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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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Religious Slavery (Part 2)

         It is a sad fact that most professing Christians do not relate to the New Testament, do not really know the Lord, and do not understand their place in this world or what this world actually is.

         But they know church. And they know their denomination. And they know their pastor/priest/reverend, but often from as afar and by an idealized portrait that must be honored to maintain both proper standing within one’s congregation and also within the religious simulation created by the controllers of such establishments.

         Regardless of what the majority of professing Christians may think, it is a fact that most of that which is passed off as proper Christianity in this world is actually an imitation and false mock-up merely based on real Christianity but certainly not the real thing.

         And even though one may try hard to explain and reveal such facts, the purveyors of Unreal Christianity always act quickly to denounce such a one and such facts, especially because it appears to be an attack on the faux status quo and the robe-clutching religionists in charge. These people have certainly programmed their charges to think and act in such a way, whether it is Catholics protecting things Catholic, or Protestants protecting things Protestant, or Pentecostals protecting things Pentecostal.

         Most Christians have been taught and urged by their leadership to honor and protect their religious heritage even though most have no clue what it is they are honoring and protecting. It is exactly the same dynamic that played out upon the factual though heart-rending pronouncements of the Hebrew prophets upon their own for violating the Lord’s way and creating false substitutes.

         In these days of false chemical additives and other junk that make up the majority of our fake food supply and the millions of unhealthy overweight people such fake food has created with all manner of diseases rising forth exponentially and our desire to get back to the real food that God created and having an honest and healthy food supply and healthy living, why is it that most professing Christians refuse to honor the spiritual truth that will burn off all the fakery and heal so many of so many spiritual diseases?

         GOD IS NOT MOCKED! HE WILL JUDGE THOSE WHO CREATE FALSE GOSPELS AND FORCE COMPLIANCE TO SUCH!

         It angers God that He has made a Way to Life but most professing religion-bound Christians absolutely refuse to dishonor their fake cultures but dishonor the Lord and His blood-bought Way to Life all day long!

         Why does one think the apostle Paul was so angry when he wrote Galatians? He simply could hardly believe what he was seeing!

         You foolish Galatians (insert name of denomination, church, or religious culture here), who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

         This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? [Galatians 3:1-5]

         Of course, due to the fact that most Christians have never ever experienced any of the above it is no wonder they do not understand, which just happens to go hand in hand with being bewitched.

         Bewitched? Are most Christians bewitched? What ever did Paul mean? What was he driving at? And why do most Christians think he was referring to other Christians and never, ever apply this to themselves?

         There is the very clear idea that people walk around in a fog though do not know it, that they walk in darkness but have been convinced the darkness is light or that there is no light. They are lost in false perceptions and do not realize they have been hoodwinked and deny it always.

         If anyone should know this, Christians should know it. Why? Because the very Lord they claim to serve had this happen to Him continually as a matter of course. He is the Great Light but most of His very own people could not even see Him! It is no different with fake Christians who have accepted a fake gospel and fake light, which is not a light, and why so many are in deception and bondage and don’t even know it, even though some had previously walked in the Light.

         You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. [Galatians 5:7-10]

         The more we study Paul’s writings on this subject the more we catch a glimpse of exactly what he was writing about. But if we are unwilling to apply any of this to ourselves and our own religious cultures we won’t get it. But why are so many unwilling? Isn’t it precisely because they were taught to be unwilling? And isn’t this exactly why the Lord was so incensed with OT Israel to the point of calling them the following?

         And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!” [Exodus 32:9 NKJV]

         Therefore understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people. [Deuteronomy 9:6 NKJV]

         And then on the other side of the Lord’s life and resurrection, Stephen said this:

         “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” [Acts 7:51 NKJV]

         To bring this home, there is simply no doubt whatsoever that these prophetic pronouncements must be applied to unreal Christians and Unreal Christianity just as much as it was applied to the House of Israel, if not much more so. Most professing Christians have been resisting the Holy Spirit for centuries and have institutionalized the practice. And this is what Paul was driving at in Galatians. He could hardly believe that a people set free could return so readily to religious slavery.

         However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? [Galatians 4:8-9] [1]

         Such a thing MUST be construed as a demonic bewitching and enchantment at the hands of false religious leaders much more concerned about enslaving God’s people for their own purposes, wealth, and standing. And it MUST be up to individual believers to figure this out and see it with the eyes God gave them.

