Edition 51. 5th September 2010
In this edition:
●The Centrality of the Cross
●News on the peace talks.
●New videos under video tab
●The earthquake that has just hit Christchurch New Zealand was a big one. No deaths but half the city wrecked. Could this be a sign that the Christ's church is about to be hit with a spiritual earthquake? Maybe!
●The peace-talks that have just kicked off in Washington are worth keeping an eye on. It all sounds good, noble and right.
Netanyahu has just returned from Washington and in a briefing told his cabinet that he felt the Arabs had turned the corner and were ready for peace. He said that he is now working out a new deal. He told them has was now ready to "divide Jerusalem and surrender Judea and Samaria."
This peace effort is a dangerous work. They are going to get a lot of resistance from Hamas and other sources, but they will also get a huge following. This peace effort will raise the barrier between those who love the ways of God and those who love the ways of the world.
This peace effort ushers in a time to fear. "When they say peace and safety, sudden destruction comes"
● Palestinian leader Abbas speaking to Palestinians says that he will not make one concession or compromise in the peace negotiations.
● The Palestinian Authority said on Sunday (in Arabic) that their goal is to take the whole of Jerusalem. The international press have ignored these two comments completely.
I have been part of the media all my adult life. If you want to see what I think of it please read edition 23.
The Centrality of the Cross:
This just may be the most important message you have ever been presented with! It could have real eternal implications for you, or it could cause you to reject it all, again with eternal implications.
The cross is an ugly instrument of torture, suffering and death. For our Lord it was the way to the crown of glory. For us it's just the same!! Revelation 19:11 pictures our Lord on a white horse riding triumphantly wearing "many crowns." He had to go thought Calvary first. Revelation 3:11 speaking of believers says "Beware that no one takes your crown." The only way anyone could do this is by robbing us of our own cross which we need to bear daily!
Many believers are warned in the Bible that they are enemies of the cross of Christ. They're not enemies of Christ, but enemies of the cross and its workings in our lives.
I'm not talking primarily about the cross of Christ as a once-off work, as part of our spirit-salvation. I'm talking about the daily application of the cross as part of the ongoing salvation of our soul. Both applications are necessary.
We can't add to the finished complete work of the cross of Christ. It completely saves and sets us apart into His kingdom, but there is another work of the cross, greatly neglected today, which we need to apply.
It's only as you embrace the cross of Christ that you can see your own desperate state and need for the transfer of His glorious life as you embrace and take up your own cross.
What the cross is not:
The cross is not some item you wear around your neck. It is no good luck charm. It is not something that Ratzinger carries with a forever-dying Jesus still hanging there. (No I won't call him pope, which means father. He is not my father!!) It's not something held in the hands of a concrete statue or a carving on a tombstone.
The cross of Christ is not something you believe in as a once off work and then never need again. It was a complete act, but there a cross for all of us to bear on a daily basis as well.
What the cross is:
Obviously the work of the cross of Christ is the only way to salvation and new birth. We are told in Revelation 1:5 that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. This ongoing application of the cross has got nothing to do with spirit salvation, but it has plenty to do with the salvation of the soul.
Many say that they love God. They might be right, but the god that they love is a god of their own creation and imagination. The one and only true God says, if you love Me, "take up your cross daily", "die daily" and follow Me. You can't follow our Lord without taking up your own cross.
The cross that we need to bear comes in many forms. As we seek God's will for our lives, He reveals to us what is a cross to take up and bear.
The cross that we are to take up is simply denial of self, yielding to God, surrender to Him, brokenness in relation to the self life, humility before our Lord. It involves much suffering as our very identity changes. The cross that we need to take up is always something that hurts our pride. When my own self-life is offended and rises up, a cross is right there in the midst of that situation, which I can reject or take up by humbling myself and denying self it's expression.
The resurrection power of the cross of Christ is the actual power that gives us strength. We need to pray and ask for this great transforming power. It's only this resurrection power that gives us the strength to die daily and take up our own cross.
John 15:5 "Without Me you can do nothing" Obviously this doesn't mean you can do nothing. It means that without the risen Messiah at work in your life, all that you do will amount to nothing...a wasted life. Everything done in the power and energy of the un-crucified flesh has no eternal value and is essentially worthless.
Regular fasting is an act of cross-bearing. It's a denial of self and has powerful positive implications.
