Small groups of Spirit-filled Christians are often more effective than traditional congregations. The New Covenant Scriptures clearly express this. Spiritually strong small groups are the Lord’s revealed model.
REAL INDIVIDUALS / REAL FELLOWSHIP
The Lord teaches us that each individual Christian matters. He did not sacrifice His life for groups or congregations but for individuals. Though it may be a difficult concept to grasp, the reality of His greatest of all sacrifices was based on a one-to-one relationship in that He died for you. And He also died, simultaneously, for each of us. We must not see His sacrifice as a one size fits all in which He gave His perfect life for a large, nameless, homogenized blob of folks congealed into what we term “the world” but for every single person who would ever live.
Each of us has a name and a story and a history and a heart. We are each attempting to find our way and survive in a fallen sinful kosmos of mankind. It is a world primarily built and influenced by sinful people after selfish gain with no real heart for the other. We learn to get along because the smart ones among us learn early on that life goes better that way. Regardless of beliefs, we know if we treat others well most will treat us well. Most will understand that we too are simply trying to live as they are, against long odds, and fraught with the burden of getting by.
The Lord told us to love one another. We know this intrinsically, as children (though there are exceptions). We naturally love others and put up no defenses. We must be taught to do the latter and it certainly becomes necessary once we understand the presence of evil people and the danger they present. But early on most of us are unaware of such dangers.
The people of earliest times learned the value of coming together in groups. These initial groups were small and family based. By coming together they lent each other protection from the wild natural world and also made their chances of survival better. Their greatest need for protection, however, was from other groups of people. I would think most of these groups had no initial evil intent but some certainly did. The evil groups made life much harder for those who were not so inclined. The good guys did not like being forced to grant a relatively large portion of their limited resources to this form of defense but knew survival depended on it just as it did against other forms of attack. Thus, these small groups learned they must develop and possess a warrior mindset or they wouldn’t be around for long.
As other groups formed and these people groups grew in size they maintained a family or clannish identity. They were not necessarily based on a single family head or generational leadership from a single clan, but on a community model which allowed for its greatest strengths to manifest, and whoever might be in possession of such was granted greater control. The community was grounded on what was best for all and allowed for each individual to develop since this process was obviously perceived as what was best for the group as a whole. This meant they valued and cherished the individual. They raised their children that way. Who knew what child might come forth to be a great positive for the group in the future?
Other groups took a different tack. What developed among them was the opposite of strength by individual. They chose instead strength by the strong man. They allowed the rise of a single powerful man which they all subjected themselves to, much as what often takes place among wild animals. These groups were convinced that a powerful alpha male would make their group stronger against others. This meant the individuals in the group accepted an increasingly lesser role and agreed to be ruled over. The strong man would gather the strongest members around himself, force them to pledge loyalty, and this was approved by the group at large. Hence, the strength of the group gravitated to the top. Soon, the large submissive subgroup had little inherent strength or power and the relatively small ruling group effectively had all of it.
Because there was no love or respect for individual rights and the God-given strength and gifting of each individual, the ruling group began to despise the weak ones who voluntarily surrendered their power and began using force to keep them under subjection. They then learned to attack other small groups and bring them under their power. In time, they massed large groups of subjected individuals and forced them to do their bidding. This made it easy to defeat even the strongest of groups. Other strong men in other areas did the same and when these large groups clashed it became a major war with even higher stakes.
THE LORD’S EXAMPLE
When He started His ministry the Lord chose a mere twelve men. This was His core. Each of these men were equal. But also, and very importantly, their individuality was greatly respected and prized. He chose each of them for a reason. He never chose a “group” but individuals. His intention was to develop each of them to the fullest. That was primary. Secondarily, He would teach them how to be strong, gifted, powerful individuals while simultaneously getting along very well with one another. They must learn to work together. This is the greatest community challenge Christians will ever face.
However, this method and model never enters the mind of the strong man. He knows all he must do is get each individual to submit to his leadership. He will then use deceptive force of some kind or another to make them get along (or else).
One should see then, that a group composed of very strong individuals is much more effective than a group of underdeveloped submitters headed by a single strong man, especially because his strength is most often a mere carnal strength and not spiritual. Whether the strong man is secular or religious, he uses the same tactics. He uses some level of force, often understated, to gain control over people. He will also do the same in gaining control of their minds. Once he convinces those under his control that his leadership works best for their lives and demonstrates it by making them believe their small undeveloped lives are better than what they could ever gain elsewhere or through any other means, the submitted choose the very little over the hope of better and greater, especially because (1) They are undeveloped, dependent, and individually weak, and (2) They are convinced this is how they were meant to be and live, because their small weak lives are much more appreciated by their rulers.
