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PROPER PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST: A PERFECT SACRIFICE

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         Pentecost required the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. It was the only way He could share His Holy Spirit with us.

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         God not only had to become a human being, He also had to live a perfect life, die without sin, rise from the dead, and be glorified. God had to become a Man in order to then give His Spirit to mankind. There was no other way this could ever happen, and is the actual purpose and meaning of Pentecost.

         He explained it this way:

         Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” [John 7:37-39]

A PERFECT LIFE 

         No one had ever lived a perfect life before. No one had ever obeyed God to the fullest and fully walked out the given plan. The Lord Jesus never missed a step. He became last in all things through complete humility and unselfishness in order to become first in all things. He became last on our behalf as a suffering Servant and became first on our behalf to be our conquering King. Through this process He defeated all evil and the powers thereof. The world, the flesh, and the devil no longer had the upper hand over humanity. He thus gained greater power than any other existing entity as a human being.

        He had always been God but not as a Man. Humanity had been rid of God’s full dominion since the fall of Adam. Humanity had been defeated by evil and had fallen from innocent glory. God would have to restore it. The only way to do that was to become one of us. No one else could possibly qualify. There must be another Adam, a Last Adam:

         So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. [1Corinthians 15:42-47]

A PERFECT SACRIFICE

         The New Covenant definition of perfect is complete. God demands a perfect, or complete, sacrifice. Nothing else will work. You can’t give the Lord a mere portion of your heart even if you give most of it. It works the same way in marriage. It is the main reason so many marriages fail. One member is being deceptive. Sometimes both are. A less than full-hearted effort with God will never work either.

         When the perfect sacrifice was made, sin was paid for in total and a closed door was opened unto spiritual life. The open door later manifested in the miracle of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord. The first sacrifice was made by the Last Adam, the Lord Jesus, when He offered Himself. After that the 120 disciples in the Upper Room had to make a full and complete sacrifice of themselves. They had to become clean vessels, first through total faith in the Lord, and second through total repentance for their sins.

         During the ten days after the Lord ascended to heaven until Pentecost they all prayed, fasted, repented, and prepared. They were also immersed in water in the Name of Jesus. By the time the ten days were up all those remaining in the Upper Room for the duration had made the proper sacrifice. While waiting according to the Lord’s command “for what the Father had promised,” they emptied themselves completely so they could be brand new vessels filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.

THE PROMISE IS FOR YOU

         Thursday, June 1st is the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost means “fiftieth day.” It always takes place on the fiftieth day from the Feast of First Fruits. The Lord Jesus rose from the dead on First Fruits. In that year, it was also the first day of the week, the equivalent of our Sunday. Pentecost was on the first day of the week then as well.

         On the Hebrew calendar, the day of First Fruits is the 17th day of the month of Nisan. The Day of Pentecost is the 7th day of Sivan. The equivalents this year on our calendar are as follows:

         Nisan 17, First Fruits: Thursday, April 13, 2017 (Began Wednesday at sunset)

         Sivan 7, Pentecost:      Thursday, June 1, 2017 (Begins today at sunset)

         How do we know these dates are correct? Because the Hebrew calendar is lunar-solar. The months begin with the actual new moon. The new moon prior to Nisan 17 began on Nisan 1, which was March 28th on our calendar. The new moon took place the day before on March 27 at 9:57PM CDT. This marked the exact beginning of the month of Nisan and from that we can calculate the Day of Pentecost, which begins at sunset tonight.

THE PROPER PREPARATION

         There are stirrings in the Spirit. The Lord is bringing something forth. Well-known Christian figures are now confirming what I have been saying for almost seven years. They are reporting the stirrings of revival in various locations. Let us all continue to be properly prepared. The Great Awakening and Pentecost go together.

         And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

        Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. [Hebrews 12:26-29] [1]

         © 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.

RESISTING THE AWAKENING: Finding Fault Leads to Closed Minds and Hard Hearts

         Christians say they want a Great Awakening but most don’t want to change. That’s why the Lord almost always has to go outside to find the right people to drive it.

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         The status quo likes things the way things are in general and their status quo status is proved by their willingness to go only so far toward necessary change, and it is not very far.

         This is why we rarely get anywhere and why those on the edge of truth who are trying to bring it forth always get slammed by those holding back. But the Lord Jesus will not be denied. He is bringing this, and will bring it, and if He has to He will leave all nominal and unwilling Christians behind.

HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF

         He has done this countless times before. He will never allow the intransigence of His own supposed people to hold Him back. There are many, many more people who want Him and love Him with ALL their hearts and are willing to do anything He says, even though most of these do not qualify as “Christians” by those who set themselves up as judges. These relative outcasts have paid a great price to be in that place of closeness to the Lord and have suffered greatly for it. For many, their lives have been destroyed in the process of staying on the path but they don’t care about the price that must be paid.

         They want God. They want reality. They are tired of playing games and believing promises that never come true. They are tired of people never keeping their promises or coming through for the Lord. They see clearly that all of these so-called spiritual heavyweights in control and all their sycophant often clueless congregants have actually sold out and really don’t want any change unless it brings further personal benefit to themselves.

         Beware any religious leader who looks good and sounds good but never has any real desire to get out of Egypt or makes peace with living in the Sinai.        

PRESS ON!        

         WE WERE MADE TO BE IN THE PROMISED LAND, just as it was way back then, except now it is obviously not geographical but spiritual, and if God needs to leave an entire generation behind, believe me, HE WILL DO IT.

         But for all real Christians it is time to go forward. It is time to let go of all the idols and false doctrines and compromise and things that keep Christians from embracing the full will of God. The Lord is trying to do something absolutely great and spiritually unprecedented in America, and the majority of Christians continue to reject it. This is a terrible turn of events but it is the foreseen reaction to this great move of God by those who study Awakenings and revivals. There is always a very strong and evil reaction to such great moves in the early going by those who claim to be holding the fort but are actually only clutching onto their own personal benefits and standing. They have given in to both personal pride and spiritual pride and would rather sit on their tuffets in comfort back home than engage the enemy on the field of battle.

         I will close with this very profound food for thought:

         “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”

         Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32] [1]

         © 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.

2017 GREAT AWAKENING TRENDS: (2) The Rise of Christian Whistleblowers

         In Old Covenant terms they were called prophets. They were sent by God to stand up strongly for truth, speak out forcefully against error, and expose outright corruption in high places.

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         “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

        Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:51-54]

         Hold on to your hats folks, because 2017 will be a bumpy ride. It will also be a year of great blessing.

        We have already seen the beginning of the overthrow of entrenched establishment principles, priorities, and prime movers and shakers. Three extremely powerful political dynasties have been pushed aside. The Powers That Be are doing one of two things they never thought they would be forced into. The first is to admit they never thought the day would come when the challenge against their authority has actually made their defeat possible. The second is scrambling around in their shocked amazement in the effort to gain or maintain a piece of the current pie.

         Since corruption can never be eliminated wholesale at any given time in this corrupt and fallen world of mankind, it is not possible to eliminate all the compromised players and many will find a place on the new team. But the fact that three teams have been pretty much rendered ineffective and unwanted lets them know they are no longer in Kansas and that things for them could get even worse. They know an unraveling when they see it. They can feel the pulse of angry lesser power centers composed of millions of individuals who would otherwise have no power at all but have been forced into a new mindset after decades of being treated like chattel.

         These people are not associated with mere street rioters blowing off steam, running around like proverbial headless chickens accomplishing nothing productive.

        Instead, they are strong and vested members of various communities with various backgrounds who have had enough and are willing to challenge a compromised status quo. Their bravery will go nowhere, of course, and rarely has, if only the few forthright ones come forth with no support of great majorities, and this is where it gets interesting.

         In Christian circles, it is very easy to single out the one or two with an honest willingness to live for the Lord and speak the truth. It is easy to turn a church against them. There are long-held traditional ways in which to do this and the perpetrators are very good at it. They know how to make themselves look good and make those who follow the Lord look bad. One simple method is to activate the church gossips to stir up the people. This has always proven to be quite effective.

         But at present, there are far too many real Christians coming forth. They cannot be treated in the usual way. Rather than the usual occurrence of a few coming forward and getting quickly slammed and eliminated, as had happened with Stephen, there are now too many real Christians to be dealt with in the usual dismissive and indifferent manner. Not only are they too numerous, they are too informed. Much groundwork has been done over the last few years exposing corrupt leadership. Corrupt leadership has actually been forced by powerful former witnesses to reform themselves, but they only do it incrementally, as their heart is not in it.

         An overall general reform has come forth but only exists as a foundation of sorts at present from which much greater reform can take place now and in the future. Also, there are many, many more real Christians on the cusp of coming forth. They are just waiting for the right time or inspiration. Their minds are made up. They are fed up. They want to do the right thing. All these people know that real reform must happen.

A SPIRITUAL EXAMPLE

         There was a time when the Lord sent me to a new church, but it took a lot of work to get me there. Here is how He did it:

         I was a member in good standing in a previous church. It was borderline large and a few years later achieved mega church status, largely built on the persona of the preacher. (No! Really?) I had a good record there and many friends and associates who respected me. I did what I was told. I went through all the proper channels and obeyed church protocol. But I was also following the Lord and this caused a problem. Over time the leadership there, composed of one man and the usual yes men, developed a different opinion. They began to make life difficult. They were revealing their cultish side.

         Of course, they treated anyone this way if they did not fall into line and obey whatever they were pushing from on high. They, like so much other entrenched church leadership that continues to exist, some far worse, prefer to operate with smiles and “love” but much of this is mere window dressing. Their exterior can change in a flash. Sometimes their interior is exposed. It is often much different than their exterior. They hide their full personas to protect their real intentions and agenda.

         It was certainly not all bad. In many ways it was a great place. But that is not the issue. Many churches do much good. But real disciples of the Lord know the difference between Sunday school and spiritual reality. They know there is a devil and they know the devil goes to church. Even the leadership knows that. But what most Christians don’t know is that the devil is often IN the leadership, something those in power refuse to consider or acknowledge for obvious reasons.

         The main objective for the majority of religious establishments is power, control, and money. Otherwise they would look like the Lord and His ministry, but most know they can’t operate that way and must therefore establish other methods to do what they want. Whoever within the congregation that follows the Lord Jesus first and not them is always suspect.

         The Lord started telling me to leave. I resisted the Lord. I was far too loyal. I would stay the course. The Lord started sending witnesses my way to tell me to get out of there and go to another church. He knew the leadership in my current place would never support me because I was too much of a challenge even though I did not see myself that way, was struggling to survive, and was only being what the Lord created me to be. Compromised leadership always has a problem with such people. I initially paid no attention to the Lord and did not even know it was the Lord. Nevertheless, some reform was happening. Here is one small example:

         The preacher was always talking about money. He was a great preacher. Really gifted. But he was obsessed somewhat with money and was always engaging in small sermonettes on the subject. A friend of mine in another church in a different city far away told me how they collected money in their church. They never took up offerings. Instead, they had a box in the back of the church. Members gave when they gave without any prompting whatsoever or coercing. There was also no condemnation. The church had no money problems. In fact, it was a relatively large church and the preacher took no salary.

         I thought this news was very refreshing. I thought it was cool. I mentioned this in passing to a friend in my church one day. I was not saying it to be critical but simply because I thought it was a great idea. He thought so too. I never told the leadership. That was the extent of it. Guess what happened? Within a very short time I came to church one day and there was a large tastefully constructed collection box matching the trim installed on the wall of the vestibule. I kid you not.

         There were other things like this.

THE TWO WITNESSES

         The Lord sent me a witness. Christians talk about the places they attend. This first witness brought my attention to a new church. The Lord was directing me to it. I had never heard of it. That was the purpose of the first witness. This person had no idea what was going on and was not in any way trying to proselytize that I know of, but merely giving an excellent report in conversation and probably had no idea the Lord was in it. I didn’t know it was the Lord.

         Then the Lord sent me a second witness. The two witnesses did not know each other. This second witness, which came several weeks later, was a man of excellent character. Like the first, this was not an overt witness either because the man didn’t even know what the Lord was doing in reference to me. But he happened to mention the church he was attending. It was the same church.

         It got me thinking. He put the place on the map, so to speak, and made it a distant possibility. No other church ever came up in conversation like this. But I was still adamant about being loyal and not leaving my current church, even though life kept getting more difficult. It got so difficult that I was forced to change anyway and make relatively desperate moves.

         We left. We needed support but there was no support coming and never would be. This is what the Lord had been warning me about. He tried to get me to make a shift earlier before things got worse. He knew I was open to attack and was no longer covered even though I should have been and never warranted their behavior. The leadership there was actually reacting to my calling and not necessarily me personally. Their cold shoulder made me vulnerable, the enemy attacked, my life was going downhill, and they took that as a sign that I was not worth supporting. This, obviously, was not financial support but merely the support all believers should have from their community. I was actually supporting them. I had worked hard and had given a lot of money that was earned with difficulty. I gave by the Lord’s direction. I even supported a new building program financially and donated free labor.

         But again, they did not appreciate my calling. The Lord was bringing conviction upon the leadership and they didn’t like it. They reacted by turning against one of the messengers. Incidentally, in my time there the leadership began making big moves to correct their financials. I had never seen that before.

         After being forced out through the usual cold shoulder church tactics and due to the Lord increasingly withholding His blessing as a way to get me to move on, I spent months mulling my options and trying to figure out the next step. During this time, the strangest thing happened. The Lord began blessing. I wasn’t even going to church. It involved quite a dramatic change for the better. Just getting out of there allowed the Lord to bring blessing. He was making a way.

THE THIRD WITNESS

         Six months later I came into contact with the third witness. Remember, the Lord had already blessed me with two clear witnesses over a year earlier. The third witness hit the ball out of the park. It was amazing. The Lord Jesus is always faithful! I had never met the man. He was a well-known minister from a different city with an excellent reputation and also had no knowledge whatsoever of my past situation with the other church. By this time I had pledged to never attend any church ever again and I was maintaining that line of thought as a mature follower of the Lord overly loyal to a fault.

         Completely out of the blue, the third witness suggested to me that I look up a good friend of his. This friend of his was a church pastor. He just happened to be the pastor of the very church the other two witnesses had been telling me about! I was in a very large locality with hundreds of churches. The odds of this happening without the Lord’s direct involvement were absolutely impossible. It had been the Lord’s plan all along but my own misplaced loyalty had been getting in the way.

THE STEPHEN EFFECT

         The lesson to be learned here might be called the Stephen Effect. Because Stephen was so powerfully anointed and filled with the Spirit of the Lord, the religious idiots he revealed could not hide. If he had said nothing at all they still would have been greatly uncomfortable just being around him. They were powerfully convicted. Compromised Christian leadership acts exactly the same way. It is why they attempt to get rid of people that make them feel convicted.They would much rather be surrounded by adoring fans.

         Most Christians refuse to make the connection that this is exactly the way the Lord makes us all feel if we are not right with Him. He convicts us. He does it to help us. He does it to purify the Church.

         Since the Lord convicts us, should we get rid of Him?

         Christian leadership almost always rejects the spirit of reform, especially when it comes from someone they do not respect or from the outside. But what else can the Lord do? They have already taken control of everything inside. The Lord must always send someone from outside.

         Isn’t this always the case? Is not this the true nature of a prophet? Isn’t this exactly why Hebrew leadership was always killing Hebrew prophets? Those who were sent by God? Isn’t that exactly why they killed the Lord?

STEPHEN THE WHISTLEBLOWER

          Why was Stephen even brought to trial before the mighty Sanhedrin in the first place? What in the world did he do that was so bad? What law did he break? How did he violate the Torah? What did he do that was so wrong that it got him killed? Could it possibly be that his chief offense was provoking conviction?

        And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

         Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council. [Acts 6:8-12][1]

         © 2017 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.

2017 GREAT AWAKENING TRENDS: (1) Growing Opposition from Money-Serving Status Quo

        When John the Immerser blasted onto the scene he warned his hearers of losing eternal life and loosing national destruction. The means of avoiding both was encapsulated in one word: REPENT.

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REPENTANCE DRIVES GREAT AWAKENINGS

         But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

         The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:7-10]

         John did something then that next to no American Christian does today: He blasted the religious leaders. These were men who had total control of the religious establishment in first-century Judea. They controlled the entire Temple complex. They controlled every single synagogue. Their control was such that John was preaching way out in the wilderness.

     In today’s terms these would be the religious leaders who control denominations, churches, seminaries, and major Christian media, including publishing and television. The Pharisees and Sadducees had a lock on all things religious back then just as Christian controllers have a lock on most things Christian at present. Both have a single denominator: MONEY

ONLY TWO GODS FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE

         Getting to the root of Christian intention begins with the simple question: Is it serving the Lord Jesus or is it serving the money-god?

         “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.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. [Luke 16:13-14]

         One will either submit to the Lord Jesus and make money a servant, or one will submit to the money-god and make oneself its servant.

         If one serves the Lord, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the Lord and His teachings. If one serves the money-god, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the money-god and its teachings.

         Here’s is a quick contrast and illustration: John the Immerser served the Lord. His life looked like the Lord. The Pharisees and Sadducees served the money-god. Their lives looked like the money-god. Compare both to the present.

         John warned everybody, but especially the brood of vipers otherwise known as the Pharisees and Sadducees, that the entire nation was about to suffer complete destruction for one principle reason: IT CHOSE THE MONEY GOD.

         Money can make you and it can break you. If there was a way to exist without it we would never have to deal with its powerful influence and temptation. We would never have to submit to its effects. But the international money system has been with us a while and unless we somehow manage to go completely off the grid we have little choice but to enter the game and play according to the rules.

         It is for this reason that most people believe there is no escape and the only solution is to try to gain as much money as possible in order to gain the upper hand. In other words, the way people think they can beat the powerful effect of money on their lives is to defeat it by gaining enough of it that it no longer rules them but becomes their servant.

        This works for some people. For a while. It never works for the vast majority. The system has limited resources. Some are able to gain the upper hand and remain relatively personally free or at least maintain the appearance of freedom, and do not seem on the surface to be anxious regarding money matters. If one does win the money battle by doing whatever they feel they must to gain authority over it by having much of it, it rarely lasts. One must keep doing whatever it takes to gain access to the money well. Most do it legally. Some do not. But even if one does find a way to beat the system, so to speak, and gain great piles of gold, one cannot leave this world with it. It must all stay right here where one found it.

MONEY IS NO GOOD OVER YONDER

         It has been said that rich people don’t have armored trucks full of money following their hearse to the graveyard. Money does not translate into eternity. To the degree that one depends on money is to the same degree that one does not depend on the Lord. This equation portends one’s final location in the afterworld and often whether one even believes in an afterworld.

         One of the best things that can ever happen to a person is to discover early on in life that the pursuit of money for the purposes of mastering life is a heartbreaker. The money-god is a deceiving, bewitching taskmaster. It is a hard lesson to learn. It can be quite cruel. On the other hand, if money always comes relatively easy then the odds of having a spiritual life with the Lord are next to zero. Most people will always choose much money over a disciplined spiritual life. Here’s why:

         Making the decision to give oneself totally to the Lord involves:

(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus instead of faith in the money-god and all it portends.

(2) The need to repent, which means one must accept the fact that one is a sinner and a violator of God’s laws and commandments. Who wants to do that? Especially in these days? To admit that one is messed up like this, that one is not the great person he or she thinks he or she is can have a devastating effect on one’s psyche. And yet the Lord is persistent. He says that prior to our born again experience we are sinners. He says we violate His laws. He says we have uncircumcised flesh that must be dealt with. This fleshly nature is not always on display but certainly reveals itself on occasion, with some people much more than others, especially when under stress.

TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT

         A simple test to prove God is right and humans are compromised in this way is to simply see how often we violate the Golden Rule. Do we always treat others the way we want to be treated? Do we do this especially when we are stressed out or under a lot of pressure? Do we always contain the pressure that builds up, find a way to keep it from building up, manage to channel it off in some safe way in which nobody is hurt, or even stop it completely in the very beginning? Do we always master our impulses? Do we have impulse control or do we simply vent all the time everyday at everybody?

         If so, it is the opposite of real discipleship and thoroughly proves the need for heart circumcision surgery and real repentance. It proves the Lord knows exactly what He is talking about though many people may successfully hide their true nature. Occasional mess-ups are understandable. A lifestyle of trashing others and violating the Lord’s teachings is not.  

         The Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. He is not fooled by outward appearances. He knows what a dirty, fleshy, sinful, uncircumcised heart looks like. It doesn’t matter how much one may try to cover it up and deceive people about one’s true nature. God knows. And He demands that we fix it! The Pharisees and Sadducees fooled almost everyone because they dressed to look the part. They were mere religious actors. That’s what hypocrites are—stage players. Is it any wonder then that the majority of Christian leadership at present does all its work on a stage? What would they be without the stage? It was money that made the Pharisees and Sadducees successful. They served the money-god while pretending to serve God. IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME TODAY. God is not fooled.

A FOOL’S PARADISE

         If there appears to be a way around the repentance and discipleship the Lord demands, most people, including most Christians, will do the end run. They will run from God. They will find substitutes in which they can keep themselves in charge. They will choose counterfeit belief systems, of whatever variety, in which they do not have to submit to the Lord. They will try to convince themselves and everyone else that they are good people.

         Of course, they are playing a fool’s game. There is no other way than the way the Lord Jesus prescribed. Better to find this out early in life than to build one’s house on sand, but most people always end up building their house on sand and it works great as long as everything remains constant. But we all should know this is ridiculous. Next to nothing in this life remains constant. Change is ever-burgeoning, is always messing up the best laid plans, and the tide always comes in and wipes out sand castles no matter how well or elaborately they are constructed. Wise people know this. Yet, there are apparently not many wise people when it comes to applying known knowledge if it clashes with one’s authority.

         “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” [Luke 9:24]

         Real repentance is the end of one’s personal authority. What unrepentant religious leaders do not know, however, is that they do not have any personal authority anyway because they are bound by sin. And they are deceived about it. Sin is in charge but they are not aware. They reject the notion. They are not accountable. Most are spiritual adulterers. It is why they refuse to preach the real Gospel. It is why the Lord stated what He did in the preceding verse. The word “lose” in that verse is translated from the Greek word apollumi. This word means “to destroy.” It is only by losing one’s life (or destroying it) through real repentance and submitting fully to the Lord Jesus that one breaks the power of sin and the powerful grip of the money-god. The Lord gave His very life to set us free from this monster.

OPPOSING THE GREAT AWAKENING

         Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

        As did John the Immerser, the Lord warned the people of His nation that total destruction was soon coming and that it was coming because they rejected His love and leadership for the love of money. The more He attempted to bring forth a Great Awakening the more the religious leaders who were sold out to the money-god opposed Him. Their continued rejection of the Lord and His real teachings, their intransigent rebellion against truth, their refusal to repent, and their worship of mamônâi brought forth a witch’s brew of arrogance, ignorance, and religious pride. It increasingly enflamed their wicked uncircumcised hearts and removed all semblance of impulse control. They sowed the seed of murder and reaped over a million deaths. Literally.

THROWN INTO THE FIRE

         As time marched on toward 70AD, they became ever more strident in their opposition to the Lord. They were incorrectly fulfilling Newton’s Third Law of Motion. They were resisting that which they should have surrendered to and surrendering to that which they should have resisted. They had a completely different agenda. Their persecution of the Lord’s people—those who chose the Lord as Messiah—increased dramatically. They were doing to them, on an ever-advancing scale, exactly what they did to the Lord.

         The same dynamic is at work today. Christian Pharisees and Sadducees look great on the outside and preach what sounds like the real Gospel. They don’t look compromised. They look successful. They’ve been in control seemingly forever. Their status quo rendition of official Christianity appears as the only accepted rendition, but it has little or no resemblance to the Lord’s original and has almost zero impact within the spiritual world. They can’t handle anything they can’t control. They can’t handle anything that exposes them as pretenders. They can’t handle anything from which they cannot extract a living. It would be good if they could learn from the past.

        Judea had been in the midst of a Great Awakening during that final generation in the first century and the religious leaders continually put much effort toward their opposition to it. The more they tried to stop it the more it grew and yet they could never stop opposing it. Their unrighteous stand for the old dead religious order—the only one they could control, the one that gave them power and wealth—was thoroughly compromised by a love of money and service to the money-god. Their unrighteous rebellion must eventually end. Their opposing reaction to God’s action must finally stop. Justice was demanded. Only God could administer it. He did. Judea was no more. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, by fire, exactly as John prophesied.

         “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 10:10][1]  

         © 2017 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.

JESUS IS THE ONLY MESSIAH: Whoever Denies the Son Denies the Father

REVEALING THE ANTICHRIST

         For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.          

         Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

         If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. [2John:7-11]

EVIL DEEDS

         There are people in this world who insist one does not have to be in covenant with the Lord Jesus to be in covenant with God. The Word of God, however, makes it clear that one cannot possibly be in covenant with God if one is not in covenant with the Lord Jesus. Even most Christians are unclear on this concept. The enemy has muddied the waters and thus muddied their thinking, deceiving them into believing in something that does not exist. Many Christians are actually not in covenant with God even though they believe they are. Many others insist they are in covenant with God though they reject the Lord Jesus.

REAL COVENANT

         The promises of God only exist within a covenant relationship. If there is no covenant, the promises do not apply. The Word of God says that whoever does not have the Son does not have the Father, therefore one must be in covenant with the Lord Jesus in order for the promises to be active and applied.

         The New Covenant with the Lord Jesus is a blood covenant. He shed His perfect, precious blood for each member in covenant with Him. He gave everything He had for His people. He loved us before we ever loved Him and He proved it. We must also be in blood covenant with Him as He is with us, in that each of us must give a totality of our entire life to Him, including our entire heart.

         We begin the process of entering into covenant with Him, of beginning the new birth, by expressing belief in Him, by having faith. Faith must always come first. This faith, however, is a 100% faith. The covenant cannot work any other way. He gave all. He demands all from us.

