Prior to and during the American Revolution, there were three separate and distinct types of American Colonists. Each one comprised about one-third of the population.
UNITED WE STAND?
America has never been the united country portrayed in standard narratives. It has always been a place of great division. Even in the very early days of the 1600s when American colonists were predominantly if not exclusively composed of the Anglo-Saxon British citizens of the same general culture of their compatriots back home, there remained political and religious differences, some quite diverse.
Remember, though false narratives still abound in America regarding our founding, including within the realm of early colonial history, and that such false narratives have exploded in content as of late, the original colonial settlers perfectly reflected the sharp divisions in England of that time. Nowhere were these divisions more profound than within religious belief and expression.
One can see this division by merely looking at the first two colonies established in America—the first in Virginia in 1607 and the second in Plymouth in 1620. The Virginia colony was founded by Anglicans, those who fully supported the English state church, an entity freshly created in the prior century. It was a mercantile colony. Plymouth, in what later became part of the Massachusetts colony, was founded by their direct opposite, English Separatists, who were fully opposed to the Anglicans and had gone through many years of persecution by government and ecclesiastical overlords. Plymouth Colony was founded principally for the cause of freedom and religious freedom in particular. In these two original colonies we can hear the echo of the Lord’s statement:
“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.” [Luke 16:13]
THE GREAT DIVIDE
At the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, one of the greatest and most necessary events in world history, the English monarchy also made a dramatic change by fully separating from the Roman Catholic Church. The level of gross corruption and arrogant authoritarianism within Catholicism had reached a point in which even European monarchies, no slouches when it came to tyranny, had gagged at the bit.
This always happens when tyrants push too far, as the Catholic religious tyrants of that time had done. It had obviously been building over a thousand years since the beginning of the Constantinian Church in the early 300s AD. This Roman emperor, Constantine I, his national traditional realm having lost to real Christianity, knew the only choice he had left was to make a bold move toward co-opting Christianity by creating his own empire-wide hybrid religious body. He knew he could never get rid of the Christians dispersed throughout the Roman Empire or ever force them to oppose the New Covenant and support Roman pagan beliefs which included emperor worship. Many emperors had certainly tried.
The latest and last gasp of bloody persecution directed against Christians was orchestrated by Diocletian and his gang of four in the early fourth century (303-313). Christians were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered here and there throughout the Empire. Afterwards, having failed miserably to make an impact in furtherance of their tyrannical cause, those in power knew the gig was up. They discovered what previous Christian enemies had learned, that persecution not only didn’t work, it strengthened Christian character and unity and made them even more fruitful than before. Persecution also created a level of sympathy among some in the general population. Hence, Christians had essentially taken root. They were everywhere, spread all over the empire, and to wipe them out would be wiping out the Empire itself. These people proved by their great witness that they were dedicated to the Lord Jesus first and always and would never conform to anti-Christian governmental and cultural norms.
In fact, Christians had actually preserved the Roman Empire as it increasing grew more disgustingly corrupt and morally bankrupt. If not for the great numbers of loving Spirit-filled Christians obeying and putting into practice the bountiful and beneficial teachings of their Savior and the vast successful evangelistic efforts made for almost three centuries in blessing millions with the Light of the Gospel, the Roman Empire would have ceased to exist long before it actually did. These people were truly salt and light. However, rather than recognize the wrongheadedness and governmental futility involved in a corrupt military dictatorship and instead attempting to institute a government composed of principles of freedom in which people may live according to their conscience without being forced into various forms of slavery, including religious slavery, those in control refused to stand down and continued beating a dead horse as it were. It was all about control and insuring that those in power maintained it and kept the wealth flowing in their direction.
In this political maelstrom Constantine saw a golden opportunity to create a government model which appeared new but was actually only a hybridized form of the same former tyranny. Again, knowing he could not defeat Christianity, he decided to co-opt it. He would create a new “Church” and then make it the only legal church. He would make all other “churches” and Christian expressions illegal or “illicit.” And of course, he would rule as a religious dictator. It was indeed a brilliant move though diabolical to the core. He was likely never a real Christian and never cared for the actual application of the Lord’s full teachings. In fact, he wanted a low common denominator Christianity in order to bring all Christians on board and congeal them into a forced controlled mass union.