STRONG INDIVIDUALS ARE THE GREATEST THREAT
The strong man, the evil ones, absolutely hate strong, developed individuals. They greatly fear such people. They know such strong individuals are the only ones who can dethrone them. It is why they fight them at every turn. And because they are in their place unlawfully, they will not restrict themselves to lawful conduct in fighting their foes. They will use any means available to maintain their power. As soon as a strong individual with righteous intent comes forth, the strong man pools his resources against him. He does the same with the next one. But if strong individuals intent on righteousness keep rising up and coming forth, the strong man will have to apply lesser resources in overcoming each and will have a lesser chance at defeating them.
Keep this in mind when thinking of the Lord Jesus. He spent His first thirty years becoming the absolute best He could be. He was fully developed in personal strength, knowledge, and everything else. When the time came to start His official ministry, through which He revealed Himself as Messiah and Savior, He was anointed from on high with great spiritual power. He was already filled with the Spirit of God without measure. This happened at the incarnation. He was always God. Then He became a Man. But He was still God. Yet, He lived an obscure quiet life of preparation prior to His ministry and when He came forth He was fully prepared.
This is exactly how He trained His twelve original disciples. He would teach them and bring them to full preparation. Each one, other than he who chose perdition, became powerful, strong, fully developed individuals with an individual ministry. By that time they had also learned to work together and love each other. The group they composed was one of the most powerful groups of men ever assembled, if not the most. Other disciples had been added throughout the Lord’s ministry and His approach to them was the same. The only thing lacking before the official beginning of their ministries was Holy Ghost Power. The same way it happened with the Lord, in that He was baptized and anointed with great spiritual power, so were the original 120 water baptized and then filled with the Holy Spirit on that wonderful Day of Pentecost.
Thus, members of one small group of nobodies submitted themselves fully to the Lord, and through His guidance and direction became a powerful group of individual spiritual stalwarts able to take on all the evil strong men of this world, including the devil himself. And one must never forget that, relatively speaking, this was a small group! The original Christians were never a vast conglomeration of non-Spirit-filled weaklings as so many of our present congregations have become, but a collection of powerful small groups comprising a whole. In fact, Christianity in general has become the opposite of what the Lord intended. Those who defend it are doing a disservice to the Lord but also doing a disservice to themselves. Whoever submits to the strong man, whether secular or religious, has accepted another one to rule in place of the Lord Jesus. This is exactly what Adam did which resulted in the great spiritual fall of mankind.
May we all receive the revelation that each of us matters, each of us is called and gifted by God, and each of us is vitally necessary for the task at hand which grows more problematic by the day. The Lord created a body of which each of us is a vital part and we must each be about our Father’s business.
THE BODY OF CHRIST
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it.
But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. [1Corinthians 12:12-27]
© 2020 by R.J. 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 Community that is spiritually strong and knowledgeable due only to the combined brilliance of all members, not the limited low wattage of a few.
On the Day of Pentecost in the upper room the visible presence of the Spirit of God separated into 120 small flames and these were distributed to rest on the head of each person present. It was an outer representation of the infilling of the Holy Spirit taking place at that moment. This powerful and miraculous occurrence was clearly representative of the legitimacy and ministry of each and every real believer.
This original Spirit-filled Community of the Lord that started with 120 grew by the thousands but maintained its initial structure and ministry model. The Day of Pentecost experience never ceased. We have clear references to it and the evidence of miraculous occurrences throughout the Book of Acts which proved the ministry of the Lord Jesus continued onward and unabated yet through His disciples. We also have glimpses of what occurred in Christian meetings of that time, but perhaps no better account exists than what the apostle Paul describes in his first letter to the Corinthian believers. This letter was written at the crossroads port city of Ephesus in about the year AD 57. The following descriptive illustration gives us a much fuller picture of what actually transpired in Christian gatherings in the first century:
What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. [1Corinthians 14:26-33]
This passage in the fourteenth chapter of First Corinthians contains an actual look into what most Christians today would call a “church service.” What the apostle Paul writes about, however, looks nothing like most church services of today or of pretty much any day, even among Spirit-filled people. Back then, the Lord Jesus made sure everyone He wanted to be involved was involved and that meant everyone, though not necessarily in each gathering. The point is simply that He wanted each of His children to have the opportunity to contribute. After all, each believer is a member of His Body. Each member has a purpose and a function, and without each respective part something is missing and this negatively affects the Community as a whole. Thus, He wants everyone, not just a few, spiritually engaged.
NO ONE IS AS SMART AS ALL OF US
In most church services, of course, the opposite happens. What is more, rule by one or a few is the law, unwritten or not. By this we know who is in charge. If the great bulk of believers are made to sit down in orderly rows and stay quiet, never contribute except in some largely inconsequential collective manner, and believe they really have nothing to give anyway compared to the brilliant spiritual giant in the pulpit, then why even try? It doesn’t take long to figure out that one better go along with the program if one wishes to have a favorable and positive “church” experience and maintain social approval and acceptance. To do otherwise is to invite suspicion, be perceived as a mild antagonist, or even eventually be cold-shouldered or blackballed.
