The individual is the deciding difference. Strong, independent, spiritually mature Christians dedicated to the Lord are the building blocks of churches made in their image.
I have an old history book. It is old in the sense that it was originally written in 1930 but has been updated several times. The book itself is in great shape. I found it several years ago in a vast library book sale in Plano, Texas. My copy has a 1969 copyright. It is an excellent book. Entitled The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II, it covers the century from just after the Civil War to the late 1960s.
Chapter IV is called Labor and it deals with the initial sorting out process of labor relations with reference to the post war economy, increasing industrialization, and the rise of impersonal corporatism. This chapter covers the story in our country’s history from after the Civil War until the dawning of the 20th century, a roughly forty year period of vast transformation regarding the conditions and opportunities of working men and women and how labor was forced to make immense adjustments.
The Civil War itself was great change. It never should have happened. When one studies the real causes of the war behind the overt and official though false narrative, one sees the shrouded figures of economic henchmen intent on taking a spoil. The name Civil War is obviously part of that false narrative. Southerners prefer the term The War of Northern Aggression because that’s exactly what it was. It was a power play to gain the vast reaches of the South and Texas by the northern industrialists and the money powers. By fighting the war, the South, which had the Constitution wholly on its side, was merely protecting itself and attempted to win against all odds as did the original thirteen colonies against the Brits in the American Revolution. The odds were greatly against victory then as well.
Updated figures show that upwards of 750,000 Americans were killed in the Civil War. There was a forced unconstitutional draft on both sides. Factories were turning out war materiel on a mass scale. Soldiers fought according to an old outdated method that left them wholly vulnerable to modern armaments. Thousands died in single battles. Arms and legs were shot off (or sawed off later). The lives of young Americans had suddenly become very cheap. Approximately one third of Southern men in the prime of life met their doom. The South never recovered. These were the great men, on both sides, of strong character and vitality, American men shortly descended from the greats who won the Revolution. But they were being butchered. It was a terroristic war, one whose excesses and brutality could never possibly be forgotten. In that short four year period from 1861-1865, American men, especially in the South, were transformed from free, independent, and liberty-loving to mere chattel used, abused, and forsaken. It was a betrayal of the highest order.
After the war, labor suffered. The identity of the American working man was forced to undergo great change in order to fit into the new reality. Workers were cheap. The great money powers gained such control that labor was whatever they said it was. One was forced to play by their rules. If not, a man lost his job and was quickly replaced by another. Millions of new immigrants entered the country to add to the cheap labor pool. It was during those last decades of the 1800s that a completely new form of movement began in this country in the attempt to right these wrongs. It was the beginning of Labor Unions.
The following passage from the book gives an excellent indication of the thinking process of American workers as they were confronted with the new economic reality and what they attempted to do to save themselves by fighting back. It was in reading these words that I saw yet another direct indication of what happened to American Christianity, which also suffered great change for the worse at the same time:
In the years after the Civil War two rival approaches—reform unionism and trade unionism—vied for the allegiance of the American workingman. The reform unionists rejected the factory system, with its division of labor and its sharp differentiation of interests of employer and employee, and sought to restore a society which valued the independent artisan. Determined not to become machine tenders assigned to a small part of the process of production, they strove to preserve their status as craftsmen. To safeguard equality of opportunity, they fought those forces of monopoly, especially in finance, which they believed aimed to shackle the worker. They viewed themselves as members of a ‘producer class’ which embraced master as well as journeyman, farmer as well as artisan. 
Thomas Jefferson had a dream of America becoming a vast agrarian society composed of individual Americans working the land. Constitutional principles and directives that every man must be free did not last so long, however. Jefferson’s dream died less than a century later at the hands of dominant money-first power barons who merely wanted to use labor for their own empire-building purposes as if flesh and blood humans with hopes and dreams were not attached to said labor. One can see by the preceding quote from the book that working men saw themselves as much more than mere workers used as machine parts. They were skilled artisans. They were masters at their trades.
