The Missing Cross
For if you live after the flesh [the sinful nature] you will die;
but if through the Spirit you mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, you will live.
Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature]
with its passions and desires [lusts and affections].
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing;
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
There are six Bible verses in which Jesus emphatically tells everyone that they must daily deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow him; and whoever fails to do so is not worthy of him. After telling us we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow him, Jesus himself then died on the cross to show us the obedience necessary of following him, as he followed the Father's commands to die on the cross. He died on the cross as an example to us, to show us that we too must die to our selfish, fleshly life to gain the eternal life in God. The cross is to deny our will and obey the commands he speaks to us — doing his will instead. As we deny our will and follow his will, we are putting to death our selfish, sinful nature — the inward cross of self-denial. And as Jesus destroys the sin in us, he increases his Spirit in us, until we join in union with Christ. The cross is the only way to salvation — and Christendom has totally lost the true meaning of the cross, and so to has lost the true gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation.
From the Word of the Lord within:
To hear him speak to you, you must silently listen, waiting for Him to speak. Think on the name of Jesus, then listen, watch, and wait. If you find your mind wandering, think on the name of Jesus and return to listening, watching, and waiting. Do not be discouraged if you don't hear for some time. Even your waiting is to your credit: Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you. Psalms 33:22. When you hear, you must believe him to be the Son speaking to you, believe what he tells you to be true, and then obey whatever he commands. Do this repetitively with persistent dedication, and you will be delivered from even the desire to sin, which is to receive salvation.
From the Word of the Lord within:
When you believe what Jesus speaks to you and then obey His commands, you are following Jesus. To follow Jesus is to obey what Jesus commands, which is doing the will of God while denying your will. Obediently doing His will is a cross to your will, which is taking up the cross, forgotten by and missing from Christianity today. Until you take up the cross, you are not His disciple; until you take up the cross, you are not worthy of Him. Salvation and eternal life only come to those who bear the inward cross of self-denial to crucify their selfish spirit and carnal mind. Until you have crucified your evil, sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial, you do not have salvation, and you do not belong to Christ.
Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections].
Being crucified is not to be imagined or presumed or accepted by imputation. Your selfish spirit, the imagination of your evil heart, and your carnal mind that is enmity with God, must die on the cross to be replaced with a new spirit, mind, and heart received from God.
It is a cross to a man's will to sit in humble silence to wait on God, listening, and watching, while struggling to keep his mind from wandering; it is a cross to a man's will to obey what he is commanded and taught by the Holy Spirit; this is the cross of which you must deny yourself and pick it up every day, to then follow Jesus. To obey his voice is to follow Jesus.
Jesus said: "There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" —
to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear his word; the words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life, .
Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. .
Jesus said he would reject many, who thought themselves sure to be Christians, but who stilled sinned. They had not made him their Lord in practice, who controlled their lives in their actions and words; he didn't know them to be his subjects as their ruling Lord. They said Jesus is Lord with their lips, but kept him far removed from their hearts to really be their Lord and King. To make him Lord, he has to first cleanse us of our sinful nature that is unruly; until he cleanses us, we are a slave to sin, (Depart from me, you who work iniquity [sin, lawlessness, iniquity]), and incapable of being subject to him as our Lord or King.
Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, who stand forth without repentance!
Your covenant with death will be annulled,
and your agreement with hell will not stand.
I declared.. that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works.
So he has to purify us, destroying our selfish, unruly, sinful nature; we have to sit quietly so that he, the Light and the Word, can teach us about himself and search our heart to show us our condition; lead us to repent, and then cleanse us to be governable by him as our King and Lord. We don't know Him, and he doesn't know us, until we have spent time together in our closet. We, by ourselves, have to meet him, talk to him, watch for him, and listen for him, accept him, and obey him. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. . We must come to Him by sitting quietly while thinking on his name; this is how we learn from Him, get cleansed by Him, are led by Him, and come to know Him. Jesus even told us that reading the Bible did not result in coming to Him or eternal life. . To hear someone, we have to listen; to listen we have to stop talking, reading, and racing our mind. Christ in you, the hope of glory.
For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My spoken words [hear him speak, not read the Bible] and does [practices, obeys] them, I will show you what he is like. He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or founded on a rock.
He can't make it any plainer! He said: come to me, listen to My spoken words (him speaking, not the Bible), and does [practices, obeys] them.
If anyone loves me, he will keep my words [obey me, practice my teachings]; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
The above two teachings of Jesus are the core message of this web site:
1) Come to him, Listen to his spoken words to you, do the words he gives you — obey his commands by repentance.
2) If you obey what Jesus tells you to do, the Father then loves you; the Father and Jesus in his glory come to you,
and they make their home with you;
and the home they make is the Kingdom of Heaven.
To those who persistently and patiently wait for him he will appear the second time, not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation.
So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. Persevere, and Christ will lead you through repentance to union and the Kingdom of Heaven.
As we wait on him, watch for him, and listen to him — we abide in Him. To abide in his living Light and Word is to find life.
He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him!
(Diligence is defined as continually attending to and striving to achieve a goal; laboring; persevering.)
To be assured of salvation, we put to death the evil deeds prompted by the body by daily seeking Christ's direction and following his commands — repenting. Jesus said, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent, For if you live according to the flesh (the sinful nature), you will surely die. But if through the power of the Spirit you mortify (put to death) the deeds prompted by the body, you will live.
As we follow the commands of Jesus that we hear, little by little, we experience the gradual, miraculous release from sins, validating our efforts and motivating us to persevere to the end.
Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
When you bear (produce) much fruit,
My Father is honored and glorified,
and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness [or meekness, or humility], and self-control.
He has defined the acid test of a true believer, a true follower of Christ, to produce fruit, and much fruit!
Perhaps more important, if you love God, this is the way to honor and glorify the Father!
Abide [dwell, remain] in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless itabides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
If a man abides in Me, and I in him, he produces much fruit: love, peace, joy, patience, gentleness, kindness, etc.
for without Me you can do nothing. Works without God's Love in us count for nothing.
To produce fruit, is to possess God's love; then your works are faith energized and demonstrated through love.
Abiding is the key to success as a Christian. Studying the Bible only tells us what we must achieve and avoid.
To know the truth, you have to be taught by Jesus himself, personally, about himself. His living words must abide in you.
To abide in Christ, is to abide in his Light, in his presence, in his living word, (not read the Bible).
To abide is "to remain." We go to him and quietly sit waiting on him; and then we listen for him to speak to us and watch for what he shows us. When the Light appears, we spend time in the Light. His living Word penetrates us, separating spirit from soul, and the Light cleanses us by the blood of Jesus. As we repent, we are purified and receive more of His Spirit. As we receive more of his Spirit, he abides or remains in us too. We become the possessors of Christ, not just professors. This is part of the cross.
Whoever does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
Whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.
Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires.
