A Christian can determine how much love and respect he has for the Lord Jesus by whether or not he actually believes this statement and is willing to apply it.
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26]
Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” [Mark 10:27]
But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” [Luke 18:27]
I KNOW GOD LOVES ME ‘CAUSE I’M RICH
Many Jews of the Lord’s time believed prosperity was a sign of God’s approval. The Sadducees were certainly well off. The Pharisees were lovers of money. Accordingly, those without such prosperity, though otherwise hard workers and sincere commandment keepers, were undoubtedly looked upon by more than a few as essentially forsaken or rejected of God. They were seen, even among themselves, as somehow falling short due to some unknown inexpressible inherent weakness. They likely believed that God knew something about them or their character that excluded them from His greater blessings.
This is why the Lord’s disciples were shocked at His teaching regarding the rich:
And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” [Matthew 19:23-25]
THE RICH YOUNG RULER
There is a man referred to in Scripture as “the rich young ruler.” But don’t go searching for this particular collection of terms because you will not find it. It does not exist. The phrase appears nowhere in the New Testament. It is actually a descriptive compilation using separate single words from three different passages in three different gospel accounts which were later conformed into a whole, likely by preachers and Bible expositors.
In the gospel of Matthew, this individual is referred to directly as “someone” and “the young man.” He is referred to by implication as “a rich man.” In the Matthew narrative it says he was one who owned much property. In Mark he is called “a man” and by implication “wealthy” and “a rich man.” Mark also says he was one who owned much property. In Luke the man is referred to as a “ruler” and by implication “wealthy” and “a rich man.” He is also said in the narrative to be extremely rich.
So here we see an overall synopsis of a nameless historical character who unknowingly in his time provided a teaching example for all time. He became the subject of an object lesson that is still used today to present an eternal truth relative to everyone: Will we trade what we consider riches for a walk with the Lord? Will we take the chance? Will we risk everything? Those who do have satisfied themselves, at least to some degree, that all things truly are possible with God. In other words,
They know that whatever they must surrender of this world to make the transformation to spiritual life simply does not matter and they would do it anyway regardless of what their new future may be.
They know what the Lord has done in bringing them into the light and adopting them as His children, and that their life has changed dramatically for the better.
They know as well that the Lord will provide spiritual riches far more valuable than whatever they surrendered.
They also know He will bless them with compensation of a material or monetary nature necessary for sustaining one’s life in this world.
(As an illustration, I will quote George Bailey from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, when he finds out that Clarence the angel has no money: “Ah, well, it comes in pretty handy down here, bub!”)
The English word “ruler” is from the Greek word archon. Generally, this is one who has rule over others in either the religious or civil realms. The members of the Sanhedrin or synagogue officials were referred to as archons, as were civil magistrates and judges. Beyond these there were also men of wealth and influence known by this term. Scripture is not definitive on what kind of ruler the young man was but it appears clear that he had inherited great wealth from his father who must have been a significant individual. Hence, the young archon felt responsible not only for what he possessed and his own reputation but that of his father as well, who had undoubtedly worked very hard to attain his possessions and place in life.
Yet we also know that this “rich young ruler” had spiritual things on his mind. Something had been nagging at him. From his demeanor there was no doubt he respected his father but he also had little or no input into the creation of the wealth he now possessed. He was grateful but he wanted something more. He knew there must be more. He had heard about this new prophet called Jesus and made it a point to address Him when he discovered the Lord was near.
In the narrative we find that the man was raised well in that he knew the Law of Moses and kept it from his youth. Why could he not be satisfied? He was rich, a man of honor, from a good family, and respected the commandments of God. Why would he ever ask the following question: “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). Had he not already fulfilled what the Law required? There is something missing here, and it is indicative of a person who is dutiful and respectful of God, his family tradition, and his culture, but is otherwise empty on the inside. His spirit is crying out for more, for spiritual sustenance, and his heart for something beyond the wealth of material and social benefits.
When I was a young man my friends and I, though not Christians at the time or familiar with Scripture, would discuss such topics as wealth and social structure. We were raised on the lower end of middle class. We were not against wealth necessarily but could certainly see the adverse effect it had on people. In general, people with money appeared arrogant. They saw themselves as better than others. I was on a spiritual quest then and was searching for truth. Consequently, I was not as concerned with giving myself over to the acquisition of wealth and position. We worked. We earned money. But it wasn’t an obsession. I knew there had to be more. We talked about the concept of either owning stuff or stuff owning us.
The Lord understood right away what the problem was. This is what that young man so long ago was going through. In his heart of hearts he wanted to follow the Lord. But with all of his wealth, obligations, and upper class authority over others he knew he could not. The simple solution then, was for him to just get rid of all his stuff, surrender his social status, and quit living for this temporary world. These things were holding him back! They were keeping him from going where he wanted to go and being what he wanted to be.
“One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Luke 18:22]
Think about that. Would you rather have the world’s temporary treasure or treasure in heaven? If you lived back then and were given a direct invitation from THE LORD JESUS to come and follow Him and hang out with them and do all the fun stuff they were doing, would you do it? Could anything possibly be better?
But the wealthy young archon could not. He couldn’t do it. And this is the test.
EXCUSES AD INFINITUM
“He would have to give up everything!” And I answer that by saying that everyone who comes to the Lord has to give up everything. And whatever one must surrender is relative to one’s station in life. There is always a great cost because one must give his or her entire heart.
“But what about making up for all one has surrendered or lost!” Well, I say, the Lord makes provision for that. He said as much in the same passages:
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” [Matthew 19:29]
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]
And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Luke 18:29-30] 
If the young man had actually done it, if he had chucked it all in and threw in his lot with the Lord, the Lord would certainly have taken care of him. The cries of his heart would have been answered. Whatever he needed concerning the good things of this world the Lord would have given him. He would be rid of the monetary, family, and social obligations keeping him from a higher call. He would have activated his faith, trust, and confidence in the Lord. This in turn would have opened up a door to an entirely new life previously thought to be something that did not or could not ever exist. He would have entered into the glorious kingdom of heaven on earth. His heart would have been filled to overflowing with pure joy. Most importantly, he would have had a King who loved him.
And he would have seen that all things are indeed possible with God.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Desperation for money and spiritual faith don’t go together. People who do their Christianity for money are desperate. If they build their lives and ministries that way they only build away from God.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]
One of you, my readers, had a recent post in which you quoted a famous preacher. I can’t remember the exact words. He had been a minister for decades and said something recently to the effect that he had really messed up a lot of people. I thought his sentiment, or apology, was in one sense a tad refreshing. Of course I also thought that it was about time he finally admitted what so many had always known. This guy was a first class idiot. The devil played him like a banjo. I used to wonder how such an obvious shyster managed to fool so many people.
I don’t name names here. It’s not the way I work. If you know who I’m talking about and care to comment, don’t use his name. It could be that he might actually be repenting. It may be possible that he has headed down redemption road. But it could also be, and likely is, that he’s still the shyster he always was.
And there are a lot just like him. The celebrity Christian world has gotten really dark recently. There was steady progress toward that goal. They may still look bright the way the devil looks bright with his fake lighting. They may be more rich and powerful than ever. They may command respect and have lesser “ministers” cowed and afraid to say a word. But the Lord knows the truth. He knows what they are. They took the wrong road long ago.
Were they desperate? Well, if a man needs to make a buck and he’s really down on his luck he forces himself to do absolutely anything he can to survive. If he’s a good man he does honest work the right way. But there are men in this world who refuse to work like a man and instead seek an easy way out. “Ministry” has always been one of those easy ways. Once a man gets past that first plea for cash and gets a little offering money and sees how easy it was to do, his conscience doesn’t bother him as much. He then figures if a little money is okay why not more?
I remember stories of this guy raking in so much cash he was paying ten thousand dollars for one night in a hotel. They could buy anything. While the people in congregations all across the country were trying their best to live right before God and were struggling to buy another used tire for their old car or more baling wire to hold it together and doing their best to feed their kids right, these fake idiot ministers had no money problems whatsoever. It would be different if they earned it. And it’s not wrong to give or receive help. But all these guys do is take up collections. There’s nothing hard about that.
The Lord’s example means nothing to them. They don’t care. They reach a point early on when they can never go back. They are too dependent on the easy money. They had become masters at getting it. There was a guy in the gospels that did something similar but not as a preacher. He was just your common every day little runt rip off artist. And he found redemption:
He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” [Luke 19:1-10]
Based on this story I would say there’s probably somewhere in the vicinity of several trillion dollars that needs to be restored to Christians who were ripped off by fake ministers. It would great if every one of these high-living low-life idiots would make restitution just as little Zaccheus did. But that idea is a pipe dream. There may be one or two here or there but most of the whole lot will keep being what they always were.
And now they have a lot more power. They have also made good friends with the world and the line between both has gotten so blurred it no longer exists. Nothing will convince them to give it up. They believe their success is due to God’s blessing. Their big brotherhood gives them solid protection. And though they know all about the gross sin among them they strive to keep it hidden so the others won’t suffer.
That’s in part why you never see one of these guys rat out another. They know if they do they will likely lose their place at the trough.
The Lord will have to separate these goats out from His sheep.
MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN
When you do it right you have to struggle. I’m old enough to remember the tales of old-timers when I was new to the Spirit-filled life back in the 1970s. I heard about how, in their early days, they often barely had enough to eat. These were good Christian people and real ministers. I was told they had to depend on prayer and “pray things in” just to survive. Think about that.
I also remember a young evangelist who preached at our church. He had a wife and small children. They would travel the country in their car. He was dependent on offerings. These people received very little. I remember how thin he was but also how much the Spirit of the Lord had shone forth in his face. He was so sincere. He told the following story as I remember it:
“We spent what little money we had from our last offering. I had what I thought was just enough gas to take us a few hundred miles to our next destination. We were traveling at night. It turned out that gas starting running low and we still had many miles to go. We decided to pray. We had a small console in the front seat. We asked the Lord if he would please bless us with the money we needed so we wouldn’t be stranded. I kept driving on in the dark and at last found an open gas station still a ways from our destination. My wife and I prayed again because we had no money for gas. Being satisfied that the Lord honored our request we lifted up the console and there before us was a five dollar bill…”
I remember another story from that time. I had a friend who was married with two small children and money was tight. His wife knew how to pray. She had to go buy a few groceries one day but had very little money. She asked the Lord for help. While walking to the store she heard a little rustling behind her and saw what looked like a small bit of rolled-up paper. She continued walking and it kept following her! I remember her laughing when telling the story. She finally stopped to pick it up and it was two or three dollar bills. She was able to buy some milk for her kids.
The point with these stories is that the people involved had more desperation for the Lord instead of for mere money, and because their priorities were right they had greater faith. They knew when they prayed that the Lord would provide. They had no doubt. He didn’t dump gold bars on them but gave them what they needed at the time.
“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:5-6] 
Those who are monetarily successful in the ministry without using or needing faith and prayer are likely never receiving anything from the Lord. They are nothing more than carnal people using carnal means and are duded up to appear outwardly spiritual. When the time comes that they desperately need personal faith and prayer they’ll be up you know what creek without a paddle.
But the Lord’s real sons and daughters will ALWAYS be provided for by Him. And I say Amen to that.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
The Lord Jesus taught that His followers would do what He did. Since this is obviously not the case among the majority of Christians it proves such Christians are not for real. Something is off.
The evidence of His presence is always obvious. When He shows up, believe me, you will know it. When the evidence is lacking His active presence is lacking. The Lord is omnipresent, of course, but that does not mean He has the authority to work. Human beings have free wills and most often reject Him. Thus, restrictions upon Him in Christian circles must be removed. Because one never sees any evidence of His miraculous work in most Christian gatherings it means not only that restrictions upon His work exist in such places but also that they were often put there on purpose and by design.
Why would so-called Christians do this?
Again, it is an authority issue. Let me give you a simple example. There are a great many free websites in the world. One can go to such sites and gain free information. Much of this information is excellent. People work very hard at bringing forth the information they present and then give it out for free. This is essentially what the Lord Jesus did with His teachings and what He taught His disciples to do:
“Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8]
“If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” [Romans 8:31-32] 
But then there are those websites who keep much of their information behind a pay wall. There is nothing wrong with this. It is their right to do it.
What model do most Christian churches and ministries use? One should notice that the offering always precedes the preaching. One may also notice that celebrity preachers sell tickets. Christian music artists have almost always done the same. Regular church singers never do this. It is because they are most likely not talented enough to charge for their efforts. Can anyone imagine the Lord Jesus insisting on an offering before He would teach? As it was, whatever money His ministry was blessed with by people giving freely likely never went to Him. He had pared down His life to such an extent that He needed very little to live on.
I bring this up because there is a clear connection between churches and ministries who install a pay wall and exhibit a decided lack of evidence of the Lord’s presence and authority. These two most often go together. If the Lord was there and was allowed to work, miracles would happen. But someone else is in charge and that someone is charging for the services. They refuse to “have church” for free. They refuse to preach for free. They are professionals and they demand payment.
Now, I believe in giving. I have given very large untold amounts in my time. I have given more money away to churches and ministries than most Christians have by far. I know this because statistics prove the majority of Christians give little or nothing.  But I also learned long ago to give it to the Lord. Though I was giving through the medium of a church or ministry, I was actually giving to the Lord Jesus through them, and I did my best to only give where He directed. The Lord also taught me long ago to never pay tithes. The tithe is not a tax. I have given tithes. I give the tithe to the Lord Jesus. If you pay tithes you will likely not receive the promised blessing or increase whatsoever.
So again, we have this phenomenon in which the Lord Jesus taught for free and gave everything for free. HE EVEN GAVE HIS VERY OWN PERFECT LIFE FOR FREE. This was the greatest life ever lived in which He never, ever sinned. And He gave it away? His salvation is thus absolutely free. Whoever attempts to charge a person for salvation will have to answer to God.
Since the Lord never charged anyone for anything He ever did in His ministry, where do the majority of “ministers” get off in charging for their “services?” The Lord even did miracles for free. He healed so many hurting sick people for free. They never had to pay a dime. He raised the dead for free. Fake ministers have no power to do miracles. But they charge money for what they offer. They operate behind a pay wall. Most people should see the connection between preachers who only work for pay and who never operate in the Spirit in which there is no evidence of the Lord’s presence. Non-Christians see the connection. It’s much easier to see the fakers from the outside.
There is an old song by Charlie Daniels,  before he began living as a Christian, in which he expresses this idea perfectly. Here is the particular verse:
Jesus walked on the water and I know that it’s true
But sometimes I think that preacher man’d like do a little walkin’ too 
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Written by: CHARLES EDWARD DANIELS Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
There can be no unity without division. All evil must be separated from the good. This is one’s life in a nutshell, to go one way or the other by the time he exits into eternity.
The Lord called them disciples. They were those who would follow Him successfully. Their first task was to lay down their lives and allow the inherent sin and evil within to be purged out.
It was not at all easy nor was it supposed to be. His standard is the highest. He said all sin and evil must go. To assist in achieving such a monumental task He required His followers to take up an unseen personal cross—a crude and roughhewn, raw and rasping deadweight to serve as an ongoing execution stake.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” [Luke 9:23]
ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE DISCIPLES
It stems from the word discipline. This invokes extremely hard work. The spiritually lazy need not apply. Discipline does not refer to mere busyness but to the wrenching chore of somehow being conformed to His image and living the life He lived. One’s humanity will always fight the process and most of the time human nature wins. This is why most of what we presently call Christianity is composed of losers and fakers who refuse to do it right and settle instead into a faux form they can handle without getting right with God. They would rather be comfortable within society and create a religion and deity to suit themselves. I guess they figure they will be clever enough to convince the Lord of their artificial righteousness at the Judgment. This is not a good plan.
Since everyone who comes to the Lord is a sinner, the first order of business is plowing up the sin field and sowing it with salt. This process must go down deep to the very roots. All vestiges of sin and evil must be removed and eliminated. This process—initial repentance—allows for breaking up hard fallow ground and creating deep, pure nutrient-laden soil within which the Gospel seed can be successfully planted. Repentance is thus likened to the process of decomposition and death. The richest soil is that in which the greater decomposition takes place. Think of a healthy compost heap.
THE LEVEL OF REPENTANCE RELATES DIRECTLY TO REAL SALVATION
“Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” [Mark 4:3-8]
With no repentance the seed is stolen by the devil. With little or shallow repentance, whatever may spring up is weak and dies quickly. It must be noted that the level of initial repentance one engages in is directly related to surviving eventual persecution. If one attempts an easy way he will later fall away. He is too wimpy to survive the inevitable spiritual attacks that will surely come. If he had been harder on himself he would have been stronger:
“In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.” [Mark 4:16-17]
DIVISION FIRST, THEN UNITY
“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” [Luke 12:51-53]
So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. [John 7:43]
Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. [John 9:16]
A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?” [John 10:19-21]
BRINGING FORTH SPIRITUAL FRUIT
No unregenerate human being has the required spiritual seed to bring forth spiritual fruit. It must come from the Lord. This is why one must be born again of the Spirit and not simply the flesh. Some unregenerate humans may be very nice and friendly people willing to help and do good things but they are worthless spiritually. The good things they may do are never eternal. Thus, the Lord put a premium on spiritual things, the same kind of things He was associated with and brought forth during His ministry.
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:8-12]
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
DO NOT WAVER. STAND.
And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.”
The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”
And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!
“But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.” Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” [Mark 3:20-35] 
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
When their actions are the opposite of their rhetoric.
TRAITS OF THE PHARISEES
The people who put on a big show spouting on endlessly in their bold bloviations do not care whatsoever if their speech is the opposite of their actions. In fact, their speech is designed to hide their actions. What they say is not what they do.
Therefore, if one is swayed by the talk without investigating the walk, they will be hopelessly deceived. They simply do not grasp the fact that they are being manipulated. They are being tricked into joining the mass support class.
“HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.”
The Lord Jesus warned us about this. He exposed this trait of the Pharisees. But the majority always either reject the warning or are simply too dense to understand it. Those who have the lazy tendency to believe anything they are told simply need a grand presentation on the part of the Pharisees in order to enforce their laziness. In other words, if you dress up a lowlife huckster to the point that he or she appears to be a legitimate and honest proponent of truth, the majority believes what they see and what they hear at face value instead of making an investigation behind the scenes.
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:1-13]
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
When a real believer obeys the Lord in presenting the real Gospel, the enemy strikes back and open spiritual warfare ensues.
Most Christians prefer non-spiritual warfare Christianity. Most Christians don’t even know what spiritual warfare is. Many have never even heard of the term. It is thus obvious that they are not at war.
How is it that a great Man preaching love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and joy was treated as a despicable criminal? It is because the people treating Him this way are despicable criminals. Whoever hates and rejects the Lord Jesus tells the whole world they are the world’s biggest and vilest creature and is the farthest from God (one could not be any farther). Whoever loves the Lord Jesus and strives to honor Him is the one who is closest to God.
Paul was sent on a mission. He was sent to preach the Gospel and rescue souls. What most people miss is that he was sent as a spiritual soldier into spiritual war. The Lord told him he would suffer for this. In watching one of the many D-Day memorials recently there was a clip I am sure many of you have seen. It shows General Eisenhower, the supreme commander of all allied forces, greeting paratroopers right before their mission. The video said that 40,000 paratroopers would parachute into northern France behind enemy lines. It also said that Eisenhower expected 80% casualties. In other words it was effectively a suicide mission. Yet here were all these soldiers geared up for battle in good spirits. They obviously had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Though many volunteered for the armed services, most were drafted and obeyed their government in good faith when forced into the service. The men on this particular mission would soon be decimated. I don’t know what the final figures were. Perhaps some of you reading this do. But it was a disaster.
Also, about 2,000 men died in the initial D-Day invasion. Most were killed right away, as soon as they began. Their crafts were blown away on the open sea. Many were strafed by machine gun fire as soon as they lowered the ramps of their boats. They had little chance. They were lambs led to the slaughter. It is said that both of these groups had to be sacrificed for the greater good so the successive waves could succeed. But again, I don’t think most of these men had any idea what they were in for.
This is what happens when you attack an enemy. The enemy will attack back. At that point you either quit or attack back again. The last man standing wins. It cost the lives of tens of thousands very early in this opening battle to bring eventual success. But it was the first group that suffered the highest casualties. Whoever is on the front lines gets hit the hardest.
This is why right-thinking people understand what the Lord Jesus really did and why He should be highly honored and respected more than any man. He put His life on the line for all the others who came after. It is the same for His original apostles who were the first wave sent into an evil world with the Gospel. These men would be hit the hardest, and they were. The Lord prepared them perfectly. They learned it all from Him. They saw how He handled everything thrown His way. They experienced evil striking out at Him every day. They knew they must learn from Him and grow, and develop spiritually and be strong. They knew that when their time came they would have to be ready and attack with full force, and also have much and keep much in their reserve tanks for ongoing battle. Otherwise they would fail.
UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
After doing exactly what the Lord told them to do at Philippi, they were beaten bloody and thrown into a filthy prison. But instead of feeling bad about what happened they praised the Lord Jesus. This set the stage for even greater miracles:
“Hey Silas, can you imagine how much we accomplished today? The devil threw everything he had at us!”
“He certainly did, Paul.”
“The Lord knew exactly where to send us and what to say. The enemy had a fit. Now we know the people in league with the devil who have sold out to the enemy, and who the people are we need to rescue. We know what is holding them back, what is constraining them. We know this is a little hell hole of the devil but with many people who want to be free.”
“And will be free! And are being set free!”
“Yes! Let’s sing to the Lord and praise Him!”
The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. [Acts 16:22-34]
It was only after all of the above was accomplished that Paul and Silas were released and free to go in peace. It cost them with blood and suffering but they accomplished what the Lord sent them there to do. They showed themselves to be good and effective servants of the Lord by successfully attacking and defeating a powerful spiritual enemy and opening up doors of salvation.
They won the spiritual battle.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]
If you like wide open spaces free from the maddening crowd you will love heaven. It will not be because heaven’s perceived billions will be spread out in such a way over a limitless expanse that it appears relatively empty, but because its population relevant to planet earth will be disproportionately less than many can imagine. This means most humans will never get there.
A HUNDRED MILLION TO ONE
It reminds one of why the Creator is so generous with seeds so as to greatly boost the chances of fruitfulness. It appears He is thus wasting seeds but in reality He is only increasing the chances of fertility, productivity, success, and abundance.
One might keep in mind that every human being is the result of one very strong unrelenting little fighting spermy guy who fended off all the other loser spermy guys to make it first to the interior of the great egg at the finish line.
On average, when the sower sows his seed, 100 million sperm are released. 100 million. That’s roughly 30% of the current population in the USA. Yet these 100 million are reduced down to only one winner. So though we characterize extremely long odds as “a million to one,” this ratio is one hundred times that. This means 100 million minus one are losers. They never get to the finish line. The vast majority all die along the way.
Now, these little guys can actually live up to about five days once implanted. This means they have five days to get to the egg. So it is not just each other they are competing against—they are also competing against time. Each one of them has the highest of callings but only one in a hundred million actually gets to fulfill it. Many of them get lost. Many run out of steam. Many get sidetracked. Many don’t have the capacity to get very far. They say this is nature’s way of insuring that only the very best make it to the very end. Only one gets there. There is no second place.
“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]
It is the same with humanity. Billions of people exist but the Lord Jesus said only a relative few will make it to the eternal goal. It is not necessarily because He sets very high restrictions. It is mostly because human beings in general are stupid, lazy, selfish, and prideful. Most do not seek truth. Most do not seek deliverance from sin. Most people do not understand that seeds must be planted and that this action calls for sacrifice and self surrender. Most of those who do understand it cannot bring themselves to do it, or do it consistently, or they try but give up.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” [John 12:24-25]
Survival of the fittest is also true in the spiritual realm. The Lord Jesus gives us the tools and opportunities to succeed but we must put it all to work and we must always trust Him faithfully regardless of circumstances. The human spirit is extremely strong. Once it is directed properly and functioning properly per the Lord’s will there cannot help but be success. This success, however, is according to the Lord’s standards and not those of this world. Worldly standards dictate that the apostle Paul, for example, was a loser. He left this world with no material possessions beyond the clothes on his back, no retirement, no 401k, no nothing. But according to spiritual standards he perhaps did more for the Lord Jesus and His kingdom than anyone else. All real Christians are still blessed recipients of Paul’s writings to this day.
How much more can the same be said for the Lord Jesus Himself? He accomplished infinitely more than Paul or all the rest of us put together. He not only made it to the egg but He made it to the greatest egg of all time and opened up a door and a trail for us to get there as He did. Even so, most “believers” will never make it. This is why:
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” [Matthew 13:18-23]
No one overcame as many obstacles in completing His course as did the Lord. The early believers illustrated for future generations how one must go about living for God, doing His will, and achieving the objective. They did not have it easy but they did it anyway. Most of today’s Christians take the opposite approach. Most will all die in the opening salvos and machine gun fire on the beaches of Normandy.
It is an exceedingly tough journey for the little spermy guys to make it to the egg. Not only must they expend energy on the trip, they must also conserve the energy they will need for the end of the trip. Why? Because the egg is actually covered by a thick layer which makes it all the more difficult for conception to occur. The few sperm that get there must have enough left in the tank to penetrate the outer layer of the egg. This is where the remaining few greatest die. Imagine making it that far and not being able to complete the objective.
This exact seed journey scenario mirrors life in a general sense, but it perfectly captures life in the spiritual sense. The Kingdom of the Lord is therefore only for those who have the unrelenting drive to make it all the way, to dedicate themselves completely to the Lord Jesus, and be determined against often ridiculous odds to complete the course.
All real Christians will go though the following in the process:
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12]
If one is going to make it to heaven one will have to overcome all the persecution along the way. One will have to maintain love and always forgive. One must contend with betrayal and potential traps. The obstacles can be immense. There may be vast scorching waterless deserts to cross or giant mountain ranges with deep snow and icy winds. There will always be much resistance. Many elements of the journey will refuse to cooperate. At times the objective will appear impossible. But because the real Christian is blessed with the indomitable spiritual seed of the great Creator, he has the ability to overcome everything and continue to press on. On one occasion, Paul illustrated the challenge set before us as follows:
I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. [1Corinthians 9:23-27]
If Paul knew he could miss the mark, we should all know we could also. He put forth maximum effort to stay qualified. We should also. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything significant knows that it takes much work and dedication. This is even truer when it comes to working in the Lord’s kingdom. And it is entirely true when it comes to properly graduating from this life into the next.
There will only be a relative few at the ceremony.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The religious elite hated Him. He looked nothing like them. He was never a member of their religious denominations. He belonged to none of their clerical orders or preacher unions.
The classic clergyman has long since taken over Christianity. Christians have been made to believe that the lone preacher in a pulpit having full sway over a congregation is the model started by the Lord to which everyone must submit. This is absolutely wrong.
It was never that way in the beginning. Why is it that way now? Why has it often been this way throughout much of Christian history? How did we get here? The scope of this article is far too large for this format, so I will have to be relatively brief. I have gone into great detail about this subject in my first book which I feature on this site in case anyone may be interested further on the subject. Suffice it to say that though my book is the result of decades of study and personal experience, is filled with New Covenant scriptural passages, is based directly on the real teachings of the Lord Jesus, and reveals the history of the early Church, some Christians show little interest most likely because the truth contained therein conflicts with the Christianity they are familiar with and comfortable within.
In other words, if someone wants to write an acceptable Christian book it would be best to stick with the conventional outlook and never ruffle any feathers. The same is true when starting a ministry: Don’t rock the boat. Remain with the tried and true. Use the traditional methods Christianity has adopted to bring in people and get them to support it financially. Everyone knows there can be no ministry success without financial success. Everyone knows there must be a central leader to make it all work. And everyone knows that a successful leader must have style, a charismatic attitude, and good preaching and teaching abilities.
What relatively few know, apparently, is that such churches and preachers are more the result of Madison Avenue than the New Testament, and that such ministries and leaders most often look absolutely nothing like the Lord.
The truth of the matter is that the Lord went far out of His way to prove that a real Christian leader is a non-leader. The apostles were non-leaders. The entire early Church was composed of non-leaders. Why? Because they all understood they already had a Leader and that they must have only the one Leader. This truth is proclaimed repeatedly all throughout the Gospels and New Covenant writings. Even the Lord’s own example proves it. Though He is God, and though there is only one God, He showed up as a humble servant. He taught His men to be humble servants. He even said the greatest among them must be the greater servant.
Now, understand, there were actually no “great’ among them as the world defines greatness. These were not great men but the very opposite. This is part of the reason the religious elite hated them so much. They saw the Lord’s men as absolutely unqualified. They did not look right, they did not dress right, they did not talk right, they had no religious pedigree, and they did not graduate from the right ministry schools or actually any official ministry schools. The Lord’s ministry school was seen as a rebel outfit far off on the outskirts. Not one of the many Jewish religious denominations supported them or recognized them. They would never have been accepted even if they had gone through all the proper channels and applied. They were rejected in the beginning and throughout their lives. In this, every single one of the Lord’s original faithful followers were exactly like Him because it was the same thing they did to Him.
These evil religionists were jerks of the highest order. Most of them never repented and thus most of them went to hell. The same is true for all the fake Christian ministers since then. One can spin it any way one wants to but the Lord will not stand for any deviations of the true path in order to have outward worldly “success.” The price He paid was far too great. The price they paid was far too great. And now, presently, there remains a large number of real Christians worldwide who have paid the same great price. They have been rejected by the religious powers that be. This is a requisite for being accepted by the Lord. He made it very clear that not only will His followers be rejected by the world, they will also be rejected by the religious world. They were thus not so surprised when it happened and learned to move on.
“Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:14]
Most Christians are nothing more than followers of their leaders. They believe what their leaders believe. They accept what their leaders teach them to accept. They reject what their leaders teach them to reject. They do not stand on their own feet. They cannot defend the New Covenant writings because they are largely unfamiliar with the New Covenant writings. Their churches and ministries are merely based on the New Covenant but few of them know it or follow it exclusively. If they did they would have to leave the club. Their leaders would be disappointed in their approach and their gaining of knowledge, and if they progressed too far their leaders’ disappointment would grow into anger.
Thus, the only way traditional Christian leaders maintain their glowing outward appearance is by keeping it fake and never subjecting it to challenge. They are uncomfortable with challenge. It exposes their weaknesses. It exposes the fact that their foundations are not as strong as supposed and are only that way because they surround themselves with people who believe exactly as they do. In fact, they train all their followers to do that very thing. They indoctrinate them. This is how they keep everyone on the same page and thus remain in their place of authority.
The Lord Jesus did the very opposite. During His ministry, He was no religious indoctrinator. He made DISCIPLES, not mere church members or congregants. The discipline He taught covered every facet of their lives. He left no stone unturned. He went straight to the heart. If one was going to follow Him they would have to give everything. If one was unwilling to do this, to any degree, He would not accept them.
When a person joined His school, he or she dedicated everything, including one’s heart, exclusively to Him. He must be recognized as the Leader, and most importantly, as the only Leader.
This authority aspect has certainly been adopted by official Christianity. The difference, of course, is that leaders other than the Lord must be recognized. The idea that Christians must totally respect and honor their leader has become so ingrained there is no escape from the mindset unless one somehow comes to understand the fallacy of the concept. This is only attained by growing closer to the Lord. We can take a relative shortcut by simply reading and studying the New Covenant writings in depth. The more one does this the more one notices the difference between the Lord’s original model and the later fake models. One also comes to the conclusion that The Lord Jesus as the only Leader model is not only the only one taught in the New Covenant writings but the only one that works on a spiritual level.
But who really cares about this? How many Christians will go to such lengths? Answer: Real Disciples. Christians have already proven over many centuries that they can create alternative Christian models that not only work on a natural level but work great with absolutely no spirituality involved whatsoever. As an aside, it is truly amazing that the Book of Acts has survived since the vast majority of Christians rejects it and wants no part of what is contained therein. This is also due to religious conditioning. It is sad that such a great void has transpired, even to the point that faux Christians become deceived by their own chosen narratives and perceive no reason to escape or search further. Unless they see otherwise it won’t end well.
And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets;’ and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’” [Luke 13:23-27]
Apart from these, for those Christians who want the full truth and greatly desire a full and rich spiritual experience and lifestyle with the Lord Jesus, they reject the lifeless religious models with their spiritually dead “leaders.” They refuse to waste their lives playing religious games. They want the Lord. They want all of His spiritual reality. They are fascinated by what happened in Jerusalem in the early first century. Because of this they prove their spiritual hunger for the Lord and the truth, and by this, namely, their faith and their spiritual hunger, the Lord can guide them home. Their spiritual hunger acts as a beacon and attractive force that the Lord can use to help them find Him. Of course, before salvation we are the ones who are lost. This spiritual hunger homing device helps to guide us from out of our lost condition, as one may be lost in a natural wilderness and guided out by natural methods. Without this genuine faith and spiritual hunger, something which arises completely from the individual and is not phony or a constructed religious artifice, the Lord has nothing to work with, which means lost people stay lost, but only due to their own will and desires.
However, if people who wish to stay in their lost spiritual condition also desire some type of outward Christian expression, either to partially satisfy their conscience or to gain or maintain social or religious acceptance, there are many such Christian expressions to choose from. There are churches one can join that require no actual spiritual repentance, that require no born again experience (something the Lord Jesus demands) or only a weak simulation thereof, and no total surrender of oneself to the Lord. One must submit, of course, just not to Him. They must submit to a denomination and the clergy class that runs it. They must submit to a personal leader who is not the Lord. They must submit to a Christian curriculum only loosely based on the new Covenant. Their focus must be not on real first century Christianity but the lesser Christianity they have joined themselves to. For most Christians, this obviously works for them. They like it. They accept it. They go no further. They find a place in Egypt or the Sinai to make their camp and they stay there. They never get to the Promised Land because they don’t want to go to the Promised Land.
Those who do get there must follow a Leader who does not look like a leader. Following this Leader will gain them no worldly prestige. In fact, following Him will cost them everything. It is a harrowing journey. Imagine being lost in one of this world’s evil hell holes surrounded by evil people doing evil things with no respect for life. How could one ever escape without a real guide? And though most people refuse to acknowledge it, the planet itself has become an evil hell hole. Though it does not use the exact phrase, the New Covenant writings refer to our planet as a “fallen world” because it is inhabited in part by millions of outwardly extremely rebellious and evil people, some of whom are at the very top. These people don’t care about the Lord Jesus. They hate Him. They rebel against their Creator. They also hate His followers. This is just a standard fact taught clearly by the Lord.
Case in point:
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” [Matthew 10:24-25]
To summarize, there had to be a very powerful reason the outward civil and religious leaders and their followers hated the Lord to such a degree. It could not be something relatively insignificant. It could not be based on a few differences of opinion. It had to involve polar opposites. What we arrive at then, based on a great many clues put forth by the Lord Himself, specifically within His many diatribes against them, is that they majored in outer religiosity though they possessed dark hearts. Their over-the-top external ostentation existed in part to hide what they really were. They found that people were weirdly attracted to such outward extravagances as religious clerical dress and graven images, including the living human kind. So they did the following:
“But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.” [Matthew 23:5-7]
On the Christian side of things, Protestant leaders insist on various titles but prefer the word “pastor.” This has also been adopted by Catholicism. Of course, Catholic priests are still one’s “father,” something the Lord taught against directly. Such titles, such as “rabbi” or “pastor” serve to denote the man in charge. Christian churches used to have only one pastor but then the mega churches adopted the title of “Senior Pastor” to differentiate the head honcho from all the sub-pastors. In the mega churches it gets quite ridiculous and comical, and even embarrassing, to see so many goofy titles is use. No matter what job an “official leader” has in many of these places, they are some kind of “pastor.” It gets really stupid when a “song leader” or “minister of music,” a position never even alluded to in the New Testament or associated with “pastoring” becomes a “pastor of music” or some inane variation. Both rabbi and pastor were words that came into relatively late usage. The word pastor is only mentioned once in the New Testament and it is a bad translation. It only proves that such official ministers don’t really care about the truth and insist on furthering a false idea.
“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:8-13] 
Hence, the Lord wanted nothing to do with all the outward adorning of religion, whether clerical dress or superfluous titles which were used to deceive the unsuspecting. He thus appeared as a simple man. He was not handsome. He had no outer charisma. He did not look so much like the standard image depicted in pictures and movies. He never wore his hair long like a woman. He had nothing in His outer appearance that would draw in silly religious women attracted to shallow religious leaders. Religious men hated Him but real men saw Him as a real man that they could follow. He was rugged and outwardly strong and tough. He had weathered skin from years of doing manual labor, something the soft and pallid religious leaders never did. He used all His money for others. He had no home and certainly no church building. He never advocated for the building of synagogues or churches. The natural world in the great outdoors was His place of assembly. With a smaller group He sat down on a log or a rock when He taught or used a friend’s humble house. He had no pulpit. He traveled on the open roads by foot.
Since the Lord Jesus is God Himself and He chose this path and taught it to His followers, where do the clergy boys get their authority to violate His teachings? Why have they created a counterfeit Christianity that draws in millions of people and then imprisons them within their whims and false teachings? Why do they insist on indoctrinating their followers away from New Covenant truth? Why do they insist on taking over and demanding their own way? Their preaching is fake and their manner is fake. They are all about self-promotion. It can be as subtle as their name on a church sign or as ridiculous as their big fat mug on a highway billboard. The more they promote themselves the less they promote the Lord and the less likely anyone under their sway will find anything more than basic surface-level Christian truths. They refuse the Book of Acts or use it only for their own purposes.
Now, if it appears I am only referring to traditional denominations, it is also the case that Pentecostals and Charismatics are sometimes the worst offenders. Many of these people drag in a lot of stuff from Egypt and outright weird stuff that comes from who knows where. They also suffer from a lack of correct spiritual leadership and do their own part in promoting a clergy class.
Remember, the Lord said there is only one door into His kingdom. It is a relatively small, humble, obscure, and unadorned door that most people never find or reject if they do. It looks like the opposite of what most humans think such a door into such a great place should look like. It is not pretentious, costly, or highly regarded. Most people walk right past it with no acknowledgment. To the world at large this door is relatively invisible.
But for the spiritually hungry in heart who yearn for truth and seek it out, who want spiritual reality and purity with no carnal human strings attached or false religious facades, these people will eventually find that door. They will never stop until they do. And when they find it they find the answer their heart has longed for.
“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 10:7-10]
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The individual is the deciding difference. Strong, independent, spiritually mature Christians dedicated to the Lord are the building blocks of churches made in their image.
I have an old history book. It is old in the sense that it was originally written in 1930 but has been updated several times. The book itself is in great shape. I found it several years ago in a vast library book sale in Plano, Texas. My copy has a 1969 copyright. It is an excellent book. Entitled The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II, it covers the century from just after the Civil War to the late 1960s.
Chapter IV is called Labor and it deals with the initial sorting out process of labor relations with reference to the post war economy, increasing industrialization, and the rise of impersonal corporatism. This chapter covers the story in our country’s history from after the Civil War until the dawning of the 20th century, a roughly forty year period of vast transformation regarding the conditions and opportunities of working men and women and how labor was forced to make immense adjustments.
The Civil War itself was great change. It never should have happened. When one studies the real causes of the war behind the overt and official though false narrative, one sees the shrouded figures of economic henchmen intent on taking a spoil. The name Civil War is obviously part of that false narrative. Southerners prefer the term The War of Northern Aggression because that’s exactly what it was. It was a power play to gain the vast reaches of the South and Texas by the northern industrialists and the money powers. By fighting the war, the South, which had the Constitution wholly on its side, was merely protecting itself and attempted to win against all odds as did the original thirteen colonies against the Brits in the American Revolution. The odds were greatly against victory then as well.
Updated figures show that upwards of 750,000 Americans were killed in the Civil War. There was a forced unconstitutional draft on both sides. Factories were turning out war materiel on a mass scale. Soldiers fought according to an old outdated method that left them wholly vulnerable to modern armaments. Thousands died in single battles. Arms and legs were shot off (or sawed off later). The lives of young Americans had suddenly become very cheap. Approximately one third of Southern men in the prime of life met their doom. The South never recovered. These were the great men, on both sides, of strong character and vitality, American men shortly descended from the greats who won the Revolution. But they were being butchered. It was a terroristic war, one whose excesses and brutality could never possibly be forgotten. In that short four year period from 1861-1865, American men, especially in the South, were transformed from free, independent, and liberty-loving to mere chattel used, abused, and forsaken. It was a betrayal of the highest order.
After the war, labor suffered. The identity of the American working man was forced to undergo great change in order to fit into the new reality. Workers were cheap. The great money powers gained such control that labor was whatever they said it was. One was forced to play by their rules. If not, a man lost his job and was quickly replaced by another. Millions of new immigrants entered the country to add to the cheap labor pool. It was during those last decades of the 1800s that a completely new form of movement began in this country in the attempt to right these wrongs. It was the beginning of Labor Unions.
The following passage from the book gives an excellent indication of the thinking process of American workers as they were confronted with the new economic reality and what they attempted to do to save themselves by fighting back. It was in reading these words that I saw yet another direct indication of what happened to American Christianity, which also suffered great change for the worse at the same time:
In the years after the Civil War two rival approaches—reform unionism and trade unionism—vied for the allegiance of the American workingman. The reform unionists rejected the factory system, with its division of labor and its sharp differentiation of interests of employer and employee, and sought to restore a society which valued the independent artisan. Determined not to become machine tenders assigned to a small part of the process of production, they strove to preserve their status as craftsmen. To safeguard equality of opportunity, they fought those forces of monopoly, especially in finance, which they believed aimed to shackle the worker. They viewed themselves as members of a ‘producer class’ which embraced master as well as journeyman, farmer as well as artisan. 
Thomas Jefferson had a dream of America becoming a vast agrarian society composed of individual Americans working the land. Constitutional principles and directives that every man must be free did not last so long, however. Jefferson’s dream died less than a century later at the hands of dominant money-first power barons who merely wanted to use labor for their own empire-building purposes as if flesh and blood humans with hopes and dreams were not attached to said labor. One can see by the preceding quote from the book that working men saw themselves as much more than mere workers used as machine parts. They were skilled artisans. They were masters at their trades.
This resonates with me, because I can identify as a master at my trade. I spent many years as a multipurpose self-employed independent carpenter and contractor from the time I was a young adult. I never cared for highly specific quantity-ordered specialty trades within the trade, though I did participate on occasion. I certainly do not fault those who prefer such, but real carpenters should be able to build a structure inside and out instead of simply focusing on one aspect of the trade for the sake of greater and faster production. We have long since gone from one end of this equation to the other. The same thing happened after the Civil War. The independent artisans and craftsmen found a harder row to hoe, less appreciation for their skills, and less demand overall. It became a production game. Wages went down. Craftsmanship suffered.
The same thing has happened in Christianity. In the beginning the Lord had a real Community composed of various spiritual trades based on spiritual gifting and anointing. As I mentioned in a recent post, Romans Chapter Twelve lists seven motivational giftings of which every real believer has one primary. This is where he or she excels. It is a labor of love. Christians should never waste time trying to be something they are not. And churches must stop rejecting those believers who demand being what the Lord created them to be. The reason they are rejected is for the same reason the economic controllers want human machines that always do what they’re told and simply continue to drone on and on. Pews are filled with such people who rarely do anything but sit and watch and give their money to support a system that goes nowhere spiritual very fast. It’s pathetic.
What about a church filled with mature independent spiritual artisans who are masters of their craft? THAT is the Lord’s model. Until more Christians become aware that their churches are mere authoritarian perpetual elementary schools in which next to one rises above a third grade level, nothing will change. Those who do progress discipline themselves toward much study and training on their own, which means they outgrow their pastors very early on and only attend because they believe they must or they like the social aspect.
The good news is that things have changed. We are progressing. But just like the mainstream news media which caters only to veritable babies in high chairs due to its ridiculously dumbed-down and often phony content while gaining most of the outward attention, most churches benefit primarily those few who run them and make money off them. Everyone else is made to grab a galley oar and row, and give money, not their heart or talent. Thus, an unbelievable amount of pure Christian talent has been wasted and shunted aside for the sake of catering to the big boys—the clergyized robber barons who make everything centered around and in support of them. These authoritarian controllers who have captured the money, the power, and the limelight may appear sincere and fool people with their fake smiles and false Pharisaic attitudes, but they are not fooling the Lord.
He wants His people to be free. And mature. He wants them to fully develop their talent and giftings. He then wants these strong and independent spiritual artisans to work together in community. This is what a real church is. It is what He created in the beginning. They proved what they were by pretty much converting the Roman Empire! Most Christians today have problems converting themselves. And what have we done here in America? Instead of converting others to the Lord Jesus, Christians have largely been converted to and taken over by the culture. It’s the main reason why America is hanging on for dear life.
There are certainly fighters for the Republic and those trying to save the country, as well as those trying to reform American Christianity, but they graduated from Sunday School a long, long time ago. All Christians who haven’t and refuse to progress should be utterly ashamed.
Their false tradition is a killer.
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] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II © 1930, 1937, 1942, 1950, 1962, 1969 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Sixth Edition.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:32]
Real Christians are good BS Detectors. They know when people are blowing smoke. Some are excellent at this skill. Our Master and Lord is, of course, the best. He saw right through the idiot religionists of His time and hammered them hard. He did not appreciate their manner of deceiving people, their use of silly propaganda, and most of all, the way they acted out their religion to keep up appearances as outwardly righteous though possessing disingenuous hearts.
He does His best to teach this skill to His students (disciples). Most Christians have a difficult time with it, however, and there’s a specific reason why: Most Christians are not disciples. They are instead as rebellious, if not more so, than all the spiritually unregenerate people in the world who refuse to bow their knee to the Lord Jesus and acknowledge Him as God.
They get tripped up in their own limited interpretations and fall sway to savvy savants who masquerade as ministers. Before they ever get their detectors up and running they succumb to the very BS the Lord wants to protect them from.
THE HISTORICAL RECORD
Imagine that. We have very clear writings dating back two thousand years proven to be accurate and also secular documentation to prove their authenticity. Specifically, we not only have a historical record of the Lord’s life and teachings but we have it from four different perspectives. In addition to this amazing data mine we have a full history of the early Community of the Lord, a thirty year detailed record dating from just before His ascension into heaven to a few years before the death of the apostle Paul, which took place in roughly the year AD 67.
Luke, the writer of both a gospel and the Book of Acts, our aforesaid history book, has been verified as extremely precise in all that he wrote. His many detractors over the centuries have continually been proven wrong in assessing his facts as incorrect. Many of these people are now dead and their intransigent legacies have left them with eternal egg all over their formally arrogant faces. It still amazes me how the devoid-of-facts crowd which insists it knows better but actually doesn’t know squat makes up for it with negative emotion and truckloads of anger when their false interpretations and convoluted narratives are challenged. They cannot stand the thought of being proven wrong after investing so much of their lives in phony characterizations and bogus imaginings regarding the Lord Jesus and the real history of early Christianity.
DON’T CONFUSE ME WITH FACTS
Regarding unreal Christians, in all their superfluous variety, they prefer their own versions of the way things ought to be and reject handily the truths of Scripture which confirm their unstable and derelict dirt foundations. It is part of the reason we have four million Christian denominations. It is also part of the reason we continue to have spiritually brain dead preachers spouting off their nonsensical deceptive twaddle endlessly and incessantly, plugging up the airwaves and stealing the spotlight from the Lord’s real ministers. They also love engaging in personal character destruction and destroying reputations, as the unbelieving Pharisees et al attempted with the Lord. They will get theirs eventually. My hope is that they repent. Maybe they will. The odds are most won’t.
The bewitching nature of this fallen world is such that most people always buy into false narratives and are somehow seemingly blocked from truth. Deception has always run deep on planet Earth. Most of the truth blockage is often self imposed, in that people not interested in spiritual truth set up their own blockades to various levels in order to protect themselves from any encroachment of light which might possibly seep through and cause them to have to actually think about their chosen belief systems. The Lord taught that those who have no love for the truth will be blind to it. Those blind to truth can thus only believe such truth does not really exist, since they cannot possibly discern it or know what they don’t know, when in all actuality it only does not exist to them within their diminutive darkened worlds.
We know from the relatively recent phenomenon of social media that most people who engage in that particular medium almost always end up associating with like-minded people and then think their respective social constructs and belief systems are the correct ones. They then often get extremely agitated and angry with those who do not believe as they do and consider everyone not within their zone as complete nitwits. (There are obviously a multitude of zones.) They frequently reject whoever does not see things their way. This has caused a rise in great hatred for others and a deep bitterness which never shows itself until thus challenged.
What this phenomenon had done regarding social division is striking. It is stunning. But it is not new. Christians jumped in with both feet long ago and started their own social media constructs, otherwise known as denominations. Whoever differed from the company line was made to pay. Those who clutched their religious robes about them in defense of the cult saw to it that detractors would be dealt with severely. All the little sycophants had such great fear of their religious masters they meekly stayed in line and consequently remained blissfully ignorant. There were a few, however, who displayed great courage.
THE MORNING STAR OF THE REFORMATION
For example, John Wycliffe was a Catholic priest who eventually gained access to Scripture as part of his higher learning and studies, something denied to the people in general. It didn’t help for the general population that the Scriptures were not available in most languages. This was by design, of course. It was a way to keep people unaware and uninformed and thus much easier to control. The idiot religious powers-that-be greatly feared the people gaining access to the truth of Scripture, mainly because the people would then know they had been shanghaied by con artists misrepresenting themselves. They would know they were ripped-off and cheated, and taken over by what were essentially wolves in sheep’s clothing who hated the Lord Jesus and served the devil.
So what happened with Wycliffe? This was back in the 1300s. There are reams of data on his life and accomplishments. For those of you who do not know much about him I suggest you study his life. It is quite revealing and informative and will open your eyes that much more to the battle real Christians face. John Wycliffe was an English scholar who knew Latin, the language of Scripture at that time, and thus had access to the truths of the New Covenant. He had paid his dues in that he was trusted with Scripture, since he had already bought into the dictates of his denomination which happened to be Roman Catholicism. The vast majority of people who get that far become so heavily invested and dependent, both monetarily and for their religious and social reputations, that they never stray from the reservation regardless of what Scriptural truth they might learn that is contrary to the teachings of their cult.
Wycliffe was different. He was essentially one in a million. He discovered when reading the New Covenant writings that they did not match up so well with Catholic teaching. He attempted to rectify this and bring reform. He eventually completed one of the greatest works in Christian history by translating the entire Word of God into English. This was the real beginning of the Great Reformation. He never stopped being a Catholic but Catholicism hated him anyway. They failed at stopping him. They were never able to kill him but did kill many of his itinerant workers and preachers. Several of these were burned at the stake with Bibles around their necks!
Over forty years after Wycliffe’s death, his Catholic enemies, in a particularly vengeful case in point, dug up his resting remains from his otherwise peaceful grave and then crushed, burned, and scattered them in the River Swift. The incredible amount of hatred against these early Christian reformers starkly exposed the real demonic presence within the establishment Roman Catholic leadership at that time, which would stop at nothing to maintain control. This was a level of hatred seen often by many over the centuries to that time, but that particular act against such a great Christian lives on as an ignominious example of what wolves in sheep’s clothing will do to those who stray from the cult and expose it for what it is.
John Wycliffe differed from others in that he had a very powerful Christian BS Detector. Make sure yours is in good working order.
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. [2Peter 3:14-18] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I have a friend who is a Certified Holistic Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach. She did not choose this vocation. It was a calling that arose in the midst of a severe family crisis.
Several years ago her husband became very sick. It kept getting worse. The illness had reached a serious stage. Traditional medical authorities had no real advice outside of radical measures and pharmaceutical drugs. She knew there must be a better way.
She decided she must take the bull by the horns. She began researching his condition. She had always maintained a traditional Christian outlook on life and had no real proclivity for anything off the beaten trail but that’s where she was heading. She entered into the outskirts of the realm normally inhabited by people on the alternative side of life who often engaged in pretty much the opposite of traditional Christian outlooks. They believed in things shunned by ultra-traditionalists who want nothing to do with anything dictated and directed by anything or anyone not perceived as official establishment authority figures. Her story and eventual long and hard-fought victory is also an inspiring parable for what has happened to America and what is coming in the near future.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Though many non-Christian beliefs and practices began entering the American mainstream in force about half a century ago, other beliefs and practices also emerged which have been proven to be wholly beneficial. One of these was, for most Americans, an entirely new paradigm on diet. This new understanding and knowledge also came at a time when the American food supply began being bombarded with all manner of harmful chemicals on an ever-increasing scale which almost all citizens were completely oblivious to. In short, Americans were being poisoned. Wholesale chemical use upon the food supply certainly did not begin then but that’s when it burgeoned forth. Like a massive evil dust cloud descending from every horizon, great fields of produce were routinely blasted with poisonous chemicals from on high. These substances were designed to kill the bugs and weeds and whatever else that preyed upon the cash crop. The perpetrators thereof were either too ignorant of what they were actually doing or did it anyway with no concern for what they were unleashing upon an unsuspecting citizenry.
People started getting sick but they didn’t know why they were getting sick. One must remember that this was from a time when people still had no understanding of such things and thus never made the connection. It was from a time when people believed “When it’s your time it’s your time.” They thought diseases just materialized out of nowhere and that there was no cause and effect. They had no understanding that lifestyle choices and the food one consumes plays a powerful role in healthy living. They didn’t understand that their food had been poisoned but the effects of the poisoning were often long-term in scope. Since nothing happened at the moment of consumption or immediately thereafter, as would certainly happen if one’s food was directly poisoned by an evil enemy, they did not detect a problem. When health problems did emerge later that were based directly on their consumption of chemically-laden food and drink they had no idea that the sicknesses that came upon their lives were directly related to what they themselves had been introducing into their bodies.
The perpetrators didn’t care because they were only concerned about the bottom line and personal or corporate profits. If they must poison Americans to gain those profits they certainly would. They covered themselves by always insisting there were no direct ties between their chemicals and American health issues, which began growing exponentially, and stated publically time after time that the idea was preposterous. But others made the connection. It always starts with a few. Hardy souls, these, who were willing to take on gargantuan and powerful interests for the sake of everyone else, but knew the fight would be next to impossible. As Christians, this should sound familiar. Since many of these whistleblowers were from what may be termed the alternative side of things, their knowledgeable warnings and pronouncements were not only fought against by the powers that be, they were also largely rejected by the majority of those they were trying to help.
This was the backdrop from fifty to sixty years ago. One may recall the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, published in 1962, in which she revealed the fact that powerful poisonous chemicals were routinely being sprayed all over everywhere and dropped from the sky in such massive amounts that the perpetrators thereof were killing not just the intended insects but also all manner of beneficial insects vitally necessary for a healthy environment. Many species of birds, including the American bald eagle, were being randomly obliterated. Other negatively affected wildlife would be unable to recover in the targeted areas for years to come. Americans had been instructed to have no fear, that these chemical poisons would have no effect upon them even though vulnerable members of the natural world were dropping like flies all around us (pun intended). Rachel Carson said this in a 1963 interview:
“Man’s attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature, but man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
Incidentally, this was also a time when cigarettes were routinely smoked by doctors and were often prescribed. Let that sink in. (“Here. Have a cigarette. It’s good for you.”) One wonders how people could be so unaware and trusting.
DUMB AND DUMBER BY DESIGN
It stemmed from two things: (1) Americans of that time had already been thoroughly brainwashed into always honoring all authority figures without question. It gave such people free reign to do whatever the hell they wanted without enough oversight or accountability. (2) Americans had been taught to get stupid and stay stupid. Now, this stupidity was selective. Americans in general were very bright and industrious. If whatever they engaged in stepped on no establishment toes they could do whatever they wanted. Much knowledge continued coming forth. New discoveries reached dizzying heights. People continued coming up with brilliant inventions in their garages and backyard workshops. But for the two reasons stated above almost no one ever looked into those things which Americans were conditioned and programmed to steer clear of.
This revealed a great fear of authority figures and established dominions, especially secretive government institutions. It was as if all the serfs could play but only upon their own playground. If one entered the playgrounds of the disconnected, secretive high and mighty they would initially be set upon by perimeter bullies and scared off. If they persisted and actually had the strength and wherewithal to fight them and reveal their sordid evil, they would be beat to a pulp by bigger bullies. Thus, Americans were conditioned and programmed to know their limits. They feared what would happen to them if they challenged those who were secretly ensconced behind giant mighty doors doing who knows what.
As a result we all suffered. Americans in general became like the proverbial submissive dog ducking its tail while simultaneously and otherwise walking around like cowboys and linebackers. Americans had always been a strong and powerful people but such strength and attitude was being limited to only allowable venues and otherwise made illegal in others. People have always known the ones they better not mess with unless they wanted a fight they would likely lose. But over the last hundred years Americans started learning that you better not mess with those who should otherwise be friendly allies.
COMING SOON TO AN AMERICA NEAR YOU
For example, the Constitution of the United States contains big bold letters at the very beginning: We the People. Those first people truly were the People. They were powerful, stalwart, independent figures willing to take on the devil himself anytime and anyplace. In a bold stance of gathering might they challenged the greatest power on earth that had become an intolerable overlord and put everything on the line. They gathered in their houses and taverns and open fields discussing what must be done. They had had it with all the garbage inflicted upon them from a distant unseen enemy and had enough gumption to go after them though they knew the chances of ultimate victory were next to nil. But they didn’t care. They were willing to take the chance and live the lives they knew Providence had granted them without the asinine interference from arrogant wig-wearing effeminate tax-collectors and bureaucratic henchmen. They made a call to arms.
The difference between then and what has happened in America going back first to about fifty to sixty years ago, then to about hundred years ago, and ultimately all the way back a century and a half to the War of Northern Aggression (the Civil War), was that before that evil war Americans were much more united when it came to pure Constitutional principles. What the great American Revolution had gained the War of Northern Aggression had fundamentally decimated. Further decimation happened in the years of 1913-1918. If you don’t know much about this period, that is by design, but you must educate yourself! Traitors in very high places had everything to do with these decimations of American liberty and strength. From a hundred years ago it continued unabated as if a new power had somehow come to be in charge. This was a secretive evil power that hovered over DC like a dark demonic cloud and continued growing like the evil intestinal parasite it was. By the late 1950s Americans were becoming a mere shadow of their former glory and along with this the great personal Christian morality they had once displayed before the entire world was being decimated as well.
The 1960s blew everything to hell. On the other hand, however, the Lord Jesus began doing something He had never done before. While some thoroughly involved themselves in the new evil with no concern whatsoever for others or the future, and while others huddled in their huts of fear unwilling to take on what had become a gnarly universal monster, a few began turning on to God in a way that most American Christians never had. While hell was rising heaven was also descending. Where sin began to burst forth like an intergalactic destructive algae bloom, grace was also being supplied in great quantities like new manna from heaven. The traditionalists began being squeezed out of the middle and eventually joined up with the “my country right or wrong crowd” and the evil cabal that ruled them but never did anything to right the wrongs because they were too chicken and were unaware they had been programmed and conditioned by their unseen slave masters to be exactly that way.
