The Way of the Cross

maxresdefaultThe Way of the Cross

The witness of the cross is not limited to proving that God does not destroy the rejecters of His mercy. To see nothing more in Calvary’s testimony than this is to be handicapped with an imbalanced view of its wonderful light.

The Revelation of God’s character and the purposes as given at the cross are infinite in their scope. They are inexhaustible and utterly limitless. Eternity will never exhaust the beauty, the power, and the wonder of God’s character, and as we learn new delights of wisdom in the unfolding of that character, the more wonderful will be the joy and satisfaction that will permeate every soul.

Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God’s wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which “angels desire to look,” and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find the cross of Christ their science and their song (The Desire of Ages, pp. 19, 20).

You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more. And it will be ours to realize the blessing which Paul desired for the Ephesian church when he prayed “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe.

The focal point of all that glory is the cross of Christ. The beholding of the glory of that revelation will change us into the same image from glory to glory as it is written: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18).

This is the way to become like Christ. It is not by the threat of punishment or the offers of eternal riches that one is motivated to develop a fitness for heaven. It is by devoting the life to the intensive study of God’s wonderful character in response to the drawing power of infinite love that one is changed into the very likeness of God. It is not fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciple of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour’s matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary’s cross and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice and they follow Him (The Desire of Ages, p. 480).

If the full implications of this truth could be grasped as it should be there would be such an intensive study of the sacrifice of Christ as this world has never seen. Paul appreciated this so that he “determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:2).

We are not sent to debate or to deliver dissertations on this and the other Bible subjects. We are to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ with its great central point, the cross. Paul affirmed the truth of this for himself and us in the words in I Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”

When the Lord arrested Paul’s mad course of destruction and set him forth as a missionary to the Gentiles, He gave him this specific commission to preach the gospel of the cross, but in doing so God only reiterated the gospel commission. Before He left this earth, Christ gathered His beloved followers around Him and solemnly outlined their mission to them. “Go into all the world,” He instructed them, “and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

For the faithful fulfillment of his commission, Paul had to know just what the preaching of the gospel really was. The master counterfeiter was as wide awake then as he is today. In this concluding era of human history, he has his counterfeit version of the preaching of the cross being vigorously advocated throughout the religious organizations under his control. So did he likewise in Paul’s time. Enlightened by the ministry of the Spirit, the inspired apostle was well able to detect the deception while comprehending the wisdom and power resident in the true gospel of the genuine cross. Thus he was competent to present the saving cross as distinct from the false version. Therefore, when he observed that “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” (I Corinthians 1:18), he expected it to be understood that the cross about which he was speaking was not the cross as known and held by the world but as presented in the life and death of Christ. The principles embodied in one are the direct and hostile opposite from those incorporated in the other. Never shall the two come into any kind of harmony or cooperation. Where one is upheld, the other is despised and rejected. On God’s side it is the symbol of the very spirit of self-denying, self-sacrificing, self-abnegating love. It is the ultimate declaration that God will never use the limitless powers at His command to compel any to follow and serve Him. On Satan’s side of the cross is the revelation of the spirit of selfishness at its fully natured worst. It is the declaration that those who will not submit to the one in power will be subjected to the cruelest torture and death.

So despised was the true cross by the unbelieving world that to them it was foolishness and to the Jews a stumbling block, Neither of them saw in it any beauty, power, or attractiveness.

For Jews request a sign, the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (I Corinthians 1:22-25).

It is not to be supposed that times have changed since Paul’s day. There are many who would argue that they have. The popular churches would ridicule any suggestion that to them the cross was either foolishness or a stumbling block. To support their contention, they would point to the dominant place it holds in their literature, preaching, and worship and its prolific use in the adornment of their religious houses and persons.

They would then inquire if this was not sufficient evidence to prove that, far from being foolishness to them, the cross was the very heart and life of their religion. This argument does seem to be conclusive, and it is the claim of modern evangelical Protestantism that they preach nothing but Christ and Him crucified.

But there has been no change. The true cross of Christ is just as much foolishness today as it ever was in Paul’s day. The careful and thoughtful student of God’s Word will come to see that the modern religionist is not worshiping the cross of Christ as he or she thinks and professes to be, but another cross altogether.