For of this you can be sure, that no sexually immoral, or impure, or covetous person..has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with empty words. For because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Jesus said: He who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be my son."
And John said, "...I have written to you, young men because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one." So we must overcome sin and the devil.
For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes...You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline.Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God's children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons.
To be scourged and disciplined by God is the second assurance of salvation to come.
In 1 Peter 1:5-7 he says: [you] "who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a time, if necessary, you may have to suffer grief through many trials, so that your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried with fire, might result in praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."
Salvation after grief and trials that is at the last moment of fleshly life vs. instant salvation? Which do you claim?
Yet if any man suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time has come that judgment must begin with the household of God. And if it first begins with us, what will the end of those be who do not obey the gospel of God? And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners? Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
Barely be saved, means it happens after much suffering, barely escaping destruction!
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. Thes 5:8
Even those who already have the gift of love are to hope for salvation!
Does this sound like instant salvation? According to Peter love is the last step in the process of Christian growth:
make every effort to add to your faith virtue [excellence]; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
Paul is saying salvation comes after the gift of love which is the last step in Christian growth according to Peter.
From George Fox's Journal:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings;
if you will reign with him, you must suffer with him;
if you will live with him, you must die with him;
and if you die with him, you must be buried with him;
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him.
There must be "a coming into his death, a suffering with Christ;" and this is of necessity to salvation; and not temporarily, but continually: there must be a "dying daily."
The bad news is we have something else to do. We've been lied to. The more times a lie is told, the easier it is to believe the lie. It started being told 2000 years ago in the early church; Jude wrote in 1:4, For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in [false christians with false formulas for salvation] among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality. It's very lulling to think that all we have to do is believe or get baptized. We didn't know any better. But trust in God. He provides a way for those who want to please him and find his will for them. For more on this read Fox's letter 306.
The good news is that we can hear, learn, be taught, and be cleansed by Jesus personally through the Holy Spirit.
We can listen to the personalized teachings of Christ directly.
If any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
The other good news is that we don't have to physically die to be in UNION with God. We don't have to physically die to be in heaven. The Kingdom of heaven is within you, and the inward cross with cleansing to purity not only leads to being a Son of God, but it leads to living forever with Christ as our King, being filled with Love, having fellowship with Christ and the Father, and living in paradise while on earth with everlasting peace and joy. Following Christ and bearing your cross, leads to everything we dared to hope for and far more besides. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
He is extraordinarily patient toward you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him.
Waiting is most of the cross.
After we have crucified our selfish nature in the inward cross of self-denial, then and only then are we in Christ, as we are raised with him resurrected in us to be our true Lord in control of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
To be in Christ is explained by Paul. Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.. This is not to imagine yourself a new creature; this is to experience the death of the old and the birth of the new. When you become a new creature, you enter a new dimension; it is like a man who has lived underground all his life, never seen the light of day, never seen the sun, the plants, the sky, the animals — all things have become new, and he no longer sees the underground; old things have passed away. And death of the old is only through the cross of Christ, sharing in the suffering of Christ, sharing in the death of Christ, sharing in the burial of Christ, sharing in the resurrection of Christ — that is NEW — all else is presumption and imagination, or make-believe Christianity.
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but [only] he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in Your name?
And cast out demons in Your name?
And in your name done many wonderful works?
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you;
depart from Me, you who work iniquity [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness]!'
Only those who do the will of the Father enter the Kingdom of heaven. . Jesus said he only did as he was commanded, not his will; Jesus only did the will of the Father. The will of the Father is obedience to his commands. You must wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey to ever be able to do the will of the Father instead of your own will.
To confess (say) Jesus is Lord is not enough. Jesus said he would reject many who claim to be saved Christians; many who called him Lord, who had prophesied, and even performed miracles in his name. So here are people who call Jesus Lord and do miracles in his name. They claim he is their Lord and think they are in Christ.
In reply to them, Jesus said plainly:
I never knew you. Though they called him Lord; prophesied, drove out demons, and performed miracles in his name.
John says: by this we know that we know him: if we keep [obey] his commands.
The only way you can keep his commands is to listen to his voice, hear, and obey — until the sinful
nature within you has been crucified . For you cannot love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, until you have been given a new heart and mind by the love of God, received from Him over time, as you abide in his Word and Light, with obedience.
- Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness [still sin]! Whoever commits sin practices lawlessness..
Jesus rejected the people who thought they were Christians, because they still sinned. They did not obey him.
Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’
and not do what I tell you?
I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. .
If we are a slave to sin, he can't be our Lord. We cannot serve two masters. .
You are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? .
Jesus said that these so-called-Christians with great faith to perform miracles will be rejected because they were still sinning;
they had not crucified the sinful nature on the cross, which is necessary to belong to Christ Jesus.
Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? . So now ask yourself: have you overcome the world? Because John has just told us who believes that Jesus is the Son of God — it is he who overcomes the world; and to overcome the world is to fight the good fight of faith, to have victory over sin, and to bring forth fruit to perfection.
Some sects even believe: once saved, always saved, based on the scripture, My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand, The fallacy is not in the scripture, but is in believing that salvation is possible without crucifixion of the sinful nature on the cross through repentance to purity. The sinner's prayer and/or water baptism is not a substitute for the cross. Wearing a jewelry cross is not a substitute for daily picking up your cross of self-denial, which is necessary to be a follower of Jesus; to follow is obey what you hear Him say to you, as you wait, in humble silence, and listen for His voice and then obey what you hear Him speak to you. To follow is to obey. To obey is to do deny your will and do His will: thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, .
For of this you can be sure, that no immoral, impure, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no one deceive you with vain words. For because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
All who practice lawlessness [who sin] will be gathered out of His Kingdom and cast into the fire,
where there shall be great wailing and gnashing of teeth. .
Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity [lawlessness, sin].
Another common claim of salvation is based on Romans 10:9-10: That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you have been saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The true meaning of Rom10:9-10 has been twisted to prove the pretended salvation of Christendom, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raises Him from the dead, you have been saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. The blind guides of Christendom have totally misinterpreted this verse, teaching that if you "say" Jesus is Lord and believe he rose from the dead in Jerusalem, then you are saved; from the Word of the Lord within: "They think to be saved by making a noise about being saved." That is like believing that a few magic words spoken by you totally cancel the Bible's many warnings of exclusion, the requirements, and the qualifying conditions of salvation.
- To confess, is to acknowledge Jesus is your Lord, who controls your words and deeds — this only happens as you are obedient to the word (Jesus) in your heart and mouth, which is the word of faith the Apostles preached, Rom 10:8; your beginning obedience is evidence of your belief in Jesus and your subjection to his commands as the rightful Lord. And if you persist in obedient faith to the end, making every effort, you will be saved (delivered from all sins, washed, cleansed, purified, perfected, sanctified, made holy), by the power of God working mightily in you. The inward cross of self-denial is not easy, but the cross is the only way to be a disciple, and only disciples experience salvation.
