Chapter 12: The Cross

 

 

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Section  Title

1.

 

The Way of Life

2.

 

Alone

3.

 

Betrayal

4.

 

Surrender

5.

 

Forgiveness

6.

 

Sacrifice

7.

 

Resurrection

 

The Way of Life

       The cross of Jesus Christ is the most mysterious and spectacular event in history. It is the foundation of Christian faith, and rightly so for all the promises of God became reality at Calvary’s hill.

       By the cross, Jesus became the savior of the world. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. By the cross, Jesus obtained the approval of his Father. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. By the cross, Jesus completed his appointment with death and came to his glorified resurrection. And [Jesus] became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. By the cross, Jesus obtained an everlasting life. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

       It was via the cross that Jesus became the first spiritually begotten Son of God. Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. By crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus became master of the universe and entered into that splendid, brilliant, immortal state of being in which he now dwells. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

       Since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the cross has stood as the ominous emblem of anguish. But the cross is much more than just earthly pain. Crucifixion is, in reality, the secret recipe for spiritual excellence.

       The cross encapsulates the sapience of God. It is an ancient formula, giving entrance to the dwellingplace of God. Those who are processed by it will be ushered into the permanent inheritance of God. Like a spiritual algorithm, the cross is a sequence of steps that lead from human mortality, to the superlative perfection of begotten spirit life.

       This process and its result were validated by Jesus Christ. At his physical birth, Jesus was promised a transcendent destiny that far excelled the bounds of earth. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

       But God intended that this inheritance should be conveyed through the suffering of the cross. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was not some accident, failure, or freak of nature. It was ordained by the wisdom of God, before the world began. All the plans of God converged at the cross of Jesus, and were held in abeyance as Jesus dutifully accomplished his destiny. It came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

       Jesus well understood the secret of crucifixion. He knew that the cross would please his Father and also carry him to a name that is above every other. Jesus wisely desired these ends more than his earthly life. Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. With his heart fixed upon these glorious expectations, Jesus pursued the cross as the entrance to an eternal of treasure. Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

       On the cross, Jesus suffered and died. It is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. But by the cross, Jesus came to his resurrection. Crucifixion always leads to resurrection. These are two halves of the same process; they cannot be separated. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors.

       By the cross, Jesus came to possess all the magnificence of his Father. And by this victory, he revealed the cross to be the celestial gateway to spiritual perfection. We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour. If any man will follow along on this path, and complete the same crucifixion formula that Jesus demonstrated, that man will come to the same result. Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.

       As the firstborn Son, Jesus Christ is the blueprint for Sonship. The events of his life are a pattern for you. All truth is in Jesus, embodied and personified in Him. Ephesians 4:21 (Amplified).

       Jesus illuminated the crucifixion-resurrection process as the technique that leads to spiritual magnificence. He is the pristine example of what you are to become, and the proof that the process really works. Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel. By examining the cross of Jesus, you can discern the path that God intends for you. Christ also suffered in your behalf, unto you leaving behind a pattern that ye might follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 (Emphasized). You are expected to follow his example, exactly. As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

       The cross of Jesus Christ is a demonstration of the formula that produces resurrected life. Those who find the courage to apply this formula to their own lives, will come to the same result. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. That is to say, if you do what he did, you will get what he got. Because as He Himself is, we also shall be, in that world. 1 John 4:17 (Fenton).

       Jesus Christ came to the earth to be crucified, and by his cross he acquired every spiritual treasure. And as it was for him, so it is also for you. You have been called to the same process that Jesus demonstrated. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.

       Jesus did not do it all for you, like some supernatural whipping boy. Instead he empowered you to follow his steps, and thus to become what he is. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. The glorious destiny promised to the Sons of God will be obtained individually, on the cross that God has ordained for each life. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

       This is your trek to spiritual maturity. Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Christian goals are not attained by the placebos of Denominationalism. Your Christian dreams will be actualized only by your own cross. Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. This is the hidden and mysterious path to resurrection for all the firstborn Sons of God. Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

       When you were born on the earth, you received a fallen, sinful, Adamic nature-- this is the grim legacy of Eden. The cross is the method that God has prepared to separate you from this loathsome adversary. God’s objective is the death of your self-will and Adamic pride. These embody your enmity to him, your misunderstanding of his nature. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God.

       As your carnality suffers and dies, your spirit will grow to full maturity. Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Your old nature must be consumed, and as this is accomplished the Kingdom of God will open to your spirit. The cross is the tool that will usher you into the presence and likeness of God. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes.

       A modern-day cross is a situation from the hand of God that has the power to kill your Adamic nature. It will arrive as a predicament of agony and bewilderment. It will emerge as a crushing foe, bent on terminating your trust in earthly things. Your natural desires will be shattered, your human goals broken and heaped.

       Crucifixion is the seemingly senseless destruction of your marriage, children, business, or health. That which you value most is the price of spiritual understanding. In this perplexing heartache your noblest desires for your natural life will be stomped into rubble. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy.

       As the process begins, your carnality will rise to the challenge. It will not give up without a fight. It will never crawl off and die peaceably. Instead it will whip your thoughts into a frenzy of rage, resentment, and revenge. Self-justification and self-righteousness will rally the hordes of hell. In league with these, self-preservation will hasten to their aid. These have roots that sink deep into human pride, and together they will make war in your mind, and rip your heart from your chest.

       Jesus described this warfare in plain, unequivocal terms. Speaking to his disciples, he explained the secret of the cross. He said that his crucifixion would be a deliberate experience in dreadful anguish, but that it would result in a spectacular resurrection. The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

       Hearing this revelation for the first time, Peter rejected the concept of crucifixion. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. Peter spoke from the self-preservation of his carnal mind. The carnal mind is the lackey of Satan, and Jesus rebuked this Satanic adversary. He said to Peter, Be gone under my authority, and keep on going, behind me, out of my sight, Satan. A stumbling-block you are to me, because you do not have a mind for the things of God but for the things of men. Matthew 16.23 (Wuest).

