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THE “LAST DAYS” DECEPTION: Editing the Lord’s Teachings (4)

 

There are two kinds of Christians in the world—those who are deceived, have always been deceived, and don’t know they’re deceived—and those who are no longer deceived.

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As I’ve stated here before, according to the teachings of the Lord Jesus, the default position of every single person born into this world is to die and go to hell. As distasteful as this subject may be, and as most may find it cringe worthy and fit for immediate denunciation, the Lord actually taught on it quite often. The reason He did is because there is no more important subject to teach.  

“For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]

“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:7]

Regardless of so many wanting to rewrite the Gospels to arrive at something more acceptable, or recharacterize the Lord Jesus as someone more like their perception of Him may be, or make Him what they may want Him to be to make them feel more comfortable, it never changes the eternity facts He spoke about except on a temporary basis, that is, while one lives in this life under deception.

WORSE THAN JUDAS

The worst perpetrators of editing the Lord and His curriculum have been Christians. These people, regardless of their socially acceptable, outwardly benign, or religiously duded-up exteriors, have ulterior motives and are His greatest enemies. They are worse than Judas.

I say that not because Judas Iscariot was not a bad guy (he most certainly was), but that Judas was primarily a very confused guy and one who could never overcome his intrinsic understanding of things or his prior religious indoctrination. He was likely a Pharisee or Pharisee sympathizer of somewhat high standing though such was probably due to family and religious connections. He had a good report with those who controlled the temple and was apparently there relatively often. Yet despite all of Judas’ failings which ultimately led him to be possessed of the devil himself, he still had enough of a working conscience to know that after he had betrayed the Lord he understood that he had betrayed the Lord. Though he did not know it while he was doing it and likely thought in his warped thinking that he was doing something good, when it all came down and he understood that he had been thoroughly deceived by the devil and the devil’s religious authorities, the only thing that made sense was to go kill himself. At the moment his eyes were opened (when he finally woke up), he suddenly saw that he had done something absolutely horrendously terrible and that it might have been the greatest sin ever perpetrated since the original sin of Adam and Eve.

Thus, it may be said that Judas acted based on living in deception. And again, deceived people do not know they are deceived. Judas was likely deceived his entire life but I will leave some room for him here in case he had moments of true understanding regarding the Lord. Effectively, of course, he never overcame his lifelong deception and made a perfect candidate for use by the devil. Judas may have been sent on a mission from the very beginning by the devil and joined up with the Lord as the devil’s tool within the Lord’s inner circle. The Lord would have always known this, though, and alluded to it on occasion:

Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” [John 6:70]

Therefore, those Christians who deliberately edit the teachings of the Lord Jesus do far worse than Judas ever did because they apparently don’t have a working conscience as Judas certainly did. Everyone remembers, for example, their first big sin as a little kid or when they first became aware of right and wrong, when they instantly came to understand that they had done a very bad thing. The understanding came because their conscience did what it was designed to do. It pointed out their error. Whatever the age of accountability may be for each person, and though there may be a time as very small children when we do wrong and do not yet know it, we all reach an age, maybe five or six years old, when we become responsible for knowing our conscience works and can no longer escape its convicting power.

For some people in this world, however, this is not true. They never seem to have a working conscience. They do not appear to feel guilt. They do bad things and like it. They enjoy doing wrong and are not convicted. They do not appear to have the remorse gene. They make light of things of very high importance and lack the respect they should have for the true things of God. They may know it is wrong behavior and even engage in greater sin as they get older but usually never have any tendency to stop. Repentance is simply not in their vocabulary. When they grow up they are capable of doing wrong without regret. While Judas was so stricken by the grossly evil thing he had done once his veil of deception was lifted, the religious psychopath has no such reaction.

ARE THEY BORN THAT WAY OR MADE THAT WAY?

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! [Galatians 1:6-9]

There is only one original full curriculum of the Lord Jesus. Anything which purports to be His full curriculum but deviates from the original is false. This deviation from the original can be done by adding teachings and understandings that are not His or simply omitting teachings and understandings that are. Such newly created Christian curricula, regardless of how good they appear and how well they escape scrutinizing from Christians who should know better, are false and not of God. If they are not of God they must be of another source. That source must be evil.

Because we now have any number of false gospels masquerading as the real one and great numbers of Christians supporting such false gospels, we know there must have been a point A for each, a starting point, and that the starting point of each had to have been implemented in this world through human agency in tandem with a higher invisible agency. This worked the same way it worked with Judas in that the devil deceived Judas to believe his betrayal of the Lord was not a betrayal and was instead something good and right, though it was actually pure evil (Sound familiar?). For each false gospel on the planet there had to be an original hidden and sinister “Judas” or “Judas group” used of the devil to create it. Their supporters likely believe their false gospel is not false at all but the best gospel or the real gospel.

What kind of people are these? Maybe some are like Judas in that they eventually see their error. Most however, likely never care about any error to begin with and know very well they are engaging in editing the Lord’s teachings and enjoy doing it. Perhaps they have become so overwhelmed by religious indoctrination and staunchly supporting their false denominational beliefs that they justify their work as good. Perhaps they are mere religious underlings forced to carry on the work by their Christian cult leadership.

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2Corinthians 11:3-4]

Maybe they do it for power and prestige and as the willing price to pay for joining a higher social caste. Maybe they are overcome by the physical eye which overpowers the spiritual eye. Maybe they do it for access to fulfilling the lust of their flesh and having all that money can buy. These are the three roots of temptation, remember, that the enemy uses on everyone. But how evil must one be who would actually corrupt the teachings of the Lord for gain? And not feel bad about it? And never have the reaction Judas had? What is wrong with such people? It could be they are true psychopaths. Or it could be they know they are doing wrong but have such a great desire for the preceding three outcomes or any one of the three that they are willing to make a deal.

Here is a good test:

Let’s say the Lord calls a person to salvation but that it will greatly complicate his life and even place him in grave danger. But he does it anyway. Most of those around him who also receive the Gospel seed turn it down, maybe largely out of fear of social or religious rejection and castigation, but that one guy does not and is willing to go through any pain to gain salvation. He then works diligently to prepare himself as a good disciple by studying the pure Word of God and learning how to present it correctly. And let’s say that one guy is then given a specific ministry but no salary. And he somehow makes it work anyway. And there are confirming “signs and wonders” in his ministry to further prove his legitimacy.

The vast majority of Christian ministers, on the other hand, never agree to become ministers unless an acceptable salary is involved (failed test). Many of these must also desire social acceptance and prestige to some degree (failed test). And some even demand that their lust be satisfied even though it may only be in the “material” realm though such is done in a deceptive manner in that their lust satisfaction is deemed “success” and therefore not only acceptable but something also desirable by their followers (failed test).

But that other guy has none of those things, maybe for many years and maybe his entire life, and somehow fulfills his ministry anyway. Regardless of what may be an extreme example, this is actually not so uncommon. The others, however, are as fake as the day is long (though such fakery is rarely or never understood by the deceived). They are mere sellouts. The vast majority of Christian “ministers” in the world fail the test. What is worse, though, is that they preach false gospels and assist the devil in deception. Whoever listens to and believes these charlatans, though such supportive believers outwardly appear as “good Christians,” end up just as deceived as Judas was. They go through life believing all is well with their chosen walk and don’t know they are deceived and have believed a false gospel. Judas got the big idea while he was still alive. Many if not most of these others will never get the big idea until afterwards when it will be too late.

THE REAL AND THE UNREAL

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. [2Timothy 4:1-4]

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. [2Peter 2:1-3] [1]

Any deviation from the Lord’s presentation is an invitation to deception.

Once one crosses the line into the realm of deception his perception is changed. He will think he is doing good when he is not. He will even be happy and satisfied and completely unaware that his spiritual reality has become compromised. He begins operating according to a non-Kingdom understanding since he does not dwell in the Kingdom though believes he does. And even if the Lord sends messengers to rescue him and bring him into the light he will likely see no need because he believes he is already dwelling in the light. And because many more are living across the line with him, a decided majority, he has plenty of support from everyone there that all is well in their vast happy land of bliss and ignorance.

