It has been a privilege and blessing to do this work here over the last eleven years. I am thankful to the Lord. With your help I look forward to year twelve…
So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. [Acts 5:41-42]
As Christians, suffering is often a difficult concept to grasp. It is hard to make sense of in light of the fact that the Lord said He came that we may “have life abundantly.” Abundant life and suffering don’t seem to go together. These two appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. How can such opposites have fellowship? The Scriptures are clear, however, that real Christians are also called to share in His sufferings.
I’ve written about 750 posts in my time here at WordPress. Most of these are teaching posts of two to four pages. I have also written many longer articles, however, which means my total count here is probably approaching three thousand pages. That’s approximately ten to fifteen books.
Please excuse me for personal reference but I think we need times of such accounting. These annual birthday posts are one of two times during the year when I allow a tad more personal reference in order to give you, my dear readers, a better understanding of who I am and what the Lord has called me to do. In that light, we should all be glad that His standards of judgment are not those of the world.
The world, and yes, even the Christian world, judges ministers on their success, how big their church or ministry is, whether or not they’re on television, and whether or not they have millions of people, millions of dollars, and many church higher-ups backing them. I am not saying that all of such people have drifted off and do believe that some of them are where they are supposed to be, but I am saying that the standard of what a real minister of the Gospel is was established in the very beginning and that it is FAR different from modern standards.
Of course, though most Christians and most ministers thoroughly reject it, the greatest and only standard is that of our Lord Jesus. Prior to official ministry He worked tirelessly and obscurely preparing for it. He also worked for most of His life to that point as a builder. Though the Scriptures refer to Him as a carpenter, the meaning of the term extended beyond what one may think a carpenter was in those days. He was actually involved in larger construction projects though to what degree we do not know. Suffice it to say that He learned His craft from His stepfather Joseph and served him honorably while growing up. There is no doubt the Lord had great success as a builder though such success is relative. At some point Joseph passed away and the Lord had to take responsibility for His mother and siblings. He also had to prepare for future ministry which included earning enough money to finance it. He would have to earn enough not only for Himself, which amounted to next to nothing, but mainly to take care of His twelve and their families. This measure of a minister of the Gospel is therefore, truly, pretty much the opposite of Christian ministers in general, who are more concerned with their own bottom line rather than that of their congregants.
During His ministry, the Lord Jesus, a Man accustomed to having much more, one whom the apostle Paul said was rich and became poor, pared Himself down to the use of only the barest of the bare essentials. He had no house. He had pretty much no possessions whatsoever other than the clothes on His back. This was the model He set. He taught this model to His men. He taught them to travel light. Therefore, the idea that He would involve Himself with something so spurious and foreign as building “church buildings” and doing His best to look like a Pharisee is ludicrous.
It was the Pharisees and those like them who were obsessed with religious externals. They had to have their synagogues and their high places therein, their own equivalent of platform thrones, from which they could rule and make sure everyone knew who was in charge. They also loved their extravagant clerical costumes and their highbrow religious attitudes that would gag a maggot. The Pharisees were also lovers of money (as were the Sadducees, Scribes, etc.). Their religion was entirely external. The Lord, on the other hand, had no need of such ridiculous externals. His was a spiritual ministry. He was a spiritual King of a spiritual Kingdom. From without, He had nothing by which to command respect according to sinful religious standards. This is obviously why the religious leaders had no respect for Him and why they treated Him with such contempt.
It was the same for the twelve apostles. It was the same for all the Lord’s disciples. It was the same for all of His true followers. And it is the same for all real Christians ever since.
SPEAKING OF EXTERNALS…
Over the last several years church buildings in America have been closing at an alarming rate. Until a person takes a look at this phenomenon he is completely unaware of it and doesn’t understand either side of the issue. A great church-building campaign was implemented throughout the last century. Protestant churches of all major denominations engaged in the practice once they had the money to spend, and they obviously had gained a lot. The Roman Catholic Church had always been flush with cash and power, so building church buildings everywhere was relatively easy for them also. However, what goes up must come down. That many of these church buildings no longer exist or have been sold and transferred into something else is yet another sign of the times. Sadly, for the most part, much of the money that these religious leaders possessed and had access to was used improperly. THE MONEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SPENT ON PEOPLE.
This is what the Lord did. Unlike the grifting Christian religious leaders who refuse the Lord’s example and appropriate that of the Pharisees who have no problem asking for and demanding money all day long because they are worth it though “their people” are obviously not, the Lord worked very hard in His early life earning the money He would need for ministry and for supporting His ministers. He never called them forth from their life’s work at earning money for their families, whatever their trade may be, such as fisherman, without also providing for them. Imagine all those guys just dropping their nets and following a poor preacher all of the sudden and leaving their families in the lurch. This is apparently what most Christians must believe.
In reality then, one can see that the object of highest value in the Lord’s eyes was never external religious stuff but PEOPLE. The Lord Jesus loves PEOPLE. The Lord Jesus died for PEOPLE. He lives for PEOPLE. He rose again from the dead so that PEOPLE dead in sin can be saved and also rise again. His entire focus was always on PEOPLE. And He loves every single PERSON exactly the same because one cannot exceed the fullness of one’s heart and the Lord always gives His full heart to “whosoever will.”
Thus, practical externals are okay if necessary but are always far down the priority list. Regarding places to meet, why build external “church houses” when so many homes are available for use? How many times do we see the Lord using someone’s home, such as Peter’s, as not only a place to stay but a place to meet? The Book of Acts, early on, reports that they went “house to house.” And how many times do we see this standard throughout the epistles? There was always someone’s home here and there used as a meeting place. The houses of the early Christians thus served a dual purpose. They were following the Lord’s example.
As we continue on we will see more and more church buildings shuttered forever, especially after so much of American Christianity bought into the scam of the last two years and began worshiping “remotely.” One wonders what happened to these people. The bigger question, however, is how American Christians in general also bought into the hate toward those Christians who refused to engage in the false narrative. This is obviously a terrible development but what is done is now done. There is no going back. It was a big test and many if not most American Christians failed it.
ON THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION
Over the last eleven years I have done my best to warn you and keep you informed. I have always worked very hard at gaining information and truth because it is what I do. It is my calling. The Lord anointed me for this. I mostly get rejection, however, which is roughly par for the course. And I often prefer a parabolic approach. I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence. (The Lord used parables for a reason. They force people to think and become engaged.) However, Americans, and people in general, who refuse to consider the Lord’s gracious offer to become real Christians, usually do not make this decision based on what but on will. In other words, most people know the Lord Jesus is someone very special and have little or nothing against Him. With just a little introductory witnessing people quickly understand what is what. Their problem is thus not one of facts and truth but one of will, in that if they acknowledge the truth about the Lord they know they will have to submit to Him and quit their free-to-sin lifestyle. They don’t want to do this. Carrying a cross is no fun. They would rather keep their independence from God so they can maintain their authority to live in whatever way they choose. They are therefore forced to reject truth which forces them to cast aspersions upon the Lord’s Truth in order to be comfortable in the unworkable place they have chosen.
