In the beginning Americans were more intelligent and knowledgeable with a high liberty index. Then a century and a half later America effectively became a nation of Forrest Gumps.
And now this nation has apparently revived cognitively. The average IQ of America has been measured at just below 100, which ranks as normal or average on the scale. Below 90 presents the beginning of deficiency. Above 110 counts as superior. 140 is genius level.
A century ago the American IQ was about 70 or less. This means Americans are gaining in intelligence though not necessarily in truth. Americans have also gained in education but this is relative. Does a formal education actually equate to greater intelligence? Based on many of those who have college degrees it appears as though something is amiss. One can also not compare a prescribed college education with one based on decades of personal study using books, literature, research studies, and other materials not found on politically correct campuses that subscribe to a doctrinaire cultural narrative heavy on social engineering. Since the general public has also become comparatively intellectually lazy and less studious it follows that a greater percentage of Americans may have a greater IQ and educational level while simultaneously being spiritually lacking and practically deficient. Common sense and wide-ranging functional abilities have waned.
Though cognition in itself has gained as have the professions demanding it, it appears that contemporary education has also drifted off into the world of the abstract and hypothetical which makes the overall IQ numbers somewhat suspect. Not only that, but young Americans have become relatively uninformed regarding history and literature compared to prior generations, both due to a lack of interest but also because of a curriculum based on indoctrination rather than facts. And though history has always been subjective it is now the case that much American history is no longer being taught at all, especially with regard to Constitutional studies, the American Revolution, and individual liberty due to conflicts with present political priorities. Considering all these negatives in light of apparent positives, are Americans merely projecting intelligence while effectively becoming dumb and dumber?
We use the term “dumbed-down” to refer to an actual conscious effort by those with control in the education and propaganda sphere to make Americans less knowledgeable of truth and more accepting of concepts thought to be true but based on fabrications. Most Americans have bought into the program. These people will continue to grow less knowledgeable over time regardless of brainpower. Their quasi-academic adaptations, lack of interest in gaining truth, and willingness to adopt what is essentially a low common denominator and socially middling attitude regardless of otherwise positive factors in their lives, such as wealth or good health, make them doomed to continue a downward slide.
On the flip side, however, there is now a greater percentage of Americans, though the percentage relative to the entire population is relatively small, who have gained much more knowledge and truth than the average person and continues to expand their thinking. Their intelligence quotient is somewhat higher but this is not the central factor that causes the rise in their awareness level. It is simply due to the fact that they are hungry for truth and reality, work very hard to find it, and understand that they previously had been propagandized and deceived. In other words, they discovered the existence of a public relations agenda manipulating and programming the populace which caused them to seek the real truth to overcome false truths and purposeful misinformation.
For example, this always happens to Americans who were raised as nominal Christians when they become real Christians. After their legitimate born again experience they suddenly have a great hunger to read the Word of God, especially, of course, the teachings of the Lord Jesus in the four gospels. His teachings open their minds and hearts to greater truth. The more truth they gain the more they can apply it to other subjects. The ongoing result is the discovery of ever more truth and a greater ability to see through false narratives and half truths. This is especially true for “Christian” false narratives. Christianity in general is rife with false doctrines that have no legitimate basis in New Covenant teachings.
Every denomination has its pet overemphasized doctrines that may or may not be true but which serve to cloud or cover over the fullness of the Lord’s teachings and those of the early Church.
Because Americans in general used to have a much higher level of respect for their authority figures they never or rarely questioned the activities of these people. After being incessantly lied to and cheated by corrupt officials over a great many years this is no longer the case. In this we have come somewhat full circle. America started out as a nation fully aware of outward abuses by a distant government and fought against it, not willing to take the abuse, and fought to the point of overcoming the distant government though it was the greatest power on the planet. It was arrogant enough to deem itself invincible but lost badly to what initially appeared as a hodgepodge collection of unintelligent and radical homegrown dissidents. It did not see our forebears as great freedom fighters intent on protecting individual liberty.
Most Americans are not like that anymore. In fact, Americans became so trusting of thoroughly corrupt authority figures they never questioned the myriad of much greater abuses perpetrated upon them than those upon the American colonists. They reached a place of polar opposite, otherwise known as a deep pit of abject stupidity and ridiculous false trust in which they were easily manipulated and deceived. It was not because Americans were actually stupid but merely chose to act that way. They were certainly uninformed and misinformed, however, but such was no excuse. Because of this they doomed their descendants to lives much less than they should have been and allowed the country to be taken over by a cabal of evil people. How were so many so easily fooled?
