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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.”

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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.

Door of Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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