It is interesting that many Christians have the same attitude. In their case, New Testament facts do not matter. If New Testament facts clash with the doctrines of their denomination most will always choose the false or incomplete doctrines of their denomination. It is a religious thing. It is a cultural thing. It is a social thing. It is a lowest possible common denominator thing. Rather than choose the Lord’s full Truth and likely lose fellowship and social standing (and money and power and prestige and honor and self-congratulatory plaques on the wall and trophies in one’s case) they would rather keep on keeping on and keep the Lord and His hardcore Christianity at a distance. They would rather not be confused by facts. Again, especially in these days when so much truth and information is available, it is not because disobedient Christians do not know it but because they don’t want it. So they gather among other Christians like themselves and support one another in their disobedience. It gives them a warm glow or something and makes the conviction go away.
Tradition is a hard taskmaster to break free from.
Speaking of houses, did you know vast swaths of housing in America are being bought up at this very moment? Did you know that entities worth trillions of dollars are buying entire neighborhoods and plan to continue until they own as much housing as possible? And that they are buying houses above market rates to insure that owners will sell? And that they plan to turn all of these into rental properties and raise the rents astronomically? Money is not a problem for them. All they have to do is keep raising the sale price until the sellers sell.
Did you also know that the American homeless problem is growing by leaps and bounds? Did you know that renters are being priced out by being presented with massive rent increases they simply cannot afford? And that these responsible hard-working Americans can now not afford to live anywhere in their areas because the cost of housing has risen so dramatically? It is one thing to be homeless because one may be lazy or has given up or is mentally unstable or is addicted to drugs or alcohol. There has always been a percentage of the populace that fits this category. But many homeless people as of late are homeless because their salaries no longer allow them an affordable place to stay. Many of these continue working their jobs while living in their car or on the street. This is an entirely new phenomenon. And it is beginning to explode.
Did you also know there is war against your food? That bad actors are buying up all the farm land? That a great many food processing plants are mysteriously being destroyed all across the country? That multiple millions of chickens, etc. are being willfully destroyed because of possible bird flu? In other words, in order to protect the people we must starve them. Famine is thus coming to America as is increasing poverty. Destruction is upon us and most people are not even aware of it. I humbly suggest you do your own research to confirm this. You will then see.
We must also work harder at researching Scripture. The Lord rebuked the Pharisees in part because they knew the Scriptures but refused any understanding of Him as the Messiah. To do so would put too much pressure on them to change and get right with God. For them there was simply too much to lose. Our attitude toward Scripture thus reveals the condition of our heart.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” [John 5:39-44]
The Lord said the Scriptures tell all about Him. But how many “Christians” are willing to do the simple work of reading and studying the Scriptures, especially the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, to get to know Him better and pattern their lives according to His will? If we want to know Him and know about Him, this is how to do it. Of course, the Lord was talking about the Old Testament in the preceding. We have so much more! A great way to get to know the Living Word is by reading the written Word. Those who do are much better prepared for any eventuality including that of the present.
At the end of the day we were all properly warned. Many Christians have been warning for a long time. It is mostly a failing cause which reminds one of Jeremiah’s work. Next to no one heeded his warnings or considered his teachings. Most of the Lord’s own people even rejected all of His warnings when only a very short time was left to repent. Most refused. Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple were destroyed forever. Is this America’s fate? Unless something dramatic happens very soon it certainly is to whatever degree. As of now it appears that no one is doing anything to rebuke the devourer. The Devourer is running roughshod over the country and Christians are still doing and believing what they always have which is exactly how we arrived at the present. Unless one is doing what the Lord requires, the same old same old will no longer work. It is not working and hasn’t been for a while now. Also, the spiritual void created by the fake Christians is now being filled up by the fakest of fake ministers and most are none the wiser. It is all happening right before us. For many it is hidden in plain sight. American Christianity has largely been taken over by imposters.
SOMETHING MUST CHANGE. CHRISTIANS MUST DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA MUST INCREASE THEIR SPIRITUAL PRESENCE AND ABILITIES HIGH ENOUGH AND STRONG ENOUGH AND POWERFUL ENOUGH TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. CHRISTIANS MUST START STANDING UP AGAINST ALL THE DECEPTIVE COUNTERFEIT GARBAGE.
The tide of this greatest spiritual war in this country must be turned. I believe it will be. But it also looks like it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Maybe this is the only way to make Christians wake up. Maybe they cannot be properly motivated while relatively free and financially comfortable and must be enslaved and suffer great lack before they get the big idea. (Experience is the best teacher.) When they do the Lord Jesus will be there to meet them.
I have written more new material and longer articles this year than in any previous year. I remain very thankful for those of you who read and follow. Words cannot express how much I appreciate it. But it’s not about me, of course, but the material. If you want to further support my work, say a prayer. There are many things I need to accomplish. Your prayers may help move some mountains. I continue to do what I can to direct people to the Lord’s pure teachings. When we apply them correctly we no longer support lesser teachings and false interpretations of His Word, maintain false ideas and formats, or focus on religious externals. Real Christianity is about the heart. The Lord knows your heart. He knows everything about you. This would normally cause a person to simply give up and surrender to Him knowing he or she cannot hide. But again, it is not about what but will. One must engage one’s will in the process. One must surrender one’s will to Him. Whoever does gains the greatest benefit which is a close relationship with the Lord and secondly, is blessed with specific fulfilling spiritual work to further His Kingdom.
Remember, the last member of the human body to surrender to the Lord Jesus is the tongue. When this most rebellious member fully submits the Holy Spirit enters and heavenly speech pours forth. This is the clear record in Acts. It is the same when we surrender our will. His will then becomes dominant in our lives and everything begins to change for the better. We must know He loves us with all His heart and will bless us with abundant life if only we allow Him to do so. He is a benevolent God of mercy and compassion. It is very important in this regard that we embrace His full curriculum. This process will drive out any false or incomplete teachings resident in our minds which means such things will no longer be a burden or a drag on our spiritual lives. His Truth also puts an end to confusion and cognitive dissonance.
WHAT ABOUT AMERICA?
I have been telling you for eleven years now through this medium that a national Great Awakening is upon us. I got the word from the Lord in late August of 2010, going on twelve years ago, that we were in the early stages at that time. The term Great Awakening was not at all in use then. Roughly five to seven years went by as I continued to labor in obscurity before the term then burst upon the scene in America. Now, probably half the country is well aware of the term Great Awakening. Millions know what it means. Millions are seeing the light and gaining more truth daily at an exponential rate. The Lord is seeing to this. HE IS EXPOSING EVIL LIKE NEVER BEFORE. But the perpetrators are still getting off scot free. Facts no longer matter. It reveals who is in control at that level. But the Lord’s Light will keep shining. Sin will continue being revealed. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this juggernaut let loose by the Lord. The devil wanted to amp it up and the Lord essentially said, “Fine. Now watch what I can do.” Whenever the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will have the last word if we submit to Him and allow Him and will bring an answering flood of goodness and abundant life for His people. The Lord always takes care of His people but this works best when we fully cooperate.
Therefore, regarding the country, all nations and empires eventually come to an end. The only entity existing in the world at present that will never come to an end is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. This Kingdom has existed on this planet since the first century AD. It was designed to continue growing and expanding until it fills the earth. It is constantly clashing with the temporary kingdoms of this world controlled by you know you. The Lord, however, said the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Currently, spiritual warfare in America is off the charts. It will be up to the relative few to continue fighting this battle. Most Christians are not engaging and will not engage. It is because most are not really Christians anyway. They have false conversions. They are Christians in name only. These are the people who comprise Unreal Christianity. They cannot fight their way out of a spiritual paper bag. It’s just the way it is.