Those who refused to be forced into joining the look-the-other-way crowd who refused to challenge the entrenched evil took lonely stands against the otherwise obvious illegal and immoral practices that had become mainstream. Many of these were real Christians. They believed something must be done about the secretive malevolent underbelly so harmful to America and Americans.
RESTORING AMERICA TO HEALTH
When my nutritionist friend started her initial research into the true nature of the American food industry she was shocked by her findings. It was not too long before she became aware of rudimentary solutions that would assist her in restoring the health of her husband. All it took was nothing more overtly radical than changing his diet. But keep in mind, his diet was perceived as perfectly fine. No doctor ever advised him against it. He was an otherwise strong and vibrant man. He was not overweight. He was active. The problem was that the food he was eating, the same food millions of other Americans were eating, the standard American diet in other words, contained secret poisons each of which had various levels of dire effects on his body. Some are more sensitive to these poisons but all are affected in some way. Through much discipline and instruction on her part and being perfectly willing to be as disciplined to make the necessary changes on his part, he began to recover. He kept getting better. He eventually became perfectly healed. She saved his life. Literally.
Of course, the Lord had everything to do with it as well as she will readily point out. The answer was always there. It just took the right catalyst to find it.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”
On August 30, 2010 I began writing a research paper about the original American Great Awakening that began in late 1734. I had been writing several papers over the previous two years, most of which centered on the teachings of the Lord. These papers were usually in the range of 4-12 pages depending on the content. I would post some of them on my former website. The paper I began in late August of 2010 about the Great Awakening, however, was different. As I got into September, the paper kept growing. I began doing an incredible amount of research. The Lord had blessed me with much anointing. Prior to that I had worked very hard earning the money I would need to support myself through the process but I did not know the overall purpose I would be engaged in until later. In the course of the project, I worked six days a week averaging about twelve hours a day. By the following spring I had completed the “paper.” It became a book of 340 pages and my second book after Real Christianity.
This alone was proof I had heard from the Lord. Other proofs would have to wait.
THIS PRESENT AWAKENING
Whoever has been paying attention knows that something greatly extraordinary has happened in America over the last two years. The term “Great Awakening” is on its way to becoming mainstream. I have not made any posts for this site since May 10 of this year. I have not been planning on making any, though there were a few times when I thought about it. I knew the Lord said to stop when I did. I had completed exactly seven years with this blog at that time. Many of the readers I had just prior to that time had gone. I also know I will probably be starting over again to gain readership but I am sure some of you will still be with me. But for now, let’s go back to eight years ago.
You see, only a month after I finished my new book in early April of 2011, I began this blog on May 10, 2011. This blog is thus an extension of what I began in August of 2010 and what I began then was inspired by a direct Word from God. I have now written in the vicinity of 500 articles for this site. I installed the direct prophecy I received from the Lord on the upper left for all to see. I knew what I heard eight years ago and wanted everyone to know what would eventually be happening in America.
THAT PRESENT DARKNESS
You must try to remember the times of eight years ago. Try to remember where you were, what you were feeling, and what was going on in the country. Christianity in America was obviously at a low point depending on one’s perspective. We were all in great need of a new anointing and refreshing. We needed something that was deep and would last, something to sustain us and something to turn the tide.
As Christians, we know the Lord is always in control and always watching over us, but there is only so much He can do if we do not possess the required level of faith and obedience. Christians in general had gone soft and were subsisting on far less than what was needed and certainly less than what the Lord Jesus was willing and wanting to supply. Once one goes a long time in a dry land one gets somewhat used to it and acclimates himself to the circumstances. Real Christians do the best they can but depending on the spiritual atmosphere of wherever they happen to be and the level of control we allow the Lord to have it is not always easy. When I heard what I did from the Lord I was heartened for the future but I knew we probably had a ways to go. It was only the start or not too long after the start.
When evil gains control and keeps control over a relatively long period of time it becomes endemic. It can even extend to the very roots and foundation. It can permeate everything. Its unchallenged presence allows the wrong people to gain power. It can brainwash a lot of people. The people in general become unaware of what is going on. Many become “followers” even more so than before. Few have any resolve to stand up for the great reform that is needed. Most no longer even see any need for reform. People become lazy. They become blinded to the evil around them. They are especially blind to the evil at the top and even find themselves supporting it, in that they are deceived into believing the false outer image and have no understanding of the great evil going on behind the scenes.
Students of the Bible know this. It is relatively not too difficult to become aware of societal trends and cultural structures once one has a strong knowledge of the Word of God. It is His light that shows us the way but only if one is dedicated to serving Him over many years. Some Christians are shallow. Many Christians seem to have up and down spiritual lives and because of this their loyalty to the Lord can waiver. They can get sidetracked. Many even quit. A possible majority essentially gives up but continues to go through religious motions with little or no spiritual fruit, as if simply staying busy or continuing to move might make a difference. This can be construed as faithfulness but one must never substitute what is effectively a mere quotidian practice for the greatness the Lord desires we achieve for Him.
NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
The Lord Jesus was very clear when He stated: “All things are possible with God”—ALL THINGS. That pretty much means all things. All things are possible with Him. It is even possible that a greatly sinful, fallen, corrupt nation and national government can be reformed. It means materialistic, compromising, and refrigerated Christianity can actually be warmed up and cleaned up, and that the Lord Jesus can actually be given authority once again.
The effort toward such great reform in general terms has always been here. There have always been those who give it everything they have to expose evil and bring forth goodness and attempt to right a wayward ship. There are those who can see things most cannot see. They have either worked extremely hard to gain the necessarily knowledge and spiritual effectiveness available to all but known only by a few since most people seem to lack the necessary time or effort, or they are anointed of God for the task, or both. They are often in the minority, however, and are usually outvoted. People in general have a tendency to prefer the status quo and seem to be apprehensive regarding spiritual improvement. Many people make excuses and do nothing or very little. Some people take care of their responsibilities but also use their remaining free time in working very hard at higher purposes. Most of these people are obscure. They are not in it for the limelight. They are largely anonymous. The vast majority of real Christians in the world are anonymous. The vast majority of real Christians in the first century remain anonymous.
Regarding the only way to bring overall reform to a wayward nation or any other entity, I have been saying for decades that the Lord first works with individuals. He knows who these people are. They see the need. They have the burden. They are very hungry spiritually. They long to do His will. They love Him with all their hearts. They want much more in their spiritual lives but it is usually rarely offered, unavailable, or doesn’t yet exist. Thus, it must be brought forth anew. He must do it through them. First, each one of these must work to gain maturity. Then, He begins to join them together in maybe twos or threes. As iron sharpening iron, they gain more spiritual maturity through this process. In time He brings greater unity. He almost never begins His work with a pre-existent group. Such groups are already bound together by something else and also already have their respective leaders. I knew a long time ago, much longer than these past eight years, that this process had started and I knew it was only a matter of time before He would suddenly bring forth a great movement. These things take years of preparation. Christians have been praying for decades.
SUPPORT THE LORD OR SUPPORT THE OLD ORDER
Eight years ago the people I talked to about the Awakening saw nothing. This even included ministers. Ministers I talked to in other parts of the country saw nothing. By saying this I am merely trying to set the stage because things have definitely changed. The people who love the old order never appreciate the new one and will actually hate it. This always happened whenever the Lord brought reform. There were those who were so invested in the old corrupt order that they hated the mere thought of necessary change for the better. I mean, look what they did to Him. On the other hand, those who supported the reform the Lord brought forth had longed for it and were at last blessed by it. They were previously on the opposite end of things. They had been too good and conscientious to get involved in the previous corrupt order and had a rough time. Imagine the thousands of people who had at last seen the Lord Jesus in action when He arrived. The Last became First. They had previously subsisted in a barren and dry land but all of the sudden pure spring water was bubbling up all around! Spiritual rivers flowed. The Lord Jesus had arrived!
This is what is happening a little more now. We are further along. Eight years have passed. I don’t know the exact beginning. The Lord didn’t tell me that then. He told me we were in the early stages eight years ago. I don’t know what stage we are at now but I do know massive incredible change for the better is happening. One of the signs of this is that the aforementioned corruption and evil that was so successfully hidden is now becoming exposed. There is nothing like a good reform to bring the rats and roaches scurrying out of their hiding places. Many of you are probably aware of the political side of the Awakening and that part of the movement is now gaining a lot of notice. We now have the tools to do an incredible amount of research in search of truth relatively fast and this is becoming a popular thing to do. It must be righteous research, however, and done properly for the right purposes without breaking the Golden Rule or it will backfire.
Another part of the reason I am making this post now is to let everyone know my history with the Great Awakening and to distinguish this site from others. There will be many more sites as we move into the future. There are sincere people who really want to know more about the Lord’s movement and veterans who have fought a long time to see this happen. Remember, though much progress has taken place the old order will always fight to preserve itself. This is just as true within the stodgy realm of Unreal Christianity which houses some of the worst people and worst attitudes on the planet regardless of their benign exterior.
For long time readers, you have traced my particular perspective of the development of the Great Awakening through these many articles I have posted over the last seven years. They are filled with clues. They tie in together and relate overall. For those of you who have been regular readers, you know I have been teaching some things you were not necessarily familiar with before, as if there was something there that was more than the words on the screen. Teachers must obviously know more than students.
THE REAL COMMUNITY OF THE LORD
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. [Romans 12:4-8]
From a New Covenant perspective, a teacher is someone anointed to search, do detailed research, learn subjects in-depth, and discover truth way beyond what others are willing to do. This gifting has been defined as that of a spiritual detective. Those of you who have taken spiritual gifting tests probably know this. One cannot teach what one does not know. Real teachers learn the hard way. They don’t teach out of text books. I have spent decades in much research and study. Because of that I have learned many things thoroughly backed up by Scripture that many are not aware of and which may even appear foreign at first. Whatever the case, no one knows anything until they know it and this requires learning it somehow or another. We must allow the Lord to be the arbiter. Many Christians, however, allow their leaders to be the arbiter of what they know, should know, or be allowed to know, and they thus reject the possibility of greater truth, which keeps them ignorant, which keeps them controlled. The Lord said the following for a very good reason:
“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] 
Sometimes Christians are unaware of greater truth because they have a different spiritual gift and are predominantly involved in another form of spiritual work. This is as it should be. The Lord eventually raises up mature specialists in their respective fields. Then He attempts to bring them together in community so we can all learn from one another and work together as a team. This is what the Lord actually created in the beginning. It was a true fellowship and they engaged in what I term “mutual ministerial sharing.” It is how so many learned so many things so fast and spread the Gospel so rapidly. This is not how things operate in “official” Christian groups and churches, however, and is in large part why America was almost lost. The Lord did not call a mere few into His work—He called every single one of His children into His work. Because the vast majority of Christians have been trained to sit on a pew and be quiet, the greatest portion of the Lord’s workforce has historically been rendered ineffective. The enemy always has a field day under such conditions.
Unreal Christianity is not good. It has no salt. It has no light. It possesses no real faith or spiritual love and gives little hope. It gives aid and comfort to the enemy. We must have the real thing.
Every real Christian knows that when one becomes a real Christian he burns his bridges behind him and never looks back. Some are willing to go forward a ways but tend to go wobbly and opt out when the level of discomfort or false insecurity arises. Some make excuses on why they cannot follow the Lord past a certain point. This was another one of the Lord’s teachings. Some have an ongoing difficulty in crucifying their flesh. Some get stuck in masquerades.
One of the issues the Lord presented me with in the very beginning when I received this revelation eight years ago was that there were false revivals already happening at that time and that these would continue. He told me there would be false awakenings. This has certainly happened and there will be more. Watch out for the counterfeits. When one studies the prior Great Awakenings in America one discovers that there were always those who wanted to co-opt the process for their own purposes. If they couldn’t defeat it they would try to redirect it. Regarding that particular scenario, always know that the Lord Jesus must be in charge. Real Great Awakenings are impossible without Him. Be Blessed.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
NOTE: My friend Richard Barker just informed me of a very interesting and powerful prophetic word he posted on his site today by Veronika West about the current Great Awakening. Excellent timing! I encourage all to check it out at the link below. Also, what she saw reminds me of the cover of the print version of my book Real Christianity.
What would happen in any of our hallowed church services if someone in the congregation stood up and started heckling the preacher in the name of “correcting” him?
Everywhere the Lord went during His ministry He enjoyed support and success, and the joy of knowing He was making a difference in the lives of those He loved.
Then the hecklers showed up. They couldn’t help themselves. They lived to confront Him, question Him, tell Him He was wrong about everything, complain about Him, call Him names, call His mother names, and generally be ongoing everlasting pests that dogged Him without end.
They were never satisfied. Every correct answer He gave was never good enough. For the most part He stayed calm and collected, knowing He was dealing with dimwits. They never cared so much about all the good He was doing or could do, but only that He wasn’t doing it their way. He wasn’t teaching their way. He wasn’t teaching what they taught (and thank goodness for that). He didn’t buy in to all their religious stuff. He wasn’t into getting rich off the ministry or turning it into a job. He didn’t care so much about making a name for Himself, so to speak, or standing up for His honor and His character. He knew He was only passing through and that most would reject Him. In that process, He strove to find the few who appreciated Him and were open to His ministry. He came to help but was often treated really bad by incessant detractors.
There were times when He had to be strong and tell ‘em off. His many rebukathons are never heard in most churches and ministries today. Many ministers wish these powerful and strong words of His that make many nominal believers (themselves included) so uncomfortable, had never been recorded. Such words don’t sound very loving. Though the Lord Jesus IS Love and no one could possibly be more loving, many Christians believe He didn’t sound so loving at all when He ripped the Pharisees and their associated ilk to the core of their being.
HIPPIES IN LEISURE SUITS
Some churches and ministry organizations have effectively eliminated all things discipleship. They don’t want to mention anything even closely resembling spiritual warfare, hardship, or suffering. Everything is all bright and peachy keen and rainbows and lollipops and many of these people look and act like hippies in leisure suits. These people love everyone who believes exactly as they do.
“Um, the Lord was crucified. It was a bloody, violent death. All of the original twelve, except apparently, John, died the violent bloody deaths of martyrs. Paul had his head cut off. So did James. So did John the Immerser. Anything like that ever happen around here?”
Such hate portends the presence of a very violent enemy who will stop at nothing. When given the chance this enemy will kill every real Christian he possibly can. Millions of real Christians have died such a death. They all stood tall. They are all great heroes. Though you rarely hear about it in churches and most ministries, not to mention, obviously the main stream media, real Christians are presently undergoing severe persecution all over the planet and have been for a long time, especially in places like China where they are having a major impact.
In America, we don’t see this. It is because American Christianity in general is not much of a threat. It is also because we have laws against it. It is because America is the one country in the world that has the highest level of religious freedom written into its founding Constitution. This does not mean there will not be persecution. This does not mean there is not persecution. It only means the persecution comes in a different form. The persecution still comes to the greatest extent that it can and the perpetrators thereof certainly wish they could do much more, as was done to the originals. But alas, the enemies of the Lord are restricted by freedom principles established by our founders and the great American patriots of that time. No other country ever had such great ones and that’s why no other country has our freedoms, especially the freedom to serve the Lord Jesus the way He has called us to do.
I have an internet friend. His name is Bill. He has a disease that leaves him bound in a wheelchair unable to move or even talk. But he has a blog. He has had it for years. He says what he wants to say. Even though his body almost doesn’t work at all he still manages to speak his heart and lift up the name of Jesus. He would probably wish I would shut up about Him but I appreciate him and see him as a very great man. He is a hero. He has effectively said, “Fine. My health is pretty much gone. But I’m still here. AND I AM GOING TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO DO REGARDLESS.” The enemy will never stop him. Ever.
Many of us have suffered greatly and suffered great losses. But we go on. We see what happened to the Lord. We see what they did to all the early believers. We see how real Christians are persecuted all the live long day by those who insist on perpetrating suffering to uphold their own beliefs and traditions. Because we have laws in America, all these people can do for the most part is bring insults and attempt to destroy one’s name and character.
I have another internet friend. Her name is Kat. She is one of those stalwart ones who preach against abortion, including right out on the sidewalks in front of abortion mills. It is her life. The Lord called her to it. She knows many more have been called but most don’t go. It is too hard. They don’t want the hassle. She works extremely hard and is very dedicated. You probably don’t want to know about all the insults and threats she and her associates have suffered. It is pretty much ongoing. She has effectively said, “Abortion is a great evil. It must end. Babies must be saved. AND I AM GOING TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO DO REGARDLESS.” The enemy will never stop her. Ever.
THE REAL GOSPEL
We know by the Lord’s example what we must do. As Christians we are all called to help Him save the lost. The mature are all specialists by gifting according to the Romans 12 model. Those of us who have been at it a long time have been slandered and reviled, and this never stops. Most people are never a problem. Even non-believers can be quite friendly and charming, and even supportive. There will always be some unbelievers, however, who are quick to strike out and show the hatred in their hearts. But most don’t do this. Those who do are miffed because their beliefs get challenged.
Well, that’s pretty much what the real Gospel does. It challenges beliefs. When the real Gospel comes to town all the little imps come out of their hovels and start throwing hissy fits. They get their panties in a wad. These are those who have bought into something contrary to the Gospel and do not appreciate being told they have been deceived. The real Gospel thus causes powerful reactions. For one person, it is Good News that sets him or her free and makes life abundant and joyous. For another, it is heresy, and strange and weird and off-putting and evil. One accepts it with open arms and another rejects it with a passion.
Regarding the Lord’s Gospel preaching method (since He created the Gospel), the following are two differing approaches depending on the audience:
THAT DOESN’T SOUND SO LOVING
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:23-28]
BUT DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY…?
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” [Luke 6:27-36]
CORRECT SPIRITUAL BEHAVIOR
From these passages we know there will be designated hecklers and that they must be loved. The Lord taught this. No other curriculum teaches this. Most people think it is impossible to bridge such a contrary gap. The chasm is too wide. You can’t get there from here. Paul wrote:
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. [Romans 12:9-14] 
On the one hand the Lord’s enemies were always coming after Him with a passion with a firm belief that their job was to heckle Him always to prove themselves right and Him wrong. Otherwise they knew they would lose. They had to defend their enterprise, their chosen belief system, and their hand-picked “facts.” On the other hand the Lord said to love them, something no one can really do except with His help. The fact that He loved them did not stop Him from telling them off. But a word of caution here: It is relatively easy to tell someone off. It is not so easy to turn the other cheek. What this means is that the more the designated hecklers come after those they insist are wrong, the more they will be subjected to the same treatment in some form or another from someone or something else. The Lord was strong enough to take it and thus was both strong enough and qualified to dish it out when necessary. (Plus, He was never wrong.)
The designated hecklers are not lovers because if they were lovers they would not be heckling. What the Lord did during His rebukathons was not heckling. It was telling the truth about their real motivation for the sake of illustrating correct spiritual behavior. But it cost Him. He knew it would cost Him. Loving them was what kept Him from feeling otherwise about them, and that is the lesson.
It is the triumph of love over hatred and good over evil.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.” [Revelation 12:9-10]
FROM THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA:
124 Accuser: <a-kuz’-er> This word, not found in the Old Testament, is the rendering of two Greek words:
(1) Greek: kategoros, that is, a prosecutor, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, or one who speaks in a derogatory way of another (Acts 23:30, 35; 25:16, 18; Rev 12:10);
(2) Greek: diabolos, meaning adversary or enemy. This word is rendered “accuser” in the King James Version and “slanderer” in the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version (2Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3).
According to the rabbinic teaching Satan, or the devil, was regarded as hostile to God and man, and that it was a part of his work to accuse the latter of disloyalty and sin before the tribunal of the former (see Job 1:6 ff; Zechariah 3:1 f; Revelation 12:10).
THE ADVERSARY AT WORK
We gather from the Book of Job that The Adversary (HaSatan) is in the business of doing everything possible to denigrate the people of God. As the early conversation goes, the Lord holds up Job to be a good example and a fine servant:
The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” [Job 1:8]
The Adversary was just getting started. He had plenty of fuel left. He rammed it into high gear and began telling the Lord it was only because He protects him so, and makes him virtually impervious to attack. He said:
“Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” [Job 1:9-11]
And this, thus, is the challenge. The Lord indeed protects His people but there are times when they must be tested. They are often tested, as per the Lord’s example, when something profound is about to happen. They must be found with no pride or arrogance. In essence, they must be tested and submitted to a process by which they can be purged of anything possibly within them that causes them to act like the enemy.
OVERCOMING THE FLESH
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [Matthew 26:41]
In New Covenant terminology, there is much reference to “the flesh.” It is defined as that part of a person which is indicative of one’s lower nature, that of purely natural processes, in which one acts according to one’s pure sinful humanity rather than according to the Spirit. The process of discipleship is therefore an ongoing progression toward developing a spiritual nature rather than a carnal one. The carnal nature wants to always be first, number one, and act out of personal pride. It is the antithesis of spiritual humility.
As I mentioned in my last post, the Lord Jesus said we must be as children. Young children have yet to develop the carnal nature brought on by advancement in sin. They are often joyous, happy, trusting, and humble. In answer to those of His disciples who were arguing about which of them might be the greatest, the Lord put forth the following:
But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.” [Luke 9:47-48]
The Lord obviously has a different definition of greatness. One sees this greatness in Him, as He is the most humble Man who ever lived, very self-effacing and always willing to turn the other cheek. He allowed Himself to be persecuted in such a way that those close to Him did not understand. In saying at His ongoing trial right before His death that His kingdom was not of this world, it helps explain so many of His actions when it appeared He never took up for Himself the way most people do.
He knew who He was, of course, but also lived according to a higher standard that is contrary to living according to basic human nature, in which selfishness and pride must rule.
The Lord Jesus was filled with the Spirit of God without measure, as the Father in His fullness dwelt within Him. He is God in flesh. But He still had His flesh to deal with. He overcame His flesh on an ongoing basis and never, ever allowed it to have the upper hand. Because He disciplined His flesh in such a powerful manner, His flesh was always subservient to His Spirit. This took a lot of work, the kind most people know nothing about, which also includes many Christians. Overcoming the flesh is a must for the spiritual disciple of the Lord. It is the only way one’s spirit can rule. But long before that occurrence can ever happen, one’s spirit must be born. It is why all real believers undergo a born-again experience. Otherwise, the flesh, or lower human nature, remains in charge.
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [Galatians 5:19-21]
Those who do practice such things must be under the Law. They have not taken authority over their lower nature and must therefore be ruled from without by a higher power. They must be told what they can and cannot do on a daily basis. Their conscience must always be at work to give them every opportunity of assistance toward knowing right and wrong, since they cannot control themselves. It is, of course, possible to overcome the dictates and desires of the flesh somewhat through personal (non-spiritual) discipleship of a kind, but this usually involves the mere strapping-on-of-the-plow for singular purposes which have no bearing on taking full control, since such is impossible. Those who appear to achieve it only give the impression of overcoming their lower nature but at best all they do is temporarily suppress it. There is only one way to defeat the flesh and bring it under subjection and that is by the Spirit of God.
WINNING THE BATTLE
Perhaps this is why there must be an accuser. As in the previously stated ISBE definition, the accuser is as “a prosecutor, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, or one who speaks in a derogatory way of another.” This is what HaSatan did to Job. The Lord spoke of Job in glowing terms. He was quite proud of His child. But the devil had to do his part, in that he must make every attempt to prove to God that Job was indeed not so great at all. He felt strongly he could prosecute him successfully if given the chance.
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” [Matthew 5:10-13]
When people join in with the devil to help him in his work, they engage in the insults as listed above. The flesh hates such insults, in that it will always strike back against attack and accusations if at all possible, unless greater damage may be done to it. What the Lord taught in this regard is absolutely completely contrary to the will of the flesh. He said disciples must rejoice when under persecution and undergoing slander? Yes. It is counterintuitive. It makes no sense to a carnal mind. But all this is illustrated in the life of Job. He was put to the test. His life was virtually destroyed. He lost everything. But he never lost his faith in God. He was being made fun of and accused even by his friends. His own wife told him to curse God. How many could hold up under such an onslaught? How many can withstand such ongoing adversarial tactics? How many can overcome the Accuser of the Brethren?
Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” [Mark 15:29-31]
But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” [Luke 23:33-35] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Regarding yesterday’s post, JESUS DESTROYS COMMUNITY DIVISION, something really profound took place and many thanks are in order. Read on:
I’m not sure what happened. My blog traffic had been down and then began picking up last weekend. The last time I made a post was the 7th, but that was mainly a compilation post featuring links to three posts I made in December: THE TRUTH DIALOGUES (COMPILATION). Before that I made my first post of the new calendar year on January 4 entitled, THE ALARMING DECEPTION OF CONFIRMATION BIAS. Those two posts did okay but yesterday’s post received a much better response and I am most grateful to all of you who took the time to read and to all readers.
Regarding yesterday’s post specifically, what follows is a list of each of you who liked the post and made comments, listed alphabetically:
I want to thank Richard for reblogging the post and making it available to all his readers over there in the environs of England and thereabouts. Every time you do this, Richard, my traffic spikes (and yours probably goes down.) I also want to thank Tony. He made some great comments on my blog. Not long after that I revisited Richard’s blog and noticed that Tony, along with Richard, had apparently come to my defense over there. A reader had claimed I was writing falsehoods and Tony responded with much Scripture and his own writings, the same he later posted on my site. So thank you Tony. I appreciate that. Those of you who also commented—Elizabeth, Gary, and Lynn—you made some great points and it was all encouraging. Also, Richard later added a pingback. Thanks again!
I know all of us have different readership lists, but for today consider yourselves a community. I encourage you to continue to visit each other’s sites, especially the ones listed above, as you have time. We are all in this together. We can all learn from one another. I know we have various differences of beliefs but we all agree 100% with the ones that matter most, as written, for example, by our brother Paul from long ago:
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. [1Corinthians 2:2]
Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. [1Corinthians 15:12-17]
So, we all believe that the Lord Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified, and was resurrected from the dead, and that it is only through His grace and great sacrifice on our behalf that He made a way for our salvation. These core facts alone and our agreement with them make for a strong foundation for fellowship and though we may never see eye to eye on everything it doesn’t mean we cannot be loving brothers and sisters anyway. This is our current challenge, one that so many Christians of the past have failed at, and that so many of today find insurmountable. Division disease is hard to overcome but it can be and is being done. To that end, and in honor of the Lord and the gist of my article, I will close by once again posting the relevant passage of Scripture listed there. Be blessed, everyone, and thanks again.
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] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
In early to mid-December of 2017 I posted a three-part series called The Truth Dialogues. These posts are parabolic in nature revealing hidden truths for those with eyes to see.
In these posts one will discover figurative indicators of hidden subterfuge currently being revealed in the real world in real time. There is an exposing process taking place on the national scene as preparatory to a national cleansing process. The corruption had reached massive levels with next to zero accountability. The bold hubris of the people involved reached astronomical proportions, both for what was never before attempted and also for the complete disregard for the law, individual rights, common decency, and basic morality.
The Lord told anyone who was listening during His ministry that the massive corruption of His time was about to be exposed and dealt with, and He was the first one on the scene after John the Immerser to begin the process. His ministry not only featured the presentation of truth and the hope of salvation being made readily available for those who were willing, it was also greatly reformative. He would shine His pure Light on all the hidden vermin, rats, and roaches that had wrested control for monetary controlling purposes and selfish, immoral personal agendas, and expose them for all to see. He would also, in the end, bring everlasting judgment on the cabal in question.
Here is your opportunity to revisit these posts and discover light for our present times as new information of relatively recent misdeeds keeps rolling in:
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“In discussing people beyond the reach of justice and majorities uninterested in truth, where does that leave the endeavors of honorable individuals intent on necessary reform?”
“Reformation is always an enterprise of individuals. It is always the individual who sees the need for reform. Though there are usually a great many individuals who see such a need, only very few actually act upon it. The larger part of that equation—the decision-making process which chooses eventually to not act—is most often based on mere self-preservation. Most people would rather not rock any boats because they know they will receive bad reactions and negative feedback and some of it may be severe. Most are intelligent enough, if that’s the right word, or at least aware enough, to figure this out ahead of time.”
“Even though they know there is an injustice, they would rather keep quiet?”
“Yes. Of course. It is almost never the case that grave injustices are performed in the dark and stay there, hidden from everyone. It is that the perpetrators thereof deal in a very high level of intimidation.”
“They use fear to keep people quiet.”
“Everyone knows this. It is why the bad guys are often so bold in their schemes. They know someone always notices what they do, even if done in secret and in the dark, and it is often many someones, but they also know most will never act to expose or stop them. It is like that famous case several decades ago, though in microcosm, of a murder that took place late at night in a teeming city in which many people heard the screams of the victim but no one acted to save her.”
“There is the phrase, ‘I don’t want to get involved,’ and the operative word there is involved, in that becoming involved in another person’s problem could potentially cause too much personal discomfort.”
“Yes, and it is not at all just discomfort, or even pain that they fear, but also concern for one’s reputation. This is why most people prefer to run in groups in which everyone thinks and acts roughly the same and in which there are no deviations from the norm.”
“And thus no deviants.”
