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DAMAGING GOD’S MANAGING: SUPPLANTING THE LORD’S ORIGINAL MODEL WITH THE PASTOR PARADIGM

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It is a direct result of the false clergy-laity divide. Once that precedent was set, local one man rule quickly followed. Most insist on the “pastor” title.

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Everybody calls them pastor. Next to no one ever questions the title nor the position of the title holder. Much worse than this, next to no one ever does any New Testament research on this particular term to verify its legitimacy. Like so many other things regarding traditional Christianity as opposed to the Lord’s original model, the pastor title and one man rule has been successfully embedded in religious concrete with nary a fight. Though it has no legitimate reason to exist, its presence proves the further presence of misinformation by design and millions of Christians unaware of the truth. Those in control would rather not deal with any Biblical truth that challenges their position.

THE LORD’S ACTUAL MANAGEMENT MODEL

For those interested in what the New Testament actually teaches about the Lord’s original model, the following four points explain it succinctly:

  1. The New Covenant Communities were each ruled exclusively by the Lord Jesus through the medium of His Holy Spirit.
  2. He appointed men under His leadership to supervisory places of service. These men were generally entitled elders and overseers.
  3. He appointed other men to associate places of service generally entitled deacons and ministers.
  4. Each Community was supervised by a group of elders and never by one man.

I have researched this topic for decades and written long papers. I have done exhaustive New Testament studies on the subject. Because I must be relatively concise with this article, I will explain and clarify, though briefly, the New Testament facts regarding the pastor title and position, and why the issue matters. I will be quoting from my book Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church (which contains much deeper research). Each book excerpt will be indented to differentiate it from the post text. Keep in mind that the words pastor and shepherd are not synonymous:

As mentioned previously, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen, which is translated as “shepherd” on every other occurrence of its use. “Pastor” is originally a Latin word and means “herdsman,” which is defined as “a manager, tender, or breeder of livestock.” Though “herdsman” and “shepherd” might appear identical, there is a difference. The Good Shepherd, for example, cannot be identified as a mere manager of livestock, but only as a caring shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. A herdsman, or pastor, is actually more similar to a hired hand in the sense that livestock is seen as a commodity, and the level of personal care is much lower than that of a true shepherd. It is in Ephesians 4:11 that we find the only occurrence of the word “pastor.” If the translators had used the word “shepherd,” as they should have, we quite possibly wouldn’t have today’s “herdsmen” in authority over God’s people, but true shepherds who assist the Great Shepherd. [1]

Again, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen which is defined as “shepherd.” This Greek word occurs 18 times in the New Testament. Why is it translated as shepherd 17 times instead of all 18? There is absolutely no legitimate reason for this. Since the original King James Version of 1611 was written with a strong authoritarian bias per the king of England and his translators, this was their chance to insert an authority word since the word “shepherd” is disdained by authoritarians as weak and essentially useless for instituting rule. Of course, the Lord Jesus was never referred to as “Pastor” nor were any of His disciples. He was, however, addressed often as Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd not the “Good Pastor.” We must follow His example:

A real pastor is nothing more than, and nothing less than, a shepherd. Many of those who represent themselves as pastors today are anything but. There are many preachers who desire a nice, steady job and a “Pastor” title. There are also quite a few homesick evangelists who would rather settle down in one location to do pastoral work instead of attend to their callings. It should be obvious that the only real pastors are those who are functioning as pastors, that is, caring for and shepherding God’s flock according to God’s will. There are undoubtedly many people who are called to be shepherds who are not serving as such, or else the Church would be in a lot better shape. Most of these are probably wasting away on pews because they don’t feel qualified when comparing themselves to the multi-credentialed big boys in the pulpits. [2]

Because a great many of our so-called Christian leaders refuse the original New Testament management model of the Lord Jesus, might they also be engaging in other violations? If their desire is to rule over the flock instead of shepherd the flock, their spiritual condition doesn’t really matter. Perhaps this is why so many Christian leaders, including those with a pastor title, seem to always be engaged in some form of hidden sin:

Through deception, each of us can become blind to our own sin at any given time. No one is immune from this possibility. The most susceptible are those who have such a high opinion of their worth and stature the very idea of their fallibility and sinful tendencies escape them. Such “right” supremacists would no longer think it possible to be unaware of or compromised by their own sin than they would think anybody else could possibly serve in their place. When this high-minded attitude is resident within professional Christian leadership, it serves as an obstructing hidden sin against abundant living for those in their care. Hence, it is far too often the case that those who lead congregations do so according to their own will since they are not fully obedient to the will of God. This is not the picture of Jesus working through a person, but a person working of his own accord.

