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OUTING EVIL, RESISTING TEMPTATION, AND DODGING DESTRUCTION: A SPIRITUAL VICTORY PRIMER

 

Someone is causing a problem. But you don’t know who it is. At first, you actually don’t even know what it is.

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God created a perfect world. Much of His original Creation still exists to a great degree, continues uncorrupted, and remains extremely beneficial. One thinks of the great outdoors, fresh fields, an isolated seacoast, clean air, and soft breezes. In such places one is much closer to the heart of the Creator because there is so little interference. In such a setting, one can quickly be saturated with good—with natural and spiritual benefits effectively raining down upon one’s presence—with no personal effort whatsoever.

Someone once said the best things in life are free. While this is a seemingly noble sentiment, though not actually true, the point is that much of what we require for good health in every respect truly is free, such as our aforementioned pure natural settings and the natural gifts thereof God has bestowed.

AND THEN CAME EVIL

Evil arises in many forms from apparently unknown invisible origins. It has a decided presence on the planet. It reaches out from a ubiquitous unperceived darkness not so far away from each of us. Some locales are darker than others. Its desire is to corrupt, infect, and distort. It hates purity and innocence.

Where does it come from? Rather than get into a far-flung exegesis, relegating the subject to the unexplainable, or addressing the philosophical problem of evil as it were, God goes right to the heart of the matter and makes it all very simple. He clearly identifies evil. He reveals its exact starting point. He shows us how it operates. He identifies a single source.

This source is extremely beguiling. It has its best results by operating through humanity. God tells us how this first occurred. It has been occurring that way ever since.

But how so? How does the source of evil cause people to listen to it and then convince people to obey it? Again, God makes it very simple for us by revealing the only three avenues the source of evil uses to tempt people to do its bidding. These three methods of temptation were revealed in the very beginning when the source of evil convinced the very first person in history to go over to the dark side. Before then humanity was absolutely good and pure. Afterwards every human being became familiar with evil and subject to the dark side. An iniquitous force had entered into the realm of humanity that it could not throw off. It could not purge itself of this evil. No matter what humanity attempted to do in ridding itself of immoral inclinations toward shameful behavior and undesired aftereffects that many members wanted no part of, it could not find a cure.

THE THREE TEMPTATIONS

Though it may appear that evil uses a wide array of schemes and procedures, and though this is true on an elementary level in which one is initially unaware of evil’s presence, objectives, and essential means of operation, its technique actually breaks down to only three principle methods. There is Door #1, Door #2, and Door #3. Sound familiar? All sin originates from behind these three doors. These are the three connecting points the source of evil uses to corrupt humanity. Each is one of the only three foundational means of temptation. These doors are presented as ways for evil to enter into a person.

Of course, an otherwise innocent naïve person does not comprehend that the entity attempting to cause one to enter such doors is the source of all evil, is pure evil, desires to spread its evil, and make yet another disciple of evil. Nevertheless, the person being tempted has a predisposed inherent interest in answering said door due to long held resident tendencies passed on by hundreds of generations in part because he or she never fully understands how malevolent, malicious, and wicked evil actually is or what will become of him or her as evil takes effect.

This makes one essentially defenseless. For the most part, a human being is no match for the great deceptive powers of the source of all evil. The devil is a superior actor. He pretends to be the opposite of what he is. This is how he takes advantage of simple-minded humans. He presents himself as innocent and good, a being no one should fear:

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. [2Corinthians 11:14]

Therefore, one must first be aware of fakes. Almost everyone knows to fear obvious evil, but many do not protect themselves against those who merely pretend to be good, who wrap themselves in faux innocence, who adorn themselves with fake righteousness, who know how to put forth fake smiles, fake attitudes, and fake presentations. This is the devil’s game. It is the devil at his best. And since this is the ultimate manner of disguising himself in order to fool even the best and brightest among us, one should pay much more attention to getting up to speed in this area. One should study hard to gain the proper education in differentiating between the real and the fake so as not to be overcome by smiling shysters and glowing fraudsters wrapped up in faux decorum attempting to take advantage of you, gain authority over you, rip you off, and steal your soul.

