It has been a privilege and blessing to do this work here over the last eleven years. I am thankful to the Lord. With your help I look forward to year twelve…
So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. [Acts 5:41-42]
As Christians, suffering is often a difficult concept to grasp. It is hard to make sense of in light of the fact that the Lord said He came that we may “have life abundantly.” Abundant life and suffering don’t seem to go together. These two appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. How can such opposites have fellowship? The Scriptures are clear, however, that real Christians are also called to share in His sufferings.
I’ve written about 750 posts in my time here at WordPress. Most of these are teaching posts of two to four pages. I have also written many longer articles, however, which means my total count here is probably approaching three thousand pages. That’s approximately ten to fifteen books.
Please excuse me for personal reference but I think we need times of such accounting. These annual birthday posts are one of two times during the year when I allow a tad more personal reference in order to give you, my dear readers, a better understanding of who I am and what the Lord has called me to do. In that light, we should all be glad that His standards of judgment are not those of the world.
The world, and yes, even the Christian world, judges ministers on their success, how big their church or ministry is, whether or not they’re on television, and whether or not they have millions of people, millions of dollars, and many church higher-ups backing them. I am not saying that all of such people have drifted off and do believe that some of them are where they are supposed to be, but I am saying that the standard of what a real minister of the Gospel is was established in the very beginning and that it is FAR different from modern standards.
Of course, though most Christians and most ministers thoroughly reject it, the greatest and only standard is that of our Lord Jesus. Prior to official ministry He worked tirelessly and obscurely preparing for it. He also worked for most of His life to that point as a builder. Though the Scriptures refer to Him as a carpenter, the meaning of the term extended beyond what one may think a carpenter was in those days. He was actually involved in larger construction projects though to what degree we do not know. Suffice it to say that He learned His craft from His stepfather Joseph and served him honorably while growing up. There is no doubt the Lord had great success as a builder though such success is relative. At some point Joseph passed away and the Lord had to take responsibility for His mother and siblings. He also had to prepare for future ministry which included earning enough money to finance it. He would have to earn enough not only for Himself, which amounted to next to nothing, but mainly to take care of His twelve and their families. This measure of a minister of the Gospel is therefore, truly, pretty much the opposite of Christian ministers in general, who are more concerned with their own bottom line rather than that of their congregants.
During His ministry, the Lord Jesus, a Man accustomed to having much more, one whom the apostle Paul said was rich and became poor, pared Himself down to the use of only the barest of the bare essentials. He had no house. He had pretty much no possessions whatsoever other than the clothes on His back. This was the model He set. He taught this model to His men. He taught them to travel light. Therefore, the idea that He would involve Himself with something so spurious and foreign as building “church buildings” and doing His best to look like a Pharisee is ludicrous.
It was the Pharisees and those like them who were obsessed with religious externals. They had to have their synagogues and their high places therein, their own equivalent of platform thrones, from which they could rule and make sure everyone knew who was in charge. They also loved their extravagant clerical costumes and their highbrow religious attitudes that would gag a maggot. The Pharisees were also lovers of money (as were the Sadducees, Scribes, etc.). Their religion was entirely external. The Lord, on the other hand, had no need of such ridiculous externals. His was a spiritual ministry. He was a spiritual King of a spiritual Kingdom. From without, He had nothing by which to command respect according to sinful religious standards. This is obviously why the religious leaders had no respect for Him and why they treated Him with such contempt.
It was the same for the twelve apostles. It was the same for all the Lord’s disciples. It was the same for all of His true followers. And it is the same for all real Christians ever since.
SPEAKING OF EXTERNALS…
Over the last several years church buildings in America have been closing at an alarming rate. Until a person takes a look at this phenomenon he is completely unaware of it and doesn’t understand either side of the issue. A great church-building campaign was implemented throughout the last century. Protestant churches of all major denominations engaged in the practice once they had the money to spend, and they obviously had gained a lot. The Roman Catholic Church had always been flush with cash and power, so building church buildings everywhere was relatively easy for them also. However, what goes up must come down. That many of these church buildings no longer exist or have been sold and transferred into something else is yet another sign of the times. Sadly, for the most part, much of the money that these religious leaders possessed and had access to was used improperly. THE MONEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SPENT ON PEOPLE.
