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THE REAL ANTICHRISTS: Revealing the Solomons Among Us

        No spiritual entity on the face of the Earth wastes money and resources like fake churches. And most churches are fake churches. They are staffed by fake people doing fake things. Forrest Gump said his momma told him, “Stupid is as stupid does,” and there you have it.

         The smartest, wisest man who ever lived is said by most pastors and their flocks to be King Solomon. And Solomon was a complete moron and a vile, immoral idiot. He had a moment of wisdom but later squandered it all and joined the devil. But all the church leaders and people still think he was the smartest and wisest.

         Have they never heard of the Lord Jesus? The one they supposedly preach about and believe in?

         No. Solomon. He’s the guy. And they love His big, giant, ornate, over-the-top temple, the very temple God told David to never build. But somehow, some way, it was okay for Solomon to build it.

         No. It wasn’t. Solomon defied God by building it. Solomon was the first antichrist.

         “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…” [Acts 7:46-51] [1]

         Despite Stephen’s clear pronouncements right before his death, right before the Solomon worshippers killed him, Solomon remains the perfect model for most clergyites. It gives them one more excuse to also build big, giant, ornate, over-the-top “temples.” It gives them the impetus to defy God as well.

THEY CREATED A MONSTER

         One MUST notice that whenever these so-called Christians build as Solomon built, they also end up sinning as Solomon sinned. They open up the door to gross moral perversion and build that also. Must we be reminded of all the scandalous moral failures of so many unaccountable “pastors,” television preachers, flaming “music ministers,” Catholic priests and higher ups (including many Popes), and every other “Christian” who insists on Solomon and not the Lord Jesus as their example?

         Once Solomon backslid and left the Lord, he was accountable to no one. He could do whatever he wanted to do and did. He had supreme power. The people disobeyed God and demanded a king and the king they ended up with made their lives miserable, and they were powerless to stop him. There were no checks on his life or behavior. This is ALWAYS a recipe for disaster. Many of these disasters in history have been successfully covered up. The ones that leak out give us both a clue and a warning, but the Solomons and their followers never pay attention.

         Those who follow the example of Solomon, instead of circumcising their hearts and crucifying their flesh as the Lord Jesus taught, coddle their flesh and engage in great flesh indulgence of all and every kind. It also allows them to establish themselves as little antichrists, just like their hero Solomon.

         If one would only do a mere modicum of research one would quickly note that the Lord Jesus and Solomon were polar opposites. One would also note that clergyites are also the polar opposite of the Lord, just as were the Pharisees. The more they become like their hero Solomon, the more they justify their excess, their unchecked authority, and their arrogance. They reach a point where no prophet can get to them and to hell they go.

         We currently have popular “ministers” who many Christians and even other ministers know are adulterers and have engaged in gross immorality, but because they honor Solomon and bring in huge amounts of cash they get a pass. That’s why most “Christian” television was doomed from the start. Because it must suck up millions and millions and even billions of dollars to function and grow, the best money men are always most welcome.

         That’s why such enterprises reach a point where no one exists who can stand up against the temptation that huge amounts of money bring, though some insist they can and have, but don’t. They’re in denial. The people running these enterprises always end up siphoning more and more off for themselves AND ALL THEIR FOLLOWERS LOOK THE OTHER WAY AND JUSTIFY IT ALL.

         Forrest Gump is Albert Einstein compared to such people.

         This Solomon mentality is most defined in our times by ultra-arrogant pompous swelled-heads who have no problem taking advantage of regular well-intentioned people who don’t have much and struggle financially every day to give, give, give! They see themselves as most worthy. The best at their craft actually DEMAND money and even go so far as to say God will get you if you don’t bless them.

         AND PEOPLE DO IT. EVERY DAY. IN “CHURCHES” ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.

         Their enterprises grow by leaps and bounds.

         The Lord Jesus is out there in the parking lot somewhere because He either refuses to partake of their hogwash but cares about all the deceived people inside or because they would never let Him in anyway simply because there is no room for Him in the pulpit. Sound familiar? “If only we had a real leader…” they say. “If only God would come and help us…” they say. Sorry folks. He would certainly like to help but there is no room. His ministry is shoved aside by Mr. Fatboy preacher/priest/reverend who wants all the glory, authority, and control, (and money).

         Quick question: On all those signs outside church buildings, whose name reigns? The very fact that it says “XYZ Church, Pastor John Doe” tells you everything you need to know.

         Wouldn’t it be refreshing if such church signs made otherwise honest claims such as, “The LORD JESUS is Shepherd here,” and the people actually backed it up?

         But no. That’s just plain silly. WE CAN’T HAVE THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY AS OUR ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY, CAN WE? Perish the thought! Now, everybody back to sleep.

IDOL WORSHIP AND GRAVEN IMAGES

         At the final judgment, it won’t just be Lucy Ricardo whose gonna have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do. According to the Word of God we will all have to account for our actions. And while some sins are certainly worse than others, is it not obvious that the worst sin of all is idolatry? The first three commandments of the ten are anti-idolatry commandments but they never stopped ancient Israel from becoming the most idolatrous nation on earth. And all that idolatry culminated with King Solomon, the worst idolater of all time.

         And that says a lot, when one considers all those ancient nations (and current ones) who love making statues and setting them up everywhere. Let’s see, there’s the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Catholics…

         Oh, and Washington DC. Statues everywhere.

         But mere statues are really not the biggest problem. They are simply relatively minor evidence of another problem. The biggest problem is all those living statues, idols every one, who breathe air and talk (endlessly), and demand control and rip you off.

         THE WORST IDOLS ON THE PLANET TODAY ARE LIVING HUMAN BEINGS.

         Exactly like the antichrist.

         The Lord Jesus knew all about idolatry and how easy most people fall into temptation regarding it, and how much people want to worship other human beings. Most people are conditioned to believe they are mere nobodies and as a result are also conditioned to worship humans better and greater than themselves. The Lord knew all this and it is in part why He went out of His way every day to stay humble and keep a low profile. He did not want people perceiving Him as a mere human to worship, so He purposefully cut out all those things that the elite always use to prop themselves up. He never dressed up as a Pope or a clergyite or a TV preacher or a politician, but took on the persona of a low income working man, humble to the core, meek and mild (but carried a giant stick to whip the devil with and a powerful voice to put the Pharisees in their place).

         If you are still confused about any of this, study the Lord’s life and manner. Study the life of John the Immerser. Study the life and manner of the early apostles and disciples.

         Then compare them to Solomon, the man who most Christians and Jews have been taught to believe was the greatest, and that his reign brought on the greatest glory of Israel.

         HELLO?

         Have they never heard of the Lord Jesus? It still amazes me how so many millions of Christians and Christian leaders never give the Lord Jesus the respect, honor, and authority He deserves. Nobody disses the Lord like these people. It is the legacy of Unreal Christianity.

         Solomon actually brought Israel to its knees through his exorbitant excess and idolatry. He taxed Israel to no end. He destroyed the nation. His legacy was the splitting of the nation in two. It never recovered. A thousand years later in 70AD the little that was left of it ceased to be forever, just as the Lord Jesus prophesied 40 years before.

IS ISRAEL’S PAST OUR FUTURE?

         Our current leaders are looking more like King Solomon every day. We are living in the early part of the Solomon era. It will culminate with the antichrist. Our leaders will look and act more and more like Solomon as the few years we have left go by. These people are already guilty of gross excess and arrogance completely off the scale. Like Solomon, they perceive themselves to be bullet proof and even beyond God’s reach. If you think it’s bad now, and it is (it’s very bad), wait until you see what comes next.

         Here’s a clue: The Roman emperors demanded everyone worship them as God…

         Uh Oh.

         © 2015 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.

See Also:

REJECTING THE LORD’S SACRIFICIAL DEATH: WHY ARE CHRISTIANS SUPPORTING A THIRD TEMPLE?

Storming the Gates of Hell: The Spiritual Freedom, Maturity, and Responsibility of Real Christians

         “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” [Luke 4:18-19]

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         Today is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, also known as “The Great Charter of the Liberties.” An English document intended for rudimentary freedoms toward a restoration of basic liberties, it was immediately annulled by Pope Innocent III then reissued a year later. The Magna Carta began a centuries-long process toward political and spiritual freedom that eventually led toward the establishment of the freedoms gained in the American Revolutionary War.

         We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

         Any American who reads the above passage from the Declaration of Independence and still doesn’t get it is an American in name only, just like so many clueless “Christians” who are Christian in name only.

         This is a definitive statement that agrees perfectly with scripture and acknowledges the powerful fact that the Creator of us all has granted freedom to us all, that He has created us all equally, and that it is up to each individual to seek strongly with no reservation one’s own individual God-granted life, liberty, and happiness. Before one can set others free, one must himself be free.

         We have been blessed in this nation with the legal support to become and be real Christians freely, with constitutional backing, and unlike the vast majority of tyrannical nations in this world throughout time, it makes it relatively simple to obey the commandments of God and spread the Gospel message.

         And yet, we have a seeming majority of so-called Christians who deny it all. In their ridiculous opinion, Christians have no rights to seek anything whatsoever and must be forever banished to being powerless little non-people who are then supposed to somehow carry out the great obligations the Creator has placed upon them.

         Where does this goofy, unbiblical, and anti-human idea come from?

         Oh yeah—clergyites. You know, the guys with all the power, prestige, honor, answers, and control. Modern day clergyites are the direct spiritual descendants of the first century Pharisees, those who wanted to control every single aspect of every person’s life. These are the people who promise spiritual freedom but force everyone to sit down in pews all lined up in neat rows and never, ever utter a single word, and believe and practice only that which is dictated to them.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

         The institutional clergy middlemen serve primarily not as ministers of light, but as blockages of the spiritual ministry of the Lord Jesus. Their insistence upon strong central authority has resulted in a free and strong people becoming unfree, spiritually wimpy, and incredibly quiet.

         As a result, after so many centuries, these people have created a massive underclass of submissive, spiritually ignorant, Biblically illiterate nobodies who have become so conditioned to their illicit rule and heavy-handed regulations that they rarely, if ever, utter a single peep against what has been perpetrated upon them for fear of incurring their wrath, but mostly, and much more importantly, for fear of incurring God’s wrath.

         And yet, God is the very one who wants us all to be free! Why then, are  God’s” ministers holding everyone in check? Why are they all demanding that we serve them? Why do they all insist that they must be honored to the nth degree while all the pew-sitters get squat?

         Could it be because such a system does not serve God as much as it serves them?

         “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.” [Matthew 23:4-7]

         I am not arguing against proper authority, and the Lord Jesus has certainly authorized proper authority within His community. But I do argue very strongly AGAINST unrestricted clergyite excess and FOR the individual authority of every believer, BECAUSE GOD HAS GRANTED HIS AUTHORITY TO US ALL, not simply a miniscule subset of self-pronounced thoroughbreds.

         How in the world are a mass of ultra-conditioned and manipulated no-namers in the devil’s eyes afraid to speak up against a celergyite ever going to effectively speak up against and fight the devil? The entire process is backwards. The Lord Jesus needs great, powerful people filled with His powerful Holy Spirit to take the battle to the enemy exactly the way the Lord and His people did in the early years. It is the only possible way to defeat the invisible forces of evil.

THE DEFEAT OF BRUTAL ROME

         In case one has forgotten, the Roman Empire was ruled by brutal dictators and sub-tyrants on every level who had no feeling whatsoever for anyone who refused Roman rule, especially real Christians. There were ongoing Christian persecution campaigns from the very beginning that lasted at intervals over centuries, and it was all because the early believers insisted on serving the Lord Jesus as God and no other.

         And guess what? The Christians won! The community of the Lord grew like a powerful, well-cultivated garden and spread over the entire empire regardless of any and every method the devil and Roman leadership used to stop it. The Lord Jesus made real disciples by the millions!

         For a current equivalent, do some research on what’s been happening in China over the last 30-40 years. Millions and millions are filled with the Spirit of the Lord and are taking over in the same way.

         How did it happen then, that we in America somehow lost that early fervor and strength of our forebears to the point that we willingly submit to so-called “pastors” whose idea of a spiritual army involves surrendering to their authority on every level? And the vast majority of these guys are mere talking heads and powerless blowhards less manly than most of the men in the pews.

         And we wonder why America is going down the drain. The greatest potential resource God has is being wasted while sitting perpetually on the bench and never getting in the game because every position on the field has been taken over by T-balling clergyites making a mockery of God’s work.

         When individual Christians are taught to surrender their God-given authority and freedom to wimpy controllers of a false system that effectively gets NOTHING done in a real spiritual fight, it plays perfectly into the hands of the devil himself who would rather face a bunch of illiterate wimps any day of the week than one single real Christian, because he knows that one single real Christian will hurt him.

         God wants and needs believers who can do damage to the devil’s kingdom.

         As it stands, though, the vast majority of “Christians” in America have been trained by religious quacks to do the very opposite of what the Lord Jesus instructed. It is a form of enchantment. What kind of theological magic is this, in which people think they are serving God but deny the authority of the Lord and refuse His freedom within their assemblies?

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

         Most so-called believers put no fear on the devil whatsoever. Most are no threat. Most do not attack him. Most just sit around and go through the motions completely oblivious to the battle all around them, while sinners go unsaved, miracles go unperformed, the sick go unhealed, the needy go unassisted, and no one is ever filled to overflowing with His life-giving and power-producing Holy Spirit.

         And if anyone is confused on the issue, what good does it do to assist people according to natural means only and deny them freedom from sin and the forces of evil? The Lord Jesus was always a proponent of establishing spiritual freedom first. It was and remains His primary objective.

         Therefore, the Lord has no need of powerless pew-sitting converts. He needs DISCIPLES. He needs people who can do damage to the devil’s illicit kingdom and rescue souls from it.

         In short, He needs all of us to be KNOWN IN HELL:

         God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

         But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

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         And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

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         And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

         This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. [Acts 19:11-20] [1]

         © 2015 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.

Religion is a Mind Closer

         Nothing shuts people off from greater truth than religion. The religions most notorious for this diabolical practice are the various forms of Unreal Christianity.

         The devil started the practice of preaching disbelief in God and His Word in the very beginning, when he put doubt in the heart of Eve by questioning the legitimacy of God’s true intentions. Indeed, satan’s question to Eve, “Has God Said?” (Genesis 3:1) has been the devil’s mantra ever since.

         He flat out lied to a gullible Eve who had professed evil intentions in her heart. Though she knew exactly what God really said, what He taught, and what He commanded, her desire was to explore the limits of sin and visit the very place and the only place God commanded must never be visited. Her desire to explore evil was cleverly disguised as an attempt to become “spiritually aware,” to become authoritative and strong, and even to become like God Himself. She decided she must break out of what she perceived as limitations curtailing her freedom.

I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR.

         Though Eve incorrectly perceived herself to be boxed in, a box certainly existed. It was actually Pandora’s Box. And when she opened it, thinking she was opening some great Christmas present that would usher her into a wonderful world of spiritual knowledge and freedom, she discovered that God had never limited her at all, but was trying to protect her. The commandment to never partake of the evil tree was actually God’s protective shield of her soul and life. She had incorrectly believed that God was obstructing her from a higher, better place.

         People must be allowed to choose. It is why God never forces anyone’s will. And that is why this world has become an ever-growing, festering, gigantic trash dump and manure pile of sin.

         It all resulted from the incorrect actions of Eve, who, though greatly deceived by the devil, made it all possible through her own rebellious and manipulative desire to be like God, on her terms, through pride and because of pride, with no perception whatsoever of the real DOOR.

REAL REPENTANCE

         Religion is not that door. Unreal Christianity is not that door. The purveyors of false religions tell us to do anything and everything other than the only thing and the real thing that will allow us to meet the Lord, and they draw the line and bar the door at that one thing: Real Repentance.

         Why is real repentance so important? It is when the Blood of Jesus is applied to the cleansing of one’s soul.

         False Christian religions do not preach repentance. If they did, everyone who walked into a service on any given day would hear all about it, every service, in a clear and understanding manner. To hell with people getting saved, set free, and delivered from sin, they say. They refuse to be disciples of the Lord and do what it takes to be used in that way. All they really want is religious power, money, and converts. They want a religious social club. Most preachers/priests/reverends are far too concerned with the things that benefit themselves and their religious enterprises. They are anti-examples. 

         The example of John the Immerser, however, is a perfect example. The reason he preached far out in the wilderness is because God wanted him to have nothing to do with the established false religions of the Jews.

         The Sadducees did not even believe in spiritual practices or the resurrection. They were sold out to this world and were in bed with money, power, and the Roman government, and it benefitted them greatly. They were evil. There are many present examples of large bodies with false mindsets within overall Unreal Christianity who believe and practice exactly as did the Sadducees.

