Taking up His cross
Are Modern Christians taking up His Cross?
We see the gospels mention the idea of taking up the cross of Jesus and following Him.
Every time he mentions the cross he also says follow me.
What does taking up the cross really mean?
Our view of the crucifixtion is often subject to art and Hollywood. The word cross is translated from the Greek word stauros which is said to mean a pole or a stake. Nowhere in the literature of that day do we find the word stauros representing two pieces of wood placed across one another like a cross. It is likely that Jesus would have begun his trip to Golgotha with one piece of wood, called in Latin a Patibulum, with His arms tied to the ends. Because of His weakened condition someone else named Simon carried the beam to which he would be nailed.
The true image of Christ going to his crucifixion is that Simon carried nothing more than a patibulum which normally the prisoner would be fastened to by the wrist. On arrival that patibulum made from stauros/stake would be lifted or hoisted up onto another stauros already standing upon the mount and sticking into the rocky top of Golgatha.
There would be no reason to believe that Jesus carried a hewn or sawed beam with a cross piece fastened to it and the debate is often a distraction from the real message of Christ. The Greek word stauros which could simply mean a pole or stake. This is not that important in itself but understanding the metaphore of the "cross of Christ is.
To understand the metaphor and message of the "cross of Christ" it may be helpful to know that the word stauros comes from the verb histēmi ἵστημι (meaning "straighten up", "stand"). Taking up the cross of Christ is a metaphor for taking the stand of righteousness as a member of His government of God called the Kingdom of God. John the Baptist was telling the people to Make straight the way of the Lord
Jesus was sometimes just talking only to those who would be the appointed ministers of a voluntary government which operated by faith, hope and charity which was love. From the beginning John the Baptist and Jesus as the Christ told all to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness rather than force and the perfect law of liberty rather than bondage. There would be no other Fathers nor rulers who could exercise authority one over the other in His government.
Nailed to his cross
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" (Colossians 2:14)
What does Paul mean by this verse?
Paul had been writing the "the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse:" because they had heard of their faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which they had to all the saints, 
According to Paul the gospel had been preached in all the world, and faithful servants were ministering to the people. It was for this cause that he hoped they had both understanding and good works. But also talked about them all having been delivered from the darkness and already translated into the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
We see the phrase "power of darkness," in the gospel  where Luke talked about the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders,  who were the government official and the police who came out against Christ and his followers to bring them before the Sanhedrin which was the congress of the day. This was an arrest by government to bring him before that tribunal, that power of darkness and impeach him as an usurper of the throne of Judea.
We see the same metaphor in Acts 26:18  about turning eyes from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan who is the adversary of God. This seems required that God's way be sought to receive forgiveness and inherit through the sanctification by faith.
And again in Ephesians 6:12 we see the metaphor one more time speaking of rulers and powers of darkness.
Paul goes on and talks about the blood of Jesus Christ redeeming them with his own blood.  He goes on to say that Jesus was the first born of every creature. The word "creature" is the word for "the act of founding, establishing" It came from a word meaning create or make habitable for a people.
Christ had called new men to come out and serve the kingdom. To be doers of the word and he said he would take the kingdom from them that had it and give to them whom would bear fruit. He would appoint that kingdom to His little flock.
And he did just that with the words of their own mouth. He would then appoint the kingdom to these new called out ministers This new called out body would be the servant government of those congregations of the people who would repent from the alienation of their minds from the ways of God.
What were these wicked works?
The Corban of the pharisees that made the word of God to non effect.
Again Paul speaks of the gospel of the kingdom having been preached to every creature or "institution" and advises that we be not moved away from His gospel.
Paul preached Christ first. It was His Gospel which told us what we must do to obtain Eternal life. Jesus said we must be Doers of the Word. And clearly it was Christ's ordinance that we Keep the Commandments
So, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances" had nothing to do with the ten laws written by God. It had to do with the heavy burdens placed on the people by law makers who exercised authority one over the other.
