The Cross Is The Easy Yoke

“My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” Mt. 11:30.

This “easy yoke” is the cross. when we see the cross as a heavy yoke it is because we are blind to what He is saying here.

The hardest truth is the easiest.

His yoke is “easy” and His burden is “light” because taking up the cross is to receive a finished work. It is also about coming to Him, and knowing his energy within, being “filled with all the fullness of God” Eph. 3:19. The cross is an easy yoke because the yoke of the cross is about God “working in you both to will and to His good pleasure.” Php. 2:13 If we are not knowing His heart living through ours then we are missing the Truth; it is because we are not coming to Him.

Your daily cross is an easy yoke because it has already been accomplished. It is an eternal fact that you have already died and been raised out from the dead, in union with Jesus Christ. We have been brought to our end. He has carried you through into God’s beginning, into the New Creation. You are now IN Christ.

This is the only sure thing.

Three words:

“It is finished.”

Has the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection settled in you? His death is your death once for all.

It is done. All is complete. “And you are complete in Him” Col. 2:10.
Salvation is already perfect in the sight of God, because this Salvation is Christ Himself.

The only thing unsure about this reality is our own understanding of it.

The natural mind says that this finished work cannot be yours until you follow His example. And so religion tells us that we must take up our own crosses each day before salvation is ours. But in truth it is the cross of Christ that we are to be taking up each day. And this cross is a death with wings; it is rest for your soul.

At first glance there are plenty of Bible teachers with verses that seem to support the notion that following Him is a heavy slog, or an uphill battle. But I hope you will take some time and look at some of these passages and I pray that He will give revelation that we may let go of our religious understandings of “I die daily” 1 Cor. 15:31 KJV, and see the fact that,

“in Christ Jesus our Lord, my life is one long death.” 1 Cor. 15:31 BBE.

This is closer to Paul’s meaning. It is the once for all cross of Christ being glorified again in His saints.

Assuming that anyone desires to come after me as a follower of mine, let him disregard his own interests, and let him at once and once for all pick up and carry his cross day after day” Lk. 9:23 Wuest Expanded Translation

The daily cross and the cross of Christ are really one and the same death. Any death separate from union with Christ is worthless to God and man. And any death animated by our own sufficiency is a false cross.

Please don’t misunderstand where I am going with this. Our soul’s participation is certainly required in facing the cross of Christ, in continuing in His Word, we face our end continually, permanently. But the Holy Spirit never leads his own out from the sufficiency of God into the sufficiency of man. Even though so many so called leaders will point you this way.

In Christ you will never grow into a place where you be able to say, “I got this”. No. Face Him in this now, today, He alone has “got this”.

Peter was sure that his own might and dedication were sufficient enough to follow Jesus unto death.

“Peter said to Him, Lord, where do You go? Jesus answered him, Where I go you are not able to follow Me now, but afterwards you shall follow Me. Peter said to Him, Lord, why am I not able to follow You now? I will lay down my life for You! Jesus answered him,

Will you lay down your life for Me?

Indeed, I tell you truly, in no way shall a cock crow until you deny Me three times.” Jn. 13:36-38 LITV

We know how it ended. Peter was wrong. Peter was devastated.

No man can worship God with his own life.

Has the devastation of the cross reached into your soul once for all?

Peter did follow Him afterwards. Afterwards he was made to see his death inwardly. After he had no life left to lose. And eventually he did follow Jesus. “Afterwards” he died by the Spirit. But he had to first face the complete inability to take up the cross in his own sufficiency. When he followed unto a physical death, Peter asked to be crucified upside down because he knew that his external cross was by no mean the ultimate sacrifice. In truth Peter had died long before He was crucified upside down.

“Who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his deathS.”Isaiah 53:8-9

In Hebrew the word death is plural here. Because Jesus died all our “deathS”

Watchman Nee said,

“Many a time when preaching in the villages of China one has to use very simple illustrations for deep Divine truth. I remember once I took up a small book and put a piece of paper into it, and I said to those very simple ones,

`Now look carefully. I take a piece of paper. It has an identity of its own, quite separate from this book. Having no special purpose for it at the moment I put it into the book.