Notice confession is made unto salvation by the mouth. This is to acknowledge that you have experienced salvation. This does not mean you become saved, by saying you are saved; that is nothing but heathenish ritual to create the imaginary salvation of make-believe Christendom.
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?'
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who work iniquity' [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness].
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lack of restraint, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within a man and defile him.
And in no way shall there enter into it [heaven] anything that is defiled.
To experience salvation is to witness your purity, holiness, perfection, judgment, being freed from even the desire to sin, destruction of the residual man of sin within one by the brightness of his coming, seeing one's name written in the Book of Life, union with Christ and the Father, entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, seeing the Glory of God, them also appearing in glory, fellowship with past saints made perfect, and fellowship with the Father and Christ — an unmistakable salvation, clearly seen, clearly felt, clearly understood. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself,’ 1 John 5:10-12. ‘and he who has the Son, has the Father’ — to see the Son and the Father reigning in their hearts — the union. To confess the Lord Jesus, is to confess like Paul: It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Gal 2:20.
"you have been saved" or "you will be saved" — either could be translated because the Greek word "swyhsh" has a variable tense, of future, passive, or indicative with past, present or future, all possible, click on 5701 in the Greek text for saved, "swyhsh <4982> (5701)", then click on each of 5701 possibilities in translation — Future See 5776, Voice — Passive See 5786, Mood — Indicative See 5791. But the translators did not have a clue what the real gospel was, to have Jesus resurrected in your heart, to be your controlling Lord, in union with the Lord; neither did they believe that being saved was to be freed and saved from even the lure of sins because they obviously were still sinning, and so concluded it was to be saved from Hell after they died; never bothering to determine why their translation and doctrine was in total conflict with the Bible's many stated exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions of salvation.
- To believe in your heart that God resurrects Jesus, is to be known by your experience of God raising Jesus in your heart.
Knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present us with you [in his presence].
After you have crucified your sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial to be delivered from all sins, your heart being purified, Jesus is resurrected in your heart as you are translated into the Kingdom of God and enter union with Christ and the Father.
[the Corinthians had not yet experienced his resurrection]
In whom you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision performed by Christ. Buried with him in baptism, in which also you are risen [present tense, not future tense] with him through faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead.
If then you are risen [present tense, not future tense] with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
[Paul is not writing to dead people; the Colossians had experienced his resurrection in their hearts]
And when we were dead in our sins, He brought us to life in union and fellowship with Christ; it is through grace that you are saved;
And has raised [past tense, not future tense] us up together [with Christ], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
[The Ephesians had experienced his resurrection in their hearts]
Christendom believes all the above is impossible because all of Christendom has morphed into Babylon as the Bible predicted, and the ministers of Christendom are the blind guides that Jesus warned us about.
Jesus said the false prophets in sheep's clothing would come. John said the antichrists and false apostles had come and had gone out from among them. Peter saw the false teachers had come. Paul and Jude saw the false apostles had come, and Paul warned the brothers night and day for three years of more coming. And in Revelation, John saw where the whole world was to go after the false prophets and the false church, which occurred shortly afterwards. The false church is Revelation's whore of Babylon, riding the beast of many names [41,000 sects in Christendom], with horns like a lamb [that resembles the true church], but who speaks like a dragon [men speaking from their carnal minds, which is enmity with God, and their vain opinions from their evil imaginations] instead of speaking words supplied by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus and the Apostles did.
Having been fooled by Christendom will not be accepted as an excuse for remaining in your bondage to sin: For of this you can be sure, that no sexually immoral, or impure, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient..
- To believe unto righteousness is to have become righteous, through obedience to death of the selfish spirit on the cross, thus receiving Christ's controlling spirit to make you righteous.
- You don't become righteous by saying that Jesus is Lord. You only become righteous when he controls your words and deeds; then and only then, can you truthfully say Jesus is Lord (of you, by your obedience to his controlling commands). As we wait in faith for the hope of righteousness, our obedience leads to righteousness. Gal 5:5, Rom 6:16.
- You only experience salvation after the death of your selfish spirit of flesh on the inward cross of self-denial, and receipt of sufficient spirit of Christ to control your every word and deed. Salvation is to be delivered from all sin, to have been purified by the grace of God that separates man from sin. To confess salvation is to confess you have been freed from all sin and have witnessed the revelation of Jesus bringing your salvation, which is eternal life in God.
- Salvation is not saying Jesus is Lord or pointing to scripture — it is to be experienced. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Fom the Word of the Lord within: "The new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars."
Even Adolph Hitler was a believer; he said Jesus was his Lord and Savior. Surely you don't think he was saved? The thousands of Catholic priests who slowly tortured and brutally murdered 9,000,000 people for being witches during the Middle Ages were believers too. All were baptized, took daily communion, prayed frequently, confessed Jesus as Lord, read the scriptures, etc. But they had never crucified their selfish nature on the inward cross of self-denial, which destroys the sinful nature, even the lure of sin. So they rationalized their mass tortures and murders were not sin; their selfish beastly nature freely participated in the torture and execution of all those with a different opinion of religion. They still sinned. But their sins were on a massive scale; our sins are easier to overlook and excuse, being indifferent to our immorality, impurities, lusts, rages, envies, jealousies, lying etc. You are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness.
Jesus said: If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched; and if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet to be cast into Hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than having two eyes to be thrown into Hell fire. . He doesn't want us to maim ourselves. He is only illustrating how serious sin is.
Jesus is desperately trying to tell us that to enter the Kingdom and escape hell, sin is not allowed — period! But he has given us the way of grace to crucify the sinful nature, removing the source of sin from our hearts, one defect at a time. He knew false prophets with false gospels promising freedom to continue to sin would arise after he left. Changes in our heart through the missing cross to purity can take away the desire of the hand, foot, and eye to cause us to sin.
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
Therefore mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body that are of the earthly life: fornication, impurity, inordinate affections, evil lusts of the flesh, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Jesus came so he could destroy the devil and his works [sin] in us.
For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us],
that he might destroy [in us] the works of the devil.
Repentance is necessary for salvation and the Kingdom. Going to Jesus, to know him and be known by Him, and die to self through repentance to purity on the missing inward cross is the only way. Until we put to death the selfish, sinful nature, we are unruly and incapable of being subject to a Lord or King. We make Him our Lord by putting to death our sinful nature through the aid of the Spirit, thereby becoming governable and subject to Him. For the world would have a Christ to excuse continuing to live in their passions and pleasures, but those committed to truth would have a Christ to change them to live pleasing to God, whatever the price.
If you want to skip the scriptures, invalidating instant salvation by saying you believe or by baptism, proving the cross necessary, click here to go to how to crucify the sinful nature.
Jesus said, I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God.., because that is why I was sent." And Paul tells us no immoral, impure, or covetous person has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph 5:5. So, Jesus came so that we can enter the Kingdom of God, (which arrives with salvation's completion), first having been set free from sin, purified, and made moral through repentance; no instant salvation, instead a process of purification through the inward cross of self-denial. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to us who are being saved the cross is the power of God.