This resonates with me, because I can identify as a master at my trade. I spent many years as a multipurpose self-employed independent carpenter and contractor from the time I was a young adult. I never cared for highly specific quantity-ordered specialty trades within the trade, though I did participate on occasion. I certainly do not fault those who prefer such, but real carpenters should be able to build a structure inside and out instead of simply focusing on one aspect of the trade for the sake of greater and faster production. We have long since gone from one end of this equation to the other. The same thing happened after the Civil War. The independent artisans and craftsmen found a harder row to hoe, less appreciation for their skills, and less demand overall. It became a production game. Wages went down. Craftsmanship suffered.
The same thing has happened in Christianity. In the beginning the Lord had a real Community composed of various spiritual trades based on spiritual gifting and anointing. As I mentioned in a recent post, Romans Chapter Twelve lists seven motivational giftings of which every real believer has one primary. This is where he or she excels. It is a labor of love. Christians should never waste time trying to be something they are not. And churches must stop rejecting those believers who demand being what the Lord created them to be. The reason they are rejected is for the same reason the economic controllers want human machines that always do what they’re told and simply continue to drone on and on. Pews are filled with such people who rarely do anything but sit and watch and give their money to support a system that goes nowhere spiritual very fast. It’s pathetic.
What about a church filled with mature independent spiritual artisans who are masters of their craft? THAT is the Lord’s model. Until more Christians become aware that their churches are mere authoritarian perpetual elementary schools in which next to one rises above a third grade level, nothing will change. Those who do progress discipline themselves toward much study and training on their own, which means they outgrow their pastors very early on and only attend because they believe they must or they like the social aspect.
The good news is that things have changed. We are progressing. But just like the mainstream news media which caters only to veritable babies in high chairs due to its ridiculously dumbed-down and often phony content while gaining most of the outward attention, most churches benefit primarily those few who run them and make money off them. Everyone else is made to grab a galley oar and row, and give money, not their heart or talent. Thus, an unbelievable amount of pure Christian talent has been wasted and shunted aside for the sake of catering to the big boys—the clergyized robber barons who make everything centered around and in support of them. These authoritarian controllers who have captured the money, the power, and the limelight may appear sincere and fool people with their fake smiles and false Pharisaic attitudes, but they are not fooling the Lord.
He wants His people to be free. And mature. He wants them to fully develop their talent and giftings. He then wants these strong and independent spiritual artisans to work together in community. This is what a real church is. It is what He created in the beginning. They proved what they were by pretty much converting the Roman Empire! Most Christians today have problems converting themselves. And what have we done here in America? Instead of converting others to the Lord Jesus, Christians have largely been converted to and taken over by the culture. It’s the main reason why America is hanging on for dear life.
There are certainly fighters for the Republic and those trying to save the country, as well as those trying to reform American Christianity, but they graduated from Sunday School a long, long time ago. All Christians who haven’t and refuse to progress should be utterly ashamed.
Their false tradition is a killer.
And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 The Growth of the American Republic, Volume II © 1930, 1937, 1942, 1950, 1962, 1969 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Sixth Edition.
 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.
They’re all dead and in the grave. Their mortal remains are all that remain in this three dimensional world. But they still live on. They have gone to the other side.
To those human beings who have no belief in a spiritual world, they truly are the intelligent animals they claim to be. Though intelligent might be a stretch. It is not so intelligent to have what is otherwise the obvious evidence of God’s presence and creation all around us and still not see.
Have they been taught out of the truth? I suspect this is true. I remember, as a tyke, the wonder of it all. I believe with all my heart that all very young children are very close to God. They don’t question His presence. They don’t question spiritual reality because they don’t question goodness and life and laughter and joy. Even babies laugh out loud. I get tickled when they get so tickled they can’t stop laughing.
One wonders what happens to most humans as they get older. It can be argued that maybe their environment is bad or their parents are not so good or whatever. But this is all a crock. There have been so many born of a low estate with strong challenges that later left that estate simply because they willed themselves to and refused to be brought down by circumstance. I know my own family was neither rich nor poor. We had a good house and ate well. My parents were responsible. They loved us.
Speaking of eating well in otherwise humble conditions I heard of one man who came from a very poor family but said they always had plenty of food. He said he knew this was true because when he was a hungry kid he often asked for seconds and his Dad said he already had plenty.