Though things look pretty bad and times are growing darker, and it appears as though all sin ever known to man is being freely exhibited all around us with no apparent remedy, and that those who are supposed to honor the rule of law and enforce the law are doing the opposite, always remember that the Lord Jesus is in charge. And even though He is not in effective charge in that He gave us free will and honors it and will never force anyone to do anything, He is in charge in that He can answer effectively at any time. It greatly helps Him when we pray properly and sincerely. I have the faith that He can do anything whenever He wants to. I have seen great miracles in my time and in my own life. We should all know what the Lord can do.
So be strong! Believe Him! Believe in Him! He keeps winning! The enemy has been throwing everything he has at us but keeps failing and thus continues resorting to different tactics. If the Lord’s relatively few people stay with Him the Lord will continue defeating anything the enemy might try. But again, we must put all of this in the context of the Lord’s invisible spiritual Kingdom. He puts all of His efforts into saving PEOPLE not things.
Outside of His Kingdom, everything in this world is temporary with an expiration date. We must occupy and be responsible but know our spiritual responsibility must be paramount.
Consider His perfect example. Consider the example of our Christian forebears in the first century. Study them. Read their accounts. Do what they did.
This is the answer.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
It is a direct result of the false clergy-laity divide. Once that precedent was set, local one man rule quickly followed. Most insist on the “pastor” title.
Everybody calls them pastor. Next to no one ever questions the title nor the position of the title holder. Much worse than this, next to no one ever does any New Testament research on this particular term to verify its legitimacy. Like so many other things regarding traditional Christianity as opposed to the Lord’s original model, the pastor title and one man rule has been successfully embedded in religious concrete with nary a fight. Though it has no legitimate reason to exist, its presence proves the further presence of misinformation by design and millions of Christians unaware of the truth. Those in control would rather not deal with any Biblical truth that challenges their position.
THE LORD’S ACTUAL MANAGEMENT MODEL
For those interested in what the New Testament actually teaches about the Lord’s original model, the following four points explain it succinctly:
- The New Covenant Communities were each ruled exclusively by the Lord Jesus through the medium of His Holy Spirit.
- He appointed men under His leadership to supervisory places of service. These men were generally entitled elders and overseers.
- He appointed other men to associate places of service generally entitled deacons and ministers.
- Each Community was supervised by a group of elders and never by one man.
I have researched this topic for decades and written long papers. I have done exhaustive New Testament studies on the subject. Because I must be relatively concise with this article, I will explain and clarify, though briefly, the New Testament facts regarding the pastor title and position, and why the issue matters. I will be quoting from my book Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church (which contains much deeper research). Each book excerpt will be indented to differentiate it from the post text. Keep in mind that the words pastor and shepherd are not synonymous:
As mentioned previously, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen, which is translated as “shepherd” on every other occurrence of its use. “Pastor” is originally a Latin word and means “herdsman,” which is defined as “a manager, tender, or breeder of livestock.” Though “herdsman” and “shepherd” might appear identical, there is a difference. The Good Shepherd, for example, cannot be identified as a mere manager of livestock, but only as a caring shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. A herdsman, or pastor, is actually more similar to a hired hand in the sense that livestock is seen as a commodity, and the level of personal care is much lower than that of a true shepherd. It is in Ephesians 4:11 that we find the only occurrence of the word “pastor.” If the translators had used the word “shepherd,” as they should have, we quite possibly wouldn’t have today’s “herdsmen” in authority over God’s people, but true shepherds who assist the Great Shepherd. 
Again, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen which is defined as “shepherd.” This Greek word occurs 18 times in the New Testament. Why is it translated as shepherd 17 times instead of all 18? There is absolutely no legitimate reason for this. Since the original King James Version of 1611 was written with a strong authoritarian bias per the king of England and his translators, this was their chance to insert an authority word since the word “shepherd” is disdained by authoritarians as weak and essentially useless for instituting rule. Of course, the Lord Jesus was never referred to as “Pastor” nor were any of His disciples. He was, however, addressed often as Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd not the “Good Pastor.” We must follow His example:
A real pastor is nothing more than, and nothing less than, a shepherd. Many of those who represent themselves as pastors today are anything but. There are many preachers who desire a nice, steady job and a “Pastor” title. There are also quite a few homesick evangelists who would rather settle down in one location to do pastoral work instead of attend to their callings. It should be obvious that the only real pastors are those who are functioning as pastors, that is, caring for and shepherding God’s flock according to God’s will. There are undoubtedly many people who are called to be shepherds who are not serving as such, or else the Church would be in a lot better shape. Most of these are probably wasting away on pews because they don’t feel qualified when comparing themselves to the multi-credentialed big boys in the pulpits. 
Because a great many of our so-called Christian leaders refuse the original New Testament management model of the Lord Jesus, might they also be engaging in other violations? If their desire is to rule over the flock instead of shepherd the flock, their spiritual condition doesn’t really matter. Perhaps this is why so many Christian leaders, including those with a pastor title, seem to always be engaged in some form of hidden sin:
Through deception, each of us can become blind to our own sin at any given time. No one is immune from this possibility. The most susceptible are those who have such a high opinion of their worth and stature the very idea of their fallibility and sinful tendencies escape them. Such “right” supremacists would no longer think it possible to be unaware of or compromised by their own sin than they would think anybody else could possibly serve in their place. When this high-minded attitude is resident within professional Christian leadership, it serves as an obstructing hidden sin against abundant living for those in their care. Hence, it is far too often the case that those who lead congregations do so according to their own will since they are not fully obedient to the will of God. This is not the picture of Jesus working through a person, but a person working of his own accord.
Therefore, many spiritually hungry and unfulfilled seekers of life have unknowingly committed the sin of appropriating for themselves leaders other than Jesus. The Lord makes it very clear that He is the only Good Shepherd, and though a believer may gain assistance from a person of more mature spiritual standing, such a person must never occupy the foremost place of authority in a believer’s life. Such facts bring us to the sad conclusion that many Christian leaders and/or pastors are not true shepherds at all, but mere hired hands. They might indeed care somewhat for those in their congregations, but they certainly don’t possess the same level of care as the Good Shepherd. As hired hands whose salary stems from the pocket of their congregations, they can get by without being tapped-in to God’s payroll and yet maintain their ministerial credentials. The shepherdless sheep, however, are not quite as artful and are often scattered by the wolf. 
HOME GROWN WOLVES
While churches have been hyper-sensitized to all manner of possible minor deviations from doctrinal and cultural protocol arising from the congregation and (Aghast!) mysterious visitors, no one ever looks in the other direction. The dude in the pulpit is thus most often immune. He is rarely queried. As long as he gets the denominational doctrine right people look the other way. This would explain the previous passage regarding sin in high places. Where then, would the enemy strike? Would the enemy seek to clandestinely enter the well guarded congregation, the laity class, where every member must always toe the mark and squeal on those who don’t? Or would he attempt a takeover by going after those high and lifted up with little or no accountability that control the operation? We should all know that the devil will always try to gain control of the few in control in order to control all. This is yet another reason why such false Christian authority positions are highly vulnerable to temptation. It is the opposite, of course, with legitimate, accountable, and transparent Christian eldership groups. These men act in the service of the Lord Jesus and not only watch over the flock but each other as well.
