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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.

NO ONE KNOWS WHAT GOES ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

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        There are a great many tacit taboos in traditional Christianity. One of them concerns knowing what happens behind the outer stage presentation and the unknown agenda of the few in charge.

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         “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.” [Luke 8:17-18] [1]   

         I heard a sermon many years ago relaying a story that took place many years before then. The elder preacher, very well respected with an excellent reputation, was well aware of the incident, having lived at that time.

BANG THE DRUM QUICKLY

        It seems one of those small-church revivals had started up. They were going every night and much spiritual excitement was in the air. Those kinds of things would traditionally carry on for about two weeks, maybe three, and served as a method to get stuck-in-a-ditch church people back on track with God.

         The preacher said someone there had a big bass drum. When things got to swinging every night that feller would bang on that drum incessantly. This somehow greatly helped inspire the people to get all excited and keep things happening. They were doing all the many things church people did in those kinds of revivals, which were different things from those in regular services. And the big drum would keep banging away in the background.

         As I listened to the older man’s sermon I wondered where he was heading with the story. This was a veteran preacher who knew very well what he was doing and I was a young man quite intrigued with a story from way back, picturing a small church congregation intent on following the pastor’s lead and honoring the apparent fact that the man of God heard from God and the revival was heaven-sent.

         He said night after night the revival kept going, the people kept coming, the Spirit kept blessing, and the big bass drum kept booming. Then one night the drum broke…

         I learned a giant lesson. The preacher was not bashing the church or Christianity or any such thing. He was only giving people a small peak into what actually goes on behind the scenes. At that time I was still thoroughly wet behind the ears in that I trusted all leadership and never suspected anyone of doing anything untoward. I was so blessed to have had the incredible born again experience I had and everything in life was brand new and fresh. There was no way I would question anything about the process the Lord used to bless me so abundantly.

         But that sermon brought me back to earth in a sense. It let me know there was more going on that I didn’t know about. It let me know all was not what it seemed… [To Be Continued]

         © 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.

 

REAL REVIVAL, REAL WORSHIP, AND REAL DECEPTION

         I could hardly believe what I was seeing. The revival director was bent over on the floor of the stage on his hands and knees kissing another man’s feet—a clergyman. And he stayed there and kept at it. As far down to the floor as one can get. Kissing his feet.

         And I thought, he probably means well. He probably thinks he’s doing the right thing, a good thing.

         But here’s the problem, and it’s a BIG one:

         For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” [Romans 14:11]

         In this passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans, the apostle quotes from the writings of the prophet Isaiah, whom the Lord is speaking through:

         “Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save.

         “Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

         “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.

         “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” [Isaiah 45:20-23]

         In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he quotes from this passage yet again, this time identifying the God who spoke by the mouth of Isaiah over 700 years before. Paul also reveals the actual Name of God in its fullest revelation—the Name which is above every name:

         Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

         For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Philippians 2:5-11]

         Though our current English translations claim that Paul said Jesus Christ is “Lord,” in the original letter he used the word Adonai, which is what the Hebrew teachers used as a substitute word for YHWH. Therefore, when Paul said the Lord Jesus is Adonai, he was saying the Lord Jesus is YHWH.

         This is key, because the same identifying dynamic occurs in the Isaiah passage, in which the word “LORD” is translated from the Hebrew Adonai, which was a written substitute for the name YHWH.

         The Name of Jesus is the English rendering of the Hebrew Yehoshua, which means “YHWH-Salvation.” And what this clearly signifies is that the YHWH Isaiah refers to is the same Person that Paul is referring to when it comes to every knee bowing down.

         Also, it must be noted that the apostles refused worship toward themselves, claiming correctly to be mere men, though mere men with the power of the Lord. This point is proven well when Peter met Cornelius for the first time. Cornelius had great respect for Peter and when he first met him he bowed down to the floor and began to worship him:

         When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” [Acts 10:25-26]

         The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, always accepted such worship. Actual worship in its original meaning involved the act of bowing down, bending the knees, and actually becoming prostrate before the object of one’s worship. It is why Cornelius acted the way he did. It was often used to show extreme respect for other human beings in positions of authority. Indeed, if people did not show the proper worship and great respect they could lose their lives. Such was the power of kings and especially the Roman emperors.

         But, of course, Peter absolutely refused any such worship. No one would ever be bowing down to him, bending his knees before him, laying prostrate before him, or kissing his feet. To do this to another human being is an abomination before the Lord.

         Again, as Peter very clearly stated, and one can know he stated it with much emphasis:

         “Stand up; I too am just a man.”

         Now hear this, other than toward the Lord Jesus:

         Real Christians are NEVER to worship another human being.

         Real Christians are NEVER to bow down to another human being.