It used to be that families made do with a whole lot less. You do the best you can. The Lord looks upon our lives and will help if we have any faith but I believe He protects us anyway. But it is our own wills and bad choices that get us in trouble. At the end of the day we are solely responsible and will have to face the Lord alone. I think it is wise to practice this. I think it is a smart thing to do to picture ourselves before the Lord at the judgment:
“What do you have to say for yourself?” And we would say “You died in my place Sir. Without You I have no chance. I have tried to do my best. I committed many sins but repented a lot also. It took a long time but You finally convinced me that I am worthy of eternal life but only because You say so, and I believe You, and I know You love me, and I love You, and you paid my way to make it possible…”
And then I think, wait, hold on, shouldn’t one’s judgment before the Lord be a time of great joy? I mean, if we have been living by faith and trust in Him and are really trying hard to be a good Christian and have achieved something or another for Him, shouldn’t we believe that He will give us great news? I am not talking about presumption or spiritual arrogance and pride but just looking at it the way a child would. Would a young happy innocent child expect anything less than spending forever with his or her heavenly Father? This is why I think many Christians have made it all too complicated.
Those who have gone before would tell us this. They had found that the secret to living for the Lord and eventually getting to heaven was along these lines:
First of all, take the Lord at His Word. If He says the default destination of every soul is hell and that’s where you’re going without Him and all He can do for you then that’s where you’re going unless you do something about it. If He says there is another Way, a road that starts with a small gate and involves a narrow road pushed in on both sides by pressure that is sometimes not at all so comfortable, and that if one chooses this road and stays on it no matter what then one will eventually get to the destination which naturally occurs at the end of that road. We know this about every other road. No one travels without destinations in mind. The Lord’s Way has a destination.
Secondly, we have to know why we are here. The first church I belonged to after my born-again experience majored on teaching witnessing. We were always being told to go out and witness to others. So I did. A lot. With many. I was so anointed and had so much to say and everything was so brand new. I wanted everyone to know what I knew and how great the Lord was. A few years later in a new church I learned about something that was relatively new back then, or at least new to me. It was a “spiritual gifts” test based on Romans Chapter 12. Through this test I found out that I had a teaching gift. Teaching always came up first and prophesying second. This made perfect sense because I had an insatiable hunger for the Word of God and loved telling others everything I learned. Long before this I had already bought a brand new leather bound Thompson Chain Reference Bible and one of those big Strong’s concordances. I was always doing word studies and etc.
Knowing who I was and why I was here made it a lot easier to live for God. I know this will sound goofy to some who have no qualms about making fun of spiritual things, but I had discovered my mission in life. I have tried my best to honor my calling and stay on point in my mission, but as all real Christians know, we are simultaneously fighting a spiritual war and sometimes the enemy gets in some good licks and slows us down. Sometimes we mess up on our own. Sometimes we get knocked right down on our butts and it takes a while to get back up and get going again. But if we do what we had always done we will get back up. We will go on. It is due in part to a strong sense of duty and responsibility but it’s also because the work we are called to is something we enjoy and which actually charges our spiritual batteries. We also want to go stomp the devil the way he stomped us. We must never let the big idiot have the final say or the last lick. One must get up to fight again and give that piece of garbage yet another black eye and bloody lip.
Those who went before us know this also. Those solid and powerful believers did damage to the idiot’s disgusting little kingdom and rescued souls by the thousands. They knew what could be done and they did it. Their examples give us great inspiration because we see that they were just human as we are human, and the Lord was able to work through them, often in a mighty way, which gives us confidence that He can do the same with us. What a great thing it must be to complete one’s course and come to the end of the narrow road with the Lord Jesus Himself there to greet us! How cool is that?
So I encourage you all to continue on and know that if they could do it we can do it. It might seem highly unbelievable that flesh and blood human beings can somehow be transformed from this three dimensional world into an unseen spiritual world when for all practical reasons it looks like we just die and go to the grave and that’s it. But real Christianity, that which is based exclusively on the teachings of the Lord Jesus, says the grave we see is not the end of us but merely the end of a flesh and blood temple housing an eternal spirit until a future resurrection, and that we will live on forever in great joy and peace with the Lord. If we believe this and stay on the road, what He says will happen will happen. We will get there. But we must have a purpose. We must have a reason to live this life that brings honor to Him.
