When the phrase ‘enemies of the cross of Christ’ is mentioned, what readily comes to mind are the people persecuting Christians because of their faith, especially missionaries in the ten-forty windows of the world, stretching from Northern Africa to Middle East and Asia, being killed for preaching Christ. But the greatest opposition to Christianity from history immemorial is not outside the Church, but within, just like the greatest enemy of Jesus was among His disciples.
This is also one of the greatest successes and achievements of Satan (as if he has any); to make Christians believe that the enemies of the cross are outside the church. God clearly said through prophet Jeremiah that: “among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men” (Jer. 5:26). The enemy is always within. A popular Africa adage says “if the death within does not kill, the death without cannot kill” or “the enemy is without, but the destroyer is within”.
It was not the Gentiles that gave Jesus away, but the Jews, the priests and the High Priests. They handed him over to the Roman powers and swore that His blood should be on them and their descendants, and so has it been ever since.
Pilate, willing to release Jesus; said to them: “whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him… But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus... Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children” (Mat. 27:17-25).
The offspring of the organized religious settings of Jesus’ days are the denominational churches of today and are inheritors of the curse of their fathers. If Jesus called their fathers children of the devil (Jn.8:44), then, they are descendants of the devil. They killed Jesus, brutally massacred His disciples and also killed many of the saints of the early church up to the dark ages and beyond, where the blood of the saints flowed freely and became the fertilizer upon which the seed of the Gospel was planted, courtesy of the signature of the Pope and the Church of Rome.
Their offspring also are silently killing saints today by feeding them poison in the name of breakthrough and prosperity messages, destroying their eternity with inanities. They can do no better because the curse is genetic. If their fathers were murderers, they also will be and they are. Their platform is their ministry and their system is laws, creeds, tenets and doctrines, peculiar to their church. They lure and capture the souls of the simple by preaching Christ’s benefits at the expense of the cross. Paul warned the Roman church that “they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (Rom 16:18). They make people Christians by commitment to their denomination but prevent personal relationship with Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church killed more saints than Islam or other ‘enemies’ ever did in history. Though their motive was to ‘defend The Faith’, but they ended up defending religion and murdering faith just like their predecessors murdered Jesus, thinking they were doing God a service. Jesus’ teaching was a radical departure to their traditional messages. Their gathering was a den of thieves, God gamblers, money changers and fashion freaks, just as it is today; serving God in exchange for breakthrough and blessing.
Paul was also part of the company, consenting to the death of Stephen and many others. He even got permission to kill as many as possible and was on the way to carrying it out when he met the Lord on the way to Damascus and obtained mercy. He confessed that he did it in ignorance (1Ti 1:13), thinking he was doing the best for God, just like denominations today have flowing membership to achieve their purpose of building personal empire, totally different from the spiritual work which Christ came for, but of great benefit to their organization, not knowing that it is kicking against the thorns ( ). The spirit behind is always sincere, but sincerely wrong.
It is difficult for many to decipher the thin but fine line separating Faith and Religion. Jesus asked in Luke 18:8: “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth”? The Faith, not Christianity. Faith is relationship with Jesus, Christianity is a religion about Christ. Christ did not call us to be Christians, He called us to follow Him (Mat.4:19). Millions of Christians will go to hell as much as millions of Muslims and other religions will. No religion, including Christianity leads to God. Only Jesus saves, not Christianity. Those who present Christianity as the way to God, instead of Jesus are enemies of the cross because they make the work of Christ on Calvary of no effect. Becoming a Christian means accepting Him as Saviour, but following Him means accepting Him as Lord. It is not only in the talk but in the walk. They love Christ’s benefits, but loathe the experience of the cross.
Christ is asking if He would find The Faith, such as was described in Jude 1:3: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”. The Faith was delivered to the saints and not the church. This is a mystery many find difficult to unravel. It is when the saints come together that they become the church. Jesus did not give power to the church as an organization or denomination or even to a leader of such, He gave His power to His people who believe in Him not in the church, the saints, who, when they come together, are recognized as the true church of Christ. The gathering is the church, not denomination.
Jesus did not deliver the truth to the organized religious settings of His days, because they would not receive it because it would not pass their doctrinal and denominational tests, just like many cannot function in any denomination today without passing through certain programs approved by the leadership. They rejected Jesus because His teaching did not sync with their tenets and He did not acknowledge them or submit his teaching to them.