There were voices of reason and warning but these were shouted down and eliminated by the ignorant brainwashed majority. The same dynamic took place in ancient Israel with any number of powerful prophets who were most often rejected and killed off instead of listened to. The people later saw that the prophets were right but usually far too late to change the evil course they brought upon themselves.
THE PROPHETIC VOICE REACHED ITS ZENITH WITH THE LORD JESUS AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT THEY DID TO HIM.
Americans did this to Americans and this still happens as a daily occurrence. The few who know the truth and the right way are shouted down by the evil DAs in control who have no interest in truth, justice, and the Lord’s way, and these evil people have millions of brainwashed Americans supporting them. As long as they can continue to have such a great deceived percentage of the populace on their side there is little more the proponents of truth and reform can do for the time being.
However, proponents of truth and honesty are growing in numbers. They are making inroads despite the fact that so much is against them. We truly are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening and it will eventually turn the tide against all those who love evil and hate the Lord. The worst perpetrators are not those far away in the political and financial capitals but much closer. They are often deceived American Christians of many different stripes who simply have no eyes to see or ears to hear and no spiritual gumption whatsoever. They may outwardly give off the impression of being loving and kind but it is only a thin veneer hiding unawareness and relative dishonesty. Those who don’t believe this is true have yet to do what the Lord did in exposing the false-veneered corruption for what it is.
The good news is that great progress is happening anyway and eventually everything purposely hidden will become known. Mass corruption and deception will be revealed. This is occurring in both the spiritual and natural realms due to: (1) The greater outpouring of the Lord’s Holy Spirit and a much greater percentage of Spirit-filled people, (2) Superior technology which allows for greater knowledge and which reveals the flaws of past inferior technologies used to deceive, and (3) The fact that truth seekers in both realms are driven to succeed, will never stop, and cannot be stopped. The Lord Jesus is on their side.
Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.” [Luke 12:1-3]
This proves that a great many people already knew about the evil religious fraud of the Pharisees et al but never said anything openly for fear of retribution and social/religious ostracism. Sound familiar? They were reduced to speaking in the dark and whispering in inner rooms. But the day came when many of these same people were supercharged with the Spirit of the Lord and began proclaiming truth everywhere regardless of the consequences. They revealed corruption. They exposed deception. They brought people into the Lord’s great light.
This is what separates nominal Christians from the real thing. In this they obey their callings and do the work of the Master.
© 2019 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.
The Lord Jesus created a spiritual Community in which He is the sole authority and each of His children is free to minister. Authoritarian churches oppose the entire idea.
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]
A great many Christians cringe at this truth. They do not know who the Lord Jesus really is. Instead of supporting Him they support any number of authoritarian preachers who have absolutely no spiritual accountability to anyone. Everyone in such circles knows these men are “the boss” and have been indoctrinated to believe this is how the Lord wants it. It is like so many other things that Christians have been coerced to believe in and it is very convenient for the power boys.
However, as false authority increases the Lord’s authority decreases.
That’s why most of these places are spiritually dead or far less than what they could be otherwise. The people in these churches have traded the Lord’s authority and the great miraculous events that could transpire there for man’s authority and no such spiritual events.
Christians in general have been taught that the Lord’s original ministry is gone with the wind. It was there, it ended, and now we should never expect anything like it ever again. This garbage was taught by egghead theological idiots over many centuries and as a result dead tradition has taken over in most churches. And whenever the Lord Jesus even attempts to shine some light He gets slammed. These people will pay.
Nothing will ever change as long as Christians continue to violate their own God-given rights as believers and give up their own spiritual authority so one man in a pulpit or a small cabal in charge sucks up all the power for themselves. Such power grabs never took place during the early first century New Covenant era by real believers, but only by the false apostles, etc:
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. [2Corinthians 11:13-15]
Paul always had to defend himself and his ministry from attack by such false apostles. They talked a good game but could never come through in the clutch and had no actual spiritual power. Just like the majority of ministers today, they actually opposed the Lord Jesus. The only reason they had any authoritarian power was because they convinced many people to follow them instead of following the Lord. This is why so many Christians also do not follow the Lord but instead follow their preachers and teachers and particular denominations. Otherwise, why would the Lord have said the following?