Those that went before us figured out early on who they were and what their purpose was and then they got after it and stayed after it. Attending to their callings made their life’s work possible, and it made life go by relatively fast. The more they paid attention to their walk the easier it was to stay on the road.
Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” [Luke 2:46-49] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Exactly eight years ago, in late August of 2010, the Lord spoke to me very clearly: “WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.”
On August 30, 2010 I began writing a research paper about the original American Great Awakening that began in late 1734. I had been writing several papers over the previous two years, most of which centered on the teachings of the Lord. These papers were usually in the range of 4-12 pages depending on the content. I would post some of them on my former website. The paper I began in late August of 2010 about the Great Awakening, however, was different. As I got into September, the paper kept growing. I began doing an incredible amount of research. The Lord had blessed me with much anointing. Prior to that I had worked very hard earning the money I would need to support myself through the process but I did not know the overall purpose I would be engaged in until later. In the course of the project, I worked six days a week averaging about twelve hours a day. By the following spring I had completed the “paper.” It became a book of 340 pages and my second book after Real Christianity.
This alone was proof I had heard from the Lord. Other proofs would have to wait.
THIS PRESENT AWAKENING
Whoever has been paying attention knows that something greatly extraordinary has happened in America over the last two years. The term “Great Awakening” is on its way to becoming mainstream. I have not made any posts for this site since May 10 of this year. I have not been planning on making any, though there were a few times when I thought about it. I knew the Lord said to stop when I did. I had completed exactly seven years with this blog at that time. Many of the readers I had just prior to that time had gone. I also know I will probably be starting over again to gain readership but I am sure some of you will still be with me. But for now, let’s go back to eight years ago.
You see, only a month after I finished my new book in early April of 2011, I began this blog on May 10, 2011. This blog is thus an extension of what I began in August of 2010 and what I began then was inspired by a direct Word from God. I have now written in the vicinity of 500 articles for this site. I installed the direct prophecy I received from the Lord on the upper left for all to see. I knew what I heard eight years ago and wanted everyone to know what would eventually be happening in America.
THAT PRESENT DARKNESS
You must try to remember the times of eight years ago. Try to remember where you were, what you were feeling, and what was going on in the country. Christianity in America was obviously at a low point depending on one’s perspective. We were all in great need of a new anointing and refreshing. We needed something that was deep and would last, something to sustain us and something to turn the tide.
As Christians, we know the Lord is always in control and always watching over us, but there is only so much He can do if we do not possess the required level of faith and obedience. Christians in general had gone soft and were subsisting on far less than what was needed and certainly less than what the Lord Jesus was willing and wanting to supply. Once one goes a long time in a dry land one gets somewhat used to it and acclimates himself to the circumstances. Real Christians do the best they can but depending on the spiritual atmosphere of wherever they happen to be and the level of control we allow the Lord to have it is not always easy. When I heard what I did from the Lord I was heartened for the future but I knew we probably had a ways to go. It was only the start or not too long after the start.
When evil gains control and keeps control over a relatively long period of time it becomes endemic. It can even extend to the very roots and foundation. It can permeate everything. Its unchallenged presence allows the wrong people to gain power. It can brainwash a lot of people. The people in general become unaware of what is going on. Many become “followers” even more so than before. Few have any resolve to stand up for the great reform that is needed. Most no longer even see any need for reform. People become lazy. They become blinded to the evil around them. They are especially blind to the evil at the top and even find themselves supporting it, in that they are deceived into believing the false outer image and have no understanding of the great evil going on behind the scenes.
Students of the Bible know this. It is relatively not too difficult to become aware of societal trends and cultural structures once one has a strong knowledge of the Word of God. It is His light that shows us the way but only if one is dedicated to serving Him over many years. Some Christians are shallow. Many Christians seem to have up and down spiritual lives and because of this their loyalty to the Lord can waiver. They can get sidetracked. Many even quit. A possible majority essentially gives up but continues to go through religious motions with little or no spiritual fruit, as if simply staying busy or continuing to move might make a difference. This can be construed as faithfulness but one must never substitute what is effectively a mere quotidian practice for the greatness the Lord desires we achieve for Him.
NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
The Lord Jesus was very clear when He stated: “All things are possible with God”—ALL THINGS. That pretty much means all things. All things are possible with Him. It is even possible that a greatly sinful, fallen, corrupt nation and national government can be reformed. It means materialistic, compromising, and refrigerated Christianity can actually be warmed up and cleaned up, and that the Lord Jesus can actually be given authority once again.
The effort toward such great reform in general terms has always been here. There have always been those who give it everything they have to expose evil and bring forth goodness and attempt to right a wayward ship. There are those who can see things most cannot see. They have either worked extremely hard to gain the necessarily knowledge and spiritual effectiveness available to all but known only by a few since most people seem to lack the necessary time or effort, or they are anointed of God for the task, or both. They are often in the minority, however, and are usually outvoted. People in general have a tendency to prefer the status quo and seem to be apprehensive regarding spiritual improvement. Many people make excuses and do nothing or very little. Some people take care of their responsibilities but also use their remaining free time in working very hard at higher purposes. Most of these people are obscure. They are not in it for the limelight. They are largely anonymous. The vast majority of real Christians in the world are anonymous. The vast majority of real Christians in the first century remain anonymous.
Regarding the only way to bring overall reform to a wayward nation or any other entity, I have been saying for decades that the Lord first works with individuals. He knows who these people are. They see the need. They have the burden. They are very hungry spiritually. They long to do His will. They love Him with all their hearts. They want much more in their spiritual lives but it is usually rarely offered, unavailable, or doesn’t yet exist. Thus, it must be brought forth anew. He must do it through them. First, each one of these must work to gain maturity. Then, He begins to join them together in maybe twos or threes. As iron sharpening iron, they gain more spiritual maturity through this process. In time He brings greater unity. He almost never begins His work with a pre-existent group. Such groups are already bound together by something else and also already have their respective leaders. I knew a long time ago, much longer than these past eight years, that this process had started and I knew it was only a matter of time before He would suddenly bring forth a great movement. These things take years of preparation. Christians have been praying for decades.
SUPPORT THE LORD OR SUPPORT THE OLD ORDER
Eight years ago the people I talked to about the Awakening saw nothing. This even included ministers. Ministers I talked to in other parts of the country saw nothing. By saying this I am merely trying to set the stage because things have definitely changed. The people who love the old order never appreciate the new one and will actually hate it. This always happened whenever the Lord brought reform. There were those who were so invested in the old corrupt order that they hated the mere thought of necessary change for the better. I mean, look what they did to Him. On the other hand, those who supported the reform the Lord brought forth had longed for it and were at last blessed by it. They were previously on the opposite end of things. They had been too good and conscientious to get involved in the previous corrupt order and had a rough time. Imagine the thousands of people who had at last seen the Lord Jesus in action when He arrived. The Last became First. They had previously subsisted in a barren and dry land but all of the sudden pure spring water was bubbling up all around! Spiritual rivers flowed. The Lord Jesus had arrived!
This is what is happening a little more now. We are further along. Eight years have passed. I don’t know the exact beginning. The Lord didn’t tell me that then. He told me we were in the early stages eight years ago. I don’t know what stage we are at now but I do know massive incredible change for the better is happening. One of the signs of this is that the aforementioned corruption and evil that was so successfully hidden is now becoming exposed. There is nothing like a good reform to bring the rats and roaches scurrying out of their hiding places. Many of you are probably aware of the political side of the Awakening and that part of the movement is now gaining a lot of notice. We now have the tools to do an incredible amount of research in search of truth relatively fast and this is becoming a popular thing to do. It must be righteous research, however, and done properly for the right purposes without breaking the Golden Rule or it will backfire.
Another part of the reason I am making this post now is to let everyone know my history with the Great Awakening and to distinguish this site from others. There will be many more sites as we move into the future. There are sincere people who really want to know more about the Lord’s movement and veterans who have fought a long time to see this happen. Remember, though much progress has taken place the old order will always fight to preserve itself. This is just as true within the stodgy realm of Unreal Christianity which houses some of the worst people and worst attitudes on the planet regardless of their benign exterior.
For long time readers, you have traced my particular perspective of the development of the Great Awakening through these many articles I have posted over the last seven years. They are filled with clues. They tie in together and relate overall. For those of you who have been regular readers, you know I have been teaching some things you were not necessarily familiar with before, as if there was something there that was more than the words on the screen. Teachers must obviously know more than students.
