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The Cross always namesTammuz as the mythologica god worshipped in all religious faiths except one.

Egyptian worship of RA, the Sun god.

History of the use of the Cross befor Jewish Christianity.
The use of the cross in ancient times.

                  
                            The Cross and Idolatry

Did Jesus really die on a cross, as most Bible translations read?

Should one seek protection by use of the cross?

Should one pray to the cross?

"Little children, keep yourselves from idols." - 1 John 5:21.

A Restoration Light Publication

The worship of the Sun as God is the source of the
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CROSS uses in Pagan Religions. The Idol stone of BAAL.

The Cross and Idolatry .

Did Jesus really die on a cross, as most Bible translations read?

(1) About two thousand years ago a man named Jesus (Yahshua) walked this earth and claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah or Christ that had long been promised to the Hebrew people. His birth and ministry are recorded in four of the books of the Holy Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As the record shows, however, the religious leaders became jealous of his popularity, so they instituted a plot against him, seized him, conducted a mock trial, condemned him to death, and finally had him executed as a malefactor. After his death one of his followers, who became known as the apostle Paul, wrote: "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:39) To the young man Timothy the apostle wrote: "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." -- 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

(2) Since then the followers of Jesus have cherished the promises recorded in the Bible of everlasting life for those who exercise faith in the Lord Jesus. (John 3:16) And, rightly, Christians should remember the death of our Lord Jesus as he commanded us, by the emblems of wine and unleavened bread. (1 Corinthians 11:20-26; Luke 22:17-26) This we believe should be done each year on the anniversary of his death, Nisan 14. However, no thought of special powers is given in the scriptures to the emblems used to represent Christ's body and blood.

ROOTS OF THE CROSS

(3) The religious use of the cross-symbol, however, was not originally associated with the death of the Lord Jesus.

According to the book, The Cross - Its History and Symbolism:

(4) "The cross is probably the oldest symbol in the world. Centuries before the Christian era ancient crosses were in use as pagan emblems. They have been found carved in stone dating back to remote ages."   

(5) In The History of the Cross we read:

"The cross as a symbol was equally known among the Chaldeans, Phoenicians, and Aztecs. The ancient Greeks, the Babylonians, the East Indians, and the Egyptians used the cross....

(6) "In India, the moving story of Krishna tells of this god-man's crucifixion. Thus the story is common to Indian religious iconography." -- The History of the Cross, by Norman Laliberte and Edward N. West, 1960, page 25.

(7) "There have been ancient crosses, the handiwork of western Indian tribes of North America, with four arms of equal length with symbols of the four winds....

(8) "Excavations in America and Mexico have brought forth crosses of many forms and designs made by the aborigines during the mound building period....

(9) "It is curious and interesting to find these evidences of similar civilizations and religious beliefs existing in pre-historic times in both the eastern and western worlds. These crosses made by widely separated and alien peoples, similar in shapes and designs, have been found carved in stone and engraved on metals and shells and as decorations on pottery.

(10) "Almost from the beginning of recorded history there was another cross in frequent use known as the Tau Cross. In form it resembled the letter T. It has been called the cross of the Old Testament as it was known to the Jews. They may possibly have become familiar with it during their bondage to the Egyptians, as a cross much resembling the Tau Cross with a loop at the top appeared frequently in Egyptians heiroglyphs and carved on their ancient sepulchers and monuments. It was known as the Cross of Horus, an Egyptian god, and is usually held in the hand of a god, king, or priest. It was the symbol of life, and has been called the Key of Life.

(11) "In varied forms, the Tau Cross appeared throughout the ancient world. The Phoenicians adapted it to a crude representation of their goddess, Astarte -- 'she who gives life.' The Greeks transformed and beautified the handled cross of the Egyptians into a representation of their Goddess of Life, somewhat similar in appearance to the figure of woman with outstretched arms in the form of a cross.

(12) "Another form of cross known as the Greek Cross was used by various ancient races. It was simple in design, an upright line crossed at right angles by a horizontal line.

(13) "The primitive Greek Cross, in use a thousand and more years before the Christian era, was in form the same as the modern Christian Greek Cross. Recent excavations in Athens have unearthed ancient crosses similar in design to the familiar cross of the Greek Catholic Church in use at the present time. Its form is unchanged from the ancient Pagan Cross, except that it is usually embellished with ornamentation....

(14) "Among the Romans and all Latin peoples another ancient cross was much in use. It resembled the Greek cross with a long arm extending below. It was called originally the Latin Cross and is now known as the Christian Cross. From three ancient crosses, the Tau, the Greek, and the Latin, have evolved all the varied forms and designs of the Christian Crosses." -- The Cross -- Its History and Symbolism, pages 19-21.

LINK TO The Wheel of LIFE for the Solar YEAR of
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Holidays in Witchcraft. The Sun, Moon and Stars.

