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THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS!

       There is absolute power and authority in His Name. And He has given real Christians the use of His Name to activate His authority!

 

      “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” [Acts 3:16]

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         If you are looking for a miracle the first thing you need to do is believe in the Lord Jesus. You must know that He loves you. You must also know that He is the one who brought the whole thing up to begin with, in that miracles are His idea. We learned this from Him. We didn’t make it up.

         Why then do we sometimes think He would rather not be involved in the very process He created? We never need to convince Him. It has always been His idea. He performed miracles. He taught His disciples how to perform miracles. They taught others how to perform miracles. Miracles have never ceased and continue today.

         Well, actually, let me rephrase that. Miracles always cease or become impossible when there is no faith involved. There must be faith. Faith is very powerful. A person must possess it. It may exist within a person in latent form. If so it must be activated.

         If a person believes miracles are no longer possible or that they ceased to exist at some point then for that person there can be no miracles, simply because that person believes in the opposite of what the Lord told us to believe.

         This is a very interesting point of doctrine because one cannot be saved without faith. Salvation requires faith. Why would one believe the Lord for the greatest miracle—salvation and eternal life—but not for anything else? The Lord taught no distinction in faith, in that one may have one kind of faith for salvation but not for anything else. Faith is faith. It is all-embracing. It can be used for anything the Lord used it for.

         But remember, what we are talking about here is faith in Him. Is He shooting straight with us? Is He telling us the truth? Can we really trust Him? Is He for real? Can I really trust my life with Him? When He says He has paid for my sins and can wash them all away, and that He can deliver me from sin and its effects, is He really telling me the truth? Can I really trust Him? If He can take my sin away and actually bless me with eternal life and save my soul, and keep me from eternal destruction, is He telling the truth? Can He really do all that?

         It appears that most Christians believe He can. The only way they can believe that is if they have a measure of faith in Him. It is impossible otherwise. Since we have faith for salvation, all we must do from that point is simply believe in other miraculous works beyond salvation.

A MEASURE OF FAITH AND FIRST THINGS FIRST

         Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. [Romans 12:1-3] [1]

           Regarding the use of our faith, there are conditions. Before one can use their faith for anything else, they must first use it for salvation. They must first believe that the Lord can save them from sin. Whether or not one possesses a latent measure of faith or not, faith must arise at some point or salvation is impossible. I don’t know about you, but I thought I was a good guy before my salvation experience, until I heard the Word of God from an anointed minister of the Gospel. I got convicted. I found out I was a sinner.

         Of course, I knew that. But because there had never been any solution to it, I, like most people, simply learned to live with it. It may be our conscience telling us we did wrong. Whatever. All honest people of a sound mind know they do wrong. The Word of God calls it sin. The worst sin is sin against the Lord. But when people go about their daily lives sinning on occasion they just continue on. They don’t know what else to do. They try to do right but do not always succeed. Some just give up. Their sin can become a heavy burden. They try to deal with it.

         But again, when we are told by the Lord through one His ministers we have sinned, and when our conscience bears witness to that fact, the first reaction is to fix it, and for the first time it looks like there may actually be a solution that really works. That’s why a real minister will not only tell people about their sin, he will also tell them how to be rid of it.

ACTIVATING YOUR FAITH

          Somewhere in that process a person believes what the Word of God says and believes he can be set free. That is faith. Whether the faith was always there or not does not matter, because it is there at that moment. A person believes at that moment. He activates his faith.

         He is then told he must repent, which means to turn away from sin and quit sinning. Once a person does this properly, according to the Biblical model, the Lord Jesus is then able to forgive and wash away all prior sins committed by that person. The Lord also gives a person power over sin so he can stop sinning. More on that later.

         Water baptism is part of this process and that is why it is always closely connected in Scripture with initial faith and repentance. Water baptism is also conducted unto the Lord Jesus and His Name must be invoked as it was all throughout Scripture. Again, there is great absolute power in the Name of Jesus. Many people get delivered at baptism. All former connections to bad spirits and whatever else are severed. A person becomes totally delivered and set free and actually feels a release! Something very profound happens! It can be a very emotional experience and should be.

         Salvation is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone. Imagine being taken from certain death on the road to hell to new life on the road to heaven! This is what the Lord made possible through everything He did for us, including giving His very life on the cross. It is why His Name is above every name and carries absolute authority.

          Therefore, one’s faith in the Lord Jesus manifested powerfully for salvation can also be used for other things. Keep that in mind as you seek the Lord’s help for your present need, no matter how great it may be. Be blessed!

         “All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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LIVING IN THE MIRACLE REALM: Connected to the Vine (3)

         Miraculous works were not only a sign proving the legitimacy and authority of the Lord Jesus and His ministry, they were vital to carrying it out. His overall ministry has never ceased but continued with His original disciples and continues at present. In order to achieve what the Lord has called us to achieve we must use every ministry tool and weapon that He used. We must live in the Miracle Realm.

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WE MUST BE CONNECTED TO THE VINE AT ALL TIMES

         To achieve miraculous works, the following conditions must be applied:

         “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

         I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

         If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

         If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” [John 15:4-7]

         The word “abide” comes from the Greek word meno: “To stay or remain.” In order to produce spiritual fruit, it means one must maintain the vital spiritual relational connection to the Lord Jesus at all times.

         But again, most of those who call themselves Christians have never been connected to the Lord in the first place, and they remain that way because they have never had a real born again experience. Thus, they are unconnected.

         It is impossible to become a fruit-producing branch of the main Vine without a starting point.

         One must become disconnected from the fallen world of sin and one’s place in it. One must leave the old and join the new. This can only be done through a personal decision at some point in one’s life. And the only way to prove such a decision is correct is by the later production of the same spiritual fruit the Lord Jesus produced. Cultural Christians may be doing all sorts of humanitarian works on the surface and appear as real believers, but until they actually fulfill the conditions set forth by the Lord, they are incapable of spiritual works, and they will never perform the works of the Lord.

THE POWERFUL NAME OF JESUS

         Again, His teachings are very clear. They are not confusing:

         “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” [John 14:13-14]

         What I am going to say now will be strongly opposed, not by the enemy, but by the majority of Christians. The Lord said to ask anything IN HIS NAME. But the vast majority of “Christians” fail at the very beginning of their supposed conversion because they not only have never been born again as the Lord said we must be, but have never been baptized in the Lord’s Name. In fact, many have never been baptized at all.

          This is a much bigger problem than people think it is. (Please refer to my writings on baptism.) The Lord and the early believers knew that water baptism was vitally important. If one refuses water baptism in the Lord’s Name how can one be right with the Lord?

LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, MIND, AND STRENGTH

         Regarding the lack of miracles, here’s another clue. The Lord Jesus said:

         “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

         Most Christians refuse to keep all the Lord’s commandments. It is not possible, therefore, that they really love Him. They simply see Him as someone other than God and the fullness of their devotion is not directed toward Him. Thus, they will never perform the works of the Lord.

JESUS IS GOD

         And here is even more:

         “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:12-18] [1]

         The Lord Jesus, THE TRUTH, is obviously also the Spirit of Truth. He just said it in the preceding passage. He is the Helper. He is the Comforter. He said He will not leave us as orphans, which clearly means, if we so chose, that He will be our parent, which means, HE IS THE FATHER. This entire passage in John 14, remember, is about identifying the Father.

         But also, as the Spirit of Truth, HE IS THE SPIRIT. He said He was presently with them, but would soon be IN them. “I will come to you.” That happened at Pentecost.

         There’s another giant clue: Most Christians refuse Pentecost.

         So there you have it. We have all the reasons we need concerning why some Christians cannot do the miraculous works the Lord Jesus did. Most Christians don’t come anywhere close to doing the same things He did, and sadly, most Christians are perfectly fine and content with this.

MIRACULOUS WORKS ARE A SIGN OF THE LORD’S PRESENCE

         You will find as you study the Gospel accounts in-depth that something very otherworldly was going on in the ministry of the Lord. Of course, most Christians know this and support it. But the otherworldly supernatural character of the Lord’s ministry continued after He ascended. It continued in the ministries of His real disciples afterwards, it continued after them, and it continues today.