Jesus rejoiced in the spirit and “at that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes”(Mat 11:25). It is only “babes” that can receive Faith, not people who have burdened themselves with denominational and theological titles and multiple certifications and degrees in many cemeteries called seminaries. Faith is a revelation, just like Peter, by revelation told Jesus, “thou art the Christ, the son of the living God” (Mt.16:16). Such revelation comes from God and not observance or conforming to denominational laws of a church or completion of a Believers Class or Bible School with gradual promotion to becoming a deacon, elder, pastor, etc. Faith in Christ humbles us enough to be and remain bondservants of the Lord like the Apostles and not title holders. The more faith we have, the less titles we posses.
Enemies of the cross are not outside the church, but within. They profess Christ as Saviour, but will not follow Him as Lord. They know Christ as the Messiah, but do not recognize Him in their midst because He has not conformed to the founders laid down rules and doctrines of the church. When Christ began to speak the truth to the organized church of His days, He became their enemies and they sought to kill Him. Christ deals with individuals not denominations. He came to call people out of it to follow Him.
Membership of a Church or following a Bishop is not the way, Jesus is. They hated Jesus for depleting their membership which they have struggled to build and maintain with laws, creeds, tenets and doctrines. How dared him? If Jesus was truly the Messiah, He must come to them and conform to their system, understudy their operation and follow their laws. But instead, Jesus would have nothing to do with them, but rather called common fishermen to follow Him. He’s busy doing the same today; calling ‘common’ men, ‘babes’ out of denominations to Himself to follow and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The Mary-way is still the only way to Jesus; sitting still at His feet to learn and not laboring to cook meal He would not eat, when He has more food to give to us than we have to give to Him. He is not asking us to do great work for Him but to sit quietly at His feet and learn from Him.
The organized, man-led church is quietly the Faith with their bread and butter messages whose only benefit is to lure victims to their membership through different programs instead of pointing them to Jesus and encouraging them to develop relationship with Him. God is not interested in organizations and with methods and strategies of growing their church, but individuals in the spirit of John the Baptist with burning passion for the perishing, whose only message is to point people away from denominations to Jesus: People without any denominational bias, but Christ and Him alone. Those who recognize the leaders of man-led churches as generations of vipers (serpent) are warning people to run from them, repent and be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Luke 3:16).
The message of the cross is too precious than prosperity and breakthrough. Jesus did not come for such temporal thing but to set people free from the bondage of religion and sin, and give hope of eternal life. Reducing the mission of Jesus to breakthrough services is enmity to the cross of Christ and an aberration to the travail of Jesus on the cross. Many innocent souls end up in the net of impostors with sinister ambition for fame, power and wealth accumulated for generations to come, when even members cannot afford daily food or education for their children, yet, they are witchcrafted into giving more, so that they can receive breakthrough which never came since they have been captured in such enclaves.
The church of today declares God’s present love but hide His eternal wrath. Commitment to the church and membership are being retailed for breakthrough. The sacrifice and death of Jesus has been reduced to stupid quotes, rhymes, prophetic words of wisdom, positive confession and breakthrough services. Sundays are time to receive prophetic utterances from the man of God who is more of a motivational speaker than Gospel preacher, charming people with display of wealth, when the souls of those Jesus died for perish in the field with no one to preach to them.
Such gathering is not the church of Jesus, but enemy of the cause of Jesus’ death. The True Church is concerned with souls and it is a pure spiritual experience which we cannot join or begin, but can only express when we gather together looking unto His face, not following a program or service. We are not just to know Him and desire his benefits, but to have fellowship with Him. It is not about the power of His resurrection only, but the fellowship of His suffering (Phil.3:10).
Doctrines, laws, creeds and programs through organized leadership with its hierarchical structures which gives no place to the Holy Spirit have done greater havoc to the true church of Christ than Islam has ever done. They make people feel religious but not spiritual. They teach information about Christ but never formation in Christ. Jesus did not found any organization and did not ask us to join any, but to follow Him - Him is Him! Jesus owns the church, not the pastor founders, board or elders.
Enemies of the cross are Christians who take the step of faith, but never the walk of faith. They hear but don’t do; they talk, but don’t walk; they listen but don’t obey; they come to Him, but don’t follow Him. It is true that you are a Christian but if all you do is to follow denominations, doctrine or religion, you are an enemy of the cross, for that is not why Jesus died. It is not about your church, it is about Him. The cross and the man that died for you is all you need, not the doctrines of your denomination. If that could save you, then, Christ needn’t have died. You do not need membership of a church owned by eloquent orators, who use the name of Jesus to lead souls to their outfit instead of to Christ. “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple”. “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ”(Rom. 16:18; Php. 3:18).
Enemies of the cross are those who posses zeal for Christ and doing great works, building denominations and religious institutions for Him, neglecting the simple call of Jesus to follow Him. The only message Jesus gave to all the disciple as He called them was “Follow me and I will make you”. The call is still valid today; otherwise, we become an enemy of the cross. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the Church!