I once had a pastor who didn’t care for doing any counseling. He stated this from the pulpit. He didn’t like sitting down with people from his church and going over the usual problems. He once stated that the devil “can only get you in so many ways,” meaning, of course, that the devil had a limited repertoire of mayhem-causing temptations. In this regard, we often hear preachers list the same relatively few things we, as Christians, must deal with, and they, as pastors, must attend to with counsel, and they say this because it’s pretty much all they ever hear. The short tabulation usually involves the following:
(1) Money problems
(2) Relationship problems
(3) Health problems
I don’t fault that former pastor. I am pretty sure one of the reasons he cared little for counseling is because many people do not respond to it in a positive way. There are often solutions to the above three legitimate and often overwhelming difficulties put forth in Scripture that are rarely applied and this can frustrate a counselor, in that they give good advice designed to assist but the advice is not taken. It is not respected. Counselors know that much of the time people only want to talk. They need someone to talk to. That’s what they really want. They don’t necessarily want to do the work to eliminate the problem.
The Lord is the greatest of counselors. Isaiah called Him a Wonderful Counselor. But even the Lord probably gets somewhat tired of hearing prayers when He knows we will not apply the solutions. So, in that light, I am going to dedicate the rest of this post to those of you who want to do whatever it takes to fix whatever the problem is.
A MIRACLE WAITING TO HAPPEN
I stated at the end of my last post the very words of the Lord Jesus when He said that with God, all things are possible. This is obviously a true statement. The truth of the matter, however, is that there is a whole lot of stuff between the problem and His relatively straightforward solution. It should not be this way. I think we often make it far too complicated, which messes up the process.
For example, in the case of Scriptural miracles, our eyes may glaze over as soon as someone brings them up, because we have heard them countless times and they do not appear applicable whatsoever to what we may be dealing with at the moment. But at that time the solution was clear-cut:
There was Peter and John seeing a lame man who had been there for decades. Thousands and thousands had seen this man there over his lifetime. He always asked for money. Some would give him money. Most probably ignored him. He had a great problem and had it since birth and people were tired of seeing him. What could they do about it anyway?
Well, in the case of Peter and John, they had just been gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit. They were charged up with the power and authority of the Lord. With their new status came a ton of spiritual boldness. So the next time they saw that man Peter had a completely different attitude. He suddenly had a solution to the lame man’s problem. He didn’t simply look at the man as usual and think, “Sorry. I feel bad for you but have no answer. Later.” Instead, this is the way it went down:
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.
But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.
But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”
And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. [Acts 3:1-8]
HOW IT WAS DONE
First of all, Peter would be the first to say he was nobody special and that the Lord did the work. In fact, he did say that. But let us not forget that Peter experienced Pentecost. He was one of the 120 gloriously filled with the Spirit of the Lord. So that is the main condition here. But the infilling was not limited to the apostles or the 120. It was limited to no one. It is still not limited to anyone, provided one fulfills the conditions of Acts 2.
Second, Peter demanded the man look at him. He demanded the man’s full attention.
Third, Peter used the powerful Name of Jesus, the Name above every name, and the Name with full authority over all things, including an otherwise impossible-to-cure medical condition.
Fourth, Peter reached down, physically grabbed the man’s hand, and pulled the man up! Peter was fully confident in everything he did because he had plenty of faith and confidence in the Lord, His Name, and His spiritual power.
But what about the lame man? He also had conditions to fulfill. He had to respond to counseling correctly. He had to obey Peter’s counseling or the miracle would never have happened.
First, when Peter demanded his full attention the lame man looked directly at him and shut everything else out.
Second, the lame man did not object to the use of the Lord’s Name.
Third, when Peter took hold of his hand and began pulling him up, the lame man never fought against him, but allowed Peter to do all he did with no opposition of any kind.
From this we know that miracles are always the result of a collaborative effort.
The Lord does His part, which He is always faithful to do, and the recipient does his or her part. This is why a person acting properly on faith and correctly obeying the Lord’s counseling completes the circuit.
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
The Lord put the healing of the lame man miracle right there in the very beginning so anyone and everyone all through the centuries could look back at it and see that all things truly ARE possible with the Lord. It was also a great miracle at the time for the members of the early Church to look back on to build their faith and act on their faith. They saw that the Lord’s miracles could be worked through them and not only by the Lord exclusively, as in the gospels, or through a chosen few, such as the apostles. This is extremely important. As a result, greater numbers of people had their prayers answered and more life-changing miracles were performed by the Lord working through countless Spirit-filled believers the world over. This expanding dynamic continued as well by involving onlookers as witnesses, which further spread the news of the miracles and produced faith in the Lord, salvation, and more disciples.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. [Acts 3:9-10] 
© 2017 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.
There is absolute power and authority in His Name. And He has given real Christians the use of His Name to activate His authority!
“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” [Acts 3:16]
If you are looking for a miracle the first thing you need to do is believe in the Lord Jesus. You must know that He loves you. You must also know that He is the one who brought the whole thing up to begin with, in that miracles are His idea. We learned this from Him. We didn’t make it up.
Why then do we sometimes think He would rather not be involved in the very process He created? We never need to convince Him. It has always been His idea. He performed miracles. He taught His disciples how to perform miracles. They taught others how to perform miracles. Miracles have never ceased and continue today.
Well, actually, let me rephrase that. Miracles always cease or become impossible when there is no faith involved. There must be faith. Faith is very powerful. A person must possess it. It may exist within a person in latent form. If so it must be activated.
If a person believes miracles are no longer possible or that they ceased to exist at some point then for that person there can be no miracles, simply because that person believes in the opposite of what the Lord told us to believe.
