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CIVIL WAR IN THE CHURCH REVISITED: ON THE DECEPTION OF APPEARANCES

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Three years ago I wrote a truth-revealing post that struck deep with many readers. It referred to an ongoing pretense problem within official Christianity.

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It is called The Real Civil War in the Church. There’s a link at the end. Here is a brief excerpt:

“Real Christianity is the only hope America has left and most American Christians don’t want real Christianity.”

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

If you have control, if you have market share, if you have great amounts of money rolling in, and if you share great popularity, the odds of obeying the Lord are greatly lessened. In other words, who needs God when everything is going so well?

When such good fortune happens to non-believers they always fall for the notion that they are responsible: They worked hard. They used their brain. They proved themselves better than the competition. They’re good looking. They have great personalities. They dress well. All of these common bromidic conceptions are nothing more than false fronts to be deceived by.

This same dynamic happens to Christians. Spiritual pride is not a new thing. It obviously stems from personal pride which extends itself into a false persona with a Christian wrapping, proving that Christians can be just as self-deceived as anyone. Success is always measured in such circles in the same tired ways. Though a probable majority is self-deceived, it is not as if they didn’t have help. Christian leaders deceiving Christian followers has always worked extremely well for several reasons. One is that Christian followers always give way too much credit to their religious overlords and treat them as demigods or always above reproach. In other words, as non-human.

It doesn’t matter than we have the mile-long written Word of God pronouncing repeatedly the foibles, weaknesses, bad character, failures, and outright deliberate sin of such leaders. Moreover, their sin is perceived as not sin, or they were subjected to extenuating circumstances, or they were under too much stress due to the great job they’re doing, or their compassion caused them to fall to temptation, and saving the best excuse for last, the devil made them do it.

Real Christians have thus come to understand that Christian leaders are just as flawed as non-leaders, and they further understand that the Lord Jesus had to be sinless though subjected to the same temptations we all are, not only because He must present Himself for sacrifice as the spotless Lamb of God, but also because we all need a Leader to look to and follow who is never overcome by sin and failure. The rest of us humans do not qualify. This includes Christian leaders. This especially includes Christian leaders who believe themselves to be above it all. They prove by their actions, behavior, willingness to take control, and absolute unwillingness to subject themselves to God’s discipline and timing that they deem themselves worthy and better than the rest.

NEW COVENANT LEADERSHIP

This is actually an easy one but has become greatly complicated, again, by the wrong people in charge. Such people may have been given a spiritual mandate of sorts by the Lord but often have trouble accepting His limits. The key, and for good reason, is to always strive for the proper balance between the Lord’s overall absolute leadership in concert with His working through the challenging medium of humanity which always has a tendency to want more authority than God allows.

The way the enemy overcomes such limits is by attempting to convince certain people they are superior, greater, advanced, more worthy, etc. Christian followers must be convinced their leaders are much better than they, their followers, are or they won’t follow them. Both have become convinced of the superior-inferior fallacy and accepting of the false clergy-laity divide. There is no shortage of those who believe themselves qualified and reining them in is like herding cats.

Let’s say there is someone who photographs extremely well. Let’s say this person has a personal magnetism, a great personality, looks great in great clothes, and has enough confidence to almost make the devil jealous. But this person is not really into morality. You can plug this type in anywhere and use them as tools. Of course, some of the people who qualify as such, those with a conscience, know what they really are regardless of their many such blessings and will attempt the humble road and refuse to be used as props or manipulate others through their props. These account for only a few, however. The rest become politicians.

Sadly, however, many become church leaders. Before you jump my case on this please consider three men that God put forth before us long ago to prove this truth—the first three kings of Israel. They were King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. All three of these men had outward attributes far better than the rest. Saul was both tall and handsome, a living cliché. David was said to be a very good looking guy, was a stout warrior and leader of men, an excellent musician, and you get the idea. Some have described him as an All American Israelite. Solomon, one of David’s many sons, must have also shared David’s outward characteristics. His mother Bathsheba was obviously a babe and David was so smitten with her beauty he committed adultery and had her husband killed. That’s some powerful beauty right there. Solomon also shared this family characteristic as well but used it to the nth degree. He was so wise he had 900 wives. Right. 

The rest of the story is that Saul turned into a massive jerk, David acted like a jerk on several occasions, and Solomon became one of the greatest jerks of all time. All three did enough to bust hell wide open and rot there forever. But one of these three escaped that fate by having a quality most leaders and many Christians leaders do not possess. He was able, though he needed help, to see what he really was. When his spiritual sight was best David called himself a worm. He realized, however, that the Lord had called him to a high position in the eyes of the people but also that he must humble himself so God, the real Leader, would always be seen as such. Saul started out this way. So did Solomon, in a sense. Saul ended up going nuts and lost everything. Solomon became the first antichrist. David also sinned but followed it up with great, soul-ripping repentance.

This is what truly great people do. They know what they are. They know they are gifted but also know they are mere humans subjected to sin and temptation, and the best way to overcome is to take every opportunity to destroy pride.

BEAUTIFUL SPIRIT

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the LORD of hosts. [Zechariah 4:6][1]  

I remember when I was a rookie Christian. A bunch of us went to a small church in great revival. It was so awesome. The Spirit of God was powerful in that place. At some point I saw a young woman there. She was not physically attractive. But she was so filled with the Spirit of God her face was shining. Her eyes were bright. She had such a big smile. Everything about her exuded spiritual beauty. She was not physically attractive and yet she was spiritually beautiful. On the flip side there are stunning women with ugly hearts.

We know from Isaiah Chapter 53 that the Lord Jesus was not a physically handsome Man during His time here. He had no physical charisma. He had none of the outward qualities I described previously in this article. He did not look like Saul or Solomon but there are clues that he shared some of David’s characteristics. But we all know the bottom line. He was filled with the Spirit of God without measure. God is beautiful. And loving. And compassionate. And kind. God is 100% good. When He chose His human tabernacle, He did not choose to be the best looking. He did the same with His mother Mary, of course. Mary was likely just like that young woman I spoke to briefly at that revival and never saw again. Mary was not a looker but was the most beautiful woman on the planet as God counts beauty.

This is what the infilling of the Spirit of God does to a person. They become spiritually attractive because the Spirit of God is. And they operate from, by, and within the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is their strength and song. They are completed by God. Because of this they know what they are without Him, which is pretty much nothing. They therefore do not give in to pride. They determine they will not operate through mere humanness. Of course, the Lord helps such people in this effort. He demands we submit to His discipleship. Such will eventually burn off the spiritually worthless garbage. This should prove to all that many Christians, and certainly many so-called Christian leaders, never submit to His discipleship.

Rather than having spiritual eyes to see spiritual reality, they only see themselves and how great they are.

Instead of How Great Thou Art.

© 2020 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.

Link to Cited Article: THE REAL CIVIL WAR IN THE CHURCH 

HAPPY NINTH BIRTHDAY REAL CHRISTIANITY

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Thank you all for following. Thanks especially to my longtime faithful readers over the years. Thanks first and foremost to the Lord Jesus, of course, the One who paid for our salvation and grants His life and blessings, and makes all things new.

Real Christianity the website was created on May 10, 2011. I named it after my first book. I have since posted roughly 600 in-depth teaching articles. These articles have come forth regardless of circumstances, though some were much more challenging than others. Wherever I was and whatever I was engaged in at the time, I continued to write. 

The Lord provides. Always. Sometimes there is a fruitful field and other times a desert. I would like to relay to you one particular story from many years ago:

THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN

A big financial need, all very positive, would be required a mere six weeks in the future. I was working very hard and things were generally on track. Then suddenly, with no warning, the contractor I was doing business with and lining up jobs informed me he ran out of work. This put an entirely new perspective on the situation. I realized I would not only come up financially short for the upcoming expense, but that I also had to quickly start finding work to replace what I just lost. I had been doing carpentry work for a few years but never strictly on my own. That was about to change. I made some calls. Met some people. I started doing what I could. But before any of that, and after engaging in some serious prayer, the first thing I did was follow through on what some might call a really dumb decision. In the midst of a financial crisis I decided to give the Lord what little money I had saved up.

I did this because: (1) My back was against the wall and I would never reach my goal without His direct intervention. (2) I was now on my own and had to find a way to make it work, starting from scratch. (3) My savings would not amount to much in the big picture but was perfect for seed money. (4) I knew if my heart was right and I fulfilled His conditions He would bless me and turn the little I had into much more.

Though I had always tithed I had never done anything this bold. Making sure I followed the Lord’s directives and doing my best to give in secret, I took my savings from the bank and went to my church one afternoon. There was a secretary in the office. No one else was around. The only ones who knew what I did were the Lord, myself, and her. With a great attitude and big smile I gave my savings, in the only way I knew how, directly to the Lord Jesus. I then went about my life.

It was touch and go for the next month and a half. I began placing inexpensive ads in a city circular. The Lord blessed me with some work. Weeks passed. A few days before the big financial need, I was on a construction jobsite one summer afternoon working on an old historic house. I got a phone call. The foreman happened to have had a phone line installed, which was a rare thing. This was long before cell phones. I think I was upstairs at the time but I’ll never forget that black rotary. The call I received was in reference to work. I jotted down the number and called a man I had never met. He said he had some work and that I came highly recommended. But it was more than that. It would be steady work and at a good rate.

This was great news. I started a day or two later. A week’s amount of work turned into two. They kept coming up with new projects. The work kept multiplying. It was like bread and fish déjà vu all over again. Long story short, it turned into six years of work at that single high tech industrial location and accounted for half of my total income in that time. The money I had cheerfully given to the Lord was essentially all I had. It was truly seed compared to what I ended up receiving. I also became a fulltime contractor and was always busy. The glory goes to the Lord.

MY LATEST POSTS REGARDING THE PLANDEMIC

Over two months ago, On March 7, 2020, I began a 4-Part series entitled Pharisee Control Tactics: the Spirit of Fear (1) (2) (3) (4). This was a lead-in series regarding the plandemic, revealing the massive fear tactics involved by illustrating such tactics used in the past, especially within Christianity. After that I immediately began writing additional posts regarding the unprecedented times at hand. This site was on the cutting edge of revealing the truth of this massive diversion and subversive attack on America. It began with the following aptly named post and six more afterwards which not only exposed spiritual reality but gave positive practical advice to real Christians. You may want to check these out:

March 16, 2020: PANICKED OVER A TRICK PANDEMIC

Whatever this actually is—a real pandemic, yet another disease scare, a hoax, a biowarfare attack, or a government response test, the REAL pandemic remains unacknowledged.

March 18, 2020: THIS IS YOUR TIME: GREENER PASTURES ARE CALLING

The Lord needs you to step up. It is time to make a move into greater spiritual maturity and quit being overly dependent on the Christian means and methods of yesterday.

March 22, 2020: THE CURRENT SHUTDOWN: AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER AND PRACTICE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY

They had no church buildings. They had no New Testament. They had no professional clergy. And still, they turned the world upside down.

March 25, 2020: CHRISTIANS IN LEAGUE WITH THE ENEMY: THE TRAITOR WITHIN

There is no effective difference between those in powerful positions on the world stage engaging in mass subterfuge who actively oppose the Lord Jesus, and deceived Christians who support them unequivocally without knowing it.

March 31, 2020: THE CONTROL TEST: PROVING THE MAJORITY COMPLIANT

None of this would be happening without a predetermined confirmation that the controlled have reached a majority and will readily comply with every directive from upper management.

April 19, 2020: APRIL 19, 1775: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BEGINS

The Americans of that greatest generation stood for liberty at all costs and created a country. These times illustrate how far America has fallen.

May 4, 2020: SUBMITTING TO HELLBOUND AUTHORITARIANS

Christians taking life-changing advice from people on their way to hell is not a good business model.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101

In addition to these and other posts I also began a commentary on The Book of Acts in lesson format entitled Early Church History 101. It began with an INTRODUCTION on March 29 and has continued regularly since with 18 lessons. LESSON 18 was posted on Thursday, May 7. We are currently close to completing Acts Chapter 2.

For those of you who would like to review the series, maybe read some Lessons you missed, or even start from the beginning, the posts are relatively short, only one page or so, except for a few. I have made it easy by putting embedded links for all Lessons at the top of each post. There are also many excellent comments to browse. My desire is to reveal the actual history of the early first-century Community of the Lord, which stands as a perfect foundational prototype for the Church Age and draws clear distinctions between their witness and so many half-lit and fake churches since and especially of the present. If you want to know why official American Christianity is in dire straits and failing against the culture, it is because we have strayed far from our moorings.

THE GREAT AWAKENING CONTINUES

I want to encourage all of you that the Lord Jesus remains very much in charge. He possesses ALL authority in heaven and earth. He can work through you to better promote His Kingdom depending on your discipleship level and willingness to be a faithful servant. As we strengthen our individual walk with Him, He is strengthened overall. Regardless of the incessant fear tactics employed at present, do not fear. Obey His directives regarding your needs. Put your full confidence and trust in Him. He will always make a way. Make the commitment to being a better and more mature disciple to supply His needs.

And now, Year Ten begins. I hope to continue seeing you along the way.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 11)

While the Spirit of the Lord continued to move among the believers as an unseen wind “filling the whole house,” a visible manifestation also took place, centered among them in the Upper Room.

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10

LESSON 11

Acts 2:3

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

Wind is the movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. Wind fills a relative void. The lower the air pressure in a given location, the greater the onrushing air there is from a high pressure zone to fill it.

The Upper-Roomers had spent ten days emptying themselves. This was done through much repentance, much fasting, much prayer, much worship, and many tears. They were preparing themselves as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2). [1] It was a human low pressure zone. No pride. No sin. No spot, wrinkle, or blemish (Eph. 5:27).

UPPER ROOM DIMENSIONS

Although there is no way of knowing exactly, implications in Scripture would indicate that the Upper Room was probably the same size as the Tabernacle (tent) of Moses, which was 10 x 30 cubits. Based on the Hebrew long cubit of 20.4 inches, the Upper Room would have been 17 x 51 (867 square feet).

An interesting thing happens, however, if it was 840. This number is divisible by every number from 1 to 12 except 9 and 11, which are not especially good numbers for an event like Pentecost (9 is the Biblical number of finality or judgment and 11 signifies disorder and imperfection). In order to arrive at this “perfect” number of 840, the cubit would have to be 20.08 inches, completely within the realm of probability. Based on such, the Upper Room would be 16.73 x 50.2 feet. It would contain 134 feet of perimeter wall space allowing the majority to sit on benches along the walls, and overall floor space would allow each person an average of 7 square feet.

THE BIG EVENT

Pentecost was an explosion of spiritual power and truth—the dunamis of God torqued down to a manageable level for reception within humanity but fully concentrated for the work at hand. They were filled with joy! It was both a release and a reception for those fortunate ones in the Upper Room. In a matter of minutes their pain was gone—the pain of the past, of unrealized dreams, of bitter life in a cold world dominated by the devil’s minions. This was the upper hand! The right hand of God reaching down to infuse them with His strength and might! Though they continued to dwell in houses of clay, they became dynamic and demonstrative.

At nine o’clock in the morning they appeared drunk or high on mushrooms. Joy to the nth degree was ensconced on their shining faces and they were each filled with that very agape love of the Lord that He tried to teach them about previously. They were now as He was, filled to overflowing with a power to work miracles and love others without measure, even enemies who may maim and slander.

As the rushing wind of the Spirit continued to swirl around among the disciples, a visible manifestation accompanied the audible. In the middle of the large Upper Room a great energized Light suddenly appeared, seeming to manifest from thin air. The Spirit of God filled the entire space! The Jews had long considered fire to be a sign of God’s presence and purifying energy and here was God Himself as such fire. He did not come to consume, though, but to infill all these who had properly prepared for His arrival. The warm and engaging Light instantly began dividing into many smaller portions and each of these tiny fire-like Lights began moving about in every direction, this way and that, locating every disciple, and hovering over their heads.

120 small flickering manifestations of God’s presence appeared upon everyone there, and then, as all beheld the great miracle, the Spirit of the Lord entered into each disciple and took up residence in their hearts.

© 2020 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.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 7)

The lost apostleship of Judas Iscariot had to be restored. The eleven must again become the twelve. The lesson of Judas is that any believer can become a traitor.

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6

LESSON 7

Acts 1:21-26

21 “Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. [1]

Even though it was prophesied in the distant past there would be a man who betrayed the coming Messiah, it was never written in stone that Judas must take the course he did. It was a choice, the result of his own will. There were signs all along that there was something wrong with him that needed attention. And then he betrays the Lord with a kiss? How can any man so blessed be such a jackass?

Most of us would consider being one of the apostles as the highest possible honor. Imagine being with the Lord every day, being taught by Him, and being a witness of His majesty. This was the greatest Man who ever lived living an extraordinary life willing to pay the highest price for those He loved. Walking with Him, regardless of the challenges and persecution, would have been an absolute trip.

But Judas was a thief. He ripped off the Lord. He stole money dedicated to ministry. He griped about perceived excess or waste, even though he ended up wasting his own life. There is no excuse for such behavior, not then and not ever. He was a liar, a pretender, and a manipulator. It appears that other apostles didn’t like or trust him. The Lord called him a devil (diabolos), being defined as one prone to slander, vicious gossip, fraudulent accusations, and bearing false witness. Judas characterized an entire group of people. Was this why the Lord chose him? To reveal to His followers what they would face and to thus be prepared? All the apostles were tempted but Judas was the weak link. He refused to discipline himself properly. He never allowed the circumcision of his heart. He chose to oppose.

There had to be twelve. One must be chosen to replace him. It had to be a man who followed the Lord from beginning to end and witnessed His resurrection. The original twelve apostles represented in part the twelve tribes of Israel. Judas had much in common with the progenitor of the tribe of Dan, who was the likely ringleader in betraying Joseph and sending him off to Egyptian bondage. At some point in history this tribe disappeared. There is no record of Dan in the Book of Revelation tribe list. This lets us know what becomes of traitors.

Matthias (gift of God) was chosen as an honorable replacement to resurrect a dead apostleship and restore fullness to the twelve. The thief would be replaced with a giver. It was the highest of honors for one who must have been a thoroughly humble man.

Matthias was an apostolic example of the new birth.

© 2020 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.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 5)

After watching the Lord rise up before them enveloped by a cloud, the disciples removed from Mount Olivet and returned to Jerusalem per the Lord’s command. It was time to await the promise.

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4

LESSON 5

ACTS 1:13-15

13 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. 14 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. 15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said…  

This Upper Room was most likely in the house belonging to Mary, the mother of John Mark, as mentioned in the twelfth chapter of Acts after Peter’s miraculous release from certain execution:

…he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. [Acts 12:12] [1]

It was a very large room which, of course, implies a large house. This denotes Mary, a probable widow, as a woman of means. Mark was a cousin of Barnabas, the apostle Paul’s traveling partner, which made Mary his aunt. One can deduce that the respective fathers of Barnabas and Mark were brothers who were wealthy enough to (1) Own a large high end property in Jerusalem with servants, and (2) Send Barnabas, a man of letters with probable training under a rabbi to school. Barnabas was also the most likely writer of the Book of Hebrews.

The Last Supper was held in this same Upper Room, which made the private home a regular place of meeting for the Early Church. In fact, the entire Early Church at that time could take up residence within it. All eleven apostles were there along with possible family members. The Lord’s brothers were there, maybe all four, as was, of course, His mother Mary. Many other women were there, which must have included Mary Magdalene. With all of these together, it came to about 120 people, on the one hand a large group for a house church, but on the other relatively quite small.

After preaching to perhaps hundreds of thousands over a three and a half year period, having a large band of following disciples, and appearing to as many as five hundred after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus only gathered 120 dedicated praying disciples in the Upper Room awaiting the Day of Pentecost.

This should enlighten us to His selection process.

© 2020 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 CONTROL TEST: PROVING THE MAJORITY COMPLIANT

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None of this would be happening without a predetermined confirmation that the controlled have reached a majority and will readily comply with every directive from upper management.

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HIDDEN THREATS EVERYWHERE ON A DAILY BASIS

When a person ventures into public areas everything he touches has already been touched by many other people. At the grocery store, for example, every item on every shelf has been handled by any number of people by the time it got there. Were any of them sick? How about the last guy to touch the item, the store employee that stocks the shelves, was he sick? One grabs a grocery cart that had been handled by an endless succession of people including the employees who went out and rounded them up from the parking lot. Every item in the produce section was handled by probably even more people on its way there and many of those items have no protective containers. How about the floors? What did people track in? What unseen entity did one step on or in during the day and then track into the house?

At the checkout line one unloads one’s groceries onto a conveyor belt that everybody else has used. Might any of them have been infected with something? If using cash to pay one may wonder how many thousands of people touched that cash on its way in and out of one’s wallet. If paying with a card, one uses a machine that has been touched by thousands who likely left unseen residual reminders of their presence which now transfers to your hands and your card, the latter of which goes back into your wallet infected with whatever. When one breathes, everything in the air around a person goes into one’s nose and mouth, travels to one’s lungs, and possibly enters one’s bloodstream. Not everything breathed in necessarily goes back out when exhaling.

Drinking unfiltered tap water likely does more to promote illness than breathing in possible pathogens. Tap water is loaded with chlorine, ammonia and many other unsafe chemicals. It is basically swimming pool water. Those with knowledge of built-in pools know what happens if one fails to keep the chemical levels correct. The water will turn green due to the presence of all the little unseen life forms that also like to swim and hang out there. They must be killed. Chlorine and other chemicals work very well. The same thing must obviously be done in municipal water systems which have infinitely more extremely serious contaminants than swimming pools. If one tests the water in either, one will get about the same result. Tap water, of course, is said to be safe because the chemicals in it are diluted to the point that they have no detrimental effect on one’s health. Right.

Over the last few weeks, there are suddenly many people who now comply, though not before, with the directives handed down from on high, such as hand-washing, using sanitizers, wearing face masks, donning gloves, trying not to touch their face while out in public, and attempting to keep the suggested proper distance from other people. They are responding very well to control directives. It is obviously good advice, but most never engaged in any of these protective efforts before. Every year hundreds of thousands die from the flu but this is never reported, meaning most people go about blissfully unaware of the danger or are simply too apathetic to act. Perhaps that’s why hundreds of thousands die from the flu.

But some people are already aware of the manifold threats to health out there. They have known most of their lives the great value in washing their hands and using sanitizers. They do their best to steer clear of unhealthy people and avoid those who are infectious. They never drink tap water but only the best purified water available. They have learned the value of organic Vitamin C. Those are the first two items in one’s pro-health anti-getting-sick starter kit. In addition to those one knows to take an excellent organic multiple vitamin, most of which one will never find in the usual haunts. Such vitamins provide a wealth of nutrients for the body starved by the lack of proper nutrients in most food available today. From there one can add additional supplemental vitamins as necessary. Vitamin D, for example, is excellent (among many other things) at defeating viruses. The Creator has blessed us with a wealth of proper foods to keep us healthy and strong.

THE KEY IS HAVING A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM

The issue before us then, is not simply obeying control directives from on high during times of crisis that come and go, but being disciplined enough to take care of one’s health on a daily basis regardless of whatever else is happening or where one might reside. Many people have been preaching this for decades. The Creator has already blessed us with immune systems that fight off those evil little entities that cause sickness and disease.

THEREFORE, WHAT ONE MUST CONCENTRATE ON IS TAKING CARE OF ONE’S IMMUNE SYSTEM AND PROVIDING IT WITH EVERYTHING IT NEEDS TO BE AS HEALTHY AND AS STRONG AS POSSIBLE.

This is the real test. It is not principally about being fearful of exterior threats using exterior means but insuring interior protection. It is about being healthy enough to withstand the enemies of our health from the inside out. Those who educate and discipline themselves in this regard have the best chance at staying healthy and avoiding illness.

It is obvious, however, that only a relatively few people do this. Judging by the way many people look and function nowadays it is readily apparent they refuse to address the real problem. Weakness of will, lack of discipline, absence of critical thinking, and wholesale acceptance of authoritarian directives often prove weakness of health, lack of proper information and truth, and gross personal irresponsibility. By throwing caution to the wind and placing all of one’s faith in the medical industrial complex—excellent for many treatments but also a massive earnings-engineered economy in itself in which the profit-incentivized leaders thereof are treated as gods—it is no wonder that the time was ripe for scaring everyone to the point of mass hysterical panic and unadulterated obedience toward their worshipful masters.

Such people continually pass the control test. Rather than doing their own research, being extremely careful about whatever they ingest, and doing their due diligence to steer clear of the causes of illness, one of which is fear, they simply decide to bow down and obey a few effortless orders until the all clear sign is given and then quickly return to their unhealthy lifestyles.               

Their behavior proves the existence of a compliant majority under authoritative control.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   

THIS IS YOUR TIME: GREENER PASTURES ARE CALLING

green grass field under white clouds

 

The Lord needs you to step up. It is time to make a move into greater spiritual maturity and quit being overly dependent on the Christian means and methods of yesterday.

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THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN

Churches are shutting down and forcing the use of other ministry options, such as live streaming on various internet platforms. Even those who were reluctant to make such a drastic change, though ostensibly temporary, have faced the facts of these strange days and complied with the overall transition taking place all across the country.

I will reiterate here that the threat is real but on a much lower level than advertised. There are any number of supposed threats at present that can be ginned up and harped on to drive a panic. It is all in the application. The means to drive a narrative have been here for decades and, of course, have been used repeatedly. What you as a Christian must do is discern the difference between legitimate threats and those which are merely hyped to become much more than what they are. If you are used to always obeying authority figures and never questioning them, then this post is not for you unless you may be willing to see things at least a tad bit differently.

Christians often forget that they are supposed to be serving a Lord who can do anything anytime in any circumstance, in that there truly is nothing impossible with God. In that regard He does not merely suggest living by faith, that is, stepping out of familiar comfort zones and entering a realm of miraculous possibility—He demands it. One cannot be a real Christian otherwise. A large part of a Christian’s means of operation must involve the unfamiliar and the unknown, which requires a close walk and willingness to operate far outside the box of conventionality.