“Yes. Most people would rather be part of a crowd and not deviate from the parameters or mores of the crowd because such a deviation would be a pox upon their reputations. They know the members of their own group would look askance upon such behavior and might even rebuke them. Such efforts are initial lead-ins to possible further censuring in order to do whatever may be necessary to keep such wayward members in line.”
“Because wayward members may cause a chink in the group’s armor, so to speak.”
“Yes. The group must protect itself, that is, its shared interests, against anyone who may attempt to subvert it and its cohesion, even if it comes from within. This is why it is always the case that the first enemy a reformer faces comes from his own group and never from without. And there are always very strong members in the controlling circle of the group with the most vested interests who bring the strongest attack. As a perfect case in point, the Lord Jesus was betrayed and killed by members of His own nation, though they used an outside political intermediary, the Romans, to get the job done.”
“And that is quite the irony, is it not?”
“It certainly is, in that the group was threatened by the reform efforts of one of their own, and in order to protect the group from outside influences in order to keep it pure, it enlisted the help of the most powerful outside influence to eliminate the threat.”
“What does that say for that particular group and for such groups in general?”
“I would say that if such groups have to resort to that level of devious subterfuge to stave off its own necessary reformation, it not only proves the dire need for its reformation in the first place but also reveals that real reformation for such groups is often not even possible.”
“Then Jesus was not actually trying to reform it?”
“No. He was actually revealing it for what it was and attempting to rescue people from it. Though He would have liked to bring reform and could have, He knew it was not possible simply because the group was not willing. It works the same way with individuals. The Lord gave everything He had to save and was willing to die for everyone, but he won’t waste His time with unrepentant and unwilling people. Even so, individuals who do not hold membership in groups are easier to save in part because they are not compromised and hindered by peer pressure, and the worst form of that is religious peer pressure.”
“It is the ruling supremacy of the group.”
“Correct. And the people of the group have already bought into it to such a degree that their liberty and individual consciences have been compromised without them realizing it. People become bound. Their loyalty is misplaced. Their minds have been undermined. No one can break out of such a condition except through one process. The individual must have somehow retained in his possession something very important that the cultish control of the groupthink mechanism failed at some point to eliminate.”
“And what would that be?”
“That would be an overriding and uncompromising love for the truth.”
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Many years ago several members of our church were returning from a service on the other side of town. There were maybe eight or ten of us, all young adults.
It was kind of funny because we were in one of those standard yellow school buses that had a former life transporting kids all over creation and we could probably fit our entire congregation within its cavernous confines. It was an old bus. Someone had probably bought it for a song after it was retired and then donated it. Most of us were brand new born again believers.
Anyway, here we were, fresh from praising the Lord in a small black Pentecostal church that never failed to be a blessing. We visited many such churches back then and it was always a great experience. My first time in one of those churches allowed me to see two things immediately—those believers didn’t mess around. When it came to praising the Lord they gave it everything they had. The preacher, the singers, even the worshipers in the pews—no one held back. The second thing was that we all had the same intentions and love for the Lord. When you meet another real Christian for the first time, even if on the other side of a very large city or cultural divide, you instantly meet another brother or sister. Such divides do not matter. Having the Lord Jesus in common and loving Him with all your heart does that. We are all part of His family.
We were almost back to our church that night. Then our fun time in our big yellow school bus that became a church bus suddenly stopped. The engine died. It wouldn’t start. Now, though I was in my early twenties, I had already been completely immersed in the practical side of life and had many an untold number of such experiences with cars. I was used to having a car break down and was also used to finding a way to get it back on the road. If that didn’t work you dragged it off to a garage somewhere to get it fixed.
It’s funny how I look back at those times now. We couldn’t afford wreckers. That was far too much a luxury. If your car broke down, you and a friend got a towing chain and set off on an adventure. If you didn’t have a chain you used a rope. It was not at all as easy as it may sound. A LOT could go wrong when you’re out on the road or a highway linked together like that. But it was cheap. In fact it was free. And that was a good thing, of course, because any other alternative meant doing nothing since it involved too much money already dedicated to other things.
I say all that to set the scene for what was about to happen. Again, I was very familiar with the right way to go about doing whatever must be done to get a dead bus back on the road. But that night was different. It was different because I was different. I had recently become a born again believer and was fired up. I had just been in a powerful church service where the place was rocking. The preacher wasn’t some laid back drone going through the motions like you see in some churches, but an anointed minister of the Gospel who took the Lord seriously and believed in the miraculous. (You know, like a baby being born in a manger who happens to be God.)
So when the engine died and my natural inclination to go help fix what was wrong was supposed to kick in it didn’t kick in. I had a completely different mindset. I thought it was wrong to immediately respond in a practical manner with no regard for a spiritual effort. I felt it was time to be serious about the Lord! Didn’t He tell us to seek Him? I told the others we needed to pray about it. We needed to pray right away and ask the Lord to fix whatever was wrong. Silence… Crickets… Nobody said anything. I think they all knew they had to honor the sentiment of what I was expressing. They knew I was right but they also knew they better get out there and find the problem. I was having none of it. We were going to pray and the Lord was going to fix the old bus!
It never happened. What I said was acknowledged somewhat but then ignored. A couple of guys quietly went outside to raise the hood. I couldn’t believe it. I got really angry. I got off the bus and began walking away. In the growing distance I heard it start up. They got the old yellow church bus running again pretty quickly. Maybe the Lord actually did do something. But by that time I was walking home. I wasn’t waiting for a ride back with my friend. While I’m out there not too far away on the highway still as angry as I could be my friend drove by to pick me up. I said forget it. Then he got angry. He drove on and I was left to my thoughts on a long walk back to my apartment. What in the world was I thinking? It’s pretty funny as I reflect back on it. I think the Lord enjoyed it all and probably got a good laugh. He understood, and He knew this was all part of the discipleship learning curve. I also think He was proud of me for thinking of Him first and taking a stand though the application left much to be desired.
My behavior obviously was not the greatest, but I was serious about my new found faith. We see that same kind of behavior among the Lord’s own chosen ones in the gospels. It’s hilarious when it seems Peter wanted to fight everybody, for example. Those guys were always letting their unbridled masculinity run free. The cool thing about it all was that the Lord supported it. He made them that way. Sure, we must learn to channel it all correctly and He did jump their case on occasion, but Christian men should never allow for even a second the slightest effort toward religious emasculation. And if you want to know the one giant problem with organized Christianity, that’s it.
I certainly could have helped find the problem with that bus. You learn to do a lot regarding the fixing of cars when you’re young and you don’t have a lot of money. There are some of you reading this right now who have a practical need but no money to fix it. I understand. Sometimes, even though we are all so incredibly blessed as children of the Lord, we don’t have all that we need and must improvise or simply do without. But if we really believe in the Lord and what He can do, is there really a problem?
Miracles are not practical. They also don’t happen automatically. They require faith. We must be serious. The Lord says this repeatedly in His Word and demonstrates it for us and proves it to be true. With Him, ALL things are possible. This is just fact. As a young man I was all gung ho for the Lord. I wanted us to pray about that old bus. I wanted to give the Lord the first opportunity to fix it. I knew He could. It would have been a great spiritual ending to a great spiritual night. But even though everybody there believed just as I did, no one agreed with what I felt we should do.
Why is that? Why didn’t anyone else agree with me that we should at least pray first? I think we all know the answer. We must be practical when it is called for. There are times, though, when practical knowledge won’t work. Though we may be great at fixing things, there are times when it is beyond our ability and know-how to fix something. None of us are Superman. But the Lord is. And if the only way any particular follower of the Lord will actually engage in spiritual things is when all other practical possibilities are exhausted, I guess that’s okay. But wouldn’t it be best to be wise and seek Him first?
This is the time of year when Christians the world over return to the beginning of the greatest story ever told—the one historical event that changes the spiritual direction and eternal destination of any person anywhere. The Lord Jesus can do anything. Anytime, anywhere, any place, under any conditions—there is nothing He cannot do. He has achieved mythological proportions for those few who actually see His life for what it is, yet most Christians can’t quite get there. This nonsense must stop. There is no such thing as practical-only Christianity. Real Christianity always requires the miraculous. The Lord will often put us in impossible situations just to prove it. Maybe you messed up or maybe someone else messed up or maybe no one messed up. Maybe it is simply the case that the Lord wants to bless you with a miracle. If you have a great need this Christmas and have no other way to make it happen, He can make it happen for you.
It’s who He is. It’s what He does.
And the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. [Matthew 2:9-11] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“At the end of our last segment you stated that majority opinion means absolutely nothing as an arbiter of truth. Perhaps you can take up today’s discussion based on that belief.”
“To begin, the Community of the Lord Jesus is not a democracy. It is not about majority rule and never has been. It could never operate effectively that way. But on the other hand it is certainly not a so-called benevolent dictatorship, as I have heard it referred to, since such is fundamentally a contradiction in terms. Actual dictatorships always operate, and this should be obvious, according to no respect whatsoever for individual rights or freedom. The Lord has never operated that way and never will.”
“But God is in charge, right?”
“Well, of course He’s in charge but He never violates free will.”
“How can one have an actual organization under such guidelines? And does not the existence of God’s overall authority mean He is in charge anyway regardless of semantic professions to the contrary?”
“God is always in charge. He created the universe. But He also created human beings with a free will. He did this because he wants us to excel.”
“Let me start by saying we know very well what happens when one person takes control over other persons in non-voluntary situations. The controller gains power by siphoning the liberty of those he controls. In most cases the one in control always operates according to purely selfish interests and will eventually do anything to maintain control once he has it. It is the control over others that gives him his power. He uses his power for personal gain. Even in so-called enlightened societies this is true. It is why people in power must have their power checked by law.”
“And this brings us to the fact that a nation of laws is a much better place to live within than a nation ruled by people, correct?”
“Yes. Laws are put in place, agreed to by the majority, that even the leaders must abide by, and this keeps leaders from becoming lawless tyrants, because the law inhibits the leaders ability to wrest control and thus violate individual rights.”
“Okay, we agree in general, but we still have the means with which laws are created that we must deal with, since you stated that potential laws must first be agreed to by a majority. Does not the same problem develop when laws must be established in this way?”
“Is there any other way to do it? The majority decides but with full respect for individual rights. Otherwise the voters vote against their own liberty. In the beginning God only had one law and that one law was designed for no other reason than to protect the first humans and their progeny.”
“The evil arising from an invisible sinister force that had taken residence on the planet before the creation of human beings.”
“Do you really believe that, the idea of an aboriginal sinister devil or serpent or whatever, that predated man? This flies in the face somewhat of scientific advances regarding the evolution of our species and appears as a scapegoat celestial bogeyman upon which we fix blame.”
“Instead of blaming ourselves?”
“Yes, but not in the way I think you mean it. The Genesis story created a bad guy on which to fix blame instead of addressing the actual guilty party.”
“So you believe guilt was involved.”
“Of course guilt was involved and it still is. Humans must find a way to blame someone other than themselves because the alternative implication is far too dark to deal with.”
“Meaning that human beings are actually very well aware of their propensity for evil.”
“We have many centuries and even millennia telling us all we need to know in that regard.”
“In that human beings are evil?”
“As a species we certainly have proven this over and again regardless of time or place. The record is there.”
“Yes, and it doesn’t matter if we are referring to common individuals with little or no control over others or not.”
“In that human beings have proven themselves to be evil because they perpetrate evil acts.”
“The Bible calls it sin. Non-Christians make fun of the concept. But sin is obviously real, as is evil.
“These are merely different terminologies for the same problem and the same potential darkness in people that people feel greatly uncomfortable acknowledging.”
“From a Biblical perspective, sin is defined as missing the mark. Philosophy calls it the problem of evil. Without going into great detail or falling into the trap of endless posturing and casuistry, let us simply acknowledge that evil exists and must have had a point of origin. From a purely amoral scientific perspective in which there is no God and everything exists as the byproduct of billion-year geologic and biological processes, evil still exists. It could be that we have affixed a label to undesirable actions but the undesirable actions still exist, and it is we humans who label such actions as undesirable. Most of us don’t like them. We say they are wrong. We get convicted when we do them, most of us anyway, and wish we had not. So regardless of terminology or belief systems, all human beings the world over have this exact conviction. We know evil exists and we wish it didn’t but we don’t know how to eliminate it.”
“But Christianity does, correct?”
“Before I answer that I want to address the idea that human beings became aware of their sin from the beginning and tried to do whatever they could to eliminate it. At first they tried very hard to simply stop doing bad things. That didn’t work so well but it did slow it down somewhat by those who put forth the effort by simply not obeying the ever-present seemingly natural impulses or giving in to bad desires. Then they tried using ultra-discipline techniques which as a byproduct created like-minded groups, some of which grew into ancient philosophical schools, predating Greece by multiple centuries, of course, and also man-made religions. These did not work so well either. Then we entered into the advent of Law. Law did nothing about the presence of evil. All it did was define it specifically and attach penalties, some very severe, to practices deemed bad or evil which the majority labeled as such. Thus, the fear of violating the law and facing stiff penalties, which would grossly violate personal liberty, kept many people from breaking the law.”
“And this is still the case today. One wonders then, how many people would revert to evil actions characterized as ‘breaking the law’ indiscriminately if there was no longer any law.”
“We already know the answer to this from what happened before law and by the actions of those who refuse to obey the law now. Many such people today are imprisoned because they are a constant unrepentant threat to the law-abiders who wish to live morally in peace.”
“Meaning evil can be checked by disciplined personal choice.”
“Yes. This is what the majority is left with. Not a complete elimination of bad behavior but the choice to try one’s best to be an agent of good. Yet there are still people on the planet who engage in whatever bad behavior they want, including great evil, in that they unofficially violate the law as a matter of course and never have to pay for their crimes.”
“Because they are above the law?”
“No. But because they are beyond the reach of the law.”
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:37]
When the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees He didn’t name names. He didn’t slander individuals. But this has never stopped “Christians” from engaging in the practice. It began almost two thousand years ago and has never ceased. It continues today in a gross violation of the Lord’s Golden Rule.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5]
THE SLANDER BRIGADE
Christian history is filled with Christians attacking and slandering other Christians. In fact, some Christians have created “ministries” that do nothing more than malign other Christians and Christian groups. They have decided that they are worthy of doing this. For some bizarre reason, they consider themselves all-knowing experts and thus perfectly able to bring railing accusations against any Christian or Christian group that does not see or practice Christianity they way they do. This is the height of religious arrogance in that the practitioners thereof must assume they have all light and knowledge, and are therefore qualified to thumbs up or thumbs down any believer or group of believers of their choosing.
Even though the Lord Jesus, on at least one recorded occasion, referred to a particular group of unbelieving Jews and Pharisees as “of your father the devil,” he was not engaging in personal condemnation. He LOVED these people and would have been overjoyed if they had repented. He was merely stating fact in defense of His own teachings after they attacked Him, in exactly the same way the Christian maligners attack those they think are heretics. He did this in a manner which exposed the accusing enemy who was intent on slandering His reputation, and who was hidden very well behind religious clothing and enjoyed a level of popular support.
To sort this out, first consider the verse in question:
“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.” [John 8:43-44]
Now look at these verses:
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:17]
“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” [John 12:47-48]
SELF-SERVING HERETIC HUNTERS
It is one thing to search for truth, find it, and attempt to share it. It is quite another thing to condemn Christians who appear deficient of it. Now pay attention to this:
THE REJECTION OF THE LORD’S TRUTH CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.
Each of us is walking in the light we have. Some of us are always trying to gain more light. Therefore, if one doesn’t yet have eyes to see everything he is supposed to see, he is never going to see until he gets eyes to see. They must want to see. No one can force them to see. Thus, our focus should be on helping each other “see.” If one does not yet “see” or doesn’t want to see we are commanded to love anyway. The best way the fault-finding heretic hunters can get right with the Lord is to go spend some time with the people they condemn and serve them. Proving one’s love is better than winning an argument.
I recently saw a website in which a minister who was condemned by a heretic-hunter group actually responded to the article condemning him in a loving way. There was no eye-for-an-eye garbage or the ubiquitous condemnation return fire. This person was not condemning them though they were condemning him. I thought it very refreshing and it obviously let me know who was the better disciple. Regarding who believed what or who was teaching what didn’t matter in that instance. What mattered was obedience to the command of the Lord to love one another.
IT’S “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” NOT “CONDEMN YOUR NEIGHBOR”
In the final analysis consider the fact that if someone actually does have all light and knows the teachings of the Lord by heart and fulfills them every second of every day, then that person would know who is right and who is wrong. But that person would also know there is a higher order of behavior toward one another and would never judge or condemn someone who knew less.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8] 
By their very behavior the slanderous heretic hunters are condemning themselves by violating the Lord’s Word. Without repentance for their wrongheaded actions His Word will judge them at the last day.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
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“The very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know…”
Before we address the content of this post I want to thank my faithful readers. Some of you have been following this blog for a few years now and I do appreciate it. The material here is not mainstream in the least and that causes a decided lack of traffic flow to begin with, but some of you are supporting me anyway. I know many of you do not agree with everything I write and it is refreshing that we continue to share in a level of spiritual fellowship. But the very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know, which is not something we usually know that we know. It can also be stated this way:
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” 
This means we must be humble. We must be teachable. As followers of the Lord Jesus, it is dangerous to believe we know it all. We must be ever-learning. There’s a strange phenomenon that takes place in the soul of some Christian ministers when they insist on doctrines not supported by the Lord’s teachings. In order to enforce said doctrines, such ministers force themselves to adopt guises out of character with the fruit of the Spirit. They prove by their very actions that something is wrong with the teachings they espouse. They become less like Christians and more like hard-edged turf-defenders or stagnant dogma pushers.
They become quite used to having their way. They demand next to blind obedience. It borders on religious brainwashing. It establishes what can only be termed Christian cults. But when a cult goes mainstream by attracting (or forcing) great numbers of adherents, it morphs out of cult status into perceived orthodox status. When the authority of the Lord Jesus is circumvented in such a way and people are thus deceived (not realizing He is not in charge), it allows for great abuse which demands great reform. This brings us to the reality of the two different camps in overall Christianity:
CONTENDERS AND PRETENDERS
The usual traditional camp has already made up its mind what Christian truth is and spends all its time preaching what they know and attacking anything that does not agree with their chosen paradigm. I say chosen because that is exactly what it is. We all choose to believe whatever it may be. There is Christian truth that is obviously foundational that most Christians share, but so much of what the Lord Jesus originally taught is not being taught by most Christian bodies and this is obviously by design.
Such Christians make no provision for possible unknowns.
Consider the fact that the Lord and His original apostles had no religious superstructure surrounding them and one will begin to get the big idea what the dissemination of truth actually entails. He kept His operation extremely streamlined and materially limited and did that for a reason. He even taught very clearly that giving up one’s possessions is a vital part of discipleship. One can define that anyway one wants to but the best definition comes from simply studying the lifestyle of the early Church. We must also acknowledge that they had massive success with comparatively very few material resources. They did without that which most Christians insist upon as indispensable and still turned the world upside down. “Official” Christianity in the modern world can only be described by comparison as lacking.
The Lord knows we need stuff. We need food and water and shelter. In modern society we need a whole lot more simply to carve out a life of sustenance within a complex, ultra-developed, increasingly urban grid. But churches and individuals must be on guard against material props that actually hinder spirituality rather than help. Therefore, giving up one’s possessions does not necessarily mean going homeless and penniless by choice. Perhaps it means not allowing the material to outweigh the spiritual. It certainly means joining a spiritual Community in which the Lord Jesus is the sole Leader. Call it a love-based voluntary lifestyle of willing assistance toward others as echoed in the writings of the prophet:
A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Isaiah 40:3-5] 
It is in looking at the lifestyle and teaching method of our Leader that we gain all the insight we need to figure out how we should live and learn. I will have more on this later. In the next post we will consider America’s recent call to repentance in further preparation for the Awakening.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 D. Rumsfeld
 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 Lord Jesus, God Himself, the Creator of the Universe, became a human being, just like us, but knew He would have the loneliest calling of all.
He also knew, in order to achieve His calling and get the job done, He would have to be last in all things.
OFF THE GRID
Since He created everything I think it is safe to say He knows how everything works. He also knows, in the spiritual realm, that the way up is down:
But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” [Mark 9:34-35]
Now, I can tell you with no hesitation that the Lord wanted to be first. He was already first before He got here and was determined to be first again. It was not a selfish motive, however, but the opposite. No one else could do the job and the Lord knew that. He took it upon Himself to humble Himself to the nth degree and do whatever it took to rescue us even if it meant living a very difficult but perfect life and then sacrificing it all at the end. He had to be first but also had to be last to get there. No one else could have done it. No one else qualified. Here is another example:
And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.
“But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 14:7-11]
Now, consider the powerful ramifications of what the apostle Paul revealed in the following passage regarding the difficult path the Lord had chosen:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]
CHOOSING TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH CHOSEN ONES
Rather than actually strive for personal spiritual victory, some people who believe they will never be winners like to associate with those characterized as such, if at all possible, as a way to be around winning. Believing they will never be accepted, well-liked, admired, or popular, they strive to associate with the people who are. This is why so many people fawn over the few recognized prominent and distinguished among us. It starts in childhood. It gets ramped up in high school as a manifestation of the popularity contests which thrive in that environment. If one looks better than others, is more talented, or is simply more self-assured, one will rise in the ranks and be seen as better and more worthy of whatever accolades there may be. Many of these got a head start early on and probably always had a strong support group.
The Lord had none of this, save for Joseph and Mary. He was obscure and most likely not attractive. He had no “charisma.” He was never seen as someone destined for greatness. He had decided all of this in advance. He would arrive as a nobody and people would often treat Him that way. He would never expect any special favors. He would be last:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 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. [Philippians 2:3-8]
As you can see, the Lord decided He would take a totally opposite road of the so-called popular people and hupokritai. Rather than be a performing, stage-oriented glory hound seeking fame and money, He would instead strive to serve others and help them, and bless them. As a result, no one was more spiritually fruitful than the Lord Jesus. He planted Himself in death as a lonely rejected seed, the last and the only one there was.
From such a humble beginning so long ago, the fruit of His ministry is still bringing forth a burgeoning, incessant, and abundant yield all over the planet to this day, and continues to increase. He started out last, became the Servant of all, and then gained first place in everything. This means He also became the only Door of salvation and eternal life. No one can get to heaven without Him.
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. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” [John 10:7-11] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The adversary is a master of propaganda. He revels in misinformation. He lives to deceive. If he can’t stop you he will try to send you in the wrong direction. He does everything in his power to conceal the truth.
And it should be evident that what is referred to in an overall general sense by an unsuspecting world as “Christianity” is actually a vast collection of unrelated, incongruent, disparate, and often contradictory elements, from merely human but also otherworldly sources, with no connection whatsoever to the original. Unreal Christianity is thus rife with untruths, half-truths, fruitless rituals, syncretic misapplications, and even what Paul referred to as teachings of demons.
The million or so separate Christian camps each have their own primary ideology and religious slant, and each, for the most part, declines close fellowship with the others for fear that its individual identity and brand will be diluted and weakened, and thus compromised toward funding and support. Many of these factions, some quite large, got started because some DA believed the whispered fabrications of the enemy or the weird ramblings of his own wayward mind and ran with them, taking many clueless hangers-on along for the ride.
Once such groups effectively progress from single dominator and analogous cultic origins to gain the desired reputable respectability and requisite numbers, a strange but perfectly understandable phenomenon occurs: The recognition, reception, and incorporation of greater truth, light, and correction is absolutely refused so as not to interfere with established success and acceptance. This only facilitates even more splintering off, the creation of new sects, and greater division. Thus, the multitudinous Christian factions of the last two millennia have more in common with the devil’s obfuscations and religious confusion than the Lord’s original teachings.
Therefore, if one wants to figure out what is what and which is which, one must be willing to do comprehensive, long-term, in-depth study of the Word of God and particularly the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus. One must investigate actual Christian history (not the fake constructs) in as much detail as possible. One must also do much wide-ranging research (much), with no vested interest or personal religious apologia, and wade through the ubiquitous, muddy, debris-laden waters of deception and misinformation to sort it all out.
In that process, as a byproduct of the search for truth, one will discover the frauds and the deceived. Their deceptive cloaking devices will fall away. They will no longer be concealed and they become completely exposed. This is exactly what happened with the Lord regarding the fake religionists of His time. He could see right through them. He could also apparently see demons, which, when you think about it, is really cool, since the devious imps were used to being invisible and getting away with all their lying shenanigans but could no longer hide—Anywhere. Whenever they attempted their magic disappearing act around the Lord it no longer worked.
Here’s just one example:
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” [Luke 4:33-36]
Think about this the next time you go to church.
It was therefore impossible to deceive Him. This is the way it must be for His real disciples. This is why the vast majority of those who claim to be NT Christians are not seeing Christians—they still have their blinders on. They can’t see the enemy. They remain deceived.
As a starting point in one’s search for truth and dividing truth from error, consider what the Lord told the frauds and deceived people of His time:
“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.” [Matthew 21:43] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Those of you who actually study the Word of God and desire to be mature disciples instead of merely sit passively in church and get dictated to week after week know there is an order to the Lord’s method of ministry and a standard of spiritual priorities. It looks nothing like what most of us are used to or familiar with. If it was we probably would have the world converted to Christianity by now or had it done a long time ago.
Here’s a New Covenant example:
And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. [1Corinthians 12:28]
THE DEPENDENCY MODEL MEETS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE
In reality, it is in the nature of Unreal Christianity to resist doing the real work of God for the same reason that the medical and pharmaceutical industry does not promote health or disease prevention. Rather than promote outright cures it promotes incessant treatment. And the treatment has a tendency to cost. If they really wanted everyone healthy and began achieving such a goal they would eventually lose business and may actually go out of business. This is why no other entity comes close to lobbying the government more than the medical and pharmaceutical industry. It is great for their bottom line to have all Americans drugged up and dependent on their high dollar “health care.”
And incidentally, the so-called Opioid Crisis was started by them in the 1990s, another planned side effect of the vast immorality and anything-goes money-grubbing attitude sent down from on high at that time (with perfect examples of corruption in high places). All this while mainstream Christianity continued looking the other way, denied the exploding sin epidemic, and continued refusing the only corrective.
If churches were actually working according to “the Father’s business” they would have a better track record and one that looked exactly like the Lord’s. But they don’t. They are not interested in that. They prefer maintenance mode. They would rather fill up a building with paying customers and keep them dependent. We spend a lot of money and work sending a few missionaries overseas but pay little attention to the needs in our own congregations. The early Church spent money where it was most needed. They spent it in the same place the Lord spent it and where He taught them to spend it. The first thing they did was take care of their own.
Here’s a clue. Your children have extremely important and necessary needs. But needy people elsewhere need it more so it would be better to make your own children suffer and have less in order to take care of those possibly worse off. This results in your own children being worse off but not to worry. The Lord told us to take care of the poor and now we did that. So there. Better to make our own children suffer and do without or do with less than not meet the needs of needy people elsewhere.
Maybe you haven’t noticed that many churches are designed for the perpetual member who rarely or never grows spiritually past an initial starting point (getting saved). Most churches are thus kindergartens and elementary schools, which is a great thing, except for the fact that it most often stops right there. There are next to no “churches” for spiritual adults and mature disciples. Again, this is by design. If they were in the business of creating disciples they would be much more concerned with their ridiculously lousy graduation rates. As a result of the anti-discipleship pro-perpetual member method, the vast majority who leave are not leaving due to graduation but for other reasons, most of which have to do with the faux ministry method.
THEY DON’T TEACH THIS AT PREACHING SCHOOL
This is in part why the Lord said the following. It is like so many other things He said that you will likely never hear in church:
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” [Matthew 11:21-24]
Whoa. If the wicked Sodomites had seen the miracles of Capernaum they apparently would have repented and never had their city blown off the map. The Lord said this because the first-century Hebrew city of Capernaum did see the Lord’s mighty works but never repented. They rejected Him hands down. Also, I’m thinking the people of Capernaum probably resented the comparison inference to the wicked Sodomites somewhat, if you get my drift.
You may also surmise that according to the Lord’s original ministry plan everything must be surrendered to His leadership and authority if we are to do real ministry. But what about unreal ministry for alternative and limited selfish motives? Not so much.
A KNEE JERK REACTION
The National Football League is currently having a problem. Attendance is down. Football fans are starting to see that the emperor has no clothes. They never noticed it before and most of the football higher-ups never did either, but since the 1960s until recently the conditions were perfect for success. They never noticed these conditions. The conditions were just “there.” They just thought they were smart. But when these conditions began changing, fans started seeing through the mirage.
The prosperity pigskin bladder had begun inflating in the mid-1960s after forty years of initial NFL hard times, leather helmet blues, and gridiron-lock on the rude sidelines far across the tracks from the sunny green fields of the one and only great American pastime—Baseball.
Then, akin to a flyover advert blimp, the inflating football money balloon just kept expanding throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, oughts, and until recently. The reason it kept getting bigger like a giant alien tick from some 1950s-era B-movie is because the unseen outward conditions never changed. Professional football took advantage and the fans were none the wiser.
Until now. As a result the NFL is having a serious “Uh Oh” moment like those suits in sunglasses when Neo got the big idea. Now the veneer is peeling off. A level of clever has changed the weather. What’s become of the mighty Wizard? Is that just a little man behind a dope drape working a microphone and a social lever?
