THE CROSS – The Curse that Blesses
1Co 1:18-19 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
*All references are from the NKJV unless otherwise stated.
Certainly, God is the master of irony and Jesus as the Son of God, while He was on earth, was also the Master at playing out ironical roles. He sees everything from the direct opposite of how others see them. Ask Him a question about what to do with the woman caught in the act of adultery, He tells the people, “Let he who has no sin cast the first stone”. The Pharisees asked Him by what authority He operated His ministry, He answered, “the baptism of John, is it of God?” By many such ways He, Jesus, brought the counsel of God to man, while never bowing to the questions that were asked. For scripture says He didn’t leave Himself in the hands of any man, for He knew the hearts of men.
Down this line of thought, we see that scripture speaks of the rulers of this world not knowing the wisdom of God, for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. For in killing Him, the very expression of the mercy and grace of God which brings salvation to mankind, which they wanted to stop, was activated right on the cross of His death. In other words, the wisdom of God caught them right in the middle of their own craftiness.
THE CROSS OF CHRIST
The cross, from the perspective of the Romans or even the perspective of the Jewish people, was never a symbol of goodwill or some act of heroism. For the Romans, it was the symbol of shame, humiliation, punishment, death etc, especially for anyone who tried to undermine the authority of Rome. For the Jewish people, dying on the cross or hanging on a tree was also the symbol of shame, humiliation and death, which also imputed an automatic curse on whoever was hung on it. For scripture says that “cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree” either for a capital offence or any crime that is worthy of death. In both cases, dying on the cross or the hanging on a tree was seen as a negative thing which no one really wanted to associate with. However, the wisdom of God is amazing, taking that which men saw as abomination and bringing out of it that which guarantees salvation to mankind.
The offence of the cross of Jesus is the guarantee of our salvation and return back to God the Father. For Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us by hanging on the tree.
THE WALK AWAY FROM THE CROSS
If there is any organization on earth which should both understand the power of the cross and the consequences of walking away from this power, it is the church. If there is any organization on earth which has forgotten the truth about the cross of Jesus and which has embraced the works of Babylon, it is also the church. The church, in its current state, has embraced futility and vanity of the soul, having a form of godliness but denying its power. For everything Jesus accomplished as the Son of God sent into the world for the purpose of the redemption of mankind, is directly tied to the cross. For without His cross and His death, there would be no redemption for mankind. God the Father would have chosen to allow Jesus to die any other way on earth, having killed Him already from before the foundation of the world, according to scriptures. The question therefore is this, why is the choice of the cross important to God?
THE CROSS AND THE CURSED
Jesus completely finished everything about his humanity on the cross for the sake of man and for the sake of the glory set before Him at the right hand of the Father. He that was sinless and deathless took up sin and submitted to the claws of death just so that the intention of God the Father for man would come to pass. He took up the curse meant for common criminals, just so that the mind of the Father would be revealed in man and creation again. The question of why God would choose the cross for the death of Jesus rather than any other kind of death is simple. The curse of the law. That the curse of the law is imputed on anyone who hangs on the tree, was why God had to use the cross for the death of Jesus in order to deal a final blow to the curse from the garden. No other form of death by divine design has within itself the ability to exchange the curse which man and creation was subjected to at the fall, for a blessing of life and eternal sonship with God. Remember this, the curse of breaking the law for which Jesus came to die is not the breaking of the laws of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments in themselves were created by God for them to be broken by man, so that God would have sole right and justice to judge man without any unrighteousness. I really don’t have to prove this, but in case you want proof that God purposely created the law to be broken let me share one with you. Please read Exodus 32:15-29 for context. Moses the man of God was coming down from the mountain with the tables of the law which God wrote with His own finger, and coming to the camp with Joshua his assistant, he heard the noise of the idolatrous acts the people had gotten into while he was away. He got angry and BROKE the very tablets of the law he just received from God. Now here is what I want you to see. “Then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’ ” So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.” (Exodus 32:26-28). Did you see that?
The question now is this. Who wrote “Thou shall not kill” in the law? God did. Who told Moses to command the Levites to kill their brethren? God did. Who blessed the Levites and elevated them above their brethren after they just broke the law of killing? God did. What does this show us? It means God didn’t send Jesus to come and die for the sin of fornication, murder, envy, lying and all the various failures of our flesh. He came to die to remove the curse that had separated man from God from the beginning. And that is why eternal life is to know God and the Christ He sent and not some legalistic and religious attention to mindless things we call sin. For true knowledge involves life and spirit which is beyond the knowing in the head. All these “sins” that we have attributed so much importance to, are just the result of the separation created by the curse. And that’s also why the Apostle John said he who is born of God cannot sin. Meaning, he who has received the cross of Jesus by faith, accepted the blood of cleansing by the Spirit of life, has been set free from that curse of the law that separates him from God and thus none of those acts we call sin will have a hold on such. Sin shall have no dominion over such.
REDEMPTION FROM THE CURSE
So Jesus, having been made a curse for us, has also now redeemed us from the curse, birthing us into a new life of sonship with the Father.