         And exactly like still more forms of present Unreal Christianity, the Pharisees thought they were perfect, and believed they were perfectly teaching the real Word of God. The Lord Jesus even implied that they were, except they never practiced it. They made up a plethora of their own unwritten rules and extra-Biblical beliefs, exactly as the many forms of false Christianity later did, and continue to do today. The Lord Jesus said the Pharisees were children of the devil. He would say the same thing about Unreal Christianity.

         John had to be set apart from all that diabolical religious nonsense. He had one message—REPENT. He commanded all who came to hear him to repent, to stop sinning, to get right with God, and to break free from corrupt religious practices that did the opposite of what they preached. God chose him as a perfect vessel for the process, “the greatest man ever born of a woman” (Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28).

         John was a prophet. He was the last Old Testament prophet. He had the anointing of Elijah. He HAD to be out in the wilderness away from all the corruption of false religion or he would have never achieved his calling. And he did achieve it. He did exactly as the Lord commanded him and did an excellent job.

         Where are the John the Immersers of today?

         The Lord Jesus also preached the message of repentance, of course. Everywhere He went He commanded repentance as the door to THE DOOR. Eve rejected repentance and chose spiritual and personal pride, which amounted to religious pride. It was the exact thing the Pharisees did. The devil became Eve’s father that day, and Adam, like a complete idiot, not wanting to lose Eve, chose the devil as well.

         The apostles all preached repentance. “REPENT” WAS THE VERY FIRST WORD PETER USED WHEN GIVING THE ANSWER ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.

         In the vast majority of “Christian” church services, one never hears the word repent. It’s just not a nice thing to say. People will get mad. It would create a hassle. Who needs that? Substitutes and counterfeits are put forth instead. Why do the purveyors of Unreal Christianity do this? Why do they deny to the people the one thing that will begin the process of eliminating their sin and bring them closer to God?

         It is for the same reason the Pharisees did what they did. They wanted people to honor them, not God. What a strange twist—John told it exactly right but was out in the middle of nowhere looking and acting and speaking like the complete opposite of a clergyite and got great results. His ministry turned around the heart of an entire nation!

         Where are the John the Immersers of today?

AN ALTERNATIVE AGENDA

         The majority of “Christian” adherents have closed their minds to God’s reality. Exactly like Eve and the Pharisees, they have desired the opposite of that which God commands. They do it for personal pride and advancement, and standing within this world’s culture. They even ascribe to and mix in as leaven the worldly cultural practices and beliefs of a fallen world in order to gain the benefits of the culture. Their desire is for wealth and power in this world through the practice of their religion, and will listen to nothing that hinders that desire and pursuit.

         The fruit of this garbage is all around us. For the most part, “Christianity” is indeed DEAD.

         Real Christianity, however, is advancing powerfully.

         By refusing to succumb to the devil’s lies and false diabolical doctrines, the disciples of real Christianity understand repentance for the door it is. Their minds are open to the things of God and they do not care about any personal inconvenience or rejection by others. As a result, they have entered THE DOOR and are filled with the Spirit of God, and they have the evidence to prove it, unlike the fakers who claim the same but are deficient of proof.

         The Lord is against dead religion that cuts people off from THE TRUTH, especially that of the “Christian” variety. It is up to each of us as individuals to choose correctly and break free from Unreal Christianity, all false doctrines, and fake preachers/priests/reverends, strangers all, who refuse the ministry of repentance from sin, notably religious sin—spiritual pride, the first sin—and obey and follow the Lord Jesus unto LIFE in Him:

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 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.”

         This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

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

         © 2015 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.

I’M FREE (Messiah’s Pointed to the Door!)

BE FREE

         As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

         They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

         Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

PHARISEES ARE IDIOTS

         “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.

         They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

         Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.

MURDEROUS, LYING, RELIGIOUS CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL

         You are doing the deeds of your father.”

         They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.”

         Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 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. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

THRUST AND PARRY

         The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

         Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.”

         The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’ Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?”

JUST WHO ARE YOU EXACTLY?

      Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

      So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

      Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.”

      Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. [John 8:30-59] [1]

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LYRICS FOLLOW BELOW (TURN UP YOUR SPEAKERS):

 

I’m free

I’m free

And freedom tastes of reality

 

I’m free

I’m free

And I’m waiting for you to follow me

 

If I told you what it takes

To reach the highest high

You’d laugh and say, “Nothing’s that simple”

 

But you’ve been told many times before

Messiah’s pointed to the door

No one had the guts to leave the temple

 

I’m free

I’m free

And freedom tastes of reality

 

I’m free

I’m free

And I’m waiting for you to follow me

 

How can we follow?

How can we follow? [2]

 

          © 2015 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.

[2] © 1969 Pete Townshend THE WHO

Be Encouraged (3)

         In order for the Lord Jesus to make a reset, a reset must first be made in the life of an individual who desires a reset by that individual and by no one else.

         The latter reset, the one by the individual, is a choice. That’s all it is. It is an appeal to the Lord for help. The individual has no power to actually make any changes in the spiritual world to overcome the effects of the material world since he or she is limited to making choices that create change only in the material world.

         Until repentance, one is in jail and often does not know it. And with no desire for real repentance one is free to exist without God.

         The material world is limited. It is finite. There is only so much a person can do. And when a person is beset with the result of past sins and slavery to sin one has the added bonus of an allegorical albatross around one’s neck and a ball and chain on one’s foot.

         Not good.

         Some people notice this though maybe only in a foggy sense. They know something is not right. Something doesn’t add up. They exist in the midst of an illusion and false construct and are made to do things that do not satisfy their hearts.

         So they search. These are the smart ones. The ones who are not smart decide to simply live for this world.

         The smart ones who search must want THE TRUTH whatever the truth happens to be. They are looking for the keys. One must desire the means of escape even if the means is uncomfortable, socially unacceptable, a destroyer of one’s pride, and sure to cause trouble.

         So, whoever refuses the above probabilities need go no further…

 

         Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 3:4]

         This is a very powerful statement. Let’s read it again:

         Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 3:4]

         Did you know this principle applies regardless of group size or official capacity? It applies to an individual just as it applies to governments and ruling institutions.

         Quick questions:

         Was the Roman Empire an enemy of God?

         Can a “church” be a friend of the world?

         For further insight and clarification, let’s look at the fourth chapter of James in context:

         What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

         You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

         Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us?”

         But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

         Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

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

         Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. [John 4:1-17]

         The last verse speaks of a violation of conscience. Everybody has a conscience. No one has an excuse. God judges the heart.

         But have you noticed a person has a much greater chance of surrendering to the Lord Jesus if he or she has not already surrendered to a group?

         Peer pressure is a killer. A government makes a bad law and everyone obeys it because they are afraid to stand up against it and invite the government’s wrath. Religions have codes that all within them must obey or they will be deemed a slacker and many obey codes and rules they do not agree with simply because they do not want to be characterized as a slacker and lose their standing in the group. People who belong to whatever culture must obey the expectations and ways of that culture or the culture will turn on them.

         So we can see very clearly that the Community of the Lord Jesus is obviously made up of people who did not fit elsewhere. It is made up of strong-minded and strong-willed people who love the truth and will stand up for it regardless of personal cost.

         And the greatest personal cost is always rejection from the prior group, the members of which are compromised by a lack of love for the truth, a heart with little or no courage, a desire to make it in this world at the expense of the next, a love of money, uncontrolled lust for things material, a desire for social prestige, and weak capitulation to any strongman who demands to rule them.

         America, for example, was once a nation of strong individuals. Individualism was the very thing that made this country great. Strong groups are made of strong individuals.

         Does anyone wonder how the Lord Jesus was able to stand up against virtually everyone and every group who all saw Him as a malcontent and deviant? Or how the early disciples faced so much persecution willingly without surrender, even to the point of death?

         These were strong people. Real Christians are the strongest people on the planet simply because they are the most persecuted. They are hated without a cause. They are seen as deviants. They are culturally unacceptable. They don’t fit anywhere but in the Kingdom of God. They will have no master of any kind whatsoever other than the Lord Jesus. They are sheep of His pasture and no one else’s.

         Be encouraged. The Lord is THE ROCK and His children are rocks.

         Rock on.

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

         “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:10-16] [1]

         © 2015 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.

 

Be Encouraged (2)

         There are people in this world who have never done anything wrong other than be a human being prone to sin and yet have suffered terribly. Through no fault of their own or choice made on their own they exist in this world under very challenging circumstances. Some people have suffered horrendous wrongs and have never received even the slightest modicum of justice.

         Mature people learn early on that this world is not just. One can delude oneself all day long if that is one’s choice and insist in little kid fashion that all is fair and all is being taken care of and everything will be okay and all will work itself out and I am a good person and on and on.

         In reality, however, some people know that evil—great evil—tremendous evil—exists in this world and that they have become its victims to various degrees. Tell an aborted child who just made the trip to heaven that there is no evil or that everything works out in the end. Tell him or her that the choices made by people to tear his or her tiny perfect body apart and end his or her one and only chance at life that justice always prevails.

         Tell victims of unjust wars—and 99% of all wars in human history are without doubt unjust and happened only to satisfy powerful people and gain them more wealth and power—that unjust wars do not exist and it’s just your tough luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tell victims of murder, rape, robbery, and the unjust confiscation of their lands, property, money, health, and desire to live after such wanton destruction by people with absolute power and absolutely no heart have destroyed everything they have that justice always prevails.

         The fact of the matter is that justice in this world is not blind, is applied selectively, and most people are not selected. The rich and powerful, however, are always selected.

         Then remember the very clear teachings of the Lord Jesus:

         “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33]

         “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” [Matthew 24:9]

         “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.” [Mark 13:19] [1]

         The Lord spoke of a tribulation birthing process in which birth pangs will begin and increase exponentially. In other words, the evil present in this world will grow even greater, and even to the point in which it appears nothing, including His own people, will survive.

         But lest one believe that tribulation has not always been here, consider what happened to the Lord Jesus—a perfect Man who never did anything wrong. Or consider what happened to His selected apostles and so many of His disciples. They did exactly what He told them to do and suffered as a result. It tells one that evil certainly exists and if one dares to challenge it one will pay. But if one never challenges evil then evil wins without a fight. It has been the victory of evil to merely intimidate and threaten without ever having to carry out such threats in most cases since most people have no courage.

         But the Lord told us to be courageous, to receive His courage, and to be encouraged. Despite all the evil present way back then the Lord Jesus won anyway. The early believers won anyway. And we in the present can and will win anyway.

         There is nothing the Lord Jesus cannot do but we must always remember that this world in not heaven and it is unjust. The Kingdom of Heaven resides in this world and it is certainly just. It is just because it is run by a just King. It should therefore be obvious that in places where justice does not prevail, the Lord Jesus is not King.

         To the extent that the Lord can, since He is limited by our faith and obedience, He can certainly fix things. Here’s how:

         (1) Repent of all sin, evil deeds, disobedience, and hate.

         (2) Forgive everybody for anything they have ever done no matter how evil.

         (3) Love everybody, even your enemies.

         (4) Surrender your entire life and everything you possess to the only just King, and pledge yourself to full obedience to Him. His justice will then prevail in your life. Part of this process (though many will reject it), involves a proper water immersion response. And if someone thinks this is not necessary or superfluous I must remind one that the Lord created it, it is all over the Book of Acts, and both the Lord and the early believers thought it was very important. If one can somehow look beyond the surface one will see why.

         (5) Allow the Lord Jesus to fill you with His powerful and loving Holy Spirit so you can have power and strength and might to both fight the good fight of faith to the greatest extent using a power not your own but also to be empowered to minister in powerful ways for the benefit of others who have been victims of evil and to be enabled to overcome all things.

         The mark of a real Christian is being a selfless agent of God being used to overcome the evil and injustice of this world using any and all means possible and to properly arm oneself with all that may be required in order to set people free.

         © 2015 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.

Be Encouraged (1)

         The Lord Jesus will return again soon. He will set everything aright.

         He brings everything to pass precisely at its time; He also puts eternity in their mind, but without man ever guessing, from first to last, all the things that God brings to pass. [Ecclesiastes 3:11 JPST]

         We sometimes find ourselves in the middle of an impossible challenge. Yet, many of us also know that, with God, all things are possible.

         Here is the test of our faith:

         The Lord God is righteous. He created everything. Mankind has rebelled against God and sinned. Mankind has brought gross corruption to this planet. The corruption continues to grow exponentially. God has never left the planet, but has been outvoted. It does not mean that He does not remain all-powerful or that He cannot act. It merely means that one must choose. One must develop eyes to see. One must know that God cares and has solutions.

         But one must also know that because of the extreme interconnectivity of everything on the planet, anything done affects other things unseen, and as is often the case, the “solutions” of sinful rebellious humanity only make things worse.

         The people ruling this planet making the biggest decisions affecting the most people are not righteous whatsoever, and are indeed the opposite of righteous. They are in league with the devil. They have agreed with a diabolical covenant that has as its foundation two basic tenets:

         (1) The devil is the god of this world and everyone had better recognize it and obey him, and

         (2) Those who surrender to him and honor him the most receive the greater benefits.

         Hence, if a person is sold on this world instead of the Kingdom of God, if one loves mammon, if one loves imbibing the lusts of sinful flesh, and if one cares little or nothing for a God-given conscience that warns one of illicit behavior and the certain eventual results thereof, then one will end up falling directly into the devil’s trap.

         However, because of the nature of the devil’s sly and deceptive game, a person on the wrong path never knows the full extent of a trap being set or that he or she is heading directly for it. It is only afterwards, after one has been trapped and is beset with the terrible effects of the imprisonment thereof, that one recognizes one has been deceived.

         It should be obvious, therefore, that the best, most influential, and most successful human agents of the devil are those which appear as the very opposite and are in positions of well-accepted authority. Looking up to them, listening to them, obeying them, and even following them leads one to the very trap we have thus discussed.

         You will know these people because they never acknowledge the absolute authority of the Lord Jesus. Never. Not even the so-called Christian religious authorities.

         This should open a few eyes but such is a rare event. If the Lord had to actually appear in all His powerful radiance to the murderous, hateful, ultra-religious Phariaical Saul to get his attention, even to the point of knocking the little weasel off his horse and on his backside, what makes everyone else so special? The fact is that the Lord most often has to do the same thing to every one of us to gain our attention and eventual salvation.

         Of course, there is no possibility of being deceived by the fake shining agents of the devil if one follows the Lord Jesus, who is God and has revealed Himself as God. Yet, strangely enough, He is not perceived as God, as the one supreme leader of the Universe, even by most Christians, because of the devil’s deceiving influence, and this is why most people never really submit to and exclusively follow the Lord.

         It is the rejection of the Lord Jesus that causes the acceptance of false leaders and their false agendas. It is the acceptance of the Lord Jesus as the Master and sole authority of one’s life that causes complete rejection of anyone and everyone else who would stand in His place, especially those within the religious realm, and especially those within the “Christian” religious realm.

         Most Christians fail and their lives never come to full fruition simply because they have accepted other leaders as the sole authorities in their lives rather than the Lord.

         Those who never fully accept the Lord Jesus do so at their own peril. Until the trap is sprung they never see it coming.

         As the apostle Paul recounted his first meeting with the Lord to King Agrippa, he included some incredible words of the Lord Jesus which explain perfectly our world situation and why so many are in absolute darkness, including himself prior to that eventful first meeting:

         “While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.

         “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

         “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.

         ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,

         ‘To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’” [Acts 26:12-18] [1]

         If a person has never experienced a great trap-freeing experience as the apostle Paul did—if one has never been born again spiritually—then one remains in the trap, otherwise known as the dominion of Satan.

         And one remains deceived by some very influential people who have actually embraced the dominion of Satan because of the earthly benefits they have been granted. For most people, of course, there are few benefits or none at all.

         And this explains everything.

         In Part 2 we will look further into how the Lord Jesus can fix things, rearrange things, and set things aright in order to bring blessing to His children.

         Be encouraged.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Unreal Christianity: Hamsters on a Spinning Wheel

         You’re in a cage. But you don’t know that. Your perspective is as limited as your spiritual geography. You have been taught over many years by fake smiling faces to get in your cage, stay in your cage, get dumb, stay dumb, don’t think, don’t express, stay within yourself, and be in prison…

         It’s called a clergy spirit. Clergyites must control. Without control, clergyites have no reason to exist, cannot exist, have nothing to do, and have no reason for being.

         But give them something to control and their brains suddenly start coming to life like an extravagant outdoor Christmas lighting display.

         What must they control?

         People. Always people.

         And the results of their obsession and control is obvious to everyone with the real Light of God outside the cage and off the wheel.

         “Hey Mommy, what are those people?

         “Well, Johnny. Those are unreal Christians.”