(15) Many people in the popular Christian religious groups may be surprised to learn that the cross they are now using in worship was actually adopted from pagan idol worship. They may also be surprised to learn that the early Christians did not use any form of cross.

(16) "The cross was not used by the early Christians as a symbol and did not come into general use until three centuries after the death of Christ." (The Cross - Its History and Symbolism, page 40)

(17) "It may be safely asserted that only after the edict of Milan, A.D. 312, was the cross used as the permanent sign of our Redemption. De Rossi positively states that no monogram of Christ discovered in the catacombs or other places can be traced to a period anterior to the year 312 ....

(18) "The oldest crucifix mentioned as an object of public worship is the one venerated in the Church of Narbonne in southern France, as early as the 6th century." The Ecclesiastical Review, September 1920, page 275

Celtic Cross used long before Christianity.
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The Cross and the Bible,
 
(19) In most popular Bible translations we do find the words "cross" and "crucify," etc., used in reference to the death instrument of Jesus. The word "cross" is, however, probably a mistranslation of the koine Greek word stauros.

(20) According to the Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vine, stauros"denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake. On such malefactors were nailed for execution." (Vol. I, page 256)

(21) Most Greek lexicons also give "Cross" as the primary meaning of the Greek word stauros, and often add "stake" as a second meaning. However, the meaning of "cross" was evidently attached to the Greek word stauros at least a century or more after Jesus' death.

(22) How, then, did the meaning of "cross" come to be attached to the Greek word stauros? In the second and third centuries after Christ died the pagans who liked the idea of salvation through Jesus did not want to give up their pagan idolatrous traditions. A great falling away from true worship occurred, as more and more of the teachings and practices of Greek and Rome were supposedly "Christianized" by being brought into the apostate church.

(23) The pagan idol gods and goddesses were "renamed" to make them appear "Christian," while the same pagan idolatry was continued towards them. The cross was one of the idols introduced into the apostate church.

(24) Possibly to avoid the apparent nature of their idolatry, the cross was adopted to represent Jesus. Thus, when people prayed to the cross it would appear that they were actually praying to Christ rather than the cross. Nevertheless, for many centuries only the cross-symbol was used. Christ was not represented as being "on the cross."

(25) "By the 7th century, however, it had become customary to represent the whole figure of Jesus, alive and robed, as the triumphant Christ, in front of the cross but not attached to it. Gradually, . . . Christ was portrayed naturalistically in a loincloth and crown of thorns, nailed to the cross." (Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, Volume 7, page 352) This is something we should note! It was not until several hundred years after Jesus died that he was portrayed on a cross!

(26) The above facts seem to indicate that Jesus was probably not hung on a cross, as we see crosses today. Instead, he was more than likely was nailed to an upright stake. We know that the Greeks words starous and stauroo are used to described the manner of execution of criminals at that time. We have found no hard evidence that the Romans did indeed use a Tau-shaped cross to execute criminals in the time that Jesus was put to death. Everything we have seen presents more speculation and assumptions than hard facts. It could be that the meaning of the Tau was read back into the Greek from the use of the Latin word *crux* which was used to translated both *stauros* and *Tau*, but that also would be speculation, not a verified fact. At this late date, we have found nothing that is conclusive, either that Jesus died on a stauros with a crossbeam, or that he died on a simple upright stake. We would prefer a translation that would transliterate the word *stauros* rather than trying to define it in English terms (similar to the way some translations do with *sheol*, *hades*, *Gehenna*), but we don't know of such a translation.

(27) Why, then, do we read in most history and references books that he was hung on a cross? We know that most historians tell us that the Romans "crucified" criminals during the time Jesus was on earth. The word "crucify" comes, not from the Greek, but Latin. It based on the Latin word "crux", which can mean either an upright pole, or a stake with a crossbeam. Thus "crucify" does not necessarily mean that one is put to death on a stake with a crossbeam. The Latin words crucifigere and crux were used with reference to any instrument upon which a person was executed, whether an upright pole with or without a crossbeam. Thus the use of the words themselves in writings to do not provide adequate proof that criminals were actually executed on a pole with a crossbeam.

(28) In Acts 5:30; 10:39; and 13:29 another Greek word is used to describe the instrument upon which Jesus was hung. This Greek word is xylon, which means simply "tree or stake" or "a piece of wood." This gives added proof that the instrument of Jesus' death was not a cross.

(29) Additionally, Jesus needed to die on a stake to fulfill the law, thereby removing its curse. -- Deuteronomy 21:22,23; Galatians 3:13; Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24.

(30) While many more references could be cited, what we have presented here does indicate that, at least, it is not clear that Jesus died on a cross or an upright stake or tree. Of course, it really does not matter whether Jesus died on a cross with a cross beam or just an upright pole; it is the act of his death that should be important to us; not the instrument (or image of the instrument) of his death. However, we do have evidence that long before Jesus came the heathens used the cross in similar fashion as now done in popular Christianity.

