Prior to and during the American Revolution, there were three separate and distinct types of American Colonists. Each one comprised about one-third of the population.
UNITED WE STAND?
America has never been the united country portrayed in standard narratives. It has always been a place of great division. Even in the very early days of the 1600s when American colonists were predominantly if not exclusively composed of the Anglo-Saxon British citizens of the same general culture of their compatriots back home, there remained political and religious differences, some quite diverse.
Remember, though false narratives still abound in America regarding our founding, including within the realm of early colonial history, and that such false narratives have exploded in content as of late, the original colonial settlers perfectly reflected the sharp divisions in England of that time. Nowhere were these divisions more profound than within religious belief and expression.
One can see this division by merely looking at the first two colonies established in America—the first in Virginia in 1607 and the second in Plymouth in 1620. The Virginia colony was founded by Anglicans, those who fully supported the English state church, an entity freshly created in the prior century. It was a mercantile colony. Plymouth, in what later became part of the Massachusetts colony, was founded by their direct opposite, English Separatists, who were fully opposed to the Anglicans and had gone through many years of persecution by government and ecclesiastical overlords. Plymouth Colony was founded principally for the cause of freedom and religious freedom in particular. In these two original colonies we can hear the echo of the Lord’s statement:
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Luke 16:13]
THE GREAT DIVIDE
At the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, one of the greatest and most necessary events in world history, the English monarchy also made a dramatic change by fully separating from the Roman Catholic Church. The level of gross corruption and arrogant authoritarianism within Catholicism had reached a point in which even European monarchies, no slouches when it came to tyranny, had gagged at the bit.
This always happens when tyrants push too far, as the Catholic religious tyrants of that time had done. It had obviously been building over a thousand years since the beginning of the Constantinian Church in the early 300s AD. This Roman emperor, Constantine I, his national traditional realm having lost to real Christianity, knew the only choice he had left was to make a bold move toward co-opting Christianity by creating his own empire-wide hybrid religious body. He knew he could never get rid of the Christians dispersed throughout the Roman Empire or ever force them to oppose the New Covenant and support Roman pagan beliefs which included emperor worship. Many emperors had certainly tried.
The latest and last gasp of bloody persecution directed against Christians was orchestrated by Diocletian and his gang of four in the early fourth century (303-313). Christians were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered here and there throughout the Empire. Afterwards, having failed miserably to make an impact in furtherance of their tyrannical cause, those in power knew the gig was up. They discovered what previous Christian enemies had learned, that persecution not only didn’t work, it strengthened Christian character and unity and made them even more fruitful than before. Persecution also created a level of sympathy among some in the general population. Hence, Christians had essentially taken root. They were everywhere, spread all over the empire, and to wipe them out would be wiping out the Empire itself. These people proved by their great witness that they were dedicated to the Lord Jesus first and always and would never conform to anti-Christian governmental and cultural norms.
In fact, Christians had actually preserved the Roman Empire as it increasing grew more disgustingly corrupt and morally bankrupt. If not for the great numbers of loving Spirit-filled Christians obeying and putting into practice the bountiful and beneficial teachings of their Savior and the vast successful evangelistic efforts made for almost three centuries in blessing millions with the Light of the Gospel, the Roman Empire would have ceased to exist long before it actually did. These people were truly salt and light. However, rather than recognize the wrongheadedness and governmental futility involved in a corrupt military dictatorship and instead attempting to institute a government composed of principles of freedom in which people may live according to their conscience without being forced into various forms of slavery, including religious slavery, those in control refused to stand down and continued beating a dead horse as it were. It was all about control and insuring that those in power maintained it and kept the wealth flowing in their direction.
In this political maelstrom Constantine saw a golden opportunity to create a government model which appeared new but was actually only a hybridized form of the same former tyranny. Again, knowing he could not defeat Christianity, he decided to co-opt it. He would create a new “Church” and then make it the only legal church. He would make all other “churches” and Christian expressions illegal or “illicit.” And of course, he would rule as a religious dictator. It was indeed a brilliant move though diabolical to the core. He was likely never a real Christian and never cared for the actual application of the Lord’s full teachings. In fact, he wanted a low common denominator Christianity in order to bring all Christians on board and congeal them into a forced controlled mass union.
