THE CROSS IS THE ONLY ENTRANCE
THE CROSS IS THE ONLY ENTRANCE Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Christianity has become a religion whose purpose is to bring Adam to Heaven. But it never was designed to be this. True Christianity is our identification with the Lord Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection. Adam died on the cross. The new creation is at the right hand of Power in Heaven.
For two thousand years organized Christianity has plowed ahead, attempting to build the Kingdom of God by means of its own wisdom and strength. In the meanwhile, as is true today, only a handful of people have actually been brought to Jesus by the Father and are living in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The remainder of the believers are proselytes of the religion and will always slander and fight against Christ and His true people.
Table of Contents
THE CROSS IS THE ONLY ENTRANCE
A religion is a set of beliefs and practices by which a group of people hope to appease or please God. Christianity is a religion.
However, Christianity has a dimension not true of other religions. It includes interaction with the living God. The individual can come each day and commune with God. He does not need to pursue his beliefs and practices blindly, as a person would pursue some scheme in the hope of obtaining a result.
The difference between a religion and the unique quality of Christianity can be observed in the Garden of Eden. The relationship of Adam and Eve to God was not a "religion" in the way we ordinarily use the term.
Yet it may be observed that for most followers of the Christian religion, the worshipers are not in vigorous daily interaction with God. They pursue the practices of their religion but they do not know God.
They know the house of God but they do not know God Himself. He is not real to them on a daily basis.
The reason many Christians are adherents of a religion but do not enjoy the relationship with Jesus Christ they could have is that they do not enter through the cross. They come to Jesus as an adamic personality and remain an adamic personality throughout their life.
Those who are unusually fervent may be busily engaged in the work of their church. They may make a profession of faith in the blood atonement. They may be active in the work of evangelism. They may speak in tongues. They may demonstrate other gifts of the Spirit. They may even go to another country as a missionary. But they still may be putting a religious dress on the adamic nature.
The reason for this is they were not taught when they were baptized in water that they were entering Christ's death on the cross and rising in His resurrection life. They never have learned that they are to count themselves crucified with Christ and risen with Christ. They may have memorized Galatians 2:20 but it is not a living experience with them.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20—NIV)
I am afraid the Christian ministry to a great extent is presenting a gospel that is pleasing to the adamic nature. The pastors and evangelists are not demanding that the believer give himself or herself to crucifixion and resurrection with Jesus Christ.
The reason I say this is that in several instances it has come back to me that people reading my books or listening to the tapes respond by saying "This is too hard! This is too strict!"
I am appalled at this reaction! They do not say what is too strict or what is too hard. Their response is in general terms.
When I inquire as to what is being taught in other churches that the Christians should object that my teaching is too strict, the problem seems to be that the other ministers are teaching that if we sin it is regrettable but grace covers all misbehavior, whereas I am declaring if sin is not confessed and turned away from the results can be disastrous.
I do not think many of these believers really want to sin or intend to sin. They just want the assurance that in case they do they still will go to Heaven by grace. I cannot promise them that because it is not what the Apostles taught.
I notice also that if I stress they must lay down their life and make Jesus their Lord, they must count themselves as dead with Him and raised with Him, they must obey His will no matter what it is, they must keep His commandments, people are driven off. They can attend numerous churches in the area that do not make such demands on them. We are too hard, not "nice" like the other pastors.
They really are not being logical about this. The issue is not whether a message is too hard or too strict or how nice the pastor is. The real question is whether the truth is being preached. Looking for an easier, less demanding message is something like setting your clock back two hours so you can get more sleep. You still will be late for work!
Another issue of our day concerns doing God's will and keeping the commandments of Christ and His Apostles. Ever since I have been a Christian I have heard it said no one can do God's will, no one can keep His commandments.
Of all the lies that Satan tells mankind, the lie that no one can do God's will or keep God's commandments is the most effective in keeping Christians immature. To say such a thing is to slander God's righteous, loving nature as the Father of us all.