       The carnal mind doesn’t want to suffer, even if it is the wisdom of God. That portion of you that rejects the cross, is Satan’s domain. That is the portion that must die.

       The cross is an intense internal battle of spirit, heart, and mind. Most Christians lose this battle, because when it comes they do not recognize it as the gateway to spiritual immortality. Instead they are immediately overcome by the visible circumstances, and erroneously conclude that their pain is the result of misfortune or someone else’s wickedness. They fail to see God’s glistening sovereignty behind the events, and thus fail to follow the example demonstrated by Jesus Christ. We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness.

       This is the “offense” of the cross. This lack of insight is a carnal blindness that remains today as the single greatest nemesis of spiritual victory. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. Everyone wants resurrection, but no one wants the crucifixion process that produces it. For when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

       Thus the wisdom of God has offered the cross of life to every Christian. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of? But most summarily slap the gilded cup from his hand, and fail to drink the permanence of their own spiritual inheritance. He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

       If you are to successfully negotiate the cross, you must undergo a change of mind. Your carnal mind is to die, and the Mind of Christ must be birthed. This is the death of “self-will,” regardless of how noble, and the birth of “thy will be done,” regardless of how painful. Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

       As the process begins, your carnal mind will react like the two thieves that were crucified with Jesus. Like the first thief the carnal mind will first reject the cross entirely. One of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. Like the second thief the carnal mind also recognizes that it is guilty. The other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

       The Mind of Christ is neither of these. It is a sinless, new creature, that can only be gauged by its capacity for self-sacrifice. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: ... being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

       The Mind of Christ will embrace the cross, simply because its Father has brought it. This is the mind that was in Christ Jesus. He chose the cross to comply with his Father’s will. Those who wish to complete their own spiritual maturity must do likewise, and choose the cross when it comes. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.

       If you desire a glorified resurrection you must follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ, exactly, regardless of how hateful or difficult it might seem. Forgiveness and self-sacrifice are never easy.

       This will require that you realign your priorities. Natural goals must be abandoned, while spiritual goals are shifted to preeminence. Adamic life offers no permanent wealth. Its glory fades with every passing day. But via the cross, your desire will turn to the spirit realm and your hope will fix upon a new dimension. He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

       As the cross takes hold in your life you will begin to yearn for heavenly things, and a possession in the Begotten Realm. Your identity will shift to the spirit Son who is being perfected within you. The things of earth will become dross as you are swept with unquenchable desire to see God as he is, to know him personally, to possess his fullness, to attain his likeness. Ever brighter the vision will grow, and soon you will cry out to God from a depth that did not previously exist.

       One day, after the cross has finished its earthly work in your spirit, you will come to your resurrection. Arriving in that glorious state you will finally attain your dreams, and see your Heavenly Father face-to-face. Then you will notice an astonishing similarity, for you will find that you have been changed into his very image. And from within you will explode life immortal, power invincible, wisdom indefectible, character irreproachable, and resurrection unstoppable. We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

       Jesus Christ illuminated and demonstrated the steps that lead through the cross to this resurrected glory. He was alone. He was betrayed. He then surrendered to his Father’s sovereignty. He forgave his adversaries. He became a sacrifice to the will of God. By these steps he came to a resurrection of unspeakable glory. The cross of resurrection can always be recognized by these distinctive marks. When you see these players stride into your life, take heart. You are about to exit the mortal realm.

 

Alone

       Jesus was born in a stable, apart from the common amenities. As a child he was not like the others; even his parents were often astonished. When he grew up his mind turned to a lonely spiritual quest. The Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days. He was despised in his own city. Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. More than once his neighbors tried to kill him. For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

       With a small group of friends Jesus taught and traveled. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. But even these could not understand him and were of no comfort. His friends lived in a cage of carnality, doubly locked by spiritual blindness and hardened hearts. Their goals were aligned to the earthly realm. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? ... From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

       To Jesus, human fellowship was wearisome and unsatisfying. Thus it was that he frequently sought to be alone. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. In the quiet solitude of prayer he communed with the only other being who could really comprehend him. And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

       The plan of God required that Jesus should face his destiny alone. He needed to develop a personal relationship with his Father. Thus he was denied the support of human succor. In separation from the earthly, he pursued the inner strength and confidence necessary for a future ruler of the universe. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him.

       The people around him could neither help him, nor relate to him. One of his friends betrayed him, some denied him, but all forsook him. Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

       Jesus suffered a mock trial without the solace of a single ally. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. Enduring the lies of envy, he stood alone and was condemned to death by his own countrymen. Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. At the end, even his Father deserted him. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

       As Jesus demonstrated, the path to resurrection is a lonely walk. It began when those destined for Sonship were separated from God and vanquished to the earth. They were fitted with a carnal mind, and condemned to a life that is enmity to God. Their Father was hidden from their eyes and removed from their grasp. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

       But those infected with carnality do not like to be alone. They hate it. Not being able to perceive God, they turn instead to their own. The carnal mind is a social animal. This mind is a weak and scared little tyrant that must be stroked by its peers. Those ruled by it need constant reassurance of their acceptance. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

       For this cause the churches of today serve up food, fun, and fellowship; but truth, the cross, and resurrection are unknown. To Modern Christianity the crucifixion of Jesus is a gift, not an example. And now group interaction is substituted for the crucifixion process. They believe that by fellowshipping with the dead every Sunday, their selfishness, ignorance, self-pity, and bitterness, will somehow miraculously end. Behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

       But social schemes and silly doctrines cannot satisfy a longing, searching heart. Neither can they sustain you when hanging on a cross of your own. When you ache to know God personally, you will eventually move away from the hype and shallow nonsense of church programs. Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while. You will crave to enter the presence of your Heavenly Father in private communion. He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone.