         The second condition that must be fulfilled entirely is full repentance. Sin must be dealt with. Each person to enter the covenant with God, who is holy and pure, must also be holy and pure. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. Without the Lord Jesus one is still in sin. Period.

LOVE ON THE ROCKS

         To illustrate, imagine a man and woman about to become married but one partner refuses to give his or her entire heart to the marriage relationship. Imagine one of the partners insisting that he or she must keep their options open. It should be obvious that a marriage based on such a faulty foundation is doomed to fail. The reason many people enter into such relationships is because the uncommitted partner pretends to be committed and deceives the other partner.

         Many so-called Christians do exactly the same thing with the Lord. They enter into covenant on their terms and not His. Of course, He is not fooled. There is actually no covenant at all if it is not His covenant. He never agreed to the terms and never entered into it. Christians deceive themselves and are deceived by false leaders into believing in a false covenant and that they are in covenant with God when they are not. They do not have full faith in the Lord. They have never fully repented. They remain in their sins.

ONE WAY TO GOD

         No one is in covenant with God without being in covenant with the Lord Jesus. If one does not have the Son then one does not have the Father. One is either in full covenant with the Lord Jesus or one is not. There is no in-between and there are no exceptions. There exists only ONE New Covenant. It is a blood covenant. There is only one Son. There is only one Messiah. There is only one way to God.

         Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6] [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.

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.

THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

         But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]

         The Lord Jesus arrived at exactly the right time. One would think it was actually not a very good time at all, especially in light of what eventually happened to Him. He came to His people when what was left of the nation of Israel had brought forth the very worst generation in its history. That says a lot, since the ancient Hebrews had manifested some really bad generations over the centuries.

THE SADDUCEES

         He came at a time when the religious kingpins had gained complete control and had corrupted the entire spiritual establishment. The sect of the Sadducees, the high upper class of well-to-do Establishment power brokers, were in bed with the Romans and had control of the Temple. But remember that the Lord God never wanted a Temple in the first place, and that the Temple in Jerusalem in the first century was empty: There was no Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.

         The Ark had disappeared to history 600 hundred years before and is still missing to this day. Without the Ark of the Covenant, what exactly was going on at the Temple in the first century? This is a perfect type of the majority of churches in America that refuse the presence of God but continue to go through the motions anyway.

         Consider the following:

         But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’ [2Samuel 7:4-7]

         “David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE? WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’ You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” [Acts 7:46-51]

         As soon as Stephen said this his fate was sealed. Those religious authorities not only murdered him seconds later, they acted exactly like the pack of wolves they were just before:

         Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:54]

         Did Stephen hit a big old giant religious nerve or what?

THE PHARISEES

         The sect of the Pharisees had control of the synagogues, which meant they controlled all religious thought and actions, supervised all behavior, and demanded that everyone follow their strict but incorrect interpretation of the Law and Prophets. They had gained the seat of Moses but the Lord told His own disciples to not do what they do. There are many powerful rebukeathons directed by the Lord against the Scribes and Pharisees throughout the Gospels. There are also many parables revealing their illicit behavior and inherent wrongness. The Pharisees were always against the Lord, always trying to trip Him up, always attempting to disparage Him in the eyes of the people, and also always trying to kill Him.

         Was the Lord Jesus constantly hitting a big old giant religious nerve or what?

         In light of the fact that the Holy of Holies was empty, the people were struggling under a curse, and the religious Establishment looked great on the outside but were evil within, shouldn’t more people have noticed the real Ark of the Covenant? Shouldn’t they have perceived the real Temple?

         Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19]

THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

         So why did the Lord Jesus arrive at such a time? The religious authorities who had been engaged in so much wanton destruction for so long, whose forebears had killed all the prophets, had gained complete control.

         Evil had been elevated to the very top of the pyramid.

         “Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. [Matthew 16:3-4]

         Sound familiar? Let’s return to the topic verse:

         But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]

         The Lord Jesus arrived when He did to redeem His people who were under the Torah. For greater clarification, Paul also said this:

         For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— [Galatians 3:11-13] [1]

         The Lord came to set His people free at a time when they needed it most. He would become the Sacrifice Lamb. He had to be born under the Law and that particular generation was more “under the Law” than any prior generation.

         The word “redeem” in these two passages from Galatians is from the Greek exagorazo, which means: (1) to redeem (1a) by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off (1b) metaph. of Christ freeing the elect from the dominion of the Mosaic Law at the price of his vicarious death (2) to buy up, to buy up for one’s self, for one’s use (2a) to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.

         Paul said that Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Torah. That’s a powerful statement. Quite pejorative. The curse of the Torah? This explains how the Pharisees gained control of the people. It explains why that generation was the worst. It explains why He came as a bright Light into a land of great darkness. It explains why they hated Him.

THE ESSENES

         This Jewish sect had fully recognized the evil of the Sadducees and Pharisees, how they had gained control of the Temple and the synagogues, and essentially the entire religious Establishment. And they told them all to go stick it in their collective ear by leaving all and going to the wilderness. They would not put up with all the religious chicanery and shenanigans. Their problem was not that they left but that they had no power as witnesses to stay on the scene and do anything about it. They knew they were defeated and could never change the status quo. But they did a great service to the Lord by shaking the dust off their feet and refusing to be a part of the evil.

         This is also why John the Immerser conducted his ministry out in the wilderness, away from all the religious and political intrigue. He proved in part that his ministry was from God because much of the nation went all the way out there to see him. It was a powerful movement within what was left of the nation of Israel and set in motion the Lord’s own movement. What these two movements portend is that REPENTANCE must always come before GRACE. American Christians must properly repent before the Great Awakening can come forth. A big part of this repentance is renouncing everything wrong within “Christianity” instead of supporting it or merely walking away from it.

BLINDED BY DECEPTION

         Though the spirit of repentance is rising, there is still very little repentance in America for incorrect, non-New Testament church practices and church formats, the teaching of false doctrines, the clergy-laity division, or the refusal to be filled with the Lord’s Spirit allowing Him full control. This is due in part to ignorance, willful ignorance, deception, and outright rebellion, but at its heart is a curse. In Galatians, Paul quoted the following OT verse:

         “‘Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’” [Deuteronomy 27:26]

         The point here is that Moses taught that the entire Torah must be honored. Anything less not only rendered it ineffective, it brought on a curse.

         James reiterated this teaching of Moses in the following:

         For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. [James 2:10]

         The Lord Jesus made it clear that we are either with Him or against Him. There is no middle ground. It should therefore be obvious that we are not allowed by Him to choose whatever part of His teachings we like and reject the others. But Christianity in general has been guilty of this for centuries and certainly remains guilty at present.

         It was the same in the first century. Though the people were under a curse, they continued to support the status quo. They continued going through religious motions that had no real effect on their spiritual lives. They were beat down, and they were scared. They wanted real change for the better but could not make it happen.

         Until John.

         Until the Lord Jesus.

         And until Pentecost.

         After that the flood gates opened.

         For such a time as this.

         © 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.

BIBLICAL WIKILEAKS (3): God Warns of Corruption at the Highest Levels (Listen Up, All Who Rule)

         And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’” [Luke 22:25]

         In revealing His original and prototypical ministry model, the Lord Jesus set the perfect example for His followers in positions of authority:

         “But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” [Luke 22:26]

REJECTING THE LORD

         But like boiling the proverbial frog, it did not take long for His teachings on the matter to become completely rejected by later generations of “Christians.” The frog sits in the pan, in comfortable water, but if one turns up the heat ever so slightly and gradually, the frog will never notice, even to the point of being boiled alive.

         It is the enemy’s ultimate strategy to take a secret gradualism approach. Anything else will tip his hand and make his sinister machinations obvious. He must start small. The goal, of course, is to take power by stealing authority. I explained this in Part 1 of this series.

         It began at the beginning. The devil and his fallen rebellious cohorts were cast down to Planet Earth by the Lord God prior to Adam’s creation. The planet became their abode. Their evil presence, as a sinister spectral fog, spread across the earth and covered it like a dark shroud.

         Then the Lord God decided to invade the darkness. In keeping with His humble servant plan, He would strike at the very heart of the devil by sending forth a spiritual warrior that initially appeared to the powerful, arrogant evil one as a mere dog. How humiliating.

         The Lord God thus created the most humble of superior beings by creating him from the very earth itself—He was an organic being, sharing many of the organic physical traits of mere animals. In this, Adam was highly unlike angels, and even fallen angels.

         But then, the Lord God would bless this organic, natural being with celestial star power. Adam would thus also be like the myriad of shining angelic beings among the heavens. He would be both an organic man and a spiritual man. In fact, Adam would be like God:

         God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]

         Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]

REAL REPENTANCE

         One of the great secrets of spiritual success is great humility. This is why Real Christians must go through a complete and thorough repentance process to begin their born again experience. Repentance is humiliating. It kills human pride. It allows for a brand new start by destroying the old. The way up is down. Through repentance, and ongoing repentance, we always know who is really in charge. It assists in making a follower of the Lord very powerful in spiritual warfare.

SERVANT LEADERS?

         However, this spiritual process has been largely lost and rejected by the lords of Christianity. For example, you see the same ridiculous anti-New Testament leadership model on display day after day, Sunday morning after Sunday morning, and splashed all across the airwaves. It is a model in which the 99 are lost in the pew as mere spectators without a voice and the 1 “found” sheep is bleating away incessantly up in the forefront on a high platform in a big pulpit under the spotlight and before the camera. He or she hogs it all. No one else is ever allowed to speak.

         There is no law against this and if everyone wants to engage in the practice that is fine. BUT IT IS NOT NEW TESTAMENT. IT IS NOT THE LORD’S MODEL. It can and has given rise to arrogance, power-seeking, and much cash. It provides the perfect place for the flesh. Perhaps the Scripture could be read this way:

         And He said to them, “The kings (leaders) of the Gentiles (Christians) lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’” [Luke 22:25]

         The Greek word translated as Benefactors is euergetes. It appears only once in the New Testament. Strong’s defines it as thus: (1) Benefactor (2) A title of honour, conferred on such as had done their country service, and upon princes. A.T. Robertson defines it as a “doer of good.”

         Of course, the Lord Jesus was teaching how it came to pass that His disciples would fight about who would be the best and the top leader. Even among the Lord’s apostles in the early going there was behind the scenes intrigue, displays of pride, and a scrambling about to gain the top leadership position. How often the Lord must have been amused. He was in fact telling them that they had previously been subjected to a false model of leadership, and that these so-called Benefactors or “doers of good” had actually created the false title for themselves in the effort to legitimize their stolen place of “honor,” though it was occupied for the most part by men who were dishonorable.

         It was the civic form of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

         Does anyone really believe that the Roman emperors, those who demanded they be worshipped as gods, were honorable doers of good? Well, if one fell into the category of upgrading their meager lives by becoming the recipients of Roman government-dispensed bread and circuses, then Yeah, I guess they would be considered “good.”

         But the Lord inferred that they weren’t good. He also inferred that His disciples were acting like idiots by engaging in a power struggle to see who would be the greatest among them. What patience for relative children the Lord showed. You know He had to have a slight chuckle at their nonsense. (No! Me! I’m the one! It should be Me! No, you’re a dingbat fisherman! I’m the best! Look, you clowns, you’re both wrong! I’m the best…)

LORDING IT OVER THE BRETHREN

         In reality this kind of garbage has been going on behind the scenes in churches for untold centuries. “Ministers” will fight for prestige, money, dedicated pulpits, and the opportunity to officially speak their minds whenever they feel like it with no possibility of accountability or the voices of others (or facts). Once they gain the speakership and fight off all comers and run off anyone who sees things differently they can safely rule and reign in their little faux kingdoms with nothing but docile pew-sitters arrayed out before them.

         For the congregation, it is natural selection in reverse. It is the survival of the unfittest.

         The same thing happens in government, even in a country with a Constitution that forbids it. Well, just as it has happened in most of “Christianity,” so it has happened here.

THE ORIGINAL ANTICHRIST

         For the Hebrews it did not start with Gentiles taking over at some point and ruling over them. It reached its zenith with one of their own, the one they called the greatest, the one who actually inspired the dunderhead disciples whether they knew it or not. This man could have written the book on palace intrigue. But even before the great Solomon, the man who taxed his people into the poorhouse, who refused all prophets, who turned his nation into his own private ungodly fiefdom and laid the foundation of its own destruction, and before the coming of the first Hebrew king, Saul, the Lord God sent forth a very strong and clear prophetic warning about what the Hebrew people were doing to themselves by putting men in the place of God and what their future held as a result.

         See if any of the following sounds familiar. The Lord God released it about 30 centuries ago using His form of Biblical WikiLeaks:

         The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”

         So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. He said, This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you:

.

         He will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots.

         He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.

         He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers.

         He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants.

         (HELLO…)

         He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants.

         He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work.

         He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.

.

         Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

         Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us…” [1Samuel 8:7-19] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         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.

BIBLICAL WIKILEAKS (1): Exposing Ancient Israel’s Corruption (Listen Up, America)

         The Old Testament Scriptures have a lot in common with WikiLeaks: There is no holding back on revealing ancient Israel’s corruption and eventual destruction.

         The same will happen for each of us on an individual basis at the Judgment. All of our sin and corruption will be revealed. We will be judged accordingly. Unless, of course, our hard drives have been wiped clean by the Blood of Jesus through real repentance.

         Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. [Hebrews 13:12-13]

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS

         We live in an age in which the general level of corruption has gained Biblical proportions. Christians have long predicted this would happen. Yet now that is has, many people have become apathetic and indifferent toward it, and feel powerless to do anything about it. The same thing happened to ancient Israel.

         How does a nation go from being the specially chosen people of God in whom He entrusted His pure Word, manifested His holy presence, and loved with all His heart, to a nation so corrupt it actually murdered Him? That’s pretty much Mount Everest on the corruption scale. But as I’ve said so many times before, this is not an indictment of the ancient Hebrew people, but an indictment of the entire human race. It was the Lord who decided to choose a people. But in seeing what His own people did we should also see what any nation would do. We should also see, then, what has happened to America.

         Ancient Israel got into trouble every time it turned away from God. Every time the nation as a whole began slacking off and dishonoring their unique spiritual heritage—essentially becoming like any other godless nation on the planet—it not only descended into a pit of depravity, its depravity actually exceeded the depravity of the pagan nations surrounding it.

         We recall several intervals when corruption went off the scale. These were times when the heart of the nation had so turned away from their loving Father that they no longer wanted Him around. If you think it hurts to be rejected by someone here and there imagine how the Lord must have felt when He was rejected by His own people in whom He had invested His entire heart and life, and long centuries of care and protection. One of these intervals in which Israel took a giant leap downward—insisting nonsensically on jumping into a deep pit of slime as it were—is recorded in the first book of Samuel:

         The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.” [1Samuel 8:7-8]

         Samuel felt rejected because the nation refused to hear him, but the Lord said no, it is not you, it is Me. They are not listening to you for one reason: You work for Me. They don’t want Me…

         So how did Israel become the most corrupt nation? And how can anyone say such a thing? There were obviously some really bad nations at that time engaging in all manner of ungodly and immoral practices. I will answer with Scripture:

         “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:15-17]

         We know from the Biblical record and extensive historical research what had happened to this land so many centuries before and exactly how the people therein arrived at a state of complete darkness, spiritual death, and in great need of repentance and restoration to the Lord God. The Northern Kingdom of Israel bit the dust long before the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But Judah had its own moment of utter darkness and absolute corruption, right before it ceased to exist forever:

         “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” [Acts 2:22-23]

         The Northern Kingdom had essentially only rejected the Lord. The Southern Kingdom murdered Him. Was the destruction of Jerusalem forty years later the Lord’s retribution against a vile, corrupt people? Or was it actually the case that when Judah rejected its long-awaited Messiah it actually rejected every means of its own life and protection? Unlike every other nation, ancient Israel was entirely dependent upon the blessings, protection, and grace of God. It could not exist for long without Him, except in a grossly corrupt form. What more could the Lord God have done to showcase this fact and take responsibility for His wayward, corrupt people but actually show up among them as one of them in a final loving effort to get them back on the right path for their own good?

         Can you imagine some good people showing up at a man’s home when times are bad and he needs some help and they shower him with love and groceries and some money to help him pay some bills to get him back on his feet and he turns to them with rage and demand they get their sorry backsides the hell away from him and never come back? And every time someone else tries to help he does the same thing? We all know what will become of this man. His final end will not be because of outward judgment but because of inward hardheartedness, rebellion, and stupidity.

         America has a corruption problem because far too many of the people in positions of authority have become corrupt. This has become obvious but nothing changes. Americans keep voting corrupt people into office. Until recently most Americans either didn’t care or were too willingly ignorant to know. But this is changing. Light is starting to shine…

         Part of the proof we have that the OT Scriptures are for real is that no nation writes such an incriminating history of itself. History is always written by the victors and by those with alternative agendas, and is thus skewed. This is not the case with the history of the ancient Hebrews. It is all exposed and it is all true.

THE FAITHFUL REMNANT       

         Intermixed with all the corruption in ancient Israel, however, is a crimson stream of repentance and righteousness, and an ongoing longing by an everlasting Remnant to do right by God. This Remnant remained viable until the first century when Messiah arrived. Though He was rejected by what was left of the nation as a whole and certainly by the entire religious establishment, there were thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Jews in the first century who recognized their Lord and Savior and embraced the Messiah wholeheartedly. They no longer identified with the corrupt outward nation. For those, their lives were saved. YHWH-Salvation saved them. They repented as per John the Immerser’s instructions, as per the Lord’s commands, and as per Peter’s demands on The Day of Pentecost. This believing Remnant of Jews became the very people that continued bringing forth salvation into the world.

         “…For salvation is from the Jews.” [John 4:22] [1]

         In those times long before this when the ancient nation of Israel had turned back to God, the course of the nation was righted, corruption was exposed and eliminated, the guilty parties either repented or were removed from power, and the Lord was once again in the right place in order to care for His people. This is the Lord’s heart. That He often had to use outside people is only a testimony to the fact that a corrupt elite in power will NEVER correct itself.

         In ancient Israel, it was the anointed judges and prophets who were used of God as a corrective force, whose voices could only be silenced by death. Most of these did die and were silenced. The corrupt elite were not only slowly destroying their own nation, they were destroying their very souls.

         In America at this time corruption at very high levels is being exposed. Much of this is unprecedented. But it will do no good whatsoever if the corruption never registers with the majority of the people. It could be the case and is in part probably the case that at least half of America is also corrupt and is therefore compromised from doing anything about the corrupt people in power. Much of America is simply blind and unaware of the facts. Many simply do not care. For all the proper percentages of the population and whatnot, a study of ancient Israel will give much perspective.

         As I said in a recent post, America is doomed without a Great Awakening. The Good News is that an Awakening has begun, as I have been saying all along from the beginning of this blog five and a half years ago and over six years ago when I received the revelation. The first Great Awakening that began in 1734 was designed in part to create a nation. Perhaps the oncoming Great Awakening is designed to save the nation. But nations can never be saved unless individual citizens are saved and salvation can never come without true heart-rending repentance, a turning away from sin and false gods, a complete repudiation of systemic corruption, and an absolute turning toward and acceptance of the Lord Jesus, the sacrifice He made on our behalf, and His full authority and dominion.

         The outward nation of ancient Israel was destroyed forever almost two-thousand years ago. The eternal Kingdom of the Lord Jesus began then, and it was composed entirely of Jews and those of Hebrew extraction for the first seven to ten years of its existence. That’s right—the Community of the Lord Jesus, His Qahal, His Ekklesia, was founded by a Jew and consisted only of descendants of Isaac in its initial years.

         The ancient nation of Israel was essentially born again.

         Perhaps America can be born again also.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         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.

JEZEBEL JUSTICE

         Some people are able to lie with a straight face continually with no reservations whatsoever without feeling even the slightest hint of guilt.

         Though liars may be quite successful and never face justice in the here and now, in the eternal sense, they do not pass Go. They do not collect $200. In the next world there will be no Get Out of Jail Free card. Barring repentance (a very unlikely scenario for the vast majority of those who habitually bear false witness as a way of life and for getting ahead), they will go straight to hell:

         “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:8]

         But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. [1Timothy 1:8-11]

         But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1Timothy 4:1-2]

AHAB AND JEZEBEL

         Ahab was a proud Israelite of royal blood. He came from a line of kings who were each generally more treacherous than the one before. “How can I top my forebears on the wickedness scale?” thought Ahab. “I know! I’ll marry an immoral, lying, demon-possessed Baal-worshipping daughter of a foreign king!

         Her name was Jezebel. It is pronounced in the original Hebrew as Ee-zeh’-bel. She hated anyone determined to serve the Lord but had an especially powerful and passionate hatred for God’s prophets. She hated Elijah most of all.

         Why so much hate? –Because she was so closely aligned with the devil. One could figure out the devil’s demeanor by her actions. She was a great barometer for the way demons think and operate. Thus, modern Jezebels hate real Christians more than anybody else. They hate real Christians with a prophetic anointing the most. And they absolutely despise the most mature real Christians with a prophetic anointing.

         The original Jezebel set her heart on murdering Elijah but failed. The man who later came in the spirit and power of Elijah, the great forerunner John the Immerser, did not fare as well. The Jezebel of his time, the evil Herodias, succeeded in killing him. John’s murderer, like Jezebel, was also an adulterous queen married to a king (Herod Antipas) in defiance of the law and used her own daughter’s dirty dancing to complete the dirty deed.

ELIJAH’S PROPHECY

         Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?”

         And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel; and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin.

         “Of Jezebel also has the LORD spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’ The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.”

         Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the sons of Israel. [1Kings 21:20-26]

THROW HER DOWN

         Now in the eleventh year of Joram, the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah.

         When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?”

         Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot.

         When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. Therefore they returned and told him.

         And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’” [2Kings 9:29-37] [1]

         It seems the longer justice awaits, the bolder Jezebels become, and the more bullet-proof they think they are. But one thing is certain. There is always Jezebel justice in the end.

         © 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.

The American Political Climate is Fixing to Blow Sky High

         Dear Readers, I have been very busy as of late and have not been able to post, yet I feel that with the limited time I have I need to post something about the current political situation in America.

         First of all, some of you may recall that I wrote a post last summer about the current political atmosphere, and that Americans are in general very, very angry with elected politicians: Prophetic Words from Last November and the First Republican Debate. It is a must read.

         This is especially true among Republican voters, who were fit to be tied after their elected representatives completely caved to the Democrats and essentially lied about everything they promised during the election of 2014. It had been building up even before that, of course. But Republican voters turned out en masse in November of 2014 which resulted in a landslide and a great increase in the House of Representatives.

         Then, those Republicans who were elected with such an incredible mandate blew it all and squandered it away, like some nitwit who can’t handle winning a big lottery.

         Strangely enough, though, even Democrats have taken on a very powerful angry edge. It is no surprise to anyone who pays attention that the hate index within the American Left has been rising precipitously, as well as the outright un-American attacks on the freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights. There is no way in the history of the world that Bernie Sanders, for example, would be having the success he is having now if it was not for this particular time and political climate. He has no chance, of course, but he is doing very well and much better than expected. Hillary might make a great decision to choose him as her running mate. Why? Because a vast squadron of young 20 and 30-somethings have thrown in with Bernie to an incredible degree, and even though they do not appreciate Hillary, they will support her if Bernie is her running mate.

         On the Republican side, Donald Trump has obviously tapped into what Republican voters are angry about with regard to career politicians and a non-responsive Washington, though I do not think he had any idea in the beginning that things would have worked out this well for him. Barring a comet striking Earth or some other very weird situation, Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination, which will set up a cage match between him and Hillary.

         There is always the very slight chance that Hillary may be indicted, but I don’t believe it. The Republican establishment in general is already on record saying that it will support Hillary if Trump is the nominee. Someone of Hillary’s stature has been and will continue to be protected.

         What does any of this have to do with Real Christianity?

         For starters, the Great Awakening is obviously also happening in the political sphere. Last Friday I told someone that this year has great parallels to 1968. Since then I have heard the same thing from many pundits. I will not get any credit for this but I saw it before they did. What happened in Chicago last week at the almost Trump rally was eerily similar to what happened at the Democrat Convention in Chicago in 1968. Look it up. The anger of Americans is beginning to spill forth like Niagara, and many otherwise collected people are choosing off and are willing to fight. The emotional tone is ratcheting up into the Stratosphere. And we’ve only just begun.

         Again, these days have been building for decades. The great majority of Americans feel totally left out, taken for granted, taken advantage of, and cheated by their own clueless government. They know Washington no longer cares about them or the country whatsoever and is only using them for their own purposes.

         What to do? As real Christians, we must remember that times such as this are really no surprise. In fact, I and so many others have been predicting this for years. For the young ones, however, those with no strong knowledge of or experience with past political events going back beyond thirty years, this all looks new and they are in danger of being deceived and deceived greatly. I would caution everyone, especially Christians, to not get too caught up in the rhetoric and strong emotional overtones of these political times, largely because the country has already been divided to the point that this election could destroy American goodwill and unity forever.

         There is never any place for such hate, but there are millions who have already bought into the hate mode to the point that they may not recover. And whatever anyone thinks about Christianity we do know this: In essence, the teachings of the Lord Jesus are 100% about love. Therefore, regardless of what may be at stake in this election, Americans in general and Christians especially must put love first. Love the Lord and love each other. The young people back in 1968 were saying exactly the same thing. But they got a rude awakening when their idealism was shattered by hate, hate, and more hate.

         If you have become a hater, I strongly suggest you get rid of that attitude post haste and become a lover. That’s what the Lord Jesus is—a Lover. He loved so much He gave His life for us all. No one can top that. Being a Lover means being a Giver and also a Forgiver. Following the perfect example of the Lord creates a loving atmosphere, a loving supportive community, and a great deterrent to the hate, violence, and vitriol of this fallen world.