This is where to start:

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. [1John 2:15-17]

These are the three temptations:

  1. The lust of the flesh
  2. The lust of the eyes
  3. The boastful pride of life

This is how the devil got Eve:

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh), and that it was a delight to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (the boastful pride of life), she took from its fruit and ate… [Genesis 3:6]

This is how the devil tried to get the Lord:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him,

“If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”

And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”

And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’ and, ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. [Luke 4:1-13]

NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TEMPTATION

Whoever chooses to follow the Lord Jesus will be tempted by the devil in the same way. Whoever chooses to become a mature disciple of the Lord Jesus will be tempted by the devil in the same way. Whoever chooses to serve and work for the Lord Jesus will be tempted by the devil in the same way. Our spiritual success comes in part by successfully resisting temptation. This is obviously not an all or nothing proposition, however. There will be times of failure. Failure is when we disobey the Lord and obey the devil. There will be times of success. Success is when we obey the Lord and disobey the devil. The more we obey the Lord the greater the chances of spiritual success. The more we succeed the more spiritually mature we become. The more mature we become the better we are able to resist temptation.

The proper representation of the Lord on our part then, as disciples of His, depends on staying victorious in the temptation war. Whatever may cause us to be defeated must be defeated. We must live in spiritual victory and this demands overcoming the devil’s temptation and thus defeating him in spiritual battle. In order to insure victory, the Lord has made available the gift of His Holy Spirit.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

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. 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. [2Corinthians 10:3-6][1]

The devil has constructed strong military forts and fortifications with thick walls and armaments. He has many weapons at the ready trained and focused upon his enemies. Paul speaks here of the necessary spiritual attack upon the devil’s fortresses and strongholds. He tells us the Lord Jesus has supplied powerful spiritual weapons for His people that are very effective in blasting holes in the devil’s walls and even leveling the devil’s military forts. The Community of the Lord Jesus even has the power to blow the devil’s fortifications off the map.

Those who are actually doing this are the real Christians. They are those who have overcome temptation. They do not submit to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. They are not lovers of money. Christian Pharisees, however, are indeed lovers of money. They must have it in very large amounts. They cannot live without it. It helps them gain whatever they need to fulfill their lust of the flesh, their lust of the eyes, and their boastful pride of life. Rather than resist temptation, they serve the devil in order to receive all he can give them. How then is it possible for Unreal Christianity to fight a successful spiritual war? Those who not only fail repeatedly in the temptation wars to the point of surrender but also assist the devil in building and maintaining his military fortifications are the antithesis of the real Christian. However, things have become so clouded and deceptive within overall Christianity in general only a comparative few can see through the deception.

The original church community at Corinth was composed not only of the usual immature believers but also some who were still being heavily influenced by the particular evils of that city. The apostle Paul was working to help the congregation gain the necessary spiritual maturity all believers need but it was initially a tough fight. We may think of a similar circumstance regarding the nation of Israel after the Exodus. It was very tough for God to get the Egypt out of them. It was somewhat the same for Paul and his mature spiritual associates in getting Corinth out of the Corinthian believers. They were tempted with speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God.” As residents of a powerfully sinful city, these believers previously had a big problem with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It was difficult for them to overcome spiritually but they did. The gift of salvation, God’s grace, and the infilling of the Spirit of God made all the difference. The devil could not compete with the Corinthian Pentecost.

When the congregation became mature, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” Paul was then ready to punish all disobedience. The remaining vestiges of demonic and fleshly control were singled out for defeat. The Christian Community at Corinth and other Gentile cities thus became powerful and strong toward defeating the devil’s authority in their respective locations. They may not have had complete success but each had various levels of success where none existed previously.

On the flip side, Jerusalem was a city where the devil’s authority was never defeated spiritually. Evil maintained its presence there to the point that the only remaining option was physical destruction. This is what awaits every collection of human beings large or small. Each will either change its ways and submit to the Lord Jesus or will face certain destruction. It is only a matter of time. And if you may be wondering, the Lord really doesn’t even have to be materially involved. They usually do it to themselves. This is what happened in Jerusalem in 70AD. Having rejected their Messiah who would have brought peace and victory, they chose leaders who ended up fighting one another and the vastly superior Roman forces who never wanted such a fight. This was a repeat performance of Israel’s ancient enemies who used to be subjected to the same, such as Midian during the time of Gideon when the Midianites turned against one another and destroyed themselves.