Praise God for Christian persecution.

© 2022 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 REAL GOSPEL

The odds are great that most Christians in the world have never experienced the real Gospel or are aware of it, and have embraced another gospel in its place.

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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! [Galatians 1:6-9]

Christians in general are not so discriminating in their gospel choices. Rather than do the required reading and research which the Lord Jesus, as our Teacher, demands, in order to locate the real one, they accept whatever gospel they are most familiar with or the one their particular tradition mandates. Many apparently do not even refer to their respective denominational beliefs as a gospel. They have been taught, and have accepted, the notion that anything Christian is close enough and anything Christian is the gospel, and that denominational separation and variation are the norm. This attitude makes a mockery of the Lord’s extensive teachings as though His full curriculum were optional, as though one can deviate from it and create partial gospels based on segments of His teachings. It makes a mockery of all He went through and the struggles and great victories of the Early Church which they achieved through never-ending spiritual warfare and incessant prayer. What they accomplished was extremely difficult and demanded real discipleship. Such remains a foreign concept in most of today’s churches.

Therefore, what I write here is an attempt to set the record straight. The record, of course, is contained in the actual written Gospel presented in the New Covenant Scriptures. This record is our Christian foundation. And though the early first-century believers had no written New Testament, the written New Testament is an absolute necessity in our day. For by it we can discern truth from error.

THE GOSPEL, THE COVENANT

We call it a testament. The better word is covenant—from the Greek word diatheke. The writer of the Book of Hebrews explains the nature of this covenant (in a passage we will get to shortly) in a manner most often not acknowledged or fully understood by the very Christians who claim to invoke it. How is it that the majority of Christians spend their lives going through their respective Christian motions yet never participate in the covenant which decides their eternal fate?

A covenant is a binding legal contract or agreement between two parties. This is exactly what the New Covenant is. The Gospel, or Good News, announces this covenant. The Good News, or Good Tidings, or Glad Tidings, is that God has made a way for people to be delivered from the bondage of sin and have their sins paid for and remitted completely. It is an agreement instituted by our benevolent Creator for the sake of being relationally reconciled with the wayward people of His Creation. And unlike most contracts which involve the participation of both parties in the authoring of the contract, the New Covenant is a contract in which God authors the terms. But unlike authors of covenants who control the terms and thus write for themselves the best terms, God blesses the wayward offending party with the best terms—the highly beneficial terms normally granted by the controlling author to himself. And what is more, the Author of the New Covenant must not only be the Priest which divides the sacrifice to shed its blood (for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin), but be the Sacrifice and shed His own Blood. God has so loved the wayward people of his Creation that He was willing to become one of us, shed His blood for us, and die for us. There is no greater love than this.

The Greek word diatheke, translated into English primarily as covenant, is also translated in some Bible versions in a few locations as will, as in last will and testament, which is a covenant that goes into effect only at death. Paul uses it this way in Galatians 3:15, for example. For our purposes here, we may focus on Hebrews 9:16 in which most versions translate diatheke as either covenant or testament, but a few as will. Thus, the New Covenant necessitated the death of the Testator—the Author of the will—whose last will and testament went into effect only upon His death and which involves the rights of inheritance for the second party.

And due to the nature of the sacrifice He made for sin, it is also a covenant of blood—a Blood Covenant in that two parties agree that a sacrificial death must take place to institute it (the death of the Lord Jesus, the first party), but also that a second sacrificial death must take place to ratify it (the death of the second party):

15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. [Hebrews 9:15-17]

Now, the death of the first party of the New Covenant was a brutal physical death involving horrific torture and suffering. It was, of course, undeserved. The Lord Jesus was absolutely innocent of the false charges His accusers threw against Him. He never committed a single sin and kept the Law of Moses perfectly. This, of course, made His an extremely difficult and dedicated life. His love for wayward humanity was such that He subjected Himself to the otherwise impossible task and living a life with no sin so He could defeat sin and release us from the evil power of sin. The Lord had to be completely innocent and pure in order for the New Covenant to be instituted. He was the Sacrifice Lamb and the sacrifice had to be without blemish.

The death required of the second party in this covenant, however, is not a physical death but a sacrifice of the totality of one’s life. It is illustrated by the anguish, agony, and grief of the full repentance process as one expresses pronounced sorrow for one’s lifetime personal sins and is broken and “burnt” as an offering upon an intangible altar of sacrifice as one surrenders completely to the terms of the covenant which mandates such a death.

The second party, of course, has no leg to stand on as it were and no defense, since he or she is the guilty party, the party of sin. The Author’s terms which one must agree to in order to accept and ratify the agreement cannot possibly be any better, however, since they entail not only a brand new clean and purposeful life in the here and now but eternal life as well. And this eternal life, of course, demands that there also be a later resurrection after physical death, just as the first party had undergone resurrection. The Lord Jesus had died physically but later came back to life. The second party of the covenant will also undergo physical death and will also later come back to life.

But regarding the present, there is more. If the second party repents properly, correctly, and fully, which means he or she effectively dies, the pure Blood of the Sacrifice Lamb, the Lord Jesus, will then be applied to his or her life. The Blood is applied at repentance. Thus, if there is no real repentance, there is no application of the Blood, and there is no ratification of the New Covenant for any particular second party.

If there is real repentance by the second party, then he or she will be thoroughly cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb and all personal sin will be washed away. And since the second party does not actually die physically to ratify the covenant, the Lord Jesus has instituted full immersion water baptism in His Name—it must be in the Name of Jesus—as a type of burial for the “dead” second party. In other words, real repentance signifies death and full immersion water baptism signifies burial.

Now what? You’ve got a person, the second party, who is dead and buried. When he or she then emerges from the waters of baptism it signifies in one sense a resurrection from the tomb. In effect, however, though one is now clean and pure, his or her spirit must be resurrected as well in order to complete the process of attaining the same state that Adam and Eve existed in before they sinned. Remember, God had told them that if they ever sinned they would die. Yet, when they did sin, they did not die physically, but spiritually. They continued living physically but Adam’s spirit had died. Eve’s spirit had died. Because of this, their sin and their dead spirit cut them off from spiritual relationship with God. And because they were no longer innocent and pure they could no longer live in the spiritual Garden made for spiritual people but were required to leave the Garden and go into the wild world.

The last Adam, however, restores this spiritual relationship. He has made a way in which one can return to the Garden (His Kingdom). He does it through the infilling of the second party with His Holy Spirit:

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [1Corinthians 6:17]

TRANSFORMATIVE SPIRITUAL POWER

Thus, we now see the complete process toward total restoration. This is what was demonstrated in the early history of the Lord’s Community per the historical record of Acts. This is the fullness of the real Gospel. This is the Good News. The second party, previously completely helpless and bound by sin with no chance of changing his or her condition for the better, is fully transformed into a new creation by the sacrifice and power of the first party.

Therefore, the New Covenant is actually a covenant of transformative spiritual POWER. This was demonstrated throughout the ministry of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel accounts. He possessed and demonstrated the power of God. People were miraculously healed. They were miraculously delivered of possession by demons. The poor and downtrodden, those beat down and taken advantage of by others, were blessed with the uplifting Gospel of hope and joy. And the dead were raised to new life.

This great spiritual power and the one Gospel—the only real Gospel—were and remain a package deal. They go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Not only was this great spiritual power (Greek: dunamis) demonstrated in the Lord’s ministry, it was also demonstrated after His initial ministry through the ministry of the Early Church in the first century. So the power never ended with His direct ministry, continued after His direct ministry according to the clear historical record, and was obviously intended to continue throughout the age of His Kingdom on earth until the present and beyond. To support this fact, we have these three passages for starters:

So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. [Mark 16:19-20]

“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.” [Acts 2:39]

After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. [Hebrews 2: 3-4]

The New Testament, therefore, is: (1) A written record which reveals the spiritual power of God in action, the very cause of the miracles which took place among them and without which the Gospel would have no power or ability to transform. (2) A written record which documents the full teachings of the Lord Jesus—the real Gospel—but also exposes any and all consequent false gospels.

