Blog Archives

PROPER PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST: A PERFECT SACRIFICE

Blog Pic 53117

         Pentecost required the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. It was the only way He could share His Holy Spirit with us.

.

         God not only had to become a human being, He also had to live a perfect life, die without sin, rise from the dead, and be glorified. God had to become a Man in order to then give His Spirit to mankind. There was no other way this could ever happen, and is the actual purpose and meaning of Pentecost.

         He explained it this way:

         Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” [John 7:37-39]

A PERFECT LIFE 

         No one had ever lived a perfect life before. No one had ever obeyed God to the fullest and fully walked out the given plan. The Lord Jesus never missed a step. He became last in all things through complete humility and unselfishness in order to become first in all things. He became last on our behalf as a suffering Servant and became first on our behalf to be our conquering King. Through this process He defeated all evil and the powers thereof. The world, the flesh, and the devil no longer had the upper hand over humanity. He thus gained greater power than any other existing entity as a human being.

        He had always been God but not as a Man. Humanity had been rid of God’s full dominion since the fall of Adam. Humanity had been defeated by evil and had fallen from innocent glory. God would have to restore it. The only way to do that was to become one of us. No one else could possibly qualify. There must be another Adam, a Last Adam:

         So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. [1Corinthians 15:42-47]

A PERFECT SACRIFICE

         The New Covenant definition of perfect is complete. God demands a perfect, or complete, sacrifice. Nothing else will work. You can’t give the Lord a mere portion of your heart even if you give most of it. It works the same way in marriage. It is the main reason so many marriages fail. One member is being deceptive. Sometimes both are. A less than full-hearted effort with God will never work either.

         When the perfect sacrifice was made, sin was paid for in total and a closed door was opened unto spiritual life. The open door later manifested in the miracle of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord. The first sacrifice was made by the Last Adam, the Lord Jesus, when He offered Himself. After that the 120 disciples in the Upper Room had to make a full and complete sacrifice of themselves. They had to become clean vessels, first through total faith in the Lord, and second through total repentance for their sins.

         During the ten days after the Lord ascended to heaven until Pentecost they all prayed, fasted, repented, and prepared. They were also immersed in water in the Name of Jesus. By the time the ten days were up all those remaining in the Upper Room for the duration had made the proper sacrifice. While waiting according to the Lord’s command “for what the Father had promised,” they emptied themselves completely so they could be brand new vessels filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.

THE PROMISE IS FOR YOU

         Thursday, June 1st is the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost means “fiftieth day.” It always takes place on the fiftieth day from the Feast of First Fruits. The Lord Jesus rose from the dead on First Fruits. In that year, it was also the first day of the week, the equivalent of our Sunday. Pentecost was on the first day of the week then as well.

         On the Hebrew calendar, the day of First Fruits is the 17th day of the month of Nisan. The Day of Pentecost is the 7th day of Sivan. The equivalents this year on our calendar are as follows:

         Nisan 17, First Fruits: Thursday, April 13, 2017 (Began Wednesday at sunset)

         Sivan 7, Pentecost:      Thursday, June 1, 2017 (Begins today at sunset)

         How do we know these dates are correct? Because the Hebrew calendar is lunar-solar. The months begin with the actual new moon. The new moon prior to Nisan 17 began on Nisan 1, which was March 28th on our calendar. The new moon took place the day before on March 27 at 9:57PM CDT. This marked the exact beginning of the month of Nisan and from that we can calculate the Day of Pentecost, which begins at sunset tonight.

THE PROPER PREPARATION

         There are stirrings in the Spirit. The Lord is bringing something forth. Well-known Christian figures are now confirming what I have been saying for almost seven years. They are reporting the stirrings of revival in various locations. Let us all continue to be properly prepared. The Great Awakening and Pentecost go together.

         And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

        Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. [Hebrews 12:26-29] [1]

         © 2017 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.

SPIRITUAL FREEDOM and the Losing Legacy of Traditional Christianity

         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] [1]

         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.


[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.

CUTTING OFF GOLIATH’S HEAD

         When soldiers go to war they should not be surprised when the enemy attacks them. If they are surprised it is due to bad training and clueless instructors who have no idea what real war is all about.

         When an individual joins up with the Lord, he should know that he’s not joining a peace love dove happiness commune with a bunch of shallow spiritual hippies and a goofy guru completely oblivious to the powerful forces of evil.

         To deny evil in this world is to deny reality. Those who attempt to create evil-free societies without going to war against evil will always fail. It is only a matter of time until they fail. They might continue on as communal groups but only as ineffective fossils with regard to original idealistic intentions.

THEN COMETH THE WARRIOR

         When the Lord Jesus was born into this fallen world no one saw that His birth was an attack from heaven by a powerful Warrior against an entrenched extremely evil enemy. They only saw a baby. He did this on purpose, of course. He came in like a Lamb. And He kept His life very humble and low key.

         But then the day came to go to war:

         Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph… [Luke 3:21-23]

         God became one of us at His conception and birth. The Lord Jesus had always been God even while in training. The day came, however, when His training was complete. He signaled to the world that He must be baptized in water like everyone else, even though He required no repentance. He also signaled to the world an echo of the future Pentecost when He must also be anointed for service through a visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Mark used the term “Spirit.” Matthew used the term “Spirit of God.”

         Though Jesus was God He still needed to be anointed for service. Prior to beginning His ministry, He had to have the power and anointing that would be required to not only engage in miraculous works and teaching, but to also successfully fight the enemy. Being born into this world was the beginning of heaven’s attack. Being anointed for service by the power of the Spirit of God signaled the conclusion of His training and the beginning of open warfare.

         Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. [Matthew 4:1]

         When the Lord was baptized in water it was His own personal Red Sea Crossing. He then went into “the Sinai” for forty days. One must recall that the nation of Israel was originally intended to spend only forty days in the Sinai before taking the Promised Land, but they proved to be completely unfit and faithless at that time. God made it their penalty to wander for forty years instead.

         The Sinai wandering was indicative of killing the flesh. One already kills “the world” by leaving it and joining the Lord’s Kingdom. But after successfully defeating the world and the flesh one must then face off against the devil.

         Without the infilling of the Spirit of God as at Pentecost, one will have no chance whatsoever. The devil will either render a Christian completely ineffective or destroy him. Satan is a powerful spiritual enemy. If the Lord Himself needed to be anointed for service and for spiritual warfare then so does every one of His disciples. This is exactly what Pentecost is for.

         The temptation of the enemy is impossible to overcome without completely surrendering to God and receiving His power. Defeating the enemy is, of course, impossible as well. If one goes to war trained improperly without the proper weaponry and strength one will have no chance. Spiritual warfare demands the best. Why do Christians wonder about the attacks that come their way as if it is something that is not supposed to happen? Did not the Lord warn us?

         “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:11-12]

         The Lord Jesus came in like a Lamb. He submitted Himself as the Sacrifice Lamb at the end. But during His ministry, under the great power of His Holy Spirit, He was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He came to fix things, to set things aright, to reform a system that had grown hopelessly corrupt, and to usher in the Kingdom of God. The evil people hated Him with a passion. They didn’t like anything about Him. They attacked Him relentlessly. He stood up to all of it.

         Here’s the key: He knew what was in store. He was not surprised by all the hate. He knew the entire world was against Him. He knew they hated Him. He went behind enemy lines when He arrived here. He fought the enemy long and hard. He was subjected to the most vile insults, innuendo, and lack of respect that no one had ever been subjected to before or since.

         But He was ready. He was anointed.

TORRENT OF HATRED

         We are entering into days when the level of outright hatred in America has achieved Biblical proportions. Whoever will attempt to engage in any level of reform will be attacked vociferously. But this has always been the case for real Christians. They are not surprised. Real Christians remember a level of surprise as rookies, in not understanding why so much unwarranted hatred was coming their way. Then they understood what every well-trained soldier knows: The enemy is not your friend. The enemy hates you. The enemy will attempt to destroy your life. The enemy will try to kill you. If the enemy is not trying to get you, you’re not doing your job. Those Christians unaware of this are as ducks on a pond.

         The Lord Jesus was subjected to all of these things, as were His men. The more authority and power they had, the more they were attacked. Why? BECAUSE THEY WERE BEING POWERFULLY EFFECTIVE AT DESTROYING THEIR ENEMY. They were exposing him and applying solutions to eliminate his corruption. What else is the devil supposed to do, just sit back and let you win? He will throw everything he has at you. You better be able to throw everything back at Him.

         When the enemy is on the run you must keep him on the run. This is how you do it:

         Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.

         Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron. The sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camps.

         Then David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem… [1Samuel 17:48-54] [1]

         David was powerfully anointed for service. He attacked the enemy in the Name of the Lord. He did not just knock Goliath down with a small rock sunk in the giant’s head from a mere sling, HE ALSO CUT OFF THE GIANT’S HEAD WITH THE GIANT’S OWN SWORD.

         He then took the bloody symbol of the devil’s former authority to the place of God’s authority in the capital city and put it up in a place where everyone could see it.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[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.