In John 1:12, he says that as many as received him, those who believe in his name, to them gave the power to become the sons of God. Receiving him while believing in His name gives us the power to become a son of god, not to automatically be a son. We have the power to become a son of God, but that power must be exercised by us, not just assumed as already having occurred, while continuing to live in our sinful nature. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom 8:8. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. Rom 8:7.
Even the demons called Jesus 'Son of the Most High God,' falling down at his feet, begging him to have mercy. Luke 8:28,4:41,Mark 5:7,3:11, Mat 8:29. So 'believing' that Jesus is the Son of God, or 'saying' he is the Son of God, does not result in salvation. James said: You say you believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.
Notice Jesus in John 3:16 doesn't say if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, he says if you believe in him, (or simply believe him). There is a big difference: 1) mental assents to Jesus being the Son vs. 2) to believe what he commands and advises — enough to obey Him. He commands us to seek as our highest priority in life the Kingdom of God and His righteousness — to be perfect — to turn the other cheek, to come to him, listen to him, and obey him- to deny yourself and pick up your cross daily and to repent or perish. The demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but they don't obey him from love — they disobey him. The Amplified Bible gives us further understanding: whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him. Do you obey Jesus' commands, or are you like the demons, who believe him to be the Son of God raised from the dead, but who disobey his commands?
The Bible even shows us examples where believing that Jesus is Lord and being baptized does not result in salvation, or even the assurance of salvation:
Simon the magician believed and was baptized. He tried to buy the power of laying on of hands. .
Peter said to him, "Repent therefore of your wickedness, and pray God, that perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity.".
Is it not obvious that Simon had not been "saved" by believing and baptism?
Ananias and his wife Sapphira were members of the Church in Jerusalem. Great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them who needed anything for many who possessed lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, to lay them down at the apostles' feet; and then distribution was made to every man according to his need. Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price; pretending they were donating the entire amount. Both Anianias and Sapphira were immediately slain by the Holy Spirit; in effect they were lying to God. Their death was an example that brought great fear on all the church.
Now few would argue that these believers with great grace on them had been "saved" if they were slain by the Holy Spirit for lying.
And although the Corinthians had eaten the bread and wine, and had been baptized in water, Paul told them they were "reprobates,[rejected, lost to sin] if Christ was not in them;" and bid them "examine themselves."
and: (describing the early church in Jerusalem)
And all who believed were together, and had all things in common. They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed the proceeds among all, as every man had a need. And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, eating their food with gladness and singleness of heart... And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. This clearly shows that being saved is not instantaneous with believing, being baptized, and joining the church; no, they were described as should be saved — as in the future, at the death of their selfish spirit on the cross.
Believing is not salvation, as Paul emphasizes eleven times in addressing believers in the churches:
- Now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed.
- Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
- For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he has already seen? But if we hope for that we do not yet see, then we wait for it [salvation] with patient endurance.
- But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
- For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
While in the inward cross of self-denial, you will see the sin slowly disappear from your life until you are free of sin.)
- Godly sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation.
- Do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed unto the day of redemption.
(Paul is speaking to believers in the church who have not yet been redeemed, which is salvation.)
- For we are the sweet aroma of Christ unto God, to those who are being saved.
- We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold firm the beginning of our confidence to the end.
- For you need endurance in order to do God’s will, so that after you may receive the promise.
- We desire that every one of you show the same diligence in realizing the full assurance of hope to the end.
So that you are not slothful, but followers of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
And Peter echoes the same message that salvation is not just believing or faith, rather salvation is the end of faith's obedient journey, and requires growth :
Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a time, if necessary, you may have to suffer griefs through many trials,
So that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried with fire, might result in praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; though you do not see him now, but believe in him, you rejoice with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory,
Receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls. .
As newborn babies, desire the sincere milk of the word, so that you may grow up to salvation,
So when does believing result in salvation? Jesus told us himself: And this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes on [depends on, trusts, and obeys] him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day, . So your belief must lead to you seeing Jesus, the face of God. When your belief results in you persistently waiting on God, in humble silence, to hear Him, and to obey Him — His words that you hear Him speak to you impart the life of God; until finally you are pure and you see the face of God in your heart: Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God, . And every man who has this hope in him, purifies himself even as He [Jesus] is pure, .
Salvation, the deliverance from sin, occurs when you experience the grace of God (Christ) bring it to you, when Christ destroys the selfish spirit in you by the spirit in his mouth and by the brightness of his coming, when he crushes the head of Satan under your feet.
To say that Jesus is Lord does not save us. To be baptized does not save us. Nor does a touch of the Spirit, (only the call of God), touted as the baptism of Holy Spirit, save us. They do not guarantee that we will live with God forever, or make us a son of God. Salvation is not instant. Salvation is a process. To be reborn, we first have to die. You have to lose you life to save it. The true baptism of the Holy Spirit, the only one needed, circumcises the heart, by plunging down sin and iniquity, and putting off the body of death and sins of the flesh so that we are without sin; a baptism into the death of Christ.
Note: In the beginning of the early Church, they (Peter particularly) maintained Jewish circumcision, dietary law, and the Jewish custom of water purification rites — known by Christians as John's water baptism. Peter even forced these practices on the Gentiles, until: the Holy Spirit corrected him on food, Paul corrected him, and the Apostles Council issued different guideline for Gentiles. Since both Christ and John the Baptist spoke of a better baptism, this baptism was later eliminated from Christian practice and the faith maintained one baptism, the baptism of fire or of the Holy Spirit.
John said: I indeed baptize you with water to repentance; but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Jesus said: For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from this time.
Paul said: There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Clearly, just as there are no multiple Lords, there are no multiple baptisms.
Paul again said, I thank God that I baptized none of you, except Crispus and Gaius;
Lest any should say that I had baptized in my own name.
And I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides these, I do not know whether I baptized any other.
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel. .
So in Paul is not happy that he even water baptized the handful that he did.
Clearly the one baptism needed is the fire of the Holy Spirit, which circumcises the heart, by plunging down sin and iniquity, and puts off the body of death and sins of the flesh so that we are without sin; "..baptized into Jesus Christ .. his death, buried with him by baptism into death, that they should walk in newness of life." Although to be avoided as an unnecessary ritual, water baptism is not harmful, unless you think it somehow makes you righteous, thereby being prevented from your seeking righteousness, which is Christ's top priority command " Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness."