Therefore, many spiritually hungry and unfulfilled seekers of life have unknowingly committed the sin of appropriating for themselves leaders other than Jesus. The Lord makes it very clear that He is the only Good Shepherd, and though a believer may gain assistance from a person of more mature spiritual standing, such a person must never occupy the foremost place of authority in a believer’s life. Such facts bring us to the sad conclusion that many Christian leaders and/or pastors are not true shepherds at all, but mere hired hands. They might indeed care somewhat for those in their congregations, but they certainly don’t possess the same level of care as the Good Shepherd. As hired hands whose salary stems from the pocket of their congregations, they can get by without being tapped-in to God’s payroll and yet maintain their ministerial credentials. The shepherdless sheep, however, are not quite as artful and are often scattered by the wolf. [3]

HOME GROWN WOLVES

While churches have been hyper-sensitized to all manner of possible minor deviations from doctrinal and cultural protocol arising from the congregation and (Aghast!) mysterious visitors, no one ever looks in the other direction. The dude in the pulpit is thus most often immune. He is rarely queried. As long as he gets the denominational doctrine right people look the other way. This would explain the previous passage regarding sin in high places. Where then, would the enemy strike? Would the enemy seek to clandestinely enter the well guarded congregation, the laity class, where every member must always toe the mark and squeal on those who don’t? Or would he attempt a takeover by going after those high and lifted up with little or no accountability that control the operation? We should all know that the devil will always try to gain control of the few in control in order to control all. This is yet another reason why such false Christian authority positions are highly vulnerable to temptation. It is the opposite, of course, with legitimate, accountable, and transparent Christian eldership groups. These men act in the service of the Lord Jesus and not only watch over the flock but each other as well.

Could this be why the clergy boys double down and also establish protective manned check points toward their hidden ivory towers? And condition the congregation to never question “them that have the rule over you?” Do they set up all this protection to keep people from finding out what they really are and what they’re really up to? This is a far cry from the way the Lord Jesus and His followers ever conducted themselves. The “One Man Show” Ruling Paradigm has thus done great damage to the Lord’s management model and has had a devastating effect on what could have been regarding American Christianity’s positive impact on the country. The enemy has gained a beachhead:

 Christianity in general has become too stodgy and complacent to be changed by Him in any appreciable manner, since the will of the people for His control is greatly lacking. Revival and/or renewal do not address the root of the problem, and this consequently demands a new approach. The people who are at least trying to obey Him in this regard are finding some success, and their new-found fresh spiritual forays contrast sharply with conventional methods. It is in comparing the two that we discover a glaring truth.

When the splitting of community became official, it easily did more to thwart God’s plan for evangelizing the world than anything else man has devised. The reason why is simple—ninety-something percent of the membership was removed from the process. The “laity” was deemed unqualified for officially ordained Christian service and, consequently, unworthy of receiving God’s call. Yet, there was a time when all believers heard the call of God, and each person heard it from Jesus Himself. At the present, due to the entrenched tradition of the clergy-laity division, many Christians never consider the possibility of devoting their lives to God because they have been made to think that God only chooses certain rare holy ones for His work. If this is true, the Lord is breaking His own commandment by judging a good many people as unqualified before they ever get a chance to prove themselves.

The only thing which actually disqualifies a person from ministry is the same thing which disqualifies him from membership in the Church, and that is simply a lack of full commitment to the absolute Lordship of Jesus. There is nothing inherent within any sincere believer which disqualifies him or her from the Lord’s service—somebody else’s service yes, but not the Lord’s. Every Christian needs to know that all legitimate calls to ministry come only from the Lord, and each should be encouraged to find his or her place of service. There are abundant ministry needs to address, very few who feel worthy to address them, and many who were discouraged from entering the Lord’s service by inept ministers who were more than likely never called themselves, at least, not by God. [4]

ESTABLISHING DOMINION THROUGH ARCHITECTURE

Why are church building interiors arranged like theaters, auditoriums, assembly houses, and ancient Roman amphitheaters, with platforms and stages, and lecterns and pulpits? The Lord’s original apostles and the entire first century Christian Community never appropriated any of these. Instead, theirs was an organic fellowship utilizing available organic means. For example, they never had any central meeting house but always met in private homes. They took care of one another. What one lacked another provided. They steered clear of any institutionalism, prideful shows of earthly power, or dominance over the people dogma precisely because they were spiritually powerful humble servants, exactly as their Lord commanded them to be.