ON THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION      

Whoever opposes the Lord Jesus is allied with the antichrist spirit. This can be a single individual or a vast metropolis. Destruction will always come to such people. It is inevitable. It may come through a series of destructive actions on the part of those in control, intentional or not. Whoever rejects the Lord Jesus will face destruction because He is the only cure against it. He is God. He is the Creator. It should be obvious that whoever opposes the Creator will also oppose anything and everything associated with His goodness. That leaves only one remaining choice and that choice has a time stamp. Why? Because God will not allow evil to exist except on a temporary basis. The same holds true for anything built that does not have His direct involvement or sanction.

Have you noticed that ancient builders were sometimes so good at their work that portions of it still stand? Other than the obvious massive structures that still remain, such as the Egyptian pyramids, we still have a few remaining structures from ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The Romans were especially proficient at architectural design and developed a great understanding of natural forces and the requisite engineering to overcome them. To this day we have massive multilevel valley-spanning aqueducts, for example, that have withstood all natural earth movements and weather forces since first constructed. Imagine having that on your resume. And though earthquakes have destroyed many structures and even cities of the ancient world into the present, such aqueducts and other structures were built so well they remain victorious, though in ruined form, against the forces that would destroy them.

At the top of the list of destructive forces however, are entities of the non-natural and effective non-temporary form. These entities predate humanity. They were here before us. They are masters at their craft. They oppose God and always have. Most human beings are aligned with them whether they know it or not. Such people have been overcome by deception—“speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God.” They exist for a while, as do their cities and structures, maybe a long while, but all is temporary. Every world empire was seemingly invincible in its time. This was especially true of Rome. It was without question the greatest empire the world had ever seen, but was eventually overrun and completely destroyed. Other lesser forms of it arose but no other empire existed at the same level until the present, which too will cease to exist at some point in the future. One must understand, therefore, that those whose mission is destruction sow the seeds of their own destruction.

Whoever engages in the opposite of what the Lord taught us will thus receive the opposite of what He died to give us.

In the meantime, other forces are at work to give the destroyers a run for their money. We live on a planet with a moving, shifting surface that often shifts greatly and violently. Sometimes powerful explosive volcanoes burst forth. Massive floods happen. Disastrous hurricanes and tornadoes spin forth. Whatever lies in the vicinity of these purely natural destructive wonders is leveled. But earthquakes are perhaps the most deadly, largely because they happen with no immediate warning whatsoever. This is especially true even in areas of previous earthquake activity along moving, shifting tectonic plates and those containing known fault lines. Experts in the field are good at identifying where but not so much at when. They speak in terms of decades or perhaps centuries. Since many of these areas are monitored they only know when the big one hits right before it hits or as it hits, meaning actual warnings remain ineffective.

Regarding America, two locations of particular notice are the San Andreas Fault along the west coast running through California and the New Madrid seismic zone in the eastern Midwest located at the junction of Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee stretching into Arkansas. The experts say both areas are not only due but overdue. I recently read a book about the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. It was published in 1971. The authors not only went into great detail of what happened in that event but also strongly warned against the next one which would surely come. According to expert predictions of that time an even greater earthquake should have already happened by now and is actually long overdue. I remember very well the San Francisco-Oakland earthquake of 1989. I also remember the Northridge, California quake of 1994. These were actually relatively minor, 6.9 and 6.7 on the Richter scale, while the quake of 1906 was a much larger and much more destructive 7.9. The later two may be seen as mere wake-up calls but it appears most people have gone back to sleep.

ETERNAL LIFE MATTERS

I find it extremely interesting that people so easily lose sight of these coming hugely destructive events. It reminds me of Noah. He warned everybody what was going to happen. He preached and built the Ark over a 120 year period. The more he preached the more they laughed. The more he warned the more they scoffed. The closer the time came for the great Flood to begin, the more the people collectively disbelieved and/or refused to pay attention. Noah eventually became a complete laughingstock, a madman. All the newspapers and social media of the time constantly portrayed him as an absolute moron. The peer pressure was so intense that anyone who may have otherwise heeded Noah’s warning chose instead to surrender to the will of the cultural narrative setters and religion hustlers as a false form of survival. To do otherwise would cause the complete destruction of their livelihoods and social standing. They knew they would suffer the same persecution as Noah but also knew they would never be able to handle it. The doomed were thus much more concerned about their reputations and current comfort level than righteousness and eternal life.

