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

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

         It’s called a lack of faith.

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

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

         And not a real part of His community.

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

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

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

         Who are these shepherds?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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September 3, America’s Other Birthday

         As I mentioned a week and a half ago in my post, Twin Earthquakes in Virginia: An Interesting Coincidence, today is the anniversary of the 1783 Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the American Colonies and the establishment of the United States of America. It also marked the formal end of the American Revolutionary War, though official fighting ended two years before at Yorktown with the surrender of British forces.   

         The American patriots had won.

         And they showed the world a thing or two about rising up against elitist oppressors. The thought of challenging the vastly superior British Empire was considered folly by most and sheer suicide by many. But those with a dream of freedom had decided to risk it all, thinking it better to die fighting for liberty than to live without it.

         Real Americans are faced with a similar circumstance today, but the enemy has risen from within. “King George III” has long since reacquired the nation through deceit and sits enthroned as an evil spectre of the past in our nation’s capital. Whoever likes the way things have been going for the last several years want no change, which proves they are either seriously out of the loop or benefitting from the decline of the country.

         This day should be celebrated.

         We can start by praising God for His mercy. We can continue by repenting of our many sins. Those who count themselves as real disciples of the Lord must continue seeking His assistance and discover whatever role they may have in the immediate future. Far too many Americans have gone to sleep and do not care, like those during the Revolution who had no spine to fight for liberty. Of course, if one does not fight the devil, then one has effectively joined his side.

         In my opinion, it is too late. Too much has transpired. Too many Americans have aligned themselves with the enemy in one way or the other and are compromised.

         It is too late for the enemy to win.

         While mulling this over, think of the five loyal American patriots in the painting above. Think about what a momentous occasion it was when the Treaty of Paris was signed on this day 228 years ago. You know why the painting went unfinished? It was because the British delegation refused to pose. Ironically, the posers currently in power love to pose. They refuse to reveal themselves as they really are, choosing instead to hide behind a false image and lying rhetoric.

         Stupid is as stupid does. The Brits lost the American Colonies because they arrogantly treated their far superior citizens on this continent as mere chattel. Their actions awakened a sleeping giant. The American giant is once again stirring and is seriously hacked off.

         America must not be deceived any longer. There is a very strong and deceptive power at work. To be uninformed in these times is to be a victim of deception. How much worse should it get before we actually act on the familiar words of Edmund Burke?

         “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

         “No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

         “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites.”

         “No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

         No one can live in accordance with the preceding quotes without the help of the Lord Jesus. There is no such thing as a free moral agent. Only God is good. People are sinful. People can only become “good” and receive the power to control their sinful appetites through repentance and commitment to the Lord. Mere human virtue is worthless in this regard, and portends a mere image of virtuousness. Millions of people are counting on real believers to act in accordance with the Lord’s teachings, whether they know it or not. The devil knows that the death of real Christianity means the death of America. As both salt and light, the Lord’s community is coming forth at the present time through far too many venues to be stopped. Consider the following as an analogy:

         And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.” And He answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”

         And Jesus said to him, “‘IF You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”

         Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!”

         But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. [Mark 9:17-27] [1]

         Unbelief is the roommate of pessimism, just as optimism goes hand in hand with faith in the Lord. In fact, it is impossible to have real faith in God and be a pessimist. We must be optimistic, believe, and give the Lord something to work with! We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening.

         © 2011 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.