       Discovering the truth of Sonship, you will be hastily denounced as a heretic by the organized church. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? They will not be able to understand your quest, and if you walk on alone without them, they will fear and condemn you. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. You will be maligned and ousted, just like Jesus Christ. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

       This separation is a necessary part of your crucifixion. For the gaggle of nominal Christian denominations will never have room for the Sons of God. The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

       Spiritual maturity is not a spectator sport. It is not acquired by observation. It is not found in group interaction. Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee. Spiritual maturity is a personal, individual effort. It is a solitary path that clings to the high promises of God, though this path is veiled to the masses, and alien to the earth. The men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

       Christ in you can only be birthed alone, at night, and apart from thronging church agendas and the sticky fellowship of groups. Conception and childbirth is an intimate process. It is a solitary walk, devoid of the acceptance and approval of your peers. This is the environment of crucifixion and resurrection.

       As you fix your course on a distant star, the comfort of human fellowship will wane to a mere memory. They were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country ... that is, an heavenly. Occasionally you will espy another vagabond on the earth. But those who embrace their own cross, will find their only true solace with their Father and Brother. Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

       Like Jesus, you will experience your cross alone. The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. As you approach Calvary’s hill, your earthly gems will be stripped away. The things you valued most are taken first. Your friends will desert you, your family will flee, and your church will renounce you. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. Alone, you will cry out to God and even he will not answer.

       Destitute and forsaken you will hang for a time, bewildered, suspended between heaven and earth, rejected by one and not yet acceptable to the other. Under the cover of this darkness your carnal nature will be ripped from your mind, and your spirit will reach for things that have never entered the thoughts of man.

       The cross is a lonely path to the heavens. Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. But this bloody stake is the workshop of God. And there his Sons are forged into living beings. I sat not in the assembly of those who make merry, nor did I rejoice. I sat alone because Your powerful hand was upon me, for You have filled me with indignation. Jeremiah 15:17 (Amplified).

       Every Son of God will experience the same loneliness that Jesus endured. Rejection and crucifixion create a womb of instruction where carnal distractions are minimized. In this sealed environment you will be taught, tested, and prepared for the glories of resurrection. Let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.

Betrayal

       Jesus walked the shores of Galilee, dispensing blessings, healings, and teachings of life. For these things his neighbors hated him. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

       Jesus demonstrated a new standard of Godlikeness. He was becoming master of the universe, not merely mouthing old doctrines. Measured by his example, the established clergy fell woefully short. Jesus’ possession of wisdom and power made them crazy with jealousy and greed. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. Thus they resolved to kill him by craft, while concocting for themselves a veil of pretended innocence. Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.

       For envy, Jesus was betrayed by his own church. By stealth these religious cowards sought to destroy the only perfect man on earth. And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words. Quietly they joined forces with the civil government. The Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

       Satan then joined the Machiavellian plot and enlisted the aid of Judas. Satan himself personally supervised the betrayal of Jesus Christ. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

       As the treason of Satan entered his veins, Judas’ mind was darkened. Judas was conscripted to the conspiracy, betraying his Savior and friend. Cloaked with feigned affection, Satan’s poison struck to the mark. Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

       At a trial convened by the unregenerate, Jesus’ friends lent themselves to lying and subterfuge. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death. The crowds he had blessed now shrieked for his destruction. And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas.

       Jesus was betrayed by his closest friends, his neighbors, his church, and his nation. By treachery he came to his cross. So Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

       But all this betrayal was planned in the counsel hall of God. The cross of Jesus had been devised by his Father. Truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined. Jesus was well aware of this, foretold it, and walked a path that would bring it about. Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

       Jesus knew the deceitful workings of man, but trusted in the workings of God. I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. His betrayal was ordained and orchestrated as an essential part of his crucifixion process. Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. Arranged by the wisdom of God, betrayal is the fuse that ignites the cross. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

       Betrayal is a breach of trust, an attack from an ally, the failure of a friend. It is an exquisite pain, like no other, the very essence of suffering. When betrayed by a friend, you are plunged into devastating despair. When that which you love suddenly hates you, your foundation dissolves and your world collapses. Pride falls face to the dirt. Trust expires as a wisp in the wind. In a single stroke you are brought under siege, you lose a partner, and the secrets of your heart are made common in the streets. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

       When betrayal strikes, your confidence in the flesh and hope in this life, are made casualties. And this is in fact the very objective of God. When your earthly hope dies, all your desire shifts to become centered in the heavenly. For this cause betrayal is an essential component in the crucifixion that God intends for you. Betrayal is the perfect tool to accomplish his plan. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

       Betrayal is your personal and heavenly escort to the cross. And this is God’s love for you, for the cross always leads to resurrection. Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends.

       Betrayal is a catastrophe that initiates the sequence of events that will result in your spiritual perfection. When you are betrayed by your spouse, it is for your resurrection. When you are betrayed by your children, God has deemed to make you perfect through suffering. When you are betrayed by your parents, you have been personally selected for immortal glory. When your friends betray you, you are pushed through the veil, into a new and living knowledge of God.

       Though it is a pain without peer, betrayal is your selection for spiritual excellence. When you find yourself betrayed by your companions, then God loves you as much as he loved Jesus. Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

       Besides the betrayal that comes from without, there is also that which comes from within. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, treachery was injected into the human race. Satan betrayed Eve, Eve betrayed Adam, and they all betrayed God.

       God then cursed the mind of man, fusing it to the betrayal that had birthed it. This “carnal” mind is the lowest form of animal life on earth. Only it is capable of perversion, idolatry, and rebellion against God. Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go.

       As Satan was in Judas at Gethsemane, so also Satan entered the carnal mind of man at Eden. Like its father, this mind is deceived by its own beauty. It worships itself. All men have been betrayed by this slithering adversary. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.