“CHURCHIANITY? WE HAVE A PROBLEM” Supporting Old Wineskins Means Rejecting New Wine

         You don’t find it in traditional “church.” You don’t find it in pretty much any form of ultra-organized Christianity, that is, that which is organized by man.

         If people are the central planners, central organizers, central leaders, and central motivators, then the Lord Jesus is not.

         And that’s the PROBLEM. It’s why you never see real, lasting revival in such places.

         It’s why those in some places, in the effort to at least appear spiritual, have given themselves over to pure emotionalism because they simply do not have the real thing. They’ve substituted mere human virtue, emotional good feeling, and shallow spirituality, and have made these the priority. They want everyone to be comfortable, which means they also, by forced option, want people to be comfortable in their sin. No one in these places wants to say anything against their “church” because they cherish it as their support group, strengthening gym, and bless-me club. How then can it ever improve spiritually?

         No one wants to say anything or even feel anything against the leaders thereof because it makes them feel uncomfortable. If there was some sort of legitimate process toward solutions, like in the early church, people would have a viable outlet, but as it is, the most anyone can ever do is keep to themselves anything that doesn’t agree with the status quo.

         NO ONE WHO HAS SOLD OUT TO ANY OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS WANTS TO BE THOUGHT OF AS A DEVIANT OR SOCIAL PARIAH, AND THUS THEY ALL FOCUS ON FITTING IN RATHER THAN SPEAKING OUT FOR THE LORD, WHEN SPEAKING OUT IS CALLED FOR. THE SILENCE INFLICTED UPON THEM INDICATES THAT THOSE IN CHARGE ARE PERFECTLY FINE WITH THE SET UP.

         Of course, it takes the real anointing of the Holy Spirit to speak out. To stand up. To see what the problem is. To bring into the light what the problem is. And to actually give real solutions to fix the problem.

         But very few in these places really want to fix the problem regardless of what they say or do because it will involve what I just wrote of above, and no one wants to be that guy.

         Well, here’s a news flash: Over the last thirty years or so the Lord Jesus has been pouring out His Spirit and His anointing and His Truth and many, many individuals have been strengthened and anointed and encouraged to OBEY the Lord Jesus in order to do His will, and not the will of others who have decided to take His place.

         These anointed individuals are loving and kind and wonderful people, yet each and every one of them eventually found walls and closed doors and closed minds and hard attitudes and were forced out.

         THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED TO THE LORD JESUS.

         But why? —Because He did the same thing that all these other anointed real believers have been doing. He refused to go along with the false religion the religious controllers of His time were pushing. He was sent to preach the one real Gospel. He would teach nothing else.

         Of course, all the people who could no longer stay in a place in which the Lord Jesus was not in full control were either silenced or forced to leave, and it caused the light in such places to dim and many lights have eventually gone out completely. The same thing happened when the Lord left the synagogues.

         When He walked in He was a BRIGHT LIGHT that exposed all corruption and everything false. When He walked out the place returned to its state of darkness. THE LIGHT WAS REJECTED. DARKNESS WAS ACCEPTED. They felt more comfortable in darkness. They didn’t appreciate the Lord exposing them for what they really were. They hated feeling convicted and rather than repent and get rid of their sin they got rid of Him.

         And it was all in the effort to maintain a compromised or dead status quo and keep the people in charge who were in charge, exactly as it is today.

         The believers who have traditionally been forced out did not want to be “in charge.” They wanted the Lord Jesus to be in charge! And they all knew that if He was in charge the same things that happened in His historical ministry would happen there. But the powers that be almost always nix this because they simply do not understand the truth nor do they want it. Most really believe in what they are doing and think their places are just fine and even great exactly as they are. Many are deceived.

         Here’s another news flash: The compromising of American churches didn’t just happen because the members grew cold, it happened due to a secret organized agenda that most members know nothing about. The general members didn’t cause it, but they have agreed with it.

NEW WINE AND NEW WINESKINS

         But what goes on in the vast majority of these places, again, looks nothing like the Book of Acts. Even though there are a few people who remain “loyal” to their establishments while also seeking a great outpouring from the Lord, they don’t understand that they keep trying to force the Lord’s NEW WINE into old wineskins!

         When push comes to shove they refuse to allow for the Lord’s NEW WINESKINS and continue to honor, support, and remain loyal to the OLD. Such old wineskins can never allow for the very thing they seek, but again, getting rid of the same old same old is anathema to these people. They have therefore chosen the old wine over the NEW WINE.

         “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” [Luke 5:37-39]

         How do we know someone else is standing in the Lord’s place? How do we know that someone else is in charge? How do we know that someone else is deciding on policy, on what will be taught, on what doctrines will be allowed, what people must believe, and on which “ministers” can speak?

         Simple: Next to nothing in these places actually looks like the ministry of the Lord Jesus or that which happened in the early church. Some give forth the appearance. Most do not. And the members thereof have grown satisfied in dry desserts and dusty creek beds and empty lakes and waterless oceans. There’s no water in their swimming pools and yet everyone is acting like there is. That’s weird. But not so much if everyone there is doing it.

         So there’s your PROBLEM. It was the same problem the Old Testament prophets faced. It was the same problem John the Immerser faced. It was the same problem the Lord Jesus faced. And it was the same problem the original apostles of the Lord faced. You either joined ‘em or you fought ‘em. Most fought ‘em.

         IT’S WHY THEY WERE ALL MARTYRS.

         Today, church members in general don’t want to be martyrs. They don’t want to be anything close to a martyr. They are satisfied that the Lord Jesus is not in charge, that His Holy Spirit is not welcome, that they have no powerful outpourings, and that they are bound by teachings and doctrines that are not His.

         But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1Timothy 4:1-2] [1]

THERE IS A SOLUTION

         It doesn’t have to be this way. But anyone who knows and has done the research and has studied revivals in detail KNOWS why they happen and why they end. They happen because enough people greatly desire as top priority the Lord’s Truth, the Lord’s control, and the Lord’s spiritual outpouring, exactly as that which happened in Acts 2. These saints of God make great demands upon themselves to achieve this end. They have to fight through so many other Christians thinking they are idiots and malcontents. They must have great courage and must persevere against great odds. THIS is how revivals happen. And when enough of these people are successful and are able to fight off all enemies, most especially religious enemies, GREAT AWAKENINGS happen. Amen!

         But revivals end when the human religious controllers manage to fight back and take control once again. When they wrest control back from the Lord, the same old spiritual deadness ensues. They destroy the NEW WINESKINS and rebuild the old.

REVIVAL ANYONE?

         Here is the Lord’s guarantee for all of who really want the best: The 120 people in the Upper Room were all in one accord. Each and everyone knew the Lord Jesus must be in charge, must be honored 100%, and must be allowed to do whatever He wanted to do. They were all surrendered to Him and His Truth and His entire curriculum. They LOVED Him with all their hearts. And though tens of thousands followed the Lord in His ministry, only 120 were willing to go all the way to the Lord’s fullness and toward complete obedience.

         As a result it was the 120 who were blessed with Pentecost!

         If any group of people, or church congregation, or members of a ministry do exactly as the 120 did, the guarantee is that the same outpouring will happen for them.

         All of this means it is our choice. The Lord forces no one. That’s in part why most churches are dead and compromised and filled with false doctrines. These places are the antithesis of spiritual health. Though they may look great on the outside, to the eye, and though that is exactly what many of them strive for, all it does is serve as a deceptive shiny wrapper on the far less than optimum spirituality within.    

         So again, any group anywhere can change their tune and get right with God, but this will never happen until they finally acknowledge that they have a problem.

SUCCESS!

         Some churches and groups have done this! They have proven it. Some are proving it right now. But we are still in the early stages.

         Always keep in mind that the real Christians of the early community of the Lord actually defeated the Roman Empire in its evil battle against them. If that doesn’t prove the Lord’s power and ability, what does? Rome was the greatest empire the world had ever known until the present empire being built up all around us. The same kind of war is beginning to come forth.

         However, our early forebears fought a spiritual war against demonic entities. They fought the devil but loved the people.

         And the kind of love they showed, and it’s best characteristic, and its greatest example was illustrated perfectly by the Lord’s suffering and death on the cross.

         “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15:13]

         This is our challenge.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

REAL REVIVAL, REAL WORSHIP, AND REAL DECEPTION

         I could hardly believe what I was seeing. The revival director was bent over on the floor of the stage on his hands and knees kissing another man’s feet—a clergyman. And he stayed there and kept at it. As far down to the floor as one can get. Kissing his feet.

         And I thought, he probably means well. He probably thinks he’s doing the right thing, a good thing.

         But here’s the problem, and it’s a BIG one:

         For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” [Romans 14:11]

         In this passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans, the apostle quotes from the writings of the prophet Isaiah, whom the Lord is speaking through:

         “Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save.

         “Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

         “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.

         “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” [Isaiah 45:20-23]

         In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he quotes from this passage yet again, this time identifying the God who spoke by the mouth of Isaiah over 700 years before. Paul also reveals the actual Name of God in its fullest revelation—the Name which is above every name:

         Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

         For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Philippians 2:5-11]

         Though our current English translations claim that Paul said Jesus Christ is “Lord,” in the original letter he used the word Adonai, which is what the Hebrew teachers used as a substitute word for YHWH. Therefore, when Paul said the Lord Jesus is Adonai, he was saying the Lord Jesus is YHWH.