This is also exactly how fake churches do it. They have ulterior motives and selfish agendas. The people they actually care about least are the ones in the pews. This is why they prefer putting them in a corral and feeding them faux food. If they really wanted to make powerful world-transforming Spirit-filled disciples as the Lord and the original Church did they would do things His way. And revival wildfires would explode everywhere. But they don’t. They prefer fans and dependents rather than disciples. It is a much better business model (and so much easier to control).
So what happens to the few real disciples outside the loop who never get the memo and who mature and come of age in such congregations anyway? What do we do with them? How do we keep them quiet? Can they be made an example of to further convince any wayward members who might have temporarily forgotten who’s in charge? Can the leadership thus benefit from appropriating sacrificial lambs? To better preserve the whole and reinforce unity? And spread fear like fertilizer? Maybe, in their secret clubhouse elder meetings, they facetiously call it forced graduation.
But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done. Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. [John 11:46-53] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Millennial generation has now overtaken the Baby Boomers. This development parallels the fading dominion of “old wine” Christianity.
We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation. The bulk of the coming-of-age Millennial generation, those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s to early 2000s, likely will not be engaging in anywhere close to the same degree of hands-on, practical, do-it-yourself utility and blue collar work of past generations. In general, while brilliant and exceptional in many areas of expertise, its skill set is lacking in the use of tools and, though gaining, has less aptitude for practical self-reliance.
As a result, since Millennials number in the 80-90 million range, the home improvement industry is particularly panicked about the upcoming diminishing demand for its products. To remedy the potentially huge future problem, how-to videos and tutorials on an extremely elementary and basic level have been created, such as “How To Use A Tape Measure.”
Sound familiar? What are the otherwise veiled common denominators of the largely unchurched Millennial generation and traditional church congregations of past and present? How are these alike? Do both share commonalities through no initial fault of their own, such as being adulthood challenged, sheltered, dependency-bred, and subjected to Groupthink? (Traditional church congregations in general are rarely taught to graduate and go on into individual ministry, for example, as commanded in the Great Commission.) These common characteristics indicate far too much “old wine” influence and a dearth of the new.
And He was also telling them a parable: “…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 5:36-39]
Christians have labored for centuries trying to figure out this passage or trying to figure out why the Lord used it in the first place, since the subject matter causes discomfort in some circles. Yet it remains a classic “eyes and ears” parable of which the true understanding is often missed. Rather than seeing the deeper meaning and making the correct application the Lord is calling for, however, the passage often evokes the prohibition response among those Christians who believe wine is not good. Instead of censoring the Lord Jesus or taking Him to task for NT wine references, of which there are many, perhaps they should try to see what He’s getting at.
I say this because immature and out-of-touch past generations of Christians with such an attitude have also missed the boat on other spiritual teachings. Missing the one addressed by the New Wine parable, though, is enormously problematic since it directly regards the pure practicality of reaching the lost without forcing them into largely dead impractical religion and non-spiritual constructs. For example, it didn’t help that for much of the time since it was first published in 1611, many Christians only had a King James Bible with no alternative or were not allowed one that may exist, especially, of course, in England and the English-speaking world. Because the KJV was state-sponsored, it forced millions into accepting every word and punctuation mark therein without question. Yet, on the all-important New Wine and New Wineskins passage, a deeply important parable, the KJV translators got it really wrong by referring to the wineskins as bottles.
Right. They all had glass wine bottles in the first century. But according to some, those people apparently were not allowed to drink the wine therein anyway. What grandiose minds are these who project their convictions on all prior generations? There is a reason we have better translations today. Yet there remain millions of Christians at present who refuse to use any other Bible and even insist other versions are sinful. This is evidence of remaining endemic authoritative bias which disallows the necessary developmental steps toward gaining maturity. It creates a purposed distance from the Lord’s pure teachings by an agenda-based clergy promoting subjugation to them and their old wineskins.
Ironically, I guess we may say, the incorrect KJV translation of the New Wine passage proves the gist of the Lord’s New Wine parable.
FERMENTATION (SPIRITUAL EYES AND EARS ALERT)
The process of fermentation changes mere grape juice into a completely different liquid with different properties. New Wine is wine still undergoing the fermentation process.
In Biblical times, as fermentation commenced and the juice of the grapes foamed up, somewhat dynamically, the process was allowed to take place only in open vats or containers for obvious reasons. After this initial substantial fermentation the wine was poured into small containers made of animal skins, but it was most important that the skins be new and fresh. Why? Because the wine was still undergoing fermentation and the skins must be new, strong, and flexible to allow for further expansion. It was sometimes the case that the new skins filled with New Wine appeared close to bursting.
This is why everyone with knowledge of wine-making knew to never put New Wine into old dried-up wineskins because such containers would never be able to handle the ongoing fermentation process. If this principle was violated the old skins would crack or tear and be ruined by the New Wine, which would spill out and be lost. Incidentally, and in light of what I have been addressing in several recent posts, the fermentation process lasted about forty days. This means something. You might want to take a look at those recent posts.
PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
The parable of the New Wine and New Wineskins appears only in the three synoptic gospels. It is apparent that Matthew and Mark were referencing Luke. Only Luke actually refers to it as a parable. Yet in each occurrence, the parable appears somewhat out of nowhere, especially in Luke, and there is no explanation. No one asked about the spiritual or allegorical meaning when the Lord addressed it. It is just there, and then the narrative moves on. What does it mean?
We can find a clue simply by looking at the fermentation process. In His teachings regarding new beginnings and the necessity of both a New Covenant and new approaches to spiritual life, the Lord also referred to the absolute necessity of a new birth, meaning a spiritual birth. He is referencing by these illustrations a must-metamorphosis or a transformation from one stage to another, just as we are presently on the threshold of a vast new spiritual transformation. He also claimed that such a personal change, or birth, was both dramatic and all-encompassing.
BECOMING FULLY MATURE
(1) A butterfly lays an egg on a food plant
(2) The egg becomes a larva, or caterpillar, and the caterpillar grows rapidly
(3) When fully developed, the caterpillar enters the pupa stage and surrounds itself in a chrysalis
(4) When metamorphosis is complete, the pupal skin splits and a fully developed butterfly emerges, illustrating the final stage of maturation, and it soon takes flight
Through the Lord’s mysterious ways, a relatively non-attractive many-legged worm thoroughly grounded and munching leaves and whatnot is inexplicably transformed into a lightweight beautiful butterfly able to escape the weighty hold of gravity. Remember, this is the same creature during all four stages. It merely exists in different forms on the way toward becoming fully mature, or complete.
DEVELOPING INTO SPIRITUAL ADULTS
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48]
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Matthew 19:21]
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:2]
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you… [Philippians 3:14-15]
[The Greek word translated in the preceding as “perfect” or “complete” is teleios. It is defined as “mature, full grown, adult, or completed.”]
THE PROPER FRAME OF REFERENCE
Mere grape juice released through a violent crushing process somehow begins to be instantly transformed into another substance with powerful properties. What does this sound like? What does the Lord mean by New Wine and New Wineskins? Correctly defining these terms means we must first determine the proper frame of reference. The answer would seem to be otherwise obvious, since we have an Old Covenant and a New Covenant. The Old made possible the New, but the New replaced the Old. The New Wine replaces the old wine. It was a fact that due to the wine-making process of those times, the fully fermented wine lasted only so long. Old wine was wine stored for about a year or more, but it sometimes only lasted for about three years before turning into vinegar, though that could happen earlier.
FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN’S CHILDREN
It follows then, that wine-making must be ongoing. There must always be a new batch of wine on the horizon. (Think Great Awakening.) The Feast of Tabernacles, which we just completed, was an annual time of harvesting the fall grapes. It was a time of great joy. All of these facts are clues.
The Pharisees and Sadducees represented the old wine that had degenerated into sour vinegar. Those guys could not get any more sour.
The Lord was bringing forth the New Wine with His new kingdom. The refusing-to-be-transformed religious killjoys hated both. They rejected the new birth as do most “Christians.” Little did they know that they were actually playing right into the Lord’s hands, however, in that by crushing Him they were assisting in the process of bringing forth a brand new vintage, the best New Wine of all time!
DRUNK ON THE HOLY GHOST
When the 120 were filled with His Spirit in the Upper Room they acted very differently. Their actions were out of the ordinary. What transpired on that morning did not look at all like the standard, dour-faced, traditional, institutional, stuck-in-the-mud, ultra-religious old wine that was “good enough.” Instead, they were all filled with incredible JOY and displayed never-before-seen bright shining faces, dazzling smiles, and much laughter. They were overcome with the Lord’s overwhelming love. Highly concentrated LOVE was all around them and spilling forth everywhere. By their love everybody appearance and manner it looked to outside observers that the Upper Roomers had been swimming around in a giant vat of New Wine:
And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them:
“Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
“‘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…’” [Acts 2:12-18] 
We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation toward real spiritual adulthood.
“New Wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
This is a must-read article. Please tell all your friends. There is an anointing here that can be applied to otherwise impossible situations and bring victory.
So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. [John 11:17]
The forty days officially began on August 21. The fortieth day begins tonight at sunset. We are about to complete the same forty day period the Lord completed just prior to the start of His ministry in which He fasted for the duration and then went toe-to-toe with the devil.
This is one of those counterintuitive training methods that makes no sense in the natural and causes nominal Christians to recoil in horror. Rather than train conventionally as one may train for a prize fight in which a boxer imbibes in the best nutrition and a regimented workout lasting for several weeks in the effort to eventually outlast an opponent in the ring, the Lord did the opposite. He went far out into the wilderness all by Himself. It is recorded that He was out there with the wild beasts. Every day and night for forty days He had nothing to eat whatsoever. He prayed always. He prepared to the hilt. But it was all spiritual preparation.
This kind of training and fight preparation is no longer taught by what we may term “official” Christianity and hasn’t been for many centuries. Most of today’s Christian ministers laugh at the very idea of teaching such a method of gaining spiritual victory. They keep almost everything in a purely natural and non-supernatural mode because the stakes they seek cater instead to material and “worldly” success.
Now, please note that I like success. The Lord grants success. He is really into success. But it also must be noted that the spiritual must come first and must come correctly or whatever “success” one may have will soon be lost. When the Lord went to war on our behalf and on behalf of our future success He had in mind a way to buy back our freedom from the ravages of sin and bondage. That was His obvious priority. To that end, and because He loves us so, He was more than willing to subject himself to such austere and extreme training methods and face off with the ugly, gnarly, hell’s angel dipwad responsible for screwing everything up and turning His perfect creation into fallen destruction and His perfect sinless holy humans into spiritually dead, broken, compromised, and hell-bound shells of themselves.
And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13]
Who else would love like that? Who else could love like that? Well, HE did it. And it cost Him everything. Whatever we do for the Lord and others is great and duly noted but based on the practices of Christianity in general most Christians not only fail to do the least in this regard for the Lord, they don’t even see the need for it, as in “What’s the point?” This attitude is borne out by people completely unaware of the concept in that they see no connection between much prayer, fasting, standing in faith, and fighting spiritual battles with eventual great spiritual victories which would otherwise have no chance of happening.
The Lord Jesus, however, taught the why and how every day of His ministry. He showed us how it is done. His disciples did what He said and had great spiritual success. The entire Roman Empire was evangelized within a century and a half, so much so that the leaders thereof eventually threw in the towel. If those mighty spiritual warriors could do that then why can’t we do it now? It is not that we can’t. It is that the definition has changed. And because the definition has changed there is no longer any need for the great spiritual practices of the originals because Christian success is no longer defined by doing the impossible but by doing exactly as this fallen world is doing.
If the Lord could defeat the devil without a forty day fast and all night prayer sessions and making Himself poor and putting up constantly with religious idiots trying to kill Him then why did He do all those things? Why did the apostles do all those things? They knew, of course, that it was the only way. There was no other way. It was also why they were all filled with the Holy Spirit according to the real New Covenant method and thus gained supernatural strength to fight such battles and do the impossible.
VICTORY ON THE FORTIETH DAY
I just got through fighting such a battle. It was very difficult. I knew from the beginning that the Lord had a plan and a solution but that did not make it any easier. I had to stand in faith consistently over a full forty days. My faith grew. That was part of the reason why it lasted that long. It was an opportunity to increase my faith. The process was fraught, however, with ups and downs and dead-end failure and inspiration and bright spots and hope and temporary depressing defeats and rallying and an incredible amount of prayer and much fasting. There were some I counted on that let me down, others that helped in increments, and at the end a great blessing that the Lord saved for the very end that made it all possible and made the victory complete. I know this will probably sound far-fetched but the victory truly did come on the very last day.
My forty day time period began three days before the solar eclipse. I had a very unfortunate event take place on August 18. It was a very big deal. I was quickly in an impossible situation. I immediately stated that it was no surprise to the Lord and that He had a plan though I had no idea what it was. In my previous post, Forty Days Toward Victory, I was writing on Day 24 and stated that I was in the middle of trying to make something happen that had to happen in order to continue and that it demanded strong faith and a relentless approach.
As mentioned before, the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was also the day of the new moon which began the Lord’s forty days and which would end with the Day of Atonement on September 30. Those who understood the stakes and decided to participate knew that America itself was hanging in the balance and that the nation had better repent. That was not possible unless Americans repented and properly prepared for what was coming. I knew something was up and that the Lord had great plans for this autumn, but there would be a price to pay to bring it forth. I wrote about this in At the Crossroads: Will America Repent?
My fortieth day, that is, the fortieth day after the unfortunate recent event in my life, was on Wednesday, September 27. I stayed in faith until then. It was not easy. Yet that day was the exact day the Lord brought forth an otherwise impossible victory.
There are many very interesting aspects to the story of the raising of Lazarus. This was a man who along with his sisters, Martha and Mary, was a very dear friend of the Lord. Lazarus had gotten very sick. A messenger was sent to find the Lord so He could come and help. The Lord was found at a distance. But instead of immediately rushing to the side of His good friend He did something curious. He waited two days. He essentially waited for Lazarus to die. And He gave His friends no warning whatsoever that He would do this.
So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. [John 11:6]
By the time He went to the home of Lazarus, His good friend had already been dead for four days. The Lord was hammered with, “If only you had been here…”
When I began this article I planned to go into greater detail about the Lazarus story, but I am running long and need to start closing. One thing I will say is that the Lord showed me several parallels to my situation. He could have warned me but He didn’t. He just let it happen. He could have arranged things to where it would not have been so bad but He didn’t. In the case of Lazarus, He could have rushed back and healed Him and that would have certainly been a miracle. But He wanted something better, something much greater. He wanted to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Consider this perspective. The Lord could fix your current problem, but if you allow Him to He can bring a much greater miracle. I know this happened in my case. I was looking for the path of least resistance and the lesser way out. But the Lord had already determined, “No, I am going to do something much, much better.” It meant the problem had to be much worse. It meant the problem had to be impossible. It would require resources I didn’t have. It would require Him to come through in the nick of time.
A friend gave me a book over four years ago. I never read it. I didn’t care for the author so much. I kept the book, of course. I put it right up there on my bookshelves. But I never had any desire or inclination to read it. Then, last week, when my situation was most dire and it looked like all hope was lost, the Lord led me to that book. I began reading. I started feeling better. I got inspired. Then I realized that the Lord wanted the very best for me and I should go for the whole enchilada, to go for the best possible outcome, to not settle for a mere partial victory, like the healing of Lazarus, for example, but for an actual resurrection from death. In other words, for an impossibility.
That’s what I decided. I saw in that moment that it was what the Lord wanted. I had perfect faith in the BEST outcome because I knew it was the will of God. It was still impossible but because I knew the Lord wanted to go that route I was all in. He would make a way. I started praying and believing to that end all the more. I was at my absolute lowest on the thirty-third day. Then hope began to arise. The last week was still very difficult but as the Lord had planned all along, and I am so glad He gave me the strength to do His will, the victory came on the fortieth day. YES!
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
Now, regarding the Lord’s forty days, the fortieth day begins at sunset today. It begins the Day of Atonement, which is representative of having all of our sins washed away. It was the one day during the entire year that the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the nation. Only the high priest could go in there. And he could only do it once a year. The Lord Jesus is our High Priest. Only He can make atonement.
When the sun goes down Saturday evening, September 30th, the forty days will be complete. What started with an incredible nationwide celestial event, a full transcontinental solar eclipse, will end in a way that only the Lord knows. After that we will see what the Lord has had in store all along. After that we will begin to see all the various “Lazaruses” being raised from the dead.
When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” [John 11:43-44] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but the current forty days of preparation is proving to be a giant challenge. Spiritual warfare is strong but a great victory is coming…
And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13] 
The Lord Jesus began His ministry with forty days of prayer and fasting. In His case, he fasted the entire time, both day and night.
There are only three men listed in all of Scripture who have ever gone on a full forty day fast. This does not mean others did not do it. Undoubtedly, many did. But only Moses, Elijah, and the Lord Jesus have been listed as having done it. Moses did it twice.
You may note that these three were also on the Mount of Transfiguration together. Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets. The Lord Jesus represents everything good, but primarily in this case He represents Salvation and Grace. In fact, the Name above every name means “YHWH-Salvation” or “YHWH sets free.”
Regarding the actual timing of the Lord’s forty day fast, it began with the new moon of the twelfth month on the Hebrew civil calendar, toward the end of summer. It extended into Rosh Hashanah, the “head” of the year or the Hebrew New Year, and continued for another ten days to Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement.
As of today, we have now entered into Day 24 of the forty-day period of repentance, fasting, prayer, and preparation. The forty days began this year on the afternoon of August 21 and will end on September 30. Of course, in one of the most incredible celestial and spiritual signs most of us will ever experience, the forty days began this year with a full solar eclipse that crossed the full length of the continental United States and no other country. This had not happened in almost eight centuries. Please see my post Solar Eclipse Across America Signals Onset of Repentance.
I always try to fast one day per week. It is an excellent spiritual practice and is clearly Scriptural. Give your body a break one day per week and it will repay you greatly. God had instructed His people to let their agricultural land lay fallow (no plowing or planting) every seventh year. By doing this it would allow the land to regain its health and vitality, and restore its nutrients. It naturally follows that if one will fast every seventh day it will give one’s digestive system and related systems an opportunity to do some very necessary housecleaning and repair. It is a greatly restorative practice but requires a strong will.
Longer fasts are tougher. Two days isn’t so bad. I’ve gone longer, and achieved incredible spiritual results, but I’ve never come anywhere close to forty days. Many people have, however. Yet, one should never attempt it unless clearly directed by the Lord.
During this forty day period I have been fasting a lot more than normal. I have also been praying a lot more. There has also been a great increase in spiritual warfare. I have had to walk in very strong faith as a result of something very challenging that happened just prior to August 21. On the day it happened I felt great. Then boom! Uh Oh. I wasn’t expecting that! This is going to be very hard to deal with, I thought.
Afterwards I reached a level of spiritual well-being that I had not experienced in quite a while. I should not have been feeling so good! It made no sense in the natural. I quickly professed, almost immediately, that this not so good event in my life never surprised the Lord and that He had a plan to deal with it. I have been dealing with it ever since. It is one of those things that you have to walk out. There is no ready solution in the natural and no solution is possible without the Lord’s direct help.
I prayed and fasted all the more. There were times when things got really bad and I had to tough it out. There have also been some very bright spots. I started seeing the possible means to a solution. As I write this, I am in the midst of another very important part of this whole thing that must be fixed soon so other parts can proceed. I am certainly walking by faith. I KNOW the Lord has the answer. It is my job to stay in faith and keep walking it out. At the end I will come into a great blessing that would have been impossible otherwise.
For those of you who are relating to this I want you to be encouraged. Many of us have been through severe crises in our lives. There are wonderful people who have recently lost everything as a result of the recent hurricanes. There are times when we know if the Lord doesn’t come through we are pretty much done. I remember many times being backed against a wall with no solution whatsoever in sight and all I could do was do my best to stay in faith and trust the Lord. I have also seen the most incredible, tremendous spiritual victories and was amazed at what the Lord could do.
But remember, it is not only that the Lord can do it, it is because He is motivated by His great love for us that makes Him want to do it. He wants to bless us! But it must be done the right way. We must have the correct spiritual mindset. We must walk in faith. The Lord always responds to faith. We must be humble.
Thus, we are in this special time of preparation, fasting, prayer, and repentance for the same reason the Lord was. Something profound will happen afterwards. That’s what the victory of the Day of Atonement is all about. I believe there is something especially profound this year. We must humble ourselves in order to be exalted. We must do the humbling. He will do the exalting.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
REGARDING THE CURRENT FORTY DAY PERIOD, SEE THE FOLLOWING RECENT SERIES POSTED AUGUST 9-23, 2017:
PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN
The anointed prophetic Word is designed by God to get His people on track and correct them when they get off track. This is why many Christians reject it.
THEY REMAIN HATED TODAY
OT Prophets paid a great personal price to be the spokesmen for God. Without their work the forces of evil had no opposition and ran roughshod over the Lord’s people. One wonders why it even mattered in part because the great majority of “the Lord’s people” had no real care or concern for the Lord’s purposes anyway and always segued into their desired natural condition regardless of the effort to help them. They loved living in the flesh, so to speak. This in turn caused them to embrace demonic entities.
Along came the prophet, sent by God, to correct their behavior, in the attempt to save them from sin and eventual eternal death, because despite their gross sin the Lord still loved them and did His best to help.
In a fine how-do-you-do, the majority of these people thanked Him by attempting to stick their collective finger in God’s eye and essentially told Him to go to hell. Of course, that’s exactly where they ended up, somewhat ironically (Hey! This isn’t heaven!), but such spiritually obtuse nitwits had no conception of reality anymore due to the blindness that befell them as a result of their rejection of truth. Once they reached that sordid state of soul the odds of returning to God were slim and none.
I JUST DROPPED IN TO SEE WHAT CONDITION YOUR CONDITION WAS IN
The apostle Paul wrote about this very strange Israelite condition centuries later. He should know, of course, because prior to his miraculous new birth experience while still wrapped in gaudy religious robery and exulting in all his glorious Tribe of Benjamin and Pharisee status, he had the aforesaid condition, né disease, in one of its worst forms. Though an expert carrier, He had no understanding of the cause of the disease until the Lord opened his eyes. He explained it thus:
For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. [2Thessalonians 2:11-12]
Refusing to accept and believe New Covenant truth is thus defined as a form of wickedness.
Paul claimed the Lord graciously forgave him for his previous wicked religious behavior and hatred of real Christians because he had acted out of ignorance and in unbelief:
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief… [1Timothy 1:12-13]
In other words, he had been a complete doofus with regard to the truth and because of his high intensity personality he had acted out with extreme aggression on his great doofusness with great passion. Before salvation Paul had no love for the truth and was blind due to his rejection of it. He even ended up embracing bad spirits. By his own account he was formerly a:
3: Violent Aggressor
His passion for his religion was such that no man on earth would ever be able to get through to him. Like so many blind Christians today who insist on their own skewed version of truth, they refuse any and every corrective voice, and it is no wonder since they have great support groups of like-minded doofuses to back them up. This is especially true of the blind pulpiteers with no accountability to God since they are surrounded with great clouds of doofuss witnesses congregating before them and sycophant elder boards who often count success in terms of the offerings they siphon every Sunday.
“Who can argue against our great standing and success and massive numbers, especially with all this money coming in? Come on man, gimme a break! Is it not obvious that God has blessed us?”
THEN WHY DIDN’T GOD LIKEWISE BLESS THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS?
Some of these places have a level of salt and light but it’s not so tasty and not so bright.
Cranking it up to a higher spiritual degree demands a level of discipleship usually rejected so success must be measured in alternative ways. The reality in our modern times is that church and ministry organizations in general subsist not on the Spirit of the Lord and His anointed Word for sustenance but on monetary donations, and their skillful knack at gaining donations is actually what makes them successful. Few other organizations have the boldness to repeatedly collect donations all the time regardless of next to zero spiritual effectiveness.
And yet Paul, the former small-statured colossal doofus who became a powerful Spirit-filled apostle, preacher, teacher, and great witness giant of a man for the Lord had every opportunity granted by the Lord to accept donations for the spiritually abundant work he did, which quite possibly no real Christian has ever matched, but almost always refused to do. He even said it was his right. Why did he do this? Could it be the same reason the Lord never took anything at all for Himself except what was necessary to keep Him alive and strong for the pure purposes of ministry? He chose to hoe an extremely hard row on purpose and submitted Himself to a very difficult life due to the very difficult mission He had to complete.
THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST OF ALL TIME
No one ever lived a more difficult life with more bountiful spiritual success. The Lord Jesus is our one and only perfect example, and most donation-obsessed so-called giants (antigiants) of the faith look absolutely nothing like Him. This is not to question those who rightfully accept donations but there certainly seems to be a correlation between the most powerfully effective ministries and their very low donation acceptance level.
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” [Luke 14:27]
BUT I DIGRESS
I remember a preacher from my early days who insisted that whenever he preached he had to wear the three-piece dark suit he always wore that he called his “monkey suit.” I guess that is a form of carrying one’s cross. I also remember a good-natured friend at church who sometimes ministered in a pulpit. Remember, this was a few years back and among the usual conservative elements of that time. Smiling, he wondered about the possibility of “preaching in a flannel shirt.” Back then you never saw anyone preaching or even at Sunday church without wearing some form of higher conservative clothing, unless you were associated with the far out laid back churches on the west coast and a few others like them. I most often wore suits and ties, even in violent summer heat. I could certainly relate to the “monkey suit” idea. Nevertheless, though the Lord was always properly attired I don’t think He ever wore a necktie.
But He also never put on airs or dressed for the purposes of being legitimate in the eyes of those with the cash in order to appear worthy to receive donations like so many so-called ministers do. However, Joel Osteen made a good point once, when someone suggested he go casual and maybe preach in some bib overalls. He answered with laughter something to the effect, “Can you imagine someone who looks like me preaching in overalls?”
While I fully understand Joel’s sentiment and appreciate his humility, I think the apostle Paul probably looked more like the latter than the former, in that he probably dressed more like a farmer than a “latter day saint,” who apparently got their uniform ideas from a 1950s IBM dress code manual.
CLIMBING OUT OF THE PHARISEE PIT
I hope you can see where this is going. In its effort to look the part, much of Christianity has fallen into the same Pharisee pit that Paul was rescued from. When “official” Christianity does this regarding New Covenant truth, it bars the door to any truth they do not deem truth, which is exactly what the ancient Israelites did, which is exactly why the Lord was always raising up and sending out prophets to them, which is what He is always forced to do with successful though very wayward “churches,” and is why such establishments continue to fight the corrective voices of nondescript prophets sent their way.
At the judgment the Lord may tell such Chorazin and Capernaum churches that He kept sending people to correct them, and they may say “Who?” and He may point out the sendees and say “Them,” and the faux church leaders may say “Them!” But we…” And the Lord may say something like, “But you silenced them or sent them packing or rejected them because you had no respect for them because they didn’t look the part (sound familiar?) and because you had so much pride in yourselves and you didn’t understand that in rejecting them you were rejecting the One who sent them.” At that point the Faux Bros may still be mumbling to themselves, “Them? But they, but we, but…”
OH LORDY, WE SCREWED UP
Some formerly screwed up church people and preachers have actually expressed this sentiment and corrected their behavior. Like the apostle Paul they finally saw the error of their ways after getting knocked flat on their backs doing their usual Damascus road routine which involved judging everyone on the planet that didn’t look like them and act like them and believe like them. Humble pie has served them well. They have since decided to try to get their priorities straight but it remains a struggle for some. Many continue having a hard time being corrected and are trying to get it right but are besieged under the onslaught of rigid Religious Correctness. (Yes, due to my own past knowledge of and experience in this regard I was ahead of the curve on that one also.) From my book:
A VISIT TO GALATIA
In these verses, Paul gives us a succinct yet powerfully revealing picture of that which continues to keep much of Christianity in the dark ages. He makes it plain that spiritual goals cannot be reached by human effort. He gives us a concise rendering of the fact that the power of God is not contingent upon works but upon pure faith. Why then are we Christians stubbornly intent on doing all that is possible to organize God out of His own fellowship and out of the very teachings which we profess to uphold? It’s no wonder much of the world thinks Christians are goofy. It’s no wonder we’re always playing catch-up ball—original thought is not allowed. True freedom in the Lord is not allowed either, and we’re paying a huge price for it. It’s impossible for one to be free when he or she is dragging around a Religiously Correct ball and chain. 
We all know there are fake preachers thoroughly succumbed to religious deadness for the sake of wallets and respectability. Just turn on Christian television as a reminder. While there are some in that far away land of lights, cameras, and action who are for real, there are many who are as fake as a sold-out politician and are either seriously deceived (stupid) or thoroughly compromised. Bills must be paid, if you get my drift, and anti-Christian agendas must be attended to, because the people giving the money believe in and insist upon the false agendas. Does one really think one will get donations from (insert name of denomination here) unless one preaches the doctrines of (insert same name of denomination here)?
THE ATTACK OF THE CLONES
“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]
This is why so many churches are Goth dark even though the lights are on. Their lampstand has been removed because they left their first love. Many other churches are likewise dark though they never left their first love simply because they had no first love to begin with. What’s a Christian’s first love anyway? Is it not the following?
And He said to him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’” [Matthew 22:37-39]
Of course, Christians can’t obey the second without first obeying the first, which proves why many do not obey the first since it is obvious they refuse to obey the second, and we know they don’t obey the second in part because they reject the corrective voice of the Lord who is trying TO SAVE THEM FROM THEMSELVES. Again, it is why we have four billion Christian denominations at odds with each other that insist on majoring on man-made differences and distinctions instead of coming together in unity founded on the ONE and only ONE full curriculum of the Lord Jesus.
