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PROPER PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST: A PERFECT SACRIFICE

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

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

         He explained it this way:

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

A PERFECT LIFE 

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

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

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

A PERFECT SACRIFICE

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

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

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

THE PROMISE IS FOR YOU

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

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

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

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

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

THE PROPER PREPARATION

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

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

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

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

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         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.

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         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 [1]

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         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] [2]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] This World Is Not My Home © 1952 by Albert E. Brumley, Acclaim Music

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

HAPPY SIXTH BIRTHDAY, REAL CHRISTIANITY

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       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.

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         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] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

RACE TO THE EGG

        

         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!

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         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] [1]

         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.  


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

THE VITAL PREREQUISITES OF CHRISTIANITY 101

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         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.

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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.

CIRCULAR REASONING

         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.

DISCIPLESHIP PREREQUISITES

        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,

         “Repent,

        “And each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;

         “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

        “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:38-39] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

REAL RELATIONSHIP: The Redemption (4)

         “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.”

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         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.

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REAL RELATIONSHIP

         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. [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

REAL RELATIONSHIP: The Revolution (3)

         “We can follow orders, we can send directives through the chain of command, we can organize massive shows of religious pomp and promote great Broadway hits, such as Charismania!, but this only means we are unified in purpose.”

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         In Part 1, we discussed the Revelation of Real Relationship. In Part 2, we discussed the ongoing Restoration. In Part 3, we continue the narrative from my book Real Christianity by discussing the Revolution in American Christianity presently coming forth in these early days of the Great Awakening:

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REAL RELATIONSHIP

         The partitioning of Christianity into clergy and laity began with the introduction of the professional minister. The distinction must be drawn between those who minister because it is a job and those who do it because they have a passion to walk in their calling.

         Professionalism promotes rank, and rank promotes division. Yet the present members of the institutional clergy, like their forefathers, continue to insist that rank can coexist with unity. What they call unity is nothing more than communication between ranks brought on by forced submission to a dominant hierarchy.

         However, communication between ranks will never result in spiritual unity among ranks. We can follow orders, we can send directives through the chain of command, we can organize massive shows of religious pomp and promote great Broadway hits, such as Charismania!, but this only means we are unified in purpose. It does not mean our spirits are knit together in real relationship and true Christian love.

         It used to be that traveling shows had to keep traveling in order to escape from those they duped. But the level of deception has now become so great that many of these road shows have settled down in our cities and towns and are perceived as being quite respectable. The reason most of the duped remain duped stems from the fact that the standard which early Christianity once represented has been suctioned out and cut on until it is no longer recognizable and in too many instances, rejected outright. Instead of walking tall as the body of Christ, we are all too often mere church mice, thoroughly intimidated by a system and structure that has no real community or love between members.

         What causes such intimidation? Why are there no opposing viewpoints? Is dissension evil even when those in power are wrong? There is no doubt that centralized authority is to be blamed in part since it causes individuals to feel insignificant and irrelevant in relation to the whole and powerless to change anything. Such power-over-the-people dogma flies in the face of that which Christianity is supposed to be.

         Yet God doesn’t leave us without the possibility of deliverance. Some of the blame, therefore, must fall squarely on the backs of those latent ministers who could make a difference but disregard their calling, opting instead to weakly blend into a directionless, homogenized mass.

         When the people of God take their ease instead of taking up their cross, they become subject to something or someone other than the Lord. This causes a false servitude to an improper party, and thus, a fear of breaking ranks with said party. The spirit behind the cause of such behavior has no respect or honor for individuals.

         Yes, we are supposed to be a body. Yes, we are supposed to be a team. Yes, we are supposed to be a family. But these entities are strong not only because of their unity but also because of the strength of their individual members. If the individual members are spiritually weak but the unifying force is strong, the whole can only be strong temporarily, if at all, and absolutely spiritually impotent for the long term, though it remain unified through coercion, fear, or cultural tradition.

         There are reams of historical data reaching back throughout the history of Christianity to support this fact. Centralized authority is only supposed to be a temporary fix designed to bring an entity back on course. When it is institutionalized, it feeds on those it rules over, instead of assisting and serving the common good.

         When such authority gains control, it will not only feed on its subject class, it will also confiscate the children’s bread. This stunts the children’s growth and keeps them in a perpetually immature state. As an example, look at the sea of “lay” people which make up most of our congregations. Far too many are clueless concerning their role in the Lord’s body. Almost all are underdeveloped and dependent upon the clergy. Many are in fear, and the great majority are thoroughly overwhelmed by the centralized power which keeps them from developing into what God wants and needs them to be.

         Why? Because to buck central authority is to invite its wrath. Centralized authority is heavily control-oriented and dictatorial. For a lone individual or small group to stand against it takes much strength. In the Church, it takes obedience to the Lord and much anointing. Indeed, the very history of the Lord’s Qahal is constructed with the building blocks of dissent against the raw power of inhumane religious impostors bent on maintaining their stolen authority. In the early days of the Church, her religious enemies were thoroughly pagan. But they eventually became “Christianized.” [1]

        © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

REAL RELATIONSHIP: The Restoration (2)

         “In the beginning, spiritual relationship came naturally. Nobody had to come up with a program to promote relationship between members…”

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         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:

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REAL RELATIONSHIP

         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 [1] 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. [2]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Qahal is the Hebrew equivalent for “Church,” and is the word most likely used by Jesus.

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

REAL RELATIONSHIP: The Revelation (1)

         “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…”

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         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:

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REAL RELATIONSHIP

         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, [1] 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. [2]

         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 [3]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Qahal is the Hebrew equivalent for “Church,” and is the word most likely used by Jesus.

[2] 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.

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

TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN

         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.

ANTI-DISCIPLESHIP: The Problem of Willful Immaturity

         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] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Everybody Must Get Stoned: Reaping the Reward of Spiritual Attack

         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.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

EXPOSING THE POSERS: Why Prophets and Truth-Bearers are Subject to Such Intense Hate and Hostility

         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.

“GRAVEN IMAGES”

         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] [1]

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.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

THE GREAT AWAKENING: Please Pray

         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] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Reader Comments: January 2016

         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.

From:

HIERARCHY HIRELINGS: How Incompetent Posers Gain Authority (Doh!) :

         (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.”

From:

Overcoming Clergy Dominion: BREAKING FREE (5) :

         “‘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.”

From:

Defining Fruit: THE PARABLE OF THE TREES :

         (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/

From:

You Will Know Them By Their Fruits: WOLVES IN WOOL :

         “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.”

From:

Divide and Conquer: THE CLERGY-LAITY SPLIT :

         (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:

https://tpuccio.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/the-end-of-the-church-as-we-know-it-a-second-dream/ 

         (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:

https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/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

From:

IDENTITY Politics and the Fracturing of America :

         (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.

Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

HIERARCHY HIRELINGS: How Incompetent Posers Gain Authority (Doh!)

         “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] [1]

         Live the adventure.

         Climb the Rockies.

         But watch out for rocks.

       © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

        Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Is God Three People? JESUS IS THE ONLY DOOR (2)

         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] [1]

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


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

Is God Three People? JESUS MUST BE FIRST (1)

         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]

SELF SACRIFICE

         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]

REAL DISCIPLESHIP

         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.]


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

When Real Christians Die: Proving the Existence of the Unseen Spiritual World (2)

         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.” [1]

         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.

PRAYER WORKS

         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] [2]

        © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] NASA: Dark Energy, Dark Matter. Last Updated: June 5, 2015 http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/

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

When Sinners Die: Rejecting the Sacrifice Lamb (1)

         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.