There are some I am speaking to here directly. You have had this very sentiment on your heart for a while now. You are wanting to get it right. You are not as comfortable as you would like to be in going forward but you know you must. From personal experience, let me tell you—there are times when you never reach a fully “comfortable” feeling in making such a move. You feel something like a pressure but it is not really that, but more of a personalized directing into something different. You don’t have the full picture but you know you must act. You are not sure how because you don’t have all the facts. Guess what? You will likely never have all the facts. All you know is that you are being somewhat strongly led in a new direction. There is something out there you must do. There is a move to make. It is actually somewhat exciting but such is contained due to a reluctance to leave familiar surroundings. Sometimes it is geographic but it doesn’t have to be.

Many Christians refuse to obey when such a time comes. They would rather stick with sure security and not take a chance on a possible wrong move or upset a current lifestyle. This is not a bad move to make at first. It is the prudent thing to do. If the Lord has us where He wants us then we must be very careful to fend off any “calls” to a new thing somewhere else which has much more to do with one’s own personal desires or those of another, and usually entail running from God or away from Him. We must always test these things. There are times when it seems the Lord is calling us elsewhere or upward but time will tell if it is really Him or not. If it is not Him, whatever initial leadings we may feel will never get to the point beyond mere consideration. But if it is Him it will not stop. The directing will grow stronger. In these cases the Lord is telling us that the fruitful fields of the future are elsewhere, whether geographic or not, and that current fruitfulness is lessening and will continue to slide.

It could be that the Lord is driving both, in that He will no longer bless a current effort because He wants you to have greater fruitfulness and it can only come if you make a move. I will caution whoever may be reading this, however, that it must be by His direction and you will have to be close enough to Him to hear His voice and be sufficiently inclined to His guidance.

There is a surplus of examples in Scripture. Someone was going about his life as always when the Lord, somewhat suddenly, spoke and began preparing him for a move. There will always be a time of preparation. The Lord will initially speak, often with plenty of time beforehand (but this is according to His reckoning and not our own) and it is up to us to hear. After getting the message we must do the next thing which is to obey. We begin preparing. The Lord continues to speak to our spirit in stronger tones. We keep checking to make sure it’s Him. He will bring spiritual verification during the entire time. Things begin working toward the goal. The old begins to fade. He won’t bless it anymore. The new begins coming into greater focus. The blessing is in the transition but will soon be fully in the new. The new becomes more exciting. We reach a point when we want to do it and it cannot come fast enough but we must still be patient. He always does things the right way with no ups and downs or zig-zags.

It’s okay to make a few incorrect moves because He can fix that, but we must stay in touch. What He can’t fix, however, is willful intransigence and disobedience. This borders on outright rebellion. I have no idea how many Christians make these moves the right way or how many refuse to move altogether. But I know a real Christian is bought with a great price. We do not belong to ourselves but to Him. Each of us cost Him His own shed blood. That being said, we know He always treats us well and it is good to “try the spirits” to make sure what we are feeling or hearing is the Lord. He expects us to do that, of course. There comes a time, though, when we cannot allow conventionality, common sense, social pressure, or other elements to hold us back from the greater life the Lord wants to give us. And it is not primarily for our personal blessing but to be of greater use to Him and for others.

It will involve personal blessing, however. And it will involve all the joy of leaving a not so great but okay place in which fruitfulness is harder to come by though we remain in good standing with Him, into a new place filled with fresh new possibilities, opportunities, wonderful people, and increased spiritual fruitfulness. If this resonates with you, make absolutely sure it is the Lord and His direction. You will have to be mature enough to make the final decision and not depend on another to make it for you.

One thing all of us know, or should know, is that we are in the midst of a great change. Forces of evil are pushing a sinister narrative. The world is changing drastically as you read this. But again, the Lord is not surprised. He remains fully in charge. Our destiny with Him remains on course. New challenges may be throwing a wrench in the works somewhat, but His strength, guidance, and anointing will keep us secure and at peace as our mind is stayed on Him.

For some of you, now is the time to move on to greener pastures.

Vaya Con Dios.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


NOTE: My friend Beverley at Becoming the Oil and the Wine, nominated this site for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Please visit and congratulate Beverley on her nomination and also for her site’s sixth anniversary. Thank you and Be Blessed.

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (4-Part Series)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. [2 Timothy 1:7 KJV]

 

March 12, 2020: PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (Part 1)

The Lord Jesus came to save His people. But many of His people had already sold out to their religious leaders. They did this in part because they were deathly afraid of them…

 

March 12, 2020: PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (Part 2)

Regarding the sinning priest problem, some argue that the Catholic Church is not actually as guilty as claimed, in that such episodes are only rare sporadic events. This is simply more window-washing to minimize the charges…

 

March 13, 2020: PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (Part 3)

It all started in Babylon during the Captivity in roughly 600 BC. It continued to develop over the next four centuries. It came to its full fruition with the emerging Pharisee Party two centuries before the Lord…

 

March 14, 2020: PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (Part 4)

What I have presented with this four-part series goes beyond surface truth. There is a parable at work here revealing destructive forces. For the few who have ventured thus far, you are ahead of the curve…

 

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

 

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (Part 4)

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What I have presented with this four-part series goes beyond surface truth. There is a parable at work here revealing destructive forces. For the few who have ventured thus far, you are ahead of the curve.

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“He who has ears, let him hear.”

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” [Matthew 13:9-13]   

GIVE HONOR TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE

One will notice several behavioral characteristics of high brow religionists. Perhaps the most noticeable is their demand for respect and honor. They tolerate no dissent. Violators are prosecuted. It is their absolute authority and the forced recognition thereof that holds their enterprise together and keeps them ruling over it. They refuse to express any real humility and only act out a role in that regard. As a final test, consider how they treat the Lord Jesus.

Pharisaical: Marked by hypocritical censorious self-righteousness. [1]

Now, we know how those idiots back then treated Him, which sealed their fate. But a likely majority of Christian ministers, priests, and reverends have treated Him exactly the same since then. You will know them by their fruits.

You will also know them by their absolute refusal to surrender all authority to the Lord Jesus.

It is not His ministry but theirs. It is not His church but theirs. If they were working for Him they would not be violating His teachings and refusing His directives. And American Christianity would not be in such sorry shape filled with Biblically illiterate Christians not knowing what to do, where to turn, or how to fix what is wrong. The predominant understanding such Christians have in common is to fearfully honor religious authority regardless of its behavior or track record. They meld into a status quo, low-denomination crowd of faceless ones, whose only actual apparent purpose is to support an enterprise they know very little about beyond the surface.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. [2Timothy 1:7 KJV]

Like traditional Catholicism, which traditionally withheld the Word of God or discouraged its members from reading it or acting upon it if by chance a few actually did, the majority of Christians are simply not aware of what the New Testament is, what it says, or what the Lord actually commands them to do. They have instead been indoctrinated to believe that their lives must consist primarily of obeying those in the rule over them with less regard for obeying the Lord Jesus. This is obviously true because if they honored Him they would never honor others in His place. Thus, their “discipleship” is something different from that which the Lord defined in the New Covenant model.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household! Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” [Matthew 10:24-27]   

There are likely millions of obscure “nobody” Christians who do obey the Lord. They strive to get it right. They do their best to do anything He asks. They give much effort toward being good disciples. Their lives are more difficult but also greatly fruitful. They are largely unrecognized. They do not attempt to revert to religious dress, manners, and shallow talking points to be noticed, but the opposite. They do exactly as the Lord and His original apostles instruct them to do, to the best of their ability. They read and study the Word of God to discover what is required of them. They honor ministers of the Gospel but never see them as substitutes for the Lord (vicars of Christ). It is the Lord Jesus who gave His life for them and no one will ever take His place. Therefore, they will not listen to or obey hirelings who do not teach what He taught. These real Christians are the ones to whom honor is due because they are the only ones actually trying and mostly succeeding in doing His will. Most of all, they honor the Lord Jesus as their Savior and recognize Him as God.

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” [Luke 6:46-49][2]

The Lord taught that every “Christian” enterprise not founded upon the Rock will eventually fail. It will eventually come to ruin. It will eventually be destroyed. Each one will suffer what eventually happened to national Israel, the original Jerusalem, and the Temple in 70 AD. It is only a matter of time.

His Kingdom, on the other hand, will last forever. It is the only Christian Community that will. All the counterfeit ones are temporary and their termination waits.

When He dwelt among humanity, the Lord Jesus was humble and obscure. He didn’t “look the part.” He was not at all like the ostentatious Pharisees or later clergyites, which includes those at present who refuse to serve and honor Him. His was not an earthly kingdom but a spiritual one. His kingdom has none of the outer trappings or dependencies of temporary, worldly enterprises. He never strove for money, position, or the world’s respect but sought only to do the Father’s will.

His followers do the same. They seek not the approval of men but the approval of God.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] © Merriam-Webster

[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.

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 1)

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 2)

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 3)

 

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (Part 1)

The Lord Jesus came to save His people. But many of His people had already sold out to their religious leaders. They did this in part because they were deathly afraid of them.

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Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. [John 12:42-43]

Christians more concerned about their church social credibility than serving the Lord Jesus express a faithless fearfulness. At the heart of their infidelity is a refusal to fully submit to the Lord and real discipleship. The origin of their fear is usually traced back to the people in charge. They are the ones who make the rules, one of which is submission to their authority. Yet they subject themselves to no effective accountability. The laity, on the other hand, has little or no authority in most churches and thus represents a lower class. The members thereof must submit to the leadership to be in good standing.

This is similar to a two-tiered justice system in which the elite are shielded from liability. If one is a member in good standing of the higher-ups club, one gets away with anything. If not, one is on one’s own and is vulnerable. And if such a one refuses to obey the Lord, one had better suck up to a substitute leadership group for his own protection and livelihood.

NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATIONS

In this regard, we often see the professional clergy, the upper class ruling over the lower class, projecting the same status. They create a ruling clique and defend it. They institute complex initiation inclusion protocols. They authorize unifying doctrinal statements. They stick together. They never deviate from the script. They go to bat for one another, which is one of the highly desired perks of the profession. This results in career advancement and security. They also protect one another from justice when that need is required. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Roman Catholic hierarchy protecting sinful priests, Protestant officials of most stripes doing the same for their respective ministers who stray into the same sins or others, or the bigwigs in Christian television who never reveal the underhanded goings on in that field of ministry. It’s a shame too, because many Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, and Christian television personalities do not engage in such secret sins.

But the sin just as big is refusing to reveal what would otherwise be the bigger sins. And those who engage in this practice do it for one reason only: Fear. They must protect themselves. They must protect the brand. They must protect the reputation of the enterprise. They must also protect the cash flow. I remember watching Christian television probably a couple decades back and there it was, once again, like so many times before. A Christian television personality caught in serious sin was right back on the air doing his thing. He had repented of his sin, you see. And he was way too valuable to leave off the air.

Remember, it is often the case that the most successful ministers are the greater money magnets. Rather than serve the living God and operate through the power of His Holy Spirit, they operate through the power of worldly wealth and unregenerate flesh, both of which attract demonic influence.

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:13-15][1]

© 2020 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.

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 2)

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 3)

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 4)

ENTERTAINING ANGELS UNAWARE

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I remember one time, in my first year or so as a new believer, a bunch of us went downtown early one night to do some street witnessing. These occasions were always fun. You never knew what might happen.

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We would break up in a few groups with a plan to get back together in a central area later on. I had done a lot of witnessing in those early days but downtown was always a special time. It was all cold turkey with no set plan, meeting people you never knew. The city was very large but thanks to a thriving tourist trade you didn’t have to watch your every step. It had a small town feel and the downtown area had a long and eventful history. People were generally friendly and laid back. The areas we frequented were well lit and maintained, and not all that crowded.

We walked the streets, handed out tracts, and talked to whoever may listen or wish to carry on a conversation, and attempted to tell them about the Lord. You always had to find the proper balance and recognize open doors. One time, a brother and I were walking up a street and noticed a couple of sailors in uniform stopped at a crosswalk waiting for the light to change. The guy on the right was smoking a cigarette. I approached him and, handing him a tract, said “God wants you to have this.” He looked right at me, got really angry, tossed his cigarette down, and replied, “You can keep your God…” I apparently struck a nerve. This often happens when sharing the Gospel in such a raw manner. One never knows what emotions may come to the surface when innocently touching a past experience or memory. God gets blamed for a lot for things He had nothing to do with.

Later on we all gathered back together at the preplanned meeting area on an active street. Someone might have brought a guitar. We used the term “edified” quite a lot back then. It was a spiritually edifying experience to hang out with your friends who had the Lord in common and enjoyed His work. Everyone was having a great time. We would share stories of the night’s events.

At one point I walked by myself a short ways to a busy corner bus stop. There was a bus parked on the side street with the engine running getting ready to load up. I thought I might try to talk to a few of the people milling around. After just arriving at the spot, I saw in my peripheral vision someone walking toward the bus in my direction. He seemed to appear out of nowhere. As he came into view I turned to face him, hoping to get a word in as he walked up. He was a relatively tall distinguished man dressed well in a light-colored tailored suit. His appearance was different somehow. There was a look about him. I approached, handed him a tract, and told him why I was there. He listened politely, his face never changing expression. Then, in answer to me, he kind of looked off into the distance and said, “Yeah, I’ve been wanting to look into that.” He turned and walked off, getting lost in the crowd. I never saw him again.

Right away, I was struck by what he said because it reminded me of the following verse:

It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. [1Peter 1:12]

And this:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. [Hebrews 13:2 KJV][1]

On those downtown streets years ago, in the midst of a curious occurrence, I believed I had just met my first angel.

© 2020 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.

DEFINING NEW WINE (AND EMBRACING ADULTHOOD)

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       The Millennial generation has now overtaken the Baby Boomers. This development parallels the fading dominion of “old wine” Christianity.

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        We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation. The bulk of the coming-of-age Millennial generation, those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s to early 2000s, likely will not be engaging in anywhere close to the same degree of hands-on, practical, do-it-yourself utility and blue collar work of past generations. In general, while brilliant and exceptional in many areas of expertise, its skill set is lacking in the use of tools and, though gaining, has less aptitude for practical self-reliance.

       As a result, since Millennials number in the 80-90 million range, the home improvement industry is particularly panicked about the upcoming diminishing demand for its products. To remedy the potentially huge future problem, how-to videos and tutorials on an extremely elementary and basic level have been created, such as “How To Use A Tape Measure.”

         Sound familiar? What are the otherwise veiled common denominators of the largely unchurched Millennial generation and traditional church congregations of past and present? How are these alike? Do both share commonalities through no initial fault of their own, such as being adulthood challenged, sheltered, dependency-bred, and subjected to Groupthink? (Traditional church congregations in general are rarely taught to graduate and go on into individual ministry, for example, as commanded in the Great Commission.) These common characteristics indicate far too much “old wine” influence and a dearth of the new.

NEW WINE

        And He was also telling them a parable: “…And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” [Luke 5:36-39]

OLD WHINE

         Christians have labored for centuries trying to figure out this passage or trying to figure out why the Lord used it in the first place, since the subject matter causes discomfort in some circles. Yet it remains a classic “eyes and ears” parable of which the true understanding is often missed. Rather than seeing the deeper meaning and making the correct application the Lord is calling for, however, the passage often evokes the prohibition response among those Christians who believe wine is not good. Instead of censoring the Lord Jesus or taking Him to task for NT wine references, of which there are many, perhaps they should try to see what He’s getting at.  

         I say this because immature and out-of-touch past generations of Christians with such an attitude have also missed the boat on other spiritual teachings. Missing the one addressed by the New Wine parable, though, is enormously problematic since it directly regards the pure practicality of reaching the lost without forcing them into largely dead impractical religion and non-spiritual constructs. For example, it didn’t help that for much of the time since it was first published in 1611, many Christians only had a King James Bible with no alternative or were not allowed one that may exist, especially, of course, in England and the English-speaking world. Because the KJV was state-sponsored, it forced millions into accepting every word and punctuation mark therein without question. Yet, on the all-important New Wine and New Wineskins passage, a deeply important parable, the KJV translators got it really wrong by referring to the wineskins as bottles.

         Right. They all had glass wine bottles in the first century. But according to some, those people apparently were not allowed to drink the wine therein anyway. What grandiose minds are these who project their convictions on all prior generations? There is a reason we have better translations today. Yet there remain millions of Christians at present who refuse to use any other Bible and even insist other versions are sinful. This is evidence of remaining endemic authoritative bias which disallows the necessary developmental steps toward gaining maturity. It creates a purposed distance from the Lord’s pure teachings by an agenda-based clergy promoting subjugation to them and their old wineskins.

         Ironically, I guess we may say, the incorrect KJV translation of the New Wine passage proves the gist of the Lord’s New Wine parable.

FERMENTATION (SPIRITUAL EYES AND EARS ALERT)

        The process of fermentation changes mere grape juice into a completely different liquid with different properties. New Wine is wine still undergoing the fermentation process.

         In Biblical times, as fermentation commenced and the juice of the grapes foamed up, somewhat dynamically, the process was allowed to take place only in open vats or containers for obvious reasons. After this initial substantial fermentation the wine was poured into small containers made of animal skins, but it was most important that the skins be new and fresh. Why? Because the wine was still undergoing fermentation and the skins must be new, strong, and flexible to allow for further expansion. It was sometimes the case that the new skins filled with New Wine appeared close to bursting.

         This is why everyone with knowledge of wine-making knew to never put New Wine into old dried-up wineskins because such containers would never be able to handle the ongoing fermentation process. If this principle was violated the old skins would crack or tear and be ruined by the New Wine, which would spill out and be lost. Incidentally, and in light of what I have been addressing in several recent posts, the fermentation process lasted about forty days. This means something. You might want to take a look at those recent posts.

PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE

         The parable of the New Wine and New Wineskins appears only in the three synoptic gospels. It is apparent that Matthew and Mark were referencing Luke. Only Luke actually refers to it as a parable. Yet in each occurrence, the parable appears somewhat out of nowhere, especially in Luke, and there is no explanation. No one asked about the spiritual or allegorical meaning when the Lord addressed it. It is just there, and then the narrative moves on. What does it mean?

         We can find a clue simply by looking at the fermentation process. In His teachings regarding new beginnings and the necessity of both a New Covenant and new approaches to spiritual life, the Lord also referred to the absolute necessity of a new birth, meaning a spiritual birth. He is referencing by these illustrations a must-metamorphosis or a transformation from one stage to another, just as we are presently on the threshold of a vast new spiritual transformation. He also claimed that such a personal change, or birth, was both dramatic and all-encompassing.

BECOMING FULLY MATURE

(1) A butterfly lays an egg on a food plant

(2) The egg becomes a larva, or caterpillar, and the caterpillar grows rapidly

(3) When fully developed, the caterpillar enters the pupa stage and surrounds itself in a chrysalis

(4) When metamorphosis is complete, the pupal skin splits and a fully developed butterfly emerges, illustrating the final stage of maturation, and it soon takes flight

       Through the Lord’s mysterious ways, a relatively non-attractive many-legged worm thoroughly grounded and munching leaves and whatnot is inexplicably transformed into a lightweight beautiful butterfly able to escape the weighty hold of gravity. Remember, this is the same creature during all four stages. It merely exists in different forms on the way toward becoming fully mature, or complete.

DEVELOPING INTO SPIRITUAL ADULTS

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48]

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Matthew 19:21]

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:2]

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you… [Philippians 3:14-15]

[The Greek word translated in the preceding as “perfect” or “complete” is teleios. It is defined as “mature, full grown, adult, or completed.”]

THE PROPER FRAME OF REFERENCE 

         Mere grape juice released through a violent crushing process somehow begins to be instantly transformed into another substance with powerful properties. What does this sound like? What does the Lord mean by New Wine and New Wineskins? Correctly defining these terms means we must first determine the proper frame of reference. The answer would seem to be otherwise obvious, since we have an Old Covenant and a New Covenant. The Old made possible the New, but the New replaced the Old. The New Wine replaces the old wine. It was a fact that due to the wine-making process of those times, the fully fermented wine lasted only so long. Old wine was wine stored for about a year or more, but it sometimes only lasted for about three years before turning into vinegar, though that could happen earlier.

FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN’S CHILDREN

          It follows then, that wine-making must be ongoing. There must always be a new batch of wine on the horizon. (Think Great Awakening.) The Feast of Tabernacles, in the autumn of the year, was an annual time of harvesting the fall grapes. It was a time of great joy. All of these facts are clues.

        The Pharisees and Sadducees represented the old wine that had degenerated into sour vinegar. Those guys could not get any more sour.

         The Lord was bringing forth the New Wine with His new kingdom. The refusing-to-be-transformed religious killjoys hated both. They rejected the new birth as do most “Christians.” Little did they know that they were actually playing right into the Lord’s hands, however, in that by crushing Him they were assisting in the process of bringing forth a brand new vintage, the best New Wine of all time!

DRUNK ON THE HOLY GHOST

         When the 120 were filled with His Spirit in the Upper Room they acted very differently. Their actions were out of the ordinary. What transpired on that morning did not look at all like the standard, dour-faced, traditional, institutional, stuck-in-the-mud, ultra-religious old wine that was “good enough.” Instead, they were all filled with incredible JOY and displayed never-before-seen bright shining faces, dazzling smiles, and much laughter. They were overcome with the Lord’s overwhelming love. Highly concentrated LOVE was all around them and spilling forth everywhere. By their love everybody appearance and manner it looked to outside observers that the Upper Roomers had been swimming around in a giant vat of New Wine:

         And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them:

         “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

         “‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT…’” [Acts 2:12-18] [1]

       We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation toward real spiritual adulthood.

          “New Wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.

IMPRECISE PROPHETS AND ILL-DEFINED PROPHECIES: WHAT ABOUT THE NEW COVENANT MODEL?

 

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        They rarely get specific. Their forecasts are open-ended. An uttered word here or there or a noteworthy phrase may qualify as fulfillment and might be used for that purpose. Sound familiar?     

MAKING THE GRADE

        Have you ever wondered why certain prophetic ministers have such high credibility ratings regardless of dubious track records? One may think it’s because they are right often enough or were right when it mattered, in that they made an impact at a key time or key event. One may think it’s a matter of perception, in that they have the mere appearance of being right. Or it could be that they reported the future before it happened but something intervened afterwards and changed the outcome. Sometimes some of these ministers actually do get it right but not without explanations of how and why or why certain words and phrases actually denoted this or that. “See? Don’t you understand?” But when perusing the “prophecy” again one notices that some of the things claimed as prophecy were quite a stretch. Oh, so THAT’S what you meant. Okay…

         The main reason these ministers are accepted as such and honored appropriately is largely for the same reason most ministers gain credibility: (1) They have managed to successfully establish a brand in that they have convinced enough people that they are what they say they are and also have the backing of other ministers or ministerial groups to enforce that supposition. (2) They are perceived as perfectly genuine due to the outer trappings of “legitimate ministry” such as utilizing a church building or “ministry center” from which they minister, belonging to a certified minister group, preacher union, or denominational hierarchy, and also have an ongoing ministry income (oftentimes quite large) which supposedly proves God’s blessing and endorsement. (3) Few people ever bother to grade their pronouncements or keep track of them to see if what they said actually came to pass.

         Regardless, once a prophetic minister establishes perceived credibility, it’s just a matter of staying in the public eye and continue doing whatever one may be doing and put forth as good an appearance as possible. The followers they capture become convinced such ministers are for real but most often for other reasons. They may like their outward appearance and “ministerial manner” but fail to recognize the impact of the surface level of such. They may notice an upscale wardrobe but have no idea how much money and work went into it. They like what appears to be a genial quality but do not understand that some of it is a mere put-on utilized for the sake of connecting with an audience. Remember, image is everything. And besides, how can so many followers be wrong?

HOW TO TELL THE REAL FROM THE UNREAL

         Though it has been overly used and has lost much of its effectiveness, the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” remains an effective question in sorting out legitimacy because it puts the spotlight on Him where it should be. It forces a comparison between His manner of doing things and those of Christian ministers who claim to be sent by Him. Are they teaching what the Lord Jesus taught? Are they doing what He did? Do their prophecies actually dovetail with the Word of God? Since most people who identify as Christians have never read the New Testament (much less studied it), it will be difficult to apply the preceding questions. This means they have no frame of reference when attempting to discover legitimacy. Due to their ignorance they are easily fooled. Due to personal pride they hate being told they lack the means for making correct identifications or properly differentiating the real from the counterfeit.

        But know this: Those ministers who depend on outward adornments to prove legitimacy are deceptive. Some use fairly innocuous means that go beyond simply being well-groomed, which, concerning the latter, everyone should engage in or strive for within one’s means. But as ministers they must appear as somehow better, you see? Other ministers go beyond this, however, and dress themselves up in clergy clothing to the degree that everyone knows they are clergy. They must have the whole lot because their lack of spiritual credentials is such that looking the part must override actually doing the part. They are much better at appearing to function spiritually than actually functioning spiritually. And then, beyond these people, you have those ultra-clergyites who wrap themselves up in the most ostentatious and ridiculous sheep’s clothing imaginable. They transition from clergy clothing to a clergy costume. They traipse around like the religious actors they are, largely letting their masquerading outfits and all-encompassing symbology do the talking for them. (What Would Jesus Do?) Well, for starters, He wouldn’t dress like THAT.

         We can see then, that the more one puts on the act, the more one has something to hide. The more one tries to convince others of one’s legitimacy, the more one is most likely illegitimate.

        Regarding actual New Covenant ministerial credentials, here’s what the apostle Paul wrote:

         And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1Corinthians 2:1-5] [1]

         Returning to our subject then, do prophetic ministers ever admit it when they’re wrong? Do they ever admit that the overall context of their messages, often filled with unspecific renderings or assertions which could be applied somewhat universally, actually proves they don’t really get it very clear very often, or that “what they see” is largely inapplicable regarding meaningful particulars? Are their messages so open-ended that timing does not apply?

         As I wrote in a previous post, the entire overall “last days” prophecy theme of the 1960s and 70s prophecy teachers and book authors was WRONG. See if you can find a record of any single one of them ever admitting it. Some of them continued with the same spiel beyond that time and even into the present, but have been forced to change major aspects of their content because what they had originally prophesied failed and could never happen. They had to keep making a living, you see. They had to keep donations coming in and sell books. They had to keep up appearances. For that they needed their fake exterior and faux content. And by the way, where are the real prophets exposing the fake ones? What happened to them?

THEY WERE REAL BECAUSE THEY WERE RIGHT

         Again, the Lord Jesus is our perfect example. Most Christians do not understand that He was also a prophet. He was and remains the greatest Prophet. Read His prophecies and see what happened later on. You can also look to John the Immerser. He was also a great prophet. He told it exactly as he was shown and got it perfectly correct. There were also prophets in the early Community of the Lord throughout the New Testament period. 