         But don’t be fooled. There are obviously many charlatans and deceivers who claim miracles, signs, and wonders but the only sign many of them are concerned about is the dollar sign and the only wonder is how they continue to get away with it.

         Christians must never be content with surface-oriented Christianity or being mere cultural Christians. We must all be born again. We must all receive the spiritual power of the Lord. We must all enter the Miracle Realm and live within it, as did the Lord Jesus and all real disciples since His time.

         He is depending on us to be full-fledged mature disciples so He can work miracles through us and thereby fulfill all the abundant life promises of His Word for a fallen world.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

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MUST READS:

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 1)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 2)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 3)


[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.

LIVING IN THE MIRACLE REALM: Spiritual War (2)

         Miraculous works were not only a sign proving the legitimacy and authority of the Lord Jesus and His ministry, they were vital to carrying it out. His overall ministry has never ceased but continued with His original disciples and continues at present. In order to achieve what the Lord has called us to achieve we must use every ministry tool and weapon that He used. We must live in the Miracle Realm.

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SPIRITUAL WAR

         We are in a war. It is the greatest war of all time. It has been going on continuously since the spiritual fall in the Garden when sin entered the world. The enemy knows all he has to do is apply enough temptation to get a person to sin and then everything spiritual in that person’s life will be cut off. Such a person will become spiritually blind and completely ineffective.

         Therefore, the first reason that most Christians cannot perform miracles as the Lord did is because they have sin in their lives. Of course, human pride is greatly offended at this and will oppose the solution all the more. Most Christians have never had a real born again experience and thus they have never truly repented, and thus, the blood of Jesus has never been applied. They remain in their sins though they may otherwise look and act like a Christian. They have never fully repented.

         Of course, such is Christianity 101. It is not that most Christians have failed the course but that they refuse to take the course.

         Many Christians go through their Christian routine knowing full well there is a weight upon them and a problem, but having no clue what it is or what to do about it, since they have rejected the otherwise obvious answer (sin), they cease trying to figure it out and simply learn to live with it. They accept a powerless Christianity and simply go through religious motions completely outside the Miracle Realm.

WHAT ABOUT REAL CHRISTIANS?

         For sincere believers—THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THE LORD JESUS REQUIRES WHATEVER THE PERSONAL COST—there are also reasons why they are having a hard time manifesting the works of God.

         Again, we are in a war. Science tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is the same in the spirit: EVERYTHING A REAL BELIEVER ATTEMPTS TO DO FOR GOD WILL BE OPPOSED—EVERYTHING.

         Therefore, if you really want to get it done you must understand that one attempt will usually fail. It is often the case that ten attempts will fail. If one is easily discouraged then forget it. It is not that the Lord is not involved, however, it is that the enemy is resisting. He is fighting you. You must overcome him. The Lord showed us how.

         Remember, Daniel prayed for three weeks without hearing anything at all. Then an angel showed up. The angel said the Lord heard Daniel’s prayer at the very beginning. But the angel, the messenger the Lord sent right away, had to engage in warfare with a powerful demon to get the answer to Daniel. That’s why it took 21 days. Daniel did his part by continuously praying and believing, and staying in faith for as long as it took for the answer to arrive.

OUR POWERFUL WEAPON OF FASTING

         The Lord Jesus was fasting all the time. He began His ministry with a 40 day fast. If one refuses to fast then forget it—one will never do the miraculous works of God.

OUR POWERFUL WEAPON OF PRAYER

         He was also praying all the time, sometimes spending hours every night in prayer, and there were times when He prayed all night long. If one refuses to pray the right way, or pray unceasingly, or pray IN FAITH, or pray as if all depended on one’s prayers, then forget it—one will never do the miraculous works of God.

OUR POWERFUL WEAPON OF GOD’S WORD

         The Lord was also always quoting the Word. THERE IS GREAT POWER AND ANOINTING IN THE WORD OF GOD! He used it as yet another weapon. If one refuses to use the real Word of God then forget it—one will never do the miraculous works of God.

         Indeed, all three of these are very powerful spiritual weapons. They each must be utilized to achieve the will of God.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

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         MUST READS:

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 1)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 2)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 3)

LIVING IN THE MIRACLE REALM: Miracles Are Real (1)

         Miraculous works were not only a sign proving the legitimacy and authority of the Lord Jesus and His ministry, they were vital to carrying it out. His overall ministry has never ceased but continued with His original disciples and continues at present. In order to achieve what the Lord has called us to achieve we must use every ministry tool and weapon that He used. We must live in the Miracle Realm.

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THE MIRACLE REALM

         All of us wonder sometimes why our prayers are not answered. We wonder why we feel so out of touch spiritually and why the Lord seems to be a million miles away. While such things happen from time to time for dedicated disciples, for most Christians, they happen all the time.

         This is one reason: The majority of Christians in the world have never entered the Miracle Realm.

         Let me explain.

         The Lord Jesus said His real disciples would do the same things He did. Before we go further, please focus on His words in the following passage:

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:12] [1]

         Now, consider that. The Lord spoke these words very sincerely. He left no doubt as to their meaning. The words apply to every real believer from that time until the present. He said that every REAL believer will do the same works that He did during His ministry and would also do even greater works.

         Now consider the following phenomena:

         The Lord Jesus could actually SEE otherwise invisible demons.

         The Lord was also well-acquainted with angels, as were the members of His early Community. You remember that Peter was busted out of jail by a walking talking angel the night before he was to be executed. Joseph, the Lord’s human father, had one dream after another featuring an actual angel appearing to him in dreams and giving him specific commands.

         The Lord Jesus Himself appeared to Paul on more than one occasion.

         All of these things happened as a matter of course in early Christian history. For most Christians since and for most Christians at present these kinds of things NEVER happen. Most Christian leaders are so out of touch spiritually they have joined the devil in claiming such things no longer happen, can’t happen, and haven’t happened since the first century. And because of this, most Christians have been taught to NOT believe.

         In other words, if it doesn’t happen to me or at my church then it simply can’t be real.

         This is what I term Surface-Oriented Christianity. It’s not spiritually real. It has no power. Whatever the denomination, it is as unreal as the day is long. I am not judging the hearts of individuals, but merely agreeing with the actual teachings and ministry of the Lord Jesus and standing on His Words instead of the words of any other.

         Let me explain something even further. As a follower of the Lord, I have been around a long time. I am very familiar with Catholic churches, Protestant churches of almost every form, Non-denominational churches, and many Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. I am very familiar with mega churches and many forms of small home groups. I could go on. I have been to roughly a million Christian services and meetings and conferences of pretty much any and every form.

         But very rarely, relatively speaking, have I seen or experienced the works the Lord did during His ministry.

         BUT I HAVE SEEN THEM. THEY DO EXIST.

         It is just that, again, relatively speaking regarding all Christian experience and considering all denominations, the Lord’s miraculous works are very rare. Everyone knows this. Some Christians even think they don’t happen at all and never could.

         There are reasons for this. I can tell you exactly what those reasons are, but I also know that most Christians are simply not interested. For the few who are interested and really want to break through and be used of God in a mighty way, stayed tuned…

         In the meantime I suggest the following articles:

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 1)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 2)

         ENTERING THE MIRACLE REALM (Part 3)

         © 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPEECH

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

         James wrote the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         Real Christianity is distinguished by the following:

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

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

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

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The “Official” Christian Rule Book: Invalidating the Word of God for the Sake of Religious Tradition (1)

         I was sitting in church one day years ago. It was relatively early in a midweek service. We all sat waiting expectantly to hear a message from the Lord. The pastor had just begun his sermon and he told the congregation, “Please turn in your Bibles to the Book of…”

         A twenty-something man toward the front, an unbright visitor with no understanding of church protocol, then immediately blurted out, “Wait! What page!?”