         © 2014 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 Cost of Grace

         So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. [Philippians 2:12-13]

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         Grace is free. Salvation will cost you everything.

         There remains much confusion among Christians about what exactly happened when the Lord Jesus went to the cross.

         Most Christians have never gone to the cross, would never go to the cross, do not see the need for going to the cross, and sadly, will never relate to the experience.

         There is this ill-begotten attitude that the Lord did it all to the point that they must do nothing. There is this completely false idea that a Christian can simply skate through life absolutely, completely, wholeheartedly, and fully assured that he is saved regardless of anything he may do or not do, as if salvation is simply a matter of a one-time mental assent or clueless “Yeah, put me down for that,” while they go about their already unrepentant lives thoroughly grounded in this world.

         Some denominations and Christian faux gospels are worse offenders than others. Some denominations do not even pretend to follow the Lord’s teachings on the matter but make salvation contingent upon belonging to the proper club—their club—and strictly adhering to their own church teachings which clash with the Lord’s, and compete with the Lord’s, and end up sending people to hell for believing what is false and doing things that have zero spiritual value.

         One would think, that among all Christian things they may want to get right, it would be salvation.

         But the majority of “Christians” insist on dissing the Lord, refuse to follow His example and teachings, and would never crucify their own flesh and/or leave their fake groups and denounce their false gospels even if their eternal salvation depended on it.

         And it does.

         The Lord thought this entire attitude was beyond curious. One would one rather save face than get saved? Why do so many Christians desire remaining cold, unenlightened, and uncrucified rather than obey the Lord’s commands?

         How can the resultant suffering and rejection real Christians face in this world compare to losing one’s soul for all eternity?

         Makes no sense.

         But then again, it does, if one has accepted a false prophet or a false teaching, and such things abound.

         There are obviously many more false gospels today than there were in the early days of that first Christian community, though false gospels began from the beginning.

         Paul did not pull any punches regarding these evil teachings and made his thoughts quite clear:

         I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

         But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

         For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2Corinthians 11:1-4]

         Could it be that bearing a false gospel or a false prophet or the false beliefs of a false denomination is easier than bearing one’s cross? And could it be that it always boils down to this same issue—the offense of the cross?

         In Galatians 5:11 Paul refers to this “offence of the cross” (KJV), though it is translated differently in different versions. The following are a few examples:

1) Shame of the cross (Bible is Basic English)

2) Scandal of the cross (Darby Bible)

3) Stumbling block of the cross (New American Standard Bible)

4) Obstacle of the cross (New Jerusalem Bible)

         It is obvious that there is something revolting about the cross, especially when an individual Christian must apply it to himself. It follows that Christians will do anything and everything to avoid the cross, which makes them easy fodder for false gospels.

         Why do we think it was okay for the Lord to get crucified but not at all okay for us to do likewise?

         Why do we think our own personal crucifixion is somehow not necessary though the Lord’s was?

         Why do we think we can simply reject all those things the Lord taught about crucifying our flesh, and taking up our cross, and denying ourselves for His sake and the gospel?

         Is it not the height of selfishness and pride that the majority of “Christians” applaud the Lord’s trip to Calvary but would never go there themselves?

         And then believe they don’t need to?

         Why can’t such unreal Christians see that such teaching arose from the devil himself?

         Yes, of course, grace is free. It cost the Lord Jesus everything, but for us it’s all free. We can do nothing to add to it by anything we could ever do.

         What a crock.

         Have any of the proponents of this stuff ever heard of the concept of application? How about being yoked together with the Lord? How about the disciples not being above their Master, and partaking of the same offense, shame, scandal, stumbling block, and obstacle the Lord did on our behalf? Should not all real Christians do the same on His behalf?

         And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

         And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

         But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

         And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

         “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:31-38] [1]

         The fact of the matter is that the real disciples of that time suffered the same things the Lord suffered. They were in fact called to share in His sufferings. They were called to stand up for and preach the ONE AND ONLY REAL GOSPEL. They knew it would cost them but did it anyway. Rather than shun it like so many Christians choose to do, they embraced the cross.

         And though grace is certainly free, it cost them everything.

         © 2014 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.