This means that there are two crosses – the cross of Christ and the Babylonian cross usually referred to as the Christian cross. Again, the former is the revelation of God’s character while the later symbolizes the spirit that actuates the devil and his breed.

The enemy did not institute his cross when he took Christ to the hill of sacrifice. Neither the Jew nor the Greek beheld it then for the first time. The evil cross dated back to the setting up of the counterfeit kingdom shortly after the flood. There was a “mighty hunter before the Lord” whose name was Nimrod and whose brief mention in scripture appears in Genesis 10:8-11.

The description of him as being “before the Lord” is to be understood in that the placed himself before God or in the place of God for whom he had neither respect nor regard.

His life ended in a violent and untimely death, which his wife, Semiramis and others upheld as a voluntary sacrifice on his part. It was taught that if the Babylonians would revere this noble offering they would be preserved forever. As a fitting reward, Nimrod was given deification as the sun god, and the first day of the week was set aside as his day.

Once the dead hero had been deified, then the secret mysteries of the Babylonian religion were set up. In due course, the licentious Semiramis bore an illegitimate son. Semiramis and the upholders of the secret mysteries taught that this child was the reincarnation of their dead hero. Thus Nimrod was represented as being both the father and the son while the child was also declared to be both her husband and her son. The name Tammuz was given to the child, the significance being that this had been Nimrod’s name too. But, whereas a son is simply named after his father without in fact being the father himself, in this case the name was given because it was believed that the father had actually reappeared. It was not purported to be a birth in the normal sense. It was regarded an incarnation.

It is immediately apparent that in all this the mystery of God is remarkably counterfeited. Christ was to come and die a sacrificial death, the acceptance and recognition of which would restore eternal life. He was, in His incarnation, both the Father and the Son, while the Son of Mary was, in a certain sense, also Her Husband. Let it be emphasized that we say this is true in a certain very special sense as you should well understand. This unique role of being both the Father and the Son was the subject of a difficult and, for them, unanswerable question put to the Pharisees by Christ.

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus aske them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” they said to Him, “The Son of David,” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying; “The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’” If David then call Him ‘Lord,” how is He his Son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore (Matthew 22:41-46).

The incontrovertible witness of the Scriptures was that the Messiah was the Lord or spiritual father of king David, yet at the same time, the Word testified that he would be David’s son. It is the mystery of God that the same being can be both the father and the son, and it is the mystery of iniquity to pretend that it is so in a created being apart from the only One who could be such.

Tammuz then, as the supposedly reincarnated one, was exalted to the place of highest honor in the ancient mysteries and appear under different names in various religious orders. The whole system was designed by Satan to assist him to more effectively war against God. While its structure held the appearance of being a reproduction of the divine mysteries, its every spirit and principle of operation was so far separated from, so hostile to, and so dedicated to war against the divine principles that there could not be any real similarity between them. The deceptive appearance was skillfully crafted to ensnare to destruction the bodies, minds, and souls of men.

It is the characteristic of every system of human devising to erect a visible symbol as a means of identification. Thus nations have their flags, armies their uniforms, organizations their badges, special groups their insignias, and so on. God, too , has His identifying signs, but they are not material things made of cloth, bronze, silver, or gold. They are spiritual in nature and cannot be discerned except with the enlightened eye.

Thus the secret mysteries needed a symbol to give them a distinguishing identification. Such a sign must center in the being who, it was believed, had come back from the dead – Tammuz. Accordingly, the first letter of his name, which in its ancient form was in the shape of a cross “T” became the insignia of that vast apostate and rebellious religious system. It was as fully important and sacred in that ancient system as it is in some churches today. Alexander Hislop has made this point very strongly in the following extract.

In this well known system of worship, the sign of the cross and the image of the cross are all in all. No prayer can be said, no worship engaged in, no step almost can be taken, without the frequent use of the sign of the cross. The cross is looked upon as the grand charm, as the great refuge in every season of danger, in every hour of temptation as the infallible preservative from all the power of darkness. The cross is adored with all the homage due only to the Most High; and for any one to call it, in the hearing of the genuine Romanist, by the Scriptural term, “the accursed tree,” is a mortal offence. To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross, such worship as Rome pays to the wooden or metal cross, ever grew out of the saying of Paul, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified – is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretense. The magic virtues attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source. The same sign of the cross that Rome now worships was used in Babylonian Mysteries, was applied by Paganism to the same magic purposes, was honored with the same honors. That which is not called the Christian cross was original no Christian emblem at all, but was the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and Egyptians – the true original form of the letter T – the initial of the name of Tammuz.