Could this be why the clergy boys double down and also establish protective manned check points toward their hidden ivory towers? And condition the congregation to never question “them that have the rule over you?” Do they set up all this protection to keep people from finding out what they really are and what they’re really up to? This is a far cry from the way the Lord Jesus and His followers ever conducted themselves. The “One Man Show” Ruling Paradigm has thus done great damage to the Lord’s management model and has had a devastating effect on what could have been regarding American Christianity’s positive impact on the country. The enemy has gained a beachhead:
Christianity in general has become too stodgy and complacent to be changed by Him in any appreciable manner, since the will of the people for His control is greatly lacking. Revival and/or renewal do not address the root of the problem, and this consequently demands a new approach. The people who are at least trying to obey Him in this regard are finding some success, and their new-found fresh spiritual forays contrast sharply with conventional methods. It is in comparing the two that we discover a glaring truth.
When the splitting of community became official, it easily did more to thwart God’s plan for evangelizing the world than anything else man has devised. The reason why is simple—ninety-something percent of the membership was removed from the process. The “laity” was deemed unqualified for officially ordained Christian service and, consequently, unworthy of receiving God’s call. Yet, there was a time when all believers heard the call of God, and each person heard it from Jesus Himself. At the present, due to the entrenched tradition of the clergy-laity division, many Christians never consider the possibility of devoting their lives to God because they have been made to think that God only chooses certain rare holy ones for His work. If this is true, the Lord is breaking His own commandment by judging a good many people as unqualified before they ever get a chance to prove themselves.
The only thing which actually disqualifies a person from ministry is the same thing which disqualifies him from membership in the Church, and that is simply a lack of full commitment to the absolute Lordship of Jesus. There is nothing inherent within any sincere believer which disqualifies him or her from the Lord’s service—somebody else’s service yes, but not the Lord’s. Every Christian needs to know that all legitimate calls to ministry come only from the Lord, and each should be encouraged to find his or her place of service. There are abundant ministry needs to address, very few who feel worthy to address them, and many who were discouraged from entering the Lord’s service by inept ministers who were more than likely never called themselves, at least, not by God. 
ESTABLISHING DOMINION THROUGH ARCHITECTURE
Why are church building interiors arranged like theaters, auditoriums, assembly houses, and ancient Roman amphitheaters, with platforms and stages, and lecterns and pulpits? The Lord’s original apostles and the entire first century Christian Community never appropriated any of these. Instead, theirs was an organic fellowship utilizing available organic means. For example, they never had any central meeting house but always met in private homes. They took care of one another. What one lacked another provided. They steered clear of any institutionalism, prideful shows of earthly power, or dominance over the people dogma precisely because they were spiritually powerful humble servants, exactly as their Lord commanded them to be.
This question of church buildings thus pretty much answers itself for those paying attention. To go along with clergy dominance, it helps to create imposing material representations of said dominance. The people need to know who’s in charge. It began about 1700 years ago with the first “cathedrals.” They simply transformed Roman government structures for Christian use and then continued with the government model to showcase their rule over the people. Never mind that the Lord Jesus never engaged in such earthly nonsense. When did the Lord and His men ever advocate for the building of static church buildings? There were no church buildings for three centuries and the early believers managed to turn the world upside down anyway. The Lord’s kingdom was and remains a spiritual kingdom devoid of the mandatory trappings of earthly kingdoms.
Also, when did the Lord Jesus ever act like a duded-up ruling potentate preaching down from on high to the lower class? Is He not the most humble Man who ever lived? Did not the Creator Himself choose to present Himself that way? Why did God enter this world like everyone else, as a mere babe? Is He teaching us something with His perfect attitude? Is He not our perfect example?
There is a massive disconnect in this area. When presented with such information most Christians simply stare and say nothing or get angry and go into defense mode. This is highly unfortunate. I am not saying that good is not being done in traditional Christian settings. But such tradition has most often been a huge drag on what could otherwise be accomplished. And nothing subverts the process more than a solitary strong man in control dictating anything and everything, and building according to his vision instead of the Lord’s vision. These ruling pastors (and this is a perfect grammatical definition) are most often working in direct opposition to the Lord Jesus rather than working in concert with Him. The Lord is thus forced to support them in part because of the limited good done in such places since they are on balance better than nothing at all.
STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]
Imagine rightly praising your first grade child for doing well in his or her school work. Then imagine the idea of praising him or her when the child continues to operate on a first grade level in the second or third grade. Then think about what happens when kids are passed on to the next grades when they never complete the required course work for their previous grade. You will eventually have some really ignorant children and teenagers that simply cannot handle the work which the grade they were passed to requires.
Did you know we have an absolute epidemic of ignorant children in schools? That we have ignorant teenagers actually graduating from high schools? That some of these are actually attending college? In the early years of this country, roughly three centuries ago, children were learning new languages. They were reading the classics at early ages. They were reading the Word of God and understanding it. They had difficult course work but many were mastering it. Have you seen the bright but disciplined children in this world mastering musical instruments? Have you noticed how some children learn practical work at early ages and later become masters at their trades?
We do a great disservice to children by allowing them to be dumbed down rather than instructed properly toward higher levels. How many people notice the miracle of very small children somehow learning complex grammar and language at the age of two to three years old? How did their grasp of grammar and vocabulary suddenly shoot through the roof? The so-called experts have no answer for this. It defies evolutionary thinking. It is impossible that the children learned it on their own. It is not possible to teach it. They acquire a great amount of information and ability at an extremely young age and begin working out complex problems when they should not be able to.
Then they are placed in “schools” with extremely limited learning environments with forced low common denominators that cause their revved up rocket engine minds potentially taking them into outer space to be downgraded to virtual Model T’s and in other cases horse and buggy technology that make it difficult to get on down the road and impossible to travel any appreciable distance. Rather than continuing toward epic flight they are forced into slave galleys pulling at oars to support the institution and its parasitic inhabitants and leaders instead of the other way around.
This exact dynamic has transpired in American Christianity. The arrogant clergy boys and their sycophants have created institutions that serve them instead of serving the people. The people suffer. Christians never get the teaching they need or the Biblical and spiritual knowledge they require. These Pharisaical leaders almost never create a single disciple but maintain dumbed down “congregants” who rarely progress and are next to worthless spiritually. Most American Christians have never had a real born again experience. Most have never read the Bible. Most are Biblically illiterate. Most have a dirt foundation with a future fall. It is almost never the case that such eternal church-going Christians cannot learn or be properly discipled as the Lord clearly commanded. It is that true discipleship is at odds with the traditional curriculum. Keeping the congregation dumbed down and under control is a much better management model because it’s a much better business model. It is better to keep everyone in elementary school perpetually to keep them coming, giving their money and support, and maintaining the rule of the clergy and local “pastors.” The last thing they want is people doing things the Lord’s way. I mean, if everybody developed as real ministers of the Gospel and actually graduated, how could that be good for the local church?
