Continuing to-day with the cross, heresies to the heretic, quickening baptism in truth’s purifying fire, the life of the living, and offered to the dead. The word cross comes from the Greek word stauros, and in actuality tells of laying down our own identity and assuming our new self of Christ in us.
Here is the definition from the Strong’s Greek Dictionary: Strong’s #4716: stauros (pronounced stow-ros’) from the base of 2476 [stao – meaning to stand (stay)]; a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specially), a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial; by implication, the atonement of Christ:–cross.
The word is used twenty-eight times, always rendered “cross.” The title is Matthew 10:38, the first use, and the second is Matthew 16:24 and adds the deeper meaning of self-denial. “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.”
The deepest meaning of the cross is found in the pattern of Aaron’s rod. Aaron himself is the one the LORD sent to assist Moses and speaks the word of the LORD, given to him by Moses who received it directly from the LORD. Aaron is in this description seen as the ideal pattern of the priest, who receive the word from the ideal prophet, and both deliver it freely in the exact form it is received. Aaron’s rod is the one Moses used in most of his miraculous God powered acts, which came when God’s approval and validation of His authority in these men became necessary: the same dead wood blossomed into life and produced fruit. So is the cross.
Numbers 16 tells of God’s people doing as they have a habit of, murmuring against those God is speaking to them through. This chapter and the one following describes the validation process, the trial by fire, and is followed by chapter 17 telling of the validating life and fruit that comes from the ashes.
1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write you every man’s name upon his rod.
3 And you shall write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.
4 And you shall lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.
5 And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
6 And Moses spoke unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.
7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.
8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.
10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and you shall quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.
11 And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he.
12 And the children of Israel spoke unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.
13 Whosoever comes any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?
All the Gospels except John’s contain an almost identical sentence telling the self-denial that reproduces us in the image and likeness of Christ, the same exact Spirit of God in us, (because we believe in only one God.) This is the LORD appearing, as we are told to look for him in Act’s 1:11 when it says He will come in like manner as we saw him leave – by/from the cross raised into glory.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, You men of Galilee [this inner circle of those who God has chosen to understand], why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.
The idea of the cross in implied in John 3:14 where the LORD tells of how he must be lifted up as Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness. In this description, we see the deeper coinciding idea of life that comes to those looking to the LORD as He is raised up, crucified by and because of the darkened eyes of ignorant men as serpents among us preaching death, and quickened to life again by understand what they are witnessing [see Isaiah 52 & 53].
5 And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loathes this light bread.
6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against you; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looks upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
The “pole” above is the twenty times used Hebrew word nec, which is most often translated as a “standard” or “ensign,” which all men will see and be drawn to. We know this is the description the LORD gives in John 3 as he tells of Himself as the fiery serpent on the pole/cross, that will consume death [as Aaron’s rod consumed the serpents of Jannes and Jambres.]
2 Timothy 3
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water [the undefiled word that flows directly from God] and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born again.
8 The wind [Spirit] blows where it lists [wills], and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence [from where or when] it comes, and whither [where] it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Are you a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Truly, truly, I say unto you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things [about where the Spirit comes from and where it goes]?
13 [Speaking of heavenly things] And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven [who will come in like manner, without error and in full agreement with the word of God].
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man [without error/sin – Hebrews 9:28] be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
The dead wood by/on which Christ was put to death is as Aaron’s rod – and in the hand of the prophet the LORD has chosen, and sent as He said He would. It is the standard lifted up in power, which will bring life to those who have been the prey of the gaping and consuming mouth of the subtle serpents among them in the camp.
13 You shall be perfect with the LORD your God.
14 For these nations, which you shall possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for you, the LORD your God has not suffered you so to do.
15 The LORD your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, like unto me; unto him you shall hearken;
16 According to all that you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
21 And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?
22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him.
The word nec (pole) is first used, after the book of Numbers, in Psalms 60:4 where it is rendered “banner” in precisely describing the message that comes through the cross, and its intended product.
1 O God, you have cast us off, you have scattered us, you have been displeased; O turn yourself to us again.
2 You have made the earth to tremble; you have broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shakes.
3 You have shewed your people hard things: you have made us to drink the wine of astonishment.
4 You have given a banner [nec] to them that fear you, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
5 That your beloved may be delivered; save with your right hand, and hear me.
Isaiah uses the word nec ten times, once as “banner” and “sail,” twice as “standard,” and six times as “ensign.” It is twice used, in Isaiah 11:10 & 12, where it describes the root of Jesse, which will stand for an “ensign” to the people. This root (sheresh) is the same seemingly dead wood spoken of in Isaiah 53:2 as in a dry ground, and from where grows the tender plant.
6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that does speak: behold, it is I.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says unto Zion, Your God reigns!
8 Your watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
11 Depart you, depart you, go you out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go you out of the midst of her; be you clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward.
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonished at you; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
1 Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign [nec] of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign [nec] for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
14 But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
15 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea [the tongue holding us captive]; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river [in which death’s word flows], and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.
16 And there shall be an highway [a higher way] for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria [saved from the foreign ways and ideas that have made us desolate, as they have done to all nations who abide in them]; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
The cross is also spoken of using the Greek word xulon, which is rendered “tree” when telling of it as where on the LORD was hanged. The same word is rendered “stocks” in Acts 16:24 telling of when Paul and Silas were put in prison and their feet in stocks.
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks [xulon].
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do yourself no harm: for we are all here.
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.
32 And they spoke unto him the word of the LORD, and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go.
36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.
37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly un-condemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay truly; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.
Luke uses the word xulon twice in his Gospel, and three other times in Acts, all translated as “tree.” In Acts it’s always the “tree” the LORD was hanged on. One time in Luke, and in its four prior uses in Mark and Matthew, it is rendered “staves” in telling of those who came to take the LORD at the betrayal, with swords and staves. In Luke 23:31 it is used by the LORD to tell of His life as a green tree, and asking if they do these things while he is alive (in a green tree), what will they do in a dry tree. The dry tree is telling of the coming dead wood of the priesthood and all leadership, that remained so until it was resurrected – budded and brought forth its fruit.
30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying, If you be the king of the Jews, save yourself.
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is The King Of The Jews.
The dry tree is the root of Jesse the Ephrathite (Ephraim, double fruit, the son of Joseph), that doesn’t bud until Shiloh comes, as the son of David.
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
25 Even by the God of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
26 The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,
16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:
21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.