This is a very interesting point of doctrine because one cannot be saved without faith. Salvation requires faith. Why would one believe the Lord for the greatest miracle—salvation and eternal life—but not for anything else? The Lord taught no distinction in faith, in that one may have one kind of faith for salvation but not for anything else. Faith is faith. It is all-embracing. It can be used for anything the Lord used it for.
But remember, what we are talking about here is faith in Him. Is He shooting straight with us? Is He telling us the truth? Can we really trust Him? Is He for real? Can I really trust my life with Him? When He says He has paid for my sins and can wash them all away, and that He can deliver me from sin and its effects, is He really telling me the truth? Can I really trust Him? If He can take my sin away and actually bless me with eternal life and save my soul, and keep me from eternal destruction, is He telling the truth? Can He really do all that?
It appears that most Christians believe He can. The only way they can believe that is if they have a measure of faith in Him. It is impossible otherwise. Since we have faith for salvation, all we must do from that point is simply believe in other miraculous works beyond salvation.
A MEASURE OF FAITH AND FIRST THINGS FIRST
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. [Romans 12:1-3] 
Regarding the use of our faith, there are conditions. Before one can use their faith for anything else, they must first use it for salvation. They must first believe that the Lord can save them from sin. Whether or not one possesses a latent measure of faith or not, faith must arise at some point or salvation is impossible. I don’t know about you, but I thought I was a good guy before my salvation experience, until I heard the Word of God from an anointed minister of the Gospel. I got convicted. I found out I was a sinner.
Of course, I knew that. But because there had never been any solution to it, I, like most people, simply learned to live with it. It may be our conscience telling us we did wrong. Whatever. All honest people of a sound mind know they do wrong. The Word of God calls it sin. The worst sin is sin against the Lord. But when people go about their daily lives sinning on occasion they just continue on. They don’t know what else to do. They try to do right but do not always succeed. Some just give up. Their sin can become a heavy burden. They try to deal with it.
But again, when we are told by the Lord through one His ministers we have sinned, and when our conscience bears witness to that fact, the first reaction is to fix it, and for the first time it looks like there may actually be a solution that really works. That’s why a real minister will not only tell people about their sin, he will also tell them how to be rid of it.
ACTIVATING YOUR FAITH
Somewhere in that process a person believes what the Word of God says and believes he can be set free. That is faith. Whether the faith was always there or not does not matter, because it is there at that moment. A person believes at that moment. He activates his faith.
He is then told he must repent, which means to turn away from sin and quit sinning. Once a person does this properly, according to the Biblical model, the Lord Jesus is then able to forgive and wash away all prior sins committed by that person. The Lord also gives a person power over sin so he can stop sinning. More on that later.
Water baptism is part of this process and that is why it is always closely connected in Scripture with initial faith and repentance. Water baptism is also conducted unto the Lord Jesus and His Name must be invoked as it was all throughout Scripture. Again, there is great absolute power in the Name of Jesus. Many people get delivered at baptism. All former connections to bad spirits and whatever else are severed. A person becomes totally delivered and set free and actually feels a release! Something very profound happens! It can be a very emotional experience and should be.
Salvation is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone. Imagine being taken from certain death on the road to hell to new life on the road to heaven! This is what the Lord made possible through everything He did for us, including giving His very life on the cross. It is why His Name is above every name and carries absolute authority.
Therefore, one’s faith in the Lord Jesus manifested powerfully for salvation can also be used for other things. Keep that in mind as you seek the Lord’s help for your present need, no matter how great it may be. Be blessed!
“All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]
© 2017 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.
REVEALING THE ANTICHRIST
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. [2John:7-11]
There are people in this world who insist one does not have to be in covenant with the Lord Jesus to be in covenant with God. The Word of God, however, makes it clear that one cannot possibly be in covenant with God if one is not in covenant with the Lord Jesus. Even most Christians are unclear on this concept. The enemy has muddied the waters and thus muddied their thinking, deceiving them into believing in something that does not exist. Many Christians are actually not in covenant with God even though they believe they are. Many others insist they are in covenant with God though they reject the Lord Jesus.
The promises of God only exist within a covenant relationship. If there is no covenant, the promises do not apply. The Word of God says that whoever does not have the Son does not have the Father, therefore one must be in covenant with the Lord Jesus in order for the promises to be active and applied.
The New Covenant with the Lord Jesus is a blood covenant. He shed His perfect, precious blood for each member in covenant with Him. He gave everything He had for His people. He loved us before we ever loved Him and He proved it. We must also be in blood covenant with Him as He is with us, in that each of us must give a totality of our entire life to Him, including our entire heart.
We begin the process of entering into covenant with Him, of beginning the new birth, by expressing belief in Him, by having faith. Faith must always come first. This faith, however, is a 100% faith. The covenant cannot work any other way. He gave all. He demands all from us.
The second condition that must be fulfilled entirely is full repentance. Sin must be dealt with. Each person to enter the covenant with God, who is holy and pure, must also be holy and pure. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. Without the Lord Jesus one is still in sin. Period.
LOVE ON THE ROCKS
To illustrate, imagine a man and woman about to become married but one partner refuses to give his or her entire heart to the marriage relationship. Imagine one of the partners insisting that he or she must keep their options open. It should be obvious that a marriage based on such a faulty foundation is doomed to fail. The reason many people enter into such relationships is because the uncommitted partner pretends to be committed and deceives the other partner.
Many so-called Christians do exactly the same thing with the Lord. They enter into covenant on their terms and not His. Of course, He is not fooled. There is actually no covenant at all if it is not His covenant. He never agreed to the terms and never entered into it. Christians deceive themselves and are deceived by false leaders into believing in a false covenant and that they are in covenant with God when they are not. They do not have full faith in the Lord. They have never fully repented. They remain in their sins.