This question of church buildings thus pretty much answers itself for those paying attention. To go along with clergy dominance, it helps to create imposing material representations of said dominance. The people need to know who’s in charge. It began about 1700 years ago with the first “cathedrals.” They simply transformed Roman government structures for Christian use and then continued with the government model to showcase their rule over the people. Never mind that the Lord Jesus never engaged in such earthly nonsense. When did the Lord and His men ever advocate for the building of static church buildings? There were no church buildings for three centuries and the early believers managed to turn the world upside down anyway. The Lord’s kingdom was and remains a spiritual kingdom devoid of the mandatory trappings of earthly kingdoms.

Also, when did the Lord Jesus ever act like a duded-up ruling potentate preaching down from on high to the lower class? Is He not the most humble Man who ever lived? Did not the Creator Himself choose to present Himself that way? Why did God enter this world like everyone else, as a mere babe? Is He teaching us something with His perfect attitude? Is He not our perfect example?

There is a massive disconnect in this area. When presented with such information most Christians simply stare and say nothing or get angry and go into defense mode. This is highly unfortunate. I am not saying that good is not being done in traditional Christian settings. But such tradition has most often been a huge drag on what could otherwise be accomplished. And nothing subverts the process more than a solitary strong man in control dictating anything and everything, and building according to his vision instead of the Lord’s vision. These ruling pastors (and this is a perfect grammatical definition) are most often working in direct opposition to the Lord Jesus rather than working in concert with Him. The Lord is thus forced to support them in part because of the limited good done in such places since they are on balance better than nothing at all.

STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15] 

Imagine rightly praising your first grade child for doing well in his or her school work. Then imagine the idea of praising him or her when the child continues to operate on a first grade level in the second or third grade. Then think about what happens when kids are passed on to the next grades when they never complete the required course work for their previous grade. You will eventually have some really ignorant children and teenagers that simply cannot handle the work which the grade they were passed to requires.

Did you know we have an absolute epidemic of ignorant children in schools? That we have ignorant teenagers actually graduating from high schools? That some of these are actually attending college? In the early years of this country, roughly three centuries ago, children were learning new languages. They were reading the classics at early ages. They were reading the Word of God and understanding it. They had difficult course work but many were mastering it. Have you seen the bright but disciplined children in this world mastering musical instruments? Have you noticed how some children learn practical work at early ages and later become masters at their trades?

We do a great disservice to children by allowing them to be dumbed down rather than instructed properly toward higher levels. How many people notice the miracle of very small children somehow learning complex grammar and language at the age of two to three years old? How did their grasp of grammar and vocabulary suddenly shoot through the roof? The so-called experts have no answer for this. It defies evolutionary thinking. It is impossible that the children learned it on their own. It is not possible to teach it. They acquire a great amount of information and ability at an extremely young age and begin working out complex problems when they should not be able to.

Then they are placed in “schools” with extremely limited learning environments with forced low common denominators that cause their revved up rocket engine minds potentially taking them into outer space to be downgraded to virtual Model T’s and in other cases horse and buggy technology that make it difficult to get on down the road and impossible to travel any appreciable distance. Rather than continuing toward epic flight they are forced into slave galleys pulling at oars to support the institution and its parasitic inhabitants and leaders instead of the other way around.

This exact dynamic has transpired in American Christianity. The arrogant clergy boys and their sycophants have created institutions that serve them instead of serving the people. The people suffer. Christians never get the teaching they need or the Biblical and spiritual knowledge they require. These Pharisaical leaders almost never create a single disciple but maintain dumbed down “congregants” who rarely progress and are next to worthless spiritually. Most American Christians have never had a real born again experience. Most have never read the Bible. Most are Biblically illiterate. Most have a dirt foundation with a future fall. It is almost never the case that such eternal church-going Christians cannot learn or be properly discipled as the Lord clearly commanded. It is that true discipleship is at odds with the traditional curriculum. Keeping the congregation dumbed down and under control is a much better management model because it’s a much better business model. It is better to keep everyone in elementary school perpetually to keep them coming, giving their money and support, and maintaining the rule of the clergy and local “pastors.” The last thing they want is people doing things the Lord’s way. I mean, if everybody developed as real ministers of the Gospel and actually graduated, how could that be good for the local church?

