Art by Mike Lingard, a kitchen helper of mine in 1985.
Warning Long Blog.
Grade two, do you remember yours, I certainly remember mine, in fact, it was so interesting I decided to stay there for a second year. Life during those two years of grade two was hard, harsh, lonely, wounding and full of hurt. Yet I believe that one of the greatest events of my life happen in grade two. As a Jehovah’s Witness we were required to remain out in the hallway of our classroom while the morning exercises were taking place, the Lord’s Prayer, the singing of the national anthem, God Save The Queen, a scripture reading, daily announcements and then the singing of a hymn.
One day before school had begun once again, I had been beaten, actually this day tied to a fence near the school and whipped until I bled with weeping willow branches, (both the tree and I cried that day.) It is very hard for a young seven year to understand why he is hated for his religion but even more difficult for that little one to be brutally beaten day after day. We hear today very much about bullying in the media, being bullied would have been far better than what I endured during my years at C.R. Judd in Capreol . But as horrible as these years were (and still they would become worse), something would occur that not only would give me the power to endure, but would be the seed for something of far greater and be the most important event in my life. So this day began like so many others (not well) as soon as the teacher dismissed me out to the hallway, I began to cry for I knew that soon recess would be here and that meant a time of hiding and avoiding others are suffering another beating. The principal came on the PA system and began the morning exercises, “Let’s all stand for the Lords Prayer, now all sing God save the Queen. Now open your Gideon bibles Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. Now finally please turn in your hymn books and let us sing George Bernards The Old Rugged Cross, so the school sang, and out in the lonely, dreaded hall came a gloirous chours:
“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.”
When this song ended, I shook, something very deep within me had occurred and I knew that I knew, I was changed. All the hurt and hateful emotions I had for my tortures seemed healed, I knew that God had something very important for me to do. I was only eight, but I knew I was changed. That Cross had something to do with it, I would spend many years seeking what. A difficult task to say the least for a person who was being raised in a faith that does not believe in the cross or the power of it.
The Cross is not just a Christian symbol, that has become “as the song says” so despised by the world, it is in fact, the very essence of Christianity. For without the deeds of that occurred upon the cross, Christianity would not be. The Cross was the very plan of God, a secret held only to the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:7-9 (NKJV) 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
The Devil and all his hordes could not, would not be able to cease the plan that God had placed in motion on the Cross, providing life eternal to those who would choose Him as their Lord and Savior, becoming born again into a brand new life in Him.
Theocratic Warriors in their deceptions, remove the cross, replace it with Christ dying on a pole, or stake. This is again, another one of their doctrines that they change according to their “clearer understanding” philosophy, yet, it brings confusion while removing from Christ much of what occurred upon the cross. In their book The Harp of God © 1921 on page 114 they show a picture of the crucified Christ, yet just a few years later they come to deny the event took place upon a cross.
The English word ‘crucifixion’ comes from the Latin, the language spoken by the Romans. The Latin word ‘crucifixio’ means ‘to fix to a cross’ and it is formed from the prefix ‘cruci’ from the Latin word ‘crux’ (‘cross’) and the verb ‘figere’ (‘to fix or attach’). To the Romans crucifixion meant the death penalty. Although Greek was a common language of the time, it was not for the Romans, the Greeks had no such word for crucifixion, to describe the act they would take a word which was common and attempt to redefine it with a new definition, as what was done with the Greek word, ‘σταυρος’, which is stow-ross, which meant pole was taken and redefined as ‘σταυροω’ meaning ‘crucifixio’ or, crucifixion. The word in modern Greek for ‘cross’ is ‘σταυρóς’ not a pole. Can we not ask why some 3000 translations use the word “cross,” yet the Watchtower uses “torture steak”, 3000 are wrong?