This is what the Lord did. Unlike the grifting Christian religious leaders who refuse the Lord’s example and appropriate that of the Pharisees who have no problem asking for and demanding money all day long because they are worth it though “their people” are obviously not, the Lord worked very hard in His early life earning the money He would need for ministry and for supporting His ministers. He never called them forth from their life’s work at earning money for their families, whatever their trade may be, such as fisherman, without also providing for them. Imagine all those guys just dropping their nets and following a poor preacher all of the sudden and leaving their families in the lurch. This is apparently what most Christians must believe.
In reality then, one can see that the object of highest value in the Lord’s eyes was never external religious stuff but PEOPLE. The Lord Jesus loves PEOPLE. The Lord Jesus died for PEOPLE. He lives for PEOPLE. He rose again from the dead so that PEOPLE dead in sin can be saved and also rise again. His entire focus was always on PEOPLE. And He loves every single PERSON exactly the same because one cannot exceed the fullness of one’s heart and the Lord always gives His full heart to “whosoever will.”
Thus, practical externals are okay if necessary but are always far down the priority list. Regarding places to meet, why build external “church houses” when so many homes are available for use? How many times do we see the Lord using someone’s home, such as Peter’s, as not only a place to stay but a place to meet? The Book of Acts, early on, reports that they went “house to house.” And how many times do we see this standard throughout the epistles? There was always someone’s home here and there used as a meeting place. The houses of the early Christians thus served a dual purpose. They were following the Lord’s example.
As we continue on we will see more and more church buildings shuttered forever, especially after so much of American Christianity bought into the scam of the last two years and began worshiping “remotely.” One wonders what happened to these people. The bigger question, however, is how American Christians in general also bought into the hate toward those Christians who refused to engage in the false narrative. This is obviously a terrible development but what is done is now done. There is no going back. It was a big test and many if not most American Christians failed it.
ON THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION
Over the last eleven years I have done my best to warn you and keep you informed. I have always worked very hard at gaining information and truth because it is what I do. It is my calling. The Lord anointed me for this. I mostly get rejection, however, which is roughly par for the course. And I often prefer a parabolic approach. I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence. (The Lord used parables for a reason. They force people to think and become engaged.) However, Americans, and people in general, who refuse to consider the Lord’s gracious offer to become real Christians, usually do not make this decision based on what but on will. In other words, most people know the Lord Jesus is someone very special and have little or nothing against Him. With just a little introductory witnessing people quickly understand what is what. Their problem is thus not one of facts and truth but one of will, in that if they acknowledge the truth about the Lord they know they will have to submit to Him and quit their free-to-sin lifestyle. They don’t want to do this. Carrying a cross is no fun. They would rather keep their independence from God so they can maintain their authority to live in whatever way they choose. They are therefore forced to reject truth which forces them to cast aspersions upon the Lord’s Truth in order to be comfortable in the unworkable place they have chosen.
It is interesting that many Christians have the same attitude. In their case, New Testament facts do not matter. If New Testament facts clash with the doctrines of their denomination most will always choose the false or incomplete doctrines of their denomination. It is a religious thing. It is a cultural thing. It is a social thing. It is a lowest possible common denominator thing. Rather than choose the Lord’s full Truth and likely lose fellowship and social standing (and money and power and prestige and honor and self-congratulatory plaques on the wall and trophies in one’s case) they would rather keep on keeping on and keep the Lord and His hardcore Christianity at a distance. They would rather not be confused by facts. Again, especially in these days when so much truth and information is available, it is not because disobedient Christians do not know it but because they don’t want it. So they gather among other Christians like themselves and support one another in their disobedience. It gives them a warm glow or something and makes the conviction go away.
Tradition is a hard taskmaster to break free from.
Speaking of houses, did you know vast swaths of housing in America are being bought up at this very moment? Did you know that entities worth trillions of dollars are buying entire neighborhoods and plan to continue until they own as much housing as possible? And that they are buying houses above market rates to insure that owners will sell? And that they plan to turn all of these into rental properties and raise the rents astronomically? Money is not a problem for them. All they have to do is keep raising the sale price until the sellers sell.