ANY Christian teaching that deviates from the Lord’s pure curriculum is in essence a false teaching, either because it contains error, that which the Lord never taught, or it acknowledges only a portion of His teachings. Whatever gospel thus contains additions to His teachings denotes a false gospel. Whatever gospel thus contains omissions from His teachings denotes a false gospel. And whatever gospel that denies and does not possess the transformative spiritual power of God is a false gospel. It was none other than the renowned Apostle Paul who first claimed this fact in his second letter to Timothy when he wrote:

…holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these. [2Timothy 3:5]

For greater insight and clarification, the phrase “form of godliness” in the preceding verse is from the Greek words morphosis eusebeia. The first is defined as “a forming, shaping, semblance, a form, embodiment.” The second is defined as: “reverence, respect, religion, piety.” Putting the two together, using various existing Bible translations, we see much better the man-made formulation of the many false gospels in the world and their inherent character:

A Form of Godliness

A Form of Religion

A Form of Piety

A Pretense of Religion

An Appearance Indeed of Godliness

The Appearance of Godliness

The Form of Religion

The Outward Appearance of Religion

The Outward Form of Godliness

THE REAL GOSPEL

Partial salvation is not real salvation. Partial cleansing of one’s soul is not real cleansing of one’s soul. A partial born again experience is not a real born again experience. Partial healing is not real healing. A broken heart cannot be partially healed and actually be healed. The real Christians of this world know they had to surrender all and give their entire heart to the Lord in order to receive all that He had to offer and must be offered in order to be fully transformed. With the Lord Jesus, there are no partial or halfway measures. He will never allow a person to think he or she is okay when he or she is not okay.

HE IS NOT A QUACK MINISTER LIKE MOST OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTERS IN THIS WORLD, EACH OF WHOM HAVE THEIR PRICE AND HAVE SOLD OUT.

And a lawyer (a Torah teacher) stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” [Luke 10:25-28]

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” [Matthew 12:30]

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” [Luke 11:23]

According to the Lord Jesus, who is our only authority, real Christianity is a 100% proposition. One is either with Him or one is not. If one is with Him one is with Him 100% or one is not with Him at all. He has all authority and all power both in heaven and on earth. As part of His ministry, He shares his power with His real followers. He even said His real followers, those who believe in Him, could do anything He did and more:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” [John 14:12-14]

To this astounding statement, however, He adds an apparent caveat:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” [John 14:15]

And it is here that we see the answer. We discover how real Christianity works. We understand how the people of the Early Church, not only the apostles, were able to be used of God to allow for the doing of the same miracles that the Lord performed. They must have loved Him with all their heart. No one would ever do all that He commanded otherwise.

Though they believed in Him and trusted Him completely, their obedience went beyond mere trust. They obeyed Him because they loved Him. This is why they kept His commandments. He loved each of them with all His heart. And they loved Him the same. We know the Lord was willing to do pretty much anything for anyone to help them and bless them and that His help went beyond the mere natural into the supernatural. He empowered His disciples to do the same works He did but they were only able to do them after they reached the same point of love for Him that He had for them, and by this they were able to love each other.

It was the bond of spiritual love (agape) which made the early believers so effective in doing miraculous works (ergon). Their love of the Lord Jesus meant that they trusted the difficult discipleship process they had to go through to receive the spiritual power (dunamis) through which the works were activated. Their love of their neighbor allowed them to work well together and meet the spiritual needs of their neighbor.

And this is why the one Gospel—the real Gospel—is founded upon spiritual love and works through the power of spiritual love.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” [John 15:12-14][1]

© 2022 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.

DENOMINATED MASS FORMATION GROUPTHINK

 

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you…? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? [Galatians 3:1, 3]

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Most Christians continually embrace the status quo, as in “I’m a (insert name of denomination here) and I’ll always be a (insert name of denomination here) and that makes me just fine and dandy.” But what about the new birth? (John 3:1-21). Have we all been born of the Spirit as Jesus said we must be? Again, most of us reply with a snappy Biblical comeback such as, “Say what?”

And therein lies the problem. Most of those who call themselves Christians have been repeatedly told by their religious authority figures that the station of their spiritual life is basically as good as it’s ever going to get. They were never told of any new birth, and have therefore never sought it. This keeps them from ever entering the kingdom of God. (Off in the distance, one can hear that famous old choir hymn refrain, “The kingdom of what?”) We are a nation largely comprised of Biblically illiterate, multi-cultural quasi-Christians who have been sold a false bill of goods, and our first reaction to hearing such news comes from page 31 of the Ignorant Pulpiteer Manual—“Stick it in your ear!”

The second reason the Lord lacks full authority within our churches is because, by and large, it has been our choice. We don’t like to be told we are wrong and it is often simply our own human nature which compels us to protect whatever ignorance and bias we are associated with. The nature of the real Christian, the one who has been born of God, is to expose ignorance and prejudice. Could this be why the institutional clergy is growing ever more concerned about its standing? Could this be why some in its membership are starting to get the idea that Jesus is quite upset with their Pharisaical practices and that their gig is just about up? There is a gigantic hook reaching out across the stage which is about to yank the clergy spirit out of its stealthy position of prominence in the Church so that God’s people can be free to learn the truth from Him and receive His righteousness. When the enslaved Christians are set free, truth and righteousness will flourish.[1]  

I penned the preceding 25 years ago in Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church. I wrote the bulk of this book in the mid 1990s and eventually published it in 2001. I began receiving the revelation of the book in 1992. I know this may sound as though the book is likely dated and therefore essentially worthless for our time but the opposite is true. My book was ahead of its time, maybe way ahead. The corrective has yet to be applied as it should and those entities which rejected the message and dug in their heels against the new move of God which was surely coming have grown all the more obtuse, inbred, and obstinate ever since.

We are told that doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result is effective insanity. Thus, since this form of insanity has fallen upon or been appropriated in general by the major Christian denominations in America, it easily explains why they are generally a mere fraction of what they once were, spiritually speaking. Because they rejected the fullness of the Lord’s teachings they have been overcome by the sinful culture. This is what happens when a Christian or Christian entity rejects God—they no longer have the strength or ability to fight the good fight. They can no longer resist sin and temptation. Thus, in order to stay intact and keep their head, so to speak, they must make friends with the enemy. They must make friends with sin. If they go to war they know they will be destroyed in battle. They are not equipped and are ill-trained. Their generals are spiritual sissies. They are afraid of the devil. They reject the Spirit of the Lord and embrace the world. Again, this is what happens when one denies the Lord Jesus, the Lion from the Tribe of Judah:

“The Lord is a Warrior; the Lord is His Name.” [Exodus 15:3]

Because they feel the Lord is too strong in demanding discipleship and is restricting their lives and desires, they move on to be “free” but eventually discover they have far less freedom than before. Their blessings and favor go out the window. They have no choice but to embrace mammon since they rejected God’s providence. They put the full burden on themselves. This causes stress and often great stress. Such stress must be drugged. Such minds must be pacified. Godless religion works well at doing this. (Just do what we say and nobody gets hurt.) No wonder Marx said religion is the opiate of the masses. They foolishly abandon real freedom and subject themselves to spiritual slavery. They either never accepted the following or at some point rejected it:

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. [Galatians 5:1]

They had thought the great things they accomplished and were doing were largely due to their own good sense and hard work, not acknowledging the great role the Lord was playing. They made a god of themselves. They rejected the original and created a new fellowship in which they were the boss. Their pride caused them to walk away from the Lord because they felt they were being held back. After a fling without the Lord’s authority in their lives and the new fun and “freedom” they gained as a result, and likely a rise in income and influence due to making friends with the world and non-believers, they started experiencing adverse consequences they never foresaw or wanted. Gone were the productive crops and in came the weeds. Sin grew exponentially. They could no longer control it. Because they could no longer keep the invasion of sin at bay they renamed it and transformed into non-sin. They opened their doors to it. Suddenly, the vilest sins became not only okay but commendable. The worst abominations became praiseworthy.