THE CONSCIENCE

         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] [1]

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


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

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]

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          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] [1]

          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.]


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

PREACHER UNIONS AND “CHRISTIAN” TV: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (1)

         They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?”

         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 9:33-35]

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         There is a time when spiritual bankruptcy sets in. In America, that time is far past. There is a reason America is in decline.

         Though the reason may seem odd, one can always trace guilt to the accountable party—the party that knows better but purposefully makes bad choices to further selfish interests.

         In other words, most people in general know right from wrong simply because they have a working conscience. When most people in a society make correct choices, the society in general is strong and moral. The only way to make such a moral society immoral is for an expanding percentage of that society’s individuals to go against their conscience, choose against what one knows to be right (for whatever reason—the reason doesn’t matter), and make bad choices.

         And again, bad choices are most often due to selfish purposes.

         Based on these facts, and the fact that America has a long history of strong Christianity and knowledge of God’s Word, if one seeks the party most responsible for the spiritual decline of America, forget the usual suspects. The reason for the decline is elsewhere.

         Look no further than the relative few in charge within Unreal Christianity, since they are the ones with the authority to make the most substantial choices that affect everyone else.

         There was a time in America when such people chose correctly. Most ministers honored God’s Word the best they could. They preached the real Gospel. They preached repentance. The preached against sin. Though many ministers still strayed from preaching the full Gospel, they preached enough of it to have a strong effect. Most ministers no longer have much effect on American society anymore. Most have become selfish with selfish motives.

         But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.

         “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25-28] [1]

         If one seeks a particular party most responsible for spiritual decline, then one must look to those with authority in that realm. The reason why is simple: There is no authority without responsibility.

         Of the many responsible parties with great authority, influence, wealth, and esteem, consider Christian television.

         There are obvious frauds associated within such enterprises. Everybody knows it. Yet no one who is a part of the various networks, especially the largest one, says anything about them. In saying this I am not speaking of employees, since there have been inside whistleblowers over the years who have shed light on sinister inner workings, and especially recently, when a veritable feud broke out between family members of one particular network. This became a blood feud, as is often the case when extremely high stakes are involved.

         No, the ones who never speak out about the frauds in their midst are all the fellow ministers that make up the bulk of the Christian television clan. They, like everyone else, know there are obvious frauds associated with Christian TV in general. Everybody knows it. But no ministers within the networks ever say anything publicly about it.

         Their silence is in part due to the fact that the great many large and successful clergy groups in America, of which one comprises television ministers, have become effectively unionized. They have managed, by their unions, minister associations, and closed cliques, to grab the lion’s share of the influence and available money. They protect one another.

         However, by creating mutual admiration societies and bless-me clubs, and by putting themselves out of reach, they have also established a clear no-rebuke policy. They are only accountable to one another, which means they are not accountable at all. Because of this, they have become non-correctable.

         Yet, non-correction always leads to corruption. What they gain in wealth and influence they lose in spiritual strength and righteousness.

         Hence, DECLINE.

         Secondly, individual members also know if they speak out, even in a general sense without naming names, the spotlight will turn on them, and they would rather not have the scrutiny. Their top priority is often their personal reputations and status within their groups. They know there are other “Christians” who have the wherewithal to destroy them. Therefore, they have learned they must not only repent of personal sin (if they’re honest), as all real Christians must do, but to also never step on the toes of those who help make them successful, since most of them see ministry as a professional career.

         However, God doesn’t care so much about personal reputations. With proper repentance, He can fix personal failures. He did not come to condemn us but to save us. The heart of the Lord is about mercy and grace. Each of us is an ongoing work of God undergoing His correction. It is how we become strong and mature disciples. Though the Lord never sinned or did anything wrong, His own reputation suffered due to the outright lies and malicious gossip of religious people. This means personal reputations often hang by a hair, even among the innocent.

         However, for those who insist on the power of outer image—that “image is everything”—and that outer image is tied directly to ministerial financial success, and convince others that they are already polished and perfect, how can the Lord possibly correct them? It is thus impossible for such people to ever become honest, mature disciples.

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


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

Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind

         See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

         For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ… [Colossians 2:8-11]

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THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT       

         Circumcision is a circle cut which removes the foreskin. It was a vital and necessary part of the Abrahamic Covenant. It was a type of heart circumcision in human flesh.

         “And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations…” [Genesis 17:12]

         Eight is the Biblical number of resurrection and regeneration.

THE NEW COVENANT

         It is the same with spiritual (heart) circumcision. Heart circumcision is a spiritual cut around the human heart (spirit) removing the natural, sinful flesh (foreskin). It is a vital and necessary part of the New Covenant instituted by the Lord Jesus—the Blood Covenant. It is the new birth. There is no new birth without a spiritual circumcision of the heart.

         But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. [Romans 2:29]

THE NEW SPIRITUAL MIND

         Scripture tells us that this heart “circle cut” also removes the lower human mind and renews it with a  new spiritual mind. All real Christians (real disciples of the Lord Jesus) have this mind. It goes along with the new spiritual heart. The renewed mind brings forth renewed thinking. An entirely brand new thinking process develops. It is a thought pattern based on the pure Word of God. It is in agreement with the thought pattern of the Lord Jesus.

         Prior to an actual new spiritual birth, the human thought process is in clear opposition to God. It is a thought process based on the selfish desires of human flesh. It is impossible for this thought process to bring forth anything of spiritual worth or good. This lower human nature is the result of the original rebellion of Adam and Eve. There is nothing to do about this lower nature—there is no escape from it—there is no higher nature to be achieved—unless one is born again from above as taught by the Lord Jesus.

THE ONE WAY TO LIFE

         There is only one new birth. There is only one way to God. There is only one way to the Father.

         The Lord Jesus is the Father.

         He is also the Way to the Father. It is through the humanity of the Lord Jesus that a person finds his or her way to God.

         This is why God—YHWH—the one God of the Hebrews, became a human being. He came among us as one of us to show us the Way to Life. As part of His great love it required a perfect blood sacrifice from within humanity to pay for the sin of mankind. Only one Man qualified. This perfect sacrifice could only have taken place through a perfect, sinless, and spotless human being. This is what and who the Lord Jesus was and is. He is Immanuel—God with us. He is also the Sacrifice Lamb. He became one of us as a Son in whom dwelt the Father (YHWH).

COUNTER CIRCUMCISION: THE MENTAL MARK

         The devil’s answer for the powerful new birth which creates millions of Holy Spirit-filled sons of God is to counterfeit the process. The only option he has is to capture minds. Once he captures minds he changes the thought process even beyond that of generic human rebellion against God and spiritual purity. He creates his own disciples.

         He brands a “mark” upon such minds which serves as more than a stronghold within it. His mark changes a person’s thinking and thought process to one in agreement with the devil’s thinking and thought process. It is a thought process of hate in the guise of love.

         Of course, every individual who undergoes this process is deceived by it. The majority of the devil’s disciples do not know they are serving him. Though they have become haters they are convinced they are lovers. They are blinded to spiritual reality. They have willingly accepted this mark, or branding. Their mind becomes controlled by evil in the guise of good.

         Paul described the devil’s circumcision of the human mind and one’s elimination of it as thus:

         …With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. [2Timothy 2:25-26]

         Paul also speaks of Christians who quit on the Lord (apostasy) and give themselves over to counterfeit forms of Christianity:

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

         Thus, we can see that no person without the Lord is immune from the great deception of demonic forces. The only chance one has to be freed from deception is through the Lord Jesus, and this is done by repenting of sin and surrendering to Him so He can begin the process of the new birth. He can deliver the captives from spiritual death and free their minds from the devil’s control.

