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Raising the Dead (UnTase Me, Bro!)

         Historically, how have Christian believers broken out of their spiritual lethargy? What methods has God used to shake His people from their slumber? What does He normally do to raise the dead and inject new life?

         We have a concept known as “revival” that church people often refer to. Such revivals take many forms, from a week or two effort in a local church with a visiting evangelist to an all out spiritual awakening. Most such revivals do not amount to much, just as most church services in general do not amount to much.

         American Christianity has become so watered-down any uptick at all is considered a big change of pace and bordering on going too far. The goal has become comfort and community standing in most circles. Churches and ministries insist on continuing in their sell-out 501C3 IRS and state charter status. They insist on maintaining a fake standing of respectability among sinners that has absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus. Ministries of all kinds continue to insist that no physical building or meeting place means no viable or effective ministry.

         How did all this happen? And why does it continue to happen? How in the world did the life-changing and society-transforming Gospel of our Lord Jesus become entrenched in so many traditional and standardized mores and forms that actually do next to nothing in bringing real light to hungry sinners? Why do so many believers and ministers defend their incorrect applications and fight against the Lord Jesus Himself whenever He attempts a corrective?

         During the great awakenings of the past, many hundreds of thousands broke out of their spiritual lethargy and routine traditions and turned back to God. The original Great Awakening that broke out in late 1734 was the first example in America of how a blessed people could become arrogant and stuck fast in fleshly sin and consequently needed strong national correction.

         After the Pilgrim Separatists arrived on these shores in 1620, the next generations of the greats who established this nation saw the spiritual strength of American Christianity fall precipitously by the late 1600’s. God then again brought in new life in part from the European continent beginning in the early 1700’s to help right the course. This led to big changes.

         There were knock-down drag-out fights concerning the “old way” and “new way” of new life. It was as if the Lord Himself was riding in on a horse leading the battle.

         But what did the old-time traditionalists do? They fought Him! This always happens. God brings in new life, believers grow fleshly, dead, and religious, and then God must bring in new life yet again.

         And every time He does it the ministers he does it through who bring such powerful conviction are fought against as if they are introducing heresy.

         You know what real prophets want to say to such religious idiots? They want to say,

         “Okay, Fine! Go to hell, then! Keep your stupid little two-bit dead religion!”

         The problem is not that such dead Christian forms exist but that no one wants to believe their own church or ministry is one of those dead Christian forms. Therefore, the bad guys are always seen as the other guys or those weirdos on the other side of town.

         But here’s a test: Do you see the ministry of Jesus in your church? Do you see the Acts of the Apostles in your church? Do you see miracles and power and unconditional love and great life in your church? Are you in trouble with the governing authorities who are by and large indifferent toward God, or have you cozied up with them and sold God down the river?

         What do we want, our dead religion that society has no problem with or the life-changing and extremely powerful real Gospel that threatens the devil and makes unrepentant sinners want to kill us?

         (Oh. Sorry. Probably too strong. Sure, what I just said is all over the pages of Scripture but its way over the top to try to apply such a thing to our modern times…)

         But this is what the real Gospel has done throughout history. It is what it has done in the Great Awakenings of this nation. It caused division. It caused strong emotions. It caused betrayal among Christians.

         Ignorance among Christians is always a problem. Christians must mature a little before they go spouting off a bunch of stuff about their beliefs and methods which are usually not really all that Scriptural.

         But the greatest wrong is institutional traditional Christian thinking and doctrine that actually opposes the teachings of Jesus or refuses to fully acknowledge His entire curriculum and the plain historical record within the Gospels and Book of Acts.

         The devil started a war when he invaded Christian circles many centuries ago and established his own various forms of Christianity. Real Christians must be willing to answer that war with a war of their own against his deception, falsehoods, faux Christian beliefs, and those he has deceived.

         Many Christians are held captive by false gospels. Love and truth can set them free but the expression of such love and the teaching of such truth involves a high personal cost. Judging by the ministry of Jesus, the apostles, and early saints, one had to wade into some really bad religious biker bars to set captives free. Most established and “credible” Christian ministers do not do this, deciding instead to defend their own denominational standards and outright false doctrines, but real Christians have been doing it for 2000 years and continue today.

         The problem is that Christians get fat and sassy and ever willing to fight to protect their flesh. The devil then gains a hold within that flesh. Christians who serve money (most) are easy pickings by the forces of evil because Satan knows such people have been compromised. Such backslid “believers” will only go so far but will stop when their income is threatened (or their next meal). Combining sinful human flesh and the devil creates a world created by that union that opposes the kingdom of God. And most people who call themselves Christians are much more comfortable in this FakeWorld than they are in God’s kingdom.