Professing to be wise, they became fools… [Romans 1:22]

There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. [Proverbs 16:25]

The only reason the major denominations still exist is because, over time, they were stealthily transformed into something else. They are actually only mere shells of what they once were. And some were never that close to God to begin with after their early productive formative years. As long as the members keep supporting what is left, what is left will remain but in name only. They are essentially no longer Christian. They only appear that way. They are the denominations and churches of Ichabod (1Samuel 4:21). The glory has departed and they like it that way. If the Lord did bring a spiritual revival most of them would be greatly upset and would fight it all the more. Many of the major denominations, including those of the Pentecostal and Charismatic variety, have been resisting the Great Awakening from the beginning. They are rebellious children toward the corrective. Some have brought an excessive fight. It proves the Lord is no longer among many of them.

Twenty five years ago the situation with wayward Christianity was not at all that bad. There was still a good chance of making the proper corrections. When the directive came, however, designed to stave off what was surely coming without the necessary repentance, the “successful” blind guides rejected it. It likely sounded preposterous to them. Next to no one then foresaw our present day of depravity and spiritual famine among the ultra-organized world-embracing sellouts. Back then, in the mid 1990s, there was a booming economy nationwide and many ministries were flush with cash, especially the majors. Rather than needing repentance, the big boys considered their wealth and prestige a sign of blessing. I’m sure it was for some, but only those who were humble and obedient. Many were neither and still are not.

The Lord told me what was coming and about how we must prepare. I wrote an entire 330 page book encapsulating the message in great detail. It remains amazing to me that those who have read the book appreciate the message, find no fault with it, and have benefited from it, while others in influential positions who needed to read and support it refused. The results of such refusals and of the message in general are now all around us. The enemy has come in like a flood. We have been invaded by Midianites.

“But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” [Matthew 19:30]

My book is still as topical and fresh as it ever was. It still contains a great message that, if applied, will bring spiritual success. There must be hunger for spiritual success, however, and this demands we stop supporting dead structures and rebellious compromised Christian leaders and their entities. This is in part what the Great Awakening is all about. Those who are awake get it. Those who remain sleeping never do.

I challenge all who read this article to do some research regarding past revivals and awakenings. Whenever the Lord opened doors into the Light of His Word and attempted to bring Life the main resisters were almost always initially the existing status quo “church leaders” of the time. They, their authority and authoritative positions, and their comfort level were threatened by the truth. The new moves of God exposed them as mere hirelings at best and workers of evil at worst. It was, of course, exactly the same in the first century. The most rabid enemies and persecutors of the early Church, composed only of Israelite descendants of Abraham for about the first nine years before Gentiles began being added, were fellow Israelites of the extreme unbelieving variety, the same who brought so much trouble to the Lord. This remains the case. The greatest persecutors of real Christians are unreal Christians.

THE GREAT AWAKENING

It has now been over ten years since I got the revelation, since the Lord spoke those words to me—“We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening.” That was at the end of August in 2010. Well, we are no longer in the early stages. Massive amounts of truth have come forth. Massive amounts of hidden sin and iniquity have been exposed. The majority of denominational Christians still cannot see it which proves their continued resistance against it. They would rather have the old wine and the old wineskins. They would rather keep propping up something that died long ago. And though it may look like the best thing to do is obey the tyrants and surrender, and that those who comply will be treated best, the opposite is true. The Lord Jesus will never reward cowards, those that know better but instead embrace evil and look for the weasel way out. He will actually support and stand with those who resist evil and give them greater strength, ability, and means to do so. This is where the real blessing is and always has been.

Therefore, rather than chicken out and continue to beat a dead horse, it would be better to embrace resurrection and hope one’s karma chickens die of bird flu.

It would be much better to repent, get right with God, plead for His mercy, and ask sincerely for His Life. It would better to cease preaching false gospels, end the masquerade, and join the real Church, the one the Lord Jesus created, and the only one in which He has the rule and is King. It would be better to Arise, shine; for your light has come.

But many won’t.

They’ve gone mental.

They’ve embraced entrenched consensus denominated mass formation groupthink.

WHO HAS BEWITCHED THEM?

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [Galatians 5:13-25][2]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

[2] 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.

UNREAL CHRISTIANITY IS A FLAWED MODEL (IT THUS DEMANDS CHRISTIAN PROGRAMMING TO MAKE IT WORK)

It appears to function properly. The people who exist within it appear to have a correct perspective. Appearances, however, can be greatly deceiving.

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In writing my book, Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church, I coined the term “Unreal Christianity.” This term is defined as everything Real Christianity is not. Real Christianity is: (1) The total curriculum of the Lord Jesus and everything He taught and carried out during His ministry as revealed in the New Covenant writings. (2) The sum total of everything taught and practiced by His initial real followers in obedience to Him during the first century AD as revealed in the New Covenant writings.

Discovering Real Christianity is not difficult. The Word of God reveals it. The Spirit of God is active in the world leading whosoever will to Life and Truth. There are millions of people with solid testimonials who have experienced it. We have historical records. The first century written record is a spiritual gold mine. Also, the central core of the Lord’s teachings regarding salvation are easy to understand and apply, and one does not need full knowledge of the New Testament to gain salvation.

However, one does need such knowledge to reveal the unreal. One must know the New Testament very well to overcome false teachings. Those who add to or take away from the Lord’s teachings are not working for Him. That should be obvious. The reason so many Christians are deceived and are teaching and practicing that which the Lord never did or does not support need the proper frame of reference to discover their error. They will never gain this within their limited circles.

The teachings and practices of the original Community of the Lord were commanded to be carried out perpetually from generation to generation. We have ample historical evidence that this is true. There is therefore no justification whatsoever for deviating from the original, though a great many Christians have done this and continue supporting false forms of Christianity. It makes no difference that the majority of Christians belong to the unreal camp. The majority is always wrong. The rigors and full commitment of real discipleship are such that only a relative few will follow the correct path. The majority chooses the broad well-traveled way.

Thus, Unreal Christianity is an all-inclusive term denoting every Christian belief system and practice that deviates from the perfect original. The New Covenant writings do an excellent job at defining the real and exposing the unreal. If one cannot find confirmation for his Christian beliefs and practices in the New Testament then such beliefs and practices are incorrect. There is no proof or reason for their existence.

TWO TYPES OF CHRISTIAN INTELLIGENCE     

In general, there are two basic types of intelligence which Christians choose to adopt. The majority type can be referred to as programmable intelligence. This is characterized by people who accept indoctrination willingly. They rarely or never question authority. They never seek confirming proof. They go along to get along. Truth is much less important than fitting into the group. Therefore, the belief system of the overall group, the glue which binds the members together, is predominant with reference to any other belief system, including Biblical truth.  

Of course, anybody can be programmed. Yet, to the consternation of religious tyrants everywhere, some people can only be programmed to a point. These people adopt the second type of intelligence. The time always arrives when such people, always in the apparent minority, will start to notice flaws in their programming and begin to ask questions. They will notice that elements of their indoctrination don’t add up. Because they are also independent thinkers, they measure their programming against the Word of God. They then become fully aware of their programming. It is a life changing moment when their eyes are suddenly opened, so to speak. It can be a shock, not only because they realize they were deceived by their previous Christian beliefs but that the ones in authority in which they trusted had lied to them. They then begin to deconstruct their programming and allow for the pure teachings of the Lord.