THE REAL COMMUNITY OF THE LORD
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. [Romans 12:4-8]
From a New Covenant perspective, a teacher is someone anointed to search, do detailed research, learn subjects in-depth, and discover truth way beyond what others are willing to do. This gifting has been defined as that of a spiritual detective. Those of you who have taken spiritual gifting tests probably know this. One cannot teach what one does not know. Real teachers learn the hard way. They don’t teach out of text books. I have spent decades in much research and study. Because of that I have learned many things thoroughly backed up by Scripture that many are not aware of and which may even appear foreign at first. Whatever the case, no one knows anything until they know it and this requires learning it somehow or another. We must allow the Lord to be the arbiter. Many Christians, however, allow their leaders to be the arbiter of what they know, should know, or be allowed to know, and they thus reject the possibility of greater truth, which keeps them ignorant, which keeps them controlled. The Lord said the following for a very good reason:
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32] 
Sometimes Christians are unaware of greater truth because they have a different spiritual gift and are predominantly involved in another form of spiritual work. This is as it should be. The Lord eventually raises up mature specialists in their respective fields. Then He attempts to bring them together in community so we can all learn from one another and work together as a team. This is what the Lord actually created in the beginning. It was a true fellowship and they engaged in what I term “mutual ministerial sharing.” It is how so many learned so many things so fast and spread the Gospel so rapidly. This is not how things operate in “official” Christian groups and churches, however, and is in large part why America was almost lost. The Lord did not call a mere few into His work—He called every single one of His children into His work. Because the vast majority of Christians have been trained to sit on a pew and be quiet, the greatest portion of the Lord’s workforce has historically been rendered ineffective. The enemy always has a field day under such conditions.
Unreal Christianity is not good. It has no salt. It has no light. It possesses no real faith or spiritual love and gives little hope. It gives aid and comfort to the enemy. We must have the real thing.
Every real Christian knows that when one becomes a real Christian he burns his bridges behind him and never looks back. Some are willing to go forward a ways but tend to go wobbly and opt out when the level of discomfort or false insecurity arises. Some make excuses on why they cannot follow the Lord past a certain point. This was another one of the Lord’s teachings. Some have an ongoing difficulty in crucifying their flesh. Some get stuck in masquerades.
One of the issues the Lord presented me with in the very beginning when I received this revelation eight years ago was that there were false revivals already happening at that time and that these would continue. He told me there would be false awakenings. This has certainly happened and there will be more. Watch out for the counterfeits. When one studies the prior Great Awakenings in America one discovers that there were always those who wanted to co-opt the process for their own purposes. If they couldn’t defeat it they would try to redirect it. Regarding that particular scenario, always know that the Lord Jesus must be in charge. Real Great Awakenings are impossible without Him. Be Blessed.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
NOTE: My friend Richard Barker just informed me of a very interesting and powerful prophetic word he posted on his site today by Veronika West about the current Great Awakening. Excellent timing! I encourage all to check it out at the link below. Also, what she saw reminds me of the cover of the print version of my book Real Christianity.
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul clearly places special emphasis regarding spiritual gifts on the gift of prophecy.
It is as if he thinks it is most important. On the face of it, this makes little sense. All of the gifts are obviously important and necessary.
Perhaps this is one of those teachings of Paul that some so-called Christians like to put in a separate category. You know, the ones they have a problem with because they’re either unwilling to understand or too rebellious to accept.
Let’s review the verse in question:
Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. [1 Corinthians 14:1]
Paul certainly has the priorities right. Love must always come first or the ministry process will not work. This has everything to do with putting the Lord first in all things, but also because the Lord is Love, and love never fails.
The second thing he tells the Corinthians is to desire earnestly spiritual gifts. These are actually spirituals, or “spiritual things,” since the word “gifts” does not appear in the original Greek. The Greek word is pneumatikos and is defined as that which is spiritual, or pertaining to the spirit. These pneumatikos are referenced in the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
(1) For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit,
(2) and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
(3) to another faith by the same Spirit,
(4) and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
(5) and to another the effecting of miracles,
(6) and to another prophecy,
(7) and to another the distinguishing of spirits,
(8) to another various kinds of tongues,
(9) and to another the interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. [1Corinthians 12:1-11]
The nine spirituals listed above are directly connected to the Spirit immersion of Acts Chapter 2. In fact, they are the result, or effect of the Spirit of God working through believers.