Did you also know that the American homeless problem is growing by leaps and bounds? Did you know that renters are being priced out by being presented with massive rent increases they simply cannot afford? And that these responsible hard-working Americans can now not afford to live anywhere in their areas because the cost of housing has risen so dramatically? It is one thing to be homeless because one may be lazy or has given up or is mentally unstable or is addicted to drugs or alcohol. There has always been a percentage of the populace that fits this category. But many homeless people as of late are homeless because their salaries no longer allow them an affordable place to stay. Many of these continue working their jobs while living in their car or on the street. This is an entirely new phenomenon. And it is beginning to explode.
Did you also know there is war against your food? That bad actors are buying up all the farm land? That a great many food processing plants are mysteriously being destroyed all across the country? That multiple millions of chickens, etc. are being willfully destroyed because of possible bird flu? In other words, in order to protect the people we must starve them. Famine is thus coming to America as is increasing poverty. Destruction is upon us and most people are not even aware of it. I humbly suggest you do your own research to confirm this. You will then see.
We must also work harder at researching Scripture. The Lord rebuked the Pharisees in part because they knew the Scriptures but refused any understanding of Him as the Messiah. To do so would put too much pressure on them to change and get right with God. For them there was simply too much to lose. Our attitude toward Scripture thus reveals the condition of our heart.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” [John 5:39-44]
The Lord said the Scriptures tell all about Him. But how many “Christians” are willing to do the simple work of reading and studying the Scriptures, especially the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, to get to know Him better and pattern their lives according to His will? If we want to know Him and know about Him, this is how to do it. Of course, the Lord was talking about the Old Testament in the preceding. We have so much more! A great way to get to know the Living Word is by reading the written Word. Those who do are much better prepared for any eventuality including that of the present.
At the end of the day we were all properly warned. Many Christians have been warning for a long time. It is mostly a failing cause which reminds one of Jeremiah’s work. Next to no one heeded his warnings or considered his teachings. Most of the Lord’s own people even rejected all of His warnings when only a very short time was left to repent. Most refused. Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple were destroyed forever. Is this America’s fate? Unless something dramatic happens very soon it certainly is to whatever degree. As of now it appears that no one is doing anything to rebuke the devourer. The Devourer is running roughshod over the country and Christians are still doing and believing what they always have which is exactly how we arrived at the present. Unless one is doing what the Lord requires, the same old same old will no longer work. It is not working and hasn’t been for a while now. Also, the spiritual void created by the fake Christians is now being filled up by the fakest of fake ministers and most are none the wiser. It is all happening right before us. For many it is hidden in plain sight. American Christianity has largely been taken over by imposters.
SOMETHING MUST CHANGE. CHRISTIANS MUST DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA MUST INCREASE THEIR SPIRITUAL PRESENCE AND ABILITIES HIGH ENOUGH AND STRONG ENOUGH AND POWERFUL ENOUGH TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. CHRISTIANS MUST START STANDING UP AGAINST ALL THE DECEPTIVE COUNTERFEIT GARBAGE.
The tide of this greatest spiritual war in this country must be turned. I believe it will be. But it also looks like it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Maybe this is the only way to make Christians wake up. Maybe they cannot be properly motivated while relatively free and financially comfortable and must be enslaved and suffer great lack before they get the big idea. (Experience is the best teacher.) When they do the Lord Jesus will be there to meet them.
I have written more new material and longer articles this year than in any previous year. I remain very thankful for those of you who read and follow. Words cannot express how much I appreciate it. But it’s not about me, of course, but the material. If you want to further support my work, say a prayer. There are many things I need to accomplish. Your prayers may help move some mountains. I continue to do what I can to direct people to the Lord’s pure teachings. When we apply them correctly we no longer support lesser teachings and false interpretations of His Word, maintain false ideas and formats, or focus on religious externals. Real Christianity is about the heart. The Lord knows your heart. He knows everything about you. This would normally cause a person to simply give up and surrender to Him knowing he or she cannot hide. But again, it is not about what but will. One must engage one’s will in the process. One must surrender one’s will to Him. Whoever does gains the greatest benefit which is a close relationship with the Lord and secondly, is blessed with specific fulfilling spiritual work to further His Kingdom.