SUPPORTING THE COUNTERFEIT

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46] [5] 

Why is it that most Christians never properly compare the Lord’s ministry style with their own and comprehend the night and day difference? Is it simple cognitive dissonance? Why do so many Christians look upon the Lord Jesus, the original apostles, and the first century Church as primitive and even wacky, and their methods those of a long dead culture that could never work in the present? The reality of the matter is that the Lord’s management model, which is the perfect model, is rejected not because it doesn’t work or cannot work but because it conflicts with what Americans Christians have built in its place.

Why do so many Christians support the Pastor Paradigm? Why does the majority continue to insist on supporting a failed model? The official model is a counterfeit substitute that falls short on many levels. It is why American Christianity in general continues to deteriorate and lose influence. Look around! America and Americans are suffering! Real Christianity is under attack! It is only the current Great Awakening which largely exists outside official channels that is allowing for a vehicle through which the Lord can work. Sound familiar?

They refuse the Lord’s full authority, refuse His perfect management model, and refuse to allow the infusion of spiritual life that so many are desperately praying for. For them it will always be business as usual.

“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:8-13]   

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[2] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[3] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[4] © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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

THE GREAT ERROR OF TRUSTING DUPLICITOUS HIRELINGS AND POMPOUS PUPPETS

Sans salvation, such human leaders are hell bound sinners awaiting a surefire inevitable judgment before God. Trusting them blindly is outright foolishness.

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Many Christians learned the hard way once again. When he had the power of office, at a time when it was needed most, he failed to use it. He thus revealed himself for what he was—at worst a compromised puppet effectively controlled by higher powers like most of the rest, and at best a well-meaning man without the means or courage to follow through. He did many good things, possibly went farther than anyone else would go, and attracted much vitriol for his efforts, but not only did he lack the ability to close the deal, he left the nation defenseless against an unrelenting enemy. In the end, millions of Christian supporters were left in the lurch. It’s a terrible thing to believe in a leader’s apparent sincerity and ostensible truthful speech only to be left hanging when such speech is proven to be mere dissembling rhetoric and his supposed earnestness a con.

And that’s what these people are, pretty much all of them. They are merely con artists working their trade on the payroll of unseen puppet masters, making fools of the people and laughing behind your back.

DUPLICITOUS HIRELINGS

The Lord Jesus did His best to tell us. For the most part His warnings and wisdom go unappropriated in this area, as in many other areas, as so-called believers only trust Him to a point and no more while they fall at the feet of human pretenders both secular and religious, and essentially worship them. It is, as they say, a spectacle to behold, as if the Lord commands His people to surrender to someone other than Him which makes no sense but remains an extremely successful lie.

Real Christians learn early on in their walk with the Lord Jesus that the devil is real, that he is an excellent liar, and that he lives to steal, kill, and destroy. He loves to corrupt the good, innocent, and wholesome. He is a tempter extraordinaire. The devil always plays fast and loose with the truth and uses segments of truth to do his dirty work which always involves his skillful abilities of deception. The devil is a deceiver of the highest order; there is no one better. And we can tell who his disciples are because they do the same. He teaches them well. The greatest liars and deceivers are the greatest disciples of the evil one. They lie, they cheat, they steal, they kill, they destroy, and they fool a great many into believing in them. Such people could not possibly have their great powers, however, unless the greatest of evil powers granted his power to them. They cannot function without their evil spiritual master. And the people of this world who have no power in the unseen spiritual world are easy marks, very easily taken advantage of, used and abused, and then cast away. They have no chance whatsoever without the Lord. It is not a fair fight. Even those who get wise and figure it out have little ability to do anything about it. All are mere sheep without a shepherd.

One would think, therefore, that the few sheep who become aware of the truth of this fallen world would seek the One they know must exist somehow, someway, somewhere, and many do. But sadly, before establishing a solid relationship with the Lord Jesus many of these get cut off at the pass by the religious chucklehead posse and they end up bowing to a shepherd who is not a shepherd but just another hireling.

Such hirelings are much worse than other false leaders because they pretend to be spiritual leaders. And the very worst of these are false Christian leaders. Even though it may seem highly unlikely at the onset that anyone could ever pull off such a great deception—that one could actually deceive Christians—these have turned out to be the greatest deceivers of all. Though they are nothing more than lying sellouts, they are world class at pretending to be something they are not. In essence, their greatest powers of deception are as masters of disguise. The best are so good at their trade they can fool the best and deceive to the tune of millions. All it takes is the proper window dressing. And it is apparently quite helpful to also wear such window dressing, as their costumes often appear as explosions in a vestment factory.