ONE WAY TO GOD
No one is in covenant with God without being in covenant with the Lord Jesus. If one does not have the Son then one does not have the Father. One is either in full covenant with the Lord Jesus or one is not. There is no in-between and there are no exceptions. There exists only ONE New Covenant. It is a blood covenant. There is only one Son. There is only one Messiah. There is only one way to God.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6] 
© 2016 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 created this site five years ago in anticipation of the Great Awakening in America. The Lord Jesus revealed to me a few decades ago what the future of America would be, but much more than that, what the future of American Christianity would be.
Although there have been many people who received similar reports, there have been relatively few who have received reports from the Lord concerning the changing nature of Christianity in America, how it happened, how it would continue to happen, what to prepare for, and how to get back to the original—Real Christianity.
There was so much information coming in. I had been telling people for years just exactly what I was seeing but most paid little attention. I had always been curious, since my incredible born-again experience, why so few Christians cared so little about spiritual reality and actual New Testament truth. I saw that most Christians were on a closed-minded routine track and were well-conditioned to reject anything that didn’t line up with their chosen beliefs and church practices.
It was no different in the first century.
I reached a point in which I had to start recording all that the Lord was showing me. I am not claiming to be anything more than what I am, but I discovered long ago that the Lord blessed me with the ability to see things. Right after I was born again I had an insatiable desire to read the Word of God and could not read fast enough. I even spent my lunch hours at work reading the Word. I worked very hard, but for little pay, and couldn’t afford much. I lived in small apartments. I had no television. There was no internet.
I was given a small paperback Bible by a friend who had also been gloriously saved a few months before. Later, with my hard-earned cash, I bought a new Thompson Chain Reference Bible and a Strong’s exhaustive concordance. A friend gave me a large paperback, the complete works of Josephus, for Christmas. I was on my way.
As the years passed I began spending all my free time reading and doing in-depth research. I had my job in which I earned money, but I also had my real job, my vocation, that which drove me and motivated me. It was what the Lord called me to do.
It was my desire to be a preacher, as that was the only possible ministry choice back then. I preached some, taught Bible studies, and did a ton of witnessing. I had yet to understand that the great majority of the Lord’s ministers are not the one’s in pulpits, however. I didn’t realize that my desire to be a minister had already been achieved, but because I was not an official minister, I was not respected as one, even among my own friends. That was a hard lesson to learn.
I never stopped. I have been loyal to the Lord all these years.
As I said, the time came when I was receiving so much information from the Lord Jesus, including by revelation, which can only be received directly and not through reading or study, and had gained so much knowledge, that I had to do something with it.
I told a very good friend one day, “Someday I’m going to write a book and call it Real Christianity.” Well, for those of you who have not written a book, I can tell you that it is very hard work, especially the kind of book I would write. Everything had to be footnoted and supported with facts. Everything had to line up with the Word of God. It was, however, a true labor of love.
I eventually achieved the dream. The book was no small read and contained about 330 pages. It was extremely well-written and documented. I expected big things, that I would get the word out. But to my great disillusionment, my book was not received. In fact, it was largely rejected.
Now, I knew this was only because of one reason. It was the same reason that so much of what I had shared in the past was not received. People just could not see what I could see. I was almost always ahead of the curve and most of the time WAY ahead of the curve. I spent so much time and effort working toward the gaining of truth, at my own expense, that I left most people behind. I did have some friends, of course, who also saw some of what I saw, and we were accountable to one another. I knew what I had was real. Nevertheless, I continued to attempt to gain official legitimacy for my work. I was never afraid of anyone on the planet challenging me on what I learned. That was not the problem.
The problem was trying to get other Christians to get it, to see it, to want it, to get engaged, to wake up, to break out of dead traditional molds, and to have a real love for the real truth.
When I completed the book, before it was printed, I made a very handsome copy and presented it to my church. I had been a faithful, tithe-giving, official member of this church for almost six years. I had a great reputation. I got along great with the pastor and elders. One of the elders was assigned to look over the book and get back to me. I had been believing all along that this would help birth me into ministry, at long last. I had proven to be a faithful servant on all accounts. We were giving large amounts of money to the Lord through the church. And I was doing so much work regarding writing and research in addition to my job…
They rejected it. The elder assigned to read it suddenly turned on me. The news spread fast. In a short time, after all my faith, hope, and very hard work, I was suddenly trashed and rejected. This man destroyed the Golden Rule. I found out yet again, even in doing things so well and in establishing an extremely good record over many years that Christians will turn on you in a heartbeat. This man, an otherwise very good guy, was no Berean. It is the same with many Christians. In case you’re wondering, the spiritual dynamic of which I speak works this way:
The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring up the crowds. [Acts 17:10-13] 
The Lord had me stay in that church for almost another year. I remained a good guy. But it was obvious that the leadership had changed their tone toward me. I kept tithing (large amounts). I stayed faithful. They grew more and more distant. I kept thinking, “If only you would read this book with an open heart toward God with a good attitude. If only you would be noble-minded and eager for truth…”
But they refused. The time came, after the Lord gave them much time and opportunity, again, almost a year, that the Lord told me it was time to leave. I heard this very clearly. I left on the best terms possible but because I had become relatively invisible due to their rejection and cold-heartedness, it was a quiet exit.
That was many years ago, of course. Since I started this site I have discovered that many of you have had similar experiences if not the exact one. I have received an absolute ton of support here, but lately, that support is waning. This is why:
I keep putting more and more very deep and solid Biblical truths on this site and it causes a falling away simply because of the same dynamic above. Yet, this is what the Lord called me to do. Because I have worked so hard over the years, have done so much research, have prayed, fasted, attended a million church services, and have written extensively, I have gained the fruit of my labors. I have received much insight, revelation, and knowledge. I have put it all to the test, and have also been thoroughly tested. I have seen the future.