Now I do something with the book. I post it to Shanghai. I do not post the paper, but the paper has been put into the book. Then where is the paper? Can the book go to Shanghai and the paper remain here? Can the paper have a separate destiny from the book?

No!

Where the book goes the paper goes. If I drop the book in the river the paper goes too, and if I quickly take it out again I recover the paper also. Whatever experience the book goes through the paper goes through with it, for it is in the book.’

“Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus.” 1 Cor. 1:30

The Lord God Himself has put us in Christ, and in His dealing with Christ God has dealt with the whole race. Our destiny is bound up with His. What He has gone through we have gone through, for to be `in Christ’ is to have been identified with Him in both His death and resurrection. He was crucified: then what about us? Must we ask God to crucify us?

Never!

When Christ was crucified we were crucified; and His crucifixion is past, therefore ours cannot be future.

I challenge you to find one text in the New Testament telling us that our crucifixion is in the future. All the references to it are in the Greek aorist, which is the `once-for-all’ tense, the `eternally past’ tense. (See: Romans 6:6; Galations 2:20; 5:24; 6:14). And just as no man could ever commit suicide by crucifixion, for it were a physical impossibility to do so, so also, in spiritual terms,

God does not require us to crucify ourselves.

We were crucified when He was crucified, for God put us there in Him. That we have died in Christ is not merely a doctrinal position it is an eternal fact”–Whatchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life.

There is no special group of people who have grown up to the place where they can demonstrate His presence in a way that flesh and blood can witness it. He is only known by revelation. This is the only foundation of His Church. His called out, Body is knowing His heart living within. It is done. And so you still cannot crucify yourself.

Whatchman Nee was not teaching his way out of responsibility to demonstrate Christ outwardly. He was saying that this inward death cleans the whole cup and dish. He had already faced his end as a finished work. He had no life left to lose. And eventually “Afterwards” by the Spirit, he also followed Jesus in physical death. But it never was about the external. It is always about the heart.

When brother Nee described a “once for all” Greek tense form he is telling us that the Holy Spirit is describing the whole big picture to us from the beginning the end.

WHAT IS THIS AORIST TENSE?

Greek is more descriptive than English in that it has tense forms that English doesn’t have.

“The aorist tense expresses punctiliar action. Indeed the word aoristos [aorist] means without limit, unqualified, undefined – which of course is the significance of punticiliar action”.– SYNTAX OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK, James A. Brooks, Carlton L. Winber, University Press of America, pp. 98

Con Campbell analogized the the aorist tense to be like being in a helicopter over a parade, looking at the parade as a whole.

When they put satellites into orbit they are there for good. As long as no outside force acts on them, they can remain in a higher orbit, theoretically maintenance free, for thousands of years. But this present state persists only because of a past finished work. The Greek Aorist tense form describes the whole matter.

The Aorist tense is much more than the past tense. It describes both the present and future result of a past action. It suggests both the cause and the effect. It is a great summation of all.

The Hebrew word for “do” is similar in that it suggests more than just an external action. It is the same word as is used for “bear.” As in, only a fruit bearing tree “bears” or “does” fruit. The Hebrew word for doing requires a certain kind to be the source of the doing. And so the bad tree must be cut down and replaced with a different kind of tree, the good tree will bear good fruit. There is no expectation of the bad tree “doing” good fruit.

So repentance is all about changing the kind of a man, the focus is not on changing his works. So every “do” written in the Old Testament pointed toward the The eternal Life of the Son of God.

When it is writen “This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased ” (Matt 3:17). I AM is in this Aorist tense form. So it is not just saying that God “was” pleased with Jesus, But that He is perpetually pleasing to the Father because he came out from the Father.

Look at how the Greek Professor Kenneth Wuest tries to show us the Aorist’s big picture in this verse,

“and we being dead with respect to our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ; by grace have you been saved completely in past times, with the present result that you are in a state of salvation which persists through present time” Ephesians 2:5-10,
Wuest.

In every place the letter of scripture describes the daily cross and the cross of Christ are one and the same death, once and for all.