There are a great many Christians who spent many years as the good soldier in their respective churches even after discovering Biblical truths that contradict church as they knew it. I know I have. But I always held my peace and attempted a possible discussion later. I did my best to go along with whatever we were all expected to go along with. I figured the people in charge knew a lot more than I did even though I rarely had any of my questions satisfied or answered properly. After my rookie year or so I simply quit asking. I could never get a straight answer. The attitude presented to me by those in charge led me to develop a much closer walk with the Lord and that led me to much more study and research to go along with my often essentially incessant Bible reading. Since there were rarely any viable ministry opportunities in church services, I used my own personal study and prayer time as a principle outlet. Whenever I did get a chance to contribute in a more meaningful way, I certainly engaged and it was good.
One might recall the example of Stephen who was greatly anointed of the Lord to tear into the wicked unbelieving religious leaders the same way his Lord had done. I certainly never did that and rarely saw it done in my entire church career. Those kinds of diatribes were allowed only by the guy in the pulpit. Regarding what was sometimes displayed there will have to wait for another possible post down the road. The difference, of course, is that we are all part of a spiritual community and Stephen was strongly rebuking non-believing Messiah-hating spiritual enemies and defending himself and the Lord against false charges. We, on the other hand, are supposed do our best to maintain fellowship according to the Lord’s will.
Regarding our early, developing personal ministries, most of us thought the leadership would eventually come around and recognize our anointing. We were even taught we must wait on God but surely, they said, recognition would come. This does happen with a few, but for most the recognition never comes. That was my experience. Actually, that’s not exactly true, because some in leadership certainly did recognize what I had, they just never officially acknowledged it or rarely allowed a place for it. I knew then that I had something the Lord gave me that they did not want. I was strong spiritually but sometimes insecure socially in the presence of leadership because I knew they disagreed with me even though they knew I had legitimate questions.
It was also because I was growing more knowledgeable than them and beginning to find holes in the church doctrines and bylaws, though that was not my intent. I never wanted to break fellowship and I wanted good relations, and this caused me to walk an endless tightrope in my attempt to please the Lord and honor my calling while also striving to get along with those who stuck to convention. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was challenging their standing. It was only later when I began to realize that many preachers are not really interested in Biblical truth beyond a certain point and are more interested in keeping their jobs. I never saw ministry as a job.
This is the story of who knows how many believers, perhaps millions. I know many of you reading this can identify with it. Perhaps many of us have had similar paths. Maybe that’s why we have these blogs. They are excellent outlets. Imagine all the prayers that went forth before there was ever an internet or the possibility of being able to use our own internet sites as personal ministry. This was something that many of us never imagined. The internet has served to be a viable ministry option, especially for those who have no other opportunities, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Christians are now using it. This can only be a good thing. Consider it internet “fellowship” or an overall online Christian community.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]
The constant tension of “official leaders” attempting to bar the door within their venues to real ministry as per the New Covenant model could be because they are intimidated and insecure, and may see themselves as somewhat improper or compromised in the full light of the Lord’s teachings. In other words, honest believers obeying the Lord have a difficult time fitting into incorrect or wrongheaded church models, but because the leaders thereof are so invested in their programs, they attempt to force people into them rather than get their own act together and get with the Lord’s program.
The Awakening is changing this.
© 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.
Regarding yesterday’s post, JESUS DESTROYS COMMUNITY DIVISION, something really profound took place and many thanks are in order. Read on:
I’m not sure what happened. My blog traffic had been down and then began picking up last weekend. The last time I made a post was the 7th, but that was mainly a compilation post featuring links to three posts I made in December: THE TRUTH DIALOGUES (COMPILATION). Before that I made my first post of the new calendar year on January 4 entitled, THE ALARMING DECEPTION OF CONFIRMATION BIAS. Those two posts did okay but yesterday’s post received a much better response and I am most grateful to all of you who took the time to read and to all readers.
Regarding yesterday’s post specifically, what follows is a list of each of you who liked the post and made comments, listed alphabetically:
I want to thank Richard for reblogging the post and making it available to all his readers over there in the environs of England and thereabouts. Every time you do this, Richard, my traffic spikes (and yours probably goes down.) I also want to thank Tony. He made some great comments on my blog. Not long after that I revisited Richard’s blog and noticed that Tony, along with Richard, had apparently come to my defense over there. A reader had claimed I was writing falsehoods and Tony responded with much Scripture and his own writings, the same he later posted on my site. So thank you Tony. I appreciate that. Those of you who also commented—Elizabeth, Gary, and Lynn—you made some great points and it was all encouraging. Also, Richard later added a pingback. Thanks again!
