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THE DOMAIN OF DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT OF SPIRITUAL REALITY

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         For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son… [Colossians 1:13]

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         The apostle Paul spoke of first-hand experience. He knew well what had actually happened to him out on that dusty Damascus road. He knew it was a rescue.

         “But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me…” [Acts 22:6][1]   

         Think about this. Paul was apparently not seeking God. He did not appear to be on a search for truth. He had a very strong attitude about what his religion was, what it entailed, and what was required. And he was hell bent on not only performing all the rites and believing all the beliefs of his religion but would do all in his power to force others to do the same. Whoever did not believe as he did would be made to pay.

         He was determined to get them. It was part of his religion to get them. They were nothing but evil heretic Jews who defied the universal synagogue as defined by the Pharisees. Other Jewish sects were recognized by the Pharisees, of course, especially the Sadducees who controlled the temple and ran Jerusalem, and who were also tied into the great wealth of this world and politically aligned with the Romans. But for any up-and-coming offshoot Jewish sect which did not abide by the dictates of the master cult, these must be stomped on and eradicated using any method possible. This was Paul’s attitude as it was with the majority of the cult, though perhaps no one of these had as strong a conviction as he did or were as willing and able and energized to do serious damage.

THE PRESENCE OF THE DEVIL

         It was the work of the evil one. The cult had fought the Lord Jesus every step of the way. It was absolutely opposed to Him and never gave an inch. The Lord knew where those guys were heading. He knew their future. He knew they had already crossed a line of no return and that there was nothing He could do to stop them. They were determined to fight it out to the end and would eventually destroy themselves and their nation forever. Some of them did not know they had been terribly deceived. Most of them bought into the devil’s program because that’s exactly what they wanted and would do it a thousand times over. They were comfortable in the domain of darkness. They loved it. They loved all the sin and vileness, all the corruption and robbery, and all the power and sense of personal pride it brought them.     

         What the Lord had started as good, beginning with Abraham and continued later with Moses, they had transformed into something evil with the mere appearance of good. As long as no one ever challenged them they were able to maintain their exterior benevolent facade. But they obviously were not benevolent at all. It was only a front, a pretense, with an ulterior agenda. They had joined a very dark force to gain their power but never or rarely acknowledged this openly. Again, some of them were deceived. They thought they were doing right.

         Some were not deceived, however, in that they had come to see the cult for what it was but were too frightened to reveal this. To protect themselves and their families, they never said a word.

         I have seen this exact phenomenon in Christianity. It is obvious for all to behold once one studies Christian history. The exact pattern always emerges. Some strong personality starts a new faction or belief system, or simply reveals more spiritual truth. Some of these have been given actual spiritual light and revelation. Eventually, however, standard operating procedure takes over and transforms the new effort into an organized cult built upon a personality or specific doctrines that differ from others. A few of these manage to outlast smaller versions and grow to become official Christian denominations only because of the numbers of people involved. The large numbers are what give the denomination its perceived legitimacy.

         Of course, each of these, simply because they were not Roman Catholic, were collected into the obverse pool of Christian bodies referred to as “Protestant.” These were the ones known specifically as protesters against Roman Catholicism. Why would they protest? What was there to protest against? Incidentally, regardless of any new “reforms” within Catholicism since the Protestant Reformation, Catholicism is still pretty much as it ever was. It really has not changed all that much. One might focus on a minor change here or there and perceive it as major but this is only a matter of perspective. Overall, and effectually, the Catholicism of today is essentially the same as the Catholicism of then. So whatever the Protestants protested against then they could certainly do the same today.

         And the Catholics could certainly fight back. In its history, the Roman Catholic Church has had the same attitude of the ancient Pharisees in that it worked overtime to stomp out any and all dissent or mere perceived dissent. This is one of the main planks it used to gain and maintain power. They would never have become a worldwide religious monolith otherwise. It had used the same methods as its namesake to gain converts and take territory. Many if not most Catholics simply do not know this or they reject it. The Catholicism they possess in their heads is not the Catholicism of reality and history.

         The same is true for Protestants. They have rewritten their histories to reflect a kinder and gentler account, both because their present members for the most part no longer believe as their progenitors did and also because they want to eliminate anything that does not reflect present cultural values. I always find it quite interesting that Christian groups refuse to acknowledge that which gave them power and put them on the map in the beginning, as if they were embarrassed about it. Perhaps they don’t feel comfortable attempting to answer the harder questions. They do not like their origins and past but insist on maintaining their organizations.

