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SHOUT TO THE LORD

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

         If you claim to be a Christian and your voice is not being heard, the odds are good that your words have been censored. Your voice has been silenced. Your speech has been imprisoned.

         The first thing the Lord Jesus does with new disciples is free their speech. He encourages people to talk. He did this in His ministry.

         In fact, He chose the freeing of voices as the principal sign of Pentecost.

         Whenever you read a passage in the Gospels about the Lord healing a mute person, it is a sign for all—a Miracle Parable—that reveals His intention to free the voices of His people. The mute people in the Gospels were not only real people in real time, they were also parabolic types of muted people throughout time—those whose voices have been shut down—those whose speaking has been disallowed.

         Now that you know this, look at the real meaning in the following:

         They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him.

         Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva; and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!” And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.

         And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it. They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” [Mark 7:32-37]

YOU ARE WORTHY

         First Amendment rights do not apply in many churches. If one’s mode of Christian congregating disallows for communication and spiritual edification through the use of EVERYONE’S voice, then that mode contains a serious flaw. It is a flaw that results in spiritual problems for the congregation as a whole, because it silences whoever has the anointing of God to speak and be heard but cannot, due only to man-made religious conventions that oppose the will of God.

         It is no secret that the majority of Christian congregation methods disallow anyone from talking except the chosen few—the very few chosen few. We all know this is true. Christians have been conditioned to keep silent in the churches.

         Yet the Lord Jesus says:

         “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” [Matthew 10:27]

         (Just don’t say it in church, okay?”)

         One of the reasons Christian blogs have exploded on the internet within the last five or ten years is because many if not most of these Christians had nowhere else to speak. Most were never allowed to speak in church or even in Bible studies. Our entire framework of Christian meetings and congregational gatherings has only ever allowed for the voice of the one percent, which results in religious control rather than free expression, and the consequent dumbing-down of the great majority.

         The greatest evil, however, perpetrated by those who buy into this anti-God system that silences the voices of 99% of all Christians, is making them feel completely unworthy, and thus unworthy of speaking.

SUPERFLUOUS STAGE PLAYERS

         The Lord jumped all over the Pharisees’ case and kept telling them they were nothing but a bunch of evil actors (hypocrites) pretending to be something they were not who gained and kept control over the masses of people by transforming everything into a stage play with themselves as the only participants, and certainly as the only ones with speaking parts.

         So what do many later Christians do? And what do the Christian elite of the present do? They transform everything into a stage play with themselves as the only primary participants, and certainly as the only ones with speaking parts.

         In fact, if one were to remove the stages, platforms, and dual-class seating arrangements which always separate the chosen few occupying their positions of control from everyone else, making real fellowship impossible by forcing the 99 out of 100 to focus on the backs of everyone’s head instead of their faces, there would be little “Christianity” left in America. Almost everyone has been conditioned over long decades and even centuries to adopt these strange formats which were never used as fellowship formats by the Lord Jesus or the early community of believers.

EVERYONE PARTICIPATES

         Yes, whenever the Lord spoke to large numbers of people, all were focused on Him. But whenever He taught His disciples, He sat down among them in a rough circle using an open and organic format, so they could all see one another as well. This format greatly aids in the development of koinonia in which each person is allowed to contribute and thus develop spiritually as a real disciple. Using one’s voice allows one to mature.

         Thus, what they had was dynamic. Everyone was part of the process. Everyone had a voice and was allowed to use it. Real Christianity thus exploded fast and the Gospel traveled fast and MILLIONS ended up in the kingdom of the Lord relatively fast. It happened that way because everyone was being used of God instead of the mere “chosen few” who demand control and their own authority much more than the spiritual interactivity arising from koinonia.

         Those real Christians were allowed to use everything they had for the Lord, especially their voice.

         So there’s your clue: If you are not allowed to speak in your Christian meeting, it is most likely not the Lord Jesus holding you back. He wants you involved. Your input is needed. Nothing can replace your voice.