         This is key, because the same identifying dynamic occurs in the Isaiah passage, in which the word “LORD” is translated from the Hebrew Adonai, which was a written substitute for the name YHWH.

         The Name of Jesus is the English rendering of the Hebrew Yehoshua, which means “YHWH-Salvation.” And what this clearly signifies is that the YHWH Isaiah refers to is the same Person that Paul is referring to when it comes to every knee bowing down.

         Also, it must be noted that the apostles refused worship toward themselves, claiming correctly to be mere men, though mere men with the power of the Lord. This point is proven well when Peter met Cornelius for the first time. Cornelius had great respect for Peter and when he first met him he bowed down to the floor and began to worship him:

         When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” [Acts 10:25-26]

         The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, always accepted such worship. Actual worship in its original meaning involved the act of bowing down, bending the knees, and actually becoming prostrate before the object of one’s worship. It is why Cornelius acted the way he did. It was often used to show extreme respect for other human beings in positions of authority. Indeed, if people did not show the proper worship and great respect they could lose their lives. Such was the power of kings and especially the Roman emperors.

         But, of course, Peter absolutely refused any such worship. No one would ever be bowing down to him, bending his knees before him, laying prostrate before him, or kissing his feet. To do this to another human being is an abomination before the Lord.

         Again, as Peter very clearly stated, and one can know he stated it with much emphasis:

         “Stand up; I too am just a man.”

         Now hear this, other than toward the Lord Jesus:

         Real Christians are NEVER to worship another human being.

         Real Christians are NEVER to bow down to another human being.

         Real Christians are NEVER to bow their knees to anything or anyone other than the Lord Jesus.

         Real Christians are NEVER to kiss anyone’s ring.

         AND REAL CHRISTIANS ARE NEVER TO KISS ANYONE’S FEET.

         All of these are very clear forms of worship and to worship another human being is an abomination. All human beings are sinful and require the shed blood of their perfect sinless Savior, so even one who is cleansed from sin has no right whatsoever to accept worship, based on their former condition. Any human being who actually accepts such worship, as opposed to the apostle Peter who absolutely refused, is placing himself in the place of God. This has not, however, stopped certain clergymen from actually insisting they are substitutes for God and demand that they must stand in His place.

         NO ONE STANDS IN THE PLACE OF THE LORD JESUS.

         That is why it was so disconcerting and shocking to see a fairly well-known “minister” laying prostrate at the feet of another man, a religious leader, worshiping him and kissing his feet, while the other man made no attempt to stop him, but stood there and accepted it as if he was worthy.

         This alone proves it was a compromised, deceptive “revival” though there were many other proofs.

            This event happened very recently. As is my policy, I don’t name names. But it happened. Search for it. Look it up. Of course, in one particular Christian denomination there is a head guy who has always accepted such worship. And this has always been an abomination before the Lord. Yet, this has not stopped some very well-known and powerful American ministers from recently meeting with Him and honoring Him anyway. Whether or not they are personally deceived, they are certainly engaging in deception. Why do they honor a mere man whose office has historically mandated that the one sitting on the throne is a substitute for the Lord Jesus in the earth?

         THE LORD JESUS IS THE ONLY KING.

         THE LORD JESUS IS THE ONLY ONE WORTHY OF WORSHIP.

         WHOEVER ELSE ACCEPTS WORSHIP IS OF THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST.

         The real revival—the real Great Awakening—will come forth in great power the more the Lord Jesus, and only the Lord Jesus, is worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. It will come forth with no clergy icons and fake ministers clogging up the process and accepting great undue respect and honor. It will come when there are no stages and platform thrones when only a few high brows are at the top hogging all the attention while the great masses are gathered below worshipping them. It will come when we do exactly as did the 120 did in the Upper Room.

         This is exactly how the first Great Awakening happened in the first century. There were no “churches” then and such buildings would not even officially exist for three hundred years. There was no high clergy class taking authority over a low laity class filled with the nameless and powerless then. Even those with the great power of the Lord who were filled with his Holy Spirit knew they were mere men and women and refused any form of worship or undue respect whatsoever.

         But boy, have things changed. If you want to know the one reason we DON’T have great revival, that’s it—the worship of people who have taken the place of God.

         During the REAL Azusa Street Revival of 1906, William Seymour, the primary director in a sense, spent much of his time in services on his face before the Lord Jesus or with his head in a shoe box! That’s how they all acted at that time in that place in the beginning. The love and presence of the Lord was so extremely powerful that everyone there knew who the Boss was. No one dared accept any glory for themselves. There was absolutely no pride, especially religious pride.  It was an extremely humble setting. There was NO platform or stage. There was NO pulpit. They were all as self-effacing and humble as could possibly be. They surrendered EVERYTHING to the Lord Jesus.

         The revival ended when they took it all back.

THE REAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION

         The real anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection took place the morning of April 25. On the Hebrew calendar, which is an actual lunar-solar calendar lined up with celestial events, it is Nisan 17. Most Christians missed it completely and even refused to acknowledge it.

         Nevertheless, pay close notice to what the Lord’s disciples did when they saw the Lord Jesus after He rose from the dead. It you want real revival it makes all the difference in the world:

         Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

         The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

         And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.” [Matthew 28:1-10] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[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.

Acts of the Apostles [2:44-47]

         And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

         Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.

         And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. [1]

         [SEE COMMENTS]


[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.

Acts of the Apostles [2:40-43]

         And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”

         So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

         They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

         Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. [1]


[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.

Acts of the Apostles [2:36-39]

         “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

         Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

         Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

         “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [1]


[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.

Acts of the Apostles [2:1-4]

         When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

         And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

         And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

         And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [1]


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

Religion is a Mind Closer

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

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

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

I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR.

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

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

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

REAL REPENTANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         Where are the John the Immersers of today?

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

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

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

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

         Where are the John the Immersers of today?

AN ALTERNATIVE AGENDA

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

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

         Real Christianity, however, is advancing powerfully.

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

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

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

         “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

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

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

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


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

The Day of Pentecost

         When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. [Acts 1:13-14]

         Every Christian must have a personal Upper Room experience. Pentecost is for every believer. The entirety of the Lord’s ministry in its full extension leads directly to it.

         Many voices continue to insist that this experience is no longer available or exists, or that it ended in the first century. This defies a very clear historical record since that time.

         It is only the enemy and all who follow him who claim the experience of Pentecost and the actual infilling of the Holy Spirit as clearly illustrated in the Book of Acts is something Christians must shun and refuse to partake of, which gives him the advantage.

         The enemy does not want anyone filled with the Spirit of the Lord, because he knows such an experience creates a very powerful disciple who can wreak havoc upon his kingdom. He has thus successfully convinced the vast majority of Christians and Christian leaders throughout history to join him in opposition to the Upper Room experience, so that the vast majority of Christians will be denied the possibility, and therefore keep them spiritually weak and non-equipped to engage in spiritual war against him.

         One can only wonder how it is possible that a “Christian” leader can counsel his own flock with the counsel of the enemy. If your spiritual experience has yet to look like the experience of Acts, I strongly suggest you seek the Lord Jesus with all your heart. If you really want this Spirit-infilling, do as our forbears were taught to do. Find your own Upper Room, fast and pray, and ask the Lord Jesus for the exact experience of the early believers. The Lord needs strong, powerful disciples to storm the gates of hell and He has made a way for that to happen.

         Today is Sivan 7, the actual Day of Pentecost. It is exactly 50 days from the anniversay of the Lord’s resurrection. Almost 2000 years ago the following is the account of what happened then. May it happen in these days for us all.

         We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening.

         When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:1-4] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

The Prophetic Word—The Gift of Prophecy

         In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul clearly places special emphasis regarding spiritual gifts on the gift of prophecy.

         It is as if he thinks it is most important. On the face of it, this makes little sense. All of the gifts are obviously important and necessary.

         Perhaps this is one of those teachings of Paul that some so-called Christians like to put in a separate category. You know, the ones they have a problem with because they’re either unwilling to understand or too rebellious to accept.

         Let’s review the verse in question:

         Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. [1 Corinthians 14:1]

         Paul certainly has the priorities right. Love must always come first or the ministry process will not work. This has everything to do with putting the Lord first in all things, but also because the Lord is Love, and love never fails.

         The second thing he tells the Corinthians is to desire earnestly spiritual gifts. These are actually spirituals, or “spiritual things,” since the word “gifts” does not appear in the original Greek. The Greek word is pneumatikos and is defined as that which is spiritual, or pertaining to the spirit. These pneumatikos are referenced in the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians:

         Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

         Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

         And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

         There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

(1) For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit,

(2) and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

(3)  to another faith by the same Spirit,

(4) and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

(5) and to another the effecting of miracles,

(6) and to another prophecy,

(7) and to another the distinguishing of spirits,

(8) to another various kinds of tongues,

(9) and to another the interpretation of tongues.

         But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. [1Corinthians 12:1-11]

        The nine spirituals listed above are directly connected to the Spirit immersion of Acts Chapter 2. In fact, they are the result, or effect of the Spirit of God working through believers.