         “Why are they in that cage and going around on that wheel?”

         “Well, Johnny, it’s because they think they’re going somewhere.”

         “Where do they think they’re going?”

         “Nobody knows, Johnny. Nobody knows. And neither do they…”

DECEPTION OR DISEASE?

         The obsession of the clergy is not classified as a disease. The even greater obsession of obeying the clergy is not classified as a disease either. The reason is twofold:

         (1) All things behavioral found in the institutional religious camp are not classified among psychological problems and diseases because such are perceived as faith issues with deep-set and often generational stimuli at the core of one’s being which must be respected since change is rendered next to impossible.

         (2) The clergyites are an extension of political and statist controllers who know that control in general is a must in order for the ruling class to stay in power, and they perceive religious leaders as serving a very useful purpose and are therefore respected.

         This is why clergyites in general are always respected by society in general without even knowing why this is the case or why no one ever questions these people on their control techniques and apparatus. And if you think asking questions of hamsters in a cage on a spinning wheel will get you anywhere you would be wrong because it’s something they cannot explain either.

         Religious practices contrary to the teachings of the Lord Jesus are thus seen as “the right thing to do” without even knowing why one is doing it. One might think they have an answer early on regarding the hoped-for results or perceived results of their religious actions and protocol but such hoped-for results fade over time and are never actually actualized.

         In time religious people then become stuck in their rote behavioral patterns and get closed-mouthed and closed-minded about it and will even become quite belligerent with anyone who may question their strange acquiescence to controlling controllers and the process of cramming their otherwise brilliant minds into a space the size of a tiny med bottle and living by the spirituality-killing meds within the tiny bottle.

         Why does one not see that such behavior is the exact opposite of the behavior exhibited by those in the Upper Room on that first Day of Pentecost or by all of those real disciples throughout the early years of the Lord’s community?

         Why can’t they perceive that their stifling and incoherent behavior is the result of a different teaching mechanism (false gospel) and is nothing whatsoever like that which the Lord Jesus taught about and brought to this world?

         Why can’t they understand the simple concept that ultra-controlled behavior is the result of ultra-controlling controllers?

         Why has the other side of the action-reaction principle become invisible?

         Why can’t they see the other end of the harness to which they are attached?

         Why can’t they perceive the wizard behind the curtain?

         “I don’t know why I do what I do. I only know I do it. I must stay in the cage. I must stay on the wheel. I must go round and round…”

RELIGIOUS SLAVERY

         Regarding actual hamsters, we know why they run within a spinning wheel in a cage: They’re in jail.

         They have energy. They must move. They were created to be free with a large range and a purpose in life but all of that has been stolen from them. They exist purely at the whim of their owners who are somehow gratified by having such little pets over which they can watch, control, take care of, and be amused by. Now, if one could only harness the energy of the spinning wheel with the hamster in it and put it to some practical money-making use the circle would be complete.

         Does this ever happen with humans? Does it ever happen with religious humans? Are there people in this world who actually have the desire to make money off of other people? Are any of these types found in religious circles? Do some religious leaders see their “flock” as mere living wallets from which they extract their living and build their enterprises?

         When one removes all pretense, this desire to control and use people is boiled down to being nothing more than slavery. And those evil people who have believed in and practiced slavery throughout history had only one objective, and that was to use other human beings for their own purposes. Thus, it should otherwise be obvious that there is a thing called religious slavery.

         Just like breaking horses and hitching them up to wagons or throwing a saddle on them, people have their breaking points when they finally give up, give in, and surrender to some form of slavery so they can get along in this world. They would rather be free but see real freedom as a practical impossibility and eventually give up all hope of ever having any real life and freedom and become jaded and redneck with regard to the possibility.

         They may know somewhere way down deep in their heart that there is or was a way toward something better that their hearts used to believe in and strive for (spiritual freedom) but having failed repeatedly to find it and because they see all authority figures as exalted superiors who tell them no such way exists, they give up hope and become stoic lumps of humanity with closed minds and mere superficial outward expressions that mask their inner desires of something better.

         This is what fake man-made religions do to people, and all of these fake man-made religions are controlled by some form of clergyites, which makes religious controllers the guilty party though most see them as benevolent, innocent, highly advanced, and loving gurus doing the “right” thing.

THIS IS RELIGIOUS DECEPTION OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.

         It is the very thing and the most diabolical thing the Lord Jesus came to free us from and also that which He had the greatest fight against. It was the clergyites of His day that caused Him the greatest problems and who were always trying to kill Him. They both knew they could never exist together since the clergyites had stolen His place of authority for themselves and would never give it up. They were full of the devil—literally.

         Those evil people eventually succeeded in His murder, but only because He laid down His life for all. All their prior attempts had failed miserably.

         The Gospels are thus SHOUTING at us all to watch out for those guys who want to control one’s spirituality and stamp it with their own false garbage. Their objective is never to turn you on to the full revelation of the Lord Jesus and allow you to be completely free in Him but to make a brain dead religious slave of you and get your money in the process.

         “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 23:13]

         But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

         And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. {pernicious ways: or, lascivious ways, as some copies read}

         And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. [2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV]

LIGHT EXPOSING THE DARKNESS

         Until the Lord Jesus came to live among us 2000 years ago the devil had remained very successfully hidden.

         Then, THE DEVIL WAS SUDDENLY EXPOSED. The Lord Jesus tore down the curtain of illusion and revealed all the evil people submitted to the devil as well, and this is a major component of the real Gospel.

         When the real Gospel is preached, the Light of God shines in such an all-pervasive way that the devil and his people cannot hide, have no place left to hide, and all the little unseen spaces where the cockroaches usually hide are suddenly lit up like airport runways blinding them by the Light.

         Hence, the actual effect of the real Gospel chases the devil and his people to places they can no longer find to escape the Light. They are the ones who are then relegated to, and are supposed to be relegated to, a spinning wheel to nowhere in screaming fearful flight of a Light they cannot shun and an objective to hide that can never be achieved again.

         “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

         For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” [John 3:19-20]

         THIS LIGHT IS WITHIN THOSE WHO ARE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND WHO ARE CALLED, COMMISSIONED, AND EMPOWERED BY GOD TO SHINE THE LIGHT, TESTIFY OF THE LIGHT, PROMOTE SPIRITUAL FREEDOM, REVEAL ALL DARKNESS, AND EXPOSE THE DEVIL.

         In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

         The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

         There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

         There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

         He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

         He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

         But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:4-13] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Christian TV: Entertaining Actors Unaware

         Many billions of dollars have been spent on Christian television over the last few decades with little overall effect on the spiritual condition of the country, though a few have greatly benefitted.

         By this it should be obvious that money never drives real revivals and actual spiritual awakenings. Neither do popular personalities. Great Awakenings are always brought forth by the Lord Jesus through very humble people on a grassroots level, often with minimal financial support.

         Appearing on major Christian television networks, these major personalities have major backing by tens of thousands of people who support each of them unequivocally. In essence, these personalities are idolized.

         They are never questioned. Their backers have long since been persuaded by the demands of their religious culture to be silent and absolutely supportive. Their backers have been taught to believe that these personalities are standing right next to God Himself, are spiritually special, and are “God’s anointed.” Maybe some are.

         Television is the perfect medium for these personalities. However, before they could ever appear on television, they must have first proved to be able to gather large crowds of solid supporters who never question anything they do or teach, though the majority of these personalities do not teach the fullness of the New Testament.

         Here is a sign—a clear disclosure for anyone with eyes to see.

         How is it that these personalities do not typify and better represent the example of the Lord Jesus as clearly illustrated in the Gospels? They do not seem to look like the Lord Jesus or any of the original apostles and disciples of the Lord. In fact, they sometimes present themselves as the complete opposite.

         In further fact, some of them by their very example apparently live by the motto, in referring to the Lord Jesus, “He must decrease while I must increase.”

         Uh Oh.

WHO’S FOLLOWING WHO?

         In order to be successful, they had to create not disciples of the Lord Jesus, but their own followers. Their followers are not necessarily followers of the Lord and are usually not His disciples. Why? Because it is obvious that the Lord Jesus is not their primary focus and that they do not answer to the Lord but to these personalities they have chosen to be their leaders.

         Once these personalities have gained a substantial following, they are allowed to be on television because television programs can only be successful if people watch. Having a built-in following already insures that a sizable amount of market share can be gained and can be used to build upon.

         Some prove to be not quite ready for primetime. Some fail their opportunity. It could be because they are too honest and too real.

         Others, however, fit the television medium perfectly. As a result, they are followed by even greater numbers of people, huge market share is gained, and donations rise exponentially. These people are thus gold to the network. They are what make the network successful.

         Remember how the Lord Jesus described Himself? If one wants an accurate description of the Lord, it can be found in the following:

         “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29-30]

         Also, remember how He was kicked out of the synagogues and was fought by organized religion? And how the religious elites and controllers of His day hated Him? And how they finally had enough when He cleaned out the money makers from the temple?

         Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple.

         And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS?’ But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

         The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. [Mark 11:15-18]

         This account adds to the former description of the Lord Jesus. From it we can see that in addition to being gentle and humble in heart, He can also astonish people and make religious leaders afraid of Him.

BRAZEN IMAGES

         The Lord would probably not have been so effective within the deemed requirements of the present Christian television medium. Here’s why:

         People do not want television to reflect reality—even “reality shows” are at least partially scripted (fake). People want television to be entertaining, including Christian television. They want it to reflect fantasy. They want it to be a hyped-up, better-than-this-world, fictional adaptation of reality. And because these major Christian television personalities had already proven themselves to be entertaining showmen by the performances they put on in their churches every Sunday, it makes it possible for them to do the same on television.

         It takes much training to look at a television camera and talk to it as if one were talking to another person. Some are not so good at this. There are television news readers, usually local, who have not quite mastered the concept. They talk to the camera well enough to have their job, but they do not appear so convincing. When a person watches them one can see that the news readers in question are certainly looking at the camera but appear to be talking to the camera instead of talking to the television viewers.

         Major Christian television personalities do not do this. They have mastered the craft of appearing sincere while talking to a camera either with an audience or virtually alone in a studio. If they can get people to identify with them and watch them and listen to them intently as if they were actually talking directly to the person watching on television, then they have mastered the art of communicating through the medium of television.

         This mastered art makes them primarily actors, not preachers of the gospel.

         And everyone knows that the best actors are those who give the most convincing performance.

         “…But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

         “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men…” [Matthew 23:5-7] [1]

         During the Lord’s time, the chief religious actors were the Pharisees. How do we know this? Because the Lord Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, and the meaning of the word hypocrite is, “an actor, a stage player, a dissembler, and a pretender.”

         According to the major Christian television networks that exist because of these major Christian personalities, (1) Image is everything, and (2) Biblical truth is not as important as monetary success and maximum viewership.

REAL CHRISTIANS DON’T GO TO CHURCH TO HAVE CHURCH—THEY ARE THE CHURCH

         It is obviously the same with many churches and denominations. It takes large amounts of money to make a religious enterprise work. It takes the purchase of real estate, much of it very high value. It takes the building of large very expensive structures. It takes the paying of very good salaries. Christians are conditioned to believe that Christianity simply cannot work or function without the preceding and without very large amounts of cash.

         To that end, congregants and adherents of their respective denominations must be put upon to constantly support the enterprises with much time and much money, though most of the money goes to mere material outlays and most of the time is spent going back and forth several times a week attending the “services” in the buildings we call “churches.”

         The Lord Jesus never bought real estate for ministry purposes.

         He never built a church building.

         He never commanded the building of church buildings.

         Neither did any of His original disciples.

         The first official church buildings were built three hundred years later.

         Therefore, one must attempt to figure out how something so foreign to the Lord and the first Christians had become traditionally indispensible to later church folk. What spirit is being honored here? Who are these people trying to impress?

         The Lord Jesus spent most of the donated ministry funds on everyone and everything but Himself. He purposely put Himself at the very end of the line in the use of ministry funds and allowed Himself only the very barest of the bare necessities.

         Pharisees did the opposite. Major Christian Television Personalities often do the opposite. Many church leaders often do the opposite.

         Rather than obeying the Lord Jesus, they have joined the “successful ministry profession,” and simultaneously the “religious acting profession,” since you can’t have one without the other. Both require large amounts of money, so the raising of money through any means possible is vitally necessary to the existence and maintenance of both professions, and has become a ministry of its own.

         That’s why there are “religious telethon ministers” whose primary duty is to raise cash by manipulating as many people as possible using any means possible to get as many donations as possible.

         On top of all this, the owners and purveyors and on-camera personalities of these enterprises use fear tactics against anyone who might question the necessity of their enterprises and the sincerity of its movers and shakers. Those who don’t go along with their shenanigans are attacked and labeled as something ungodly, which is another great trick of the devil.

         The Pharisees used this exact trick on the Lord Jesus many times—“If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” [Matthew 10:25]

         Remember, the above dynamic involved an attack by institutional, traditional, mammon-serving religious leaders and their followers against the Son of God, who appeared as a total radical by comparison. The amount of conviction He brought to them by His perfect example was off the scale.

YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON

         Because correct teaching is deemed less important to the enterprise and is even frowned upon since it tends to greatly decrease market share, mass viewership, and especially potential donations, the major Christian television personalities only engage in what is popularly accepted by the majority since that is where the money comes from.

         They also bow at the altar of all-inclusiveness by accepting non-believers and legitimizing “Christian” cults. They stay away from divisive issues, both social and political, but most often never address any strongly convicting New Covenant truths that are sure to cause problems with their real agenda.

         Every good business owner knows the customer is always right and one must always honor the clients that make one’s business successful. That is why many ministers know one should never tick off the donor base. And whoever has the most money to donate and influence to grant, regardless of their spiritual condition, must be doted on and given a greater stake in the organization and interaction with those at the top of the pyramid.

         Regarding such behind the scenes actions, the truth is usually not possible, whether it concerns real intentions and motivation, or why they shy away from preaching the full Gospel. They appear as seasoned politicians, expertly deflecting everything beyond the script with sincerity and smiling faces, knowing that as long as they have their financial backers everything will be fine. As a result, they are rendered largely untouchable regardless of scandal or the hint of one. Most may be as honest as possible within a not so spick-and-span industry, but many are at least guilty by association.

         And instead of rebuking those among their ranks who are involved in questionable behavior and refuse to toe the New Covenant mark, they rally to the side of the guilty parties who sometimes remain unrepentant. They know the light may be shining on them one day and they’ll need the support of their allies.

         Quiet on the set.

         © 2015 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.

UPDATE (3/13/15): The AP reports that a major Christian television personality, a man who claims he can garner $100,000 for a speaking engagement, needs your help. He needs $65 million dollars for a new luxury jet. Seriously, I do not make this stuff up…

The Great Awakening (and Ruined Reputations)

         I have noticed, since I removed my former cheery greeting at top left—“Thank You for Visiting. Your Reputation is Ruined,” with the current greeting, “We’re in the Early Stages of a National Great Awakening”—that it may be possible for ruined reputations to be further ruined.

         Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Your thoughts are welcome.

         Yet, I remember that day in early September of the year 2010, going on five years ago, when I received afresh that particular revelation. I had just begun writing a paper on the subject. I saw it very clearly. I asked friends what they thought, if they saw any evidence of such an event in the making. I asked friends in ministry. No one saw anything.

         But I know what I heard once again, after first hearing it many years before. I wrote about it in Real Christianity, and I recalled so many who had been talking of such for many years and even decades. I was reminded of how the religious people of the Lord’s day missed His arrival completely, and that even His own disciples in the early going had no clue who He was. Even after His death many of them remained clueless for a while. They had to be rigorously shaken out of their slumber and unbelief.

         You might want to pay attention to this because the Great Awakening will not come forth through the medium of unreal Christianity. Indeed such will fight it and will fight whoever is for the Lord Jesus and thus against them.

         This current Great Awakening is being driven by TRUTH.

         The Pharisees of the first century, that is, the organized official front of the most accepted faction of Jewish belief at the time, not only did not see and did not believe, they insisted repeatedly that the Lord was a charlatan and a false prophet. They hated the fact that so many of the people had succumbed to following the crazy man. They also had rejected John the Immerser. In fact, the organized official front of Jewish religious belief at that time rejected anyone and everyone but themselves, and they maintained their power through force and fear.

         The Lord Jesus never did this. Never. He also never went out of His way to collect converts through spurious means or attempted to build anything material in which to house them (though He was formerly a carpenter). John the Immerser never did this either. Nor did the Lord’s disciples.

         Why?

         It should be obvious.