IS THE CROSS USED AS AN IDOL?

(31) But the shape of the instrument of Jesus' death is really not the point that should be our major concern concerning the cross. What is of more concern should whether one should use the Tau as an object of worship, as is done in the Catholic and some other Christian denominations. In the Restoration Light publication, we do not use the cross and crown symbol at all, because it seems that by doing so many may conclude that it is proper to worship the cross iamge after the manner of Catholicism, or as is done in some Pentecostal and Baptist groups (in exorcism, bowing down and praying before the image, seeking protection by use of a cross image, giving praise to the cross image that should go to God through Jesus, etc.). So the question should be: Even if Jesus was hung on a stake with a crossbeam, do the scriptures warrant taking up the use of a pagan symbol to represent his death? Should Christians give their devotion to such a symbol as pagans have in the past? We will discuss this in greater detail later.

(32) Heathen religions looked to the cross for comfort long before Jesus was born. The ancient Egyptians used to wear the cross as a necklace so that it would be close to the heart. The cross was worn on garments and displayed on buildings. Adoration was given to the cross in prayer and song. Today we find many in the popular Christian groups who give the cross the same kind of fidelity that pagans did ages before Christ came to the earth. In some churches, candles and incense, along with prayer, are offered before the cross. In most churches the cross is revered very similarly to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Churchgoers today often look to the cross for protection and comfort just as heathens did. It is worn around the neck and displayed prominently on top of church buildings. It is sung to and sung about with all the reverence of idolatrous worship. Indeed, as the article quoted earlier states: "The oldest crucifix mentioned as an object of public worship is the one venerated in the Church of Narbonne in southern France, as early as the 6th century." (The Ecclesiastical Review, September 1920, page 275, italics ours) Thus these church records openly admit that the cross was being worshipped by church adherents. Should this not send an alarm to all who want to worship "in spirit and truth"?

KEEP YOURSELVES FROM IDOLS

(33) The true Christian will want to obey the words of his Lord as given through the apostle: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." -- 1 John 5:21.

(34) Therefore we note that the cross has long been associated with a heathen idolatry. Satan has always been active to deceive people in their worship, and the cross can be insidiously woven into the popular forms of Christian worship in order to hinder true worship in "spirit and truth." (John 4:23,24) It is the flesh that desires something to see, feel, touch, etc., in connection with worship. "We are keeping our eyes, not on the things seen, but the things unseen." - 2 Corinthians 5:7.

(35) We believe that the usage of the cross, even the cross and crown symbol, should be discontinued. In the first century there were many Gentiles who became Christians. Did they keep the idols they had been using in worship? The Bible record shows that when Gentiles became Christians they "turned to God from idols." (1 Thessalonians 1:9)

(36) The Bible plainly tells us not to use idols in our worship. "And what connection has God's temple with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; as God said 'I will dwell among them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be to me a people.'" "Flee from idolatry." - 2 Corinthians 6:16,17; see also verses 18-21; 1 Corinthians 10:14; Exodus 20:4,5.

(37) Therefore, our recommendation is that any Christian or Christian congregation that has been involved in such things as using the cross in worship should immediately rid themselves of all idolatry lest they find themselves outside God's favor. (Deuteronomy 4:25,26; Jeremiah 7:29,30; 22:8,9; 1 Corinthians 10:19-22)

(38) But what if the congregation you are associated with refuses to give up its attachment to this symbol? How can you continue to attend their meetings when you cannot join in their worship? How can you sing their songs when their songs idolize the cross? What should you do?

(39) Remembering that you belong to Jesus, and not to popular forms of religion, we believe the proper course would be to take a stand to obey him. "He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father." (John 14:21)

(40) "Therefore, go and teach in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you." If you are truly a disciple of Jesus, you have been given a commission by him to preach the good news of his glorious kingdom.

(41) "The harvest is great, but the workers are few." (Luke 10:2-12) As in the days of Jesus, we are facing another harvest period here in the end of this age. We need to go forth in the harvest work, preaching the good news of the Kingdom. In preaching the truth of the Good News, you should search for those who are truly seeking to "worship in spirit and truth." We need to teach them Bible truths, so that they, also, may be disciples of Jesus, woshipping in spirit and truth.

(42) It may be that you are associated with a religious group that uses the cross in worship, song and prayer. You may try to present these matters to that group, if you are permitted to do so. It is possible that the congregation might have a hearing ear for truth.