         Though it might sound silly in these powerfully emotional political times, love is still the answer, but it must be fought for, especially now.

         Love, Love, Love. Love the Lord. Love your neighbor. Stay true to the pure teachings of the greatest One who ever lived.

         Love ALWAYS works.

         “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

         “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” [Matthew 24:10-14] [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.

Purification by Fire: SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF (4)

         “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:12]

         The grain kernel of wheat is composed of two parts: The inner part that we eat and the inedible outer hull. The inedible part must be separated from the edible part. There are two ways to remove the outer hull: Threshing and Winnowing.

THRESHING

         Threshing was used on grains in which the hull was attached tightly to the grain kernel. In the days of our Lord, such covered grains were either soaked in water, or were lightly milled or even pounded upon to loosen the hull in order to remove it. The latter processes often damaged the edible grain.

WINNOWING

         However, when dealing with grains in which the hull was relatively loose and light, little or no threshing was required. A winnowing fork was used instead to cast the grain into the air allowing the wind to separate the inedible hulls from the edible grain kernels. The light, papery hulls would float or fly away in the wind while the edible grain fell to the ground to be collected. These light separated inedible hulls are called chaff, a word derived from Middle English.

         In both of these methods the unfit for consumption outer hull had to be removed from the grain kernel. Once removed the hull residue (chaff) was burned.

         Keep in mind what the Lord Jesus had to go through as the new seed of all creation. He was baptized by John as our example though it was personally unnecessary. And though He had no hard outer hull He underwent the extreme process of hull removal on our behalf.

         Both John the Immerser and the Lord Jesus used the rich imagery of hull removal in their preaching as illustrative of the process of salvation. The otherwise soft, warm, and loving human heart, characterized perfectly by the happy innocent hearts of young children, becomes hardened by a life of sin and rebellion against God. In time a hard outer shell forms over the human heart and creates an entirely different human nature from the original.

HEART CIRCUMCISION

         This requires what the Lord refers to as heart circumcision:

         “So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” [Deuteronomy 10:16]

         “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else My wrath will go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.” [Jeremiah 4:4]

         Since human will and free choice must be involved in the process of salvation, the outer hulls of our hearts can only be removed by voluntarily submitting to the process of spiritual threshing or winnowing. For those with very hard hulls the process will be more difficult. For those with lighter papery hulls removal will be less difficult. But in either case, since all have sinned regardless of degree, ALL hearts MUST be circumcised or salvation is not possible. EVERYONE MUST undergo a new birth.

         We can see by the very clear illustration of heart circumcision (circle cut) that salvation and new birth (being born again) is actually a reverting back or returning to one’s original created condition. Though real Christians will still have to battle their old nature in this world after undergoing a new birth and receiving real salvation, the new nature takes over and regains authority over the old sin nature.

         So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! [2Corinthians 5:17 NRSV]

         He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:11-13]

         “You must be born again.” [John 3:7]

         Submitting to heart circumcision is not an easy choice but obviously the best choice anyone could ever possibly make. If we have a hard outer shell on our heart, it is not so fun to subject ourselves to light milling or necessary pounding to remove it. It is also not so fun to be thrown up in the air with a winnowing fork so our old nature can become dust in the wind.

         Keep in mind that John the Immerser was sent to soak the nation of Israel in water to loosen its national hull and thereby gain a softening of its national heart prior to the Lord’s ministry. The goal was threefold: (1) Making the national heart receptive to the Lord (2) Gaining national repentance—a wholesale turning away from sin and rebellion against God—and (3) Undergoing a national heart circumcision.

         The nation of Israel would thus be divided based on its response to John’s ministry and later the Lord’s. The first camp would include all those who honored John’s and the Lord’s ministry and complied. The second camp would be composed of all those who did not.

         The Lord referred to the first camp as being composed of sheep, wheat, and good trees with good fruit—“the blessed of My Father.”

         He referred to the second camp as made up of goats, chaff, tares, and bad trees with bad fruit—“accursed ones.”

         For all those who refuse the great opportunity of salvation and being included in those returning to the Lord’s original sinless creation, however, something must be done with them.

         If it was grain kernels with very hard and stuck fast outer hulls that refused the proper treatment toward removal, such grain would be no good for anything and would certainly not be edible. But even if it was grain with light papery hulls, if winnowing was refused it also would remain inedible.

         The only thing to be done with such bad grain that still contained an otherwise edible kernel was throw it in the pile of the inedible chaff that was removed from the good grain.

         This is what John meant when he said the following:

         “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:12]

         In order for the Lord to continue the process of new creation, the following verses illustrate more examples of allegorical entities which must be eliminated through the ultimate means of purification—Fire:

         “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:10]

         “The tares are gathered up and burned with fire.” [Matthew 13:40]

         “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire.” [Matthew 13:41-42]

         “The angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire.” [Matthew 13:49-50]

         “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones (goats), into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…” [Matthew 25:41]

         “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” [John 15:5-6] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         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.

Purification by Fire: THE FRUITS OF REPENTANCE (3)

         “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:10]

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         The Lord Jesus made it very clear in His teachings that fruitless discipleship is no discipleship. In other words, if there is no spiritual fruit there then there is no discipleship there. Real discipleship bears good fruit. It is impossible for it to not bear good fruit. A good tree always bears good fruit.

         As did John the Immerser, the Lord Jesus also said:

         “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:19-20]

         He was talking about false prophets. He likened false prophets to ravenous wolves. He said ravenous wolves were bad trees bearing bad fruit:

         “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” [Matthew 7:15-16]

         In comparing sheep to wolves the Lord is comparing good trees to bad trees. Wolves are ravenous. It means they are very hungry and will kill to satiate their hunger. Wolves kill sheep in order to eat sheep. False prophets do the same. They not only rip off the sheep—removing from them all their valuable externals—they will also eat up everything the sheep are composed of—everything that comprises their lives. In the best case scenario they will transform the sheep into trees bearing fruit for the sole benefit of the wolves.

         We may call these zombie sheep. They obey their voodoo masters the false prophets. They do not have any critical thinking skills. Their minds are not their own. Their minds have become religionified. They have fallen into a cult, though it may be a “respectable” denomination or world wide organization. Such sheep do not bear good fruit.

         Imagine creating such sheep. It sure makes life easy for the wolves. They do whatever the wolves tell them to do, especially when it comes to money, their primary fruit. Take away their primary fruit and they also become worthless to the wolves. They are already of no worth to the Lord. They have rejected Him and His pure Word. Therefore, they will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

         The Lord Jesus is THE Good Tree. He bears fruit, and it is always good fruit and only good fruit. It is also always available. All real disciples also bear only good fruit since they are good trees which came from THE Good Tree.

         Unreal disciples usually don’t bear any fruit, though some bear bad fruit. The Lord said any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. John said it also. This is pretty self-explanatory, but one thing remains. What, exactly, is good fruit? What is spiritually representative of grapes and figs? Here you go:

         “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance…” [Matthew 3:8]

         And what is the fruit, or the proof, of repentance?

         “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

         And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?”

         And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”

         And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”

         Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.” [Luke 3:8-14] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         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.

Purification by Fire: NEGLECTING SPIRITUAL HEALTH (2)

         FROM PART 1: Much more importantly, most people are walking around in sin, with sin attached to them, with sin stamped on their minds, with sinful souls, and with much sin on their account. But they don’t know it. The sin is not acknowledged. It is unknown to them. The possibility of its presence is refused. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t there…

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         We live at a time in which people are highly encouraged to have frequent medical checkups. There are also many new checkup procedures not available in the past and instrumentation that is much more sophisticated toward discovering health problems or potential problems. Within certain industries and corporations, medical examinations are required for employment and periodic health screening is required to stay employed.

LARRY BIRD

         I just read an article about aging former NBA basketball players. The greatest professional basketball player who ever lived, regarding not only incredible playing ability but also work ethic, hustle, and heart, and a huge contribution toward winning, was, in my studied opinion, Larry Bird.

         His impact was such that without him his team would not only not have won, they would have been largely mediocre. He had great teammates. Some are in the Hall of Fame. But there is no question he was always by far the best, and they all knew it. He did everything to win while also playing completely within the rules, including the unwritten rules. He respected the game. He was a winner who often willed his team to win. He always gave the fans their money’s worth.

         That is why the following is all the more remarkable. It was discovered through medical testing after his playing career that he had a heart problem. He had the problem most of his life but never talked about it. He had spells that he kept to himself. He came close to buying the farm, apparently, on several occasions.

         I prayed for Larry Bird today. He just turned 59 years old. There have been several ex-NBA players who have died around his age, some recently. Some have died much earlier. It has often been due to heart attacks. Larry Bird believes that the former players who are most susceptible are big men like himself (he’s 6’ 9”), who have worked and hustled the hardest. He believes all the very hard work at such an incredible level of play, in addition to great size that makes the heart work harder, greatly increases the chances of a shorter life. That’s why, he says, you don’t see many old big men. Even very tall non-basketball players will die on average sooner simply because of their size. Short men, in reality, will have a decided tendency to live longer.

OUR TOP PRIORITY

         I say all this to say that there is a correlation toward today’s overt universal mandatory medical screening and pretty much zero spiritual screening, which means we also live at a time when a person’s physical condition is treated in the opposite manner of one’s spiritual condition.

         The same authority figures who desire and demand proper health screening as a top priority generally have no desire whatsoever for proper spiritual screening. This can only be due to placing this life and this realm above the next life, and for many it is because they do not believe in an afterlife. Most people certainly do not respect the Gospel.

         This life is so very temporary. The next life is eternal. Living for this life at the expense of the next life will cost a person his soul. Our top priority must always be getting right with God. To that end we must all undergo spiritual checkups beginning with initial repentance. We must deal with our sin and be rid of it. We must stop sinning. The Lord Jesus has given us a way to do this.

         Stay tuned. I will break down the following in our next lesson:

         “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

         “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

         “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         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.

Purification by Fire: VACATION HOUSE and THE LIGHT SPECTRUM (1)

         There was a vacation house out in the woods pretty far from the nearest town. It was located in the middle of a 1200 acre section of private land. There were no restrictions upon its building site or construction, though it was well built. The owner chose the site for its natural settings and views, but he didn’t pay much attention to the topography. He lived a thousand miles away and there were no close neighbors.

         One day it began to rain in those woods and the rain didn’t let up for several weeks. The locals had never seen anything like it. Unbeknownst to the vacation house owner, he built his little hideaway in a very old flood plain.

         At the height of the rains the flood waters had risen to four feet in the house and remained standing for a few days before slowly receding. The house was knocked slightly off its pier and beam foundation in the beginning which also damaged the framing in several places. This in turn damaged the roof’s integrity and several large leaks had developed allowing rain to pour in.

         By the time the owner managed to check on his house several weeks later he was shocked at the damage. It was inundated by black mold. The wood framing had started to rot. Every insect and bug known to man had taken up residence in the house as well as a vast array of critters, including rodents, and even small mammals. The house was still filled with drying mud.

         When the man started repairs he discovered that the mold had reached the tops of the walls in places. Even after removing all the wallboard and insulation he saw that the entire structure was affected. The critters had also taken up residence in the attic. Everywhere was mold, rot, and the byproduct of two months of small animals. The odor was overwhelming. It was an absolute mess.

         He had no insurance. He checked with his lawyer on local laws. The next day he cleared out a break around the perimeter of the structure and made ready a few hoses from the well. After waiting for a day that had no wind, he set the house on fire and burned it to the ground.

         “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12] [1]

         Today’s lesson begins with a simple truth: Fire removes the disgusting filth of corruption.

         Corruption, of course, comes in many forms. There is the actual physical tangible filth that adversely affects the five senses, but there is also intangible corruption. For example, sin is intangible. You cannot see it. But you can certainly see its effects.

         Picture a very clean mansion beautifully decorated in which everything is in perfect condition and every appearance, even the clothing of the inhabitants, is perfectly tailored and pleasing to the eye. Then picture the intangible sinful condition of the inhabitants. Picture their evil hearts and machinations, and the gross behavior they engage in behind the scenes.

         The Lord Jesus says the intangible is much more real than that which is seen. If one could actually see the unseen corruption in the midst of the perfect and beautiful setting clearly seen with the naked eye, one’s opinion would change.

         But most people never see this. Most people simply do not have spiritual eyes. They are very easily swayed by the illusory perception of their five senses.

         Please see the following chart and look it over: Electromagnetic Spectrum

         As I’ve taught before, the visible light portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum is an extremely small part of the overall Spectrum. There is much more light that is unseen rather than the very little that is seen. 95% of the entire Universe cannot be perceived by the five senses.

         Therefore, whoever bases their beliefs on mere sensory data cannot possibly have the full picture since the vast majority is completely unknown.

         To bring this home and make it more visceral, there are people walking around right now with problems in their bodies and they don’t even know it. They go about their daily business as if the problem isn’t there. They cannot see inside their bodies. Imagine that. Something so close to us and so much a part of us and we don’t even know.  

         Much more importantly, most people are walking around in sin, with sin attached to them, with sin stamped on their minds, with sinful souls, and with much sin on their account. But they don’t know it. The sin is not acknowledged. It is unknown to them. The possibility of its presence is often refused. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t there…

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

         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.

Overcoming Clergy Dominion: BREAKING FREE (5)

         The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church:

         Like the Wizard of Oz, the ruling class has established a powerful and sometimes fearsome image of itself. Its members have set themselves up as the sacred and the laity as the profane. The laity, if brave enough to seek personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains, often do so at the feet of the big boys, who have been enormously successful at promoting their big daddy image for centuries. Of course, the laity receives only religious tokens for the most part, if anything at all. The important thing is image. The great Christian controllers must believe that if the laity perceives them as merely human, and not ultrahuman, it would cause such disillusionment within Christendom that a complete breakdown would take place.

         But one man’s breakdown and loss of power is another man’s revolution and recovering of freedom. Ask George Washington. Ask Martin Luther. Ask the Lord Jesus Himself. It was the benefactors of the religious clergy spirit of His time who were so incensed by His radical teachings and so petrified over losing control because of His growing movement that they savagely murdered Him, revealing to all, for all time, their true motivation and character. [1]

         Make no mistake about it. When the Lord Jesus arrived on the scene he immediately engaged in spiritual war against powerful forces. The human appendages of such forces had discovered centuries before that great power over large populations could be gained in the realm of religion.

         Like the rest of the planet, the ancient nation of Israel also suffered from such demonic interlopers and we have the proof of this religious invasion in the historical accounts of the Old Testament scriptures. Israel had devolved from being the pure people of God to a nation of religious hybrids ruled over by bloodthirsty kings set on complete dominance and an overthrow of God’s rule.

         By the first century AD the political kings had long since morphed into religious “kings.” The aforementioned paganistic and syncretized religious practices of ancient Israel had by that time become largely congealed under the banner of Pharisaism which was dominated at the top by those whom the Lord referred to as children of the devil. They did not appreciate His terminology.

         “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” [Matthew 23:15]

         Though these evildoers did exactly as the evil Israelite kings before them in taking dominion over the populace for their own benefit, the subjugated people felt powerless to overcome. There are two reasons for this:

(1) The people had accepted their lot with a defeatist attitude and simply surrendered to the dominant controlling clique and its rewriting of the Mosaic Code, as the nation of Israel had formerly fallen under the sway of evil civil leaders.

(2) The people had become enchanted by the ultra-human power of religion and got absolutely lost in deception and darkness, unable to see and absolutely unequipped to fight back.

         Then, as now, there was only one cure:

         “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”

         From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:15-17] [2]

         For those who repented, they were able to overthrow the Wizard of Oz that had them trapped, deceived, and bound by joining up with the Lord Jesus. They received “personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains.” His pure LIGHT gave them eyes to see. His great LOVE gave them the support and encouragement they lacked. His POWERFUL Holy Spirit gave them strength to fight. His TRUTH set them free.

         For our study, this is the difference between Unreal and Real Christianity.

UNREAL CHRISTIANITY:

(1) The people have accepted their lot with a defeatist attitude and have simply surrendered to the dominant controlling clique and its rewriting of the Gospel, as the nation of Israel had formerly fallen under the sway of evil religious leaders.

(2) The people have become enchanted by the ultra-human power of religion and have gotten absolutely lost in deception and darkness, unable to see and absolutely unequipped to fight back.

REAL CHRISTIANITY:

         For those who repented, they have been able to overthrow the Wizard of Oz that had them trapped, deceived, and bound by joining up with the Lord Jesus. They have received “personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains.” His pure LIGHT has given them eyes to see. His great LOVE has given them the support and encouragement they lacked. His POWERFUL Holy Spirit has given them strength to fight. His TRUTH has set them free.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[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.

LOVERS OF MONEY: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (3)

         For those who believe in the false concept that only those with the Lord’s blessing and approval always have abundance, where does that put the apostle Paul? Where does that put Peter and John in the following?

         But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” [Acts 3:6]

         Would that the majority of Christian ministers had this spiritual power and ability, but they don’t. And they never will because they always put this world above the Lord’s spiritual kingdom. They always put money ahead of spiritual power. Their priority is always funding and having control, instead of more of the Lord Jesus, His love, His spiritual power, and His control.

         In reality, putting the Lord Jesus, His kingdom, His righteousness, and one’s obedience to Him first actually does result in abundance, although the term is relative. By having the right priorities, one can have both the spiritual power of God and also be blessed by God materially and financially (to whatever degree He decides is appropriate).

         Nevertheless, because the compromised ministers with wrong priorities make up the vast bulk of “ministry,” they also garner the vast bulk of the money.

         This also means, of course, that honest ministers with the power and real love of God are in the decided minority. That is not necessarily bad on the surface, but it is when the majority—Unreal Christianity—treats them with contempt, cuts exorbitantly into the general Christian funding pool, and discriminates against them as illegitimate ministers.

         But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. [James 2:9]

         Why one cannot see the arrogant me-first outlook on the part of the Christian elite and those with religiously correct social standing most often means such a one is a part of that group—One can’t see the forest for the trees if one is one of the trees.

         If one’s top priority is to fit in socially both in church and the community and be financially successful then it is impossible to do the will of God and hence, be blessed by God:   

         “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.

         Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.

         And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:13-15]

         There was a time when the apostle Paul openly REBUKED the apostle Peter. Imagine that. Here we have two of the Lord’s very best men who were both used in spiritually tremendous ways. Both were filled with the Spirit of God. Both had been used for great miracles. Yet Paul thought Peter was wrong enough to be rebuked.

         What would Paul think of all the current minister frauds of the present? If Paul would rebuke Peter, he would obviously rebuke, and much more severely, all of the money-grubbing elitist frauds who have made money, power, prestige, success, and a perfect outer image their priority. If such people would rebuke their own it would be a great sign, but such never happens.

         It is the same with sycophant church boards and congregations who never speak out about the error from within. That means the only rebuke possible must come from without.

         It also means that the Lord Jesus never leaves Himself without disciples with a strong and powerful anointing, like the apostle Paul, in any generation.

         It means that, for all real Christians, part of their discipleship allows for possible rebuke by God, not for harm, but to insure that His community is strong, healthy, in possession of the full truth, and able to perform spiritually for the benefit of others. Whoever inoculates oneself from this process through the shield of gaining an improper exalted position, wealth, and influence has chosen the wrong path, and without repentance and redirection will lose one’s soul.

         The author of the Book of Hebrews said it this way, at first quoting from Proverbs:

         “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

         It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. [Hebrews 12:5-8]

         In this we see who the real illegitimate children are and exactly why America is in decline: For the most part, spiritual imposters are in control. They have no salt, no light, and no power with God to successfully and effectively fight a spiritual war with evil. As a result, evil has gained the upper hand.

         The Lord Jesus knew exactly what the reason for the decline of His own nation was, just as this writing is revealing what is causing America’s decline. The Lord also dealt with it directly in a powerful and confrontational way by exposing the false religionists for who they were and laying the blame exactly where it belonged.

         If one seeks the party most responsible for the spiritual decline of America, forget the usual suspects. The reason for the decline is elsewhere. Look no further than the few in charge within Unreal Christianity, since they are the ones with the authority to make the most substantial choices that affect everyone else.

         In closing, let’s look once again at the incredible statement of the Lord Jesus, for which this series is titled. All Christians must consider its implications. Its application reaches very far. It is at once a severe rebuke but it also puts things in stark spiritual perspective. All real Christians must learn this truth:

         Now the Pharisees,

         Who were lovers of money,

         Were listening to all these things

         And were scoffing at Him.

         And He said to them,

         “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men,

         But God knows your hearts;

         For that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”

         [Luke 16:14-15] [1]

         © 2015 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.

THE NON-PROPHET / FOR PROFIT MINISTRY MODEL: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (2)

          “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”

          They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

          Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.”

          They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication…” [John 8:37-41]

.

          One of the many things the Lord Jesus was falsely accused of by religious people was illegitimacy in both physical birth and ministry calling. Everyone except His own mother and maybe a few others believed he was conceived in a sinful union out of wedlock. It is also apparent that some people thought Joseph was not His real father. Though they were correct, it was certainly not for the reason they thought.

          There were many other lies told about Him. He was said to be crazy, demon-possessed, a drunk, a glutton, a false prophet, and a liar. Even with a preponderance of obvious miracles performed by Him, most still did not believe the truth but preferred the lies. Only a relatively small percentage of His own people thought He was who He said He was.

          Hence, it was next to impossible for the Lord Jesus to have a good reputation within society in general, even though He is perfect, had never sinned, and never did anything wrong. He kept the Law of Moses perfectly and in the right spirit.

A GOOD REPUTATION WITH GOD OR MEN?

          Therefore, rather than personal reputations, the Lord cares much more about correcting whatever keeps people from real discipleship, such as false doctrines, false teachings, false operations, and false set-ups. He cares about removing all the stuff He never put there. It is far better to have a great reputation with the Lord and be thought of as an idiot in the eyes of the world than it is to reject God’s correction and sell out to His enemies.

          This presents a problem for the fakers, however, because much of the income in many ministries is tied to such things. Consequently, there is a ton of not-so-good stuff hidden behind the scenes that no one ever sees and the people involved must keep it that way or they will lose funding. It is the same in many churches.

          That is why the most important reason no one speaks out about minister frauds is because some of them bring in the greatest amount of cash. The cash not only enriches them, but in a general sense enriches everyone associated with them.

          It is the idea of a rising tide raising all ships. It is why so many ministers attempt to get their boat out on that particular body of water even if financial pirates are present. There’s just way too much money and influence to sail away from.

          Any churchgoer who pays any attention whatsoever knows that every individual church or ministry has to establish a good reputation and must always defend that reputation. One would think this would be based on fending off lies and otherwise unfounded malicious attacks that arise primarily from unseen evil forces intent on doing damage to a God-founded entity. These could in part be malcontents and disgruntled former members with axes to grind. But such are not the real reason for defensive ministry postures.

          Though such spiritual attacks do occur from time to time, most “attacks” are not attacks at all, but simply someone pointing out the sin and error most often found within church leadership. As a result, church leadership has long-since instituted a no-rebuke hierarchical set-up that protects it not only from actual attacks, but also from the Lord’s rebuke.

         This non-rebukable, non-accountable, top-of-the-pyramid leadership structure can thus go about its business with no fear of any possible spiritual correction that might harm its outward reputation.

          As a result, such non-New Testament leadership models grow ever-corrupt (with pretty faces) in their unceasing quest to dodge necessary correction in order to keep their monetary and worldly success and societal reputations intact—the leaders thereof have gained great esteem in the sight of men but not so with God.

          “And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.

          “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

          “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men…” [Matthew 10:11-17] [1]

          Church leadership learned a long time ago how to circumvent and censor the honest, informed people in their churches who, by the anointing of God and because of their love for the Truth, act as their Lord and Master did when He pointed out the spiritual errors of the religious elites of His time.

          Because the majority of that which can be classified as “church leadership” has obvious vested interests in their respective enterprises, they must protect those interests at all costs. What they need are supporters with money, the same way any legitimate business needs clients and customers. They need people who ask no questions, accept everything as presented, and always give as directed.

          Most churches and ministries are run like a business. If one disagrees, try doing church as usual with no money.

          A business cannot exist unless it has a commodity or product to sell. Good businesses create good products and people are willing to buy said products. Many churches and ministries are actually no different. If they are to exist and be successful they must have a good product that produces a good revenue stream. Without money they are out of business. It is a very simple proposition.

          Some ministers are actually honest about this. They know very well the nature of the set-up. They also know, however, that because they are honest they must do things the Lord’s way. They know that whatever money they receive must come with the approval of the Lord Jesus attached to it. They will not ask for money otherwise. They know the entire money issue is never “business as usual.” They know the money they receive as donations or earn through their own labor is due to the Lord’s blessing and approval.

          However, many ministers do not follow this clear spiritual protocol. They act like they do, but this acting is the same as all their other acting. They have in fact bought into an act that has been around for centuries. Maybe some of them are deluded, but most know it is a very simple proposition—money will either make them or break them. For them (the vast majority of Christian ministers), money is the solution. Without money they cannot operate or even exist.

          The very few honest ministers reject this entire notion. They know it is not Biblical. They know it does not stem from the teachings of the Lord. They know the Lord has called them to a specific work and as long as they draw breath they will do that work come hell or high water, whether they have any money or not.

          © 2015 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.

PREACHER UNIONS AND “CHRISTIAN” TV: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (1)

         They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?”

         But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest.

         Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” [Mark 9:33-35]

.

         There is a time when spiritual bankruptcy sets in. In America, that time is far past. There is a reason America is in decline.

         Though the reason may seem odd, one can always trace guilt to the accountable party—the party that knows better but purposefully makes bad choices to further selfish interests.