The statement that we cannot keep God's commandments or do His perfect will, and therefore must be kept in a blind state of automatic forgiveness, is a total, slanderous, hideous, abominable, disgusting, unreasonable, unscriptural, horrific lie.
Don't ever repeat such garbage. You put yourself on the side of Satan when you do.
Divine grace was not given to us because God has given us impossible commandments (Satan is the one who gives impossible commandments!) Divine grace has been given to us that we might attain our destiny as a son of God and a ruler of the works of God's hands.
Our first personality is a living soul. It never was meant to be anything more than root stock on which God grafts Christ.
Paul's frequent expostulations about not being declared righteous by works but by grace has nothing to do with our inability to do what God has said. Paul's purpose was to lift our eyes from the temporary restraints of the Law of Moses so we could receive without hindrance the grafting of Christ into our personality.
The Law of Moses was added because of the sinful nature of man until Christ, the true Life of man, came on the scene. The Law of Moses could not make the fallen adamic nature righteous because of the law of sin operating in us. Nevertheless, throughout the history of Israel God required that His Law be obeyed, and severe consequences attended every transgression.
The reason Israel and Judah were carried into captivity is that they disobeyed God's laws!
God forgave all the transgressions of the world through the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Now He wants us to turn our eyes from Moses and look to Jesus for salvation.
Our salvation in Jesus is not a case of God adding more laws through Christ and His Apostles, so we are totally discouraged and flee to Divine grace to keep forgiving us while we continue in our adamic nature.
God saves us by commanding us to go to the cross of Calvary. We are to assign our first personality to death on the cross. We do not struggle to kill it, we reckon it to be dead. We reckon also that our new born-again nature has risen to be seated in Christ in God on the highest throne of the universe.
That we are crucified and risen with Christ is a position we must adopt forcefully, diligently, consistently, every moment of our life. Otherwise we are merely a member of the Christian religion, not a true Christian at all.
God has no intention of saving our adamic personality. God is not saving what we are, He is saving us from what we are.
We cannot begin as a Christian until we count ourselves dead with Christ and risen with Christ. The cross is the only door to the new covenant.
Now we are dead with Christ. Now we are risen with Christ and at the right hand of God. This is the only proper orientation to the new covenant, to the Christian salvation.
What next? We are to look to Jesus constantly so we may have a continual interaction with Him. Anything less than this is not the Christian salvation.
We are to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He guides and empowers us to put to death the deeds of our sinful flesh. These are graveclothes that must be removed after we are raised from the dead, just as in the case of Lazarus. Anything less than this is not the Christian salvation.
We must pray every day and read the Bible. As we do the Lord will speak to us concerning the commandments found therein. These are to be obeyed. They are not too hard! They are not too strict! They are to be obeyed by us while we still have an adamic nature.
There are hundreds of commandments in the New Testament but we only keep them one at a time. There is no commandment or invitation in the New Testament that we cannot keep with the help of the Lord. Absolutely none!
Satan has run a huge bluff on the Christians, telling them God is too hard! God is too strict!
Read the New Testament and find a commandment that you cannot keep with the Lord's help. Immediately you will find, "Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect." Do you think Jesus would command such a thing if it were not possible? Jesus does not mean we are to attain our own standard of perfection, He means we are to do each moment what we know to do and what God enables us to do.
Is our Father in Heaven so unwise and unloving that He is ready to saddle us with a number of frustrating commandments? If you think so you do not know your Father.
Some of the commandments of the New Testament are comprehensive, such as "present your body a living sacrifice." Most are simple and direct, such as "if you have a gift of teaching, then use it."
God does not expect you to obey His commands in your own strength. He is always ready to give you the wisdom and strength, guiding you every step of the way, so you can keep the words of the New Testament.
You must keep your eyes on Jesus.
You must obey the Spirit when He speaks to you.
You must read the Scriptures and find out what you are supposed to do.