         Our Lord Jesus is very hard on sinful human nature. That’s why He commands us to crucify it, kill it, destroy it, and eliminate it. Fat and sassy feel-good preachers with an opposing attitude and agenda instead coddle it and embrace it and support it. They are very uncomfortable with strong Gospel truth. They would rather make friends than preach repentance. They would rather support and applaud the temple money changers than do the following:

         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]

         Is this the God you serve?

         Is your church due for such a cleaning?

         The Lord never established what we know as churches. The apostles never did either. The early Christians never had church buildings or 501C3’s or salaried ministers or any of the things we claim we could not do without. What would happen if the Lord began establishing the same kinds of formats He did in the beginning?

         Well, guess what? He is. The new formats will soon outnumber the old formats. It is happening right now. The Lord is raising up millions of no-name believers who do not care about prestige or community standing or church buildings or salaries or any of the things most ministers and church-goers claim they cannot do without.

         Study the Lord’s lifestyle and ministry. Study the lifestyles and ministries of the apostles and first-century believers. Read behind the lines. Open your eyes. The astounding spiritual effect they had on the wicked world of that time had everything to do with the way they lived their lives. Whenever we try a “better” way that is not so hard on our flesh it always causes the opposite result. Will we sleep or will we live? Will we get fired up for the Lord or stay physically comfortable but spiritually dead?

         Why did the Lord do things the way He did and teach His disciples likewise if it wasn’t vitally necessary for the work at hand?

         I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. [2 Timothy 4:1-5] [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.

Slow Motion Explosion: Part 2

         It is the devil’s intention to bring everyone into his enterprise. He actually thinks he can do this. Most importantly for him, he knows he must do it. He has always had a majority, but a majority is not good enough. He must have it all. He wants all the land next to his.

         For those who do not believe in the Christian worldview, they see little of any “devil” and much more a worldwide enterprise of mankind. Globalism has long since arrived on the planet, and even the elite must admit this, though they generally have a strong disdain for Biblical prophecy. Most of the residents of this planet never pay much attention to anything beyond their own lives, however, and for the most part such is due to simply trying to survive. In developed countries, we have more time for personal pursuits. Therefore, whether it is due to simply working to stay alive or working to have a better life with more free time and money, the end result is almost always the same:

         Human beings apart from God are selfish and self-focused, and by this they fall into the greatest trap of all.

         But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

         For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves… [2 Corinthians 4:2-7]

         The worship of HaSatan stems from worship of self. We either think we’re great or think the world must perceive us as great. Anything less means we’re losers, and losers can never partake of all the good this world has to offer.

         By this standard the Lord Jesus was the greatest loser of all time.

         But wasn’t He our example?

         Christians are notorious for claiming this but refusing to practice it. We are all good Christians on Sunday morning for an hour or two but immediately return to the world of non-practicing Christians afterwards. Applying the Lord’s life to our own is seen by most proponents of Christianity as an unspoken impossibility and is therefore never seriously pursued. As a result, the majority of Christian adherents are two-faced posers much more like Cain than Abel.

         This means most Christians are substantially no different whatsoever from non-Christians. They too are primarily concerned with number one. They are as selfish as the day is long. Like Eve and Adam, they have eaten the forbidden fruit of disobedience and rebellion against God. The greatest sin of ancient Israel was a wicked heart of unbelief. This is what selfishness promotes. This is the trap—Unbelief.

         And since such people have little or no faith, and since they consequently cannot please God, they must please themselves. They must take care of themselves. They must forego any idea of partnership or community with God and find a way to make it on their own. The Lord is not their provider. Whenever ancient Israel did this, the results were always disastrous.

         Hence, the devil can easily lead such people into his own orbit and hold them there like a satellite, doing his will instead of the Lord’s will.

         If one does not belong to the Lord Jesus, then one, by forced option, belongs to the bad guy.

         “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. [John 8:44] [1]

         Keep in mind that the Lord was speaking in this verse to honorable churchmen, the high and holy, and those who were also intricately tied into the devil’s monetary system. It was the House of Annas that had controlled the Temple for a generation. The resulting financial corruption was what the Lord became so incensed over when he cleaned out the Temple that memorable day a few days prior to His death. It was one thing to attack their religion, but when He attacked their bread and butter and ill-gotten gains they determined all the more to kill Him.

         So even though it appears that this world was built by mankind, the actual fact is that it was built by the devil through mankind. And if it happened with the very descendants of Abraham, why is it a stretch to believe it has happened within the entire Gentile world? The devil has his own counterfeit everything and his most important counterfeit to most people is his economic system. Without money one cannot live and it is why most people will do absolutely anything for money.

         Except give it away, especially to the Lord Jesus.

         © 2011 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.