         For example, there was a prophet named Agabus who is mentioned twice in the Book of Acts. The historical record states that he made two brief, direct, and unambiguous prophecies on separate occasions about specific future events, both of which came to pass just as he said:

          Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. [Acts 11:27-28]

       As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” [Acts 21:10-11]

         Beyond these, there were the powerfully anointed OT prophets whose dedication and accuracy was legendary. You will notice by their lifestyle and outward appearance that they were all essentially the same. They had to make it on their own. They could not get by through simply gaining the endorsement of a ministry school or preacher group, or possessing a denominational stamp of approval. The enemy was a constant threat and often included their own rulers and fellow citizens. To the world at large their name was mud. They suffered. They did without. They were REJECTED and often hated. The Word of God burned within their hearts and they had to prophesy no matter the cost. They never gave up or gave in.

         And rather than cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance, the real prophets would have otherwise required actual surgery to repair their appearance. Thus, it was never carefully crafted outer images or ill-defined prophecies that exemplified their authenticity.

          It was battle scars and truth.

          © 2020 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.

2019 REAL CHRISTIANITY ANNUAL REVIEW AND SUMMARY: ALL POSTS

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       2019 was a year of warning. The enemy, brimming with confidence, showed his hand. I did my best to keep you posted. As we head into the future, your life as a Christian will be more challenging.

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SPIRITUAL WARFARE

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

         Regarding trends, 2019 was the year when the attacks on the First Amendment went into overdrive. There are anti-American forces in America that will do anything they can, legal or not, to eliminate Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. For example, there are presently very powerful and extremely well-funded forces making their greatest push yet to declare the New Testament “hate speech” with the purpose of eventually eliminating it. While this may sound impossible or even ridiculous to you at present, the people who perpetrate it are relentless and have been going at it for a long time. If you’ve never heard of this movement, like everything else, I suggest you immediately do your own research. You will be shocked. This is only one of many efforts attacking fundamental rights and the liberty to obey the Lord Jesus without concern of reprisal.

         Real Christianity is under attack like never before. Christian persecution is rapidly advancing in the world and is now manifesting very powerfully in America. Most ministers and churches never talk about this. It proves they are either ignorant and unaware or remain a big part of the problem. The Lord does not appreciate Judases, money-firsters, and those who water down His powerful Word for social acceptance, and American Christianity is saturated with these at present. Believe me, it will only get worse.

          2020 will mark a time when you as a Christian will have to make hard choices on whether or not you will continue following the Lord and honor Him first or kowtow to the culture, including unreal Christianity. Great temptation to back off and to compromise is coming. While this temptation has always existed and is why most of what is referred to as Christianity is merely a faux form thereof, the heat is currently being turned up to its highest levels yet. For Christian organizations who have already succumbed to money and the sinful culture, some of which I hope are deceived, their presence will continue to influence others to follow suit.

         Do not take this warning lightly. I predicted in my book, Real Christianity, writing almost a quarter century ago, and seeing it before then, that great Christian persecution was coming to America. Those who remember that time also remember that such an idea appeared impossible, but everything I wrote then has been coming to pass. This has happened and continues to happen for one central reason: Many American Christians have betrayed the Lord for a fake “easy’ Christianity. Unreal Christianity has become the default and official form. This adds pressure to real Christians and allows for “Christians” persecuting Christians. It permits an unholy hybrid in which fake monetary Christianity and geopolitical economic interests join forces. Both of these have a common enemy.  

WE ARE WINNING

       The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. [Proverbs 18:10]         

         So be encouraged. The Lord never leaves His people without the means to stand and continue on. He is always faithful. He always provides. There remains a very powerful spiritual kingdom on the planet where righteousness dwells in which we can have safety and support. We remain in the early part of a coming Great Awakening. It is based on Truth that will bring forth a powerful revelation of the Lord Jesus and His actual teachings along with His Light shining everywhere else. This means lies, misinformation, and disinformation are being exposed for what they are. The lies that hide the truth are being torn away. It will no longer be possible for these to remain hidden and includes exposing the perpetrators, some of which are fake and/or compromised Christian “leaders.”

          And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Mark 4:21-23] [1]

          It is vital that we all grow closer to the Lord than ever before. What follows are links to every post I made in 2019 starting in January. There’s a lot of good writing here to further your Biblical knowledge and current events awareness. Take note of the titles.

          Blessings to you.

          © 2019 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.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD

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       A Christian can determine how much love and respect he has for the Lord Jesus by whether or not he actually believes this statement and is willing to apply it.

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         And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26]

          Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” [Mark 10:27]

         But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” [Luke 18:27]

I KNOW GOD LOVES ME ‘CAUSE I’M RICH

       Many Jews of the Lord’s time believed prosperity was a sign of God’s approval. The Sadducees were certainly well off. The Pharisees were lovers of money. Accordingly, those without such prosperity, though otherwise hard workers and sincere commandment keepers, were undoubtedly looked upon by more than a few as essentially forsaken or rejected of God. They were seen, even among themselves, as somehow falling short due to some unknown inexpressible inherent weakness. They likely believed that God knew something about them or their character that excluded them from His greater blessings.

         This is why the Lord’s disciples were shocked at His teaching regarding the rich:

         And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” [Matthew 19:23-25]   

THE RICH YOUNG RULER

         There is a man referred to in Scripture as “the rich young ruler.” But don’t go searching for this particular collection of terms because you will not find it. It does not exist. The phrase appears nowhere in the New Testament. It is actually a descriptive compilation using separate single words from three different passages in three different gospel accounts which were later conformed into a whole, likely by preachers and Bible expositors.

         In the gospel of Matthew, this individual is referred to directly as “someone” and “the young man.” He is referred to by implication as “a rich man.” In the Matthew narrative it says he was one who owned much property. In Mark he is called “a man” and by implication “wealthy” and “a rich man.” Mark also says he was one who owned much property. In Luke the man is referred to as a “ruler” and by implication “wealthy” and “a rich man.” He is also said in the narrative to be extremely rich.

         So here we see an overall synopsis of a nameless historical character who unknowingly in his time provided a teaching example for all time. He became the subject of an object lesson that is still used today to present an eternal truth relative to everyone: Will we trade what we consider riches for a walk with the Lord? Will we take the chance? Will we risk everything? Those who do have satisfied themselves, at least to some degree, that all things truly are possible with God. In other words,

         They know that whatever they must surrender of this world to make the transformation to spiritual life simply does not matter and they would do it anyway regardless of what their new future may be.

         They know what the Lord has done in bringing them into the light and adopting them as His children, and that their life has changed dramatically for the better.

       They know as well that the Lord will provide spiritual riches far more valuable than whatever they surrendered.

         They also know He will bless them with compensation of a material or monetary nature necessary for sustaining one’s life in this world.

        (As an illustration, I will quote George Bailey from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, when he finds out that Clarence the angel has no money: “Ah, well, it comes in pretty handy down here, bub!”)

         The English word “ruler” is from the Greek word archon. Generally, this is one who has rule over others in either the religious or civil realms. The members of the Sanhedrin or synagogue officials were referred to as archons, as were civil magistrates and judges. Beyond these there were also men of wealth and influence known by this term. Scripture is not definitive on what kind of ruler the young man was but it appears clear that he had inherited great wealth from his father who must have been a significant individual. Hence, the young archon felt responsible not only for what he possessed and his own reputation but that of his father as well, who had undoubtedly worked very hard to attain his possessions and place in life.

         Yet we also know that this “rich young ruler” had spiritual things on his mind. Something had been nagging at him. From his demeanor there was no doubt he respected his father but he also had little or no input into the creation of the wealth he now possessed. He was grateful but he wanted something more. He knew there must be more. He had heard about this new prophet called Jesus and made it a point to address Him when he discovered the Lord was near.

         In the narrative we find that the man was raised well in that he knew the Law of Moses and kept it from his youth. Why could he not be satisfied? He was rich, a man of honor, from a good family, and respected the commandments of God. Why would he ever ask the following question: “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). Had he not already fulfilled what the Law required? There is something missing here, and it is indicative of a person who is dutiful and respectful of God, his family tradition, and his culture, but is otherwise empty on the inside. His spirit is crying out for more, for spiritual sustenance, and his heart for something beyond the wealth of material and social benefits.

         When I was a young man my friends and I, though not Christians at the time or familiar with Scripture, would discuss such topics as wealth and social structure. We were raised on the lower end of middle class. We were not against wealth necessarily but could certainly see the adverse effect it had on people. In general, people with money appeared arrogant. They saw themselves as better than others. I was on a spiritual quest then and was searching for truth. Consequently, I was not as concerned with giving myself over to the acquisition of wealth and position. We worked. We earned money. But it wasn’t an obsession. I knew there had to be more. We talked about the concept of either owning stuff or stuff owning us.

         The Lord understood right away what the problem was. This is what that young man so long ago was going through. In his heart of hearts he wanted to follow the Lord. But with all of his wealth, obligations, and upper class authority over others he knew he could not. The simple solution then, was for him to just get rid of all his stuff, surrender his social status, and quit living for this temporary world. These things were holding him back! They were keeping him from going where he wanted to go and being what he wanted to be.

         “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Luke 18:22]

         Think about that. Would you rather have the world’s temporary treasure or treasure in heaven? If you lived back then and were given a direct invitation from THE LORD JESUS to come and follow Him and hang out with them and do all the fun stuff they were doing, would you do it? Could anything possibly be better?

          But the wealthy young archon could not. He couldn’t do it. And this is the test.

EXCUSES AD INFINITUM

         “He would have to give up everything!” And I answer that by saying that everyone who comes to the Lord has to give up everything. And whatever one must surrender is relative to one’s station in life. There is always a great cost because one must give his or her entire heart.

         “But what about making up for all one has surrendered or lost!” Well, I say, the Lord makes provision for that. He said as much in the same passages:

         “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” [Matthew 19:29]

         Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Mark 10:29-30]

          And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Luke 18:29-30] [1]

          If the young man had actually done it, if he had chucked it all in and threw in his lot with the Lord, the Lord would certainly have taken care of him. The cries of his heart would have been answered. Whatever he needed concerning the good things of this world the Lord would have given him. He would be rid of the monetary, family, and social obligations keeping him from a higher call. He would have activated his faith, trust, and confidence in the Lord. This in turn would have opened up a door to an entirely new life previously thought to be something that did not or could not ever exist. He would have entered into the glorious kingdom of heaven on earth. His heart would have been filled to overflowing with pure joy. Most importantly, he would have had a King who loved him.

           And he would have seen that all things are indeed possible with God.

           © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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 UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 3)

        Desperation for money and spiritual faith don’t go together. People who do their Christianity for money are desperate. If they build their lives and ministries that way they only build away from God.

 

       And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]

         One of you, my readers, had a recent post in which you quoted a famous preacher. I can’t remember the exact words. He had been a minister for decades and said something recently to the effect that he had really messed up a lot of people. I thought his sentiment, or apology, was in one sense a tad refreshing. Of course I also thought that it was about time he finally admitted what so many had always known. This guy was a first class idiot. The devil played him like a banjo. I used to wonder how such an obvious shyster managed to fool so many people.

          I don’t name names here. It’s not the way I work. If you know who I’m talking about and care to comment, don’t use his name. It could be that he might actually be repenting. It may be possible that he has headed down redemption road. But it could also be, and likely is, that he’s still the shyster he always was.

         And there are a lot just like him. The celebrity Christian world has gotten really dark recently. There was steady progress toward that goal. They may still look bright the way the devil looks bright with his fake lighting. They may be more rich and powerful than ever. They may command respect and have lesser “ministers” cowed and afraid to say a word. But the Lord knows the truth. He knows what they are. They took the wrong road long ago.

         Were they desperate? Well, if a man needs to make a buck and he’s really down on his luck he forces himself to do absolutely anything he can to survive. If he’s a good man he does honest work the right way. But there are men in this world who refuse to work like a man and instead seek an easy way out. “Ministry” has always been one of those easy ways. Once a man gets past that first plea for cash and gets a little offering money and sees how easy it was to do, his conscience doesn’t bother him as much. He then figures if a little money is okay why not more?

         I remember stories of this guy raking in so much cash he was paying ten thousand dollars for one night in a hotel. They could buy anything. While the people in congregations all across the country were trying their best to live right before God and were struggling to buy another used tire for their old car or more baling wire to hold it together and doing their best to feed their kids right, these fake idiot ministers had no money problems whatsoever. It would be different if they earned it. And it’s not wrong to give or receive help. But all these guys do is take up collections. There’s nothing hard about that.

         The Lord’s example means nothing to them. They don’t care. They reach a point early on when they can never go back. They are too dependent on the easy money. They had become masters at getting it. There was a guy in the gospels that did something similar but not as a preacher. He was just your common every day little runt rip off artist. And he found redemption:

         He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” [Luke 19:1-10]

         Based on this story I would say there’s probably somewhere in the vicinity of several trillion dollars that needs to be restored to Christians who were ripped off by fake ministers. It would great if every one of these high-living low-life idiots would make restitution just as little Zaccheus did. But that idea is a pipe dream. There may be one or two here or there but most of the whole lot will keep being what they always were.

          And now they have a lot more power. They have also made good friends with the world and the line between both has gotten so blurred it no longer exists. Nothing will convince them to give it up. They believe their success is due to God’s blessing. Their big brotherhood gives them solid protection. And though they know all about the gross sin among them they strive to keep it hidden so the others won’t suffer.

        That’s in part why you never see one of these guys rat out another. They know if they do they will likely lose their place at the trough.

         The Lord will have to separate these goats out from His sheep.

MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN

          When you do it right you have to struggle. I’m old enough to remember the tales of old-timers when I was new to the Spirit-filled life back in the 1970s. I heard about how, in their early days, they often barely had enough to eat. These were good Christian people and real ministers. I was told they had to depend on prayer and “pray things in” just to survive. Think about that.

         I also remember a young evangelist who preached at our church. He had a wife and small children. They would travel the country in their car. He was dependent on offerings. These people received very little. I remember how thin he was but also how much the Spirit of the Lord had shone forth in his face. He was so sincere. He told the following story as I remember it:

         “We spent what little money we had from our last offering. I had what I thought was just enough gas to take us a few hundred miles to our next destination. We were traveling at night. It turned out that gas starting running low and we still had many miles to go. We decided to pray. We had a small console in the front seat. We asked the Lord if he would please bless us with the money we needed so we wouldn’t be stranded. I kept driving on in the dark and at last found an open gas station still a ways from our destination. My wife and I prayed again because we had no money for gas. Being satisfied that the Lord honored our request we lifted up the console and there before us was a five dollar bill…”  

         I remember another story from that time. I had a friend who was married with two small children and money was tight. His wife knew how to pray. She had to go buy a few groceries one day but had very little money. She asked the Lord for help. While walking to the store she heard a little rustling behind her and saw what looked like a small bit of rolled-up paper. She continued walking and it kept following her! I remember her laughing when telling the story. She finally stopped to pick it up and it was two or three dollar bills. She was able to buy some milk for her kids.

         The point with these stories is that the people involved had more desperation for the Lord instead of for mere money, and because their priorities were right they had greater faith. They knew when they prayed that the Lord would provide. They had no doubt. He didn’t dump gold bars on them but gave them what they needed at the time.

         “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:5-6] [1]

         Those who are monetarily successful in the ministry without using or needing faith and prayer are likely never receiving anything from the Lord. They are nothing more than carnal people using carnal means and are duded up to appear outwardly spiritual. When the time comes that they desperately need personal faith and prayer they’ll be up you know what creek without a paddle.

         But the Lord’s real sons and daughters will ALWAYS be provided for by Him. And I say Amen to that.

            © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued] 


[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 UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 1)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 2)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 2)

       The Lord Jesus taught that His followers would do what He did. Since this is obviously not the case among the majority of Christians it proves such Christians are not for real. Something is off.

 

         The evidence of His presence is always obvious. When He shows up, believe me, you will know it. When the evidence is lacking His active presence is lacking. The Lord is omnipresent, of course, but that does not mean He has the authority to work. Human beings have free wills and most often reject Him. Thus, restrictions upon Him in Christian circles must be removed. Because one never sees any evidence of His miraculous work in most Christian gatherings it means not only that restrictions upon His work exist in such places but also that they were often put there on purpose and by design.

         Why would so-called Christians do this?

        Again, it is an authority issue. Let me give you a simple example. There are a great many free websites in the world. One can go to such sites and gain free information. Much of this information is excellent. People work very hard at bringing forth the information they present and then give it out for free. This is essentially what the Lord Jesus did with His teachings and what He taught His disciples to do:

         “Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8]

         “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” [Romans 8:31-32] [1]

         But then there are those websites who keep much of their information behind a pay wall. There is nothing wrong with this. It is their right to do it.

         What model do most Christian churches and ministries use? One should notice that the offering always precedes the preaching. One may also notice that celebrity preachers sell tickets. Christian music artists have almost always done the same. Regular church singers never do this. It is because they are most likely not talented enough to charge for their efforts. Can anyone imagine the Lord Jesus insisting on an offering before He would teach? As it was, whatever money His ministry was blessed with by people giving freely likely never went to Him. He had pared down His life to such an extent that He needed very little to live on.

         I bring this up because there is a clear connection between churches and ministries who install a pay wall and exhibit a decided lack of evidence of the Lord’s presence and authority. These two most often go together. If the Lord was there and was allowed to work, miracles would happen. But someone else is in charge and that someone is charging for the services. They refuse to “have church” for free. They refuse to preach for free. They are professionals and they demand payment.

         Now, I believe in giving. I have given very large untold amounts in my time. I have given more money away to churches and ministries than most Christians have by far. I know this because statistics prove the majority of Christians give little or nothing. [2] But I also learned long ago to give it to the Lord. Though I was giving through the medium of a church or ministry, I was actually giving to the Lord Jesus through them, and I did my best to only give where He directed. The Lord also taught me long ago to never pay tithes. The tithe is not a tax. I have given tithes. I give the tithe to the Lord Jesus. If you pay tithes you will likely not receive the promised blessing or increase whatsoever.

         So again, we have this phenomenon in which the Lord Jesus taught for free and gave everything for free. HE EVEN GAVE HIS VERY OWN PERFECT LIFE FOR FREE. This was the greatest life ever lived in which He never, ever sinned. And He gave it away? His salvation is thus absolutely free. Whoever attempts to charge a person for salvation will have to answer to God.

         Since the Lord never charged anyone for anything He ever did in His ministry, where do the majority of “ministers” get off in charging for their “services?” The Lord even did miracles for free. He healed so many hurting sick people for free. They never had to pay a dime. He raised the dead for free. Fake ministers have no power to do miracles. But they charge money for what they offer. They operate behind a pay wall. Most people should see the connection between preachers who only work for pay and who never operate in the Spirit in which there is no evidence of the Lord’s presence. Non-Christians see the connection. It’s much easier to see the fakers from the outside.

        There is an old song by Charlie Daniels, [3] before he began living as a Christian, in which he expresses this idea perfectly. Here is the particular verse:

           Jesus walked on the water and I know that it’s true

           But sometimes I think that preacher man’d like do a little walkin’ too [4]

           © 2019 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.

[2] Church Giving Statistics, 2019 Edition

[3] Charlie Daniel’s Testimony

[4] Written by: CHARLES EDWARD DANIELS Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 1)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 3)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 1)

       There can be no unity without division. All evil must be separated from the good. This is one’s life in a nutshell, to go one way or the other by the time he exits into eternity.

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         The Lord called them disciples. They were those who would follow Him successfully. Their first task was to lay down their lives and allow the inherent sin and evil within to be purged out.

         It was not at all easy nor was it supposed to be. His standard is the highest. He said all sin and evil must go. To assist in achieving such a monumental task He required His followers to take up an unseen personal cross—a crude and roughhewn, raw and rasping deadweight to serve as an ongoing execution stake.

         And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” [Luke 9:23]  

ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE DISCIPLES

         It stems from the word discipline. This invokes extremely hard work. The spiritually lazy need not apply. Discipline does not refer to mere busyness but to the wrenching chore of somehow being conformed to His image and living the life He lived. One’s humanity will always fight the process and most of the time human nature wins. This is why most of what we presently call Christianity is composed of losers and fakers who refuse to do it right and settle instead into a faux form they can handle without getting right with God. They would rather be comfortable within society and create a religion and deity to suit themselves. I guess they figure they will be clever enough to convince the Lord of their artificial righteousness at the Judgment. This is not a good plan.

         Since everyone who comes to the Lord is a sinner, the first order of business is plowing up the sin field and sowing it with salt. This process must go down deep to the very roots. All vestiges of sin and evil must be removed and eliminated. This process—initial repentance—allows for breaking up hard fallow ground and creating deep, pure nutrient-laden soil within which the Gospel seed can be successfully planted. Repentance is thus likened to the process of decomposition and death. The richest soil is that in which the greater decomposition takes place. Think of a healthy compost heap.

THE LEVEL OF REPENTANCE RELATES DIRECTLY TO REAL SALVATION

        “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” [Mark 4:3-8]   

         With no repentance the seed is stolen by the devil. With little or shallow repentance, whatever may spring up is weak and dies quickly. It must be noted that the level of initial repentance one engages in is directly related to surviving eventual persecution. If one attempts an easy way he will later fall away. He is too wimpy to survive the inevitable spiritual attacks that will surely come. If he had been harder on himself he would have been stronger:

         “In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.” [Mark 4:16-17]

DIVISION FIRST, THEN UNITY

       “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” [Luke 12:51-53]

           So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. [John 7:43]   

         Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. [John 9:16]

         A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?” [John 10:19-21]  

BRINGING FORTH SPIRITUAL FRUIT

         No unregenerate human being has the required spiritual seed to bring forth spiritual fruit. It must come from the Lord. This is why one must be born again of the Spirit and not simply the flesh. Some unregenerate humans may be very nice and friendly people willing to help and do good things but they are worthless spiritually. The good things they may do are never eternal. Thus, the Lord put a premium on spiritual things, the same kind of things He was associated with and brought forth during His ministry.

          Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:8-12][1]

          © 2019 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 GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 2)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 3)

STAND WITH THE LORD JESUS

           DO NOT WAVER. STAND.

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         And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.”

       The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”

         And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!

         “But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

         Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.” Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” [Mark 3:20-35] [1]

         © 2019 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.

WANT TO KNOW WHO THE REAL DECEIVERS ARE? HERE’S A HINT:

         When their actions are the opposite of their rhetoric.

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TRAITS OF THE PHARISEES

          The people who put on a big show spouting on endlessly in their bold bloviations do not care whatsoever if their speech is the opposite of their actions. In fact, their speech is designed to hide their actions. What they say is not what they do.

        Therefore, if one is swayed by the talk without investigating the walk, they will be hopelessly deceived. They simply do not grasp the fact that they are being manipulated. They are being tricked into joining the mass support class.

“HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.”

         The Lord Jesus warned us about this. He exposed this trait of the Pharisees. But the majority always either reject the warning or are simply too dense to understand it. Those who have the lazy tendency to believe anything they are told simply need a grand presentation on the part of the Pharisees in order to enforce their laziness. In other words, if you dress up a lowlife huckster to the point that he or she appears to be a legitimate and honest proponent of truth, the majority believes what they see and what they hear at face value instead of making an investigation behind the scenes.

          Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:1-13][1]

           © 2019 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 SPIRITUAL WARFARE: HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE AN EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN

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        When a real believer obeys the Lord in presenting the real Gospel, the enemy strikes back and open spiritual warfare ensues.

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          Most Christians prefer non-spiritual warfare Christianity. Most Christians don’t even know what spiritual warfare is. Many have never even heard of the term. It is thus obvious that they are not at war.

        How is it that a great Man preaching love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and joy was treated as a despicable criminal? It is because the people treating Him this way are despicable criminals. Whoever hates and rejects the Lord Jesus tells the whole world they are the world’s biggest and vilest creature and is the farthest from God (one could not be any farther). Whoever loves the Lord Jesus and strives to honor Him is the one who is closest to God.

         Paul was sent on a mission. He was sent to preach the Gospel and rescue souls. What most people miss is that he was sent as a spiritual soldier into spiritual war. The Lord told him he would suffer for this. In watching one of the many D-Day memorials recently there was a clip I am sure many of you have seen. It shows General Eisenhower, the supreme commander of all allied forces, greeting paratroopers right before their mission. The video said that 40,000 paratroopers would parachute into northern France behind enemy lines. It also said that Eisenhower expected 80% casualties. In other words it was effectively a suicide mission. Yet here were all these soldiers geared up for battle in good spirits. They obviously had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Though many volunteered for the armed services, most were drafted and obeyed their government in good faith when forced into the service. The men on this particular mission would soon be decimated. I don’t know what the final figures were. Perhaps some of you reading this do. But it was a disaster.

         Also, about 2,000 men died in the initial D-Day invasion. Most were killed right away, as soon as they began. Their crafts were blown away on the open sea. Many were strafed by machine gun fire as soon as they lowered the ramps of their boats. They had little chance. They were lambs led to the slaughter. It is said that both of these groups had to be sacrificed for the greater good so the successive waves could succeed. But again, I don’t think most of these men had any idea what they were in for.

         This is what happens when you attack an enemy. The enemy will attack back. At that point you either quit or attack back again. The last man standing wins. It cost the lives of tens of thousands very early in this opening battle to bring eventual success. But it was the first group that suffered the highest casualties. Whoever is on the front lines gets hit the hardest.

         This is why right-thinking people understand what the Lord Jesus really did and why He should be highly honored and respected more than any man. He put His life on the line for all the others who came after. It is the same for His original apostles who were the first wave sent into an evil world with the Gospel. These men would be hit the hardest, and they were. The Lord prepared them perfectly. They learned it all from Him. They saw how He handled everything thrown His way. They experienced evil striking out at Him every day. They knew they must learn from Him and grow, and develop spiritually and be strong. They knew that when their time came they would have to be ready and attack with full force, and also have much and keep much in their reserve tanks for ongoing battle. Otherwise they would fail.

UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

         After doing exactly what the Lord told them to do at Philippi, they were beaten bloody and thrown into a filthy prison. But instead of feeling bad about what happened they praised the Lord Jesus. This set the stage for even greater miracles:

      “Hey Silas, can you imagine how much we accomplished today? The devil threw everything he had at us!”

