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        Belief can become so powerful that truth no longer matters. A person with such deep-rooted though inaccurate beliefs will likely never be convinced to change his mind, not even by provable facts.


       Some people call it manipulation. But it’s much more than that. We all have memories of some off-putting relentless salesman who almost convinces us to do something we don’t want to do. Such people have an incredible ability to make us think we need something we don’t need, want something we don’t want, and that we better do as they say or will miss out on a great opportunity and then feel stupid.

       I think this is part of the reason why people walking the streets in some major metropolis, let’s say, for example, New York City, since it has the best reputation for that, to never, ever make eye contact with anyone else, especially if someone is trying to get their attention. They’ve probably been hit up a million times on such streets and may even have been scammed a time or two. They have learned to keep moving, never say a word, and stay on their way or will end up late for wherever they’re going. They know they cannot trust themselves to not fall for some sales pitch or sob story or whatnot. And even if they believe they could stand their ground it would all be a waste of time and could probably even result in an argument which they obviously do not need. It is part of why many people, if not most, learn to keep their beliefs to themselves. Life is too short for such unnecessary philosophical interruptions.


         No one wants their beliefs to be challenged. After a certain age, we decide on what we will believe and stick to it. We build up a superstructure around our chosen beliefs called life, and our lives thus become diffused throughout with a set of convictions and principles that seem to work for us. In reality, though, such beliefs usually have never been challenged fully or even fully thought out. It would be much better if we submitted our beliefs to truth in order to verify their veracity. But that’s a scary proposition.

         It can be confusing. The world is filled with enough superfluous knowledge to keep one reading and learning for probably at least about a million years, give or take a few centuries. There are endless minutiae to be dealt with on a never-ending scale that can be so overwhelming it causes small flames and sparking in tender brains never meant to be subjected to such and may even cause a complete burnout or at least an all-day headache. These are not things most people desire.

         Hence, society sends out semi-caustic and wearified refrains such as, “Don’t mess with my head, man. It’s taken me years to reach this place of oblivion and I’m tired.”

         This is probably why those Krishna guys don’t bother people in airports anymore. It’s probably also why Christian witnessing is largely the work of new recruits. Seasoned followers of the Lord learn to be a tad more careful about who they witness to and how they witness as they gracefully age.


         But let’s get back on track. When people only want information that supports their beliefs and want nothing to do with data that does not, they are doing the mental equivalent of painting themselves into a corner and then constructing a wall around it. A Big Beautiful Wall. They only want the stuff that confirms what they believe, or actually, what they have chosen to believe (but don’t tell them that. It’s too confusing). We all go through life doing the equivalent of tip-toeing through the proverbial tulips with a don’t bother me with facts attitude because I already have all the facts I need thank you very much now step aside please. And this protects our chosen belief system. And if we’re really good we store our little box of beliefs why up high and far in the back on a hidden cranial shelf where we haphazardly stuck the old duck decoys and other assorted junk we haven’t used in decades and arrange things in a way that no one will ever find them and the last thing we want is to be asked, “Where’s the box and what’s in it?”

         This is the human problem. We somehow semi-surreptitiously acquire beliefs as if by unconscious ongoing osmosis from somewhere or someone without checking on their validity and then guard them like a junkyard dog. Could it be because we can’t explain them? That they cannot stand up to scrutiny? As if we got the answer from the back of a suspect math book and cannot work out the problem properly on a whiteboard in front of the prying eyes of the entire classroom?

         Here’s a question: What Would Jesus Do?

         I think it would be cool to get about fifty Christian men and women of the cloth who are each experts in their own denominations and just start asking questions such as, “Why in the heck do all of you profess to be Christians and yet each of you believes something so different from one another that you can’t get along for long and insist on eternal separation in your ubiquitous little boxes spread out all over the countryside? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

         And this is why I insist on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And for those philosophy students out there, I always make my final and only appeal to authority to the Lord Jesus and His teachings, found only in their purest form in the New Covenant Scriptures.