         In other words, most people in general know right from wrong simply because they have a working conscience. When most people in a society make correct choices, the society in general is strong and moral. The only way to make such a moral society immoral is for an expanding percentage of that society’s individuals to go against their conscience, choose against what one knows to be right (for whatever reason—the reason doesn’t matter), and make bad choices.

         And again, bad choices are most often due to selfish purposes.

         Based on these facts, and the fact that America has a long history of strong Christianity and knowledge of God’s Word, if one seeks the party most responsible for the spiritual decline of America, forget the usual suspects. The reason for the decline is elsewhere.

         Look no further than the relative few in charge within Unreal Christianity, since they are the ones with the authority to make the most substantial choices that affect everyone else.

         There was a time in America when such people chose correctly. Most ministers honored God’s Word the best they could. They preached the real Gospel. They preached repentance. The preached against sin. Though many ministers still strayed from preaching the full Gospel, they preached enough of it to have a strong effect. Most ministers no longer have much effect on American society anymore. Most have become selfish with selfish motives.

         But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.

         “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25-28] [1]

         If one seeks a particular party most responsible for spiritual decline, then one must look to those with authority in that realm. The reason why is simple: There is no authority without responsibility.

         Of the many responsible parties with great authority, influence, wealth, and esteem, consider Christian television.

         There are obvious frauds associated within such enterprises. Everybody knows it. Yet no one who is a part of the various networks, especially the largest one, says anything about them. In saying this I am not speaking of employees, since there have been inside whistleblowers over the years who have shed light on sinister inner workings, and especially recently, when a veritable feud broke out between family members of one particular network. This became a blood feud, as is often the case when extremely high stakes are involved.

         No, the ones who never speak out about the frauds in their midst are all the fellow ministers that make up the bulk of the Christian television clan. They, like everyone else, know there are obvious frauds associated with Christian TV in general. Everybody knows it. But no ministers within the networks ever say anything publicly about it.

         Their silence is in part due to the fact that the great many large and successful clergy groups in America, of which one comprises television ministers, have become effectively unionized. They have managed, by their unions, minister associations, and closed cliques, to grab the lion’s share of the influence and available money. They protect one another.

         However, by creating mutual admiration societies and bless-me clubs, and by putting themselves out of reach, they have also established a clear no-rebuke policy. They are only accountable to one another, which means they are not accountable at all. Because of this, they have become non-correctable.

         Yet, non-correction always leads to corruption. What they gain in wealth and influence they lose in spiritual strength and righteousness.

         Hence, DECLINE.

         Secondly, individual members also know if they speak out, even in a general sense without naming names, the spotlight will turn on them, and they would rather not have the scrutiny. Their top priority is often their personal reputations and status within their groups. They know there are other “Christians” who have the wherewithal to destroy them. Therefore, they have learned they must not only repent of personal sin (if they’re honest), as all real Christians must do, but to also never step on the toes of those who help make them successful, since most of them see ministry as a professional career.

         However, God doesn’t care so much about personal reputations. With proper repentance, He can fix personal failures. He did not come to condemn us but to save us. The heart of the Lord is about mercy and grace. Each of us is an ongoing work of God undergoing His correction. It is how we become strong and mature disciples. Though the Lord never sinned or did anything wrong, His own reputation suffered due to the outright lies and malicious gossip of religious people. This means personal reputations often hang by a hair, even among the innocent.

         However, for those who insist on the power of outer image—that “image is everything”—and that outer image is tied directly to ministerial financial success, and convince others that they are already polished and perfect, how can the Lord possibly correct them? It is thus impossible for such people to ever become honest, mature disciples.

         © 2015 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.

Apostasy: Invalidating the Word of God For the Sake of Religious Tradition (2)

         For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. [Hebrews 6:4-6 RSV]

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         First of all, it must be noted that the great bulk of that which is called “Christianity” is not real Christianity, but something entirely different. It is not watered-down Christianity. It is not less-than-the-best Christianity. It is not weak or backslid Christianity. Instead, it is a completely separate entity.

         With reference to the above verses of scripture, the clear facts are:

(1) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never tasted the heavenly gift.

(2) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never become partakers of the Holy Spirit.

(3) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never tasted the goodness of the Word of God.

(4) The great majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians have never experienced the powers of the age to come.

         For all of these reasons, it is therefore impossible for those who make up the great bulk of Christianity to commit apostasy simply because they never had the real thing to begin with.

         Apostasy is a conscience decision of the human will to quit on the Lord Jesus and walk away. Whoever does this can never be restored again to God until they make the decision on their own to return to God. No one else can thus force repentance upon them.

         But the majority of those called “Christians” are not real Christians and never have been. They are playing a game with their chosen form of Christianity and have substituted empty and powerless replacements that have no actual spiritual effect whatsoever. The only thing distinguishing these people from non-believers is the exterior wrapping. And as a person associates with a larger group of people clothed with the same chosen exterior wrapping, such a person feels completely secure within said group and becomes convinced the group is the “right” group or an “approved” group.

         How do we then distinguish real Christianity from the many counterfeit forms? Here’s how: Real Christianity has the power of God. This power is released through the use of the Name of the Lord Jesus and through His pure Word.

         However, the only people who can use the Name of the Lord Jesus properly and legally are those who have completely surrendered their lives to Him. These are real believers who have have given Him their entire heart. They have subjected their hearts to full heart circumcision. They have turned away completely from all sin, disobedience, and rebellion against the Lord. This is the nature of repentance. They have also been filled with the Spirit of the Lord with the outward evidence of a complete change in their speech—their tongue, the most unruly member of the body, has been completely subjected to the Lord.

SPEECH

         In the act of real repentance, the tongue is the very last member of the body to yield to God. Once this happens, an immediate proof of the occurrence follows: The new believer begins praising God in a new language. The person’s speech is at once given over, as if a switch was flipped, to praising God and even prophesying of the things of God. This is all very clearly spelled out in scripture.

         James wrote the following:

         If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. [James 1:26]

         For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.

         Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.

         So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

         For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. [James 3:2-8]

         It is obvious then, that a tongue never yielded to God proves sinner status and non-discipleship, regardless of anything else by which a person claims to be a Christian. The yielded tongue, however, with miraculous speech following, proves a new birth.

         This new birth then allows for invoking the powerful Name of Jesus. Its use, as given by the Lord, results in miracles. The use of the Lord’s Name is only given to real disciples.

         This is also why each and every real believer as recorded in the Book of Acts invoked the Name of Jesus in water baptism. The reason why is otherwise simple: Without the Name of Jesus there is no spiritual power.

         We can see, therefore, that if there are no miracles within a Christian group, it obviously follows that there is no spiritual power, which indicates the group is not right with God. It proves that the group has never yielded to God.

         Real Christianity is distinguished by the following:

         And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

         “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

         “These signs will accompany those who have believed: In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” [Mark 16:16-18] [1]

         © 2015 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.

Acts of the Apostles [2:36-39]

         “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

         Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

         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.

         “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [1]


[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.

Of Their Father the Devil: Political Pharisees

         “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:44]

         To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. [Titus 1:15-16]

         Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight! [Isaiah 5: 20-21]

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         One of the greatest evils in this fallen world is evil people in positions of great power. And the worst kind of evil people are those who pretend to be good.

         As sin increases exponentially and the authority of the devil continues to invade powerful positions of authority, millions of otherwise moral people with sound minds are so affected and influenced by the power of evil in authority figures that, barring a close walk with God, they also become depraved.

         And despite the presence of any number of maniacs engaged in isolated incidents, the worst maniacs are those who use their positions of great power to corrupt huge populations.

         For such people, the very best course of action is to repent and get right with God while they still can. 

         Barring that, they choose the worst course of all—choosing the devil as their father—and expose themselves to the worst judgment of all—eternal separation from God—that perpetrated upon themselves from which no one else can be blamed. They become the worst the human race has to offer and those who should never be in any position of authority.

         They will receive the justice they deserve when they face God at the Judgment.

DEFAULT: HELL

         The Word of God states that prior to making a decision for God everyone is a sinner bound for hell.

         Most people, including most professing “Christians,” do not believe this. Never mind that their own personal history is laden with sins acknowledged or not (most often not), the history of the world clearly reveals, from anyone’s perspective, that it is absolutely true.

         Mankind’s history is one of sin, depravity, immorality, murder on a grand scale, and pure evil. Such sin is in every society, culture, and nation that has ever existed.

         No one can disprove this because it is impossible to disprove. One won’t get far if one tries and will consequently silently close the book, put it away, and stare with great disillusionment into thin air at the revelation.

         This world is no playground. Those who believe it is eventually get creamed. People learn early on that they must defend themselves and quickly seek some form of protection for the purpose of survival. A few, very few, are ultra-protected and blessed with unlimited money and appear to be beyond judgment.

         But for such people who have chosen a very temporary dream world, they must know that human bodies do not last forever: They wear out; they get old. And the people existing within said bodies will have to leave the comforts of home one day and enter into what is a completely mysterious future from their perspective.

         Eternity is a great unknown for them because they risked everything on this life and living for this world, this very short sojourn that all humans get a chance at, without doing anything whatsoever to prepare for what comes after, which leaves them completely unprepared.

         Such people are bold and strong when young and vibrant, when they seemingly have the world by the tail. They shoot their mouths off though they often have no real clue about whatever subject they may be discussing.

         Most never consider the cost paid by parents or others, but mostly the cost paid by God to both create them AND die for them to purchase their salvation. They laugh at the idea. They take for granted the cost paid to get them to the place of their comfort from which they choose the opposite of the correct attitude and adopt instead a brash, spoiled-brattish stance revealing them to be the mere posers they are.

THE DOWNWARD SLOPE

         But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. [Matthew 12:14]

         All nations go through stages. Great nations are led by great people who are mature, moral, and battle-tested. The final stages of a nation, however, are staffed by the opposite.

         When nations go bad, it is because the people in said nation grow immature. They live off the great strength of those who have gone before them, who knew the price that must be paid for greatness.

         Immature, spoiled people then choose likeminded people to be their leaders. A nation’s leaders are always a reflection of the populace. Poor nations are poor because they lack the moral strength and resolve to do something about it, and evil leaders rush in to take charge, since no one stops them. They end up taking everything for themselves.

         In America, it used to be that political leaders must pass a very strict test placed before them by society at large. It included a morals test. But presently, the idea of a morals test placed upon prospective leaders is a joke. We have not had a series of moral leaders in a long, long time.

         Why? Because the country has drifted downward. It began the descent by drifting downward morally. Once morality was thrown out the window no one could put a morals test on leaders. Hence, leaders became depraved.

         But there is something else. When a nation of 300 million begins to go bad it takes a while. And while it is descending toward a moral cesspit having lost its way, and thus making completely idiotic choices for leaders, it goes relatively slow. There are many within the down-sliding group that continue to speak out and warn, and the warnings are always given with sufficient time to change course.

         But not so with the chosen evil leaders. Their decline into abject immorality is relatively fast. Depending on the immoral state of the country, there are fewer and fewer checks and balances against evil overseers. No one can thus stop them without a drastic course correction.

WHO’S THE BOSS?

         “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” [Luke 12:48] [1]

         In America, the Constitution states the people are the masters and government representatives are servants of the people. Hence, the people are the boss and must therefore always take their responsibility seriously.

         This is why, even in a place like America—always imperfect but overall historically more moral and especially free than most other countries—it creates the saddest state of affairs when decent people choose evil people to lead them.

         They choose them because they believe their lies. The people are cheated, but the people actually cheat themselves.

         Why? Because a big part of immorality is willful ignorance. Americans knew better but neglected their homework and became a nation filled predominantly with ill-informed voters who chose people to lead them for all the wrong reasons.

         And now we are stuck with a few, very few, in very, very powerful positions who no longer listen to voters AT ALL.

         And why should they? They know the majority of voters are stupid which can easily be proven by their own elections and appointments.

         And they know if they can deceive the American public so easily while merely running for office, they can deceive them that much more easily once they gain office.

         Hence, Americans have chosen leaders who have zero respect for them and treat them exactly as they feel they should be treated according to their evil inclinations and attitudes.

         This makes them maniacs.

         Americans should be ashamed.

         Things are backwards and upside down.

         Americans should do what is required to right the course and regain control.

         It begins with repentance and getting right with God.

         We have been taken over by Political Pharisees.

         © 2015 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.

Religion is a Mind Closer

         Nothing shuts people off from greater truth than religion. The religions most notorious for this diabolical practice are the various forms of Unreal Christianity.

         The devil started the practice of preaching disbelief in God and His Word in the very beginning, when he put doubt in the heart of Eve by questioning the legitimacy of God’s true intentions. Indeed, satan’s question to Eve, “Has God Said?” (Genesis 3:1) has been the devil’s mantra ever since.

         He flat out lied to a gullible Eve who had professed evil intentions in her heart. Though she knew exactly what God really said, what He taught, and what He commanded, her desire was to explore the limits of sin and visit the very place and the only place God commanded must never be visited. Her desire to explore evil was cleverly disguised as an attempt to become “spiritually aware,” to become authoritative and strong, and even to become like God Himself. She decided she must break out of what she perceived as limitations curtailing her freedom.

I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR.

         Though Eve incorrectly perceived herself to be boxed in, a box certainly existed. It was actually Pandora’s Box. And when she opened it, thinking she was opening some great Christmas present that would usher her into a wonderful world of spiritual knowledge and freedom, she discovered that God had never limited her at all, but was trying to protect her. The commandment to never partake of the evil tree was actually God’s protective shield of her soul and life. She had incorrectly believed that God was obstructing her from a higher, better place.

         People must be allowed to choose. It is why God never forces anyone’s will. And that is why this world has become an ever-growing, festering, gigantic trash dump and manure pile of sin.

         It all resulted from the incorrect actions of Eve, who, though greatly deceived by the devil, made it all possible through her own rebellious and manipulative desire to be like God, on her terms, through pride and because of pride, with no perception whatsoever of the real DOOR.

REAL REPENTANCE

         Religion is not that door. Unreal Christianity is not that door. The purveyors of false religions tell us to do anything and everything other than the only thing and the real thing that will allow us to meet the Lord, and they draw the line and bar the door at that one thing: Real Repentance.

         Why is real repentance so important? It is when the Blood of Jesus is applied to the cleansing of one’s soul.

         False Christian religions do not preach repentance. If they did, everyone who walked into a service on any given day would hear all about it, every service, in a clear and understanding manner. To hell with people getting saved, set free, and delivered from sin, they say. They refuse to be disciples of the Lord and do what it takes to be used in that way. All they really want is religious power, money, and converts. They want a religious social club. Most preachers/priests/reverends are far too concerned with the things that benefit themselves and their religious enterprises. They are anti-examples. 

         The example of John the Immerser, however, is a perfect example. The reason he preached far out in the wilderness is because God wanted him to have nothing to do with the established false religions of the Jews.

         The Sadducees did not even believe in spiritual practices or the resurrection. They were sold out to this world and were in bed with money, power, and the Roman government, and it benefitted them greatly. They were evil. There are many present examples of large bodies with false mindsets within overall Unreal Christianity who believe and practice exactly as did the Sadducees.

         And exactly like still more forms of present Unreal Christianity, the Pharisees thought they were perfect, and believed they were perfectly teaching the real Word of God. The Lord Jesus even implied that they were, except they never practiced it. They made up a plethora of their own unwritten rules and extra-Biblical beliefs, exactly as the many forms of false Christianity later did, and continue to do today. The Lord Jesus said the Pharisees were children of the devil. He would say the same thing about Unreal Christianity.

         John had to be set apart from all that diabolical religious nonsense. He had one message—REPENT. He commanded all who came to hear him to repent, to stop sinning, to get right with God, and to break free from corrupt religious practices that did the opposite of what they preached. God chose him as a perfect vessel for the process, “the greatest man ever born of a woman” (Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28).

         John was a prophet. He was the last Old Testament prophet. He had the anointing of Elijah. He HAD to be out in the wilderness away from all the corruption of false religion or he would have never achieved his calling. And he did achieve it. He did exactly as the Lord commanded him and did an excellent job.

         Where are the John the Immersers of today?

         The Lord Jesus also preached the message of repentance, of course. Everywhere He went He commanded repentance as the door to THE DOOR. Eve rejected repentance and chose spiritual and personal pride, which amounted to religious pride. It was the exact thing the Pharisees did. The devil became Eve’s father that day, and Adam, like a complete idiot, not wanting to lose Eve, chose the devil as well.

         The apostles all preached repentance. “REPENT” WAS THE VERY FIRST WORD PETER USED WHEN GIVING THE ANSWER ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.

         In the vast majority of “Christian” church services, one never hears the word repent. It’s just not a nice thing to say. People will get mad. It would create a hassle. Who needs that? Substitutes and counterfeits are put forth instead. Why do the purveyors of Unreal Christianity do this? Why do they deny to the people the one thing that will begin the process of eliminating their sin and bring them closer to God?

         It is for the same reason the Pharisees did what they did. They wanted people to honor them, not God. What a strange twist—John told it exactly right but was out in the middle of nowhere looking and acting and speaking like the complete opposite of a clergyite and got great results. His ministry turned around the heart of an entire nation!

         Where are the John the Immersers of today?

AN ALTERNATIVE AGENDA

         The majority of “Christian” adherents have closed their minds to God’s reality. Exactly like Eve and the Pharisees, they have desired the opposite of that which God commands. They do it for personal pride and advancement, and standing within this world’s culture. They even ascribe to and mix in as leaven the worldly cultural practices and beliefs of a fallen world in order to gain the benefits of the culture. Their desire is for wealth and power in this world through the practice of their religion, and will listen to nothing that hinders that desire and pursuit.

         The fruit of this garbage is all around us. For the most part, “Christianity” is indeed DEAD.

         Real Christianity, however, is advancing powerfully.

         By refusing to succumb to the devil’s lies and false diabolical doctrines, the disciples of real Christianity understand repentance for the door it is. Their minds are open to the things of God and they do not care about any personal inconvenience or rejection by others. As a result, they have entered THE DOOR and are filled with the Spirit of God, and they have the evidence to prove it, unlike the fakers who claim the same but are deficient of proof.

         The Lord is against dead religion that cuts people off from THE TRUTH, especially that of the “Christian” variety. It is up to each of us as individuals to choose correctly and break free from Unreal Christianity, all false doctrines, and fake preachers/priests/reverends, strangers all, who refuse the ministry of repentance from sin, notably religious sin—spiritual pride, the first sin—and obey and follow the Lord Jesus unto LIFE in Him:

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

         “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

         This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

         So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:1-10][1]  

         © 2015 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.

Dysfunctional Churches (and Non-Functional “Pastors”)

        It makes no sense. Unless one is really into religion.

        America remains saturated with dysfunctional churches and non-functioning “pastors,” and 90% of everyone in the pew is completely oblivious to the problem.

         The few “Christians” who actually read the Bible, and study it, and do it with an open mind, know that there is a huge ginormous incredible one-end-of-the-Universe-to-the-other disconnect between what the Word of God actually says and what most churches believe and practice.

         If one cannot see the devil in this then one is deceived.

         Why did the Lord Jesus receive such a hard time from religious people, especially religious leaders? And why do most Christians think the opposite would happen if He visited their own particular church? They really think He would find most of what transpires on refrigerator row perfectly fine and dandy and would respond with several “Good job’s” and handshakes all around. I’m not saying this would not or could not happen. I’m only saying the odds of it happening are astronomical.

         For the few Christians who study the Word, they know there was a weird dynamic always playing out in the Old Testament. The Lord would hear the cries and moans and incessant caterwauling of His people because they screwed up yet again, just like they did a million times before, and He would answer their prayers and send them relief in the form of prophets who at great personal risk and possessing an extremely uncomfortable lifestyle would tell the people exactly what they needed to do to fix things.

         The people would listen, change their sorry tune, get right with God, and lo and behold good things would start happening! Then they would begin descending into chaos again and the cycle would have to start all over. Oh, and they would, of course, usually kill the prophets. You know, par for the course.

         But how do the majority of American churches, ministries, “pastors,” “Christian” television personalities, and any other standard ministry set-up respond to even the slightest corrective voice sent by God as a blessing to fix things?

         They show him or her the door. They disfellowship in a heartbeat not because someone is lost in sin and disobedience but because THEY are lost in sin and disobedience. Anyone who is not on board with their unbiblical stuff is seen as an enemy.

         What happens as a result is that these “leaders” go that much further off the deep end precisely because they have successfully eliminated the corrective voice of God.

         Just in case someone doesn’t know the following, I must state it here for all of us to hopefully get the big idea: GOD WORKS THROUGH PEOPLE.

         And you know what else? THE PEOPLE GOD WORKS THROUGH ARE HUMBLE, SELF-EFFACING, AND NON-SPOTLIGHT-ORIENTED.

         Just like their Master.

         Even though most “Christians” think the Lord Jesus would love their spiritual enterprises if He ever visited, the reality is that most want no part of the Lord Jesus and would never allow Him full authority in their churches, and usually allow Him no authority.

         How do we know this? Again, because American “Christians” are largely Biblically illiterate. Why? Because they hire some guy to do all that stuff for them so they can assuage their conscience by going through an hour or two of rote and ritual on Sunday mornings. The problem here is that, since they have little or no spiritual experience or actual Biblical knowledge, they can never serve as a check against whoever they allow in the pulpit. How do they know the dude is right?

         (Other than that he explicitly obeys their denominational beliefs and does everything the same exact way the Episcobapterians and Universal churchites did it a million years ago because religious spirits must be appeased.)

         This is why the vast majority of churches would NEVER allow the Lord Jesus absolute full authority if He ever visited.

         News flash: The Lord Jesus is still here in the form of His Holy Spirit but has already long since been proven unwanted by most churches simply because what most “Christians” do looks nothing whatsoever like what He and His disciples did.

         And whenever someone brings this up he or she gets the cold shoulder, the gossip, the bad looks, and the silent treatment.

         Of course, most “Christians” think all that is deserved because the people in question are idiots and are deserving of disfellowship.

         They believe this because they simply cannot make the connection to the disfellowship the Lord Jesus suffered, and He suffered disfellowship more than any man in history, and still suffers disfellowship to this day.

         The same with His original disciples. And the early community of believers. And the underground church in China that is currently blowing the doors off to the tune of millions and millions even though they still suffer great persecution. Those people won’t stop until they fix the whole country! All this while America continues going downhill fast because higher-ups have made a deal with the devil and the majority looks the other way.

         Quick question: Have you ever noticed that Great Awakenings and great persecution always go together, and that if there is no persecution it is an obvious sign of dead Christianity?

         And have you noticed how it follows then that the one’s being persecuted in churches are being persecuted simply because they are pointing out this deadness and lack of familiarity with the Lord’s ministry and teachings?

         Hmmm…

         Kind of exactly like the Old Testament prophets.

         Well, the Lord Jesus was and remains the greatest of all prophets and He got the same thing they got and to a much greater degree.

         When’s the last time you saw an American “pastor” dragged out of His church and executed? No? Okay then, how about something less? No? Of course, real shepherds are victims of persecution but such guys are few and far between and you probably don’t hear much about them.

         Maybe because they are obscure and non-flashy and don’t particularly care for religious titles and clergyesque appearances and spiritual circlespeak.

         You know, kind of like the Lord?

         Most “pastors” call the cops and use lawyers to protect themselves and depend on their bodyguards and private surveillance personnel, and are willing to sue at the drop of a hat to protect their image and enterprise and as a result ARE ALSO PROTECTED FROM GOD.

         God cannot get to them in any loving and understanding way because these people bar the door against anyone or anything they see as potential enemies.

         As a result of their self-imposed and bought-with-good-money security shield they cut themselves off from God’s corrective voice and by their own doing build their own giant and slippery slide into the heart of hell. They have it great in the here and now but unless they repent will suffer in the long term.

         Worse than that, however, is all the people they will take with them. But their followers have no excuse because none of them speak any corrective to the gross dysfunction, partly because they know what happened to those who did.

         This is why the majority of American Christianity is hopelessly dysfunctional.

         It refuses correction.

         This is the opposite of repentance.

         IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN PURE UNADULTERATED SPIRITUAL PRIDE.

         Real Christians, however, know all about repentance. They’ve hit the deck more than a million lousy boxers. THEY KNOW THAT HUMILITY IS A DOOR INTO GREAT SPIRITUAL SUCCESS. They have taken the cue from their Master who taught them how bewitching religious pride is, the worst of all forms of pride, and they know they are merely a hop, skip, and jump from ending up deceived and requisitely hell bound.

         If one wants sin to take root and grow like muck in a swamp as ancient Israel did so many times, all one must do is murder God’s humble unpretentious messengers (murder comes in many forms). In this way, dysfunction as usual proceeds accordingly and those in power enjoying all the perks stay in power and also stay in power over their people as they continue to deceive them and take their money.

         One last thing: All of the Lord’s spiritual giants spent much, much time all alone with God, usually in a desert, and learned everything they knew directly from Him.

         Everyone is responsible for their own walk with God and whoever puts anyone between himself and the Lord Jesus will be deceived and suffer spiritually for it. Honor the message of those God has sent but never, ever honor them above the Lord or even yourself. Otherwise, you can never become a real spiritual giant but will forever remain under their thumb.

         We all must mature but we will never mature by submitting to middlemen and imposters.

         What follows is some scriptural food for thought on the subject, spoken by a former religion addict who formerly thought murdering those unlike himself was infinitely greater than loving them but got knocked on his butt by a loving God determined to correct the man’s extreme dysfunction.

         Once receiving correction, the man received great revelation, and became a spiritual giant. Think about it.

         For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

         For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

         But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me;

         But I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:11-17] [1]

         © 2015 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.

New England’s Avalanche of Apostasy: Snowing Over the Pilgrim’s Progress

         The northeast has had an exceptionally snowy winter. And it’s not over yet. Residents have experienced cold and snow way beyond the norm in an ongoing series of repeated winter storms and blizzards blowing in with gale force winds, much of it concentrated on the inner coastal areas of New England.