In essence, as King Henry VIII had done after his nation’s divorce from Catholicism so he could gain a personal divorce and become the Six Wives Legend and create a new state English Church (the Anglican Church), Constantine also created a state Church. He would require all citizens of the Empire to join it whether against their will or not. Thus, the new Constantinian Church would force conversion to his new hybrid miscreation. All citizens of the Empire were forced to become “Christians.” They would be forced to engage and participate in the new “Christian” mandatory practices and dogma designed to create a common governmental and religious belief system which had the implausible goal of creating national Roman unity. Rather than a military dictatorship to force compliance in which emperors must be worshipped as gods, Constantine would rule by force from the top of a religious ziggurat, as the ancient Sumerians, and maintain the thinly disguised emperor worship aspect thereof invoking new gods characterized after Roman deities and a central triad. He would rule through his chosen religious prelates which comprised the first “Christian” hierarchy. These surrogate ecclesiastics and policy dictators in the guise of Christian leaders were basically channeling the old Jewish Pharisees of the first century.
Consequently, official religious freedom in the Roman Empire was essentially dead. No one was allowed to practice their religion legally according to conscience. This was especially true of real Christians. And just as any number of pagan religions would eventually be outlawed, including those which were held in high esteem by the Romans such as Mithraism, real Christianity would also be outlawed. This was the devil’s masterstroke. By creating a replacement Christian religion and forcing everyone by government decree under penalty of law to join it and practice it, he knew the real Christians would never submit. In this way, the enemy could then single them out and direct the greatest persecution effort against them with the full weight of the Roman Empire to back him. In time, the “new” Christians, the backstabbing traditores, would cold shoulder the dissenting real Christians. In a massive turn of events showcasing the devil’s dirty tricks and methods, the “new” Christians, those who fully sold out and conformed to Constantine’s “Church,” would become the chief persecutors of the Lord’s people just as the unbelieving Israelites were the chief persecutors of the believing Israelites in the first century AD.
ORIGINS OF ROMAN TYRANNY
Almost four centuries before this time, in 44BC, it was a big gamble that a government faction of Senators et al murdered Julius Caesar in cold blood in the Senate chamber for fear that his power had grown too great. The perpetrators wanted to make a statement, doing the dirty deed in the light of day in an open forum. That they did. The Roman Republic had formerly granted Julius Caesar his excessive power and he was not necessarily taking advantage of it but merely ruling from the platform he was allowed. Some were fearful he had gone too far or would. Their fears were not disingenuous. The actions of the assassins, however, were a corrective that need not have been made if the government had not previously made Julius Caesar possible. Perhaps the tyrant faction that supported him was answered by a faux freedom faction opposing him, the reported gang of sixty that assassinated him. Perhaps the greatness of the existing Roman Republic and freedom thereof was seen as ending too soon for the comfort of some who saw the writing on the wall sooner than others. Ironically, of course, the death of Julius Caesar had the opposite effect intended by his killers, in that rather than greater freedom it precipitated the end of the Republic and the beginning of a tornadic period of civil war that would later result in the Roman Empire ruled by dictatorial emperors with much greater power than Julius ever had.
And so it was with Constantine centuries later. Seeing the inevitable crumbling of empire soon coming, even after great reforms had recently been made to shore it up (knowing these would not last) and the inability of Roman emperors to effectively rule as before and contain the freedom brought about by the Lord’s Kingdom, he moved on replacing the Lord’s Kingdom with his own kingdom. He created an earthbound religious empire. And sadly, he also moved on replacing the Lord Jesus, making himself the effective first Vicar of Christ (substitute).
What is much sadder, tragic actually, is that so many Christians of one kind or another, evoking Judas, supported his illicit endeavor and disguised tyranny. They were obviously overcome by fear as were all dwellers in the Empire suddenly saddled with compulsory conversion. These low or no oil Christians accepted the unprecedented overarching government mandate without a fight, never questioning the process. Rather than stand up against an otherwise obvious power play by the new potentate and his hierarchical henchmen, they weakly surrendered to a new king, a dictatorial government tyrant, a faux King Saul who quickly morphed into an apostate Solomon.
They betrayed their Savior.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
I’m reading a book about a Christian minister in the early to mid-20th century conducting evangelistic meetings and starting churches. In tents.
ATTENTION TO TENT MINISTRY INTENTIONS
This is nothing profound or out of the ordinary, of course, since big canvas tents had become the norm of sorts for large evangelistic meetings by mid-century. They were also used by those sent to start new ministry works in various small towns and locations throughout the country. If one had a tent he could carry it around on a trailer with the other stuff necessary for holding services. Once the minister secured a location on which to set up the tent it didn’t take long to begin holding services. The tent itself would often act as free advertising. When the people of the town saw the new curiosity, like a traveling road show or entertainment spectacle, they were often drawn to it since the interloping tent attraction added a new level of excitement in a hum drum existence. The minister to which I am referring did much of his early work in the late 1920s and into 1930s during the Great Depression. He was not only offering the Gospel of salvation to the locals but also giving them hope and inspiration.