         In 1 Corinthians 12:6, the Greek word energema is translated in the NASV as “effects,” and in other versions as “operations, working, or activities,” and is explained as spiritual things energized by God for His purposes.

         Many people have discounted this direct association primarily as a way to discount the Acts 2 experience since they personally oppose it. But this is grossly incorrect. I say this so people will no longer be deceived by false teaching. Pneumatikos are given by the Lord Jesus to His people for service in the kingdom. One of these is prophecy, and without prophesying, the Prophetic Word would be absent.

         The third directive Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 14:1 is to pursue especially the gift of prophesy. I use the term “prophesying” because spiritual energema have to do with function. If they are not being used, they effectively do not exist.

         There is the potential for spiritual pride within individuals who believe they possess gifts and are thus worthy of greater honor, and consequently appropriating titles for themselves based on what they think is a resident gift.

         However, the gift shows itself by our use of it, or its functionality, not because it is added as a title to a man-made spiritual resume. It is much more correct to state that a person functions in the gift of prophesying rather than that he is a prophet. Yet, it does not mean that a believer cannot be characterized as such if it is obvious that he functions on a regular basis in that particular place of service. This point is more important than one might think due to the desire of so many false prophets within Christianity who are more concerned with their standing among men than before God. They like the high places and open doors that come with titles. They also very much like the money than can be derived from their position.

         Real prophets, however, like real apostles, know that serving God according to their calling means that they will be treated the opposite of the false prophets. Paul states several times the perils of true apostolic ministry. It appears oftentimes that the Lord has thrown them into an evil world without much concern for their welfare. The apostles and prophets of the first century suffered greatly in their walk with God though they were very close to Him, leading us to surmise that the “initial” ministries are subject to often greater persecution, just as pioneers have it the hardest compared to later generations. False prophets, particularly those of the present, cannot relate to this and reject the entire idea. The apostles and prophets of the first century often did not know where their next meal was coming from, and that is the way God wanted it.

         For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.

         To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. [1Corinthians 4:9-13]

         Does this look like any ministers you know? (They would never allow Paul in most pulpits in America and certainly not on Christian television.)

         We must never forget as real disciples that the Lord has chosen for us a walk of faith and obedience. This is characterized as “Go here, do this.” What about the next step, one may wonder? The Lord almost always reveals the next step after a person has completed the prior step. Therefore, being a “prophet” cannot possibly be a static, entitled position associated with high standing among the Christian elite and with popularity among people in general, but one of obedience to God (not man) and functionality.

         Again, since there are nine energema, or effects of the Spirit, why would Paul single out prophesying as seemingly the most important?

         We must look at the context. He was referring to what was taking place in meetings of believers in first century Corinth. He was simply trying to explain that in open meetings it is better to speak in an understandable way, so that proper communication takes place.

         Speaking in tongues is all fine, good, necessary, and scriptural in individual prayer or prayer meetings, or in an open meeting if an interpreter is present (Paul himself wrote in verse eighteen, “I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all.”) Otherwise, it is largely a waste of time for the group as a whole in community meetings when people need to hear from God.

         Prophesying, on the other hand, is a Word from God spoken in the language of all, or pretty much all, and subsequently edifies the entire group. Thus, the Prophetic Word is that which is spoken by the inspiration of God and by the power of his Spirit to benefit another, and oftentimes many others.

         Moreover, groups of real believers usually contain more than one person who functions in the gift of prophecy, or should, and should thus take turns, though in polite order (see 14:29-32).

         The reason for all of this is to allow the Lord to speak to His people. If it is attempted through a way contrary to this model, or if another method is formulated which is actually in opposition to it, it generally means that the Lord Jesus is no longer in charge and has been subverted by false believers who have circumvented His authority. And if the group allows this, they are also guilty partakers.

         It should not be difficult, then, for an objective observer to note that traditional Christian church practice, regardless of denomination, is usually much different from that of first-century believers.

         This is why, for those who violate Scripture, the Prophetic Word has ceased.

         Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. [1 Corinthians 14:39] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Unreal Christianity: Hamsters on a Spinning Wheel

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

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

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

         What must they control?

         People. Always people.

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

         “Hey Mommy, what are those people?

         “Well, Johnny. Those are unreal Christians.”

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

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

         “Where do they think they’re going?”

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

DECEPTION OR DISEASE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RELIGIOUS SLAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS IS RELIGIOUS DECEPTION OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.

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

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

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

         “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]

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

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

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

LIGHT EXPOSING THE DARKNESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

On the Threshold of Heaven (5)

      The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.

      To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

      Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

      So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

      He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

      And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

      Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

      When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. [Acts 1:1-14] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

On the Threshold of Heaven (4)

         What is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

         What is the proof?

         Some people believe that being Spirit-filled is an apparent non-event in that they have no clear recollection of when it happened in their lives though they claim the experience.

         Some are taught that they are filled with the Spirit “by faith,” again, that there is no actual evidence, or that they are automatically filled somehow when “they become a Christian.”

         This is what I refer to as being Spirit-filled by osmosis, in that one is somehow filled through effortless, unconscious assimilation in which no actual choice was ever made, there is no recall of when the event happened, and the process cannot be classified as experiential.

         That’s kind of cool when you think about it, but it’s not New Covenant. It is not New Covenant whatsoever.

         The following is New Covenant:

         When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:1-4]

         I remember hearing a statement by a very famous evangelist’s wife who made the claim that she had always been saved from the time of her earliest memories. Apparently, she never had the born again experience the Lord said is an absolute requirement for entering the kingdom:

         Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

         Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

         Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:3-7]

         Let’s do the math:

(1a) Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

(1b) Unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

         In this passage, the Lord Jesus is making a very clear and what should be an obvious reference to two distinct births. This is why Nicodemus, somewhat confused, answered in the weird way he did. He clearly heard the Lord say that there must be a second birth, one that follows the natural birth from one’s mother. But the Lord said it in the context of entering the kingdom.

         Now, this begs the question:

         Is it possible to “be saved” without entering the kingdom of God?

         If the answer is no, then anyone who is not born again is not saved.

         If the answer is yes, then one can be saved without entering the kingdom.

         There is a problem with the latter possibility, however. Have you noticed all of the references in the Lord’s teachings and parables concerning the spiritual concept of either being inside or outside the kingdom? Or being sheep and not goats, or wheat and not tares?

         Here are some examples:

ONE:

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

         From this, it is clear that the scribes and Pharisees were outside of the kingdom: NOT BORN AGAIN.

TWO:

         “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” [Matthew 6:33]

         In this passage, the Lord equates being righteous with being in the kingdom, which signifies righteousness outside the kingdom as not being possible. If one must seek the kingdom then one must be outside the kingdom while seeking it. If one must seek righteousness it must be that one is unrighteous before one gains it. If one is outside the kingdom and is unrighteous, then one is NOT BORN AGAIN.

THREE:

         “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” [Matthew 7:21]

         Here we have the requirement of doing the will of the Father in order to enter the kingdom, meaning that those who fail to accomplish the will of God must be outside the kingdom (regardless of the apparent appearance of their miraculous works), and are thus NOT BORN AGAIN.

FOUR:

         “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Matthew 8:11-12]

         Here is a very clear indication of either being in or out with no in between. In this case, the natural “sons of the kingdom,” that is, such natural descendants of Abraham, are not only not in the kingdom and will never be in the kingdom, but they will be cast into outer darkness and are obviously NOT BORN AGAIN.

         From the record in the Book of Acts, being Spirit-filled was an experience, an event. It was never some sort of mystical wishy-washy don’t-know-when-or-how-it-happened occasion. Such a thing was not possible.

         Remember, we are talking about the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD entering and filling a person for the very first time. And the Lord said it was like a birth. And everyone pretty much knows when a baby is being born, especially, I would think, the mother and the baby. There is no way such an experience can happen without the recipient’s knowledge or even those in the vicinity of said recipient.

         The event of the original Day of Pentecost kept happening again in Acts at subsequent times with different people. By studying each and every recorded historical event when people were filled with the Holy Spirit, it should not be that hard to come to a conclusion regarding consistent evidence.

         Here is the key to that evidence:

         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… [James 3:3-8] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

On the Threshold of Heaven (3)

         Everybody loves love. God is love.

         But God sure gets a bad rap for some reason.

         I think it’s because of all the fakers and pretenders and judgmental protectors of silliness who are much more interested in unlovingly invoking their version of proper doctrine, religious protocol, and denominational differences than in simply loving one another the way the Lord told us to.

         And as far as I can tell, there is no discrimination regarding who is qualified by God as a love recipient.

         The Lord Jesus is truly a lover. He is a lover of us all. He loves people. He loves being around and with people. He greatly enjoys our presence.

         How do I know all this? And what gives me the right to make such pronouncements? I think it’s because the written Word says these very things. I think it’s also because an in-depth study of the Lord’s actual teachings prove it.

         It can very easily be argued as well that the first community of the Lord was composed of people who knew how to love and did love. They loved one another just as the Lord commanded them to.

         Now, why would the Lord Jesus have to make such a commandment? Why must one be commanded to love? That sounds oxymoronic.