I know all of us have different readership lists, but for today consider yourselves a community. I encourage you to continue to visit each other’s sites, especially the ones listed above, as you have time. We are all in this together. We can all learn from one another. I know we have various differences of beliefs but we all agree 100% with the ones that matter most, as written, for example, by our brother Paul from long ago:
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. [1Corinthians 2:2]
Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. [1Corinthians 15:12-17]
So, we all believe that the Lord Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified, and was resurrected from the dead, and that it is only through His grace and great sacrifice on our behalf that He made a way for our salvation. These core facts alone and our agreement with them make for a strong foundation for fellowship and though we may never see eye to eye on everything it doesn’t mean we cannot be loving brothers and sisters anyway. This is our current challenge, one that so many Christians of the past have failed at, and that so many of today find insurmountable. Division disease is hard to overcome but it can be and is being done. To that end, and in honor of the Lord and the gist of my article, I will close by once again posting the relevant passage of Scripture listed there. Be blessed, everyone, and thanks again.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
As of today, Real Christianity has completed a full six years and begins year number seven. My thanks and sincere appreciation goes out to all of you for your gracious and faithful support.
It means a lot. I remember well when I was a rookie Christian brimming over with the Spirit of the Lord and wanting to give everything I had. I was in the process of devouring the Word of God. I could not get enough. I was breezing through the Bible and was forever continually amazed. I distinctly recall the day when I read 1Corinthians 14:1 for the first time:
“Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
The apostle Paul made it very clear in this passage that there was something very special about the prophetic gift. I knew next to nothing at the time but was learning fast. I really did not understand the full impact of the request I was about to make, but my brother Paul appeared to be talking directly to me. I took his advice personally. I figured that if the prophetic gift had the word “especially” attached to it then I had better seek it. It seemed that Paul was saying it was needed the most. I had some understanding of the gifts at that time since I read 1Corinthians 12 before I got to 14, and I had also seen the gifts in action.
But again, when I saw 14:1 I went directly to the Lord in prayer and told Him that if the prophetic gift was what He wanted me to have and it was needed the most then I wanted it. I was seeing the bigger picture. I wanted to be of greater service.
“For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.” [1Corinthians 14:2-3]
After about a year I was preaching in a pulpit. I did most of my preaching outside the church building, however. Yet, in my estimation at the time, I wasn’t really preaching out there, and it was not preaching in the conventional sense. Instead, it was what I may term anointed witnessing. And Boy Howdy, I was witnessing to everyone. It was not at all unlikely for me to go 45 minutes at a time. I had so much to give and the Lord just kept on anointing me to keep going. Those poor people! I know many appreciated it but I also found out early on that many did not. I started getting called “Reverend” and “Little Jesus” and other names I forget but you get the gist. I caught some flack but not all that much. Most of the flak came from a few.
What I discovered was that the majority of the people were very open and respectful. The ones who caused me the greatest grief were those in closer proximity, if you get my drift. It seems the people who are connected relationally understand without really knowing why that the relational connection put an ongoing pressure on them to consider the truth, whereas people I didn’t know could simply walk away and would likely never see me again. It is easier to be polite that way. The Lord summed it up as thus:
“A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” [Mark 6:4]
Most Christians never make the connection that one’s “own household” is often one’s own church. This is in part why church as we know it doesn’t work past a certain point. Whoever wants to get in deep with the Lord and go all out like every real disciple should finds out that after about two years or so he or she will come to a previously unseen spiritual fork in the road. One will either continue to move on with the Lord and stay strong and continue developing or one will succumb to church life.
Since you just read something considered by some to be quite pejorative, a caveat is called for: Some Christians outside of the preaching profession are meant to serve long term in local churches. Therefore, I am not saying that one cannot find their ministry and exercise their calling within a local, traditional body. The problem is that most can’t. And the problem there is that there are only a few places where one can. So even if one wants to serve there is most often no place in which to serve except on a very limited basis.
But the Lord did not call us to limited service. He demands our entire heart, our entire life, and our entire everything. If a Christian holds back he or she is limiting God and can never become a fully developed and mature disciple.
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]
This is why He used a different method from what most Christians are used to. He had to create a venue in which every single one of His children could minister in exactly the way He called them to minister. This is also why He created diverse spiritual giftings. Again, in reading 1Corinthians 12 and 14 we see many of these giftings and also several different places of service. However, there is no room whatsoever for the vast majority of these giftings and places of service in traditional local assemblies.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” [Luke 5:37-38]
And there it is. That’s the key. The key word is FRESH. An old wineskin might be good for something but it is never good for new wine.
In my six years here on WordPress I have met a great many people doing exactly what we were all called to do—that being whatever the Lord has placed on our hearts. It is limited to putting digital words on a screen but is unlimited regarding what those words are. The Lord sees it all and will judge it accordingly. We should all be seeking His approval but that can only come through faithful obedience. The great thing about venues such as this is one can preach or teach or write or witness to their heart’s content without any limitations save for those coming from the Lord.
The greater impact is that internet communities are formed. Friends are made. Brothers and sisters come together. Truth is disseminated. There is no one telling you that you must comply with some traditional outlook or force you to believe a certain way if it conflicts with what God says. If we make mistakes the Lord is forgiving. Children make mistakes. Do we hold it against a child for not knowing any better? Neither does the Lord. He loves us no matter what we do. But if we are fully dedicated we will learn. We will grow in wisdom. We will come upon truths we never saw before. The Lord can open our eyes.