If we see this daily cross as a seperate death, the finished work of Christ is minimized into a salvation that requires our choice or application. This is a false cross. This is a cross that has been severed from its origin. This is from “not holding the head” , and is the conclusion of the natural mind.

BUT WHENEVER CHRIST OUR LIFE APPEARS, BY THE SPIRIT, WE SEE THE ONLY TRUE EVIDENCE THAT WE ARE NOW, ONCE FOR ALL, DEAD AND RISEN IN CHRIST JESUS!

But I can not bring about this appearing. I can only testify of Him and show how the letter of scripture also testifies of His appearing in you.

It also testifies of a oneness of a daily expression of a once for all death with Christ. In other words, each day we come and see a death that has been accomplished once and for all time in Christ.

Religion interprets Paul as describing dying a new death each day. But Paul described daily facing the eternal fact that he had already “died once for all.”

“Who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his deathS.”Isaiah 53:8- 9

Jesus died our “deathS”

So many see the cross as an example for us to follow. It is suggested that because Jesus was obedient to death that we should also crucify our crabbiness each day (as if our soul springs back to life every morning and so we must re-crucify it. But this is another false cross.

The daily death that Jesus requires is not a new imitation of His death, It is a present expression of the one past death

The daily cross and the cross of Christ are one and the same death.

Kenneth Wuest was a Greek professor for more than thirty years. Here is how he translated these verses,

“Assuming that anyone desires to come after me as a follower of mine, let him disregard his own interests, and let him at once and once for all pick up and carry his cross day after day” Lk. 9:23 Wuest Expanded Translation

“How is it possible for us, such persons as we are, who have been seperated once for all from the sinful nature, any longer live in its grip? Do you not know that all we who were placed in Christ Jesus in His death were placed? We therefore were entombed with Him through this being placed in His death in order that in the same manner as there was raised Christ out from among those who are dead through the glory of the Father, thus also we by means of a new Life imparted may order our behavior” Rom. 6:1-4 Wuest

For the death He died, He died with respect to the sinful nature once and for all. But the Life He lives He Lives with respect to God. Thus also as for you, you be constantly counting upon the fact that on the one hand you are those who have been seperated from the sinful nature, and, on the other, that you are living ones with respect to God in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 6:10-11 Wuest

“Therefore Now, there is not even one bit of condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit that of the Life in Christ Jesus freed you once for all from the law of the sinful nature and of death.” Romans. 8:1-2… “but as for you you are not in the sphere of the sinful nature but in the sphere of the Spirit”vs.5 ….”Moreover those whom He thus marked out beforehand, these He also summoned. And those who he summoned, these He also Justified moreover, Those whom He justified, these He also Glorified.”Rom. 8:30 Wuest

“You have put off once for all reference to your former manner of life the old self who is being corrupted according to the passionate desires of deceit, moreover that you are constantly renewed with reference to the spirit of your mind; and that you have put on once for all the new self who after God was created in righteousness and holiness of truth.” Eph 4:22 Wuest.

“In view of the fact, therefore, that to you were raised with Christ, the things above be constantly seeking, where Christ is, on the right hand of God, seated. The things above be constantly setting your mind upon, not the things on the earth; FOR YOU DIED, and your Life has been hidden with Christ in God. Whenever the Christ is made visible, our Life, Then also you with Him shall be manifested in Glory.
By a once-for-all act, and at once, put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, impurity, depraved passion, wicked craving and avarice which is of such a nature as to be idolatry. Because of which things there comes the wrath of God. In the sphere of which things also also you ordered your behaivior at one time when you were living in them. But now put away once-for-all, and at once, also all these things.” Col 3:1-6 Wuest

In this way this daily cross is not a new death or a new work of God every day, but the present expression of the Lamb of God’s death once and for all.

It is only our heart that dithers: “there are no absolutes,” “Nothing is written in stone,”or “Surely I must have a part in this”?