Also, they understand very well that broken, hurting, needy, shamed, and weakened people need someone to look up to so they play this to the hilt. They become all the more the pompous pretenders they are. They love to dress up and pull rank. They love it when people bow down to them. They love being false idols. They are infatuated with titles, the longer the better. They are among the world’s greatest narcissists. But alas, when it comes to real Christianity they’re spiritually powerless. They’re also insincere cowards. They don’t care in the least that they rarely ever do a damn thing for those who need real spiritual help (you know, the kind the Lord Jesus supplies), and who look to them for assistance, but instead only offer worthless mumbo jumbo, possible temporary fixes, and false hope. They’re great at making excuses. All they really are is the personification of the devil’s trick to keep sincere seekers from the Lord.

Jesus therefore said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13 NASB77]  

A hireling, or hired hand, is one who works for money. Rather than serving the Lord and the people in his care, he serves mammon. The Lord said a man cannot serve both God and mammon. He will love one and hate the other. Thus, hirelings don’t really care so much for the people supposedly in their care since their heart is not in the work. If there was no money to be made they wouldn’t be there. If they received no salary they wouldn’t serve. If they had no promise of an income they would find another job. And that’s what ministry is to them. It is nothing more than a job and career. The reason many Christians are not aware of this is because they either don’t know the Word or the Word they know is overcome by the more forceful word of the hireling ministers who never miss a trick at justifying their false standing. Of course, it helps tremendously that the hirelings outnumber real ministers of the Gospel.

Nevertheless, Christians should know better. They should never let themselves become so deceived. The Lord Jesus never looked like the hirelings. He never acted like them. Though He is the most powerful Man who ever lived He is also the most humble. He was so humble he out-humbled Moses who was previously said to hold that title. (Remember, this is God we are talking about. Consider that.) Though humble, He had such a powerful presence in His time that every man knew the Lord was a much bigger and tougher Man than any of them. He exuded manhood. He exuded great strength and courage. Men of wisdom rightly give Him His due. It is only the disgusting and deceived who do not.

The religious leaders of the Lord’s time painted a perfect picture of what a mature follower of the Lord is never supposed to be and yet the majority of Christian leaders have always looked more like effete Pharisees than the Lord Jesus, who only wore simple utilitarian clothing, kept a low profile, and presented Himself as a common Man of the people. He never wore a sleek business suit or a bizarre pope hat. He was never ostentatious or drew attention to His humanity but always directed people to the spiritual. This means the majority of “Christians” tend to also gravitate to the pretender side since they support the hirelings and not the Lord, or they are among the vast ranks of the deceived. Why are so many so fooled? As I said previously: They are merely con artists working their trade, on the payroll of unseen puppet masters, making fools of believers and laughing behind your back.

Regardless, no one has a viable excuse. Though we are all possibly deceived at any given time to a certain extent and certainly unaware of the Lord’s full curriculum to various degrees, the Lord has made a way for us to see the Light and WAKE UP. He has overcome the deceivers and their great powers of deception so we can see the charade for what it is. He told us very plainly that “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” That is, in part, that one will no longer be bound by the powers of deception. It will no longer be possible to be fooled. One can then see behind the curtain, as it were. Though the enemy still works hard at his great masquerade, real Christians will see all the pretenders for what they are. Their elaborate vestments and attire will no longer hide them. Their fake sincerity will suddenly be seen as such. Their speech, which before had seemed so honest will be perceived as mere lies and religious gobbledygook. It’s a great thing. It’s great that they look at you fearfully and realize their cover is blown, that you see them for what they are. The look in their eye is priceless. The Lord Jesus got that look often.

The moral of the story, of course, is that there is only one Person who is 100% trustworthy. You can trust Him absolutely and fully. He will never walk out on you. He will never betray you. He will always be faithful and honor His Covenant. The Lord Jesus is that Person. He is the only One. He knows we need Him. And He never made any provision that a Christian should ever put another before Him.

ONE MAN SHOW CHRISTIANITY

This is also why the Lord never allowed for one man shows. Sadly, Christianity has long since fallen into the deception of single “pastors” leading “churches.” It is just one more thing the fakers and deceived appropriate in order to have their way. This is why there is so little accountability in organized Christianity. The pretenders and deceived always feel they must have a ruling “pastor” that everyone can submit to. It does not matter that there is no New Testament support for it. This is what they have been fooled into believing and they are bound and determined to enforce it. It is as if they are so superior to everyone else they are pretty much like the Lord. Some of these morons even claim to be infallible, but that high country is clearly only reserved for the Lord Jesus. That’s His territory and His alone. Whoever attempts to trespass on His sacred ground is obviously working for the devil. There is no one who is as pure, holy, powerful, humble, and loving than Him. It is extremely dangerous when one attempts to equate himself with God or demand that which only God should receive. This would otherwise be obvious but not in the world of the deluded. As I wrote in my book, Real Christianity, “The most fully evolved form of an idol today is a living human being.”