WHAT IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST?

         The word “mark” is found seven times in the Book of Revelation. It is translated into English from the Greek word charagma. It is defined as a stamp or impress, or imprinted mark. This particular mark has to do with the economic system of who the Book of Revelation refers to as the Beast.

         The Beast of Revelation is described as a bestial man—brutal, savage, and ferocious. Merriam-Webster defines the word bestial as “marked by base or inhuman instincts or desires.” This lines up perfectly with one who has taken the devil’s mark upon his mind.

         The Beast is the epitome of the aforesaid evil human being in total opposition and rebellion toward God. He is a man of brute force, epitomized by all the brutal dictators of history who had no care or concern for human beings, but used all and abused all to their own ends. His economic system will demand that everyone participate by first buying into the system entirely. Whoever does not will be excluded entirely. Such a system is further implied to be purely demonic and will be used as the method to gain souls through the selling of their souls. People will be forced to choose between God and mammon, one or the other, and nothing in-between.

         For those who choose the Mark of the Beast, it will be a furthering of the existing circumcised mark upon their minds, and will prove one’s total worship of the Beast and his kingdom from which retreat will be impossible.

         Do not be deceived. All who take the mark will do so because they have rejected the Lord Jesus and accepted the Beast. All of these will be unable to see him for who he really is and will love the Beast and believe him to be the greatest and most wonderful leader in history. Externally, he will possess an extremely likeable and charismatic personality. He will look good, dress good, sound good, and seemingly have an answer for every human heart.

         As a leader, he will satisfy every desire of every person on the planet, except, however, for real Christians, who will perceive him clearly, not hindered by the massive fog of deception made possible by a purely exterior masquerade. Only those born of the Spirit of God will see through the sham.

         In order to stay above the fray of dismay we must be born again. Our entire thought process must be renewed by the Spirit of God.

         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. [Romans 12:2]

THE MIND OF CHRIST

         …But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

         For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

         Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

         But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

         For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. [1Corinthians 2:7-16] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE DEFEAT OF BRUTAL ROME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


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

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

BE FREE

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

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

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

PHARISEES ARE IDIOTS

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

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

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

MURDEROUS, LYING, RELIGIOUS CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL

         You are doing the deeds of your father.”

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

         Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.

         You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

THRUST AND PARRY

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

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

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

JUST WHO ARE YOU EXACTLY?

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

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

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

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

.

LYRICS FOLLOW BELOW (TURN UP YOUR SPEAKERS):

 

I’m free

I’m free

And freedom tastes of reality

 

I’m free

I’m free

And I’m waiting for you to follow me

 

If I told you what it takes

To reach the highest high

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

 

But you’ve been told many times before

Messiah’s pointed to the door

No one had the guts to leave the temple

 

I’m free

I’m free

And freedom tastes of reality

 

I’m free

I’m free

And I’m waiting for you to follow me

 

How can we follow?

How can we follow? [2]

 

          © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

[2] © 1969 Pete Townshend THE WHO

Dysfunctional Churches (and Non-Functional “Pastors”)

        It makes no sense. Unless one is really into religion.

        America remains saturated with dysfunctional churches and non-functioning “pastors,” and 90% of everyone in the pew is completely oblivious to the problem.

         The few “Christians” who actually read the Bible, and study it, and do it with an open mind, know that there is a huge ginormous incredible one-end-of-the-Universe-to-the-other disconnect between what the Word of God actually says and what most churches believe and practice.

         If one cannot see the devil in this then one is deceived.

         Why did the Lord Jesus receive such a hard time from religious people, especially religious leaders? And why do most Christians think the opposite would happen if He visited their own particular church? They really think He would find most of what transpires on refrigerator row perfectly fine and dandy and would respond with several “Good job’s” and handshakes all around. I’m not saying this would not or could not happen. I’m only saying the odds of it happening are astronomical.

         For the few Christians who study the Word, they know there was a weird dynamic always playing out in the Old Testament. The Lord would hear the cries and moans and incessant caterwauling of His people because they screwed up yet again, just like they did a million times before, and He would answer their prayers and send them relief in the form of prophets who at great personal risk and possessing an extremely uncomfortable lifestyle would tell the people exactly what they needed to do to fix things.

         The people would listen, change their sorry tune, get right with God, and lo and behold good things would start happening! Then they would begin descending into chaos again and the cycle would have to start all over. Oh, and they would, of course, usually kill the prophets. You know, par for the course.

         But how do the majority of American churches, ministries, “pastors,” “Christian” television personalities, and any other standard ministry set-up respond to even the slightest corrective voice sent by God as a blessing to fix things?

         They show him or her the door. They disfellowship in a heartbeat not because someone is lost in sin and disobedience but because THEY are lost in sin and disobedience. Anyone who is not on board with their unbiblical stuff is seen as an enemy.

         What happens as a result is that these “leaders” go that much further off the deep end precisely because they have successfully eliminated the corrective voice of God.

         Just in case someone doesn’t know the following, I must state it here for all of us to hopefully get the big idea: GOD WORKS THROUGH PEOPLE.

         And you know what else? THE PEOPLE GOD WORKS THROUGH ARE HUMBLE, SELF-EFFACING, AND NON-SPOTLIGHT-ORIENTED.

         Just like their Master.

         Even though most “Christians” think the Lord Jesus would love their spiritual enterprises if He ever visited, the reality is that most want no part of the Lord Jesus and would never allow Him full authority in their churches, and usually allow Him no authority.

         How do we know this? Again, because American “Christians” are largely Biblically illiterate. Why? Because they hire some guy to do all that stuff for them so they can assuage their conscience by going through an hour or two of rote and ritual on Sunday mornings. The problem here is that, since they have little or no spiritual experience or actual Biblical knowledge, they can never serve as a check against whoever they allow in the pulpit. How do they know the dude is right?

         (Other than that he explicitly obeys their denominational beliefs and does everything the same exact way the Episcobapterians and Universal churchites did it a million years ago because religious spirits must be appeased.)

         This is why the vast majority of churches would NEVER allow the Lord Jesus absolute full authority if He ever visited.

         News flash: The Lord Jesus is still here in the form of His Holy Spirit but has already long since been proven unwanted by most churches simply because what most “Christians” do looks nothing whatsoever like what He and His disciples did.

         And whenever someone brings this up he or she gets the cold shoulder, the gossip, the bad looks, and the silent treatment.

         Of course, most “Christians” think all that is deserved because the people in question are idiots and are deserving of disfellowship.

         They believe this because they simply cannot make the connection to the disfellowship the Lord Jesus suffered, and He suffered disfellowship more than any man in history, and still suffers disfellowship to this day.

         The same with His original disciples. And the early community of believers. And the underground church in China that is currently blowing the doors off to the tune of millions and millions even though they still suffer great persecution. Those people won’t stop until they fix the whole country! All this while America continues going downhill fast because higher-ups have made a deal with the devil and the majority looks the other way.

         Quick question: Have you ever noticed that Great Awakenings and great persecution always go together, and that if there is no persecution it is an obvious sign of dead Christianity?

         And have you noticed how it follows then that the one’s being persecuted in churches are being persecuted simply because they are pointing out this deadness and lack of familiarity with the Lord’s ministry and teachings?

         Hmmm…

         Kind of exactly like the Old Testament prophets.