He later revealed his method for starting new churches. He would visit a new town, usually of the smaller variety and sometimes in out of the way places. He would set up his tent, which often included a platform to preach from, maybe do a little additional advertising around town, and then commence with holding services. After a few months of steady work holding consistent meetings and growing a regular congregation he would set up a pastor to take care of the folks while the folks compensated the new pastor with a living. Then he would move on. It would take a certain quantity of people giving a necessary amount of money to support the pastor depending on the situation and his needs. To replace the tent, a local building would be appropriated for either rent or purchase depending on the circumstances. If all continued to go well regarding growth and expansion the new church start would be able to eventually build a new church building to call their own.
This was a difficult effort overall if the church start minister was not connected to an established deep pockets denomination from which to draw support and financing. Anything the Lord created through him must have been greatly satisfying, since he was starting from scratch, especially since his preaching method, doctrine, and ministry emphasis was on the salvation of souls, which was usually not the emphasis of the mainline churches. Such tent ministry methods were sometimes or frequently seen as deviating from the Christian norm and were somewhat disdained by both local anti-Christian forces who often got stirred up and provoked rather easily, as well as by the local denominational church pastors who may have seen such efforts personally intimidating, a threat to their authority, and an invasion of their turf.
It is why this particular minister and those like him saw Christian ministry not as business as usual but one much more in line with the New Covenant practices of the Lord Jesus. They got their ideas from the New Testament. Thus, they saw themselves as certainly different from the norm but were not so untraditional that they would not later adopt the same formats of those churchmen and traditional Christians opposing their early efforts.
BEHOLD, I WILL DO A NEW THING
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]
These new ministers of the Gospel were part of a new wave breaking upon America as part of a Great Awakening movement that had its roots primarily in the 1906 Los Angeles Azusa Street Revival. The people of that time associated with the movement were more than willing to step from traditional methods and go out on large limbs of pure faith to honor the Lord. And He blessed them for it.
The majority of Christians today cannot identify with that movement or what those people went through to assist the Lord in bringing forth new Light. Their emphasis on Pentecost and Book of Acts happenings took a tremendous amount of courage and demanded a willingness to have one’s Christian reputation destroyed. As John the Baptist facing off against the Pharisees, they had to put up with unending attacks not necessarily from local yokels in general, though that was surely the case, but primarily from status quo Christians in high places and their unthinking drone army of pew-worn sycophantic lemmings. Whatever Christian norm had been established at that time by the current generation was seen as the norm from which no one should deviate. Of course, necessary deviations from such established traditional sleepy time norms must happen anyway if the real Gospel is to be preached, otherwise there would never be the proper spiritual corrections and ongoing restoration toward the pure New Testament prototype.
DID THE APOSTLES USE TENTS?
And this is where it gets interesting. The minister tent user of which I speak and whose book I’m reading who held a great many tent crusades et al in his time over several years was not actually engaging in a pure New Testament effort after all because the big top model was relatively recent. I’m not sure what minister first used a tent for ministry purposes and I don’t feel like doing the research but one wonders if the idea came from the ever present traveling circuses of bygone years. I’m sure big canvas tents were used for more than just circuses but I think said circuses indeed captured the market on the imagination since pretty much everybody back in the day associated circuses with giant tents filled with lions and tigers and bears and acrobats coming to town. It was only a hop and a skip sans the jump to put the proverbial two and two together and manifest a flashing yellow light bulb over one’s head toward the big ministry-minded voilà: We can use tents in ministry!
It was certainly a good idea and maybe a great one. Except for one little problem. It was at heart a mere variation on the standard model of the local church building. As I said, if the tent ministers/ministries were successful, the people they gathered would eventually be housed in something more permanent than the transitory tent which makes the tent a kind of halfway house toward the standard church house. So the question regarding the Early Church and its non-use of permanent meeting buildings would also apply to the big tents of past crusade fame. You see, not only did the early believers never have any permanent church buildings as we know the term, they would also not use big tents if indeed big tents were available. Now, stay with me here because there is a point to this, hard to figure though it may first appear.