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         One wonders why, in the face of many centuries of ecclesiastical control and strident oversight within Christianity, that someone has not yet addressed this issue. Why don’t we have just one Bible and one translation so everyone can follow along the same way many Christians do with everything else?

         Wait. In fact, “Christians” did think of this. Many centuries ago. Then they quickly surmised it would be even better if they simply dispensed with the Word of God altogether. Then they could make up their own rules and their own book and no one would be the wiser.

         They could have called it The Official Christian Rule Book.

         All facetiousness aside, such a thing actually happened, exactly that way. For a thousand years (let me repeat), FOR A THOUSAND YEARS, the Bible was effectively outlawed within “official” Christianity.

THE ORIGINAL PROTESTANT REFORMATION

         Christians forget that there was once a Protestant Reformation. They also forget that the Protestant Reformation arose for only one reason—it was a PROTEST against the Roman Catholic Church.

         Why were so many people protesting against the Roman Catholic Church? And why were all the ringleaders Catholic or former Catholics?

         Actually, the Protestant Reformation did not simply begin at a single point in time in the early 1500s, though that was certainly the beginning of the open and successful Reformation that the Catholic Church could no longer suppress or contain. It had been ongoing for, yes, A THOUSAND YEARS.

         The problem for the various Protestants through the intervening years prior to the early 1500s was that they were usually politically unprotected single individuals, much like Old Testament prophets, or relatively small Christian societies. They were always outnumbered and outvoted, which included by possibly the millions otherwise sympathetic Catholics who were intimidated into silence without the courage to join them. Thus, these early Protestants were very easy to suppress and kill off by the so-called mother church.

         Never mind that the Catholic Church violated always and repeatedly the clear teachings of the Lord Jesus in this regard in order to gain and maintain its strict religious control; it was obvious to the evil leaders thereof that no other method was feasible. The RCC spared no effort or funding to engage in ongoing religious cleansing of dissenters in order to establish and maintain a religious monolith.

         Once a person decided to protest against obvious rule-breaking by the new illicit rule makers, such a person became their enemy. The religious controllers could attempt certain punishments to bring such righteous dissidents back into line, such as applying a non-tangible whip like a guilt trip or social excommunication, or they could go much further and engage in actual physical “discipline.”

         If such efforts failed and the recalcitrant party refused to buckle under, the only things remaining were the dungeon or death. Both had been used forever by evil despots to silence their critics, and the new “Christian” clergy knew it must also use the same tactics to stay in power. Otherwise, their lies would be overwhelmed by the honest words of honest men who stood for the teachings of the Lord Jesus, and the clergyites would be defeated by truth.

         Hence, the Original Protestant Reformation continued on throughout the many centuries of the Dark Ages—ages made dark for one reason—the elimination of the Word of God from the people. Therefore, the opponents of the Catholic Church—the protesting opponents who favored the free use of the Word of God for everybody—were actually the real friends of God. This exposed the real enemies of God—the Catholic clergy—the ones who purported officially and openly to be God’s friends and spokesmen.

         Remember, there are two things that the enemies of the Lord hate more than Him, and that is HIS WORD and HIS NAME:

         As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “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 8:30-32]

         Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. [John 20:30-31]

         The elimination of the freedom-releasing, life-giving, and spiritual power-producing Word of God and Name of God is a must if the Lord’s enemies are to be successful. That this happened through a false front “Christian” operation would otherwise open many eyes save for the extreme duplicity and treachery involved.

         It is what we call religious guile, deceit, and hypocrisy of the highest order—standard operating procedure at the hands of the official Roman Catholic clergy of that time—and the very thing the Pharisees of the Lord’s time were guilty of as well.

THE ORIGINAL PHARISEES

         The Lord Jesus saved His greatest, most forceful, and most damning rebukeathons for the evil Pharisaic leadership for one reason—they refused to allow the pure Word of God to be in the hands of the people—they refused to allow God to be in charge. They majored on instant condemnation for rule breakers. They were much more interested in the Gotcha! Protocol (and the quick punishment thereof) than any forgiveness, compassion, understanding, love, or mercy.

         Sound familiar?

         The Pharisees also insisted they must teach from a perverted “official” substitute rulebook written and sponsored by them and by no one else. The desire and goal of the Pharisaic leadership was complete and dominant religious control over every single person within what was left of the nation of Israel, as well as to infinity and beyond:

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

         The Pharisees succeeded at this for a while, maybe two or three centuries. Their efforts ended up destroying their nation. But their success was minimal in comparison to successful Roman Catholicism, which not only caused the European Dark Ages but became the greatest Christian offshoot in history to the tune of one billion plus worldwide at present.

         And it still operates the same way it always has, though obvious outward changes had to be made since the incredible spiritual successes of:

(1) The Protestant Reformation,

(2) The unprecedented establishment of complete, legal spiritual liberty and religious freedom with the against-all-odds creation of the United States of America. This freedom and liberty did not exist in Europe, even among Protestants, and certainly not among Catholics who spent a millennium and half fighting against it.

(3) The giant, ongoing, ever-increasing, worldwide Pentecostal movement of the last 120 years. 

         As had the Original Pharisees, the Roman Catholic Church still possesses its official rule book. It is a book loosely based on the Word of God. Yet, whoever knowingly teaches against the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, makes additions or subtractions to or from them, and refuses to honor all of His teachings are, like the interloper Judas Iscariot, the Lord’s greatest enemies.

         They are such because they both pretend to be something they are not and deceive people into believing it, and are flippantly arrogant in their effective rewriting of God’s original Word for the sake of their own illicit religious kingdoms and elite power structure.

         Regarding the approach of the Lord Jesus toward such illicit rule book makers who revel in lording it over others, we know how He approached the Torah teachers (lawyers) and Pharisees of His time in the following passages:

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

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

         “And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” [Matthew 15:6] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Glory Has Departed

         “…For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” [Mark 13:22-23]

         It must be noted that even though the Lord Jesus told everyone in advance exactly what was going to happen as a result of their rejection of Him, it did no good for the rebellious majority—The nation of Israel was destroyed. Jerusalem was destroyed. The great temple was destroyed.

JESUS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

         Of course, Herod’s temple at the time of our Lord was essentially a hollow edifice. Within the Holy of Holies there was nothing. There was no Ark of the Covenant. There was nothing within the most holy place that gave any spiritual reason for the high priest to enter it. It was empty.

         This past Wednesday marked Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It was on that day in which the high priest of ancient Judaism would enter the Holy of Holies once per year to make atonement for the sins of the people. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. And he could only do it once per year.

         But during our Lord’s time the entire ceremony was an empty exercise in illusion. Again, the Ark was not there. It had not been heard of since 586BC. It was lost to history six centuries before the Lord’s time. No one knows where it is to this day or if it even still exists.

         Therefore, from the time of the rebuilt temple in 515BC until the destruction of Herod’s temple in 70AD there was no Ark of the Covenant in the temple. This made the entire sacrificial system an empty exercise in pure religion. Without the Ark it was all meaningless.

         And today, without the Ark or the temple, the Judaism of that time has become largely meaningless with respect to what it once was.

ALL GET FOOLED AGAIN

         But enough about what has happened since Herod’s temple was destroyed. The point of this post is to illustrate the illusion of religion that existed with an empty temple and its spiritual parallels of today.

         The Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of God. The worst that could ever happen in ancient Israel was for the presence of God to leave, to vacate the premises, and to leave the nation to the darkness of their own man-made religious devices.

         And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.

         She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.” [1Samuel 4:21-22]

         In America this past Wednesday, in a national sense, Yom Kippur was completely desecrated. Christians will argue, of course, that the Jewish Day of Atonement has nothing to do with Christianity. But of course, the Autumn Feast Days have yet to be fulfilled. Unlike the Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits, which have been fulfilled, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot remain in an unfulfilled state and are brimming with expectant prophecy. The fulfillment of these feasts will be capped off with the glorious return of the Lord Jesus.