They did not want to be put out of the synagogue. They did not want to be perceived as crazy by their church friends. Still, one would think there would have been at least a few individuals who didn’t care what the great unthinking majority thought and joined Noah anyway. But no. They all went to their deaths believing the lie and rejecting a providential place of safety and survival.

Only Noah’s immediate family believed him.

Maybe that was the miracle.

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


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

THE GREAT AWAKENING IS EXPOSING HIDDEN EVIL

Blog Pic 10.07.18 

       This current Great Awakening is based on revealing TRUTH. When the Lord Jesus brings forth His Light no evil can hide. We are now seeing this in real time.

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         It used to be easy for the enemy to have its way. Christians were taught by faux-spiritual girly men to always back down in any kind of spiritual fight as if that was the way of the Lord. But those who are filled with His powerful Holy Spirit know that has never been His way.  

          The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name. [Exodus 15:3]

        He just got through destroying the pursuing Egyptian army. Before that the firstborn male of every family in Egypt was struck down. Before that several plagues had decimated Egypt. None of it was enough to cause repentance. None of it was enough to admit guilt. None of it had to happen. The defiance and stubbornness of the Egyptians was off the charts. Sound familiar? The Egyptian king had decided to pursue the Israelites whose time had come to leave Egypt and possess their own land. He had decided to bring them back in chains if he must.

      For any Christian paying attention this story has always been indicative of future happenings when the people of the Lord would gain maturity and move on only to be pursued by those attempting to hold them back. Why were they trying to hold them back? The answer is an easy one. The ruling Christian potentates knew they must have ever-present congregants to fill seats and pay tithes or they would never be in business. It also follows that such congregants must remain somewhat spiritually ignorant, Biblically illiterate, and stay dependent.

         But for those who progress anyway, through much individual hard work and study, one should realize that spiritual growth must result at some point in spiritual graduation. When graduation day comes, however, few ever graduate. The spiritual graduates are instead coerced through fear to remain in place forever so they can forever support those in control and their non-New Covenant structure and belief system.

         These are often no different than Israelite slaves making bricks in the blazing sun.

         Whoever did graduate and obeyed the Lord often found the opposite of a ceremony. They were instead trashed and labeled as malcontents and what have you. Think Stephen. The only ones “graduating” officially were the same few sycophants allowed into the inner circles of those in charge. These people rarely got there by the Lord’s appointment and never earned it. They got there because they sold out to become members of an exclusive club and the club took care of its own.

         Many Christians on the outside looking in have always known this and experienced the resulting rejection first hand. They knew they were much more qualified and had paid the greater price. If a Christian is oblivious of real Christian history and the historical accounts of the Book of Acts he will never be able to understand this or relate. The early Community of the Lord was composed not of religious appointees but powerful spiritual people who had paid the ultimate price to properly repent and get right with God. It cost them everything but the Lord was relatively quick to get them re-situated in their new spiritual environment, His holy kingdom.

         They depended on Him and one another. They supported one another. No one was left out. Every single one of these had been rejected by the higher powers of this world that had no place for them. Unreal Christians have no idea of such truth, which proves their Unreal Christian status. Real Christians know that nothing is gained without a spiritual fight. They learn early on that the enemy will stop at nothing, never plays fair, and can be quite vicious.

         We have seen a variation of this play out on the national scene over the last few weeks and days. They pulled out all the stops. They did the most evil despicable things. The devil is a liar and cannot exist without lying about anything and everything. Desperate people on the wrong side of the argument who have knowingly or unknowingly sided with the devil always put everything on the line in pushing forth their agendas because they know they have no faith in a higher power that they would otherwise trust. Christians who trust the Lord know they are not in the fight alone and are therefore never desperate. They remain at peace. They know the Lord is working. They pray. They seek Him. They believe Him. They lean on Him. They trust Him.