         I remember a popular book of about fifty years ago entitled Black Like Me. It was about a white man, a writer, who wanted to find a way to go undercover to see how black people were actually treated by some white people. He decided to burr his hair and dye his skin very dark and pass himself off as a black man. It worked. He went out on the streets as a black man and what he discovered shocked him. Used to being treated well, he was suddenly treated very badly.

         This is how it was with the Lord. His “people” praise Him from afar but when they actually meet Him and see what He is really all about He gets treated very badly. As I’ve said often on this site, “Christians” are notorious for this, as were the Pharisees as a group notorious for hating everything about Him. Their problem was that their concept of God did not come close to matching up with the real God, the One who actually showed up among them. They continued to honor the concept—the false image—rather than the real Person.

         It is exactly the same with Truth. The Lord Jesus cut right to the heart of the matter concerning truth when He stated very simply but powerfully, “I AM the Truth.”

         And He is, of course. And they murdered Him for it, of course.

         His reality destroyed His enemies’ false conception of truth.

         His teaching destroyed their false teachings and takeoffs on the Torah.

         He came to make everything right and set them straight, but the elites rejected Him. They paid no attention to the real truth. They did not want the truth. They hated the truth. They repeatedly found fault with Him and His teachings. They had been overcome and brainwashed by false doctrine.

         Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why they hated Him so—He was destroying not only their false concepts, interpretations, doctrines, dogmas, and organization, but in the end, began threatening their money.        

         And if there are two things that unreal Christians care about more than anything else, it is (1a) their money, and (1b) their religious reputations, both of which allow for their false organizations, impure teachings, and power to deceive.

         Real Christians may do whatever they want, but according to unreal Christians, they must never reveal truth that destroys untruth accepted, worshipped, and honored as truth, and they must never do anything in any way, shape, or form that may appear as an attack on their religious wealth.

         Hence, reputation and money are MUST HAVES for the unreal brethren if they are to exist in this world (and they are quite arrogant about it), whereas we have the early historical record that real Christians with NO reputation and NO money turned the world on its left ear and managed to convert the brutal Roman Empire.

         And currently, there is such a surfeit of wealth and false doctrine one can hardly breathe without offending an unreal Christian. It again brings to mind what the Lord said about rank sinners getting in the door long before the few religious elites who might manage it. Most will not. Ever. They will go to hell offended with their reputations and money intact.

         He said the following to the chief priests and elders of the people who questioned His authority while He was teaching in the temple:

         “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:31-32]

         This is why the Lord had to up the ante. This is why He took it upon Himself to visit this place directly after having sent so many messengers before Him. They were all killed and rejected. Yes, that’s right. That’s what happened to them. The Lord Jesus said exactly that.

         But would the current inhabitants of the nation whose members claimed to be His followers for so many centuries who killed all the prior messengers also kill Him?

         People who have no love for the truth have no love for the Lord Jesus, because He is the Truth. But until they actually meet Him and discover who He really is, they will think they love Him. They will think they are serving Him. They really believe they have it right. And because of that they must protect their reputation, their religion, and the money they derive from both, because without these they have nothing at all.

         And this is obviously very true. It is why the Lord Jesus demands that we give up all in order to follow Him. We must give up false renditions of His teachings. We must surrender false concepts of His Person. And we must jettison our money and reputations if they keep us from Him.

         He is not out to make us poor. Rather, He is out to rid us of anything and everything that keeps us dependent upon such things and from a close Fatherly relationship with Him, and to that end He was willing to give His life and did. He called this the greatest love. All who are not willing to do the same will automatically accept a substitute and counterfeit whether they want to or not.

         His early disciples learned this and accepted it. They were at once absolutely and completely rejected by everyone else and it would have been a cold lonely life if the Lord had not also commanded them to love one another and be a family. He commanded them to be a loving community doing whatever they could for one another, but to mostly support one another and accept one another and love one another.

         If there is one thing that defines an unreal Christian it is an institutional pronounced lack of this love.

         The more one buys into the ultra-organized, clergy-dominated, religious reputation-insisted upon, wealth-oriented, surface-oriented, control-oriented, and dumbing-down of followers-oriented method of the Christian Pharisees, the more likely one will never know the real truth and consequently be in bondage to lies and deception without ever knowing it.

         Now, with reference to my former greeting on this site, I knew the second I joined up with the Lord Jesus many years ago that my worldly reputation was shot forever, not that I necessarily even had one then, and I had many people, Christian and non-Christian (but mostly Christian) reminding me of it all the time. Should I restore my former greeting?

         Regarding the Great Awakening, we must open our eyes and break out of any restrictive and blinding religious drudgery and routine we may be bogged down in. Some of those I talked to four and a half years ago have since come to agree with me, and claim they are indeed seeing signs. Maybe the signs are subtle. Maybe some are looking for the wrong signs. Maybe some are doing nothing to help bring it forth.

         Remember, those who claimed to know God best before He came here two-thousand years ago were the ones who knew Him the least and not at all. They rejected Him outright. Let’s make sure we don’t fall for someone’s false agenda or false narrative, all of which have to do with the maintaining of power and wealth. But I caution all, if you decide to follow the real Jesus—God with us—the unreal among us will let you know post haste that you’re an idiot, even if all you ever do to incur their wrath is decide to never join their club or to leave their club.

         But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. [Galatians 2:4]

         Oh, and two more things—rather than being packed together like proverbial sardines, real Christians might get used to the social distance incurred upon them because heaven is vast and wide with huge open spaces where no premium is placed upon space restrictions—and real Christians might also get used to the Lord Jesus being in control, in which the first thing He does is grant the freedom to worship and serve Him the right way, the way He placed upon our hearts, which results in a lot of fun and expression, and the freedom to develop into mature disciples never otherwise granted.

         Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [2Corinthians 3:17] [1]

         This is why there is a national Great Awakening in the works. It is His doing not ours. Yet, it is not something He is merely dictating. He is responding to the sincere heartfelt prayers of millions of His people over many decades who desire the truth and spiritual reality. He is pleased that so many have moved on from unfruitful methods, having grown tired from doing things the “right” way but seeing no results, and are determined to live and practice their faith as the originals did—those who turned the blasted world upside down.

         He also responded two-thousand years ago, and at that time it was also to the remnant—and the remnant had it tough in the early going just like He did, and just like real Christians do now—but they prevailed and eventually spread the real Gospel all over the planet.

         This is our current calling as well. We live in a time of anticipation and hope in which so many have given everything and suffered all things to light the way to this point in history.

         Let us hope future generations see us as we see those real and faithful ones who helped bring forth the Great Awakenings of the past.

         © 2015 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.

Judge Not: The Upshot of Carrying One’s Cross

         Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24]

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         Real Christians, like their Lord, always end up getting crucified. Let Him explain:

         “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

         Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12]

         According to these difficult teachings of the Lord, the following are the real credentials of real believers:

(1) Real Christians will be persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

(2) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be insulted.

(3) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be persecuted.

(4) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be falsely accused of all kinds of evil.

         The Lord then taught that real believers are not to strike back in kind, but take the shots that come their way.

         This means that when one is insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused for being a real Christian, one is to take the insults, persecution, and false accusations without returning insults, persecution, and false accusations in kind. One must not throw another log on the fire, thus escalating the war of words, but pour water on it instead.

         This is certainly a form of crucifixion.

         Keep in mind that the Lord was even being insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused while He hung on the cross:

THE MATTHEW ACCOUNT:

         And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

         In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

         The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. [Matthew 27:39-44]

THE LUKE ACCOUNT:

         And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

         The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

         Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

         One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”

         But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” [Luke 23:35-41]

         And there’s the point.

         If the Lord took all of that abuse while hanging on a rough wooden cross with spike nails in His hands and feet and suffering excruciating pain most of us will never know and still managed to say, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), then it is certainly possible to obey His teachings regarding insults and false accusations.

LIKE ONE FROM WHOM MEN HIDE THEIR FACE

         We must know that He was insulted repeatedly all the live long day throughout His entire life and especially during His ministry. He had ample reason to strike back in kind but never did, not even from the cross.

         Did He have the ability? Most certainly. Could He have climbed down off the cross? Without doubt. Could He have whipped any of those accusing pansies in a fist fight? I have no doubt He could have.

         But He didn’t. And it takes a MUCH bigger man to take abuse without returning it. He took it all and never struck back because He had a MUCH higher goal than simply winning stupid arguments or defending one’s “honor” or reputation:

         He wanted to ransom the souls of humanity.

         “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

         “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:44-48]

         The Lord Jesus not only taught this truth, He lived it. And He commanded all of His followers to do exactly the same.

ANTI-DISCIPLES

         Yet, “Christians” are some of the most easily offended people on the planet. It does not take much for certain “Christians” to become extremely angry. There are those who insist they are Christians but are as judgmental and condemning as the day is long. Some will betray another in a heartbeat.

         For many of these there is simply no impulse control whatsoever. The devil can play them like a drum whenever he feels like it. They are ready to fight in a split second. What is more, such people are proud of their desire and ability to insult and accuse in kind, not knowing or apparently caring that they are doing the devil’s work, especially if they engage in the inevitable maiming and murdering that results from being offended.

         Others may exhibit great impulse control and give forth the appearance of godliness. That is, until they feel slighted in some way and then all hell breaks loose. As long as they are never challenged there is no reaction, though many such perceived “challenges” are never personal and have no bad intent.

        They may think they are defending the truth, but they are actually egregiously violating the Lord’s commands, especially the love commandment.

         But for the real Christian, when one is insulted and falsely accused, often by other Christians of course, one does not strike back in kind though one may certainly want to, and though one may certainly do so very effectively.

         Instead, one must allow himself or herself to be crucified.

         It is the picture of a crazed little runt poking a giant hibernating grizzly bear with a stick and continuing to do so since he is getting away with it. In time he grows ever more bold. But the day will come when the bear will wake up. At that point the little man better have an exit plan.

JUDGMENT LOOMS

         All those who rejected and insulted and made fun of the Messiah when He came found out forty years later that crucifying Him actually meant they were destroying themselves, and the same thing eventually happens to all who persecute the Lord’s children. It’s what happens when the cure is rejected.

         Better to judge ourselves than judge others:

         Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? [2 Corinthians 13:5]

         Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

         But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

         But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

         There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

         For there is no partiality with God. [Romans 2:1-11]

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         “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” [John 12:47] [1]

         © 2015 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.

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 3)

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 1)

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 2)

PHARISAICAL FAKERY

         In began in ancient Sumer at the dawn of civilization.

         The Egyptians mastered the craft.

         It extended through the major cultures and empires of the world, culminating with the Romans in a purely pagan, non-Biblical sense.

         The Romans built upon the prior foundations of Greece and Egypt primarily, and confiscated from those and other prior cultures the highly defined pagan image-making art of ancient times.

         The nation of Israel had also long since succumbed to the practice of idolatry over a thousand years before, but it was the highly developed religious image-making and pretension of the first-century Pharisees who formed a false syncretic hybrid of Torah-ism and demon worship to the degree that the Lord Jesus called them “of their father the devil.”

         This Phariseeism was later used in Christian forms, one principally which still exists today, and formed the basis of the Christian image-making of the present. And rather than only forming idols of wood, metal, or stone, these fakers have followed the devil’s lead by also creating fully evolved human idols worshipped and followed every Sunday morning and on televisions nationwide.

         Indeed, television has become the perfect medium for such idolatry, though outside of television there has existed for many centuries an ultra-religious ceremonial and liturgical pageantry within particular denominations that has captured the minds of millions and deceived them away from the full expression and knowledge of the Lord.

         The entire effort of these false Christian forms and formats, as related to the Lord’s original, results in nothing more than shallow religious “showtime” using well-compensated religious actors, exactly as did the Pharisees, whom the Lord referred to as hypocrites (devious religious stage players).

         The Pharisees were fakes. They were not concerned with growing spiritually closer to God but about gaining earthly power and wealth. So are many “Christian” leaders and celebrities. If anyone actually believes that such “ministers” one sees up front and center are real, and that they are just like their stage (platform, pulpit) persona behind the scenes in regular life, such people are grossly deceived, and it illustrates how easy it is to manipulate and lead around by the nose those who refuse to fully surrender to the Lord Jesus.

“IT IS THE SPIRIT WHO GIVES LIFE; THE FLESH PROFITS NOTHING.” [John 6:63]

         Of course, there is nothing whatsoever fake or disingenuous about the Lord. And His rejection and death was in part because He obeyed the Torah commandments against idolatry and that He rejected false image-making. In essence, He appeared to be much less than whom He really was to a people well-conditioned to submit to religious masqueraders. To the majority, the God of the Universe simply did not look the part unlike so many religious fakers who did.

         …For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness… [2Corinthians 11:14-15]

         Christian religious image-making of the present has certainly gone mainstream but also mandatory if one is to receive market share, popularity, and reach the primary highly-coveted fundamental goals, which remain the same:

(1) An outlet for one’s vanity, narcissism, and pride,

(2) Greater advantage and influence, and

(3) Wealth.

         Therefore, Christians in particular must always remember that—

One’s eyes can certainly be deceived (and often are)

One’s perceived correct Biblical beliefs can certainly be inaccurate (and often are) through the power of a false gospel, and

One can certainly become a dupe. It has happened to millions, and such millions are growing exponentially. Those without spiritual eyes to see who have no love for the truth cannot help but be fooled. [See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12]

         These are victims of higher powers masquerading as something real—false lights of shining fakery and carefully-crafted graven images of the human kind.

         One thing such victims all have in common is they don’t know they are deceived, are often willingly deceived, and strangely, stubbornly insist on supporting the unreal rather than the real, even if it costs them their eternal souls. It is pure idolatry, and the antithesis of the purity and reality of the Lord Jesus.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

         The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

         I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

         He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13] [1]

         © 2015 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.

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 2)

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 1)

CULTURAL CONFORMITY

         The historical and American culture-changing Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960 (see video at end of Part 1) proved that what once was, was no more. A great transformation had taken place. Life got “modern.” The organic became the cosmetic. The country shifted dramatically from the spiritual to the material. Depth gave way to shallowness. Image-making became a priority.

         Keep in mind, however, that this was also the beginning of the Holy Spirit outpouring throughout denominational Christianity. Pentecost was pouring into places where it had previously been blocked. Thousands of denominational Christians were being filled with the Spirit like hundreds of thousands of Pentecostals before them. This outpouring also eventually reached the American Catholic Church. Many priests and nuns were becoming Pentecostal. It began the great Catholic Charismatic movement.

         But, of course, almost all of this wonderful spiritual history was not being reported by the few major news outlets that had succumbed to the phony dog and pony political show before them. It became obvious to anyone with spiritual eyes and ears that the major media became nothing more than a corporate entity doing the bidding of elites deceiving the country. As the dominance of the television medium increased, so did the power to use it for the sinister purposes of swaying the country toward a hidden agenda for the personal gain of those in power.

         Cultural conformity was forced and enforced, even more than in the 1950s. For a typical example, over half a century ago, IBM mandated a black pants, white shirt, black tie image for all workers as a statement of corporate uniformity. Professional dress became the model for emerging corporatism. Any and all forms of dissent were perceived as anti-American though the country was founded upon dissent and revolution.

         But suddenly, unbelievably, the perfect created image was destroyed. Naïve, idyllic America became an all too real nightmare. An American president had been savagely murdered under mysterious circumstances. Militarism and the destructive Vietnam War were in full swing. The ridiculous attitude of “my country right or wrong” became a compulsory slogan as an end-all be-all instead of doing the right thing to correct gross wrongs. Race riots were breaking out.

         Such coercion toward a regimented “follow-orders” populace created what was then known as the generation gap in that young people, still very much American at heart, rebelled against the fakery, the overbearing political correctness, religious redneckism, and the emerging military/political/corporate glom being forced upon the populace.

         Amidst all this, most Americans had no idea what was causing all the change or that they were being played. They did not see the actors behind the curtain. All anyone knew was that it seemed like the country was exploding.

         For they sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind. [Hosea 8:7][1]

KEEPING UP APPEARANCES

         It had been almost another half century since the dawn of public relations imaging and methods, and American individualism took a hit. It was a time of “Keeping up with the Joneses,” a popular expression of the day, when the middle class expanded and most were concerned with doing whatever they must to appear as solid, successful citizens and within a higher social strata.

         Bucking the system was opposed by the majority as something inherently wrong without noticing that “the system” had gone terribly wrong. “Keeping up appearances” was preferable to taking on the persona of the early American patriots to fix the country, and such image-consciousness was no longer only for the wealthy but for everyone who wanted to be well thought of.

         One’s presented image took precedence over one’s spiritual stature.

         Therefore, much of what happened in the counter-cultural 1960s was an immoral over-reaction against the heavy-handed authoritarianism of the day, in which those in charge were often terribly wrong though they insisted they must be honored, respected, and obeyed anyway. Most Americans did obey only to discover years later they were wrong to do that. Their outer redneckism of the time veiled a yellow, selfish heart. They bought into the lie.