         But I think it may be because some people, in general terms, have a tendency to not love, or to not be consistent in loving, and to find ample reasons why they should not love, and to turn not-loving into an unstated practice of its own and buy into that practice.

         It could be because people learn at an early age to be defensive and protective of self, since so many people practice not-loving.

         This is most likely the reason why the Lord had to command us to love. The command is a necessary stimulus to overcome the affected proclivity to not love.

         “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]

         Loving one another in the community of the Lord is proof of discipleship.

         It follows that a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit is also filled with love since God is the Holy Spirit and God is love. It also follows that unloving Christians are unreal Christians and do not have the Holy Spirit.

         Read the following very carefully and take notice of all the references to these things. I have included deduced statements but there are others. See how many you can find:

GOD WAS IN THE EARLY BELIEVERS

         You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

KNOWING GOD ALLOWS ONE TO KNOW TRUTH FROM ERROR

         They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

THOSE WHO ARE BORN OF GOD LOVE GOD AND PRACTICE LOVING OTHERS

         Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

         In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

THOSE WHO ARE BORN AGAIN HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD

         No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

         We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

PERFECT LOVE RESULTS IN SALVATION

         By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

         There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO LOVE GOD AND HATE ONE ANOTHER

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

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

On the Threshold of Heaven (2)

         What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? First of all, one must distinguish between the Old and New Covenants.

         We picture Old Covenant prophets becoming suddenly anointed of God. We see them grow strong and bold, and begin making powerful pronouncements regarding the will and desires of the Lord. Indeed, those men were God’s spokesmen. They were the Lord’s chosen, anointed, and discipled vessels who paid a tremendous price—a very high personal cost to engage in their calling.

         It was often them against the world, and just as often one man against the nation of Israel. It is a sad thing but an obvious historical fact that the prophets were usually hated, rejected, and thought to be complete morons and idiots who refused to just go along to get along. They made people feel uncomfortable.

         And that is exactly how the Lord wanted it.

         It was God who was speaking through them, and God often had a lot to say about the evil practices and very sinful nature adopted by His chosen people. He refused to let them go without letting them know how wrong they were. And because His people could not get back at Him personally they took it out on His prophets.

         We often relate John the Immerser, the one the Lord Jesus referred to as the greatest man ever born of a woman, to the New Covenant. But John was actually the last Old Covenant prophet. Further, he bridged the gap between covenants in a sense, being the Lord’s forerunner and preparer of the people’s hearts:

         As they were leaving, Yeshua began speaking about Yochanan to the crowds: “What did you go out to the desert to see? Reeds swaying in the breeze? No? Then what did you go out to see? Someone who was well dressed? Well-dressed people live in kings’ palaces.

         “Nu, so why did you go out? To see a prophet! Yes! And I tell you he’s much more than a prophet. This is the one about whom the Tanakh says, ‘See, I am sending out my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.’

         “Yes! I tell you that among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than Yochanan the Immerser! Yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he!” [Matthew 11:7-11] [1]

         Imagine that. Some may think that because they are a Christian they are somehow greater than John the Immerser, though such a thing obviously does not compute. John moved an entire nation!

         Therefore, there must be something more that nominal Christians do not partake of, since there is often absolutely no evidence of anything spiritually powerful in their lives that would indicate they are residents of the Lord’s Kingdom.

         Most Christians do well to occupy a place in a pew, and are made to do it by usually not well-meaning reverends who would rather have firm control and regimented order for their congregants than liberty and maturity in the Spirit, and the free-flowing ministry of the Lord Jesus in charge. And church-goers are forced to think this is the right thing to do.

         But most Christians have little or no power with God and look like nothing even close to John the Immerser. And it is never kosher to simply make a weak mental assent to a supposed but unexplainable “fact”—(“I, a Christian, am greater than John the Immerser”)—without some serious evidence to prove it.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Jewish New Testament. Copyright © 1989 by David H. Stern.

On the Threshold of Heaven (1)

         Currently, in such tough times for so many believers, we must all know that our Lord Jesus is still in charge.

         For those who are filled with His Spirit, there is a goodness and brightness in their being, though unacknowledged by many.

         The presence of the Lord within them which they experience at present is what the apostle Paul called the earnest of their inheritance.

         It is the witness, the pledge, the sign, the guarantee, and even what may be termed the first installment or down payment of His Holy Spirit.

         Just as our Lord was the First Fruits, so is His Holy Spirit within real Christians on this planet the first fruits for them of what is to come.

         The exact experience of Pentecost is currently available to all, and many millions all across this world have and are experiencing His presence, and it gives them strength and joy and hope until the full arrival of the purchased possession.

         For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. [Romans 8:22-23] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

JESUS LOVES YOU (Religious Controllers Do Not)

         Any one of us is worth more than the entire Universe. A single person, any person, is worth more than all the resources of every planet and every galaxy and every sun and star that exists.

         Each one of us is worth so much to God and loved so much by God that He became one of us and gave His perfect life for each of us.

         We hear this and read this all the time but it seems to barely register. It seems Christians in general may acknowledge this as a fleeting cold fact but never actually apply it or have it applied since so many still consider themselves next to worthless or completely expendable.

         This is understandable in the context of a cold and cruel world. But if the same dynamic plays out in Christian circles among Christian adherents then it is obvious that something is seriously wrong with that particular brand or expression of Christianity.

         In fact, such brands and expressions are not Christianity at all—not real Christianity. Unless the expression of love matches the expression of God’s love then such brands are fake.

         There is no other way to say it.

         Human beings do not have to be inherantly capable of matching God’s love, but only receiving it, possessing it, and expressing it. The simple fact that God’s real, wonderful, overwhelming, joyous, and powerful love does not exist in such places and among such people only proves that the Lord is not there because He is not wanted.

         And if He is not there and not wanted, the entire place and process is nothing more than one more worldly expression of being without God and His love and is of no more spiritual worth than a meeting of atheists.

         Christians have this sense that there are times of coldness and dreariness that inevitably descend upon their undertakings thus revealing the need for occasional “revivals.” But a revival in any other sense means a resuscitation, which portends an advent of death or something close to it.

         How does a Christian community die?

         With reference to the early Christians, these ideas of Christian existence without God’s love, and existing at the point of death are not only completely wrong, they are a reflection of both surrender to the enemy and failed surrender to God. It is an indication of uncrucified fleshly humanity being in charge showcasing spiritually dead fleshly humanity and not the born again variety pulsing with the bountiful life of God. It is an indication that a spiritually dead human being and/or human beings are in charge. (Death begets death.)

         Hence, the reason a person feels somewhat worthless within a Christian congregation is not because he or she is worthless to God, but that he or she is worthless to those in charge.

         This is indicated by having such a person and the majority of persons there made to enter into a static location, sit down among a crowd, and above all things keep silent and keep his or her opinions to himself or herself. Only a few will have any allowance to actually participate. One will get to participate the most. That one and those other few will no doubt have few feelings of worthlessness. They know they must be special because they feel special. They have been granted the right to be something more than just an observer—an observing non-participant—a member of the audience—a mere face in the crowd.

         “Oh no,” the few may say. “That is not true. God loves you!” they say.

         But such words just don’t get it done. EVERYONE MUST PARTICIPATE, and if the unreal man-made structure does not allow for that then one must dump the structure and appropriate the organic method facilitated by the Lord.

         We read about the great sacrifice the Lord Jesus made on our behalf. We know intellectually that He gave everything. It’s just that most Christians do not feel it. They may know it academically, but they do not feel it in their hearts. And after so many years they know it is their problem and no one else’s because no one else has an answer except to give them the same old unfeeling words that simply do not satisfy.

         As a result an indifference takes hold spawned by the indifference of those in charge, who would rather that everyone sit down orderly and remain silent as a point toward proper control rather than address the issues that matter most to those with hurting hearts in need of the very love of God originally promised that never arrives.

         They then began picturing God Himself as the one who is distant and unfeeling. Thus, the great sacrifice of a greatly loving Man proving His heartfelt love and concern for each of us is relegated to mere pictures on a wall (or in some cases much statuary), or a blurry image in one’s head.

         Is it any wonder then that Christian lifers are those who have simply accepted that they will never see the great power of God they read about or His great love they wish they had, but instead force themselves to go through dead religious practices ad infinitum while possibly looking forward to heaven when perhaps they will at last experience all that the early church practiced?

         If such a scenario plays out, the Lord will tell them they could have had it all before they ever got there. And that in fact it is the way He designed it! The kingdom of heaven brought to planet Earth by the Lord two thousand years ago is designed by Him to be heaven on earth!

         But because of the Lord not being in control due to being shut out by the human controllers of most Christian brands and expressions, the heaven He desires to give us and the great love that goes with it in the here and now is denied.

         Better we look good to the world and be in control rather than have some silly revival break out, they say. We certainly don’t want any Great Awakenings. How could we ever control that? It would be a nightmare, they say.

         Well, I say all you Lord Jesus being in control deniers can go stick it in your left ear and the rest in your right ear and wherever else. You idiots have denied God’s people long enough.

