My Dreams and Visions

Dreams and Visions

What Of The Cross?

​Isaiah 42:8
I am the Lord, that is My name;

And My glory I will not give to another,

Nor My praise to carved images.
In my prayer time this morning the above verse was dropped into my heart. As I continued to pray in tongues I saw the following vision.

In the vision I could see a church service going on. I saw the platform that a preacher and worship team would stand on as well as the congregation.  What I saw next was a cross and the people on the stage strategically placing themselves in front of the cross so that those in the congregation would not see the cross, only them.

Next I saw those same people begin to adorn the cross with colorful scarfs and such to make it less offensive, i.e. tone down its true meaning. Then I saw them begin to dance around the cross celebrating what they had made it out to be.

I have posted this quote from A. W. Tozer before but it bears posting again.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique-a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.
The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.
The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.
The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, “Come and assert yourself for Christ.” To the egotist it says, “Come and do your boasting in the Lord.” To the thrill seeker it says, “Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.” The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.
The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.
The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.
The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life.
That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.
We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.
God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him.
What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.
Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ.
To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul’s day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God’s approval.
Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power. (A. W. Tozer, Man, the Dwelling Place of God, 1966)
I am reminded of the words of the verse from the hymn I have decided to follow Jesus where it says, “the cross before me, the world behind me no turning back l”.

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12 thoughts on “What Of The Cross?

  1. Amen!!!

    Discipleship within a man is a life of following, learning and being transformed into His likeness (2Corinthians 3:18). It is the call to forsake the way of the worldly man, the religious man, who is ever in search of building a legacy, a monument and a work which will declare his worth. (Compare the desire of Saul as contrasted with David). It is the basic instinct of fallen man. We see this need to build something for God even in the lives of His own disciples as Peter exclaimed on the mount of transfiguration … “let us build”. The words had no sooner left Peter’s lips when God Almighty spoke from the cloud “this is my Son…” He alone is the temple. There is no temple in heaven beside Him and as it is there so is it to be here on earth! While men seek to show their measure (or worth) by what they build, the true disciple is content in becoming conformed to His Image and likeness. Life is no longer defined by what men think or do; it is centered on being as Him. It is in the forming of His life in us that we are enabled to see His heart and His purposes. Inevitably the religious builders of this world will sooner or later reject the chief cornerstone in order to accomplish their own purposes.

    “What is this then that is written,
    The stone which the builders rejected,
    the same is become the head of the corner?”
    Luke 20:17

    In order for any building endeavor (whether small fellowship or mega church) to succeed it must be accompanied by an agenda and the agenda always precedes the building. The agenda also requires a leader for men to rally around. (It is one thing to come together to have fellowship and a totally different thing to meet in order to build a fellowship or church organization).

    “And they said, Go to,
    let us build us a city and a tower,
    whose top may reach unto heaven;
    and let us make us a name,
    lest we be scattered abroad
    upon the face of the whole earth”
    Genesis 11:4

    This is the heart and the cry of Babylon; “let us build…let us make us a name, lest we be scattered”. While men may eagerly rally to be a part of these building programs, in the end it produces an offspring of adherents to the cause while the Chief Cornerstone is rejected. The Cross of Christ is lost in the greatness of men’s achievements.

    Cain must always bring his offering (it is the only thing he knows); the work of his hands gathered from the planting of his agendas. Abel can only offer the life of another. One offering is accepted and the other rejected. The seed of Cain will always come to hate the seed of Abel. Ishmael will always mock the child of promise and in God’s time the Ishmael spirit must be driven out.

    We are living in a day where the two are mingled, as the wheat and the tares, but the hour is upon us when we will see with great clarity the separation and the antagonism of the one for the other.

    “Cast out this bondwoman and her son:
    for the son of this bondwoman
    shall not be heir with my son,
    even with Isaac”
    Genesis 21:10

    We must have eyes to see and ears to hear that it is in THE SON that the full purposes of God lie. It is in us becoming bone of His bone that we are grafted into the tree of life and made heirs with Christ in God. It is WE who are built together as living stones…

    “Ye also, as lively stones,
    are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood,
    to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
    acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”
    1Peter 2:5

    Brian Troxel

  2. The day of a great storm is coming, and how we need the outworking of the Cross in our lives for it is in the losing of our life that we find His… May the great Shepherd of our souls bind us with love to His Will and His way in this hour.

    “And whoever does not take his cross
    and follow me is not worthy of me”
    MATTHEW 10:38

    Following Jesus without a cross is impossible. We must take this verse at face value. This is His estimation of a disciple. The Gospel of today does not mention such things. We now have a gospel that costs nothing, spoken in nice surroundings with gentle music playing in the background. It does not call us to obedience nor is it ministered with the unction and power of the Holy Spirit. There is no call to radical change and the immediate surrender of our WILL unto Him. Simply raise your hand while no one is looking, murmur a recited statement, go every Sunday to “church” and believe. A crossless gospel produces powerless adherents. The depth and power of the anointing is revealed in the fruit it produces.

    “For the preaching of the cross
    is to them that perish foolishness;
    but unto us which are saved
    it is the power of God”
    1 CORINTHIANS 1:18

    Blessings
    BT

  3. Very good writing!

  4. This is excellent. Thank you.

  5. Pingback: What of the Cross? | The Road

  6. Lisa Aug. on said:

    Reblogged this on Jesus- King in Exile and commented:
    Amen to this.. Very sobering yet very TRUE!

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