         Image-making was so pervasive it became unconscious.

         Yet, centuries before the changes of the last one hundred years, there was a group of people who had mastered the craft of image-making and became extremely successful in its use. And it seems that whenever we reach points in history in which false imagery reaches its zenith, all hell breaks loose.

         In Part 3 we will look at the greatest manipulators of all and the sinister methods they use so well.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


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

  

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 1)

         It is fairly easy for the non-deceived to spot faux religious leaders.

         Such are the ones with perfect outer images who have mastered the art of staying in character.

         They also dress very well for the part.

         “‘Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’” [Deuteronomy 27:15] [1]

         I remember hearing a message by a man principally involved in marriage ministry who also pastors a large congregation. This man was talking about how God created men to be wired visually regarding their attraction toward a mate.

         He then began talking about how enhanced photography and facial makeup allow some women to look much better than they actually do. When such methods create an image, it is simply not real. He said married men often fall into temptation comparing such pretty faces to their wives, who feel they cant compete.

         Regarding even the best looking professional super models he said, “Don’t be concerned about not looking like that. They don’t look like that…”

         Now, it is certainly okay to want to look our best, but some strive to vastly improve on the Creator’s handiwork and attempt to look not just their best but better than the rest, even if it means cosmetically transforming in the extreme their actual, God-given appearance. And the ultra use of cosmetics, plastic surgery, and photographic tricks to assist in that process is no longer necessarily an option for many, though it is a relatively recent innovation.

 CONTEMPORARY IMAGE-MAKING

         The first crude camera photograph was created circa 1826-27, going on two centuries ago, and the vast majority of ladies in developed nations never wore makeup until maybe 50-60 years ago. Now, of course, the percentage of women who wear makeup to some degree or another has advanced dramatically, and photography has advanced to ultra high definition video. By comparing the oldest photographs from the 1800s and portrait paintings centuries older, one can see the great advances made both in mechanical media and also culturally accepted (demanded) cosmetics.

         Technology has presently improved to the extent that a person’s image can be dramatically changed, and it can generate quite a shock when such people are seen outside their usual doctored images. This often happens with celebrities who spend a lot of time behind a camera, but this is not always the case.

         For instance, there is the true story from a few years ago of a longtime pastor who, during the middle of a big Sunday church service while preaching, suddenly ripped off the hairpiece from atop his head.

         The entire congregation was blown away. He had been wearing hairpieces for so long most of the people there had never known he was bald. It probably took a while to get used to the “new guy.”

         Because there are currently so many false images in the world, and because people become so used to seeing created images, the actual person underneath is often unrecognizable and by comparison obviously inferior.

         This has caused two things: (1) Very high artificial self-esteem based on the use of excellent effects to enhance one’s natural appearance, and (2) Very low self-esteem for those who cannot compete for whatever reason.

         It is most likely that such a wide divergence of image did not exist in the days when all women wore no makeup, save for a tiny percentage of royals and the wealthy. This provided for a level playing field though some had greater natural beauty than others.

         Today, if people choose to transform their image using whatever means, the outer image thus created is obviously different than what their actual natural image would be otherwise.

         If some of these people also dress very well, learn how to present themselves very well, say all the right words and phrases, and effect fake smiles and attitudes that appear real, outside observers will certainly be faked out, especially if they’ve never seen such people sans their carefully crafted image.

         What’s going on here? Why do people want to engage in such image-making?

         It usually boils down to three things: (1) Vanity, (2) Advantage, and (3) Money.

CREATING A PERSONAL BRAND

         It is a matter of social acceptance. It is a matter of dispelling any doubts concerning one’s character and motives. It is a matter of putting forth the look of success and proper reputation.

         It is also a matter of competition. The better one looks and the more one is accepted, the more one rises in one’s society (gains in popularity) and the better one feels (an ongoing endorphin rush), both of which results in greater pleasure and high self-esteem, though the danger of creating great pride exists based simply on a less than honest outer image. Also, more doors will open. More open doors mean receiving more opportunities, earning more money, and even attracting a better mate (or multiple mates).

         Of course, Hollywood figured this out going on a century ago. The creation of “movie stars” was not possible without stage lighting, makeup, superior costumes, camera tricks, and etc. And once such stars were created, the movie-going public attended theaters all over the country in droves which made for an interesting phenomenon regarding people worshipping people.

         As the medium grew more sophisticated and color film was invented, image-making went through the roof. Nice looking people became extremely good-looking people. The eventual fake image of these people became the standard image, since so few were seen in the real world under normal conditions. When they were seen for how they really looked, however, the contrast was obvious and often scandalous.

         Many mainline Christian denominations preached against makeup and what they might term “unholy clothing” for decades in a vain attempt to keep Hollywood from invading the church. But after World War I, the advent of moving pictures, and the comparatively decadent “Roaring Twenties” when greater wealth and material goods became available, the cat was out of the bag.

         It would take another quarter century, another World War (including the immoral influence of other cultures), and television before America became transformed forever into an amoral image-based society.

         The Kennedy-Nixon presidential debates, the first televised debates, proved this transformation in 1960. The visual contrast between these two men was stark in that John Kennedy presented a much greater televised image than Richard Nixon, though many who only listened on radio thought Nixon had won.

         It was primarily John Kennedy’s carefully crafted superior image that eventually won him the presidency.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


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

“Kennedy and his people were the master manipulators of television:”

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 2)

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 3)

The Worst Violators of the Golden Rule

         God is LOVE, and love is what makes the whole thing work. His entire kingdom is based on love and on His people loving one another.

         Love must be expressed. It must be shown. The Lord Jesus commanded us to love.

         Yet, there remains a giant disconnect regarding this clear command and it stems from the false teachings of those who falsely represent the Lord.

         John said it this way:

         If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. [1John 4:20-21]

         We know, though, that God showed up among us, and did His best to teach us all to love, and did love. But this world exposed itself for what it really is by what it did to Him. He was murdered, as was Abel, by His own.

         By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. [1John 3:10-12]

         There are thus two different types of people in this world: Those who love and those who hate—those whose deeds are righteous and those whose deeds are evil. And much of the evil perpetrated upon the righteous is done in a backhanded manner by any number of duplicitous Cains and Judases, exactly as it happened to Abel and the Lord.

         Thus, if one cannot handle multiple knives in the back traveling the Christian way, one will never make it to heaven.

         Though the expression “backstabbing” originates much later in history, the proverbial illustration of betrayal by “loved ones” might presently be seen as certainly one of the wounds suffered by the Lord, as those suffered during His crucifixion. The Lord Jesus was not only betrayed by His people in general, but specifically by one of His own men—a disciple He selected—and it is not necessarily true that Judas was personally destined to betray Him.

         Someone would, of course. Such was prophesied in holy writ long before. And Judas Iscariot became that man. And the Lord warned us that such vile two-faced betrayal would also happen to His disciples.

         The apostle Paul was betrayed. And though it is not necessarily recorded, all of the original eleven were undoubtedly betrayed in some way by other “Christians.”

         Indeed, “Christianity” in general has certainly betrayed the Lord Jesus. His pure and complete teachings are most often picked over and particular parts here and there are selected as appropriate while much of his curriculum is rejected as unpleasant and non-applicable.

         Denominations make their own distinct choices and build up unique “statements of belief” to make sure everyone knows just what it is they choose and what they reject. In other words, instead of simply stating that “We believe the full teachings of the Lord Jesus, support them, and apply them to the best of our ability,” they actually only support what they deem supportable.

         Excuses are made for all they reject, citing various explanations and flawed reasoning, and when such is done over a few centuries, their man-made doctrines become etched in stone. And when the inevitable revisions come, they always remove more of the Lord’s pure teachings and adopt more man-made teachings.

         And incredibly, most Christians not only end up believing and supporting false doctrines, they effectively insist that it is not they who are wrong, but the Lord Jesus. Or the Bible. Or people who do not believe as they do.

         This is the mark of closed-minded religious exclusivism. Such belief systems create hardened, hateful hearts regardless of outward expression. And such hearts routinely violate the Golden Rule.

         How ironic is it then, that the worst violators of the Golden Rule on the planet are “Christians?” And how strange is it that the most likely individual to engage in backstabbing a Christian is another Christian?

         Now, for all those who have never been betrayed, you might want to recheck your beliefs, because the Word of God says that two things will certainly follow real believers: The first is signs, wonders, and miraculous evidence of the real Gospel when properly presented and lived out, and the second is persecution, highlighted by the enemy’s favorite method employed well by Judas.

         Concerning the evidential conduct of real Christians, the Lord said:

         “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]

         The above was an addendum to the following:

         “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 22:36-40]

         And to make sure everyone fully understands the concept and that a Christian’s love for others must be universal, He taught:

         “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

         “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:43-48] [1]

         In all of this, we see that there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for disobeying the Golden Rule, and that it must be extended even to one’s enemies who engage in persecution, especially if the persecutor is a former trusted one who took advantage of a lack of defense by the one who loved and shot his or her friend in the back.

         And to show how incredibly vile this practice is—this violation of the love commandment—and that it is most often found in the realm of religion, “Christians” who make personal attacks (anti-love) on fellow believers, acting as if they have somehow garnered the spiritual high ground and that those they attack and condemn are worthy of such, often have no remorse whatsoever for their actions and never repent.

         Indeed, they believe they are fully justified to lash out at whoever does not believe according to their “different gospel.” In this, they are more evil than Judas Iscariot.

         At least he went out and hung himself.

         © 2015 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.

If We Love Him We Will Obey Him

        For those faithful readers who have read the articles on this blog for a while, you know I must write about what is wrong in order to attempt to illustrate what is right. What the Lord Jesus did during His ministry was right. What His hand-picked men did after Him was right.

       The original apostles ushered in real Christianity at the very beginning and spread it throughout the then-known world in faithful adherence to the Founder’s vision.

         Some may want to call original Christianity a movement, and it certainly is in a sense. Others may see it as simply one more religion begun by a Man who saw a great need for helping people with a better life.

         In reality, however, God had an overall plan from the beginning of Creation and part of that plan involved bringing forth truth and reality. Why? Because the enemy of our souls brought in lies, deception, temptation, and sin. And the very heart of the Lord’s teachings is to set us free from the effects of those evil lies, deception, and sin and bless us with His Truth, Life, and spiritual freedom.

         Therefore, it must be the goal of every real Christian to do exactly the same. In this regard, the Lord Jesus made the concept very clear when He stated:

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

         “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:12-18]

         In this passage, the Lord mentions the Father, the Son, and the Spirit of Truth, or the Holy Spirit. He then identifies Himself as the Holy Spirit. He also repeats the very message of YHWH in the Old Testament, as when God stated the following at the giving of the Ten Commandments:

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

         A big part of the Lord’s teaching was properly identifying God and God’s real teachings. Why? Because the Pharisees, predominantly, had so muddied the waters with their own false teachings interspersed somewhat with God’s real teachings.

         But the one prevailing evidential component the Lord Jesus used to identify Himself as God and confirm that His teachings were correct as opposed to the false religion of the Pharisees or any other was His operative use of miracles both to help others and confirm that His Word was God’s Word.

         In other words, if the miracles, healings, release from demon possession, and other great spiritual works were not there, then neither was He or His real Word.

         Now, contrast everything you just read with a typical Sunday morning at your church and tell me both are the same. For most of you, you simply cannot do it. And this reveals that the majority of Christianity in this world, regardless of perceived good hearts and good intentions, is either incorrect or greatly lacking.

         And further, if you want to know the central reason for this, it is a matter of authority, in that someone or something else is in charge instead of the Lord Jesus. Again, He stated very clearly the following:

         “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. [John 14:15]

         (If you don’t love Me you will not.)

         “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” [John 14:11]

         (Even if you cannot perceive that Jesus is God, believe Him because of the miracles.)

         Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

         Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’”? [John 14:8-9]

         This statement, of course, takes us right back to the Exodus passage. The Lord Jesus would never and did never teach anything against the Father (God/YHWH) or anything in addition to the Father.

         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. [Matthew 5:17]

         What He did was teach the same curriculum but as a human being among human beings as not only an instructor but as our example.

         This is why He said His real disciples would perform just as He did. Anyone who does not is either not a real disciple, a very young or immature disciple, or possibly unclear on the concept. But once “no miracles” Christianity was established and institutionalized it became conventional and real Christianity thus became unconventional, and thus ostracized and maligned, just as first-century Phariseeism maligned the Lord and His teachings.

         In other words, if Major League Baseball (the highest league on the planet) was easy, anyone could play it. The fact, however, is that it is very, very difficult and only a fraction of exceptional ballplayers ever get there or play well for an extended time at that level.

         Most of that which passes itself off as Christianity is mere T-Ball at best and thus has very little or no impact on this fallen world of sin, which is a terrible thing once one considers the extreme price the Founder paid and the price paid by all real believers throughout history who often gave their lives.

         2015 will be a pivotal year. The Great Awakening in America will advance. But already, many who would have otherwise participated cut themselves off due to their disobedience, lack of faith, lack of love, and preference for a different gospel. This had to happen for the purpose of clearing the ranks just as was done in the story of Gideon’s army which was reduced by removing 99%.

         Just as the Lord Jesus had tens of thousands of followers during His ministry but only managed to gather 120 for the Upper Room Experience at Pentecost, He does not necessarily need great numbers. He wants great numbers in the sense that He loves and wants everybody. But He can certainly make do with a small team of dedicated members willing to obey all of His commandments. His final team will be just that because He said only a comparative few would find the real Door and complete the real path.

         To be a real disciple of the Lord, one must be worthy and willing to accept the challenge. Our Lord paid the greatest price for this very reason. He needs our help. A fallen world is crying out for reality, truth, and salvation.

         “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” [Matthew 10:37-38] [1]

         As His disciples, let us all make a greater effort to exalt the Lord Jesus, put His real Truth on the map through our ministry to others and one another, and illustrate by our spiritual example a pure reflection of His example.

         Thank you for reading. Be blessed and Merry Christmas!

         © 2014 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.

Religious Slavery (Part 3)

         In Part 2 of this series I raised the prospect of spiritual deafness and blindness arising from an obstinate attitude toward new revelation. As I wrote in Real Christianity,

.

         As strange as it may seem, what we have to show for two millennia of church history is an overwhelming preponderance of completely unique and separate Christian cultures. Stranger still, most of these are simultaneously and mysteriously united under the umbrella of a single proviso. Though not in fellowship with the other and though each claims to be under the Lord’s dominion, they are actually joined as one in their opposition to His complete rule. In reality, their actions give them the demeanor of the legendary roving bands of the ancient world, seeking pastures for their flocks, fighting those who threaten their turf, ever wondering and searching for greater power and influence, but all the while refusing to be fully obedient to the Lord. Stiff-necked, stubborn, arrogant, clutching their religious robes about them, they set their feet in the concrete of human frailty and fear, unable to trust the God of all creation whose truth could set them free.           

         [Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]

.

         As I’ve stated before on many occasions, if you want to get the Lord Jesus angry at you, be religiously stiff-necked. Act as if you know everything. Act as if the truth you possess is all the truth there is. Reject the truth the Lord is trying to reveal because it simply does not fit in with your current belief-system. Obey your religious and denominational leaders first, and consider the Lord further down the list. Act as if your church or denomination is already doctrinally and culturally exactly the way God wants it, or is certainly better than all others. Claim to have God’s truth though completely lacking God’s real love and power.

         But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. [2 Timothy 3:1-7]

         Keep in mind that a big part of the Lord’s curriculum is correcting us when we are wrong. He does this by teaching us the truth, even it means showing us the error of our ways. The religiously stiff-necked will always reject such teaching, however. Why? Because it involves conviction. Unreal Christians hate conviction. They don’t want to be convicted. Conviction hurts. It puts one off-balance. It reveals that one is wrong. And it thus demands correction from the one who is wrong.

         The Lord Jesus always attempts to do this at first with much grace and love, but that does not deaden the impact. In fact, it sometimes makes it worse. A heart that is circumcised, however, will be able to handle the pain. A tender heart can accept proper rebuke, though tears may well up in one’s eyes and fall, and though one may feel so vulnerable he or she feels there is no cure for such brokenness.

         But this is part of washing one’s heart with the Blood of Jesus. It is the process of conforming such a heart to His heart. He created a loving, tender-hearted family. There is only one way to do this. The early believers had this love and were like the Lord. Their love and joy was palpable and honest and forthright. They understood well, however, that the making of a good heart involved pain.

         Why otherwise do we think the Lord used circumcision as an exact description of what must take place to one’s heart? Imagine His people long, long ago when they first got word that God required physical circumcision as a vital prerequisite of being right with Him and in fellowship with Him.