This form of intelligence can be referred to as non-programmable intelligence. Though these people can certainly be deceived, their deception is always temporary. Over the long term, it is impossible to keep them in an ongoing state of deception. No matter what the religious programmers do, they simply cannot keep these people programmed to a flawed belief system. The mindset of those with non-programmable intelligence, because they possess an inherent hunger of and love for the truth, is one composed of critical thinking, testing, and ongoing questioning of authority. Their only supreme loyalty is to the Supreme Being. They can hear His voice and will only follow the Good Shepherd. They know that the curriculum of the Lord Jesus is the only flawless Christian belief system.      

Those with only programmable intelligence never notice any flaws in their programming. They also do not perceive that they have been programmed. Whatever denominational beliefs they espouse have been programmed into them. They are very well indoctrinated. Some would use the term brainwashed. These people never test their programmed beliefs against the Word of God. They never see the need to test them. They fully trust their religious authority figures. They simply believe what they are taught and look no further. They have little or no critical thinking ability regarding their Christian beliefs. Why question what is right? If by chance they happen to find apparent flaws in their indoctrination (or have them pointed out to them by others), they often chalk it up to concepts which can never be understood in this life and thereby invoke the spectre of mystery in that such concepts are impossible to comprehend.

Though there are certainly mysteries in this life there are none within the teachings of the Lord. It may appear that way if one never studies the Word. Therefore such defeatist attitudes actually reveal intellectual laziness and a refusal to search for available answers, as well as a strong reluctance to deviate from the teachings of the group because they fear rejection by the group. They know they can never make it without group support.

Those who choose mere programmable intelligence have this in common. They rank social standing very high. It is extremely important to them to belong and be well thought of by the overall group of which they are a member and that they fit in well and maintain their standing in the group. This demands that the overall members of the group have essentially the exact core beliefs. Core beliefs are so important they must never be questioned whatsoever and any member who does so is quickly rendered a social violator. The punishments of such social violators are the proverbial cold shoulder at best or excommunication at worst. In the middle exist all manner of punishments designed to inflict enough abuse to force one back into compliance. Any one of these punishments inflicts social humiliation and can be quite damaging though most are temporary. The abused accept their abuse willingly, though they still may not understand why they are being punished so severely. The last thing they want is cancellation because they consider actual removal from the group the worst possible outcome. It is the social death penalty.

Those with programmable intelligence could never handle such an outcome. Their place in the group is far too important. It is not only fear of banishment from the group, it is also the great fear of being thought of as different, strange, quirky, or as a deviant. They will do anything to keep either of these two outcomes from happening. They know they must strive to be a well thought of member of the group at any cost and will strive for that social standing. They crave group support to bolster the way they think about themselves. Doing all that is required as a member of the pack, the gang, the group, or the congregation validates their standing and shields them from outside attack. They must have a structured environment in which they are told what to think and believe. They often do not have the capacity to do their own research. They can rarely stand alone.

This means they must believe as the group believes. They believe the beliefs of the group are paramount. They do not understand, however, that the group has only a low common denominator set of basic elementary beliefs. And they also do not understand that the heart of these core tenets are founded upon control. The beliefs are used to keep everyone in the group under control to a higher authority. Though there is a higher authority—those few in control who dictate what will be believed and practiced—the members perceive their set of beliefs as their foundation instead of the sly controllers who use the “foundational” beliefs to program them and thus control them.

The members of the unreal assembly believe their chosen beliefs are fundamentally sound and true but they never test them. Their Christian beliefs appear on the surface to agree with Scripture. But because the beliefs are never actually tested against Scripture (and because any such testing is often forbidden) it does not take much further programming to convince the members that their beliefs are absolutely confirmed by Scripture (falsely). The controllers know those who are successfully programmed will never demand proof. Such followers believe that whatever testing is required has already been performed by the authorities in charge. Members learn that their core beliefs must never be deviated from by any member because it negatively affects the unity of the group. And even though most have undergone abuse to conform it will not stop the abused from engaging in abuse against others. All must defend their group and their group’s practices and beliefs, whatever the cost.

All that I describe here is the essential definition of a cult. Unreal Christianity contains a collection of Christian cults with a false façade. The leaders thereof are wolves in sheep’s clothing and are often demonic.

Such cultish thinking is based on primeval aspects of survival. Groups survive because they stick together against enemies (those who believe differently). Over time, small groups become large groups but their basic tenets remain the same. Whoever does not believe and act as the members are characterized as deviants and must be opposed. It becomes a joke when all Christian denominations adopt the same attitude—everybody is wrong except us—we have the full truth—our church is the right churchour leaders are the only real leaders.

Regarding Real Christianity, the Lord Jesus is the only Leader. His teachings are the only Christian truth. His Community is composed of the only Christian unity. His disciples follow and obey only Him because they love Him. They are not programmed.

AWAKING TO THE TRUTH

If the faux bros tested themselves against the Lord’s model they would discover their error. They would understand they possess a flawed model of Christianity. And then they may wonder how this happened. If they’re not careful they will start adopting the other form of intelligence, one that cannot be successfully programmed. And then, horror of horrors, they will start thinking critically. They will even test their beliefs against the Word of God. They will start questioning their betters. The next thing you know a great many Christians will break free from their Christian programming, stop being religious zombies, and actually gain more fear of losing their soul than losing their place in their chosen Christian society. It will dawn on them what living for God actually is and how blessed they are to have the opportunity to do so.

And they will see the Lord Jesus as He was at one time—rejected, betrayed, banished from the group, and left completely alone, and they will lose their fear. They will see that He overcame it all. It never stopped Him. He was victorious anyway.

He exposed the flawed models. He defeated the programmers. He did it all to set us free.

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. [Romans 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.

WORSHIP JESUS

Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus. Worship Jesus.

DESTROYING DECEPTIONS THAT CAPTURE THE MIND

The Words of Jesus are Spirit and Life that overcome ingrained mental falsehoods. Knowledge of the written Word leads to greater relationship with the Living Word.

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My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge… [Isaiah 5:13]

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32]

The Lord has made access to His written Word extremely easy. The essential purpose for initially accessing the written Word of God is to discover God. One learns who He is, how much He cares for us, and also what He requires on our part to facilitate a lasting relationship. By acquiring knowledge of the Lord’s pure teachings one can break free from misleading false narratives, lies masquerading as Truth, and disabling deceptions imprisoning one on the other side of an otherwise bridgeless chasm.

OVERCOMING GUIDELINE GRIDLOCK

One must remember that the Early Church of the first century had no New Testament. Many did not even have access to the Old Testament Scriptures. Even at that time, people often believed and practiced not that which derived from the pure Word but from some religious leader’s interpretation of it, whether his intentions were noble or otherwise. There were scads of rabbis, doctors of the Law, synagogue leaders, and most notably, casuistic Pharisees who went so far as to essentially rewrite the OT through their endless oral traditions filled with Truth-debilitating minutia. The more they attempted to explain the Word of God the more they took their listeners away from God. Moses never did this. The prophets never did this. Moses, who was himself a prophet, and all the other real prophets in those ancient times simply delivered what God told them to deliver. If anyone got the message and understood, great. For those who did not it was their problem.

It is no different in our day in that so much of what Christians believe about the Word of God is actually not what is written right there in black and white but interpretive slants delivered by questionable Christian practitioners who often merely parrot denominational precepts, much as the Pharisees did, and overlay them upon the written Word in such a way that they have precedence and gain priority. All one must do to verify this, short of actually reading and studying the Word of God on one’s own (a novel concept for a probable majority of Christians), is visit a few other denominational churches.

Rather than cementing oneself in one place forever and hearing ad infinitum the same old same old that everyone there believes is the verbatim veracious version of the Lord’s teachings as if delivered from on high, one must at least occasionally visit the weirdos in other locales who beg to differ. One will discover that those Christians are also burdened with the same attitude of budgeless caution which was inflicted upon them, again, with good intentions or not, by interpretive teachers doing interpretive word dances as the conservative counterparts to the strange artsy folk who engage in odd expositions of poetry and dance.