COME ALIVE: THIS IS THE JESUS GENERATION   

         From this we know it is not the enemy from without that is holding back the Great Awakening, since the Lord has given His people power over such enemies. The real enemy is much closer to home. The real enemy is the power vested in compromised Christian leaders and all those who support them in forcing their own personal agendas in part through silencing the voices of millions of believers, and making them what is essentially a quiet collective supporting without question those in control, and rendering all potential Pentecosts absolutely impossible.

         IT IS OFTEN THE PEOPLE CONTROLLING THE STAGE, PULPITS, SPOTLIGHTS, MICROPHONES, AND TV CAMERAS WHO DISALLOW THE VOICES OF EVERYONE ELSE.

         It is obvious they consider themselves as the only ones worthy and everyone else as unworthy.

         “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” [John 7:18] [1]

         In order to be the Lord’s celebrity one must be an anti-celebrity.

         This is why the Lord often has to do something outside the scope of ultra-organized religion to get anything done. It is why John the Immerser stayed out in the wilderness. It is the only way to overcome the control of the religious leaders with only their own interests and enterprises at heart and not the Lord’s or those of the majority of the people. Whenever such controllers are in authority it inevitably shuts everyone else out, other than, of course, their hand-picked, sold-out, “safe” ones who only speak what they are allowed to speak. Indeed, that which is allowed by them to be spoken is often not of the Holy Spirit, which proves further the deadness of most church services and why the Lord Jesus is not in charge.

         Before they silenced the majority’s voice, they silenced His voice.

         So again, the Lord’s model for His lively, spiritually-healthy, vibrant, organic Community and also for Great Awakenings involves first the opening of deaf ears and the removing of tongue impediments so that every single one of His people can “begin speaking plainly” as did the mute man, and “speaking the mighty deeds of God,” as did all of those in the Upper Room.

         And since all Great Awakenings begin with Great Repentance, one of the first things everyone must do is repent for allowing their great power of speech to be silenced and not made available for the Lord’s use.

SHOUT TO THE LORD

         Real Christianity involves ALL of His children and ALL of their voices.

         As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

         Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

         But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” [Luke 19:37-40]

         © 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.

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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.

The Reality of God’s Relational Love: Thus Speaks the Heart (1)

         God’s love is relational.

         If one is filled with the Spirit of God one expresses godly love toward others.

         Why? Because as I relayed in the former series, On the Threshold of Heaven, God is love. This means God is loving. All the time. Toward everyone. It is His nature. It is impossible for God to be unloving because God cannot be what He is not.

         This fact should not be so hard to ascertain.

         God is love.

         Some people, however, are impossible to love because they never give love, not to anyone, and certainly not to God. So it’s not the Lord’s fault if people don’t love Him back. It’s like talking to a wall.

         The results of this lack of love among so many is readily apparent. We see the results everywhere. Everyone on the planet, regardless of political affiliation, culture, belief system, religion, or perspective, knows that the human race in general is capable of engaging in some pretty bad stuff, stuff that is not loving and has nothing to do with love.

         There are people who greatly appreciate this planet. They do not like what has happened to the planet. They are against all the pollution and chemical poisoning and destruction of species and habitats, and argue very strongly that we as a race are slowly destroying our only home and better get our act together.

         I agree with them 100%.

         I support them 100%.

         And I believe God is without doubt on their side of the argument. He doesn’t appreciate His planet getting trashed either.

         Imagine if someone were to pollute their own house or backyard—the yard their innocent unknowing children play in. Imagine if a person poisoned their domicile and never cleaned it. Imagine if someone never took a shower…

         Pretty bad, I know. Some people are like this. But the clear fact is that humanity as a race is exactly like this. It’s what we do. All one must do is look around. According to the apostle Paul, the planet is groaning under the weight and pollution of humanity:

         For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. [Romans 8:19-22]

         We know the planet is filled with pollution. We know there are people living on gigantic mountainous trash dumps in places. There are whole societies that either do not have the knowledge or resources to live better, or simply don’t care, and they live in filth. And because of that their bad consequences are off the scale. We must help them.