       Every Son of God that returns to the heavens will have experienced the betrayal of the carnal mind. You and your friends were born as bondslaves to arrogance, lust, and rancor. You have been led astray by selfishness, blindness, and greed. Men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness.

       All these betrayals originate from the cursed carnal nature, whether in you, or in your fellow man. GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Even those who will betray you have themselves been betrayed by this Satanic legacy of Eden. The cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit. Matthew 13:22 (Amplified).

       Babylon, the mother of harlots and abominations, is sitting upon your shoulders. Babylon is the carnal mind. For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. While dripping hypocrisy, she has stolen the very garments that should have adorned your spirit, and placed them upon the flesh. That great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! Her wiles have ruled your life as a deceitful tyrant, opposing the truth and wisdom of God-- all men have felt her lash. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

       The cursed mind of man is guilty of every drop of blood ever shed. In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. A conniver of self-preservation, she naturally disdains the cross. For she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. But God has other plans. For when crucifixion comes, it is this Edenic curse that will die. Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

       Another internal betrayal is found in the wretched body of man. In Eden, God cursed the physical bodies of Adam and Eve. Their previously perfect bodies began to hate them. They brought forth disease, decay, and old age. Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.

       Ultimate betrayal is endemic in the carnal mind and dying body of man. You and your friends have been betrayed from within, by these curses of Eden. You trusted in a youthful body, but it has betrayed you becoming old and sickly. You trusted in your own mind, but it has brought forth weeds. The cursed Adamic nature is a cauldron of treachery and self-destructive cravings. It is the betrayer of all men.

       Betrayal is a special potion in the pharmacy of God. It is an extraordinary brew that provides the opportunity for victory without the side-effect of inflated self-righteousness. In conquering an external enemy there is pride-- the conquering hero of a foreign foe is lifted up and exalted by his peers. But pride is counterproductive to God’s plan for you. So he has arranged for you to war instead against the inward foes of betrayal and personal failure.

       When you betray a trust, you fail your friend. When you betray the word of God, you fail yourself. When you are betrayed, your life is fused to the failure of another. These situations produce remorse, the most bitter of human emotions. Overcoming this failure and remorse generates only gratitude and humility. Pride is impossible. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

       To deal with the guilt, shame, and horror of your own failure, or that of a friend, is a grievous battle. The warrior who slays these fearsome foes is mighty indeed, and yet steeped in meekness. He is awash in the celebration of victory, but with a spirit prostrate before God. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

       Betrayal is a necessary ingredient in the elixir of the cross. It evokes the death sentence for your carnal nature. By its action your carnality is unveiled and escorted to the cross, where it can be killed. The result is victory with humility. By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

       Betrayal comes from within you, and may also come from without. In either case, it is the wondrous plan of God, leading through the cross to resurrected life. Such is the preparation of the kings and rulers of the world to come. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

Surrender

       When Jesus Christ was confronted by evil, he normally defused it and defeated it. But when he came face-to-face with his own crucifixion, he did nothing. There was no escape. He did not change the situation. Instead, he surrendered to it. The ability to accomplish this amazing feat came from his perfect understanding of his Father’s total sovereignty. Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee.

       Jesus Christ had a personal, almost tangible knowledge of God’s unlimited power and infinite wisdom. He knew that absolutely nothing could enter his sphere of experience, except that which his Father allowed. Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.

       Jesus also understood that the cross was essential for his own spiritual perfection. He knew that his personal goals in the spirit realm were to be achieved by his cross. Possessing this knowledge of God’s sovereignty and plan, Jesus could surrender to his own death. Knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God.

       Jesus Christ had the power to avoid the cross, yet he chose not to. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? As a ready slave to his Father’s will, Jesus took no action to save himself. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? Jesus felt pain like other men, but still embraced the wisdom of his Father’s plan. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

       Jesus could have halted the crucifixion process at any time, but this would have terminated his own spiritual wealth. Instead he chose surrender to the cross that his Father provided. I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. Sweeping aside his personal desire for self-preservation, Jesus pressed his heart into the mold of his Father’s will. Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

       Though he died on Calvary’s hill as a common criminal, Jesus never surrendered to this apparent failure. He was attacked by Satan and condemned by the Jews, but he never surrendered to them. Jesus was betrayed by his people and executed by the Romans, but he gave them not the slightest heed. For Jesus was not a criminal; neither was he crucified by the people, the Jews, the Romans, or even Satan. Jesus Christ was crucified by his Father. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.

       God alone was responsible for sending Jesus to the cross. We did esteem him stricken, smitten of God. His crucifixion was the pleasure of God. It pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief. The people who drove the nails into his hands, obeyed the commands of God. Thou [God] hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

       Jesus died on the cross while staring into the eyes of his loving Heavenly Father. Suffering, he was not threatening, but was making surrender unto him that judgeth righteously. 1 Peter 2:23 (Emphasized). He looked beyond all the horrible, visible circumstances, and surrendered personally to his Father’s love and superior wisdom. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.

       As with Jesus your spiritual goals will be obtained by your cross. And as he demonstrated, when the cross comes into your life, you must surrender to it. This is necessary if you wish to obtain the same result. The power to accomplish this, will flow from your own personal knowledge of your Father’s total sovereignty.

       God operates every human mechanism; he has ordained every event. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?All actions in the created realm are but a sequence of events, emanating from the throne of God, to accomplish his purpose. According to His purpose Who foresees and energizes all things, which have been prepared to accomplish the intention of His will. Ephesians 1:11 (Fenton). He has orchestrated every facet of your problem. For thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.

       When the cross comes into your life, your Father is responsible. The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Sure you can see physical causes, real events done by real people. But these circumstances were devised and directed by God. Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.