In essence, as King Henry VIII had done after his nation’s divorce from Catholicism so he could gain a personal divorce and become the Six Wives Legend and create a new state English Church (the Anglican Church), Constantine also created a state Church. He would require all citizens of the Empire to join it whether against their will or not. Thus, the new Constantinian Church would force conversion to his new hybrid miscreation. All citizens of the Empire were forced to become “Christians.” They would be forced to engage and participate in the new “Christian” mandatory practices and dogma designed to create a common governmental and religious belief system which had the implausible goal of creating national Roman unity. Rather than a military dictatorship to force compliance in which emperors must be worshipped as gods, Constantine would rule by force from the top of a religious ziggurat, as the ancient Sumerians, and maintain the thinly disguised emperor worship aspect thereof invoking new gods characterized after Roman deities and a central triad. He would rule through his chosen religious prelates which comprised the first “Christian” hierarchy. These surrogate ecclesiastics and policy dictators in the guise of Christian leaders were basically channeling the old Jewish Pharisees of the first century.
Consequently, official religious freedom in the Roman Empire was essentially dead. No one was allowed to practice their religion legally according to conscience. This was especially true of real Christians. And just as any number of pagan religions would eventually be outlawed, including those which were held in high esteem by the Romans such as Mithraism, real Christianity would also be outlawed. This was the devil’s masterstroke. By creating a replacement Christian religion and forcing everyone by government decree under penalty of law to join it and practice it, he knew the real Christians would never submit. In this way, the enemy could then single them out and direct the greatest persecution effort against them with the full weight of the Roman Empire to back him. In time, the “new” Christians, the backstabbing traditores, would cold shoulder the dissenting real Christians. In a massive turn of events showcasing the devil’s dirty tricks and methods, the “new” Christians, those who fully sold out and conformed to Constantine’s “Church,” would become the chief persecutors of the Lord’s people just as the unbelieving Israelites were the chief persecutors of the believing Israelites in the first century AD.
ORIGINS OF ROMAN TYRANNY
Almost four centuries before this time, in 44BC, it was a big gamble that a government faction of Senators et al murdered Julius Caesar in cold blood in the Senate chamber for fear that his power had grown too great. The perpetrators wanted to make a statement, doing the dirty deed in the light of day in an open forum. That they did. The Roman Republic had formerly granted Julius Caesar his excessive power and he was not necessarily taking advantage of it but merely ruling from the platform he was allowed. Some were fearful he had gone too far or would. Their fears were not disingenuous. The actions of the assassins, however, were a corrective that need not have been made if the government had not previously made Julius Caesar possible. Perhaps the tyrant faction that supported him was answered by a faux freedom faction opposing him, the reported gang of sixty that assassinated him. Perhaps the greatness of the existing Roman Republic and freedom thereof was seen as ending too soon for the comfort of some who saw the writing on the wall sooner than others. Ironically, of course, the death of Julius Caesar had the opposite effect intended by his killers, in that rather than greater freedom it precipitated the end of the Republic and the beginning of a tornadic period of civil war that would later result in the Roman Empire ruled by dictatorial emperors with much greater power than Julius ever had.
And so it was with Constantine centuries later. Seeing the inevitable crumbling of empire soon coming, even after great reforms had recently been made to shore it up (knowing these would not last) and the inability of Roman emperors to effectively rule as before and contain the freedom brought about by the Lord’s Kingdom, he moved on replacing the Lord’s Kingdom with his own kingdom. He created an earthbound religious empire. And sadly, he also moved on replacing the Lord Jesus, making himself the effective first Vicar of Christ (substitute).
What is much sadder, tragic actually, is that so many Christians of one kind or another, evoking Judas, supported his illicit endeavor and disguised tyranny. They were obviously overcome by fear as were all dwellers in the Empire suddenly saddled with compulsory conversion. These low or no oil Christians accepted the unprecedented overarching government mandate without a fight, never questioning the process. Rather than stand up against an otherwise obvious power play by the new potentate and his hierarchical henchmen, they weakly surrendered to a new king, a dictatorial government tyrant, a faux King Saul who quickly morphed into an apostate Solomon.
They betrayed their Savior.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 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.
GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]
God ran two qualifying tests upon 32,000 prospective warriors. The vast majority failed. What are God’s qualifying tests regarding the New Covenant?
There are Christians in the world who believe being a Christian is no big deal. The vast majority of Christians have never done much to differentiate themselves from the world. They are Christians only in the cultural sense. Their parents were likely Christians of a particular denomination and they merely became adherents of the same only because it was the group their parents and family belonged to. They were simply raised that way. It is often the case that these denominational connections go back several generations.