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25-28] 
The Lord has given us the clear antidote to spiritual pride and the desire to take authority over others. He taught that if anyone wants to be great or first he must eliminate this destructive desire by doing the very opposite and becoming a slave. The early believers called this process “crucifying the flesh.” It is the flesh that wants to take over, not the spirit. This is why most pulpits are manned by flesh men and not spirit men, meaning, of course, that most Christian preachers, ministers, and teachers have never submitted to crucifying their flesh, never submitted to circumcising their hearts, and have never been filled with the Spirit of the Lord. If they had been they wouldn’t do the things they do. They would not insist that all things spiritual revolve around them. They would recognize that the Lord’s way is Community and a Community spirit. They would acknowledge the importance and viability of all real believers. They would take a back seat and become a real servant.
The way up is down.
© 2018 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.
The framers of the United States Constitution fully understood that absolute power corrupts absolutely. They had first-hand knowledge of the consequences that result from the abuse of power.
It is for this reason that they devised a form of government that greatly diluted authority. They installed checks and balances within the framework of the Constitution in order to arrest the corrupting ability of absolute power. The founding fathers were very aware from their knowledge of past governments and their present circumstances that great abuses resulted from a one-man show.
Only Jesus is sovereign. Everyone else is clearly inferior and subordinate to Him, whether they acknowledge it or not. The gap between Jesus, the Lord God of all Creation, and the entity most like Him is so vast it would be impossible to calculate. The only chance which humanity has to experience and continue in fellowship with Him is through applying the sacrifice of His sinless tabernacle to themselves, as a substitutionary death, which in turn gives life.
The Lord stated that no one has greater love than the one who surrenders his own life for the lives of his friends. A kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil (in death) in order to bring forth new life. Accepting His life-giving death is the only way that mankind can be reconciled to Him. Once reconciled to God, a person can become “godlike,” but only through the introduction of the Spirit of Jesus into his being.
Only Jesus is worthy of absolute power. Only Jesus can control it. Only Jesus cannot be adversely affected by it. When a human being is given power, he must be given checks and balances as well. In this way, he has a good chance of not being destroyed by power, or more importantly, not destroying others by it. This is why the concept of the “one-man show” church should be anathema to Christianity. This concept comes in many varieties. Other than a single individual, the “one man” could be a pastor with a sycophant board of elders, or even a worldwide hierarchy pledged to a single leader. In each of these varieties, individuals have no voice, no power, and simply do what they’re told.
We should never forget, however, what absolute power does to people. It corrupts the holders thereof and their yes-men, and in time alienates those subordinates who are passionate for positive change, inevitably causing rebellion against the abuse of power and the neglect of those under that power. If able to unite, the neglected will rise up to rightfully extract power from corrupt leadership. This rising up or rebellion against reprobate authority serves as a check on the flagrant mishandling of authority. A successful rebellion of this kind is called a revolution. A successful Christian rebellion is called a reformation.
The great Reformation of the sixteenth century was nothing more than a rebellion against corrupt, absolute power. The American Revolution of the late 1700s was exactly the same, though in a different arena. If the American Revolution had failed, George Washington would have been guilty of treason against the English throne and would likely have ended up with a rope around his neck. Many thousands were burned at the stake during the Reformation, not because they were heretics, but because they challenged corrupt leadership. Each of these celebrated, successful rebellions proved to be far-reaching, long-lasting remedies against the pox of nefarious authority that had come to be concentrated in the hands of one man.
[The preceding is an excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]
 Matthew 28:18
 John 15:13
 John 12:24
 John 10:34-38, Psalm 82
 Romans 8:9-10
The Lord has made a way of undeserved grace for all who leave the world of sin and rebellion. For those who refuse, He must act to bring justice. He is the only one qualified who can.
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? [James 4:10-12]
TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND THE MESSIAH’S WAY
We all understand the concept of justice. We all understand the need for it. We all know it is not right when evil deeds go unpunished, when people get away with doing wrong, and when it appears there is no remedy for such or no means toward the bringing of justice to guilty parties.
I can assure you, however, that justice always prevails. The Lord will see to it. For now, however, He is obviously more concerned with bringing sinners to salvation. It is why He sends His disciples into a fallen world fraught with danger severed from relationship with Him. It is why He created the Good News for whosoever will, for all those who want to be free and blessed with new life, and will pay any price within His will to gain it.