The mystic Tau, as the symbol of the great divinity, was called “the sign of life”; it was used as an amulet over the heart; it was marked on the official garments of the priests, as on the official garments of the priests of Rome; it was borne by kings in their hand, as a token of their dignity or divinely-conferred authority. The Vestal virgins of Pagan Rome wore it suspended from their necklaces, as the nuns do now. The Egyptians did the same, and many of the barbarous nations with whom they had intercourse, as the Egyptian monuments bear witness . . .

It was already in use as early as the fifteenth century before the Christian era. There is hardly a Pagan tribe where the cross has not been found (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp. 197-199).

Paul’s statement that the cross was foolishness to the Greek cannot be rightly understood except it be known that the cross was as much an integral and important part of Greek and Rome then as it is of the church today. Consequently, if Paul’s words had been reported to a Greek or Roman of that time, they would have ridiculed the idea as being utterly false, exactly as a modern religionist would, if it was suggested to them that the cross was foolishness. They would point to the dominant role of the cross in their religious rites and ceremonies, to its multiplied appearances in every church function and on every person and building, offering these things as evidence that he cross is anything but foolishness and that it is an object receiving the deepest reverence and continual adoration in their worship.

They (the Greeks and Romans) would have contended that Paul’s assertion, not the cross was the foolish thing.

Thus there existed the testimony of God’s Word through the inspired apostle versus the counterclaim by the Greek and Roman. The former taught that the cross was foolishness to the Greek while the latter disclaimed such a charge. It must be conceded that the Greek would be entirely sincere in what he said, believing that he and not Paul, spoke the truth.

The real fact is that both the Spirit of God and the Greek were giving an honest assessment of their thinking because they were speaking about two different crosses. The cross as Paul knew and taught it was utterly foolish to the Greek while the cross as the Greek knew it was everything but that. Nothing has changed since that day. The cross of Christ with all it stands for is still foolishness to the world including the modern religionist, while the cross known and understood by the world is the epitome of human wisdom and ways.

In short, while the cross as Paul knew, lived, and taught it was the revelation of God’s character, the other cross was the manifestation of the Character of the man of sin. The son of perdition, as the Babylonians knew, lived and taught it. Therefore, while the cross as a symbol did not appear till the days of Tammuz, that which it represents dates back to Lucifer’s defection when the counter-philosophy was established.

The way of the living God is self-sacrificing, self-renouncing love. It is God’s infinite wisdom that there should be a circle of love reaching out from Him to the uttermost limits of the universe and returning to Him to flow out again in the transcendent glory of joy and praise. No one is to receive merely for his own gratification and advantage. Each is to be a channel so that everything received I passed on to those around for them to administer the same blessing to still others and they to others yet beyond.

While the time came when his fidelity to this principle began to waver and then break down. Lucifer was the brightest and therefore, most privileged of all the angels. He held the highest position available to a creature. He had developed the most brilliant talents, and his arrival at this pinnacle of power and glory was the result of the gifts showered upon him by his Creator combined with his own diligent effort. At first, he felt only gratitude to God for His wonderful love, his heart daily responding to the life flowing from god to him. But the passing of time eventually brought him imperceptibly to the point where there came to be an increasing awareness of himself and his brilliance and less aware of the God who had given it all to him.

With marvelous perception, the Scriptures discern the cause of Lucifer’s fall from his lofty elevation: “By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned” (Ezekiel 28:16).

The nature of the merchandise that dethroned the beautiful one is not known to us. Earthly merchandise is salable goods from the commonest to the most valuable form. They are eagerly sought by the world, for possession of them assures freedom from want and security, comfort, and power.

Whatever form they took in heaven is not important. Merchandise meant for Lucifer the increase of personal possessions, power, and wealth. It had the same effect upon him as it has had upon earth-dwellers through all time, apart from those rare exceptions who have taken hold of the spirit of self-sacrificing love that they escape that snare.

The Effect caused Lucifer to gradually transfer his faith from the Giver of all good things to the gifts provided by the Giver. He began to realize that if he retained that which came into his possession then he would accumulate so much more of these delightful things. Thus the already wealthy angel would become just that much wealthier.