Some churches put forth what are essentially emotionless drones who must think God requires them to be religious robots and otherworldly autocratic automatons appearing as ecclesiastically-cloaked talking statues. Emotion with these guys is verboten. Other churches at the other extreme have moving, walking, emotive talker-shouters who appear as fidgety née ferocious hyperactives which may or may not be under God’s actual spiritual anointing. In between are all manner of speakers-forth delivering various shadings of the same Word of God though emphasizing some parts and neglecting others (and often violently rejecting others).

And God looks down on all this duded-up strangeness and wonders how such strayings have taken hold in the minds of apparent believers because the very opposite of His intentions have been established in that He came here to unify His children rather than Tower of Babel them into impossible religious divisions which were also all the rage in His day. He did come to separate, of course, but only the sheep from the goats. What Unreal Christianity has done is to separate, at least on the surface, the sheep from the sheep and in that process created a construct for the invasion of conquering goats who seek to rule the sheep and effectively shroud the Word of God rather than share it. And instead of assisting the Lord to create open green pastures of luxuriant spiritual richness containing much more sustenance than enough for all, we have the equivalent of a barbwire kingdom of sectioned off partisan neoranches each sternly guarded by hardened shotgun-wielding cowhands intent on maintaining division and hatred for those unlike themselves. Rather than a dude ranch it’s a rude ranch. There’s a vast ponderosa of non-ponderable opposing pardners.

A CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES

Like their ancient contemporaries though in reverse, Christian dissemblers have confused God’s one universal language into a multitude of languages and rejected His one Gospel for many counterfeit variations thereof. Rather than joining and supporting the Lord’s single Community created at Pentecost they have created thousands of non-relational communities each with its own distinct language. And they continue with ongoing multiple subdivisions. Rather than “accurately handling the word of truth,” [1] they inaccurately mishandle it and thereby create doctrinal divisions which further divide the people.

The only cure for all their resultant multitudinous nonsensical wordfare permeations is entirely bypassing the faux bloviaters pontificating from fixed pulpits and lecterns of luxation and going straight to the Word of God. When the middleman does not assist us correctly under God’s authority, eliminate the middleman! Christians must learn, on so many levels, to show some spiritual spine, but most of all through the simplest, most profound, and potentially abundant fruitful process of reading the Bible.

I know, it’s tough. It’s pretty much impossible. It’s so big! It’ll take forever! Working one’s life away to old age for money is much easier. Going to a million church services to hear mere drips which never get collected into so much as the bottom half of a bait bucket is far preferable to wrenching open a fire hydrant and flooding one’s soul with life-giving Word water from which one will never thirst again. Better to drag oneself through a religious desert and occasionally suck out the moisture from a dead cactus, thorns be damned, than float upon and dive within an endless bottomless fresh water ocean filled with nutritive spiritual plankton satisfying all hunger, answering every question, and fulfilling every need.

THE GREAT AWAKENING DEMANDS GREAT DISCIPLESHIP

We must be disciples. Considering what is now upon us, as I have been warning of for the last quarter century (it’s all mapped out in my book), fence-sitting not-clear-on-the-concept don’t-confuse-me-with-facts Christians in general will either get it together finally at last or never gain the required closeness to the Lord, spiritual strength and stamina, eyes to see, and knowledge of God’s Word to overcome. We are way past the watch out for weirdos stage and the I’m too cool for school cred demanded by the social media acceptance wokesters. The enemy is here. He’s not hiding anymore. He’s determined to get you. He’s no longer playing the long term deceive you gradually into oblivion game. Instead of slowly boiling the frog he is now simply stomping on it. If you are not ready for the fight you must get there quick. The battle is upon us whether we know it or not or acknowledge it or not. This is not a drill.

In the meantime, here is an encouraging word that applies forever in every instance on every applicable occasion and illustrates the Lord’s great love for His children and ability to kick the devil’s backside always:

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” [Luke 10:17-20] [2]

Upgrade your New Testament reading plan now.

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] 2 Timothy 2:15

[2] 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 INHERENT RISK OF COVENANT RELATIONSHIP

When two are together in any venture in complete reliance upon the other, both are in an otherwise precarious position. Each one is absolutely vulnerable to the possible failure of their associate.

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The longer the relationship exists the more vulnerable each becomes. The dependency grows due to the progress accomplished. In other words, at the beginning of the contract or covenant, the only element gained is the relationship itself. The relationship is such that it is seen by both partners as having much higher value than the absence of it. Both parties had chosen to begin the relationship. Both had sowed the vital nutrients into it as it grew. Both parties benefited and continued to gain greater benefits until a point was reached when each party decided to make an absolute commitment to the relationship rather than maintain any portion of themselves apart from it.

Such a decision places one party at the mercy of the other. Though it is not perceived in that manner at the time due to the beneficial nature of the initial relationship which each party greatly appreciates, it must certainly be a consideration in the beginning. One must move slowly in learning who one can trust. We are instructed by God to guard our hearts. One must also seek the requisite compatibility. If the opposite party displays trustworthiness at the outset, the only way it can be tested is by a furtherance of the relationship. If each step reveals honesty and apparent fidelity, a sense of reliability emerges and increases. One has less reason to be self-protective. One has greater freedom to be open. One has more willingness to share.

At least, this is how relationships should proceed. It is obvious that many relationships do not develop in such a way, based simply on their finality, brought about primarily from endemic disharmony stemming from selfish and/or immature behavior. If the proper steps are not taken and applied, or if a relationship is fast tracked due to the immediate benefits of one particular aspect without paying any attention to all the other aspects, either because they are considered but rejected or simply not perceived, it allows for a poorly constructed and weak foundation which will certainly present itself in time when the growing pressures of derivative relationship accretion are placed upon it.

In the event, however, when all proper steps are taken and any evident inappropriate or harmful future possibilities are rightfully considered and all appears good to go, it still does not mean that the partnership or relationship will not be tested or suffer to some degree, only because such is the nature of life in this world and also the nature of humanity itself in that we are complicated beings subjected to many influences.

From a Christian perspective, there is always the possibility of the specter of temptation. Of course, both parties must be well aware of this and do their due diligence to avoid it knowing that so much rides upon it. Each party must have already been right with God in the beginning and must maintain their relationship with God throughout. Each party must also maintain their commitment to one another.

Any person who does not consider these aspects or embrace them are effectively attempting to create something which is bound to fail unless corrective measures are taken in the early stages to rectify any incorrect applications, improper attitudes, or selfish conduct which can only restrict or do damage to the relationship but more importantly, to the other party. The vulnerability of each partner which is always present as a necessary component of the relationship must always be considered by the other party when deliberating upon possible actions and choices, because wrong actions and choices will harm one’s partner and stand in opposition to the love one has committed to and should indeed demonstrate.

Normally, one would never do any wrong thing in this regard because their love or respect for the other would prohibit it. But human beings are not automatons. There is always the possibility of straying from one’s covenant promises and responsibilities, or failing in them entirely. Judas proved this.

On a positive note, there is also the possibility of applying forgiveness and walking in proper humility. This is relatively easy if not extremely so when one acknowledges the high price paid for saving grace. For best results, we must always prioritize the Lord’s perfect example. 

YOKED WITH GOD: A NO RISK VENTURE

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30][1]

© 2020 by R.J. 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.

 

DEFINING THE REAL CHRISTIAN (1)

To be a socially acceptable follower of the Lord Jesus, one must never stand up for Him the way He stood up for us. Those who do are cancelled by the culture. It is why traditional Christianity often bypasses the Lord and creates inoffensive derivatives so one can practice his faith safely and securely, largely beyond the reach of persecution, and maintain the desired worldly connections of wealth and social standing. 