       The cross is not accidental. It is not an anomaly. It is not the work of humans. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God. You are crucified by the wisdom and hand of your loving Heavenly Father, and all for your eternal blessing. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Just as God crucified Jesus, so he also intends the same for you. Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

       Surrendering to the cross was the only conflict ever seen in the life of Jesus Christ. O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. This will be your war also. The ability to see God as the doer of both good and evil is the greatest battle you will ever face on planet earth. This peculiar knowledge is the essence and prize of spiritual conquest. Let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.

       Spiritual maturity can be measured by your knowledge of God’s sovereignty. The unregenerate blame their fellow man for evil. Christians blame the Devil. But the Sons of God know that evil is the issue of God’s wisdom. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

       Like Jesus, you must come to see the hand of God manipulating every visible circumstance. As you succeed in this battle, you can surrender to his superior wisdom. Then with your gaze locked on the result that he has in mind, your victory is assured. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

       When problems arise in your life, analyze their origin. If your problem originates from within you, kill it. God has placed evil into the heart of man as a spiritual exercise. You must never surrender to evil within you. You must never join in evil actions. You must destroy every malignant thought that arises from within your own heart. Be certain that all your actions conform to the written word, and that all your thoughts are aligned with the living spirit of God. So kill the evil desire lurking in your members, those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed. Colossians 3:5 (Amplified).

       On the other hand, if your problem originates from outside you, then do everything in your power to remedy the situation. Rebuke the deceitful. Support righteous relationships. Forgive your accusers. Pray and plead for a virtuous solution. Leave no foothold wherein Satan can later accuse you through the wiles of remorse. And having done all, then surrender-- to the mysterious, sublime, and benevolent wisdom of God. My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

       When the cross comes into your life, surrender to your Heavenly Father, personally. Disregard the visible causes. Let go of your human desires and embrace your new situation as God’s perfect plan for your spiritual perfection. Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

       As you surrender to the cross of God, your carnality will die. Let it go. Leave off the rebellious justifications of wounded pride. Do it quickly, and spare yourself additional pain. When they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs. Make the decision to die for your trust in God, knowing that he can raise you from the dead. Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead. Begin to earnestly prefer God’s will, to that of your own. Seek the comfort of his perspective on the situation. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

       Soon your life will take a permanent turn towards resurrection. Your hope will reach to the borders of a new land, and your spirit will begin to walk in the new, wondrous, and living wisdom of God. For although he was crucified through weakness, yet is he living through God’s power. For although we are weak in him, yet shall we live with him, through God’s power unto us. 2 Corinthians 13:4 (Emphasized).

       The voice of surrender is silence. A mind unravaged and lips speaking peace are the evidence of a heart that is quiet before God. The surrender of Jesus Christ could be heard by his silence. Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again. During his trial and crucifixion, he was quiet. Jesus refused to acknowledge the lesser powers that had amassed against him. He declined to dignify their petty allegations. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.

       Jesus knew that his cross was ordained and orchestrated by his Father. And by silence, Jesus starved his human desires for self-justification and self-preservation. He gave them no voice. Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Quietly Jesus endured the shame and pain of crucifixion, with his heart fixed on the miraculous purpose of God. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.

       Jesus’ silence was the evidence of inner peace, though immersed in agony. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. It was the proof of his complete surrender to his Father’s will. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

       When crucifixion fills your life, strive to be silent. Do not yield to the devilish temptation to wail of your mistreatment. Clamoring for fairness, justice, retribution, or the death of another instead of yourself, is victim thinking-- it is contrary to your personal spiritual goals. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Dragging your self-pity from door-to-door, looking for someone to take it in, is evil. It derides the wisdom of God. The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body.

       Your ability to refrain from complaining is the measure of your surrender unto God. So also, whining is the evidence that you do not understand the sovereignty of God, or the process of the cross, nor do you comprehend its glorious result. Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.

       Give no voice to the accusations or self-justifications that arise from within you. O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom. These will only fuel your internal enemies, prolonging your battle and your pain. If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives himself, his religious worship is worthless. James 1:26 (Williams).

       When you encounter the cross, surrender quietly to your Heavenly Father. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Silent surrender indicates that you have stopped blaming the tools, for the actions of the workman. It is the evidence of spiritual understanding and strength. Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak.

       Silence reveals tranquillity in a storm-- a state of calm amidst waves of anguish. Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. Silence is the offspring of your surrender, the sound of spiritual victory. Let him sit alone uncomplaining and silent in hope, because God has laid the yoke upon him for his benefit. Let him put his mouth in the dust. Lamentations 3:28,29 (Amplified).

Forgiveness

       Never in human history was a man more underestimated, maligned, and defrauded than Jesus Christ. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. And yet as Jesus pursued his own resurrection, he forgave his wicked accusers and slayers. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

       Jesus taught that forgiving is essential for spiritual maturity. When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. He made forgiveness an art. If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. He taught that retribution of any sort, is unacceptable to God. Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

       Jesus’ disciples found forgiveness a difficult concept. Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. But Jesus demanded that they all follow his example, exactly. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.

       Forgiving sin against you will inscribe on your heart the character of God. It will make you like him. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. As forgiveness flows from you, you are actually emulating the creator of the universe, and attaining Godlikeness. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

       Here is found the necessity of betrayal and sin against you. When it arrives, it gives you the opportunity to purchase Godlikeness for yourself. For it must needs be that offences come. Without the pain of sin against you, you could never become what Jesus Christ is. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

       But how do you forgive heinous, blatant, willful sin, when it is slapped in your face and thrust through your heart? Once again, the answer flows from your personal knowledge of God’s sovereignty. You must understand that your crucifixion is of God, not of men. You must cultivate the ability to see the benevolent purpose of your Heavenly Father, lurking behind the anguish. Forgiveness is not an anesthetic for pain, it is an acknowledgment of God’s higher purpose. It is a simple declaration that God loves you, that he is in control, and that he has purposed this pain for your eternal benefit.

       When you come to the cross you must forgive your accusers and conspirators. Like Judas they have been selected by the divine will for a miserable task. Your crucifiers are prisoners of their own carnal minds. They are tools of Satan, in the hand of God, for the destruction of your flesh-- and they are incapable of having it any other way. For who hath resisted his will?