IDOLATRY ON PARADE

         So to see the way the United States government and the Vatican colluded to desecrate the Day of Atonement in this country reveals just how far the deception has matured and how incredibly powerful the illusion has become:

         Pope Francis arrived in Washington at 4pm on the eve of Yom Kippur, which began at sunset. The President of the United States actually met him at the airport. Think about that for a while. The next day, on Yom Kippur, the Pope met with the President with whom he shares many political ideologies. He was then treated to a parade.

         The next day he became the first Pope to address a joint session of Congress. This man, who possesses the title “Vicar of Christ” (substitute), then proceeded to make his speech.

         But during his speech, he never once invoked the Name of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus was never mentioned. So not only was Yom Kippur desecrated, the Pope, accepting all the glory thrown his way while the Lord received none, absolutely dissed the Lord Jesus and pretty much no one there noticed or cared. He proved his title.

         Ichabod.

         Real Christians, however, those with eyes to see who respect the Lord Jesus and serve Him, certainly noticed. But Real Christians have been noticing such illusion and deception for centuries. Has there ever been a time in America when the illusion and the disrespect for God has been so bold and pronounced?

         There are millions of real believers in this country who, if given the opportunity, could have addressed Congress properly, and strongly, and eloquently, and with complete honor and respect for the Lord Jesus who deserves all honor, praise, and glory. You can bet they would have mentioned the Lord’s Name many times.

         But such an address will never happen. And that is because real Christians are servants of the very King, the real and only King, this world has rejected. And the reality is that anyone, and I mean anyone, such as a foreign Pope or a foreign Prime Minister (who never mentioned the Lord’s Name either) will be allowed to address Congress all day long and all year long, but the Lord Jesus, if possible, would NEVER be allowed to address Congress in a million years.

         And there you have it. He has been shut out. The ruling elite hate Him. And the vast majority not only have no clue about this but do not care whatsoever. They like their little fake world.

         The temple is empty.

         Most churches are empty.

         There is no Ark.

         The Glory Has Departed.

         The majority has been blinded to spiritual reality by their own lack of faith and idolatry. They have swallowed whole a false representation of spiritual truth. They have been hoodwinked by the massive illusion and pageantry. Their growing acceptance of anti-Christian ideologies and personages is preparing their eventual acceptance of you know who.

EYES TO SEE

         For the few who can see, however, there is the following which explains everything:

         And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

         Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

         “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

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

         “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” [Matthew 13:10-16] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Jesus Free Zones

         According to that which transpires every Sunday morning, most Christians ascribe to a universal unspoken creed, believing the Christian thing to do in official church services—the highest protocol—is to honor a communal vow of silence. Along with this is the expectation to be “nice” at all times in the sense of always being careful to never give offense.

         The problem with this invertebrate approach, beside the point that one will never get anything done for God with such a bankrupt ideology, is that it plays right into the devil’s hands. In fact, it arises from obeying the devil instead of obeying the Lord Jesus and the evidence for this is all around us. Where is the proof of His mighty presence? Where is the dynamic of an interactive community?

         Real Christianity has the powerful backbone of its Founder. It is not wrong or immoral to possess this backbone and strength. It is actually highly immoral to reject it. It is not wrong to let this world feel one’s weight.

         Sinful flesh is always offended by any perceived slight. To make a religion of “not offending” is asinine. The Lord Jesus never sinned, loved everybody, and yet offended His way to a bloody execution.

         “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” [Matthew 11:6]

         The Gospel, by its very nature, is offensive to unregenerate flesh. Every Christian voice should be preaching the Gospel in some way. One defeats the purpose of being a good witness if one believes being silent and “being nice” is the highest good. If one never speaks “at church,” the odds are high that one never witnesses outside the church.

         Hiding within a congregation means hiding everywhere. Silencing the voices of 99% of all Christians by clergyite controllers for the sake of some ridiculous, ill advised, religious decorum is the opposite of New Covenant community and proves the Lord Jesus has been taken completely out of the loop. I believe He will not let this go unmentioned at the Judgment.

THE SILENT-NICE CREED AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS

         If Christians are forever silent in their assemblies, in obedience to a false command that always traces its origin back to the devil, then they are not being heard. If one is not heard then one is not using the most powerful and instrumental weapon the Lord Jesus has given us. If one is not using that weapon—that incredible force—OUR VOICE—against the enemy and for the Lord, then one has done the exact equivalent of surrender.

         This obviously proves the devil’s influence.

         In the United States of America, in 1787, certain people with very powerful voices who demanded to be heard insisted that we have what later became known as the Bill of Rights. These men were in the minority. It was a minority view. It appeared to the elite that these men were trying to wreck the ratification process of the new constitution and were none too pleased. The authors of the Constitution saw no need for such a thing as a Bill of Rights, claiming all rights were inferred within the general provisions of the constitutional document.

         But the Bill of Rights advocates rejected such an idea and claimed that unless specific rights were written down and codified such rights would soon disappear. The only way to get the secretly written Constitution ratified, thus, would be through adding the Bill of Rights. The original Federalist authors had to back down and accept such written rights in amendment form or the Constitution would have been rejected.

         The minority view was thus heard. It was heard because the men speaking forth insisted on being heard regardless of what anyone thought or the aspersions cast upon their character.

         Do later generations appreciate their boldness? Are we glad they broke an improper protocol?

         Because of their boldness and insistence, we still have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press in America. We can, as Americans, say what we want, believe what we want, and publish what we want, with no fear of breaking the law or being silenced (censored).

         In spite of all this, however, the devil has done an end run and managed to silence his critics anyway.

         The devil has silenced his Christian enemies in America, not through leftist liberalism, but primarily through organized “Christian” religion.

         The Lord Jesus taught that the entire Law of Moses hung on only two laws. Within the weird unholy realm of “official” Christianity, those two laws have been replaced. Instead of loving the Lord with all our heart and obeying the Golden Rule, we are taught to (1) Be silent, and (2) Be nice.

         “Being nice” is not the same thing as obeying the Golden Rule. The Lord Jesus never violated the Golden Rule, but regarding the false “be nice” ideology embraced by supposedly well intentioned Christians and church leaders, He certainly violated its terms:

         He was not so nice when He told off the idiot Pharisees. He was not so nice when He referred to a Samaritan woman as a dog. He was not so nice when He came down hard on His own disciples when they exhibited a pronounced lack of faith. He didn’t sound so nice when He said He did not come to bring peace to the planet but a sword. These were all bold and honest statements.

         In most churches, such boldness is long gone. Indeed, any appearance of boldness is seen as the evidence of borderline lunacy. Anyone who actually emulates the Lord Jesus, the apostles, the entire early community of believers, and the OT prophets by boldly using their voice to teach and preach truth as they did has no chance in any Christian church unless he or she occupies a pulpit. Without the wrapping of a pulpit and fake religious credentials, believers have no voice in such places unless they become sycophants.

         Also, the really weird thing is that once one has a pulpit all to himself he almost never allows it to be used by God, which means not only is the entire congregation silent but the preacher refuses to preach the real Gospel. Thus, no one is accountable to the Lord.

         And please don’t mistake the whiny railings of the Biblically illiterate and historically ignorant as spiritual boldness. Real spiritual boldness is evidenced by the miraculous, and it forces demonic entities to back off and obey. The rest is just a lot of hot air from flesh in charge.

JESUS FREE ZONES

         “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; Who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!” [Isaiah 30:1-2]

         The majority of churches in America are Jesus Free Zones. The Bill of Rights never applies. Even the leadership admits that. There is no freedom of religion other than for them, nor is there freedom of speech, nor of the press. There is only a rubber stamp based on the beliefs of those in charge. The entire congregation is otherwise SILENT. And because the falsely qualified speakers are the only speakers, there is no check on their ramblings. Everyone sits idly by, passively, quietly, never uttering a word, while the free speakers pontificate on and on ad nauseam.

         It is already that way, of course, in society in general. It is that way in the media. It is that way in government. It is that way pretty much everywhere in America nowadays. Unless a person is a one-in-a-million well-paid chosen one with proper credentials or a person of means one will never get any air time. No one appears in the major media without heavy vetting. There is much that can never be said and is never said because too many lies would be exposed. Truth is a victim. This proves there is no Bill of Rights in the mainstream media either.