But when I show the future, it looks very different from the present and is usually rejected. There have been umpteen times when what I present is rejected, but when someone else presents exactly the same thing it is accepted. Many people finally see what I see years later, and accept it, but they curiously continue to give me no credit. (This is a completely different spiritual dynamic!) The main thing, of course, is that the Lord Jesus gets ALL the credit. Suffice it to say that all real Christians, however, will be able to relate to His sufferings. Just give it time.
For those of you who are still with me and support me, I have a request. I could use your help. I have made my book extremely easy to buy. It is available in E-Book format for about $10. The print book is available for a little more. Just click the icons on this site. It is how you can help me financially.
I never ask for money. I do not take donations. I never have, except on extremely rare occasions. I work for a living. The oil field, in which I had been working, is pretty much dried up. Many people are hurting and are without jobs. I have returned to construction, but a past injury has recently flared up and makes it a tad bit of a challenge, although I have been working through it and will continue. I also mow yards.
If this causes you to lose respect for me there is nothing I can do about that. I remain a genuine minister of the Gospel. It is my calling and is why I’m on the planet. Most genuine ministers operate the same way. I continue to write and post as I am able. The Lord is GOOD and He sustains me. I am blessed.
The time will come when all real Christians will be in heaven but for right now there is much work to be done! I work to earn money not just for survival but primarily to support the ministry the Lord has called me to do. I am the only one supporting it financially. Thanks to all of you who read and who have bought the book. I appreciate it. I request your prayers. If anyone may have a clue regarding how I can do a better job of getting the word out and honoring the Lord Jesus, please let me know. All of us have our own individual challenges but I know the Lord will see us through.
May each of you, my dear readers, be blessed super abundantly and grow ever-closer to the Lord Jesus. He did it all for you. Thank you for the last five years.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
You can locate every article prior to this year through the above Article Archives tab, organized both by category and calendar year.
There is also the Reader Favorites tab right next to it listing links to the 30 most popular articles.
On the top left is the Author/Book tab which gives a brief description of the book this blog is named after, as well as many comments.
All 2016 posts are in the Latest Articles—Feed Your Spirit column to the left (scroll up/down).
If you’re interested in gaining some perspective regarding the last five years, I’ve included links to each prior anniversary, as follows:
Abraham chose to believe God’s promise and Isaac was the result, though it happened 25 years later.
Mary, the Lord’s mother, told everyone in the beginning that her Son was the result of a miracle pregnancy and birth, but no one believed her. Some did believe, however, when the Lord performed His first miracle, 30 years later.
This means that faith in God’s promises also requires time. The one to whom the impossible promise was made must remain faithful until the impossible promise happens—in God’s timing.
Joseph remained faithful and pure throughout his 13 years in captivity after a great betrayal. His father thought he was dead. No one knew where he was. No one came looking for him. He was completely cut off from his family.
But prior to all the abject misery he was subjected to, God gave him a couple of dreams revealing his future and his future standing. He knew these dreams were God’s Word to him and he never lost sight of their implications and future occurrence.
Therefore, before anything happened or even began to, God gave Abraham a promise—God’s promise to Abraham came first. The angel Gabriel told Mary all about her Son before she conceived. God gave Joseph dreams before the challenging, lonely sojourn he was sent on that resulted in the salvation of his family.
We thus cannot simply believe in something happening unless it first involves God’s promise of its occurrence. We may have specific promises made to us specifically by God, or we may have the promises He makes in His Word, such as abundant life. Though Abraham lost faith halfway toward the promise, he regained it and returned to The Miracle Realm:
Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. [Romans 4:19-22]
The Lord Jesus is THE DOOR to abundant life and the coming true of every promise He makes. But one cannot say he believes in God without also believing in His promises and in His miracle power. Isaac was a miracle. The Lord’s birth was a miracle. Joseph rising from the lowest pit to become the effective ruler of Egypt was obviously miraculous.
If one DOES believe in God, according to the Lord’s definition, the evidence of that faith will be there—miracles will happen. This is why miracles followed the ministries and lives of real believers in the first century. It is also why NO MIRACLES follow the ministries and lives of non-believers, whether they claim to be Christians or not.
Unreal Christianity engages in much fakery and pretension. It insists on its authenticity though the fruit is not there. If the spiritual fruit is not there then the grapevine is either not producing or it likely does not exist in that place.
IF THERE IS REAL BELIEF, THERE WILL ALSO BE REAL MIRACLES. THESE TWO ALWAYS GO TOGETHER. THIS IS THE UNDENIABLE PROOF OF GOD’S PRESENCE.
“…For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” [John 3:2]
The miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit of God are the evidence of real believers who refuse to believe in circumstances that disagree with God.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” [John 15:5-8]
When the presence of the Lord has been rejected, there must be a substitute to give the illusion of authenticity. The Pharisees were absolute masters at doing this. They were incredibly brilliant in putting on fake spiritual performances and this was exactly why the Lord called them stage players. Their speaking ability, intelligence, knowledge, and pageantry was unmatched. They constructed a large, highly detailed living deception, a veritable temple, due to not having the presence of God. They knew most people are greatly impressed by such surface manipulations and the appearance of religious authority. As a result they reveled in the adoration and respect it gained them, including the social standing and wealth.
The apostle Paul had been one of these but did a complete 180 when he gave his life to the Lord. Because of his real faith the Lord Jesus took away all the fake props and resulting religious pride, and blessed him with Himself and the actual evidence of His presence.