       Understanding this, you can acknowledge God’s sovereignty and forgive them, for they cannot affect your destiny in any fashion unwanted by God. Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father.

       No man needs to ask your forgiveness. You need to give it for your own good. Whether it is received or not is meaningless. If ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Withholding forgiveness for any reason is simply your hateful carnal nature, clinging to its own pride.

       Any sins that you cannot forgive will continue to live in your heart, providing sustenance to your own carnality. With this ongoing nourishment you will hang on your cross forever, as a bitter, hypocritical, mean, back-biting unbeliever. Forgiveness is your minimum due, and withholding it will hurt no one but yourself. Only you will steep in the torment you retain. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

       While walking around on the earth, Jesus Christ had the power to forgive sins. The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins. This power he has now given to you. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained [in you]. You are commanded to exercise this power of forgiveness for your own well-being. Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

       This is your key to the Begotten Spirit Realm. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. If you retain the condemnation of your fellow earthlings, then you bind yourself to the earthly realm. But if you loose away the sins of your mortal companions, then you will be loosed from the earthy, and ushered into the new, living abode, of the risen Sons of God. Forgiveness is an essential element of the cross. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Sacrifice

       In early times, God ordained sacrifice as a method of restitution and the symbol of resurrection. An animal was killed and the carcass burnt. As the flesh was consumed, the flames and smoke curled into the heavens. While life on earth was ended, a new existence simultaneously began in another realm.

       As an ancient technique, sacrifice represents a process that transforms flesh into spirit. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was just such a ritual sacrifice, the greatest ever made. By sacrifice, Jesus’ earthly life ended, but it was this death that enabled his resurrection to a new life in another realm. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

       The sacrifice of Jesus illumined the primordial wisdom of God. He was a forerunner, the first example of immortal perfection, gained through sacrifice. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

       The sacrifices of the Old Testament symbolize the plan of God for his developing Sons. The two major sacrifices conducted each year were Passover and Atonement.

       Passover was originally instituted in Egypt. During the Passover the firstborn Egyptians died, but simultaneously the firstborn Israelites were given life. Passover thus symbolizes death to Adamic slavery, and life to the firstborn Sons of God. I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt ... and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.

       The sacrifice of Atonement originated in the Wilderness of Sinai. This sacrifice involved two goats. The first goat represents forgiveness. He received all the sins of Israel and then was released into the wilderness. The goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

       The second goat though sinless, was sacrificed, and his blood was carried into the Most Holy Place. There, within the veil, his blood was sprinkled upon the Ark of the Covenant and came to reside upon the golden throne of God. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail ... and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat.

       Passover and Atonement are an ancient code, showing that the death of an old life, leads to the start of a new. So also, the cross of Jesus Christ proved that earthly sacrifice leads to glorified resurrection. Jesus Christ fulfilled the sacrifices of both Passover and Atonement within his own life. As Passover he died so that his firstborn brothers might live. As Atonement he was slain, forgave the perpetrators, entered within the veil, and finally came to rest upon the golden throne of God. Sacrifice is the doorway to another realm.

       The power for self-sacrifice is the power for resurrection, they are one and the same. The internal spiritual strength that empowers you to forfeit your rights and desires in this life, is the same power that will raise you from the dead. I lay down my life, that I might take it again. This wisdom is the recipe of God for your eternal perfection. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.

       Sacrifice is the final step of the cross and thus of extreme importance to you. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices. Your spiritual maturity and perfection will be gained by sacrifice, just as Jesus demonstrated. Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God. If you follow the path of the firstborn Son, you too will become a sacrifice unto God. This will be accomplished during the dark days of loneliness, betrayal, surrender, and forgiveness, that come from the cross.

       As the cross takes hold in your life you will be molded to the Passover experience. There your old fleshly nature will be terminated and your spirit liberated unto life. Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.

       Then you will come to Atonement, where forgiveness and sacrifice combine to produce resurrection. As you forgive, your carnality will die, and your spirit will be loosed inside the veil, being made worthy to sit upon the golden throne of God. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. The sacrifice of your carnal nature is the prerequisite to immortality. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

       Sacrifice requires the death of both “good” and “evil” in your life. This is represented by the two goats of Atonement. Like these goats, your “evil” must be sent away to die in the wilderness, and your “good” must be sacrificed. Merely abandoning your vile habits is not an acceptable sacrifice to God. This cannot produce the intensity of heart required to resurrect your spirit. If ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person?

       God wants the “good” things in your life as well. He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. He wants your prized possessions, even some of the goodly blessings that he has loaned you. Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering. Neither is God shy about using evil to accomplish this objective. Because the fruit of sacrifice is not good or evil, but life from the dead.

       Good and evil both grow on the same tree, and this is the Tree of Death. By the sacrifice of both good and evil, this tree is cut down, and your spirit loosed from the curses of Eden. For he that is dead is freed from sin. After good and evil are both sacrificed in your own personal experience, only then will your spirit pass to the Tree of Life. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God.

       If you are to follow the path of Jesus Christ, then one day, by the sovereign work of God, your life will become engulfed in profound heartache. He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. By his wisdom, wickedness and betrayal will rise against you, and your life will plunge into bewildering anguish. This pain is real and enduring, and in it you will cry out to God from a depth that did not previously exist. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

       The cross will cost you the good things that you hold most precious. These are your spouse, children, parents, health, business, trust, and all pride of accomplishment. Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. God will kill all the things that you value more than him. Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation, and honourest thy sons above me?

       By the cross your satisfaction in earthly things will be removed, and human goals will wane to a distant memory. To survive this transition you must seek the ability to die well, focusing on the spiritual goal, and not on what you are losing. I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things.