The Missing Cross
To sit in humble silence while thinking on His name is how we learn from Him, get cleansed by Him, be led by Him, and come to know Him. Sitting, thinking on the name of Jesus and waiting quietly on the Lord to speak to us, by his living Word, or reveal to us, by his Light, what is in our heart is not what our flesh wants to do. Instead of sitting quietly each day waiting on the Lord, our flesh wants to sleep, or worry, or plan our day, or think about something, or do something, — anything. Our mind will race through many subjects in desperation to save itself, (he who loses his life, finds it). The following is the missing cross:
- seeking the Kingdom of God, as your first priority, is an act of repentance — a cross to your selfish will
- turning away from evil, as you understand it, is an act of repentance — a cross to your selfish will
- you don't want to sit quietly every day to listen and watch, but you repent and do — a cross to your selfish will
if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:20
- you don't want to obey his commands that you hear, but if you repent- it is a cross to your selfish will
- you don't want to forgive injustices done to you, but you repent and forgive — a cross to your angry self
- you don't want to admit and regret what the Light shows your condition to be, but if you repent — it is a cross to your will
(this is the place where you get changed, where your peace increases; in the Light)
- you don't want to give to others from your excess, but if you repent from your selfishness and give- it is a cross to your will
- you don't want to defer (deny self) to others, rather than insist on your way, but if you repent and defer — it is a cross to your will
This is the Inward Cross of Self-Denial
If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
This is how to kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). .
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord,
jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
This is how to produce fruit: to crucify the sinful nature, to become a true Christian.
When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified,
and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
Jesus said to us: "If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." .
Notice! He said this before he had even gone to the cross himself; so he went to the cross as an example to us, an example of the obedience necessary to slay our selfish spirit so that we could be reconciled to God: so that the world may know that I love the Father, I only do exactly as the Father has instructed me to do. . This is how important the cross is to us; he was willing to die a horrible death as the example for our required obedience.
Jesus said, Take heed therefore how you hear. For whoever has will be given more;
and whoever does not have, from him shall be taken even that which he seems to have.
Be still, and know that I am God.
Be silent, all flesh before the Lord.
For more understanding on the necessity of learning in silence,
see George Fox's outstanding writing on Why Silence? (also on the side bar)
See How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God for more. (also on the side bar)
The cross (denying yourself) must be taken up daily to succeed; the cross that is the power of God to you, and the cross that is foolishness to others. The cross is the power of God. Belief in the true gospel is the power of God. Belief in the true gospel, and the cross to realize the promise, releases the power of God to purify you and make you one with Him. He will change you gradually, but you will change. You will gradually become less angry, less addicted to the things of the world, more settled, less emotional, more loving, more patient, kinder, gentler, and happier. You will be thrilled to hear his voice. You will be thrilled to have him teach you about himself. You will hear his soft voice of kindness encourage you. And as he shows you the condition of your heart, you will be changed. We testify to this power that changes. See: How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God for more detail.
Here is what George Fox says about the missing cross in his letter #262.
The true hope, the true cross, the true faith,
the true worship, the true religion,
the true way, the true image,
and true fellowship have been lost since the apostles' days,
among those called christians, who are out of the life.
And those who have lost the cross of Christ, which is the power of God,
in which is the true fellowship,
they have set up a wooden or a stone cross,
so false crosses, and false christians.
Those who have lost the true hope, which purifies, as he is pure,
they have set up a purgatory to cleanse them when they are dead.
And others cry up a body of sin and death on this side of the grave,
with their hypocrite's hope;
and they have lost the true ministry,
and set up a false one, to preach up imperfection.
Now people were imperfect in old Adam before Christ came;
for the law made nothing perfect;
but the true minister, Christ in you the hope of glory, does make perfect,
both in the Apostles' days and now.
'Christ in you, the hope of glory,' said the apostle, 'whom we preach,
warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom,
so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.'
So the perfection is in Christ Jesus; the imperfection is in old Adam.
So this is the true hope that purifies,
which everyone who has it purifies himself, even as he is pure.
And everyone who does not have a possession of this hope,
pleads for impurity and imperfection,
and a body of sin and a body of death to their grave,
and a purgatory when they are dead.
These have a profession of the scriptures, like the Pharisees;
and the hypocrite's hope which shall perish.
And the true faith has been lost since the apostles' days;
the true faith which purifies the heart, which is the faith of God's elect,
which faith gives victory over that which separates from God;
in which faith you all please God;
which faith is the gift of God, and Christ is the author of it;
everyone look to him for it, for the finishing of it, who is the author of it.
In this faith all the saints have unity in that which gives victory over the devil;
for by the faith, which is the shield, they resist him and quench his fiery darts;
and they resist him who would defile them and make them imperfect,
and lead them into those things which would displease God.
And all who are out of this faith, they cry, no victory while we are upon the earth;
but they must have a body of sin to the grave, and a purgatory to cleanse them in;
these are all in the error concerning the faith;
these have made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience;
these are all in the dead faith,
and so cannot preach in the true and living faith of God's elect.
These are all out of unity; for the unity is in the faith, which gives victory over the devil.
These are out of the righteous life; in which the righteous lives by his faith.
'The life that I now live, is by faith of the son of God;
yet it is not I, but Christ who lives in me,' said the apostle.
And all who walk in the faith of God's elect, which is the victory over the devil,
walk in unity over the enmity.
John Richardson, an early Quaker minister visiting the United States, was inspired to say in a meeting of the Protestant believers in Nantucket, who were unconvinced of the Quaker faith:
"Except a man is born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God." No, the natural and unregenerate
man cannot so much as see the heavenly and
spiritual kingdom of Christ, which stands not only
in power, but also in righteousness, joy and peace in
the Holy Spirit; and to be born again is not to be
done imperceptibly, no more than the natural birth
can be brought forth without trouble; and to pretend
to be in Christ and not to be new creatures, is preposterous; and to pretend to be new creatures and
yet not able to render any account how it was performed,
is unreasonable; for it could not be without our knowledge; for to be born
again signifies to be quickened and raised into a spiritual
and new life, by which the body of the sins of
the flesh is mortified and we come to live a self-denying
life. Those who are crucified with Christ are
crucified to their sins, so that as he died for sin, we
ought to die to sin. In that state we do not live after
the flesh, although we live, as the apostle said, in the
flesh; but the life which these live is through faith
in the Son of God. And to supposedly have all this, and much
more wrought in us, and we know nothing of it, is
unaccountable. [Presumption, instead of experiential reality, is make-believe Christianity].
This so affected his listeners, that the leader of the group, Mary Starbuck, stood and said in tears: "All that ever we have been building,
and all that ever we have done, is pulled down this
day; and this is the everlasting truth."
Some say we are advocating salvation by "works," implying Jesus's command to deny yourself and pick up your cross daily is "works." Some even say repentance is "works," even though Jesus said, "Repent or Perish." They want to argue that since grace is free, there is nothing to do. They are right, grace is free; but grace is not salvation, grace brings salvation. James said, "faith without works is dead." Paul further said, "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." In Titus 2:14, Paul said grace results in a people zealous for good works. The workings of grace to teach us how to live are a process; grace is not instant; the process produces purity and the fruit of love. The typical definition of instant grace/salvation taught in the deficit sects, and the Apostle Paul's definition of grace, are radically different. Grace is not salvation. Grace brings salvation. Grace is free, salvation is not.