         “He certainly did, Paul.”

         “The Lord knew exactly where to send us and what to say. The enemy had a fit. Now we know the people in league with the devil who have sold out to the enemy, and who the people are we need to rescue. We know what is holding them back, what is constraining them. We know this is a little hell hole of the devil but with many people who want to be free.”

         “And will be free! And are being set free!”

         “Yes! Let’s sing to the Lord and praise Him!”

         The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

         But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. [Acts 16:22-34][1]

         It was only after all of the above was accomplished that Paul and Silas were released and free to go in peace. It cost them with blood and suffering but they accomplished what the Lord sent them there to do. They showed themselves to be good and effective servants of the Lord by successfully attacking and defeating a powerful spiritual enemy and opening up doors of salvation.

         They won the spiritual battle.

         © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[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.

HEAVEN WILL BE SPARSELY POPULATED

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        “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]

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           If you like wide open spaces free from the maddening crowd you will love heaven. It will not be because heaven’s perceived billions will be spread out in such a way over a limitless expanse that it appears relatively empty, but because its population relevant to planet earth will be disproportionately less than many can imagine. This means most humans will never get there.

A HUNDRED MILLION TO ONE

         It reminds one of why the Creator is so generous with seeds so as to greatly boost the chances of fruitfulness. It appears He is thus wasting seeds but in reality He is only increasing the chances of fertility, productivity, success, and abundance.

         One might keep in mind that every human being is the result of one very strong unrelenting little fighting spermy guy who fended off all the other loser spermy guys to make it first to the interior of the great egg at the finish line.

          On average, when the sower sows his seed, 100 million sperm are released. 100 million. That’s roughly 30% of the current population in the USA. Yet these 100 million are reduced down to only one winner. So though we characterize extremely long odds as “a million to one,” this ratio is one hundred times that. This means 100 million minus one are losers. They never get to the finish line. The vast majority all die along the way.

         Now, these little guys can actually live up to about five days once implanted. This means they have five days to get to the egg. So it is not just each other they are competing against—they are also competing against time. Each one of them has the highest of callings but only one in a hundred million actually gets to fulfill it. Many of them get lost. Many run out of steam. Many get sidetracked. Many don’t have the capacity to get very far. They say this is nature’s way of insuring that only the very best make it to the very end. Only one gets there. There is no second place.

         “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]

         It is the same with humanity. Billions of people exist but the Lord Jesus said only a relative few will make it to the eternal goal. It is not necessarily because He sets very high restrictions. It is mostly because human beings in general are stupid, lazy, selfish, and prideful. Most do not seek truth. Most do not seek deliverance from sin. Most people do not understand that seeds must be planted and that this action calls for sacrifice and self surrender. Most of those who do understand it cannot bring themselves to do it, or do it consistently, or they try but give up.

          Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” [John 12:24-25]  

          Survival of the fittest is also true in the spiritual realm. The Lord Jesus gives us the tools and opportunities to succeed but we must put it all to work and we must always trust Him faithfully regardless of circumstances. The human spirit is extremely strong. Once it is directed properly and functioning properly per the Lord’s will there cannot help but be success. This success, however, is according to the Lord’s standards and not those of this world. Worldly standards dictate that the apostle Paul, for example, was a loser. He left this world with no material possessions beyond the clothes on his back, no retirement, no 401k, no nothing. But according to spiritual standards he perhaps did more for the Lord Jesus and His kingdom than anyone else. All real Christians are still blessed recipients of Paul’s writings to this day.

         How much more can the same be said for the Lord Jesus Himself? He accomplished infinitely more than Paul or all the rest of us put together. He not only made it to the egg but He made it to the greatest egg of all time and opened up a door and a trail for us to get there as He did. Even so, most “believers” will never make it. This is why:

          “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” [Matthew 13:18-23]   

           No one overcame as many obstacles in completing His course as did the Lord. The early believers illustrated for future generations how one must go about living for God, doing His will, and achieving the objective. They did not have it easy but they did it anyway. Most of today’s Christians take the opposite approach. Most will all die in the opening salvos and machine gun fire on the beaches of Normandy.

           It is an exceedingly tough journey for the little spermy guys to make it to the egg. Not only must they expend energy on the trip, they must also conserve the energy they will need for the end of the trip. Why? Because the egg is actually covered by a thick layer which makes it all the more difficult for conception to occur. The few sperm that get there must have enough left in the tank to penetrate the outer layer of the egg. This is where the remaining few greatest die. Imagine making it that far and not being able to complete the objective.

         This exact seed journey scenario mirrors life in a general sense, but it perfectly captures life in the spiritual sense. The Kingdom of the Lord is therefore only for those who have the unrelenting drive to make it all the way, to dedicate themselves completely to the Lord Jesus, and be determined against often ridiculous odds to complete the course.

              All real Christians will go though the following in the process:

          “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12]

           If one is going to make it to heaven one will have to overcome all the persecution along the way. One will have to maintain love and always forgive. One must contend with betrayal and potential traps. The obstacles can be immense. There may be vast scorching waterless deserts to cross or giant mountain ranges with deep snow and icy winds. There will always be much resistance. Many elements of the journey will refuse to cooperate. At times the objective will appear impossible. But because the real Christian is blessed with the indomitable spiritual seed of the great Creator, he has the ability to overcome everything and continue to press on. On one occasion, Paul illustrated the challenge set before us as follows:

           I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. [1Corinthians 9:23-27][1]

         If Paul knew he could miss the mark, we should all know we could also. He put forth maximum effort to stay qualified. We should also. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything significant knows that it takes much work and dedication. This is even truer when it comes to working in the Lord’s kingdom. And it is entirely true when it comes to properly graduating from this life into the next.

            There will only be a relative few at the ceremony.

            © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[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.

SHUNNING THE SHYSTER SHEEPFOLD: FINDING THE HIDDEN DOOR OF LIFE

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       The religious elite hated Him. He looked nothing like them. He was never a member of their religious denominations. He belonged to none of their clerical orders or preacher unions.

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         The classic clergyman has long since taken over Christianity. Christians have been made to believe that the lone preacher in a pulpit having full sway over a congregation is the model started by the Lord to which everyone must submit. This is absolutely wrong.

         It was never that way in the beginning. Why is it that way now? Why has it often been this way throughout much of Christian history? How did we get here? The scope of this article is far too large for this format, so I will have to be relatively brief. I have gone into great detail about this subject in my first book which I feature on this site in case anyone may be interested further on the subject. Suffice it to say that though my book is the result of decades of study and personal experience, is filled with New Covenant scriptural passages, is based directly on the real teachings of the Lord Jesus, and reveals the history of the early Church, some Christians show little interest most likely because the truth contained therein conflicts with the Christianity they are familiar with and comfortable within.

         In other words, if someone wants to write an acceptable Christian book it would be best to stick with the conventional outlook and never ruffle any feathers. The same is true when starting a ministry: Don’t rock the boat. Remain with the tried and true. Use the traditional methods Christianity has adopted to bring in people and get them to support it financially. Everyone knows there can be no ministry success without financial success. Everyone knows there must be a central leader to make it all work. And everyone knows that a successful leader must have style, a charismatic attitude, and good preaching and teaching abilities.

         What relatively few know, apparently, is that such churches and preachers are more the result of Madison Avenue than the New Testament, and that such ministries and leaders most often look absolutely nothing like the Lord.

         The truth of the matter is that the Lord went far out of His way to prove that a real Christian leader is a non-leader. The apostles were non-leaders. The entire early Church was composed of non-leaders. Why? Because they all understood they already had a Leader and that they must have only the one Leader. This truth is proclaimed repeatedly all throughout the Gospels and New Covenant writings. Even the Lord’s own example proves it. Though He is God, and though there is only one God, He showed up as a humble servant. He taught His men to be humble servants. He even said the greatest among them must be the greater servant.

         Now, understand, there were actually no “great’ among them as the world defines greatness. These were not great men but the very opposite. This is part of the reason the religious elite hated them so much. They saw the Lord’s men as absolutely unqualified. They did not look right, they did not dress right, they did not talk right, they had no religious pedigree, and they did not graduate from the right ministry schools or actually any official ministry schools. The Lord’s ministry school was seen as a rebel outfit far off on the outskirts. Not one of the many Jewish religious denominations supported them or recognized them. They would never have been accepted even if they had gone through all the proper channels and applied. They were rejected in the beginning and throughout their lives. In this, every single one of the Lord’s original faithful followers were exactly like Him because it was the same thing they did to Him.

          These evil religionists were jerks of the highest order. Most of them never repented and thus most of them went to hell. The same is true for all the fake Christian ministers since then. One can spin it any way one wants to but the Lord will not stand for any deviations of the true path in order to have outward worldly “success.” The price He paid was far too great. The price they paid was far too great. And now, presently, there remains a large number of real Christians worldwide who have paid the same great price. They have been rejected by the religious powers that be. This is a requisite for being accepted by the Lord. He made it very clear that not only will His followers be rejected by the world, they will also be rejected by the religious world. They were thus not so surprised when it happened and learned to move on.

          “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:14]

         Most Christians are nothing more than followers of their leaders. They believe what their leaders believe. They accept what their leaders teach them to accept. They reject what their leaders teach them to reject. They do not stand on their own feet. They cannot defend the New Covenant writings because they are largely unfamiliar with the New Covenant writings. Their churches and ministries are merely based on the New Covenant but few of them know it or follow it exclusively. If they did they would have to leave the club. Their leaders would be disappointed in their approach and their gaining of knowledge, and if they progressed too far their leaders’ disappointment would grow into anger.

      Thus, the only way traditional Christian leaders maintain their glowing outward appearance is by keeping it fake and never subjecting it to challenge. They are uncomfortable with challenge. It exposes their weaknesses. It exposes the fact that their foundations are not as strong as supposed and are only that way because they surround themselves with people who believe exactly as they do. In fact, they train all their followers to do that very thing. They indoctrinate them. This is how they keep everyone on the same page and thus remain in their place of authority.   

      The Lord Jesus did the very opposite. During His ministry, He was no religious indoctrinator. He made DISCIPLES, not mere church members or congregants. The discipline He taught covered every facet of their lives. He left no stone unturned. He went straight to the heart. If one was going to follow Him they would have to give everything. If one was unwilling to do this, to any degree, He would not accept them.

         When a person joined His school, he or she dedicated everything, including one’s heart, exclusively to Him. He must be recognized as the Leader, and most importantly, as the only Leader.

        This authority aspect has certainly been adopted by official Christianity. The difference, of course, is that leaders other than the Lord must be recognized. The idea that Christians must totally respect and honor their leader has become so ingrained there is no escape from the mindset unless one somehow comes to understand the fallacy of the concept. This is only attained by growing closer to the Lord. We can take a relative shortcut by simply reading and studying the New Covenant writings in depth. The more one does this the more one notices the difference between the Lord’s original model and the later fake models. One also comes to the conclusion that The Lord Jesus as the only Leader model is not only the only one taught in the New Covenant writings but the only one that works on a spiritual level.

         But who really cares about this? How many Christians will go to such lengths? Answer: Real Disciples. Christians have already proven over many centuries that they can create alternative Christian models that not only work on a natural level but work great with absolutely no spirituality involved whatsoever. As an aside, it is truly amazing that the Book of Acts has survived since the vast majority of Christians rejects it and wants no part of what is contained therein. This is also due to religious conditioning. It is sad that such a great void has transpired, even to the point that faux Christians become deceived by their own chosen narratives and perceive no reason to escape or search further. Unless they see otherwise it won’t end well.

         And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets;’ and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’” [Luke 13:23-27]   

         Apart from these, for those Christians who want the full truth and greatly desire a full and rich spiritual experience and lifestyle with the Lord Jesus, they reject the lifeless religious models with their spiritually dead “leaders.” They refuse to waste their lives playing religious games. They want the Lord. They want all of His spiritual reality. They are fascinated by what happened in Jerusalem in the early first century. Because of this they prove their spiritual hunger for the Lord and the truth, and by this, namely, their faith and their spiritual hunger, the Lord can guide them home. Their spiritual hunger acts as a beacon and attractive force that the Lord can use to help them find Him. Of course, before salvation we are the ones who are lost. This spiritual hunger homing device helps to guide us from out of our lost condition, as one may be lost in a natural wilderness and guided out by natural methods. Without this genuine faith and spiritual hunger, something which arises completely from the individual and is not phony or a constructed religious artifice, the Lord has nothing to work with, which means lost people stay lost, but only due to their own will and desires.

         However, if people who wish to stay in their lost spiritual condition also desire some type of outward Christian expression, either to partially satisfy their conscience or to gain or maintain social or religious acceptance, there are many such Christian expressions to choose from. There are churches one can join that require no actual spiritual repentance, that require no born again experience (something the Lord Jesus demands) or only a weak simulation thereof, and no total surrender of oneself to the Lord. One must submit, of course, just not to Him. They must submit to a denomination and the clergy class that runs it. They must submit to a personal leader who is not the Lord. They must submit to a Christian curriculum only loosely based on the new Covenant. Their focus must be not on real first century Christianity but the lesser Christianity they have joined themselves to. For most Christians, this obviously works for them. They like it. They accept it. They go no further. They find a place in Egypt or the Sinai to make their camp and they stay there. They never get to the Promised Land because they don’t want to go to the Promised Land.

         Those who do get there must follow a Leader who does not look like a leader. Following this Leader will gain them no worldly prestige. In fact, following Him will cost them everything. It is a harrowing journey. Imagine being lost in one of this world’s evil hell holes surrounded by evil people doing evil things with no respect for life. How could one ever escape without a real guide? And though most people refuse to acknowledge it, the planet itself has become an evil hell hole. Though it does not use the exact phrase, the New Covenant writings refer to our planet as a “fallen world” because it is inhabited in part by millions of outwardly extremely rebellious and evil people, some of whom are at the very top. These people don’t care about the Lord Jesus. They hate Him. They rebel against their Creator. They also hate His followers. This is just a standard fact taught clearly by the Lord.

          Case in point:

         “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” [Matthew 10:24-25]

         To summarize, there had to be a very powerful reason the outward civil and religious leaders and their followers hated the Lord to such a degree. It could not be something relatively insignificant. It could not be based on a few differences of opinion. It had to involve polar opposites. What we arrive at then, based on a great many clues put forth by the Lord Himself, specifically within His many diatribes against them, is that they majored in outer religiosity though they possessed dark hearts. Their over-the-top external ostentation existed in part to hide what they really were. They found that people were weirdly attracted to such outward extravagances as religious clerical dress and graven images, including the living human kind. So they did the following:

       “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.” [Matthew 23:5-7]

         On the Christian side of things, Protestant leaders insist on various titles but prefer the word “pastor.” This has also been adopted by Catholicism. Of course, Catholic priests are still one’s “father,” something the Lord taught against directly. Such titles, such as “rabbi” or “pastor” serve to denote the man in charge. Christian churches used to have only one pastor but then the mega churches adopted the title of “Senior Pastor” to differentiate the head honcho from all the sub-pastors. In the mega churches it gets quite ridiculous and comical, and even embarrassing, to see so many goofy titles is use. No matter what job an “official leader” has in many of these places, they are some kind of “pastor.” It gets really stupid when a “song leader” or “minister of music,” a position never even alluded to in the New Testament or associated with “pastoring” becomes a “pastor of music” or some inane variation. Both rabbi and pastor were words that came into relatively late usage. The word pastor is only mentioned once in the New Testament and it is a bad translation. It only proves that such official ministers don’t really care about the truth and insist on furthering a false idea.

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:8-13] [1] 

       Hence, the Lord wanted nothing to do with all the outward adorning of religion, whether clerical dress or superfluous titles which were used to deceive the unsuspecting. He thus appeared as a simple man. He was not handsome. He had no outer charisma. He did not look so much like the standard image depicted in pictures and movies. He never wore his hair long like a woman. He had nothing in His outer appearance that would draw in silly religious women attracted to shallow religious leaders. Religious men hated Him but real men saw Him as a real man that they could follow. He was rugged and outwardly strong and tough. He had weathered skin from years of doing manual labor, something the soft and pallid religious leaders never did. He used all His money for others. He had no home and certainly no church building. He never advocated for the building of synagogues or churches. The natural world in the great outdoors was His place of assembly. With a smaller group He sat down on a log or a rock when He taught or used a friend’s humble house. He had no pulpit. He traveled on the open roads by foot.

        Since the Lord Jesus is God Himself and He chose this path and taught it to His followers, where do the clergy boys get their authority to violate His teachings? Why have they created a counterfeit Christianity that draws in millions of people and then imprisons them within their whims and false teachings? Why do they insist on indoctrinating their followers away from New Covenant truth? Why do they insist on taking over and demanding their own way? Their preaching is fake and their manner is fake. They are all about self-promotion. It can be as subtle as their name on a church sign or as ridiculous as their big fat mug on a highway billboard. The more they promote themselves the less they promote the Lord and the less likely anyone under their sway will find anything more than basic surface-level Christian truths. They refuse the Book of Acts or use it only for their own purposes.

         Now, if it appears I am only referring to traditional denominations, it is also the case that Pentecostals and Charismatics are sometimes the worst offenders. Many of these people drag in a lot of stuff from Egypt and outright weird stuff that comes from who knows where. They also suffer from a lack of correct spiritual leadership and do their own part in promoting a clergy class.

         Remember, the Lord said there is only one door into His kingdom. It is a relatively small, humble, obscure, and unadorned door that most people never find or reject if they do. It looks like the opposite of what most humans think such a door into such a great place should look like. It is not pretentious, costly, or highly regarded. Most people walk right past it with no acknowledgment. To the world at large this door is relatively invisible.

         But for the spiritually hungry in heart who yearn for truth and seek it out, who want spiritual reality and purity with no carnal human strings attached or false religious facades, these people will eventually find that door. They will never stop until they do. And when they find it they find the answer their heart has longed for.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:7-10]  

         © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

A GREAT AWAKENING PRIMER: STRONG INDIVIDUALS CREATE STRONG CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES

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      The individual is the deciding difference. Strong, independent, spiritually mature Christians dedicated to the Lord are the building blocks of churches made in their image.

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          I have an old history book. It is old in the sense that it was originally written in 1930 but has been updated several times. The book itself is in great shape. I found it several years ago in a vast library book sale in Plano, Texas. My copy has a 1969 copyright. It is an excellent book. Entitled The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II, it covers the century from just after the Civil War to the late 1960s.

       Chapter IV is called Labor and it deals with the initial sorting out process of labor relations with reference to the post war economy, increasing industrialization, and the rise of impersonal corporatism. This chapter covers the story in our country’s history from after the Civil War until the dawning of the 20th century, a roughly forty year period of vast transformation regarding the conditions and opportunities of working men and women and how labor was forced to make immense adjustments.

         The Civil War itself was great change. It never should have happened. When one studies the real causes of the war behind the overt and official though false narrative, one sees the shrouded figures of economic henchmen intent on taking a spoil. The name Civil War is obviously part of that false narrative. Southerners prefer the term The War of Northern Aggression because that’s exactly what it was. It was a power play to gain the vast reaches of the South and Texas by the northern industrialists and the money powers. By fighting the war, the South, which had the Constitution wholly on its side, was merely protecting itself and attempted to win against all odds as did the original thirteen colonies against the Brits in the American Revolution. The odds were greatly against victory then as well.

         Updated figures show that upwards of 750,000 Americans were killed in the Civil War. There was a forced unconstitutional draft on both sides. Factories were turning out war materiel on a mass scale. Soldiers fought according to an old outdated method that left them wholly vulnerable to modern armaments. Thousands died in single battles. Arms and legs were shot off (or sawed off later). The lives of young Americans had suddenly become very cheap. Approximately one third of Southern men in the prime of life met their doom. The South never recovered. These were the great men, on both sides, of strong character and vitality, American men shortly descended from the greats who won the Revolution. But they were being butchered. It was a terroristic war, one whose excesses and brutality could never possibly be forgotten. In that short four year period from 1861-1865, American men, especially in the South, were transformed from free, independent, and liberty-loving to mere chattel used, abused, and forsaken. It was a betrayal of the highest order.

         After the war, labor suffered. The identity of the American working man was forced to undergo great change in order to fit into the new reality. Workers were cheap. The great money powers gained such control that labor was whatever they said it was. One was forced to play by their rules. If not, a man lost his job and was quickly replaced by another. Millions of new immigrants entered the country to add to the cheap labor pool. It was during those last decades of the 1800s that a completely new form of movement began in this country in the attempt to right these wrongs. It was the beginning of Labor Unions.

        The following passage from the book gives an excellent indication of the thinking process of American workers as they were confronted with the new economic reality and what they attempted to do to save themselves by fighting back. It was in reading these words that I saw yet another direct indication of what happened to American Christianity, which also suffered great change for the worse at the same time:

         In the years after the Civil War two rival approaches—reform unionism and trade unionism—vied for the allegiance of the American workingman. The reform unionists rejected the factory system, with its division of labor and its sharp differentiation of interests of employer and employee, and sought to restore a society which valued the independent artisan. Determined not to become machine tenders assigned to a small part of the process of production, they strove to preserve their status as craftsmen. To safeguard equality of opportunity, they fought those forces of monopoly, especially in finance, which they believed aimed to shackle the worker. They viewed themselves as members of a ‘producer class’ which embraced master as well as journeyman, farmer as well as artisan. [1]

         Thomas Jefferson had a dream of America becoming a vast agrarian society composed of individual Americans working the land. Constitutional principles and directives that every man must be free did not last so long, however. Jefferson’s dream died less than a century later at the hands of dominant money-first power barons who merely wanted to use labor for their own empire-building purposes as if flesh and blood humans with hopes and dreams were not attached to said labor. One can see by the preceding quote from the book that working men saw themselves as much more than mere workers used as machine parts. They were skilled artisans. They were masters at their trades.

         This resonates with me, because I can identify as a master at my trade. I spent many years as a multipurpose self-employed independent carpenter and contractor from the time I was a young adult. I never cared for highly specific quantity-ordered specialty trades within the trade, though I did participate on occasion. I certainly do not fault those who prefer such, but real carpenters should be able to build a structure inside and out instead of simply focusing on one aspect of the trade for the sake of greater and faster production. We have long since gone from one end of this equation to the other. The same thing happened after the Civil War. The independent artisans and craftsmen found a harder row to hoe, less appreciation for their skills, and less demand overall. It became a production game. Wages went down. Craftsmanship suffered.

        The same thing has happened in Christianity. In the beginning the Lord had a real Community composed of various spiritual trades based on spiritual gifting and anointing. As I mentioned in a recent post, Romans Chapter Twelve lists seven motivational giftings of which every real believer has one primary. This is where he or she excels. It is a labor of love. Christians should never waste time trying to be something they are not. And churches must stop rejecting those believers who demand being what the Lord created them to be. The reason they are rejected is for the same reason the economic controllers want human machines that always do what they’re told and simply continue to drone on and on. Pews are filled with such people who rarely do anything but sit and watch and give their money to support a system that goes nowhere spiritual very fast. It’s pathetic.

         What about a church filled with mature independent spiritual artisans who are masters of their craft? THAT is the Lord’s model. Until more Christians become aware that their churches are mere authoritarian perpetual elementary schools in which next to one rises above a third grade level, nothing will change. Those who do progress discipline themselves toward much study and training on their own, which means they outgrow their pastors very early on and only attend because they believe they must or they like the social aspect.

       The good news is that things have changed. We are progressing. But just like the mainstream news media which caters only to veritable babies in high chairs due to its ridiculously dumbed-down and often phony content while gaining most of the outward attention, most churches benefit primarily those few who run them and make money off them. Everyone else is made to grab a galley oar and row, and give money, not their heart or talent. Thus, an unbelievable amount of pure Christian talent has been wasted and shunted aside for the sake of catering to the big boys—the clergyized robber barons who make everything centered around and in support of them. These authoritarian controllers who have captured the money, the power, and the limelight may appear sincere and fool people with their fake smiles and false Pharisaic attitudes, but they are not fooling the Lord.

         He wants His people to be free. And mature. He wants them to fully develop their talent and giftings. He then wants these strong and independent spiritual artisans to work together in community. This is what a real church is. It is what He created in the beginning. They proved what they were by pretty much converting the Roman Empire! Most Christians today have problems converting themselves. And what have we done here in America? Instead of converting others to the Lord Jesus, Christians have largely been converted to and taken over by the culture. It’s the main reason why America is hanging on for dear life.

         There are certainly fighters for the Republic and those trying to save the country, as well as those trying to reform American Christianity, but they graduated from Sunday School a long, long time ago. All Christians who haven’t and refuse to progress should be utterly ashamed.

           Their false tradition is a killer.

          And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9] [2]   

            © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II © 1930, 1937, 1942, 1950, 1962, 1969 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Sixth Edition.

[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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

AWAKENING TO TRUTH: DETECTING CHRISTIAN BS

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         “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:32]

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         Real Christians are good BS Detectors. They know when people are blowing smoke. Some are excellent at this skill. Our Master and Lord is, of course, the best. He saw right through the idiot religionists of His time and hammered them hard. He did not appreciate their manner of deceiving people, their use of silly propaganda, and most of all, the way they acted out their religion to keep up appearances as outwardly righteous though possessing disingenuous hearts.

        He does His best to teach this skill to His students (disciples). Most Christians have a difficult time with it, however, and there’s a specific reason why: Most Christians are not disciples. They are instead as rebellious, if not more so, than all the spiritually unregenerate people in the world who refuse to bow their knee to the Lord Jesus and acknowledge Him as God.

       They get tripped up in their own limited interpretations and fall sway to savvy savants who masquerade as ministers. Before they ever get their detectors up and running they succumb to the very BS the Lord wants to protect them from.

THE HISTORICAL RECORD

         Imagine that. We have very clear writings dating back two thousand years proven to be accurate and also secular documentation to prove their authenticity. Specifically, we not only have a historical record of the Lord’s life and teachings but we have it from four different perspectives. In addition to this amazing data mine we have a full history of the early Community of the Lord, a thirty year detailed record dating from just before His ascension into heaven to a few years before the death of the apostle Paul, which took place in roughly the year AD 67.