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1Corinthians 2:1-5]
If one is a Christian that does not believe in miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit, then one is a Christian that does not believe in God, even if he claims to. The claim itself is worthless. It must be confirmed by evidence.
The life of Abraham contained this evidence. The Lord’s ministry contained this evidence. The ministry of the early believers contained this evidence.
As a further test of his faith, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Isaac. Remember, if there’s no Isaac, there is no future Savior of the world and we all go to hell.
WHEN GOD MAKES A PROMISE HE THEN SPEAKS DEATH TO IT. HE DOES THIS SO THE PROMISE WILL NEVER COME TRUE UNLESS IT IS ACTIVATED AND RESURRECTED BY FAITH, AND IN HIS TIME.
Abraham obeyed the Lord’s instruction and set out to sacrifice his son.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. [Hebrews 11:17-19]
Abraham believed in the power of faith and practiced it. He believed in sacrifice and practiced it. He believed in giving and practiced it. He believed in the concept of circumcision and practiced it. He even believed in resurrection from the dead. ABRAHAM OBEYED GOD AND THE MIRACULOUS EVIDENCE OF HIS FAITH WAS DEMONSTRATED IN HIS LIFE.
He lived in The Miracle Realm. His eyes were opened. He saw what no one else could see. Out in the desert he peered almost 2000 years into the distant future and understood the blood covenant. He understood the gift of righteousness. He understood the reason why. Because he believed God He SAW Salvation:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” [John 8:56-58] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
RELATED POST: The Edge of Faith
The Gospel of John mentions that the children of God, like Isaac, are each miracle children:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]
Again, the Lord must be first and there must be a covenant with Him before anything else can possibly happen. The old must die so the new can be born.
WHENEVER GOD BRINGS FORTH A NEW BIRTH IT IS ALWAYS A MIRACLE.
Christians who have never had a new birth experience but claim to be believers are only believers in a religious sense. They are believers according to the will of man, or according to religious man or religion. Without a new birth there is no heart change. There is no circumcision of the heart. If they oppose the new birth they are Ishmaels who mock Isaac and fight against the people of God.
But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. [Galatians 4:29]
The Pharisees who fought the Lord were Ishmaels. Ishmael fought Isaac. He made fun of Isaac. There was no possible way these two could ever be in fellowship. It was impossible—UNLESS ISHMAEL REPENTED AND BECAME A MAN OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE LIKE HIS FATHER ABRAHAM. Some Pharisees repented, for example, and became real believers.
What God impressed upon me regarding the inspiration of this article is that in order to enter The Miracle Realm one must choose to believe God and not believe circumstances that do not agree with God’s promise.
For example, the Lord said he came to give us abundant life:
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]
Therefore, any circumstances that disagree with that life must not be accepted or believed in. He kept telling the people He healed that their FAITH made them well. Their faith, though, had to be combined with God’s POWER (dunamis) and one cannot be the recipient of God’s power without first being the recipient of God:
ONE MUST FIRST BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD BEFORE THE MIRACLE CAN HAPPEN, WHICH MEANS ONE MUST ALSO STOP BELIEVING IN ANYTHING THAT DISAGREES WITH GOD.
When people came to the Lord seeking healing, those who were healed were those who first believed the Lord and believed IN the Lord. The Lord was already there, and His miracle power was already there. His great love and compassion were already there. What they needed was faith in God. If they added their faith in the Lord, believed what He said, believed in what He could do and wanted to do for them, and gave themselves to Him, A MIRACLE HAPPENED. ABUNDANT LIFE HAPPENED.
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Luke 6:38]
ONE CANNOT GET LIFE FROM GOD UNLESS ONE FIRST GIVES LIFE TO GOD.
If one wonders why the miracle never happens, it is most likely because one has faith in the circumstances or beliefs that oppose God and thus cancel out the power of God. And there is an element of selfishness somewhere. In other words, one practices subtraction instead of addition (giving).
Such UNBELIEF (apistia) is an actual power. It is a kind of anti-faith—a miracle killer—a force that fights against faith. It will support circumstances and beliefs that oppose the Word of God. It is based on what the natural eye can see and not on what the spiritual eye can see. It is based on the comprehension of the natural mind and not on that of the spiritual mind which is aligned and in agreement with the mind of Christ. It stems from an uncircumcised heart.
And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. [Mark 6:5-6] 
Since righteousness is a gift and not something that a person can earn or work up or buy, one can only receive righteousness by receiving the Lord and by first submitting to Him 100%.
Again, one must enter The Miracle Realm to receive righteousness just like receiving any other miracle. AND BECOMING RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD IS A MIRACLE! This is what being born again entails: New birth—the death of the old (unbelief) and birth of the new (faith).
IF THIS IS TO HAPPEN, ONE MUST NO LONGER BELIEVE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE THAT DISAGREE WITH THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS AND DENY LIFE TO ISAAC.
He came in part to heal physically blind eyes, for example. Unbelievers claim such healing is impossible. The circumstances of life say such healing cannot happen, and that no one has the power to make it happen. The Lord Jesus disagrees and says He can make it happen.
He can make anything happen. One must choose, therefore, who to believe. One cannot believe both.
They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:20-23]
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. [Genesis 15:6]
We all know the verse. We have read it and quoted it many times. We have heard it preached and taught in church, on television, and probably on the radio. We all think we probably know what it means.
For me, it has been an ongoing revelation. The idea that Abraham believed and as a result was made righteous never fully satisfied me. I knew there had to be more.
The apostle Paul gives us a very good explanation in Romans 4:
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness… [Romans 4:1-5]
So Abraham understood that the righteousness he must receive would not be the result of his own efforts. He learned that righteousness is purely a gift, as Paul states in the next chapter:
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. [Romans 5:17]
REIGN IN LIFE?
