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THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 3)

        Desperation for money and spiritual faith don’t go together. People who do their Christianity for money are desperate. If they build their lives and ministries that way they only build away from God.

 

       And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]

         One of you, my readers, had a recent post in which you quoted a famous preacher. I can’t remember the exact words. He had been a minister for decades and said something recently to the effect that he had really messed up a lot of people. I thought his sentiment, or apology, was in one sense a tad refreshing. Of course I also thought that it was about time he finally admitted what so many had always known. This guy was a first class idiot. The devil played him like a banjo. I used to wonder how such an obvious shyster managed to fool so many people.

          I don’t name names here. It’s not the way I work. If you know who I’m talking about and care to comment, don’t use his name. It could be that he might actually be repenting. It may be possible that he has headed down redemption road. But it could also be, and likely is, that he’s still the shyster he always was.

         And there are a lot just like him. The celebrity Christian world has gotten really dark recently. There was steady progress toward that goal. They may still look bright the way the devil looks bright with his fake lighting. They may be more rich and powerful than ever. They may command respect and have lesser “ministers” cowed and afraid to say a word. But the Lord knows the truth. He knows what they are. They took the wrong road long ago.

         Were they desperate? Well, if a man needs to make a buck and he’s really down on his luck he forces himself to do absolutely anything he can to survive. If he’s a good man he does honest work the right way. But there are men in this world who refuse to work like a man and instead seek an easy way out. “Ministry” has always been one of those easy ways. Once a man gets past that first plea for cash and gets a little offering money and sees how easy it was to do, his conscience doesn’t bother him as much. He then figures if a little money is okay why not more?

         I remember stories of this guy raking in so much cash he was paying ten thousand dollars for one night in a hotel. They could buy anything. While the people in congregations all across the country were trying their best to live right before God and were struggling to buy another used tire for their old car or more baling wire to hold it together and doing their best to feed their kids right, these fake idiot ministers had no money problems whatsoever. It would be different if they earned it. And it’s not wrong to give or receive help. But all these guys do is take up collections. There’s nothing hard about that.

         The Lord’s example means nothing to them. They don’t care. They reach a point early on when they can never go back. They are too dependent on the easy money. They had become masters at getting it. There was a guy in the gospels that did something similar but not as a preacher. He was just your common every day little runt rip off artist. And he found redemption:

         He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” [Luke 19:1-10]

         Based on this story I would say there’s probably somewhere in the vicinity of several trillion dollars that needs to be restored to Christians who were ripped off by fake ministers. It would great if every one of these high-living low-life idiots would make restitution just as little Zaccheus did. But that idea is a pipe dream. There may be one or two here or there but most of the whole lot will keep being what they always were.

          And now they have a lot more power. They have also made good friends with the world and the line between both has gotten so blurred it no longer exists. Nothing will convince them to give it up. They believe their success is due to God’s blessing. Their big brotherhood gives them solid protection. And though they know all about the gross sin among them they strive to keep it hidden so the others won’t suffer.

        That’s in part why you never see one of these guys rat out another. They know if they do they will likely lose their place at the trough.

         The Lord will have to separate these goats out from His sheep.

MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN

          When you do it right you have to struggle. I’m old enough to remember the tales of old-timers when I was new to the Spirit-filled life back in the 1970s. I heard about how, in their early days, they often barely had enough to eat. These were good Christian people and real ministers. I was told they had to depend on prayer and “pray things in” just to survive. Think about that.

         I also remember a young evangelist who preached at our church. He had a wife and small children. They would travel the country in their car. He was dependent on offerings. These people received very little. I remember how thin he was but also how much the Spirit of the Lord had shone forth in his face. He was so sincere. He told the following story as I remember it:

         “We spent what little money we had from our last offering. I had what I thought was just enough gas to take us a few hundred miles to our next destination. We were traveling at night. It turned out that gas starting running low and we still had many miles to go. We decided to pray. We had a small console in the front seat. We asked the Lord if he would please bless us with the money we needed so we wouldn’t be stranded. I kept driving on in the dark and at last found an open gas station still a ways from our destination. My wife and I prayed again because we had no money for gas. Being satisfied that the Lord honored our request we lifted up the console and there before us was a five dollar bill…”  

         I remember another story from that time. I had a friend who was married with two small children and money was tight. His wife knew how to pray. She had to go buy a few groceries one day but had very little money. She asked the Lord for help. While walking to the store she heard a little rustling behind her and saw what looked like a small bit of rolled-up paper. She continued walking and it kept following her! I remember her laughing when telling the story. She finally stopped to pick it up and it was two or three dollar bills. She was able to buy some milk for her kids.