         It is political correctness run amok. The silencers have taken over. But who cares about what a sinful fallen world does? What it does is not the problem. The problem, therefore, is not political correctness, IT IS RELIGIOUS CORRECTNESS.

         And the vast majority of “Christians” in America continue to sit idly by disregarding their voice and refusing to obey the Lord Jesus because they believe the tripe from their pulpits that the duty of Christians is to be silent and nice. For men in particular it means to become women.

         During His time among us, the Lord Jesus was not quiet. And He wasn’t “nice.”

         He was certainly loving. And love often demands that one be vocal and very bold. It is not loving to know the truth that sets people free but refuse to speak it for fear of hurting their feelings. How does that work?

         For example, you want to pray for someone. Someone has a serious problem. Though it might not apply, no one dare bring up the possibility of sin because that would not be nice. And if a person has unconfessed sin in their life and refuses to repent, well, you can pray all day long and nothing will happen. Nor will anything happen if there is no faith.

         Real prayer brings on conviction. Conviction reveals sin. The sin is often the problem. Sin causes problems. Sin causes disease and sickness. This fact is stated very clearly in the gospels. Demons also cause these things. There are many passages that prove this also. Therefore the first issue to be addressed must be the possibility of sin, which is addressed by repentance and through a contrite heart. It should certainly be done in love using the proper tact but never simply rejected out of hand.

         And if the person with the problem is oppressed by demons you can’t bring that up either because that certainly would not be nice, both because of the societal implications involved and that it might be offensive. And if one has never been filled with the Spirit of God one will never have any success telling demons where to go anyway. And being filled with the Spirit requires boldness and results in boldness and a very strong voice, and no one who is really filled with the Spirit of the Lord will be silent for long and will refuse religious correctness because it violates one’s entire reason for being a disciple of the Lord in the first place.

         Therefore, faux Christians go through mere motions swimming in a pool without water and acting out hushaby prayers and religious service with no power to achieve the required result because they insist on obeying the Silent-Nice Creed.

         Their prayers don’t work but that’s okay. Their preaching has no spiritual effect but that’s okay. What matters most is that they are silent regarding the real Gospel and are always so nice. This is a completely different gospel. There is one major media ever-smiling Christian mega star who has perfected this approach into a crowd pleasing science and pretty much everyone knows who it is. Where did he learn this stuff? Why do millions of people, both Christian and secular, believe he is for real?

         When someone goes around preaching that everyone is going to heaven, that adherents of false religions are going to heaven, that members of cults are going to heaven, and that unrepentant sinners are going to heaven, it makes a mockery of the real Gospel and the work of the Lord.

OBEY THE LORD JESUS!

         “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]

         Peter and John were threatened by the Sanhedrin for saying this. The Lord had just healed a lame man through the power of His Name and by His Holy Spirit resident within these two apostles. The Sanhedrin was the Jewish Supreme Court of that time, comprising the rulers, elders, scribes, and the high priest and is a perfect type of present Christian authoritarian controlling elites in opposition to God. It had the power to censor, punish, and kill. Peter and John were commanded by this very high court to stop using the Name of Jesus. The members of the Sanhedrin were GREATLY OFFENDED. The apostles were commanded to be silent. They were commanded to adhere to the Silent-Nice Creed.

         Peter and John told them to go stick it in their left ear.

         And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

         But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” [Acts 4:18-20] [1]

         Go and do likewise.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 10)

         The Lord Jesus consistently displayed the heart of a Father. As we studied in the last post, He said He would not leave His disciples as orphans. Yet, many believers, whether they admit it or not, effectively feel like orphans. They do not feel connected to God. Could this be because they are not connected to God? As in the idea of the new birth experience which the Lord said all real believers are required to undergo [John 3:5], many Christians cannot point to any such experience. If they were born again, they do not know when it may have occurred.

         Imagine that. Then imagine a woman giving birth and not knowing it occurred. (“Hey Ralph, where’d this baby come from?”)

         Moreover, imagine a baby leaving the comfortable confines of the womb through a VERY narrow way and a ridiculously tiny gate and tell me the baby has no idea something out of the ordinary is taking place. I imagine the vast majority of babies are thinking something along the lines of the worst amusement park ride that ever existed on Halloween in a haunted house with a scary little guy donning coke-bottle glasses and a big IRS badge waiting at the other end. (“I didn’t sign up for this!!”)

         In fact, if a Christian cannot locate the time and place of his or her new birth, the odds are high that there never was a new birth. Not that the experience is bad or scary, but memorable. Why?

         Because it was the day one met the God of the universe and gave his or her life to Him!

         The Lord’s disciples certainly looked forward to being reunited with the Lord after being divided from Him that day atop the Mount of Olives. And by His own acclamation, He was not only their Rabbi and Master, but their spiritual Father, and would be away for a while on a ten day trip:

         Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

         So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

         He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

         And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. [Acts 1:4-12]

         He left in a cloud and would return in a cloud…

         Ever notice how the events of Acts 2 relate to (as is the common parlance of today’s TV weather forecasters), a strong weather event? It opens with “a noise like a violent rushing wind.” The noise/wind fills the whole house where the 120 are gathered. Then, there is lightning:

         And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. [Acts 2:3]

         And the Spirit of God continued to fall in a holy rain…

         “‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT and they shall prophesy. AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.’” [Acts 2:17-19]

         The old-timers called it a glory cloud—a visible manifestation of the presence of the Lord. Christians who have never experienced such a thing might have the attitude of the mockers and unbelievers, but in some ways cannot be blamed. There is so much counterfeit spiritual nonsense in the Christian world today. Charlatans and lovers of money have faked the blessedness of the Lord’s holy rain and manifested their own seedless fabrications and hokum.

         But the real event is undeniable. As it was on that illustrious Day of Pentecost so long ago, so is it still today, circling the globe. The Lord will go wherever He is welcome and will manifest His presence to the degree desired.

         Want more of the Lord?

         And in that day you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.” Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. [Isaiah 12:4-6] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 10 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 9)

         “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” [John 14:26]

         According to the above passage, the Father… will send the Holy Spirit… in the Name of the Son. In classic Christian jargon, the “First Person” will send the “Third Person” in the name of the “Second Person.” This reminds me of the Olympics, when the three medal winners stand on small joined platforms of three different levels to receive their medals. The winner stands front and center on the tallest platform to receive the gold. He or she is the champion. The silver medal winner (second place) is on the second-tallest platform, and the third-place bronze medal winner is on the lowest platform.

         Don’t we always say, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?” (One, two, three?) We never arrange these three in any different order. The arrangement signifies rank, as if “The Father” is most important, “The Son” second most important, etc. But the tri-unity doctrine teaches that each Person is co-equal, which means it contradicts both itself AND Scripture:

         If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” [John 14:28b]

         But Jesus is God! What’s up with that? Can God be greater than God?

         Well, at least we know that the Father is greater than the Son, and is therefore most qualified to send the Holy Spirit.

         Uh… no:

         “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” [John 15:26-27]

         What?

         One chapter after finding out that the Father will send the Spirit, we discover that Jesus will send the Spirit. Which is correct? Will the “First Person” send the “Third Person,” or will the “Second Person” send the “Third Person?” At least we know the “Third Person” wins the bronze. No apparent argument there.

         So, the Holy Spirit will be sent in the Name of Jesus by Jesus. Confused?

         Well, hold on, because we’re just getting started.

         Just who, pray tell, is the Holy Spirit? Is it a heavenly dove? A nameless force? Was the Lord sent to the desert by a Spirit with no name because it felt good to be out of the rain? (In the desert, you can’t remember your name…)

         “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:16-18]

         Uh oh.