You see, the Lord refers to His Community as His Bride. No one treats women better than the Lord and He will certainly treat his own Bride the best way possible. And though it may be a hard concept for many Christians to grasp, He expects the members of His Bride to treat each other the same way. We are all in this together and are supposed to work together. He says everyone in His Community is on the same level ground in that we are all equal (See Galatians 3:26-28). There are no separate classes of people. There should never be anyone exalted over another. There are no ridiculous hierarchies. He never created a clergy-laity divide, which is the invention of imposters and only exists as a means to a false power grab. How is it then, that a few within the Bride (likely posers) insist they have authority over the Bride? This is asinine. Is the Lord Jesus going to allow another man to have authority over His own Bride?

This is why the Lord carefully and evenly distributes His authority. When He grants authority, and all believers have a level of spiritual authority, He doesn’t grant it so some Christians can take authority over other Christians. THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS AUTHORITY OVER A REAL CHRISTIAN IS THE LORD JESUS. In the Lord’s real Community, He works through each believer. He will obviously work through mature believers to assist new and developing believers, and mature believers must be respected for what they are called to do. Real ministers are servants. This is another way to distinguish between shepherds and hirelings. But how can the Lord work through those who have never received His Spirit? The Spirit of the Lord is what unites the Bride. It is what every member has in common. Since the majority of “Christianity” has rejected Pentecost or substitutes some fake version thereof, the majority of Christian “leaders” doesn’t have or want the Lord’s Holy Spirit anyway. This is why they are forced to disobey the Lord’s actual teachings in this area in order to procure their supposed authority since they are not granted authority by the Lord. They bypass Him. This, again, makes them pretenders. They refuse the prerequisite of Acts 101 and simply skip from the Gospels to the Epistles thereby circumventing that which would allow them to be actual ministers. And many of these are not content to merely reject Pentecost but are hostile to it.

Those who actually read the New Testament and study it know the Lord never allowed for a one man show. He actually set up groups of elders. He did this not only to look after the various small congregations making up His larger Community but also for the elders to look after each other. The Lord always knew, obviously, that He was dealing with human beings prone to sin and error, and He would never put one man in charge because there would be no accountability. Meaning, of course, that such a one would stray—always. This rule is forever in effect. Put one man in charge, no matter how good he looks or how gifted he is, and he will screw it up. The Lord does not want His people being led by a screw up. And it doesn’t matter what the deceived supporters of such a one may think but only what the Lord thinks. It also doesn’t matter how “successful” such ministers may otherwise outwardly appear. We all need to be told when we are wrong in order to get right or we will end up in hell. And when a Christian group is operating correctly there is no place for error to hide.

Now, it is certainly true that some ministers will give the appearance of having it all together despite extracurricular side trips if you get my drift, but that’s usually because of one of the following or a combination thereof: (1) They hide error and sin very well. (2) They are preaching watered-down nonsense or presenting a spiritually dead liturgical pageant that doesn’t attract the devil’s attention or is anything he would be afraid of. (3) They have mastered the craft of showmanship. (4) They have fulfilled the traditional expectations of the congregation (very important). For others, they simply take authority without any pretense whatsoever, letting everyone know who the boss is, meaning that the Lord Jesus IS NOT the boss. It is always an amazing thing to see some young “on fire” minister take control of a congregation. The next thing you know it becomes “his” church and “his” people and “his” pulpit. The people become beholden to him. He is thus not a servant according to the Lord’s requirements but is there to be served. He even puts his name and his name only on the church sign out in front (and all the church literature and letterheads and legal documents and bank accounts). Again, everyone knows who’s in charge. (We get it, okay? You da man.)

Thankfully, one other man in the congregation might actually do some New Testament research, gain some spiritual maturity, and then have the courage to speak the truth. Now, that man is actually doing what should have been done in the beginning. He is being used of God to show the need for accountability which the “pastor” refuses to have though he may appropriate a yes man or two or even a whole church board of dignified sycophants. Those guys also know who’s in charge and will never buck the man or system that gave them their position of prestige. They all cover for one another. So here we have yet again, for the umpteenth time, The Great Error of Trusting Hirelings and Puppets.

