescue him from great suffering and attack.

         For his part, Paul in turn had to show his stature in the Lord by accepting this place and position in the spirit, weather the violent storm, and be the brunt of vile attacks upon his character and body.

         And when people saw that they could “get” Paul, they lost the respect they would otherwise have for him and perceived him as a mere unprotected everyman, not as some great “man of God” high and lifted up with a big fat wallet in a big fat pulpit on a big fat platform with a big fat “godly” reputation, way above what all other mortals must suffer and far above their congregations and the zombie minions within them.

© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 3]


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

The Image of Deception—Legacy of the Unreal

         The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church:

         There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. [Ephesians 4:4-6] [1] 

         Each of the principle foundation elements of the first Qahal were counterfeited by the Church of the Reversed. Specifically, Jesus became characterized as someone much less than God. He lost His place of total, absolute dominion. He was no longer honored as King of Kings, except possibly in name only, and there was no spiritual kingdom. Repentance became ritualized, and was replaced by the paying of homage to the new Christian Pharisees and the institution they controlled. Unreal Christian adherents no longer repented to the Lord, did a 180 degree turn toward righteousness, or changed their way of thinking to reflect their new spiritual nature (since no real change had taken place).

         The correct water baptism method employed by the first church was corrupted entirely. Candidates were no longer even required to be immersed, for example. Like counterfeit repentance, water baptism evolved into a ritual practice which had much more to do with honoring one’s particular “Christian” culture and traditions rather than honoring the Lord.

         In fact, to illustrate the true nature of the woolly wolves, the “name which is above every name”[2] was no longer invoked in baptism, but banned from the process entirely, and the doctrinal truth of the Spirit of Jesus living within believers continued only in a religious, conceptual sense, and was otherwise thoroughly denounced and disestablished. All four doctrinal points taught by the apostles on the first day of the Church morphed into ritualized practices with no spiritual meaning, and the truths from which they morphed were eventually declared heretical. The new Christian melting pot also contained the adulterated forms of fellowship, bread-breaking, and prayer which were presented as legitimate, though hidden behind each was the salivating, snarling visage of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

         In the final analysis, we discover that the unreal church possessed little more than the fossilized remains of the practices which turned the world upside down in the first century. As a result, the Lord had little authority over its powerless and non-relational members, and church life became a routine practice with little or no life-changing purpose or ability to minister beyond mere human capabilities. But as in many locations in the world today, the Lord’s persecuted church continued to function just as it had in the beginning. Like the remnant of Israel spoken of by Paul in the book of Romans,[3] Jesus has always maintained a remnant of true believers within the earth. His Qahal has never ceased to exist.

         Though only a small minority compared to the vast collection of Christian adherents in the world, its members continue to honor their Messiah as did the upper-roomers. However, since the Lord’s community has never been concerned with geopolitics, the forced subjugation of people groups, or the writing of very subjective chronicles, it has faded from historical view. Even if this knowledge cannot be satisfactorily documented for the skeptics among us, the fact of the matter is that the characteristics of the first Christian community, the prototype, remain extremely different from most of the churches and church organizations throughout history and modern times, both in practice and doctrine. Christians continue to be tied to structures promoting dual class division and institutional formats which have little to do with real Christianity. Christians have largely rejected the work of their most distant ancestors, and have lost due respect for the truths they taught, and the One who taught them.

         Will we continue to be so blind and arrogant that we place the blame for this fact on them, rather than ourselves? They are the ones who built the foundation. They are the ones who paid in blood to set the example which all successive generations were to follow. If their very immature spiritual juniors of the present continue in this vein of quiet mockery and religious complacency, the Unreal Church of the Conformed will grow even larger with greater determination against truth. In fact, the bloody persecution of real Christians will expand from the present hell-holes of this world and will soon go international. Every nation will take part. The greatest enemy of the present day community of called-out ones, however, are not modern Herods and Neros, but modern religionists intent on protecting their turf.

         And who are these chief persecutors? Who are the new Christian Pharisees? In what form do they exist today? Who are the ones influenced by the same spirit that gave Saul of Tarsus his commission to fight the Church? Such deceived ones are much closer to all of us than we think. Through their resolute and unwavering stand for their chosen form of Christianity, they have allowed themselves to become the very image of the unreal.

         Our greatest enemy wears virgin wool.

         © 2001 by RJ Dawson. Pages 64-66 Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church. All Rights Reserved.


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

[2] Philippians 2:9

[3] Romans 9:27

How To Stir Up Religious Spirits (And Start a Raging Persecution Fire)

The Death of Stephen by Gustave Doré

The Death of Stephen by Gustave Doré (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         Way to go, Stephen. Now look what you did!

         If only you would have left well enough alone. Why couldn’t you just find a nice little church somewhere and behave yourself? Why couldn’t you just sit down and shut up? Why couldn’t you just keep your crazy opinions to yourself? Didn’t you know this would happen? Didn’t you know those nice people would go crazy when you confronted them with the truth? Now they’re coming after all of us!

         The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

         And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

         Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council. They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.”

         And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.

         The high priest said, “Are these things so?”

         And he said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME INTO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.’ Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living. But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that HE WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM AS A POSSESSION, AND TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM.

         “But God spoke to this effect, that his DESCENDANTS WOULD BE ALIENS IN A FOREIGN LAND, AND THAT THEY WOULD BE ENSLAVED AND MISTREATED FOR FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. AND WHATEVER NATION TO WHICH THEY WILL BE IN BONDAGE I MYSELF WILL JUDGE,’ said God, ‘AND AFTER THAT THEY WILL COME OUT AND SERVE ME IN THIS PLACE.’

         “And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.

         “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family was disclosed to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all.

         “And Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died. From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. But as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, until THERE AROSE ANOTHER KING OVER EGYPT WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT JOSEPH. It was he who took shrewd advantage of our race and mistreated our fathers so that they would expose their infants and they would not survive.

         “It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father’s home. And after he had been set outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and nurtured him as her own son. Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.

         “On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?’ But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND JUDGE OVER US? YOU DO NOT MEAN TO KILL ME AS YOU KILLED THE EGYPTIAN YESTERDAY, DO YOU?’ At this remark, MOSES FLED AND BECAME AN ALIEN IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN, where he became the father of two sons.

         “After forty years had passed, AN ANGEL APPEARED TO HIM IN THE WILDERNESS OF MOUNT Sinai, IN THE FLAME OF A BURNING THORN BUSH. When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I AM THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC AND JACOB.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. BUT THE LORD SAID TO HIM, ‘TAKE OFF THE SANDALS FROM YOUR FEET, FOR THE PLACE ON WHICH YOU ARE STANDING IS HOLY GROUND. I HAVE CERTAINLY SEEN THE OPPRESSION OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT AND HAVE HEARD THEIR GROANS, AND I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM; COME NOW, AND I WILL SEND YOU TO EGYPT.’

         “This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND A JUDGE?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN.’ This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you.

         “Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, SAYING TO AARON, ‘MAKE FOR US GODS WHO WILL GO BEFORE US; FOR THIS MOSES WHO LED US OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT—WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM.’

         “At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL? YOU ALSO TOOK ALONG THE TABERNACLE OF MOLOCH AND THE STAR OF THE GOD ROMPHA, THE IMAGES WHICH YOU MADE TO WORSHIP. I ALSO WILL REMOVE YOU BEYOND BABYLON.’

         “Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen. And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David. David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him.

         “However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE? WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’

         “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

         Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.

         But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

         But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said,

         “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

         Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. [Acts 6:7-8:4][1]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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