GOD NEVER PROMISED US A PLATFORM THRONE

        Both Catholics and Protestants killed a lot of people only because they differed in beliefs and mostly because those killed believed in the real Gospel and were determined to serve the Lord Jesus rather than whatever faux lord was thrust upon them. I have thought, for example, about the ridiculous level of hubris and arrogance it took for some dumb human obsessed with self importance to sit his fat backside on a religious throne and accept completely undeserved honor as some kind of religious potentate. We see this, obviously, with Catholic popes, but we also see it just as obviously with Protestant leaders, though their thrones are not as ornate or evident. We also see it, strangely enough, in the Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Nondenominational world.

        I don’t know who first invented these ubiquitous large and often ornate chairs or platform thrones but whoever it was needs to be spanked. First of all, there should not be a platform (a stage). If the platform was not there then the platform throne would not be there. Yet we still see to this day some religious pride guy and his minions squatted in giant chairs up on high to make sure everyone on the premises knows full well who is in charge. If you want to check this against spiritual reality, just imagine the Lord Jesus insisting on His disciples carrying around a very large and decorated throne chair that He could sit in all the time everywhere He taught and preached (and maybe be carried around in.)

        His great humility and example thus destroys all these stupid unrepentant religious lamebrains and all their prideful and arrogant attitudes. The tables will turn one day. They will get theirs. The first will be last. These ever-present departures into darkness, whether it is the tendency to kill rather than discuss or the desire to indulge one’s flesh instead of crucifying it, will be dealt with by the Lord in His way and in His time. He is very patient that we come to our senses. He intercedes for us. He does His best. He even gave His life. But it is apparent that His perfect example and attitude have not been accepted or emulated by most of what is termed Christianity.

        As it was with the false Jewish sects of the first century which refused the Lord and eventually killed Him, the same has happened among great numbers of supposed Christian believers. The LIGHT has come but most still prefer the domain of darkness.

          Like Paul, many Christians need to be rescued.

          © 2018 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.

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

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POWER OF THE STEEPLE, BY THE STEEPLE, AND FOR THE STEEPLE

         The framers of the United States Constitution fully understood that absolute power corrupts absolutely. They had first-hand knowledge of the consequences that result from the abuse of power.

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         It is for this reason that they devised a form of government that greatly diluted authority. They installed checks and balances within the framework of the Constitution in order to arrest the corrupting ability of absolute power. The founding fathers were very aware from their knowledge of past governments and their present circumstances that great abuses resulted from a one-man show.

         Only Jesus is sovereign.[1] Everyone else is clearly inferior and subordinate to Him, whether they acknowledge it or not. The gap between Jesus, the Lord God of all Creation, and the entity most like Him is so vast it would be impossible to calculate. The only chance which humanity has to experience and continue in fellowship with Him is through applying the sacrifice of His sinless tabernacle to themselves, as a substitutionary death, which in turn gives life.

         The Lord stated that no one has greater love than the one who surrenders his own life for the lives of his friends.[2] A kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil (in death) in order to bring forth new life.[3] Accepting His life-giving death is the only way that mankind can be reconciled to Him. Once reconciled to God, a person can become “godlike,”[4] but only through the introduction of the Spirit of Jesus into his being.[5]

         Only Jesus is worthy of absolute power. Only Jesus can control it. Only Jesus cannot be adversely affected by it. When a human being is given power, he must be given checks and balances as well. In this way, he has a good chance of not being destroyed by power, or more importantly, not destroying others by it. This is why the concept of the “one-man show” church should be anathema to Christianity. This concept comes in many varieties. Other than a single individual, the “one man” could be a pastor with a sycophant board of elders, or even a worldwide hierarchy pledged to a single leader. In each of these varieties, individuals have no voice, no power, and simply do what they’re told.

         We should never forget, however, what absolute power does to people. It corrupts the holders thereof and their yes-men, and in time alienates those subordinates who are passionate for positive change, inevitably causing rebellion against the abuse of power and the neglect of those under that power. If able to unite, the neglected will rise up to rightfully extract power from corrupt leadership. This rising up or rebellion against reprobate authority serves as a check on the flagrant mishandling of authority. A successful rebellion of this kind is called a revolution. A successful Christian rebellion is called a reformation.

         The great Reformation of the sixteenth century was nothing more than a rebellion against corrupt, absolute power. The American Revolution of the late 1700s was exactly the same, though in a different arena. If the American Revolution had failed, George Washington would have been guilty of treason against the English throne and would likely have ended up with a rope around his neck. Many thousands were burned at the stake during the Reformation, not because they were heretics, but because they challenged corrupt leadership. Each of these celebrated, successful rebellions proved to be far-reaching, long-lasting remedies against the pox of nefarious authority that had come to be concentrated in the hands of one man.

[The preceding is an excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]


[1] Matthew 28:18

[2] John 15:13

[3] John 12:24

[4] John 10:34-38, Psalm 82

[5] Romans 8:9-10

LINK: Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”

OF GREAT AWAKENINGS AND NEW REFORMATIONS: PLANNING A CONFERENCE

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         In August of 2016 I suddenly felt strongly impressed of the Lord to plan a Great Awakening Conference. I immediately went into prayer about it and things starting coming together.