         And if my loyal readers allow me just one little phrase to get the point across, I also say to all the deniers of God’s greatest love, power, answers, and solutions—those who block God from filling hearts with His love that they may KNOW they are loved by God and FEEL His love—“Get the hell out of the way! Let God have His way!”

         The great news is that we are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening that’s going to blow the doors off. The powers that be and the devil himself are mucho afraid because they know there’s nothing they can do about it. THE LORD JESUS IS GOD AND HAS ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND EARTH! HIS ENEMIES KNOW IT AND ARE CONSEQUENTLY SCARED TO NO END.

         The only chance they have, therefore, or have ever had, is to convince Christians that real Christianity is a lie, and most Christian controllers have bought the lie, and spend their time doing the devil’s bidding whether they know it or not, instead of obeying God.

         There will be a special place in hell for all those Christian controllers who refuse to allow the Lord Jesus to be in control of His own movement.

         But great thanks to the millions who have seen through all the religious shenanigans and false fronts and refused to partake unless the Lord is the Captain. These people want God in charge and they prove it by allowing Him to be in full charge of their own lives. They have submitted the only thing they control to His control, just exactly as He commanded.

         As a result, there are people on this planet who shine with the love and power of God because He has been allowed residence within them. When you get many of these people together in one place the roof goes off, just like it did in the Upper Room.

         Again, for any unbelievers or doubters, check out what’s going on in other places in the world—great spiritual awakenings and happenings—and use it for reference toward what must take place in America, and is beginning to.

         The only ones who have ever had the ability to stop the powerful movements of God are the faux Christians—the fakers—the ones who agree with the devil that great LIFE and LIGHT and a powerful spiritual expression of LIBERTY and LOVE are the last thing we need.

         But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” [Luke 9:60] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

The Yoke’s On You

         The Lord Jesus promises us an easy yoke. Think about that. The existence of an easy yoke implies the existence of its opposite—a difficult yoke, which no one really wants but many already have.

.

         “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

         “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29-30]

.

            Rather than the counterfeit taskmasters we are used to or the dry, empty instruction of lifeless hirelings that do nothing for our hungry souls, the Lord identifies Himself as a gentle and humble teacher with a guaranteed promise.

         He promises a light burden instead of heavy and hard to carry burdens and bleak servitude. He promises an easy yoke, signifying His teaching in the service of God instead of the scribal standard that never satisfies the soul. And He attempts to convince us to trust Him regarding His promises and our discipleship under His authority, that our hearts may be fulfilled and satisfied, and that we find the refreshing we seek.

          His intention is to remove us from the fruitless instruction of others (“learn from Me”) and bless us with the spiritual rest and refreshing we need and desire.

         He wants to take us back through the fog of countless incomplete and incorrect teachings and teachers to the beginning, to the foundation, to the well—to the answer. He quotes Jeremiah:

         Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.” [Jeremiah 6:16]     

         There is another word in the original languages closely associated with the one used for yoke in the above narrative, and is used with reference to a yoked pair. It relates to a rough wooden yoke built for two farm animals standing side by side with their heads yoked together at the neck to work in tandem.

          Could it be the Lord is also telling us to be yoked together with Him as in the above? If so, He has already placed Himself in one side of the yoke and is asking each of us to place ourselves in the other side. By this, He would also be saying He will never ask us to do what He is not doing.

         Consider the implications of this arrangement—whatever the Lord may propose to do will instantly involve us doing it as well. He refers to it as His yoke, not ours. Yet, even in that, once we are yoked together He cannot force us to go along. We must make the choice to work with Him BESIDE Him. And because it’s an easy yoke, He will always consider a pace we can handle.

         This is completely indicative of why Abraham was credited with righteousness. When he entered into covenant with the Lord, as pairing up with Him in a yoke, Abraham committed himself to work alongside the Lord and do whatever was required for the rest of his life. This is the commitment a real Christian makes.

         Are we following the Lord within this arrangement? Yes, certainly. Though He is not geographically in front, He still leads, that is, until we learn to work with Him. At that point following Him becomes natural and second nature.

         This is what the farm animals do. When a pair of animals is first teamed up they must learn to work together. It takes time and effort to synchronize themselves one with the other, and is much harder than it may appear. The two may fight and pull against each other in the beginning, and maybe even buck. And since the driver following behind wants strong and stout animals it is that much harder to get them on the same page.

         For each animal, the arrangement is unnatural. It is difficult enough to be strapped to a plow but to be yoked to another animal as well and be expected to work is next to impossible. The physical strictures are beyond uncomfortable. The entire arrangement demands revolt, which includes yet another brutal cruelty—the callous commands of the driver holding the reins.

         How can these two independent farm animals with minds and instincts of their own make such an unnatural set-up work? What if one lags? What if one is trying to set a stronger pace than the other can handle? What if one becomes obstinate like a stubborn mule and refuses to conform? Eventually one becomes the leader and the other follows along until the two arrive at a united and steady pace.

         This can take quite a while. The driver must drive the team but also have enough patience to make it work. A good team is hard to put together, but once successful, a lot more work can be accomplished with a yoked team than with two singles.

         Consider the pastoral scene before us two thousand years ago. The Lord Jesus was teaching disciples very familiar with the particulars of the illustration. These were rural and semi-rural men, most of whom made a living with their hands. They were in sight of the grainfields of Galilee and likely an existing team of yoked draft cattle working a field. The men would understand the spiritual significance of the Lord’s teaching by seeing the scene right before them.

         Imagine, then, those in another rabbi’s school, or one animal in a tandem yoke. The Lord says any other teacher is essentially a mere hireling who has certainly not entered into a committed discipleship covenant with the student, and that a single draft animal in a tandem yoke meant for two is meaningless. In a spiritual sense, a single unyoked worker can certainly appear to work, but without the Lord can actually get nothing done:

         “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” [John 15:4-5]

         Now, considering the implications in the above passage, note in the following verse how the Lord perfectly modeled both the vine and branches figure and the yoke illustration:

         Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” [John 5:19]

         This is a perfect picture of the Father and Son being yoked together. The Father and Son, however, are not separate in the sense that two farm animals are separate, yet the two separate farms animals yoked together actually become one in an effectual sense regarding the work they accomplish. They pull together with the same exact strength walking at the same exact pace. They learn to work together so perfectly they instantly anticipate the other’s moves and make adjustments. If one animal suffers a misstep or an injury the other compensates for it. The two become a team working as one.

         And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs [Mark 6:7]

         Interesting, huh?

         Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. [Luke 10:1]

         As a tandem team of farm animals, so were these disciples. They were learning to work together.

         The yoke teaching is thus:

         (1) The Father and Son are yoked perfectly together.

         (2) Each disciple individually must be yoked together with the Lord (Who is Father and Son).

         (3) One disciple must be paired with another.

         (4) Each pair must learn to work with each other pair.

         The Lord was so successful in making all this unity happen He was able to gather 120 devoted disciples together in the upper room for the Holy Spirit outpouring of Pentecost! That’s not sixty pairs, though, but a single unit composed of 120 individuals. Each one of these were yoked with the Lord which made the yoking together of all possible.

         It was the Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, who provided the spiritual connective. This is also why the single fire which was manifested as the visible presence of God in the upper room separated into 120 parts, was distributed, and rested upon each disciple. This could not have happened if the 120 were not in spiritual unity.

         This unity was so perfectly formed that the 120 functioned as a single ovum given life by the Spirit of God from which the entire Body of Christ would miraculously grow over the next 20 centuries. How did this happen and why does it rarely happen in comparison with all “Christian” expressions?

         The key is in the apostle Peter’s address to the gathering crowd drawn together by the spectacle. Everyone in the upper room had already obeyed the directive later given by Peter or he would not have told the crowd to do something they had not already done.

         Peter explained the prophecy of Joel and He identified the Lord as the Messiah and told them of His death and resurrection. He then revealed the yoking process designed to bind the people of God together:

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

         Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:36-38]

         This is the secret. This is the answer. This is the easy yoke.

         “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” [Acts 2:39-40]

         A great many in the crowd did exactly that, which then continued the process of cell division and growth. By the end of the day the 120 had been multiplied to become 25 times as large!

         So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. [Acts 2:41] [1]

         May your joy be full.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Please Take Time To Worship the Lord:

Evil Planet and the Expanding Kingdom of God

         This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. [John 3:19-21]           

         We live in a perverse, rebellious, bizarre, and fallen world. It is a planet teeming with mutinous lovers of sin, like maggots on rotting meat.

         Why do I have such an opinion? It’s very simple: Look what it did to the Creator of the Universe.

         He showed up here in human form. But it wasn’t just “form.” He was an actual human being. And He remains an actual human being, though in a glorified state. And this world did everything it possibly could to destroy Him, and had actually thought at that time that it did destroy Him.

         He loved everybody. He forgave everybody. He went about doing good. He never did anything wrong. He never committed a single sin. He honored the Torah and kept every part of the Torah and never, ever violated a single commandment. He was as innocent as innocent could be, yet most people still hated Him.

         For not even His brothers were believing in Him. So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.” [John 7:5-7]   

         After all the good He did and the love He expressed, the hateful people of this evil world savagely beat Him up, nailed Him to a rough wooden cross, and raised it up with Him attached like a trophy so all could see and behold its dirty, dirty deed.       

