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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]

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         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.

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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.

Portals of Progress? (Part 4)

         Adam obeyed his wife.

         In this there was a role reversal.

         Eve had taken the lead that day by the evil tree, having submitted to the devil’s deception.

         One thing Christians must always be aware of to a much greater degree than usual is that the devil is a great deceiver. He is an awesome deceiver. He is the greatest liar of all time. He can lie, deceive, and manipulate like no one else.

         “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] [1]

         In fact, the devil invented the entire lying and deception process, turned it into a masterful manipulation program, and has been spreading his thick propaganda upon the minds of humans ever since like a hundred foot layer of dinosaur dung.

         “What the heck is this?!” cried the geologist upon analyzing samples of a viscous smelly mass found thousands of feet deep in the earth.

         “Yeah, weird,” said the driller. “We hit that dude and the bit went to nothin.’ Thought we lost our lower drill pipe ‘cause it felt like the floor gave out.”

         “I’ve heard about this formation layer in other parts of the world, strangely though, about this depth. What the devil…”

         “Yeah. It felt like we suddenly drilled straight into an open sewer.”

         And so it goes in attempting to make sense of deliberate and artful lie-making done stealthily and with much guile in the effort to hoodwink and thereby gain control of unsuspecting marks.

         The devil, quite simply, is full of BS. He is the greatest BSer of all time.

         Does anyone still preach about temptation? Do we really know what real temptation is? Do we get the big idea that temptation was deliberately designed by a slimy propagandist to get us all to believe lies and fake stories in order to for him to gain control of our souls?

         This is no game, people. The devil does not need nuclear weapons or even a shotgun. All he needs is his ability to lie, cheat, rob, steal, manipulate, murder, make up a bunch of ridiculous garbage and pass it off as truth, and do it all with a straight innocent-appearing face in order to take control of minds and hearts. Sadly, many play right into his hands not knowing they are being conned. Submitting to his lies is submitting to death.

         For a select few of those who have submitted, they have been granted what the devil attempted to grant the Lord Jesus. There are powerful people running this world of fallen mankind due to being granted power, influence, and authority by the devil. The devil is the king of this fallen world and such people are his underlings who appear as overlings.

         Our culture and so many others continue to tell this story in so many ways though most people cannot make the connection between the sagas and reality. We know all about evil forces and yet relegate them to the fictional realm not seeing they are a reflection of an actual realm.

         And without recognizing such as being very real, one will inevitably be hoodwinked by the master deceiver and submit to his kingdom without even knowing he or she submitted. This is the very nature of deception—being deceived but not knowing one is deceived and thinking one is not deceived.

         This is what happened to Eve. She rejected the truth and the warning. She believed the devil. He deceived her. It mattered not that later on she realized she had been lied to and sold a false bill of goods, and that she looked inside her Halloween bag and found nothing but a rock and a week-old dirty popcorn ball. She had already agreed to the contract that cut her off from God and everything good. Her spirit died at that moment just as the Lord said would happen. Though she lived in absolute perfection and had the very best of everything the devil convinced her there was something better.

         Not so with Adam, however. The devil never touched him. He saw through the devil and had successfully resisted temptation from day one. Though the Genesis narrative seems to imply that Adam was standing right there next to Eve when all the temptation business was happening, there is no way that can be true. And though some Bible versions translate the ancient Hebrew as Adam being with Eve when she initially ate the fruit, this is certainly not the case with all versions, and no such word is found in the Hebrew stating such a fact.

         Eve was alone with the devil. How or why that happened is anyone’s guesstimate, but the devil was certainly talking only to Eve:

         Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?”

         The woman replied to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said: ‘You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.’”

         And the serpent said to the woman, “You are not going to die, but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings who know good and bad.”

         When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating and a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate… [Genesis 3:1-6 JPS Tanakh 1985]

         Eve had somehow gravitated over to the evil tree by herself where she met up with the devil. The entire narrative illustrates a conversation between the devil and Eve. If Adam was there, he would have been included in the conversation.

         It is impossible to perceive Adam standing idly by twiddling his thumbs and remaining silent as all this was going on, unless he had already given in to his wife and tagged along. That possibility certainly exists and even makes sense though the Genesis account never mentions such and it can only be considered speculation.

         It was only later therefore, after Eve ate the forbidden fruit that she went to Adam and offered it to him.

         And this is how it happens for men. This is how a strong backbone becomes a wet noodle. Since Eve had already fallen, she partook of the lying manipulative nature of the devil and used said power upon Adam, whose defenses were lowered both because he had never had to defend himself spiritually from anything coming forth from his wife, but also because he did not see Eve as his enemy. He trusted her. He believed her and believed in her. He loved Eve unconditionally. His love for her made him defenseless against what she had become.