(43) It is very likely, however, that if you present the truth in some congregations that are given to great ceremony in using the cross, you will meet a fervor which could indicate what loyalty they hold for the cross-idol, despite what their words might say. We should remember, however, that there are many who make use of the cross symbol as the death of Christ who do not have any carnal devotion to the symbol itself. It is not our thought that we should refuse to fellowship with some simply because they might use this symbol and have references to in their hymn books. (In many hymns we can replace the word "cross" with "stake", "death", or another appropriate word.) As long as they do not have give blatant worship toward the cross symbol, such as bowing before, offering gifts or prayers to it, etc., we do not feel that it would be proper for us to refuse fellowship with our fellow Christians, yet at the same time we need to be, as Paul was, advocates for getting rid of anything that might lead one into idolatry. If you are unable to find a congregation that shuns the idols of the nations and holds to the "ransom for all," (See our publications: Understanding Kingdom Mysteries and The Restoration of All Things.) you may have to stand alone for a while, but the holy spirit will help you if you are faithful. (Jude 1:20-24; Romans 8:27,28; Proverbs 1:27) We should remember also that Jesus spoke of several classes of his servants. Some would not know what do. Some would know but still would not do it. (Luke 12:42-48) In the great church systems there are both weeds and genuine wheat. (Matthew 13:24-30) While not partaking in idolatry, you could continue to seek fellowship with those who do not see the need to get rid of the cross, all the while giving reminders that the cross is idolized by many. In all things, we should remember that it is not our own conscience that is of utmost importance, for the true worshipper knows an idol is nothing. However, by our seeming approval we can lead others into idolatry, thus making ourselve sharers in idolatry. (1 Corinthians chapters 8 & 10; See: pureidolatry.html) Regardless, you must always remember that you are not completely alone, for Yahweh, the true God, will be with you.

(44) To take a stand to discard the cross-idol does not mean that we should esteem the death of Christ any less; indeed, as Christ died on that despised stake, so we should be willing to bear the reproach of Christ in enduring whatever this world may heap upon us for his name's sake. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the impalement of our Lord Jesus the Christ, by whom the world is impaled unto me, and I unto the world." - Galatians 6:14, Corrected rendering = see also 2 Corinthians 12:10; Colossians 1:24; 1 Peter 4:16) Indeed, going to extremes concerning usage of the cross could lead us deviate from the central issue of the fact that Jesus did come and die for our sins, as well as cause unnecessary division, distrust, and even hatred for our brothers in Christ who have not seen any need to get rid of all usage of the cross.

(45) So let us tell people about the glorious good news about Christ, the ransom he has provided for the world, and his kingdom. "For Christ sent me . . . to preach the gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the impalement of Christ should be for no purpose. For the preaching about the impalement is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are being saved it is the power of God.... But we preach Christ impaled, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness." - 1 Corinthians 1:17-23, Corrected rendering.

(46) Some have sought to defend the use of the cross in many different ways. Usually these focus on trying to demonstrate that Jesus died on a stake with a crossbeam. We wish to make note that this actually sidetracks and turns the focus away from the genuine scriptural concern of involvement with idolatry. We need to realize what is happening here! One hymn that appears in most church hymnbooks, as well as Hymns of Dawn is called the "The Old Rugged Cross", which includes the following lyrics: "And I love that old cross, . . . I'll cherish the old rugged cross . . . I will cling to the old rugged cross . . ." Notice the terms of endearment to an admitted object of worship! How insidiously the devil works to get the praise that belongs to Yahweh through idolatry. So many take such love, such cherishment of a symbol to such extremes that they give that which belongs to Yahweh to an image -- in this case an image that supposedly represents the sacrificial death of God's Son! We need greatly impress that God's Word condemns this as idolatry! -- 1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:9,10; 8:1-10; 10:14-31.

(47) Some have placed such a strong emphasis on the cross symbol as the "mark of the cross" as "the seal of salvation" that it does come very close to mimicking the idol worship of ancient heathens as well as that carried on today in the churches, both Catholic and Protestant. Notice, now, Hislop's observation: "The mystic Tau, as the symbol of the great divinity, was called `the sign of life;' it was used as a 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 the dignity or divinely-conferred authority." Do you see the similarity between "seal [mark] of salvation" and "sign of life"? We do not believe that our Christian brothers who use such terminology concerning the cross would consider themselves idol worshipers. Yet by utilizing the pagan cross-idol as "the seal of our salvation," after the same spirit of the heathen, they are unwittingly lending themselves to an idolatrous spirit, and in effect, do give give support to those who would use the cross as an object of worship. The mark of the cross has nothing whatsoever to do with our salvation, but the impalement (or if you prefer, crucifixion - the act by which Jesus was put to death) of Christ has much to do with it. The use of the cross as an object of worship, however, represents a desire to worship according to the flesh, not the spirit. It tends to lead people in worship along the lines of the flesh rather than the spirit. We do not believe that the cross-symbol, a symbol of false religion and a false salvation, should ever have been adopted as a symbol of the death of Jesus. We believe that this has been a detestable thing before Yahweh, as can be seen from such scriptures as 1 Chronicles 16:26; Psalm 96:5; Ezekiel 16:36,37; 37:23.