         When Abraham did these very things the Lord proclaimed him as righteous. Abraham was righteous because he trusted and believed in the Lord. He gave his life to the Lord forever and promised to do his best. He failed on occasion but repented. He thus remained righteous. True righteousness is thus not possible without the Lord Jesus. It is in fact a gift:

         But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

         For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

         So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. [Romans 5:15-19]   

         Those who reject the Lord Jesus remain in their sins and there is no other cure. They reject the free gift. Their pride is too great. They are too vested. They have bought into the wrong paradigm. They attempt to protect their investment even in the face of ongoing diminishing returns. When in power they cheat. When out of power they rail against righteousness. They have lost all semblance of understanding eternal principles. They live only for this world. Compared to where they are going this present world is a great place. They have thrown away the Golden Rule. Their violation of it will prove to be their undoing.

        Regarding the future there will be more TRUTH coming forth. More awakening will happen. The Lord will grant greater strength and favor. This is a time many real believers have hoped for and looked forward to for many years and even decades. So many have been praying and preparing. These have thrown in their lot with the Lord long ago. Otherwise successful lives according to a worldly standard have been forfeited for the greater spiritual good. Though no written guarantee of eventual spiritual success was made these believers have trusted the Lord anyway. For all those who stayed in faith their faith is now beginning to pay off in a major way.

         “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:17-21] [1]

             © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

Be Encouraged (3)

         In order for the Lord Jesus to make a reset, a reset must first be made in the life of an individual who desires a reset by that individual and by no one else.

         The latter reset, the one by the individual, is a choice. That’s all it is. It is an appeal to the Lord for help. The individual has no power to actually make any changes in the spiritual world to overcome the effects of the material world since he or she is limited to making choices that create change only in the material world.

         Until repentance, one is in jail and often does not know it. And with no desire for real repentance one is free to exist without God.

         The material world is limited. It is finite. There is only so much a person can do. And when a person is beset with the result of past sins and slavery to sin one has the added bonus of an allegorical albatross around one’s neck and a ball and chain on one’s foot.

         Not good.

         Some people notice this though maybe only in a foggy sense. They know something is not right. Something doesn’t add up. They exist in the midst of an illusion and false construct and are made to do things that do not satisfy their hearts.

         So they search. These are the smart ones. The ones who are not smart decide to simply live for this world.

         The smart ones who search must want THE TRUTH whatever the truth happens to be. They are looking for the keys. One must desire the means of escape even if the means is uncomfortable, socially unacceptable, a destroyer of one’s pride, and sure to cause trouble.

         So, whoever refuses the above probabilities need go no further…

 

         Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 3:4]

         This is a very powerful statement. Let’s read it again:

         Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 3:4]

         Did you know this principle applies regardless of group size or official capacity? It applies to an individual just as it applies to governments and ruling institutions.

         Quick questions:

         Was the Roman Empire an enemy of God?

         Can a “church” be a friend of the world?

         For further insight and clarification, let’s look at the fourth chapter of James in context:

         What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

         You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

         Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us?”

         But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

         Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

         Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

         Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. [John 4:1-17]

         The last verse speaks of a violation of conscience. Everybody has a conscience. No one has an excuse. God judges the heart.

         But have you noticed a person has a much greater chance of surrendering to the Lord Jesus if he or she has not already surrendered to a group?

         Peer pressure is a killer. A government makes a bad law and everyone obeys it because they are afraid to stand up against it and invite the government’s wrath. Religions have codes that all within them must obey or they will be deemed a slacker and many obey codes and rules they do not agree with simply because they do not want to be characterized as a slacker and lose their standing in the group. People who belong to whatever culture must obey the expectations and ways of that culture or the culture will turn on them.

         So we can see very clearly that the Community of the Lord Jesus is obviously made up of people who did not fit elsewhere. It is made up of strong-minded and strong-willed people who love the truth and will stand up for it regardless of personal cost.

         And the greatest personal cost is always rejection from the prior group, the members of which are compromised by a lack of love for the truth, a heart with little or no courage, a desire to make it in this world at the expense of the next, a love of money, uncontrolled lust for things material, a desire for social prestige, and weak capitulation to any strongman who demands to rule them.

         America, for example, was once a nation of strong individuals. Individualism was the very thing that made this country great. Strong groups are made of strong individuals.

         Does anyone wonder how the Lord Jesus was able to stand up against virtually everyone and every group who all saw Him as a malcontent and deviant? Or how the early disciples faced so much persecution willingly without surrender, even to the point of death?