You must attend a local congregation and submit to the leadership, as God guides you.
These commands are not too strict or too hard. They are the normal Christian experience. Whoever is saying you do not have to live like this is the unfaithful steward who told the customers to cut their bill in half. He is unfaithful to his Master and currying favor with you. He and you will spend eternity together.
These are serious words I have written to you. But then, these are serious times in which we live. The conflict of the ages is at hand. God is ready to shake earth and Heaven so all who have the tiniest bit of rebellion and disobedience in them will be shaken down from the place of power. The Divine Throne is being purified. The Kingdom of God is at hand and will drive all sin and rebellion from the creation.
You will stand if you take your place on the cross, and then at the right hand of God with the Lord Jesus. Otherwise your "Christianity" will be found to be nothing more than a dead religion, even though you talk in tongues, prophesy, and work miracles.
Jesus doesn't know us until we do what He says. He has told us through His Apostles to enter His death and His resurrection. He absolutely will accept nothing less. Ask Him and see if I am correct in this!
Now let's turn to the church in Smyrna. The comments made to the angel of the church in Smyrna reveal some aspects of our death and resurrection in Jesus Christ.
When we declare ourselves dead with Christ and risen with Christ, God takes us at our word. Our death releases us from the authority of the Law of Moses. Our death makes it possible for God to begin to judge us, for it is appointed to man once to die and after this the judgment.
Now that we are dead with Christ and risen with Christ the work of reconciling our personality to God begins. Our new born-again nature is hidden with Christ in God. This is a firstfruits of our personality. The remainder of our personality, the part on earth, must be reconciled to God.
We must be reconciled to God in the area of depending on God rather than the world for our security and survival.
We must be reconciled to God in the area of how we behave. To walk with God our behavior must be righteous and holy. God's Spirit is ready to enable us to conduct ourselves in this manner.
The last and by far the most difficult area of reconciliation is our self-will. We absolutely must be crucified with Christ so in all matters great and small we say "Not my will but Yours be done."
We have established our position as dead with Christ and risen with Christ. Now we must follow the Holy Spirit as He removes the graveclothes of worldliness, lust, and rebellion and replaces them with trust in God, righteousness, holiness, and obedience. The Life of Christ that fills our born-again nature in the heavenlies must fight its way down into the remainder of our personality on the earth. If we pursue Christ to this extent the last enemy in our personality, physical death, will, at the appearance of the Lord, be driven from us so we are alive in Christ in spirit, soul, and body.
As we fight the good fight of faith we are brought through a wilderness of difficulties and afflictions. This is why the Lord Jesus addressed Himself to the church in Smyrna as follows:
To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. (Revelation 2:8—NIV)
The pathway becomes so grueling at times that we despair of life. We do not know when our testing will end, and not knowing makes it very difficult to continue.
This is why the Lord refers to Himself as "Him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again." These words will not mean much to you until you are going through a hard place with the Lord. Then you will understand why it is so utterly important that Christ is the Last as well as the First; the one who came to life again as well as the one who died.
When we are going through our hour of darkness we can remember vaguely what it was like before our trial. But now all is changed. There is much darkness whereas before there was much light. What we need to know is: "Can Christ bring us successfully through this nightmare? Will He finish in us what He began?"
The purpose of such blackness and death is that every aspect of our first personality may indeed die with Christ on the cross, not just in our faith but in our actual experience. It is not that we are attempting to kill ourselves. It is that we recognize we have died and have risen and are experiencing the reality of it.
When we through the Spirit put to death the deeds of our body we merely are recognizing as a fact that which God and we declared to be true when we were baptized in water. It is of great importance that we realize we are not dying by inches. We have died with Christ and have risen with Him. That is established for eternity (unless we can be pulled down from our high place in God). The daily dying we do is a recognition of what already has been accomplished.
There are two ways in which we can be defeated in our pursuit of the crown of life. One is by looking to God to do more than He is willing to do. The other is by trying to do that which only God can accomplish. Either extreme will bring us to defeat. We must keep the two in balance.