         We just found out who the Holy Spirit is. Why, despite theologian’s best efforts, do we keep coming back to Jesus? The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete, from the Greek word parakletos. This word is also translated in various Bible versions as Comforter, Helper, and Advocate. The Holy Spirit is assumed to take the place of Jesus in the lives of the disciples, but the truth is more than what it seems:

         “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’” [John 14:28a]

         This is not a reference to the Second Coming. It is a reference to the fact that the Lord Jesus, as a Father, would not irresponsibly leave His children without a teacher, guide, or guardian once He ascended into heaven:

         “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:18]

         We gain more insight through the Lord referring to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth. Can the Spirit of Truth be appreciably different from “The Truth?”

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

         Is the Holy Spirit truly the Spirit of Jesus?

         We get a glimpse of this and greater revelation in the following passage referencing Paul’s travels as he and his companions in ministry were directed by the Spirit of Jesus:

         They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. [Acts 16:6-8]

         (There was, of course, a reason why the Lord refused to permit them to go into Bithynia, which will be studied in a later post.)

         We receive further understanding of our subject through Paul’s claim that the Spirit of Jesus actually lives within real Christians and is spoken of as a providential provision:

         …For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. [Philippians 1:19-21] [1]

         He will not leave us as orphans indeed…

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 9 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 8)

         God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”

         Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

         And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. [Acts 19:11-17]

         Here we have a case where the password to the Kingdom of God became known to non-believers. They attempted to use it the way Paul did but with much different results.

         Imagine an evil spirit so powerful it could work through one man to beat the hell out of seven religious pretenders. These clowns were not merely defeated. They were abused, humiliated, and literally ripped-off.

         What happened?

         Though the Name of Jesus is the password to the kingdom of God, its proper use is restricted to those who have made a wholesale commitment to the owner of the Name. Unless one’s heart is fully circumcised unto the Lord, the password will not work, though it may appear otherwise in some circumstances. If one’s faith is weak, the password will not work. If one’s motive is wrong, the password will not work. If one has unrepentant sin, the password will not work. If there’s any flesh involved, the password will not work.

         The seven sons of Sceva had apparently had some success in exorcising demons. There are certain Christian sects that have historically practiced exorcism and continue practicing it today.

         But the Lord Jesus never practiced exorcism. He quite simply but most powerfully used His authority and commanded evil spirits to obey Him. No need for silly formulas and little wooden crosses. The Lord merely said, “Get out!” and they scrammed. His disciples had been given the use of His powerful Name and also ran off any number of demons through the same authority. Demons were often scared enough to stay away from those filled with the Spirit of God. They knew they’d get their backsides kicked. They certainly knew who the Lord Jesus was, that He was a Warrior on the warpath shining a great Light into their dark little hovels.

         You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. [James 2:19]

         The proponents of Unreal Christianity have not been granted the authority of the Name since they have never fully committed to the Lord Jesus. This is obvious by the way they dishonor and disrespect Him. (“Oh, those things don’t happen anymore!” “We don’t believe in that stuff!” You’re a fruitcake and those things are of the devil!” “It makes me feel so uncomfortable…”) Dead churches are dead because they lack the power of God. They have no access to it. They claim to have authority to use the Name but one never sees much demonstration of the Lord’s Spirit in such places.

         Other people counterfeit it. The devil is using them and they don’t even know it.

         But one thing is sure: There is great power and authority in the Name of Jesus but one must be qualified to use it or nothing good will happen.

         Ask the sons of Sceva. They never, ever made that mistake again. The evil spirit punted their rears halfway across Ephesus.

         Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. [Acts 19:18-20]

         This is the real gospel in action.

         But why did the Lord direct Paul to go to Ephesus in the first place? Once again, it had to do with the power of His Name. It seems there were certain followers of John the Immerser there who had never heard of Pentecost. Note what happens after Paul discovers the way they were baptized:

         It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

         And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

         And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?”

         And they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

         Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

         When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. There were in all about twelve men. [Acts 19:1-7] [1]

         Why did Paul connect the infilling of the Holy Spirit with water baptism? Was it for the simple reason that the password to the kingdom of God is directly associated with water baptism? Was it because water baptism in the Name of Jesus is a major part of the heart-circumcision process toward total submission to the Messiah and gaining proper authority to use His Name?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 8 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 7)

         Pessimism is a sin. If a person claims to be a real Christian and is not optimistic regarding areas under God’s control, then one is sinning against Him.

         It’s called a lack of faith.

         …And whatever is not from faith is sin. [Romans 14:23]  

         The Lord was often exasperated with faithlessness, especially among His own disciples. Remembering the simple fact that those guys were His students learning His craft excuses them since they were in the process of moving from darkness to light. If they continued in pessimistic faithlessness after the Resurrection, the Ascension, and Pentecost, then they failed His curriculum and were in sin.

         And not a real part of His community.

         Which brings us to the crux of the matter: The majority who claim to be Christians are not real Christians. They are Christian in name only, regardless of their denomination or doctrinal beliefs.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. [John 10:1-6]

         From this definitive statement the Lord is clearly teaching that it is possible for “strangers” to get into His sheepfold. Think about that. We gain greater understanding of this fact when discovering that the Greek word for stranger in this verse means “one belonging to another.” In other words, these strangers are not simply unknown persons crashing the party but those who belong to someone else. And in the clear context of the verse we see that He is referring to people who are shepherds other than the Lord Jesus.

         Who are these shepherds?

         I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. [Galatians 1:6-12]

         There is no doubt that Paul spoke often of false apostles and false gospels. This obviously presupposes false shepherds. False shepherds are “strangers” who enter the Lord’s sheepfold through means other than the door. They assume authority over people not granted from God. It was the Pharisees who Jesus was referring to as such strangers, as clearly indicated in chapter nine of John’s gospel. (There should have been no chapter break, since the narrative from chapter nine continues into chapter ten.)

         The Lord Jesus tells them He is the Door of the sheepfold. He is also the Good Shepherd. Whoever does an end run into His sheepfold without going through the Door (the only means of proper access) is not a real believer.

         “…No one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]

         No one can possibly get to the Father without going through the Son. Whoever rejects the Son automatically rejects the Father also. The Father and Son are a package deal. One cannot have one without also having the other.

         If one has a shepherd other than the Son, one does not have the Father.

         Yet, such people think they still have the Father. Some Christians insistently refer to “God” as someone other than the Lord Jesus, but have no real idea who this “God” is. The term often refers to an unknowable, intangible, and conceptual God that people end up making to suit themselves. In their minds, this God is not Jesus.

         They must, therefore, have a shepherd other than Jesus, because if Jesus were their shepherd, He would be their God also.

         Who qualifies then as replacement shepherds of unreal Christians? Who are the Christian leaders who teach their sheep to enter the Lord’s sheepfold through a means other than the Door? Who are these replacement shepherds who take the place of the Door?

         So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13] [1]

         One should see very clearly that any shepherd who advises his sheep to disregard the Door and enter His sheepfold through another means or method is not honest or upright, but a thief and a mere hired hand working for pay. What’s more, you can bet that the sheep of the false shepherds look and act like them, and not at all like the Door.

         The password to the kingdom of God is the Name of Jesus.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 7 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 6)

         Unreal Christianity is infused with sacred cows. After two thousand years of extra-Biblical heretical teachings and “Christian” denominational offshoots, Unreal Christianity contains a veritable zoo of protected cattle wandering down city streets masquerading as truth. As possible reincarnated ancestors, none dare touch such cows without stirring up a hornet’s nest of retribution and murder.

         And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

         And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. [Luke 4:24-29]

         Goodness gracious. Talk about your sacred cows. The Lord saw things a tad differently than these rabid detractors. They had built up a very false idea of their own religious culture over time and were willing to do any harm to anyone who dared challenge them and their bogus posing.

         Even if that someone was God Himself.