And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” [John 9:39-41]
From this clear statement it is obvious that the blind Christians who insist they see remain in their sins though they play the church game very well and are excellent at looking the part. Again, these people are mere actors. There is no THERE there. They have rejected the Lord’s New Covenant truth as did Paul in his previous incarnation and defend their faux constructs to their own detriment. Therefore they do not know they are blind and in sin and must fight against such assertions even if they attack the One they claim to serve. If He can’t get through to them (and it certainly isn’t for a lack of trying!), who can? How long will they persist in fighting against the Lord?
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Every real Christian must make a difficult but rewarding decision. He or she must leave home and all that is familiar in order to enter the kingdom of the Lord.
This world is not my home I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore 
And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. [Exodus 2:22 KJV]
Gershom was the firstborn son of Moses. Moses named his son after his current experience. He had arrived in a new land about a year before and was still trying to find his way. This was a man used to the high life and lofty standing of being the adopted grandson of the Egyptian Pharaoh. He went from prince to pauper in a fortnight and had to flee Egypt with his life on the line.
RUNNING ON EMPTY
Never having time to catch his breath, he headed east across the blistering sands of Sinai and kept traveling onward toward the rising sun in his own early version of the Texan’s runaway scrape. “What happened to me?” he thought. A fleeing fugitive, sottish with fear and disillusionment, on the run from Egyptian justice, he had killed a man in a fierce fury after seeing a Hebrew kinsman being beaten up without mercy.
One may wonder what God saw in an avenging man slayer but what He did see was a man who had great pride in his heritage. God saw him as a man who would go to bat for his people. But at that time, with sweat pouring and fright raging, Moses looked like anything but a hero.
THEN CAME MOSES
He came into the land of Midian. These were distant relatives of his ancestor Abraham. Abraham was the first stranger in a strange land:
“I am a stranger and a sojourner among you… [Genesis 23:4]
Girls were trying to water their flocks but the other shepherds kept running them off. In reading the historical text we find that this was an everyday occurrence. It always took these sisters much time to gain access to the well because of the others who were intent on hindering them. Sound familiar?
And suddenly Moses was fighting for justice again. This was a powerful man, a man who demanded respect. He saw to it that the girl’s flock got their water and one can picture the other shepherds looking on from a distance knowing that there was something about the new stranger, that one better not mess with him, that one could see by that look in his eye that he meant business.
The sisters went home and told their dad. Their dad jumped their case. “What is wrong with you! Go find him and bring him to dinner!” This began an entirely new chapter in the life of Moses. He married one of those sisters and when his son was born he still felt like a stranger in a strange land after a very strange turn of events. But regardless of the desert remoteness, his home a million miles away, and thoughts of palace living gone forever, the blessings kept flowing. The Lord had a plan.
Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God… [Exodus 2:23] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 This World Is Not My Home © 1952 by Albert E. Brumley, Acclaim Music
As of today, Real Christianity has completed a full six years and begins year number seven. My thanks and sincere appreciation goes out to all of you for your gracious and faithful support.
It means a lot. I remember well when I was a rookie Christian brimming over with the Spirit of the Lord and wanting to give everything I had. I was in the process of devouring the Word of God. I could not get enough. I was breezing through the Bible and was forever continually amazed. I distinctly recall the day when I read 1Corinthians 14:1 for the first time:
“Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
The apostle Paul made it very clear in this passage that there was something very special about the prophetic gift. I knew next to nothing at the time but was learning fast. I really did not understand the full impact of the request I was about to make, but my brother Paul appeared to be talking directly to me. I took his advice personally. I figured that if the prophetic gift had the word “especially” attached to it then I had better seek it. It seemed that Paul was saying it was needed the most. I had some understanding of the gifts at that time since I read 1Corinthians 12 before I got to 14, and I had also seen the gifts in action.
But again, when I saw 14:1 I went directly to the Lord in prayer and told Him that if the prophetic gift was what He wanted me to have and it was needed the most then I wanted it. I was seeing the bigger picture. I wanted to be of greater service.
“For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.” [1Corinthians 14:2-3]
After about a year I was preaching in a pulpit. I did most of my preaching outside the church building, however. Yet, in my estimation at the time, I wasn’t really preaching out there, and it was not preaching in the conventional sense. Instead, it was what I may term anointed witnessing. And Boy Howdy, I was witnessing to everyone. It was not at all unlikely for me to go 45 minutes at a time. I had so much to give and the Lord just kept on anointing me to keep going. Those poor people! I know many appreciated it but I also found out early on that many did not. I started getting called “Reverend” and “Little Jesus” and other names I forget but you get the gist. I caught some flack but not all that much. Most of the flak came from a few.
What I discovered was that the majority of the people were very open and respectful. The ones who caused me the greatest grief were those in closer proximity, if you get my drift. It seems the people who are connected relationally understand without really knowing why that the relational connection put an ongoing pressure on them to consider the truth, whereas people I didn’t know could simply walk away and would likely never see me again. It is easier to be polite that way. The Lord summed it up as thus:
“A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” [Mark 6:4]
Most Christians never make the connection that one’s “own household” is often one’s own church. This is in part why church as we know it doesn’t work past a certain point. Whoever wants to get in deep with the Lord and go all out like every real disciple should finds out that after about two years or so he or she will come to a previously unseen spiritual fork in the road. One will either continue to move on with the Lord and stay strong and continue developing or one will succumb to church life.
Since you just read something considered by some to be quite pejorative, a caveat is called for: Some Christians outside of the preaching profession are meant to serve long term in local churches. Therefore, I am not saying that one cannot find their ministry and exercise their calling within a local, traditional body. The problem is that most can’t. And the problem there is that there are only a few places where one can. So even if one wants to serve there is most often no place in which to serve except on a very limited basis.
But the Lord did not call us to limited service. He demands our entire heart, our entire life, and our entire everything. If a Christian holds back he or she is limiting God and can never become a fully developed and mature disciple.
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]
This is why He used a different method from what most Christians are used to. He had to create a venue in which every single one of His children could minister in exactly the way He called them to minister. This is also why He created diverse spiritual giftings. Again, in reading 1Corinthians 12 and 14 we see many of these giftings and also several different places of service. However, there is no room whatsoever for the vast majority of these giftings and places of service in traditional local assemblies.
“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.” [Luke 5:37-38]
And there it is. That’s the key. The key word is FRESH. An old wineskin might be good for something but it is never good for new wine.
In my six years here on WordPress I have met a great many people doing exactly what we were all called to do—that being whatever the Lord has placed on our hearts. It is limited to putting digital words on a screen but is unlimited regarding what those words are. The Lord sees it all and will judge it accordingly. We should all be seeking His approval but that can only come through faithful obedience. The great thing about venues such as this is one can preach or teach or write or witness to their heart’s content without any limitations save for those coming from the Lord.
The greater impact is that internet communities are formed. Friends are made. Brothers and sisters come together. Truth is disseminated. There is no one telling you that you must comply with some traditional outlook or force you to believe a certain way if it conflicts with what God says. If we make mistakes the Lord is forgiving. Children make mistakes. Do we hold it against a child for not knowing any better? Neither does the Lord. He loves us no matter what we do. But if we are fully dedicated we will learn. We will grow in wisdom. We will come upon truths we never saw before. The Lord can open our eyes.
My hope for each one of you is to continue growing ever-closer to the Lord Jesus and being even more effective for Him and one another. We know what happens when we achieve it: We help each other to change for the better—we all minister to one another. This is the essence of true koinonia. The Great Awakening is being driven by all those who are fully committed, insist on appropriating the full spiritual liberty the Lord died to give us, strive to fulfill their callings, and never look back.
“What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets…” [1Corinthians 14:26-32] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Every one of you reading this is the result of a single WINNING race contestant who let nothing stop him from achieving his one and only goal: Being first to reach the egg!
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1Corinthians 9:24]
In traditional churches this is represented as winning the contest to become the one who controls everything at the very top—becoming the one who commands the bridge and inhabits the one and only pulpit, while everyone else sits back in silence giving full credit and obedience to the worthy one who won the summit.
This, of course, is a complete reversal of that which the Lord Jesus created. Rather than all the spoils going to a single man at the top of the mountain, whether it is a small mountain with a dozen or a massive Everest with tens of thousands over which the single winning contestant rules, the Lord has instead created a process in which every single one of His children can succeed and reach their full potential as a fully developed disciple instead of a mere silent spectator.
We can call these spectator churches. Only one person is allowed to speak. However, I would like to bring your attention to a much different paradigm straight out the Gospels:
Have you ever noticed just how many regular everyday people actually spoke to the Lord? It can easily be argued that the Lord allowed such freedom of speech and the right to question only for the reason of creating a spiritual opportunity for growth and teaching. Really. Go read the gospels and see if this is not true. There was always someone somewhere coming up to Him and asking for His help or asking a question, even His enemies. He never denied them. He always allowed them to approach Him and speak up.
NEWS FLASH: THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN MOST CHURCHES.
You are a non-entity. Your presence rarely matters. The service would be the same whether you were there or not. You will be the same whether being there or not. You spend your time tucked away on a bench and are refused any participation except for group-oriented pre-planned participation. Your heart remains the same. It has no outlet.
During the Lord’s ministry, though, you could actually go talk to Him. Your freedom of speech would be restored. He would treat you with respect and honor your input. And from that YOU WOULD GROW AND DEVELOP.
This is His intention. There is no possible way you would ever make it to the egg otherwise and the egg would remain unfertilized and all the greatness the Lord put within you would be wasted and come to nothing simply because you were never allowed to speak up and be who the Lord created you to be.
This is why so many churches are so boring. Ninety-nine percent of all God’s resources (YOU!) are not being utilized. God has created a great world of incredible diversity and action but the faux lords of Christianity are determined to tamp everything down, organize creativity out of existence, and form a strictly controlled unit of virtual automatons who merely parrot what they are told and exist zombie-like in a vast sea of silence occupying mere pews or folding chairs. This is NOT the picture of lively anointed believers dedicated to excellence. This misuse and non-use of God’s greatest resources must stop.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. [Romans 12:1-8] 
We must each continue to strive to achieve our ministry callings. There is an egg somewhere depending on you to get there.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
When I was in college many moons ago I learned about prerequisite courses. I could not take a specific class, for example, if I did not take another class first.
IN THE BEGINNING
The prerequisite courses were generally introductory 101s and oftentimes a repetition of basic high school courses. Much of the first two years of college contains classes like this. On the surface it appears to be a good idea in order to fill in any education gaps using a college level standardized form and facilitate a greater understanding of the foundational stuff required for the higher learning of junior and senior years.
On the other hand it is an opportunity to force students to extend their university years and bring more income into the institution. One might reject that notion, but colleges and universities exist to make money. Even public colleges supported by government subsidies are in it for a buck. Someone is making money somewhere, and a lot of it, or such institutions would largely not exist. If anyone thinks otherwise, one needs to check their naiveté filter.
Idealism runs high in the college level age group and can easily be taken advantage of. Parents face tremendous societal pressure to enroll their children in so-called institutions of higher learning even though many know such places are highly compromised with alternative education agendas and often deliver much less than advertised and much more that is never advertised.
This brings me to two points:
(1) Christians are generally uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings.
(2) Christians face tremendous societal pressure to become members of “churches.”
These two are symbiotically connected. It brings me to two further points which explain the preceding points:
(1) Many “churches” generally keep people uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings through alternative education agendas.
(2) Most “churches” strongly pressure people to attend all services and buy into everything being taught in order to be a member in good standing.
This process creates a low-denominational heavy traffic roundabout difficult to disengage from and pretty much explains perfectly why so many Christians continue to: (1) Work very hard doing what they’re told by religious authorities, because they want to do the right thing, and (2) No matter how hard they work at attending “church” and go through all the prescribed motions, they get out on the other side one day in the distant future still generally uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings. What did they actually achieve?
It is the same reason why so many hundreds of thousands of college graduates are educated in specific areas but generally brain dead regarding subjects they should be extremely proficient at, and why their overall knowledge base is severely lacking on even the most rudimentary levels. When such young, bright idealistic though naïve students finish an extensive college academic program only to be dumb and dumber in much of the knowledge that matters most but highly skilled in subjective social indoctrination that is most often anti-Christian, anti-freedom and liberty, and pro-status quo in nature, it portends that a deceptive alternative agenda is in the works.
THE “BUSY CYCLE” ENFORCED BY SOCIETAL PRESSURE
Why do millions of people continue to support such an academic system?
Why do millions of Christians continue to support such systematic “churches?”
The answer to both questions are the same: Societal Pressure.
The only way to gain the necessary knowledge to exit the busy cycle is to leave the traffic circle. Why? Because the busy cycle keeps people from gaining the necessary information to escape it. Therefore, people have been conned to support the very thing that is keeping them from gaining the answer to get off the merry-go-round.
THE LORD’S PREFERRED DISCIPLES
This is why the Lord Jesus did not choose religious academics to begin His movement. He chose no clergymen or priests or reverends or rabbis or scribes or tenured professors or administrators or sold-out money-loving status quo addicts or the socially ascendant. Really. He never chose any of those kinds of people. He obviously knew such people were agenda-driven, that their agendas would clash with His purpose, that they possessed highly inflated self worth, that they would insist on attempting to build their own kingdoms within His, based on their limited and subjective knowledge, and that they would fight Him at some point or every point along the way. What He prefers are raw recruits willing to leave all and start over with total trust in Him as their only Shepherd and Teacher.
His discipleship course requires that everyone start at the beginning. He demands that His prerequisites be honored. He commands a born again experience.
The apostle Paul said this:
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” [1Corinthians 1:26-31]
Thus, the Lord—a hard working manly Carpenter with a powerful though gracious bearing—preferred choosing regular down-to-earth people like Himself. He chose fishermen and blue collar workers. He chose those with searching, honest hearts who never fully engaged in what they deemed compromised programs. He also chose those often despised by society such as tax collectors. He even associated with great sinners. Any of these would have been the kiss of death for any “acceptable” ministry, and it proves that His ministry was the opposite of those who always respond to societal pressure and keep the wheel to nowhere turning.
He usually went outside the usual and found His disciples down by the seaside and along the roads in the small out-of-the-way places and among the societal rejects and so-called misfits. He never judged by the outer appearance but looked on a person’s heart.
DEFINING A NEW COVENANT CONGREGATION
As far as “church” is concerned, real disciples could congregate anywhere, with a building or not with a building, under a tree or in a boat, or even by the thousands on a gently sloping hillside. Finding a place to meet was never a problem.
Also, regarding how many people must be gathered to constitute an actual “church,” the Lord made this most profound statement:
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” [Matthew 18:20]
This means that an authentic, genuine Christian meeting can be held virtually anywhere on the planet with as few as two people, and if the two are gathered together in His name He will support it. Not only that, He will attend it!
I know this may be a very hard concept to grasp due to so much anti-New Covenant Christian indoctrination, but real Christianity is actually quite simple and open in its approach and allows for a tremendous amount of learning and knowledge in both the natural and spiritual fields.
There are certainly vital prerequisites, however, though these prerequisites commanded by the Lord Jesus have been rejected for one illegitimate reason or another, usually pride, by many Christians. They are designed to assist us in defeating the oppressive power of sin, break the spell of societal pressure, provide an exit from a fruitless, circular religious lifestyle, gain the powerful anointing and strength needed for our work, and open a giant secret spiritual entrance door into His kingdom:
Peter said to them,
“And each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
“And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:38-39] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Some church leaders speak of “covenant,” but their actions toward those they are supposedly in covenant with often show they are completely ignorant of its true meaning.”
In Part 1, we discussed the Revelation of Real Relationship. In Part 2, we discussed the ongoing Restoration. In Part 3, we discussed the Revolution in American Christianity coming forth in these early days of the Great Awakening.
In this Part 4 conclusion, we continue the narrative from my book Real Christianity by discussing the ramifications of reform, the counter fight against it, and Redemption.
I encourage everyone to read this entire series. In contains both a guide for current reform and the prior instructional evidence for successful reformation to date.
We are all growing ever-more hungry for spiritual reality in our Christian effort and experience, especially in the realm of community and our relations with one another. The Good News is that much progress has taken place and continues. Your work matters and is having an effect. The Lord Jesus is winning.
Dual-natured Christianity added a whole new dimension to spiritual battle. To show how bewitching this evil spirit can be, many of those who dissented and began great movements away from centralized captivity and toward freedom often built their own version of the way things ought to be and guarded it like a junkyard dog.
As an illustration, imagine draining the water out of one massive dammed-up lake into several smaller dammed-up lakes. Then, drain those lakes by building more dammed-up reservoirs. Eventually, one would arrive at thousands upon thousands of small, dammed-up bodies of water. The lesson here is that Jesus is not interested so much in man-made lakes as He is in naturally flowing rivers and streams.
Is it really all that difficult, therefore, to see why Christianity is much less than what it should be? If some pastors treated their family in the indifferent manner they do their flock, they would probably no longer have a family.
Why such a harsh statement? Congregation turnover, for one reason. It is something that completely escapes our notice the more populous the church happens to be. There are exceptions to every rule, yet the larger the church, the greater the turnover. There are obviously demographics at work in all churches, meaning that a percentage of the congregation will be fluid. Yet, some churches have almost complete housecleaning every five to ten years. Church leadership thinks this is due to people either moving on into ministry, backsliding into oblivion, or refusing to commit to their program, meaning that any fault, in their view, lies largely with the congregants.
Some church leaders speak of “covenant,” but their actions toward those they are supposedly in covenant with often show they are completely ignorant of its true meaning. God has put up with manifest garbage from His own people throughout history, yet He continues to hold to the terms of His covenant with Abraham because it is an everlasting covenant. From the perspective of Christian leaders immersed in centralized authority, a covenant of that sort is just plain silly and is only referred to in the abstract. They know they cannot maintain control according to the terms of such an agreement and therefore reject it outright. Their public discourse leads one to believe that they support the Abrahamic covenant unequivocally, but this is not really the case. If it were, they wouldn’t be fighting to maintain control over their people or vying to gain even greater dominion by seeking more converts over which they might rule.
If God’s people are to grow, they must be free. By God’s grace, some manage to do this within the system. For others, the only real freedom and maturity they acquire arrives after they exit, stage right.
TIME TO MOSEY
Actually, a great exodus began about thirty to forty years ago. Today, the fruit of this search for freedom within Christendom exists virtually everywhere. In large metropolitan areas, in small towns, in suburbia—thousands of non-denominational fellowships have sprung up with no affiliation with any central authority. This means there are no bureaucrats, no mission boards, no paid resident clergy, and no faceless masses yearning for freedom and real growth in the Lord. Right? Well, we only wish.
We have, in this latest movement, carried less of Egypt with us than in the past, but still too much to promote true spiritual freedom. If anything, we are more fractured than before. Instead of having one, or a few centers of religious authority, we now have scads of mini-kingdoms and assorted loose groupings based on former denominational ties. Of course, the majors came through it all basically intact, although many had to compromise their doctrines, liturgies, and stands on issues in order to keep their membership rolls at an operational level.
So, even though progress is being made, we’ve still not come up with the fortitude to rid ourselves of the clutches of carnality, worldliness, and pride. Christendom must continue, therefore, through the blistering sands of the Sinai on its long and winding trek to the promised land, in order to eventually eliminate those who are hell-bent on making and maintaining golden calves. 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“In the beginning, spiritual relationship came naturally. Nobody had to come up with a program to promote relationship between members…”
In Part 1, we discussed the Revelation of Real Relationship. In Part 2, we continue the narrative from my book Real Christianity by discussing the Restoration:
In the beginning, spiritual relationship came naturally. Nobody had to come up with a program to promote relationship between members. The early believers understood that the relational purity they each came to possess upon their new-birth experience was instantaneous. For example, when a baby is born, that child becomes an immediate member of its family. The baby’s family relationships result from the birth, not from trying to create them at a future date. It is the same in the Church. Relationship is a byproduct of joining the community.
It doesn’t exist properly in many churches that have attempted to establish it, however, and this denotes a problem. It could be a problem of immaturity and lack of proper spiritual insight, or it could indicate a problem of resistance against God. Real Christianity has real relationship. Unreal Christianity has little bona fide spiritual relationship between members but only a substitute or inferior form thereof. Such unreal relationship creates no unity or intimacy among members. Thus, the quiet discord that exists beneath the surface in most churches is due to neglect or rejection of that which brings unity. When individual members of the same church never establish relationship, spiritual unity is victimized, and true fellowship is not possible.
It’s jarring to think that what the early church once was is what we in the present are trying to become. Sadly, there was a point in history when the early community of saints which brought light to millions began to have less effect on a dark world. They were faced with mass conversions to a state religion which was Christian in name only and, thus, were increasingly perceived as heretics by the unreal brethren and as world aliens to everyone else. The real believers had become the spat upon and rejected scum of the earth. Wherever they went, they were truly strangers in a strange land.
The Qahal  of the latter portion of the church age met a parallel historical point, though in reverse, a few centuries ago. By the early 1900s, restoration reached a new level and has been steadily increasing since. We are now at another fork in the road. One way leads toward our destiny; the other way embarks on yet another endless circle. This juncture marks the point of no return for those who decline to follow the Lord into the next and possibly final transition. The very narrow way which the Church is pressing through at this writing is forcing her to abandon excess weight and baggage, as well as those elements which might have assisted her in the past but are now only slowing her down. One of these elements is class division. It must be left on the entry side of the eye of this present needle. 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Qahal is the Hebrew equivalent for “Church,” and is the word most likely used by Jesus.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“There is a reason people have problems in their attempt to minister together. The chief obstacle which has been in the way for the greater portion of the church age is still in the way…”
I have written extensively on this subject. My book, Real Christianity, delves deeply into the issue. I have taught many Bible Studies on the topic.
Though the following excerpt from the book is relatively brief, it presents the historical and Biblical essence of Real Relationship and helps every believer to discover how it positively affects his or her Christian experience and discipleship.
Speaking of which, I highly recommend buying my book. It has received excellent reviews. Its pages are loaded with truth that reveals this application of the Lord’s teachings, the Divide and Conquer tactic against it, and so many other methods of the enemy that strive to limit and even stop the progress of the Lord’s real Community by eliminating real spiritual relationship, both with the Lord and with one another.
Thank you and be blessed:
There is a reason people have problems in their attempt to minister together. The chief obstacle which has been in the way for the greater portion of the church age is still in the way. We exist in the midst of a major revelation, which Christendom has repeatedly failed to apply properly. This attests to its freshness. That it had to come by revelation shows the depths of our collective naiveté. Of course, many in the pew saw the need for it long before the pulpiteers, but were powerless, in their estimation, to do anything significant about establishing it since it seemed to be in opposition to the status quo. Indeed, the ruling clergy is threatened by it and has therefore tried to water it down or channel it in a “safe” direction. But such puny attempts by even punier autocrats will never succeed against the will of God.
What is this major revelation? Put simply, it is real relationship. Its fundamental hindrance is the clergy-laity division which was firmly established by the fourth century A.D. Remember, the Church, or Qahal,  which Jesus initiated was a community—the community of called-out ones. In the early days, there were no class distinctions or divisions—everyone participated in a meaningful, fulfilling way. At present, though we might try, we will never arrive at real relationship church-wide, until we do away with the clergy-laity split. 
Many churches have attempted to incorporate spiritual relationship between members into their objectives, and most of them think they have succeeded. This reveals at least a small amount of religious pride which must be eliminated as well. The clergy can attach any label it desires to a thing, but labeling is often as far as it gets. Those who have made great starts in the heat of great opposition, on the other hand, should be commended for their stand and supported for stepping out. In takes more time than we think, however, before real relationship is established within a group, and those who have begun the process must press on. When we at last lay to rest the evil root which causes division in the Church, we will have:
1. True recognition of each and every one of God’s people
2. A revelation of the inestimable worth of each member of the congregation
3. The utilization of this worth toward the building of real community
4. The functioning of every person in the Church according to his God-ordained purpose within his destined ministerial calling
5. The maturing of the Church into an organic ministering fellowship (the body of Messiah) with any number of horizontal relationships between members, yet only one direct vertical relationship—that between each member and the Lord Jesus 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Qahal is the Hebrew equivalent for “Church,” and is the word most likely used by Jesus.
 The word “Laity” originates from the New Testament Greek word laos (lah-’os). It is defined as a people group, whether socio-political, socio-religious, or cultural-ethnic. It generally refers to the “common people,” as a crowd, a populace, or a nation. It is also used as the people of God. When used in the latter sense, it means all of the people collectively. It is easy to see how the meaning of this word was corrupted when class division entered Christianity.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I wrote the following response yesterday in answer to a loyal reader’s comment:
One should notice that the great majority of “church leaders” have played little role in the presidential election. The news that most of these deciding Christian voters went off the reservation in their support for the Trump candidacy is coming forth. It is another sign that Christians have not only seen through the MSM fakery and the Washington DC corruption wheel to nowhere, but are also starting to see the irrelevance of their own churches and that church leadership in general would rather everyone sit down and be quiet rather than engage in their ministries, answer their callings, and honor the Lord Jesus.
We have been hearing for quite a while about the 1% or the actual .1% that controls everything and gains all the goodies, but a few more Christians are finally starting to see the 1% as their own irrelevant church leadership.
Though it is great that Donald Trump has so many Christian advisors, it is not so great that many of them are church and ministry “leaders” with their own vested interests. The ones who make the real difference are the forgotten, neglected, and largely rejected 99%.
When the Lord Jesus came on the scene, He let everyone know that He was about to free the sheep from their religious enclosures and allow them to run free in great fields of rich green grass and clear running waters!
WHEN HE IS IN CONTROL THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT ALWAYS HAPPENS FOR HIS PEOPLE.
Otherwise, it’s the spiritual equivalent of sardines in a can and an endless yearning for what could be.
I started writing posts about the 2016 Presidential Election well over a year ago. Then I began writing posts in October about the election in an ongoing series that were purposely parabolic in nature. For reference, see the column at left. I like writing in this manner for several reasons. First, the articles generally do not become dated. Second, they are designed to make us think and use our own spiritual cognitive abilities and critical thinking skills to arrive at the meaning, which can be multi-faceted. Third, the stated truths expose invisible spiritual enemies.
The truth I want to reveal in this post is something I have been writing and teaching about for almost three decades. The Lord taught on this subject often. He revealed it’s truth in any number of parables and teaching stories. But due to the nature of an overpowering deception brought on by a false ministry model that almost all Christians are familiar with and comfortable within, as if it was the only model, the truth the Lord wants to reveal goes right over the heads of most believers.
Rather than go into yet another detailed study of the subject, let me put it this way:
If every single real Christian went to work at becoming what the Lord created him or her to be and began doing what the Lord created him or her to do instead of wasting away doing so much less, all of us together could turn this entire world upside down just like our powerful spiritual forebears did so long ago.
The reality is that only a few are answering their callings and most of those teach everybody else that they have no other calling than supporting them. Thus, Christians in general have traded who they really are in the Lord for who someone other than the Lord wants them to be.
This means that the great majority of Christians, in America especially, are NOT in the spiritual work force and are NOT on the spiritual battlefield. For example, instead of sending nine men out to the field during a baseball game we are sending one man out. That’s fine if the enemy also sends out one but the enemy doesn’t do that. He sends out his entire horde. In addition, the one who is sent out usually does very little effectively against the enemy and for the Lord because he or she has a different agenda to fulfill.
Regardless of what anyone may think about the election or about the winning candidate’s character, the fact of the matter is that Donald Trump showed us how it’s done. He had the whole deck stacked against him and began taking powerful shots from the very beginning, not only from political enemies but from his own party. He won anyway.
The Lord is trying to show us something here. He is telling us that EACH of us matter and that EACH of us must go to work! But if you listen to the Christian professionals they’ll tell you to sit down and hush and work only for them. Thank the Lord there is still enough people in this country with an independent American backbone. That backbone has now revealed itself.
I think of so many of you who have dedicated yourselves to serving the Lord through whatever means you can, especially to all these blogs we are all familiar with. They might not look like all that much if only a few are engaged, but there are probably a hundred thousand Christian blogs. We now are doing independent movies and music. The technology is here that anyone, on their own if need be, can find any platform, go right to work, and eventually reach thousands of people with the Gospel.
All this while most Christians in America are still taught to live in the far distant past when none of these technological ministry avenues were available. Instead of the 1% claiming all the ministry and shutting almost everyone else down, wouldn’t it be better if every Christian was in some form of real ministry?
American Christians must STOP being mere spectators. We must all answer the call.
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too… and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” [Acts 17:6-7 NKJ]
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord Jesus commanded us to be excellent disciples. We must be fully trained. The majority of Christians refuse this command. Most Christians are willfully immature.
“A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” [Luke 6:40]
IGNORANCE IS BLINDNESS
Some people have very low IQs. Their intelligence level is not their fault. There are low IQ people in the world who have achieved masterfully. I believe the Lord is proud of them. I believe the Lord is proud of anyone who overcomes against great odds to achieve great things. He taught many times in His parables on this theme. He implied clearly that it is never about what a person may start out with but what a person achieves even though the odds are stacked against success.
Most such people do not achieve, of course, which only makes those who do stand out all the more in showing what is actually possible.
Some people start well but are shut down repeatedly by circumstances not under their control. But they refuse to stay shut down. They get back up, are knocked down, get back up, then something comes against them from out in left field and knocks them down again. They think a minute, get their bearings, refuse to be defeated, and get right back up. They start to figure out that as long as they get back up and go at it again they have a chance. But they also start to see that every time they get back up after the enemy tries to destroy them that the enemy has less power.