         Luke, the writer of both a gospel and the Book of Acts, our aforesaid history book, has been verified as extremely precise in all that he wrote. His many detractors over the centuries have continually been proven wrong in assessing his facts as incorrect. Many of these people are now dead and their intransigent legacies have left them with eternal egg all over their formally arrogant faces. It still amazes me how the devoid-of-facts crowd which insists it knows better but actually doesn’t know squat makes up for it with negative emotion and truckloads of anger when their false interpretations and convoluted narratives are challenged. They cannot stand the thought of being proven wrong after investing so much of their lives in phony characterizations and bogus imaginings regarding the Lord Jesus and the real history of early Christianity.

DON’T CONFUSE ME WITH FACTS

      Regarding unreal Christians, in all their superfluous variety, they prefer their own versions of the way things ought to be and reject handily the truths of Scripture which confirm their unstable and derelict dirt foundations. It is part of the reason we have four million Christian denominations. It is also part of the reason we continue to have spiritually brain dead preachers spouting off their nonsensical deceptive twaddle endlessly and incessantly, plugging up the airwaves and stealing the spotlight from the Lord’s real ministers. They also love engaging in personal character destruction and destroying reputations, as the unbelieving Pharisees et al attempted with the Lord. They will get theirs eventually. My hope is that they repent. Maybe they will. The odds are most won’t.

         The bewitching nature of this fallen world is such that most people always buy into false narratives and are somehow seemingly blocked from truth. Deception has always run deep on planet Earth. Most of the truth blockage is often self imposed, in that people not interested in spiritual truth set up their own blockades to various levels in order to protect themselves from any encroachment of light which might possibly seep through and cause them to have to actually think about their chosen belief systems. The Lord taught that those who have no love for the truth will be blind to it. Those blind to truth can thus only believe such truth does not really exist, since they cannot possibly discern it or know what they don’t know, when in all actuality it only does not exist to them within their diminutive darkened worlds.

         We know from the relatively recent phenomenon of social media that most people who engage in that particular medium almost always end up associating with like-minded people and then think their respective social constructs and belief systems are the correct ones. They then often get extremely agitated and angry with those who do not believe as they do and consider everyone not within their zone as complete nitwits. (There are obviously a multitude of zones.) They frequently reject whoever does not see things their way. This has caused a rise in great hatred for others and a deep bitterness which never shows itself until thus challenged.

         What this phenomenon had done regarding social division is striking. It is stunning. But it is not new. Christians jumped in with both feet long ago and started their own social media constructs, otherwise known as denominations. Whoever differed from the company line was made to pay. Those who clutched their religious robes about them in defense of the cult saw to it that detractors would be dealt with severely. All the little sycophants had such great fear of their religious masters they meekly stayed in line and consequently remained blissfully ignorant. There were a few, however, who displayed great courage.

THE MORNING STAR OF THE REFORMATION

       For example, John Wycliffe was a Catholic priest who eventually gained access to Scripture as part of his higher learning and studies, something denied to the people in general. It didn’t help for the general population that the Scriptures were not available in most languages. This was by design, of course. It was a way to keep people unaware and uninformed and thus much easier to control. The idiot religious powers-that-be greatly feared the people gaining access to the truth of Scripture, mainly because the people would then know they had been shanghaied by con artists misrepresenting themselves. They would know they were ripped-off and cheated, and taken over by what were essentially wolves in sheep’s clothing who hated the Lord Jesus and served the devil.

         So what happened with Wycliffe? This was back in the 1300s. There are reams of data on his life and accomplishments. For those of you who do not know much about him I suggest you study his life. It is quite revealing and informative and will open your eyes that much more to the battle real Christians face. John Wycliffe was an English scholar who knew Latin, the language of Scripture at that time, and thus had access to the truths of the New Covenant. He had paid his dues in that he was trusted with Scripture, since he had already bought into the dictates of his denomination which happened to be Roman Catholicism. The vast majority of people who get that far become so heavily invested and dependent, both monetarily and for their religious and social reputations, that they never stray from the reservation regardless of what Scriptural truth they might learn that is contrary to the teachings of their cult.

         Wycliffe was different. He was essentially one in a million. He discovered when reading the New Covenant writings that they did not match up so well with Catholic teaching. He attempted to rectify this and bring reform. He eventually completed one of the greatest works in Christian history by translating the entire Word of God into English. This was the real beginning of the Great Reformation. He never stopped being a Catholic but Catholicism hated him anyway. They failed at stopping him. They were never able to kill him but did kill many of his itinerant workers and preachers. Several of these were burned at the stake with Bibles around their necks!

         Over forty years after Wycliffe’s death, his Catholic enemies, in a particularly vengeful case in point, dug up his resting remains from his otherwise peaceful grave and then crushed, burned, and scattered them in the River Swift. The incredible amount of hatred against these early Christian reformers starkly exposed the real demonic presence within the establishment Roman Catholic leadership at that time, which would stop at nothing to maintain control. This was a level of hatred seen often by many over the centuries to that time, but that particular act against such a great Christian lives on as an ignominious example of what wolves in sheep’s clothing will do to those who stray from the cult and expose it for what it is.

        John Wycliffe differed from others in that he had a very powerful Christian BS Detector. Make sure yours is in good working order.

         Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

         You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. [2Peter 3:14-18] [1]

         © 2018 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.


LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

THE HEALING OF AMERICA (A GREAT AWAKENING PARABLE)

Spraying DDT        

         I have a friend who is a Certified Holistic Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach. She did not choose this vocation. It was a calling that arose in the midst of a severe family crisis.

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         Several years ago her husband became very sick. It kept getting worse. The illness had reached a serious stage. Traditional medical authorities had no real advice outside of radical measures and pharmaceutical drugs. She knew there must be a better way.

         She decided she must take the bull by the horns. She began researching his condition. She had always maintained a traditional Christian outlook on life and had no real proclivity for anything off the beaten trail but that’s where she was heading. She entered into the outskirts of the realm normally inhabited by people on the alternative side of life who often engaged in pretty much the opposite of traditional Christian outlooks. They believed in things shunned by ultra-traditionalists who want nothing to do with anything dictated and directed by anything or anyone not perceived as official establishment authority figures. Her story and eventual long and hard-fought victory is also an inspiring parable for what has happened to America and what is coming in the near future.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

       Though many non-Christian beliefs and practices began entering the American mainstream in force about half a century ago, other beliefs and practices also emerged which have been proven to be wholly beneficial. One of these was, for most Americans, an entirely new paradigm on diet. This new understanding and knowledge also came at a time when the American food supply began being bombarded with all manner of harmful chemicals on an ever-increasing scale which almost all citizens were completely oblivious to. In short, Americans were being poisoned. Wholesale chemical use upon the food supply certainly did not begin then but that’s when it burgeoned forth. Like a massive evil dust cloud descending from every horizon, great fields of produce were routinely blasted with poisonous chemicals from on high. These substances were designed to kill the bugs and weeds and whatever else that preyed upon the cash crop. The perpetrators thereof were either too ignorant of what they were actually doing or did it anyway with no concern for what they were unleashing upon an unsuspecting citizenry.

         People started getting sick but they didn’t know why they were getting sick. One must remember that this was from a time when people still had no understanding of such things and thus never made the connection. It was from a time when people believed “When it’s your time it’s your time.” They thought diseases just materialized out of nowhere and that there was no cause and effect. They had no understanding that lifestyle choices and the food one consumes plays a powerful role in healthy living. They didn’t understand that their food had been poisoned but the effects of the poisoning were often long-term in scope. Since nothing happened at the moment of consumption or immediately thereafter, as would certainly happen if one’s food was directly poisoned by an evil enemy, they did not detect a problem. When health problems did emerge later that were based directly on their consumption of chemically-laden food and drink they had no idea that the sicknesses that came upon their lives were directly related to what they themselves had been introducing into their bodies.

         The perpetrators didn’t care because they were only concerned about the bottom line and personal or corporate profits. If they must poison Americans to gain those profits they certainly would. They covered themselves by always insisting there were no direct ties between their chemicals and American health issues, which began growing exponentially, and stated publically time after time that the idea was preposterous. But others made the connection. It always starts with a few. Hardy souls, these, who were willing to take on gargantuan and powerful interests for the sake of everyone else, but knew the fight would be next to impossible. As Christians, this should sound familiar. Since many of these whistleblowers were from what may be termed the alternative side of things, their knowledgeable warnings and pronouncements were not only fought against by the powers that be, they were also largely rejected by the majority of those they were trying to help.

Silent Spring

         This was the backdrop from fifty to sixty years ago. One may recall the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, published in 1962, in which she revealed the fact that powerful poisonous chemicals were routinely being sprayed all over everywhere and dropped from the sky in such massive amounts that the perpetrators thereof were killing not just the intended insects but also all manner of beneficial insects vitally necessary for a healthy environment. Many species of birds, including the American bald eagle, were being randomly obliterated. Other negatively affected wildlife would be unable to recover in the targeted areas for years to come. Americans had been instructed to have no fear, that these chemical poisons would have no effect upon them even though vulnerable members of the natural world were dropping like flies all around us (pun intended). Rachel Carson said this in a 1963 interview:

         “Man’s attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature, but man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”

         Incidentally, this was also a time when cigarettes were routinely smoked by doctors and were often prescribed. Let that sink in. (“Here. Have a cigarette. It’s good for you.”) One wonders how people could be so unaware and trusting.

DUMB AND DUMBER BY DESIGN

         It stemmed from two things: (1) Americans of that time had already been thoroughly brainwashed into always honoring all authority figures without question. It gave such people free reign to do whatever the hell they wanted without enough oversight or accountability. (2) Americans had been taught to get stupid and stay stupid. Now, this stupidity was selective. Americans in general were very bright and industrious. If whatever they engaged in stepped on no establishment toes they could do whatever they wanted. Much knowledge continued coming forth. New discoveries reached dizzying heights. People continued coming up with brilliant inventions in their garages and backyard workshops. But for the two reasons stated above almost no one ever looked into those things which Americans were conditioned and programmed to steer clear of.

         This revealed a great fear of authority figures and established dominions, especially secretive government institutions. It was as if all the serfs could play but only upon their own playground. If one entered the playgrounds of the disconnected, secretive high and mighty they would initially be set upon by perimeter bullies and scared off. If they persisted and actually had the strength and wherewithal to fight them and reveal their sordid evil, they would be beat to a pulp by bigger bullies. Thus, Americans were conditioned and programmed to know their limits. They feared what would happen to them if they challenged those who were secretly ensconced behind giant mighty doors doing who knows what. 

         As a result we all suffered. Americans in general became like the proverbial submissive dog ducking its tail while simultaneously and otherwise walking around like cowboys and linebackers. Americans had always been a strong and powerful people but such strength and attitude was being limited to only allowable venues and otherwise made illegal in others. People have always known the ones they better not mess with unless they wanted a fight they would likely lose. But over the last hundred years Americans started learning that you better not mess with those who should otherwise be friendly allies.

COMING SOON TO AN AMERICA NEAR YOU

WE THE PEOPLE

         For example, the Constitution of the United States contains big bold letters at the very beginning: We the People. Those first people truly were the People. They were powerful, stalwart, independent figures willing to take on the devil himself anytime and anyplace. In a bold stance of gathering might they challenged the greatest power on earth that had become an intolerable overlord and put everything on the line. They gathered in their houses and taverns and open fields discussing what must be done. They had had it with all the garbage inflicted upon them from a distant unseen enemy and had enough gumption to go after them though they knew the chances of ultimate victory were next to nil. But they didn’t care. They were willing to take the chance and live the lives they knew Providence had granted them without the asinine interference from arrogant wig-wearing effeminate tax-collectors and bureaucratic henchmen. They made a call to arms.

         The difference between then and what has happened in America going back first to about fifty to sixty years ago, then to about hundred years ago, and ultimately all the way back a century and a half to the War of Northern Aggression (the Civil War), was that before that evil war Americans were much more united when it came to pure Constitutional principles. What the great American Revolution had gained the War of Northern Aggression had fundamentally decimated. Further decimation happened in the years of 1913-1918. If you don’t know much about this period, that is by design, but you must educate yourself! Traitors in very high places had everything to do with these decimations of American liberty and strength. From a hundred years ago it continued unabated as if a new power had somehow come to be in charge. This was a secretive evil power that hovered over DC like a dark demonic cloud and continued growing like the evil intestinal parasite it was. By the late 1950s Americans were becoming a mere shadow of their former glory and along with this the great personal Christian morality they had once displayed before the entire world was being decimated as well.

         The 1960s blew everything to hell. On the other hand, however, the Lord Jesus began doing something He had never done before. While some thoroughly involved themselves in the new evil with no concern whatsoever for others or the future, and while others huddled in their huts of fear unwilling to take on what had become a gnarly universal monster, a few began turning on to God in a way that most American Christians never had. While hell was rising heaven was also descending. Where sin began to burst forth like an intergalactic destructive algae bloom, grace was also being supplied in great quantities like new manna from heaven. The traditionalists began being squeezed out of the middle and eventually joined up with the “my country right or wrong crowd” and the evil cabal that ruled them but never did anything to right the wrongs because they were too chicken and were unaware they had been programmed and conditioned by their unseen slave masters to be exactly that way.

         Those who refused to be forced into joining the look-the-other-way crowd who refused to challenge the entrenched evil took lonely stands against the otherwise obvious illegal and immoral practices that had become mainstream. Many of these were real Christians. They believed something must be done about the secretive malevolent underbelly so harmful to America and Americans.

RESTORING AMERICA TO HEALTH

         When my nutritionist friend started her initial research into the true nature of the American food industry she was shocked by her findings. It was not too long before she became aware of rudimentary solutions that would assist her in restoring the health of her husband. All it took was nothing more overtly radical than changing his diet. But keep in mind, his diet was perceived as perfectly fine. No doctor ever advised him against it. He was an otherwise strong and vibrant man. He was not overweight. He was active. The problem was that the food he was eating, the same food millions of other Americans were eating, the standard American diet in other words, contained secret poisons each of which had various levels of dire effects on his body. Some are more sensitive to these poisons but all are affected in some way. Through much discipline and instruction on her part and being perfectly willing to be as disciplined to make the necessary changes on his part, he began to recover. He kept getting better. He eventually became perfectly healed. She saved his life. Literally.

         Of course, the Lord had everything to do with it as well as she will readily point out. The answer was always there. It just took the right catalyst to find it.

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

THE GREAT AWAKENING (1)

The Great Awakening 8.29.18

         Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

         On August 30, 2010 I began writing a research paper about the original American Great Awakening that began in late 1734. I had been writing several papers over the previous two years, most of which centered on the teachings of the Lord. These papers were usually in the range of 4-12 pages depending on the content. I would post some of them on my former website. The paper I began in late August of 2010 about the Great Awakening, however, was different. As I got into September, the paper kept growing. I began doing an incredible amount of research. The Lord had blessed me with much anointing. Prior to that I had worked very hard earning the money I would need to support myself through the process but I did not know the overall purpose I would be engaged in until later. In the course of the project, I worked six days a week averaging about twelve hours a day. By the following spring I had completed the “paper.” It became a book of 340 pages and my second book after Real Christianity.

         This alone was proof I had heard from the Lord. Other proofs would have to wait.

THIS PRESENT AWAKENING

        Whoever has been paying attention knows that something greatly extraordinary has happened in America over the last two years. The term “Great Awakening” is on its way to becoming mainstream. I have not made any posts for this site since May 10 of this year. I have not been planning on making any, though there were a few times when I thought about it. I knew the Lord said to stop when I did. I had completed exactly seven years with this blog at that time. Many of the readers I had just prior to that time had gone. I also know I will probably be starting over again to gain readership but I am sure some of you will still be with me. But for now, let’s go back to eight years ago.

         You see, only a month after I finished my new book in early April of 2011, I began this blog on May 10, 2011. This blog is thus an extension of what I began in August of 2010 and what I began then was inspired by a direct Word from God. I have now written in the vicinity of 500 articles for this site. I installed the direct prophecy I received from the Lord on the upper left for all to see. I knew what I heard eight years ago and wanted everyone to know what would eventually be happening in America.

THAT PRESENT DARKNESS

         You must try to remember the times of eight years ago. Try to remember where you were, what you were feeling, and what was going on in the country. Christianity in America was obviously at a low point depending on one’s perspective. We were all in great need of a new anointing and refreshing. We needed something that was deep and would last, something to sustain us and something to turn the tide.

         As Christians, we know the Lord is always in control and always watching over us, but there is only so much He can do if we do not possess the required level of faith and obedience. Christians in general had gone soft and were subsisting on far less than what was needed and certainly less than what the Lord Jesus was willing and wanting to supply. Once one goes a long time in a dry land one gets somewhat used to it and acclimates himself to the circumstances. Real Christians do the best they can but depending on the spiritual atmosphere of wherever they happen to be and the level of control we allow the Lord to have it is not always easy. When I heard what I did from the Lord I was heartened for the future but I knew we probably had a ways to go. It was only the start or not too long after the start.

       When evil gains control and keeps control over a relatively long period of time it becomes endemic. It can even extend to the very roots and foundation. It can permeate everything. Its unchallenged presence allows the wrong people to gain power. It can brainwash a lot of people. The people in general become unaware of what is going on. Many become “followers” even more so than before. Few have any resolve to stand up for the great reform that is needed. Most no longer even see any need for reform. People become lazy. They become blinded to the evil around them. They are especially blind to the evil at the top and even find themselves supporting it, in that they are deceived into believing the false outer image and have no understanding of the great evil going on behind the scenes.

        Students of the Bible know this. It is relatively not too difficult to become aware of societal trends and cultural structures once one has a strong knowledge of the Word of God. It is His light that shows us the way but only if one is dedicated to serving Him over many years. Some Christians are shallow. Many Christians seem to have up and down spiritual lives and because of this their loyalty to the Lord can waiver. They can get sidetracked. Many even quit. A possible majority essentially gives up but continues to go through religious motions with little or no spiritual fruit, as if simply staying busy or continuing to move might make a difference. This can be construed as faithfulness but one must never substitute what is effectively a mere quotidian practice for the greatness the Lord desires we achieve for Him.

NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD

         The Lord Jesus was very clear when He stated: “All things are possible with God”—ALL THINGS. That pretty much means all things. All things are possible with Him. It is even possible that a greatly sinful, fallen, corrupt nation and national government can be reformed. It means materialistic, compromising, and refrigerated Christianity can actually be warmed up and cleaned up, and that the Lord Jesus can actually be given authority once again.

         The effort toward such great reform in general terms has always been here. There have always been those who give it everything they have to expose evil and bring forth goodness and attempt to right a wayward ship. There are those who can see things most cannot see. They have either worked extremely hard to gain the necessarily knowledge and spiritual effectiveness available to all but known only by a few since most people seem to lack the necessary time or effort, or they are anointed of God for the task, or both. They are often in the minority, however, and are usually outvoted. People in general have a tendency to prefer the status quo and seem to be apprehensive regarding spiritual improvement. Many people make excuses and do nothing or very little. Some people take care of their responsibilities but also use their remaining free time in working very hard at higher purposes. Most of these people are obscure. They are not in it for the limelight. They are largely anonymous. The vast majority of real Christians in the world are anonymous. The vast majority of real Christians in the first century remain anonymous.

         Regarding the only way to bring overall reform to a wayward nation or any other entity, I have been saying for decades that the Lord first works with individuals. He knows who these people are. They see the need. They have the burden. They are very hungry spiritually. They long to do His will. They love Him with all their hearts. They want much more in their spiritual lives but it is usually rarely offered, unavailable, or doesn’t yet exist. Thus, it must be brought forth anew. He must do it through them. First, each one of these must work to gain maturity. Then, He begins to join them together in maybe twos or threes. As iron sharpening iron, they gain more spiritual maturity through this process. In time He brings greater unity. He almost never begins His work with a pre-existent group. Such groups are already bound together by something else and also already have their respective leaders. I knew a long time ago, much longer than these past eight years, that this process had started and I knew it was only a matter of time before He would suddenly bring forth a great movement. These things take years of preparation. Christians have been praying for decades.

SUPPORT THE LORD OR SUPPORT THE OLD ORDER 

         Eight years ago the people I talked to about the Awakening saw nothing. This even included ministers. Ministers I talked to in other parts of the country saw nothing. By saying this I am merely trying to set the stage because things have definitely changed. The people who love the old order never appreciate the new one and will actually hate it. This always happened whenever the Lord brought reform. There were those who were so invested in the old corrupt order that they hated the mere thought of necessary change for the better. I mean, look what they did to Him. On the other hand, those who supported the reform the Lord brought forth had longed for it and were at last blessed by it. They were previously on the opposite end of things. They had been too good and conscientious to get involved in the previous corrupt order and had a rough time. Imagine the thousands of people who had at last seen the Lord Jesus in action when He arrived. The Last became First. They had previously subsisted in a barren and dry land but all of the sudden pure spring water was bubbling up all around! Spiritual rivers flowed. The Lord Jesus had arrived!

         This is what is happening a little more now. We are further along. Eight years have passed. I don’t know the exact beginning. The Lord didn’t tell me that then. He told me we were in the early stages eight years ago. I don’t know what stage we are at now but I do know massive incredible change for the better is happening. One of the signs of this is that the aforementioned corruption and evil that was so successfully hidden is now becoming exposed. There is nothing like a good reform to bring the rats and roaches scurrying out of their hiding places. Many of you are probably aware of the political side of the Awakening and that part of the movement is now gaining a lot of notice. We now have the tools to do an incredible amount of research in search of truth relatively fast and this is becoming a popular thing to do. It must be righteous research, however, and done properly for the right purposes without breaking the Golden Rule or it will backfire.

         Another part of the reason I am making this post now is to let everyone know my history with the Great Awakening and to distinguish this site from others. There will be many more sites as we move into the future. There are sincere people who really want to know more about the Lord’s movement and veterans who have fought a long time to see this happen. Remember, though much progress has taken place the old order will always fight to preserve itself. This is just as true within the stodgy realm of Unreal Christianity which houses some of the worst people and worst attitudes on the planet regardless of their benign exterior.

        For long time readers, you have traced my particular perspective of the development of the Great Awakening through these many articles I have posted over the last seven years. They are filled with clues. They tie in together and relate overall. For those of you who have been regular readers, you know I have been teaching some things you were not necessarily familiar with before, as if there was something there that was more than the words on the screen. Teachers must obviously know more than students.

THE REAL COMMUNITY OF THE LORD

         For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. [Romans 12:4-8]   

        From a New Covenant perspective, a teacher is someone anointed to search, do detailed research, learn subjects in-depth, and discover truth way beyond what others are willing to do. This gifting has been defined as that of a spiritual detective. Those of you who have taken spiritual gifting tests probably know this. One cannot teach what one does not know. Real teachers learn the hard way. They don’t teach out of text books. I have spent decades in much research and study. Because of that I have learned many things thoroughly backed up by Scripture that many are not aware of and which may even appear foreign at first. Whatever the case, no one knows anything until they know it and this requires learning it somehow or another. We must allow the Lord to be the arbiter. Many Christians, however, allow their leaders to be the arbiter of what they know, should know, or be allowed to know, and they thus reject the possibility of greater truth, which keeps them ignorant, which keeps them controlled. The Lord said the following for a very good reason:

         “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32] [1]

       Sometimes Christians are unaware of greater truth because they have a different spiritual gift and are predominantly involved in another form of spiritual work. This is as it should be. The Lord eventually raises up mature specialists in their respective fields. Then He attempts to bring them together in community so we can all learn from one another and work together as a team. This is what the Lord actually created in the beginning. It was a true fellowship and they engaged in what I term “mutual ministerial sharing.” It is how so many learned so many things so fast and spread the Gospel so rapidly. This is not how things operate in “official” Christian groups and churches, however, and is in large part why America was almost lost. The Lord did not call a mere few into His work—He called every single one of His children into His work. Because the vast majority of Christians have been trained to sit on a pew and be quiet, the greatest portion of the Lord’s workforce has historically been rendered ineffective. The enemy always has a field day under such conditions.

         Unreal Christianity is not good. It has no salt. It has no light. It possesses no real faith or spiritual love and gives little hope. It gives aid and comfort to the enemy. We must have the real thing.

         Every real Christian knows that when one becomes a real Christian he burns his bridges behind him and never looks back. Some are willing to go forward a ways but tend to go wobbly and opt out when the level of discomfort or false insecurity arises. Some make excuses on why they cannot follow the Lord past a certain point. This was another one of the Lord’s teachings. Some have an ongoing difficulty in crucifying their flesh. Some get stuck in masquerades.

         One of the issues the Lord presented me with in the very beginning when I received this revelation eight years ago was that there were false revivals already happening at that time and that these would continue. He told me there would be false awakenings. This has certainly happened and there will be more. Watch out for the counterfeits. When one studies the prior Great Awakenings in America one discovers that there were always those who wanted to co-opt the process for their own purposes. If they couldn’t defeat it they would try to redirect it. Regarding that particular scenario, always know that the Lord Jesus must be in charge. Real Great Awakenings are impossible without Him. Be Blessed.

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.


NOTE: My friend Richard Barker just informed me of a very interesting and powerful prophetic word he posted on his site today by Veronika West about the current Great Awakening. Excellent timing! I encourage all to check it out at the link below. Also, what she saw reminds me of the cover of the print version of my book Real Christianity.

LINKVERONIKA WEST: A GREAT AWAKENING DAWNING IN THE NATIONS

 

THE DESIGNATED HECKLERS

         What would happen in any of our hallowed church services if someone in the congregation stood up and started heckling the preacher in the name of “correcting” him?

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          Everywhere the Lord went during His ministry He enjoyed support and success, and the joy of knowing He was making a difference in the lives of those He loved.

        Then the hecklers showed up. They couldn’t help themselves. They lived to confront Him, question Him, tell Him He was wrong about everything, complain about Him, call Him names, call His mother names, and generally be ongoing everlasting pests that dogged Him without end.

         They were never satisfied. Every correct answer He gave was never good enough. For the most part He stayed calm and collected, knowing He was dealing with dimwits. They never cared so much about all the good He was doing or could do, but only that He wasn’t doing it their way. He wasn’t teaching their way. He wasn’t teaching what they taught (and thank goodness for that). He didn’t buy in to all their religious stuff. He wasn’t into getting rich off the ministry or turning it into a job. He didn’t care so much about making a name for Himself, so to speak, or standing up for His honor and His character. He knew He was only passing through and that most would reject Him. In that process, He strove to find the few who appreciated Him and were open to His ministry. He came to help but was often treated really bad by incessant detractors.