         Real Christians are NEVER to bow their knees to anything or anyone other than the Lord Jesus.

         Real Christians are NEVER to kiss anyone’s ring.

         AND REAL CHRISTIANS ARE NEVER TO KISS ANYONE’S FEET.

         All of these are very clear forms of worship and to worship another human being is an abomination. All human beings are sinful and require the shed blood of their perfect sinless Savior, so even one who is cleansed from sin has no right whatsoever to accept worship, based on their former condition. Any human being who actually accepts such worship, as opposed to the apostle Peter who absolutely refused, is placing himself in the place of God. This has not, however, stopped certain clergymen from actually insisting they are substitutes for God and demand that they must stand in His place.

         NO ONE STANDS IN THE PLACE OF THE LORD JESUS.

         That is why it was so disconcerting and shocking to see a fairly well-known “minister” laying prostrate at the feet of another man, a religious leader, worshiping him and kissing his feet, while the other man made no attempt to stop him, but stood there and accepted it as if he was worthy.

         This alone proves it was a compromised, deceptive “revival” though there were many other proofs.

            This event happened very recently. As is my policy, I don’t name names. But it happened. Search for it. Look it up. Of course, in one particular Christian denomination there is a head guy who has always accepted such worship. And this has always been an abomination before the Lord. Yet, this has not stopped some very well-known and powerful American ministers from recently meeting with Him and honoring Him anyway. Whether or not they are personally deceived, they are certainly engaging in deception. Why do they honor a mere man whose office has historically mandated that the one sitting on the throne is a substitute for the Lord Jesus in the earth?

         THE LORD JESUS IS THE ONLY KING.

         THE LORD JESUS IS THE ONLY ONE WORTHY OF WORSHIP.

         WHOEVER ELSE ACCEPTS WORSHIP IS OF THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST.

         The real revival—the real Great Awakening—will come forth in great power the more the Lord Jesus, and only the Lord Jesus, is worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. It will come forth with no clergy icons and fake ministers clogging up the process and accepting great undue respect and honor. It will come when there are no stages and platform thrones when only a few high brows are at the top hogging all the attention while the great masses are gathered below worshipping them. It will come when we do exactly as did the 120 did in the Upper Room.

         This is exactly how the first Great Awakening happened in the first century. There were no “churches” then and such buildings would not even officially exist for three hundred years. There was no high clergy class taking authority over a low laity class filled with the nameless and powerless then. Even those with the great power of the Lord who were filled with his Holy Spirit knew they were mere men and women and refused any form of worship or undue respect whatsoever.

         But boy, have things changed. If you want to know the one reason we DON’T have great revival, that’s it—the worship of people who have taken the place of God.

         During the REAL Azusa Street Revival of 1906, William Seymour, the primary director in a sense, spent much of his time in services on his face before the Lord Jesus or with his head in a shoe box! That’s how they all acted at that time in that place in the beginning. The love and presence of the Lord was so extremely powerful that everyone there knew who the Boss was. No one dared accept any glory for themselves. There was absolutely no pride, especially religious pride.  It was an extremely humble setting. There was NO platform or stage. There was NO pulpit. They were all as self-effacing and humble as could possibly be. They surrendered EVERYTHING to the Lord Jesus.

         The revival ended when they took it all back.

THE REAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION

         The real anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection took place the morning of April 25. On the Hebrew calendar, which is an actual lunar-solar calendar lined up with celestial events, it is Nisan 17. Most Christians missed it completely and even refused to acknowledge it.

         Nevertheless, pay close notice to what the Lord’s disciples did when they saw the Lord Jesus after He rose from the dead. It you want real revival it makes all the difference in the world:

         Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

         The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

         And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.” [Matthew 28:1-10] [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 Great Pretenders

         At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.

         And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.

         But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. [Acts 5:12-18]

         And this is how it always happens. The clergyites in control will always fight against the Spirit of God until they get off their high horses and get on their faces before Him.

         Why have we not seen revival? Why are most church services so dead they might as well be funerals? Most churches are so cold you could ice skate down the main aisle.

         The Sudducees in the above verses had their own version of “The First Church of the Refrigerator” and were so incensed on losing control to the Spirit of God they threw His guys in jail. Modern religionists in America don’t do this anymore. They just treat believers with supreme indifference, keep them out of their “private clubs,” and never allow them to come close to expressing their hearts and revealing truth. These are religious control freaks one and all, and the majority of churches in America remain under the control of such fleshly fruitcakes who fight revival and the manifestation of God’s Spirit.

         And that’s the main reason we as believers find ourselves in such a predicament. There always has to be certain people who are so in love with themselves and their power they will always stifle any possible move of God.

         When there are no Book of Acts manifestations you can be sure humanity is in control.