         The city of Boston has set new all-time snowfall records. The area’s snowfall is greatly out of proportion compared to other usually more prolific geographic snowy spots known for large accumulations and relatively high averages. Is all this random?

         Boston set a new season snowfall record on Sunday, measured from July 1 to June 30, with just over 9 feet to date. This had never happened before in official recorded history. The city also set by a large margin a new all-time winter record, and destroyed the previous monthly record with 64.9 inches in February, eclipsing the old mark of 43.3 inches set in January of 2005.

         The official measurements date back to roughly 1870. Unofficial record-keeping dates to the 1700s. There is no way to know for sure what the actual records are from the time of Boston’s founding, but residents of the Boston greater metropolitan area, which adds up to about 7.6 million people including commuters, have seen the record snowfall firsthand and generally refer to this as the worst winter in memory.

         Boston was founded in 1630. It could certainly be the case that the new official records were exceeded in all that time, but comparing the snowfall totals of the last 145 years gives a good indication that the current snowfall has been decidedly extreme. The previous annual record was set two decades ago. The snowfall is increasing at what appears to be an exponential rate with new records being set at shorter intervals.

         Adding this to all the other strange weather patterns happening in recent years all across the country tells us something is up. Other records are being broken as well. There is no comparable data for many of these events in recorded history and therefore no portent of what is to come, but it does not look good.

THE ARRIVAL OF THE PILGRIMS

         And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. [Daniel 2:21-22 KJV] [1]

         In 1620, the English Separatist Christians, also known as the Pilgrims, landed at Plymouth Rock. They were the first English settlers in the region and founded Plymouth Colony, the second colony in America.

         These believers had suffered greatly for their faith while in England, and even had to flee to the European continent to escape persecution before coming to America. The Separatists had withdrawn completely from the English state church—the Anglican—many decades before, due to strong beliefs in pure New Covenant teachings. They paid for it severely. Many lost their lives and were imprisoned long before later brethren made it to these shores.

         There is confusion regarding the many denominations of the English Reformation of the 1500s, such as the Presbyterians, Puritans, and Separatists, but it was the latter group that the Lord had chosen to get to New England first.

         The Puritans were relative latecomers to America and had always insisted on keeping one foot in the official Anglican Church. They proved their lack of resolve by not only succeeding in avoiding much persecution, but also waiting for others to do the heavy lifting and putting forth a strong witness. Once the ocean highway was built by the pioneering Pilgrims they began infiltrating Plymouth Colony and the Boston area in droves.

         Thirteen years before the Pilgrim landing, in 1607, it was the Anglicans who began the first English settlement on the American continent, but this was to the south in Jamestown, Virginia. The Jamestown settlement experienced great hardship and was actually abandoned briefly in 1610. It had a purely economic motive rather than the spiritual motive of Plymouth.

         Regarding New England, though the Separatists were obviously the group closest to the heart of the New Covenant and the Gospel, they were soon overrun by all the others who later ventured to America. Still, they laid the initial spiritual foundation. The Puritans overlaid the Pilgrim’s foundation with their own, which included an ecclesiastical culture and governance, much legalism, and the aforementioned connection to the hybrid high church Anglican assembly. Nevertheless, there was a strong Christian presence in the New England colonies overall and the Puritans eventually distanced themselves from the Church of England.

THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING

         The first American Great Awakening began a century later in late 1734 in Northampton, Massachusetts in a small church community led by Jonathan Edwards. It eventually spread like the proverbial wildfire throughout the northern colonies and later as far south as Georgia. This proved to unite many of the members of the various denominations, though the old school Christians fought the revival tooth and nail. The Awakening proved to be the initial unifying force of the young confederation of colonies that a few decades later rebelled against harsh English rule and won independence in the American Revolution.

         It must be noted that the Revolution against the English throne had achieved in the secular what the Separatists had achieved in the Spirit. Both parties made the decision to risk everything and attempt an impossible goal. Both were driven by something otherworldly beyond the natural scope. Without those strong disciples of the Lord a century and a half before the Declaration of Independence was signed—those who were willing to risk it all in bringing the Gospel to a new continent—there would have been no American Revolution, no freedom, and all the blessings of God made possible since.

THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING

         The Second American Great Awakening in the early 1800s spread rapidly primarily under the preaching of Charles Finney beginning about 1825. The next ten years were his most active as a revivalist. Again, God’s choice was not conventional. Though a Calvinist, he rejected much of the Old Divinity Calvinism, and preached against strict Predestination, proving that the doctrine of some people being born for heaven and others for hell to be heretical.

         Finney caught much flak from his detractors during his ministry. He was a strong advocate of preaching against sin and demanded repentance, exactly as had the Lord Jesus and the early believers. Jonathan Edwards had done the same. Both of these men were humble and unpretentious. Both fought against great odds. Both were seen as odd.

         Finney preached thousands of messages in revivals throughout his life and also founded Oberlin College in Ohio. His revivals were primarily located in upper New York state and Manhattan.

         The First Great Awakening of Jonathan Edwards’ time had spread throughout New England, New York, and Pennsylvania.

         The Separatists Pilgrims had established Plymouth Colony, which at its height covered most of the southeastern part of what is now the state of Massachusetts. This colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

         There is no doubt that great spiritual happenings were a matter of course for the greater New England and northeast region. The people there had been abundantly blessed by God. Later history, however, reveals the unfolding of a spiritual disaster.

SPIRITUAL SNOWSTORM?

         What has happened to the great Christian presence in the Northeast? In the region where great revival fires spread and untold numbers of people were saved there is now a general spiritual coldness, distance from God, and a growing hatred of real Christianity. As the record snowfalls of Boston portend, the hearts of millions have grown cold in an ever increasing spiritual snowstorm.

         Could the snow records be a sign? Could it be that the record snowfall is a clear indication of the great apostasy of the region?

         Boston’s snowfall record goes back to the beginning of official record keeping in about 1870. Charles Grandison Finney died in 1875. Coincidence? How could a place with such a powerful Christian spiritual history become the very opposite at present? What is the cause of the northeastern states’ descent into such a freezing cold spiritual condition?

         In looking once again at the impossible journey of the Separatist Pilgrims almost 400 years ago and the great spiritual foundation they set, and also at not one but two powerful Great Awakenings that shook the northeastern part of the country, it should give all believers serious pause over what can happen when people drift away from God. The spiritual temperature in the region is matching the frigid winter lows but remains constant all year long, and has resulted in a relative spiritual ice age.

         Keep your seeing eyes peeled. After just witnessing the greatest all-time snowfall upon the exact land claimed for God by the Separatists four centuries ago, there are not only warnings to be heeded but signs to be sighted.

         Something tells me the present early stages of the Great Awakening will not be having any breakouts out in Boston.

         © 2015 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.

The Empire Strikes Back: Obstructing the Awakening

         “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]

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         I wrote the following on a friend’s blog recently:

         Repentance always precedes individual salvation.

         National repentance always precedes national Great Awakenings.

         Speaking the real Word of God reveals truth,

                  Which reveals sin,

                  Which causes one to see their sin,

                  Which brings on repentance.

         Real Christians must have the courage of their convictions and beliefs and speak forth because preaching, teaching, speaking forth, and writing about the truth begin the entire process.

         Otherwise, repentance never happens, people remain spiritually blind, unregenerate, believe lies, are deceived, and die in their sins.

         Regarding truth, who else is going to reveal the truth of God’s Word but real Christians?

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REPENTANCE ANYONE?

         Since the driving force of every personal salvation or Great Awakening is repentance, two of the main reasons hindering the current Great Awakening in America are:

(1) The very sad fact that mass numbers of Christians in America are guilty of pure idolatry in several forms but mainly because of the ridiculous worship of vain Christian “leaders” past and present rather than worship of the Lord Jesus, and

(2) A complete, utter, total, and stubborn refusal to repent of the many questionable and/or what should be obvious false teachings and beliefs of said “leaders,” as well as the acceptance of historical and current false narratives which serve to put many Christians in bondage, blind them to the truth, and weaken their resolve, which makes them anti-disciples and followers of frauds rather than the Lord.

         False doctrine within general Christianity has always been a plague from the very beginning, and we have the apostle Paul’s writings to attest to the fact that false doctrine existed then and would greatly increase:

         For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.

         No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

         Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. [2Corinthians 11:13-15]

         I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. [Acts 20:29-30]

IGNORANCE IS BLISS

         Americans love their denominations and man-made doctrines which would otherwise be obvious as such but are instead hidden in plain sight. They are hidden because many Christians, on their own respective planets, have become convinced that what they have is the best that can possibly be though it consistently fails to pass the evidence of truth test, and have become satisfied with substitutes and counterfeits and thus weak toward further searching because:

         (1) Many Christians have been hoodwinked (brainwashed) into believing things that are not true for the sake of an ulterior agenda by false Christian “leaders,” and

         (2) Many Christians do not have the courage to stand up for and speak out on the actual truth of God’s Word for fear of being seen as a deviant among their religious culture and rejected by it, and

         (3) Many Christians are invested up to their eyeballs in a false narrative and most fail to acknowledge this or leave their organizations that push false doctrine even after they know or suspect it is false doctrine, because to leave or acknowledge the false doctrine or confront their false “leaders” would cause them to lose their entire investment in the enterprise which many people have spent a lifetime establishing.

         This is why those who are most invested are those who are least likely to repent and get right with God, which is exactly why the Lord said prostitutes and tax-collectors would get into His kingdom long before any clergyites or their followers.

OBSTRUCTION—CONVICTION

         Until the hindering and obstructing “Christians” in this country have the guts to admit they are wrong about so many false beliefs created by unspiritual false “leaders” whom they follow instead of the Lord Jesus and their resultant watering-down and making of no effect the Word of God, their stubborn lack of repentance will slow, hinder, and restrict the Great Awakening process until they finally surrender to the truth or quit on God (I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot…”).

         But since the Great Awakening has already begun, it is also the fact that a very powerful and strong conviction is presently in the works for the sins of “Christian” idolatry, laziness, lack of discipleship, worldliness, being sold out to the serving of mammon, a refusal to preach the truth, fearing for one’s social, cultural, family, or church standing, looking out for number one, and an overall dissing of the Lord Jesus, His teachings, and the full truth He longs to bring forth.

         My warning to all who claim to be Christians living in America at present is—JUDGMENT BEGINS WITH THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD.

         For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? [1Peter 4:17-18]

         We are past the point of the Lord being patient with fence-sitting clergy-following “Christians” to any further degree. He has great plans and is determined to make them happen. The pressure to conform to His truth is ramping up. It is time to choose sides. That which is hindering is being exposed.

         But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

         For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” [Ephesians 5:13-14]

         Repentance is the only answer and will serve as the only form of relief.

         And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

         “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

         “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

         “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

         “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 18:9-14] [1]

         © 2015 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.

The Reality of God’s Relational Love: Thus Speaks the Heart (2)

         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] [1]

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         (1) Real repentance is a type of sacrifice. It is also an apology to God. It is the means for gaining the remission of ones sins. The blood of Jesus is applied at repentance.

         It is doing a 180 degree turn-around and walking away from sin and rebellion, and toward the Lord Jesus. Through the expressing of genuine sorrow for one’s sins and especially for one’s sinning against God and one’s distance from God through one’s own willful actions, it allows the Lord to completely cleanse the heart. It allows the Lord Jesus to circumcise the heart and wash away all sin from the heart with His redeeming blood. This is the beginning of the new birth. It is wholly transformational and a complete change in soul status. Repentance is death to the old.

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         (2) New Covenant water immersion is indicative of an outer form of giving one’s self completely to the Lord Jesus and puts Him in charge of the heart. It furthers the remission of sins in the sense that it acknowledges the work achieved by the Lord on the cross, without which the forgiveness of sins would be impossible. The apostle Peter put it this way: …Baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,)… [1Peter 3:21 KJV]

         In the original community of the Lord Jesus this was demonstrated outwardly in public for all to see through water immersion in His Name—the Name of Jesusthe Name above every name. Water baptism is both a burial of the old and then an outward demonstration of resurrection and new life rising and coming forth. By invoking the Lord’s Name, the candidate is demonstrating one’s allegiance to the Lord Jesus and no other. A person states one’s desire to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus and follow Him just as the original disciples did, and become a member of His community the same way they did. If one refuses this immersion and the invoking of the Name of Jesus, how can his or her heart be right toward Him?

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         (3) Once the candidate for inclusion in the Lord’s community has properly repented and has undergone full water immersion to illustrate an outward representation of an inward spiritual change and identify the Lord Jesus as one’s Master and Teacher—once the heart is cleansed and redeemed by His blood and is circumcised—the Lord is enabled to fill the cleansed heart with His Holy Spirit.

         This gift of the Holy Spirit was promised by Peter at Pentecost and is available to all who obey the Lord accordingly. He said it was for every succeeding generation until the Lord’s eventual return for His community. The infilling of the Holy Spirit enables miraculous works and signs. The New Covenant writings are clear that without the evidential miraculous works and signs, there is no actual infilling of God’s Spirit.

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         (4) By cleansing and circumcising the heart through the candidate’s surrender to His authority and power, the Lord Jesus tames the person’s tongue and one’s speech becomes cleansed (see James 3:8).

         This means that all speech flowing from the cleansed heart is as seed from a holy spiritual place rather than the prior sinful place. It is the difference demonstrated by Abel and Cain, in that since Abel was righteous he always made the proper sacrifice. All that came forth from him was spiritually good since he had a good heart toward God.

         And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

         Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” [Genesis 4:2-7]

         Cain could do nothing right spiritually and everything he tried was wrong because his heart was wrong toward God. He had no power with God. God had no regard for his offering. Cain was essentially spiritually worthless. He could never bring forth a proper sacrifice until his heart was right and he never made that choice. Because of this, he substituted dead religion and a mere form of godliness due to his refusal to obey God. This is the highest form of rebellion. Abel is a type of the real Christian. Cain is a type of the unreal Christian.

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         (5) The outward sign of receiving the Holy Spirit into a cleansed, circumcised heart is a yielded tongue—the last member of the body to surrender to the Lord Jesus and the first to demonstrate His indwelling presence.

         As a result, a person’s speech becomes a vehicle for God’s glory and ministry. One’s speech is a person’s most powerful asset and ability in the three-dimensional world. The Lord said we would be judged by every word we say. Unclean speech proves an unclean heart and also proves that the Lord Jesus is not in control. Cleansed speech proves a clean heart, but it must be emphasized that speech without bad words does not necessarily prove a clean heart or indicate the infilling of the Holy Spirit, but speech that is both clean and contains the power of God.

         The early believers were speaking forth miraculous things, such as speaking languages they had never learned, prophesying through the power of God, being used in healing by speaking the Name of Jesus, and praising Him supernaturally. Their words had a powerful effect and affected great change.

         Because they were filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of the Lord Jesus, they had God’s authority over all things spiritual. This is why they were able to take authority over the devil and demonic influence through the power of the Name of Jesus and work miracles. This power was granted to every member of the Lord’s community, not just the apostles. It remains available for anyone today who properly follows and obeys the Lord’s order and method of discipleship.

         © 2015 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.

LIGHT in the Midst of Darkness: From Repentance to Joy

         People blame God for a lot of things though He is never to blame for anything. Some blame Him for everything. But we certainly cannot blame Him for not warning us.

         We are living in a time characterized on many fronts as the quick approach of a point of no return. Correction is no longer merely suggested but demanded. The actions of rebellious sinful humanity on this planet can no longer be sustained. Sinful people have gotten away with so much sin for so long it remains incredible that the Lord has not yet brought great judgment to some.

ABORTION—THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (IN THE NATION)

         As I’ve said many times before, one can gauge the incredible sin content in America by merely taking a look at abortion statistics. The heart of America as a country has grown so cold and so weak that only a relative handful of folks acknowledge the incredible evil regarding over 50 million innocent lives murdered in cold blood with no refrain and little remorse.

         The vast majority of those in elected or appointed office in Washington DC—the people with all the power—never does anything about ending abortion on demand and haven’t in 42 years. A few talk about it but that’s as far as it gets. And the people who elect them obviously don’t care because they keep electing them.

         The vast majority of “Christians” don’t care either. And rather than get the required number doing the right thing to fix this incredible evil, many Christians spend their quality time instead doing things like wondering if they should vote for pro-abortion candidates who mean business and keep the killing going, or voting for liars—those who merely talk but never do and are just as complicit in the evil.

         The Lord may say at the judgment, “Why did you keep voting for baby killers?”

         Abortion not only kills innocent lives, it panders to the raw lust of people who can’t control themselves and use abortion as their main method of contraception. It creates dark selfish hearts with righteous exteriors, and as such people gain the majority, they exhibit less resistance toward applying the necessary corrective.

         The point here is that any nation who routinely kills its innocents in vast quantities with no remorse is worse—WAY WORSE—than the pure evil of mass murderers like Mao (40 million), Stalin (30 million), and Hitler (untold millions).

         And the people of such a nation will keep not correcting a very clear gigantic obvious wrong because they simply do not see the problem in it, will not do what it takes to fix it, or are benefitting from it.

         Think about that. The babies cannot defend themselves in any way and the babies’ defenders are seen by the majority as deviant idiots. The babies are classified as non-persons and thus have no rights. These multiple murders are NEVER broadcast on the news which results in an “out of sight out of mind” scenario. The majority in America prefers this head-in-the-sand status quo and unless proper change is affected in this society by the comparative few the whole thing will continue on until seconds before going completely off the cliff.

         Many people know better but are emboldened in their sin because there is no current reaction to their illicit action.

         Yet.

         It is always a matter of time for things to get sorted out. Payment will always be made. It is a sad thing, therefore, to see people allowing themselves to be lifted up in pride and taking on a bulletproof attitude. They incorrectly discern that nothing bad will ever happen to them as a result of their sin since nothing bad has happened to them so far. The only reason they appear to be bulletproof, though, is simply because there are no karma blowback bullets heading in their direction.

         Yet.

         History tells us what always happens.

         But beyond that, and much more importantly, God always warns us what will happen if we take the wrong road.

THE ANSWER ACCORDING TO EZEKIEL

         The following passage from the prophet Ezekiel, who lived in the sixth century BC, teaches us that some things never change. The Lord used this man and spoke through him not only to warn His people of what will happen to them because of their wicked actions, but also to differentiate between right and wrong, and reveal that blessings will follow righteousness.

         He warned His people as a way to correct them and get them on the right road. The last thing God wants to do is bring judgment. He is loving, kind, and extremely patient.

         Read the following carefully. It contains much truth and many answers that can be applied to our present situation:

         And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

         “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman,

         and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,

         then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.

         ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.

         ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’

         “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.

         “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.

         “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

         “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have spoken, saying, “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?”’

         “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’

         “And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, ‘The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’

         “When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die.

         “But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness,

         if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

         “None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live.

         “Yet your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right.

         “When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he shall die in it.

         “But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them.

         “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.” [Ezekiel 33:1-20]

SEEK, AND YE SHALL FIND

         We are in a sense living in the best of times and the worst of times. Bad things are piling up because of so much sin and rebellion. All of this stuff will have to be paid for. Judgment has come and must continue, and more is certainly on the way.

         But at the same time many millions of real Christians in America are doing the right thing and blessings follow them. They have favor with God. They are blessed with grace. They love the Lord Jesus and obey Him. It does not mean that God spoils them or indulges them, but that He loves them, protects them, and strengthens them

         If you find yourself in a place where you feel you just don’t have the strength or the faith to get beyond not so pleasant circumstances even though you have tried and continue trying, it does not necessarily mean you cannot. It could be a timing issue. It could be that you are making progress but you don’t see it or are not satisfied with the progress you have made.

         Be strong. Seek the Lord. Stand in faith. Continue to pray. You will either successfully climb over the mountain, journey around the mountain, or possibly tunnel right through the mountain. All of this takes much effort and time. It might take a while. But one thing is always true:

         So He told them this parable, saying,

         “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

         “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

         “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’

         “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [Luke 15:3-10] [1]

         Notice that finding the lost sheep and the lost coin took effort. It took unending effort until the discovery was made. The operative phrase from the preceding passage is “until he/she finds it.”

         The effort must be extended until the objective is achieved.

         It begins with repentance.

         It ends in great JOY.

         © 2015 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.

Judge Not: The Upshot of Carrying One’s Cross

         Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24]

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         Real Christians, like their Lord, always end up getting crucified. Let Him explain:

         “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

         Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12]

         According to these difficult teachings of the Lord, the following are the real credentials of real believers:

(1) Real Christians will be persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

(2) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be insulted.

(3) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be persecuted.

(4) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be falsely accused of all kinds of evil.

         The Lord then taught that real believers are not to strike back in kind, but take the shots that come their way.

         This means that when one is insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused for being a real Christian, one is to take the insults, persecution, and false accusations without returning insults, persecution, and false accusations in kind. One must not throw another log on the fire, thus escalating the war of words, but pour water on it instead.

         This is certainly a form of crucifixion.

         Keep in mind that the Lord was even being insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused while He hung on the cross:

THE MATTHEW ACCOUNT:

         And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

         In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

         The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. [Matthew 27:39-44]

THE LUKE ACCOUNT:

         And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

         The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

         Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

         One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”

         But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” [Luke 23:35-41]

         And there’s the point.

         If the Lord took all of that abuse while hanging on a rough wooden cross with spike nails in His hands and feet and suffering excruciating pain most of us will never know and still managed to say, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), then it is certainly possible to obey His teachings regarding insults and false accusations.

LIKE ONE FROM WHOM MEN HIDE THEIR FACE

         We must know that He was insulted repeatedly all the live long day throughout His entire life and especially during His ministry. He had ample reason to strike back in kind but never did, not even from the cross.

         Did He have the ability? Most certainly. Could He have climbed down off the cross? Without doubt. Could He have whipped any of those accusing pansies in a fist fight? I have no doubt He could have.

         But He didn’t. And it takes a MUCH bigger man to take abuse without returning it. He took it all and never struck back because He had a MUCH higher goal than simply winning stupid arguments or defending one’s “honor” or reputation:

         He wanted to ransom the souls of humanity.

         “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

         “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:44-48]

         The Lord Jesus not only taught this truth, He lived it. And He commanded all of His followers to do exactly the same.

ANTI-DISCIPLES

         Yet, “Christians” are some of the most easily offended people on the planet. It does not take much for certain “Christians” to become extremely angry. There are those who insist they are Christians but are as judgmental and condemning as the day is long. Some will betray another in a heartbeat.

         For many of these there is simply no impulse control whatsoever. The devil can play them like a drum whenever he feels like it. They are ready to fight in a split second. What is more, such people are proud of their desire and ability to insult and accuse in kind, not knowing or apparently caring that they are doing the devil’s work, especially if they engage in the inevitable maiming and murdering that results from being offended.

         Others may exhibit great impulse control and give forth the appearance of godliness. That is, until they feel slighted in some way and then all hell breaks loose. As long as they are never challenged there is no reaction, though many such perceived “challenges” are never personal and have no bad intent.

        They may think they are defending the truth, but they are actually egregiously violating the Lord’s commands, especially the love commandment.

         But for the real Christian, when one is insulted and falsely accused, often by other Christians of course, one does not strike back in kind though one may certainly want to, and though one may certainly do so very effectively.

         Instead, one must allow himself or herself to be crucified.

         It is the picture of a crazed little runt poking a giant hibernating grizzly bear with a stick and continuing to do so since he is getting away with it. In time he grows ever more bold. But the day will come when the bear will wake up. At that point the little man better have an exit plan.

JUDGMENT LOOMS

         All those who rejected and insulted and made fun of the Messiah when He came found out forty years later that crucifying Him actually meant they were destroying themselves, and the same thing eventually happens to all who persecute the Lord’s children. It’s what happens when the cure is rejected.

         Better to judge ourselves than judge others:

         Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? [2 Corinthians 13:5]

         Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

         But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

         But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

         There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

         For there is no partiality with God. [Romans 2:1-11]

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         “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” [John 12:47] [1]

         © 2015 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.

Here Comes the Ark—2015 (Part 4)

EXCERPT FROM PART 4:

         Proper sacrifice was the answer. Repentance is the first part of the equation. The circumcision of the heart is at the heart of the New Testament. The preaching of the cross is core, foundational, at the nucleus thereof, and points directly to what salvation entails. Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness… [Hebrews 9:22]”

Link to Part 4:

Here Comes the Ark (Part 4)

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Here Comes the Ark—2015 (Part 3)

EXCERPT FROM PART 3:

         “In Part 2 we learned that Jerusalem was not prepared for the manifest presence of God, any more than many Christian congregations and groups in America are ready. David’s original plan was well-intentioned but not even close to the Lord’s protocol. It seems that in our many and varied attempts to do something for God, we fail to inquire of God, either whether we should do a particular thing, or regarding the method we employ in doing it…”

Link to Part 3:

Here Comes the Ark (Part 3)

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Rejecting Truth That Demands Repentance

         A common, timeless, under-the-radar, and for the most part unspoken catch phrase often threatens emergence from larynx’s everywhere in response to a single catalyst—rising up and forming as a thin film on the edges of tongues and lips and threatening to bubble and babble forth at any given time.

         It reveals clearly and unmistakably the thinking and makeup of those confronted with and easily irked and tested by Truth:

         “Don’t confuse me with facts!”

         The majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians of one form or another are particularly notorious for this expression and the misguided thought behind it, as are they guilty of grossly and adamantly violating the Golden Rule whenever their beliefs are revealed as false or incomplete.

         This denotes two things: (1) It denotes religious pride that should not be there because religious pride cannot survive the crucifying of the flesh; and (2) It denotes a lack of love for the Truth which all real Christians readily embrace regardless of what it costs them personally.

         Unreal Christians are also notorious for passing personal conviction off onto others (“You talkin’ to me!?”). Anger begins to boil slowly and can become a seething cauldron if not held in check for fear of confrontation, though sometimes ironically because they wish to obey the Golden Rule. Go figure.