Thus, grace. All who eventually gain eternal life will have in common the fact that they recognized their need for salvation. They know they have done wrong. They hate the memories. Their conscience reminds them every day. They exist in a broken condition and they know it. The want to be the best they can be. They want to enter into a realm of good that they know must exist but they can’t find the way.
He is the Way. Following the Lord Jesus will lead one directly into the Life one seeks.
But for those who love this world they cannot possibly have any love for the next world or desire for it. They are content here, or at least willing to do whatever they want or think they must to make a way for themselves. It is why mankind’s history is a sordid tale of killings and theft and sexual sin. These are the actions of lustful and desperate people who place no moral restrictions upon themselves once they decide to act in an unlawful manner to get what they want. They may be moral up to a point. But beyond that point they justify sin. They no longer apply any sense of right and wrong. They make their own choices to cross over bridges into places where they act upon their own self will to satisfy evil desires.
That is in part why this temporary world is a mere proving ground. We live in the flesh in what looks like a very real and everlasting world but our individual times are actually very short. This world is very much an illusion. The Word of God states that we are given at most about seventy years and that some have more time because of strength. But not much more. And many never even get that far. But even if one lives to a hundred, what is that in terms of thousands of years or eternity?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. [James 4:13-17]
It is the devil’s job to tempt us away from God and into sin. It is the job of unregenerate flesh and its evil desires to lead us away from God and into sin. It is the job of this fallen faux construct of mankind upon this planet (the world) to distract us away from God and into sin. These are the three enemies all human beings are subjected to. There is no escape from their onslaught other than through the Lord. He knows those who want to be free. He also knows those who would rather live here than in heaven.
And He knows justice must prevail, that all must receive their just deserts, and that He must be the Judge. I would not think that God wants the job but He knows He is the only one qualified. He must be the one to separate the sheep from the goats. He is also the only one qualified to avenge every wrong. Though the Lord may appear to be a pacifist, it is only because He desires to give everyone every chance during this Age of Grace. He is a God of love and mercy. But He also knows unrepentant sin and rebellion must be dealt with. Thus, He is not a pacifist. He is a Warrior.
And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.”
When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!” But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone?’ Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them. [Luke 20:9-19]
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“We can follow orders, we can send directives through the chain of command, we can organize massive shows of religious pomp and promote great Broadway hits, such as Charismania!, but this only means we are unified in purpose.”
In Part 1, we discussed the Revelation of Real Relationship. In Part 2, we discussed the ongoing Restoration. In Part 3, we continue the narrative from my book Real Christianity by discussing the Revolution in American Christianity presently coming forth in these early days of the Great Awakening:
The partitioning of Christianity into clergy and laity began with the introduction of the professional minister. The distinction must be drawn between those who minister because it is a job and those who do it because they have a passion to walk in their calling.
Professionalism promotes rank, and rank promotes division. Yet the present members of the institutional clergy, like their forefathers, continue to insist that rank can coexist with unity. What they call unity is nothing more than communication between ranks brought on by forced submission to a dominant hierarchy.
However, communication between ranks will never result in spiritual unity among ranks. We can follow orders, we can send directives through the chain of command, we can organize massive shows of religious pomp and promote great Broadway hits, such as Charismania!, but this only means we are unified in purpose. It does not mean our spirits are knit together in real relationship and true Christian love.
It used to be that traveling shows had to keep traveling in order to escape from those they duped. But the level of deception has now become so great that many of these road shows have settled down in our cities and towns and are perceived as being quite respectable. The reason most of the duped remain duped stems from the fact that the standard which early Christianity once represented has been suctioned out and cut on until it is no longer recognizable and in too many instances, rejected outright. Instead of walking tall as the body of Christ, we are all too often mere church mice, thoroughly intimidated by a system and structure that has no real community or love between members.
What causes such intimidation? Why are there no opposing viewpoints? Is dissension evil even when those in power are wrong? There is no doubt that centralized authority is to be blamed in part since it causes individuals to feel insignificant and irrelevant in relation to the whole and powerless to change anything. Such power-over-the-people dogma flies in the face of that which Christianity is supposed to be.
Yet God doesn’t leave us without the possibility of deliverance. Some of the blame, therefore, must fall squarely on the backs of those latent ministers who could make a difference but disregard their calling, opting instead to weakly blend into a directionless, homogenized mass.
When the people of God take their ease instead of taking up their cross, they become subject to something or someone other than the Lord. This causes a false servitude to an improper party, and thus, a fear of breaking ranks with said party. The spirit behind the cause of such behavior has no respect or honor for individuals.