         “Look what we did to God, man! Who’s the boss?!

         Not only did the people of this rotten world kill Him, they wanted the whole world to see that they killed Him. If such rotten people that currently breathe air murdered Him they would instantly broadcast it on international television and plaster it all over the internet. They would want everyone to know what they did. Two thousand years ago the idiots were very, very proud of what they did and every generation since has been proud of what they did and supported what they did.

         How do I know?

         Isn’t it obvious?

         Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” [Matthew 4:8-9]   

         We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. [1 John 5:19]

         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. [2 Corinthians 4:3-4]   

         But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. [2 Timothy 3:13]

         As evil as the world was then, it has grown increasingly more evil since. The world is presently more evil than it has ever been. How many people actually know or care that more people were murdered in the last century, for example, than had ever been killed in a single century before?

         The numbers are staggering. War, disease, genocide, and the most sinister of all sins perpetrated by humans—the outright butchering of defenseless, innocent babies by the multi-millions—made the twentieth century the Century of Death with somewhere in the vicinity of 200 million casualties. Stalin killed 30 million. Mao killed 40 million. The United States of America has killed over 50 million… babies.

         But most do not care. Most do not know. Most do not recognize the gross sin in this place or even their own sin. If God wanted to He would be absolutely justified in destroying this entire planet in a onetime big bang for what the corrupt and rotten race of humans have brought into an otherwise pure universe.

         Instead, because He is a Person of love and peace, He came for a visit to help show us the way and get us back on track. Though some think He’s a big meanie for being forced to clean the place up once before, His purpose was to rid the planet of vermin before the vermin destroyed it all. We thanked Him for His love and peace and concern and hope and belief in us by killing Him in perhaps the worst way possible.

         Thank you very much, God. And don’t let the screen door hit you on your hinder parts when you leave. And if you ever come back you’ll get more of the same. You hear!? This is our world now!

         Thank the Lord that He didn’t listen to such vile idiots. He did leave, of course, but not because of their threats. And it was only for a short time. He said the Holy Spirit would never come unless He first departed. Why does it seem that the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus could not be here at the same time? It reminds me of one of those movies when one actor is playing dual parts and always has to leave the scene as one character in order to return as the second. The answer is alluded to by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians:

         But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. [1 Corinthians 15:35-37]

         Fascinating, huh?   

         “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” [John 16:7]

         So the Lord had to leave. But He promised to return. For all of those who have been taught that the Lord left this world 2,000 years ago, has been gone since, and will return to it one day in the future, you have been taught wrong. The Second Coming (not a Biblical term) is not necessarily a future event only. In Hellenistic Greek, the word parousia is the general term used to denote the event, but in common secular terms of that time, it often meant the arrival of a ruler at a place. In other words, when the Lord returns, it is to take charge.

         The first “Second Coming” took place ten days after the Lord ascended to heaven:

         When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:1-4]

         It was the extraordinary return of the Lord Jesus in the form of His Holy Spirit.

         “…that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:17-18]

         And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. [Mark 16:20]

         My intention is not to split theological hairs here but shed some light on the fact that the Lord Jesus did not retire to “heaven” awaiting a day centuries in the future to return to earth. Besides that, “heaven” is usually a place defined by our own imaginations. And thirdly, how did the Lord return to His disciples, not leaving them “as orphans” without a Father or guardian, and work with them doing miracles while also retiring to heaven for two thousand plus years?   

         Of course, there will definitely be a Second Coming regarding the Lord Jesus returning to this planet in physical form also, and that is a future event. But until then, He not only resides “at the right hand of God,” but also right here with His people, as He has taken charge in the hearts of willing real believers, the exact same way He entered into the hearts of the 120 on the original Day of Pentecost.

         “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” [Revelation 3:20]

         But if nobody on this planet wanted Him He would not have returned even then.

         For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. [1 Peter 3:18-20]

         Only a mere 8 people on the entire planet wanted Him then, which gives perfect perspective to what this article is about, and reveals exactly what a sorry, rotten place this planet has become because of its evil human occupants.

         Only 120 wanted Him on the Day of Pentecost. Of all the tens of thousands who had heard Him teach and saw Him perform miracles, only 120 waited for His return in the upper room.

         This remains the same with the vast majority of Christian groups today, in that only a mere minor percentage wants anything to do with Pentecost or is willing to pay the price to “wait in the upper room.” Most Christians will fight against anything Pentecost or Book of Acts related until their dying day. They don’t want their perfect little Christian country clubs messed up with the actual presence of Jesus. They all put on a good show, but when push comes to shove most always shout, “Hell no!” They don’t want Him in charge. They want to be in charge.

         They have reputations to be concerned about and money to be made and social climbing to do and everyone knows you can’t have a good rep or make any money or climb the ranks in social circles if the people in your community think you’re a religious nut. It would be interesting to hear all the contorted explanations of those who denied the actual presence and authority of Jesus in their “churches” when they stand before Him at the judgment. All such people will have no chance at that point to fix what they did with their lives. It will be too late. But for anyone still breathing, there is still a chance to get it right.

         The following is a general list of dire warnings and prophetic statements (great preaching) spoken by the Lord Himself that all believers should keep in mind and apply when applicable:

         “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.” [Revelation 2:4-5]

         “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” [Revelation 2:10]

         “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.” [Revelation 2:14-16]

         “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” [Revelation 2:20-23]

         “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.” [Revelation 3:1-3]

         “I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” [Revelation 3:11]

         “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” [Revelation 3:15-19]

         The above statements prove this world is an evil place. It is fallen in sin. It is a world of deception and illusion. Temptation and wickedness are all around, as is the specter of death. And all these things can invade the hearts of those in the Lord’s community.

         It is why the Lord constantly teaches His people to stay awake, to remain alert, to get strong and remain strong, to adhere to His teachings, to stay close to Him, to attend to our callings, to give no quarter to the enemy, to not allow any place for evil or sin or unforgiveness in our hearts, to repent and be cleansed if we fall, to be a powerful offensive force against the devil and his evil kingdom, to give it everything we have lest we grow weak and be deceived, and to always walk in the light and constantly believe in the “all things are possible with God” credo. Real Christians are behind enemy lines and are greatly outnumbered.

         But God’s kingdom is also here, as is the King of that kingdom. It exists wherever we allow and desire the Lord Jesus to be in charge. It starts in our hearts as individuals, and it grows as such individuals are knit together in true spiritual community.

         This community has stretched all over the planet in the last two thousand years and continues to expand. It is not dead, dull, boring, fake, and wimpy like counterfeit Christian communities, but, like the Lord, is ALIVE and VIBRANT and VERY POWERFUL, so powerful “the evil one” gets his butt kicked. It has the exact characteristics it did in the first century when it all began, and is still all about “RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE and JOY in the HOLY SPIRIT.” [Romans 14:17] [1]

         And as it is today, there was too much of the above for the taste of some, apparently, on that first Day of Pentecost:

         “They are full of new wine!” [Acts 2:13]

         On a Sunday morning?

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Door of Life

         Real Life is the one thing lacking in the Christian experience of most, and it is the reason so many Christians are stacked up against the outside of the entry door to the Kingdom. Milling around without, not wanting to venture inside, they have set up transitory venues like so many crude wooden market booths constructed hastily against the outer walls. The door remains in their midst and every so often someone has the temerity to not only ask about it but want to proceed through it.

        “We can’t have that!” the vendors all cry. Denominational Christianity always winces when someone wants to go deeper into a closer walk with God. They are all well aware of the real Spirit-filled experiences of others but have been so conditioned by their own reluctance and weakness, and also their cultural underpinnings to shun all things “Pentecostal,” that they successfully remain outside. The Lord continues to beckon all to the door however, as He always has. Large numbers of “I don’t think so’s” will not sway Him from His mission. The door of death has become persona non grata and down-to-earth Christians recoil at what would happen to their social standing if they followed the Lord through it.

         The people on that original Day of Pentecost had the same concerns at some early point in their walks with God but had quickly cast off the doubts. They instead manned-up and courageously took a stand for God and the truth. They realized that something optimum must happen, that something very powerful and new awaited them on the other side, and that they must obey the Lord.

         Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” [Acts 1:4-8][1]

         We all know what happened next. If only the Lord had arranged some other way that did not involve such boisterous expression and (crud!) speaking in tongues. What a terrible way to start the Church! Well, at least we can all be glad that it was over long ago, right? That it doesn’t happen anymore. That God has thankfully done away with it. That…

         Well, the above is true, of course, for those who reject it and build church communities without it, and remove any and all people from their midst who actually do it. And there are other things behind that door of death, you know. The people outside hear stories of miraculous healings and strong manifestations of the very Spirit of God that never take place outside in the normal world. Some are always curious but are very concerned about breaking any social conventions and losing their standing among their fellows. I mean, what would people think, right? “Can’t do it, no sir. I’m stayin’ out here. Those people inside that door are freaks…”

         For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. [Titus 3:3-7]

         There’s a Holy Ghost experience waiting inside the Kingdom. The Door of Death is always open. Real repentance removes our sin and all things that hinder, and prepares us for real Life. The 120 knew something incredible was going to happen, but no one could have imagined just how incredible.