SUPPORTING THE COUNTERFEIT
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46] 
Why is it that most Christians never properly compare the Lord’s ministry style with their own and comprehend the night and day difference? Is it simple cognitive dissonance? Why do so many Christians look upon the Lord Jesus, the original apostles, and the first century Church as primitive and even wacky, and their methods those of a long dead culture that could never work in the present? The reality of the matter is that the Lord’s management model, which is the perfect model, is rejected not because it doesn’t work or cannot work but because it conflicts with what Americans Christians have built in its place.
Why do so many Christians support the Pastor Paradigm? Why does the majority continue to insist on supporting a failed model? The official model is a counterfeit substitute that falls short on many levels. It is why American Christianity in general continues to deteriorate and lose influence. Look around! America and Americans are suffering! Real Christianity is under attack! It is only the current Great Awakening which largely exists outside official channels that is allowing for a vehicle through which the Lord can work. Sound familiar?
They refuse the Lord’s full authority, refuse His perfect management model, and refuse to allow the infusion of spiritual life that so many are desperately praying for. For them it will always be business as usual.
“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:8-13]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
To be a socially acceptable follower of the Lord Jesus, one must never stand up for Him the way He stood up for us. Those who do are cancelled by the culture. It is why traditional Christianity often bypasses the Lord and creates inoffensive derivatives so one can practice his faith safely and securely, largely beyond the reach of persecution, and maintain the desired worldly connections of wealth and social standing.
PROVING A CHRISTIAN’S AUTHENTICITY
What defines a real Christian? Is there a Biblical proof? How does anyone know who may be for real and who is merely posturing? To begin answering these questions, we actually have a treasure trove of New Testament tests to turn to. Keep in mind, however, that the Lord often employed parables, those wonderful story tales containing couched, embedded meanings revealing hard truth in a seemingly innocuous manner. Therefore, the answer we seek, which can only be derived from His teachings, wholly and exclusively, are often rejected by some due to an inability to understand His hidden connotations reserved only for those with “eyes to see.” The spiritually obtuse, whose perspective may also be marred by religious prejudice or predisposition, will thus likely never arrive at the correct definition.
The NT method for defining real Christians is also rejected based on (1) its perceived limited scope, in that extra-biblical references are excluded, and (2) its non-acceptance of mere traditional standards of socially acceptable behavior (actually a faux proof) which are believed by some to indicate virtuous intent though lacking actual NT familiarity and knowledge, most specifically of the Lord’s full curriculum.
In other words, defining a real Christian relates directly to one’s relationship with the Lord Jesus. If there is no actual relationship it is not possible that one is truly a Christian in the New Covenant sense, which is the only sense that matters in the spiritual realm. If there is a relationship, it is because a person made a decision to create one, meaning he not only said yes to the Lord’s invitation but fully accepted His predetermined terms (which apply to all and, of course, apply equally). This means a believer submits to New Covenant discipleship, subjects himself to the Lord’s entire curriculum, and does his best to learn it, know it, and apply it.
Based on these requirements, it is easy to see that the likely majority of those who profess Christianity are not actual disciples of the Lord simply because they do not fulfill the requisites thereof. Many, however, follow and obey the teachings of others who claim to follow the Lord, possess a willingness to accept doctrines that are not His, and subject themselves to traditional religious organizations claiming Christianity but which reject the Lord’s full standard. That many Christians are deceived makes no difference in the academic sense, and to claim ignorance speaks directly to one’s personal failure to have a personal relationship with Him, the lack of which is never the Lord’s fault.
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:27]
Though Christian discipleship is not easy, neither was the price paid to make it possible.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
“You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:9]
“Your tradition” is any Christian belief or teaching that is not found within the teachings of the Lord Jesus. Some of these should be obvious. The reason they are not is because the Christians espousing and believing such are either Biblically illiterate or have been indoctrinated with a false teaching.
Those who put the Lord Jesus first and are true disciples actually read and study His teachings. They become very familiar with them. They do their best to follow them and obey the Lord. If a Christian refuses to do this or is too lazy to do it, he or she is not a real Christian or at least will not be one for long. If such people remain churchgoers or insist on their particular brand they will end up being deceived the same way the followers of the Pharisees were deceived.
It was the Pharisees and scribes that the Lord was addressing in the preceding Scripture. These people were evil. They showed it by their actions. They absolutely hated the Lord and everything He stood for. They hounded Him constantly and did everything they could to destroy His reputation. They lied about Him always.
Unreal Christianity does exactly the same thing. Its members create a Jesus they feel comfortable with, one that suits them, according to their own limited understanding. This Jesus is not the real Jesus. It is only a figment of their imagination. The proponents of Unreal Christianity refuse to honor His pure teachings because they could never carry out their real reason for existence otherwise. They do not want to follow and serve the Lord Jesus; they want to be followed and served.
That’s why they created a mass laity underclass and keep it subverted to their will. They gain their monetary and social support from this class. They do it through indoctrinating (brainwashing) their followers away from the Lord’s truth and toward their own impure teachings. They use fear, especially the fear of social exclusion. Because they are dealing with spiritually lazy people it is not so difficult to keep them dumbed-down. Some of their followers may be well-versed in their own denominational teachings but that only furthers their Biblical illiteracy.
Why? Because the substitution of impure teachings makes them oblivious of the Lord’s real teachings. Or they are taught that the Lord’s real teachings are actually heresy and steer their followers away from them. There are millions of Christians who have thus been taught to hate the real teachings of the Lord.
Regarding any particular issue, one cannot believe truth and untruth at the same time. Regarding a collection of beliefs, the percentage of false teachings and interpretations one holds is directly proportional to the lack of truth they hold. If one fills one’s brain with untruth there will be little left for truth. Another corollary is thus: The more one accepts that which is not true but only appears that way, the less one has a desire for truth. When people are no longer hungry for truth they will not seek it. Whatever then is left in their head is what they believe and what they believe is false though they think it’s true.
It’s called deception. The Pharisees were masters at deceiving people. So are the Christian Pharisees. They have a different motivation. They put money and social standing above the Lord. They are also excellent liars.
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” [John 8:43-45]
THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT AGENDA
Though their followers would be shocked if they could shake themselves from their zombie status and see their leaders and churches for what they actually are, this rarely happens. Not only that, they don’t want it to happen. They often run from the truth. They cover their ears. The truth is far too upsetting. They would have to acknowledge their deception and admit their wrongheadedness. They would have to realign their lives. Such an occurrence is far too much for them to accept. Their pride can’t handle it. They would rather maintain their fake lives, stay socially connected, and keep the money coming in. Thus, actually following the Lord is out of the question. Following Him in some convoluted false manner is preferable. They are not actually following Him or obeying Him but convince themselves that they are. Where’s the proof? How can they deny Him and also obey Him?
The early followers of the Lord Jesus teach us how it is done. What they believed is what we are supposed to believe. What they did is what we are supposed to do.
However, the beliefs and practices of the Lord’s early Community are different from those of pretty much every Christian denomination. It is why one rarely or never sees the results the early Christians had within these compromised organizations. Their rejection of truth makes the truth irrelevant.
As we say in Texas, most are mere drugstore cowboys. They are all hat and no cattle.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Having squandered its influence within society, traditional Christianity no longer has much effect on the culture.
This is what happens when the great strength and power of Real Christianity is removed and virtually relegated to the sidelines. The Truth has been systematically retracted and replaced with false notions borne by dead religionists without a clue. The process then continues to replicate itself, having made the reality of that which the Lord Jesus brought forth in the beginning the object of ridicule and thus rejection.