The law as an instituted act of God for the revealing of Himself to His people after many years of separation from Him was not His original plan for bringing man to Him. But the inability of His people to bear his voice directly speaking to them and the stiffneckedness of their hearts towards Him activated the law as a school master to bring them to Him. The wisdom of God knew that no man can fulfill the law, a thing which is constantly reiterated by the yearly sacrifice by the high priest. And so that no man will walk away from the law simply because it is not possible to fulfill them, a curse was also added to the continuous workings of the law that says “Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them. Deuteronomy 27:26 and also …“Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Galatians 3:10. But we have been redeemed from the curse of the law of sin and death by the blood of Christ Jesus.
THE NEW AGE DOCTRINE IN THE CHURCH
There is a very critical and dangerous spirit that has crept into the church while men slept. It’s the spirit of the new age religion which draws attention of believers away from the cross of Christ to the words and lifestyles of men. It’s the worship of the created rather than the creator.
Some clues about the new age doctrine
(Culled from https://www.allaboutspirituality.org/new-age.htm)
New Age: A Collection of Thought Systems
New Age is a compilation of metaphysical, Eastern-influenced thought systems. These thought systems unite theology, nature, and philosophy. This movement comprises countless “theologies” that often center on religious tolerance and moral diversity. The main phrases (or “isms”) that reveal the focal point of New Age thought are “feel-goodism” (do whatever feels good, as long as you are not hurting someone else), “moral relativism” (situational ethics), and “pluralism” (universal tolerance). The phrase “New Age” refers to the “Aquarian Age” which, according to New Age supporters, is now beginning. This Age is expected to bring in peace and enlightenment, as well as reunite humans with “god.” New Age doctrine says that humans are currently estranged from god due to a lack of insight concerning god’s real nature and reality. In New Age understanding, mankind is central. Humans are considered to be divine, as co-creators, and as the ultimate hope for the future of the world. Although New Age is generally tolerant of almost any world religion or philosophy, it is opposed to the “narrow-mindedness” of Christianity that teaches Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal salvation. New Age philosophy is complicated to define because there is no centralized hierarchy, doctrine, or membership. At its foundation, the New Age movement is a religious system with two main doctrines: Evolutionary Godhood and Global Unity.
New Age: The Doctrine of Evolutionary Godhood
Generally, New Age thought supports the theory of organic evolution, but extends the concept to the evolution of the spirit. This is the concept of “Evolutionary Godhood,” where the next step in evolution won’t be physical, but spiritual. The principles of evolution are constantly moving mankind toward god-consciousness, where man and reality connect in unified enlightenment. The “fittest” already understand this reality, while the “unfit” (such as Christians and other proponents of dogmatic worldviews) act as a hindrance to evolutionary forces. Many New Age practices are designed to accelerate the evolutionary push into the spiritual realms. These practices include: (I) astral projection, which is training your soul to leave your body and travel around; (ii) channeling spirits, so they may speak through you or guide you; (iii) crystal usage, which purifies the energy systems of your body and mind; and (iv) visualization techniques, which include everything from basic mental imagery to role playing of animals or divine creatures. In a nutshell, Evolutionary Godhood means that mankind will soon see itself as god. This is often referred to as the “Christ principle” or “Christ consciousness.” New Age teaches that we are basically good and inherently divine, and ultimately, we can create our own reality.
Personally speaking, there is almost nothing about the new age doctrine that is not somehow aligned with scriptures except this: “Although New Age is generally tolerant of almost any world religion or philosophy, it is opposed to the “narrow-mindedness” of Christianity that teaches Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal salvation.” This is the danger of the new age doctrine which takes attention away from the cross of Jesus and which tries to strip Him of being the way, the truth and the life of God. For no man can come to the Father except by Him Jesus.
The church is now so watered down by this doctrine of the new age by the attention it pays to man worship, worldly lucre and the likes of Babylonian religious patterns.
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW CHRIST
For you dear overcoming sons of God who have taken up their cross and are following Christ daily, do not relent in your walk with God even as you face each trials and temptations of your daily life. Your blessing as an overcoming son of God came from the “Cursed One” who carried His cross before you, died on it, was buried and was raised after the third day. And that same “Cursed One” who now is the Lord of Glory is aware of the command He gave you to carry your cross and follow Him. He knows the pain, rejection, frustration, the nails of limitation, the crown of thorns and the spear of approval attached to the cross. And because He came through with his own cross, you have an assurance that you too will come through with your own cross if you do not turn back to listen to those peddling the new age doctrine in the place of the gospel of Christ. You have been blessed by the death of the “Cursed One”, the Lord of Glory and you longer need anyone to recommend you to God for blessing, either by way of paying tithe or some form of allegiance to some brotherhood. For there is no longer any mediator between you and your Father God, except the Lord Jesus, by whom your access to God is guaranteed.
Lastly, as we gradually move to the end of 2018, do all to pay attention to whatever God is telling you concerning 2019. For whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it doesn’t matter. For Christmas in itself accounts for no eternal value before God, but your walk of faith with God does.
From your brother, Samuel Phillips.