All this is not so easily seen in Lucifer’s life as it is in the lives of men and women. The producer has been repeated countless times since Satan came to Eve at the forbidden tree. It is most noticeable in the history of movements that have been raised up by God to effectively demonstrate His character and thus bring about the termination of sin and its attendant horrors.

Such movements are born out of times of great spiritual apostasy. The exodus movement from Egypt lifted the people out of the deep darkness of the long Egyptian night. So it was with the return to the Promised Land after the Babylonian captivity. Later, the apostolic church emerged from the darkness of the long Jewish rejection of divine principles as did the reformation churches for the Anti-Christian midnight.

The windows of heaven are opened, and light, power, and material aid are directed to the movement of God. With consecrated devotion and faith, His followers throw all they have into the battle, looking to God and God alone for their guidance and support. The sense of need during this period is very great, resulting in a total absence of self-sufficiency.

As time goes by, great victories are achieved, numbers are added to the ranks, and the initial struggles are followed by a relatively quieter period. God continues to deliver His wonderful blessings to them for the purpose of their using them to reach out still further with the message of power.

But, like the Israelites of Joshua’s day who did not push the battle to the utmost ends of the land but allowed pockets of rebellion to remain, so the believers did not follow the directive to go beyond Jerusalem and Samaria to the uttermost parts of the earth. Privation, self-denial, and sacrifice are not attractive to human beings who prefer rest from battle, ease, pleasure, comfort, and above all, security. The temptation to turn aside, at least in part, from the heat of the battle is so attractive as to win a little by little. More and more of God’s gifts are appropriated for personal security and comfort.

As a firm base of material security is formed, the intense sense of need that previously drew them to God as the Supplier of all good things diminishes while the emphasis is placed more and more on worldly acquisitions. Eventually the whole mission of the church is lost as the accumulation of personal wealth becomes the one great objective. Such have lost faith in God. But it is important to understand that they have not lost faith. Instead they have transferred it from the great giver of all things to the gifts given by the Giver.

Increasing pride and personal satisfaction is taken in their enlarging prosperity. They view with gratification their industrious labor, their honest, faithful payment of accounts, and their scrupulous attention to their various obligations as proof that they have gained their wealth blamelessly. They feel entitled to all that they have. They consider themselves blessed of heaven, possessors of no more than their just rights. This conviction develops on them the spirit of contention of those rights, so that, if anyone should threaten to relieve them of the least part of their gains, they will resist and even counterattack to the limit of their powers.

The human tragedy is that the real nature of what they have done is hidden from them. That which they regard as being a perfectly legitimate course is in fact one of fraud and embezzlement, for they have misappropriated the goods entrusted to them to a purpose other then that designated by the Giver.

This earth is not heaven. It is a wilderness of suffering and despair created by the entry of sin. A crisis situation exists that the Father and the heavenly ministers are devoted to ending as soon as possible. But it is impossible to accomplish this without the entire cooperation of the human family. God does not leave those who accept their responsibility to do this work alone. He has made available every necessary faculty. But none of this is given to humanity to make this earth into a paradise for themselves while the vast majority suffer want, disease, afflictions, and degradation. All these gifts are given for carrying forward the vast program of salvation. Some of it is needed to house, fed, and clothe the ones who are participant in the word, just as a soldier in the field must be personally sustained. Beyond what is strictly needed for this purpose, the facilities provided by the grace of God and the diligent industry of the believers are to be returned to the Lord with interest. But instead of being strictly faithful stewards, they have misappropriated into other uses that which the Lord gave for specifically designated purposes.

This is only the early stages of human defection. The Scriptures tell us that in Lucifer’s case the multitude of his merchandise filled the midst of him with violence (Ezekiel 28:16). Therefore, the decay is not complete until it develops into violence. This it will always do.

As individual become obsessed with the drive to accumulate more and more material merchandise, they show less and less consideration and regard for their fellow human beings. Should others stand in the way, they will oppress them. But if they can be used to assist them in building their empire, they will not hesitate to exploit them.

While they retain a superior advantage, they will successfully rise in power and wealth by this means. Yet continually, there will be a growing resentment on the part of those being used that will eventually break out into open violence. Throughout earth’s history it is possible to find examples of this as long oppressed races rise against their overlords. Rivers of blood are shed, great changes are made in the political structure of the world, and the scepter of power passes from one group to another.