HOUSE TO HOUSE
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart… [Acts 2:46]
The private home was their preferred meeting place. It was essentially their only allowable meeting place. The New Covenant Scriptures are filled with references to houses being utilized for meeting places. The apostle Paul mentions them often and that he taught “from house to house” (Acts 20:20). This means the term “church house” has an entirely different connotation from their perspective. Rather than it being a public Christian meeting house which Christians attend from without as it has been throughout much of western history, the original church houses were actual church houses—they were private houses that Christians lived in that Christians also used for ministry meetings. This was the case in the very beginning in Jerusalem and it remained the case for roughly three centuries. The exact model was used throughout the Gentile world within the Roman Empire.
Regarding overt persecution from the state, in the early going until the emperor Claudius was ousted in 54AD and Nero came to power, the Gentile Christians got a pass because the Romans considered them a Jewish sect and the Jews had already been granted an exclusion of sorts from practicing the Roman religion and participating in the emperor cult. One reason for this was their many centuries-old religious practice that far predated Roman times which gave them an effective grandfather clause. That and the fact that Jews made big gigantic huge earth-shattering trouble at any appearance of attack against their religion or when obedience to Roman religion was put forth or even suggested.
The time came however, when the Gentile Christians could no longer fly under the radar though they sincerely attempted to always “follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:4). Part of the reason for that was those same unbelieving Jews who professed holy hell when their religion was slighted had no problem doing the slighting themselves against followers of the Lord Jesus, most especially if they were fellow Israelites. It was also quite problematic that the more vocal and hard core branch didn’t stop at mere slights but proceeded to destruction and murder. In other words, the unbelieving Jews were blessed with effective freedom of religion and respect by a Roman government which could otherwise be quite brutal but they refused such freedom of religion to their brothers following the Lord Jesus and the many Gentiles following Him as well.
Thus the Romans were not the persecutors in the beginning. They were sometimes influenced by unbelieving Jews undercover to go after Christians as was the case recorded in Acts Chapter 12 when Herod Agrippa had the apostle James unlawfully executed, and “when he saw that it pleased the Jews,” he planned on murdering Peter also. Both of these men were obviously solid Israelites but no matter.
It was nutbag Nero who later jettisoned the peaceful policy of Claudius (41-54AD) toward the Christians, a period when real Christianity had flourished in the empire. It was on Nero’s sordid watch that the first major Roman state persecution broke out against Christian believers. At that point the home fellowships in Rome and other areas had to take extra precautions not only because of Nero’s madness and the antichrist influence upon him but also because Christianity was now seen as something entirely different from first century Judaism. Its growing numbers and influence appeared threatening. Christians soon became Roman public enemy number one and convenient scapegoats.
Therefore, even though real Christianity had gained great early success and had much freedom to meet relatively unmolested in their homes over a wide stretch of territory throughout the Roman Empire, there had certainly been insufficient wherewithal to create actual Christian meeting houses (though they saw no need for such and even likely perceived what we termed church buildings as counterproductive), such buildings became impossible after the start of Nero’s persecution.
Yet, as it was, after the early glory days in the 30s AD when persecution and famine broke out in Jerusalem scattering the seed of the Gospel to the four corners, the same in essence had happened in Nero’s time (54-68AD), as Christians were forced to grow ever more vigilant, spiritually strong, and able to travel. And they had to travel light. This still required meeting in small groups in homes as the best way to stay undetected in part and be seen as peaceable law abiding citizens of no threat to the state or their neighbors. To construct an overt large building to meet in would be seen as an affront and would be out of character anyway. The plan they were taught by the Lord had always worked very well as it had for Him. Remember, though the Lord sometimes ministered in synagogues there came a time when He was no longer welcome. The same thing happened to the apostle Paul in his early ministry who often started in the local synagogues teaching the Good News to his brothers. He was often warmly accepted early on and gained converts but eventually the unbelievers there created such a terror he had to move on.
For the early believers, ministry was not bound by convention but simply a matter of shining their light, witnessing, assisting the Lord in saving souls, helping and loving others, teaching the Gospel when open doors and hungry hearts presented themselves, keeping a relatively low profile when necessary, and most importantly, being vessels filled with the Spirit of God and praying others through to the same experience.
THE REAL TENTS
For the Early Church, Pentecost was essentially an everyday affair. Real Christianity started in a private home in Jerusalem in an appropriately named Upper Room and continued with that format everywhere it traveled. The first many generations of Christian believers had no church buildings or large canvas tents. They had next to nothing of what later Christians, including today’s, deemed indispensable. What they had, however, worked wonders. It did so because their ministry model was organic and close to the people.
The closer we get to their model at present, the more we will be like them and the more spiritual success we will have. Rather than insisting on traditional largely non-productive, unworkable, unbiblical ministry models and watching the culture and country fall down all around us as a result, not to mention millions of souls being lost due to such models never caring to reach them, it is high time we get this right and do things the Lord’s way. Humble servitude always works. People need the Lord.
“Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8b]
At the end of the day, the only real church buildings, the only real tents, are our own bodies—spiritual temples—each of which should be dedicated to the Lord Jesus as a welcome home for His Holy Spirit. This is the actual New Covenant model—individual spiritual temples built up into one large spiritual temple composed of all real Christians, exactly as our spiritual forebears believed, taught, and practiced. They placed a very high priority on believers being filled with the Holy Spirit of the Lord. We see this referenced repeatedly in the early history of Christianity at Pentecost, immediately after Pentecost, and throughout the Book of Acts record over the next forty years. Receiving the Spirit of God was AN EVENT. It never happened by osmosis and never happened “by faith” without powerful empirical evidence witnessed by others.
The one common denominator evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, through the process toward total submission, was the surrender of the last rebellious holdout of the human body—the tongue.
Thus, the early Community of the Lord Jesus was composed of brand new, spiritually clean, holy, set apart for service, mobile temples filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord alluded to this future standard repeatedly during His ministry in the gospels. The New Covenant epistles, especially those of Paul, also mention this truth. He taught on it. He refers to believers who have experienced it. In the middle of these two we have the Book of Acts which illustrates the experience in real time. The major problem with much of Christianity is that it skips over Acts and goes straight from the gospels to the epistles. This causes non-Spirit-filled Christians to identify with the content of Paul’s letters as though it applied to them and causes them to think they are Spirit-filled when they are not.
In the following passage, the apostle Paul identified the real Christians of his time not according to Christian religious tradition, but according to OT Scripture and as those who had fully experienced Pentecost. A separation and dedication was called for then as it must be now:
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. [2Corinthins 6:14-18]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
I wrote my first book, Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church, in the 1990s in part to show the clear distinction between real and unreal Christianity. It released a sword of separation.
All Christians must understand that the New Covenant writings contain contrastive material. The Word of God is designed to draw clear distinctions, cause sharp divisions, and assist one in making positive decisions. It presents Light and darkness, good and evil, sheep and goats, wheat and tares, and righteousness and sin. Real repentance is challenging (understatement alert). Personal sin, false beliefs, contrary attitudes, and uncircumcised hearts all must be addressed. It is not an easy process nor should it be. The Light shines on the darkness and everything hidden in the darkness gets exposed. Whenever one comes to the Lord he or she is exiting darkness and entering Light.
THE SWORD OF SEPARATION
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” [Matthew 10:34-36]
Over the last quarter century, the spiritual climate in organized American Christianity has radically changed. Previous errors have been compounded. It is apparent that American Christians in general have consistently rejected the fullness of the Gospel. Most have certainly rejected the Book of Acts. The instructions and warnings of my book went unheeded. One might recall that the 1990s were considered the good times. Does not the Lord always warn during the good times that bad times are soon coming if one does not stay right with Him?
Real Christianity is based firmly on the full teachings of the Lord Jesus and the New Covenant writings. Our Lord is the Master. What He says goes. He instructs us to build our entire lives upon His foundation. Most of what we term “Christianity” has never done this. This means most “Christians” are actually not on the Lord’s side at all. Maybe most are deceived. It is more likely most simply refuse to follow the Lord as He said we must.
A Christian’s bullheaded balking at the Lord’s direction becomes evident, as kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14), when he or she reaches a point of refusal to go any further or in the right direction, though the Lord gently applies pressure to do so, and he or she insists on staying put wherever personally anchored or wander off wildly on a course of his own choosing. From the Lord’s perspective, those who have pledged their lives to Him have no call to refuse Him. But not only does an apparent majority of Christians refuse Him and decide on their own how far their discipleship will go, some are also guilty of persecuting the Lord (Acts 26:15). This is not something to have on one’s Christian résumé.
The Lord has never needed large numbers of followers to have a great impact in the world. I have consistently reiterated this point in all my writings going back decades. What He actually needs are fully obedient followers who trust Him fully and make a stand as He did. It is easy to discern a Christian who is not standing properly with the Lord because they do not put His teachings first. Instead, they will appeal to church leaders or teachers or writers or speakers or whoever else that has an alternative perspective and agenda which most often includes false and opposing denominational doctrines. They cannot understand that they have been compromised. Rather than put their trust in the Lord Jesus they put it in others and in themselves though outwardly insisting otherwise. This likely explains the great amount of Cognitive Dissonance among Christians.