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THE FIRST ANNUAL REAL GREAT AWAKENING CONFERENCE

         I knew I couldn’t do this on my own so I contacted a good friend in ministry with good credentials who had contacts. He also had an initial located structure from which to proceed. He got on board. Although I originally wanted to do it the following spring, we decided that the fall of this year would be best and would give us more time. The fall of 2017, specifically late October, would also coincide with the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

         He felt we needed to line up a couple of well-known speakers and adopt the standard conference format. I went along because I was doing my best to follow the Lord and I thought maybe that’s what the Lord wanted. My friend made some excellent points and suggestions. Well, the first guy he chose, a man he had met with before and shared a spiritual connection, never responded after two or three attempts. Go figure. This was a big name that many of you would know who has been doing much speaking on the subject of great awakenings. I guess we didn’t rate.

       We thought of others who might fit. He came up with another guy. I made up a brochure/letter of sorts explaining the entire concept of the conference and all we planned on doing. This was sent by my friend to the second minister. Only his secretary responded. Again, this was another big name many of you would know. My friend was encouraged by the initial response. Then the secretary of this second minister we contacted listed his demands:

         He wanted $5000 per night (we were planning on two to three nights). He also wanted two first-class hotel rooms for him and his full time assistant. Of course, we were only planning for maybe a hundred people at most since we were just getting started. My minister friend got so concerned about such money demands that he eventually decided to drop out. I said we could still do it but make it a more organic conference with several less expensive ministers, the way the Lord did it, instead of one or two big names. We could even allow for the engagement of those whom the church world perceives as “regular Christians” (my preference), obviously including members of his own small congregation, but he was apparently so shocked by the big boy money demands he wanted out. So the conference was off.

         But guess what? The two guys he wanted to get are part of the same big well-connected nationwide preacher union (my friend is not). The second guy, at least, obviously looked over my brochure/letter. And incredibly, members of that group decided to do what we were going to do, in the same region of the country, and very close to the exact location I originally planned on.

         They turned it into a big affair with several big name speakers. I never followed up with what eventually happened. Those kinds of things rarely do anything substantial. It’s usually a bunch of expensive flash with little substance and no long-lasting regional effect. I can’t prove it, of course, but they apparently co-opted something I had planned (without ever contacting me) for their own purposes, and renamed it.

THE REAL COMMUNITY

         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. [1Corinthians 1:26-29] [1]  

         I will close by once again giving you the key to the real Great Awakening: It will involve all of the Lord’s children. It will not be the usual show time, big money, and big name exercise of the Christian elite. That entire paradigm is fading out. The format is stale. Those people are all getting older and there is very little second generation to replace them. Those younger Christian elites who are copying this paradigm and weaving themselves into the old format are often hopelessly shallow, even those on giant platforms, and there is no room for a next generation since the present one has become so worldly and compromised. You will see this is also happening within so-called Christian television.

         Here’s how to tell the real from the unreal: The Lord Jesus must always be the main focus. People must be drawn by His Spirit. If He is in charge miraculous manifestations will occur.

         Also, spiritual humility is a door. If you see yourself as a dedicated real Christian but just another of the Lord’s many children and on the same plane as everyone else, and you don’t see yourself as special or part of a small upper caste, then you qualify for being used of the Lord. I suggest you go pray about it right after reading this post and see what happens.

       This new Great Awakening in America involves, just like in the political realm, THE FORGOTTEN CHRISTIAN, the ones who actually serve the Lord Jesus and one another in relative obscurity, who have been slaving away pulling on the galley oars out of sight and out of mind forever. These are the ones who have been making Christianity work in America from the beginning by “secretly” giving their money, time, and energy with very little or no respect or acknowledgement for their massive contributions from those on high and in control.

     Real Christians are the ones who possess incredible perseverance under trial, longsuffering, and general overwhelming strength against all odds. If you are a young Christian and do not relate to this concept, you will eventually if you stay faithful.

         Persecution seeks out those who refuse to back down.

         It is the so-called nameless laity in the pews and church chairs and those on the outside who have always made Christianity work in whatever place or time. These are the ones who are always constant and who can make it just fine without big ministerial pay days and ego-stroking. They also work for the Lord under any and all circumstances without requiring $5000 in advance as do the show-me-the-money boys.

        Like the Protestant Reformation of 500 years ago that began in a spirit of necessary reform due to the overwhelming sin and corruption of the controlling clergy, Great Awakenings always emerge from relatively dark spiritual times.

         And the darkest of times are also the shallowest and most uninformed of times with the most ostentatious artificial window dressing deceiving clueless majorities into accepting costly shiny packages with nothing inside that must never be opened.

         © 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.