The ruling elite’s development of a power structure through the heavy oppression of the masses had been achieved by the Jewish hierarchy at the time of Christ’s first advent. God had appointed the Jewish nation to carry the truth of His righteousness to the farther-most parts of the habitable globe. To them had been given every possible advantage and blessing as equipment for the speedy and complete execution of their calling. But they had turned from living by the law of self-renouncing service to others to gathering power and glory to themselves. They had fully transferred their faith from God to earthly possessions, and by the time Christ came, their lives manifested all the results of such a course.

Every principle of operation among them was that of Babylon which declares that you either serve the powers that be as they want you to serve them or you perish. This is the very heart and substance of Babylonian philosophy by which she seeks to justify her mass slaughter of those who dare refuse to subscribe to her philosophy. That is her religion, and her cross, dating back to Nimrod and Tammuz, is the symbol of it.

Into that darkness Jesus came to shed forth the light of the opposite principles of self-serving and self-sacrificing love. The Pharisees and Sadducees found themselves confronted with a threat, the like of which they had never known before. The peril of loosing their authority, power, wealth, and all else that they had so painstakingly and untiringly worked to achieve suddenly became terribly imminent to them.

Jesus brought an entirely different method of working. He did not seek their power and wealth as a primary or any other objective. He came to implant in the hearts of all people a new principle that in reality is the oldest principle of all, for it had operated throughout the limitless eternity of the past. (The Pharisees’ principles had not existed until sin appeared.) That principle is the cross of Christ as distinct from the cross of Tammuz. It is the guideline for living in which “the love which ‘seeks not her own’ has it source in the heart of God” (The Desire of Ages, p. 20).

Every word spoken by Christ taught these principles. Every act of His life was a living, practical demonstration of them. His teaching and example reached out to encircle even those who had devoted their entire lives to self-aggrandizement. For the most part, those proud and sensual minds, recognizing the call to an entire change in their attitudes and procedures, involving the surrender of that which they cherished as their rights, resisted with increasing vehemence the Savior’s loving ministry.

The more earnestly Christ worked to save them the more decidedly they entrenched themselves in their way and devised every means possible to prevent Him from reaching the minds of the people. They hoped that mild measures would intimidate and turn Him from His mission, but as this did not affect the desired objective, they went on under the command and leadership of Satan, their master, until they had Him nailed to the cross.

One of the greatest possible tests that can be imposed on human nature is to call upon it to serve others at its own expense. When that expense calls for the supreme sacrifice, exacted under conditions of extreme torture and fearful mental suffering, then the test has achieved maximum intensity. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:14).

This was the service that Christ came to give, thereby demonstrating the very heart of the nature of God’s character. As that marvelous revelation of God is portrayed before the wondering gaze, it is to be known that thereby God through Christ has declared that He will serve even the creatures He has made, no matter what the cost to Himself. God declared before sin ever entered that this was what He would do as the outworking of His nature. When rebellion arose, then that declaration was tested to the uttermost. God in Christ demonstrated that God is true, that He is motivated by the principles of service to others no matter what the cost to Himself. If Calvary does not prove this, then it proves nothing.

Inasmuch as Satan understood that his principles could become the established way only by the dethronement of God’s way, he worked relentlessly to make Christ’s service as costly as possible, hoping the time would come when His humanity would protest to the point where He would proceed no further in paying the price for others.

But no matter how Satan levied upon Him cost and added cost, the Saviour continued with undeviating consistency toward the moment of total sacrifice. Not only on Calvary but at every step toward that pivotal point in eternity Jesus lived out the principles of serving with no regard to the cost to Himself. Therefore, the crucifixion was nothing new to Him. It was but the ultimate confirmation of what He had been and lived eternally and would continue to love forevermore.

The revelation of God’s character as the One who serves others irrespective of the cost to Himself was only one side of the picture. On the other side, Satan’s continual exaction of the highest possible cost of the Son of God was revealing in him that character whereby he would gain his ends no matter how high the cost to be paid by others.