Remember, the last member of the human body to surrender to the Lord Jesus is the tongue. When this most rebellious member fully submits the Holy Spirit enters and heavenly speech pours forth. This is the clear record in Acts. It is the same when we surrender our will. His will then becomes dominant in our lives and everything begins to change for the better. We must know He loves us with all His heart and will bless us with abundant life if only we allow Him to do so. He is a benevolent God of mercy and compassion. It is very important in this regard that we embrace His full curriculum. This process will drive out any false or incomplete teachings resident in our minds which means such things will no longer be a burden or a drag on our spiritual lives. His Truth also puts an end to confusion and cognitive dissonance.
WHAT ABOUT AMERICA?
I have been telling you for eleven years now through this medium that a national Great Awakening is upon us. I got the word from the Lord in late August of 2010, going on twelve years ago, that we were in the early stages at that time. The term Great Awakening was not at all in use then. Roughly five to seven years went by as I continued to labor in obscurity before the term then burst upon the scene in America. Now, probably half the country is well aware of the term Great Awakening. Millions know what it means. Millions are seeing the light and gaining more truth daily at an exponential rate. The Lord is seeing to this. HE IS EXPOSING EVIL LIKE NEVER BEFORE. But the perpetrators are still getting off scot free. Facts no longer matter. It reveals who is in control at that level. But the Lord’s Light will keep shining. Sin will continue being revealed. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this juggernaut let loose by the Lord. The devil wanted to amp it up and the Lord essentially said, “Fine. Now watch what I can do.” Whenever the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will have the last word if we submit to Him and allow Him and will bring an answering flood of goodness and abundant life for His people. The Lord always takes care of His people but this works best when we fully cooperate.
Therefore, regarding the country, all nations and empires eventually come to an end. The only entity existing in the world at present that will never come to an end is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. This Kingdom has existed on this planet since the first century AD. It was designed to continue growing and expanding until it fills the earth. It is constantly clashing with the temporary kingdoms of this world controlled by you know you. The Lord, however, said the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Currently, spiritual warfare in America is off the charts. It will be up to the relative few to continue fighting this battle. Most Christians are not engaging and will not engage. It is because most are not really Christians anyway. They have false conversions. They are Christians in name only. These are the people who comprise Unreal Christianity. They cannot fight their way out of a spiritual paper bag. It’s just the way it is.
Though things look pretty bad and times are growing darker, and it appears as though all sin ever known to man is being freely exhibited all around us with no apparent remedy, and that those who are supposed to honor the rule of law and enforce the law are doing the opposite, always remember that the Lord Jesus is in charge. And even though He is not in effective charge in that He gave us free will and honors it and will never force anyone to do anything, He is in charge in that He can answer effectively at any time. It greatly helps Him when we pray properly and sincerely. I have the faith that He can do anything whenever He wants to. I have seen great miracles in my time and in my own life. We should all know what the Lord can do.
So be strong! Believe Him! Believe in Him! He keeps winning! The enemy has been throwing everything he has at us but keeps failing and thus continues resorting to different tactics. If the Lord’s relatively few people stay with Him the Lord will continue defeating anything the enemy might try. But again, we must put all of this in the context of the Lord’s invisible spiritual Kingdom. He puts all of His efforts into saving PEOPLE not things.
Outside of His Kingdom, everything in this world is temporary with an expiration date. We must occupy and be responsible but know our spiritual responsibility must be paramount.
Consider His perfect example. Consider the example of our Christian forebears in the first century. Study them. Read their accounts. Do what they did.
This is the answer.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
From the very beginning the Lord built into His ministry model committed followers pledged to carry on His legacy. He trained distinctly loyal men recruited largely from the working class and lower levels of society.
He had no need of anyone already vested in and sold out to this world. Such men could never be counted on when the going got rough. They were culturally comfortable and would inevitably desert or betray Him. As it was, Judas Iscariot proved that even qualified disciples could go bad.
ALL THESE HAVE I KEPT FROM MY YOUTH UP
A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [Luke 18:18]
The gospel story of the rich young man seeking greater discipleship illustrates the Lord’s selection process perfectly. He was used as a living example to reveal why the Lord would not choose disciples who were compromised socially or monetarily.