The best way to break free from any accepted “Christian” belief that is contrary to the Lord’s teachings is to simply pray for direction and then dive in to His teachings. Don’t pick and choose. Have no agendas other than learning His full curriculum. Read the gospels focusing on all of His statements. Get familiar with everything He taught. Do your best to apply it. We are all a work in progress in this area in one sense. In another, however, we must understand that the early members of His initial Community immediately hit the ground running from the very start. They didn’t know everything as individuals but were always open to instruction; they acted on what they knew and continued. Also, the Community as a whole did know pretty much everything and it is why every voice mattered. They believed and practiced the adage, “Nobody is as smart as all of us.” What one didn’t know another did. When one was not operating correctly or speaking fullness of truth another lovingly corrected him. Fellow believers were never censored. It was an organic fellowship of the Spirit. They never waited to become “perfect” disciples in knowing and applying everything the Lord said before doing their Christian duty, though they certainly believed in everything the Lord said. They preached and taught the most foundational and important teachings first and went from there. They put first things first.
The first thing is salvation from sin and establishing trust and faith in the Lord Jesus. This requires a complete change and transformation of one’s life, initially through repentance of sin and walking away from all sinful practices. Ongoing obedience must follow. And because the Lord would never leave us powerless or defenseless against powerful spiritual enemies He commanded we be filled with His Holy Spirit. Those filled with His Spirit in the first century turned the world upside down. Every real Christian has the same influential impact.
Most Christians, however, are not filled with His Holy Spirit as the originals were and are thus not much of a threat to the enemy. This is largely why the enemy has come into America like the proverbial flood. It is why the enemy now controls pretty much everything.
The majority of American Christians insisted on being spiritual wimps, biblically illiterate, and embarrassed by the Lord Jesus.
The enemy has taken full advantage and likely couldn’t believe it would be so easy. And now, after a quarter century, much of American Christianity, compromised by sin and enslaved to mammon, has gone over to the enemy.
THE SPIRIT OF JUDAS
The problem arises from a consistent refusal to do what the originals did and instead substitute their own various forms of “Christianity” which look nothing like the original. The most reprehensible consequence of all the false gospels and False Teachers is their rejection of the Lord Jesus and His teachings and those who truly follow Him. Therefore, long before such disruptive times as these when so much hate and division is being openly presented, real Christians in America have had to deal with such throughout their entire walk. They are used to it. They are quite familiar with betrayal. Such negativity is not necessarily coming from non-Christian Americans, however, most of whom really don’t care all that much what real Christians believe, or even from secular authority which has most often been neutral and even supportive of religious freedom. No, the worst battle has always been with the various forms of what I term “Unreal Christianity.” This is where most of the hate and rejection has consistently come from. This can only mean the devil has an established presence there.
It was no different in the first century. The very worst and most extreme persecution of the Lord’s followers came from among their own. It came from religious leaders and family members. It was brother against brother. Even the Lord’s own family were against Him for a time. Some within the nation saw the Light and received the Lord as the long hoped for Messiah. Others hatefully rejected Him. This dynamic remains in place. Some Jewish people, a relative few, the Messianic Jews, have embraced the Lord Jesus. The rest reject Him, hate Him, and mock Him. It was the relatively small group of unbelieving Messiah-rejecting Israelite/Judean religious and political leaders and those indoctrinated by them that led the effort in murdering the Sacrifice Lamb. They turned against their own blood, against vast numbers of their own nation. Remember, as I have always pointed out, the entire original Community of the Lord Jesus, every single one of the 120 in the Upper Room, and all twelve apostles were also composed only of Israelites/Judeans, including the Apostle Paul. For some of you, such a betrayal might be familiar.
The movement started by the Lord Jesus which later became termed “Christianity” was originally an entirely Israelite/Judean movement for roughly nine years. There were no Gentiles until the time the apostle Peter was sent by the Lord to preach to and preside over the salvation of the Gentile Cornelius and his family/associates (See Acts Chapter 10). Those people all received the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the exact manner of those on the Day of Pentecost. Peter was initially shocked by this. In time, Gentile believers far outnumbered Israelite/Judean believers. Regardless of nationality, the Lord Jesus always consistently did the exact thing on every occasion of a new spiritual outpouring and it is all recorded in the Scriptural history book of the Early Church. Each occasion was an exact repeat of Pentecost.
However, from that time to the present, scads of false or incomplete gospels have been presented and the majority of “Christians” have believed and accepted something very different or incomplete compared to that of the originals. Those Christians who are participating and having a positive effect in the current Great Awakening have one primary thing in common: They are fully dedicated to the Lord Jesus. They have pledged to do His will. They do their best to know and obey His teachings. They identify with the Early Church of the first century. They will not stay in a place where He is not fully supported. They want the full curriculum of the Lord. They want to excel. They have become aware of the difference between the real and unreal. If the Lord directs them to, they will walk away from the faux bros.
COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM
It is why so many have walked away. They are tired of sleepy time Christianity and less than the best Churchianity. They are tired of hanging around the willing sleepers and pew droolers. They want the whole catalogue. They want to be exactly like the originals. THEY WANT EVERYBODY TO WAKE UP. They are tired of all their spiritual efforts pretty much going nowhere because only watered-down common denominator stuff is accepted so the stragglers won’t be offended. (We must never offend; it keeps the money from rolling in.) Things keep getting worse, the people in charge still refuse to change and get right with God, and those who see know the Titanic has struck an iceberg and is going down.
The great Ark of the Lord, however, sails on unimpeded. It’s got this cool Upper Room that keeps going 24 hours a day. There is much joy! The Lord guides His ship expertly and anyone and everyone is welcome aboard, though a few New Covenant papers will have to be signed.
Remember, according to the Gideon Paradigm and the Upper Room 120, all it takes is a comparative few to have great success and rout the enemy. It is not necessarily the big crowds that make the difference but the obedient few separated from the rest and united in heart and Spirit. The Lord proved this with Gideon’s 300. He proved it with the 120.
And He proves it every day when as few as two or three are gathered together in His Name.
Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. [Daniel 12:3] 
© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Sound familiar? Pentecost has passed with very little notice. At the exact moment last week when America should have been honoring the Lord Jesus and the Pentecost Miracle the entire country exploded.
If the devil is able to take this kind of control while sleepy Christians slouch back from a real walk with God, everyone should know where this is heading. Pentecost was paid lip service by the usual people in the same way as always yesterday. Some wanted to use the day to make a statement. Some are claiming that their rights were violated by the lockdown by being deemed non-essential a couple of months ago. But at that time many weakly complied and did exactly as told and continued doing exactly as told, which tells everyone who is actually in authority. These Christian leaders willing to shutter their churches cannot be compared in any way to the Early Church. Their congregants so willing to follow them must be seen as even less so. After all the damage was done, however, a few decided to “defy” the restrictions. Right.
There is talk of what the Founding Fathers would think of what has happened to a once great country. What about what the Founder of Christianity would think about so many clueless Christians? What about what the 120 on the original day of Pentecost? There were obviously a great many more followers of the Lord but most had chickened out and obeyed religious authority. The 120 risked everything at a time when all the religious mobsters were out to get them and stop the movement in its tracks. The 120 did exactly as the Lord said to do. They watched Him ascend into heaven. They went back to the Upper Room. They worshiped the Lord Jesus, prayed intently, fasted, maybe most for the duration, and prepared themselves spiritually. How many Christians in America did that over the weekend? How many have been doing that over the last two months? The last year? The last ten years?
Because the majority rejected their Messiah and Pentecost, and accepted corrupt religionists and the Zealot party, the corrupt religionists were unable to stop the Zealot party from eventually destroying the country. Real salvation came but they rejected Him. He had all the answers but they didn’t want Him. They chose Barabbas as a substitute. This “son of your fathers” was an undisciplined, murderous, robbing Zealot. He was the very seed of the Great Revolt which overpowered all restraints and led to total ruin. Because they rejected the real Temple, their own temple was burned to the ground with no stone left upon another. Jerusalem was not only destroyed but eventually sowed with salt.
There is always a direct correlation between that which happens in the three-dimensional world and that which happens in the spiritual world. If we can’t see by now that the devil is having a field day, doing so much of whatever he wants, with nothing stopping him, and that corrupt people in high places are doing exactly the same, and all their minions likewise, while most Christians continue in the same spiritually dead ways, what will it take?
Make no mistake, there IS a Great Awakening. But traditional Christianity is for the most part not part of it. If one can only strive to make proper comparisons one will see this. The Lord Jesus, though absolutely innocent, was rejected by the ruling establishment and the ruling religious establishment. And all the followers of the ruling religious establishment weakly succumbed and agreed. Many of these people were once His supporters but they all became Judases. In the face of this despicable onslaught it is a wonder the Lord was even able to gather a mere 120 and that Pentecost ever happened. The majority was wrong then and the majority is wrong now.