Certainly we are saved by grace and not by works but how do we know we truly believe in Jesus except by our works. Is it the truth when we say we love Jesus? Can it be the truth if we are by policy not keeping His commandments?
The truth is most people are subject to more hand written ordinances today than they were at the time of Christ. This is because they have not repented of their sin of covetousness. They still want to rule over one another rather than love one another. They are still greedy for gain and fail to attend to the Weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith which include caring for the needs of our neighbors and the widows and orphans of our society through Pure Religion in matters of health, education, and welfare. We are NOT to provide for the needy of society through the Covetous Practices and the men who call themselves benefactorsbut who exercise authority one over the other like the socialists do.
The Way of Christ was like neither the way of the world of Rome nor the governments of the gentiles who depend on those fathers of the earth through force, fear and fealty who deliver the people back in bondage again like they were in Egypt. Christ's ministers and true Christians do not depend upon systems of social welfare that force the contributions of the people like the corban of the Pharisees which made the word of God to none effect. Many people have been deceived to go the way of Balaam and the Nicolaitan and out of The Way of Christ and have become workers of iniquity.
The Christian conflict with Rome in the first century Church appointed by Christ was because they would not apply to the fathers of the earth for their free bread but instead relied upon a voluntary network providing a daily ministration to the needy of society through Faith, Hope, and Charity by way of freewill offerings of the people, for the people, and by the people through the perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies according to the ancient pattern of Tuns or Tens as He commanded.
"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.
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- If you think you have a calling to be a Minister of God or you might want to dedicate your life to Christ as an Ordained Minister of His Holy Church, contact us to start the process of discipleship and become the benefactors who exercise only love, NOT authority.
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- Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
- Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
- Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
- Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
- Matthew 27:32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
- Mark 15:21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
- Luke 23:26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
- John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
- Isaiah 57:14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.
- Hebrews 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
- Colossians 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Colossians 1:4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love [which ye have] to all the saints,
- Colossians 1:6 Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:
- Colossians 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
- Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
- Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
- Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
- Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
- Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
- 1 Timothy 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
- 2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
- Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
- Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
- Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
- 1 Timothy 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
- 1 Timothy 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
- 1 Timothy 5:25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
- 1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
- 2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
- Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
- Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
- Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
- Titus 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
- Colossians 1:9 ¶ For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 ¶ Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
- 3179 ~μεθίστημι~ methistemi \@meth-is’-tay-mee\@ or (#1Co 13:2) ~μεθιστάνω~ methistano \@meth-is-tan’-o\@ from 3326 and 2476; ; v AV-remove 2, put out 1, turn away 1, translate 1; 5 1) to transpose, transfer, remove from one place to another
- 1a) of change of situation or place
- 1b) to remove from the office of a steward
- 1c) to depart from life, to die
- Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power <exousia> of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
- Luke 22:53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
- Luke 22:52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?
- Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
- Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
- Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
- Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
- 2937 ~κτίσις~ ktisis \@ktis’-is\@ from 2936; TDNT-3:1000,481; n f AV-creature 11, creation 6, building 1, ordinance 1; 19 1) the act of founding, establishing, building etc
- 1a) the act of creating, creation
- 1b) creation i.e. thing created
- 1c) institution, ordinance
- 2936 ~κτίζω~ ktizo \@ktid’-zo\@ probably akin to 2932 (through the idea of proprietor-ship of the manufacturer); v AV-create 12, Creator 1, make 1; 14 1) to make habitable, to people, a place, region, island 1a) to found a city, colony, state 2) to create 2a) of God creating the worlds 2b) to form, shape, i.e. to completely change or transform
- Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
- Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
- Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
- John 19:15 But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
- Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
- Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
- Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
- : Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
- John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
- John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
- 1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
- 1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
- 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
- 1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
- Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
- Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
- Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.