(48) Some have argued that they don't "worship" the cross, but they only use it as a symbol and reminder of the redemption. This may be true, but we need to remember that such reminders should not be needed by those who worship in spirit and truth. Additionally, in the Bible we find that Yahweh did not tell his people to adopt the idols of the nations to represent Christ. He told them NOT to adopt the idols of the nations! -- Exodus 20:4,5; Deuteronomy 4:15-19; 1 Corinthians 10:14,19-21.

(49) Some have reasoned that as long as they do not literally bow down to the cross they can use it in worship but are not worshiping it. But worship has to do with sentiments and not necessarily literal bowing of the knees before an object. Eating food that has been sacrificed to idols does not involve actual bowing before the idol. Yet such can make themselves partakers of idolatry by doing this. -- 1 Corinthians 10:14-31.

(50) Not only this, why would a true disciple of Jesus feel that he needs a pagan symbol to represent Christ or our salvation through him? Does this not say something about the quality of such worship? Has such worship actually reached the point of worship in spirit and truth? Or is it not giving worship in material terms -- crosses, crowns, forms and shapes? -- John 4:21-24.

(51) But doesn't the Bible say that to a believer an idol is nothing, and therefore we can take the things of idols and use them in our worship? Those who reason such are misreading the apostle's argument in 1 Corinthians 8:4. The context shows that Paul is referring to things sacrificed to idols. Even if a food or anything is sacrificed to an idol, the food or item offered is not of itself defiled. Therefore, we can eat of any food even if it has been offered to idols, or we can recieve clothes or whatever even if they have been offered to idols, as long as they are not presented to us as being sacrificed to idols, as to get us to accept an offering to an idol. (1 Corinthians 10:27,28) Notice the rest of the apostle's argument. If we partake of the foods as being something offered to idols then we make ourselves partakers of that sacrifice. "For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? But I say that the things that the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink of the cup of Yahweh and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of Yahweh's table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke Yahweh to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?" -- 1 Corinthians 10:22; See also All Things Are Pure.

(52) And then Paul says in his second letter to Corinth: "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God said: `I will dwell in them and walk among them, I will be their God, and they will be my people.' [Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27] Therefore `Come out from among them and be separate, says Yahweh. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.' [Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 20:34,41] `I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says Yahweh Almighty.' [2 Samuel 7:14] Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1) Now if we turn to Ezekiel 20:41 and read the context we can see that the filthiness of flesh and spirit that the apostle referred to is idolatry -- profaning God's name with use of idols (See especially Ezekiel 20:39,40).

(53) If a person professes to be a believer in the ransom of Christ, and is partaking of these things, such a person should seriously ask himself: Why do I wish to risk provoking Yahweh's jealousy by continuing to use the cross, trees, and the many of forms of idolatry adopted from paganism to profane God's name? "Do we provoke Yahweh to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?" -- 1 Corinthians 10:22.

(54) But there is another matter we need to consider. Should we reject as "brothers" those who continue to hold onto the idolatrous worship, and yet profess to belong to Christ? No, not necessarily. It appears that some in Corinth were involved in some form of idolatry, or else the apostle would not have spent so much time on the matter. Yet he called them "beloved," and exhorted them to repentance. "Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry." -- 1 Corinthians 10:14.

(55) But now many centuries have passed. Many of God's people observe the things of the flesh because of its strong traditional hold on the nominal people of God. Thus Jesus said concerning his return: "When the Son of man returns, will he find the faith in the earth?" (Luke 18:18) By this he hints that the true pure faith will be hard to find in these last day. He further says even of his own servants in these days: "And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few." (Luke 12:47,48) Thus there is a judgment of God's servants in these last days. Let us strive to be as the one represented by the faithful steward. (verse 42) The faithful servant really searches the scriptures according to the spirit to provide from their treasure appropriate food for the fellow-members of the household of faith things both old and new. -- Matthew 13:52.

(56) Should we therefore go into meetings where the cross (or cross and crown) is prominently displayed and songs are sung in praise to it? Each will have decide for himself. We must remember that we know a cross is nothing; but not all view the cross in this manner. A lot depends on the way the cross is viewed by the group as whole. Some say they only view the cross as a symbol. We are not to try to judge their hearts, but we should try to get them to see that even this could effect others who cherish the cross into giving an improper affection to it. Most church groups make a lot out of the cross (as they do many other material objects). In some churches, there is even a pledge of allegiance given to the cross or a flag with a cross-symbol. Attending such a meeting in itself, of course, would not be wrong. We could attend and just not participate in anything that glorifies the cross (or any other idol). Some questions we have ask ourselves are: By attending am I giving those who put much emphasis on the cross the thought that I approve of what is being done? If by any means I am giving others the understanding that I agree with their affection for the material idol, then I could make myself a partaker in their conscience, and therefore in their offerings of praise. This is what the scripture says, for it is the other person's conscience that is to be considered, and whether we become participators in their conscience by showing approval of their idol worship. (1 Corinthians 10:28,29) If attending a meeting where any kind of material affection is given praise to, the enlightened Christian should make it known, if possible, that he does not agree with such and that he cannot be partakers with them in such. -- 2 Corinthians 6:16.