What happened at Pentecost is the answer. The infilling of the Spirit of God is a cure-all. The Lord obviously knew exactly what He was doing. But if Christians are conditioned to reject Pentecost in its full reality, they will eventually get the same thing that happened back then. One must understand that the time comes when the only course of saving yourself means giving yourself to the Lord 100%. There is no longer any more time. So many Christians in the past knew they had come to the end of the road in their lives and if they didn’t fully submit to the Lord they would lose their souls. They would end up in hell. They embraced Pentecost.
American Christians must also embrace Pentecost instead of continually rejecting it. The majority of dead Christians in all their dead churches have already proven they have no spiritual power whatsoever and are completely compromised and rendered spiritually ineffective. This always depends on where they place their trust. A Christian can either submit to the rightful authority of the Man who died to give them salvation, or they can submit to pretenders and shysters. Many of these people must not know how compromised and deceived they have become.
Back in March, how many churches defied the shutdown? How many Christians did their research to understand what was really going on? How many Christians rededicated their lives to God and began praying more, fasting more, seeking Him more, and trying their best not to become entangled in a false narrative? And how many decided to do all in their power to recreate Pentecost wherever they were?
Now, there were some great reports back in March when all this started. I wrote an article on March 22 that has become my most popular post during this time, and this is encouraging. I will put the link at the end. I suggest you check it out. That post revealed one extremely important and positive occurrence: Individual Christians understood how important they were as individuals and were determined to do anything they could to assist the Lord and one another. They suddenly realized they had no church. They lost many freedoms. They could not go here or there. But they still had the Lord Jesus. And this made all the difference. They wanted more and wanted to be more.
It is the Lord Jesus who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. He shares His Spirit with us. This is a powerful individual experience. It does not happen by osmosis or in a corner. It does not come easy. It will cost you. It’s supposed to cost you. It cost Him everything.
Such is the price for creating powerful disciples capable of changing the course of history.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The actual Day of Pentecost, according to celestial rendering, was yesterday May 29. This is a very important date in our current timeline and relates directly to the Great Awakening.
THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS
For those of you who have been following my site, a little news is in order. Due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to access the net for over three days early this week. My last article was posted a week ago Saturday. It was Lesson 22 from my latest series Early Church History 101.
My intention was to write two or three more Lessons to finish Acts Chapter 2 by this past Thursday and then post an article about the Pentecost anniversary yesterday. However, it may be a couple of weeks before I can get back to writing and posting the next Lesson. I ask for your patience and your prayers.
I want to thank those of you who are still following the series. I hope you are learning new facts from that time. It is imperative that Christians become much better informed about the Christian happenings of the first century in order to better prepare for what the Lord is doing and planning now. Official church policy in America has most often supported a complete rejection of the events of Pentecost and the actual truths of Acts for greatly watered-down renderings thereof. The main reason for this is that their substitutes can be authored and controlled by them.
Christians should know, however, that they cannot control God. They should not attempt to control God. What they should do is submit to God. I can guarantee you that if these people who comprise a majority would actually obey God, Pentecost would be breaking out everywhere. Churches all over the country would be transformed into Upper Rooms. But this is not happening. For the most part it never has. That’s because the Lord Jesus is not in control in these places. Those who are in control refuse His full authority. They don’t want Pentecost.
Nevertheless, something spiritually profound started yesterday. As I have said all along, there are two types of Christians in America at present: (1) Those who WANT the Great Awakening and will do anything within the will of God to do their part in bringing it forth, and (2) Those who insist on having the same old same old.
This is why there is Civil War in American Christianity and why it has been building to a crescendo. The Lord needed time to prepare His people for these times. The enemy is not only composed of non-believers who refuse to support the Lord and actively fight Him with their own agendas, but also Christians who do the same. Though many of these Christians are deceived and unaware, and thus just as quick to reject and denigrate the new move of God, many are being led by fake leaders who are not getting their marching orders from the Lord.
Real Christians know whatever they attempt for the Lord will be opposed. But it’s a sad thing when they are opposed by fellow believers. This must stop. Real believers know that whenever the Lord Jesus is given full authority, that is, when we fully submit to Him, obey Him, and invite His rule, Pentecost happens. Some of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about. You have been in the presence of God. You have had your initial Upper Room experience and many more since. For those of you who are yet to experience such and sincerely want to, it always begins with your personal prayer time.
Our current times have become flat out nuts. Incredibly weird things are happening. But also, truth is coming forth. Millions are becoming aware. A spiritual outpouring is in process and will not stop. The evil and strange things you have seen before you over the last several weeks are generally a reaction toward the new move of God and the various attempts to stop it. For those with eyes to see it is apparent that the perpetrators will stop at nothing.
But neither will the Lord.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.