         What an amazing thing it is to see a Man telling the truth but being perceived by evil idiots as using pejorative language and depreciatory story-telling that obfuscates their fanciful fakery. The next thing you know, Unreal Christianity will be enlisting the courts to classify as hate speech any truth-telling that supports the Word of God and reveals their false doctrines for what they are:

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

         Without doubt, there is often a bubbling cauldron of red-hot anger just under the surface of pretty, smiling, Christian countenances under the influence of untruth due to years of false teaching and prejudice against the Lord they claim to know. Real Christians, however, are in love with the Lord Jesus first, and though unclear on one Biblical fact or another will go anywhere He leads them, even if it be into unfamiliar Biblical territory. But nowhere, it seems, after the Lord’s ascension, is more religious trouble stirred up than when the Name above every name is boldly spoken or put forth:

         It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” She continued doing this for many days.

         But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!”

         And it came out at that very moment. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”

         The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. [Acts 16:16-24]

         Whoa, dude. Seems pretty harsh—until one realizes that Paul was attacking their pocketbook. These jerks were pimping out a demon-possessed slave girl for their own profit through fortune-telling without any hint of a bothered conscious, and had been doing it for quite some time. They had built up a considerable religious business and saw it all going south after Paul lowered the boom. Does this sound familiar? The concept of religious profit-taking? A shining light on a master attraction instead of the Lord? The slander of those who reveal the truth of the matter?

         Whether it be unbelieving Jews or pagan Romans, the Lord Jesus and His powerful Name so shake up the pinhead in pinstripes that he will go to any length to protect his turf. Thank goodness none of this stuff happens within Christian ministries…

         “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” [Matthew 7:21-23] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 6 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 5)

         But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” [Acts 4:15-20]

         Two thousand years ago, it was unbelieving Jews in places of high religious authority who were in opposition to the use of the Lord’s Name by believing Jews, such as Peter, John, and the entire Jerusalem community of faithful ones.

         Today, it is unbelieving Christians in places of high religious authority who restrict the Lord and His believing children from using the Name above every name in ministry. And there is no area of Christian practice in which this is more blatant than water baptism, the first and foremost use of the Lord’s powerful Name in the infant community of saints. In every single instance or inference of water baptism throughout the entire Book of Acts and post-gospel epistles, the Name of Jesus was administered. This continued for three hundred years until Roman laws were put in place to eliminate its use.

         What do Roman laws have to do with Christian practice, you may ask? Everything, since the Roman Empire co-opted Christianity and created their own hybrid for the sake of religious control by A.D. 325. Seventeen centuries later, almost every single Christian denomination and autonomous body continue to obey the Roman law that eliminated the Name of Jesus from baptism.

         Christians now openly joke about it, wondering what the big deal is and why such even matters. They do not care that they routinely disobey the Lord’s commands and the very clear historical record. Some simply do not know any better because they have been deceived. Any halfway decent theologian knows, however. Biblical encyclopedias and dictionaries clearly state the truth for any who may be inclined to search for truth in the matter.

         Therefore, the question is not if such is really true, but why do the majority of Christians continue to thumb their collective nose at God and refuse to use His Name in baptism? Without His Name there is no power, no authority, no witness, no representation of His death and burial, and no washing away of sin.

         Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. [Colossians 3:17]

         Does anyone think the Lord Jesus cares about this issue? He is God, of course, and it is His Name. In the preceding verse, the apostle Paul taught that we were to do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Peter and John understood this directive, originally issued by the Lord, and were certainly aware of the power in His Name when they used it in the healing of the famous lame man at the temple gate:

         Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. [Acts 3:1-8]

         This miracle, likely witnessed by hundreds, would not have been possible without the Lord’s name. Generations had known of this man. Tens of thousands and perhaps more had seen him at the Beautiful Gate over several decades. Word spread rapidly, so rapidly that the authorities were greatly alarmed.

         Later, Peter stated to those assembled in the aftermath,

         “On the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” [Acts 3:16]

         Once the religious authorities had heard about the great miracle, they showed up post haste:

         As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. [Acts 4:1-4]

         Put them in jail? For a miracle? No. The offense was using the Lord’s Name. This one instance is enough to reveal to all real believers that a real profession of faith and determination to use the Lord’s Name will cost. And it will cost everything. It is the sword that sows division as intimated by the Lord.

         “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” [Matthew 10:32-36]   

         There is never any middle ground here. One will either be 100% on the Lord’s side or one will be against Him. A real disciple cannot help but apply the Name of Jesus and would never shrink from using it, regardless of any cost to one’s person or reputation.

         On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”

         Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.

         And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:5-12] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 5 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 4)

         Christians have been unknowingly conditioned to perceive God and the Lord Jesus as two completely different people. How did this happen? Why is it that despite a veritable plethora of pure scriptural references to the absolute deity of Jesus He remains relegated to second-class status? Why do the majority of Christians refuse to give the Lord Jesus His due and honor Him as God?

         It is not enough to say Jesus is God if one continues to see God as someone other than Jesus. Christians often use the terminology, “God and Jesus.” I once saw a Christian t-shirt with the message, “You and me and God make five.” If there was anything at all that the ancient Hebrews learned from YHWH, despite all their backsliding, sin, and later misinterpretation of Scripture, it was one of the greatest facts of all time: God is ONE.

         “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” [Deuteronomy 6:4]

         Yet, from this very clear and strong statement, Christians have redefined what the word “one” means much as someone else in our recent national past attempted to redefine what the word “is” is.

         In Christianese, “one” no longer necessarily means one. One Person now means three persons. “One” now means that the three persons of the “Godhead” [1] are merely united.   

         But that is not at all what YHWH was stating through Moses in the above verse. Moses knew God. He knew Him well, much better than the vast majority of us. There was a relational closeness between the two that was one of the closest anyone prior to New Covenant times had achieved.

         Moses actually SAW God:

         Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”

         And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” [Exodus 33:18-23]

         Since God is Spirit, what is meant in this passage by God’s “face,” God’s “hand,” and God’s “back?” Just Who was “walking” in the garden in the cool of the day looking for Adam and Eve? This phraseology can be explained as a Hebrew manner of speaking or idiom, but there is no doubt with reference to God’s oneness. There was no divine committee in the garden, and no trinity on Mount Sinai with Moses.

         Theologians have utilized a word, “theophany,” which denotes a visible manifestation of God, often in the form of a human being. Of course, God only became a human being once, so any reference to God as a human being prior to the incarnation of Jesus must be studied. Angels often took the form of humanity. God can certainly do anything He wants anytime He wants. In perhaps the clearest and most forthright Old Testament manifestation of God into humanity, we have this:

         Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth… [Genesis 18:1-2] [2]

         As one reads the rest of the narrative, he discovers that these three men were YHWH and two angels. The two angels later went to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family before YHWH destroyed the entire region due to the gross wickedness of its inhabitants.

         Therefore, YHWH appeared as a human being to Abraham. Though theologians might refer to this as a mere theophanic manifestation, the facts are clear that this Person stood, walked, sat down, ate, drank, and spoke openly to Abraham and the two angels. He prophesied that Isaac would be conceived and birthed through miraculous means. Also, this divine visit took place right after Abraham partook in the covenant of circumcision, in which he, Ishmael, and every single male of his household were circumcised.

         Isn’t it interesting that whenever real repentance and commitment take place, and when the covenant of full heart circumcision in the Lord’s blood and His Name is ratified, one receives a full revelation of Jesus?

         And isn’t it also quite interesting that prior to such, “God” remains a mystery?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 4 of 10]


[1] Bad translation as derived from the KJV from the Greek words theios, theiotes, and theotes. See Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, and Colossians 2:9 respectively. A good translation uses the terms Divine Nature and Deity.

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 3)

         Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2 Corinthians 4:1-4]

         It appears that the god of this world has also somehow managed to blind the minds of the believing regarding the true identity of Jesus. How many different ways can the Word state that our Lord Jesus is God Himself in an effort to convince whomever that He is God Himself?

         He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [Colossians 1:15]

         Due to rampant sin and rebellion among humanity and especially among the Lord’s own people, knowledge of God was largely lost in ancient times prior to the first century. How was He supposed to get our attention? How could He ever relate to humanity?

         What if God became one of us?

         Joseph the carpenter was a pretty cool guy, but even he was about to mess up big time. It seems that his new wife-to-be was already pregnant.