Salvation requires everything, even your fleshly life.
For if we are dead with him, we will also live with him.If we suffer, we will also reign with him.
So likewise, whoever does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.
He who finds his life shall lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.
And whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Per Paul, true grace is not salvation, but instead brings salvation as defined in his letter to Titus as follows:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
Teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,
and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
as we receive the blessed fulfillment of our hope, even the glorious appearing
of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin],
and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works.
Whoever commits sin practices lawlessness; for sin is lawlessness.
One who still sins might mistakenly argue they are redeemed from every lawless deed, but not that grace has purified them!
So grace and salvation are not the same; grace only leads to salvation, attained by essential actions of repentance.
Repentance is sorrow about your condition, changing your mind to be different, and then conducting yourself differently.
Grace brings salvation by teaching us what to deny, leading us to repent. By grace, we are shown our sin.
We repent by denying ungodliness and lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
We seek righteousness to please Him and in expectation of the glorious appearing of God and Jesus — the Kingdom of Heaven.
So by grace we see a problem in our heart. We repent. Then by grace, we get strength to be different — the cleansing of our heart.
By this process, we are redeemed from all iniquity and purified by Jesus to become enthusiastic workers of good.
Grace is unmerited and free, salvation is not free.
Salvation's price is sacrifice of self, the death of your sinful nature;
and our death is not evidence of being worthy of God's gifts — no, just the shame of being so unworthy.
See True Grace vs. False Grace for more.
It is by grace, and grace only through our faith in Jesus Christ that we attain salvation; but salvation means to become purified and die to the flesh and live to Christ — not by make-believe, but in reality. When you go to the cross in the Light, and He shows you what is in your heart; then you will know what grace really is: that only God can change you — you are helpless in your deplorable state- only the grace of God can rid you of your condition. You must share his "death" and share his resurrection; Fox clarifies to include suffering, death, burial, and resurrection. The cross is the beginning. The cross is not trying to be saved by "works" alone; it is only evidence of your faith by obedience; and to those who oppose the cross, they are headed for destruction, for their god is their belly, [their lusts and affections for the world], and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things, [the love of the world].
Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. For I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore what you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. Jesus expects works, perfect works! Works are evidence of your faith. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, .
James said: You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Paul said: works energized by faith is the only thing that counts.
I declared.. that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
Don't stop until you know he controls you totally; until you have sat down in Jesus Christ in Heaven. He who finds his life shall lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it. If you loose your fleshly life on the cross, you will save your spiritual life in Him. This is His will for you, and following his example to the death of flesh yields an everlasting happiness that is full of peace, love, and joy. Your cross is nothing compared to his; his burden for you is light, his yoke for you is easy, so cast all your worries and fears on God — Trust the Wonderful God who created you to give you his greatest gift — himself — providing you seek him and obey his commands.
Christ's return, entering the Kingdom, and the completion of salvation are simultaneous, when he is revealed within you. So it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him. Heb 9:28. Do you really think this is a particular generation? If so, how could God be so unfair to all the other generations? Since every eye is supposed to witness the second appearance of Christ, then if Christ returns to the earth in a physical body, how could every man see this physical occurrence? The common saying in Christendom today is: keep looking up. But to see the return of Christ, you must keep looking within, watching, watching, watching. Because what may be known of God is revealed in them; for God has shown it to them. Rom 1:19. Even the mystery which has been hidden from ages and generations, but is now revealed to his saints; to whom God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the Hope of glory. (Also see: Christ in You.)
The Way of holiness.. the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err in it and go astray.
From A Guide to True Peace
If any other way but bearing the cross, and dying to his own will, could have redeemed man from a fallen and corrupt state, Jesus would have taught it, and established it by his example. But of all that desire to follow him, he has required the bearing of the cross; and without exception has said to all; "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." Why then do you fear to take up the cross, which will direct you to the path which leads to the kingdom of God?
From the cross are derived heavenly meekness, true fortitude, the joys of the spirit, the conquest of self, the perfection of holiness! There is no redemption, no hope of the continuation of the divine life in us, but by our taking up the cross to our carnal appetites and inclinations: for all consists in the death of self, and there is no means to obtain life and peace, but by thus dying to corruption.
Why do you seek any other path to glory, but that in which you are called to follow the "Captain of your Salvation?" His life was a continual cross, and do you desire a perpetuity of repose and joy? The more perfectly you die to yourselves, the more truly will you begin to live to God; if you would then enjoy true peace here, and obtain hereafter the unfading crown of glory, it is necessary that in every place, and in all events, you should bear the cross willingly. To suffer, therefore, is your portion; and to suffer patiently, and willingly, is the great testimony of your love and allegiance to your Lord.
The patient enduring of the cross, and the death of self upon it, are the indispensable duty of fallen man; and it is thus only he can be delivered from his darkness, corruption and misery, and be restored to the possession of life, light, and peace.
You can memorize the entire Bible, but what he really wants is for you to seek Him of whom the scriptures testify. The Bible is good to maintain and increase hope, but salvation is not found by reading or searching the scriptures; as Christ said to the Pharisees, "You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and they are those that testify of me." John 5:39-40. The Bible is good for building hope, but not for finding Him; you must go to Him. He said, come and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly. Come means to Him, not read the Bible, not to a deficit sect's meeting, not to Bible study — to Him!
So, go to Him, the living Word and Spirit of Life. And when going to Him while believing in his name with hope of purity you have the power to change.It is his name that is the power to get you started. Believing that his name is the power to change you is the power of the gospel; change that takes place by you taking up your cross daily; the cross is the power of god — the dying of self, the denial of self, the repenting of self, the death of sin. We can testify to this power. When I sit quietly, and I think of the name Jesus; I can feel the power. We both can testify to the power of God to purify. You may not feel this at first, but in time you will too. And when you commit to change by daily seeking him to hear his commands and understandings, (you have to be quiet to hear his soft voice), while obeying what you know to be right, you have made him your Lord; you will be on the path and under his protection as long as you keep seeking. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. .He will tell you things about himself. He will clear up your misunderstandings. He will give you tons of encouragement. He will always forgive your failures. He will show you things about yourself. He will show you from what to repent. You will be thrilled to be in communication with God; you will be full of thanksgiving and praise. Your faith will grow by leaps and bounds because, "Faith comes by hearing the Word of God," Jesus himself. You will have more love for others. You are on the narrow way that leads to life, which few will find. See How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God for more.
from George Fox's Letters:
51. — To Friends, concerning the cross of Christ,
the power of God,
that leads out of the world,
to the world that is without end.
The cross is to the carnal part, which is the ground of images,
the ground of the seducers, and the ground of the false prophet and antichrist;
the cross is to that ground, to the root and life of it.