(57) If at all possible, one might try to gain a hearing that all may come to see that the cross, as well other forms of material worship, are not approved by God. Thus the whole congregation, as a congregation, could be given an opportunity to repent, even as those erring in the Corinthian congregation repented. -- 2 Corinthians 7:9.

(58) But what if the congregation fails to repent of blatant affinity to the material adoration of the cross, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, etc.? Then the enlightened Christian, being desirous of having approval of his Master over all else, would have to obey his Master's words through the apostle as he quoted from the words of Yahweh himself: "Come out from among them, and be separate. . . . Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:17) This is a both a command and a promise of the Father himself!

(59) Notice that Yahweh says that HE will receive us if do separate ourselves from idols, such as the cross-idol. Likewise, this promise can be ours if we have to make a decision not to remain in a group that is involved in material worship of an organization, a man, or group of men. The leaders of such religious groups or organizations preach themselves. "We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants' for Christ's sake." We have Yahweh's promise that he will receive us! "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness (separateness to God) in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1.

(60) In withdrawing association from a group that continues in blatant idolatry, we should not want to leave them with the feeling that we are doing so just to be contentious. Rather, our attitude should be to still love them and aid all everywhere to repent. However, in many cases our actions will be misunderstood by those whose minds cannot see beyond the material which they often mistake for being spiritual.

(61) But where do we go if we find ourselves cut off from the brothers whom we have loved so well, perhaps for many years? We should still have love for them. But for their good and ours we need to let them know the truth. We will not encourage them to let go of material worship as long as they do not really see the need to do so. And if they see us as though we are going along with it, putting up with it, etc., they will not realize the seriousness of the matter. Thus we could not give our hand of full fellowship to such a group, even though we may be able to visit their meetings from time to time. We must remember Yahweh's promise that he will receive us. We will have to rely more than ever on his spirit and will be compelled to spend more and more of our time in study of His Word and in His service. We may have to do so alone for a time. It may take years. But eventually many of those who really belong to Yahweh will begin have their eyes opened. Thus you may be used by Yahweh to start a small congregation of disciples desiring true worship in your home, or in some other agreeable meeting place.

(62) Are we, then, suggesting a division amongst the brothers of Christ? Yes and no, depending on the manner of viewing the matter. Yes, Jesus said he came to cause division. "Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three." (Luke 12:51) His preaching caused division everywhere he preached. (John 7:43; 9:16; 10:19) Likewise, the apostles' preaching caused division. (Acts 28:25) Divisions will make manifest those approved by God. (1 Corinthians 11:19) Thus do not let any man rob you of serving in true worship, in spirit and truth, under the guise that one should remain loyal to a congregation, an organization, a popular fellowship, a prominent pastor, etc. This is NOT the way to have Yahweh's approval. At the same time, the holy spirit can work a unity amongst those who manifest the approval of Yahweh through worship in spirit and truth. Indeed, we believe we are entering the final harvest, wherein the final separation of the wheat and tares will be take place. (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43) The wheat represents those truly dedicated to Yahweh, the true sons of the kingdom living at the end of this age. (Matthew 13:38) These, we believe, will not be many compared to the massive numbers in the nominal churches.

(63) We have dealt with this at some length because we see that idolatry, that is, the deflection of love that should to go to Yahweh, will be a great test upon those professing to be God's people. Where does our affection really lie? Does it lie with material things we feel an affinity to? Do we mistake the feeling we receive from religious objects for true spirituality? Is our mind on the material -- adoring crosses, giving our sentiments over to pagan idols (Christmas trees, Valentine prayer-cards, Easter sunrise worship, etc.) and certain rituals? How important is this to you? More importantly, how important do you perceive this to be to Yahweh? -- 1 John 2:15.

--Ronald R. Day, revised March, 1994; June, 1995; January, 1997; June, 1999; May, 2002


Addendum:
Further Comments & Answers to Questions

Many point to historical records which use certain Greek and Hebrews words that are translated as "crucify" as proof that criminals were executed on a stake with a crossbeam. Crucifixion, as the word was used in Latin, does not necessarily mean to be put to death on a stake with a crossbeam, as it could also refer to being put on an upright stake. Thus looking back in historical records where the use of words that were translated into Latin by the various forms of *crux* do not necessarily prove that the shape of the instruments used had a crossbeam, or that they were in the shape of the Tau.

We are often given a lot questions and scriptures which many claim support the idea that Jesus died on a stake with a crossbeam. We will give some of these below with comments.

Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. The question is asked: If Jesus was put on an upright stake, then why does Thomas say "Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails..." In the Greek the word used here for "nails", helos, is in the plural. Therefore, there was more than one nail used in the hands of the crucifixion of Christ.