         It must be remembered, though, that innocent real Christians throughout the last 2000 years have had no desire to elicit such anger, and this includes the Founder Himself. He never tried to anger people on purpose, as far as I can tell, simply for the sake of making them angry. Yet, His preaching drew huge amounts of anger and vitriol, meaning of course, that the problem was without question in the ears and minds of the listeners.

         Now, it is certainly true that many so-called Christians have no problem provoking others for all the wrong reasons. It is not that difficult to get people into a thick lather regarding their beliefs if that is the goal.

         But that was not the Lord’s goal. Nor was it the goal of the early believers who turned the world upside down.

         Their goal was to preach the Truth that sets people free from the power of sin, and break them free from the clutches of evil and the evil one, that they might possess and live in the abundant life and freedom of the Lord.

         But that which became one person’s freedom became another’s reason to fight. Why? Because the Lord and His disciples preached the Truth. And the Truth often hurts. Especially when it reveals false beliefs.

         Nevertheless, then and now, the majority would apparently rather stick to their false beliefs, though such may be couched in warm, traditional, family-oriented, culturally-derived, and religiously-dependent benchmarks, including, and somewhat especially, those of the Unreal Christianity variety.

         Rest assured, if the Lord arrived for the first time among Christian adherents as He did among His own, it would certainly be Christian adherents who would reject Him and crucify Him. And there is an entire plethora of such “Christian” adherents willing to stand up and do the dirty deed. We know this because it is exactly what such are doing at the moment (and have been for centuries) to real Christians worldwide.

         Though most Christians insist on church attendance as a mandatory practice, and while some houses of worship are generally good places with good people, churches in general contain some really bad people. Actually, some really vile people. Actually, as did some of the synagogues of the Lord’s time as told in the Gospel accounts, some churches contain demon-possessed people and some of these devil-hosters run the show.

         Of course, this always refers only to other churches and never one’s own.

         The point here is that if church attendance is mandatory then it is also mandatory that one had better watch one’s backside while in attendance. Many a church member has exited with long-term knife-in-back syndrome that often never heals because they (first) never prepared for such a possibility, (second) still get no sympathy from said members who always blame the victim, and (three) usually never find a way to extract said knife and often are not aware of the cause of their pain.

         It is simply a very sad fact that many forms of Christianity had begun or morphed into hateful culture clubs against the full Truth of the Lord, even to the point of making the early Pharisees look like sashaying sissies in sundresses. History books are filled with such tales.

         But if one is willing to peel back and lift a corner of the this world’s present false overlay and take a peek at spiritual reality, one would see it happening right now as well, and in many cases just as bad if not worse than ever.

         Christian persecution is rising because it always rises as Light grows brighter and God’s people become bolder in preaching the Truth. And it is not God’s fault that a person must often become a slobbering mess of repentance to gain salvation (something prideful people abhor), in order to make a strong and clean break from sin and deception.

         Let us always remember that illicit agendas are universal and that such agendas exist only at the expense of Truth, which allows one to see and understand why concealing evidence that conflicts with Truth is tantamount to the devil’s and this faux world’s survival.

         Rejecting facts that challenge beliefs thus becomes a life and death issue for those who built and invested their lives on shifting-sand foundations and the bare ground of dartboard-derived locations. Though their house is destined to fall they never see such nor acknowledge such and fight anyone who thinks or says otherwise.

         Pre-conceived notions and belief in false premises and data thus drive a man to protect said data, and many will stop at nothing to rewrite entire books of truth in order to alleviate it and prop up their own false version of events.

         Deception is the name of the enemy’s game—that is, the enemies of the Lord Jesus and real believers—and every effort must be made to get out of it if one is in it, and resist it once one is free. Otherwise, the Truth is impossible to behold and hold and one will end up crucifying the very thing and the very One who can set them loose.

         So, rather than professing and embracing in one’s heart such inane statements as, “Don’t confuse me with facts!”, let us all take a good hard look at our particular beliefs and see just how closely they line up with the Lord’s teachings. Test everything you believe against the Lord’s curriculum and commandments. An excellent starting point is the Golden Rule. He commanded us to love one another as ourselves and to treat others they way we want to be treated.

         Better to resolve the issue now before it’s too late. Better to become a slobbering mess of repentance in the here and now rather than a slobbering mess of regret at the Judgment, when the eternal fate of our souls is decided upon based upon our own obedience or disobedience toward God and actions toward our fellow man during our sojourn breathing air.

         After physical death, the blood of Jesus can no longer be applied and cannot cleanse. One’s eternal fate has been sealed.

         “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

         “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

         “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.

         “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?

         “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.

         “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.

         “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?

         “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.

         “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [Matthew 25:31-46] [1]

         © 2014 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.

The Cost of Grace

         So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. [Philippians 2:12-13]

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         Grace is free. Salvation will cost you everything.

         There remains much confusion among Christians about what exactly happened when the Lord Jesus went to the cross.

         Most Christians have never gone to the cross, would never go to the cross, do not see the need for going to the cross, and sadly, will never relate to the experience.

         There is this ill-begotten attitude that the Lord did it all to the point that they must do nothing. There is this completely false idea that a Christian can simply skate through life absolutely, completely, wholeheartedly, and fully assured that he is saved regardless of anything he may do or not do, as if salvation is simply a matter of a one-time mental assent or clueless “Yeah, put me down for that,” while they go about their already unrepentant lives thoroughly grounded in this world.

         Some denominations and Christian faux gospels are worse offenders than others. Some denominations do not even pretend to follow the Lord’s teachings on the matter but make salvation contingent upon belonging to the proper club—their club—and strictly adhering to their own church teachings which clash with the Lord’s, and compete with the Lord’s, and end up sending people to hell for believing what is false and doing things that have zero spiritual value.

         One would think, that among all Christian things they may want to get right, it would be salvation.

         But the majority of “Christians” insist on dissing the Lord, refuse to follow His example and teachings, and would never crucify their own flesh and/or leave their fake groups and denounce their false gospels even if their eternal salvation depended on it.

         And it does.

         The Lord thought this entire attitude was beyond curious. One would one rather save face than get saved? Why do so many Christians desire remaining cold, unenlightened, and uncrucified rather than obey the Lord’s commands?

         How can the resultant suffering and rejection real Christians face in this world compare to losing one’s soul for all eternity?

         Makes no sense.

         But then again, it does, if one has accepted a false prophet or a false teaching, and such things abound.

         There are obviously many more false gospels today than there were in the early days of that first Christian community, though false gospels began from the beginning.

         Paul did not pull any punches regarding these evil teachings and made his thoughts quite clear:

         I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

         But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

         For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2Corinthians 11:1-4]

         Could it be that bearing a false gospel or a false prophet or the false beliefs of a false denomination is easier than bearing one’s cross? And could it be that it always boils down to this same issue—the offense of the cross?

         In Galatians 5:11 Paul refers to this “offence of the cross” (KJV), though it is translated differently in different versions. The following are a few examples:

1) Shame of the cross (Bible is Basic English)

2) Scandal of the cross (Darby Bible)

3) Stumbling block of the cross (New American Standard Bible)

4) Obstacle of the cross (New Jerusalem Bible)

         It is obvious that there is something revolting about the cross, especially when an individual Christian must apply it to himself. It follows that Christians will do anything and everything to avoid the cross, which makes them easy fodder for false gospels.

         Why do we think it was okay for the Lord to get crucified but not at all okay for us to do likewise?

         Why do we think our own personal crucifixion is somehow not necessary though the Lord’s was?

         Why do we think we can simply reject all those things the Lord taught about crucifying our flesh, and taking up our cross, and denying ourselves for His sake and the gospel?

         Is it not the height of selfishness and pride that the majority of “Christians” applaud the Lord’s trip to Calvary but would never go there themselves?

         And then believe they don’t need to?

         Why can’t such unreal Christians see that such teaching arose from the devil himself?

         Yes, of course, grace is free. It cost the Lord Jesus everything, but for us it’s all free. We can do nothing to add to it by anything we could ever do.

         What a crock.

         Have any of the proponents of this stuff ever heard of the concept of application? How about being yoked together with the Lord? How about the disciples not being above their Master, and partaking of the same offense, shame, scandal, stumbling block, and obstacle the Lord did on our behalf? Should not all real Christians do the same on His behalf?

         And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

         And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

         But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

         And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

         “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:31-38] [1]

         The fact of the matter is that the real disciples of that time suffered the same things the Lord suffered. They were in fact called to share in His sufferings. They were called to stand up for and preach the ONE AND ONLY REAL GOSPEL. They knew it would cost them but did it anyway. Rather than shun it like so many Christians choose to do, they embraced the cross.

         And though grace is certainly free, it cost them everything.

         © 2014 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.

The Fix Is In: Delusion Illusion (Part 2)

         The ministry of John the Immerser was to prepare the way for the ministry of Messiah.

         Part of the preparation was preparing hearts.

         Part of it was to prepare the spiritual eyes and ears of the people who possessed them, though all were most likely affected by the general blindness of the nation at that time.

         “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

         “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

         “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” [Matthew 13:13-16]

         One may wonder why most of the people could not see and hear, and why only a few did. The above passage reveals the answer:

         “The heart of this people has become dull.”

         The word “dull” is translated from the Greek word pachuno, which is translated into English as “to make thick, to make fat,” and metaphorically, “to make stupid (rendering the soul dull or callous).”

         The Hebrew word from the Isaiah passage regarding this sad heart adjective is shaman, and means, “to be fat, make fat, grow fat, or become fat; to show fatness.”

         It is variously translated as fat, dull, gross, sluggish, and insensitive, the latter of which appears to be the modern PC definition, which segues from identifying Christians who can’t understand squat no matter how hard one may try to fix their sub-Forrest Gump spiritual IQ with words right on target but extremely offensive—to a nice word which renders such individuals as merely somewhat out of touch with God with no harm done to one’s religious or church social status (or preaching credentials).

         The Lord, however, pulled no punches, as did prophets before Him. For whoever may care, it is extremely serious to claim to be a Christian without knowing or wanting God. Just as the Lord said that blind people leading blind people will result in multiple AAA calls to rescue from ditches, so is it the case when preachers with fat hearts lead people with fat hearts. The whole congregation, church building and all, falls into a proverbial ditch, lists to one side, and remains there as a spiritual testament to fat hearts out of touch with God everywhere, while attendance continues by people who make downward adjustments and learn to walk on a slant.

         These people cannot see or hear, though they have eyes and ears, and cannot understand, though possessing a mind. It must be noted that their blindness and deafness is, quite strangely, willing. They have closed their eyes and ears by choice. They have also closed their minds. They have willingly chosen to become spiritual dullards with heavy eyelids, sound-deadening headphones, and minds the Lord could not squeeze truth into with the assistance of compressed air or pneumatic tools. Imagine an entire nation of people like this before John the Immerser appeared, topped off with fat-hearted religious leaders who wouldn’t know God if he became a Man and looked them in the face.

         It is often the case that our brains are less than lightening fast, but we enjoy those moments when trying to grab hold of something intellectually difficult and actually succeeding, and having a happy “Aha” moment when the tumblers all come together in the correct order and we finally “get it.” Christians with fat hearts never get it, so they build mathematical and verbal formulas they do get, such 1+1=2 (I think) and c-a-t, and then proceed to build their entire religious super structure around such kindergarten principles and easy to understand concepts, thus dumbing-down future generations within that particular Christian culture if said foundational and structural concepts become fully accepted and remain.

         This is exactly what the nation of Israel did. The Hebrew prophets, who could see, hear, and understand extremely well (and paid the price for it—both in getting there and staying there), and had the spiritual equivalent of world-class athlete’s hearts, lean and strong with no blockages or cholesterol problems but expressing the epitome of perfect working order with all chambers, valves, and parts pumping and opening and closing like that well-oiled machine we hear so much about with the express result of KNOWING God first and speaking forth His Word second, that all could hear from the Lord On High and thus subvert the devil’s deadening process on the understanding of sinful human beings racked with the ongoing consequence of spiritual disease.

         Don’t blame the prophet for having a heart for God,

        And for being strong and anointed and doing his job.

         The prophets were the cure for blindness and deafness among God’s people, but when the Hebrew priests finally succeeded in killing them off, finishing the job started by the Hebrew kings, principally Solomon, Mr. Fat Heart himself, and took over—priests who had no prophetic abilities and did not know God—the cure ceased to exist for four centuries and the anti-cure did anti-work on the hearts of the people.

         Therefore, the nation of Israel did not just become spiritually stupid as by some generational downward drift due to laziness or whatever, but by and through the leading and teaching of those who had no business leading and teaching and were never called by God for that service.

         The Pharisees were the later evolutionary product of those Hebrew priests and the very blind men leading the blind people they created that the Lord Jesus was talking about.

         Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”

         But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:12-14]

         The same, exact, and what should be obvious parallel is playing out today, in that so many Christians over so many decades and even centuries have been led around by the blind though they neither realize nor acknowledge they are blind and refuse to admit their ears simply do not work and their hearts look like a giant sack of potatoes rolling down a hill.

         The Greatest Prophet is the cure but the cure is deemed too strong, too powerful, too mean even, and completely inappropriate for our traditional Christian comfort levels and far too much to deal with when one is thoroughly ensconced in a fleshly anti-world of illusion and preoccupied with pride and money and uncrucified flesh and religious standing and social cred that would all and must all dissolve in an encounter with the King—Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1).

         The Lord did not mince words in the Matthew 13 passage and expressed perfectly and clearly the fate of the dull at heart.

         One can almost hear the prophet Nancy singing, with the end notes heading down the stairs,

         These hearts are made for burning

         And that’s just what they’ll do

         One of these days these hearts

         Are gonna burn all over (Gehenna)…

         Why did John the Immerser say the following to the nation of Israel?

         “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

         Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

         Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Luke 3:7-9]

         Fat hearts cannot produce good fruit.

         Good fruit results from the process of repentance.

         Repentance allows for closeness to God.

         Closeness to God creates lean, athletic, and pure hearts.

         Pure hearts break the power of the Delusion Illusion.

         “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8] [1]

         © 2014 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.

LOVE Your BROTHER, FIGHT the DEVIL

         I wrote my last article here two months ago, on this site’s third anniversary.  I am certainly thankful for all of you who read these articles and are blessed by them, but circumstances at that time caused me to wonder about the future of this blog. On prior anniversaries I had received more support.

         Dwindling readership and a few other factors allowed for some serious disillusionment. From my perspective I worked very hard at receiving and writing, and writing articles with necessary content to possibly assist us all in seeing the things holding us back, recognizing the presence of the enemy fighting us, perceiving the possible lack of doing the will of God, and possibly the biggest problem—not obeying His Word as we should, which has resulted in subpar efforts in many circles and often a complete failure to achieve spiritual objectives.

         Things were going well but then, though some of you remain ever faithful, things began trailing off. I also had to attend to the inevitable practical matters of life and no longer had the time or inclination to write. Thanks for those of you who prayed. Today’s effort might or might not strike any chords, but for the first time since May I’ve felt like writing again.

         If there was another way to reveal those harder truths most Christians want no part of without having to engage in spiritual fights, we would certainly attend to it. But the fact remains that Christianity in general is infused with false doctrine on top of false doctrine. Most Christians know this but stop at doing anything about their own personal false doctrines. The Lord Jesus, however, will never stop. He will have a bright shining community one way or the other, devoid of all teachings not His own, thus evoking the picture of the few people who will actually become and remain part of it, rather than the false paradigm of a giant mass of non-disciples.

         The reality is that the attempt to apply the real curriculum of the Lord Jesus is not at all easy and never has been. In fact, in a fallen world of sin, pain, rebellion against God and righteousness, and the resultant misery that affects us all, it is the most difficult endeavor one could ever engage in, though also the most rewarding.

         It is fraught with heartache. And the worst heartache of all is that which arises from an attack from one’s friends.

         The Lord Jesus suffered this more than anyone. All real Christians will suffer it as well. It is part of the deal, you know. Betrayal is a simple but terrible fact always waiting around a dark corner. It is next to impossible to defend yourself against it because it comes at the hands of those you don’t think you should defend yourself against until it is too late.

         I remember many years (decades) ago during my rookie year. I had a very powerful born-again experience. I had been valiantly searching for truth for many years prior to that time and when the Lord Jesus led me to Himself within a small fellowship of loving believers, it changed my life forever. It was and remains the best thing that ever happened in my life. I wanted everyone to have what I had been given. I tried telling the world about the great joy in my life and the love of the Lord Jesus that sets us free.

         The problem with this approach was that I soon found out that most people, instead of seeing the great change in my life for the better, saw me in a much different light. For whatever reason they were perfectly happy to remain in their sins, refused to consider all I was sharing, could not see and would not see the truth or have any love for it, and remained ensconced in that place far from God where I had also previously been. Only a few listened to or saw my witness.

         Sounds a tad judgmental, I know. But I also know God’s patience will not last forever. He has called ALL OF US to repentance and gags at our dirty attempts at righteousness without Him. There is a giant mess that needs cleaning up, He’s the only One who can do it, He will do it in time, and the major part of the Big Clean is removing sin from His Creation. This poses a problem for human beings because sin is not just floating around out there in the ether—it is resident within human beings. And if a human being refuses to engage in the cleansing process with the Lord by first assisting Him in cleansing the sin from his or her own life and person, he or she will be part of that which goes in the great dumpster on fire.

         Now, such a statement will evoke great high notes of horror from the self-righteous among us, especially those who are religiously self-righteous, and much more especially from those who are Christian religiously self-righteous. Such people apparently see God as a glowing orb of pure love from which could never come anything negative or judgmental and certainly never toward such lovely caring holy people as themselves.

         This is possibly the most disgusting thing about sinful humanity—not only is there a complete lack of recognition of their own sin, there is a complete lack of believing that God would do anything about it in their particular case, because they are so good and if God would ever even think that way about them—demand their repentance that they may be clean and free, as if they must somehow not be so good—well then God can just go stick it in His big giant ear.

         It is a very weird thing when people think they are just as righteous or more righteous than God.

         For those who have never been enlightened or have no knowledge of the Word of God this is understandable, yet because everyone has a conscience no one is without excuse. For Christians there is especially no excuse. This is why of all people on the planet, the most vile, backbiting, and most likely to betray are fake Christians. Of course, they apparently do not know they are fake, but the fruit of the tree defines the tree.

         The hard thing about real Christianity is that we are actually expected by God and even commanded by God to obey His Word. Fake Christians don’t bother with such trivialities.

         At the end of my last post two lunar cycles ago I wrote the following:

         Regardless of what we believe or how we see things, we must remain polite. We must remain brothers and sisters. We must be family. The Lord said the entire everything hangs on only two commandments, and we must always honor those two and obey them above all else:

         One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

         And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:35-40]

         If one reads that post one will see I was writing from the perspective of attempting to obey God and honor His Word, though it is a challenge for all of us. One of the problems I have always faced, however, is having to deal with other Christians who so easily get their panties in a wad over something I may be teaching.

         Recently, a fellow believer reblogged one of my posts. One of this person’s readers wrote a comment disparaging my post. The author of the blog wrote a comment defending my post in a very loving and well thought-out manner. The one who had the problem then said he found nothing wrong with the content of the post, but did not like the spirit in which it was delivered…

         Go figure.

         “Hey Lord Jesus. We know you are from God and we like your teachings but could you please tone it down a little because after all we’re just a bunch of sissy weenies who really only want to suck on religious teets our whole life and have no taste whatsoever for adult food featuring sides of beef and giant filets of wild Alaskan salmon so please give as sugary cereal milk forever and none of these ‘hard sayings.’ Okay?”

         Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? {offend: or, scandalize, or, cause you to stumble}

         What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

         It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

         But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. [John 6:60-64 KJV]

         Anyway, right after I posted my last article expressing my utmost in teaching what we all must do to please God and get the job done at present to help bring forth the very needed Awakening (but also on my part hoping not to offend religious sensibilities—a virtual impossibility but I do try), I get slammed by a brother who took issue with something I wrote that he did not agree with and who conveniently forgot all about the Golden Rule apparently because it did not apply to him and I was indeed worthy of a personal slam and he was self-anointed to deliver the slam. And as always, I never mention names and in this case never even responded, but that did not stop him from naming mine.

         So what do I do? Well, sometimes having the kind of natural human inclinations that would want to grab him by the back of his head, slam his face onto a bar, mash his nose into a bloody mess, and thereby teach him the proper respect the way Augustus McCrae did to that arrogant little San Antonio barkeep in Lonesome Dove, I decided the best thing to do would be to discipline my natural human inclinations in an attempt to honor the Lord and not respond in kind, eat his backhanded attack, take the hit, forgive him, and do the very thing I had also just written about in my last post (which this guy read):

         It is never my intention to offend. I only want to reveal truth. But unlike many others, I will not go to war against my brothers. Like many of you, I know what it’s like to get treated like dirt by those who claim to be doing the Lord’s work. I will teach very strongly when the door opens but when it appears fellowship starts taking a hit, it often indicates a time to fall back on first priorities—loving one another regardless of differences. In that light, however, the Lord never compromised the truth. Paul spent much ministry time arguing about the real revelations of Scripture and truth, but did it in love. Both got into serious trouble as a result.

         In other words, those who decide to go to war against the Lord Jesus are apparently emboldened because they think He’s merely a wimpy forgiverer-lover who acts like a little girl and would never stand up for Himself. In fact, if the Lord wanted to, in His humanity, He could whip all comers in any kind of fight they may wish to bring Him. Bare-knuckle fisticuffs? He’d clean one’s clock, I’m telling you. He simply chooses not to for the sake of righteousness and a willingness to take a hit without responding in kind, since he knows He’s dealing with confused and/or ignorant no-challenge sissies.

         Most “Christians” never think of the Lord in those terms. This is possibly why most “Christians” will end up in hell, because they take God lightly, they take His teachings lightly, they get convicted easily and whine to no end, rebel against Him and any of His disciples who take Him seriously, and refuse to repent if it means admitting they are wrong, even to the point of getting tossed into the fiery dumpster with these guys:

         The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. [Revelation 9:20-21]

         Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. [Revelation 16:9-11]

         In these days of thousands of Christian pulpiteers preaching the devil’s message and taking congregations to hell with them while Christians at large honor their every false word, someone better do a little more than what has been required in the past. Thankfully, the Lord is never surprised by idiots and Judases and always has an ace in the hole in the form of giant spiritual swords to fiercely hack away at sin and devil’s doctrines in high Christian places. He has raised up millions of fearless warriors who comparatively no longer give a flying flip about these sorry little short lives we live, whose minds are on heaven and eternity and achieving the objective, and are willing to go toe to toe with any devil or religious idiot for the sake of obeying their King and doing His work.

         For the few of you who are willing, it remains the time to storm the gates.

         And for those Christians who are confused, THE DEVIL IS YOUR ENEMY, NOT YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER. DO GOD A FAVOR AND GROW A PAIR, AND FIGHT THE DEVIL IF YOU CAN SOMEHOW MANAGE THE DISCIPLESHIP.

         For all you ladies out there in the Lord’s glorious service who never shrink from a fight, my personal thanks to all of you for standing by God and fighting the good fight of faith, often doing far more than your share. It is certainly a fact that Christianity in general is greatly overpopulated by women, but a remnant thereof continues to shame men who shrink from His service or refuse to get off the pew.

         “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. [Proverbs 31:29-31]

         Many believe that if one does not work then one must not eat. But the Word also says that if one refuses to fight the enemy, or fights God’s people instead of the enemy, then one must not only not eat, but face judgment.

         Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

         But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.

         Therefore, do not throw away your confidence,[1] which has a great reward. [Hebrews 10:28-35] [2]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Strong’s Concordance: #3954 parrhesia {par-rhay-see’-ah} Meaning: 1) freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech 1a) openly, frankly, i.e without concealment 1b) without ambiguity or circumlocution 1c) without the use of figures and comparisons 2) free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance 3) the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity

[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.

RECOMMENDED MUST READ: LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE 

Getting Slammed For Righteousness?

         Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

         For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

         You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

         It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

         But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. [Hebrews 12:1-8]

         The one who demonstrates the most courage, who possesses the most backbone, who is willing to stand tall above everyone else for truth and against injustice, lies, and treachery, gets exactly what our Lord Jesus got.

         No greater Man has ever lived, and no other man in all of human history had the book thrown at Him like Jesus did. He made powerful enemies.

         The psycho religious idiots hated Him and tried to kill Him at every turn. And then the powerful banking and money interests finally had enough, and administered the coup de grace in concert with the religious nuts.

         The zealots backed off, betraying the One who would set them free. The majority of His own people betrayed Him as well, considering Him foul, crazy, and cursed of God.

         The Lord Jesus, by His great light, love, and shining example, revealed this rotten, sinful, fallen, and dark world for exactly what it is, and also revealed the father of lies who rules it as the “god of this world.”

         So if anyone wants reality, real reality, this is it. And it illustrates why most of those who call themselves Christians will never stand tall the way the Lord did. They will never put themselves in harm’s way, they will never learn, believe, and tell the full truth, they will never distance themselves from the love of money, and they will never do the will of God if it also makes them look like a nut, as the Lord looked like a nut to this fallen world.

         Therefore, many Christians have adopted a “stay safe” mentality and outlook, preferring the “You Go First” principle of allowing the other guy, the courageous guy, to take the hit so they don’t have to. It’s a wimpy, no testosterone approach that achieves absolutely nothing for God.

         Yet the evidence cannot be any more clear: Getting slammed for righteousness is the price paid for being (1) spiritually effective, (2) bringing the proper conviction upon sinners, and (3) hitting the devil between the eyes.

         They killed Stephen for acting exactly as his Lord and Savior. Note who it was that killed him.

         Then they killed James, one of the Lord’s inner circle. Note who it was that killed him.

         Then they tried to kill Peter, the man chosen by the Lord as the key man. Note who it was that tried to kill him.