         Well, the Lord Jesus was and remains the greatest of all prophets and He got the same thing they got and to a much greater degree.

         When’s the last time you saw an American “pastor” dragged out of His church and executed? No? Okay then, how about something less? No? Of course, real shepherds are victims of persecution but such guys are few and far between and you probably don’t hear much about them.

         Maybe because they are obscure and non-flashy and don’t particularly care for religious titles and clergyesque appearances and spiritual circlespeak.

         You know, kind of like the Lord?

         Most “pastors” call the cops and use lawyers to protect themselves and depend on their bodyguards and private surveillance personnel, and are willing to sue at the drop of a hat to protect their image and enterprise and as a result ARE ALSO PROTECTED FROM GOD.

         God cannot get to them in any loving and understanding way because these people bar the door against anyone or anything they see as potential enemies.

         As a result of their self-imposed and bought-with-good-money security shield they cut themselves off from God’s corrective voice and by their own doing build their own giant and slippery slide into the heart of hell. They have it great in the here and now but unless they repent will suffer in the long term.

         Worse than that, however, is all the people they will take with them. But their followers have no excuse because none of them speak any corrective to the gross dysfunction, partly because they know what happened to those who did.

         This is why the majority of American Christianity is hopelessly dysfunctional.

         It refuses correction.

         This is the opposite of repentance.

         IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN PURE UNADULTERATED SPIRITUAL PRIDE.

         Real Christians, however, know all about repentance. They’ve hit the deck more than a million lousy boxers. THEY KNOW THAT HUMILITY IS A DOOR INTO GREAT SPIRITUAL SUCCESS. They have taken the cue from their Master who taught them how bewitching religious pride is, the worst of all forms of pride, and they know they are merely a hop, skip, and jump from ending up deceived and requisitely hell bound.

         If one wants sin to take root and grow like muck in a swamp as ancient Israel did so many times, all one must do is murder God’s humble unpretentious messengers (murder comes in many forms). In this way, dysfunction as usual proceeds accordingly and those in power enjoying all the perks stay in power and also stay in power over their people as they continue to deceive them and take their money.

         One last thing: All of the Lord’s spiritual giants spent much, much time all alone with God, usually in a desert, and learned everything they knew directly from Him.

         Everyone is responsible for their own walk with God and whoever puts anyone between himself and the Lord Jesus will be deceived and suffer spiritually for it. Honor the message of those God has sent but never, ever honor them above the Lord or even yourself. Otherwise, you can never become a real spiritual giant but will forever remain under their thumb.

         We all must mature but we will never mature by submitting to middlemen and imposters.

         What follows is some scriptural food for thought on the subject, spoken by a former religion addict who formerly thought murdering those unlike himself was infinitely greater than loving them but got knocked on his butt by a loving God determined to correct the man’s extreme dysfunction.

         Once receiving correction, the man received great revelation, and became a spiritual giant. Think about it.

         For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

         For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

         But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me;

         But I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:11-17] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

The Day of Pentecost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

The Great Awakening (and Ruined Reputations)

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

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

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

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

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

         This current Great Awakening is being driven by TRUTH.

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

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

         Why?

         It should be obvious.

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

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

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

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

         His reality destroyed His enemies’ false conception of truth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Rewards of Discipleship and Real Abundance

         When we think of rewards we usually think of prizes or gifts based on a good deed: Lost Dog—$20 Reward.

         In the Old West, bounty posters were tacked up in various places announcing rewards associated with catching bad guys. Bounty hunters made a living off such rewards.

         If you were punching cattle, though, you didn’t get a reward—you got your pay. You received wages.

         The distinction between these two—rewards and wages—was based in the former sense on the difference between being an independent contractor and being an employee. Hiring on with a ranching outfit usually meant working for an indefinite amount of time for a set wage within that time, be it a certain amount per day, per week, or per month. If a man wanted steady work it would be for comparably lower pay, and often very low pay.

         An independent contractor, on the other hand, took on the risk of solely providing for himself. The reward, if he got it, was not based on an hourly wage or weekly rate, but on whatever the contract had stipulated. An experienced man could earn more money in less time. For the most part, the reward contract was non-negotiable.

         The Lord Jesus told many stories about such non-negotiable rewards, though they are often thought of as being mere wages.

THE LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD

         The parable of The Laborers in the Vineyard comes to mind (Matthew 20:1-16). Each worker was given the same pay regardless of how much time each actually worked. It appeared to be a daily rate at first and was specifically identified as one denarius. However, it became less of a daily rate as the day went on. Also, the pay was not identified when the second and third groups were hired as the day advanced. Later, the pay could be characterized as an hourly wage, but only by the last group—those “eleventh hour” workers who toiled only during the last hour of the day.

         Which was it? Was the pay wages or reward? The landowner mentioned something later about being generous. The first group that worked all day got pretty ticked off since they worked all day and the others who received the exact pay did not, even though the denarius they had agreed upon that morning when hired was a daily wage at that time. Why did the landowner pay the same mount to all regardless of time worked?

THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

         There are also rewards based on specific conditions. One may think of The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). In this story, three men were entrusted with large amounts of money upfront with the provision to use it to make more. This financial arrangement was not only the promise of a reward, but the reward would be decided upon by the grantees that did the work. The contract was non-negotiable but also open-ended and conditional.

         The initial amount given to each was based on their respective ability:

         To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. [Matthew 25:15]

         Though the word used here—ability—is used by the majority of Bible translations, it is not necessarily the best translation. The Greek word is dunamis. This word is primarily translated as power, but is also translated as miracle, miracles, and miraculous powers. It is an indication of personal strength.

         Each of the men was invested with an amount of money based on their personal strength and potential. The first man was given five talents because he possessed more strength, ability, and power than the others. At first glance this may seem unfair, but the master expected more from those who had more, since such people had greater potential for greater productivity and fruitfulness:

         “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” [Luke 12:48]

         We notice in this story, however, that the two men who did a good job by doubling their money gave what they made right back to their master and received—you guessed it—even greater rewards:

(1) Since they were faithful in a few things, they would each be given charge over many things, and

(2) They were blessed with entering into the joy (delight, gladness) of their master.

         It is obvious that the money these men made was not mere wages but reward with the possibility of greater reward. They invested wisely in such a way that there were ongoing dividends, or fruit. It is also clear that wages are their own reward, and once one cashes his paycheck and spends it the transaction is complete, unless one uses some of the money as financial seed.

         But there is another very important component of this message. All three men had great respect for their master. They understood they were given a great opportunity they would likely never receive again. They took it very seriously. However, the focus of the two who were successful was not on personal gain, but on their master’s gain. The third man with the least ability who was given one talent was focused on himself, and because of that he gave in to fear and buried his talent. His talent was thus unfruitful, and though he returned the money fully intact to the master, its potential was never realized. As a result, he was fired (literally).

ATTITUDE TRUMPS ABILITY

         As the man given one talent, some people may think, to begin with, that they are not quite so blessed in this life or that they have few talents or abilities. But the parable says such is not true at all. Concerning the man who was fired and why he was not successful, it was not his abilities that were deficient but his attitude. Everyone has the required abilities to be successful, but only a few make the choice to have the right attitude.

         The correct attitude is one of respect, humility, determination, and resoluteness. The master was looking for people who would never give up, who would show courage and tenacity, who would get the job done come hell or high water, who would always overcome their fear or anything else that may hinder success, and work as hard as it took to achieve the objective.