But in truth it’s all Him. We can only lay down our life because it is already laid down. So,

We love Him because He first loved us” 1Jn. 4:19

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The One Thing

As a young man, I set out to seek the Lord with all my heart. But I shortly found myself bogged down in empty religion. I felt that I was in disobedience whenever I wasn’t occupied with what seemed to me, to be “spiritual” activities. I would refuse employment if it interfered with “praying without ceasing”. Whenever I failed to bring Christ into conversation with complete strangers I felt regret and shame. I lived in community, and went to a bible college run by a missionary organization. Of course, watching TV was a sin, and I was open with others about my disapproval of their behavior. One night when my roommates were watching their television they reported that it fell face down, smoked, and never worked again. I was blamed for praying against the television. Though I wasn’t praying for the television to break or bow down in any way, I still felt proud. I fasted weeks in hopes of learning the will of God for my life. But I still felt I failed God because I could never seem to fast the forty days as Jesus did.

My experience was not all goodness either. When I was successful I felt proud, and when I failed I was ashamed because self was always still at work in me. It was often like running a marathon in my own holiness just to fall exhausted again into rebellion and self consciousness.

At times I sought Him with all my heart, but my running was always in my own heart and in my own strength. All of it fell short of Him and His Glory. Instead of finding Christ, I had embraced a kind of Christian asceticism.

These were some of my favorite words in the bible because I saw them justifying my so called “spiritual disciplines”.

Do you not see that in a running competition all take part, but only one gets the reward? So let your minds be fixed on the reward. And every man who takes part in the sports has self-control in all things. Now they do it to get a crown which is of this world, but we for an eternal crown. So then I am running, not uncertainly; so I am fighting, not as one who gives blows in the air: But I give blows to my body, and keep it under control, for fear that, after having given the good news to others, I myself might not have God’s approval.” 1 Cor. 9:24-27 BBE

I was sure that Paul was teaching that serving God required giving our flesh a good beating regularly and it says just that, but I would like you to prayerfully consider another meaning to these words.

The translators of the BBE do well to show us that Paul was pointing us to Christ when he wrote “let your minds be fixed on the reward.”

Paul is consistent about his racing technique. In the beginning of this same letter He writes,

“I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”1Cor. 2:2

His determination is not against the flesh but toward directing his focus. Paul is saying that one thing is required: knowing The Lord.

When he writes, “I therefore run not uncertainly” as in other places, He is saying,

“This one thing I do , forgetting the things behind, and stretching forward to those things before, I press on after the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” Php.3:13-14.

It is the same lesson as Peter walking on the waves. Look to Him and your saved, Look away and you sink.

Mary and Martha had this lesson. Only one thing is necessary” Lk. 10:42

Running uncertainly is minding other things: things behind. Minding other competitors. Minding the spectators, looking at the great cloud of witnesses that surround the race. Any distraction will slow our pace.

Even minding our own flesh. Paul is not advocating asceticism for
the Corinthians and at the same time discouraging it for the Colossians.

“These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” Col. 2:23

I have been working with my son Zion, on his bating practice. We all have to get past thinking about how we are standing or holding the bat….all that. The only technique is looking away from our technique. Nothing works except keeping your eye on the ball. Same analogy.

All methods fail. Look to the Mark.

The mark is Christ in you. The self discipline that is required is the directing of our focus.

We are too soft on ourselves about the one thing.

It is about fixing our eyes on Jesus. This beating of the body is still part of the analogy. It is to be applied to the focus of our heart. It is a determination not to know any other thing except Christ and Him crucified. It is about looking steadfastly to the end, the children of natural Israel missed His visitation because they “could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.” 2 Cor. 3:13

What is abolished? The administration of death, the body of death, Adam has been done away. The first man has been brought to his expected end and so have all his trappings. All men, the world, the Law. ALL! So look away unto Jesus.

“Be running in such a manner as the One Who WON the race” Wuest.

You have Christ. So, you have what it takes. We are not attempting to become something we are not. This is not about striving for it, It is not about trying, but in focusing on the fact that in Christ you are already triumphant. This is the same author who writes,

“Let us be running the race lying before us, looking off and away to Jesus.” Heb. 12:1-2 Wuest.

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Now is Come Salvation

Salvation is now.