And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9]
THIS IS WHY GREAT AWAKENINGS MUST HAPPEN
The traditional religionists gain full control. They remove everything that has to do with real life. They set up systems in place which corral and control the people, turning them into mere automatons doing their bidding. Why does one rarely notice that the advantages of such a setup always rise to the top for the benefit of those in control?
The Lord Jesus, as part of His real curriculum, demanded that His disciples be servants. This does not mean that we are only supposed to serve Him which we obviously must, but that we have a general sense of being a servant to all. Being a servant, then, must demand that we think of others and their condition of life. This must mostly be the case among the members of the Community. It does not mean that those outside the Community must not also be loved, but that those within the Community have already complied with the commands of the Lord and submitted to Him. These real members have given themselves to the Lord to be used as He decides. The benefits thereof must obviously then go to them, as this is what the Lord taught. How can He bless a person with salvation, for example, unless that person complies with the necessary commands toward salvation? In other words, there is no salvation without repentance.
Whoever then has complied with everything the Lord has commanded to be a member of His Community is thus in a place and position in which the Lord can bless with the full benefits of His Kingdom.
HOW IS THE FOLLOWING SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN?
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Mark 10:29-30] 
Christians have been conditioned by pretenders to expect next to nothing from the Lord. They read their Bibles. They study the Gospel. They do in-depth research into the New Covenant epistles of Paul and the others. And they discover there are great benefits that go along with being a member of the Lord’s real Community. And they wonder where their benefits are and why such are often so hard to come by. These people, however, have never been in it for the benefits. That’s not why they signed up. They joined because they met the Lord and accepted His great love and returned that great love. They want to be with Him. They want to serve Him. They also want to be within a Community in which we all love one another and watch out for one another.
This cannot happen in fake communities. Such groups simply do not have the goods. They do not possess the ability to gain the benefits. Why? Because they are not real. That’s why I call it Unreal Christianity. They are not connected to the Lord. They are not connected to the Lord’s great life and power. There is no spiritually regenerative power as that which was released in the very beginning.
In short, the fake places have no Pentecost events. This is because they reject Pentecost events. The people there are not Spirit-filled and don’t want to be. They have created and set up faux communities in which the Lord is not present and thus has no power or control to significantly change things for the better. The controllers of these institutions prefer their man-made set-ups because the benefits go to them. They know they have little power to significantly help the members thereof as the Lord Jesus did in the beginning, but they refuse to change to allow the Lord control.
THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG
This is also why the culture has greater influence on these places than vice versa. The original Church from its very creation had greater power than any other entity on the planet. EVERY SINGLE MEMBER WAS GIVEN THIS GREAT POWER. It was never meant only for some ridiculous higher class. The Lord meant it for everybody. When one reads the historical record within the Book of Acts he sees the powerful coming forth of a people released from all shackles, from the shackles of sin and also from those of cultural arrangements that had always previously kept them down and out. Just as the Lord said, these people were now FREE:
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32]
The word translated as free means to be released from the dominion of sin, to be set at liberty, and even to be released from liability. This is real freedom! Once a person gains this freedom it means all things are possible. When people gain this freedom they get really happy really fast! That’s what happened at Pentecost. An incredible release took place. People were set free from virtual prisons. Joy broke out all over. They gave themselves to their new Lord and Master and were no longer under the sway of masquerading imposters who promise everything and deliver nothing.
Dead religious tradition had made a deal with the devil and kept them bound. The Lord Jesus set them free.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. [Hebrews 6:4-6 RSV]
First of all, it must be noted that the great bulk of that which is called “Christianity” is not real Christianity, but something entirely different. It is not watered-down Christianity. It is not less-than-the-best Christianity. It is not weak or backslid Christianity. Instead, it is a completely separate entity.
With reference to the above verses of scripture, the clear facts are:
(1) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never tasted the heavenly gift.
(2) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never become partakers of the Holy Spirit.
(3) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never tasted the goodness of the Word of God.
(4) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never experienced the powers of the age to come.
For all of these reasons, it is therefore impossible for those who make up the great bulk of Christianity to commit apostasy simply because they never had the real thing to begin with.
Apostasy is a conscience decision of the human will to quit on the Lord Jesus and walk away. Whoever does this can never be restored again to God until they make the decision on their own to return to God. No one else can thus force repentance upon them.
But the majority of those called “Christians” are not real Christians and never have been. They are playing a game with their chosen form of Christianity and have substituted empty and powerless replacements that have no actual spiritual effect whatsoever. The only thing distinguishing these people from non-believers is the exterior wrapping. And as a person associates with a larger group of people clothed with the same chosen exterior wrapping, such a person feels completely secure within said group and becomes convinced the group is the “right” group or an “approved” group.
How do we then distinguish real Christianity from the many counterfeit forms? Here’s how: Real Christianity has the power of God. This power is released through the use of the Name of the Lord Jesus and through His pure Word.
However, the only people who can use the Name of the Lord Jesus properly and legally are those who have completely surrendered their lives to Him. These are real believers who have have given Him their entire heart. They have subjected their hearts to full heart circumcision. They have turned away completely from all sin, disobedience, and rebellion against the Lord. This is the nature of repentance. They have also been filled with the Spirit of the Lord with the outward evidence of a complete change in their speech—their tongue, the most unruly member of the body, has been completely subjected to the Lord.
In the act of real repentance, the tongue is the very last member of the body to yield to God. Once this happens, an immediate proof of the occurrence follows: The new believer begins praising God in a new language. The person’s speech is at once given over, as if a switch was flipped, to praising God and even prophesying of the things of God. This is all very clearly spelled out in scripture.
James wrote the following:
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. [James 1:26]
For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.
Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.
For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. [James 3:2-8]
It is obvious then, that a tongue never yielded to God proves sinner status and non-discipleship, regardless of anything else by which a person claims to be a Christian. The yielded tongue, however, with miraculous speech following, proves a new birth.
This new birth then allows for invoking the powerful Name of Jesus. Its use, as given by the Lord, results in miracles. The use of the Lord’s Name is only given to real disciples.
This is also why each and every real believer as recorded in the Book of Acts invoked the Name of Jesus in water baptism. The reason why is otherwise simple: Without the Name of Jesus there is no spiritual power.
We can see, therefore, that if there are no miracles within a Christian group, it obviously follows that there is no spiritual power, which indicates the group is not right with God. It proves that the group has never yielded to God.
Real Christianity is distinguished by the following:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
“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 16:16-18] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
The “Official” Christian Rule Book: Invalidating the Word of God for the Sake of Religious Tradition (1)
I was sitting in church one day years ago. It was relatively early in a midweek service. We all sat waiting expectantly to hear a message from the Lord. The pastor had just begun his sermon and he told the congregation, “Please turn in your Bibles to the Book of…”
A twenty-something man toward the front, an unbright visitor with no understanding of church protocol, then immediately blurted out, “Wait! What page!?”
One wonders why, in the face of many centuries of ecclesiastical control and strident oversight within Christianity, that someone has not yet addressed this issue. Why don’t we have just one Bible and one translation so everyone can follow along the same way many Christians do with everything else?
Wait. In fact, “Christians” did think of this. Many centuries ago. Then they quickly surmised it would be even better if they simply dispensed with the Word of God altogether. Then they could make up their own rules and their own book and no one would be the wiser.