         In short, he wanted people who would simply not be denied and who lived by great faith—he wanted winners.

         Winners are people who never give up until they win.

         They do not have to be greatly gifted. They may be marginally gifted. But they must use whatever they have no matter how small. (Think seed.) The intent is to take whatever one has been given by God and increase it, whether given a large amount equivalent to several years wages (a talent), or less.

         Remember the story of the widow’s mites (small copper coins—see Mark 12:42-44). That poor woman only had two barely valuable coins but gave both into the Lord’s treasury. It was not the monetary amount that impressed the Lord Jesus, but that she gave her all. She gave everything she had, and hence, more than any of those more successful people who only gave a token easily affordable amount from their increase.

         The Master wants people who give their entire heart.

         How many true stories have we heard of people starting out very small and making it big? We must first submit ourselves to the Master, use whatever we may have been given, use it correctly, and produce the fruit thereof. We know from the parable that the guy who did nothing received nothing. He returned nothing more to his master than what he received. He was unprofitable and thus received no pay, no wages, and no reward.

         Those who consistently give their whole heart according to the will of God in obedience to Him, however, are forever fruitful. They will bring forth abundance.

REWARDS OF DISCIPLESHIP

         “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.” [Matthew 29:25]

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

         “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:1]

         “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:2-4]

         “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]

         “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:16-18]

         “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Matthew 6:19-21]

         “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” [Matthew 10:40-42]

         “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.

         “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.

         “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Luke 6:31-38] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Judge Not: The Upshot of Carrying One’s Cross

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         This is certainly a form of crucifixion.

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

THE MATTHEW ACCOUNT:

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

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

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

THE LUKE ACCOUNT:

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

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

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

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

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

         And there’s the point.

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

LIKE ONE FROM WHOM MEN HIDE THEIR FACE

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

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

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

         He wanted to ransom the souls of humanity.

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

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

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

ANTI-DISCIPLES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JUDGMENT LOOMS

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

         Better to judge ourselves than judge others:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Mary Did You Know?

         Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. [Matthew 1:18] [1]

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         From the very beginning, the Lord demanded that His followers believe in and be a part of miraculous works. His very birth was a miracle!

         But His mother Mary had to carry with her for the next thirty years the powerful and painful fact that pretty much everybody but Joseph believed she was an impure woman trying to present herself as pure.

         It did not matter how much she protested all the disgusting innuendo that followed her constantly. No one other than her husband believed her, and possibly a few others. But these few, if they actually existed, had very little impact on lessening the pain that unbelief caused her. And the only reason Joseph believed was because an angel kept appearing to him giving him spiritual facts he could otherwise not see.

         Imagine your entire town, your relatives, your “friends,” the people you attended synagogue with, and effectively the entire nation of Israel not believing a single word you say in defense of yourself. You know God asked you to do a very difficult thing and you showed zero hesitation in accepting the assignment and the great challenge it represented. You learned quickly that when God said a nation was blind He meant exactly that: ISRAEL WAS BLIND.

         Mary knew in her heart based on her own very hurtful experience that the same thing would happen to her Son—He would be rejected as she was rejected. Most of His own countrymen would never believe Him. His own family would reject Him! None of His brothers and sisters were at the foot of the cross. Only one of His twelve disciples was there, and one wonders if John was at the cross in part because he was given the mantle of taking care of Mary.

         But long before then, while the Lord was growing up, Mary still had to find a way to live with unbelief all around her and everyone whispering and shaming her everywhere she went. It was obvious to all in their spiritually blind and willingly sinful state that the Lord Jesus was certainly illegitimate, and because he did not favor Joseph someone else must be the real father. And everyone probably had their suspects.

         But Mary, the wonderful, pure, and blessed mother of our Lord, soldiered on. She was presented with an extremely difficult lifelong task and was determined to fulfill it. She honored God. She gave her word. She considered herself greatly blessed. And most of all, God needed her!

         In this wonderful time when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, our Immanuel—GOD WITH US—let us remember the great accomplishment of Mary—Miryam. Let us remember how she remained faithful to God for the duration no matter the pain and rejection she suffered. She did an excellent job as a wife and mother. Is it possible, though, that anyone ever cried more tears? She was holy and obedient and showed great resolve regardless of all the ubiquitous malicious gossip and unbelief.

         And when at last her loving Son did that first miracle at the Cana wedding she could finally feel some relief. She could proudly say in clearing her name, “I told you so! Now will you believe me?”

         Some did. Most did not. Even miraculous works did not change their dark sinful minds.

         But Mary knew. She always knew.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

If We Love Him We Will Obey Him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         Thank you for reading. Be blessed and Merry Christmas!

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Portals of Progress (Part 2)

         Hesiod’s story of Pandora’s Box was an obvious take on the Genesis account.

         Pandora had been granted authority.

         She possessed the freedom to choose.

         Freedom allows for the making of evil choices.

         Eve discovered evil in exactly this manner.

         Evil gives clear perspective to goodness.

         Before people know evil, however, they are only vaguely aware of evil in an abstract sense.

         This is how God presented evil to Adam—in the abstract. He never taught Adam about evil directly, because Adam could not possibly have known what He was talking about.

         There he was—fresh from creation—Adam! Bright and pure and strong, perfectly innocent, with large open eyes and a big smile. He was astounded by the beauty around him and most especially by the majesty of the Lord before him, his Creator.

         The Lord and Adam were very close, a very loving Father and son. Though Adam was made of earthly elements in the physical realm, he was filled with the Spirit of God. The very life and presence of God lived within Adam. He was a true son of his Father, and as his Father, the Lord did all possible to teach Adam properly and protect him.

         Regarding evil though, the only option God had was a commandment:

         The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” [Genesis 2:16-17]

         Commandments are just that—they are commands. The reason commands regarding evil must be presented as commands is because the recipient of the command has no understanding of the far-reaching consequences of its violation.

         In this, Adam had to learn obedience, and in that He had to trust God.

         And this is what faith is.

         Of course, Adam had no reason whatsoever to doubt God. He did not blindly obey, either. He knew He was loved. God created him and gave him a great place to live and work.

         Adam chose to obey God. He loved his Father.

         He must have also understood that his Father should and must be respected, and that his Father knew a whole lot more than he did. He knew the command he received against evil was for his own benefit and protection, though he had no understanding of what those things—evil and death—were. As in the hearts of innocent children, evil and death were only abstractions to him.

         In Genesis 2, God reveals Adam’s initial purpose:

         Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15] [1]

         Adam obeyed the Lord regarding his purpose also. He took good care of the garden in which he lived. As a result of his work, the garden was very fruitful. It grew. It produced.

         As Adam continued on he saw the good consequences of his choices, that good things happened as a result, and he saw good fruit come forth that he had never previously seen. It was all new—astoundingly and wonderfully new—and abundant.

         But Adam also had to grow. He had to progress. And he did. He became more knowledgeable though remaining in a state of perfect innocence.

         There were often times he had to do things, however, that he had never done before. He had to choose. It was always a new portal for him, one in which there was the usual trepidation. Like any of us, he had to figure things out. He put two and two together. He no doubt sometimes learned by trial and error, error being not an evil thing but simply an unfruitful thing. In academic terms, it is referred to as gaining knowledge empirically.

         Without making correct decisions, there is no possibility of progress.

         He discovered that as long as he kept choosing correctly, good stuff kept happening. In time, he became somewhat less concerned about walking through such new portals, and even began to approach apparent risk with much fervor. He was, after all, obeying God.