This is irrelevant to the whether the stauros had a crossbeam, as it only proves that "nails" [plural] were used in his hands. This could have happened by the nailing nails through each hand as they were extended upward on each side of an upright pole.

We are asked: If The Cross Was The Object Of Paganism Why Did Christ State The Following:
Christ tells us in Matthew 10:38 'and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.' And in Matthew 16:24 / Luke 9:23 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up the cross and follow me."

Matthew 10:38
kai hos ou lambanei ton stauron autou kai
AND WHO NOT IS TAKING THE STAKE OF HIM AND
2532 3739 3756 2983 3588 4716 0846_3 2532
akolouthei opisw mou ouk estin mou axios
IS FOLLOWING BEHIND ME, NOT IS OF ME WORTHY.
0190 3694 1473_2 3756 1510_2 1473_2 0514
http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2983
http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=4716

Every true follower of Christ should take up and bear his own stake as in sacrifice, that which he has in this life, so that he has supreme love for God through Jesus. Thus he must daily sacrifice all interest in this world, even though it bring opposition (even interest in one's own family), that he might be fully submissive to Christ. -- Matthew 10:37-39; 16:24-26; Luke 9:23-25.

These scriptures may or may not have reference to the Roman method of execution; it is certainly not referring to the exact instrument upon which Christ died, but rather our own person stauros in life.

We are told that Christ points out Luke 14:27: And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27
hostis ou bastazei ton stauron heautou kai
WHOEVER NOT IS CARRYING THE STAKE OF HIMSELF AND
3748 3756 0941 3588 4716 1438 2532
erchetai opisw mou ou dunatai einai mou
IS COMING BEHIND ME, NOT HE IS ABLE TO BE OF ME
2064 3694 1473_2 3756 1410 1511 1473_2
matheetees
DISCIPLE.
3101

Again, the reference is not to the death instrument of Jesus, but the taking up, or bearing as a sacrifice, of one's own interest in this world, no longer living for self, but for Christ. -- Luke 14:26,28-33.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me

Galatians 2:20
christw sunestaurwmai zw de ouketi
TO CHRIST I HAVE BEEN PUT ON STAKE TOGETHER. I AM LIVING BUT NOT YET
5547 4957 2198 1161 3765
egw zee de en emoi christos ho de nun zw
I, IS LIVING BUT IN ME CHRIST; WHICH BUT NOW I AM LIVING
1473 2198 1161 1722 1473_3 5547 3739 1161 3568 3569 2198
en sarki en pistei zw tee tou huiou tou
IN FLESH, IN FAITH I AM LIVING TO THE (ONE) OF THE SON OF THE
1722 4561 1722 4102 2198 3588 3588 5207 3588
theou tou agapeesantos me kai paradontos
GOD OF THE (ONE) HAVING LOVED ME AND HAVING GIVEN BESIDE
2316 3588 0025 1473_6 2532 3860
heauton huper emou
HIMSELF OVER ME.
1438 5228 1473_1

The above scripture is often presented to us as proof of the shape of the instrument upon which Jesus died. Yet, in actuality, Paul's use of the Greek word *sunestaurwmai* says nothing about the shape of the instrument upon which Jesus died.

Another scripture we are sometimes given is: Galatians 5:24: Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions & desires.

Galatians 5:24
hoi de tou christou ieesou teen sarka
THE (ONES) BUT OF THE CHRIST JESUS THE FLESH
3588 1161 3588 5547 2424 3588 4561
estaurwsan sun tois patheemasin kai tais
THEY PUT ON STAKE TOGETHER WITH THE PASSIONS AND THE
4717 4862 3588 3804 2532 3588
epithumiais
DESIRES.
1939

Again, Paul's use of the Greek word *estaurwsan* says nothing about the shape of the instrument upon which Jesus died. Sometimes we are given Galatians 6:14 along with such statements as: The only reason they do this [avoid usage of the cross] is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:14
emoi de mee genoito kauchasthai ei mee en tw
TO ME BUT NOT MAY IT OCCUR TO BE BOASTING IF NOT IN THE
1473_3 1161 3361 1096 2744 1487 3361 1722 3588 1487_1
staurw tou kuriou heemwn ieesou christou di hou
STAKE OF THE LORD OF US JESUS CHRIST, THROUGH WHOM
4716 3588 2962 1473_8 2424 5547 1223 3739
emoi kosmos estaurwtai kagw kosmw
TO ME WORLD HAS BEEN PUT ON STAKE AND I TO WORLD.
1473_3 2889 4717 2504 2889

Again, the use of the Greek words *staurw* and *estaurwtai* says nothing about the shape of the instrument upon which Jesus was put to death. The use of the word *staurw* in this sentence, however, relates to the act of being put on a stake, the actual sacrifice, and not to the actual instrument of death itself. Nevertheless, the emphasis that some place on this text does bring up the implication of cross idolatry as related to the cross-symbol itself.

Philippians 2:8: And being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on the cross!