Perhaps, it is best seen if we consider these word changes as ancient homonyms, a word that is spelled the same, yet with very different meanings. We must catch the mouse while we left click the mouse. How do you know when to “duck” when a “duck” is flying by. The heavens are simply the sky above, the heavens are the home of God and His angels, could it be both. Is a “pole” today, a stick, log, fishing rod, telescope or even a gun? If a stick, how do you crucify a person upon it? To cleave is to hold onto tightly, or, is it to chop something in half. Grave, is that where one is buried, or, the seriousness of a situation. The Lord does “reign” and He does “rain” down His love upon all of mankind. After meeting with Thomas and the other disciples, He “rose” into the heavens, while the Holy Spirit filled the room with a sweet smell like that of the “rose” of Sharon. The English language is filled with such contradictions, as is the Greek, Latin, Roman and so many more languages. So when the bible states a cross is used in the 28 verses within the New Testament, it refers to a “cross” and not a “stake”, or was it a “steak.”
To cover the Theocratic Warfare meaning, they add the torture before stake, yet that word is found no where preceding the word cross, and is wholly an addition by the Watchtower translators, in an attempt to give credibility to something that has none, but, that is the entire idea of Theocratic Warfare. They attempt to use an artistic portrayal of the Christ on a stake as evidence of what took place in the time period, Justus Lipsius created an engraving of this. The problem lies in that Lipsius lived 1547-1606 AD, fifteen hundred years later does not a first hand account make, again a Theocratic Warfare deception, his picture came from his own “mind’s eye”, if in fact art is evidence, we must ask ourselves, doesn’t all the artist depicting Christ on the Cross, (thousands upon thousands) give us conclusive proof for the Cross?
Theocratic Warfare depicts Christ on the stake with hands nailed above His head, one nail through His hands and one through His feet, a depiction that contradicts the scripture, John 20:25 “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” King James Version (KJV) “his hands the print of the nails” both hands had scarring from “nails” plural not singular, Thomas would have said the print of the nail, he watched, he knew, both hands were nailed to the cross piece of the cross. It wasn’t His hands over His head as Theocratic Warriors state, but rather a small sign place there by Pilate, Matthew 27:37 “And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews.” King James Version (KJV)
Writer after writer confirms the “Cross,” history shows the use of the cross as a method of capital punishment, Spartacus writes on how the Romans killed 6,000 slaves who were taken prisoner and were crucified along the Appian Way (the main road into Rome). Their bodies were left to hang on the “crosses” for several months as a warning to other slaves, he wrote this in 71AD, well before the appearance of Christ Jesus.
As a ‘a phallic symbol’ Theocratic Warriors believe that the Christian religions’ use of the cross in literature, as symbols for use in and on churches, jewelry and elsewhere is a form of idolatry, thus a need to redefine the symbol.
So why do we make such a fuss over the cross, does it really matter whether it was a “torture stake” or a “cross”? Before the Cross, during the scourging Christ took upon Himself every sickness and disease, (as we have seen in a past writing) you “are” the healed, a study of the entire 53rd chapter of Isaiah provides the power that occurred during this event, 1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” New International Version (NIV) Yet upon the cross freedom from sin was paid for and granted, ll the heaviness of guilt, depression, anxiety, every wicked and evil thing Satan may place upon you has been paid for, and you have become free from, because of the Cross. The Devil and all his hordes could not, would not, be able to cease the plan that God had placed in motion on the Cross to provide life eternal to those who would choose Him as their Lord and Savior.
Colossi ans 1:15-17
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
“By Him all things consist” nothing exists except through Jesus, He is not only the one who has redeemed us but He is God. From this one scripture we see that nothing can be except through Him. Here Paul tells of many realms and that fact that all realms are created realms, none can be without the power of Christ holding them together. As we see in John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Take special note of the words “In Him was life” In Him the life that Jesus wanted to give was one of victory over the works of Satan, one of health and healing, prosperity so He placed that “In Him” then via the cross He placed that life “in us”. John 10:10, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
This life could come to us, but by only one way, that of the cross. The cross that Jesus gave His life for foiled the plans of the devil and brought to us the plan of redemption in our very beings. 1 Corinthians 2:8-12, 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. The Cross becomes the symbol that the enemy hates the very most, it is the reason so much opposition is made against.
