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LORDING IT OVER THE PAWNS

     Christians have been taught by those who rule over them to never question religious authority. Thus, those in control equate themselves with infallibility and inerrancy.

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       And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” [Luke 22:24-26]

      This is obviously not the case among the majority of churches and denominational hierarchies. These always feature top-down leadership in which the congregants have very little say. Everyone is expected to merely obey what comes down from on high and respect their leaders with a respect deserved only for the Lord.         

         We could fix this and all the damage it causes by simply:

(1) Allowing the Lord Jesus to have full control, and

(2) Adopting the leadership method He taught and advocated for

         We see His method very clearly in the New Covenant writings. One of the first things we notice was that there was never any “one man show.” There were always at least two men going out to minister together in evangelism and several men appointed as elders of groups. These were older men, hence “elders.” There was no central elder. The elders worked together.

         This correct method eventually devolved over time into the incorrect method of rule by one man and this ruler became known as a “pastor” although there is no New Covenant authority for such “leadership.” Churches then devolved into clergy-laity set-ups in which the laity had no voice and were merely dictated to and told what to believe.

         Whoever decided to invoke their God-given freedom to do individual research and study to become a better disciple was eventually falsely disparaged because his discovered truth always threatened those in charge.

         Consider the following words of Paul written to Timothy, and remember such universal New Covenant discipleship terms applied to all Christians such as “servant” and “workman:”

         Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” [2Timothy 2:15-19] [1]

      The Greek word translated as wickedness in this verse is defined as “injustice, unrighteousness, doing wrong, evildoers, iniquities, iniquity, injustice, unrighteous, unrighteousness, wickedness, wrong.” What could be more wicked than a Christian leader teaching anything opposed to the Lord’s teachings or refusing to teach the fullness of the Lord’s teachings?

         CHRISTIANS ACCEPT THE REALITY OF THE WORLD WITH WHICH THEY ARE PRESENTED

         At that time, the two guys mentioned by Paul had adopted a wrong belief and began telling others. It was up to Timothy, as advised by Paul, to avoid this type of “worldly and empty chatter” that leads to such “gangrene.” We know what gangrene is, and it is not pleasant. It begins with a small infection. The offhanded beliefs of the two men with no Scriptural backing were as an infection that invaded the community. The infection was teaching something as true that is not true.

         Hence we understand the great need, especially in these latter days, to stand strong for the original teachings of the Lord Jesus and oppose strongly all the false teachings adopted by so many “Christians” since, who like those two men, have infected overall Christianity with various gangrene-like spiritual diseases which have spread far and wide.

        It appears that in the majority of congregations, Hymenaeus and Philetus have taken over, and without much of a fight.

          You will know them by their fruits.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.     


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

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New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 1)

         And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” [Luke 5:36-39]  

         We remain at a fork in the road. The Lord is trying to direct us down the correct path. Many Christians have already taken the wrong path. Many others wait at the fork, and are having a hard time deciding which way to go.

         The default position for much of American Christianity is to take the conservative route, obey the old standards (the old is good enough), and listen to leaders unwilling to budge—who by and large feel much more comfortable with what they consider the old tried and true. Well, it is definitely tried, and some of it is true, but most of it belongs in the past.

         The Lord is doing a new thing! It is something He has planned all along, of course, and the window for those who continue sitting on the fence is closing. There is little time left to decide.

         Now, before you jump to any conclusions, I must make one thing very clear: There is a large movement in American Christianity that has abandoned the core truths of the Lord’s teachings and has decided to go their own way without Him, just as some denominational bodies have done already. Many in this movement are deceived. Rather than expose the false doctrines of yet another fake Christian offshoot in this article, let’s look instead at core New Testament values that will never change for the Real Christian:

         (1) The Lord Jesus is God. There is only one God. God became a Man. This has only happened once and will never happen again. The Lord Jesus is forever both Man and God.

         (2) He came to this planet about 2,000 years ago and revealed God through His humanity. He is God manifest in flesh. He never committed a single sin. Everything He ever did was perfectly within the will of the Father. Therefore, His revelation of God, and of who God is, was and remains total and perfect. As He said, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’” [John 14:9] [1]

         (3) The Lord Jesus taught, ministered, revealed the kingdom of heaven, performed miracles, set people free, and loved unconditionally. Then, He offered Himself up as a perfect sacrifice to pay for the sins of all those who choose to give Him their life. His payment for sin was complete. Only the Blood of Jesus can cleanse us of sin. Nothing anyone can do can ever add to what He has already done regarding salvation. His grace (undeserved divine favor) is free for all those who repent and commit their lives to Him completely and continually follow Him.

         (4) He arose from the dead to live forevermore. There is no salvation found through any other. He is the only way to the Father. He is only Door. He is the only Way. For the comparative few who will enter the narrow door, walk the narrow path, and endure unto the end, they will live with Him for eternity. Such a road demands obedience, commitment, dedication, and love for God, regardless of cost. It is very obvious that the Lord means business. It is all or nothing.

         These brief points should clear up any misunderstanding about new movements presently transpiring in this country and the world that water down the one Gospel, create false gospels, or attempt to create or form syncretistic religions merging one with another. Such movements deny the core truths of the New Testament for the sake of numbers, ecumenical unions, denominational groups, organizations, and churches built by false or deceived ministers and those under their influence.

         Again, many if not most of the people involved in such are deceived. Of course, they do not know they are deceived, which is the very nature of deception. They have all accepted “another” gospel, something the Lord and His apostles very clearly warned against.

         Therefore, though there are many false movements emerging, there are also the real people of God in America who are just beginning to come forth in unity. Most people do not see them. They are part of a very large movement of faceless nobodies with no credentials or Christian pedigrees. They serve their Lord Jesus in humility, suffer, fight the spiritual enemies of God, reach out, reveal truth, and help their fellow man. They are nonetheless becoming more organized on a spiritual level. The Lord is connecting groups and individuals together without the usual human efforts of ultra organization, rank, and hierarchies. It is a spiritual family spread all across the nation that has decided to commit to the Lord and real New Testament truth. They want reality. They want The Book of Acts in action. They will settle for nothing less than the full truth and expression of the Lord Jesus. They believe in unity and love. They believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Name above all names. They will not be stopped under any circumstances.

         As a result, persecution will be ramped up. We will see persecution of real Christians in this country like we have never seen. But we will also see the most powerful spiritual movement we have ever seen. Huge numbers will be saved from sin. Miracles and healings will become almost commonplace. Thousands will be filled with the Spirit in ongoing fashion. This Great Awakening will touch every part of the country.

         People are ready. Sinners are sick of their sin. Christians are weary of their Christian business as usual. People want more! And the Lord will grant them more. [Part 1 of 2]

         © 2011 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.