Another pretty big clue is that Abraham received a promise:
Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” [Genesis 15:4-5]
Now, before this, at the beginning of his journey, the Lord told Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make you a great nation…” But He did not specify how this would happen.
Once they arrived in Canaan, the Lord stated: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). Abraham must have assumed it meant he would somehow have a family. All he had, however, was a certain Eliezar of Damascus whom he referred to as one born in his house, though not his offspring. He took his concern to God regarding this and we know the rest of the story:
Abraham and Sarah would have a child though they could not have children.
This is what Abraham believed. He believed the Lord was telling him the truth in promising him he would have a son, though such an event would be physically impossible. This faith in God and belief in His impossible promise coming to fruition is what made Abraham a righteous man.
Later, I understood that Abraham didn’t simply believe something he already saw in the present, he believed in something he could not see in the future, and he pledged himself to God that he would be obedient in whatever God told him to do.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. That made perfect sense and added to the spiritual fact. Most people would never sign off on such a contract. And it was a contract. It was a covenant ratified between God and Abraham and was based on an impossible promise. If Abraham was to believe God, he would have to believe the impossible.
Here is the key: ABRAHAM DID NOT BELIEVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES NO MATTER HOW REAL THEY APPEARED IF THEY DISAGREED WITH GOD’S PROMISE.
Abraham and Sarah could not have children but God promised Abraham he would have a son. This makes no sense to the rational mind. It is scientifically impossible, at least on the surface according to known facts.
The only way for such an event to take place then, is by entering The Miracle Realm. This is what happened. Abraham believed God especially because what God said made no sense. This is where his faith came in.
He made the decision to believe God’s promise. He chose to believe God. He heard God. He knew he heard God. And he knew what God said. But he also knew they could not have kids. So he believed God had the power to overcome that fact and would overcome that fact—SOMEHOW, SOME WAY.
However, in order for Abraham to enter The Miracle Realm he must first give his life to God. And giving one’s life to God means a person must commit to doing anything and everything God says to do, both in the present and in the future. Abraham did this. He signed off on the covenant. Making the covenant with God always comes first.
Later though, after being faithful for several years, Abraham stepped out of faith. He violated the covenant. He lost faith in God and disobeyed God by choosing to obey his wife who had no faith (barren). He decided to leave The Miracle Realm and go back to the world of man where faith was not required.
As a result they created Ishmael, who was birthed according to purely natural means by someone who was NOT Sarah. This was NOT faith. If there would be a miracle, God said Sarah must be the mother.
Though Ishmael was loved by God, and though Ishmael’s descendants were and are loved by God, Ishmael is not Isaac, Hagar is not Sarah, and the fallen world of man is not The Miracle Realm:
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.
This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
For it is written, “REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. [Galatians 4:22-28] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
I remember when I was a kid there was a soap opera on television called The Edge of Night. I had no idea what the words meant or whether they were supposed to mean something. I never watched it, and thus have no memory of the content, but I do remember the stark black and white graphics of a downtown cityscape on the opening title card.
In retrospect, someone had come up with a great name, full of meaning and pathos, and the hard reminder that life often boils down to a very rough edge. Kind of like a concrete jungle. And you better get yours or life will get real bad real quick. And along the way we’ll engage in sin to help us make it through the dark nights of our respective, though not respectful, souls…
It’s kind of like this with faith.
Now, hear me out, says the man who’s going to drop a nonsensical bombshell or an invitation to a multi-level marketing meeting…
Faith actually does contain a very rough edge. Its edge can also be very fine, like a tightrope, and require a spiritual balancing act. The Lord Jesus kept referring to faith as a commodity one could possess. But He also said faith is no good unless it is invoked and used. He also seemed to say that many people are afraid to use it.
Why is this?
I think it’s because it’s an all or nothing proposition. Faith doesn’t work unless the 100% rule is invoked. One has to risk everything. If one tries to do the sensible thing and hold something back in case one’s faith doesn’t work it won’t work. And there is no tangible guarantee that it will work. In this regard it is not rational, like so many other spiritual things.
Faith is an all your eggs in one basket deal.
Faith demands 100% commitment.
This is why faith doesn’t work for a lot of people. They hold back. They want to be assured of success before they act. They might have stepped out in faith before and things didn’t work out. But the Lord said we must keep trying.
His Word also says a very scary thing for new Christians battling with faith:
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]
In other words, if a person has doubts regarding the goodness of God, one will never please God. One might still try to approach God and make entreaties, but unless pure faith in God is involved such a person will only be whining. And God does not care for whining.
The woman who had long been sick with an issue of blood and had spent all her cash on doctors without any relief reached a point of total desperation and decided to lay everything on the line.
First, she purposed in her heart that if she only touched the edge of His garment she would be healed. Then she had to fight her way through a crowd to get close to the Master. Then she had to violate a powerful taboo about women steering clear of teaching rabbis and actually approach the Master and (gasp!) touch His garment! This took some powerful boldness!
And when she touched the Master’s garment she was instantly healed! And the Master had done nothing. But He made a very curious statement:
“Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” [Luke 8:45-46]
We know by this that the power of God for whatever we may need is always available and is activated and released by our faith. We don’t really have to ask. This woman didn’t ask. She did everything correctly, though. She honored and respected the Master. She was greatly thankful. And she is an awesome example. She showed us how it’s done!
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. [Hebrews 4:16] 
The KJV says, Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace…
One must be bold when one approaches the Lord. One must also be supremely respectful. These two don’t seem to go together. One would think a person should almost grovel before God as a sign of deference and honor. But such groveling, though one’s heart may be right, is not conducive to showing strong faith.