They could have called it The Official Christian Rule Book.
All facetiousness aside, such a thing actually happened, exactly that way. For a thousand years (let me repeat), FOR A THOUSAND YEARS, the Bible was effectively outlawed within “official” Christianity.
THE ORIGINAL PROTESTANT REFORMATION
Christians forget that there was once a Protestant Reformation. They also forget that the Protestant Reformation arose for only one reason—it was a PROTEST against the Roman Catholic Church.
Why were so many people protesting against the Roman Catholic Church? And why were all the ringleaders Catholic or former Catholics?
Actually, the Protestant Reformation did not simply begin at a single point in time in the early 1500s, though that was certainly the beginning of the open and successful Reformation that the Catholic Church could no longer suppress or contain. It had been ongoing for, yes, A THOUSAND YEARS.
The problem for the various Protestants through the intervening years prior to the early 1500s was that they were usually politically unprotected single individuals, much like Old Testament prophets, or relatively small Christian societies. They were always outnumbered and outvoted, which included by possibly the millions otherwise sympathetic Catholics who were intimidated into silence without the courage to join them. Thus, these early Protestants were very easy to suppress and kill off by the so-called mother church.
Never mind that the Catholic Church violated always and repeatedly the clear teachings of the Lord Jesus in this regard in order to gain and maintain its strict religious control; it was obvious to the evil leaders thereof that no other method was feasible. The RCC spared no effort or funding to engage in ongoing religious cleansing of dissenters in order to establish and maintain a religious monolith.
Once a person decided to protest against obvious rule-breaking by the new illicit rule makers, such a person became their enemy. The religious controllers could attempt certain punishments to bring such righteous dissidents back into line, such as applying a non-tangible whip like a guilt trip or social excommunication, or they could go much further and engage in actual physical “discipline.”
If such efforts failed and the recalcitrant party refused to buckle under, the only things remaining were the dungeon or death. Both had been used forever by evil despots to silence their critics, and the new “Christian” clergy knew it must also use the same tactics to stay in power. Otherwise, their lies would be overwhelmed by the honest words of honest men who stood for the teachings of the Lord Jesus, and the clergyites would be defeated by truth.
Hence, the Original Protestant Reformation continued on throughout the many centuries of the Dark Ages—ages made dark for one reason—the elimination of the Word of God from the people. Therefore, the opponents of the Catholic Church—the protesting opponents who favored the free use of the Word of God for everybody—were actually the real friends of God. This exposed the real enemies of God—the Catholic clergy—the ones who purported officially and openly to be God’s friends and spokesmen.
Remember, there are two things that the enemies of the Lord hate more than Him, and that is HIS WORD and HIS NAME:
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.” [John 8:30-32]
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. [John 20:30-31]
The elimination of the freedom-releasing, life-giving, and spiritual power-producing Word of God and Name of God is a must if the Lord’s enemies are to be successful. That this happened through a false front “Christian” operation would otherwise open many eyes save for the extreme duplicity and treachery involved.
It is what we call religious guile, deceit, and hypocrisy of the highest order—standard operating procedure at the hands of the official Roman Catholic clergy of that time—and the very thing the Pharisees of the Lord’s time were guilty of as well.
THE ORIGINAL PHARISEES
The Lord Jesus saved His greatest, most forceful, and most damning rebukeathons for the evil Pharisaic leadership for one reason—they refused to allow the pure Word of God to be in the hands of the people—they refused to allow God to be in charge. They majored on instant condemnation for rule breakers. They were much more interested in the Gotcha! Protocol (and the quick punishment thereof) than any forgiveness, compassion, understanding, love, or mercy.
The Pharisees also insisted they must teach from a perverted “official” substitute rulebook written and sponsored by them and by no one else. The desire and goal of the Pharisaic leadership was complete and dominant religious control over every single person within what was left of the nation of Israel, as well as to infinity and beyond:
“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 23:15]
The Pharisees succeeded at this for a while, maybe two or three centuries. Their efforts ended up destroying their nation. But their success was minimal in comparison to successful Roman Catholicism, which not only caused the European Dark Ages but became the greatest Christian offshoot in history to the tune of one billion plus worldwide at present.
And it still operates the same way it always has, though obvious outward changes had to be made since the incredible spiritual successes of:
(1) The Protestant Reformation,
(2) The unprecedented establishment of complete, legal spiritual liberty and religious freedom with the against-all-odds creation of the United States of America. This freedom and liberty did not exist in Europe, even among Protestants, and certainly not among Catholics who spent a millennium and half fighting against it.
(3) The giant, ongoing, ever-increasing, worldwide Pentecostal movement of the last 120 years.
As had the Original Pharisees, the Roman Catholic Church still possesses its official rule book. It is a book loosely based on the Word of God. Yet, whoever knowingly teaches against the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, makes additions or subtractions to or from them, and refuses to honor all of His teachings are, like the interloper Judas Iscariot, the Lord’s greatest enemies.
They are such because they both pretend to be something they are not and deceive people into believing it, and are flippantly arrogant in their effective rewriting of God’s original Word for the sake of their own illicit religious kingdoms and elite power structure.
Regarding the approach of the Lord Jesus toward such illicit rule book makers who revel in lording it over others, we know how He approached the Torah teachers (lawyers) and Pharisees of His time in the following passages:
“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.” [Luke 11:52]
“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]
“And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” [Matthew 15:6] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
According to that which transpires every Sunday morning, most Christians ascribe to a universal unspoken creed, believing the Christian thing to do in official church services—the highest protocol—is to honor a communal vow of silence. Along with this is the expectation to be “nice” at all times in the sense of always being careful to never give offense.
The problem with this invertebrate approach, beside the point that one will never get anything done for God with such a bankrupt ideology, is that it plays right into the devil’s hands. In fact, it arises from obeying the devil instead of obeying the Lord Jesus and the evidence for this is all around us. Where is the proof of His mighty presence? Where is the dynamic of an interactive community?
Real Christianity has the powerful backbone of its Founder. It is not wrong or immoral to possess this backbone and strength. It is actually highly immoral to reject it. It is not wrong to let this world feel one’s weight.
Sinful flesh is always offended by any perceived slight. To make a religion of “not offending” is asinine. The Lord Jesus never sinned, loved everybody, and yet offended His way to a bloody execution.
“Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” [Matthew 11:6]
The Gospel, by its very nature, is offensive to unregenerate flesh. Every Christian voice should be preaching the Gospel in some way. One defeats the purpose of being a good witness if one believes being silent and “being nice” is the highest good. If one never speaks “at church,” the odds are high that one never witnesses outside the church.
Hiding within a congregation means hiding everywhere. Silencing the voices of 99% of all Christians by clergyite controllers for the sake of some ridiculous, ill advised, religious decorum is the opposite of New Covenant community and proves the Lord Jesus has been taken completely out of the loop. I believe He will not let this go unmentioned at the Judgment.
THE SILENT-NICE CREED AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS
If Christians are forever silent in their assemblies, in obedience to a false command that always traces its origin back to the devil, then they are not being heard. If one is not heard then one is not using the most powerful and instrumental weapon the Lord Jesus has given us. If one is not using that weapon—that incredible force—OUR VOICE—against the enemy and for the Lord, then one has done the exact equivalent of surrender.