REAL MEN OF GOD

Real men of God, after being properly schooled, sometimes in the most effective but difficult manner, learn to never engage in such blind belief and non-scrutinized unverified trust in so-called leadership because they know the devil is a master deceiver who has master actors working for him. Remember, the Lord called the Pharisees hypocrites precisely because the word means “stage players.” The Pharisees were religious actors engaging in a high form of deception. They certainly fooled much of the nation of Israel. The Lord said the bulk of them were working for the devil. Christian Pharisees in America have done and are doing exactly the same. Few Christians can see through the masquerade or perceive the subterfuge but should certainly be able to understand its effect. We all should be able to put two and two together using the brain the Lord gave us and see that these people have not only not stemmed the tide of evil but have instead embraced it and promoted it. Rather than being part of the solution they’re part of the problem.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:25-28]   

Real men of God are smart enough to know that embracing spiritual pride is a sin. They know that appropriating God’s authority for themselves and using it for their own power and purposes is a sin. They know that taking advantage of well-meaning church people to insure their own salary and success and feather their own nest is a sin. They know they are supposed to properly teach the Word of God and assist the Lord in developing strong mature Christian disciples instead of keeping the congregation spiritually immature and under control to be used for their own means. Real men of God know the humble road is the right road. They know they will be subjected to endless insults and dishonor but will have to wade through such flak in order to fulfill their callings. It doesn’t mean they are not strong and spiritually powerful. It certainly does not mean they are not real men. In fact, real Christian men who are Holy Spirit-filled and fully dedicated to the Lord Jesus are the most powerful men on the planet. It is because they know who the real power is and they always humble themselves before Him so He can work through them.

Then the Lord blesses them and they go out and win spiritual victories. And duplicitous hirelings are exposed and called to account. And lost people are saved and find a home with the Lord. And miracles take place. And New Testament Truth is taught. And the Book of Acts happens. And people are filled with the Holy Spirit. And dead churches come alive. And Christians actually develop, mature, and become unified and loving and love each other. And whole societies are turned around. And Great Awakenings break forth.

It’s an awesome thing when we do it the Lord’s way.

The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.

He who gives attention to the Word will find good, AND BLESSED IS HE WHO TRUSTS IN THE LORD. [Proverbs 16:17-20] [1]         

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

OUTING THE CLERGY SPIRIT (4)

         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 22:25-26]

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE WOMAN?

         But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull. [Judges 9:53]

 ENMITY BETWEEN SEEDS

         “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” [Genesis 3:15]

 THE WOMAN AND HER RIGHTFUL HUSBAND

         The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” [Genesis 2:22-23]

THE ATTACK OF THE DRAGON

         A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.

         Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. [Revelation 12:1-4]

THE RIGHTFUL HUSBAND AND THE INTERLOPER

         And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.

         At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.

         And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.

         But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. [Acts 5:11-18] [1]

         © 2016 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.

Is God Three People? JESUS IS THE ONLY DOOR (2)

         Dear Readers: Thank you for all your support this year. I believe the content in this current series is indispensible regarding the coming Great Awakening in America. We must all grow closer to the Lord Jesus. He must be exalted in this nation. His real identity must be known. Christian persecution will continue rising in America in 2016 and we must all be prepared. Please help make this current series reach as many believers as possible. Be blessed!

         “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM…” [John 8:28 NAB]


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         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.

         But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

          “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

         This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

         So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP.” [John 10:1-7]

         Trinitarian Christianity has taken the Lord Jesus out of the loop. At best, it has relegated Him to second place. The majority of those who profess Christianity see “The Father” as the real God and the Lord Jesus as something or someone else entirely.

         Trinitarian Christianity also denies history. It refuses to acknowledge the very clear fact that the “Trinity Doctrine” was formulated THREE CENTURIES after the Lord Jesus began His community. One can check any reputable reference book for this fact.

         The establishment of this doctrine was an effort to make sense of the Lord’s teachings with a purely natural mind, an impossible task, through a complete refusal to enter into the fold of the sheep the proper way.

         We now have millions of Christians worldwide who profess something they do not understand and who believe something that makes no sense. If one wonders whether or not he has been deceived by heresy regarding the identity of God, here is the test:

         IS THE LORD JESUS FIRST? IS THE LORD JESUS ACKNOWLEDGED AS YHWH?

         Anything less than this denotes that a person has been deceived by a man-made doctrine in the effort to remove a pure and direct connection to God and thereby render one much less than one should be as a disciple.