         I mentioned in a previous post that if a poll was conducted among church leaders to sign a pledge allowing the Lord Jesus to have absolute total control in their churches that very, very few would ever sign it.

         And the reason why is simple—they would lose control. Life would become a challenge. They would likely lose their perks, and most of all, they would lose their high horse reputations. God would fix it so no one would henceforth want to kiss their “hand” and bow down to them anymore. As it is, most believers worship their preachers and reverends and priests and church buildings and non-Biblical doctrines and all the other stuff the Pharisees and Sadducees were guilty of, instead of worshipping the Lord Jesus in Spirit and truth.

         Prayer is the answer—long, hard times of prayer—intense prayer, intercessory prayer, and prayer of no pretense that rightfully moves the heart of God.

         Repentance is the answer—solid, heart-rending, sobbing, snot-dripping repentance that proves one is seeing straight, knows one is nothing without God, and desires to do anything to have all of God and His direction.

         The Lord, however, is truly a Gentleman and will never force His way upon us. That’s why He waits for us to get down to spiritual business. There are so many saints of God with pure hearts who remain under the control of some fleshly, proud, I’m-better-than-you-and-deserve-my-place-in-the-spotlight pinhead who will fight the Lord all day long in the guise of serving Him. Until someone challenges these people they will always remain in control.

         This is what the Lord said about these future Christian pretenders:

         “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]

         “Woe to you lawyers![1] For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.” [Luke 11:52]

         In other words, if your fearless leader refuses the full Spirit-filled kingdom of heaven and key of knowledge attained by the apostles and first century believers, then so too will you, who have bowed the knee not to God but to a fellow human being in the form of God. The apostles were very humble men and suffered greatly for their faith. But they were also great stalwarts in that they learned to live in hardship and carry the banner of the Lord courageously despite their loss of social standing, monetary gain, and religious position.

         Unlike the highly vaunted religious leaders they suffered the loss of all things but WALKED WITH GOD AND POSSESSED THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. They shook the devil’s kingdom to the core instead of joining it like so many unreal Christians and Christian leaders do so today.

         Instead of living as the apostles did, however, we treat them like disconnected museum pieces to admire from afar but never think or desire to have what they had.

         There are actually millions of such real Christians on the planet today who have learned to live for God and will always live for God regardless of powerful persecution and indifference toward them. They will fight any God-directed battle for the spiritual freedom of humanity regardless of dire circumstances, and reject anything that compromises their walk.

         You will know the Lord Jesus is in charge when you see everyone in the vicinity taking a backseat and hitting the deck, especially the high and holy ones who previously thought it would all fall apart if they did not keep their grip on control. Anything not of God will be burned up, of course, and good riddance. But real leaders understand fully that they are nothing and that the Lord Jesus is everything, and every part of the spotlight belongs to Him and Him only.

         Let the Spirit of the Lord be in charge!

         Let Him do what He wants!

         Get the heck out of the way!

         Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,

Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God;

And not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;

Nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

         And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

         You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

         Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

         To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. [1 Peter 5:1-11] [2]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


[1] Greek—Nomikos: Relating to law, learned in the law, experts in the Mosaic Law. Torah teachers. Those consumed with the letter of the Law but completely missing and neglecting the Spirit of the Law.

[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.

Raising the Dead (UnTase Me, Bro!)

         Historically, how have Christian believers broken out of their spiritual lethargy? What methods has God used to shake His people from their slumber? What does He normally do to raise the dead and inject new life?

         We have a concept known as “revival” that church people often refer to. Such revivals take many forms, from a week or two effort in a local church with a visiting evangelist to an all out spiritual awakening. Most such revivals do not amount to much, just as most church services in general do not amount to much.

         American Christianity has become so watered-down any uptick at all is considered a big change of pace and bordering on going too far. The goal has become comfort and community standing in most circles. Churches and ministries insist on continuing in their sell-out 501C3 IRS and state charter status. They insist on maintaining a fake standing of respectability among sinners that has absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus. Ministries of all kinds continue to insist that no physical building or meeting place means no viable or effective ministry.

         How did all this happen? And why does it continue to happen? How in the world did the life-changing and society-transforming Gospel of our Lord Jesus become entrenched in so many traditional and standardized mores and forms that actually do next to nothing in bringing real light to hungry sinners? Why do so many believers and ministers defend their incorrect applications and fight against the Lord Jesus Himself whenever He attempts a corrective?

         During the great awakenings of the past, many hundreds of thousands broke out of their spiritual lethargy and routine traditions and turned back to God. The original Great Awakening that broke out in late 1734 was the first example in America of how a blessed people could become arrogant and stuck fast in fleshly sin and consequently needed strong national correction.