When teachers emphasize "Jesus did it all" our experience becomes stagnant. We cease obeying the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.
When we adopt a religious spirit and try to control our worldliness, our lusts, and our self-willed nature by our own determination, we soon become discouraged and angry with people and God because of our lack of joy.
The right way to fight the good fight of faith is to:
Count ourselves crucified with Christ.
Count ourselves risen with Christ.
Look always to the Lord Jesus in all we do, every decision we make.
Follow the Holy Spirit as He guides us in putting to death the deeds of our flesh.
Obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.
We absolutely must take up our personal cross and follow the Master at all times.
Jesus is the First and the Last. What He began in us He will finish. We must have a deep appreciation for the faithfulness of Christ if we are to survive the program of reconciliation to God, the process of salvation that works as God judges and removes the evil of our personality and plants Christ in us.
I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:9—NIV)
It seems the other Christians are filled with every good thing but we are afflicted. It appears the other Christians are prosperous while we are poor. They are fruitful but we are barren.
Sounds like Job, Sarah, Hannah, and Jeremiah. But it is the barren who end up as the new Jerusalem while those who were not called to such crucifixion do not attain such resurrection.
And then there is the synagogue of Satan.
I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
The synagogue of Satan consists of imitation Christians. They say they are God's elect but they are not.
At one time Satan, a cherub, covered the Throne of God with his wings. He was always in the midst of the Shekinah, the Glory of God's Presence.
He fell because of self-centeredness. Now he no longer can experience the Shekinah, the joy and peace of the Lord God.
Therefore Satan always goes to the most fervent assembling of Christians he can find, because the Shekinah is there. Satan wants to sing, dance, revel in the Presence, speak in tongues, work miracles, prophesy. This atmosphere was his environment for untold ages. Now he can only experience God's blessing secondhand.
We Christians are so immature we cannot perceive Satan's presence among us.
But Satan is bound with the spirit of accusation, of gossip, of slander. Therefore he looks for the believers who have never counted themselves dead with Christ. They are very much alive as adamic personalities while they are rejoicing in the Presence of God.
Because these believers are alive in the adamic personality they are a vehicle Satan can use to express his desire to gossip, to accuse, to slander. This is why there is so much gossip, accusation, and slander in the Christian churches.
The prophets always are murdered by Israel. The common people heard Jesus gladly and gave glory to God. But the priests and elders murdered Him because Satan was in them and envied the Divine Glory that Jesus enjoyed.
From the time Cain murdered Abel, the people who really know the Lord have been murdered by those who envied their relationship to God.
He who departs from wickedness always become the prey of religious people.
Whenever God moves, those who are part of the previous move cry "This is the devil!"
In spite of the obvious Presence of God in the Pentecostal churches for the last century, there still are Christians who say, "Tongues are of the devil."
It is the devil who is saying "tongues are of the devil" because the devil is compelled by his nature to slander the work of God.
God is moving today. He is restoring the original Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He is stressing righteous behavior, holiness, truth.
Some Pentecostal people are slandering what God is doing. This is because they have never been crucified with Christ or risen with Him. They are imitators. Christ does not know them. They are of the synagogue of the accuser of the brothers.
It may well be true that a significant number of the Christian believers throughout the two thousand years of the Church Age have been of the synagogue of the accuser. Christ never added them to His Church. The Father never gave them to Christ. They were brought in by the carnal devices of the Christian religion, which always is striving to make proselytes.
As we look around us in America today we can see that few Christians have taken up their cross and are following Jesus. The majority have not been crucified with Christ and therefore have not risen with Him.
Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4—NIV)
Their pastors and evangelists are preaching grace, grace, grace, rapture, rapture, rapture, heaven, heaven, heaven. They speak in tongues, prophesy, and cry out for the fire of the Holy Spirit. They "get souls saved." They are filled with religious activities. But they do not know Jesus. When they hear the Gospel of the Kingdom they say, "This is too hard. This is too strict."