         Through obedience, faithfulness, personal experience, hard work, dedication, and seeing the fruitful results of planting good seed, he learned that life kept producing good fruit as long as he stayed true to the Lord in his heart and in his work. He saw how fruitful the garden was, and was thankful that every tree was acceptable and good, except one.

         And because he trusted his Father, he refused to go down that path.

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


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

Portals of Progress (Part 1)

         The Lord sometimes sets a door before us through which we must pass. It often arrives as a result of much prayer and searching. Upon arrival, we sometimes do not recognize the door as the answer we seek because it doesn’t necessarily appear as an opportunity, but something to avoid.

         Walking through such a portal begins a journey into the unknown.

         It portends a Door of Discipleship—an Avenue of Advancement—a Portal of Progress.

         Going through such a door will cause one to surrender one’s supposed security. It will demand the leaving of one’s safe and guarded sanctuary composed of the known, where all is seemingly predictable and routine, and head into uncharted territory.

         This moment will demand great faith. Though one must receive clear confirmation that such a move is God’s will and though one may feel a great tug in the spirit and the Lord’s leading, the much greater tug must actually be a push, in that even though we feel something drawing us forward, it is never enough to force us or carry us along.

         We must act. We must choose. We must compel ourselves. We must obey. We must step through.

         I wrote a post two years ago entitled He Steadfastly Set His Face To Go To Jerusalem. The Lord knew all along the cross was His fate. It was a portal through which He had to pass. None of His loved ones agreed with His choice, though the choice was made eons before.

         We know that God had already integrated the cross into His master plan before He began creating anything.

         Regarding the fate of humanity, long before He created Adam, God planned His own crucifixion.

         …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. 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 1:18-21]   

         The Lord knew in advance of His creation that a sacrifice would be called for. He knew as soon as He began planning to create free-willed beings like Himself that such beings must be allowed to choose, even to the point of choosing against Him, or they would have no such thing as a free will. In this—choosing against God—choice allows for the opposite of what God intends.

         We know what Adam and Eve eventually did. We know that at some point they both violated the command against choosing evil. But we also know that prior to their spiritual fall, Adam and Eve spent an undetermined age in perfect purity and union with the Lord, a time in which they continually chose correctly. It was their time of obedience, and thus, innocence.

         The Word of God says that Adam and Eve were made in His image. God had created two people who were like He was, with the ability to choose as He did, and thus with a completely free will. He had granted them the ability to make their own choices.

         They were thus not robots. Robots, no matter the level of sophistication, are programmed. They are built and programmed by a higher intelligence. Human beings, as the creators of robots, continue to make them as “intelligent” as possible. But regardless of appearances, robots will forever be the result of programming—robots cannot possess free will.

         Even so, people who think deeply about such things have long speculated about the possibility of robots eventually gaining the upper hand and becoming so intelligent and pervasive they will somehow take over. After a century or so of such speculation, of predicting the future, and of science-fiction writers coming up with all manner of end results regarding the subject, we can now fully appreciate just how far-thinking many of them were. Most people back then never believed our present was possible and had very little to do with its arrival.

         And this is the problem with humanity. People in general have a strong tendency to remain with the tried and true and traditional, to remain in their zones of comfort, to lasso life to their liking and drive it into a small and crude corral. In this they can control their lives, as rudimentary and small as they are.

         Now, in their defense, there are certainly good traditional things to establish and limits one knows will cause great problems if transgressed. There is a reason the ancient Greek writer Hesiod penned the tale of Pandora’s Box (actually a jar), in which all the evils of the world were contained. As long as the large jar remained unopened all would be okay. For those who have not heard of the story, it’s not hard to figure out the ending.

         This is why some people insist on a low level of progress or none at all. They fear the bad consequences of wrong choices. They see the terrible results of sin in the world and some human beings becoming total idiots as a result of stupid choices. They know well that stupid is as stupid does and would rather do nothing regarding progress for fear of doing something wrong.

         They’ve also seen much “progress” that was not progress at all, but the opposite. Thus, they’re content with less instead of risking an advance toward better things and possibly upsetting their small gains. Fear of failure has shanghaied their necessary discipleship, progress, and advancement.

         In their effort to stay a million miles away from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they also stay a million miles away from the Tree of Life.

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

The Cost of Grace

         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]

.

         Grace is free. Salvation will cost you everything.

         There remains much confusion among Christians about what exactly happened when the Lord Jesus went to the cross.

         Most Christians have never gone to the cross, would never go to the cross, do not see the need for going to the cross, and sadly, will never relate to the experience.

         There is this ill-begotten attitude that the Lord did it all to the point that they must do nothing. There is this completely false idea that a Christian can simply skate through life absolutely, completely, wholeheartedly, and fully assured that he is saved regardless of anything he may do or not do, as if salvation is simply a matter of a one-time mental assent or clueless “Yeah, put me down for that,” while they go about their already unrepentant lives thoroughly grounded in this world.

         Some denominations and Christian faux gospels are worse offenders than others. Some denominations do not even pretend to follow the Lord’s teachings on the matter but make salvation contingent upon belonging to the proper club—their club—and strictly adhering to their own church teachings which clash with the Lord’s, and compete with the Lord’s, and end up sending people to hell for believing what is false and doing things that have zero spiritual value.

         One would think, that among all Christian things they may want to get right, it would be salvation.

         But the majority of “Christians” insist on dissing the Lord, refuse to follow His example and teachings, and would never crucify their own flesh and/or leave their fake groups and denounce their false gospels even if their eternal salvation depended on it.

         And it does.

         The Lord thought this entire attitude was beyond curious. One would one rather save face than get saved? Why do so many Christians desire remaining cold, unenlightened, and uncrucified rather than obey the Lord’s commands?

         How can the resultant suffering and rejection real Christians face in this world compare to losing one’s soul for all eternity?

         Makes no sense.

         But then again, it does, if one has accepted a false prophet or a false teaching, and such things abound.

         There are obviously many more false gospels today than there were in the early days of that first Christian community, though false gospels began from the beginning.

         Paul did not pull any punches regarding these evil teachings and made his thoughts quite clear:

         I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

         But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

         For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2Corinthians 11:1-4]

         Could it be that bearing a false gospel or a false prophet or the false beliefs of a false denomination is easier than bearing one’s cross? And could it be that it always boils down to this same issue—the offense of the cross?

         In Galatians 5:11 Paul refers to this “offence of the cross” (KJV), though it is translated differently in different versions. The following are a few examples:

1) Shame of the cross (Bible is Basic English)

2) Scandal of the cross (Darby Bible)

3) Stumbling block of the cross (New American Standard Bible)

4) Obstacle of the cross (New Jerusalem Bible)

         It is obvious that there is something revolting about the cross, especially when an individual Christian must apply it to himself. It follows that Christians will do anything and everything to avoid the cross, which makes them easy fodder for false gospels.

         Why do we think it was okay for the Lord to get crucified but not at all okay for us to do likewise?

         Why do we think our own personal crucifixion is somehow not necessary though the Lord’s was?

         Why do we think we can simply reject all those things the Lord taught about crucifying our flesh, and taking up our cross, and denying ourselves for His sake and the gospel?

         Is it not the height of selfishness and pride that the majority of “Christians” applaud the Lord’s trip to Calvary but would never go there themselves?

         And then believe they don’t need to?

         Why can’t such unreal Christians see that such teaching arose from the devil himself?

         Yes, of course, grace is free. It cost the Lord Jesus everything, but for us it’s all free. We can do nothing to add to it by anything we could ever do.

         What a crock.