Back in 1980 I was part of a group of seven brothers / friends who decided to follow the Lord no matter what. We came together regularly on an exciting road of discovery as we fasted and prayed together. This started a life of regular fasting. During our times of fasting our Lord revealed to each of us individually a cross to bear. Here is my cross list from back then: To remain single. Never to go to a movie again. Never to go on a holiday (work trips exempted) Forsake the entertainment world. Never to vote again. Avoid all traditions of man. Forsake luxury and the desire for it. Make time for regular diligent Bible study.(This included resigning from a successful job)
Things didn't happen overnight. This was for me an exciting vision and goal. Over a short time these things were worked into my life and are now part of my being. What started as a cross is now a welcome friend. I don't say this in any way to boast but to share as testimony, and yes I've still got a way to go. It's all My Lord's doing.
As you embrace the cross the things of the world and it's ways grow strangely dim! That's not just a line in a song...it is very true, and wonderfully so. The way of the cross is the way of transformation and of real peace. It's actually very exciting being on the right road with our glorious Messiah leading the way.
The entire application of the the cross and brokenness flies in the face of modern psychology. It's the exact opposite. Modern psychology and counselling says give expression to self, to ego, to pride. It says; let it all out and get rid of obstacles to self expression. This is allowing the sin-nature to thrive. The work of the cross is the opposite.
God's way is to liquidate the sinner and then raise him up in newness of life.
John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease." This is the glorious transfer. This is the way the cross works in us.
The work and application of the cross works life-changing wonders deep into our very being and character with eternal reward.
The failure of cross-less Christianity:
The image above is a sad tragic truth. It's the exact opposite of this verse: 1Corinthians 1:10 "Now I plead with you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you" Cross-less Christianity is the way of good ideas and the best that humanism can do. It's the way of self-will. It's the way of division and not unity. Cross-less Christianity is in unity with the world and its traditions and ways.
The Bible says to take up your own cross daily. Have a guess what this means? Shall I tell you? It means take up your cross daily! Let me ask you this: If we are to do this daily, on an ongoing basis, why then does most of the modern church never ever teach on it? This is one big reason why the modern church is such a tragic mess.
Is Christ divided against Himself? Is He a polygamist? Then why is the church so divided? It's because it has forsaken the cross and therefore has to trust in its own power and strength.
A church divided has no power. It can imitate and think it has power, but it's only power is from the energy of the flesh rather than the Spirit. Division is related to pride and pride goes before a fall. A church divided against itself will never be able to stand securely in the coming satanic onslaught.
The Messianic believers have a much better grasp of truth than most of the church. The Messianic believers adhere to the Abrahamic expression of truth, which is to the Jew and the Gentile. (See edition 47)
The Work of the cross:
The work of the cross is the great divider. It separates, identifies and creates a gulf between us and the world, the flesh-nature and the demonic. No application of the cross and you can't even see what the world is never mind get victory over its influences. No application of the cross and you will never even see the sin nature operating in the flesh or see the demonic at work in your own life.
In all of us human beings there are some things we are born with that we need to get rid of. Pride of race, face, place and grace are things that creep up on us as we grow up. Pride of race is simply pride of our race above others. Pride of face relates to our appearance, dress and the like, while pride of place relates to our possessions or standing in community or business etc. Pride of grace is very dangerous and relates to self sufficiency in our religion. The application of the cross, puts all pride to death. The Bible declares that we are to humble ourselves. It says that God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud.
The cross kills. But then as with our Lord it leads to resurrection. It's interesting that after the resurrection our Lord only appeared to His own. The type in this is that once the cross has done its deadly work in us, we are separated in a way. We have a much cleared view of the Kingdom of God which is separate from the kingdom of the world and its god Satan.
1Corinthians 2:14 "The natural man (un-crucified) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him." The person dying daily and taking up his cross is essentially being led and enlightened by the Spirit of God. No cross-bearing no revelation knowledge or deep insight. This is exactly why many people just can't see it!
The one who is truly after God's heart will be after His ways. To really know God and His will, one has to be delivered from brain power, human reasoning and cleverness. This all needs to be broken by the power of the cross. Self confidence in our own ability and wisdom causes us to be self sufficient and self centred. It must all die.
Self- will and sin go hand in hand and whatever is done in and out of the un-crucified self-life will be burned up as useless works.
It was on the cross that our Lord became a curse for us. He took the curse and paid for our sin. The cross at work in our lives also has a powerful way of sanctifying us and bringing holiness into our lives.
Matthew 10: 38-39 "He who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me, He who finds his life will lose it and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that live but Christ lives in me."