My hope for each one of you is to continue growing ever-closer to the Lord Jesus and being even more effective for Him and one another. We know what happens when we achieve it: We help each other to change for the better—we all minister to one another. This is the essence of true koinonia. The Great Awakening is being driven by all those who are fully committed, insist on appropriating the full spiritual liberty the Lord died to give us, strive to fulfill their callings, and never look back.
“What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets…” [1Corinthians 14:26-32] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
All real Christians have God-given talents and gifts, and are called into some form of ministry. Our purpose is to fulfill our callings. Here is how the Lord provides for us in that process:
A VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION:
The spiritual harvest brought forth by our work for the Lord is not the same as our personal compensation.
Real Christians are noteworthy for putting the work of God first regardless of any recompense they may or may not receive at the time. They know the Lord will always provide but they don’t necessarily wait around for the provision when there is work to be done.
Now, this must be explained a tad. The Lord Jesus never calls anyone into His work without taking caring of him or her. He always provides for His disciples. As I have written about on this site several times, when the Lord called His original twelve to leave all and join His ministry it also involved leaving their present means of making a living. He told those who were fishermen, for example, to drop their nets and follow Him. There is no way He would do this unless He had the wherewithal to provide for them through an alternative means, and this is key.
YOKED TOGETHER WITH THE LORD OUR PROVIDER
For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. [1Corinthians 9:9-10]
The Lord will always do His part. He will always provide His portion. Consider it this way: A real Christian is in covenant with the Lord. The two share the same yoke. The yoke will fit only two people [See my post: The Yoke’s On You].
When two oxen are yoked together there must be time for these two massive and powerful animals to learn to work together. They are each independent with strong wills. The person who is plowing never wants to diminish the power of his oxen or emasculate them in any way for the sake of making them work together, as this only defeats the purpose. He does not want their strength reduced but if anything, he wants to maximize it. That is the entire point of attempting to yoke them together.
The Lord Jesus does the same with each of us. Rather than regiment us and remove our personal power, strength, individual gifts, talents, personality, and independence (all of which He gave us when He made us) for the sake of conforming us to a very low common denominator, which causes us to become essentially spiritually worthless within a mass homogenized group (sound familiar?), He attempts instead to redirect us and put us in a place where all that we are may be utilized fully and where we can be fully developed and fulfilled.
But in the beginning, before salvation, He knows each of us is otherwise hopelessly lost in sin and thoroughly compromised, so He first seeks to bring us to repentance, bless us with a new birth, wash away our sins, fill us with His Spirit and strength, and welcome us to His kingdom. This must start with our own personal hunger. We must seek Him. We must begin manifesting faith in Him. Of course, He is already seeking us and in fact sacrificed His very life for us, but unless we do our part anything He wants to do for us is rendered impossible.
This is why each of us must also sacrifice our life for Him. This dynamic connects two lives sacrificed for the other, yoked together as a team, which makes possible the coming forth of great spiritual production and fruitfulness.
Here is a simple way to see it: The Lord will always do His 50%. He is ever faithful. We must also be faithful and do our 50%. When a disciple does his or her 50%, which is something vitally necessary but often overlooked, then great and powerful things happen. We see then, that the reason such great and powerful things do not happen is because we are simply not doing our 50%. Consider the establishment of the 100% as that which brings forth the fruit of covenant.
SOWING SPIRITUAL THINGS FIRST
If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. [1Corinthians 9:11-15]
I’m going to stop here and reveal the aforementioned distinction further. There are many ministers of the Gospel who consider themselves professionals. In other words, they see ministry as a career. They see it as a job. They will not perform their jobs without a paycheck. They also do their level best to cover themselves within society as legitimate members of society. They do not want to be seen as persons without standing. This is part of why they demand a salary and position. These people, which make up the majority of ministers, would never last a day working with Paul (he’d run ‘em off), which probably means they would last less than a day working with the Lord. Real ministers of the Gospel know they came into the world with nothing (that they had anything to do with), that they came into the kingdom the same way, and that they are incredibly fortunate to have any blessing beyond that.
Real ministry is rigorous. It is not for those who make selfish demands. We are called as babes but must become spiritual adults ASAP or we will get wiped out in battle. Therefore, we must be fully trained by the Lord. The New Covenant writings explain very well what this training looks like. We are bought with a price. The Lord Jesus has purchased us with His own blood.
Once we sign up we not only gain the benefits of living for God but we primarily gain the opportunity to work for Him and with Him according to His will and not our own. In other words, real ministry is not like going off to college and choosing a major or deciding on our own what job we want. The Lord has already decided those things. Our job is to say “YES SIR” and do what He says in accordance with the way He made us, and with respect for our individual giftings and callings. This is in part why Paul relays the following very hard but incredibly fruitful truth:
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1Corinthians 9:16-24] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I wrote the following response yesterday in answer to a loyal reader’s comment:
One should notice that the great majority of “church leaders” have played little role in the presidential election. The news that most of these deciding Christian voters went off the reservation in their support for the Trump candidacy is coming forth. It is another sign that Christians have not only seen through the MSM fakery and the Washington DC corruption wheel to nowhere, but are also starting to see the irrelevance of their own churches and that church leadership in general would rather everyone sit down and be quiet rather than engage in their ministries, answer their callings, and honor the Lord Jesus.