         What?!

         Also, the Torah clearly stated that a woman in such a predicament must be stoned.

         What?!

         Not only that, but Mary kept insisting she was a virgin.

         What?!

         (“You’re pregnant AND a virgin? What?!”)

         What was he to do? Obey his denominational teachings? Run for his life? His religion had no satisfactory answer whatsoever, except to dictate that he simply could not do the will of God, that he could not do the one thing he must do. It was an impossible circumstance that required a miraculous out of the box response:

         And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

         “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

         Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” [Matthew 1:19-23]

         So, in other words, an angel of YHWH informed Joseph that his betrothed was pregnant with a Child who was God, the long awaited Messiah prophesied by Isaiah, and that the Father of this Son was the Holy Spirit.

         Right.

         These facts do not seem to fit standardized Christian theology…

         Have a great many Christians become misinformed and unknowing Samaritans?

         “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

         Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.

         “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

         “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

         The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”

         Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” [John 4:20-26]

         Uh Oh.

         Like He did with other people on numerous other occasions, the Lord just told the Samaritan woman at the well that He is I AM.

         Did He also tell her He was the Father?

         “I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” [John 10:30-33] [1]

         Uh Oh.

         We must remember that we are dealing with the world’s only pure monotheists at that time in the early first century. The Jews were the only people on the planet who believed in one God, and were condemned and ridiculed for such “nonsense” ad nauseam by a pantheistic heretical world of idol worshippers. Yet, Isaiah and others had made ancient claims that the Messiah would come, and that He would be God Himself. Therefore, those guys in the passage above did not necessarily disbelieve the accurate scriptural prophecies; they simply refused to believe that Jesus could be the guy. Why?

         Maybe it was because the Lord wasn’t attituded and duded up like General George S. Patton, four stars, ivory handled sidearms, polished helmet and all, though He greatly outranked Patton or anyone else who ever walked the earth in pure manhood and warrior ability (something Patton would instantly agree with).

         Maybe it was because it was also prophesied that the Messiah would first arrive as a humble suffering servant. Or maybe it was because religious people are generally blind as bats.

         But even His own disciples didn’t get it most of the time:

         “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’” [John 14:7-9]

         Uh Oh. 

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 3 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 2)

         Who is the Father? Who is the Holy Spirit? Why don’t they have names? Prior to its translation into English, the Greek New Testament renders the words Theos (God), Kurios (Lord), Pater (Father), Huios (Son), and Hagios Pneuma (Holy Spirit) as descriptive terms and titles of God. Though the argument has been explained exhaustively, it must be stated yet again for purposes of this study that the same individual may be a grandfather, a father, a son, a brother, a husband, an uncle, a cousin, and a nephew. These are not names. They are relational titles. Why do we not see the same applied to God? Why cannot God possess a multiplicity of titles but remain a single individual? Why has religion and theological reasoning transformed Him into three people?

         Consider the following: The title “Holy Spirit” (Ruach haQodesh) only appears three times in the entire Old Testament. It appears first in Psalm 51, when David says:

         Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. [Psalm 51:11]

         David used the term as indicative of the Spirit of God, but he also addressed God in the same Psalm using the terms “God” (Elohim) and “Lord” (Adonai). Of course, the Hebrew word Adonai was used by the scribes as a substitute written word for YHWH, so David actually used two different titles (Elohim and Ruach haQodesh) and also one of God’s primary Old Testament names (YHWH). One should be able to clearly see that David was not denoting a plurality of persons, but one God.

         The only other occurrences in the Old Testament of the term “Holy Spirit” take place in consecutive verses in the Book of Isaiah. What follows is the entire sixty-third chapter sandwiched around those two verses, to give proper perspective that Isaiah the prophet was speaking of one God by using several titles and many personal pronouns invoking a single Person:

         Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, this One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength?

         “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”

         Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?

         “I have trodden the wine trough alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger and trampled them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, and I stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come. I looked, and there was no one to help, and I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; so My own arm brought salvation to Me, and My wrath upheld Me. I trod down the peoples in My anger and made them drunk in My wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

         I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has granted them according to His compassion and according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely.” So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

         But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them. Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses. Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them,

         Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, who led them through the depths? Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble; as the cattle which go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So You led Your people, to make for Yourself a glorious name. Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation; where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The stirrings of Your heart and Your compassion are restrained toward me. For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not recognize us. You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Your name. Why, O LORD, do You cause us to stray from Your ways and harden our heart from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage. Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for a little while, our adversaries have trodden it down. We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, like those who were not called by Your name. [Isaiah 63:1-19] [1]

         In this passage, Isaiah uses the following descriptive terms and titles of God:

(1) “My own arm”

(2) “Savior”

(3) “The angel of His presence”

(4) “His Holy Spirit”

(5) “His glorious arm”

(6) “The Spirit of the LORD (YHWH)”

(7) “Our Father”

(8) “Our Redeemer”

(9) “LORD (YHWH)”

         The prophet also makes four references to God’s Name:

(1) An everlasting name (Verse 12)

(2) A glorious name (Verse 14)

(3) You, O LORD (YHWH), are our Father, Our Redeemer from of old is Your name (Verse 16)

(4) Your name (verse 19)

         Though he used many descriptive terms and titles, the only name that Isaiah used exclusively was YHWH, the Old Testament covenant name of God.

         The Name above every name [2], however, is “YHWH is Salvation” (“YHWH Saves”), or Yehoshua in Hebrew (shortened to Yeshua).

         This highest of all names was then translated into the original Greek New Testament writings as Iesous, and then into the Late Latin (transliterated into English) as the great name of Jesus.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 10]


[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.

[2] Philippians 2:9

The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 1)

         I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. [Ephesians 1:18-23]

         There are truths embedded in the New Testament that defy easy theological answers. Theology wants to make everything black and white and linear in order to satisfy human reasoning. When it fails in this endeavor it resorts to a cold heavy-handedness and falls into the pit of indoctrination at the expense of revelation.

         The Lord Jesus was never concerned about indoctrinating people, in the sense of force-feeding facts and figures, and pushing the accepted standards and religious traditions of men. In addition to this seemingly counterintuitive method, he often taught in parables, as if He intended to hide truth from the unworthy. In other words, if one did not possess “ears to hear” and “eyes to see,” the Lord did not go out of His way to get the message to him, but allowed such a one to remain unenlightened.

         If one didn’t get it, well, one just didn’t get it. It was his or her problem, not the Lord’s.

         Therefore, the Lord put things out there and waited for a response from those who were able to dial the proper frequency. In perhaps the most well-known and celebrated example of this teaching method, we have the following:

         Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 16:13-17] [1]

         This is what the Lord is after. He wants us to receive truth by revelation from God. Why is it that only Peter received the truth of the Lord’s identity and immediately spoke up? The answer is evident. He heard it. He saw it. And it was so very clear to him that he spoke it. He understood perfectly that his Rabbi was the long-awaited Anointed One—the Messiah. He did not learn it in Bible school or church. It was not revealed to him by flesh and blood.

         Peter received it directly from the Father.

         But what about all those who thought the Lord was (1) John the Baptist? (2) Elijah? (3) Jeremiah? or (4) One of the prophets? What were they thinking? John the Baptist was already dead. Jeremiah and the prophets were long dead. Elijah was long gone. Why could they not see what Peter so clearly did see?

         Again, it was a revelation. Most Christians probably think they know who Jesus really is. However, the vast majority have obviously been indoctrinated concerning His accepted identity because most Christians think far less of Him than they should. Thus, this reveals clear evidence that human thinking is involved. Instead of the Lord being some kind of weird reincarnation of John or other famous prophets, Unreal Christianity has assigned Him the identity of second-class citizen and a lower-tiered individual far below “God” and “the Father.” On top of this, most have no real idea of just who “God” or “the Father” happens to be. There are no personal New Testament names involved with these terms. Thus, they are mere titles, and they therefore represent that which cannot be related to on a personal basis.

         It is impossible to be close to someone and not know His name.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 10]


[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.