This being minded, which is pure and eternal,
it makes a separation from all other lovers, and brings to God,
and the ground of evil thoughts comes to be opened,
and the cross is to that ground;
which cross overturns the world in the heart.
Which cross must be taken up by all who follow Jesus Christ
out of the world which has an end, into the world which is without end;
and all the evil things of the world must be denied.
For 'who loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him';
but where the world is standing, the cross is not lived in.
But dwelling in the cross to the world,
here the love of God is shed abroad in the heart,
and the way is opened into the inheritance that does not fade away;
where nothing shall enter that is defiled.
For God is not seen except in the eternal light where all pure wisdom comes.
This treasure is not seen but with the spiritual eye;
nor received but with the pure in heart,
and by those who dwell and abide in the eternal light.
But the carnal heart may get the words from those who had received the wisdom,
who dwelt in the fear of the Lord;
but those who live without the fear, may get their words,
and yet know not wisdom's gate, from which those words proceeded, having the old bottle.
All watch, therefore, and see what you possess.
For all who gave forth the Holy Scripture, who dwelt in the fear of God,
they possessed the life which those words proceeded from;
and the secrets of the Lord were with them.
Therefore, all in your measure, which is from God, wait,
that it may guide your minds up to God,
and follow it, and not your evil desires,
nor the lust of the world; for the fear of the Lord will keep your hearts clean,
and the true wisdom will be with you in the pure heart.
And everyone who has this light, which Christ has enlightened them with,
the deeds that are evil, you know to be so by the light;
and this light will be their condemnation, you know it [to be so].
And all who witness this light, and love it, their eye is in their head,
which is Christ, if they be ten thousands.
Read the Bible for Hope — the hopeful parts, like John and the Psalms
And to keep your hopes high while seeking, keep reading the Bible and George Fox's writings. Now, when you read the Bible, you'll see not just the old quoted phrases of the false gospels, but those phrases that really speak to being righteous, perfect, holy, pure, and sinless; and you will know what you have to do to please God. You can rejoice in the true hope and in your calling.
Matthew defines the requirements; be perfect, turn the other cheek, love you enemies, etc.
John defines the reward: Make them one with us; I want them with me to see my glory; Make them holy; give them my love, etc.
1 John defines the test: Whoever has been born of God does not sin; Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him, etc.
What About the Thief on the Cross?
Many people justify all instant salvations on the basis of the Thief on the Cross, next to Jesus as he was crucified, taking comfort in Jesus saying to him, "Today you will be with me in paradise."
Of course the thief's circumstances were exceptional. Consider these:
1) he was watching another convicted criminal (Jesus) next to him being crucified.
2) this man, [Jesus] who claimed a special relationship with God, did nothing to prevent his crucifixion.
3) the criminal himself was in unimaginable agony from the pain of his own crucifixion.
and, still his faith was strong enough to rebuke another criminal, who was also being crucified and hurled insults at Jesus: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" This [other] criminal replied: "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
I would submit this man's faith was so strong, still active in excruciating pain, still active watching the man who claimed to be the son of God being horribly executed; that such faith, being beyond what I can claim to be able to show similarly, he could have been rewarded for it being extraordinary and exceptional; the Lord can make any exceptions he wants.
Part of judgment is to learn the truth. Part of learning the truth is to see paradise. Like all who are not purified in this life, after judgment in paradise, the thief would probably have to leave paradise for a time in Hell; before he could come back to paradise to live in the outer court, without measure, the court of the uncircumcised-in-heart, spiritual gentiles. (See Is There Hope for All for details.) The following scriptures also show how men will be judged in paradise and then banished or gathered out:
And when the king came in to see the guests, [Note! At the marriage feast, in paradise] he saw a man who did not have on a wedding garment.
And he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here and not have a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.
Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and take him away and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. . [Note! The wedding garment is a robe, washed white in the blood of the lamb, Rev 7:14. Walking in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin, 1 John 1:7. The guest had not been cleansed or purified, and so he was unfit to be in heaven or paradise.]
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in Your name?
And cast out demons in Your name?
And in your name done many wonderful works?
And then I will declare to them,
‘I never knew you; depart from Me,
you who work iniquity [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness]. ’
The Son of Man will send out His angels,
and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend,
and those who practice sin [or lawlessness];
and will cast them into a furnace of fire,
where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
[Note! Not gather out of the earth, but gather out of the kingdom, which is paradise.]
Who is gathered out of paradise and sent to the fire? Those who still sin.
Whoever commits sin
for sin is lawlessness.
If you still sin, you are a slave to sin,
and Jesus cannot be your Lord.
Jesus said himself, you cannot serve two masters!
For anyone to claim this criminal's superhuman example as the basis for their entering the Kingdom of God, escaping Hell, because they "believe in Jesus," fails to consider the magnitude of the criminal's faith, which almost all would be hard pressed to duplicate; or that once he was judged in paradise, he was banished for a time.
As I was told by the Word of the Lord within: "If you had been with me on the night I was arrested, you would not have believed I was the Holy One of Israel."
I submit that the thief was not cleansed, was not circumcised in the heart, was not undefiled; and therefore, while he did see Jesus in paradise's outer court for the spiritual uncircumcised, (as all who die do similarly), he was then sent to take his part in the lake of fire in order to make him fit company in heaven, to live and interact with all there, who are free from greed, lying, stealing, envy, sexual immorality, anger, pride, covetousness, etc. After his part in the lake of fire, he would return to live in paradise; but he would be limited to the outer court, not the inner court of the temple, where those who were purified on earth are living stones in the temple of God, in union with Christ, beholding the glory and power of God forever as kings and priests.
And in no way shall there enter into it anything that is defiled, nor anyone who does abominations, or lies; Rev 21:8,27
And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for the redeemed. Isa 35:8
Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city. For from this time forward the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no more come into you. Isa 52:1
The Real Gospel?
To understand the real good news that Jesus came to preach, go and read John 14 with footnoted commentary (click) and then John 17 with footnoted commentary (click). Now compare what you just read with what Christendom has taught you.
Paul wrote in Galatians,1:9, "cursed is anyone who brings you a different gospel;" a gospel and Jesus different from the gospel he preached. The gospel within this site argues for purity and a sinless state. Does not the gospel you have heard excuse sin, immorality, impurity, and ungodliness? Which gospel seems more godly? Which gospel seems like the narrow way of which few will find? Which gospel seems like the broad way where the many go, for it is easy? Can you see Christ arguing for sin, imperfection, impurity, and unholiness? So which gospel is the true one; the one promising freedom from sin, or the one that offers freedom to sin without guilt, but which says that you have to carry your "sin to the grave?" Isn't this just making grace a license to sin?