When the young man first spotted the Lord, he actually ran up and fell on his knees before Him. This individual, who had kept the Torah from his youth, appeared upstanding and sincere, and was certainly devoted to his father and family.
Jesus confirmed that the man had indeed been observant of the Torah as instructed by Moses. Though he hailed from the privileged class, the young archon looked like a great ministry candidate. But to make sure the man’s heart was in the right place the Lord said he must do just one more thing to inherit eternal life:
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Mark 10:21]
At once the man was floored with the unexpected. He never saw it coming. Even the observers were shocked by the Lord’s command. The young man, so rich and comfortable in this temporary fallen world, stood before the Lord contemplating deeply the ramifications of such a course of action. In considering all his options, his hesitancy had already given him away. He went from confident and contented to very sad and insecure in a mere moment. Money had too great a hold on him. He could not break free. There is no record of a verbal response. The young man turned down a one-in-a-million chance and slowly walked out of history.
But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. [Mark 10:22]
CHURCHES BOUND BY MONEY
Part of the reason the Lord displayed an open acceptance of non-servitude to money was because He knew how bewitching money in itself could be toward people without full integrity. He set the example. He would never have been overcome, but He also had to demonstrate the proper distaste and inherent wrongness for the attempt to achieve spiritual objectives through money. The Lord said it is IMPOSSIBLE to serve God and wealth. One can therefore serve only one or the other.
Money is necessary for ministry to an extent, of course. It is essentially benign. It only gains an untoward connotation while in the hands of unregenerate or compromised people who make it their be-all and end-all.
Because the church realm has historically forced itself into subsisting on donations, and since one must ask to receive donations, it is obvious that the compromised leaders thereof spend much more time and effort begging and even demanding money from others than they do in seeking assistance from the Lord in faithful and humble prayer.
That’s why non-Spirit-filled churches and denominations—those composed of non-disciples like the Torah-observant rich man in Luke’s gospel—reject real discipleship and replace the Spirit of God with money. They are not seeking the spiritual success instructed by the Lord but a different form of success made impossible without money. They are by and large successful in ministry only because of money. Such institutions have proven this over many centuries. They have done quite well completely devoid of the Lord’s control, authority, and spiritual power. They have easily bypassed the Lord by convincing people to support them monetarily. That is the secret of their success.
REAL CHRISTIANS UNBOUND BY MONEY
In contrast, the Lord Jesus teaches that His disciples can be spiritually successful whether they have any money or not. Think of Peter and John who were used as vessels of the Lord in the healing of the lame man as recorded in the Book of Acts. They told him they had no money, but would give him what they did have—the healing power of the Lord and eternal life.
As real Christians we must first commit to the Lord and be His disciples. That’s the top priority. This will involve surrendering whatever we have been dependent on beforehand. He will then grant us the spiritual power and anointing we need. At some point after that He will give us the money we need. The money must be subject to Him and fit within the parameters of discipleship. When He does give us money it is almost always based on need rather than want. The desire to store up large amounts of money for no ostensible purpose is actually self-defeating for the spiritual man or woman. Money is necessary but it is only good if it is properly subjected to the Lord. This is what sanctifies it. The majority of “Christian” money and holdings are not sanctified because such are not fully subjected to the Lord. If money will not be sanctified it is better to not have it.
This is in part why “Christianity” in general spends multiple billions of dollars with absolutely no spiritual effect. Most of it is spent improperly. There is very little spiritual return on the investment. Why? Because it is spent on lands, buildings, furnishings, stocks, businesses, salaries, maintenance, and etc—much of the stuff the Lord never spent it on. The great bulk of it never reaches the ones who need it most.
The Lord Jesus died for PEOPLE. He loves PEOPLE. His priority is PEOPLE.
CHRISTIAN CORRECTNESS PROGRAMMING
Unreal Christianity has controlled the outward accepted narrative since it was created many centuries ago after forcing the Lord’s narrative underground. It falsely legitimizes what Christians are made to believe. Though its precepts are based on the Word of God, it deceptively adds its own distinctive doctrines. Such doctrines become traditional and accepted over time. Congregations are none the wiser. They are taught to submit, to be passive and never dynamic. Such Christians become dependent and even addicted to the religion thereof and cannot escape, just as the rich man was bound by money. When presented with the opportunity to break free, most will not. They exist in religious captivity.