We have been hearing for quite a while about the 1% or the actual .1% that controls everything and gains all the goodies, but a few more Christians are finally starting to see the 1% as their own irrelevant church leadership.
Though it is great that Donald Trump has so many Christian advisors, it is not so great that many of them are church and ministry “leaders” with their own vested interests. The ones who make the real difference are the forgotten, neglected, and largely rejected 99%.
When the Lord Jesus came on the scene, He let everyone know that He was about to free the sheep from their religious enclosures and allow them to run free in great fields of rich green grass and clear running waters!
WHEN HE IS IN CONTROL THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT ALWAYS HAPPENS FOR HIS PEOPLE.
Otherwise, it’s the spiritual equivalent of sardines in a can and an endless yearning for what could be.
I started writing posts about the 2016 Presidential Election well over a year ago. Then I began writing posts in October about the election in an ongoing series that were purposely parabolic in nature. For reference, see the column at left. I like writing in this manner for several reasons. First, the articles generally do not become dated. Second, they are designed to make us think and use our own spiritual cognitive abilities and critical thinking skills to arrive at the meaning, which can be multi-faceted. Third, the stated truths expose invisible spiritual enemies.
The truth I want to reveal in this post is something I have been writing and teaching about for almost three decades. The Lord taught on this subject often. He revealed it’s truth in any number of parables and teaching stories. But due to the nature of an overpowering deception brought on by a false ministry model that almost all Christians are familiar with and comfortable within, as if it was the only model, the truth the Lord wants to reveal goes right over the heads of most believers.
Rather than go into yet another detailed study of the subject, let me put it this way:
If every single real Christian went to work at becoming what the Lord created him or her to be and began doing what the Lord created him or her to do instead of wasting away doing so much less, all of us together could turn this entire world upside down just like our powerful spiritual forebears did so long ago.
The reality is that only a few are answering their callings and most of those teach everybody else that they have no other calling than supporting them. Thus, Christians in general have traded who they really are in the Lord for who someone other than the Lord wants them to be.
This means that the great majority of Christians, in America especially, are NOT in the spiritual work force and are NOT on the spiritual battlefield. For example, instead of sending nine men out to the field during a baseball game we are sending one man out. That’s fine if the enemy also sends out one but the enemy doesn’t do that. He sends out his entire horde. In addition, the one who is sent out usually does very little effectively against the enemy and for the Lord because he or she has a different agenda to fulfill.
Regardless of what anyone may think about the election or about the winning candidate’s character, the fact of the matter is that Donald Trump showed us how it’s done. He had the whole deck stacked against him and began taking powerful shots from the very beginning, not only from political enemies but from his own party. He won anyway.
The Lord is trying to show us something here. He is telling us that EACH of us matter and that EACH of us must go to work! But if you listen to the Christian professionals they’ll tell you to sit down and hush and work only for them. Thank the Lord there is still enough people in this country with an independent American backbone. That backbone has now revealed itself.
I think of so many of you who have dedicated yourselves to serving the Lord through whatever means you can, especially to all these blogs we are all familiar with. They might not look like all that much if only a few are engaged, but there are probably a hundred thousand Christian blogs. We now are doing independent movies and music. The technology is here that anyone, on their own if need be, can find any platform, go right to work, and eventually reach thousands of people with the Gospel.
All this while most Christians in America are still taught to live in the far distant past when none of these technological ministry avenues were available. Instead of the 1% claiming all the ministry and shutting almost everyone else down, wouldn’t it be better if every Christian was in some form of real ministry?
American Christians must STOP being mere spectators. We must all answer the call.
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too… and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” [Acts 17:6-7 NKJ]
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The following are Comments from the Real Christianity Community from my January 2016 posts. Thanks to all of you for reading and for your support. Please see comment section of each post to meet and greet your neighbors and enjoy some blogosphere fellowship! You can also read my responses. I’ve included embedded post links for your convenience. Be blessed.
(1) “This is exactly what I needed this morning and am thankful for the words. I am currently going through a valley in life. Sometimes rugged words like this are what a man needs during a trial.”
(2) “Oh yes. Indeed yes. We have watched a young but arrogant “pastor” destroy a thriving work, which has gone from 100% to about 25% since he came. He was highly recommended, and we believed in him. He rose to the level of his incompetence, and we learned that God’s Word was right when it tells us not to elevate a novice. We’ve moved on, as have 600+ other people. One of the saddest experiences in our lives.”