PROVING A CHRISTIAN’S AUTHENTICITY

What defines a real Christian? Is there a Biblical proof? How does anyone know who may be for real and who is merely posturing? To begin answering these questions, we actually have a treasure trove of New Testament tests to turn to. Keep in mind, however, that the Lord often employed parables, those wonderful story tales containing couched, embedded meanings revealing hard truth in a seemingly innocuous manner. Therefore, the answer we seek, which can only be derived from His teachings, wholly and exclusively, are often rejected by some due to an inability to understand His hidden connotations reserved only for those with “eyes to see.” The spiritually obtuse, whose perspective may also be marred by religious prejudice or predisposition, will thus likely never arrive at the correct definition.

The NT method for defining real Christians is also rejected based on (1) its perceived limited scope, in that extra-biblical references are excluded, and (2) its non-acceptance of mere traditional standards of socially acceptable behavior (actually a faux proof) which are believed by some to indicate virtuous intent though lacking actual NT familiarity and knowledge, most specifically of the Lord’s full curriculum.

In other words, defining a real Christian relates directly to one’s relationship with the Lord Jesus. If there is no actual relationship it is not possible that one is truly a Christian in the New Covenant sense, which is the only sense that matters in the spiritual realm. If there is a relationship, it is because a person made a decision to create one, meaning he not only said yes to the Lord’s invitation but fully accepted His predetermined terms (which apply to all and, of course, apply equally). This means a believer submits to New Covenant discipleship, subjects himself to the Lord’s entire curriculum, and does his best to learn it, know it, and apply it.

Based on these requirements, it is easy to see that the likely majority of those who profess Christianity are not actual disciples of the Lord simply because they do not fulfill the requisites thereof. Many, however, follow and obey the teachings of others who claim to follow the Lord, possess a willingness to accept doctrines that are not His, and subject themselves to traditional religious organizations claiming Christianity but which reject the Lord’s full standard. That many Christians are deceived makes no difference in the academic sense, and to claim ignorance speaks directly to one’s personal failure to have a personal relationship with Him, the lack of which is never the Lord’s fault.

“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:27][1]

Though Christian discipleship is not easy, neither was the price paid to make it possible.  

© 2020 by R.J. 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.

 

LORDING IT OVER THE PAWNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          You will know them by their fruits.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.     


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

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MAKING PROVISION FOR UNKNOWN TRUTH: BEING TEACHABLE

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         “The very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know…”

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         Before we address the content of this post I want to thank my faithful readers. Some of you have been following this blog for a few years now and I do appreciate it. The material here is not mainstream in the least and that causes a decided lack of traffic flow to begin with, but some of you are supporting me anyway. I know many of you do not agree with everything I write and it is refreshing that we continue to share in a level of spiritual fellowship. But the very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know, which is not something we usually know that we know. It can also be stated this way:

         “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” [1]                       

         This means we must be humble. We must be teachable. As followers of the Lord Jesus, it is dangerous to believe we know it all. We must be ever-learning. There’s a strange phenomenon that takes place in the soul of some Christian ministers when they insist on doctrines not supported by the Lord’s teachings. In order to enforce said doctrines, such ministers force themselves to adopt guises out of character with the fruit of the Spirit. They prove by their very actions that something is wrong with the teachings they espouse. They become less like Christians and more like hard-edged turf-defenders or stagnant dogma pushers.

         They become quite used to having their way. They demand next to blind obedience. It borders on religious brainwashing. It establishes what can only be termed Christian cults. But when a cult goes mainstream by attracting (or forcing) great numbers of adherents, it morphs out of cult status into perceived orthodox status. When the authority of the Lord Jesus is circumvented in such a way and people are thus deceived (not realizing He is not in charge), it allows for great abuse which demands great reform. This brings us to the reality of the two different camps in overall Christianity:

CONTENDERS AND PRETENDERS

        The usual traditional camp has already made up its mind what Christian truth is and spends all its time preaching what they know and attacking anything that does not agree with their chosen paradigm. I say chosen because that is exactly what it is. We all choose to believe whatever it may be. There is Christian truth that is obviously foundational that most Christians share, but so much of what the Lord Jesus originally taught is not being taught by most Christian bodies and this is obviously by design.

    Such Christians make no provision for possible unknowns.

         Consider the fact that the Lord and His original apostles had no religious superstructure surrounding them and one will begin to get the big idea what the dissemination of truth actually entails. He kept His operation extremely streamlined and materially limited and did that for a reason. He even taught very clearly that giving up one’s possessions is a vital part of discipleship. One can define that anyway one wants to but the best definition comes from simply studying the lifestyle of the early Church. We must also acknowledge that they had massive success with comparatively very few material resources. They did without that which most Christians insist upon as indispensable and still turned the world upside down. “Official” Christianity in the modern world can only be described by comparison as lacking.

         The Lord knows we need stuff. We need food and water and shelter. In modern society we need a whole lot more simply to carve out a life of sustenance within a complex, ultra-developed, increasingly urban grid. But churches and individuals must be on guard against material props that actually hinder spirituality rather than help. Therefore, giving up one’s possessions does not necessarily mean going homeless and penniless by choice. Perhaps it means not allowing the material to outweigh the spiritual. It certainly means joining a spiritual Community in which the Lord Jesus is the sole Leader. Call it a love-based voluntary lifestyle of willing assistance toward others as echoed in the writings of the prophet:

         A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Isaiah 40:3-5] [2] 

         It is in looking at the lifestyle and teaching method of our Leader that we gain all the insight we need to figure out how we should live and learn. I will have more on this later. In the next post we will consider America’s recent call to repentance in further preparation for the Awakening.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.    


[1] D. Rumsfeld 

[2] 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 VITAL PREREQUISITES OF CHRISTIANITY 101

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         When I was in college many moons ago I learned about prerequisite courses. I could not take a specific class, for example, if I did not take another class first.

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IN THE BEGINNING

         The prerequisite courses were generally introductory 101s and oftentimes a repetition of basic high school courses. Much of the first two years of college contains classes like this. On the surface it appears to be a good idea in order to fill in any education gaps using a college level standardized form and facilitate a greater understanding of the foundational stuff required for the higher learning of junior and senior years.

         On the other hand it is an opportunity to force students to extend their university years and bring more income into the institution. One might reject that notion, but colleges and universities exist to make money. Even public colleges supported by government subsidies are in it for a buck. Someone is making money somewhere, and a lot of it, or such institutions would largely not exist. If anyone thinks otherwise, one needs to check their naiveté filter.

         Idealism runs high in the college level age group and can easily be taken advantage of. Parents face tremendous societal pressure to enroll their children in so-called institutions of higher learning even though many know such places are highly compromised with alternative education agendas and often deliver much less than advertised and much more that is never advertised.

         This brings me to two points:

(1) Christians are generally uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings.

(2) Christians face tremendous societal pressure to become members of “churches.”

         These two are symbiotically connected. It brings me to two further points which explain the preceding points:

(1) Many “churches” generally keep people uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings through alternative education agendas.

(2) Most “churches” strongly pressure people to attend all services and buy into everything being taught in order to be a member in good standing.

CIRCULAR REASONING

         This process creates a low-denominational heavy traffic roundabout difficult to disengage from and pretty much explains perfectly why so many Christians continue to: (1) Work very hard doing what they’re told by religious authorities, because they want to do the right thing, and (2) No matter how hard they work at attending “church” and go through all the prescribed motions, they get out on the other side one day in the distant future still generally uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings. What did they actually achieve?

         It is the same reason why so many hundreds of thousands of college graduates are educated in specific areas but generally brain dead regarding subjects they should be extremely proficient at, and why their overall knowledge base is severely lacking on even the most rudimentary levels. When such young, bright idealistic though naïve students finish an extensive college academic program only to be dumb and dumber in much of the knowledge that matters most but highly skilled in subjective social indoctrination that is most often anti-Christian, anti-freedom and liberty, and pro-status quo in nature, it portends that a deceptive alternative agenda is in the works.

THE “BUSY CYCLE” ENFORCED BY SOCIETAL PRESSURE

         Why do millions of people continue to support such an academic system?

         Why do millions of Christians continue to support such systematic “churches?”