         And if you think heart circumcision is somehow an easy road and not that big of a deal, believe me, your heart has never been circumcised. Imagine the fact that Abraham was so in love with God and that he so honored God he circumcised himself! That’s pretty high up there on the commitment scale.

         Most Christians do not have that kind of commitment. But most Christians are certainly committed to other things that bypass heart circumcision and will be extremely obstinate about it when presented with something that challenges their beliefs.

         What did the Lord do when challenged about His beliefs? He simply proved who He was by not only demonstrating great love, forgiveness, and mercy toward all, but also demonstrated that He had spiritual power for good that no one else had. His credentials proved themselves.

         The apostle Paul also did this. He agreed with his detractors that he was not much to behold and could not talk so well. Like the Lord Jesus, he was the opposite of what we may call a charismatic figure. He attracted no one to himself by his looks or speaking ability. If one tried to fit him for an expensive tailored suit he would still look pretty bad and probably even more so (“Hey Paul, that suit’s wearin’ you, man.”).

         But Paul had a clean heart, a circumcised heart. He had love flowing out of him for others. And for his ultimate credentials, he had the power of God, something the fakers don’t have:

         And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1 Corinthians 2:1-5]

         Most Christian pastors/priests/reverends are not like this. This means their hearts have never been circumcised. It means they are not filled with the Spirit of God. It means they are the Christian equivalent of the stiff-necked people God was so incensed against in the Old Testament writings. And this anger of God presented itself yet again in its fullest expression ever when the God of the Old Testament became one of us:

         “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. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” [Matthew 23:13-15]

         “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:23-28]

         “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

         Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” [Matthew 23:33-39] [1]

         We all know what happened forty years after these pronouncements were made. What was left of the country God founded ceased to exist forever. The same thing will happen to any person, any church congregation, or even any country that formerly believed the truth and followed the Lord Jesus if they stray into rebellious territory.

         But one must always remember that BEFORE the final judgment of Jerusalem/Judea in 66-70 AD, great Life and Light invaded that place. A Great Awakening happened in that place. A tremendous spiritual outpouring took place in that place.

         In the exact formerly free location where idiot stiff-necked religionists had gained control and demanded the people conform to religious slavery and a false, dead code, the Life-giving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Messiah blasted upon the scene and hundreds of thousands and perhaps more of Abraham’s descendants received that Life, long before any Gentiles ever did, and it was enough to turn Jerusalem and Judea on its ear.

         But that first Great Awakening never stopped the stiff-necked from fighting it or disbelieving it, no matter how obvious was the manifestation of God’s love and power. Why?

         Their religion told them it was wrong.

         As a terrible historical example and what should be a very frightening possibility for us all, those people went down with the phony evil ship they created unrepentant and hard-hearted to the end.

         This is the exact destiny of Unreal Christianity.

         So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman. [Galatians 4:31]

         © 2014 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.

Religious Slavery (Part 1)

Religious Slavery (Part 2)

WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.

Rejecting Truth That Demands Repentance

         A common, timeless, under-the-radar, and for the most part unspoken catch phrase often threatens emergence from larynx’s everywhere in response to a single catalyst—rising up and forming as a thin film on the edges of tongues and lips and threatening to bubble and babble forth at any given time.

         It reveals clearly and unmistakably the thinking and makeup of those confronted with and easily irked and tested by Truth:

         “Don’t confuse me with facts!”

         The majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians of one form or another are particularly notorious for this expression and the misguided thought behind it, as are they guilty of grossly and adamantly violating the Golden Rule whenever their beliefs are revealed as false or incomplete.

         This denotes two things: (1) It denotes religious pride that should not be there because religious pride cannot survive the crucifying of the flesh; and (2) It denotes a lack of love for the Truth which all real Christians readily embrace regardless of what it costs them personally.

         Unreal Christians are also notorious for passing personal conviction off onto others (“You talkin’ to me!?”). Anger begins to boil slowly and can become a seething cauldron if not held in check for fear of confrontation, though sometimes ironically because they wish to obey the Golden Rule. Go figure.

         It must be remembered, though, that innocent real Christians throughout the last 2000 years have had no desire to elicit such anger, and this includes the Founder Himself. He never tried to anger people on purpose, as far as I can tell, simply for the sake of making them angry. Yet, His preaching drew huge amounts of anger and vitriol, meaning of course, that the problem was without question in the ears and minds of the listeners.

         Now, it is certainly true that many so-called Christians have no problem provoking others for all the wrong reasons. It is not that difficult to get people into a thick lather regarding their beliefs if that is the goal.

         But that was not the Lord’s goal. Nor was it the goal of the early believers who turned the world upside down.

         Their goal was to preach the Truth that sets people free from the power of sin, and break them free from the clutches of evil and the evil one, that they might possess and live in the abundant life and freedom of the Lord.

         But that which became one person’s freedom became another’s reason to fight. Why? Because the Lord and His disciples preached the Truth. And the Truth often hurts. Especially when it reveals false beliefs.

         Nevertheless, then and now, the majority would apparently rather stick to their false beliefs, though such may be couched in warm, traditional, family-oriented, culturally-derived, and religiously-dependent benchmarks, including, and somewhat especially, those of the Unreal Christianity variety.

         Rest assured, if the Lord arrived for the first time among Christian adherents as He did among His own, it would certainly be Christian adherents who would reject Him and crucify Him. And there is an entire plethora of such “Christian” adherents willing to stand up and do the dirty deed. We know this because it is exactly what such are doing at the moment (and have been for centuries) to real Christians worldwide.

         Though most Christians insist on church attendance as a mandatory practice, and while some houses of worship are generally good places with good people, churches in general contain some really bad people. Actually, some really vile people. Actually, as did some of the synagogues of the Lord’s time as told in the Gospel accounts, some churches contain demon-possessed people and some of these devil-hosters run the show.

         Of course, this always refers only to other churches and never one’s own.

         The point here is that if church attendance is mandatory then it is also mandatory that one had better watch one’s backside while in attendance. Many a church member has exited with long-term knife-in-back syndrome that often never heals because they (first) never prepared for such a possibility, (second) still get no sympathy from said members who always blame the victim, and (three) usually never find a way to extract said knife and often are not aware of the cause of their pain.

         It is simply a very sad fact that many forms of Christianity had begun or morphed into hateful culture clubs against the full Truth of the Lord, even to the point of making the early Pharisees look like sashaying sissies in sundresses. History books are filled with such tales.

         But if one is willing to peel back and lift a corner of the this world’s present false overlay and take a peek at spiritual reality, one would see it happening right now as well, and in many cases just as bad if not worse than ever.

         Christian persecution is rising because it always rises as Light grows brighter and God’s people become bolder in preaching the Truth. And it is not God’s fault that a person must often become a slobbering mess of repentance to gain salvation (something prideful people abhor), in order to make a strong and clean break from sin and deception.

         Let us always remember that illicit agendas are universal and that such agendas exist only at the expense of Truth, which allows one to see and understand why concealing evidence that conflicts with Truth is tantamount to the devil’s and this faux world’s survival.

         Rejecting facts that challenge beliefs thus becomes a life and death issue for those who built and invested their lives on shifting-sand foundations and the bare ground of dartboard-derived locations. Though their house is destined to fall they never see such nor acknowledge such and fight anyone who thinks or says otherwise.

         Pre-conceived notions and belief in false premises and data thus drive a man to protect said data, and many will stop at nothing to rewrite entire books of truth in order to alleviate it and prop up their own false version of events.

         Deception is the name of the enemy’s game—that is, the enemies of the Lord Jesus and real believers—and every effort must be made to get out of it if one is in it, and resist it once one is free. Otherwise, the Truth is impossible to behold and hold and one will end up crucifying the very thing and the very One who can set them loose.

         So, rather than professing and embracing in one’s heart such inane statements as, “Don’t confuse me with facts!”, let us all take a good hard look at our particular beliefs and see just how closely they line up with the Lord’s teachings. Test everything you believe against the Lord’s curriculum and commandments. An excellent starting point is the Golden Rule. He commanded us to love one another as ourselves and to treat others they way we want to be treated.

         Better to resolve the issue now before it’s too late. Better to become a slobbering mess of repentance in the here and now rather than a slobbering mess of regret at the Judgment, when the eternal fate of our souls is decided upon based upon our own obedience or disobedience toward God and actions toward our fellow man during our sojourn breathing air.

         After physical death, the blood of Jesus can no longer be applied and cannot cleanse. One’s eternal fate has been sealed.

         “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

         “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

         “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.

         “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?

         “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.

         “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.

         “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?

         “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.

         “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [Matthew 25:31-46] [1]

         © 2014 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.

Crucified With Christ

         The following is my response to an excellent comment made by a reader and follower of this blog, which can be found after my previous article, The Cost of Grace. I have reprinted it here, as my response has become a post:

         “One of my most frequently-used counseling themes is Galatians 2:20, being crucified with Christ, in combination with Galatians 5:16-end of chapter. If we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. It’s such a powerful passage, and we are without excuse if we really believe that walking in the Spirit will be a walk in the park.

         “I’m thinking of doing Galatians next, after I finish Matthew, but I’m almost afraid to dig into it. I KNOW I’ll be convicted and humbled!”

         Thanks for the comment! Right you are.

         As a possible microcosm of the entire NT, Galatians is like that. As another way to express being crucified with Christ, it is the idea that we learn the right way to do things—HIS way—and then proceed to do the right thing, no matter the cost.

         The Lord Jesus is unique among all teachers of all time in that He not only taught the truth and proper behavior, but demonstrated it as well regardless of cost.

         One may wonder, “Why must there be such a cost?” The answer to that is complex but boils down to the idea of what may be termed a global multi-perspective mindset in which there exists multiple belief systems and methods of “right” living that are often so engrained most people will never depart from them, even after being presented with the real Gospel.

         Hence, the Lord comes along teaching and demonstrating truth and it instantly reveals all the false renditions of truth for what they are. This makes people who hold traditional false viewpoints uncomfortable, convicted, and edgy, but not necessarily so much to do anything about it until a certain mob mentality forms which they can blend into and then strike back.

         When such things are institutionalized and culturalized, it’s attending groupthink attacks the purveyors of truth, often small groups and mere individuals, and perceives them as malcontents and deviants. No one was and is perceived this way more than the Lord Jesus, who is Truth incarnate and also the greatest Prophet who ever lived.

         Being crucified with Christ means in part that a real Christian will willingly suffer attack and persecution just as the Lord did by adopting, believing in, and standing up for His truth against all the various forms of untruth on the planet, but primarily by standing up for Him, loving Him, and being loyal to Him.

         “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” [Galatians 2:20-21] [1]

         If this can be said about the Law of Moses by a believer and practitioner of the Law of Moses (the apostle Paul), then it can and must certainly be said of all religions and belief systems which oppose the teachings of Jesus, and most especially false forms of Christianity.

         Also, it must be noted that it is impossible to be a real Christian without receiving the actual living presence of the Lord Jesus. This is not some spacey mystical nonsense or religious quackery, as so many unreal Christians prescribe to, but the Lord Himself dwelling within one’s earthly tabernacle in actual spiritual form. Without His presence there will be an impossible row to hoe and it is sad that so many faux believers believe they can live the life commanded by God without God, but instead through religious principles and practices which make one nothing more than a bigger fake than before one’s “conversion.”

         And as always, there is great comfort in numbers. But part of the testing that takes place for real believers will be spending time alone to both defend the truth and stand for it without the benefit of an emboldening surrounding group. Most want no part of such a test and therefore have no way of passing it. The Lord, Paul, and all the early believers were thought to be fools in the eyes of the world. They spent time alone with no apparent defense often betrayed and rejected.

         This does and must go with the territory. If we are to truly stand with the Lord and live according to His Word, He must remove all false props except that which appears as a counter-intuitive prop—the cross.

         © 2014 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.

RELATED CONTENT:

Galatians Relations (Part 1)

Galatians Relations (Part 2)

The Fix Is In: Delusion Illusion (Part 2)

         The ministry of John the Immerser was to prepare the way for the ministry of Messiah.

         Part of the preparation was preparing hearts.

         Part of it was to prepare the spiritual eyes and ears of the people who possessed them, though all were most likely affected by the general blindness of the nation at that time.

         “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.” [Matthew 13:13-16]

         One may wonder why most of the people could not see and hear, and why only a few did. The above passage reveals the answer:

         “The heart of this people has become dull.”

         The word “dull” is translated from the Greek word pachuno, which is translated into English as “to make thick, to make fat,” and metaphorically, “to make stupid (rendering the soul dull or callous).”

         The Hebrew word from the Isaiah passage regarding this sad heart adjective is shaman, and means, “to be fat, make fat, grow fat, or become fat; to show fatness.”

         It is variously translated as fat, dull, gross, sluggish, and insensitive, the latter of which appears to be the modern PC definition, which segues from identifying Christians who can’t understand squat no matter how hard one may try to fix their sub-Forrest Gump spiritual IQ with words right on target but extremely offensive—to a nice word which renders such individuals as merely somewhat out of touch with God with no harm done to one’s religious or church social status (or preaching credentials).

         The Lord, however, pulled no punches, as did prophets before Him. For whoever may care, it is extremely serious to claim to be a Christian without knowing or wanting God. Just as the Lord said that blind people leading blind people will result in multiple AAA calls to rescue from ditches, so is it the case when preachers with fat hearts lead people with fat hearts. The whole congregation, church building and all, falls into a proverbial ditch, lists to one side, and remains there as a spiritual testament to fat hearts out of touch with God everywhere, while attendance continues by people who make downward adjustments and learn to walk on a slant.

         These people cannot see or hear, though they have eyes and ears, and cannot understand, though possessing a mind. It must be noted that their blindness and deafness is, quite strangely, willing. They have closed their eyes and ears by choice. They have also closed their minds. They have willingly chosen to become spiritual dullards with heavy eyelids, sound-deadening headphones, and minds the Lord could not squeeze truth into with the assistance of compressed air or pneumatic tools. Imagine an entire nation of people like this before John the Immerser appeared, topped off with fat-hearted religious leaders who wouldn’t know God if he became a Man and looked them in the face.

         It is often the case that our brains are less than lightening fast, but we enjoy those moments when trying to grab hold of something intellectually difficult and actually succeeding, and having a happy “Aha” moment when the tumblers all come together in the correct order and we finally “get it.” Christians with fat hearts never get it, so they build mathematical and verbal formulas they do get, such 1+1=2 (I think) and c-a-t, and then proceed to build their entire religious super structure around such kindergarten principles and easy to understand concepts, thus dumbing-down future generations within that particular Christian culture if said foundational and structural concepts become fully accepted and remain.

         This is exactly what the nation of Israel did. The Hebrew prophets, who could see, hear, and understand extremely well (and paid the price for it—both in getting there and staying there), and had the spiritual equivalent of world-class athlete’s hearts, lean and strong with no blockages or cholesterol problems but expressing the epitome of perfect working order with all chambers, valves, and parts pumping and opening and closing like that well-oiled machine we hear so much about with the express result of KNOWING God first and speaking forth His Word second, that all could hear from the Lord On High and thus subvert the devil’s deadening process on the understanding of sinful human beings racked with the ongoing consequence of spiritual disease.

         Don’t blame the prophet for having a heart for God,

        And for being strong and anointed and doing his job.

         The prophets were the cure for blindness and deafness among God’s people, but when the Hebrew priests finally succeeded in killing them off, finishing the job started by the Hebrew kings, principally Solomon, Mr. Fat Heart himself, and took over—priests who had no prophetic abilities and did not know God—the cure ceased to exist for four centuries and the anti-cure did anti-work on the hearts of the people.

         Therefore, the nation of Israel did not just become spiritually stupid as by some generational downward drift due to laziness or whatever, but by and through the leading and teaching of those who had no business leading and teaching and were never called by God for that service.

         The Pharisees were the later evolutionary product of those Hebrew priests and the very blind men leading the blind people they created that the Lord Jesus was talking about.

         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 15:12-14]

         The same, exact, and what should be obvious parallel is playing out today, in that so many Christians over so many decades and even centuries have been led around by the blind though they neither realize nor acknowledge they are blind and refuse to admit their ears simply do not work and their hearts look like a giant sack of potatoes rolling down a hill.

         The Greatest Prophet is the cure but the cure is deemed too strong, too powerful, too mean even, and completely inappropriate for our traditional Christian comfort levels and far too much to deal with when one is thoroughly ensconced in a fleshly anti-world of illusion and preoccupied with pride and money and uncrucified flesh and religious standing and social cred that would all and must all dissolve in an encounter with the King—Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1).

         The Lord did not mince words in the Matthew 13 passage and expressed perfectly and clearly the fate of the dull at heart.