They know the house of God but not God Himself. You can tell who they are when you hear them accuse, criticize, gossip about, and slander other believers. They are the synagogue of the accuser of the brothers.
How many genuine Christians are there in the United States of America? As many as there are believers who are taking up their cross daily and following the Master; who have been crucified with Christ and have risen with Him; in whose mouth gossip, accusations, and slander are never heard; who do not complain that God's commandments are "too strict, too hard."
These and these alone are God's people. The remainder merely are members of the Christian religion. Because they are not carrying their cross, because they have not died with Christ, because they are not keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ and His Apostles, it is likely they will become part of the False Prophet and will participate in the Antichrist system.
The False Prophet is the Christian who is seeking the power of Christ but who is unwilling to die that Christ's will may be done. It is the False Prophet who will give life to the Antichrist government of the last days, and who will persecute viciously the true saints.
Do you remember how many hundreds of thousands of true Christians the Catholic Church has murdered through the centuries? The vicious persecution and murder exercised through the officials of the Catholic Church originated with Satan, did it not? Yet the Catholic Church claims to be composed of Christians. This is an example of the synagogue of Satan.
The Protestant churches are daughters of the Catholic Church. The same spirit of murder is in them but it expresses itself in gossip and slander.
God is preparing His Throne for the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. Everyone who is part of that throne, all the stars of God, shall be shaken, shaken, shaken until all self-will has been removed. Only that which has died in Christ and has risen with Christ, and then has been established by utter faithfulness and obedience, shall remain as part of the Throne. Then the Lord Jesus Christ will appear with those whose life He is. All these shall appear together at the right hand of God that they may govern the nations of the earth.
You will be shaken in the days to come, make no mistake. Don't ever seek to save your life in the sense of resisting God's will for you. If you do you will certainly lose it. Remain faithfully in your prison. Never mind those who slander you, keep your eyes on Jesus. The children of the barren are more than those of the married wife.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10—NIV)
God will allow Satan to put you in some kind of prison to test you.
Satan is hoping he will be successful in pulling you down from your place around the throne. God is hoping the self-will shall be burned out of you. It is a kind of gamble.
Peter and the other Apostles were arguing about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. They had never been converted from their self-will to the will of God. Therefore they were not fit to be in the Presence of the King.
Peter was turned over to Satan. Jesus did not prevent the sifting of Peter but prayed for him that he would remain faithful.
So it shall be in the last days. All the stars of God will be turned over to Satan that they may be sifted. Jesus will pray for us that we shall remain faithful. Those who ride with Him in that day are called, chosen, and faithful.
We must remain faithful to the point of death. We must place all of our treasure in Heaven, realizing we may never have the desires of our heart until Jesus returns in glory. Is this too hard, too strict for you? If it is, think carefully about the Christians families that were fed to the lions in the arenas of Rome; about the families that lived in the catacombs in order to escape the moral pollution of the Roman culture; about the Christians of today who are being murdered and raped in Sudan; about those imprisoned in China. Then say the Gospel of the Kingdom is too strict, too hard when it demands you place all your treasures in Heaven!
It is the crown, the rulership, that is at issue. The crown of life is the authority and power to govern by the power of incorruptible, resurrection life. There is no other power as great as this.
We will be knocked about for "ten days," a specific time. Christ will always be in control of our testing. We are being tested to see how we will respond under a variety of circumstances. God will not issue the authority and power of indestructible resurrection life to anyone until God is absolutely certain the individual will not repeat the folly of Satan.
We are seeing some of the stars fall in our day. The Internet is proving to be a means of providing satisfaction in the area of physical lust. Because of the preaching of grace, grace, grace, rapture, rapture, rapture, the believers do not have the inner strength to resist the freely offered indulgence in lust. Even the pastors and evangelists succumb because they believe their own teaching.