         The point with these stories is that the people involved had more desperation for the Lord instead of for mere money, and because their priorities were right they had greater faith. They knew when they prayed that the Lord would provide. They had no doubt. He didn’t dump gold bars on them but gave them what they needed at the time.

         “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:5-6] [1]

         Those who are monetarily successful in the ministry without using or needing faith and prayer are likely never receiving anything from the Lord. They are nothing more than carnal people using carnal means and are duded up to appear outwardly spiritual. When the time comes that they desperately need personal faith and prayer they’ll be up you know what creek without a paddle.

         But the Lord’s real sons and daughters will ALWAYS be provided for by Him. And I say Amen to that.

            © 2019 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 GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 1)

THE GREAT UNIFIER IS ALSO THE GREAT DIVIDER (Part 2)

PLEASE PRAY FOR MY FRIEND YVONNE

         I have just learned some heartbreaking news. My good friend Yvonne lost her husband in an accident almost two weeks ago. She told us all in a post on February 25 but I did not see it until today. I ask that all of you take the time to pray for Yvonne and help her during a most difficult time. Though I have never met her personally she is an exceptionally warm and loving person and loves the Lord with all her heart. She is His faithful servant and has always been a good friend to me and supporter of this site and so many others. I know many of you know her and some have already been praying. Please continue to lift her up.

         You can access her website here: New Heaven On Earth. Please visit and extend your condolences.

         Thank you, 

         RJ

HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE THE LORD

         The President-Elect, on his first official trip in that capacity to Washington DC, has taken a decidedly humble approach. He has been cordial, gracious, sincere, and low-key.

         There was talk in October, at the lowest point of his political campaign, when something really bad from his past erupted forth and was set to derail it all, that he was strongly advised to own up to his great wrong and apologize. He had a decision to make. Prophetic voices claiming to hear from God were told that if he took the humble approach he would get through it. He would otherwise be finished.

         He ended up owning up to what he did, faced it like a man, and apologized to the nation at the next debate.

         It was supposed to be his coup de grace, the death blow, that which would finally finish him off. It failed. It failed because he knew that if he was to continue the race he had only one chance to be successful. He had averted the trap so many, many times before. Any of those things would have destroyed another candidate or campaign but the things that destroyed others never came close to destroying him.

         The intelligent people knew why. This man had been much more thoroughly tested throughout his life and career than any of the other candidates. They all had to play the PC game for the sake of their careers and they knew it. They were largely all bought and paid for. But this man had no master. And even though he had made a move toward the Lord long before this, that move would have to be tested. Therefore, though what was sprung upon him in October certainly came through his enemies who no doubt had held it for the right time to administer a crushing blow, it was also the case that the Lord allowed it. It was a door he would have to walk through. The road to the Presidency had to go through that erupting scandal. And though he survived all the others he would never survive that one.

         Unless he took a humble approach and showed a contrite heart.

         He survived. The road continued.

         As a result, he emerged the winner.

         There have been reports of divine intervention during the election. Whatever the case, the vast majority of Americans know something entirely unprecedented and unexpected has occurred. Almost no one on the losing side saw it coming. Ninety-nine percent believed wholeheartedly that their victory was assured. Perhaps the same amount of people on the eventual winning side, on the other hand, were cautiously optimistic or hoping for the best, though there was an undercurrent of foreboding. Many millions had been praying. It was all going in one direction.

         On Tuesday night, among other sites, I was following in real time the New York Times election graphics on the internet as the national vote was coming in. According to that website, the President-Elect began the evening with only a 15-20% chance of victory. For reference, before you read further, you must see this link: False Forecast

         After the initial votes came in supporting the projected scenario of a huge loss for the eventual President-Elect, the totals began changing dramatically. The graphic was flipping. The candidate who started out at 80% began drifting down. The one who started at 20% began trending up. These two lines that started from the left side of the graphic very far apart continued coming toward each other, then actually met in the middle. The graphic was then projecting that each candidate had an equal chance.

