THE RULE IS THE CROSS
by Tony Alamo
Jesus never went to the cross alone, nor did He die there alone. He never took only our sins to the cross with Him. He took you and I also.1
The Apostle Paul said this truth in many scripture passages. “I am crucified with Christ [he didn’t just sing it! He really died there!]: nevertheless I [Paul] live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith [not my faith but by the faith] of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Galatians 5:24-26 says, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another”.
Jesus died on the cross, and when He took us to the cross with Him, we were to have died there with Him. Romans 6:1-14 says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death [dead people don’t sin]: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man IS CRUCIFIED with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead [are you?] is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal [dead] body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. [And if you’re dead with Christ, and you must be to be resurrected with Him so you can go to Heaven,] Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin [you are dead! Dead people can’t live or sin any longer]: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you [for ye are dead with Christ and resurrected with Him. Therefore, the law can no longer condemn you]: for ye are not under the law [not under the condemnation of the law], but under grace [which is the death and resurrection of Christ, the power of God, because you are in Christ, and Christ is in you].”
We are saved by that which Christ accomplished on the cross. The cross is the most offensive topic in the world. Satan hates it, and the people of the world hate it. “Who do you think you are that you can tell us that we have to deny our wants, desires, lusts, and our will, deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Jesus!” they shout. Many Christians have been murdered for preaching the message of self denial and the cross. First Corinthians 1:18-21 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
By taking up the cross, we are baptized into death.2 By surrendering our entire life unto death, the death of Christ on the cross, we are immediately swept up into the Spirit, the Spirit of resurrection. The Holy Spirit mortifies our body, our flesh, and we are to remain in that state to the end of our life. That mortified state is called “dead,” “resurrected,” “saved.” When we’re in the Holy Spirit, alive in Christ, mortified in the flesh, we can never “burn out.” We’re alive forevermore. Romans 8:11-14 says, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the SPIRIT do mortify the deeds [kill the deeds] of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by THE SPIRIT OF GOD, they are the sons of God.”
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. MORTIFY therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience” (Col. 3:2-6).
So that they can avoid persecution for preaching about that all people have to deny themselves so they can take up their cross (live the cross life), many ministers would much rather preach circumcision (a one time thing, and it’s over with) rather than being obedient to the Lord twenty-four hours of every day. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:11, “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross [24/7] ceased.” Galatians 6:14-16 says, “But God forbid that I should glory, save [except] in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me [they have to hear him preach ‘deny thyself,’ take up the (your) cross daily, and follow Christ, which is the way into Heaven], and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule [commandment], peace be on them [peace with God], and mercy, and upon the Israel of God [all those who believe and do the Word of God].” People may hate this, but it is the truth, plain and simple.
There is nothing we can do to earn initial salvation because it is a gift from God! It wouldn’t be a gift if we did work for it. It would be wages. But after the free gift, Jesus said, we must go to work. He says now, “Deny [yourself], and take up [your] cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). “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. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his WORKS” (Matt. 16:24-27).
If you’re saved and working with the Lord, that is great!! If not, let’s get started now by this prayer to God:
My Lord and my God, have mercy upon my soul, a sinner. 1 I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. 2 I believe that He died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. 3 I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit 4 and that He sits on the right hand of God at this moment, hearing my confession of sin and this prayer. 5 I open up the door of my heart and I invite You into my heart, Lord Jesus. 6 Wash all of my filthy sins away in the precious blood that You shed in my place on the cross at Calvary. 7 You will not turn me away, Lord Jesus, You will forgive my sins and save my soul. I know because Your Word, the Bible says so. 8 Your Word says that You will turn no one away, and that includes me. 9 Therefore, I know that You have heard me, and I know that You have answered me, and I know that I am saved. 10 And I thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving my soul, and I will show my thankfulness by doing as You command and sin no more. 11
You've just completed the first step in a series of five steps which are necessary to receive salvation. Your second step is to deny yourself and take up the cross daily for the purpose of mortifying yourself, that is, for putting to death your own will, your soulful self, and the world with all of its lusts. All these must be baptized into the death of Christ.
Step three is your resurrection from the satanic life of Adam unto the sinless life of Christ. Step four is your ascension into a position of authority to reign for God on earth, and the fifth step is to reign for God on earth to the end for the purpose of bringing about the kingdom of Heaven on earth. You must learn the Word of God, then submit yourself and do what the Word says, so that the Church and the world may see evidence of your submission to God's Word, His order, and His authority in and by you.
Praise the Lord. May God reward you abundantly.
Pastor Tony Alamo
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The Rule Is The Cross footnotes:
1. Matt. 16:24-26, Luke 9:23, I Cor. 15:31, Rom. 6:2-14, Gal. 2:20, 5:16-17, 24, 6:14-17, Col. 3:1-3, 5-7, Phlp. 2:3-8, 3:7-9, I Pet. 4:1-2 return
2. Luke 9:23, Rom. 6:3-11, Rom. 12:1-2, II Cor. 5:15, Gal 2:20, 5:16-17, 24, Col. 2:11-12, 3:5-17, II Tim. 2:4, I Pet. 1:3-7, 4:1-2, I John 2:15-17 return
1. Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:10-12, 23 return
2. Matt. 26:63-64, 27:54, Luke 1:30-33, John 9:35-37, Rom. 1:3-4 return
3. Acts 4:12, 20:28, Rom. 3:25, I John 1:7, Rev. 5:9 return
4. Psa. 16:9-10, Matt. 28:5-7, Mark 16:9, 12, 14, John 2:19, 21, 10:17-18, 11:25, Acts 2:24, 3:15, Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:3-7 return
5. Luke 22:69, Acts 2:25-36, Heb. 10:12-13 return
6. I Cor. 3:16, Rev. 3:20 return
7. Eph. 2:13-22, Heb. 9:22, 13:12, 20-21, I John 1:7, Rev. 1:5, 7:14 return
8. Matt. 26:28, Acts 2:21, 4:12, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 return
9. Matt. 21:22, John 6:35, 37-40, Rom. 10:13 return
10. Heb. 11:6 return
11. John 5:14, 8:11, Rom. 6:4, I Cor. 15:10, Rev. 7:14, 22:14 return