The cross contains some very powerful freedoms for us. Beyond marking time BC (before the cross) and AD (after death upon the cross)
Upon the cross, Jesus, gave His life as ransom for many – Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mk 10:45; For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. I Tim. 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. This word “ransom” is used twice in the New Testament and carries with it the following meanings, 1) the price for redeeming, ransom, a) paid for slaves, captives, b) for the ransom of life, 2) to liberate many from the misery and the penalty of their sins. So we find liberty, freedom, from the enemies of God and ourselves, but freedom too from that which torments us inside. How great was the price that Jesus paid upon the Cross for this freedom, the ransom paid, no longer are we slaves to the whims of hose who desire only death and destruction for our lives. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. The ransom paid, the life abundant now ours, take hold of it and enjoy.
This redemption from death, hell and grave was hid from Satan and he could not see what was about to walk into his realm and bring utter destruction to him and his hordes. Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. The Cross was the tool from which Jesus would bring such destruction.
From the cross Jesus exclaimed, “It is finished” – John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. In the Greek translated here these three words are actually only the one “finished” the work of redemption now complete, freedom for all who would choose to partake therein. The fight for man now complete and completely won. Justice served, the price paid, no longer could any charge God or any of His followers with the cost of anything that was lost at man’s fall.
All that was lost at the fall of Adam was regained in one word uttered by Jesus, finished, now the plan of restoration could begin and man could be bold to enter into the place that they could not go before the Cross, the very throne room of God. Prayer now became what God had lost with Adams fall, fellowship.
The heart of God for man is fellowship, His desire is just to meet with and walk and talk with you and I. Given that Jesus is everything and that He created all things (that means you and I) and in Him all exists then this fellowship is utterly important to us as to Him. John 1:1-6 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend [a] it. (NKJV) Colossians 1:16-18 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (NKJV)
The answer to everything is within the fellowship you have with Him and if it had not been for the death of Him upon the Cross then that fellowship would never, could never have happened. You have a father who freely gave up that which He loved most so that you may be brought into that same level as Jesus on the throne, that you may have the most intimate fellowship with God, far beyond that which you may have had with any other. 1 Corinthians 1:8-9 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (NKJV) truly finished was the plan to bring you back to God and great was the cost that Jesus paid for the completion of that plan upon the cross.
Paul uses the word “cross” to refer to “finished work” of God in Christ. What is it that is finished but the extracting of the power that flowed from the cross to us. 1 Corinthians 1:18 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 And what power it is this, it is the Greek word Dunamis which carries the following meaning:
1) Strength power, ability
2) Inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
3) Power for performing miracles
4) Moral power and excellence of soul
5) The power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
6) Power and resources arising from numbers
7) Power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts
The power of the Cross brings to us the victory over the enemy, it brings strength to us when we are weak, it infuses the Love of God upon our hearts and raises us up to the highest places both on earth and in heaven. Ephesians 3:14-20 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The power of the Cross is your freedom, the conclusion of our newer more abundant life. Look at this verse in context from the Message Bible (MSG) Isaiah 53:2-6 “The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, though the was scum. But the fact is, it was our pain she carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him.” This power touched the heart of a grade two student banned from partaking in a song, yet the song and the message of it still reached in and tugged on a small heart, which would lead to a redemption of a soul, a life, 12 years later. I could not escape that experience many times I would think of this experience and wonder, yet no one would explain the cross to me in discussions.
The crucifixion of Jesus upon the cross draws us into a life that frees us from all sin, sickness, disease, we are held together in spirit to Jesus. Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Think about all that is unholy, unworthy, and unwanted, that which brings you into a state without joy, hope or what may be good and healthy for you. Then think that all this destruction was nailed to the Cross in the body of Jesus and there he destroyed it all, crying aloud “FINISHED”. Notice Paul lets us know when this life is to be lived, now, in the flesh, not when we get to heaven, or in some sweet by and by, but right now. Your faith in God is what ignites the power to perform what is required when it is required.
Many believe that God is the one who causes things to go wrong. Others believe that although God did not make the problem, He certainly knew about it and He should have put a stop to it, but because He did not, it had to be okay by Him.
Psalms 46:1-3, To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
How is it that a God who is a help in a time of trouble could possibly be the same one that causes the trouble. Wouldn’t that mean He would be of two minds. Which of course is impossible with God.
The verse says that He is our refuge, this means that He is our escape, haven, resort, retreat, sanctuary and shelter. Which is exactly what one would seek in the midst of trouble, not the source of the trouble.