         Have any of the proponents of this stuff ever heard of the concept of application? How about being yoked together with the Lord? How about the disciples not being above their Master, and partaking of the same offense, shame, scandal, stumbling block, and obstacle the Lord did on our behalf? Should not all real Christians do the same on His behalf?

         And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

         And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

         But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

         And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 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 8:31-38] [1]

         The fact of the matter is that the real disciples of that time suffered the same things the Lord suffered. They were in fact called to share in His sufferings. They were called to stand up for and preach the ONE AND ONLY REAL GOSPEL. They knew it would cost them but did it anyway. Rather than shun it like so many Christians choose to do, they embraced the cross.

         And though grace is certainly free, it cost them everything.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

LOVE Your BROTHER, FIGHT the DEVIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

         And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:35-40]

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

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

         Go figure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

RECOMMENDED MUST READ: LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE 

Evil Planet and the Expanding Kingdom of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         How do I know?

         Isn’t it obvious?

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

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

         And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2 Corinthians 4:3-4]   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         Fascinating, huh?   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         On a Sunday morning?

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (Part 3)

         The conclusion of this 3-part article contains the answer many have been seeking. Times are rough for a lot of Christians the world over, and have been getting more difficult in places where things used to be better.

         Be encouraged.  

     

         …That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

         Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

         Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 3:10-14] [1]

         I have been watching videos about underground Chinese Christians. One of the prevailing themes among their lives is the ongoing dedication they must pursue with so little apparent reward or accomplishment. They keep pressing on through each day, year after year, though things rarely get any easier or more comfortable. They often wonder why they have to suffer so much. The Lord keeps telling them the same thing He told the apostle Paul:

         “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” [2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV]

         The NASV says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

         What is this power, this strength, this dunamis? And why does it only kick in when we are weak? Is it not the very same power the Lord Himself used to live a perfect life?

         And what is this grace, this charis? It must be something tangible, like a spiritual IV packed with nutrients, and not simply God’s favor alone.

         A real Christian must be able to live off this power and grace when all else is unavailable. Did not the Lord of all Creation live a life of apparent outward weakness in order to be very powerful in the spirit? And did He not continually demonstrate this power? It is obvious then, that a person who is to be a real Christian must have this grace and power, this charis and dunamis. And he or she must be able to receive it by making themselves weak in the flesh and in the ways of this world.

         It is simply a fact that spiritual giants will appear as the opposite to non-spiritual people.

         This “weakness” and the requisite strength that comes because of it is what we lack. And we lack it due to simple laziness and a bowing to human nature. Most “Christians” are as fleshly as the day is long and therefore weak in the spirit. They learn to be weak in the spirit and that it is perfectly okay to be weak in the spirit often because their fake leaders are weak in the spirit.

         After a while an entire culture starts calving off like a massive landslide because the ones charged with being salt and light and holding things together became derelict in their duty.

         Like a great baseball player who stays out night after night drinking and fornicating and bringing much less than his “A” game to the field for his team and fans until the team suffers and he breaks down in a heap and retires early.

         Meanwhile, there was another baseball player of the same era who kept doing his duty every year and every game. He was somewhat off the radar, and no one realized how great his accomplishments were to the same degree. He was Mr. Consistent. Not a lot of flash, but he brought it every day. Rarely stopping due to injury, he continued bringing the best for his team and racked up the stats until he eventually broke an impossible record the other guy was supposed to break and should have but never came close.

         People who know baseball know who these players are, and many more just like them. The dedicated player also had a very rough row to hoe during his playing days and suffered many slights and insults but continued to soldier on. He was somewhat invisible for many years. The other guy was the darling of the media, characterized as a great hero, and got away with everything. Though he was a carousing drunk all the dads wanted their sons to be like him, but not so much the other guy.

         The Lord was like this. He would bring it regardless. It didn’t matter if anyone noticed, if it appeared as though He was accomplishing nothing, or if the whole blasted filthy rotten world and everyone in it hated Him without a cause. He was going to do His duty come hell or high water. He would complete His mission. You could not stop Him. He was a million percent dedicated. Regardless of whatever the circumstances may be, He would do and did do everything that was required. He pressed on like no one had ever pressed on and taught His disciples how to do likewise.

         And He strengthens us to do likewise. Therefore we are without excuse.

         Go spend twenty years in a Chinese prison for doing nothing wrong but everything right and then tell me how challenging your life is, especially when all God ever says is “My grace is sufficient, My grace is sufficient…” Will they get out of jail tomorrow? Or next year? Or ever? They had and have no idea. They are tortured and forced to endure the worst insults to body and mind but somehow maintain the ability to go on. And they do it with a big bright smile and tears of joy streaming down their face!

         What IS this grace anyway? And how does it fuel a person to do the impossible?

         One of the hardest things about being a real Christian is being continually dedicated against the tide with no sign of any kind of change for the better. You’re out on the ocean every day with nothing but a water and sky horizon and nothing ever changes, it seems. You feel completely alone though you know the Lord is somehow there with you. You feel like you’ve been cast aside and the only One that can help won’t help.

         In China, a few thousand dedicated believers felt exactly that way but pressed on anyway. One day they looked up from their spiritual drudgery and noticed their numbers had increased a little—to many tens of thousands. The tens of thousands continued to press on against the wind with no change to their very difficult lives or apparent change to the culture around them. Then one day they looked up and the tens of thousands had become millions. In a Communist country! Where real Christianity is outlawed! Where the worst forms of abuse were thrown their way!

         Still, they continue pressing on, pushing against evil in the way the Lord taught us. They press hard against a very powerful force the way one pushes a car down the road with the tires almost flat. This evil force is like a giant unseen mass of pressure suspended from the heavens to the ground that continually resists the Light and those in which the Light dwells. Yet, these unrelenting Chinese believers continue with marathon worship, unceasing prayer, forty day fasts, and incessant witnessing and evangelizing. They meet in secret house churches or wherever they can knowing they could be killed and tortured for it.

         And while the real Christians in China were growing from a few thousand to what is estimated at the moment to be close to one hundred million, most American Christians have become the opposite—a bunch of spiritually weak, lazy prima donnas and ultra-fleshly fakers watching their entire country go screwy and ultra-sinful without much concern about it or any plans to change it. 

        China will become a Christian nation in a few years while America is going in full reverse and the majority of Christians here remain willfully clueless.

         Until now.

         It started a few decades ago with a few thousand…

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 3 of 3) 


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

Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (Part 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. [1 Corinthians 15:12-17]

2013 UPDATE: 19% of Americans Now Reject the Resurrection, Up From Only 7% in 2012 

         Unreal Christians make a mockery of real Christianity. They bring shame on real Christians everywhere. They refuse to acknowledge what is required. Their offshoot brands of Christianity are not for major leaguers, not by a long shot. Their “churches” are instead the haunts of adult T-ballers. Grown people acting like a bunch of five year-olds.

         They can’t catch, they can’t throw, they can’t hit, and they can’t field. They can’t do squat. They won’t do squat.

         They refuse. Put ‘em out there on the spiritual frontier in some foreign country where Christianity is banned and spat upon and see what happens. See how they stand the test where real Christians know they must stay in top condition and pray, fast, worship, study, and witness all the time as if their life and the lives of so many others depend on it, and such fake Christians will last about a second before they either get wiped out or become just another diabolical Judas.