         To refuse the fruit she offered and had already partaken of meant Adam must refuse Eve. To refuse Eve meant losing Eve. He could not fathom that. He could never imagine such a horrific scenario. Eve was, in all aspects and intents of the word, his soul mate. She was a great strength to him, the love of his life, the perfect and desired companion, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. They were meant to live together forever. The fruit she excitedly offered to him must somehow be good.

         In Adam’s thinking, this must be a new portal of progress through which he must enter, even though he remained quizzical since not everything was adding up correctly.

         It was at this juncture that an even more critical decision was made than the one made by Eve earlier. Adam decided he could not live without Eve and would rather have her, regardless of her new condition, no matter what that might portend.

         God must have been wrong. Adam was confused. He chose Eve over God, though he probably did not realize the full implications of such at the time. He ate the fruit. He disobeyed the clear commandment of the Lord, meant to protect him, meant to keep him within the Life realm.

         He also, like his wife, took on the nature of sin. He obeyed the devil. Yet, rather than outright strident rebellion against the Lord, it was instead a wimpy act of capitulation by a compromised man and a surrendering of everything he was and possessed. He essentially went from being completely free and having charge of the planet to being the devil’s servant. 

         And reading between the lines, prior to his great fall when Eve had chosen to be alone with the devil, Adam had chosen to not be alone with God, but simply alone.        

         © 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.

Portals of Progress (Part 3)

         Adam had become extremely productive. His garden was flourishing. There are two reasons for this.

         First, he loved, honored, and trusted God.

         Second, he worked very hard.

         Is real success this simple? Actually, though the proceeding reasons may appear simple, they are more along the lines of being straightforward and concise. They are in a sense the zip file version of deeper truths, in that there is lot more there than initially meets the eye.

         Take the first statement, for example. Have you noticed there is absolutely no hint of rebellion, disobedience, stubbornness, bad attitude, sin, or anger? The three verbs used are each positive affirmations toward God and characterize God as being good, and thus completely worthy of love, honor, and trust.

         This is how Adam saw God. This is how he knew Him.

         God had never violated Adam’s trust. God never lied to him. Adam knew not only that the Lord God was his Creator, but also that God was his Father. It was not a distant relationship. Adam learned to respect God chiefly because God respected Adam.

         He blessed him with a great life, awesome work, and a wonderful place. Adam had no reason to second-guess anything.

         Was he ever tempted? Well, we know that the devil was in the garden at a later time. There is no reason to think he was not there earlier. Maybe Adam was given time before the tempter showed up. Maybe the Lord allowed Adam to mature. But it is pretty much certain that Adam was indeed tempted, though he refused to turn his back on his Father.

         In this, he proved himself.

         He was faithful in the little things.

         He was faithful in the greater things.

         The time came for Adam’s greatest gift. This gift would again prove that God is good. The Word states that all good things come from God. As far as Adam was concerned, God saved His best for last.

         Eve!

         For the evolutionist, Eve was a hairy monkey type, stoop-shouldered and ignorant—unbright, unattractive, uninspiring, and unevolved. In reality, though, since creation has greatly devolved over time as a result of humanity’s incredible fall from grace and perfection, Eve was the opposite: Beautiful. Lovely. Awesome. Needless to say, Adam was immensely impressed.

         The two became inseparable. Lost in each other, they drifted from God.

         A portal presented itself. Adam had previously rejected it, but it looked pretty good to Eve. Why had he not warned her? But wait. He did:

         The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” [Genesis 3:2-3]

         Someone had already told Eve about the bad tree. Perhaps many assume it was God. In reality, though, it must have been Adam. God made Eve for Adam and would not step between them.

         The apostle Paul, whom one must assume remains respected by most Christians, said this:

         For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. [1Corinthians 11:8-9]

         It was therefore Adam’s responsibility to teach Eve everything that God had taught him.

         But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. [1Corinthians 11:3] [1]

         Christ is in no way diminished by God being His head. Our Lord Jesus is obviously God, as is the Father. But the Son subjected Himself to the authority of the Father. Without such submission, He could not have been who He was, done what He did, or achieved His mission.

         God in flesh is a tough field of study, but suffice it to say that proper submission is very powerful. It affects great change. It makes incredible things possible. It destroys the devastating disease of pride.

         And this is how Eve was taken in. The devil told her that God was a liar and that she could be just like God by eating the forbidden fruit.

         Eve questioned Adam’s instruction. She lost faith in her husband. She stepped out of her position of strength. She assumed the role of another. She rebelled.

         From all of this it is obvious that Adam did not do as good a job instructing Eve as God had done instructing him. For whatever reason (not hard to grasp), he also stepped out of his position of strength. He also assumed the role of another.

         This often happens when one arrives at what appears to be a spiritual portal of potential progress, but is sometimes no such thing.

         One must assume the role of another to get through.

         © 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.