Some denominations are more authoritarian than others and thus engage in greater enforcement through the application of greater religious control, indoctrination, intimidation, and even fear. These methods have always worked extremely well and are in part why the most populous Christian denominations have such great numbers. And it also helps, of course, to have been around a very long time.
The major Christian denominations have been around for centuries. One would like to think their great numbers must be due to their acceptance of the Gospel and its propagation. Their success, however, is not necessarily because they have historically stood for the original teachings of the Lord Jesus but because they have stressed certain teachings to the exclusion of others, watered down His teachings, and even appropriated different “gospels” to suit their cause. One should think, regarding this, that their cause should have been serving the Lord Jesus and honoring His Gospel:
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! [Galatians 1:6-9]
When one particular denomination gained the upper hand many centuries ago it did so largely through executive fiat and forced conversions. It became illegal to belong to any other Christian denomination than the one they set forth as the “legitimate” one. In other words, only one denomination was ruled the official one and all others were forced to disband or they would be persecuted until they did. This meant that not only the then existing few Christian offshoots that gained a following but also contained gross error were declared illegal, it also meant real Christianity was declared illegal. Why? Because the real Christianity of the early to middle first century created by the Lord Jesus and embraced by the first Christians had come to look so different from what became the mainline syncretic denomination of three centuries later that both could not possibly exist together in harmony. There were far too many differences. It was also impossible to achieve their goals using the Lord’s methods.
Hence, the real was rejected and a form of the unreal was embraced. Whereas the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to take the real Gospel into the entire world and allow each person the freedom to arrive at a personal decision one way or the other, the predominant Christian denomination went into the world as a conquering religious juggernaut with a decided imperialist character often in direct competition against the Lord.
The great Protestant Reformation, peopled by those who protested against the gross illegalities, false doctrines, rampant authoritarianism, and rejection of the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus and the early church by “official” Christianity, made great strides toward reform and correction. A great part of their success was due to the relatively new Gutenberg Printing Press, invented circa 1450, that made it possible to get the written Word of God into the hands of individual believers. The Word of God had been completely unavailable to Christians for a great many centuries and these believers had no choice but to trust the extremely few ecclesiastics in power that had access to it. Rather than make the Word available they had done the opposite. They closed it off to all and used the lack of the Word of God as a control mechanism. They made sure it was never translated into the native tongues of all those “conquered” by forced conversions. The written Word of God was retained only in the official language of the denomination. In order to have access to it, one would have to be a member in perfect standing, have the proper education, and participate in every initiatory and maintenance rite demanded. This, of course, eliminated 99% of the population. An ignorant, illiterate, and fearful population was absolutely perfect for controlling and dictating to and the masters of such were able to maintain “Christian” religious control for a very long time.
Sadly, the new Protestant denominations eventually also engaged in some of the same corrupt practices of the former to varying degrees. They also discovered it was impossible to control people according to the Lord’s teachings and if they would have any success in the world they must make allowances for authoritarian control also. Those Christian denominations which have existed for so long have thus done an excellent job of growing and maintaining their organizations. This, of course, does not mean they are right according to the Lord’s standard. It only means they have excelled in gaining religious market share, kind of like the successful ministers on Christian TV.
CORRUPTION IS PROGRESSIVE
The Lord’s standard is perfect. His standard perfectly agrees with His teachings and the early historical record. The application of His standard allows for Truth and spiritual purity, and keeps incorrectness and corruption at bay. But as in everything else, if not subjected to ongoing correcting and cleansing, corruption only grows and metastasizes over time. The reason why is otherwise easy to understand but cannot be grasped when one is deceived or under the heavy thumb of religious potentates. If corruption is never properly addressed or allowed to be opposed, and if righteous opposition forces are continually overcome, then corruption will not only remain but flourish. It will increase. It will eventually reach a point of full corruption and darkness. And because the hubris and arrogance of the leaders within it grows as well, corrupt organizations become, in their own estimation, bulletproof and beyond censure. They feel they are so superior and powerful they can never be defeated.
They then begin to lower their guard. They fail to understand that initially buying into corruption for whatever reason allows for corruption to spread unchecked throughout the entire organization. The corruption extends to a corruption in decision making. The organizational unifying adhesive begins to fail. Then communications start to break down. Fissures appear. Light shines into the fissures. Light exposes the corruption. And just as sunshine is the best disinfectant, Light begins its cleansing action. A few insiders previously under the entrancement of the outwardly legitimate organization start seeing the oozing gunk leaching out in fissures everywhere and reach a point of great awakening. The blinders come off. They see the masquerade for what it is. They wake up to the ruse and become animated toward correction. They cease being part of the problem and become part of the solution. This is why most of the great Christian reformers were previously members of corrupt Christian denominations.