MOST CHRISTIANS REFUSE TO SEARCH OUT HISTORICAL ROOTS

         Christians prefer to accept things at face value, having been conditioned to believe what they are told through the quashing of all dissent. Christians should know why this is and many do know but refuse to face it, but the answer is otherwise obvious:

         Religious controllers cannot gain full control unless they force their followers to believe everything they teach. And the first thing they teach is that they are the boss.

         The formulators of the original “Trinity Doctrine” knew this, of course, and created it for that very reason. It is for the same reason that the Lord Jesus was removed from His high place of honor and was replaced with a mythical “Father” completely separate from Him. This replacement “God the Father” is NOT the Father referred to in the New Covenant writings.

         This removal of the Lord Jesus from first place also removed His Name from first place. THE SPIRITUAL POWER THAT ALL REAL CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN GRANTED COMES THROUGH THE PROPER USE OF THE NAME OF JESUS.

         When His Name, the Name above every name, was removed, it also removed the power. This is why the majority of “Christians” to this day do not possess the power of God that the early community of the Lord Jesus had. It is why a completely different “Christianity” emerged in later centuries and why this false form of Christianity—Unreal Christianity—has no spiritual power with God, has no miraculous works, and refuses or is unable to use the powerful Name of Jesus properly.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.

         It is why Unreal Christianity is spiritually dead and completely ineffective. IT HAS BYPASSED THE ONLY DOOR.

         And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’

         “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

         He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.

         …thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” [Mark 7:6-9, 13] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 7)

         Pessimism is a sin. If a person claims to be a real Christian and is not optimistic regarding areas under God’s control, then one is sinning against Him.

         It’s called a lack of faith.

         …And whatever is not from faith is sin. [Romans 14:23]  

         The Lord was often exasperated with faithlessness, especially among His own disciples. Remembering the simple fact that those guys were His students learning His craft excuses them since they were in the process of moving from darkness to light. If they continued in pessimistic faithlessness after the Resurrection, the Ascension, and Pentecost, then they failed His curriculum and were in sin.

         And not a real part of His community.

         Which brings us to the crux of the matter: The majority who claim to be Christians are not real Christians. They are Christian in name only, regardless of their denomination or doctrinal beliefs.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. [John 10:1-6]

         From this definitive statement the Lord is clearly teaching that it is possible for “strangers” to get into His sheepfold. Think about that. We gain greater understanding of this fact when discovering that the Greek word for stranger in this verse means “one belonging to another.” In other words, these strangers are not simply unknown persons crashing the party but those who belong to someone else. And in the clear context of the verse we see that He is referring to people who are shepherds other than the Lord Jesus.

         Who are these shepherds?

         I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. [Galatians 1:6-12]

         There is no doubt that Paul spoke often of false apostles and false gospels. This obviously presupposes false shepherds. False shepherds are “strangers” who enter the Lord’s sheepfold through means other than the door. They assume authority over people not granted from God. It was the Pharisees who Jesus was referring to as such strangers, as clearly indicated in chapter nine of John’s gospel. (There should have been no chapter break, since the narrative from chapter nine continues into chapter ten.)

         The Lord Jesus tells them He is the Door of the sheepfold. He is also the Good Shepherd. Whoever does an end run into His sheepfold without going through the Door (the only means of proper access) is not a real believer.

         “…No one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]

         No one can possibly get to the Father without going through the Son. Whoever rejects the Son automatically rejects the Father also. The Father and Son are a package deal. One cannot have one without also having the other.

         If one has a shepherd other than the Son, one does not have the Father.

         Yet, such people think they still have the Father. Some Christians insistently refer to “God” as someone other than the Lord Jesus, but have no real idea who this “God” is. The term often refers to an unknowable, intangible, and conceptual God that people end up making to suit themselves. In their minds, this God is not Jesus.

         They must, therefore, have a shepherd other than Jesus, because if Jesus were their shepherd, He would be their God also.

         Who qualifies then as replacement shepherds of unreal Christians? Who are the Christian leaders who teach their sheep to enter the Lord’s sheepfold through a means other than the Door? Who are these replacement shepherds who take the place of the Door?

         So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13] [1]

         One should see very clearly that any shepherd who advises his sheep to disregard the Door and enter His sheepfold through another means or method is not honest or upright, but a thief and a mere hired hand working for pay. What’s more, you can bet that the sheep of the false shepherds look and act like them, and not at all like the Door.

         The password to the kingdom of God is the Name of Jesus.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 7 of 10]


[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.