Unreal Christianity has survived many fairly recent attempts over the last 50-60 years to expose it for what it is in order to reclaim the narrative. At present it is being seriously exposed but many of its followers still cannot bring themselves to disconnect, in part because it takes a while to admit to being deceived. Most people do not enjoy being told they are wrong. Much pride is involved.
“It is easier to fool people than to convince people that they have been fooled.” [Mark Twain]
RESISTERS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The professional clergy are never going to promote spiritual freedom. They will never fight for anything greater than themselves and their own enterprises. Only the truth can make us free and they don’t practice the truth. Only the Lord does. It is a dominion issue. The Lord Jesus gives us an absolutely perfect example of how this works:
(1) He exposed the fakes.
(2) They murdered Him for it.
(3) He essentially said, “Fine. I will awaken from the dead and blow your minds. I will awaken millions of others also. You cannot and will not ever stop me. ”
A TRUTH AWAKENING
Truth exposes falsehood and deception. It exposes lies. It exposes ulterior motives. It exposes personal agendas masquerading as religiously “good” agendas. Truth exposes everything.
We exist in a time when a Great Awakening is coming forth. IT IS AN AWAKENING BASED ON TRUTH. It is a Truth Awakening. Christians are tired of being kept uninformed of the higher truths taught by the Lord, coddled as children, and used by clergyites who, even if well-intentioned in the beginning, always succumb to the real nature of clergyism: It is nothing more than the religious upper classism of a very few ruling over 99% of everyone else. These blind leaders of the blind, like the Sumerian high priests of antiquity, exist atop their many heaven-reaching steepled ziggurats spread all over the landscape.
They keep their congregants regimented, controlled, programmed, and spiritually uninformed or misinformed. They downplay the Word of God and promote their own theologies. And by means of a clear violation of Scripture, they subsist like ticks off culturally obligated donations, coerced cash, and public collections of money.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:1-4] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 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 majority of churches and ministry organizations are profit based. It is never called that, of course, but facts are facts.
The IRS as authorized by Congress has allowed for this through 501c3’s by requiring churches and ministry organizations to possess this designation so donations can be tax deductable.
As a result, church members and those who donate to ministries are now conditioned to expect the benefit of a tax deduction for their donations, and three very bad things, intended or not, have resulted:
(1) Donators will not give if they don’t get a tax deduction.
(2) Donators perceive ministries and churches that do not offer tax deductions as illegitimate.
(3) Government, including the IRS, has become intricately entwined within one’s charitable giving with full records of all transactions.
And because of all this, churches and ministries become quasi government-sponsored entities with government issued charters and many requirements that must be met to be compliant, including all the legal ramifications inherent in such enterprises.
Imagine the Lord Jesus jumping through all these hoops for the right to attend to His ministry. Imagine the early Church going through all this. In reality, early Christian communities were almost all illicit (unlicensed) according to Roman Law and state dictates, and had no official organizations that are required today.
Maybe that’s why the Lord Jesus and the early Church never built church buildings or ministry centers, or became entangled in government regulations, and kept ministry lean and quick and transportable and FAST. They traveled LIGHT!
The really bad thing about current conditions is that the majority of Christians want it this way. Those who run such organizations demand it be this way. Power and fear of bucking the government have gone to their heads. Some of these Christian leaders are downright vile and disgusting in their attacks on fellow Christians and New Testament formats, and will have a special place at the judgment.
But the bottom line is MONEY. Since most churches and ministry organizations are “for profit,” though classified by the government as “non-profit,” they are still run almost exactly as any business. But instead of providing a service or commodity in return for money or profit, they provide a service in return for donations. In other words, the money is not earned, but is given.
However, regardless of semantic gymnastics, the donations still consist of money and are thus, profit.
And there’s a LOT of profit. And many of the leaders of these organizations have become enriched. And they employ in some cases hundreds of people. And these people look at their ministry positions as jobs the same way everyone else does theirs.