         The answer to both questions are the same: Societal Pressure.

         The only way to gain the necessary knowledge to exit the busy cycle is to leave the traffic circle. Why? Because the busy cycle keeps people from gaining the necessary information to escape it. Therefore, people have been conned to support the very thing that is keeping them from gaining the answer to get off the merry-go-round.

THE LORD’S PREFERRED DISCIPLES

         This is why the Lord Jesus did not choose religious academics to begin His movement. He chose no clergymen or priests or reverends or rabbis or scribes or tenured professors or administrators or sold-out money-loving status quo addicts or the socially ascendant. Really. He never chose any of those kinds of people. He obviously knew such people were agenda-driven, that their agendas would clash with His purpose, that they possessed highly inflated self worth, that they would insist on attempting to build their own kingdoms within His, based on their limited and subjective knowledge, and that they would fight Him at some point or every point along the way. What He prefers are raw recruits willing to leave all and start over with total trust in Him as their only Shepherd and Teacher.

         His discipleship course requires that everyone start at the beginning. He demands that His prerequisites be honored. He commands a born again experience.

         The apostle Paul said this:

         For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” [1Corinthians 1:26-31]

         Thus, the Lord—a hard working manly Carpenter with a powerful though gracious bearing—preferred choosing regular down-to-earth people like Himself. He chose fishermen and blue collar workers. He chose those with searching, honest hearts who never fully engaged in what they deemed compromised programs. He also chose those often despised by society such as tax collectors. He even associated with great sinners. Any of these would have been the kiss of death for any “acceptable” ministry, and it proves that His ministry was the opposite of those who always respond to societal pressure and keep the wheel to nowhere turning.

         He usually went outside the usual and found His disciples down by the seaside and along the roads in the small out-of-the-way places and among the societal rejects and so-called misfits. He never judged by the outer appearance but looked on a person’s heart.

DEFINING A NEW COVENANT CONGREGATION

         As far as “church” is concerned, real disciples could congregate anywhere, with a building or not with a building, under a tree or in a boat, or even by the thousands on a gently sloping hillside. Finding a place to meet was never a problem.

         Also, regarding how many people must be gathered to constitute an actual “church,” the Lord made this most profound statement:

         “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” [Matthew 18:20]   

         This means that an authentic, genuine Christian meeting can be held virtually anywhere on the planet with as few as two people, and if the two are gathered together in His name He will support it. Not only that, He will attend it!

         I know this may be a very hard concept to grasp due to so much anti-New Covenant Christian indoctrination, but real Christianity is actually quite simple and open in its approach and allows for a tremendous amount of learning and knowledge in both the natural and spiritual fields.

DISCIPLESHIP PREREQUISITES

        There are certainly vital prerequisites, however, though these prerequisites commanded by the Lord Jesus have been rejected for one illegitimate reason or another, usually pride, by many Christians. They are designed to assist us in defeating the oppressive power of sin, break the spell of societal pressure, provide an exit from a fruitless, circular religious lifestyle, gain the powerful anointing and strength needed for our work, and open a giant secret spiritual entrance door into His kingdom:

         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.” [Acts 2:38-39] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Two Days Before the Cross

         “I’m concerned about Him. It seems He has a death wish.”

         The noise of the city had died down considerably as evening descended. There was a slight cool in the air as the two men sat discussing the events of the day.

         “I’ve never heard Him say anything against Moses. He honors Abraham. He speaks well of our prophets. Someone did a good job of raising Him in the beliefs of our fathers.”

         “Yes, but He has also said some things that seem to oppose those beliefs. I was listening to Him one day several months ago and He seemed to discount our law. He was teaching against the concept of an eye for an eye. It seems He was saying there is a better way to go about things.”

         “But how can anything be better than what Moses has given us?”

         “Well, sometimes it seems we have to honor aspects of our law that go against a better outcome. I mean, if a man loses an eye through the accident of another, through the actions of a man who had no intent to do such a thing, such a man must be forced to pay with an eye anyway. Shouldn’t he be allowed to plead his case?

         “But that would violate the law, would it not?”

         “And why should a man of God ride a donkey into the great city in the manner He did? What was that?”

         “It was another one of those coincidences that point toward prophecy. You know the scripture.”

         “Yes, I know, I know. But then right after that His actions were completely unfounded. What man can come into our holy temple area and do what He did? Where is the justification for all the mayhem He caused? People were shocked at His behavior, many of them the same people who had been praising His arrival just before that. And you know He will never get away with it. It’s been two days now, and I fear for His safety. The men, the men He is dealing with will never stand for such actions.”

         “Do you know of something stirring?”

         “I feel it stirring in my heart. This man Yehoshua has not only attacked our traditions, He has attacked a cabal of powerful people, men whom even I fear.”

         “But we both know there is graft and usury, and these men have become rich in the process. Between you and me, in these moments of hidden conversation, can we not at least mention the violations before us? This prophet, or whatever He may be, He saw as we see. Yet we would never make any attempt to correct the wrongs as He did. He has displayed a power of character and a courage we do not have.”

         “And unless He has left the area, I fear He will pay for His courage. This whole thing against our religious traditions has continued building over time. He seems like a man who is starting a war. I had kept hearing reports of him, and also heard with my own ears on occasion, that He is constantly opposing some aspect of our religion, and has even railed against our holy men.”

         “Yes, He has. But no holy man of ours ever had a viable retort. His teachings keep trumping our traditions…”

         “But some of the things He’s done make a mockery of justice. I heard that He refused to press charges against a lowlife woman who was clearly caught and exposed in the very act of adultery. She should have been stoned according to our law. Moses gave no exceptions.”

         “But I remember His answer. Its profoundness and simplicity still amaze me. Very clear…”

         “That only one who has no sin can apply the sentence? How many times have such sentences been carried out in our long history? Were those who threw the stones always without sin? This idea makes a mockery of justice. Who is without sin?”

         “Those who make the proper sacrifices, that’s who. Those who live a pure and clean life. Those who keep the Torah. It is the burden of the righteous.”

         “I don’t know about that anymore. I have always believed in those things and supported our way of life and laws, but He has showed me that our application and interpretation of the law is not so pure. He keeps showing us holes and inconsistencies and misapplications within our traditions. He is showing that while the law may be perfect, we often do not do a very good job in its application.”

         “You think she should not have been stoned? Isn’t it clear the law says she should be?”

         “Yes. It says that. But they all dropped their rocks and walked away. They decided they could not be the ones who carried out the sentence.”

         “But how did that happen? They had all been so sure.”

         “It’s the same reason I’m wondering about all these things just now…”

         By then the night had fallen. The streets outside had grown quiet and a cool breeze touched their faces. It was one of those moments when one respected the silence and comfort of the evening, when work was done, and when one thought of things usually not possible during the busy day.

         The two men sat motionless, somewhat deep in thought. They happened to be looking east out a large window from a second story room, toward the Mount of Olives. Occasionally, one of them would take sip of tea. As they pondered the subject before them, not wanting to disrespect what seemed to be a holy time and a moment of reflection, they beheld an astounding sight.

         There before them, peeking up from the high eastern ridge, was a bright orange waxing moon, almost full. In a few seconds they were bathed in light. The darkness of the room and city streets vanished but their eyes remained fixed on the natural wonder before them. Brighter and bigger it became until it lifted off completely from the earth, as in a slow ascent toward heaven. In that moment their thoughts also shoved off into the air, and they saw things a little clearer.

         They could not express it, though. Both of these men knew there was something different about the Man of their discussion. They did not understand, what with all the competing thoughts and different doctrines and contrary applications of the great law. But each of them knew on a deeper level that this former carpenter from Nazareth, of all places, had captured their hearts.

         And in the deep darkness of ancient Jerusalem, on an early spring night long ago, the Light had come.

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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         [Thanks to all for visiting. Stay tuned. The third part and conclusion of this series, The Hebrew Month of Nisan: Atonement and Resurrection, will be posted tomorrow.]