1Corinthians 2:2 "I determined to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified."
Cross-less Christianity waters down truth:
With the cross obscured or left lying on the sidewalk, your truth will not be truth. It will mixed and watered down with all sorts of worldly occult and satanic garbage and the opinions of man.
Let me ask you this: You say you love our Lord, then don't you want to know and walk in His truth and ways? I know I do. There should be something right in our hearts that desires to know and follow the One we say we love. If you say you love our Lord and still blindly obey and follow the occult traditions of the church, there is something wrong there. Our Great King and Lord says "If you love Me, you will obey what I command." (John14:15) Obviously this doesn't mean that it all happens overnight, but it most certainly does means that you want to obey and that you're on that road.
Many preach the right words but with no power. In fact some are really anointed with the power of the flesh, because the centrality of the cross is missing. Failure of the people to receive the life of God is failure of the preachers. How can you give or transmit what you don't have? The messenger of the cross must be a crucified person taking up his own cross daily. People who are not experiencing the work of the cross in their lives are not qualified. What many preachers are delivering is clever thoughts and concepts mixed with Bible verses, but with no real enduring Spirit- life or transforming power.
They are preaching and teaching 'nice' sermons to motivate and inspire the self-life.
With the cross absent in the church it is left with doomed psychology and human thought. The one who is not taking up his cross and preaching in its power is a fake. We must bear the cross we preach. The problem is that many in this day don't bear it or preach it.
With the cross obscured or absent that church will not even be able to see or identify the Jezebel spirit working in its midst. This is one of the biggest problems in the western church today. Not only will these ones not be able to see it they will ill-equipped to deal with it. The tragedy of the day is that many don't even know what it is and its right in their midst.
With the cross obscured or absent there will no real power in and behind the so-called supernatural gifts of the spirit. What they have is lies and presumption at work. Only the application of the cross produces the transfer of the real power of God. The Bible talks about many "lying signs and wonders" in the last days.
The cross and the world:
Galatians 6:14 "I will glory in nothing but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world." This incredibly powerful verse of scripture reveals how the work of the cross sets us free and apart from the world system and its ways. It is the power of the cross, that when applied, kills worldliness in me. But more than that it causes the world to think of us..."We have no use for this dead man" It works both ways.
1John 5:4 "He who is born of God overcomes the world." We can only do this with power coming from the applied cross.
1John 5:19 "We are of God and know that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one." Without the active work of the cross, we will not even see this!
Can you see why cross-less Christianity is so dangerous. It is one with the world! The world motivated by it's god Satan, can and will use these Christians. There is no separation.
A good way to know if the cross is working in your life is simply to sit back and examine yourself in relation to the attractions of the world. Do you still love its ways, it's entertainment, it's demon possessed celebrities? Do you have a drive to keep up with the Joneses of the world?
If the cross is working in your life you will become more and more uncomfortable with the world. You will not be able to fit in anymore. It will be lifeless and dead to you. Only when you see this can you be effective in rescuing people out of the kingdom of the world. Salvation isn't getting people saved and leaving them to go with the flow of the world. It's getting people saved and leading them out of the world.
Of course we are still "in the world" and need to be the best at what God has called us to be, but we are essentially not "of it" anymore. We are Christ's ambassadors here on earth, but we are from another place entirely.
The application of the cross has a deadly effect on the world's power in our lives. When we forsake the cross the world will quickly manifest in our lives. The cross keeps the world at bay. Released from the influence of the cross anything or anyone will quickly manifest the power of the world behind it.
With the cross at work in your life you will be able to say with the Psalmist "Indignation and horror has taken hold of me because of the wicked who forsake Your law." (Ps119:53)
Are you horrified at the world and its ways, or tolerant and part of it all?
Cross-less Christianity can mix with all religions:
Cross-less Christianity is dangerous. When you get saved, you enter a spiritual environment and climate and there's a battle on the go in this dimension. The battle is everywhere and you need eyes of discernment to see it and see the evil one trying to bring you down. Only our risen Messiah can see all things. When we are dying to self, dying daily and decreasing, it is He that is increasing in us. He has eyes to see and will reveal to us the hidden dangers and deceptions out there.
The word Babylon means 'confusion' or to 'mix together'.
Only the work of the cross can put a barrier between truth and error and separate between these forces. The early church was powerful, full of light and in unity with a pure doctrine. The church plunged into the dark ages when the Catholics mixed occult practises into it. Mixture of truth and error spells defeat.