         It started at the top with the Lord. Whoever had the guts to stand tall got it next. And on it continued and continues today. Millions of Christians have been killed since and the killing continues. This fallen world hates real Christians because they represent the greatest threat to the “god of this world” and all those working and living for him.

         What happens then, if instead of “Christians” doing the usual and allowing the bravest to step forth and be killed, millions of real Christians all step forth at the same time?

         It happened in the first century and in the remaining years of the Roman Empire. It happened during the Great Reformation. It happened during the early Great Awakenings in America. It continues to happen in China. Former Muslims are showing great backbone in Muslim countries in standing up for the Lord. It is happening on a large scale in Africa. In India. In South America. It’s happening everywhere, though is not yet what it will be.

         And now it is beginning to happen in America. Christians here are realizing that many have nothing left to lose, and they will not surrender their faith in God. They will not betray their Savior. They will not back down.

         That’s why it is happening, why it will continue, and why Christians will win. The enemy will stand down. After the brutalizing and killing of Christians begins, some of those doing the brutalizing and killing will start backing off, seeing the horror of their acts.

         Many of the Lord’s own people who had rejected Him later came running to Him in great repentance. They finally saw the truth, and saw Him for who He is. Their eyes were opened.

         Let us be thankful that we still have so many law enforcement and government officials in this country who stand up for the founding principles of the nation. Many of them are followers of the Lord. Many of them have good hearts and seek righteousness. They can always be counted on to do what is right.

         They counterbalance and bring conviction of conscience to the violaters. Any law enforcement or government official in this country at any level who violates the Law of the land and trashes the Constitution of the United States of America, and rips up the Bill of Rights and stomps it like some idiot anti-American is not worthy to be a law enforcement or government official in this country.

         There is never any viable reason to do this. Our Founding Fathers never said anything about the need to violate the law for any greater purpose, or suspend the Constitution, or forcibly remove or deny the rights of the people. Those who do it anyway and get away with it only do it because they are not challenged, or because they are hellbent on enforcing a contrary anti-American agenda.

         And again, the only challenging one needs to do is the kind of challenging the Lord did.

         And if the only way those in power will see the evil of their ways is by gazing upon the dead bodies of Christians who stood tall for God and truth, then it must be like it has always been before, and will have to be again.

         Unless we forget, freedom of conscience, freedom to serve and worship the Lord Jesus, and freedom to live in moral liberty had become nearly eliminated in Europe prior to the founding of America. It had become nearly eliminated by idiot monarchs and fake Christian leaders who would do anything for power and wealth. It necessitated the impossible journey of the Separatists to these shores.

         I am hoping that the majority of Americans have not become so cold hearted and weak that they will not rise up against the coming atrocities. But then again, if the daily mutilation and butchering of 55 million innocent and helpless babies doesn’t wake people up to show some mercy and cry a tear or two, maybe nothing will.

         But this Great Awakening is happening nonetheless. Those with spiritual backbones will be right in the middle of it, acting just like their Lord, and they will shine at the judgment.

         When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

         Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

         Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

         Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

         Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

         Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

         Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

         Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

         You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

         You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

         Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:1-16] [1]

         © 2014 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.

The Greatest Love

        If a real Christian has anything at all, he or she has a backbone, and will never back down.

         Why would a person surrender their very life in exchange for a belief? Why is a belief more important than one’s life? The law of self-preservation dictates that above all things we must protect and defend our greatest possession—our life—against any attack or threat of attack. Yet, real Christians have historically chosen to choose death rather than choose to discard something they believe in.

         There must be something more to Christian belief.

         If a parent is given a choice to lay down his life or substitute the life of his child, what should be the proper choice? Is it somehow more moral or socially acceptable to choose one over the other? The answer exists in the simple fact that many parents (I would hope every parent), would choose to die and allow their child to live because it is both the obviously correct choice and they would not be able to live with themselves if they chose otherwise. Even though they could protect their life, their life afterwards would no longer be worth living.

         And this is the crux of the distinction: One’s life can be devalued and even greatly devalued by making such incorrect choices. Why? Because healthy, sane people have a conscience, and one’s conscience will put forth a prompt reminder than one has chosen incorrectly.

         Otherwise, human beings could do whatever sinister thing they may wish and never be bothered by the choice they made. In the natural world, for example, animals make choices that often have bad consequences according to the moral beliefs of humans, but the animals that make the choices don’t seem to be bothered by them. If a wild animal, for example, attacks and injures a child, the wild animal probably has no moral conscience regarding the act, does not get depressed by the act, and will likely repeat the act. This can possibly be attributed to instinct or hunger, but the animal’s choice nevertheless causes an injury to a helpless child, and this cannot be construed as a good thing. So we often deem animals as innocent, in that they don’t know any better, but human animals are a different story.

         Therefore, for those who have a conscience in good working order, it will override mere self-preservation, especially when it comes to one’s offspring. Using the natural world as an example once again, even wild animals will protect their offspring with their lives. Many an animal mother will protect her young using whatever extreme measures she deems necessary, and becomes decidedly ferocious in those instances.

         But what is in the conscience of a real Christian that causes him to give up his life rather than surrender his beliefs? It is not so much about giving up his beliefs as it is turning his back on his best friend. The Lord Jesus claimed,

         “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15:13]

         The word “friends” in this usage indicates the most dearly beloved in one’s life. But the absolute most dearly beloved of all people in the life of a real Christian is His Lord and Savior—the One who purchased his life—and the One who first gave His own life to save the ones He considered His most beloved. This is why a real Christian could never surrender his beliefs, because it also means betraying the One who loves him the most.

         What good is life without the One who made life possible? For example, the person who betrayed the Lord to those religious authorities who intended to murder Him had been deceived into thinking he was doing the right thing. He did not know his act of betrayal would result in the Lord’s death. In fact, Satan had possessed this man and essentially blinded him and animated him to act against his conscience. And even though we know Judas was a thief, he still had a conscience in good working order, because after his diabolical act, after the devil went out from him, after clear thinking returned, and after he saw what he caused, he immediately killed himself. There was no way he could live with the knowledge on his conscience of what he had done. His life was no longer worth living. It had become greatly cheapened by his terrible choice. Self-preservation went out the window and the only salve for his horror was the opposite.

         This knowledge should cause a person to immediately reflect on the great love of the Lord, in that though our conscience does the same thing to us when we sin, and though we deserve all that Judas got in the end, 

         THE LORD FORGIVES US AND SILENCES OUR CONSCIENCE—OUR CONSCIENCE IS APPEASED BECAUSE A SACRIFICE HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE.

         We don’t have to run out and find a tree and a rope, because the Lord had already appropriated a cross!

         The Lord Jesus allowed to have happen to Himself what Judas did to himself, and what we should each receive for ourselves. Our conscience convicts us as guilty, but through an act of legitimate repentance on our part, we display a contrite heart and express sorrow for our sin. We hate what we did and never want to do it again. And through this act of knowing we did wrong and being remorseful for it, and because God will not despise a broken and contrite heart, [1] our sin can be washed away by the miraculous cleansing power of the blood of the Lamb.

         Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. [Hebrews 7:25]

         The Lamb of God, through His incredible love and forgiveness, actually acts as a defense attorney on our behalf!

         What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. [Romans 8:31-34] [2]

         This is why so many persecuted Christians the world over always choose to die rather than surrender their beliefs. They know they are loved by God, and they love Him—with all of their heart. He proved His love by giving His life. They prove their love by doing the same.

         And it is not as if they are purposely trying to prove their love, as if they had an agenda to display to the world. No, it is simply because Jesus first showed His greatest love for them while they were yet sinners, and He pursued them, and gave His heart to them, and won their hearts, and they loved Him in return with the greatest love and gave their hearts to Him also, and could not possibly do otherwise.

         Real Christians would never recant in a million years. They would never turn away from their faith because they would never turn away from their Lord. His life is infinitely more important than their own and they always choose to lay down their own life for His.

         The greatest love is funny that way.  

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Psalm 51:17

[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.

Angry Little Preacher and the Ghost Lady: Christian Conference Redux

         There was once a big Christian conference in a major city several years ago. It was headlined by a big name Christian evangelist from another country. Many local preachers were invited, as were their church members.

         The city convention center was rented out—the place used mainly for NBA basketball games—and was nearly filled. The conference had been publicized for months.

         As one who attended my share of rock concerts in my long ago youth in such large venues, it was interesting to see all the different people from all over the city come in. As an usher, it was my job to assist in finding seating for the attendees, but also to direct people to the VIP section.

         The organizers of the event made sure that all the VIPs, in this case church pastors and official ministers, were ushered toward the front section, which was marked off and guarded. I was posted in the far back entrance on the main floor. Pastors came in with special credentials and I directed them to another usher far down the aisle, pointing them in the right direction. If I recall, the VIPs wore certain badges to identify themselves.

         There was kind of an upbeat atmosphere but muted. In the old days one walked into a concert in such large auditoriums and saw people having a great time and looking forward to the show. The inevitable frisbees were flyin’ around, caught by someone in the crowd and flung again, several staying aloft at once.

         But not at our conference. No frisbees. No beach balls, even. There was one thing, though. It was kind of weird, but then again for those who were used to it not so much. Again, I was at the head of one of the two or so main aisles in the back down which every minister had to walk to reach his seats in the front section below the stage. My friend and fellow usher was about halfway down the aisle before me.

         The next thing I know a young lady of maybe twenty years of age suddenly felt like dancing. In the aisle. Close to where my partner was. She was doing one of those worship dances with large graceful movements, her eyes turned skyward in kind of a blank look, as if she was hearing music no one else could.

         Okay. No problem. That’s why we’re here. Glad someone’s getting in the Spirit. It reminded me of something, though…

         I remember many years before in a church I was attending there was a lady who did these kind of spur of the moment worship dances. Except hers were really weird. And they usually occurred at odd times. This was in one of those kinds of churches where such behavior was okay, and maybe even encouraged. The idea was to let people be free to worship the Lord as they felt led. The associated challenge with this approach is that you would get the occasional weird “leading.”

         For example, we had a tastefully trimmed out walk-in baptistery at the far front behind the pulpit. It was located there so everyone could see the baptismal candidate emerge on the left from behind a wall and walk down the stairs of the filled tank into the water. The preacher would meet the candidate there, sometimes in waders, and do the baptizing. It was cool. Then the freshly immersed believer would rise majestically out of the water all smiles and happy. It was a celebration! People would applaud and praise God, and then the newly baptized would climb the stairs of the tank on the opposite end and exit.

         Well, our particular worship dancer would sometimes find her way to the baptistery entrance in the back, unseen by all, and then suddenly emerge from behind the same wall through a narrow outlet and out onto the platform! She was thin with long limbs and would always be holding her arms outward and upward, eyes almost closed for the most part, and glide around.

         During a service.

         Sometimes during the preaching.

         You hoped you didn’t bring a visitor on such nights.

         She was ghostly and pale and wore long loose-fitting light-toned dresses. It was quite the sight. Some people were muffling laughter. Elbows were poking others in the pews good-naturedly to let them know the ghost lady was doing her thing. Most congregants acted like nothing out of the ordinary was going on which made it even funnier. For the most part everything just kept going as usual—listening to the preacher, watching the ghost lady, trying hard to be respectful, and allowing her to worship the Lord in her own unique way. Good times…

         Well, back to our conference—our young lady was dancing in the main aisle completely oblivious to oncoming traffic. People going down the aisle would have to stand there and wait for a moment, looking for an opening to get past her. Finally my partner asked very nicely if it would be okay if she did not block the aisle and perhaps dance in her seat.

         The next thing I know some older gentlemen sitting in the back row close by came unglued and walked quickly down the aisle, his head and shoulders thrown back, aimed directly at my friend. He began to excoriate my fellow usher who was quite taken aback at the treatment. My partner tried to explain but to no avail. The gentleman came walking back to his seat red in the face and quite steamed. “That young lady wasn’t doing anything wrong and should be allowed to dance!” We looked at one another. Everybody saw the whole thing. He sat down madder than hell.

         I decided to go over to him both to stick up for my fellow usher and also attempt to diffuse the situation. I was very cool. I kind of half knelt down to make eye contact and tried to explain that she was blocking the aisle. Then he started yelling at me. “That little girl is a member of my church and I don’t appreciate this!”

         It was then I realized that this little man was a preacher. Somehow or another, his credentials were messed up and someone told him he was not allowed to sit in the clergy section down front. This all happened before I took my post. He was mad enough to fight because he felt slighted. I told him I would try to fix it. He said he no longer wanted to sit up there. His behavior was familiar to me at the time since I was the father of young kids.

         Again, I tried to reason with him and diffuse the situation. I stayed calm. Then he said something or another and I lost it. He remained sitting and we were face to face and I let him have it with both barrels, speaking as low as I could. His wife sitting next to him was the most embarrassed woman in the whole state, and was probably used to his antics. But the guy would not let up. I returned fire. I stood my ground and manned my post. Then he looked at me and yelled, “I’ve been preaching for thirty years and I don’t need you preaching to me!”

         If he had gotten up out of his seat I could not have guaranteed that I would not have knocked him into next week. That little banty rooster preacher was a serious piece of work and was obviously used to having his way.

         Maybe the preacher’s antics and our little discussion became a sideshow among the crowds in the upper sections. Maybe the whole thing played out like a ghost lady episode.

         As these things go I was later questioned that night about what happened. Nothing ever came of it. The mad little preacher stayed in back the whole evening glued to his seat and later tried to make amends and laugh it off, though he refused to admit any guilt. He even mentioned something about us almost getting in a fight. As it was, the corrective of the Lord was strongly applied as it probably had never been before and if the preacher had chosen for it to be applied further it would have been.

         Moral of the story? Not sure. But maybe if we didn’t have a first class section for bonafide clergyites and Pharisees, such people would not get their panties in a wad in the first place whenever they felt slighted. Their attitudes are the polar opposite of what the Lord Jesus taught. Imagine the people back in the angry little preacher’s church who revered this guy as a man of God!

         The idea of spiritual VIPs is about as far from the example of the Lord Jesus as possible. He was always being disrespected and treated bad and He accepted it. It was part of the territory. He never demanded His own way or threw fits when slighted. Unlike many modern day preachers who demand honor at all times, the Founder of real Christianity took on the persona of a servant. He would have never been invited to a conference like this anyway, much less have been offered any credentials, but if He got in I’m pretty sure He’d have to sit in the back. With a perfect attitude, though, and most likely invisible. 

         I later thought that maybe the little hothead preacher who had been a minister for thirty years was given a chance by God to show real Christianity by taking the mistake in stride and sitting in his back seat with a smile. And what if all the preachers given official credentials had tossed them aside and purposely sat in the back or somewhere unnoticed? Would not that have been a great testimony to the Lord Jesus, to have that entire front VIP section empty?

         But no. Too much pride. Too much sorry religious pride.

         And there’s your main malfunction, all you Rev. Pretenders: You refuse the Lord His place and take it for yourself. This is like trading a million nuclear power plants for a flashlight battery. It’s no wonder you never see a move of God!

         For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? [James 2:2-4]

         “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” [Luke 20:46-47]

         For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3:26-28]

            Clergy and Laity distinctions have no place in the Lord’s community. Period. We must all get with the Lord’s program. Proper humility is the order of the day. Repentance is called for. Religious pride must be destroyed. We must walk not in the strength of sinful flesh but in the power of the Lord’s Holy Spirit.

         If there is one central determining factor in explaining why much of Christianity in America is long since DOA it is because the Lord Jesus has been demoted or kicked out and replaced by impotent imposters.

         I’m not sure what the actual purpose of that conference was, except to see how many Christians from different churches we could gather under one roof in geographic unity. Nothing much happened. There was no great outpouring. The foreign evangelist, greatly used of God overseas, had little effect. But, you know, maybe it was a good networking opportunity.

         For those interested in the real deal, though, who want the Lord Jesus to be exalted to His rightful place of honor and authority, who long for an outpouring of God’s Spirit and even a national Great Awakening, there is a clue from the ministry of John the Immerser. The forerunner of the Great One quoted Isaiah the prophet while preaching to the many seeking repentance and right standing with God. Isaiah tells us exactly what must happen should we choose to be one big happy family:

         A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

         “Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley;

         “Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Isaiah 40:3-5] [1]

         Now there’s a Christian conference worth attending!

         © 2014 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.

Throwing Down the Hammer: Conviction of Sin (3)

         Animals do some strange things and may be perceived as evil, especially if one finds himself alone in the woods with a hungry bear. But a hungry bear on his own turf cannot be blamed for eating a dumb human (should have had a proper weapon instead of a can of mace).

         The great predator cats like lions and tigers may be seen as evil when they run down, kill, and eat slow, sick, and dumb antelopes. But they are actually doing a great service to the antelope herd by keeping it strong and alert.

         The humans who used to live in the wild among ferocious and deadly beasts were without doubt very strong and alert, since those who were not did not survive.

         The same thing happens with sin. The righteous people who flee sin and find sin abhorrent are morally strong and live on, but those who embrace sin do not and should not survive. And since sin is progressive, it spreads rapidly throughout a populace and always consumes the majority in time, since only a few are willing to do the work associated with living righteously against the tide of popular opinion.

         This is presently taking place worldwide, but especially in America, where the righteous were formerly in the majority. The morality of America has fallen rapidly and, barring a very strong corrective such as great judgment or a spiritual awakening, will never recover.

         The Lord Jesus said the very last days would be like the days of Noah just prior to the great flood, and this fact should give everyone serious pause. Back then, God had to wipe out all humanity except Noah and his family, for example, because humanity in toto had become a vile collection of filthy vermin completely beyond repentance or salvation. Their sin disease had become terminal. He did the same with Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, as vile and egregious as their sin was, He angrily charged certain cities of His own people with a greater sin:

         “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

         “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.

         “Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” [Matthew 11:21-24]

         In spiritual terms, this is what is known as throwing down the hammer. Not only were the majority of the inhabitants of these first-century Galilean cities vile, they were most likely extremely self-righteous and deceived by false religion, in that they refused to honor the very clear ministry of the Lord.

         Miracles had no effect upon them. Preaching the Word of God had no effect upon them. Imagine how enraged they must have become when the Lord said the people of Sodom were not as evil as they were!

         In general, the Lord also prophesied the disastrous fate of His own people, stating that the remaining remnant of the kingdom of David would be destroyed, as well as Jerusalem, and even the great Temple. Which begs the question:

         Why do we not think the same won’t happen to us? The sin of this present world far exceeds the sins of those in the past. Present humanity is more disgusting, more vile, more evil, more rebellious, more hateful, more immoral, more damaging to the planet, more in love with power and wealth, more materialistic, more shallow, more stupid, more self-righteous, more headstrong, and much more prideful. And in the good old USA upwards of 60 MILLION innocent defenseless babies have been legally murdered in extremely violent ways with the full compliance of the government through officials put in power by free elections. And abortions continue as you read this.

         Intelligent and well-informed people know exactly what humanity in general has done to this planet. They know humanity has become a vile disease-carrying parasite destroying the world. This is just fact. But why can’t many of these same people acknowledge the cure? They continue to propose correctives that either don’t work, can never work, or merely work in part but have the overall effect of destroying freedom and liberty.

         God does not want that. God loves humanity. He has a better plan. He proposes to cleanse us through and through and restore our liberty. He made us to be morally strong, free, and holy. Without Him the opposite happens, and is happening.

         We say we understand when mankind throws down the hammer, often by force, to fix something or another, but we have a real problem when God does it. Thus, the hammer must come down, is coming down, and will continue to come down. It is designed to help us all toward repentance. Judgment is a viable part of the cure.

         The majority will still squeal about the cure, though. Most will refuse to get right with God, will dishonor God, will pick a fight with God, will think God is an idiot, and hate God, which means many are not only vile but crazy. Once sin permeates and takes over the brain it transforms an otherwise healthy individual into a pompous little dictator, a mouse that roars, or an uproarious little nitwit. What ultra pride is this?

         “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands?’” [Isaiah 45:9]

         Whatever any individual may want to fix regarding the evil humanity is inflicting upon the world, it is a complete waste of time and effort without repentance and the application of the cleansing blood of God. There must be a circumcision of the heart. One cannot get good from evil or fresh water from a polluted pit. Unless a person is cleansed from and given power over sin and becomes a new creation, unless he or she submits to the Lord Jesus and follows Him and obeys Him, and unless he or she goes forth to help humanity with the real corrective, he or she remains subjected to the problem and is also part of the problem.

         But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” [Luke 20:17-18]

         Here we see the fate of sinful humanity—Repentance or Judgment. The spiritually proactive deal with their sin properly and allow the corrective to be applied and by this attain eternal life.

         For those who choose life, it is possible to lay our burdens down. There is relief. Someone really does care. And He proposes the exact and perfect solution. It’s amazing what good can happen if we just get out of the way, let God lead, recognize our place in the order of things, acknowledge the fact that we have a very serious problem and that God has the only corrective, have a respectful attitude toward the Lord and become a servant, and simply let God be God.

         “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

         “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

         “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30] [1]

         © 2014 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.

Heart of Darkness: The Sinner’s Self-Deception

         Unrepentant sinners never care to count the cost. They never care to look down the road. They never perceive the future consequences of their actions. They seem to live only for the moment and let tomorrow “take care of itself.”

         There are many Biblical passages which speak to the fallacy of living in such a way. The Lord Jesus taught very much on the subject. In fact, the subject is so widespread and all-inclusive, one should always be cognizant of what one’s current actions will turn into when his or her karma chickens come home to roost.

         Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption… [Galatians 6:7-8]   

         Every day we are planting seeds. Each decision we make and act on is a seed that will manifest in something. It therefore stands to reason that we should all concentrate on making good decisions, on doing good things, and on planting good “seeds” so we can later have good outcomes.

         …But the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. [Galatians 6:8-9]  

         There are consequences in every single action we make. Like the proverbial ripples in the pond, what one does today will spread into tomorrow and next week and will continue “paying dividends” far into the future.

         It is therefore mandatory that we know what is good and what is bad, so we can avoid planting bad seeds and concentrate on planting good seeds.

         If we are always doing good deeds, the fruit of the good deeds will constantly be coming forth. Something good will happen tomorrow or the next day and it will be because we planted good seed and performed good deeds.

         Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh. Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. [James 3:12-13]   

         However, those who do good must also be aware of the presence of evil in this world. Evil hates the good and goes to war against it. So one may do many good things and have the fruit of that good come forth, but also attract the attack of evil for doing good. Such evil is not the result of one doing good, but the result of being attacked by evil for doing good.

         Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. [1 Peter 2:12]   

         Unrepentant sinners are those who join forces with the dark side whether they know it or not. In fact, most of these do not know they are in league with the devil because they are deceived. And many are self-deceived. But in most cases it does not mean their conscience is dead. They deceive themselves into thinking their sin has no consequences and thus, not only continue to sin but develop a sinful lifestyle. Their personal culture and way of life has sin infused throughout it, and they actually believe their sin is good, and thus, not sin.

         This is willing deception of the highest order.

         Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

         Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

         Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

         Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble and dry grass collapses into the flame, so their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. [Isaiah 5:20-24]

         As an excellent example, this is why millions of American Christians believe ripping apart a living, breathing innocent baby is a good thing.

         What?

         It’s elementary.

         Logic teaches us, through the basic form of the argument structure, the following:

         Premise 1: Polls continually show that the vast majority of Americans refer to themselves as Christians.

         Premise 2: America is supposedly a Christian nation.

         Conclusion: Therefore, American Christians are pro-abortion, and have consistently supported abortion rights for over forty years, in that abortion, totally and completely illegal and immoral in the eyes of God, still exists as a legal and moral choice in this country.

         If the conclusion is false, then one or both premises must be false. If either premise is false, America is not a Christian nation, and the giant majority that claims Christianity is not composed of real Christians. Since the facts of abortion are true, and since real Christians oppose abortion, it must be the unreal Christians who support it. And it must also be the unreal Christians who have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

         Doctors have advised thousands and thousands of parents that their unborn babies have such severe defects they should abort the pregnancies. And millions of parents-to-be have been counseled that babies on the way, physically impaired or not, are terribly inconvenient. Consequently, such parents have aborted their babies thinking they were doing the right thing, though they had to bypass a God-given convicting conscience. Many have regretted such decisions ever since.

         But many parents have also refused such advice, trusted God, allowed their babies to be born, and such babies end up bringing great joy to their parents and the world, grow up and become good, productive adults, and are ever thankful that their parents allowed them to live.

         Abortion is an extreme example, maybe the most extreme. But such an example gives perfect perspective to the “evil is good” mentality spread throughout the country and this fallen world.

         Doing good is not necessarily easy. But deceiving oneself into sinning without repentance or recognizing the sin makes doing evil very easy. Such people have circumvented the one check on their bad behavior—they have removed their will/conscience from the equation.

         Picture the ultimate running-with-scissors scenario. Picture one knowing full well what their evil behavior will manifest in but keep doing it anyway, over and over again.

         And because of their disregard of goodness and light

         And not living according to what is morally right

         God makes it simple to sin to their hearts delight

         By giving them a reprobate mind of blind and blight.

         And they begin to believe in, practice, and teach the most idiotic things ever known to mankind. They become complete and total doofuses—total fools unto themselves, though with an arrogant air and the perception of intelligence.

         And they hang around with like-minded people—those who are also willingly deceived. And they fight for evil. They join forces with the devil and not only do they not care or see, they laugh at the thought. And they think God is an idiot. And they think God’s people are idiots. And they laugh at those who try to rescue them.

         They will not be laughing in hell.

         And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. [Romans 1:28-32] [1]

         In other words, such people know they are doing wrong but are compelled to continue sowing bad seed with no remorse or repentance until they can no longer feel remorse or desire repentance. What else can this be but willing self-deception and an enthusiastic eagerness for endless sin sprees? And why should there not be justice for such crimes? Others may call them victims or place the blame anywhere but where it belongs, but God calls them what they are—those who love sin.