         Then the lines crossed over each other and continued. The projected winner kept falling. The projected loser kept rising. He rose all the way to 95%. Long before he had actually garnered the needed electoral votes he was already projected as the winner. The graphic never changed. The one who expected to lose big by all the experts, the polls, and the losing side had actually won.

         This is all new territory. No one has ever done this before.

         Is it possible that it happened without the Lord’s involvement?

         “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” [Matthew 23:12]

         “So the last shall be first, and the first last.” [Matthew 20:16] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[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.

A Lesser Hurricane Irene: The Evidence of Prayer?

        Though many people were killed, almost five million lost power, huge regions were flooded and flooding is ongoing, and billions of dollars in damage took place, some curiously bitter people continue to insist that Hurricane Irene was a hyped event. Some are very thankful that the huge storm was not as bad as originally predicted. Some are arrogantly putting forth their opinion that the storm was nothing that couldn’t be handled, and that they handled it quite well.

        Did something intervene?

        Maybe there was collusion between all the weather boys and girls up and down the coast and the scientific computer geniuses that postulated a storm of nearly Biblical proportions. Maybe they all made a deal with the news media to play it up and make Irene appear as the almost second coming of Rita or Andrew or Isabel grafted onto the upper east coast, New York City, and New England.

         Or maybe there are many more powerful Christians in this nation than otherwise thought praying powerful prayers that a very powerful God answered.

         Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon like any other natural process such as rain or lightning. They happened eons before any human set foot on the land. They will not stop just because we are here. I will personally, however, believe that the Lord God of all creation can do whatever He wants whenever He wants, and that if He uses natural means to judge humanity it’s His prerogative.

         I will also believe that real believers have power over the elements.

         And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” [Matthew 8:24-27]

         The Greek word for “storm” in the above verse is seismos. It means, “A commotion, a shaking, AN EARTHQUAKE.”[1] In fact, this Greek word appears 14 times in the New Testament and every other time it is translated as “earthquake.” Along with the earthquake was a great wind. Mark and Luke called it “a fierce gale of wind,” which Strong labeled “a hurricane.” In other words, the storm on the Sea of Galilee was not a rain event or a thunderstorm. It was the result of an earthquake and wind. Great roiling waves had resulted which were swamping the boat. The apostles rightly feared for their lives. This was no mere storm but something much more out of the ordinary.

         What did the Lord do? He did two things:

         First, He jumped their case for being cowards, and for having so little faith.

         Second, He rebuked the winds and the sea.

         Now, the Sea of Galilee was notorious for having freak wind events. The rushing winds would often form great waves. But on this particular occasion an earthquake was apparently also involved. Did the Lord allow this as a test? Was it a surprise to Him? It was certainly a great surprise to them and if He had not acted to rebuke the wind and waves the apostles would have all ended up at the bottom of that crazy, violent sea. It was a life and death situation and they had no means whatsoever to save themselves because they—

         (1) Were a bunch of chickens, and

         (2) Had far too little faith to affect any change.

         From watching the Lord perform the miracle, the apostles learned that even the winds and the sea obey Him! Who is this guy?!

         And they eventually received the power to do the same thing.

         “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.” [John 14:12]

         Thus, real Christians have power with God through prayer to rebuke the wind and sea. Thus, it is quite possible that all the experts were right but that some other force acted upon Hurricane Irene, which just happened to follow on the heels of a very rare 5.8 Virginia earthquake.

         And this means this country is not populated with a single Elijah holding the fort but millions of dedicated followers of the Lord Jesus that are increasingly making their presence felt.

         Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.” But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.” [Romans 11:2-4]

         Besides, the Lord’s people are salt and light—the preservers of humanity and those who show the way. Many will say that Irene was a bust without ever thinking that they possibly dodged a howitzer through the prayers of God’s people.

         The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. [James 5:16-18] [2]

         Lieutenant Dan eventually made his peace with God. For all those who did not during the opportunity that was Hurricane Irene, there will be another showdown in the not too distant future, except for those who die and go to hell in the meantime. Mock God all you want, unbelievers. Mock His people. But it is highly likely the ones you mock just saved your keisters.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible © 1890

[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.

August 29: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/August/Virginia-Residents-God-Intervened-in-Irene-/