It is the same with disciples of the Lord Jesus. These are the real Christians. They take the Lord’s commands and instructions seriously. They are thanked for their great desire to do right by God by being attacked all the more. And for those who know and have been through it, the very worst attacks are those by friends.
Why do some Christians act like first-class asses? Why are some Christians filled with so much hate? There are reasons, you know. Here’s one of them:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? [Matthew 23:29-33]
This exact dynamic has been playing out for a very long time among Christian adherents though most of it has gone unacknowledged or is completely unseen. It is unseen due to ignorance. Many Christians are ignorant because they refuse to obey the Lord and do their proper work. When Christians refuse to be real disciples they become ignorant of spiritual things. This ignorance creates a wall. The wall shields them from the truth. They can’t see it. They become blind to truth. Then they act out on what they know, which is not much, and attempt to defend their place of ignorance and laziness, which is not defendable. Then they resort to anger and hate to defend themselves. Thus they become not only all the more stupid but all the more close-minded and hateful.
We know what happens with human inbreeding. We know that inbreeding causes problems and if it is not stopped the problems grow worse over time. The people thereof become more prone to mutations and disease. Inbreeding is not healthy.
The same thing happens with Christian denominations and churches. If there is no free flow of the Holy Spirit, no new ideas, knowledge, or new applications, no cross-pollination, and especially no emphasis on obeying and following the Lord and walking in real discipleship, the people thereof will grow spiritually stupid and ignorant of the Word of God. They become stagnant. They become inbred. They see their little place as the entire world. They see everyone else as inferior. This inbred condition causes a distrust and hatred of all things and all people unlike themselves. There is only one solution for this terrible condition and dreaded disease:
READ THE WORD OF GOD. STUDY INTENTLY THE PURE TEACHINGS OF THE LORD JESUS. DO THIS ON YOUR OWN. LET IT BE STRICTLY BETWEEN YOU AND THE LORD JESUS.
Anyone who refuses to read the Word of God is deceived. Let me repeat: ANYONE WHO REFUSES TO READ THE WORD OF GOD IS DECEIVED. PERIOD.
They are spiritually blind. It is not possible to see without the one who is able to heal blind eyes and grant sight. It is especially problematic when Christians are thus blind. It is most problematic when Christian leaders are blind. Sadly, there’s a bunch of them. Christian Pharisees are everywhere, hidden in plain sight.
And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? [Luke 6:39] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I remember in my late teens I became a big fan of Walt Whitman, the 19th century poet. The man pretty much invented what became known as “free verse.” He called his poems songs. Some were very long, as if he were writing poems as prose. I am currently writing from memory, as something is telling me not to spoil it by looking up the actual poems, etc, and to simply write what I recall. Maybe it will give this post a closer and more intimate feel.
But there was a poem he wrote called something like When I Heard the Learned Astronomer. Walt Whitman was at a lecture. Remember, this was about 150 years ago. The gist of the poem was about this astute scientist droning on about the intricacies of the Universe and his calculations and a bunch of intellectual claptrap, while Whitman finally had enough and was thinking, “Man, how can you take all the beauty and wonder of the crystal clear night skies, and the bright stars, and planets, and the moon…
There is a big and bright full moon hanging in the sky as I write this, and it defies intellectual introspection, and I think the Creator wants us to just appreciate it, and wonder, and not have our simple minds all clouded over and crammed with relatively useless mathematical garbage about the moon, and simply appreciate the celestial glory…
This is what Whitman ended up saying in that particular poem he wrote so long ago. Again, I haven’t read it in what must be decades, but I saw the full moon tonight. I went outside for a while a few minutes ago and was bathed in its light. And I saw the clear sky, and the stars. And I thought about what Whitman was trying to say…
We do the same things as Christians in preaching or teaching the Lord’s Gospel, or whatever it is that we do. We have a tendency, and I am certainly guilty, of focusing on the intellectual, and the spiritual math, and the exact word studies. Now, all of this is quite necessary and the Lord blessed me with the anointing to do this many moons ago, and I do it, and I love it. But I am trying to reach a balance with this post…
You see, spiritual things often cannot be diagrammed and spelled out and made sense of, and are often the epitome of the counterintuitive. This is especially true of spiritual warfare and attacks which many times come by complete surprise and out of the blue. Would that we could set up war plans like military planners and know our enemy to the point that we know what’s coming, but this is rarely the case. Spiritual attacks usually come out of nowhere and the only real defense is staying as close as possible to the Lord so we will at least be strong enough to take the hit.
The point here is that sometimes the devil’s a snake. At other times he smells blood like a shark and rushes in for the kill. Often, after having to undergo this kind of stuff, it makes you think, “What the hell?” Then we remember the Lord, and his original twelve, and all the other disciples from that time, and the early community of the Lord in Jerusalem and throughout an evil world and the undeserved pain they all had to suffer. And we can relate. We’re therefore fortunate to be able to relate.
[Incidentally, the Last Days plan is beginning to accelerate, and a relatively quick rise of great hatred for real Christians in America is starting. Be prepared. As I wrote in Real Christianity twenty years ago, bloody persecution is coming to this country. Most did not believe it then. Most Christians are still so out of touch they still don’t believe it, or perceive it. But again, be prepared.]
As James wrote (pretty sure it was James, or John—remember, I’m not doing my usual checking and ultra-editing and whatnot, I’m just writing my thoughts as they occur), he wrote something about real Christians getting blamed for things they are not guilty of, and suffering undeservedly, and saying it is a good thing. He taught that it was spiritually good for us to get slammed for no good reason, but only because a devil got stirred up and saw an opening and attacked. In other words, the very essence of persecution is being hated without a cause.
The Lord said this about Himself. He taught it, that it was something His disciples would go through. He also taught that there would be times when such slamming happens when no one who should will back you, or come to your rescue, or fight back for you on your behalf, but just kind of stay uninvolved. I know there are some of you reading this who can relate. Sometimes the spiritual attack is so severe and so unwarranted our brothers and sisters and friends keep their distance. Again, it happened to the Lord many times. In His greatest time of need His friends were nowhere to be found. Most people had decided He was guilty and was merely getting what He deserved.
One time, after a particular teaching, many of His followers walked out on Him, and He said to those who remained, “Will you leave Me too?”
Imagine that. This is God we’re talking about. Again, I know some of you reading this can relate. You know what it’s like to be left on your own, wounded, to fend for yourself. Of course, we’re not alone. We’re never alone. The Lord is there, especially in those kinds of times. But it’s still hard. It’s the kind of thing that drives one to the ground.
I remember a former pastor, long ago, preaching about this. He was talking about a pain so great but you can’t confront anybody. You can’t fight back. The devil is pouring it on. He was talking about falling to the floor in prayer in his bedroom, and managing to crawl into the closet, and crawling way back there in the back, all the way back to the hunting boots, and crying out to God.
It happens. It’s the nature of spiritual battle. But joy comes in the morning. Or maybe a few days later. Or something. But if we handle it right the Lord always works it out. It makes no sense in the natural, just like some egghead drawing circles and mathematical formulas on a chalkboard does absolutely no justice to the wonders of the night sky.
By the way, though the great masses of traditional Christianity have already celebrated their “Easter” almost a month ago, we are presently on the eve of Passover. We crossed over the Jordan River on Monday. It is also Nisan 14, the time on the Lord’s calendar of His passion—His undeserved suffering—and His crucifixion. He paid the price. He never retaliated. He let them slam Him.
And this year He is once again doing it alone, since, as I said, the vast majority of Christians jumped the gun last month because they’re following a meaningless Gregorian calendar invented by an egghead theologian who ironically invented an anti-celestial calendar that has no bearing on what’s going on in the sky or the Spirit.
The Lord’s undeserved suffering puts things in proper spiritual perspective. Everything He did He did for our benefit, even for the times when we must share in His suffering with suffering of our own. Such times are great opportunities for gaining spiritual ground and reaping rewards. His own death proves this. There could be no glorious resurrection otherwise.
And because He rose again to new life so will you, and so will I, and so will we all—those of us who count ourselves as His real disciples and live to tell about it, even if we die in the process.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
One of the great things about the Lord Jesus, found in no other, is His ability to simultaneously reveal truth and expose deception. He shines an incredibly BRIGHT, quasar-pulsing LIGHT on the false construct of fallen, sinful mankind upon this planet—in New Testament terms, the world—and destroys the con, the fraud, the sham, and the ruse.
This is why the forces of darkness hate Him so much. They can’t hide. They successfully conceal themselves and their underground, off-the-radar, highly deceptive machinations from everybody else, but not from Him.
This is especially true for religious fraudsters, and most especially true for unreal Christians and fake Christian “leaders,” probably the most self-deceived people on the planet. They act like they know it all but regarding the Lord’s real curriculum and compared to the Acts model, most don’t know squat. Their religious pride and smugness is off the charts.
The Lord’s demand for honesty is also why the Lord Jesus will never allow His own children—real Christians—to construct false images about themselves or be mere posers, as are so many unreal Christians, who must do such to pass themselves off as authentic.
Such faux bros are not authentic but only pretend to be. It is why they do not like close inspection. They are very easily offended by the Lord’s pure light and are greatly convicted by the pure Word of God. They much prefer hobnobbing with other shallow-minded, largely Biblically illiterate (by choice), and appearance-oriented folk due to the obvious comfort factor. Most churches are composed of such pretenders and posers—those who prefer to hide—and is why such places always run off the bright lights who innocently expose their silly shenanigans.
THE PLAGUE OF PHARISEES
Of course, the first-century Pharisees were the masters of the false image medium, and their present-day descendants have maintained this mastery, successfully taking full advantage of modern media. The original Pharisees, however, were not Biblically illiterate, but the very opposite. Neither were they shallow-minded. It is curious then, that they missed the mark so badly. And that’s how the Word of God defines sin, as “missing the mark.”
The Pharisees misfired so badly they not only missed the broad side of every barn known to mankind, but entire galaxies. And yet they considered themselves, among themselves (there was little or no dissenting opinion within their own group regarding their superiority and high standing), as brilliant and as close to God as is humanly possible. (Sound familiar?) And yet the Lord characterized the Jewish non-believers, including the Pharisees mentioned in John 8:13, as thus:
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:44]
Keep in mind that this narrative in John 8 is a purely intra-Jewish dispute—everyone in the chapter was a Jew—which includes the author of the fourth Gospel, traditionally named as John. The Lord Jesus is obviously Jewish, especially since He is from the tribe of Judah. Jews are listed in the chapter as believers in the Lord and also as non-believers by implication. The point, though, is that the Lord was drawing a very distinct contrast between the real and the unreal, and was exposing the false-image fakers for what they really were.
This construction of false outer images to deceive an unsuspecting public is one of the principle components of the Lord’s commandment against graven images, which proves the non-believing Jews and Pharisees listed in John 8 were actually grossly violating the Torah, though they did not know it and refused to believe it. They were deceived and even self-deceived by their false interpretation of the Word and their departure from the truth:
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” [Exodus 20:4]
“You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.” [Leviticus 26:1]
“So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female…” [Deuteronomy 4:15-16] 
THE WIZARD OF OZ PHENOMENON
The Lord’s children must be real, and that is not easy. Unreal Christians, conversely, must build false images of themselves as a way to pass religious inspection. Unreal Christian leaders also do it to take control and command authority over others, and as a way to enrich themselves.
As I have written in Real Christianity, the most fully formed graven image (or idol) is a LIVING HUMAN BEING.
The man-made, exalted “Christian” clergy class invented itself for this very reason. The members thereof hide behind a curtain of false piety and holiness, and demand undeserved honor and respect, which never matches their actual deeds. The great majority of their clueless followers give them exactly what they want, which means the few who see them as they actually are and attempt to expose them end up receiving what the evil perpetrators should receive. This is in part why the Lord Jesus was crucified. The evil religionist followers, inspired, deceived, and led by evil religious leaders, turned their wrath upon the innocent party to protect the very guilty false-image party.
The same thing happens to real Christian innocent parties at present in so many false Christian venues, as attested to by so many real Christians who have been made to pay for the sins of others.
It has been said, of course, that the devil goes to church. In reality, the devil owns many churches. They are his enterprises and not the Lord’s. In these places he has complete control and does not appreciate the Lord’s shining lights and truth-bearers bringing their witness.
DISCIPLESHIP DEFINES DISTINCTION
How do we know the difference between the real and the unreal? This is what real discipleship is about. The closer we get to the Lord Jesus, the more mature we become in Him. The more knowledgeable we are about His written Word, the more we will get to know and understand the Living Word. The more our relationship with Him matures, the more we will be able to see what He sees, and the more He will reveal to us.
Putting the Lord Jesus first sorts things out, removes deception, exposes false reality, and sets us free.
PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION
Of course, the enemy doesn’t like being exposed, so any attempt to reveal his false environment for what it is will not be appreciated and will be met with strong hate and extreme prejudice.
This is why innocent and good-hearted real Christians, the only real spiritual children of the Lord, are viciously slammed beyond all reason and out of all proportion. The attacks come from an unseen evil enemy whose only recourse is to engage in wanton character assassination, slander, libel, and even murder.
It is why the Lord was so savagely and hatefully beaten, tortured, and killed, though He never sinned or did anything wrong. It is why Stephen only lasted a few seconds after one of the greatest, anointed, honest, and exposing speeches in Christian history (See Acts 6-7). The enemy was so enraged by the truth pouring forth from Stephen that they even gnashed their teeth at him!
Therefore, if one wonders why the people who are externally friendly, loving, and supportive are suddenly transformed into hating, rejecting, and slandering crazies—something that would otherwise make no sense whatsoever—it most likely reveals the fact that one has exposed a nerve, an ultra-sensitive nerve, and are innocently and often unknowingly exposing a false image—a human front—perhaps created over many years, and also quite possibly a very evil religious spirit.
Such deceiving poser proponents cannot allow anyone to know what they really are, as their entire life is built upon a false foundation. Once exposed, their house of cards will come crashing down very quickly. They will have no leg to stand on. They will explode in a heap. This is why they must attack so viciously against such harmless innocent witnesses. It is also why they must surround and align themselves with birds of a feather—fellow posers—believers in the lie—those who are blind to truth and real morality. The crowd, the congregation, the family, the group—these allow them to hide and access strength they don’t have individually.
Once their attack commences, and once they successfully survive (temporarily) by throwing the honorable party under the bus (or a pile of rocks) and seemingly get away with a huge injustice, the Lord instructed us to leave them alone.
THEY ARE BLIND LEADERS GUIDING THE BLIND AND BOTH WILL EVENTUALLY FALL INTO A VERY DEEP PIT. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.
Perhaps from within said pit they will at last see the truth and find salvation.
But as long as they are playing the faker game on the surface they will most likely never repent and find real salvation, since they have already appropriated for themselves a false salvation through a false gospel or counterfeit belief system of their own rendering.
The devil is a liar.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Hello friends. I want to take a short break from my current series and tell you all that I greatly appreciate your support. Your ongoing comments and likes contribute to a small community here and it is always enjoyable to see us interact with one another for the sake of the Lord’s truth. You are all a great blessing to me.
Regarding my latest series, Purification By Fire, I especially want to thank Richard Barker and my friends across the pond who contributed so much traffic. Thanks to you all.
I have noticed that many more believers are getting on board with the Great Awakening. Five years ago this was not the case. The Lord spoke very clearly to me in September 2010 that America was in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. Not one person I talked to then, including ministers of the Gospel, saw it or believed it. Much has changed since.
I took the Great Awakening revelation of September 2010 and by the Lord’s anointing turned it into a 340 page book, well-documented, researched, and extensively footnoted. Shortly after finishing that book I began this blog site, which is now approaching 350 articles.
Many are now seeing what the Lord showed me then. There are even so-called official ministers talking about it. This is encouraging but it also exposes many of the fakers as merely latching on to something that came through the hard work and spiritual warfare of so many unrecognized real Christians.
I have continued writing and teaching since, and doing much research, though, like most of you, must earn my own keep. I have not yet been able to publish the book but it is certainly a book that needs to get out there. I would appreciate your prayers toward that end.
In living for the Lord Jesus, we all have our own individual core Christian beliefs and experiences, many of which did not come easy. If there are any two things vitally true about real Christianity that we must all pay more attention to than appears to be called for, however, they are: (1) The ongoing search for greater truth and the exposing of deception, and (2) Spiritual warfare.
Sadly, both of these are traditionally very low priorities in traditional Christianity and are often neglected and rejected entirely. Those who refuse to engage in such are very clearly unclear on the concept. They do not know that the enemy never fights fair and that he must resort to an ongoing agenda of deception, obfuscation, and confusion.
The enemy attempts to transform the great and pure shining light of the Lord’s truth into something indecipherable, irrational, unknowable, and senseless. The enemy also attempts to convince Christians that spiritual warfare is a ridiculous and unnecessary concept totally unsuited to our modern enlightened worldview.
But, my friends, the spiritual facts are actually quite clear: The devil is a liar. His job is to keep people from becoming real Christians and from progressing spiritually once they are. His job is to hide himself and make all those who reveal him and his lies to appear as nitwits. Now, for sure, there are certainly those “Christians” who fit the bill, and when push comes to shove the enemy will highlight such people to prove his point.
For real Christians, however, especially strong veterans who know their enemy, the only chance the enemy has against them is to first do everything in his power to discredit them, and if that doesn’t work, to eliminate them. For historical reference read the Book of Acts. Look at what happened to the Lord Jesus and his original apostles. The first thing the enemy did was destroy their reputations through outright lies and slander. We know the rest. It showcases this truth and puts everything in proper perspective. The devil is a bad guy and can do damage, but “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1John 4:4).
Therefore, the antidote to the enemy’s attempt to discredit and eliminate the good guys is to discredit and eliminate the bad guys. But when I say bad guys I mean the invisible bad guys. We do not fight against people. In fact, the whole point of real Christianity is to save people. The very Name of the Lord Jesus in the original Hebrew—YeHoshua—means YHWH-Salvation. Salvation means “to set free.” He came to set us free. Once we have been set free it is our job to set others free. We do this through the particular ministries the Lord has called each of us to do through the gifts, talents, and anointing He has blessed us with.
Let us remember to fight the inclination against the compromising effects of the enemy’s warfare by taking the fight directly to him and being the offensive force the Lord created us to be. But we must remember that the enemy has gained ground by taking authority in places of protection. When Christians refuse to attack the enemy because they think he cannot possibly be in control in such places he gets a free pass. This is deception at its highest. In other words, unreal Christians have been taught and conditioned to obey and honor people in league with the devil who appear to be legitimate and in league with the Lord.
You will know them by their fruits. Many are in pulpits and places of religious authority. Many of them are not overtly evil but merely powerless and worldly. Rather than submit to the Lord’s full curriculum they have bought into religious counterfeits. Many are deceived, oppose the Lord Jesus, and don’t even know it.
So remember, we must all:
(1) Continue in the ongoing search for truth and the exposing of deception, and
(2) Engage in spiritual warfare.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice…” [John 18:36-37] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The following are Comments from the Real Christianity Community from my January 2016 posts. Thanks to all of you for reading and for your support. Please see comment section of each post to meet and greet your neighbors and enjoy some blogosphere fellowship! You can also read my responses. I’ve included embedded post links for your convenience. Be blessed.
(1) “This is exactly what I needed this morning and am thankful for the words. I am currently going through a valley in life. Sometimes rugged words like this are what a man needs during a trial.”
(2) “Oh yes. Indeed yes. We have watched a young but arrogant “pastor” destroy a thriving work, which has gone from 100% to about 25% since he came. He was highly recommended, and we believed in him. He rose to the level of his incompetence, and we learned that God’s Word was right when it tells us not to elevate a novice. We’ve moved on, as have 600+ other people. One of the saddest experiences in our lives.”
(3) “Great teaching….strong meat, well seasoned, and not drowned in extravagant but needless sauce. Just right, and so very true. I’ve often thought about the “Peter Principle”. To be sure, we reap what we sow. We ought to at least, to be honest with ourselves. If we didn’t start out that way until the Lord got us by the collar, we need to start now. Very encouraging word for today and every day. Be blessed.”
“‘Religious hybrids,’ an interesting analogy, and food for thought. Kind of weird, thinking about these creatures; one doesn’t know whether to avoid them, or pray for them, or if that doesn’t work, to feel sorry for them. I have noticed that some folks simply don’t want their eyes opened, and they won’t believe even if you tell them the absolute truth. They were born and raised in the system and in the system they will stay….. no matter what LIGHT they are exposed to. However, they should know that whatever Truth they have received, they will be responsible to work out in their lives.”
(1) “This is excellent. People don’t want the Lord to rule in their lives, they want man to rule over them. They don’t want to live by faith in God, but faith in the flesh or human convention. Mankind by its very nature likes to negotiate man with man. We are not here to negotiate with God, but to OBEY HIM. Obedience is a narrow path.”
(2) “Here’s a vision I had 2 years ago that fits in with what you’ve posted here: https://tpuccio.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/when-you-come-together-the-body-of-christ/ ”
“Even though that excerpt (from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church ) may be twenty years old it’s the most prophetic utterance I’ve heard lately, and has confirmed itself many times over, just like the truth always does. I’m not trying to flatter with words…I’m just saying. I’ve tried to warn “Christians” of the same thing……few listen, and almost no one understands. Why? Because the cultural and doctrinal traditions, (brainwashing), has seeped so deep into the collective conscience, it goes in one ear and out the other. No ears to hear.”
(1) “Yes it does sound familiar, and frankly I don’t understand why the churchaholics don’t get it. If I as a relative newbie in churchianity “got it,” then it seems it should be relatively simple for others to as well. I mean, the Lord gave us His instructions in the New Testament with an example to follow. Thanks for the blessing…good stuff!”
(2) “Familiar indeed! At the root of the topic is the Edict of Milan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Milan When the early Church was co-opted in to be given rights from the Roman government. Certain inalienable rights to receive tax free status, rights to own real and personal property (read copy write laws). Subsequent to them agreeing to this type of governmental homogenization the Church in this compromised state began a downward spiral from “Glorious” to sleep walking, sleeping, and finally dead which has been happening globally for quite some time since. Thank God for remnants! It is this Glorious Church which Yeshua returns for and not the ones that harken back to a nationalized mindset based upon a governmental foundation guaranteeing certain inalienable rights based upon co- opted belief systems. This kind of “earth based” non heaven-non kingdom belief system is the very kind responsible for mobilizing the Muslim faith along with hundreds of others in to believing that man can re-establish a government aligned to that as King David once was given. There are two passages of scripture that address that King David’s tent will be re-established but this event is not tied to anything that either a real Christian or a fake one will do through governmental rights derived from these earthly realms.”
(3) “Isaiah 29:9 They are dumbfounded and amazed; they are troubled and stagger; they are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10 For Yahvah has poured out on them a spirit of deep sleep, and it has closed their eyes, and also the eyes of the prophets and rulers, and the seers, who see the hidden things. 11 And the vision of all is become to them as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is learned saying, Read this, and he says, I cannot; for it is sealed; 12 and the book is given to him who is not learned saying, Read this, and he says, I am not learned. 13 Therefore master said, Since this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their reverence toward me is taught by the precepts and doctrine of men; 14 therefore look, I will proceed to set apart this people by a great wonder, and in a marvelous manner, and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their prudent men will be taken away.”
(4) “This is why Jesus said He hated the work of the Nicolaitans. Nico is ‘over’ and laitans is ‘laity’ so the term means conquerer of laity. Here’s a dream I had about 6 years ago that fits with your posting:
(5) “The world crept into the church and ruined it. Worldly/carnal people love class divisions. You might like to read this book: PAGAN CHRISTIANITY? by Frank Viola and George Barna:
“Speaking of Greek words (I know very little Greek), I met a guy named Harris Himes while I was hitchhiking in Montana and he has studied the Greek New Testament for a number of years. He said that the Greek word pisteuo means ‘continuously faithing.’ Rather than say ‘I was saved 20 or 30 years ago’ I think it would be better to say ‘I abide in Christ’ or ‘I believe in Christ’—present tense, not past tense. I told Harris that I have met certain ‘Christians’ who have told me that they were saved many years ago. But their lives did not bear witness with my spirit—they had no witness—they were conformed to the world. So I have always wanted to ask them, ‘So when did you reject Christ’ or ‘Why are you so conformed to the world?’ http://biblehub.com/greek/4100.htm ”
(1) “‘United we stand, divided we fall’ is just as true a motto as it ever was. But America is more divided than it ever has been at this critical time. The Lord Jesus said, “A house divided cannot stand.” The household of God, now apostate for the most part, is also more divided than it’s ever been and is crumbling to the ground, except for the true and faithful remnant not part of the well dressed harlot.”
(2) “Although I kind of get where you are coming from, I am somewhat disturbed by your mixing the political system with the belief system. Didn’t Messiah say, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world?’ We are also told, ‘Judgement begins in the house of YHVH.’ Being American is not synonymous with being a believer in Messiah. Our country is not divided because ‘Christians’ are divided, It is divided because its foundation (democratic republic) is anti-God. The founders and proponents of the USA were Deist, Unitarian, Freemason, etc. The principles this nation were founded on which guarantee Christians religious freedom were originally intended to allow the architects of this government to operate unhindered in their anti-YHVH philosophies. Their intent was to create a system where they could freely promote their agendas without state control. The only individual right we are guaranteed as believers of the One True Living God is the right to become the sons of God, members of His household, and citizens of His kingdom.
“I do not believe the US is being judged by God. What I see is the law of sowing and reaping. Consequences of bad choices. The country has become the god. The only national unity under God’s design is the individual parts of the Body of Messiah recognizing their piece of the body and fitting in to become a Kingdom not of this world. Until we get this, there can never be peace – not individual, not corporate, not national.
“The houses, communities, congregations – whatever you call them – that claim the Name of God but usurp His glory, is where He will focus His attention for discipline and judgment. Thank you for bringing the stuff that makes me think.”
(3) “Revelation 3:18: ‘I advise you to buy of me gold refined in the fire, that you may become rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness may not be seen; and anoint your eyes with salve, that you may see.’ This is a prayer for those who have suffered from the blinding fog of religious paradigms, doctrines and mindsets.”
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:11-13]
THE PETER PRINCIPLE
According to Laurence J. Peter in his best-selling book, The Peter Principle, “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”
This management principle has proven to be absolutely true. It explains everything. It illustrates why we have so many incompetent people in the upper levels of power. It contrasts the real world of cause and effect, risk and reward, and survival of the fittest with the fake world of herds without predators.
Two hunters deep in the woods are suddenly surprised by a very angry bear. They both take off running for their lives, the bear right behind them. One hunter yells to the other, “Do you think we can outrun him?” The other hunter says, “I don’t need to outrun him. I only need to outrun you.”
This is the real world. It is why God created predators. Predators are the eliminators of incompetence in the natural world. Unless you stay sharp and at the top of your game the bear will get you.
This is why incompetent people don’t survive long in real world applications. Many meet a quick end. There is simply no place for ongoing laziness, lack of ability, foolishness, stupidity, and bad decisions. The natural world teaches this. Incompetence is never rewarded or allowed. Natural selection means survival of only the fittest.
In fake world situations, however, the opposite takes place. Rules are written to protect incompetence. Instead of rightfully being killed and eaten by angry bears, incompetent people not only survive, they thrive. Their bad behavior is rewarded. Everybody gets a trophy.
THE BACKYARD WARRIORS PRINCIPLE
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1 Corinthians 9:24]
I remember when I was about eleven years old I had a birthday party at my house. We lived in a well-kept suburban working class neighborhood. As part of the birthday fun I set up an intricate obstacle course in the backyard. You had to run around the perimeter of the yard as fast as you could under and through this and over and around that—just a bunch of stuff I found laying around that I transformed into world class athletic equipment. Not bad for a kid. It was pretty cool. I had an old army tarp tied to the chain-link fence at a 45 degree angle that you had to crawl under. There was stuff to jump over, like a strategically located metal trash can. Things like that. You had to run the course while being timed. Whoever completed the course correctly and the fastest was the winner. We probably had some small prize.
The rules were the same for everyone. I invited a bunch of friends over from school and the neighborhood. But someone also invited my young cousin, who was probably about seven or eight. If that wasn’t bad enough I also had an older sister hanging around who was sixteen or so at the time. She had an inordinate desire to lend what amounted to overwhelming assistance to those such as my young cousin who she thought were in great need, as a way to even the playing field. I had a different perspective. I have always been competitive. My concerns about her ruining the competition were soon realized.
Some of us had already run the course. We gave it everything we had. When a kid was out there running around he was completely on his own. It was sink or swim. Figure it out. Don’t miss anything. Show respect for the process. Everybody else was watching making sure he did it right.
Then it was my little cousin’s turn. And what does my older sister do? She starts running the course with him! He appeared to have no clue what to do but probably would have done okay if allowed to run by himself. I still have this mental picture of her leaning over slightly and running off with him with her arm on his shoulder guiding him around. He quickly yielded to her lead. She then decided he only needed to run less than half the layout! And here they come, cutting right through my well constructed obstacle course across the middle of the yard making a total mockery of the game! She’s still right there with her arm on his shoulder, leaning over, telling him what to do while running him back to the start.
We did not appreciate this. Neither I nor my friends said anything. It was an era when kids showed more respect. She meant well. But what a joke. She almost ruined the whole day with that pathetic display.
This is exactly how incompetence thrives.