         I don’t know how things are now, but when I was a mere lad of six in the first grade I had a big test the next day and forgot to study. I attended one of those schools where we all wore uniforms and the teachers wore black. And they meant business. I suddenly remembered as I was walking to school that I was going to get grilled that morning and quickly came down with the worst stomach ache ever known to any kid anywhere. I doubled over holding my gut. Of course, I was in no physical pain. My thespian skills were all for effect. I knew my mother was watching. I turned around acting all sick though I was perfectly fine and chugged back home, all the while doubled over and groaning as if I was gut shot. I knew the teacher and the whole class would humiliate me because I was not prepared. I thought it better to take a chance on my mother’s hoped-for compassion. She didn’t really believe me but did not force the issue, thankfully.

         Why is it that most Christians no longer have the proper attitude? Why do they not obey the clear teachings of the Lord? Why are they not dedicated? Don’t they know their soul is on the line? Do they know there will be a Judgment? Why do they think they can be disobedient or halfhearted and get by? Don’t they know they cannot be effective for God and be a good servant for others if they fail to do what is required?

         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. [Romans 12:1-3]

         Enough of this country club garbage. Enough of this elitist, narcissistic, arrogant, clannish, and high-minded Christianity. Enough of this ridiculous man-made clergy-laity divide. The way up is down. The Lord Jesus clearly taught and demonstrated servanthood and humility, and that one must either follow His example or take a hike.

         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. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” [Luke 9:23-26] [1] 

         Which brings me to the point of this article. This is the season in which we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. He was physically dead. He rose from the dead. He lived a perfect life. He never committed a single sin. He honored the Torah to the nth degree. He lived the most dedicated and disciplined life of any human being for all time. No one else has come within a universe of His perfection.

         But it was not easy. It was very difficult. It was difficult even on a daily and hourly basis. No single man has ever pressed on and walked out a life beset with so much pain and personal denial, with so much fortitude, ardor, and spiritual backbone. He was always focused, always strong, always on His game, and always working extremely hard doing everything that was required. He often walked alone among humans with little or no help from others. He was as dedicated as dedicated can be, and He set the perfect example for all of us.

         So we can sit around and be lazy and unproductive and a sorry example to the world? I don’t think so. Christians who realize they are called to the same dedication as the Lord are those who get with His program. They leave all other wimpified programs. They stop messing around with programs that don’t work and never will. They are forever seeking out the high ground, and higher ground. By getting down on their face, serving God and others, and putting forth the proper discipline, they’re climbing the Rockies, desiring that rarefied spiritual air attained only by the mighty few. They don’t want to be an adult playing around like a little kid, something most Christians have become proficient at.

         They want to be in the major leagues. They want to do what is required.

         They pursue the prize of the upward call.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 2 of 3)


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

“Pressing On.” Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir:

Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (Part 1)

         There is a spiritual reality among Christians not often talked about or understood that is just as vital and all-important as any other.

         It is not popular.

         As in the case of physical persecution, this reality is often placed on a very high shelf, kept in a rarely used cabinet, or even locked away out of sight.

         Christians would rather not acknowledge its existence. And since most Christians have never seen much of a need for it and have gotten by without it, they would much rather keep it as far away from themselves as possible.

         The majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians are not even aware of it. Those that are aware often treat it is a non-entity or something to be shunned, and feel very uncomfortable whenever it may come up in a conversation or teaching session.

         Of course, there are many realities regarding real Christianity that nominal “believers” want no part of, and will argue against their necessity no matter how many Scriptures reveal their presence, point directly to them, and speak of their absolute need toward a successful and fruitful walk with the Lord.

         For example, fasting is no fun, but it works. Nothing can replace it. The Lord taught it, practiced it, and proved its effectiveness. But most Christians never fast. And most Christians will fight anyone who says they have to.

         I used to be part of a large congregation that taught and practiced fasting and prayer to a relatively high degree. We had to fast at least one day a week. We went on two-day fasts every quarter or so. Everyone was expected to participate and most did. We were taught to pray at least an hour every day. We had corporate prayer meetings that all were expected to attend. It was part of the culture. If you didn’t participate you were not doing your duty as a believer and member. We had all night prayer meetings. The church building and grounds were a center of spiritual activity and there was always something going on almost every day of the week. It was a hang out. A great place. Most members accepted and adopted this kind of prayer and fasting with no reservations, because: (1) It was clearly Scriptural, (2) It was very effective, (3) It was part of the culture, and (4) It was taught and mandated by the pastor.

         After a while, though, it became apparent that fewer members were complying. Some stopped because they had never disciplined themselves for such or made it part of their lives and spiritual lifestyles for the long haul. They were doing it because the group did it and they feared the pastor or being a deviant from the norm.

         It is the same reason so many people go to church or honor their leadership, denomination, or denominational beliefs and dictates. They are not so much into it as much as they are being put upon to do it. It is not really in their hearts to serve God necessarily, but more of a cultural thing. They feel good going to church. It gives them a lift of some kind. Their life throughout the rest of the week does not really reflect anything spiritual, however. They are certainly not fulltime, dedicated followers of the Lord, but feel they are doing enough to get by and that is all they really want.

         Once any form of persecution comes they quit. They get very angry when convicted. They don’t like it when their casual “walk” is exposed or their Biblical ignorance is revealed. When this happens, though, such people should be thankful for the apparent warnings. Because if real persecution ever broke out they would get destroyed.

         I like sports. I’ve played a lot of different sports. I know what it’s like to play alright and am also fully aware of the embarrassment of playing lousy. Sports will humble a person, regardless of how good one may be. You have good games and not so good games.

         The major leagues in any sport contain the cream of the crop, the best of the best, and virtual all-star teams of the greatest talent in the world. Yet there are times when these great talents look like idiots on the field or court and one wonders how they can be so boneheaded. The reality is that the action is so fast and the players so good and so much is at stake that the player who fails to bring his “A” game can look like an idiot pretty quick. A man should never step out on a football field during live action, for example, without being 100% focused and ready or he will get creamed and end up looking like a fool. It is hard enough as it is for the fully dedicated. Get just the least bit lax and someone out there will very quickly reveal your weakness and send you into next week.

         It always amazes me that out of millions of baseball players in this country, many of them very talented and dedicated, less than 800 are on a major league team at any given time. Some very, very good players have never made it to the show. How is this possible? How can someone so good be not good enough? Because there are others who are even better.

         It is said the hardest thing to do in all of sports is consistently and successfully hit a baseball. Most people can’t even see a baseball going 95 miles an hour from only 60 and a half feet away. Anyone who has ever stood in a batter’s box to face live pitching at that speed will confirm this. It takes an adjustment. Those that do it all the time do a very amazing thing. If they don’t work very, very hard and stay on their game they’re gone.

         But Christians? Well, most are taught that heaven is automatic. That God requires very little. That you can get away with anything. That such super dedication and discipleship shown by world-class athletes is completely unnecessary and even ridiculous. “No one can live like that!,” the false Christians exclaim.

         Hence, most of these so-called “Christians” and their dead, dull, boring, wimpy churches have set their own standard, a stupid standard, a rebellious standard, a very weak standard, and a standard in which sin and spiritual laziness is quite welcome. There is no salt in these places and very little light. They are composed of all those who would never make the cut on a good team or probably any team. They are no different than anyone else in any particular society and are a mere reflection of the world and not the kingdom of God. The devil is not the least bit afraid or respectful of them. And while they may look good now, there’s a hot place waiting.

         Meanwhile, real followers of the Lord the world over, in places like China and many Muslim countries, are currently lining up as those characterized in the following:

         Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. [Hebrews 11:35-38] [1]

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 1 of 3)


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