         There were times when He had to be strong and tell ‘em off. His many rebukathons are never heard in most churches and ministries today. Many ministers wish these powerful and strong words of His that make many nominal believers (themselves included) so uncomfortable, had never been recorded. Such words don’t sound very loving. Though the Lord Jesus IS Love and no one could possibly be more loving, many Christians believe He didn’t sound so loving at all when He ripped the Pharisees and their associated ilk to the core of their being.

HIPPIES IN LEISURE SUITS

      Some churches and ministry organizations have effectively eliminated all things discipleship. They don’t want to mention anything even closely resembling spiritual warfare, hardship, or suffering. Everything is all bright and peachy keen and rainbows and lollipops and many of these people look and act like hippies in leisure suits. These people love everyone who believes exactly as they do.

         “Um, the Lord was crucified. It was a bloody, violent death. All of the original twelve, except apparently, John, died the violent bloody deaths of martyrs. Paul had his head cut off. So did James. So did John the Immerser. Anything like that ever happen around here?”

         Such hate portends the presence of a very violent enemy who will stop at nothing. When given the chance this enemy will kill every real Christian he possibly can. Millions of real Christians have died such a death. They all stood tall. They are all great heroes. Though you rarely hear about it in churches and most ministries, not to mention, obviously the main stream media, real Christians are presently undergoing severe persecution all over the planet and have been for a long time, especially in places like China where they are having a major impact.

         In America, we don’t see this. It is because American Christianity in general is not much of a threat. It is also because we have laws against it. It is because America is the one country in the world that has the highest level of religious freedom written into its founding Constitution. This does not mean there will not be persecution. This does not mean there is not persecution. It only means the persecution comes in a different form. The persecution still comes to the greatest extent that it can and the perpetrators thereof certainly wish they could do much more, as was done to the originals. But alas, the enemies of the Lord are restricted by freedom principles established by our founders and the great American patriots of that time. No other country ever had such great ones and that’s why no other country has our freedoms, especially the freedom to serve the Lord Jesus the way He has called us to do.

DEFINING GREATNESS

         I have an internet friend. His name is Bill. He has a disease that leaves him bound in a wheelchair unable to move or even talk. But he has a blog. He has had it for years. He says what he wants to say. Even though his body almost doesn’t work at all he still manages to speak his heart and lift up the name of Jesus. He would probably wish I would shut up about Him but I appreciate him and see him as a very great man. He is a hero. He has effectively said, “Fine. My health is pretty much gone. But I’m still here. AND I AM GOING TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO DO REGARDLESS.” The enemy will never stop him. Ever.

         Many of us have suffered greatly and suffered great losses. But we go on. We see what happened to the Lord. We see what they did to all the early believers. We see how real Christians are persecuted all the live long day by those who insist on perpetrating suffering to uphold their own beliefs and traditions. Because we have laws in America, all these people can do for the most part is bring insults and attempt to destroy one’s name and character.

         I have another internet friend. Her name is Kat. She is one of those stalwart ones who preach against abortion, including right out on the sidewalks in front of abortion mills. It is her life. The Lord called her to it. She knows many more have been called but most don’t go. It is too hard. They don’t want the hassle. She works extremely hard and is very dedicated. You probably don’t want to know about all the insults and threats she and her associates have suffered. It is pretty much ongoing. She has effectively said, “Abortion is a great evil. It must end. Babies must be saved. AND I AM GOING TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO DO REGARDLESS.” The enemy will never stop her. Ever.

THE REAL GOSPEL

         We know by the Lord’s example what we must do. As Christians we are all called to help Him save the lost. The mature are all specialists by gifting according to the Romans 12 model. Those of us who have been at it a long time have been slandered and reviled, and this never stops. Most people are never a problem. Even non-believers can be quite friendly and charming, and even supportive. There will always be some unbelievers, however, who are quick to strike out and show the hatred in their hearts. But most don’t do this. Those who do are miffed because their beliefs get challenged.

         Well, that’s pretty much what the real Gospel does. It challenges beliefs. When the real Gospel comes to town all the little imps come out of their hovels and start throwing hissy fits. They get their panties in a wad. These are those who have bought into something contrary to the Gospel and do not appreciate being told they have been deceived. The real Gospel thus causes powerful reactions. For one person, it is Good News that sets him or her free and makes life abundant and joyous. For another, it is heresy, and strange and weird and off-putting and evil. One accepts it with open arms and another rejects it with a passion.

        Regarding the Lord’s Gospel preaching method (since He created the Gospel), the following are two differing approaches depending on the audience:

THAT DOESN’T SOUND SO LOVING

         “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:23-28] 

BUT DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY…?

         “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” [Luke 6:27-36]

CORRECT SPIRITUAL BEHAVIOR

         From these passages we know there will be designated hecklers and that they must be loved. The Lord taught this. No other curriculum teaches this. Most people think it is impossible to bridge such a contrary gap. The chasm is too wide. You can’t get there from here. Paul wrote:

         Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. [Romans 12:9-14] [1] 

         On the one hand the Lord’s enemies were always coming after Him with a passion with a firm belief that their job was to heckle Him always to prove themselves right and Him wrong. Otherwise they knew they would lose. They had to defend their enterprise, their chosen belief system, and their hand-picked “facts.” On the other hand the Lord said to love them, something no one can really do except with His help. The fact that He loved them did not stop Him from telling them off. But a word of caution here: It is relatively easy to tell someone off. It is not so easy to turn the other cheek. What this means is that the more the designated hecklers come after those they insist are wrong, the more they will be subjected to the same treatment in some form or another from someone or something else. The Lord was strong enough to take it and thus was both strong enough and qualified to dish it out when necessary. (Plus, He was never wrong.)

         The designated hecklers are not lovers because if they were lovers they would not be heckling. What the Lord did during His rebukathons was not heckling. It was telling the truth about their real motivation for the sake of illustrating correct spiritual behavior. But it cost Him. He knew it would cost Him. Loving them was what kept Him from feeling otherwise about them, and that is the lesson.

         It is the triumph of love over hatred and good over evil.

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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 ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN

         And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.” [Revelation 12:9-10]

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FROM THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA:

124 Accuser: <a-kuz’-er> This word, not found in the Old Testament, is the rendering of two Greek words:

(1) Greek: kategoros, that is, a prosecutor, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, or one who speaks in a derogatory way of another (Acts 23:30, 35; 25:16, 18; Rev 12:10);

(2) Greek: diabolos, meaning adversary or enemy. This word is rendered “accuser” in the King James Version and “slanderer” in the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version (2Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3).

According to the rabbinic teaching Satan, or the devil, was regarded as hostile to God and man, and that it was a part of his work to accuse the latter of disloyalty and sin before the tribunal of the former (see Job 1:6 ff; Zechariah 3:1 f; Revelation 12:10).

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THE ADVERSARY AT WORK         

        We gather from the Book of Job that The Adversary (HaSatan) is in the business of doing everything possible to denigrate the people of God. As the early conversation goes, the Lord holds up Job to be a good example and a fine servant:

         The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” [Job 1:8]

         The Adversary was just getting started. He had plenty of fuel left. He rammed it into high gear and began telling the Lord it was only because He protects him so, and makes him virtually impervious to attack. He said:

         “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” [Job 1:9-11]

         And this, thus, is the challenge. The Lord indeed protects His people but there are times when they must be tested. They are often tested, as per the Lord’s example, when something profound is about to happen. They must be found with no pride or arrogance. In essence, they must be tested and submitted to a process by which they can be purged of anything possibly within them that causes them to act like the enemy.

OVERCOMING THE FLESH

        “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [Matthew 26:41]   

         In New Covenant terminology, there is much reference to “the flesh.” It is defined as that part of a person which is indicative of one’s lower nature, that of purely natural processes, in which one acts according to one’s pure sinful humanity rather than according to the Spirit. The process of discipleship is therefore an ongoing progression toward developing a spiritual nature rather than a carnal one. The carnal nature wants to always be first, number one, and act out of personal pride. It is the antithesis of spiritual humility.

        As I mentioned in my last post, the Lord Jesus said we must be as children. Young children have yet to develop the carnal nature brought on by advancement in sin. They are often joyous, happy, trusting, and humble. In answer to those of His disciples who were arguing about which of them might be the greatest, the Lord put forth the following:

         But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.” [Luke 9:47-48]

         The Lord obviously has a different definition of greatness. One sees this greatness in Him, as He is the most humble Man who ever lived, very self-effacing and always willing to turn the other cheek. He allowed Himself to be persecuted in such a way that those close to Him did not understand. In saying at His ongoing trial right before His death that His kingdom was not of this world, it helps explain so many of His actions when it appeared He never took up for Himself the way most people do.

        He knew who He was, of course, but also lived according to a higher standard that is contrary to living according to basic human nature, in which selfishness and pride must rule.

         The Lord Jesus was filled with the Spirit of God without measure, as the Father in His fullness dwelt within Him. He is God in flesh. But He still had His flesh to deal with. He overcame His flesh on an ongoing basis and never, ever allowed it to have the upper hand. Because He disciplined His flesh in such a powerful manner, His flesh was always subservient to His Spirit. This took a lot of work, the kind most people know nothing about, which also includes many Christians. Overcoming the flesh is a must for the spiritual disciple of the Lord. It is the only way one’s spirit can rule. But long before that occurrence can ever happen, one’s spirit must be born. It is why all real believers undergo a born-again experience. Otherwise, the flesh, or lower human nature, remains in charge.

         Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [Galatians 5:19-21]

       Those who do practice such things must be under the Law. They have not taken authority over their lower nature and must therefore be ruled from without by a higher power. They must be told what they can and cannot do on a daily basis. Their conscience must always be at work to give them every opportunity of assistance toward knowing right and wrong, since they cannot control themselves. It is, of course, possible to overcome the dictates and desires of the flesh somewhat through personal (non-spiritual) discipleship of a kind, but this usually involves the mere strapping-on-of-the-plow for singular purposes which have no bearing on taking full control, since such is impossible. Those who appear to achieve it only give the impression of overcoming their lower nature but at best all they do is temporarily suppress it. There is only one way to defeat the flesh and bring it under subjection and that is by the Spirit of God.

WINNING THE BATTLE

        Perhaps this is why there must be an accuser. As in the previously stated ISBE definition, the accuser is as “a prosecutor, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, or one who speaks in a derogatory way of another.” This is what HaSatan did to Job. The Lord spoke of Job in glowing terms. He was quite proud of His child. But the devil had to do his part, in that he must make every attempt to prove to God that Job was indeed not so great at all. He felt strongly he could prosecute him successfully if given the chance.

       “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” [Matthew 5:10-13]

         When people join in with the devil to help him in his work, they engage in the insults as listed above. The flesh hates such insults, in that it will always strike back against attack and accusations if at all possible, unless greater damage may be done to it. What the Lord taught in this regard is absolutely completely contrary to the will of the flesh. He said disciples must rejoice when under persecution and undergoing slander? Yes. It is counterintuitive. It makes no sense to a carnal mind. But all this is illustrated in the life of Job. He was put to the test. His life was virtually destroyed. He lost everything. But he never lost his faith in God. He was being made fun of and accused even by his friends. His own wife told him to curse God. How many could hold up under such an onslaught? How many can withstand such ongoing adversarial tactics? How many can overcome the Accuser of the Brethren?

         Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” [Mark 15:29-31]    

         But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” [Luke 23:33-35] [1]

            © 2018 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.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR GRACIOUS SUPPORT OF YESTERDAY’S POST

      Regarding yesterday’s post, JESUS DESTROYS COMMUNITY DIVISION, something really profound took place and many thanks are in order. Read on:

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         I’m not sure what happened. My blog traffic had been down and then began picking up last weekend. The last time I made a post was the 7th, but that was mainly a compilation post featuring links to three posts I made in December: THE TRUTH DIALOGUES (COMPILATION). Before that I made my first post of the new calendar year on January 4 entitled, THE ALARMING DECEPTION OF CONFIRMATION BIAS. Those two posts did okay but yesterday’s post received a much better response and I am most grateful to all of you who took the time to read and to all readers.

         Regarding yesterday’s post specifically, what follows is a list of each of you who liked the post and made comments, listed alphabetically:

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Bruce:   https://bcooper.wordpress.com

Elizabeth:   https://bornagain732.wordpress.com

Gary:   https://garybertnick.wordpress.com

Karina:   https://karinasussanto.wordpress.com

Linda:   https://lindasbiblestudy.wordpress.com

Lisa:   https://prepareforthelamb.com

Lynn:   https://throughinkandimage.com

Ray:   https://realray.wordpress.com

Richard:   https://richards-watch.org

Tim:   https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com

Tony:   https://tpuccio.wordpress.com

Yvonne:   https://newheavenonearth.wordpress.com

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         I want to thank Richard for reblogging the post and making it available to all his readers over there in the environs of England and thereabouts. Every time you do this, Richard, my traffic spikes (and yours probably goes down.) I also want to thank Tony. He made some great comments on my blog. Not long after that I revisited Richard’s blog and noticed that Tony, along with Richard, had apparently come to my defense over there. A reader had claimed I was writing falsehoods and Tony responded with much Scripture and his own writings, the same he later posted on my site. So thank you Tony. I appreciate that. Those of you who also commented—Elizabeth, Gary, and Lynn—you made some great points and it was all encouraging. Also, Richard later added a pingback. Thanks again!

      I know all of us have different readership lists, but for today consider yourselves a community. I encourage you to continue to visit each other’s sites, especially the ones listed above, as you have time. We are all in this together. We can all learn from one another. I know we have various differences of beliefs but we all agree 100% with the ones that matter most, as written, for example, by our brother Paul from long ago:

        For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. [1Corinthians 2:2]   

       Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. [1Corinthians 15:12-17]

      So, we all believe that the Lord Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified, and was resurrected from the dead, and that it is only through His grace and great sacrifice on our behalf that He made a way for our salvation. These core facts alone and our agreement with them make for a strong foundation for fellowship and though we may never see eye to eye on everything it doesn’t mean we cannot be loving brothers and sisters anyway. This is our current challenge, one that so many Christians of the past have failed at, and that so many of today find insurmountable. Division disease is hard to overcome but it can be and is being done. To that end, and in honor of the Lord and the gist of my article, I will close by once again posting the relevant passage of Scripture listed there. Be blessed, everyone, and thanks again.

        For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29] [1]

         © 2018 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 TRUTH DIALOGUES (COMPILATION)

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        In early to mid-December of 2017 I posted a three-part series called The Truth Dialogues. These posts are parabolic in nature revealing hidden truths for those with eyes to see.

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        In these posts one will discover figurative indicators of hidden subterfuge currently being revealed in the real world in real time. There is an exposing process taking place on the national scene as preparatory to a national cleansing process. The corruption had reached massive levels with next to zero accountability. The bold hubris of the people involved reached astronomical proportions, both for what was never before attempted and also for the complete disregard for the law, individual rights, common decency, and basic morality.

         The Lord told anyone who was listening during His ministry that the massive corruption of His time was about to be exposed and dealt with, and He was the first one on the scene after John the Immerser to begin the process. His ministry not only featured the presentation of truth and the hope of salvation being made readily available for those who were willing, it was also greatly reformative. He would shine His pure Light on all the hidden vermin, rats, and roaches that had wrested control for monetary controlling purposes and selfish, immoral personal agendas, and expose them for all to see. He would also, in the end, bring everlasting judgment on the cabal in question.

         Here is your opportunity to revisit these posts and discover light for our present times as new information of relatively recent misdeeds keeps rolling in:

December 01, 2017: THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: EPISODE 1

December 05, 2017: THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: EPISODE 2

December 19, 2017: THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: EPISODE 3

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: Episode 3

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    “In discussing people beyond the reach of justice and majorities uninterested in truth, where does that leave the endeavors of honorable individuals intent on necessary reform?” 

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         “Reformation is always an enterprise of individuals. It is always the individual who sees the need for reform. Though there are usually a great many individuals who see such a need, only very few actually act upon it. The larger part of that equation—the decision-making process which chooses eventually to not act—is most often based on mere self-preservation. Most people would rather not rock any boats because they know they will receive bad reactions and negative feedback and some of it may be severe. Most are intelligent enough, if that’s the right word, or at least aware enough, to figure this out ahead of time.”

         “Even though they know there is an injustice, they would rather keep quiet?”

        “Yes. Of course. It is almost never the case that grave injustices are performed in the dark and stay there, hidden from everyone. It is that the perpetrators thereof deal in a very high level of intimidation.”

          “They use fear to keep people quiet.”

         “Everyone knows this. It is why the bad guys are often so bold in their schemes. They know someone always notices what they do, even if done in secret and in the dark, and it is often many someones, but they also know most will never act to expose or stop them. It is like that famous case several decades ago, though in microcosm, of a murder that took place late at night in a teeming city in which many people heard the screams of the victim but no one acted to save her.”

         “There is the phrase, ‘I don’t want to get involved,’ and the operative word there is involved, in that becoming involved in another person’s problem could potentially cause too much personal discomfort.”

         “Yes, and it is not at all just discomfort, or even pain that they fear, but also concern for one’s reputation. This is why most people prefer to run in groups in which everyone thinks and acts roughly the same and in which there are no deviations from the norm.”

         “And thus no deviants.”

         “Yes. Most people would rather be part of a crowd and not deviate from the parameters or mores of the crowd because such a deviation would be a pox upon their reputations. They know the members of their own group would look askance upon such behavior and might even rebuke them. Such efforts are initial lead-ins to possible further censuring in order to do whatever may be necessary to keep such wayward members in line.”

         “Because wayward members may cause a chink in the group’s armor, so to speak.”

        “Yes. The group must protect itself, that is, its shared interests, against anyone who may attempt to subvert it and its cohesion, even if it comes from within. This is why it is always the case that the first enemy a reformer faces comes from his own group and never from without. And there are always very strong members in the controlling circle of the group with the most vested interests who bring the strongest attack. As a perfect case in point, the Lord Jesus was betrayed and killed by members of His own nation, though they used an outside political intermediary, the Romans, to get the job done.”

         “And that is quite the irony, is it not?”

         “It certainly is, in that the group was threatened by the reform efforts of one of their own, and in order to protect the group from outside influences in order to keep it pure, it enlisted the help of the most powerful outside influence to eliminate the threat.”

         “What does that say for that particular group and for such groups in general?”

        “I would say that if such groups have to resort to that level of devious subterfuge to stave off its own necessary reformation, it not only proves the dire need for its reformation in the first place but also reveals that real reformation for such groups is often not even possible.”

         “Then Jesus was not actually trying to reform it?”

         “No. He was actually revealing it for what it was and attempting to rescue people from it. Though He would have liked to bring reform and could have, He knew it was not possible simply because the group was not willing. It works the same way with individuals. The Lord gave everything He had to save and was willing to die for everyone, but he won’t waste His time with unrepentant and unwilling people. Even so, individuals who do not hold membership in groups are easier to save in part because they are not compromised and hindered by peer pressure, and the worst form of that is religious peer pressure.”

         “It is the ruling supremacy of the group.”

         “Correct. And the people of the group have already bought into it to such a degree that their liberty and individual consciences have been compromised without them realizing it. People become bound. Their loyalty is misplaced. Their minds have been undermined. No one can break out of such a condition except through one process. The individual must have somehow retained in his possession something very important that the cultish control of the groupthink mechanism failed at some point to eliminate.”

         “And what would that be?”

         “That would be an overriding and uncompromising love for the truth.”

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: Episode 1  

THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: Episode 2  

SPIRITUAL PRACTICALITY OR PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY? A QUESTION OF BALANCE

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        Many years ago several members of our church were returning from a service on the other side of town. There were maybe eight or ten of us, all young adults.

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         It was kind of funny because we were in one of those standard yellow school buses that had a former life transporting kids all over creation and we could probably fit our entire congregation within its cavernous confines. It was an old bus. Someone had probably bought it for a song after it was retired and then donated it. Most of us were brand new born again believers.

         Anyway, here we were, fresh from praising the Lord in a small black Pentecostal church that never failed to be a blessing. We visited many such churches back then and it was always a great experience. My first time in one of those churches allowed me to see two things immediately—those believers didn’t mess around. When it came to praising the Lord they gave it everything they had. The preacher, the singers, even the worshipers in the pews—no one held back. The second thing was that we all had the same intentions and love for the Lord. When you meet another real Christian for the first time, even if on the other side of a very large city or cultural divide, you instantly meet another brother or sister. Such divides do not matter. Having the Lord Jesus in common and loving Him with all your heart does that. We are all part of His family.

        We were almost back to our church that night. Then our fun time in our big yellow school bus that became a church bus suddenly stopped. The engine died. It wouldn’t start. Now, though I was in my early twenties, I had already been completely immersed in the practical side of life and had many an untold number of such experiences with cars. I was used to having a car break down and was also used to finding a way to get it back on the road. If that didn’t work you dragged it off to a garage somewhere to get it fixed.

         It’s funny how I look back at those times now. We couldn’t afford wreckers. That was far too much a luxury. If your car broke down, you and a friend got a towing chain and set off on an adventure. If you didn’t have a chain you used a rope. It was not at all as easy as it may sound. A LOT could go wrong when you’re out on the road or a highway linked together like that. But it was cheap. In fact it was free. And that was a good thing, of course, because any other alternative meant doing nothing since it involved too much money already dedicated to other things.

         I say all that to set the scene for what was about to happen. Again, I was very familiar with the right way to go about doing whatever must be done to get a dead bus back on the road. But that night was different. It was different because I was different. I had recently become a born again believer and was fired up. I had just been in a powerful church service where the place was rocking. The preacher wasn’t some laid back drone going through the motions like you see in some churches, but an anointed minister of the Gospel who took the Lord seriously and believed in the miraculous. (You know, like a baby being born in a manger who happens to be God.) 

         So when the engine died and my natural inclination to go help fix what was wrong was supposed to kick in it didn’t kick in. I had a completely different mindset. I thought it was wrong to immediately respond in a practical manner with no regard for a spiritual effort. I felt it was time to be serious about the Lord! Didn’t He tell us to seek Him? I told the others we needed to pray about it. We needed to pray right away and ask the Lord to fix whatever was wrong. Silence… Crickets… Nobody said anything. I think they all knew they had to honor the sentiment of what I was expressing. They knew I was right but they also knew they better get out there and find the problem. I was having none of it. We were going to pray and the Lord was going to fix the old bus!

         It never happened. What I said was acknowledged somewhat but then ignored. A couple of guys quietly went outside to raise the hood. I couldn’t believe it. I got really angry. I got off the bus and began walking away. In the growing distance I heard it start up. They got the old yellow church bus running again pretty quickly. Maybe the Lord actually did do something. But by that time I was walking home. I wasn’t waiting for a ride back with my friend. While I’m out there not too far away on the highway still as angry as I could be my friend drove by to pick me up. I said forget it. Then he got angry. He drove on and I was left to my thoughts on a long walk back to my apartment. What in the world was I thinking? It’s pretty funny as I reflect back on it. I think the Lord enjoyed it all and probably got a good laugh. He understood, and He knew this was all part of the discipleship learning curve. I also think He was proud of me for thinking of Him first and taking a stand though the application left much to be desired.

         My behavior obviously was not the greatest, but I was serious about my new found faith. We see that same kind of behavior among the Lord’s own chosen ones in the gospels. It’s hilarious when it seems Peter wanted to fight everybody, for example. Those guys were always letting their unbridled masculinity run free. The cool thing about it all was that the Lord supported it. He made them that way. Sure, we must learn to channel it all correctly and He did jump their case on occasion, but Christian men should never allow for even a second the slightest effort toward religious emasculation. And if you want to know the one giant problem with organized Christianity, that’s it.  

        I certainly could have helped find the problem with that bus. You learn to do a lot regarding the fixing of cars when you’re young and you don’t have a lot of money. There are some of you reading this right now who have a practical need but no money to fix it. I understand. Sometimes, even though we are all so incredibly blessed as children of the Lord, we don’t have all that we need and must improvise or simply do without. But if we really believe in the Lord and what He can do, is there really a problem?

        Miracles are not practical. They also don’t happen automatically. They require faith. We must be serious. The Lord says this repeatedly in His Word and demonstrates it for us and proves it to be true. With Him, ALL things are possible. This is just fact. As a young man I was all gung ho for the Lord. I wanted us to pray about that old bus. I wanted to give the Lord the first opportunity to fix it. I knew He could. It would have been a great spiritual ending to a great spiritual night. But even though everybody there believed just as I did, no one agreed with what I felt we should do.

         Why is that? Why didn’t anyone else agree with me that we should at least pray first? I think we all know the answer. We must be practical when it is called for. There are times, though, when practical knowledge won’t work. Though we may be great at fixing things, there are times when it is beyond our ability and know-how to fix something. None of us are Superman. But the Lord is. And if the only way any particular follower of the Lord will actually engage in spiritual things is when all other practical possibilities are exhausted, I guess that’s okay. But wouldn’t it be best to be wise and seek Him first?

         This is the time of year when Christians the world over return to the beginning of the greatest story ever told—the one historical event that changes the spiritual direction and eternal destination of any person anywhere. The Lord Jesus can do anything. Anytime, anywhere, any place, under any conditions—there is nothing He cannot do. He has achieved mythological proportions for those few who actually see His life for what it is, yet most Christians can’t quite get there. This nonsense must stop. There is no such thing as practical-only Christianity. Real Christianity always requires the miraculous. The Lord will often put us in impossible situations just to prove it. Maybe you messed up or maybe someone else messed up or maybe no one messed up. Maybe it is simply the case that the Lord wants to bless you with a miracle. If you have a great need this Christmas and have no other way to make it happen, He can make it happen for you.

         It’s who He is. It’s what He does.

        And the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. [Matthew 2:9-11] [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.

THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: Episode 2

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“At the end of our last segment you stated that majority opinion means absolutely nothing as an arbiter of truth. Perhaps you can take up today’s discussion based on that belief.”

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“To begin, the Community of the Lord Jesus is not a democracy. It is not about majority rule and never has been. It could never operate effectively that way. But on the other hand it is certainly not a so-called benevolent dictatorship, as I have heard it referred to, since such is fundamentally a contradiction in terms. Actual dictatorships always operate, and this should be obvious, according to no respect whatsoever for individual rights or freedom. The Lord has never operated that way and never will.”

“But God is in charge, right?”

“Well, of course He’s in charge but He never violates free will.”