The worst offenders are probably some television ministries simply because they require gargantuan amounts of money to function. Hence, they see no problem having telethons and other ridiculous money-making operations to gather funds. According to their view, their ministries are obviously much more important than most ministries and churches, and they have no problem whatsoever prostituting themselves for money. Their arrogance is off the scale.
“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” [Acts 20:33-35]
Since it is more blessed to give, and if giving is the means of receiving, then why don’t all the preachers begging people for money (“You’ll be blessed!”) simply start GIVING money so they can be blessed?
I know it’s a bummer, but individuals can’t have telethons. They have to go to work to earn a buck. Smaller churches and ministries can’t go on television or the radio and beg for money either.
But the big boys can hire, and I do mean hire, professional ministry shysters that specialize in getting people to fork over their money.
Therefore, another form of replacement theology has transpired: The Lord Jesus is not King. Money is King. And I think the Lord said something about not being able to serve both.
Here’s an idea: Instead of making it the priority to invest in lands and buildings and mega-church complexes and ministers living like kings or at least living comfortably on donated money that only they get to have while everyone else must slave away, why don’t we do what the Lord did and invest in people.
We hear it all the time that a single human being, from a Christian point of view, is more important than the entire Universe. The Lord did not die for Christian mini-kingdoms and self-righteous fiefdoms and the few who sit atop the many man-made pyramids and the shoulders of others.
He died for people. All people. His Blood can cleanse anyone of sin.
People are the priority.
But the people are not getting the money. The majority of the money is going elsewhere. Much of it is wasted.
It’s all fine and good to have facilities to help meet the spiritual needs of people, but humanity lives on the ground. We have house payments and rent payments and car payments and utility payments and we have to buy food.
So we go to church. Great. But what good does a prayer do at church if it is not followed up by helping people where they live?
“Well, I’m sorry. But we have only so much money to go around. And we certainly can’t be just giving money to people to help them out.”
Really? Well, where do you get your money from Mr. or Mrs. Church or Ministry Leader?
Freely you received, freely give. [Matthew 10:8]
Speaking of which, many ministers do exactly that. I have a friend who was an official church pastor for many years and he also had a fulltime job. If that’s not giving what is? The vast majority of those working with the Lord Jesus in the world today look nothing whatsoever like what we have come to see as official Christian ministers. Some of these require donations. And for all ministers who the Lord has blessed with donations, there is not a problem, but I would think that every single one would show the proper humility and gratitude instead of projecting an arrogant, superior-minded entitlement attitude, as some do.
Some ministers will demand your money and take a chunk of it for themselves but can’t see helping someone else out in the same way. What this means is that in their mind only a few select chosen ones are worthy of handouts, I mean, donations.
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. [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]
If anyone cares for a little truth, there is no Levitical Priesthood in the community of the Lord. The Lord never invented a clergy class. The Word of God declares that we are a kingdom of priests, in that EVERY real Christian is a priest and the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest.
Part of the lack of this truth stems from poor Bible translations. For example, the KJV translators (400 years ago) made a critical error when they wrote the following two verses:
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. [Revelation 5:10]
The actual Word of God never said we are kings and priests.
IN THE LORD’S KINGDOM, THERE IS ONLY ONE KING!
This translation error has been corrected by some Bible versions but much damage has already been done and traditions die very, very hard.
The real and correct translation, in this instance according to the NASV95, is as follows:
And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” [Revelation 5:10]
So again, we are a kingdom of priests.
The following passage from Peter, which includes clear OT references, corroborates this truth:
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. [1 Peter 2:9-10]
And furthermore, the brilliantly sarcastic tone of none other than the apostle Paul is illustrated in the following passage regarding those who are unclear on the concept and wouldn’t know true humility if it smacked ‘em in the face:
For who regards you as superior?
What do you have that you did not receive?
And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ;
We are weak, but you are strong;
You are distinguished, but we are without honor.
To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty,
And are poorly clothed,
And are roughly treated,
And are homeless;
And we toil, working with our own hands;
When we are reviled, we bless;
When we are persecuted, we endure;
When we are slandered, we try to conciliate;
We have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. [1 Corinthians 4:7-16] 
Maybe if the guy on the stage appeared a little more like the apostle Paul, the people in the congregation could appear a little more like the guy on the stage.
Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. [2 Corinthians 13:7-9]
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.