         One can almost hear the prophet Nancy singing, with the end notes heading down the stairs,

         These hearts are made for burning

         And that’s just what they’ll do

         One of these days these hearts

         Are gonna burn all over (Gehenna)…

         Why did John the Immerser say the following to the nation of Israel?

         “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

         Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

         Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Luke 3:7-9]

         Fat hearts cannot produce good fruit.

         Good fruit results from the process of repentance.

         Repentance allows for closeness to God.

         Closeness to God creates lean, athletic, and pure hearts.

         Pure hearts break the power of the Delusion Illusion.

         “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


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

LOVE Your BROTHER, FIGHT the DEVIL

         I wrote my last article here two months ago, on this site’s third anniversary.  I am certainly thankful for all of you who read these articles and are blessed by them, but circumstances at that time caused me to wonder about the future of this blog. On prior anniversaries I had received more support.

         Dwindling readership and a few other factors allowed for some serious disillusionment. From my perspective I worked very hard at receiving and writing, and writing articles with necessary content to possibly assist us all in seeing the things holding us back, recognizing the presence of the enemy fighting us, perceiving the possible lack of doing the will of God, and possibly the biggest problem—not obeying His Word as we should, which has resulted in subpar efforts in many circles and often a complete failure to achieve spiritual objectives.

         Things were going well but then, though some of you remain ever faithful, things began trailing off. I also had to attend to the inevitable practical matters of life and no longer had the time or inclination to write. Thanks for those of you who prayed. Today’s effort might or might not strike any chords, but for the first time since May I’ve felt like writing again.

         If there was another way to reveal those harder truths most Christians want no part of without having to engage in spiritual fights, we would certainly attend to it. But the fact remains that Christianity in general is infused with false doctrine on top of false doctrine. Most Christians know this but stop at doing anything about their own personal false doctrines. The Lord Jesus, however, will never stop. He will have a bright shining community one way or the other, devoid of all teachings not His own, thus evoking the picture of the few people who will actually become and remain part of it, rather than the false paradigm of a giant mass of non-disciples.

         The reality is that the attempt to apply the real curriculum of the Lord Jesus is not at all easy and never has been. In fact, in a fallen world of sin, pain, rebellion against God and righteousness, and the resultant misery that affects us all, it is the most difficult endeavor one could ever engage in, though also the most rewarding.

         It is fraught with heartache. And the worst heartache of all is that which arises from an attack from one’s friends.

         The Lord Jesus suffered this more than anyone. All real Christians will suffer it as well. It is part of the deal, you know. Betrayal is a simple but terrible fact always waiting around a dark corner. It is next to impossible to defend yourself against it because it comes at the hands of those you don’t think you should defend yourself against until it is too late.

         I remember many years (decades) ago during my rookie year. I had a very powerful born-again experience. I had been valiantly searching for truth for many years prior to that time and when the Lord Jesus led me to Himself within a small fellowship of loving believers, it changed my life forever. It was and remains the best thing that ever happened in my life. I wanted everyone to have what I had been given. I tried telling the world about the great joy in my life and the love of the Lord Jesus that sets us free.

         The problem with this approach was that I soon found out that most people, instead of seeing the great change in my life for the better, saw me in a much different light. For whatever reason they were perfectly happy to remain in their sins, refused to consider all I was sharing, could not see and would not see the truth or have any love for it, and remained ensconced in that place far from God where I had also previously been. Only a few listened to or saw my witness.

         Sounds a tad judgmental, I know. But I also know God’s patience will not last forever. He has called ALL OF US to repentance and gags at our dirty attempts at righteousness without Him. There is a giant mess that needs cleaning up, He’s the only One who can do it, He will do it in time, and the major part of the Big Clean is removing sin from His Creation. This poses a problem for human beings because sin is not just floating around out there in the ether—it is resident within human beings. And if a human being refuses to engage in the cleansing process with the Lord by first assisting Him in cleansing the sin from his or her own life and person, he or she will be part of that which goes in the great dumpster on fire.

         Now, such a statement will evoke great high notes of horror from the self-righteous among us, especially those who are religiously self-righteous, and much more especially from those who are Christian religiously self-righteous. Such people apparently see God as a glowing orb of pure love from which could never come anything negative or judgmental and certainly never toward such lovely caring holy people as themselves.

         This is possibly the most disgusting thing about sinful humanity—not only is there a complete lack of recognition of their own sin, there is a complete lack of believing that God would do anything about it in their particular case, because they are so good and if God would ever even think that way about them—demand their repentance that they may be clean and free, as if they must somehow not be so good—well then God can just go stick it in His big giant ear.

         It is a very weird thing when people think they are just as righteous or more righteous than God.

         For those who have never been enlightened or have no knowledge of the Word of God this is understandable, yet because everyone has a conscience no one is without excuse. For Christians there is especially no excuse. This is why of all people on the planet, the most vile, backbiting, and most likely to betray are fake Christians. Of course, they apparently do not know they are fake, but the fruit of the tree defines the tree.

         The hard thing about real Christianity is that we are actually expected by God and even commanded by God to obey His Word. Fake Christians don’t bother with such trivialities.

         At the end of my last post two lunar cycles ago I wrote the following:

         Regardless of what we believe or how we see things, we must remain polite. We must remain brothers and sisters. We must be family. The Lord said the entire everything hangs on only two commandments, and we must always honor those two and obey them above all else:

         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]

         If one reads that post one will see I was writing from the perspective of attempting to obey God and honor His Word, though it is a challenge for all of us. One of the problems I have always faced, however, is having to deal with other Christians who so easily get their panties in a wad over something I may be teaching.

         Recently, a fellow believer reblogged one of my posts. One of this person’s readers wrote a comment disparaging my post. The author of the blog wrote a comment defending my post in a very loving and well thought-out manner. The one who had the problem then said he found nothing wrong with the content of the post, but did not like the spirit in which it was delivered…

         Go figure.

         “Hey Lord Jesus. We know you are from God and we like your teachings but could you please tone it down a little because after all we’re just a bunch of sissy weenies who really only want to suck on religious teets our whole life and have no taste whatsoever for adult food featuring sides of beef and giant filets of wild Alaskan salmon so please give as sugary cereal milk forever and none of these ‘hard sayings.’ Okay?”

         Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? {offend: or, scandalize, or, cause you to stumble}

         What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

         It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

         But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. [John 6:60-64 KJV]

         Anyway, right after I posted my last article expressing my utmost in teaching what we all must do to please God and get the job done at present to help bring forth the very needed Awakening (but also on my part hoping not to offend religious sensibilities—a virtual impossibility but I do try), I get slammed by a brother who took issue with something I wrote that he did not agree with and who conveniently forgot all about the Golden Rule apparently because it did not apply to him and I was indeed worthy of a personal slam and he was self-anointed to deliver the slam. And as always, I never mention names and in this case never even responded, but that did not stop him from naming mine.

         So what do I do? Well, sometimes having the kind of natural human inclinations that would want to grab him by the back of his head, slam his face onto a bar, mash his nose into a bloody mess, and thereby teach him the proper respect the way Augustus McCrae did to that arrogant little San Antonio barkeep in Lonesome Dove, I decided the best thing to do would be to discipline my natural human inclinations in an attempt to honor the Lord and not respond in kind, eat his backhanded attack, take the hit, forgive him, and do the very thing I had also just written about in my last post (which this guy read):

         It is never my intention to offend. I only want to reveal truth. But unlike many others, I will not go to war against my brothers. Like many of you, I know what it’s like to get treated like dirt by those who claim to be doing the Lord’s work. I will teach very strongly when the door opens but when it appears fellowship starts taking a hit, it often indicates a time to fall back on first priorities—loving one another regardless of differences. In that light, however, the Lord never compromised the truth. Paul spent much ministry time arguing about the real revelations of Scripture and truth, but did it in love. Both got into serious trouble as a result.

         In other words, those who decide to go to war against the Lord Jesus are apparently emboldened because they think He’s merely a wimpy forgiverer-lover who acts like a little girl and would never stand up for Himself. In fact, if the Lord wanted to, in His humanity, He could whip all comers in any kind of fight they may wish to bring Him. Bare-knuckle fisticuffs? He’d clean one’s clock, I’m telling you. He simply chooses not to for the sake of righteousness and a willingness to take a hit without responding in kind, since he knows He’s dealing with confused and/or ignorant no-challenge sissies.

         Most “Christians” never think of the Lord in those terms. This is possibly why most “Christians” will end up in hell, because they take God lightly, they take His teachings lightly, they get convicted easily and whine to no end, rebel against Him and any of His disciples who take Him seriously, and refuse to repent if it means admitting they are wrong, even to the point of getting tossed into the fiery dumpster with these guys:

         The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. [Revelation 9:20-21]

         Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. [Revelation 16:9-11]

         In these days of thousands of Christian pulpiteers preaching the devil’s message and taking congregations to hell with them while Christians at large honor their every false word, someone better do a little more than what has been required in the past. Thankfully, the Lord is never surprised by idiots and Judases and always has an ace in the hole in the form of giant spiritual swords to fiercely hack away at sin and devil’s doctrines in high Christian places. He has raised up millions of fearless warriors who comparatively no longer give a flying flip about these sorry little short lives we live, whose minds are on heaven and eternity and achieving the objective, and are willing to go toe to toe with any devil or religious idiot for the sake of obeying their King and doing His work.

         For the few of you who are willing, it remains the time to storm the gates.

         And for those Christians who are confused, THE DEVIL IS YOUR ENEMY, NOT YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER. DO GOD A FAVOR AND GROW A PAIR, AND FIGHT THE DEVIL IF YOU CAN SOMEHOW MANAGE THE DISCIPLESHIP.

         For all you ladies out there in the Lord’s glorious service who never shrink from a fight, my personal thanks to all of you for standing by God and fighting the good fight of faith, often doing far more than your share. It is certainly a fact that Christianity in general is greatly overpopulated by women, but a remnant thereof continues to shame men who shrink from His service or refuse to get off the pew.

         “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. [Proverbs 31:29-31]

         Many believe that if one does not work then one must not eat. But the Word also says that if one refuses to fight the enemy, or fights God’s people instead of the enemy, then one must not only not eat, but face judgment.

         Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

         But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.

         Therefore, do not throw away your confidence,[1] which has a great reward. [Hebrews 10:28-35] [2]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Strong’s Concordance: #3954 parrhesia {par-rhay-see’-ah} Meaning: 1) freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech 1a) openly, frankly, i.e without concealment 1b) without ambiguity or circumlocution 1c) without the use of figures and comparisons 2) free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance 3) the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity

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

RECOMMENDED MUST READ: LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE 

LOCATING THE LORD’S LOYALTY

.Tower of Babel. Pieter Bruegel. 1563.

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for the blatant persecution of His children?

         Achieving the Objective in the Face of Adversity

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for the gruesome and heartless murder of innocent, defenseless babies and insist their murders stem from rights protected by law?

          New York City is the Undisputed Abortion Capital of America

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for the filth of pornography, and deem it “political speech” protected by law thus guaranteeing its freedom to corrupt the land?

         Sacrificial Love: A Shining Witness

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for wicked forms of perversion clearly condemned in Holy Writ upon which the land’s legal system is based?

         Duck Dynasty: I Support Phil Robertson

         Why should God fight for and support a people who advocate for the ripping off and bankrupting of its own citizens through confiscatory tax policies while large percentages of taxpayer monies are wasted each and every year?

         TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose voters elect the advocates of all of the above, not just once or twice, but every single time there is a national election without fail?

         Duping the Majority: A Foolproof Method of Success (Part 1)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose voters consistently complain about the ones they elect without understanding whatsoever that the ones they elect are in office because they elect them?

         Duping the Majority: A Foolproof Method of Success (Part 2)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose seeming majority is either asleep, willingly ignorant, apathetic, or some combination thereof regarding the dire condition of their land, and are growing in numbers and power?

         Duping the Majority: A Foolproof Method of Success (Part 3)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose seeming majority rejects Him, His solutions, and His help to their own detriment due to their rebellion against Him and their obvious fondness of sin, disobedience, and selfishness?

         The Day of Atonement

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose seeming majority of “believers” refuse to trust Him, refuse to teach the real Gospel, refuse to obey His commandments, refuse to surrender to His authority, and refuse to be filled with His Holy Spirit?

         Keep Your Lamp Filled With Oil

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose seeming majority of “believers” look for solutions to their problems from anywhere and anyone but Him, who refuse to honor Him, never stand up for Him, and never defend Him and His teachings against those who continually dishonor Him?

         Cults of Christianity (Part 3)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose land is filled with religious groups that disfellowship and discredit those who attempt to reveal the truth of the Gospel that sets people free, instead of repenting for their phony religious lives and institutions that keep people spiritually dead and in bondage?

         New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 1)

         New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 2)

         Why should God fight for and support a people whose land has become a haven for disingenuous hypocrites in love with money, this world, and prestige and are more Pharisaical than the original Pharisees?

         Woe to You, Christian Pharisees!

         “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”

         From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:15-17]

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         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

         “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

         “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-20]

.

         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.” [Matthew 13:10-11]

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         He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

         Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

         And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” [Matthew 16:15-19]

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         “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

         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 2:36-39]

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         “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour; and behold, a man stood before me in shining garments, and he said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Therefore send to Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you; he is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

         Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.

         “The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)—you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.

         “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.

         “God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

         While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.

         Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. [Acts 10:30-47]

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         When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe…

            “Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves. And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. [Acts 28:23-24, 28-31] [1]

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         © 2014 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.

Real Christians and the Faux Bros

         In my first book, the name of which graces the heading of this blog, I coined the term Unreal Christianity. I also coined the term Unreal Christian(s). When one coins a term one must also define it. The definition is actually uncomplicated and straightforward and is based on the definition of a Real Christian:

         “A Real Christian is one whom Jesus is the Lord of his life.”

         What about Unreal Christians?

         “An Unreal Christian is anyone else.”

         Based on this simple terminology, Real Christianity is defined as that which the Founder taught and practiced. Unreal Christianity is anything else.

         For a further definition, a Real Christian is one who has surrendered his heart and total life to the Lord Jesus, has pledged to honor Him as Lord and God, and has entered into a blood covenant with Him to obey all His commandments and teachings 100% with no reservation whatsoever forever. He has repented of past sins, the sacrifice of the Lord’s life has been applied, and a spiritual circumcision of the heart has been administered. He is born again and has become a new creation as per the Living Word of God.

         An Unreal Christian, in contrast, is one who has not accomplished the preceding, but has instead surrendered to a “Christian” culture, a church, a denomination, contrary gospels, counterfeit teachings, false doctrines and dogmas, and honors the leaders and or leader of such groups, living or dead, rather than the Lord Jesus.

         This is true regardless of group size, whether it be a massive worldwide body, a denomination, or a local cult. Indeed, cults are not restricted by size or societal acceptance. The terminology simply changes. They’re all cults.

         I read an article recently about the very bad behavior of Christians in restaurants following Sunday morning services. Apparently, the majority of waiters are of the very sure empirical reasoning that such Christians are the loudest, rudest, most obnoxious, patronizing, and belittling people on the planet. They call it the church rush. I was also told by a friend a few months back before I read the article that when he managed a restaurant, some of the worst people he ever had in his restaurant were members of a particular large local Christian group (you would probably know them if I named them). My friend did not know that I knew who he was talking about, but I never knew they exhibited such behavior.

         In following this clearly marked trail (super highway), there is a reason non-Christians think Christians are vain, arrogant idiots unable to think for themselves. Actually, there are millions of reasons. In fact, if one wanted to write a book on the subject he better be prepared to top War and Peace, The Encyclopedia Britannica, and the entire works of the Library of Congress. It would take a while.

         Must I be so honest? I learned it from my Boss! Unreal Christianity is worse than all other religions put together. The Lord saved His most powerful and heart-rending rebukes for the religious fakes who stood in His place and tried to pass themselves off as the real thing. He called them a bunch of lying snakes whose father was the devil. Real Christians must do no less.

         Which brings us to a related point: Why do religious people get their panties in a wad so easily? Why do religious people want to fight and kill at the drop of a hat? Why do religious people go to such great lengths to stand up for their false doctrines? There is only one reason: They are absolutely totally convinced they are right. But they identify themselves as wrong by their behavior.

         In other words, as the Lord’s top priority, He was not out to win intellectual arguments—He was out to save the world. But He would argue if He must, though, and did. He definitely had a very specific curriculum and He taught it perfectly, but the curriculum was not limited to the mind or the classroom. He lived the curriculum. He demonstrated His teachings. He showed everyone right out in the open that His methods worked. And He did it all as a Servant who loved.