THE JEREMIAH JOHNSON PRINCIPLE
Again, in the real world only the strongest and wisest survive. America was founded by such people. So was Texas. The few incompetent people out on the frontier were soon dead if they didn’t manage to get back to civilization post haste.
I am reminded of Robert Redford’s character in the movie Jeremiah Johnson, set in the mid 1800s. There was an early scene when he was way up in the frozen Rocky Mountains trying to catch fish by hand in an icy stream. He was soon in the water. There he was in the deep snow and ice splashing around doing his best to catch a fish to stay alive. The scene then switched to an Indian on horseback silently watching. Later in the movie when the same Indian recognized him in a different setting, he told another, “He fishes poorly.”
But Jeremiah Johnson survived and then thrived. He figured out how to stay alive in a killer environment. Though he met friends, nobody held his hand. He overcame all obstacles, including some personal losses that ripped his heart apart. That movie was about the real world and survival.
It is quite the contrast to our present world. Since that time America has largely become a vast, neurotic, socialist nanny state ruled over by bureaucratic incompetents and enablers with selfish agendas in which everybody, regardless of any achievement, gets a little trophy. Many would never be in their positions of authority without some big sister brotherhood opening doors, scripting their work, showing them the way, and refusing to let them stand on their own. It is the complete opposite of survival of the fittest. Because of the ridiculous policy of allowing incompetent idiots to become our “experts” America is going down fast.
Now, before you think I’m stumping for a certain presidential candidate, I’m not. I’ve been saying this for decades. (That dude stole my thunder.) I have watched this contrary agenda develop over several decades. Of course, many people know what’s going on but almost everybody feels powerless to do anything about it. When some charismatic person comes along who says all the right things and claims to have the answers he gains an immediate following.
But it rarely or never works. It’s always just words. Those that actually gain power never follow through. The only thing that does work in such cases is following the lead of someone who actually knows what to do and has a proven track record. Such good guys, however, are currently very few and far between, and are becoming extinct. The bad guys have taken over. The paradigm shift of rewarding evil and eliminating the good is almost complete. It’s why Biblical prophecy says the world would succeed in blowing itself up without the Lord’s end-time intervention. Corrupt doofuses in places of authority are the sole cause.
THE LORD JESUS PRINCIPLE
There is only one Leader who can fix this mess. The reason America is cratering is due only to the rejecting of His leadership. There is no possible way to remove the preserving agent without falling into gross corruption. The more He has been rejected over the last several decades the worse things have become. Though few acknowledge Him, He is the one who holds everything together.
Also, though the Lord Jesus is the best Father, He never spoils His children. Though He is our Shepherd, He is never the enabler of stupidity, laziness, or incompetence. He only rewards those who give it their all. Whoever will do things His way must be absolutely dedicated and must also be in it for the long haul. One will discover that following His lead allows one to grow stronger and wiser, and possess greater ability to overcome and thrive. He prepares us to be the best. His discipleship methods always work. He is a maker of champions.
THE UNREAL CHRISTIANITY PRINCIPLE
The reason the Peter Principle has become a burgeoning reality is because the people in power have rejected the Lord’s proper authority and correct management principles. They have replaced them with bulky, unresponsive, impersonal hierarchies and shallow methodologies that reward morons and punish the strong, independent, honest, and righteous.
GUESS WHAT? THE EXACT THING HAS HAPPENED WITHIN TRADITIONAL AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY.
Pious pinheads and parading shysters have taken over the outward institutional format and are now the tenured cloth men. We know the majority of these guys have no clue how to right our wayward course or have any desire to, largely because they’re the ones who caused it. They’re invested in it. It serves them very well. These sold-out fakers only exist because foolish people keep throwing money in their coffers, which only enables them and their incompetence. Every time the Lord tries to correct them their supporters reward them. These power-tripping Christian “experts” eventually cold shoulder any real Christians in their vicinity, refuse to support them, and badmouth them, in the sinister effort to eliminate those who would rightfully take their job.
But this has always been true. Thus, all real Christians must first learn to survive in this fallen world, then learn to fight, overcome, and thrive within it, AND THEN TAKE OVER. It’s how the Lord does things. It’s exactly how He did it. When He was crucified He looked like the greatest loser that ever lived. Three days later He became the greatest winner of all time. If we would be successful we must follow His lead, trust Him, and do things His way.
This is why the Lord Jesus never coddles His children. He has no use for perpetual babies and whiners. He never hands out participant trophies. He requires us to run the race well without constant enabling. He calls us to follow Him even through the worst spiritual environments that will test us to the nth degree.
THE PAUL PRINCIPLE
For correct spiritual perspective with respect to real discipleship, consider the fact that the apostle Paul once found himself dead under a pile of rocks. He suffered this fate doing exactly what he was called to do. The Lord Jesus did nothing to stop the brutal attack against him—He let Paul get stoned by a bunch of Jewish religious idiots.
But He did bless him with a preview of heaven:
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows—was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. [2Corinthians 12:2-4]
That’s pretty cool. And He did bring him back to earth. And He did give Paul supportive friends after he was dragged out of Lystra for dead who stood around him when he suddenly got up:
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. [Acts 14:19-20]
Therefore, it is not that we don’t need help and support from time to time. We obviously should help one another. But such help is usually designed to get us on track or back on track. Both of these should be very few and far between events after our initial discipleship training. After that it’s a matter of running the race well without being hindered or enabled, both of which restrict our mission.
If the Lord has given you honest and competent authority figures at present, be thankful. We need the wisdom of those who have gone before us who have gained the Lord’s wisdom. But in order to be the spiritual success the Lord needs you to be, you must work at becoming a spiritual adult.
For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity… [Hebrews 5:13-6:1] 
Live the adventure.
Climb the Rockies.
But watch out for rocks.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Dear Readers: Thank you for all your support this year. I believe the content in this current series is indispensible regarding the coming Great Awakening in America. We must all grow closer to the Lord Jesus. He must be exalted in this nation. His real identity must be known. Christian persecution will continue rising in America in 2016 and we must all be prepared. Please help make this current series reach as many believers as possible. Be blessed!
“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM…” [John 8:28 NAB]
“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.” [John 10:1-7]
Trinitarian Christianity has taken the Lord Jesus out of the loop. At best, it has relegated Him to second place. The majority of those who profess Christianity see “The Father” as the real God and the Lord Jesus as something or someone else entirely.
Trinitarian Christianity also denies history. It refuses to acknowledge the very clear fact that the “Trinity Doctrine” was formulated THREE CENTURIES after the Lord Jesus began His community. One can check any reputable reference book for this fact.
The establishment of this doctrine was an effort to make sense of the Lord’s teachings with a purely natural mind, an impossible task, through a complete refusal to enter into the fold of the sheep the proper way.
We now have millions of Christians worldwide who profess something they do not understand and who believe something that makes no sense. If one wonders whether or not he has been deceived by heresy regarding the identity of God, here is the test:
IS THE LORD JESUS FIRST? IS THE LORD JESUS ACKNOWLEDGED AS YHWH?
Anything less than this denotes that a person has been deceived by a man-made doctrine in the effort to remove a pure and direct connection to God and thereby render one much less than one should be as a disciple.
MOST CHRISTIANS REFUSE TO SEARCH OUT HISTORICAL ROOTS
Christians prefer to accept things at face value, having been conditioned to believe what they are told through the quashing of all dissent. Christians should know why this is and many do know but refuse to face it, but the answer is otherwise obvious:
Religious controllers cannot gain full control unless they force their followers to believe everything they teach. And the first thing they teach is that they are the boss.
The formulators of the original “Trinity Doctrine” knew this, of course, and created it for that very reason. It is for the same reason that the Lord Jesus was removed from His high place of honor and was replaced with a mythical “Father” completely separate from Him. This replacement “God the Father” is NOT the Father referred to in the New Covenant writings.
This removal of the Lord Jesus from first place also removed His Name from first place. THE SPIRITUAL POWER THAT ALL REAL CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN GRANTED COMES THROUGH THE PROPER USE OF THE NAME OF JESUS.
When His Name, the Name above every name, was removed, it also removed the power. This is why the majority of “Christians” to this day do not possess the power of God that the early community of the Lord Jesus had. It is why a completely different “Christianity” emerged in later centuries and why this false form of Christianity—Unreal Christianity—has no spiritual power with God, has no miraculous works, and refuses or is unable to use the powerful Name of Jesus properly.
“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.
It is why Unreal Christianity is spiritually dead and completely ineffective. IT HAS BYPASSED THE ONLY DOOR.
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.
…thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” [Mark 7:6-9, 13] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
Dear Readers: Thank you for all your support this year. I believe the content in this current series is indispensible regarding the coming Great Awakening in America. We must all grow closer to the Lord Jesus. He must be exalted in this nation. His real identity must be known. Christian persecution will continue rising in America in 2016 and we must all be prepared. Please help make this current series reach as many believers as possible. Be blessed!
“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM…” [John 8:28 NAB]
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]
The Lord Jesus warned us about heresy. When one studies His teachings intently without bias or preconceived religious notions, there is a constant theme running throughout His entire curriculum:
“I AM GOD.”
Now, right off the bat, many Christians have a problem with that. They do not consider the Lord Jesus to be God. But it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or believes if it disagrees with what the Lord Jesus taught. Consider the following:
“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” [Matthew 10:38]
It is impossible to be a real Christian without sacrificing one’s life for Him. The cross points directly to sacrifice. The Lord Jesus calls whoever would be His real follower to self sacrifice on a cross.
The cross He is talking about, though figurative, is absolutely necessary to the new life He desires to give us. Without one’s personal sacrifice upon a cross it is impossible to be a real Christian and have new life in Him.
In essence, unless one takes up his cross, he does not consider the Lord Jesus to be worthy of such a personal sacrifice.
This presents a problem, however, for those who want to be Christians but refuse to sacrifice their lives. The problem is solved by simply changing the rules regarding what it means to be a Christian. Changing the rules is actually changing the Lord’s teachings to suit one’s desires, which is exactly equivalent to denying the Lord Jesus.
And it is this denial of the Lord Jesus by not considering Him worthy that has spawned Unreal Christianity.
UNREAL CHRISTIANITY DENIES THE LORD JESUS
Yet, the majority of “Christians” are still unclear on the concept. They refuse to put the Lord Jesus in first place. There is one predominant reason for this:
When the classic “Trinity Doctrine” was invented and officially established THREE CENTURIES after the Lord Jesus taught His original followers, it established that the Lord Jesus was not Immanuel— “God with us”—but merely the second person of a three person union.
What is even stranger than this concept of a three person union is the belief that the second and third persons are somehow not as worthy or important as the first person, even though the classic trinity doctrine never states such a thing. It states that each of the three persons is completely equal to the other.
It also states that even though there are three persons, it does not mean there are three gods. It states there is only one God.
Later false teachings, however, which gave rise to predominant belief, state that it is only the first person who should be honored the most, who actually has the most power and authority, and who is the actual God. Where does that leave the second and third persons?
The first person then, according to this belief—the Father, or God the Father—is the actual God among the three persons. Thus, the proponents of the classic trinity doctrine break its own rules by giving the implication that the first person is greater than the other two persons, one of which is the Lord Jesus.
Thus, again, the second person—the Lord Jesus—is secondary to the first person, which is a complete destruction of the teachings of the Lord Jesus, who never taught anything even closely resembling a three person union in a “Godhead.”
The Lord Jesus never taught that God is three people.
What He actually taught was that we must give our lives to HIM. We must follow HIM. We must obey HIM. We must be HIS disciples. This obviously means HE must be in first place.
He never taught us to bypass HIM and follow the Father:
And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” [John 12:23-26] 
1. One can never be glorified without first being crucified.
2. In order to be crucified one must take up one’s cross.
3. Unless a seed is planted in the earth and dies it remains merely a seed.
4. Each human being is a seed. A seed is worthless until it is planted.
5. Only seeds that are planted in the ground and die (are crucified) rise to new life and bring forth spiritual fruit.
6. The word “lose” in the above verse means to destroy, which means one who refuses to be planted as a seed in the effort to save his life actually chooses to destroy his life. It is only through destroying one’s old life (undergo real repentance) that one can rise again to new life.
7. The new spiritual birth demands an end to the life created by the first natural birth.
8. One will never serve the Lord Jesus, follow the Lord Jesus, be where the Lord Jesus is, or be worthy of the Lord Jesus without voluntarily submitting to real repentance and undergoing a new spiritual birth, which entails taking up one’s cross, which means sacrificing oneself for HIM.
He is worthy. He is God. He must be first.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. [1Peter 1:20-21]
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19]
Non-believers often ask about proof. They must be reminded of living by faith. They don’t want to live by faith. They would rather live according to that tiny fraction of the light spectrum they can relate to with mere human senses.
I remind them that the vast majority of all that exists cannot be perceived with the five senses. It is beyond what they see, hear, touch, taste, or smell. Scientists have proven this over and over. Yet, every time some new discovery is made the people thereof get all arrogant and full of themselves even though they must quickly admit they still have no clue about the majority that exists beyond the senses.
They know it’s out there. Regarding the composition of the Universe, they know Dark Energy exists. They know Dark Matter exists. Dark Energy makes up 68% of the Universe. Dark Matter comprises 27% of the Universe.
That leaves 5%. This 5% is what can be perceived with the five senses.
“The rest—everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter—adds up to less than 5% of the Universe. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn’t be called “normal” matter at all, since it is such a small fraction of the Universe.” 
THE GREATEST SCIENTISTS AND MENTAL GENIUSES ON THE PLANET STILL DO NOT HAVE A CLUE WHAT DARK ENERGY IS OR WHAT DARK MATTER IS, BUT ONLY THAT IT EXISTS. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT MAKES UP 95% OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.
They know it exists because of the way it affects what they know does exist.
Yet, most of these people refuse to even speculate upon the possibility of the existence of the spiritual world.
Millions of people know prayer works. They have personal proof. Many people have even kept records. I have seen the Lord Jesus answer my prayers so many times and sometimes in the most spectacular fashion. If any unbelieving egghead wants to challenge me on this he or she will get an earful.
Yet, I understand that people living outside the kingdom of God have no clue. It is impossible for them to understand. They can either be smart about it and admit this or they can be not so smart about it and believe the only things that exist are those things picked up by the senses.
At least the science boys and girls are intelligent enough to admit they know there is stuff out there even though they don’t know what it is.
Much of this scientific knowledge is very recent. If you want to gain some understanding in this field you can go to NASA for a brief introduction here: Dark Energy, Dark Matter .
The point of this article and the previous one is to reveal the fact that we all need salvation or will lose our souls. It is to illustrate that salvation is only possible through the Lord Jesus. It is to illustrate that a few, in the Lord’s own words, will actually accept the fact that they are sinners in need of salvation and will accept the Lord’s great sacrifice on their behalf and will in turn LIVE and then LIVE FOR ALL ETERNITY.
These articles also reveal, however, that the vast majority of humanity will reject the only cure for the sin disease and lose their souls. Their existence will be limited to this earth and a short time after physical death while awaiting trial, and will thus fall short of eternal life. They will never gain eternal life because they decided to live only according to what they can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Anything beyond the five senses and the 5% they reject as that which does not exist.
They will discover their error too late to do anything about it.
LIVING IN THE SPIRIT
Those who believe in, follow, and obey the Lord Jesus—His real followers, not including all the fakers—are not left with purely blind faith and no proof. As I said, I have seen the Lord Jesus do incredible, amazing, miraculous things over the years. I know He is very real, and I know everything He said is true because it all works. There are things we cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or smell but we know for a certainty that they exist, just as we know Dark Energy and Dark Matter exist.
The Lord Jesus, however, has decided to speak in parabolic form in order to hide truth from non-believers who refuse to exercise any faith. Truth is a vibrant and very special commodity and must not be wasted on those who have no respect for it. As a result, one must work very hard to discover truth. One must do much research and study. One must receive revelation. ONE MUST PRAY A LOT AND SPEND MUCH TIME ALONE WITH THE LORD. The hidden things of God are hidden for a reason.
The gaining of truth and salvation because of that truth does not come easy and never has. It is obvious then, that real salvation only comes to those who put everything on the line and dedicate their entire lives to the Lord Jesus and the pursuit of achieving real discipleship.
The majority of people never do this. The majority of “Christians” never do this. They do work hard and some work very hard at other pursuits. They do seek to have good lives. The problem is that they dedicate themselves to merely temporary things that will never be translated into eternity. They dedicate themselves to believing false theories and narratives. In essence, they dedicate themselves to running with the crowd. Even if they believe there are things out there they do not understand they never try to gain any understanding. They plant their feet firmly in the here and now.
FOREKNOWN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
Each of us has existed in the mind of God from before the foundation of the world. But the Lord has granted a free will. Most choose wrongly. The few who choose correctly enter into a secret kingdom that no one else knows about (or cares about). The Lord Jesus revealed this.
It exists exactly as does Dark Energy and Dark Matter. It is real. Just because the majority rejects it does not mean it does not exist. It only means they are wrong to reject it. It means they have no faith or love for the truth.
THE RESURRECTION IS THE PROOF
The Lord Jesus arose from the dead. For those not fully clear on the concept—those who cannot see spiritual things so well—it was God or God the Father who did the resurrecting. While this is certainly true and scriptural, it is also just as true and scriptural that the Lord Jesus resurrected Himself. He even said He would before He did. It was one of the main points brought up against Him at His trial. Those people were such spiritual idiots they didn’t understand He was not talking about Herod’s Temple. The ignorance of some people certainly boggles the mind.
But these people were not ignorant so much as they were spiritually blind. They were great religionists and knew the Bible extremely well. But they had no clue whatsoever of spiritual things and thus judged everything by what they could see, hear, touch, taste, or smell.
They did not know the Lord Jesus was YHWH. They did not know that the very God they professed had arrived among them as one of them. They murdered their own God, the only God, the ONE GOD.
Of course, because there IS a secret kingdom and there IS a hidden spiritual world, they actually only murdered the human body of God—HIS TEMPLE. That is precisely why the Lord Jesus stated:
“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
The resurrection is the proof. It is also the proof for every individual real Christian when he or she is resurrected to new eternal life.
But for every real Christian, there is also a pre-proof. The pre-proof is a real born again experience that comprises all the basic elements of the final resurrection. One’s born again experience prior to physical death is the proof that everything the Lord said is true.
The Lord Jesus raised me from spiritual death several years ago. I have since discovered through much prayer, research, study, work, trials, tough times, VERY tough times, and many, many revelations that He is very, very real, that there is a secret kingdom, and that there is a whole lot of stuff going on beyond the five senses. That which one can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell is a mere fraction of what actually exists.
Regarding the entire Universe, as stated previously, 95% of it is completely unknown. We know it’s there, however, but we don’t know what it is.
It is the same regarding the spiritual world. It could very well be that 95% of our realm on Planet Earth is comprised of the spiritual and only 5% makes up the sensory.
Remember, the Lord could see the spiritual world as well as the sensory world. He revealed it through His life, teachings, and ministry.
As proof, there are untold millions of examples of answered prayer, born again experiences, miracles, healings, and other proven works that prove it exists. Real Christians know this. They have accepted the atoning death of the Sacrifice Lamb on their behalf. They know that just as He raised Himself from the dead He will raise them from the dead, especially since He has already raised them from the dead spiritually.
Millions of real Christians worldwide are proof by their own new birth that much exists beyond the surface. They exist in what is essentially seed form awaiting their new creation in eternity. The time will come when each will bloom forth, completing a great resurrection that began with a single seed brought forth by the Sacrifice Lamb.
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. [1Peter 1:22-23] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 NASA: Dark Energy, Dark Matter. Last Updated: June 5, 2015 http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. [1Peter 1:17-19]
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” [1John 1:29]
THE SIN DISEASE
The Lord always warns us. He warns us repeatedly. He has warned us all from the very beginning. His is a heart of mercy.
He tries to explain to us the nature of sin. He attempts to explain how and why sin works, and why every human being is stricken with the disease from birth, though one must reach an age of accountability before personal responsibility for sin kicks in.
Most sinners do not necessarily have an agenda against God, I don’t think, but are rebels against Him nonetheless. Yet, there are people on this planet who certainly have an agenda against Him and His pure teachings, who hate Him, and who fight against Him every day.
Their focus, like the focus of all sinners in general, is SELF. Hence, the reason for sin is nothing more than pure selfishness and what can be gained for self through any means, including the violation of any and all moral restraints. Moral restraints, however, are not simply the result of what many people see as arbitrary rules created out of thin air.
Regardless of the various forms of moral restraints and statutes in this world, and chosen or accepted guidelines by which to live, there is one very personal, genuine, legitimate warning mechanism given to each and every human being designed to alert us and govern personal conduct.
We call it the Conscience.
For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. [Romans 2:12-16]
Therefore, we have no excuse, and will never have any excuse, and all those who die as sinners in an unrepentant state will have a record of sin when they go before the Lord at the judgment.
Each individual record of sin could have been expunged prior to physical death.
Everyone is given that opportunity. Even those who have never heard of the Lord Jesus or heard the Gospel have an opportunity to repent due to their convicting conscience that warns of sin and reveals good and evil.
Therefore, when sinners die they will be judged appropriately. There will be a clear, exhaustive record of everything ever done in one’s life including the committing of every single sin—a multitude of sins, and the record will show that they liked it—they enjoyed their sin or at least certainly made compromises toward it instead of standing against it.
Would that it could be that all unrepentant sinners sinned only against themselves and never harmed another. But it is obvious that sin affects other people, and some sins greatly affect other people, and some sins affect great numbers of people.
None of this had to be. None of it was written in stone. All sin is due to wrong choices. We learn, then, if we are to advance in life and grow morally, to cease from wrong choices. This is what childhood and pre-adulthood is for.
Whoever goes down the path toward moral righteousness, however, eventually figures out that human strength and human will alone will not get the job done. We need a higher power. Temptation is too strong. The power of sin has too great a hold on us. There must also be a way to clear our existing sin record and give us our release. This is why the search for truth always ends successfully when one chooses the Lord Jesus. The human conscience helps us in this process. Those who never grow up, however, who never seek to overcome sin and temptation, never cease from sinning.
They have decided to bypass their conscience.
REJECTING THE SACRIFICE LAMB
Human beings do have an amazing capacity for sin and keeping stone-faced about it, and refusing to do something about it, even though their individual consciences are warning them loudly and continuously. But the reason they refuse to address it is because they have rejected the only cure—they refuse to surrender to the Lord Jesus so He can help them. They have thus learned that their chosen cures don’t work so they quit trying and give in to being what they are.
What a conundrum this is, that a perfect cure is always available but for most it is always rejected. Why? —Selfishness—which returns us once again to the reason for sin:
Their focus, like the focus of all sinners in general, is SELF. Hence, the reason for sin is nothing more than pure selfishness and what can be gained for self through any means, including the violation of any and all moral restraints.
If one builds one’s life on sin and constructs a framework of sin that keeps one’s life together, it is only a matter of time before such a weak and ridiculous foundation and structure is revealed.
What to do?
ATTACKING SIN AS ONE’S MORTAL ENEMY
The best thing to do about sin is deal with it… NOW. The Lord told us how. If one’s conscience is doing its convicting work, it is a great sign. It means one’s conscience is alive and well.
Sinning is bad, but refusing to repent for sin is worse. Again, the best thing to do is simply surrender to the Lord Jesus, admit that one is a sinner, that one is stricken with the sin disease (the worst of all diseases), that one is tired of fighting against conviction, that one is tired of feeling spiritually dirty, that one wants to be whole again, and healthy, and happy, and FREE, and begin attacking sin as one’s mortal enemy.
It is obviously better to do it now than attempt it after death, when it will be absolutely impossible. One cannot repent after death. Those who say one can are not telling the truth. The Lord Jesus never taught such a lie. The time to repent is NOW.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. [Philippians 2:12-13]
At this very moment there are uncounted millions of souls in the unknown geographic location of dead unrepentant sinners who are waiting for trial, tormented each second by what could have been.
Though they had the incredible opportunity of a wonderful and loving defense attorney while alive, they rejected His counsel.
They died in sin. They know it. They knew it then. They have no chance. They will be found guilty. Each of them, and all those who are added to them as time goes on, wasted their life. They traded eternal life with the Lord Jesus in heaven for this temporary world and for very temporary self-rule.
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:36-38]
They are as much alive and conscious at this moment, though in a different state, as they always were. However, their fates are sealed. Repentance and getting right with God is no longer an option.
You know what else? Even if the option existed, because they had repeatedly rejected the Sacrifice Lamb during their earthly sojourn, it appears readily apparent that NOT A SINGLE ONE WOULD EVER REPENT IF GIVEN ONE FINAL CHANCE.
Their desire is not to get right with God.
It is only to escape the restriction of their incarceration.
Focusing on SELF promotes sin and destruction.
Focusing on the Lord Jesus and others promotes love, salvation, and spiritual freedom.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” [Galatians 5:13-14] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
THE NON-PROPHET / FOR PROFIT MINISTRY MODEL: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (2)
“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.”
They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication…” [John 8:37-41]
One of the many things the Lord Jesus was falsely accused of by religious people was illegitimacy in both physical birth and ministry calling. Everyone except His own mother and maybe a few others believed he was conceived in a sinful union out of wedlock. It is also apparent that some people thought Joseph was not His real father. Though they were correct, it was certainly not for the reason they thought.
There were many other lies told about Him. He was said to be crazy, demon-possessed, a drunk, a glutton, a false prophet, and a liar. Even with a preponderance of obvious miracles performed by Him, most still did not believe the truth but preferred the lies. Only a relatively small percentage of His own people thought He was who He said He was.
Hence, it was next to impossible for the Lord Jesus to have a good reputation within society in general, even though He is perfect, had never sinned, and never did anything wrong. He kept the Law of Moses perfectly and in the right spirit.
A GOOD REPUTATION WITH GOD OR MEN?
Therefore, rather than personal reputations, the Lord cares much more about correcting whatever keeps people from real discipleship, such as false doctrines, false teachings, false operations, and false set-ups. He cares about removing all the stuff He never put there. It is far better to have a great reputation with the Lord and be thought of as an idiot in the eyes of the world than it is to reject God’s correction and sell out to His enemies.
This presents a problem for the fakers, however, because much of the income in many ministries is tied to such things. Consequently, there is a ton of not-so-good stuff hidden behind the scenes that no one ever sees and the people involved must keep it that way or they will lose funding. It is the same in many churches.
That is why the most important reason no one speaks out about minister frauds is because some of them bring in the greatest amount of cash. The cash not only enriches them, but in a general sense enriches everyone associated with them.
It is the idea of a rising tide raising all ships. It is why so many ministers attempt to get their boat out on that particular body of water even if financial pirates are present. There’s just way too much money and influence to sail away from.
Any churchgoer who pays any attention whatsoever knows that every individual church or ministry has to establish a good reputation and must always defend that reputation. One would think this would be based on fending off lies and otherwise unfounded malicious attacks that arise primarily from unseen evil forces intent on doing damage to a God-founded entity. These could in part be malcontents and disgruntled former members with axes to grind. But such are not the real reason for defensive ministry postures.
Though such spiritual attacks do occur from time to time, most “attacks” are not attacks at all, but simply someone pointing out the sin and error most often found within church leadership. As a result, church leadership has long-since instituted a no-rebuke hierarchical set-up that protects it not only from actual attacks, but also from the Lord’s rebuke.
This non-rebukable, non-accountable, top-of-the-pyramid leadership structure can thus go about its business with no fear of any possible spiritual correction that might harm its outward reputation.
As a result, such non-New Testament leadership models grow ever-corrupt (with pretty faces) in their unceasing quest to dodge necessary correction in order to keep their monetary and worldly success and societal reputations intact—the leaders thereof have gained great esteem in the sight of men but not so with God.
“And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.
“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men…” [Matthew 10:11-17] 
Church leadership learned a long time ago how to circumvent and censor the honest, informed people in their churches who, by the anointing of God and because of their love for the Truth, act as their Lord and Master did when He pointed out the spiritual errors of the religious elites of His time.
Because the majority of that which can be classified as “church leadership” has obvious vested interests in their respective enterprises, they must protect those interests at all costs. What they need are supporters with money, the same way any legitimate business needs clients and customers. They need people who ask no questions, accept everything as presented, and always give as directed.
Most churches and ministries are run like a business. If one disagrees, try doing church as usual with no money.
A business cannot exist unless it has a commodity or product to sell. Good businesses create good products and people are willing to buy said products. Many churches and ministries are actually no different. If they are to exist and be successful they must have a good product that produces a good revenue stream. Without money they are out of business. It is a very simple proposition.
Some ministers are actually honest about this. They know very well the nature of the set-up. They also know, however, that because they are honest they must do things the Lord’s way. They know that whatever money they receive must come with the approval of the Lord Jesus attached to it. They will not ask for money otherwise. They know the entire money issue is never “business as usual.” They know the money they receive as donations or earn through their own labor is due to the Lord’s blessing and approval.
However, many ministers do not follow this clear spiritual protocol. They act like they do, but this acting is the same as all their other acting. They have in fact bought into an act that has been around for centuries. Maybe some of them are deluded, but most know it is a very simple proposition—money will either make them or break them. For them (the vast majority of Christian ministers), money is the solution. Without money they cannot operate or even exist.
The very few honest ministers reject this entire notion. They know it is not Biblical. They know it does not stem from the teachings of the Lord. They know the Lord has called them to a specific work and as long as they draw breath they will do that work come hell or high water, whether they have any money or not.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]