Philippians 2:8
kai scheemati heuretheis hws anthrwpos etapeinwsen
AND TO FASHION HAVING BEEN FOUND AS MAN HE MADE LOWLY
2532 4976 2147 5613 0444 5013
heauton genomenos hupeekoos mechri thanatou
HIMSELF HAVING BECOME OBEDIENT UNTIL DEATH,
1438 1096 5255 3360 2288
thanatou de staurou
OF DEATH BUT OF STAKE;
2288 1161 4716

Again, there is nothing in this verse that shows that the shape of the instrument of death had a crossbeam.

(The Interlinear scriptures quotations above are taken from Westcott & Hort Greek / English Interlinear NEW TESTAMENT coded with Strong's numbers, as it appears on "The Bible Students Library" CD-ROM.)

Please note that we do not hold that the instrument upon which Jesus was put to death definitely did not have a crossbeam as the heathen tau idol; we only state that evidence is lacking that it did. It would appear to us that if the NT writers intended that we take the shape of the tau and use it in worship as the heathen religions did, then he would have referred to the instrument of Jesus' death as "tau" rather than stauros. Additionally, the Greek Tau (which symbol was worshipped) was translated into Latin as crux as well as was the Greek stauros -- both words are translated by the Latin word *crux*, which may be the way the Greek Tau shape was read back into the Greek word stauros.

We don't know for sure the shape of the death instrument upon which Jesus was put to death, but prefer to refer to it as stake, as this the most accurate translation, and usually turns one attention away from any idolatrous attitude toward a symbol.

The problem with use of the Cross symbol in worship is that it tends toward idolatry, as many tend to actually worship the symbol itself, which mimics the idolatrous worship of the heathen. Thus some often pray to the symbol, sing praises to it, put their trust and faith in it (rather than in the sacrifice which it is supposed to represent), use it for protection, to ward off evil, and even in exorcisms. Some even present gifts to the cross symbol. Many do not realize that the gifts presented before the Cross symbol in some churches actually mimics heathen practices that are still carried on today in pagan and heathen religious ceremonies.

Reading historical documents, it appears that the heathen who came into the church in the latter part of the first century and/or the early part of the second century continued the same idol worship of the Tau as before, only they supposedly did so to honor Christ. The Tau (Cross) is still worshipped in the churches to this day. To root this idolatry out of our hearts and to separate ourselves from participation in another's idolatry of the cross is of greater importance than the actual shape of the stauros.

Aren't you preaching another gospel by saying we should get rid of the Cross?

Part of the gospel message is to repent from dead works, which includes repentance from idolatry. (Matthew 3:1,2,7,8; 4:17; Luke 3:7,8; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 8:22; 26:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 6:1; 1 John 5:21) We should not want to accept Jesus as our savior without repentance and a sincere desire to obey to the good news.

However, there are many who view the Cross symbol itself as their protection and salvation -- their gospel. Such a message is not the good news which Jesus and his apostles preached. To preach this gospel of the cross - salvation in the cross symbol - is in itself another gospel. (2 Corinthians 11:4) Why? Because it diverts the focus from the act of Jesus' death -- his impalement -- for our salvation to the supposed instrument of his death. Such does promote an atmosphere to continue the reverential attitude toward the supposed Sacred (or Holy) Cross (remember the Sacred Tau?) that was practiced by the heathen long before Christ came.

Hasn't archaeology proven that Christ did die on a cross?

While there has been much said of the findings made by archaeologists, as far as we know all that they have actually found is that some form of impalement (crucifixion) was practiced by the Romans. (The word "crucifixion" is taken from the Latin crux, which does not necessarily mean a stake with a cross beam.) In 1968 a team of archaeologists did find a body of a man that had been impaled (or crucified). However, from what is presented, it appears that the archaeologists have just assumed that he was impaled on a stake with a crossbeam.

However, even if they did find conclusive evidence that Jesus did die on a stake with a crossbeam, this does not give us the right to disobey the many commands given in the Bible by adopting the pagan symbol of the Sacred Tau into our worship.

Doesn't the use of the word "nails" and the sign placed above his head indicate that Jesus was put to death on a cross, not an upright stake?

No, not necessarily. We realize that many have shown Jesus being impaled on an upright stake with his hands above his head with one nail going through both hands. And then they place the sign above his hands, not above his head. This does not accurately describe what is in the Bible, for the sign was place above his head, not above his hands. But this could still be true even is Jesus had been impaled on an upright stake rather than a cross. Assigning sides to the stake, one hand could have been nailed to one side, while the other hand could have been nailed to the other side, thus allowing the sign to be placed above Jesus' head (between his arms).

But as we have already stated, it is not the shape of the instrument of Jesus' death that is important. It is important that we keep ourselves from idolatry.

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Restoration Light
P.O. Box 2360
Philadelphia, PA 19103-0360 Fax: 413-825-6444
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