         Of the tens of thousands who followed the Lord during His ministry, only 120 followed Him all the way to the Upper Room. It was a command, of course, but not everyone obeyed. The majority never obeyed. You can be sure that at least a few hundred had severe second thoughts when the Day of Pentecost arrived. They had been the reluctant ones. The Lord had appeared to over five hundred at one time in His glorified state, but most of these experienced Pentecost outside the initial Upper Room experience. They refused to enter the Door of Death and thus did not understand that it was also The Door of Life. They stayed back and some even watched what was happening. They missed it! But many of them found their way to the streets below the Upper Room as Peter preached that initial message of the entire Church Age. They ran through the door and were a part of that original class of three thousand that turned Jerusalem upside down.

         The moral of the story is that only a few are willing to be pioneers, leave all, and do all that the Lord requires, including entering the Door. They must experience real Life. They must show succeeding generations the Way.  

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 2]


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

The Gathering

         I received the following question from a good friend and brother in the Lord recently:

         Morning brother…I was reading (the following passage) this morning and wondered what your thoughts are….though it is addressing Israel, do you think there is a New Covenant application to this as well? I have heard people call for help from the four directions and there is something about gathering from the four winds. “Gatherings” would make a great word study. God’s richest blessings on you today and into eternity. Let’s gather soon.

         But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” [Isaiah 43:1-7]

         This is my response:

         Thanks for the question. First of all, everything in the OT Scriptures has a New Covenant application. God does not have two separate peoples. The nation of Israel, descended from Abraham, is ethnically the people of God by DNA in that Abraham’s descendants are part of the covenant God made with Abraham. But throughout Old Testament history, the majority of the people descended from Abraham turned their back on God and violated this covenant. Just like a marriage, for example, both parties of the covenant must be true to the covenant terms. Otherwise, the covenant, or contract, is violated. If you hire someone to do work on your house, there is a contract explaining the role each party must adhere to. If the contract is honored properly, you get your work done and the worker gets paid by you to do the work. Simple. If the person you hired does not fulfill that which is spelled out in the contract, you do not have to pay him since he violated the contract.

         Israel’s covenant with God was violated by the majority repeatedly. However, there was always a remnant of the descendants of Abraham who stayed true to God and did not violate the covenant, but this was always a small percentage. Hence, a remnant. It was in the nation of Israel’s original DNA for the majority to go south, and the majority repeated their sinful behavior all throughout their history. When God Himself became a Man and walked among them, the majority of His people agreed with the decision to kill Him. A remnant of Abraham’s descendants, however, believed and obeyed, as it always had.

         The Lord’s twelve disciples were of the believing remnant, except for Judas, who decided on his own to betray the Lord. The 120 on the Day of Pentecost were of the believing remnant, but were a very small minority. When Jerusalem and the outward nation of Israel were destroyed in 70 AD, the unbelieving covenant-breaking Jews were scattered. The believing Jews already knew about the Lord’s prophecy of that destruction (they believed) and the Lord guided them to safety.

         New Covenant believers are not divided between descendants of Abraham and non-descendants of Abraham. There is no distinction. 

        For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29]

         Therefore, there are only two different kinds of people in the world: Real Christians and everyone else. Real Christians obey, honor, believe in, and trust the Lord Jesus. Everyone else does not.

         There are, however, promises made to the descendants of Abraham that are exclusive to them, but they must honor the Lord nonetheless. How can one NOT believe in Jesus and be right with God? How can one have “The Father” but NOT have “The Son?” It is impossible:

         Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. [1 John 2:22-24]

         The distinction between the Father and Son is parabolic. If one does not have eyes to see, a veil is covering his or her eyes. This is why the Lord spoke in parables—only those who had eyes to see and ears to hear got it and understood. If one SEES the Son, one SEES the Father also. The unbelieving Jews of the Lord’s time could not see that Jesus—God in human form, “The Son”—was also YHWH, the God of the Old Testament, or “The Father.” They rejected Jesus because they did not believe He was the one God of the Jews. Of course, they thought they had a relationship with God and were right with God, but they were not. They had not “The Father,” and the Lord Jesus said they actually had a different father altogether:

         Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” [John 8:42-45]

         The Lord is definitely gathering His children. He is doing this overall but also in regard to small communities. But there is a problem. Just as Ananias could hardly believe the Lord when He told him that “Saul” who became the apostle Paul, had become a real believer,[1] so do many Christians refuse to accept many of those whom God has called. In other words, many Christians reject other Christians because they do not think they are real Christians, or because they think they are messed up in some way. This prejudice is the only real problem the Lord has in creating his communities.

         Christian denominations are not real communities created by the Lord. They are almost exclusively man-made organizations. Most “churches” are man-made as well. They are organized and united together not in the Spirit by the Spirit of God, but are instead based on a particular doctrine or way of doing things. I love it when the Lord takes those of His people who are otherwise separated in such a way and puts them together. (“I didn’t think you were for real because…” “And I didn’t think YOU were for real because…”) There are some believers whom almost no one thinks are for real! But here is what Paul said about real believers:

         For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. [Romans 2:28-29]

         And this is what the Lord said about those leaders who claim to be believers but are not:

         “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:24-28] [1]

         This sentiment, though directed to unbelieving Jews, can also be applied, and much more so, to unreal Christians, since there are so many millions of false Christians the world over who claim to believe and obey the Lord but do not.

         In the end, the Lord will have accomplished creating ONE worldwide unified body of believers. Until then, we must keep working with Him to gather and be gathered as He says to gather and be gathered. But we must not compromise on who the Lord wants us to be for the sake of gathering. We have millions of “churches” composed of people who gather together physically but are not unified in heart (see above quote from Matthew).

         The only real gatherings are those composed of real believers, like the gathering on Pentecost, for example. Each one of the 120 was right with God. They were diverse, of course, because diversity is the strength of unity. But each was right, and strong, and obedient. 99% of churches are not like this. So what is God doing? He continues to work to gather His people together, to eliminate prejudice, to end fearfulness, and to mature His people. And sometimes, He has to get downright angry because of the people who only want to mess things up and keep His people in bondage (see above quote from Matthew).

         The Lord is faithful, but all too often Christian prejudice against other Christians stymies His plans to gather His people together. One can be assured that the 120 on that original Day of Pentecost were composed of representatives of many different and very diverse groups. Their unity, therefore, had to be based on something much greater than that which unites most Christian groups and organizations.

         It was a gathering united by the Holy Spirit of Jesus.

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[1] Acts 9:10-20

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

The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 10)

         The Lord Jesus consistently displayed the heart of a Father. As we studied in the last post, He said He would not leave His disciples as orphans. Yet, many believers, whether they admit it or not, effectively feel like orphans. They do not feel connected to God. Could this be because they are not connected to God? As in the idea of the new birth experience which the Lord said all real believers are required to undergo [John 3:5], many Christians cannot point to any such experience. If they were born again, they do not know when it may have occurred.

         Imagine that. Then imagine a woman giving birth and not knowing it occurred. (“Hey Ralph, where’d this baby come from?”)

         Moreover, imagine a baby leaving the comfortable confines of the womb through a VERY narrow way and a ridiculously tiny gate and tell me the baby has no idea something out of the ordinary is taking place. I imagine the vast majority of babies are thinking something along the lines of the worst amusement park ride that ever existed on Halloween in a haunted house with a scary little guy donning coke-bottle glasses and a big IRS badge waiting at the other end. (“I didn’t sign up for this!!”)

         In fact, if a Christian cannot locate the time and place of his or her new birth, the odds are high that there never was a new birth. Not that the experience is bad or scary, but memorable. Why?

         Because it was the day one met the God of the universe and gave his or her life to Him!

         The Lord’s disciples certainly looked forward to being reunited with the Lord after being divided from Him that day atop the Mount of Olives. And by His own acclamation, He was not only their Rabbi and Master, but their spiritual Father, and would be away for a while on a ten day trip:

         Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

         So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

         He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

         And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. [Acts 1:4-12]

         He left in a cloud and would return in a cloud…

         Ever notice how the events of Acts 2 relate to (as is the common parlance of today’s TV weather forecasters), a strong weather event? It opens with “a noise like a violent rushing wind.” The noise/wind fills the whole house where the 120 are gathered. Then, there is lightning:

         And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. [Acts 2:3]

         And the Spirit of God continued to fall in a holy rain…

         “‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT and they shall prophesy. AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.’” [Acts 2:17-19]

         The old-timers called it a glory cloud—a visible manifestation of the presence of the Lord. Christians who have never experienced such a thing might have the attitude of the mockers and unbelievers, but in some ways cannot be blamed. There is so much counterfeit spiritual nonsense in the Christian world today. Charlatans and lovers of money have faked the blessedness of the Lord’s holy rain and manifested their own seedless fabrications and hokum.

         But the real event is undeniable. As it was on that illustrious Day of Pentecost so long ago, so is it still today, circling the globe. The Lord will go wherever He is welcome and will manifest His presence to the degree desired.

         Want more of the Lord?

         And in that day you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.” Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. [Isaiah 12:4-6] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 10 of 10]


[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.