Likewise, Calvary was nothing new for Satan. It was the ultimate manifestation of his character of total selfishness. As we behold his behavior there, we are given a glimpse of the nature of his principles and their ultimate outworking. It is seen that there is no length to which he will not go, no suffering he will not cause, no price he will not exact even to taking the life of the very Being who gave him life and everything he ever had – the One who had given him only kindness, love, justice, mercy, and every other goodly thing.

Thus on Calvary’s hill the cross on which the Saviour hung was, in reality, two crosses. There was the Roman or Greek cross that dated back to the initiation of satanic rebellion. It was the statement, in its most cogent expression, of Satan’s principles of operation.

There Satan demonstrated to every creature in the universe what he would do to them if they did not pay the price whereby he could have the best for himself. Every person, system, and organization that has followed his leadership operates under the same principles.

There is nothing foolish to the Greeks in this cross. They understand and accept its message. That is the only way of life they know, for to them it is the secret both of survival and access into the comforts and powers that the sinful human nature craves.

The great contradistinction to this cross and its message is the cross of which Paul spoke so reverently and enthusiastically. From Christ’s cross we have a view to the beautiful and touching submission of Christ to the demanding cost of our salvation and the call to take up our individual cross and follow where He has led the way.

“If anyone desires to come after Me, Let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).

These directives are not fulfilled by wearing a cross on the cord about the neck or by fixing it on doors, walls, or any other part of our homes. This is an invitation to abandon forever the Babylonian, Greek, Roman, and heathen principles of making the service of self foremost no matter what the cost may be to others. It is a challenge to utterly deny self that service to the needs of others will be life’s first and greatest mission no matter how costly such a work may become.

To the unsanctified mind, the mind of the Greek, this is indeed foolishness. He can see no sense in it. But he can see much sense in the sacrifice of another on his behalf. Therefore, if the cross were no more than Christ giving His all for others, then it would not be foolishness to the Greek or anyone else. But when it calls on him to follow on the same pathway, to live as Jesus lived, to serve others no matter how great the cost to himself, then that to the Greek is foolishness indeed.

There are indeed heights and depths in the cross of Christ as distinct from the cross of Tammuz, the Babylonians, the Romans, the Greeks, and the heathen, which eternity itself can never exhaust. When it is truly seen, it constitutes the finest revelation of God’s character available. The Lord of glory and HIs righteousness will appear at their wonderous best while Satan and his unrighteousness stand forth at their very worst.

The cross proves that God does not destroy as humans do, for should He do so in order to preserve His kingdom, then He would be serving Himself and His loyal subjects at a terrible cost to others. That is not the way of the cross of Christ, and it is not the way of God’s character. But, while it proves this point, the cross is vastly more of a message to God’s people than that, vitally important as the truth is.

Calvary challenges every individual in the universe to find and follow the way that received its most magnificent, explicit, and comprehensive exhibition of Golgotha’s hill. Look again, deeper and still deeper in the splendors. When the lessons to be learned at the foot of the cross are truly comprehended and daily and more deeply refreshed in each Christian’s mind, there will walk this earth a transformed people through whom at last the finishing of the sin problem can be accomplished.

In our next post we will explore the “God Is Not a Criminal”

We will answer the question that arises when God and Pharaoh in the deliverance of his people, what is out understanding of God’s methods?

Does God’s mode of dealing with he Egyptians differ from mafia strong-arm tactics” But How?


01 He Wanted to Teach Respect 05 Approaching the Study of God
02 Why a Tree to Teach Respect 06 The Constitution of the Government of God
03 The End of the Great Controversy 07 A Perfect Law
04 Isaiah’s Wonderful Prophecy 08 God’s Principles Tested08 God’s Principles Tested
09 A Summary of God’s Constitution 13 The Supreme Revelation
10 Contrasting Statements 14 Urged to Destroy
11 Statements and Principles 15 Magnifying the Law
12 Does God Destroy – But How 16 Go the Second Mile
17a An Eye for an Eye 18 The Mystery of Iniquity
17b An Eye for an Eye 19 The Mystery-Unfolding Cross
17c An Eye for an Eye 20 The Way of the Cross
17d An Eye for an Eye 21 Rods and Serpents


Published by The Bible In Your Hand

Hi, I am Pastor Lester Bentley, a devoted husband, father, and Pastor for the Northeastern Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. I am committed to the great gospel commission as stated in Matthew 28:19, 20.

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