         Unreal Christians don’t do this, largely because they cannot, but also because they won’t. They do not possess the love, the power, or the knowledge of the Lord’s real teachings. They are fakes.

         The Lord proved the Pharisees were fakes. He continually exposed them for what they were. In turn, their reasoned, loving, well thought-out response was to first disfellowship Him, then lie about Him at every turn, then make Him out to be pure evil, then try to kill Him. And this is what Unreal Christianity has always done, except in places like America where the laws do not permit them to kill and sabotage real believers as they did back in Europe or wherever else. But believe me, they possess enough religious hate and ultra-sensitivity that they would kill if it would not inconvenience their lives.

         So they major on the disfellowship part. And THAT, my friends, is why we have four million “Christian” denominations filled with hateful people protecting their turf willing to turn on anyone at any time when their little or giant establishments are threatened or merely perceived to be threatened.

         And if the Lord Jesus Himself showed up in their “places of worship” they would treat Him exactly the same, simply because their unreality is contrary to His reality.

         “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’

         “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

         “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [Matthew 25:41-46]

         As I have stated so often here, the same evidence that existed in the ministry of the Lord Jesus must exist in the ministries He has granted to His followers. Of course, such ministries are mere extensions of His ministry and there is only one. If the evidence is not there, though, don’t believe the teachings. He said the same thing. (Read the following very carefully):

         The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

         Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.

         “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

         “I and the Father are one.”

         The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.

         Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?”

         The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

         Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

         “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”

         Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp. [John 10:24-39] [1]

         The early community of the Lord had such works.

         Unreal Christianity does not.

         If you don’t see His works, an extension of His love, in your “place of worship” on Sunday morning, something is very wrong.

         It indicates the Lord Jesus is not in charge.

         It denotes an absence of His presence, authority, and power.

         And it points toward yet another establishment of Unreal Christianity—the haunt of the Faux Bros.

         “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.” [Joshua 24:15]

         © 2014 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.

CATCH A WAVE! The Rise of Righteousness in America

Blog Pic 82713       

But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound… [Romans 5:20]

I’ve been telling whoever will listen for many years now that America will have a spiritual awakening. Most people have told me they don’t share my optimism.

I wrote the following passage in the mid 1990’s:

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IS AMERICA A CHRISTIAN NATION?

         The price of compromise has been great. The United States of America is supposedly a Christian nation. Polls constantly show that at least ninety percent of the population refers to itself as “Christian” of some form or another. Yet, there is blood in the streets; there is an increasing number of kids who can’t learn; much of the population has discarded the idea of monogamy and have become so hedonistic in their relations they could learn morality from the example of numerous animal species; and diseases are coming out of the woodwork and running far ahead of treatments.

        The country is enormously successful monetarily, especially compared to other nations, yet we are up to our ears in debt, and we fight from paycheck to paycheck to keep our head above water. For a Christian nation, something’s not right; someone’s dropping the ball. Illumined by the inescapable fact that we have churches on every street corner and airwaves saturated with Christian television and radio (these terms are used very loosely), we are in ridiculous shape if we are indeed a Christian nation.

         I submit that we are not a Christian nation, not because we don’t consider ourselves Christian, but simply because we do not uphold the teachings of Jesus or live according to them. Instead, we live according to the twisted teachings of impostors, rogues, spiritual eunuchs, and pretenders. Professional clergymen are wholly responsible for bringing Christianity in America to this point since they are the ones who are largely responsible for teaching and interpreting the words of the Lord. If they were doing God’s will from such lofty places of authority, shouldn’t the effects show up in society as a whole if our society is indeed Christian?

         If the ruling clergy class has been mandated by Jesus to be the movers and shakers of His teachings in this country, it has apparently messed up. Whatever guilt they do carry they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge, which makes correction impossible. This is why God is removing them—they refuse to act wholly on His behalf. And if you don’t think this is true, that they’re becoming history, check the stats. Their numbers are dwindling in this country, while the numbers of “nobodies” who simply want to do God’s will are rising dramatically. Will America be saved? No. But when certain people get out of the way and other people mature en masse, hundreds of thousands of hungry souls will find salvation, and America’s greatest great awakening will take place.

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

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        No country or kingdom of man lasts forever. Only the kingdom of God will continue throughout eternity. The real kingdom has a righteous King. He is a righteous Judge. He speaks righteous Words. And His people are righteous.

         And there are millions of such righteous people in America right now. They are not righteous by their own power, but by the grace of God. They have bowed the knee to the Lord Jesus and have honored Him as Lord and God. These people are a force to be reckoned with and they are currently finding their voice. Many have been disfellowshipped from dead churches and organizations that kicked the Lord out as well. Many others simply shook the dust off their feet and followed the Lord to freedom. These real believers have been through much pain and rejection but refused to die. They began forming real communities decades ago largely through a house church movement that swept the country that many organized Christian churches hated and still do.

         And now that much healing and restoration has come to millions in God’s kingdom, though the country itself is more screwed up than it has possibly ever been, America is poised to experience what millions have been praying for for a long, long time.

          The Great Awakening, though in its early stages, is here.

         The proponents of this awakening are largely nobodies who toil in obscurity but toil nonetheless. And they will not be denied. Many have begun their own ministries, however humble, and are having a huge effect.

         A well-known politician recently stated that journalists who do not draw a salary are not real journalists. Really? Well that sounds very familiar because clergyites have been saying the same thing for years with regard to what they term legitimate ministry and ministers:

         You must be a member in good standing in a local church body.

         You must have a license to preach.

         You must be sanctioned by a ministerial governing board.

         You must be backed by an official church.

         You must be formally ordained by an official ministry or minister.

         You must be a seminary graduate.

         And on and on and on.

         In other words, all the so-called real official legitimate ministers who sat around and continued using methods that don’t work or did very little or not nearly enough while America went down the drain—the equivalent of baling water with a bait bucket during a raging 500 year flood—are supposed to be the ones in charge? Haven’t they been in charge? And haven’t they and their dead traditional methods proved that as a general group they have little or no power with God to affect the required and demanded spiritual change?

         Why is this so hard to see? If “real” ministers were obeying the Gospel directive and making real disciples that make a real difference than why is the country going to hell? And why does God give us idiots for leaders as a form of judgment? And why is He letting this once great country grovel in the dirt that it has created for itself by rejecting Him? And why do all the so-called legitimate ministers and reverends and priests and pastors have no clue about how to turn things around?

         Perhaps it’s because they’ve been wasting and taking for granted the greatest resources the Lord has, and has been using them as little more than bench-warmers, cheerleaders, and primarily financial supporters.

         As always, it’s the vast majority, the invisible, the humble people, the people who know exactly what they are—former sinners and derelicts and weaklings saved by God’s grace and empowered by His Spirit—who get most of the actual work done though they be treated condescendingly like children, junior members, replaceable parts, “lay people” (which at its heart is a contemptuous term invented and used by arrogant religious fatheads), and mere nameless faces in the crowd.

         But even within clergydom there is a remnant. There are those who may or may not look the part but minister from within nonetheless. They would probably agree with this post, at least in part. God’s salt and light must be everywhere, and the credentialed big boys must have some live wires in their vicinity. (Keep up the good work but watch out for clergy spirits.)

THE WAY UP IS DOWN

      “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

         “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.

         “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 23:5-13]

         The reason so many American churches are so dead and possess so little or no spiritual influence is because they have rejected God’s kingdom and method for entering that kingdom, and have created their own dead counterfeit kingdoms. And the worse thing of all is that not only have they refused to enter the real kingdom, they block those who are trying to get in!

         Good luck explaining yourselves at the Judgment.

         As a result, honest seekers of the Lord were forced to continue their trek looking for the door to the kingdom, and once the Lord Jesus became their Guide instead of the blind guides, they found the Door! And they grew and matured and came together in underground communities and small fellowships and in time became much stronger and influential than the big boys who rejected them.

         They’re still obscure because they’re humble but they’re no longer spiritually weak. Instead, because they have been dining at the table of the Lord, they’re fighting and winning against demons all over the country and acting pretty much like their Lord and Master. But they don’t broadcast it because they don’t promote themselves. Instead, they promote the Lord. And because of this the Lord is bringing forth great victory.

         Now, persecution in America will continue and grow. There’s nothing to be done about that. It goes with the territory. But you will see more and more Book of Acts style manifestations of the greatness of God and his ability to set people free, and huge numbers will be saved and added to the Lord’s community. And if you want to thank someone, thank the Lord Jesus first and then thank all the nobodies who quietly go about the work God has called them to with joy and love and spiritual strength.

         To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

         For, “THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”

         Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. [1 Peter 3:8-16] [1]

         We are currently in the greatest time of man’s history regarding the freedom of the press and religion. There are currently millions of writers, journalists, and bloggers in America who write about whatever they want to write about, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of these are Christians. And most are doing it for free. And the impact is massive.

         The Digital Revolution and Information Age has opened up more and greater doors for the spread of God’s truth and the Gospel than ever before, and is in no doubt as great a catalyst toward spiritual freedom than the invention of the printing press in 1450, which greatly facilitated the Great Reformation.

         Also, as food for thought in these times that try men’s souls (and then some), there would have been no American Revolution if there had not first been the first Great Awakening.

          This is a tremendous time to be alive. Make the most of it.

          “Put out into the deep water. . .” [Luke 5:4] 

          Catch a Wave!

          © 2013 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.

Crushing the Head of the Serpent

         All I knew then was that I began to download stuff from God and it continued to arrive. The anointing was very strong. By that time in my spiritual walk I had already been with the Lord for several years, and in that time I had experienced and learned more than many Christians do in a lifetime.

         It was not necessarily according to what I wanted, but I learned from the very beginning that making a commitment to God will cost. It will cost a person everything.

         And I do mean everything.

         Eventually I had amassed enough writing to compose my first book. Then I did something I thought was perfectly on the up and up and the right thing to do. I put my book together in an excellent pre-published format and presented it to the eldership of the church I had been attending for the previous six years. I was full of hope.

         They shot it down. They rejected it outright. And they didn’t stop there. They picked it apart. Put me down. Said I was wrong. One brother I held in high esteem told me to burn it.

         I couldn’t believe it. I thought something really good was about to happen. Complete indifference would have been a lot better. You could say I was a tad disillusioned. That’s why, years later, when someone tells me he read my book I immediately ask, “And are we still friends?”

         But even though I never expected such a high level of battle, I would have it no other way. I never really had to utter the stupid phrase, “Bring it on!” This phrase is usually uttered by idiots who have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. All I tried to do was receive from God and get it right, and hopefully shed some light. But it seemed the battle would always find me.

         And I thought, “Why does this garbage keep happening?!” And then I thought, “Right. There’s a battle going on. Those who sign up for the real thing are immersed in unending spiritual warfare. And as a result, many good people are completely deceived and simply do not understand. And the devil and his people (especially the “Christian” ones) are complete morons, have no scruples whatsoever, and are as vile as a forty year-old fast food sludge pit.

         “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

         “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

         “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

         “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.

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

         Sometimes we make bad decisions and it costs us. Sometimes people make bad decisions against us and it costs us there as well. And sometimes we make the best decision any human being can make and it will cost us the most. It is one of the things that make living for God and answering the call somewhat agonizing.

         One wonders how one’s heart can ever be healed after being hit by an eighteen-wheeler, thrown off a cliff, fed through a wood chipper, cast in a dungeon, rejected by loved ones, and even trashed by a pastor or a good friend.

         Or nailed to a cross.

         I know all this sounds overly dramatic but those of you who have experienced what I’m referring to know. You know very well how painful it can be to make a decision for the Lord, follow Him, honor Him, and continue to be faithful to Him while also being the recipient of hatred, gossip, and forty degrees below zero cold-heartedness that you had previously thought people were not capable of rendering.

         And most of this stuff always comes from other Christians or those who refer to themselves by that title, and their modus operandi usually involves protecting their religious turf, religious ideas, religious misunderstandings, religious false doctrines, and religious MONEY that must continue to come in. The byproduct of all this is an outright religious hatred directed toward anyone who dare do anything that may be construed as questioning any minor part of their false religious kingdoms.

         “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

         “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

         “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

         “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’” [John 15:18-25] [1]

         We are now living in a time when millions of real believers have thrown off a false religious yoke, have been delivered of deception, and understand fully why religious Christians do the stupid things they do. So many believers have been fooled by silly religious quacks that don’t care about them at all. And many have left their dead churches for places of life.

         The vast majority of churches in America still refuse to allow the Lord Jesus to have full control, but millions of individual Christians have allowed Him full control and are showing the fruit of His authority. And the Lord has created brand new wineskins and keeps creating new ones. And these wineskins properly contain His Holy Spirit and His work, and great things are happening!

         So remember, though the battle rages, the Lord is winning. The Great Awakening is coming forth and nothing will stop it, though religious Christians keep trying. More people are coming to the Lord right now than ever before, and this is happening because real Christians are doing something right! So whatever it is the Lord has called you to do, do it with renewed vigor, strength, commitment, joy, and faith, and don’t be deterred by detractors or circumstances, whoever or whatever they may be.

         They heeded his advice. After summoning the emissaries and flogging them, they commanded them not to speak in the name of Yeshua, and let them go. The emissaries left the Sanhedrin overjoyed at having been considered worthy of suffering disgrace on account of Him.

         AND NOT FOR A SINGLE DAY, EITHER IN THE TEMPLE COURT OR IN PRIVATE HOMES, DID THEY STOP TEACHING AND PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS THAT YESHUA IS THE MESSIAH. [Acts 5:40-42 The Complete Jewish Bible]

          © 2013 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.

Cults of Christianity (Part 3)

         In reality, a probable majority of real Christian ministers in the world are broke and taking it on the chin every day. They are beat up and thrown in jail and tortured and murdered. THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

         And most are having a very hard time staying alive to minister because next to no one gives them a dime.

         TV ministry and traditional Christian churches can be a good thing, but these entities would go a whole lot farther if they portrayed the real Lord Jesus instead of the false caricatures we have of Him. And it would be much better if the world saw real ministers instead of the false caricatures thereof: Perfect pulpiteers, denominational cultists, and fancy pants blowhards who pass themselves off not only as the real thing but the only ones worthy of respect. 

         It would be good to see real Christians and hear their stories instead of the same old Christian celebrities droning on and on. Many of these guys are nothing but a false made-up image of something real and are masters at deception. They know what works to keep the money flowing and never deviate from it. Money makes them what they are, not the Spirit of God, and this makes many of them glorified well-to-do cult leaders leading millions around by the nose.

         They are the antithesis of the rejected and broken tragic figures like the Lord Jesus and His men who valiantly rose above all the hate thrown their way to get the Gospel to the relative few who wanted it. These men were the most courageous men who ever lived because they were willing to take whatever evil threw at them without retaliating in kind and did take it, and took it repeatedly, and kept pressing on into the wicked wind in their faces to get the job done.

         Does this look anything like a well-to-do preacher filled with worldly credentials and high standing above men with servants at his beck and call? Or a glowing smile meister motivational speaker more interested in the accoutrements of this world than the vagaries and insults of real spiritual battle?

         I don’t think so.

         And if you want the final proof, what they do simply does not work according to the Acts model. America is still going down the drain regardless of millions of churches and ministries and billions of dollars. Many of these entities are having little impact whatsoever on their communities, cities, states, and the country itself. Instead, they have joined the world and are as worldly as the day is long.

         But they will insist on their status and they will insist that they be paid, while 99% of real Christians have to struggle on their own and support their individual God-called ministries by their own labor and sweat, fighting on the front lines, suffering abuse and extreme prejudice, much of it coming from “Christians!”

         So if one’s big guy head honcho ain’t having to man up the way the Lord Jesus and His men did, one has every right to wonder why. On the other hand, when the Lord Jesus is in charge through real Christians,

         GOOD STUFF HAPPENS!

         THINGS GET DONE!

         THE DEVIL GETS RUN OUT OF TOWN!

         MILLIONS GET SAVED!

         THE ROMAN EMPIRE GETS TURNED ON ITS LEFT EAR!

        The real problem in America is that we have met the enemy and it is US. Fake preachers and fake Christians have taken over, just like the money-grubbing traitors in DC, and as a result the country is ever closer to slip-sliding away.

         But millions of real Christians as dedicated as the apostle Paul are on the rise! They are led by the Lord Jesus and WILL NOT BACK DOWN. They are willing to suffer any insult and have, and continue to fight on to get the job done.

         And the job is getting done. Though in the early stages, the real Great Awakening is coming forth. As for unreal “Christian” cults, the Lord has their number, and He’s coming after the Christian Pharisees and Great Pretenders the same way He came after the original Pharisees, with the Word of Truth.

         The fast and spurious are being exposed.

         Their masquerading veil of deception is coming down.

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

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.

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.