This is the world we live in. Despite its fallen nature it is still a world of both darkness and light and not darkness alone. Though darkness may thrive for a time, the light will eventually expose it. Great people, those who act as did the Lord, understand that the Truth of the real Gospel must go forth and are willing to take on the spiritual fight and do the will of God. These people are always grossly outnumbered in the beginning. Many of them pay dearly. They will lose their good reputations. They may lose their earthly goods. They may even pay the ultimate price. This is what happens when the corrupt majority turns against them. Sound familiar? But the only other choice is to let darkness prevail.
That the majority of the world is wimpy in this regard and refuses to fight the enemy does not mean the enemy cannot be successfully fought. The Lord Jesus proved this. The Early Church proved it. Untold millions were saved from sin and the dominance of evil. They kicked demonic backsides and took their names. This was and remains the Lord’s approach. But for those Christian organizations that refuse the Lord’s full program and have no desire or ability to fight the enemy, but instead have a lust for control, power, worldly wealth, and prestige, they simply join up with the enemy. And the enemy accommodates them.
Remember, it is the Gideon Paradigm. The Lord always proved the majority is wrong. The majority is always fearful. The majority will always oppose Him. The majority chooses the broad way that leads to destruction. Thus, if one is not willing to face off against the majority then one simply cannot be His disciple. And if one looks the other way and refuses to bring the necessary reforms and corrections to oneself and one’s own Christian denomination and would rather exist as a nameless nobody within a fearful, compliant, corrupt majority, then one can call himself a Christian all he wants to. As long as he stays within his member denomination as part of the non-reform corrupt majority and maintains the support of the majority as his proof of right standing with God, he may prolong the charade but will never fool the Lord.
Reasonable people would agree that it would be far better to actually get right with God in the here and now according to God’s requirements than face Him at the Judgment unprepared, even though one may have been falsely granted full commendation and approval by his member denomination. It should be obvious that trusting the Lord and His teachings regarding one’s soul is better that trusting one’s Christian guru. Christian denominations cannot dictate right standing with God and cannot confer righteousness by one’s mere good standing within them. Nevertheless, the majority of Christians would rather have right standing within their Christian social circles and overall culture than have right standing with God. And in case there is any confusion on this matter, actual spiritual righteousness is a gift. It cannot be falsely appropriated or earned. It was bought with a price. It was obtained by a great Sacrifice. The only way one will ever receive actual righteousness is by submitting 100% to the Lord Jesus. Substitutes will never qualify.
CHRISTIAN QUALIFYING TESTS
Rather than spell this out I will direct your attention to Acts Chapters 2. I stated in Part 5 of this series that of the many thousands who heard His teachings and followed Him during His ministry, He only chose 120 for the Upper Room. These 120 individuals had to be qualified for the honor. That only 120 did qualify suggests costly requirements. It further suggests that many desired to be disciples and tried to be disciples but were unwilling to be the disciples the Lord needed them to be. When one considers the absolute miracle of Pentecost one must also consider the absolute miracle that the 120 not only obeyed the Lord Jesus in full but got along with one another perfectly. They demonstrated the love of God. They were each willing to become brand new solid and strong empty vessels to be filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit.
Based on Luke’s historical record, the 120 Upper Roomers passed the following universal tests:
1. 100% faithfulness and obedience toward the Lord Jesus, their recognition of His atoning death as the complete and only payment for all sin, their acceptance of His full teaching and discipleship curriculum, and their absolute belief in His resurrection from the dead.
2. 100% repentance of personal sin and a full turning away from sin and their former life to their new life in the Lord.
3. 100% immersion in water invoking the Name of Jesus the Messiah, their only Master and Savior.
We know these were the initial tests in part because it is exactly what Peter preached by the anointing of the Holy Spirit right after he and the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit. Whoever would thus become a member of the Body of Christ must do as they did and meet the standard the Lord put forth. This standard was consistent throughout the early historical record in the Book of Acts and New Covenant Scriptures and all the early believers held it in common and were also filled with the Holy Spirit in the same manner.
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:38] 
© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 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.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son… [Colossians 1:13]
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]
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.
 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.
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.
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] 
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.