Sons of God do not have to grovel before their Father!
Remember, one must please God by knowing God is good, righteous, tender, merciful, loving, kind, warm, understanding, benevolent, holy, strong, and has a smile and a twinkle in His eye for His children. And one must know He loves us regardless of what someone or everyone else thinks of us or what we may think of ourselves. And we must believe this and act on it in pure faith with no holding back.
We have gone before other people in authority thinking we would be treated well and we were often treated bad. But God is not like this. He loves us.
So let’s believe the truth that God IS, that He is GOOD, that He is a REWARDER of those who SEEK Him, and come before Him in FULL CONFIDENCE, that we may RECEIVE the mercy and grace and help we need.
Go ahead. Make His day!
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Sometimes life is hard.
But we learn fairly young in life that we must press on and overcome whatever difficulty we are facing because the alternative is much worse.
In fact, there is really no comparison.
Even if we never achieve the goal or actually fully overcome and get past major obstacles and setbacks, there is at least a good feeling that we tried, that we made the attempt, and that we gave it everything we had.
In sports, losing is not as bad if we give everything we have and “leave it all on the field.” Of course, losing is bad. Losing is really bad. I hate losing. Being very competitive by nature and by choice, I know that making peace with the idea of losing is a terrible thing to do. But if one has done everything one can possibly do (and that always involves doing things we never thought we were capable of doing), we can eventually get past the loss and get on down the road.
But it depends on how we lost. If we know we gave it our all and that there was nothing more that could have been done, we have a victory of sorts in our hearts. And it is the kind of victory that allows us to feel okay about ourselves, and not get down on ourselves, and keep the fires stoked for the next opportunity to win.
I am not afraid of the devil. Yes, he is a very powerful spiritual entity that can wreak the very worst forms of destruction and wickedness. And yes, he sometimes gets us. He sometimes inflicts serious damage. I mean, as wicked as humanity can be, there is no way humanity can reach such incredible forms of wickedness and evil without some serious help. We know as Christians that there is a devil and that he can do some damage. The devil working in concert with unregenerate humanity has proven to be a lethal combo throughout history, and there is plenty of evidence to support this.
Yet, if one is not a real Christian one will not perceive any devil. The devil, through his great powers of deception, can easily keep sinful human beings in the dark and remain invisible. In fact, non-Christians often scoff at the idea of a devil and of wicked unseen entities existing upon this planet.
But the Lord Jesus knew such entities existed. In fact, He could see them. He addressed them. And they talked back. He was not afraid of the devil and He taught us the same. To respect one’s enemy is a good thing. To fear one’s enemy is to not have faith against one’s enemy. And if that happens, one will find oneself up a creek without a paddle. One will have no return volley or return fire or a bigger punch. Instead of fighting even harder to overcome the enemy and the obstacle, fear causes one to give in. One will surrender. That’s what fear without faith does. It causes eventual surrender.
Real fighters, however, never surrender. Real Christians have no fear of their enemies. If one respects his enemy and knows he is in for a tough fight, he will have a much better chance of victory. But to fear one’s enemy is to lose before the battle is ever engaged.
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. [1 Peter 3:14-17]
Though we face formidable foes, the Lord empowers us to kick their rear ends all over creation. That’s what He did. Dying on the cross was not what unbelievers would call much of a victory, but for real Christians, He is our great King because He defeated hell, He defeated death, and He defeated the grave. He fought with everything He had to resist all temptation and live a life completely devoid of any sin. Most of the rest of us already commit our first sins as little kids, right out of the chute. But not the Lord. And as a result, when He died, HE COULD NOT STAY DEAD. Sin had no hold on Him. He defeated sin. He defeated the world. And He mopped up the parking lot with the devil.
So even though the devil is still a bad dude, he’s got asphalt stuck in his face and elbows and knees, and regarding the Lord, is a thoroughly defeated foe.
But the Lord, from His good heart and wonderful grace, has blessed each of His sons and daughters with their own opportunity to whip the devil. He allows for spiritual fights to take place. He trains us for battle and sends us into war having full confidence that we can also get our licks in and overcome any obstacle any enemy might put before us.
So remember, living some sort of “perfect” Christian life in some sort of faux American dream or “hippiefied flowers in your hair peace love dove nothing bad ever happens to me” is a bean dream, even though many fake Christian ministers tell us we can, and that it should be one’s primary goal. However, if one does manage to live such a life on this planet, it exposes the fact he is not fighting the devil. It illustrates such a one has made peace with the devil. And it reveals a person in league with the devil.
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’” [John 15:18-25]
The bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, is that real Christians are in a real fight, and as in any war, there will be casualties. But the victor who suffers on the field of battle continually gets back up to fight another day, and this absolutely infuriates the devil and this fallen world. The evil one hates the fact that he can throw everything at us and still not defeat us. He considers himself and his hordes far superior and it causes him untold grief every time a son or daughter of the Lord Jesus gets back up and fights on though horrifically battered and bruised.
Through such valiant and stalwart action, warriors for the Lord look directly into the enemy’s eyes and fearlessly express something to the effect, “Is that all you got?”
…Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. [1 John 4:4] 
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. [Galatians 3:22]
The nature of God’s promise is that without faith there is effectively no promise at all. Not only that, but God will often make it difficult for His promises to be fulfilled in order to build our faith. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Why else does the Lord sometimes wait until the brink of disaster before answering our prayers?
The Exodus comes to mind. It is a story often cited in Scripture, and for good purpose. Everything was riding on that particular miracle taking place, and without it all was lost. You think you have problems? They were trying to kill the Lord long before He was ever born. Repeatedly, time after time, there arose continued instances wherein the Messianic generational line was attacked. In began in Genesis, pardon the almost pun.