         And there it is. That’s what the Lord Jesus would do. He would teach us all His truth, because He is the Truth, if only we would let Him. I say enough with all these millions of different Christian classrooms with different math books and different answers teaching anything and everything but His pure teachings. The cure for hopeless and intractable Confirmation Bias is the Lord Jesus. We must subject all of our beliefs to Him. We must subject them to His light. Then we will see what kind of garbage fish are stuck in our nets and simply remove them and throw them back in the lake while keeping the good fish.

         When we get to heaven we will all believe the fullness of the same truth. We will have all knowledge. There will not be any bad beliefs or false doctrines or misunderstandings or confusion. We will not be unsure of what we believe or have to guard our beliefs from inspection. We will be open books of truth and light shining from proverbial hills filled with facts and the knowledge of the Lord. We will know the truth. But wait. Didn’t He say we could have all this before heaven? At least with regard to His pure teachings? I’m pretty sure He did. And He related it to the means of gaining freedom.

         So rather than insisting on refusing to subject our beliefs to the light of truth, perhaps we should simply vacate our respective mazes, end all the confusion, determine to gain ever more spiritual knowledge, clean out our mental closets, allow the light of the Lord to shine upon and within our hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies all the way to the DNA level, and begin the maturing process toward the wonderful and inevitable byproduct of breaking down the walls of separation and suspicion and achieve being on the same spiritual page with untold numbers of previously unknown spiritual brothers and sisters and thus experience the full joys of real fellowship. Amen?

         While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” [Matthew 12:46-50] [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.



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        There are a great many tacit taboos in traditional Christianity. One of them concerns knowing what happens behind the outer stage presentation and the unknown agenda of the few in charge.


         “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.” [Luke 8:17-18] [1]   

         I heard a sermon many years ago relaying a story that took place many years before then. The elder preacher, very well respected with an excellent reputation, was well aware of the incident, having lived at that time.


        It seems one of those small-church revivals had started up. They were going every night and much spiritual excitement was in the air. Those kinds of things would traditionally carry on for about two weeks, maybe three, and served as a method to get stuck-in-a-ditch church people back on track with God.

         The preacher said someone there had a big bass drum. When things got to swinging every night that feller would bang on that drum incessantly. This somehow greatly helped inspire the people to get all excited and keep things happening. They were doing all the many things church people did in those kinds of revivals, which were different things from those in regular services. And the big drum would keep banging away in the background.

         As I listened to the older man’s sermon I wondered where he was heading with the story. This was a veteran preacher who knew very well what he was doing and I was a young man quite intrigued with a story from way back, picturing a small church congregation intent on following the pastor’s lead and honoring the apparent fact that the man of God heard from God and the revival was heaven-sent.

         He said night after night the revival kept going, the people kept coming, the Spirit kept blessing, and the big bass drum kept booming. Then one night the drum broke…

         I learned a giant lesson. The preacher was not bashing the church or Christianity or any such thing. He was only giving people a small peak into what actually goes on behind the scenes. At that time I was still thoroughly wet behind the ears in that I trusted all leadership and never suspected anyone of doing anything untoward. I was so blessed to have had the incredible born again experience I had and everything in life was brand new and fresh. There was no way I would question anything about the process the Lord used to bless me so abundantly.

         But that sermon brought me back to earth in a sense. It let me know there was more going on that I didn’t know about. It let me know all was not what it seemed… [To Be Continued]

         © 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.


STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!)


         In light of my most recent post, What Was In The Village? (link), many excellent comments were made in answering that question. For those who haven’t read it I encourage you to do so, and suggest you read the comments as well.

         In the following two articles listed below, I further identify what was in the village of Bethsaida in the Lord’s time when He had to lead a blind man outside of town in order to heal him. There was something located in Bethsaida that made it not possible for the healing to take place there.

         Many of us can identify with this phenomenon. The hindrance is much closer than many of us realize. The following articles reveal this. I strongly suggest we read these articles both for the knowledge therein, but also to get free and set others free.