(3) “Great teaching….strong meat, well seasoned, and not drowned in extravagant but needless sauce. Just right, and so very true. I’ve often thought about the “Peter Principle”. To be sure, we reap what we sow. We ought to at least, to be honest with ourselves. If we didn’t start out that way until the Lord got us by the collar, we need to start now. Very encouraging word for today and every day. Be blessed.”
“‘Religious hybrids,’ an interesting analogy, and food for thought. Kind of weird, thinking about these creatures; one doesn’t know whether to avoid them, or pray for them, or if that doesn’t work, to feel sorry for them. I have noticed that some folks simply don’t want their eyes opened, and they won’t believe even if you tell them the absolute truth. They were born and raised in the system and in the system they will stay….. no matter what LIGHT they are exposed to. However, they should know that whatever Truth they have received, they will be responsible to work out in their lives.”
(1) “This is excellent. People don’t want the Lord to rule in their lives, they want man to rule over them. They don’t want to live by faith in God, but faith in the flesh or human convention. Mankind by its very nature likes to negotiate man with man. We are not here to negotiate with God, but to OBEY HIM. Obedience is a narrow path.”
(2) “Here’s a vision I had 2 years ago that fits in with what you’ve posted here: https://tpuccio.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/when-you-come-together-the-body-of-christ/ ”
“Even though that excerpt (from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church ) may be twenty years old it’s the most prophetic utterance I’ve heard lately, and has confirmed itself many times over, just like the truth always does. I’m not trying to flatter with words…I’m just saying. I’ve tried to warn “Christians” of the same thing……few listen, and almost no one understands. Why? Because the cultural and doctrinal traditions, (brainwashing), has seeped so deep into the collective conscience, it goes in one ear and out the other. No ears to hear.”
(1) “Yes it does sound familiar, and frankly I don’t understand why the churchaholics don’t get it. If I as a relative newbie in churchianity “got it,” then it seems it should be relatively simple for others to as well. I mean, the Lord gave us His instructions in the New Testament with an example to follow. Thanks for the blessing…good stuff!”
(2) “Familiar indeed! At the root of the topic is the Edict of Milan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Milan When the early Church was co-opted in to be given rights from the Roman government. Certain inalienable rights to receive tax free status, rights to own real and personal property (read copy write laws). Subsequent to them agreeing to this type of governmental homogenization the Church in this compromised state began a downward spiral from “Glorious” to sleep walking, sleeping, and finally dead which has been happening globally for quite some time since. Thank God for remnants! It is this Glorious Church which Yeshua returns for and not the ones that harken back to a nationalized mindset based upon a governmental foundation guaranteeing certain inalienable rights based upon co- opted belief systems. This kind of “earth based” non heaven-non kingdom belief system is the very kind responsible for mobilizing the Muslim faith along with hundreds of others in to believing that man can re-establish a government aligned to that as King David once was given. There are two passages of scripture that address that King David’s tent will be re-established but this event is not tied to anything that either a real Christian or a fake one will do through governmental rights derived from these earthly realms.”
(3) “Isaiah 29:9 They are dumbfounded and amazed; they are troubled and stagger; they are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10 For Yahvah has poured out on them a spirit of deep sleep, and it has closed their eyes, and also the eyes of the prophets and rulers, and the seers, who see the hidden things. 11 And the vision of all is become to them as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is learned saying, Read this, and he says, I cannot; for it is sealed; 12 and the book is given to him who is not learned saying, Read this, and he says, I am not learned. 13 Therefore master said, Since this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their reverence toward me is taught by the precepts and doctrine of men; 14 therefore look, I will proceed to set apart this people by a great wonder, and in a marvelous manner, and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their prudent men will be taken away.”
(4) “This is why Jesus said He hated the work of the Nicolaitans. Nico is ‘over’ and laitans is ‘laity’ so the term means conquerer of laity. Here’s a dream I had about 6 years ago that fits with your posting:
(5) “The world crept into the church and ruined it. Worldly/carnal people love class divisions. You might like to read this book: PAGAN CHRISTIANITY? by Frank Viola and George Barna:
“Speaking of Greek words (I know very little Greek), I met a guy named Harris Himes while I was hitchhiking in Montana and he has studied the Greek New Testament for a number of years. He said that the Greek word pisteuo means ‘continuously faithing.’ Rather than say ‘I was saved 20 or 30 years ago’ I think it would be better to say ‘I abide in Christ’ or ‘I believe in Christ’—present tense, not past tense. I told Harris that I have met certain ‘Christians’ who have told me that they were saved many years ago. But their lives did not bear witness with my spirit—they had no witness—they were conformed to the world. So I have always wanted to ask them, ‘So when did you reject Christ’ or ‘Why are you so conformed to the world?’ http://biblehub.com/greek/4100.htm ”
(1) “‘United we stand, divided we fall’ is just as true a motto as it ever was. But America is more divided than it ever has been at this critical time. The Lord Jesus said, “A house divided cannot stand.” The household of God, now apostate for the most part, is also more divided than it’s ever been and is crumbling to the ground, except for the true and faithful remnant not part of the well dressed harlot.”