       When the cross finally ignites in your life, consider it carefully. Your first reaction will probably be retaliation, that is, you will demand the sacrifice of someone else. Due to some wicked betrayal, it will seem that he or she should be unforgiven, abandoned, and destroyed.

       But to follow the will of God you cannot sacrifice another person-- you can offer only yourself as a sacrifice. And they loved not their lives unto the death. What is being accomplished here is your own death, the death of your carnality, the death of your earthly joy, the death of those things that are valued by mortals. It is only by this death that your spirit is empowered for resurrection. Whatsoever toucheth the altar [of sacrifice] shall be holy.

       Conversely, if you cling to self-justification and self-preservation, you will remain fused to your own carnality, and terminate your own resurrection. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

       When approaching the cross, take the fork in the road that requires you to deny yourself-- this is the only avenue to spiritual maturity. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Seek to give grace and forgiveness, especially to those who do not deserve it. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat. Suffer the wrong yourself, no matter how unfair. He saved others; himself he cannot save. The way that leads to Godlikeness will be the path that saves someone else’s life, never your own. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

       Also, be not deceived concerning the little sacrifices you think you have already made. Most of these are only a preparation for the cross. The cross is a significant event, of life changing magnitude.

       You have not been to the cross until you have wept before God with the same three cries of anguish that Jesus demonstrated during his crucifixion. This process begins with, Not my will, but thine, be done. It then enters the tortuous valley of, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. And the process is not complete in you until you have come to, Into thy hands I commend my spirit.

       The principle of sacrifice can be seen operating in many important areas of truth. These include the New Covenant, the food for priests, and the building of the Tabernacle.

       Sacrifice is the essence of the New Covenant. As you complete your sacrifice on your cross you will accomplish the destruction of your own carnality. This will ratify the New Covenant in your spirit. For where a covenant is, it is necessary for the death to be brought in, of him that hath covenanted. Hebrews 9:16 (Emphasized). This New Covenant is the promise of resurrected Sonship. By your sacrifice your spirit is numbered amongst those who will come to the first resurrection. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

       Sacrifice is also used to generate the food for the true priests of Israel. Self-sacrifice will energize your spirit with verve and vitality. The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire. Priests eat only what they kill. So also, the spiritual males of today will thrive on the sacrifice of their own Adamic natures. The earthen vessel wherein it is sodden [your carnality] shall be broken ... all the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy.

       Sacrifice also supplies the building materials for your new habitation in the spirit realm. Like the Tabernacle in the wilderness, your spiritual maturity is built with the materials you offer to God by sacrifice. Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

       By willing sacrifice, God will take your most valuable possessions. This is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. God then uses these same materials to build a new spiritual habitation for you. The more you slay and eat and give to God, the larger the house that you will have. So shall they make for me a sanctuary, and I will make my habitation in their midst. Exodus 25:8 (Emphasized). The greater your sacrifice, the greater will be the character, wisdom, and power that you will ultimately possess. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

       All the generation of the firstborn Sons will be sacrificed to the will of God-- these are the brothers of Jesus Christ. Then Herod ... sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under. These will find their only true fellowship with their own kind, with those other few who have eaten the same sacrifice, at night, in the lonely mount of God. Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.

       The sacrifice of your carnality on a cross of devastation is the plan of God for your spiritual perfection. Do not be alarmed when the knife is brought to your heart. As with Jesus, this is the proven wisdom of God working for your eternal spiritual wealth. Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

       Trust your Heavenly Father and embrace your sacrifice as a priceless gem, a permanent, personal possession in the spirit realm. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Begin to thank him for your destitution. Not for a destruction by evil, but for counting you worthy of immortal glory. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

       To share in this sacrifice will cost you dearly. But sacrifice, via the cross, is the only possible path to resurrection. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Resurrection

       Death by crucifixion is slow-- it is not accomplished in a moment. It takes time, which provides you the opportunity to re-evaluate your life. With nails in your hands and feet you are skewered to a painful situation. The death of your earthly joy becomes certain and unavoidable. Time drags on. Soon you stop struggling to free yourself. The human sphere becomes profane and unsatisfying. Your earthly hopes are dashed to pieces, it all fades, the dream dies. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent, an abomination, in the sight of God. Luke 16:15 (Amplified).

       Then slams a great stone slab upon your own will, burying your efforts for human pride and gain. The person you were and the goals that you had, move forever behind you, as sealed in a tomb.

       Then comes the change in your spirit. If you have followed the steps of Jesus Christ, all your hope turns suddenly to resurrection. Your dream takes root in another realm, the realm of spirits, raised from earthly death into the incorruptible glory of Christ. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.

       Then before you stretches a new vista of permanent resplendence, and a myriad of new possibilities which could never have entered the mind of the mortal you were. We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.

       This is the cross, to trade your life in this world, for resurrection in another. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Resurrection can only be obtained through death. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. It requires the death of your fallen Adamic nature, and this is accomplished at the cross. If, by the Spirit, the deeds of the body ye put to death, ye shall live. Romans 8:13 (Young’s Literal).

       Jesus demonstrated this. He completed a sequence of events that were prescribed by God’s wisdom to kill the Adamic nature. Completing this process resulted in his glorified resurrection. For a covenant over dead persons is firm. Hebrews 9:17 (Emphasized).

       Like following a map, Jesus passed alone through betrayal, surrender, forgiveness, and sacrifice. By these he came to his cross and so arrived at the treasure of God. When they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead.

       When Jesus’ earthly life was shattered, it produced the eternal outshining of resurrected glory. The way of the cross is God’s recipe for resurrection. He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

       By the cross of Jesus, God certified the crucifixion-resurrection process. The Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. Jesus Christ is the consummate proof that Adamic crucifixion leads to resurrection. Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. Those who wish to obtain a similar result, must conform to this same example. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

       As proven by Jesus, death by the cross is your only means to the ascendant spiritual glory of resurrected immortality. There is no other way to life. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.