In 1 Corinthians 12:6, the Greek word energema is translated in the NASV as “effects,” and in other versions as “operations, working, or activities,” and is explained as spiritual things energized by God for His purposes.
Many people have discounted this direct association primarily as a way to discount the Acts 2 experience since they personally oppose it. But this is grossly incorrect. I say this so people will no longer be deceived by false teaching. Pneumatikos are given by the Lord Jesus to His people for service in the kingdom. One of these is prophecy, and without prophesying, the Prophetic Word would be absent.
The third directive Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 14:1 is to pursue especially the gift of prophesy. I use the term “prophesying” because spiritual energema have to do with function. If they are not being used, they effectively do not exist.
There is the potential for spiritual pride within individuals who believe they possess gifts and are thus worthy of greater honor, and consequently appropriating titles for themselves based on what they think is a resident gift.
However, the gift shows itself by our use of it, or its functionality, not because it is added as a title to a man-made spiritual resume. It is much more correct to state that a person functions in the gift of prophesying rather than that he is a prophet. Yet, it does not mean that a believer cannot be characterized as such if it is obvious that he functions on a regular basis in that particular place of service. This point is more important than one might think due to the desire of so many false prophets within Christianity who are more concerned with their standing among men than before God. They like the high places and open doors that come with titles. They also very much like the money than can be derived from their position.
Real prophets, however, like real apostles, know that serving God according to their calling means that they will be treated the opposite of the false prophets. Paul states several times the perils of true apostolic ministry. It appears oftentimes that the Lord has thrown them into an evil world without much concern for their welfare. The apostles and prophets of the first century suffered greatly in their walk with God though they were very close to Him, leading us to surmise that the “initial” ministries are subject to often greater persecution, just as pioneers have it the hardest compared to later generations. False prophets, particularly those of the present, cannot relate to this and reject the entire idea. The apostles and prophets of the first century often did not know where their next meal was coming from, and that is the way God wanted it.
For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. [1Corinthians 4:9-13]
Does this look like any ministers you know? (They would never allow Paul in most pulpits in America and certainly not on Christian television.)
We must never forget as real disciples that the Lord has chosen for us a walk of faith and obedience. This is characterized as “Go here, do this.” What about the next step, one may wonder? The Lord almost always reveals the next step after a person has completed the prior step. Therefore, being a “prophet” cannot possibly be a static, entitled position associated with high standing among the Christian elite and with popularity among people in general, but one of obedience to God (not man) and functionality.
Again, since there are nine energema, or effects of the Spirit, why would Paul single out prophesying as seemingly the most important?
We must look at the context. He was referring to what was taking place in meetings of believers in first century Corinth. He was simply trying to explain that in open meetings it is better to speak in an understandable way, so that proper communication takes place.
Speaking in tongues is all fine, good, necessary, and scriptural in individual prayer or prayer meetings, or in an open meeting if an interpreter is present (Paul himself wrote in verse eighteen, “I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all.”) Otherwise, it is largely a waste of time for the group as a whole in community meetings when people need to hear from God.
Prophesying, on the other hand, is a Word from God spoken in the language of all, or pretty much all, and subsequently edifies the entire group. Thus, the Prophetic Word is that which is spoken by the inspiration of God and by the power of his Spirit to benefit another, and oftentimes many others.
Moreover, groups of real believers usually contain more than one person who functions in the gift of prophecy, or should, and should thus take turns, though in polite order (see 14:29-32).
The reason for all of this is to allow the Lord to speak to His people. If it is attempted through a way contrary to this model, or if another method is formulated which is actually in opposition to it, it generally means that the Lord Jesus is no longer in charge and has been subverted by false believers who have circumvented His authority. And if the group allows this, they are also guilty partakers.
It should not be difficult, then, for an objective observer to note that traditional Christian church practice, regardless of denomination, is usually much different from that of first-century believers.
This is why, for those who violate Scripture, the Prophetic Word has ceased.
Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. [1 Corinthians 14:39] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.