         I saw a show the other day about the tuberculosis epidemic of a century ago. People who lived in polluted cities all crammed together and getting their lungs full of bad bacteria were dying in droves. Some people thought their health might be better served if they got out of the dirty city and into the open countryside with fresh air. Some got better. Amazing! What a coincidence.

         It used to be said that cleanliness is next to godliness. Many people take great care in their appearance and grooming. It takes work to keep one’s place cleaned up, organized, and in good repair. Life is much, much better when one lives in a healthy environment.

         But regarding the planet, we as a race are creating so much garbage, industrial waste, and extremely dangerous and disease-causing byproducts with no place to put all this junk that it must result in something eventually too evil to imagine.

         Even though we have made great strides in the last fifty years from a time when America was especially extremely polluted by a bunch of unthinking nitwits who only cared about their own greed, the planet itself is presently being polluted by so many other industrial nations with no plans to keep it clean that the earth is quickly becoming the equivalent of a massive trash pile.

         I could go on. People have bought into the lies of the hiders and distorters and refuse to face facts or do anything about it.

         But what about human bodies? Why are diseases and sicknesses going through the roof? Why are so many people ill and dependent on pharmaceutical drugs to stay “healthy” and alive? People do very well to groom themselves outwardly but many inwardly are pretty messed up.

         We must get healthy without AND within, and not merely put forth the outer appearance of health. Some people think it’s better to look good than to feel good. That’s why we have massive landfills that grow like their own hill country and are eventually covered up with a layer of soil and grass to appear somewhat good, but we know what’s underneath.

         Maybe it’s the best we can do.

         But have you ever noticed how nature in and of itself recycles everything? Natural waste is transformed into more pure nature. Take humanity off the planet and it’s a perfect ecosystem lasting for billions of years.

         No major mammal, or fish, or bacteria, or any other organism can mess it up.

         NATURE IS SELF-CLEANING.

         It should be obvious though, that humanity is not. Humanity in general pollutes. Many of us try very hard to keep things clean. Many succeed. But until everyone gets on board pollution will continue.

         Was there pollution during the Lord’s time? Undoubtedly. Yet, the Hebrews had been taught by God in their early history to be clean, and the Lord codified within the Law of Moses exactly what that meant.

         He gave them laws regarding personal cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation. He was very specific. It’s in your Bible. The majority of Christians have always traditionally rejected these laws to their own peril. His purpose toward cleanliness was designed to keep individuals clean and also so the community as a whole could be clean. Because of this, the ancient Hebrews were perhaps the cleanest people on the planet—as long as they obeyed the laws.

OUR HEARTS

         When the Lord Jesus came, He certainly touched on these things, but the one thing He was most concerned about cleaning up was the human heart.

         In our day, many people are having increasing problems with their physical heart. Because of bad diets and self-pollution (eating chemicals, smoking, ingesting drugs, etc), hearts are being stressed in a major way. Arteries get clogged up. The heart is a blood pump and must work at peak efficiency and all parts must work correctly. People should know to take care of their hearts instead of taking them for granted.

         But much more important are our spiritual hearts. All of the pollution within a human being eventually ends up there. That’s where it is deposited. The spiritual heart is the final location for all the bad stuff. It has nowhere else to go.

         The uncleansed heart is exactly the same as a parcel of land with a little landfill on it packed with garbage. All expressions coming forth from a person come through this polluted place to one degree or another and influence anyone in the vicinity.

         How?

         Through SPEECH.

         Through our VOICES.

         It is through the mechanism of our SPEAKING that brings forth whatever may be resident in our hearts. Our words reveal whatever is hidden there:

         “…For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

         “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.

         “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

         “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” [Matthew 12:34-37] [1]

         Based on this, it is imperative that our speech be cleansed.

         But our speech can never be cleansed until our hearts are cleansed.

         And it is only when our hearts become cleansed that God is able to tame the tongue…

         © 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.

[Please bless others with these messages according to whatever the Lord may place upon your heart. Thanks.]