         These were strong people. Real Christians are the strongest people on the planet simply because they are the most persecuted. They are hated without a cause. They are seen as deviants. They are culturally unacceptable. They don’t fit anywhere but in the Kingdom of God. They will have no master of any kind whatsoever other than the Lord Jesus. They are sheep of His pasture and no one else’s.

         Be encouraged. The Lord is THE ROCK and His children are rocks.

         Rock on.

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

         “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:10-16] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

 

Be Encouraged (2)

         There are people in this world who have never done anything wrong other than be a human being prone to sin and yet have suffered terribly. Through no fault of their own or choice made on their own they exist in this world under very challenging circumstances. Some people have suffered horrendous wrongs and have never received even the slightest modicum of justice.

         Mature people learn early on that this world is not just. One can delude oneself all day long if that is one’s choice and insist in little kid fashion that all is fair and all is being taken care of and everything will be okay and all will work itself out and I am a good person and on and on.

         In reality, however, some people know that evil—great evil—tremendous evil—exists in this world and that they have become its victims to various degrees. Tell an aborted child who just made the trip to heaven that there is no evil or that everything works out in the end. Tell him or her that the choices made by people to tear his or her tiny perfect body apart and end his or her one and only chance at life that justice always prevails.

         Tell victims of unjust wars—and 99% of all wars in human history are without doubt unjust and happened only to satisfy powerful people and gain them more wealth and power—that unjust wars do not exist and it’s just your tough luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tell victims of murder, rape, robbery, and the unjust confiscation of their lands, property, money, health, and desire to live after such wanton destruction by people with absolute power and absolutely no heart have destroyed everything they have that justice always prevails.

         The fact of the matter is that justice in this world is not blind, is applied selectively, and most people are not selected. The rich and powerful, however, are always selected.

         Then remember the very clear teachings of the Lord Jesus:

         “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33]

         “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” [Matthew 24:9]

         “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.” [Mark 13:19] [1]

         The Lord spoke of a tribulation birthing process in which birth pangs will begin and increase exponentially. In other words, the evil present in this world will grow even greater, and even to the point in which it appears nothing, including His own people, will survive.

         But lest one believe that tribulation has not always been here, consider what happened to the Lord Jesus—a perfect Man who never did anything wrong. Or consider what happened to His selected apostles and so many of His disciples. They did exactly what He told them to do and suffered as a result. It tells one that evil certainly exists and if one dares to challenge it one will pay. But if one never challenges evil then evil wins without a fight. It has been the victory of evil to merely intimidate and threaten without ever having to carry out such threats in most cases since most people have no courage.

         But the Lord told us to be courageous, to receive His courage, and to be encouraged. Despite all the evil present way back then the Lord Jesus won anyway. The early believers won anyway. And we in the present can and will win anyway.

         There is nothing the Lord Jesus cannot do but we must always remember that this world in not heaven and it is unjust. The Kingdom of Heaven resides in this world and it is certainly just. It is just because it is run by a just King. It should therefore be obvious that in places where justice does not prevail, the Lord Jesus is not King.

         To the extent that the Lord can, since He is limited by our faith and obedience, He can certainly fix things. Here’s how:

         (1) Repent of all sin, evil deeds, disobedience, and hate.

         (2) Forgive everybody for anything they have ever done no matter how evil.

         (3) Love everybody, even your enemies.

         (4) Surrender your entire life and everything you possess to the only just King, and pledge yourself to full obedience to Him. His justice will then prevail in your life. Part of this process (though many will reject it), involves a proper water immersion response. And if someone thinks this is not necessary or superfluous I must remind one that the Lord created it, it is all over the Book of Acts, and both the Lord and the early believers thought it was very important. If one can somehow look beyond the surface one will see why.

         (5) Allow the Lord Jesus to fill you with His powerful and loving Holy Spirit so you can have power and strength and might to both fight the good fight of faith to the greatest extent using a power not your own but also to be empowered to minister in powerful ways for the benefit of others who have been victims of evil and to be enabled to overcome all things.

         The mark of a real Christian is being a selfless agent of God being used to overcome the evil and injustice of this world using any and all means possible and to properly arm oneself with all that may be required in order to set people free.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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