         For most, justice will come after death. And they will not be able to defend their evil deeds.

         Therefore, the idea that sinners are completely unmindful of and completely deceived regarding their bad seed and resultant bad fruit does not hold water. They know. And they know they will pay. The problem is they simply don’t care. They possess a self-created apathetic heart of darkness.

         Nevertheless, though the result of their sin continues to erupt like a mad volcano spewing evil and misery all over the land, the Lord, in His great love and compassion, still tries to reach them…

         Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you. You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors, therefore a tumult will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed… [Hosea 10:12-14]

         © 2013 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.

You’re Going To Hell!

         Back in the primitive past when Christians were grossly intolerant and actually believed in and followed the Word of God, preachers really said this. They actually told people in no uncertain terms that unless they repented and got right with God they were going straight to hell.

         And people got saved.

         And they dedicated their lives to God.

         And they were ever-thankful for the great price the Lord paid on their behalf.

         And they loved the preacher for preaching the truth.

         Speaking of which, there was once a man, about fifty years ago, who was a self-described drug addict-satan worshipper-bad dude biker, and the kind of guy who could kill a man relatively quickly without a weapon. He happened to hear a preacher once. The preacher shouted, with absolutely no fear, “You’re Going to Hell!!!”

         The hell-bound man repented and gave his life to God. Later, he also became a preacher. And one night, several years later, I happened to be in a small church building where this man was preaching a revival. The little place was packed and the Spirit of God was powerful. The title of his sermon was… ready?

         Known in Hell.

         He quoted from the Book of Acts, or actually, he shouted from the Book of Acts: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” [Acts 19:15 NKJV]

         The big idea was that the devil knows those responsible for wrecking his kingdom. He knows those who attack his gates and steal back souls for the Lord.

         In the Acts story, the evil spirit knew who the Lord Jesus was, and it knew who the apostle Paul was, and was deathly afraid of both. Real Christians are Known in Hell.

         But what about the fake believers?

         Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. [Acts 19:16 NKJV]

         After hearing this nice little Christian message—Known in Hell—I decided that right then and there would be a very good time to surrender to God. The next thing I knew I was up at the front with about a million other people. The kingdom had to add an extra wing that night. And another hell-bound man got turned around and headed in the right direction.

         Now, even though we humans don’t like such talk, for obvious reasons, the default destination for every human is hell.

         And without real repentance, a born-again experience, and surrendering one’s life to the Lord Jesus, the following applies:

         You’re going straight to hell. You will not pass Go. You will not collect $200.

         Because you have repeatedly trashed the commandments of God, because you have rejected the incredible offer of necessary salvation and undeserved grace, because you have dishonored, disobeyed, disbelieved, and disavowed discipleship, you will be eternally disconnected from God and disappear. You get the hot place. You will spend your first big vacation on the other side of earth at Fire Lake.

         In you will go. And you will never return…

         There are certain things that most people refuse to acknowledge. Hell is often at the top of the list. We don’t want to believe there is a hell. We don’t want to believe in the possibility we may end up there. Some think, “How could a loving God ever send anyone to such a place?”

         Here’s how: Because human beings are sinners, to one degree or another. The very fact that God is a loving God is why those who appreciate His offer of grace should not have to spend eternity with sinful, rotten idiots whose greatest sins are questioning the existence and motives of the very God who made them, rebelling against Him at every turn, thinking they know better and are better than Him, and who are so ridiculously lost in their own self-worth and deception they would rather have their pride and sin than eternal life.

         Jude knew about such people in his time:

         Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

         Why would Jude tell them to contend earnestly for the faith? What happened?

         For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

         Oh.

         Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

         I think that’s what we call a precedent.

         And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

         And there’s another precedent. And it gives us all a very good indication of how God feels about a certain lifestyle.

         Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

         But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

         Cain was evil. He offered an unacceptable sacrifice to God. He killed the godly seed. Balaam was a prophet for hire (Send me money and God will bless you!). And Korah and his rebels took a very fast shortcut to hell. These were in part religious people… Is Jude pointing toward unreal Christians? 

         These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.

         Uh oh.

         It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

         Wow…

         But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. [Jude 1:3-19]

         Bingo.

         But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. [1 Timothy 1:8-11]

         So the most stupid people of all are those who reject the laws and commandments of God? And live according to their own sinful nature? And refuse to come clean? And trade the lusts of this very short life for the loss of their souls for all eternity?

         Can they be described further?

         “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:8]

         But what if a person is a liar by profession? What about those who support the murder of innocent babies? What about those who unreservedly and with full knowledge serve mammonas, the god of riches and avarice? Who sell their soul for wealth and power? Who cut out a little section of the planet for their own purposes through illicit means, not caring at all about who they rip off in order to pad their evil little nest?

         “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” [Matthew 23:33]

         And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? [1 Peter 4:18 KJV] [1]

         Um, could it be…

         © 2013 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.

BLOWOUT! (Part 3)

         The primary reason many people have a problem with the Word of God is the fact that God simply tells it the way it is. He defines that which is good. He defines that which is evil. He speaks of light and darkness, and very little about any gray areas.

         Indeed, there is that time in the morning and evening when night gives way to day and day gives way to night. But these times are relatively brief. Morning and evening are but beginnings and endings. Daytime is not night time. Light is not darkness. And good is not evil.

         Jesus does not compromise truth. He IS the Truth. He stands firm on a solid rock. He IS the Rock. And He expects His followers to do likewise.

         But standing firm for the truth will get one in trouble. Compromisers want no part of trouble. They want everyone to play nice. Well, evil is not nice. Evil is evil.

         Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

         Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

         Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble and dry grass collapses into the flame, so their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

         On this account the anger of the LORD has burned against His people, and He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them down. And the mountains quaked, and their corpses lay like refuse in the middle of the streets. For all this His anger is not spent, but His hand is still stretched out. [Isaiah 5:20-25]

         WOW…

         How many people heard THAT in church last Sunday?

         Things have gotten so fouled-up and twisted around that much of “Christianity” would never allow the words of Isaiah anywhere near their cute little gatherings where never a strong word is heard or such bold apparent pejoratives as “repentance” dare be muttered.

         Repent from what, anyway?

         Haven’t you heard? We’re all going to heaven. Every last one of us. It doesn’t matter what we do, what we say, what we believe, or what we think. The old idea that all roads lead to Rome remains ever strong but with a different terminology.

         The reality is, except for one road, the road the Lord talked about, all roads lead to hell.

         This is simply Biblical fact, which takes us back to why so many people hate real Christians and real Christianity.

         Remember when you were young and you were allowed to do anything you desired? Remember how your parents or guardians explained to you that good and evil were mere concepts and there really is no difference between right and wrong or that there is any such thing? Remember how you were taught that variety makes the world go ’round and that everyone is different, has different lifestyles, and that sin is a primitive idea created by Neanderthals too dull and stupid to understand alternative lifestyles and choices?

         Many people think the Lord Jesus is some cool dude pretty much okay with anything and everything. Does their ignorance make Him so?

         The reality is that He loves us all regardless of our sin and evil and pleads with us to repent and get right. He knows the destiny of the unregenerate and repeatedly warns of the results of our wrong choices and embrace of evil. He tries desperately to break us free from deception and our self-imposed entrancements, but most people laugh and walk away.

         Even among Christians, those who take strong stands are most often shot down and treated with contempt. And no one was treated worse for this than God Himself. By His own people.

         All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. [John 1:3-5]

         Boy Howdy. Did John get that right or what?

         We live on a polarized planet. Literally. It contains opposing forces. However, God has structured things in such a way that there exists perfect harmony and balance among such forces. Yet, there are still such things as hurricanes and naturally-occurring vast forest fires and massive earthquakes and spewing volcanoes and floods and tornadoes and deafening thunder and blinding lightning and a few other events to help maintain the proper planetary balance.

         And God looked at all of it and said it was good.

         So if you ever wonder about your place in standing up for the Lord, His Word, and Truth, remember that to not act would be a tragedy.

         Do not back down. Let the sparks fly. Put your whole heart into the work of God. We’re in the early stages of a spiritual blowout. But we all must do our part, regardless of the price to pay. And the price of the greatest love is the greatest life.

         Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.

         “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.”

         Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. [Romans 12:16-21] [1]

         © 2013 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.

What is a Real Christian?

         Once again we have another controversy in the news about what it means to be a Christian. Who is a real Christian? What does a real Christian believe? What does a real Christian do? Are you a real Christian?

         Franklin Graham, Al Sharpton, and a few left-leaning television talking heads seem to have different ideas about the subject. What do I think?

         I think who cares what they think? It doesn’t matter what they think. It doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what the Bible says. What matters is how closely one lines himself or herself up with the teachings of Jesus. The only thing that really matters is what He thinks.

         Now, of course, since we have roughly a billion different Christian denominations, sects, offshoots, strange individuals who believe things no one else does, and the vast majority who think they are Christians no matter what it is they believe, there must be a final appeal to authority. There must be someone who straightens out the whole mess and sets us all straight.

         That Someone is the Man who created Christianity.

         He didn’t call it that. He had no church boards or elder boards or denominational leaders trying to outdo each other in a funny hat contest. The apostles wore no backwards collars. They didn’t affect some high-minded holier-than-all-you-unwashed-bozos arrogant religious attitude. The Lord was not judgmental, condemning, or prejudiced during His sojourn on earth 2000 years ago. He went out of His way to help people. Simple people. Ordinary people. Everyday people. He never acted toward religious bigwigs with one attitude and toward the lower classes with another attitude. What you saw was what you got. If you didn’t like it, it was your problem. And if you have a problem with Jesus, YOU HAVE A VERY BIG PROBLEM.

         So what was the big controversy regarding Franklin Graham’s recent interview? The big thing, the main thing, was that the hosts could hardly believe Mr. Graham was questioning the president’s Christianity. “You don’t believe our president is a Christian?” they seemed to all think in unison.

         But Franklin Graham was not swayed. It’s difficult for Christians to be nice to everyone and also tell the truth. Well, here’s a news flash: The Lord did not instruct His people to be nice to everyone. He taught them to go forth and tell the truth. He commanded them to go out and tell everyone the Good News. If someone does not like the Good News, tell it anyway. If someone makes fun of you for telling the Good News, tell it anyway. If someone wants to destroy your life, your reputation, or kill you, tell the Good News anyway.

         Why else did all the original apostles except John die a violent martyr’s death? Why was the Lord Himself killed by a bunch of sorry religious idiots? Because He was nice guy?

         The truth is not easy. It never has been.

         Do I think the president is a real Christian? My opinion does not matter. Only God knows our hearts. Only God will ultimately judge us. But I can say that the Bible teaches that murder is a sin. And I can say that anyone who advocates for abortion is advocating for murdering tiny defenseless babies. And I can say anyone who argues that abortion is an option in the realm of “women’s health” is dead wrong from a Biblical point of view.

         Unrepentant baby killers will not inherit the kingdom of God. There is absolutely no Scriptural backing anywhere in the teachings of Jesus that says murder is okay. In the Old Testament, murder was a stoning offense. For decades, the argument was repeatedly made that a “fetus” is not a life. It is a mere gob of tissue. We know now for a fact with no doubt whatsoever that the so-called “fetus” is definitely a life, and that life begins at conception. This has been scientifically proven. Ultrasound videos prove the little dudes and dudettes are alive and growing.

         Leave that baby alone and that baby will come to full term and be born in almost every case.

         The other big question posed to Franklin Graham was, “Are Mormon’s Christians?”

         How do I answer that? Well, again, since we have roughly a billion different Christian denominations, sects, offshoots, strange individuals who believe things no one else does, and the vast majority who think they are Christians no matter what it is they believe, one might ask the Lord if Mormons are real Christians. In lieu of that, one may simply study the teachings of the Lord Jesus.

         Shallow-minded believers must do some actual work for a change. Research the New Testament. May we all quit leaning on our stupid religious opinions and do what the Word of God says.

         Celebrities, media people, and others in the spot light have gained an inordinate amount of influence regarding their personal beliefs. But who cares what anyone believes if it violates Scripture? The only thing that matters is obeying the Lord. The only thing that matters is submitting oneself to Him as a real disciple, otherwise known as a real Christian.

         Real Christians practice Real Christianity to the best of their ability. There is a learning curve. Real Christians are not perfect. No one is except the Lord Himself. He is the only human being who has ever traversed His way through this earth without ever committing a single sin.

         Whoever does not believe that is going to hell, simply because they do not believe in the only Way of salvation.

         But what about all those people who are good people (etc etc etc etc etc) that never practiced Biblical Christianity? Uh, what about ‘em? Should we try to convince the Lord to let unrepentant sinners into heaven? Will one demand that God quit being such a jerk and let blatant sinners screw up heaven the same way they screwed up the earth?

         Right. Yeah, let’s do that. Sure.

         Rather than go around asking dumb questions with an attitude that all Christians are real Christians, wouldn’t it be better to become a real Christian and remove all doubt?

         But what IS a real Christian?

         “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

         “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

         “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

         “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

         “This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

         “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’” [John 15:1-25] [1]

         © 2012 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.

Door of Death

         The way to life is through the door of death. A seed must be planted in the soil of death in order to bring forth new life. Unless one is born again (after dying) one will never enter the Kingdom of God.

         What is this death?

         The first mention of it in the Bible is the following:

         Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” [Genesis 6:5-7]   

         The King James Version puts it this way:

         And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. [Genesis 6:6-7]

         The door of death is repentance.

         Personal repentance is therefore the part each individual plays regarding the one person he or she has full control over. When a person is convicted of personal sin through the light of the Gospel message, it is his or her opportunity to do just as God did in the above passage.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” [John 12:24]

         Prior to one’s born again experience, a person is spiritually worthless. He or she is a sinful entity deserving of death, or absolute death, as the wicked people of Noah’s time were deserving of extermination.

         Imagine how gut-wrenching it must have been for God to wish He had never created human beings! He was sorry for it! He regretted it! If He had to do it all over again, He never would have created Adam and Eve. That is exactly what this passage reveals. It also reveals the absolute depravity of unrepentant humanity.

         People are inherently sinful and wicked, and God hates this sin and wickedness. He was not only sorry for creating human beings, He owned up to it and did something about it. Except for one man whom God considered righteous and the seven members of his family, God destroyed the entirety of humanity.

         And all those throughout history who have never properly repented will also be destroyed eventually.

         But by His grace He has granted each of us one chance to escape proper, otherwise inescapable judgment. The default position is hell. Every human being who has ever lived will go straight to hell. You will not pass Go. You will not collect $200.

         Unless you repent.  

         Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” [Luke 13:1-5]

         It is therefore incumbent upon each of us to repent, to die to ourselves, to crucify our flesh, and to “lose” our life:

         And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” [Luke 9:23-25]

         This is a very misunderstood passage of Scripture. Many nominal Christians are either not aware of it or never apply it properly. It is another one of those “all or nothing” teachings of the Lord that demands real discipleship and true repentance.

         The words “lose” and “loses” in the passage are from the Greek word apollumi, which means “to destroy.” It is the same Greek word found in the following verse, though translated directly:

         “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy (apollumi) both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:28]

         This total soul and body destruction is what transpires when a human being suffers the final judgment in the lake of fire. It is the exact same destruction that must take place at repentance.

         Now, this is obviously a very strong teaching that most Christians refuse to accept. The easy-believe crowd rejects it. Fake preachers never preach it. Soft denominational Christianity has discarded it long ago.

         This is why most of those who call themselves “Christian” have never had a true born again experience:

        “You MUST be born again.” [John 3:7]

         There is no new birth if there is no real repentance, no destruction of one’s former life, no wholesale turning away from the life of sin and self, or no total subjection to the Lord Jesus.

         “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose (destroy) it, and he who has lost (destroyed) his life for My sake will find it.” [Matthew 10:37-39][1]

         One will never discover one’s real life without destroying one’s sinful life.

         The way of life is through the door of death.

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1]


[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.

Spiritual Surveillance (Part 2)

Perry Mason (TV series)
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         Where is Perry Mason when you need him?

         Well, the real Perry Mason who always wins His cases through justice and honor, who defends the innocent and proves their innocence, and who reveals as well the guilty parties, serves not in our courtrooms but in His own. He is not watching everything we do by using spy satellites and a million other means, but He did create a way to keep a perfect record — an eternal dossier on everything we will ever do in this life. He will use it to discover one’s innocence or guilt at the final judgment. Of course, if one does not believe in such stuff and reject it all outright, his guilt will condemn him with no cure, since he will have rejected the only advocate to plead his case.

         Imagine that. You have been brought up on serious sin charges and Perry Mason himself is willing to take your case to help you out. Anyone with a measurable IQ would jump at such a chance because Perry never loses. Yet Mr. Brainiac rejects Mr. Mason and consequently goes to hell. Nice. Real good.

         Here we have the Lord God Himself taking it on the chin for us and most reject Him? It is either because they are flat stupid or God’s people have done a sorry job of representing Him (or some combination thereof).

         Nevertheless, everyone is guilty. Everyone requires the sacrifice the Lord made. Even those who have never heard the Gospel and have no clue who the Lord Jesus is know what sin is. A three year-old sins in secret, or thinks he does, and then lies when getting caught. The human conscience does a terrific job of sin conviction until said conscience is repeatedly overruled. But even eighty year-old career criminals on their death bed know their life of crime is wrong. They do not deny that. They simply love sin. They would hate heaven. They will not be so fond of hell either, but will fit better there.

         God’s surveillance is therefore a very good thing. He will play back our lives at the judgment and, barring our personal repentance before we died, will explain why sinful behavior stems from a sinful heart unworthy of His kingdom. He will have the goods on us. It is only fair. His court will only render perfect judgments.

         But what about the few who actually make it to heaven? If they have sinned as well as the unrepentant bad guys, why should they be allowed to have eternal life? It is as simple as this:

         Their King died in their place.

         They submitted to His Lordship. They chose to do their best to do right instead of wrong, but when they failed, they desired and allowed the blood of their Savior to cleanse them. They know they are not and will never be worthy of the presence of God in and of themselves or by their own efforts. All of this will show up on their surveillance video. Their personal movie will reveal their heart as well, but will find a contrite heart changed by God’s grace through their own repentance and love for the Lord.

         So the next time you think about being surveilled almost everywhere you go by little or large video cameras and electronic eavesdropping, consider the eternal surveillance tape being recorded on your behalf. It will assist in giving you a perfectly fair verdict when standing before the King.

         Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:11-15] [1]  

         The first and most important goal in this short and temporary life is to make sure one’s name is written in that book. Nothing else will otherwise matter. Also, if we allow the Lord Jesus to be the Author and Perfecter of our faith, it will bring Him unimaginable joy. Why?

         Because every story He writes has a happy ending.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 2]


[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.

Here Comes the Ark (Part 4)

         Proper sacrifice was the answer. Repentance is the first part of the equation. The circumcision of the heart is at the heart of the New Testament. The preaching of the cross is core, foundational, at the nucleus thereof, and points directly to what salvation entails. Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. [Hebrews 9:22]

         One does not often hear about the cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus so much anymore. It is not so seeker-friendly. People are put off by it, pretty much the same way most people would rather never be reminded of over fifty million unborn American babies ripped from the womb and literally thrown in the trash.

         The crucifixion of the Lord is not pretty, but His perfect sacrifice remains the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done or will ever do. It was the greatest and best offering ever made. His death brings our life, if we so choose. In Part 3, David discovered the secret of repentance. He discovered the proper protocol. He understood that sacrifice must precede the presence of God. No one is saved without real repentance. It is impossible.

         There is no new birth without a surrendering of the life that resulted from the first birth.

         You must be born again [John 3:7]. All great movements of God over the last twenty centuries have been preceded by heart-changing individual repentance, including the Great Awakenings in America.

         In the initial event of the Church Age, the 120 real believers who gathered together at Pentecost were exactly on time and properly prepared. It had been ten days since the Lord Jesus had ascended to heaven. Ten is the Biblical number of ordinal perfection or testing. It is readily apparent that not everyone gathered at the beginning remained until the big day. For those who did, they had fully repented and prepared themselves. Such individuals had bowed the knee to the Lord and confessed His glorious Name, and this resulted in the beginning of an incredible worldwide movement that continues to the present.

         According to the Hebrew calendar, today is Erev Shavuot. Wednesday morning, June 8, is the morning of Pentecost, the official anniversary of that bright dawn when the community of the Lord Jesus burst forth on the scene in unity and power 2000 years ago. The apostle Peter then preached a message containing the very truth the 120 had obeyed and what would be required for the movement to continue. He spoke of the death and resurrection of the Messiah. Under great conviction, voices from the crowd asked, “Brethren, what shall we do?” The first thing Peter said was, “Repent.”

         There has always been much theological discussion about when the blood of the Lord Jesus is applied, but there should not be. The cleansing blood of the Lord is applied at real repentance. When David sacrificed the ox and fatling at the rebirth of the procession, he understood this. A Christianity without repentance is a faux Christianity. A Christianity without the preaching and teaching of the shed blood of our Savior is worthless and dead, regardless of any other factor. It is impossible to properly recognize, worship, and glorify God without mentioning His cleansing blood on our behalf. Those Christian bodies and groups who understand this and act accordingly are blessed with His presence, just as the city of Jerusalem was 3000 years ago. Those who don’t, aren’t.

         Then it happened as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. [2 Samuel 6:16]

         Uh oh.

         As always, the previous generation resists a new move of God. Saul had grown to hate and despise David, and had acquired bad spirits as a result of his hatred and resistance. Every time the Lord does something “new” it is resisted by the previous generation of His own people. Why would Michal suddenly turn against David? She was one of his wives, and had previously promoted him. There are several possible reasons:

(1) She did not think it proper for a king to behave in such an undignified manner.

(2) She thought he was unduly grabbing the spotlight.

(3) She still resented him for his rise to power at the expense of her father.

(4) She thought dancing was only for dancehalls and weird churches.

         The predominant reason, of course, is that she despised God because she had an irreverent unrepentant heart. She opposed a life-giving move of God and was greatly offended at the actions of her husband, who seemed to violate all the laws of man’s protocol, both civil and religious. She preferred a controlled religion of decorum, dogma, and duty. The tares fight against the wheat. The goats fight against the sheep. The unreal fight against the real. Religious people killed the Lord. They killed Stephen. Millions of real believers have been killed since. Why?

         It is simple: Those who refuse to die to themselves and bring a proper sacrifice end up killing their brother instead.

         So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” [Genesis 4:3-9] [1]

         When the Ark was coming into Jerusalem, however, the circumstances were such that Michal was greatly outvoted. In fact, she knew this and therefore despised David somewhat secretly in her heart, at least for the moment, though she may have been staring darts. The city as a whole was celebrating. Jerusalem had properly prepared itself. David corrected his mistakes. He discovered God’s proper protocol. He no longer resisted the move of God or tried to control it. Instead, he jumped into it joyfully with both feet—literally! So must it be for us also, if we really want the actual loving and powerful presence of God in our lives, both individually and in collective unity on this eve of Pentecost. [Part 4 of 4]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Here Comes the Ark (Part 3)

David Dances as the Ark Enters Jerusalem

         In Part 2 we learned that Jerusalem was not prepared for the manifest presence of God, any more than many Christian congregations and groups in America are ready. David’s original plan was well-intentioned but not even close to the Lord’s protocol. It seems that in our many and varied attempts to do something for God, we fail to inquire of God, either whether we should do a particular thing, or regarding the method we employ in doing it.

         It was fortunate for David and the nation of Israel that Uzzah was the only one killed. It was also fortunate that a Philistine convert named Obed-edom had a proper heart for the Lord. As a result, the Ark of the Covenant stayed at his house for a full three months while the heart of Jerusalem was prepared. The day came at last to continue the glorious procession.

         David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness. And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. [2 Samuel 6:12-13]     

         They had only gone a mere six paces before a fitting sacrifice was made. It was obvious someone had done their homework. Uzzah lost his life on account of his irreverence toward God. The episode reflected on David, though he had orchestrated a parade of worship and praise from the beginning. What he had not done at the beginning was make any kind of sacrifice to God.

         Our churches are often filled with wonderful praise music and worshipful hearts every Sunday morning. But what about sacrifice? Sacrifice is representative of repentance. Though all looks fairly good on the surface, our congregations are often filled with uncircumcised hearts and unrepentant attitudes. The presence of sin, disobedience, and a lack of reverence for the Lord Jesus often causes a muted meeting comprised of going through religious motions and largely leaving the way we came.

         David got the big idea. Six paces is not a very long stretch. Six is the Biblical number of man. It was at that point that an ox and a fatling were sacrificed. One wonders if it was one of the oxen originally pulling the cart upon which the Ark rested. The point, however, that the Biblical account portends, is that there will be no actual presence of God without repentance. We may receive an emotional lift or some other such thing in our meetings that may feel right, but without proper repentance it is a mere counterfeit traded for the real presence of God.

         Once the sacrifice was made, the procession resumed.

         And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet. [2 Samuel 6:14-15] [1]

         The Ark of the Covenant had never been to Jerusalem. It was a triumphant entry. David had prepared not only a proper dwelling place for the Ark according to the Mosaic law, a tent, but also prepared his own heart and the heart of the people. Though David was the king, he was not parading through the streets of the city as some ego-driven potentate, along the lines of most political and Christian leaders, but as a man demonstrating his correct heart condition and position. He knew his place. He was no better than anyone else.

         It was the Lord God who was King! And the Lord would be honored and reverenced properly and completely. David’s act of dancing with all his might with no pompous clothing or attitude was in perfect keeping with what we must give the Lord. God is worthy of our praise, but our praise is worthless without our entire heart and without full repentance. Imagine the incredible and far-reaching moves of God we can have in the present only by learning and practicing these simple truths. The good news is we are on the way, but there still remains opposition. For we have met the enemy, and it is us. [Part 3 of 4]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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