1. The CROSS of Jesus Christ is not a TOTEM hung on a wall or AMULET worn on the neck. It is the EMBLEM of Christ’s SUFFERING anchored in the INNER MAN of those who “… HAVE CRUCIFIED THE FLESH with the affections and lusts” [Galatians 5:24] The CROSS of Jesus Christ is not made of wood, iron, silver or gold, but of FLESH and BLOOD; we are the CROSS in who Christ lives, if we FOLLOW in His footsteps. Thus, said the Lord: “… If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY, and FOLLOW ME” [Luke 9:23] The CROSS is the PAIN of contradictions experienced in the FLESH by those who GAVE UP ALL to FOLLOW Jesus Christ, as it is written: “Then Peter said, Lo, WE HAVE LEFT ALL, and FOLLOWED THEE” [Luke 18:28] If you have “LEFT ALL” to take up Christ’s CROSS, “… when the chief Shepherd shall appear, YE SHALL RECEIVE A CROWN OF GLORY that fadeth not away” [1 Peter 5:4] Regrettably, I must warn you of GRIEVOUS WOLVES, ENEMIES OF THE CROSS, who preach Jesus without His CROSS of who the Bible says: “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST: WHOSE END IS DESTRUCTION… ” [Philippians 3:18-19]

2. ENEMIES OF THE CROSS woo men with the CROWN of GLORY but will not teach them to take up the CROSS and DIE to the FLESH as Christ did. Thus, said the Lord: “… Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but IF IT DIE, IT BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT” [John 12:24] The SEED that must go into the ground and DIE is FLESHLY PASSIONS. Beloved, those who inflame your heart with PROMISES of material RICHES without telling you to CRUCIFY the FLESH are ENEMIES of your SOUL, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS SOUL?” [Mark 8:36] Whatever you have or have not in this world is nothing if your SOUL is not EXALTED to EVERLASTING GLORY in the likeness of Jesus Christ, who “… humbled himself, and became OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, even the DEATH OF THE CROSS. Wherefore GOD ALSO HATH HIGHLY EXALTED HIM, and given him a name which is above every name” [Philippians 2:8-9] OBEDIENCE is GIVING UP what you want to be to take up the CROSS; without the CROSS, there is no CROWN. Brethren, our OBEDIENCE to God’s WILL is the way of the CROSS and there is no CROWN until we come to God in absolute submission, saying; “… NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE, be done” [Luke 22:42]

3. The Lord Jesus Christ came to this world to SAVE us from SIN and DEATH to RIGHTEOUSNESS and EVERLASTING LIFE, by the “POWER OF GOD unto SALVATION… “[Romans 1:16] The “POWER OF GOD” is the GOSPEL preached in His name. When a man BELIEVES the GOSPEL, he becomes “… A NEW CREATURE: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW” [2 Corinthians 5:17] When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, I became a NEW CREATURE, “… CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN ME: and the LIFE WHICH I NOW LIVE in the flesh I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD… ” [Galatians 2:20] I was CRUCIFIED and DIED with Christ on the CROSS. Now, I live not of myself, but by the POWER OF GOD, taking up Christ’s CROSS and FOLLOWING in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, “… who was made a little lower than the angels FOR THE SUFFERING OF DEATH, CROWNED WITH GLORY and honour… “ [Hebrews 2:9] The CROSS is the identity of Christ and His ability in us to ENDURE the SUFFERING of this present world. Whereas the SUFFERING of the CROSS is foolishness to those who perish, it is to us the deposit of our ETERNAL INHERITANCE, knowing “IF WE SUFFER, WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM: if we deny him, he also will deny us” [2 Timothy 2:12]

4. Beloved, those who encourage you to spend hours praying for “EARTHLY THINGS” but will not teach you to take up the CROSS for your spiritual well-being, do so to make merchandise of you, “WHOSE END IS DESTRUCTION, WHOSE GOD IS THEIR BELLY, and whose glory is in their shame, WHO MIND EARTHLY THINGS” [Philippians 3:19] Listen closely, no man may claim to KNOW or experience SALVATION in Jesus Christ until he has DENIED SELF to WALK in FELLOWSHIP of His SUFFERING, as it is written: “That I may KNOW HIM, and the POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION, and the FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS, being made conformable unto his death” [Philippians 3:10] The “FELLOWSHIP of his SUFFERINGS” is our daily commitment to WALK in FAITH, though we are pressed and VEXED on every side by what we SEE, HEAR and FEEL in this perverted world [2 Peter 2:7-8] The CROSS is the TRIAL of our FAITH until the appearance of the Lord when those who ENDURE to the end shall receive the CROWN reserved for His SAINTS, as the Bible says: “That the TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH, being much MORE PRECIOUS THAN OF GOLD that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory AT THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST” [1 Peter 1:7]

5. Friend, I encourage you to take the first step towards the CROSS today and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Take up His CROSS and wait patiently for His appearance, amen

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