These 41,000 so-called Christian sects are Babylon painted to look like Zion, deceiving all the nations into her spiritual adultery and fornications. The whole world follows this beast with horns like a lamb, with many names, and power given him to extend his authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. The deficit sects pretend that Christ is their husband; but these false churches are the whore of Babylon, which substitute superstitious ritual for obedience to Christ's commands to repent, his teachings, his requirements, his warnings, his required holiness, his gospel, his Kingdom, his promised freedom from sin, and his cross of self-denial — the Missing Cross to Purity. This mystery of iniquity is permitted by God to test the elect's commitment to truth; for the elect cannot stand listening to lies.
So the whole world, thinking they are worshiping Christ, is worshiping the devil, Rev 13:3-4. How can this be? Because the false Jesus they worship, excuses all manner of sin; the false Jesus they worship is going to marry a bride who is full of adultery, covetousness, anger, lust, profane language, lies, etc. Their false Jesus allows them to live their life in sin until they die, and then is supposedly going to embrace them into heaven. Their false Jesus makes sin easier, by supposedly making sin, guilt free. Their false Jesus embraces sin and evil. Their false Jesus says, you can live however you please, making decisions for yourself based on what you think is good and bad. People, this is a description of the devil who told Eve they would be like God, knowing good and evil. This false Jesus is a god who approves of man walking after the imagination of his own heart, which is worse than worshipping wooden and stone idols, Jer 16:11-12. This false Jesus approves of man being his own God. This is not the real Jesus.
Jesus is holy and pure. The bride of Jesus must be holy and pure too. Jesus said: Sin no more! Repent or perish! [to lose your soul]. And Jesus said, If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. Mark 9:43,45,47-48. Jesus is desperately trying to tell us that to enter the Kingdom and escape hell, sin has to go. He knew false ministers with false gospels promising freedom to continue to sin would arise after he left. Changes in our heart through the missing cross to purity can take away the desire of the hand, foot, and eye to cause us to sin.
Without holiness, no one will see the Lord. Heb 12:14. So then those who are in the flesh cannot please God. For if you live after the flesh, you will die; but if through the Spirit you mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:8,13. And Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires [lusts and affections]. Gal 5:24. And You can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person..has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Eph 5:5-6. So all of the 41,000 sects of Christendom, who allow their members to keep sinning until death, are worshipping the devil, who wears a Jesus nametag. Paul warned us about "different Jesus'" and different gospels. 2 Cor 11:4.
(If you want to read more about the whore and the beast, Isaac Penington has writings on this site: 1. Babylon the Great, and 2. The Great Apostasy, and Janney's History of the Church.)
Isn't the gospel of "freedom to sin" robbing you of the chance for a much better life on earth, as well as after you die? Don't be cheated of life's greatest opportunity. If you still have doubts, read John 14, John 17, and the first section of George Fox's Journal; and then realize that thousands of early Quakers came into the fullness of Christ (perfection — purity — sinlessness — holiness — the resurrected Christ in them) as described in the rest of the Journal. It can be done!
Walk the Line
So when you have seized the true hope, the challenge is to "walk the line" between:
presumption (I have made it already, I have everything there is to get), or
2) despair (I am so full of sin, I am beyond hope, I can't get there).
There is little He can do for you if you think you are already righteous. As Jesus said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Remember, when Jesus said this, there was not a single other person in all of Israel who was righteous, only the hypocrites, who thought they were righteous). Recall the prayer of the pharisee vs. the prayer of the publican; which do you choose? To quote the section in :
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself; 'God I thank you that I am not like all other men — robbers, evil doers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God have mercy on me a sinner.'
I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself, will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted."
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Who can say they are filled until they are in His arms, and hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant?"
First of all, you can't purify yourself; Christ is the one who removes the sin. And no one is too difficult for Him. All you do is sit there seeking, be sorry for what he shows you, and follow his commands. Second, there is no one so full of sin that he cannot repair them; being your creator, he understands you beyond even yourself. As your creator, he can shape you any way he pleases. And he is pleased to shape you as himself by removing your problems — the more removed, the greater the glory to Him. For when you are restored, it is to His glory; and to both of your joys; and when you bring glory to him, he brings glory to the Father.
And, never, never, believe that your mistakes along the way disqualify you from further seeking — only death is final. Forgiveness is not a "one time occurrence." Until you have become so pure that you have looked him in the face and then returned to sin, as long as you are really sorry for any mistakes and sincerely apologize to Him, requesting his forgiveness and asking him to help you avoid making the same mistakes again, he will still be there as your advocate, friend, helper, and source of strength to keep on seeking. We speak from experience. Our mistakes have been colossal; but each time he has forgiven us, and eventually rewarded us with more of Him and less of us as proof. We can testify to the above process working, thanks be and glory to Jesus Christ and the Father.
Listen to and obey My voice,
and I will be your God, and you shall be My people;
and walk completely in the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well to you.
(not what someone reads out of the Bible, but from the Living Word, hear his voice- speaking to you from heaven — which is in your heart.)
You have to keep his personal commands, spoken to you, for Him to come to you. Jesus said unto him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my words: (the personal words that you hear from his lips, not the dead letter words of the Bible) and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." He making his abode in us and us being His and him being OUR GOD, He wants you to not only "call" him Lord with your lips, but to "make" him Lord of your life — with his spirit, (instead of your selfish spirit of Satan), controlling your words and actions; so that you can say in truth that he is the Lord whom you obey and follow: doing your Father's will, not yours.
Jesus said: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son." . John tells us who really believes that Jesus is the Son of God: he who has overcome the world, by fighting the good fight of faith, to victory over sin. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself ... He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life, 1 John 5:10,12. To have the Son, is to possess the Son and Father in your heart, in sufficient measure to be your true Lord in control of your thoughts, words, and deeds.
Simple Starting Rules to Follow
Beyond your daily seeking through quietly listening for his voice, here are the starting rules that if you follow, you will do well.
- This was John the Baptist's simple message of repentance, to get ready for Jesus and the Kingdom:
Repent: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct.
Share from your excess with those who are without the necessities of life.
Be honest in all your dealings, never exaggerating or overreaching anyone.
Don't oppress people or frighten anyone, don't lie, don't want more, don't complain.
- Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Jesus' #1)
Set aside at least one hour for quiet time every day.
- Above all, don't swear (James #1; as in oaths, like "I swear to tell the truth...."),
- Above all, love each other deeply, for love covers a multitude of sins (Peter's #1),
- Flee from sexual immorality, (in Acts 15:28-31 from the Apostles' Council to the beginning Gentiles) .
All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
- Whatever commands you receive while waiting, record them, review them, and keep repenting.
- Prize your time and the Love of God to you. (Fox's #1)
- If you make mistakes, ask forgiveness plus help, and resolve to do better.
- Don't worry, he loves you, doubt it not! (from the Word of the Lord within)
- And don't talk about God or Christ unless he tells you to. Wait until your words are from the Spirit.
- Enjoy the good things of this life with thanks and praise to our to great and wonderful God.
This web site's purpose is to show how to become
free from sin
by benefiting from the changing power of God through the cross,
which leads to union with God in his Kingdom.