(2) “Although I kind of get where you are coming from, I am somewhat disturbed by your mixing the political system with the belief system. Didn’t Messiah say, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world?’ We are also told, ‘Judgement begins in the house of YHVH.’ Being American is not synonymous with being a believer in Messiah. Our country is not divided because ‘Christians’ are divided, It is divided because its foundation (democratic republic) is anti-God. The founders and proponents of the USA were Deist, Unitarian, Freemason, etc. The principles this nation were founded on which guarantee Christians religious freedom were originally intended to allow the architects of this government to operate unhindered in their anti-YHVH philosophies. Their intent was to create a system where they could freely promote their agendas without state control. The only individual right we are guaranteed as believers of the One True Living God is the right to become the sons of God, members of His household, and citizens of His kingdom.
“I do not believe the US is being judged by God. What I see is the law of sowing and reaping. Consequences of bad choices. The country has become the god. The only national unity under God’s design is the individual parts of the Body of Messiah recognizing their piece of the body and fitting in to become a Kingdom not of this world. Until we get this, there can never be peace – not individual, not corporate, not national.
“The houses, communities, congregations – whatever you call them – that claim the Name of God but usurp His glory, is where He will focus His attention for discipline and judgment. Thank you for bringing the stuff that makes me think.”
(3) “Revelation 3:18: ‘I advise you to buy of me gold refined in the fire, that you may become rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness may not be seen; and anoint your eyes with salve, that you may see.’ This is a prayer for those who have suffered from the blinding fog of religious paradigms, doctrines and mindsets.”
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.
And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. 
Last year at this time I posted a short note about this blog’s first birthday. And now it’s birthday two. Time does fly, as they say.
I noted last year that I had written about 110 articles in my first year. I have only managed about 40 in my second year, mostly due to a lack of time. But thanks to a busy April when I had more time, subscriptions and hits are up. In fact, things in that regard are much better than in the first year when I wrote so much more. Thank you and many Danke’s.
Also, as a side note, WordPress tweaked my theme rules a tad sometime last year and I am no longer able to display all my article titles in the right sidebar. Instead of 150, the list is limited to the last 50. But all my articles are still there, hiding out, waiting for discovery. You can access them through the calendar, and I encourage you to do so.
I want to thank all of you who so faithfully support this blog and read my stuff. If I’m getting it right, it is a download from the Man who allows me to have fun with the info and create something hopefully interesting and edifying, though the content is often hard-hitting.
The Lord blessed with getting the Real Christianity E-Book up and going this year. Please keep getting the word out regarding it and this blog as you are directed.
As time goes on in this world, spiritual clarity becomes less, and as Christians we should all be thankful that our Lord and Master didn’t mess around with unclear concepts and strange ideas hard to receive, unless, of course, one’s radio either doesn’t exist or has malfunctioned in some way. Hearing Ears and Seeing Eyes are of utmost importance if we want to get it, and we will have no problem getting it if our spiritual apparatus is up to par and working correctly. The Lord Jesus simply told it the way it was, and is, and put the Truth out there without reservation. We should all do no less to the best of our ability.
Many have been cognizant of the Great Awakening coming forth for a few years now, and once I got involved in this blogging process I saw much more how many real Christians there are doing excellent and dedicated work, who largely work for free with little recognition. I had always known that the coming awakening would be driven not by so-called Christian leaders, who might or might not be sent by God, but by millions and millions of Christian “nobodies” quietly going about their work unrecognized by most but led by the Spirit of God regardless, and driven to achieve His will.
This is what made the early community of the Lord so incredibly successful. Pretty much everybody was involved in ministry in some form, and most believers were relentless in their approach and loving to the nth degree within that approach. They set a very high standard which we in the present in America have yet to match, though we have had our good times.
It is my belief, however, that we are in the early process of having our best time. We are no longer bound by untruth, misinformation, false doctrines, and bad attitudes that limit what God can do, unless we want to be. There is too much information coming forth, too much history, too much truth, too many applications and methods to discover that truth and bring it forth, and bring it forth fast.
And speed in this sense is a very good thing. It backs up the enemy on his heels, and it allows for greater connectivity within the Body of Christ. In fact, we know that when radio arrived, it was for the Gospel. Television was for the Gospel. And the Internet is for the Gospel. Nothing is more important to any person than salvation prior to receiving it, and any means must be used to receive it, and God has allowed these inventions for the purpose of the salvation of souls. Though the devil will corrupt anything he gets his hands on, these things are not corrupt in and of themselves. Social networking sites are also obviously to be used in the spreading of the Good News and connecting believers together, and informing one another, that we can grow and mature.
Keep up the great work, everyone. Our Lord Jesus greatly appreciates the work He has called you to do. Your work is without doubt worthwhile and is doing damage to the enemy, helping to release millions from bondage to sin, and assisting in the maturing and connecting of the saints of God.
In returning to Book of Acts origins, this is where we’re heading:
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. [Acts 2:38-47] 
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.