Cross-less Christianity can, will and is dancing with the devil in the dark. It can coexist happily with error and the occult. It is forming alliances doomed to hell and all in the name of love and tolerance.
Hell awaits the tolerant. Now please don't take what to say out of context. Of course there are many times where tolerance is needed and when yielding produces results. But there are many things where yielding and tolerance will sweep you off your feet into a Christ-less eternity. Our Lord will give those that are humble before Him eyes to see all these things.
Cross-less Christianity will become part of the great end-time servant of Satan called the false prophet. This will be a massive one-world religious organisation...a counterfeit religion. In fact it is already in formation stage.
Cross-less Christianity leads to hell:
Cross-less Christianity leads to a Christ-less eternity. With the cross obscured or absent, your life is a dance of eternal death! With the cross obscured you will not see the Lord's coming and you will be unconcerned. You will be blind to the coming Kingdom and it will be irrelevant. A cross-less church won't preach or teach on eschatology. Cross-less Christianity is a clever deception. It's dressed in all the right garb but is dead right in the heart. It is the counterfeit church.
The cross is the way to the crown and genuine peace:
No cross, no crown. The real true seal of the believer is the ongoing work of the cross in their lives.
With the cross at work, you will be invincible. This is simply because Christ is invincible and if it's "not I, but Christ that's alive"...I'm invincible.
That which is done in our lives, emanating from the power of the cross, has more value than we can imagine, and it's value is eternal. This is the way to deep peace.
Some people might say the cross is a crutch. They are right. The cross IS the ultimate crutch, but as you lean on it, it kills, then delivers you to the most glorious life of victory imaginable.
With the cross working in your life you will see hell and heaven. You will see kingdoms in conflict and you'll be set free into real deep, clam peace, joy and satisfaction. Genuine Christ-powered love will make you effective in reaching the lost.
The most powerful prayer anyone can pray would go something like this: "Lord lead me to know You more deeply and intimately, so that my love for you may increase and be genuine. Show me how to apply the cross to every area of my life. Show me what is a cross to take up and what is not. Give me your resurrection power that I may die to self, the world and the demonic. Lord. take me forever forward with you."
On a character level, the work of the cross will transform you into a person full of the fruits of the Spirit of God. "The axe is laid at the root of the tree" says the Bible. So as the work of the cross strikes deeply into your life and kills the very root of all that's not right, a new tree full of eternal fruit arises. This isn't 'manufactured or superficial fruit, it's "fruit that remains".
Today there is immense pressure to conform to the world and its ways. This kingdom of darkness is presented as an attractive desire. Today there is enormous pressure to be self sufficient and to allow the flesh unhindered expression. Cross-less Christianity blinds you to all of this and sets you up as one of the masses on a hell-bound journey.
There are so few who teach and preach the message of the cross today it's frightening. We are moving fast into ever increasing perilous times because of all the self-love out there.
But there are many who hunger and thirst for the truth and the right way. They want to be right with God. They are prepared to pay the price.
Our Lord never sinned, but he fell many times under the weight of His cross on the way to be slaughtered. When you fall, taking up your cross...same thing. Get up and go again. Don't take the easy way out by leaving the cross aside. If our Messiah did that, we would not be saved. We must suffer under the weight of our own cross whatever that may be, until it's deadly work is done. Then comes true victory. If you are taking up your cross, one day you will wake up in the morning and just know that you are free indeed!
Philippians 3:7-14 "What things were gain to me, these I have counted as loss for Christ, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as dung, that I might gain Christ."
Heaven or hell:
Bridgette Bardot you have not aged well. You were an animal rights activist and an activist for homosexual rights. You were known as a beauty and also an intellectual. You were a strong liberal with no religious convictions. You were idolised by John Lennon and many other celebrities. You made a few suicide attempts, but Brigitte you have neglected our Lord and saviour the one who has the keys into one of two eternal destinations. You have been worshipped by many, but you you have not worshipped the one true God. You are in danger.
Pablo Picasso, as a Catholic did you put your trust and faith in our Lord before you died or did you depart from this earth believing that as a church member you would be okay? You were a brilliant artist and had a fine mind, but that won't save you. Celebrity of whatever sort is meaningless to God. Where are you now Pablo? are you in hell or heaven?
Here is a painting done in 1916 by Trento Longaretti depicting the crucifixion.
Kind regards and many blessings...Shalom and grow in grace!