         After the Pilgrim Separatists arrived on these shores in 1620, the next generations of the greats who established this nation saw the spiritual strength of American Christianity fall precipitously by the late 1600’s. God then again brought in new life in part from the European continent beginning in the early 1700’s to help right the course. This led to big changes.

         There were knock-down drag-out fights concerning the “old way” and “new way” of new life. It was as if the Lord Himself was riding in on a horse leading the battle.

         But what did the old-time traditionalists do? They fought Him! This always happens. God brings in new life, believers grow fleshly, dead, and religious, and then God must bring in new life yet again.

         And every time He does it the ministers he does it through who bring such powerful conviction are fought against as if they are introducing heresy.

         You know what real prophets want to say to such religious idiots? They want to say,

         “Okay, Fine! Go to hell, then! Keep your stupid little two-bit dead religion!”

         The problem is not that such dead Christian forms exist but that no one wants to believe their own church or ministry is one of those dead Christian forms. Therefore, the bad guys are always seen as the other guys or those weirdos on the other side of town.

         But here’s a test: Do you see the ministry of Jesus in your church? Do you see the Acts of the Apostles in your church? Do you see miracles and power and unconditional love and great life in your church? Are you in trouble with the governing authorities who are by and large indifferent toward God, or have you cozied up with them and sold God down the river?

         What do we want, our dead religion that society has no problem with or the life-changing and extremely powerful real Gospel that threatens the devil and makes unrepentant sinners want to kill us?

         (Oh. Sorry. Probably too strong. Sure, what I just said is all over the pages of Scripture but its way over the top to try to apply such a thing to our modern times…)

         But this is what the real Gospel has done throughout history. It is what it has done in the Great Awakenings of this nation. It caused division. It caused strong emotions. It caused betrayal among Christians.

         Ignorance among Christians is always a problem. Christians must mature a little before they go spouting off a bunch of stuff about their beliefs and methods which are usually not really all that Scriptural.

         But the greatest wrong is institutional traditional Christian thinking and doctrine that actually opposes the teachings of Jesus or refuses to fully acknowledge His entire curriculum and the plain historical record within the Gospels and Book of Acts.

         The devil started a war when he invaded Christian circles many centuries ago and established his own various forms of Christianity. Real Christians must be willing to answer that war with a war of their own against his deception, falsehoods, faux Christian beliefs, and those he has deceived.

         Many Christians are held captive by false gospels. Love and truth can set them free but the expression of such love and the teaching of such truth involves a high personal cost. Judging by the ministry of Jesus, the apostles, and early saints, one had to wade into some really bad religious biker bars to set captives free. Most established and “credible” Christian ministers do not do this, deciding instead to defend their own denominational standards and outright false doctrines, but real Christians have been doing it for 2000 years and continue today.

         The problem is that Christians get fat and sassy and ever willing to fight to protect their flesh. The devil then gains a hold within that flesh. Christians who serve money (most) are easy pickings by the forces of evil because Satan knows such people have been compromised. Such backslid “believers” will only go so far but will stop when their income is threatened (or their next meal). Combining sinful human flesh and the devil creates a world created by that union that opposes the kingdom of God. And most people who call themselves Christians are much more comfortable in this FakeWorld than they are in God’s kingdom.

         Our Lord Jesus is very hard on sinful human nature. That’s why He commands us to crucify it, kill it, destroy it, and eliminate it. Fat and sassy feel-good preachers with an opposing attitude and agenda instead coddle it and embrace it and support it. They are very uncomfortable with strong Gospel truth. They would rather make friends than preach repentance. They would rather support and applaud the temple money changers than do the following:

         Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS?’ But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. [Mark 11:15-18]

         Is this the God you serve?

         Is your church due for such a cleaning?

         The Lord never established what we know as churches. The apostles never did either. The early Christians never had church buildings or 501C3’s or salaried ministers or any of the things we claim we could not do without. What would happen if the Lord began establishing the same kinds of formats He did in the beginning?

         Well, guess what? He is. The new formats will soon outnumber the old formats. It is happening right now. The Lord is raising up millions of no-name believers who do not care about prestige or community standing or church buildings or salaries or any of the things most ministers and church-goers claim they cannot do without.

         Study the Lord’s lifestyle and ministry. Study the lifestyles and ministries of the apostles and first-century believers. Read behind the lines. Open your eyes. The astounding spiritual effect they had on the wicked world of that time had everything to do with the way they lived their lives. Whenever we try a “better” way that is not so hard on our flesh it always causes the opposite result. Will we sleep or will we live? Will we get fired up for the Lord or stay physically comfortable but spiritually dead?

         Why did the Lord do things the way He did and teach His disciples likewise if it wasn’t vitally necessary for the work at hand?

         I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. [2 Timothy 4:1-5] [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.