       Like a brilliant beacon, the success of Jesus illuminates your path. His victory is the reason for your faith. That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people. If you will follow this path you will come to the same result, and obtain your own resurrection. For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead.

       The triumph of Jesus made it possible for you to vacate Adamic failure and follow his steps to immortal glory. When you partake of his life you are empowered to follow his example through the cross to resurrection. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. The promise of this resurrection is the awesome splendor of Christianity. It is the power and promise of God for you. The exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead.

       Resurrection begins slowly, imperceptibly. As your carnality is crucified there is a daily awakening that takes place in your spirit. This is the maturing process of spiritual gestation. Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

       When trust and hope in God arise from the ashes of your earthly dreams, your spirit is completing its gestation and rising in resurrection. The Spirit is the life-giver, the body is worth nothing. John 6:63 (Fenton). As your Adamic carnality is slain by the cross, there is a steady internal birth of resurrected life. Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. This is spiritual victory, that leads unto life eternal. Having stript off the old man, together with his practices, and having put on the new, who is being moulded afresh unto personal knowledge, after the image of him that hath created him. Colossians 3:9,10 (Emphasized).

       This internal resurrection is the development of spiritual maturity. Those who complete this maturity during their earthly lives, will be called to the first physical resurrection. This will occur at the start of the Millennium. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

       This stellar scene will be the glorification of the firstborn Sons of God. They who have been accounted worthy that age to obtain, and the resurrection that is from among the dead ... they cannot even die any more ... and are sons of God, of the resurrection being sons. Luke 20:35,36 (Emphasized).

       These Sons will be suddenly thrust into a state of shimmering brilliance, being vested with eternal life, infinite wisdom, and all the power of creation. This corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality. Each will arise with distinction and a unique signature of radiant glory. For one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. Raised into splendor, these firstborn Sons will inherit all the fullness of God their Father. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

       The incomparable grandeur of this glorified resurrection beckons from beyond the capacity of human imagination. But this is the goal of God, the destiny he has conceived for man, and the purpose for Christianity. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

       At the end of the Millennium there will be a second physical resurrection. Those people who did not complete the process of the cross during their earthly lives, will be raised up to begin again. The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. All those who remained spiritually “dead,” will be summoned to this resurrection. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

       This second resurrection will prompt the start of the “Second Death,” symbolized by the lake of fire in Revelation 20. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The “Second” Death will bring to maturity the second-born Sons of God, just as the “first” death is now maturing the firstborn Sons. And the Devil who deceived them was hurled into the lake of Divine fire, where also were the beast and the false prophet. ... Then Death and the Grave were thrown into the lake of fire: that is the second death, the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10,14 (Fenton).

       The Second Death will simply reassemble all the maturing elements of Satanic evil that you now see in the world around you. Once reunited, these will re-ignite the crucifixion process for the rest of mankind. In loneliness, betrayal, surrender, forgiveness, and sacrifice, all men will eventually be introduced to the cross and all will come to resurrected life. In the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.

       The cross is a sequence of seemingly impossible events, each being contrary to human reason. Jesus could call twelve legions of angels, yet he was captured by a band of thugs with sticks. Jesus could command the weather, yet he yielded to the Romans. Jesus had blessed the earth with healing and truth, yet he was maligned, falsely accused, and condemned. He had done nothing wrong, yet he was executed as a criminal. They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries.

       These events seem as bewildering contradictions to carnal men. They appear as illogical extremes that cannot be reconciled. These dichotomies are clues to a mystery. They are the fingerprints of a spiritual work. Like signs to a supernatural gateway, they point to another dimension, the realm of begotten glory called Sonship. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. By this cryptic wisdom of God, the cross is your secret entrance into the begotten Body of Christ. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

       Jesus explained this irrational, crucifixion-resurrection relationship in his Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are dichotomies that describe terrible events which lead to wonderful results. The Beatitudes are a description of someone being crucified. They depict the crucifixion and resurrection of the Sons of God. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

       The poor in spirit are those who have been to the cross. They will walk alone with God, far from the throng of man’s giddy religious nonsense. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.

       Those who are betrayed will pass their earthly lives in mourning, but this is the path to resurrection. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Those who surrender to the cross are the humbled who will inherit the stars. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

       Those who are crushed by the cross will learn to forgive, and obtain the character of God. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Those who are sacrificed will have their carnality consumed, and by this purity shall enter into the presence of God himself. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

       Those whose earthly pride is drained from holes in their hands will generate a weeping craving for righteousness. This anguish of heart is the prerequisite for resurrection. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. To be pierced by the cross is the path to the opulence of limitless spiritual wealth. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

       Jesus made peace by his death on the cross. Having made peace through the blood of his cross. This is the process to perfection for all the Sons of God. Happy the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (Emphasized).

       The character of God must be written on your heart, or it is not written in your life at all. For this purpose, the cross is the stylus of God. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

       The cross is an ancient formula, conveying the power to rise from the dead. It is a celestial intersection, where Adamic death turns to become spirit life. It appears as a consuming grief that is contrary to the laws of mortals. But if you look beyond the circumstances, you will see the explosive wisdom of your loving Heavenly Father, calling you to share his immortal splendor.

       When your carefully arranged world suddenly erupts into irrational chaos, you have entered the secret passage that leads to the spirit realm.

       When this occurs, follow the steps of Jesus Christ. To arrive at his destination, you must respond exactly as he demonstrated. Cast off the stunted and impotent doctrines of Organized Religion stand alone with your Heavenly Father. Endure the betrayal. Surrender your earthly desires. Forgive your adversaries. Make yourself a living sacrifice. Then reach for a new life in another realm. From now on let no person trouble me, for I bear on my body the brand marks of the Lord Jesus, the wounds, scars and other outward evidence of persecutions. These testify to His ownership of me! Galatians 6:17 (Amplified).

 

 

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