Where sin abounds grace much more abounds. This means in the day of increased temptation there is a greater portion of Christ being given to those who ask for it. We are to pray for rain in the time of the spring rain, and Jesus Christ will come to us as the rain.
If we keep the word of His patience, that is, if we keep on bearing our cross after Him while the synagogue of Satan is having so much "spiritual success," Christ will guard us during the days of increased moral temptation. This is His promise, not to those who merely take the "four steps of salvation" but to those who guard the word of His patience.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Revelation 2:11—NIV)
Not everyone has an ear to hear in our day. This is because the ability to see and to hear comes only as we keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles and walk in righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. Unfortunately righteous, holy, obedient behavior is not often taught in the Christian churches. In its place is offered the mythological "God sees you through Christ and you can never be lost no matter how you behave."
The statement "He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death" needs a great deal of attention in our day.
The first consideration is: we don't think of people being "hurt" by the second death but rather of their being cast into the Lake of Fire to be tormented forever.
The second consideration is: only the overcomer, the victorious saint, has the guarantee in writing of not being hurt by the second death. This means the believer who is not living a victorious life, which is true of the majority of believers in America at the present time, has no guarantee of not being hurt at all by the second death, whatever this expression means.
When the believers of our day hear about what it means to live victoriously in Christ they say "This is too strict. This is too hard."
They say this because their teachers and pastors are telling them all they have to do is love everybody and if they sin Jesus will forgive them. Maybe this is the modern version of the victorious Christian life.
Christianity is due for a massive shakeup. Instead of a rapture there is going to be a rupture, a breaking open of Christian personalities so that which is spiritual death may be driven from them. Whether they are Catholic or Protestant, God is ready to clean house. All immorality, covetousness, greediness, hatred, gossip, slander, backbiting, divisiveness, drunkenness, slothfulness, self-seeking, haughtiness, arrogance must be driven from our midst.
Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the LORD. (Isaiah 52:11—NIV)
All the corruption in the churches of today is there because we Christians have not entered salvation through the cross of Christ. We talk about the cross, we may wear a cross around our neck, we may wave a cross at the demon-possessed in order to drive out the unclean spirits (how ridiculous!), we may even trust in the blood of the cross as the atonement for our sins. But our Christian life does not begin until we go to the cross and die with Jesus, and then rise with Him to the right hand of the Father.
The demons are in no way affected by our exhibitions of wooden or metal crosses. Such crosses may help bring to the mind of the believer the centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ in the Divine plan of redemption, or may even remind him of the need to take up his cross each day and follow the Lord Jesus.
Religious articles or structures are not holy, nor are they recognized as such by the Lord or other inhabitants of the spirit realm, on the basis of their symbolizing aspects of the Christian faith. But the spirit realm does recognize and clearly understands the significance of the cross when it appears in the believer's personality. The demons are terrified and the holy saints and angels are blessed and strengthened when they can see the cross in a believer's personality.
Because crucifixion and resurrection with Jesus Christ are not being emphasized in our day we have multitudes of believers who believe in Christ, speak in tongues, and exercise other gifts of the Spirit, but are vulnerable to deception because they have never given over their self-life to crucifixion. They are very much alive in the adamic nature. Therefore they are an imitation of Christ. Christ does not know them. They are not part of Himself. The Spirit of God has fallen on their flesh but they themselves, although they claim to be born again, are not revealing in themselves the newness of life, the nature of the resurrected Christ. Adam is clearly in charge in the personality.
Christian teaching for the most part is actually Gnosticism plus an assortment of myths, such as "Jesus is coming to take His waiting bride to Heaven." But God in His goodness and love has come to us in America and is ready to purge His churches with Divine fire.
There is no reason you cannot maintain your position at the right hand of God and return with Him at His appearing. But you will have to turn from the carnality, sin, and self-seeking in today's churches and seek Christ with all your might—diligently, consistently, at all times.
You will have to enter through the cross.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:14—NIV)