Notice too, the word “Selah” this word means, stop, wait a moment and contemplate, view the trouble from all points of view. Get a clear picture on the situation before making any kind of decision.
Back in verse 1 the next word we need to examine is the word strength, He is our energy, courage, fortitude, effectiveness, concentration, foundation, and our ability.
“A very present help” always near, why? To enforce His word against the trouble that you are in. But from where will His word proceed, from your mouth of course. If you speak that, God has caused this trouble to you, then how is He going to solve it for you. For then you will be taking sides with the one responsible for your problem, Satan.
“Therefore, we will not fear”, we are not alone in this problem. God is with us leading and guiding us, what can cause us to fear in the very presence of God? Nothing, Romans 8:37-39 sums it up in another way. We win.
Romans 8:37-39 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So then if it is not God who is responsible for all the problems that we face on the earth today, and if is not God who allows them, then who? The word of God declares the troublemaker to be Satan, the god of this world system. We must understand that there is a difference between an instrument and a culprit.
Mark 8:31-33 Peter was the instrument, Satan the culprit.
Luke 13:10-17, Satan had bound this daughter of Abraham 18 years.
John 6:70, Judas was an apostle with all the power and abilities of the apostle (Matthew 10:1) yet Satan could take him.
Acts 5:1-11 Ananias & Sapphira spirit filled members of the first church, yet lost their lives because they became instruments of the devil. In some cases it is not enough to just blame the devil, we need to own up to our own involvement with him so that we might get free.
2 Corinthians 12:7 A messenger of Satan sent to cause Paul trouble.
1 Timothy 5:9-15 Women who turned aside after Satan, called silly.
1 John 3:8, If you commit sin it is of the devil.
When you begin to blame Satan for your problems, then you are on the road to recovery. It is Satan’s plan to make these works of the Cross to no avail, if Theocratic warriors can convince you that there was no cross, then you will begin to doubt the power of the cross, there can be no faith where there is doubt.
But why all the problems, the answer is simply, jealousy, Satan is jealous of man, jealous of all God has given to man, all of what was once Satan’s.
Ezekiel 28:11-19: (Lamas Translation ) Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of wisdom and the crown of beauty. You have been in Eden, the Garden of God; you were decked with every precious stone, the sardius, the topaz, and the emerald, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire and pearls; and have filled your treasuries with gold and your chests with precious stones; you had all these things from the day you were created. You were with the anointed cherub that shelters; and I have set you on the holy mountain of God; ad you were safe in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created till iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of your merchandise you have filled your land with iniquity and you have sinned therefore I will cast you from the mountain of God; and I will destroy you, O sheltering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Since your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, now your wisdom and your beauty are corrupted; I will cast you to the ground before kings, that you may be a spectacle before them. By the multitude of your frauds, and by the iniquity of your traffic, you have defiled your sanctuary; therefore I will bring forth a fire from the midst of you, and it shall devour you, and I will reduce you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all those who see you. All who know you among the people shall be astonished at you; you shall be brought to destruction and you never shall be any more.
The entire battle continue’s to blaze for the anointing, for as the verse describes the purpose of the anointing is to shelter, shelter you from all the problems and troublesome situations in life. As Satan twisted his purpose, he also twists the reason he was created, from sheltering to bringing destruction. That was the reason for Jesus to come, endure the cross and bring back the anointing to man.
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
The anointing releases you from all your troubles and come to bring you into life, not just the get by kind of life, but the ZOE life of God. The God kind of Life. All burdens and yoke are destroyed and you walk in victory. Isaiah 10:27
27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. ”
John 8:30-32, “As he spake these words, many believed on him.
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
It is not the truth that makes you free, it is the truth that you know that will make you free. So go to the light of the world and use His words and come to know them then you truly will be free.
You have the power to render nil the trouble that Satan brings in your life and to do so powerfully.
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Speak the word and Satan must obey.
It is the speaking and living in the Word that God use to bring you into victory.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
We have read it before, but read once again, showing us the power of the Grace, the power of the Cross.
Romans 8:37-39. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Cross is the pathway to heaven for any who desire to journey there, without the Cross and the sacrifice that Jesus made thereon, no one could ever or could ever find their way into the realm of heaven.