This obviously proves the devil’s influence.
In the United States of America, in 1787, certain people with very powerful voices who demanded to be heard insisted that we have what later became known as the Bill of Rights. These men were in the minority. It was a minority view. It appeared to the elite that these men were trying to wreck the ratification process of the new constitution and were none too pleased. The authors of the Constitution saw no need for such a thing as a Bill of Rights, claiming all rights were inferred within the general provisions of the constitutional document.
But the Bill of Rights advocates rejected such an idea and claimed that unless specific rights were written down and codified such rights would soon disappear. The only way to get the secretly written Constitution ratified, thus, would be through adding the Bill of Rights. The original Federalist authors had to back down and accept such written rights in amendment form or the Constitution would have been rejected.
The minority view was thus heard. It was heard because the men speaking forth insisted on being heard regardless of what anyone thought or the aspersions cast upon their character.
Do later generations appreciate their boldness? Are we glad they broke an improper protocol?
Because of their boldness and insistence, we still have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press in America. We can, as Americans, say what we want, believe what we want, and publish what we want, with no fear of breaking the law or being silenced (censored).
In spite of all this, however, the devil has done an end run and managed to silence his critics anyway.
The devil has silenced his Christian enemies in America, not through leftist liberalism, but primarily through organized “Christian” religion.
The Lord Jesus taught that the entire Law of Moses hung on only two laws. Within the weird unholy realm of “official” Christianity, those two laws have been replaced. Instead of loving the Lord with all our heart and obeying the Golden Rule, we are taught to (1) Be silent, and (2) Be nice.
“Being nice” is not the same thing as obeying the Golden Rule. The Lord Jesus never violated the Golden Rule, but regarding the false “be nice” ideology embraced by supposedly well intentioned Christians and church leaders, He certainly violated its terms:
He was not so nice when He told off the idiot Pharisees. He was not so nice when He referred to a Samaritan woman as a dog. He was not so nice when He came down hard on His own disciples when they exhibited a pronounced lack of faith. He didn’t sound so nice when He said He did not come to bring peace to the planet but a sword. These were all bold and honest statements.
In most churches, such boldness is long gone. Indeed, any appearance of boldness is seen as the evidence of borderline lunacy. Anyone who actually emulates the Lord Jesus, the apostles, the entire early community of believers, and the OT prophets by boldly using their voice to teach and preach truth as they did has no chance in any Christian church unless he or she occupies a pulpit. Without the wrapping of a pulpit and fake religious credentials, believers have no voice in such places unless they become sycophants.
Also, the really weird thing is that once one has a pulpit all to himself he almost never allows it to be used by God, which means not only is the entire congregation silent but the preacher refuses to preach the real Gospel. Thus, no one is accountable to the Lord.
And please don’t mistake the whiny railings of the Biblically illiterate and historically ignorant as spiritual boldness. Real spiritual boldness is evidenced by the miraculous, and it forces demonic entities to back off and obey. The rest is just a lot of hot air from flesh in charge.
JESUS FREE ZONES
“Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; Who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!” [Isaiah 30:1-2]
The majority of churches in America are Jesus Free Zones. The Bill of Rights never applies. Even the leadership admits that. There is no freedom of religion other than for them, nor is there freedom of speech, nor of the press. There is only a rubber stamp based on the beliefs of those in charge. The entire congregation is otherwise SILENT. And because the falsely qualified speakers are the only speakers, there is no check on their ramblings. Everyone sits idly by, passively, quietly, never uttering a word, while the free speakers pontificate on and on ad nauseam.
It is already that way, of course, in society in general. It is that way in the media. It is that way in government. It is that way pretty much everywhere in America nowadays. Unless a person is a one-in-a-million well-paid chosen one with proper credentials or a person of means one will never get any air time. No one appears in the major media without heavy vetting. There is much that can never be said and is never said because too many lies would be exposed. Truth is a victim. This proves there is no Bill of Rights in the mainstream media either.
It is political correctness run amok. The silencers have taken over. But who cares about what a sinful fallen world does? What it does is not the problem. The problem, therefore, is not political correctness, IT IS RELIGIOUS CORRECTNESS.
And the vast majority of “Christians” in America continue to sit idly by disregarding their voice and refusing to obey the Lord Jesus because they believe the tripe from their pulpits that the duty of Christians is to be silent and nice. For men in particular it means to become women.
During His time among us, the Lord Jesus was not quiet. And He wasn’t “nice.”
He was certainly loving. And love often demands that one be vocal and very bold. It is not loving to know the truth that sets people free but refuse to speak it for fear of hurting their feelings. How does that work?
For example, you want to pray for someone. Someone has a serious problem. Though it might not apply, no one dare bring up the possibility of sin because that would not be nice. And if a person has unconfessed sin in their life and refuses to repent, well, you can pray all day long and nothing will happen. Nor will anything happen if there is no faith.
Real prayer brings on conviction. Conviction reveals sin. The sin is often the problem. Sin causes problems. Sin causes disease and sickness. This fact is stated very clearly in the gospels. Demons also cause these things. There are many passages that prove this also. Therefore the first issue to be addressed must be the possibility of sin, which is addressed by repentance and through a contrite heart. It should certainly be done in love using the proper tact but never simply rejected out of hand.
And if the person with the problem is oppressed by demons you can’t bring that up either because that certainly would not be nice, both because of the societal implications involved and that it might be offensive. And if one has never been filled with the Spirit of God one will never have any success telling demons where to go anyway. And being filled with the Spirit requires boldness and results in boldness and a very strong voice, and no one who is really filled with the Spirit of the Lord will be silent for long and will refuse religious correctness because it violates one’s entire reason for being a disciple of the Lord in the first place.
Therefore, faux Christians go through mere motions swimming in a pool without water and acting out hushaby prayers and religious service with no power to achieve the required result because they insist on obeying the Silent-Nice Creed.
Their prayers don’t work but that’s okay. Their preaching has no spiritual effect but that’s okay. What matters most is that they are silent regarding the real Gospel and are always so nice. This is a completely different gospel. There is one major media ever-smiling Christian mega star who has perfected this approach into a crowd pleasing science and pretty much everyone knows who it is. Where did he learn this stuff? Why do millions of people, both Christian and secular, believe he is for real?
When someone goes around preaching that everyone is going to heaven, that adherents of false religions are going to heaven, that members of cults are going to heaven, and that unrepentant sinners are going to heaven, it makes a mockery of the real Gospel and the work of the Lord.
OBEY THE LORD JESUS!
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]
Peter and John were threatened by the Sanhedrin for saying this. The Lord had just healed a lame man through the power of His Name and by His Holy Spirit resident within these two apostles. The Sanhedrin was the Jewish Supreme Court of that time, comprising the rulers, elders, scribes, and the high priest and is a perfect type of present Christian authoritarian controlling elites in opposition to God. It had the power to censor, punish, and kill. Peter and John were commanded by this very high court to stop using the Name of Jesus. The members of the Sanhedrin were GREATLY OFFENDED. The apostles were commanded to be silent. They were commanded to adhere to the Silent-Nice Creed.
Peter and John told them to go stick it in their left ear.
And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” [Acts 4:18-20] 
Go and do likewise.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
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] 
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” 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, 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.
 Philippians 2:9
 Romans 9:27