         There is much the Lord Jesus wants to do and can do, but many think He has blown them off or won’t answer their prayers. In reality, Strongholds are present in places where we have grown comfortable and must be destroyed in order to first eliminate the deception regarding the Lord’s intentions (or perceived non-intentions), and secondly, eliminate the actual hindrance that keeps the Lord from working.

         Once a particular Stronghold is identified, we can do battle against it, but it’s difficult to fight against an unseen enemy or one we do not even know exists.

         In others words, if we want the miracles we seek, we’ll have to take the Lord by the hand, let Him lead us out of Bethsaida (in our blind condition), and go with Him to a spiritual location where He has full authority…


STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!) Part 1

STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!) Part 2

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!) Part 2

        The fortifications of hell include the fortresses of false mindsets and lies that keep people in prison. Many are deceived by false ideas that become strongholds. These strongholds must be marched on, attacked, overwhelmed in battle, and destroyed to set people free. This can only be accomplished through spiritual means. The apostle Paul continued his narrative to the Corinthians as follows:

         We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. [2 Corinthians 10:5-6]

         We can plainly see that Paul is speaking of false ideas that make up a false mindset or even a false religion, and that such things must be destroyed. Speculations (“Imaginations” in the KJV) comes from the Greek word logismos. It means, “a reckoning or reasoning” actually hostile to faith in the Lord Jesus, as with the self-explanatory lofty thing. Part of the apostle’s mission is taking every thought captive, to imprison every false idea, to destroy every false argument, and to punish all disobedience.

         The point is to subject all thinking to Messiah. The mind of Christ is pure and correct. The minds of His disciples must be as well. His code is perfect. His teachings are complete and pure. However, because false ideas and lies masquerade as truth and people are brought under their power through deception, a war scenario fits perfectly. The Lord, for example, destroyed the devil’s arguments during His temptation in the wilderness by effectively using the Word of God. The devil was using the Word as well, but had deceptively corrupted it. He had amended it to include lies and a false application. He built strongholds into it.

         This is what corrupt ministers do as well. They adulterate the pure Word of God. They do not teach or live out the pure Word as the Lord Jesus and the apostles did. We have a written record of the Lord’s teachings and actions, as well as those of the apostles and first-century Church. It is not that difficult to make comparisons between then and now. When the Lord spoke the Word, lies were exposed and strongholds came down. The real Word of God is completely pure and very, very powerful:

         For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. [Hebrews 4:12]

         The mature believer is able to minister the Word of God properly in the tearing down of strongholds. The Word can penetrate not only thought processes but also intentions. The apostle Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit, as were all the original early believers. It was not possible to spread the Gospel as far as they did and as fast as they did without the ability to war in the spirit in this way. By the power of God, and with the Lord working with them, everything within and among the enemy’s camp was revealed.

         It is obvious that many people refused to relinquish their revealed falsehoods, however. Instead, being incensed, they would turn the spiritual battle into a purely physical event and beat or even murder the believers. By doing this, they reinforced their false belief systems and actually strengthened their road to hell.

         Yet, those who subjected all their thoughts and ideas to God were made aware of their deception and strongholds. By an act of their will, they allowed the Light of God to shine upon and within them and it exposed their darkness. Their darkness was consequently chased away and they were cleansed. Without the Light of God, they were unaware of the false concepts and ideas implanted in their minds.

         However, they allowed the Word of God to be spoken. They listened, they heard, they believed, and they embraced truth, confessing their salvation. This process can be summed up in the following verse:

         So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. [Romans 10:17]

         People who have not subjected themselves fully to the authority of the Lord Jesus have residing within themselves impure codes of living, false concepts, and lies masquerading as truth. These things are truly very strong fortresses. There are so many false belief systems in the world it is a wonder the planet is not even darker.

         The devil has formulated lies and darkness into what appears to the deceived as truth.

         It is only the Word of God that is able to cut to the heart of such false ideas. As warriors attacking a strong military fortress, real believers must continue to fight against all untruths, giving no quarter, and checking every section until all is secure. The deceived will be set free in no other way, and that, of course, includes all of us.