Abel was taken out. And that was that. Without a replacement there would be no Messiah. The good news is that 130 years later there was an appointed replacement. In fact, the name Seth means “appointed one,” in that he was appointed by God to replace the dead line of Abel. Imagine that. For 130 years there was no hope of the Lord’s coming. Did it mean He would not come? For the people of that time, that was exactly what it meant. Where was the hope that Adam and Eve would ever have another righteous son? Did not this same thing happen after the Lord’s death on the cross? Though He told His men repeatedly He would die and rise again they never understood it, and were certainly not thinking that at the time. For them it was over. Their Master was dead. For three days there was no hope of His coming, and therefore no salvation for the world. The Lord would have to rise again for the promise to bear fruit. Otherwise, it would be as dead as the Lord’s body.
The righteous line of Seth was almost completely wiped out by the time of the flood. Only Noah and his family were left. But prior to the flood, did anyone other than Noah think everyone else would be wiped out instead? How great were the odds? All was progressing toward the eventual death of Noah and the end of Messianic hopes. But God stepped in at the perfect time and destroyed the great bulk of humanity instead, a humanity that had grown hopelessly vile and sinful.
Several generations later, the righteous line of Noah came down to a single man. The Lord essentially started all over again with Abraham. The generational line had almost died out. And then what? Sarah was barren. Great. Abraham’s wife could not have children. Wonderful. So that was that, right? Close up shop and go home, all is lost. Unless Abraham had a little faith. And he did. Then he didn’t. Then he did again. It was a battle royal trying to keep Abraham lined up with the plan and purposes of God, but the man stayed strong and eventually believed and served God to the point of fruitfulness. Sarah also eventually believed after a long life of little or no faith. As a result, life was snatched from the jaws of death and little Isaac showed up. He was yet another miracle child.
Was God doing all this by design, or did it happen because the Messianic line was constantly under attack? Real Christians can identify with all this, for they are also constantly under attack in one way or another. The reason is because they are committed to serving the Lord. The Lord can bring forth spiritual fruit through them, and the enemy must stop them in any way possible. If we trust the Lord, even while under attack, He will bring us through it. Without faith, however, there is no bulwark against the forces of evil. There are no city walls holding back the enemy. A loss or lack of trust in God allows the enemy to storm right in and destroy all in his path, or keep fruit from ever coming forth.
Seth restored the line. Noah, “perfect in his generations,” obeyed God and kept the fledgling line alive. Abraham did the same. Joseph did the same by allowing God to do the unthinkable to keep his family alive. Without the thirteen-year hardship of Joseph, Jacob and all his sons would have perished in the famine. We can go on. You get the point. These are only a few highlights.
Does any of this resonate with you?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE.
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. [Hebrews 11:1-13] 
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Over twenty years ago I made the statement, “Someday I’m going to write a book, and I’m going to call it Real Christianity.” By that time in my life I had already seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of much of what official Christianity had to offer. The old Clint Eastwood movie was pretty good too, but very tame by comparison. Millions of Christians worldwide live the real movie, and are experienced with both God’s wonderful love and grace, and sadly, man’s inhumanity to man in off-the-scale fashion. We can pretend that Christian persecution does not take place in this world, or that it certainly never happens in America. Or we can climb out from under our religious rocks and face the facts.
There is a war going on for our souls, and the battle is most brutal in the realm of religion. Without the love and power of our Lord Jesus, all believers would be as sitting ducks getting blown to smithereens on our respective ponds. In reality, this does not happen, but the operative word is all. Many Christians do die as a result of persecution, and are dying as you read this. Many others are physically tortured. Still others are brow-beaten and warned repeatedly to get in line or suffer the consequences.
Does all this sound “over the top?” Am I engaging in egregious exaggeration? One might be reminded of what happened to the Lord of all Creation when He showed up on the scene. One might consider what happened to almost every one of His chosen twelve. Their crime was preaching a new message never before heard that clashed with every other religious method and doctrine on the planet, especially those of their own people. How could there not be the manner of ensuing conflict that arose as a result of their work? The very nature of preaching the real gospel invites trouble, hatred, and persecution. But it also destroys the work of the enemy and hangs him out to dry. Real Christianity is therefore not for the squeamish or half-hearted. Countless witnesses of the Lord who have given their lives throughout history will attest to that. We spend much time trying to make Christianity a “nice” religion, a watered-down version of the original with no clout or gravitas, or ability to change hearts for the better. Imagine walking out on the field of battle unarmed against a formidable foe whose only desire is to kill you, and trying to be nice to him in an effort to alleviate his hatred.
This brand of Christianity, instead of bringing about spiritual change and strength, has resulted in a profound weakness in all societies where preached, and has allowed the enemy of our souls to grow strong and entrenched. Real Christianity, that created and sponsored by our Lord Jesus twenty centuries ago, did the veritable opposite. It challenged powerful spiritual entities on their own turf. The Lord set the example for all later believers to follow, not only by His profound compassion, grace, and willingness to forgive the repentant, but also by His dogged pursuit of the devil and determination to free those made slaves by him. The best friend anyone could ever have is the Lord. But in order to be His friend, we must engage in His work. Those who do are blessed with the joy of seeing “The Good,” but also become familiar with “The Bad” and “The Ugly.” The attempt to eliminate the latter, however, by creating an alternative gospel, will also eliminate the former, and further eliminate any proper purpose for its existence in the first place.
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. The real gospel of the Lord changes hearts for the better, and in time it can change entire societies.
“In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33]
Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. [1 Timothy 6:12-16] 
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.