“How can one have an actual organization under such guidelines? And does not the existence of God’s overall authority mean He is in charge anyway regardless of semantic professions to the contrary?”

“God is always in charge. He created the universe. But He also created human beings with a free will. He did this because he wants us to excel.”

“Please explain.”

“Let me start by saying we know very well what happens when one person takes control over other persons in non-voluntary situations. The controller gains power by siphoning the liberty of those he controls. In most cases the one in control always operates according to purely selfish interests and will eventually do anything to maintain control once he has it. It is the control over others that gives him his power. He uses his power for personal gain. Even in so-called enlightened societies this is true. It is why people in power must have their power checked by law.”

“And this brings us to the fact that a nation of laws is a much better place to live within than a nation ruled by people, correct?”

“Yes. Laws are put in place, agreed to by the majority, that even the leaders must abide by, and this keeps leaders from becoming lawless tyrants, because the law inhibits the leaders ability to wrest control and thus violate individual rights.”

“Okay, we agree in general, but we still have the means with which laws are created that we must deal with, since you stated that potential laws must first be agreed to by a majority. Does not the same problem develop when laws must be established in this way?”

“Is there any other way to do it? The majority decides but with full respect for individual rights. Otherwise the voters vote against their own liberty. In the beginning God only had one law and that one law was designed for no other reason than to protect the first humans and their progeny.”

“From what?”

“From evil.”

“What evil?”

“The evil arising from an invisible sinister force that had taken residence on the planet before the creation of human beings.”

“Do you really believe that, the idea of an aboriginal sinister devil or serpent or whatever, that predated man? This flies in the face somewhat of scientific advances regarding the evolution of our species and appears as a scapegoat celestial bogeyman upon which we fix blame.”

“Instead of blaming ourselves?”

“Yes, but not in the way I think you mean it. The Genesis story created a bad guy on which to fix blame instead of addressing the actual guilty party.”

“So you believe guilt was involved.”

“Of course guilt was involved and it still is. Humans must find a way to blame someone other than themselves because the alternative implication is far too dark to deal with.”

“Meaning that human beings are actually very well aware of their propensity for evil.”

“We have many centuries and even millennia telling us all we need to know in that regard.”

“In that human beings are evil?”

“As a species we certainly have proven this over and again regardless of time or place. The record is there.”

“Yes, and it doesn’t matter if we are referring to common individuals with little or no control over others or not.”

“In that human beings have proven themselves to be evil because they perpetrate evil acts.”

“The Bible calls it sin. Non-Christians make fun of the concept. But sin is obviously real, as is evil.

“These are merely different terminologies for the same problem and the same potential darkness in people that people feel greatly uncomfortable acknowledging.”

“From a Biblical perspective, sin is defined as missing the mark. Philosophy calls it the problem of evil. Without going into great detail or falling into the trap of endless posturing and casuistry, let us simply acknowledge that evil exists and must have had a point of origin. From a purely amoral scientific perspective in which there is no God and everything exists as the byproduct of billion-year geologic and biological processes, evil still exists. It could be that we have affixed a label to undesirable actions but the undesirable actions still exist, and it is we humans who label such actions as undesirable. Most of us don’t like them. We say they are wrong. We get convicted when we do them, most of us anyway, and wish we had not. So regardless of terminology or belief systems, all human beings the world over have this exact conviction. We know evil exists and we wish it didn’t but we don’t know how to eliminate it.”

“But Christianity does, correct?”

“Before I answer that I want to address the idea that human beings became aware of their sin from the beginning and tried to do whatever they could to eliminate it. At first they tried very hard to simply stop doing bad things. That didn’t work so well but it did slow it down somewhat by those who put forth the effort by simply not obeying the ever-present seemingly natural impulses or giving in to bad desires. Then they tried using ultra-discipline techniques which as a byproduct created like-minded groups, some of which grew into ancient philosophical schools, predating Greece by multiple centuries, of course, and also man-made religions. These did not work so well either. Then we entered into the advent of Law. Law did nothing about the presence of evil. All it did was define it specifically and attach penalties, some very severe, to practices deemed bad or evil which the majority labeled as such. Thus, the fear of violating the law and facing stiff penalties, which would grossly violate personal liberty, kept many people from breaking the law.”

“And this is still the case today. One wonders then, how many people would revert to evil actions characterized as ‘breaking the law’ indiscriminately if there was no longer any law.”

“We already know the answer to this from what happened before law and by the actions of those who refuse to obey the law now. Many such people today are imprisoned because they are a constant unrepentant threat to the law-abiders who wish to live morally in peace.”

“Meaning evil can be checked by disciplined personal choice.”

“Yes. This is what the majority is left with. Not a complete elimination of bad behavior but the choice to try one’s best to be an agent of good. Yet there are still people on the planet who engage in whatever bad behavior they want, including great evil, in that they unofficially violate the law as a matter of course and never have to pay for their crimes.”

“Because they are above the law?”

“No. But because they are beyond the reach of the law.”

© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: Episode 1  

THE TRUTH DIALOGUES: Episode 3

CHRISTIANS SLANDERING CHRISTIANS: WHAT PART OF “DO NOT JUDGE” DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND?

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       “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:37]

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        When the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees He didn’t name names. He didn’t slander individuals. But this has never stopped “Christians” from engaging in the practice. It began almost two thousand years ago and has never ceased. It continues today in a gross violation of the Lord’s Golden Rule.

         “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5]

THE SLANDER BRIGADE

        Christian history is filled with Christians attacking and slandering other Christians. In fact, some Christians have created “ministries” that do nothing more than malign other Christians and Christian groups. They have decided that they are worthy of doing this. For some bizarre reason, they consider themselves all-knowing experts and thus perfectly able to bring railing accusations against any Christian or Christian group that does not see or practice Christianity they way they do. This is the height of religious arrogance in that the practitioners thereof must assume they have all light and knowledge, and are therefore qualified to thumbs up or thumbs down any believer or group of believers of their choosing.

          Even though the Lord Jesus, on at least one recorded occasion, referred to a particular group of unbelieving Jews and Pharisees as “of your father the devil,” he was not engaging in personal condemnation. He LOVED these people and would have been overjoyed if they had repented. He was merely stating fact in defense of His own teachings after they attacked Him, in exactly the same way the Christian maligners attack those they think are heretics. He did this in a manner which exposed the accusing enemy who was intent on slandering His reputation, and who was hidden very well behind religious clothing and enjoyed a level of popular support.

           To sort this out, first consider the verse in question:

         “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:43-44]

          Now look at these verses:

         “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:17]   

         “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” [John 12:47-48]

SELF-SERVING HERETIC HUNTERS

         It is one thing to search for truth, find it, and attempt to share it. It is quite another thing to condemn Christians who appear deficient of it. Now pay attention to this:

         THE REJECTION OF THE LORD’S TRUTH CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.

         Each of us is walking in the light we have. Some of us are always trying to gain more light. Therefore, if one doesn’t yet have eyes to see everything he is supposed to see, he is never going to see until he gets eyes to see. They must want to see. No one can force them to see. Thus, our focus should be on helping each other “see.” If one does not yet “see” or doesn’t want to see we are commanded to love anyway. The best way the fault-finding heretic hunters can get right with the Lord is to go spend some time with the people they condemn and serve them. Proving one’s love is better than winning an argument.

         I recently saw a website in which a minister who was condemned by a heretic-hunter group actually responded to the article condemning him in a loving way. There was no eye-for-an-eye garbage or the ubiquitous condemnation return fire. This person was not condemning them though they were condemning him. I thought it very refreshing and it obviously let me know who was the better disciple. Regarding who believed what or who was teaching what didn’t matter in that instance. What mattered was obedience to the command of the Lord to love one another.

IT’S “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” NOT “CONDEMN YOUR NEIGHBOR”

         In the final analysis consider the fact that if someone actually does have all light and knows the teachings of the Lord by heart and fulfills them every second of every day, then that person would know who is right and who is wrong. But that person would also know there is a higher order of behavior toward one another and would never judge or condemn someone who knew less.

       Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8] [1]

        By their very behavior the slanderous heretic hunters are condemning themselves by violating the Lord’s Word. Without repentance for their wrongheaded actions His Word will judge them at the last day.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[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.

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MAKING PROVISION FOR UNKNOWN TRUTH: BEING TEACHABLE

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         “The very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know…”

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         Before we address the content of this post I want to thank my faithful readers. Some of you have been following this blog for a few years now and I do appreciate it. The material here is not mainstream in the least and that causes a decided lack of traffic flow to begin with, but some of you are supporting me anyway. I know many of you do not agree with everything I write and it is refreshing that we continue to share in a level of spiritual fellowship. But the very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know, which is not something we usually know that we know. It can also be stated this way:

         “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” [1]                       

         This means we must be humble. We must be teachable. As followers of the Lord Jesus, it is dangerous to believe we know it all. We must be ever-learning. There’s a strange phenomenon that takes place in the soul of some Christian ministers when they insist on doctrines not supported by the Lord’s teachings. In order to enforce said doctrines, such ministers force themselves to adopt guises out of character with the fruit of the Spirit. They prove by their very actions that something is wrong with the teachings they espouse. They become less like Christians and more like hard-edged turf-defenders or stagnant dogma pushers.

         They become quite used to having their way. They demand next to blind obedience. It borders on religious brainwashing. It establishes what can only be termed Christian cults. But when a cult goes mainstream by attracting (or forcing) great numbers of adherents, it morphs out of cult status into perceived orthodox status. When the authority of the Lord Jesus is circumvented in such a way and people are thus deceived (not realizing He is not in charge), it allows for great abuse which demands great reform. This brings us to the reality of the two different camps in overall Christianity:

CONTENDERS AND PRETENDERS

        The usual traditional camp has already made up its mind what Christian truth is and spends all its time preaching what they know and attacking anything that does not agree with their chosen paradigm. I say chosen because that is exactly what it is. We all choose to believe whatever it may be. There is Christian truth that is obviously foundational that most Christians share, but so much of what the Lord Jesus originally taught is not being taught by most Christian bodies and this is obviously by design.

    Such Christians make no provision for possible unknowns.

         Consider the fact that the Lord and His original apostles had no religious superstructure surrounding them and one will begin to get the big idea what the dissemination of truth actually entails. He kept His operation extremely streamlined and materially limited and did that for a reason. He even taught very clearly that giving up one’s possessions is a vital part of discipleship. One can define that anyway one wants to but the best definition comes from simply studying the lifestyle of the early Church. We must also acknowledge that they had massive success with comparatively very few material resources. They did without that which most Christians insist upon as indispensable and still turned the world upside down. “Official” Christianity in the modern world can only be described by comparison as lacking.

         The Lord knows we need stuff. We need food and water and shelter. In modern society we need a whole lot more simply to carve out a life of sustenance within a complex, ultra-developed, increasingly urban grid. But churches and individuals must be on guard against material props that actually hinder spirituality rather than help. Therefore, giving up one’s possessions does not necessarily mean going homeless and penniless by choice. Perhaps it means not allowing the material to outweigh the spiritual. It certainly means joining a spiritual Community in which the Lord Jesus is the sole Leader. Call it a love-based voluntary lifestyle of willing assistance toward others as echoed in the writings of the prophet:

         A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Isaiah 40:3-5] [2] 

         It is in looking at the lifestyle and teaching method of our Leader that we gain all the insight we need to figure out how we should live and learn. I will have more on this later. In the next post we will consider America’s recent call to repentance in further preparation for the Awakening.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.    


[1] D. Rumsfeld 

[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. 

HOW TO ENTER THE DOOR OF ABUNDANCE

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      The Lord Jesus, God Himself, the Creator of the Universe, became a human being, just like us, but knew He would have the loneliest calling of all.

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         He also knew, in order to achieve His calling and get the job done, He would have to be last in all things.

OFF THE GRID 

         Since He created everything I think it is safe to say He knows how everything works. He also knows, in the spiritual realm, that the way up is down: 

         But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” [Mark 9:34-35]   

         Now, I can tell you with no hesitation that the Lord wanted to be first. He was already first before He got here and was determined to be first again. It was not a selfish motive, however, but the opposite. No one else could do the job and the Lord knew that. He took it upon Himself to humble Himself to the nth degree and do whatever it took to rescue us even if it meant living a very difficult but perfect life and then sacrificing it all at the end. He had to be first but also had to be last to get there. No one else could have done it. No one else qualified. Here is another example:

         And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.

         “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 14:7-11]  

         Now, consider the powerful ramifications of what the apostle Paul revealed in the following passage regarding the difficult path the Lord had chosen:

         He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]

CHOOSING TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH CHOSEN ONES

          Rather than actually strive for personal spiritual victory, some people who believe they will never be winners like to associate with those characterized as such, if at all possible, as a way to be around winning. Believing they will never be accepted, well-liked, admired, or popular, they strive to associate with the people who are. This is why so many people fawn over the few recognized prominent and distinguished among us. It starts in childhood. It gets ramped up in high school as a manifestation of the popularity contests which thrive in that environment. If one looks better than others, is more talented, or is simply more self-assured, one will rise in the ranks and be seen as better and more worthy of whatever accolades there may be. Many of these got a head start early on and probably always had a strong support group.

         The Lord had none of this, save for Joseph and Mary. He was obscure and most likely not attractive. He had no “charisma.” He was never seen as someone destined for greatness. He had decided all of this in advance. He would arrive as a nobody and people would often treat Him that way. He would never expect any special favors. He would be last:

         Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [Philippians 2:3-8]

         As you can see, the Lord decided He would take a totally opposite road of the so-called popular people and hupokritai. Rather than be a performing, stage-oriented glory hound seeking fame and money, He would instead strive to serve others and help them, and bless them. As a result, no one was more spiritually fruitful than the Lord Jesus. He planted Himself in death as a lonely rejected seed, the last and the only one there was.

         From such a humble beginning so long ago, the fruit of His ministry is still bringing forth a burgeoning, incessant, and abundant yield all over the planet to this day, and continues to increase. He started out last, became the Servant of all, and then gained first place in everything. This means He also became the only Door of salvation and eternal life. No one can get to heaven without Him.

         So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” [John 10:7-11] [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.

THE HIDDEN ENEMY AMONG US

         The adversary is a master of propaganda. He revels in misinformation. He lives to deceive. If he can’t stop you he will try to send you in the wrong direction. He does everything in his power to conceal the truth.

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         And it should be evident that what is referred to in an overall general sense by an unsuspecting world as “Christianity” is actually a vast collection of unrelated, incongruent, disparate, and often contradictory elements, from merely human but also otherworldly sources, with no connection whatsoever to the original. Unreal Christianity is thus rife with untruths, half-truths, fruitless rituals, syncretic misapplications, and even what Paul referred to as teachings of demons.

         The million or so separate Christian camps each have their own primary ideology and religious slant, and each, for the most part, declines close fellowship with the others for fear that its individual identity and brand will be diluted and weakened, and thus compromised toward funding and support. Many of these factions, some quite large, got started because some DA believed the whispered fabrications of the enemy or the weird ramblings of his own wayward mind and ran with them, taking many clueless hangers-on along for the ride.

         Once such groups effectively progress from single dominator and analogous cultic origins to gain the desired reputable respectability and requisite numbers, a strange but perfectly understandable phenomenon occurs: The recognition, reception, and incorporation of greater truth, light, and correction is absolutely refused so as not to interfere with established success and acceptance. This only facilitates even more splintering off, the creation of new sects, and greater division. Thus, the multitudinous Christian factions of the last two millennia have more in common with the devil’s obfuscations and religious confusion than the Lord’s original teachings.  

         Therefore, if one wants to figure out what is what and which is which, one must be willing to do comprehensive, long-term, in-depth study of the Word of God and particularly the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus. One must investigate actual Christian history (not the fake constructs) in as much detail as possible. One must also do much wide-ranging research (much), with no vested interest or personal religious apologia, and wade through the ubiquitous, muddy, debris-laden waters of deception and misinformation to sort it all out.

         In that process, as a byproduct of the search for truth, one will discover the frauds and the deceived. Their deceptive cloaking devices will fall away. They will no longer be concealed and they become completely exposed. This is exactly what happened with the Lord regarding the fake religionists of His time. He could see right through them. He could also apparently see demons, which, when you think about it, is really cool, since the devious imps were used to being invisible and getting away with all their lying shenanigans but could no longer hide—Anywhere. Whenever they attempted their magic disappearing act around the Lord it no longer worked.

         Here’s just one example:

         In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” [Luke 4:33-36]

         Think about this the next time you go to church. 

FRUITLESS FRAUDS

       It was therefore impossible to deceive Him. This is the way it must be for His real disciples. This is why the vast majority of those who claim to be NT Christians are not seeing Christians—they still have their blinders on. They can’t see the enemy. They remain deceived.

         As a starting point in one’s search for truth and dividing truth from error, consider what the Lord told the frauds and deceived people of His time:

          “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.” [Matthew 21:43] [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.

FAKE CHURCHES AND SACRIFICIAL LAMBS

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         Those of you who actually study the Word of God and desire to be mature disciples instead of merely sit passively in church and get dictated to week after week know there is an order to the Lord’s method of ministry and a standard of spiritual priorities. It looks nothing like what most of us are used to or familiar with. If it was we probably would have the world converted to Christianity by now or had it done a long time ago.

          Here’s a New Covenant example:

        And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. [1Corinthians 12:28]

THE DEPENDENCY MODEL MEETS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE  

         In reality, it is in the nature of Unreal Christianity to resist doing the real work of God for the same reason that the medical and pharmaceutical industry does not promote health or disease prevention. Rather than promote outright cures it promotes incessant treatment. And the treatment has a tendency to cost. If they really wanted everyone healthy and began achieving such a goal they would eventually lose business and may actually go out of business. This is why no other entity comes close to lobbying the government more than the medical and pharmaceutical industry. It is great for their bottom line to have all Americans drugged up and dependent on their high dollar “health care.”

         And incidentally, the so-called Opioid Crisis was started by them in the 1990s, another planned side effect of the vast immorality and anything-goes money-grubbing attitude sent down from on high at that time (with perfect examples of corruption in high places). All this while mainstream Christianity continued looking the other way, denied the exploding sin epidemic, and continued refusing the only corrective.

          If churches were actually working according to “the Father’s business” they would have a better track record and one that looked exactly like the Lord’s. But they don’t. They are not interested in that. They prefer maintenance mode. They would rather fill up a building with paying customers and keep them dependent. We spend a lot of money and work sending a few missionaries overseas but pay little attention to the needs in our own congregations. The early Church spent money where it was most needed. They spent it in the same place the Lord spent it and where He taught them to spend it. The first thing they did was take care of their own.

         Here’s a clue. Your children have extremely important and necessary needs. But needy people elsewhere need it more so it would be better to make your own children suffer and have less in order to take care of those possibly worse off. This results in your own children being worse off but not to worry. The Lord told us to take care of the poor and now we did that. So there. Better to make our own children suffer and do without or do with less than not meet the needs of needy people elsewhere.

         Maybe you haven’t noticed that many churches are designed for the perpetual member who rarely or never grows spiritually past an initial starting point (getting saved). Most churches are thus kindergartens and elementary schools, which is a great thing, except for the fact that it most often stops right there. There are next to no “churches” for spiritual adults and mature disciples. Again, this is by design. If they were in the business of creating disciples they would be much more concerned with their ridiculously lousy graduation rates. As a result of the anti-discipleship pro-perpetual member method, the vast majority who leave are not leaving due to graduation but for other reasons, most of which have to do with the faux ministry method.

THEY DON’T TEACH THIS AT PREACHING SCHOOL

         This is in part why the Lord said the following. It is like so many other things He said that you will likely never hear in church:

         “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” [Matthew 11:21-24]

         Whoa. If the wicked Sodomites had seen the miracles of Capernaum they apparently would have repented and never had their city blown off the map. The Lord said this because the first-century Hebrew city of Capernaum did see the Lord’s mighty works but never repented. They rejected Him hands down. Also, I’m thinking the people of Capernaum probably resented the comparison inference to the wicked Sodomites somewhat, if you get my drift.  

         You may also surmise that according to the Lord’s original ministry plan everything must be surrendered to His leadership and authority if we are to do real ministry. But what about unreal ministry for alternative and limited selfish motives? Not so much.

A KNEE JERK REACTION

        The National Football League is currently having a problem. Attendance is down. Football fans are starting to see that the emperor has no clothes. They never noticed it before and most of the football higher-ups never did either, but since the 1960s until recently the conditions were perfect for success. They never noticed these conditions. The conditions were just “there.” They just thought they were smart. But when these conditions began changing, fans started seeing through the mirage.

         The prosperity pigskin bladder had begun inflating in the mid-1960s after forty years of initial NFL hard times, leather helmet blues, and gridiron-lock on the rude sidelines far across the tracks from the sunny green fields of the one and only great American pastime—Baseball.

        Then, akin to a flyover advert blimp, the inflating football money balloon just kept expanding throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, oughts, and until recently. The reason it kept getting bigger like a giant alien tick from some 1950s-era B-movie is because the unseen outward conditions never changed. Professional football took advantage and the fans were none the wiser.

         Until now. As a result the NFL is having a serious “Uh Oh” moment like those suits in sunglasses when Neo got the big idea. Now the veneer is peeling off. A level of clever has changed the weather. What’s become of the mighty Wizard? Is that just a little man behind a dope drape working a microphone and a social lever?

EXCOMMUNICADO

        This is also exactly how fake churches do it. They have ulterior motives and selfish agendas. The people they actually care about least are the ones in the pews. This is why they prefer putting them in a corral and feeding them faux food. If they really wanted to make powerful world-transforming Spirit-filled disciples as the Lord and the original Church did they would do things His way. And revival wildfires would explode everywhere. But they don’t. They prefer fans and dependents rather than disciples. It is a much better business model (and so much easier to control).

          So what happens to the few real disciples outside the loop who never get the memo and who mature and come of age in such congregations anyway? What do we do with them? How do we keep them quiet? Can they be made an example of to further convince any wayward members who might have temporarily forgotten who’s in charge? Can the leadership thus benefit from appropriating sacrificial lambs? To better preserve the whole and reinforce unity? And spread fear like fertilizer? Maybe, in their secret clubhouse elder meetings, they facetiously call it forced graduation.

         But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done. Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

         But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. [John 11:46-53] [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.

DEFINING NEW WINE (AND EMBRACING ADULTHOOD)

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      The Millennial generation has now overtaken the Baby Boomers. This development parallels the fading dominion of “old wine” Christianity.

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         We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation. The bulk of the coming-of-age Millennial generation, those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s to early 2000s, likely will not be engaging in anywhere close to the same degree of hands-on, practical, do-it-yourself utility and blue collar work of past generations. In general, while brilliant and exceptional in many areas of expertise, its skill set is lacking in the use of tools and, though gaining, has less aptitude for practical self-reliance.

       As a result, since Millennials number in the 80-90 million range, the home improvement industry is particularly panicked about the upcoming diminishing demand for its products. To remedy the potentially huge future problem, how-to videos and tutorials on an extremely elementary and basic level have been created, such as “How To Use A Tape Measure.”

         Sound familiar? What are the otherwise veiled common denominators of the largely unchurched Millennial generation and traditional church congregations of past and present? How are these alike? Do both share commonalities through no initial fault of their own, such as being adulthood challenged, sheltered, dependency-bred, and subjected to Groupthink? (Traditional church congregations in general are rarely taught to graduate and go on into individual ministry, for example, as commanded in the Great Commission.) These common characteristics indicate far too much “old wine” influence and a dearth of the new.

NEW WINE

        And He was also telling them a parable: “…And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” [Luke 5:36-39]

OLD WHINE

         Christians have labored for centuries trying to figure out this passage or trying to figure out why the Lord used it in the first place, since the subject matter causes discomfort in some circles. Yet it remains a classic “eyes and ears” parable of which the true understanding is often missed. Rather than seeing the deeper meaning and making the correct application the Lord is calling for, however, the passage often evokes the prohibition response among those Christians who believe wine is not good. Instead of censoring the Lord Jesus or taking Him to task for NT wine references, of which there are many, perhaps they should try to see what He’s getting at.  

         I say this because immature and out-of-touch past generations of Christians with such an attitude have also missed the boat on other spiritual teachings. Missing the one addressed by the New Wine parable, though, is enormously problematic since it directly regards the pure practicality of reaching the lost without forcing them into largely dead impractical religion and non-spiritual constructs. For example, it didn’t help that for much of the time since it was first published in 1611, many Christians only had a King James Bible with no alternative or were not allowed one that may exist, especially, of course, in England and the English-speaking world. Because the KJV was state-sponsored, it forced millions into accepting every word and punctuation mark therein without question. Yet, on the all-important New Wine and New Wineskins passage, a deeply important parable, the KJV translators got it really wrong by referring to the wineskins as bottles.

         Right. They all had glass wine bottles in the first century. But according to some, those people apparently were not allowed to drink the wine therein anyway. What grandiose minds are these who project their convictions on all prior generations? There is a reason we have better translations today. Yet there remain millions of Christians at present who refuse to use any other Bible and even insist other versions are sinful. This is evidence of remaining endemic authoritative bias which disallows the necessary developmental steps toward gaining maturity. It creates a purposed distance from the Lord’s pure teachings by an agenda-based clergy promoting subjugation to them and their old wineskins.

         Ironically, I guess we may say, the incorrect KJV translation of the New Wine passage proves the gist of the Lord’s New Wine parable.

FERMENTATION (SPIRITUAL EYES AND EARS ALERT)

         The process of fermentation changes mere grape juice into a completely different liquid with different properties. New Wine is wine still undergoing the fermentation process.

         In Biblical times, as fermentation commenced and the juice of the grapes foamed up, somewhat dynamically, the process was allowed to take place only in open vats or containers for obvious reasons. After this initial substantial fermentation the wine was poured into small containers made of animal skins, but it was most important that the skins be new and fresh. Why? Because the wine was still undergoing fermentation and the skins must be new, strong, and flexible to allow for further expansion. It was sometimes the case that the new skins filled with New Wine appeared close to bursting.

         This is why everyone with knowledge of wine-making knew to never put New Wine into old dried-up wineskins because such containers would never be able to handle the ongoing fermentation process. If this principle was violated the old skins would crack or tear and be ruined by the New Wine, which would spill out and be lost. Incidentally, and in light of what I have been addressing in several recent posts, the fermentation process lasted about forty days. This means something. You might want to take a look at those recent posts.

PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE

         The parable of the New Wine and New Wineskins appears only in the three synoptic gospels. It is apparent that Matthew and Mark were referencing Luke. Only Luke actually refers to it as a parable. Yet in each occurrence, the parable appears somewhat out of nowhere, especially in Luke, and there is no explanation. No one asked about the spiritual or allegorical meaning when the Lord addressed it. It is just there, and then the narrative moves on. What does it mean?

         We can find a clue simply by looking at the fermentation process. In His teachings regarding new beginnings and the necessity of both a New Covenant and new approaches to spiritual life, the Lord also referred to the absolute necessity of a new birth, meaning a spiritual birth. He is referencing by these illustrations a must-metamorphosis or a transformation from one stage to another, just as we are presently on the threshold of a vast new spiritual transformation. He also claimed that such a personal change, or birth, was both dramatic and all-encompassing.

BECOMING FULLY MATURE

(1) A butterfly lays an egg on a food plant

(2) The egg becomes a larva, or caterpillar, and the caterpillar grows rapidly

(3) When fully developed, the caterpillar enters the pupa stage and surrounds itself in a chrysalis

(4) When metamorphosis is complete, the pupal skin splits and a fully developed butterfly emerges, illustrating the final stage of maturation, and it soon takes flight

         Through the Lord’s mysterious ways, a relatively non-attractive many-legged worm thoroughly grounded and munching leaves and whatnot is inexplicably transformed into a lightweight beautiful butterfly able to escape the weighty hold of gravity. Remember, this is the same creature during all four stages. It merely exists in different forms on the way toward becoming fully mature, or complete.

DEVELOPING INTO SPIRITUAL ADULTS

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48]

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Matthew 19:21]

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:2]

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you… [Philippians 3:14-15]

           [The Greek word translated in the preceding as “perfect” or “complete” is teleios. It is defined as “mature, full grown, adult, or completed.”]

THE PROPER FRAME OF REFERENCE 

         Mere grape juice released through a violent crushing process somehow begins to be instantly transformed into another substance with powerful properties. What does this sound like? What does the Lord mean by New Wine and New Wineskins? Correctly defining these terms means we must first determine the proper frame of reference. The answer would seem to be otherwise obvious, since we have an Old Covenant and a New Covenant. The Old made possible the New, but the New replaced the Old. The New Wine replaces the old wine. It was a fact that due to the wine-making process of those times, the fully fermented wine lasted only so long. Old wine was wine stored for about a year or more, but it sometimes only lasted for about three years before turning into vinegar, though that could happen earlier.

FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN’S CHILDREN

          It follows then, that wine-making must be ongoing. There must always be a new batch of wine on the horizon. (Think Great Awakening.) The Feast of Tabernacles, which we just completed, was an annual time of harvesting the fall grapes. It was a time of great joy. All of these facts are clues.

        The Pharisees and Sadducees represented the old wine that had degenerated into sour vinegar. Those guys could not get any more sour.

         The Lord was bringing forth the New Wine with His new kingdom. The refusing-to-be-transformed religious killjoys hated both. They rejected the new birth as do most “Christians.” Little did they know that they were actually playing right into the Lord’s hands, however, in that by crushing Him they were assisting in the process of bringing forth a brand new vintage, the best New Wine of all time!

DRUNK ON THE HOLY GHOST

          When the 120 were filled with His Spirit in the Upper Room they acted very differently. Their actions were out of the ordinary. What transpired on that morning did not look at all like the standard, dour-faced, traditional, institutional, stuck-in-the-mud, ultra-religious old wine that was “good enough.” Instead, they were all filled with incredible JOY and displayed never-before-seen bright shining faces, dazzling smiles, and much laughter. They were overcome with the Lord’s overwhelming love. Highly concentrated LOVE was all around them and spilling forth everywhere. By their love everybody appearance and manner it looked to outside observers that the Upper Roomers had been swimming around in a giant vat of New Wine:

         And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them:

         “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

         “‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT…’” [Acts 2:12-18] [1]

          We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation toward real spiritual adulthood.

          “New Wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.

VICTORY! FORTY DAYS AND THE RAISING OF LAZARUS

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        This is a must-read article. Please tell all your friends. There is an anointing here that can be applied to otherwise impossible situations and bring victory.

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         So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. [John 11:17]  

         The forty days officially began on August 21. The fortieth day begins tonight at sunset. We are about to complete the same forty day period the Lord completed just prior to the start of His ministry in which He fasted for the duration and then went toe-to-toe with the devil.

         This is one of those counterintuitive training methods that makes no sense in the natural and causes nominal Christians to recoil in horror. Rather than train conventionally as one may train for a prize fight in which a boxer imbibes in the best nutrition and a regimented workout lasting for several weeks in the effort to eventually outlast an opponent in the ring, the Lord did the opposite. He went far out into the wilderness all by Himself. It is recorded that He was out there with the wild beasts. Every day and night for forty days He had nothing to eat whatsoever. He prayed always. He prepared to the hilt. But it was all spiritual preparation.

         This kind of training and fight preparation is no longer taught by what we may term “official” Christianity and hasn’t been for many centuries. Most of today’s Christian ministers laugh at the very idea of teaching such a method of gaining spiritual victory. They keep almost everything in a purely natural and non-supernatural mode because the stakes they seek cater instead to material and “worldly” success.

REAL SUCCESS

         Now, please note that I like success. The Lord grants success. He is really into success. But it also must be noted that the spiritual must come first and must come correctly or whatever “success” one may have will soon be lost. When the Lord went to war on our behalf and on behalf of our future success He had in mind a way to buy back our freedom from the ravages of sin and bondage. That was His obvious priority. To that end, and because He loves us so, He was more than willing to subject himself to such austere and extreme training methods and face off with the ugly, gnarly, hell’s angel dipwad responsible for screwing everything up and turning His perfect creation into fallen destruction and His perfect sinless holy humans into spiritually dead, broken, compromised, and hell-bound shells of themselves.

         And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13]   

         Who else would love like that? Who else could love like that? Well, HE did it. And it cost Him everything. Whatever we do for the Lord and others is great and duly noted but based on the practices of Christianity in general most Christians not only fail to do the least in this regard for the Lord, they don’t even see the need for it, as in “What’s the point?” This attitude is borne out by people completely unaware of the concept in that they see no connection between much prayer, fasting, standing in faith, and fighting spiritual battles with eventual great spiritual victories which would otherwise have no chance of happening.

         The Lord Jesus, however, taught the why and how every day of His ministry. He showed us how it is done. His disciples did what He said and had great spiritual success. The entire Roman Empire was evangelized within a century and a half, so much so that the leaders thereof eventually threw in the towel. If those mighty spiritual warriors could do that then why can’t we do it now? It is not that we can’t. It is that the definition has changed. And because the definition has changed there is no longer any need for the great spiritual practices of the originals because Christian success is no longer defined by doing the impossible but by doing exactly as this fallen world is doing.

         If the Lord could defeat the devil without a forty day fast and all night prayer sessions and making Himself poor and putting up constantly with religious idiots trying to kill Him then why did He do all those things? Why did the apostles do all those things? They knew, of course, that it was the only way. There was no other way. It was also why they were all filled with the Holy Spirit according to the real New Covenant method and thus gained supernatural strength to fight such battles and do the impossible.

VICTORY ON THE FORTIETH DAY

         I just got through fighting such a battle. It was very difficult. I knew from the beginning that the Lord had a plan and a solution but that did not make it any easier. I had to stand in faith consistently over a full forty days. My faith grew. That was part of the reason why it lasted that long. It was an opportunity to increase my faith. The process was fraught, however, with ups and downs and dead-end failure and inspiration and bright spots and hope and temporary depressing defeats and rallying and an incredible amount of prayer and much fasting. There were some I counted on that let me down, others that helped in increments, and at the end a great blessing that the Lord saved for the very end that made it all possible and made the victory complete. I know this will probably sound far-fetched but the victory truly did come on the very last day.

         My forty day time period began three days before the solar eclipse. I had a very unfortunate event take place on August 18. It was a very big deal. I was quickly in an impossible situation. I immediately stated that it was no surprise to the Lord and that He had a plan though I had no idea what it was. In my previous post, Forty Days Toward Victory, I was writing on Day 24 and stated that I was in the middle of trying to make something happen that had to happen in order to continue and that it demanded strong faith and a relentless approach.

         As mentioned before, the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was also the day of the new moon which began the Lord’s forty days and which would end with the Day of Atonement on September 30. Those who understood the stakes and decided to participate knew that America itself was hanging in the balance and that the nation had better repent. That was not possible unless Americans repented and properly prepared for what was coming. I knew something was up and that the Lord had great plans for this autumn, but there would be a price to pay to bring it forth. I wrote about this in At the Crossroads: Will America Repent?

         My fortieth day, that is, the fortieth day after the unfortunate recent event in my life, was on Wednesday, September 27. I stayed in faith until then. It was not easy. Yet that day was the exact day the Lord brought forth an otherwise impossible victory.

LAZARUS

         There are many very interesting aspects to the story of the raising of Lazarus. This was a man who along with his sisters, Martha and Mary, was a very dear friend of the Lord. Lazarus had gotten very sick. A messenger was sent to find the Lord so He could come and help. The Lord was found at a distance. But instead of immediately rushing to the side of His good friend He did something curious. He waited two days. He essentially waited for Lazarus to die. And He gave His friends no warning whatsoever that He would do this.

         So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. [John 11:6]

         By the time He went to the home of Lazarus, His good friend had already been dead for four days. The Lord was hammered with, “If only you had been here…”

         When I began this article I planned to go into greater detail about the Lazarus story, but I am running long and need to start closing. One thing I will say is that the Lord showed me several parallels to my situation. He could have warned me but He didn’t. He just let it happen. He could have arranged things to where it would not have been so bad but He didn’t. In the case of Lazarus, He could have rushed back and healed Him and that would have certainly been a miracle. But He wanted something better, something much greater. He wanted to raise Lazarus from the dead.

         Consider this perspective. The Lord could fix your current problem, but if you allow Him to He can bring a much greater miracle. I know this happened in my case. I was looking for the path of least resistance and the lesser way out. But the Lord had already determined, “No, I am going to do something much, much better.” It meant the problem had to be much worse. It meant the problem had to be impossible. It would require resources I didn’t have. It would require Him to come through in the nick of time.

         A friend gave me a book over four years ago. I never read it. I didn’t care for the author so much. I kept the book, of course. I put it right up there on my bookshelves. But I never had any desire or inclination to read it. Then, last week, when my situation was most dire and it looked like all hope was lost, the Lord led me to that book. I began reading. I started feeling better. I got inspired. Then I realized that the Lord wanted the very best for me and I should go for the whole enchilada, to go for the best possible outcome, to not settle for a mere partial victory, like the healing of Lazarus, for example, but for an actual resurrection from death. In other words, for an impossibility.

         That’s what I decided. I saw in that moment that it was what the Lord wanted. I had perfect faith in the BEST outcome because I knew it was the will of God. It was still impossible but because I knew the Lord wanted to go that route I was all in. He would make a way. I started praying and believing to that end all the more. I was at my absolute lowest on the thirty-third day. Then hope began to arise. The last week was still very difficult but as the Lord had planned all along, and I am so glad He gave me the strength to do His will, the victory came on the fortieth day. YES!

THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

          Now, regarding the Lord’s forty days, the fortieth day begins at sunset today. It begins the Day of Atonement, which is representative of having all of our sins washed away. It was the one day during the entire year that the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the nation. Only the high priest could go in there. And he could only do it once a year. The Lord Jesus is our High Priest. Only He can make atonement.

         When the sun goes down Saturday evening, September 30th, the forty days will be complete. What started with an incredible nationwide celestial event, a full transcontinental solar eclipse, will end in a way that only the Lord knows. After that we will see what the Lord has had in store all along. After that we will begin to see all the various “Lazaruses” being raised from the dead.

         When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” [John 11:43-44] [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.

FORTY DAYS TOWARD VICTORY

      I don’t know about the rest of you, but the current forty days of preparation is proving to be a giant challenge. Spiritual warfare is strong but a great victory is coming…

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         And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13] [1]

         The Lord Jesus began His ministry with forty days of prayer and fasting. In His case, he fasted the entire time, both day and night.

         There are only three men listed in all of Scripture who have ever gone on a full forty day fast. This does not mean others did not do it. Undoubtedly, many did. But only Moses, Elijah, and the Lord Jesus have been listed as having done it. Moses did it twice.

         You may note that these three were also on the Mount of Transfiguration together. Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets. The Lord Jesus represents everything good, but primarily in this case He represents Salvation and Grace. In fact, the Name above every name means “YHWH-Salvation” or “YHWH sets free.”  

          Regarding the actual timing of the Lord’s forty day fast, it began with the new moon of the twelfth month on the Hebrew civil calendar, toward the end of summer. It extended into Rosh Hashanah, the “head” of the year or the Hebrew New Year, and continued for another ten days to Yom Kippur.

          Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement.

         As of today, we have now entered into Day 24 of the forty-day period of repentance, fasting, prayer, and preparation. The forty days began this year on the afternoon of August 21 and will end on September 30. Of course, in one of the most incredible celestial and spiritual signs most of us will ever experience, the forty days began this year with a full solar eclipse that crossed the full length of the continental United States and no other country. This had not happened in almost eight centuries. Please see my post Solar Eclipse Across America Signals Onset of Repentance.

FASTING

         I always try to fast one day per week. It is an excellent spiritual practice and is clearly Scriptural. Give your body a break one day per week and it will repay you greatly. God had instructed His people to let their agricultural land lay fallow (no plowing or planting) every seventh year. By doing this it would allow the land to regain its health and vitality, and restore its nutrients. It naturally follows that if one will fast every seventh day it will give one’s digestive system and related systems an opportunity to do some very necessary housecleaning and repair. It is a greatly restorative practice but requires a strong will.

       Longer fasts are tougher. Two days isn’t so bad. I’ve gone longer, and achieved incredible spiritual results, but I’ve never come anywhere close to forty days. Many people have, however. Yet, one should never attempt it unless clearly directed by the Lord.

         During this forty day period I have been fasting a lot more than normal. I have also been praying a lot more. There has also been a great increase in spiritual warfare. I have had to walk in very strong faith as a result of something very challenging that happened just prior to August 21. On the day it happened I felt great. Then boom! Uh Oh. I wasn’t expecting that! This is going to be very hard to deal with, I thought.

         Afterwards I reached a level of spiritual well-being that I had not experienced in quite a while. I should not have been feeling so good! It made no sense in the natural. I quickly professed, almost immediately, that this not so good event in my life never surprised the Lord and that He had a plan to deal with it. I have been dealing with it ever since. It is one of those things that you have to walk out. There is no ready solution in the natural and no solution is possible without the Lord’s direct help.

         I prayed and fasted all the more. There were times when things got really bad and I had to tough it out. There have also been some very bright spots. I started seeing the possible means to a solution. As I write this, I am in the midst of another very important part of this whole thing that must be fixed soon so other parts can proceed. I am certainly walking by faith. I KNOW the Lord has the answer. It is my job to stay in faith and keep walking it out. At the end I will come into a great blessing that would have been impossible otherwise.

         For those of you who are relating to this I want you to be encouraged. Many of us have been through severe crises in our lives. There are wonderful people who have recently lost everything as a result of the recent hurricanes. There are times when we know if the Lord doesn’t come through we are pretty much done. I remember many times being backed against a wall with no solution whatsoever in sight and all I could do was do my best to stay in faith and trust the Lord. I have also seen the most incredible, tremendous spiritual victories and was amazed at what the Lord could do.

         But remember, it is not only that the Lord can do it, it is because He is motivated by His great love for us that makes Him want to do it. He wants to bless us! But it must be done the right way. We must have the correct spiritual mindset. We must walk in faith. The Lord always responds to faith. We must be humble.

        Thus, we are in this special time of preparation, fasting, prayer, and repentance for the same reason the Lord was. Something profound will happen afterwards. That’s what the victory of the Day of Atonement is all about. I believe there is something especially profound this year. We must humble ourselves in order to be exalted. We must do the humbling. He will do the exalting.

         BE STRONG.

         © 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.

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REGARDING THE CURRENT FORTY DAY PERIOD, SEE THE FOLLOWING RECENT SERIES POSTED AUGUST 9-23, 2017:

PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN

PART 2: THE THIRD SIGN: IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN 

PART 3: REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN

PART 4: SOLAR ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA SIGNALS ONSET OF REPENTANCE

PART 5: AT THE CROSSROADS: WILL AMERICA REPENT?

FIGHTING AGAINST THE LORD: Churches That Oppose New Covenant Truth

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         The anointed prophetic Word is designed by God to get His people on track and correct them when they get off track. This is why many Christians reject it.

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THEY REMAIN HATED TODAY

         OT Prophets paid a great personal price to be the spokesmen for God. Without their work the forces of evil had no opposition and ran roughshod over the Lord’s people. One wonders why it even mattered in part because the great majority of “the Lord’s people” had no real care or concern for the Lord’s purposes anyway and always segued into their desired natural condition regardless of the effort to help them. They loved living in the flesh, so to speak. This in turn caused them to embrace demonic entities.

         Along came the prophet, sent by God, to correct their behavior, in the attempt to save them from sin and eventual eternal death, because despite their gross sin the Lord still loved them and did His best to help.

         In a fine how-do-you-do, the majority of these people thanked Him by attempting to stick their collective finger in God’s eye and essentially told Him to go to hell. Of course, that’s exactly where they ended up, somewhat ironically (Hey! This isn’t heaven!), but such spiritually obtuse nitwits had no conception of reality anymore due to the blindness that befell them as a result of their rejection of truth. Once they reached that sordid state of soul the odds of returning to God were slim and none.

I JUST DROPPED IN TO SEE WHAT CONDITION YOUR CONDITION WAS IN

         The apostle Paul wrote about this very strange Israelite condition centuries later. He should know, of course, because prior to his miraculous new birth experience while still wrapped in gaudy religious robery and exulting in all his glorious Tribe of Benjamin and Pharisee status, he had the aforesaid condition, né disease, in one of its worst forms. Though an expert carrier, He had no understanding of the cause of the disease until the Lord opened his eyes. He explained it thus:

         For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. [2Thessalonians 2:11-12]

         Refusing to accept and believe New Covenant truth is thus defined as a form of wickedness.

         Paul claimed the Lord graciously forgave him for his previous wicked religious behavior and hatred of real Christians because he had acted out of ignorance and in unbelief:

         I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief… [1Timothy 1:12-13]   

         In other words, he had been a complete doofus with regard to the truth and because of his high intensity personality he had acted out with extreme aggression on his great doofusness with great passion. Before salvation Paul had no love for the truth and was blind due to his rejection of it. He even ended up embracing bad spirits. By his own account he was formerly a:

1: Blasphemer

2: Persecutor

3: Violent Aggressor

          His passion for his religion was such that no man on earth would ever be able to get through to him. Like so many blind Christians today who insist on their own skewed version of truth, they refuse any and every corrective voice, and it is no wonder since they have great support groups of like-minded doofuses to back them up. This is especially true of the blind pulpiteers with no accountability to God since they are surrounded with great clouds of doofuss witnesses congregating before them and sycophant elder boards who often count success in terms of the offerings they siphon every Sunday.

         “Who can argue against our great standing and success and massive numbers, especially with all this money coming in? Come on man, gimme a break! Is it not obvious that God has blessed us?” 

         THEN WHY DIDN’T GOD LIKEWISE BLESS THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS?

         Some of these places have a level of salt and light but it’s not so tasty and not so bright.

         Cranking it up to a higher spiritual degree demands a level of discipleship usually rejected so success must be measured in alternative ways. The reality in our modern times is that church and ministry organizations in general subsist not on the Spirit of the Lord and His anointed Word for sustenance but on monetary donations, and their skillful knack at gaining donations is actually what makes them successful. Few other organizations have the boldness to repeatedly collect donations all the time regardless of next to zero spiritual effectiveness.

         And yet Paul, the former small-statured colossal doofus who became a powerful Spirit-filled apostle, preacher, teacher, and great witness giant of a man for the Lord had every opportunity granted by the Lord to accept donations for the spiritually abundant work he did, which quite possibly no real Christian has ever matched, but almost always refused to do. He even said it was his right. Why did he do this? Could it be the same reason the Lord never took anything at all for Himself except what was necessary to keep Him alive and strong for the pure purposes of ministry? He chose to hoe an extremely hard row on purpose and submitted Himself to a very difficult life due to the very difficult mission He had to complete.

THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST OF ALL TIME

         No one ever lived a more difficult life with more bountiful spiritual success. The Lord Jesus is our one and only perfect example, and most donation-obsessed so-called giants (antigiants) of the faith look absolutely nothing like Him. This is not to question those who rightfully accept donations but there certainly seems to be a correlation between the most powerfully effective ministries and their very low donation acceptance level.

         “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” [Luke 14:27]  

BUT I DIGRESS

         I remember a preacher from my early days who insisted that whenever he preached he had to wear the three-piece dark suit he always wore that he called his “monkey suit.” I guess that is a form of carrying one’s cross. I also remember a good-natured friend at church who sometimes ministered in a pulpit. Remember, this was a few years back and among the usual conservative elements of that time. Smiling, he wondered about the possibility of “preaching in a flannel shirt.” Back then you never saw anyone preaching or even at Sunday church without wearing some form of higher conservative clothing, unless you were associated with the far out laid back churches on the west coast and a few others like them. I most often wore suits and ties, even in violent summer heat. I could certainly relate to the “monkey suit” idea. Nevertheless, though the Lord was always properly attired I don’t think He ever wore a necktie.

         But He also never put on airs or dressed for the purposes of being legitimate in the eyes of those with the cash in order to appear worthy to receive donations like so many so-called ministers do. However, Joel Osteen made a good point once, when someone suggested he go casual and maybe preach in some bib overalls. He answered with laughter something to the effect, “Can you imagine someone who looks like me preaching in overalls?”

         While I fully understand Joel’s sentiment and appreciate his humility, I think the apostle Paul probably looked more like the latter than the former, in that he probably dressed more like a farmer than a “latter day saint,” who apparently got their uniform ideas from a 1950s IBM dress code manual.

CLIMBING OUT OF THE PHARISEE PIT

         I hope you can see where this is going. In its effort to look the part, much of Christianity has fallen into the same Pharisee pit that Paul was rescued from. When “official” Christianity does this regarding New Covenant truth, it bars the door to any truth they do not deem truth, which is exactly what the ancient Israelites did, which is exactly why the Lord was always raising up and sending out prophets to them, which is what He is always forced to do with successful though very wayward “churches,” and is why such establishments continue to fight the corrective voices of nondescript prophets sent their way.

         At the judgment the Lord may tell such Chorazin and Capernaum churches that He kept sending people to correct them, and they may say “Who?” and He may point out the sendees and say “Them,” and the faux church leaders may say “Them!” But we…” And the Lord may say something like, “But you silenced them or sent them packing or rejected them because you had no respect for them because they didn’t look the part (sound familiar?) and because you had so much pride in yourselves and you didn’t understand that in rejecting them you were rejecting the One who sent them.” At that point the Faux Bros may still be mumbling to themselves, “Them? But they, but we, but…”

OH LORDY, WE SCREWED UP

         Some formerly screwed up church people and preachers have actually expressed this sentiment and corrected their behavior. Like the apostle Paul they finally saw the error of their ways after getting knocked flat on their backs doing their usual Damascus road routine which involved judging everyone on the planet that didn’t look like them and act like them and believe like them. Humble pie has served them well. They have since decided to try to get their priorities straight but it remains a struggle for some. Many continue having a hard time being corrected and are trying to get it right but are besieged under the onslaught of rigid Religious Correctness. (Yes, due to my own past knowledge of and experience in this regard I was ahead of the curve on that one also.) From my book:

A VISIT TO GALATIA

         In these verses, Paul gives us a succinct yet powerfully revealing picture of that which continues to keep much of Christianity in the dark ages. He makes it plain that spiritual goals cannot be reached by human effort. He gives us a concise rendering of the fact that the power of God is not contingent upon works but upon pure faith. Why then are we Christians stubbornly intent on doing all that is possible to organize God out of His own fellowship and out of the very teachings which we profess to uphold? It’s no wonder much of the world thinks Christians are goofy. It’s no wonder we’re always playing catch-up ball—original thought is not allowed. True freedom in the Lord is not allowed either, and we’re paying a huge price for it. It’s impossible for one to be free when he or she is dragging around a Religiously Correct ball and chain. [1]

         We all know there are fake preachers thoroughly succumbed to religious deadness for the sake of wallets and respectability. Just turn on Christian television as a reminder. While there are some in that far away land of lights, cameras, and action who are for real, there are many who are as fake as a sold-out politician and are either seriously deceived (stupid) or thoroughly compromised. Bills must be paid, if you get my drift, and anti-Christian agendas must be attended to, because the people giving the money believe in and insist upon the false agendas. Does one really think one will get donations from (insert name of denomination here) unless one preaches the doctrines of (insert same name of denomination here)?

THE ATTACK OF THE CLONES

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

         This is why so many churches are Goth dark even though the lights are on. Their lampstand has been removed because they left their first love. Many other churches are likewise dark though they never left their first love simply because they had no first love to begin with. What’s a Christian’s first love anyway? Is it not the following?

         And He said to him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’” [Matthew 22:37-39]

         Of course, Christians can’t obey the second without first obeying the first, which proves why many do not obey the first since it is obvious they refuse to obey the second, and we know they don’t obey the second in part because they reject the corrective voice of the Lord who is trying TO SAVE THEM FROM THEMSELVES. Again, it is why we have four billion Christian denominations at odds with each other that insist on majoring on man-made differences and distinctions instead of coming together in unity founded on the ONE and only ONE full curriculum of the Lord Jesus.

         And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” [John 9:39-41]

         From this clear statement it is obvious that the blind Christians who insist they see remain in their sins though they play the church game very well and are excellent at looking the part. Again, these people are mere actors. There is no THERE there. They have rejected the Lord’s New Covenant truth as did Paul in his previous incarnation and defend their faux constructs to their own detriment. Therefore they do not know they are blind and in sin and must fight against such assertions even if they attack the One they claim to serve. If He can’t get through to them (and it certainly isn’t for a lack of trying!), who can? How long will they persist in fighting against the Lord?

         “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” [Matthew 19:30] [2]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

[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.

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.