         “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” [John 8:36] [1]  

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

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


STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!) Part 1

        Truth can be very offensive. People formulate their perception of the world by the choices they make or those made for them.

         The New Testament talks about the concept of strongholds, and this concept is seldom more applicable than when it involves a person’s understanding of truth. Everyone has a code to live by, but of course, not every code is good. Of codes that do appear to be good, most are not pure. If an individual lives according to an impure code, the flaws within the code will eventually appear as flaws within his life.

         Unreal Christianity is loaded with such flaws. To quote from my book:


         Much church teaching is about things other than the pure Word of God. It involves specialized doctrine which is often in opposition to that of other churches and even Holy Writ, and is designed for gaining control and unity within a congregation. Such schooling will never result in the necessary graduation rates of spiritually mature believers required to fulfill our commission.

         The task of the New Testament teacher is to impart that which the written Word of God contains. He does not pick and choose. He shows no partiality toward certain scriptures. The Lord did not place him in the body to express denominational slants or biased doctrinal positions based on improper understandings or traditional outlooks. Since it is obvious that Christianity is still filled to the gills with doctrinal error and silly statutes, it is evident that real teachers are not wanted at the party. Anytime God sends a person to divide truth from error, he or she usually gets run off or becomes an MIA. Truth becomes the victim and error is protected, just as it happened with the Lord and Barabbas. [1]

         Some flaws are obvious. Most flaws are not. Anyone can be deceived or can deceive himself into living according to a flawed code, and thus not be aware of the inherent impurity. Yet, even if one becomes aware of a flaw within his personal or Christian code, it is often discounted or dismissed.

         This could be due to cultural influence or familial allegiance. It could even be due to personal stubbornness, since many people will hold fast to false concepts or wrongheaded ideas after such things are pointed out, usually because such a thing is perceived as an attack on their character or intelligence.

         Sometimes people might think or even know something within their code is wrong, but have no respect for the person or belief system that reveals it. Whatever the case might be, a mental or spiritual stronghold within an individual that is in opposition to truth is a detriment to said individual by limiting his freedom and clouding his understanding.

         What follows is the one New Testament passage that reveals this truth. Since so many believers have been taught from the King James Version or derivatives, and since it is from the KJV that the word stronghold was initially derived, I will list it first, followed by the same passage from the NASV, and from which all other passages in this article are taken:

         For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)…           [2 Corinthians 10:3-4 KJV]

         For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.     [2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NASV]

         In modern English, the words strong holds become fortresses. These are from the Greek word ochuroma, which appears only once in the NT and derives from a root that means, “To fortify, through the idea of holding safely.” It is defined in the physical as a castle, a stronghold, or a fortress—hence, a strong military fortification.

         However, in the sense that Paul uses, it is (1) anything on which one relies (1a) of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavors to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent.[2] In the Scriptural passage written by Paul, the teaching apostle uses the illustration of a powerful military fortification in referring to a false concept, idea, or false argument.

         The Lord Jesus used a similar method when He stated,

         “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” [Matthew 16:18] [3]

         Here we have, again, the illustration of gates, or bars, or a strong prison. It is the rock of revelation that the Lord Jesus is indeed the Messiah, and it is upon this rock that the Lord will build his community. In addition, the gates of Hades will not prevail against or overpower the Church. Death will not hold the Lord. He will die but will not stay dead and will break out of death, and subsequently lead all of those who recognize Him as Messiah out of death as well.

         In this case, hell, or actually Hades, is a real place. It is the place of the dead, apparently in the very heart of this planet. However, Hades is also among us in the here and now, in that spiritual death among living human beings is rampant.

         It is the community of the Lord Jesus, filled with and empowered by His very Spirit that moves against all strongholds and destroys them, especially the stronghold of death when an individual comes to salvation and freedom in the Lord.

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 2]  

[1] Page 118 Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[2] UBS Greek Dictionary; Louw-Nida Lexicon

[3] 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 devil has formulated lies and darkness into what appears to the deceived as truth. It is only the pure Word of God that is able to cut to the heart of such false ideas. [Excerpt from Part 2]