Yes, we are supposed to be a body. Yes, we are supposed to be a team. Yes, we are supposed to be a family. But these entities are strong not only because of their unity but also because of the strength of their individual members. If the individual members are spiritually weak but the unifying force is strong, the whole can only be strong temporarily, if at all, and absolutely spiritually impotent for the long term, though it remain unified through coercion, fear, or cultural tradition.
There are reams of historical data reaching back throughout the history of Christianity to support this fact. Centralized authority is only supposed to be a temporary fix designed to bring an entity back on course. When it is institutionalized, it feeds on those it rules over, instead of assisting and serving the common good.
When such authority gains control, it will not only feed on its subject class, it will also confiscate the children’s bread. This stunts the children’s growth and keeps them in a perpetually immature state. As an example, look at the sea of “lay” people which make up most of our congregations. Far too many are clueless concerning their role in the Lord’s body. Almost all are underdeveloped and dependent upon the clergy. Many are in fear, and the great majority are thoroughly overwhelmed by the centralized power which keeps them from developing into what God wants and needs them to be.
Why? Because to buck central authority is to invite its wrath. Centralized authority is heavily control-oriented and dictatorial. For a lone individual or small group to stand against it takes much strength. In the Church, it takes obedience to the Lord and much anointing. Indeed, the very history of the Lord’s Qahal is constructed with the building blocks of dissent against the raw power of inhumane religious impostors bent on maintaining their stolen authority. In the early days of the Church, her religious enemies were thoroughly pagan. But they eventually became “Christianized.” 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” [Acts 4:15-20]
Two thousand years ago, it was unbelieving Jews in places of high religious authority who were in opposition to the use of the Lord’s Name by believing Jews, such as Peter, John, and the entire Jerusalem community of faithful ones.
Today, it is unbelieving Christians in places of high religious authority who restrict the Lord and His believing children from using the Name above every name in ministry. And there is no area of Christian practice in which this is more blatant than water baptism, the first and foremost use of the Lord’s powerful Name in the infant community of saints. In every single instance or inference of water baptism throughout the entire Book of Acts and post-gospel epistles, the Name of Jesus was administered. This continued for three hundred years until Roman laws were put in place to eliminate its use.
What do Roman laws have to do with Christian practice, you may ask? Everything, since the Roman Empire co-opted Christianity and created their own hybrid for the sake of religious control by A.D. 325. Seventeen centuries later, almost every single Christian denomination and autonomous body continue to obey the Roman law that eliminated the Name of Jesus from baptism.
Christians now openly joke about it, wondering what the big deal is and why such even matters. They do not care that they routinely disobey the Lord’s commands and the very clear historical record. Some simply do not know any better because they have been deceived. Any halfway decent theologian knows, however. Biblical encyclopedias and dictionaries clearly state the truth for any who may be inclined to search for truth in the matter.
Therefore, the question is not if such is really true, but why do the majority of Christians continue to thumb their collective nose at God and refuse to use His Name in baptism? Without His Name there is no power, no authority, no witness, no representation of His death and burial, and no washing away of sin.
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. [Colossians 3:17]
Does anyone think the Lord Jesus cares about this issue? He is God, of course, and it is His Name. In the preceding verse, the apostle Paul taught that we were to do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Peter and John understood this directive, originally issued by the Lord, and were certainly aware of the power in His Name when they used it in the healing of the famous lame man at the temple gate:
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]
This miracle, likely witnessed by hundreds, would not have been possible without the Lord’s name. Generations had known of this man. Tens of thousands and perhaps more had seen him at the Beautiful Gate over several decades. Word spread rapidly, so rapidly that the authorities were greatly alarmed.
Later, Peter stated to those assembled in the aftermath,
“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]
Once the religious authorities had heard about the great miracle, they showed up post haste:
As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. [Acts 4:1-4]
Put them in jail? For a miracle? No. The offense was using the Lord’s Name. This one instance is enough to reveal to all real believers that a real profession of faith and determination to use the Lord’s Name will cost. And it will cost everything. It is the sword that sows division as intimated by the Lord.
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” [Matthew 10:32-36]
There is never any middle ground here. One will either be 100% on the Lord’s side or one will be against Him. A real disciple cannot help but apply the Name of Jesus and would never shrink from using it, regardless of any cost to one’s person or reputation.
On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:5-12] 
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 5 of 10]