“I heard a great voice saying in Heaven, NOW has come the salvation and power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ, because the accuser of our brothers is thrown down.” Rev. 12:10

Jesus spoke in Isaiah,

“NOW, says YHWH Who formed Me from the womb” Is. 49:5

The One Who is formed “from the womb” is Christ in you. This womb is not natural the womb of Mary. He is being formed within the Church for His Appearing. As in,

“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,” Gal. 4:19

We suppose we are a servant of the Lord. We all want to serve Him with our lives, but Christ alone is God’s servant. I can only serve as a vessel of the Life of His Servant..

“NOW, says YHWH Who formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him: Though Israel is not gathered” Isaiah 49:5

Though natural Israel would not be gathered into Him, He is NOW the true Spiritual Israel in Whom you are made members of Zion, the heavenly Israel.

“now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh.” Eph. 2:13

Christ in Isaiah goes on to say,

“yet I am honored in the eye of YHWH, and My God is My strength. And He said, It is too little that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You for a light of the nations, that You may be My salvation to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:5-6

Salvation is a person. He is Christ in you. And your salvation is sure; as sure as Christ Himself living in you.

You are not in the process of being saved. Salvation is in you. You are in the processes of having your salvation revealed in you.

“By grace you have been saved in time past completely, through faith, with the result that your salvation persists through the present time; and this [salvation] is not from you as a source; of God it is the gift” Eph. 2:6 Wuest

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The Son of Her Womb

What is the love of God?

It is Christ in you.

“I have been put to death
on the cross with Christ;
so I am living;
and yet it is no longer I,
but Christ Who lives in me;
and the Life I now live in the flesh,
I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and
gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:20

What is the faith of The Father?

It is His exclusive determination to know His Son in you.

“Sing for joy, O heavens,
and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains,
into singing!

For I AM has comforted His people
and has compassion
on His crushed Ones.

But Zion said,
“I AM has forsaken me;
YHWH has forgotten me.”

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on
the Son of her womb?

Even though man forgets,

I do not forget You.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”
Isaiah 49:13-16

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The Man of Faith

“And answering, Jesus said to them, ‘Have faith OF God'” Mk. 11:22 LITV.

Unless God is the source of the faith in you, you will be tossed by every wind of doctrine. If you are the source of your faith, your faith will be as shaky as you are. Unless Christ in you be the One you trust, then it is up to you to keep faith. Can you keep your faith in faithfulness?

For some time I did factory work in Little Rock. I worked 12 hour swing shifts and it was too far to drive the two hours home. So I got an apartment in town and came home on the weekends. This went on for years.

They said, you must have “great faith” in your wife.

Great faith has never been necessary because I have a great wife. If you have had much relationship with my wife you also understand why I rest assured.

Before I knew Christ in His appearing I was part of the “faith movement”. I sought out “word of faith” teachers to encourage my faith. My ignorance of the greatness of Christ left me with insecurities that made it necessary to aspire to greater faith.

But when I was turned to see Him, what a rest I found! How great a Christ I have seen! He was the end of my faith movement. And so the faith of the Son of God began to replace my empty beliefs about God.

“With Christ I have been crucified, and live no more do I, and Christ doth live in me; and that which I now live in the flesh–in The faith I live of the Son of God, who did love me and did give Himself for me” Gal. 2:20 YLT.

Now it is Him and His faith living and growing within. Me and my faith have come to the cross. Jesus is the Man of Faith and Power. This Man is in You. Look for His Appearing.

By His Appearing my need for great faith ended in a true relationship with a far greater Christ.

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The Love of Christ Constrains

“The love of Christ constrains us, having judged this, that if One died for all, then the all died” 2 Cor. 5:14

The Love of Christ constrains. His wrath does not constrain. Fear does not constrain. Our own will power does not constrain. Not discipline. Not loyalty or gratitude. It is the love of Christ that constrains. Nothing of our own. Just Christ living, reigning.

Love.

He is the answer. He is the Love of God. The judgement of His Life is Love. It is Him. This One completely emptied of self and utterly given to be our only Life before God. To hear Him is to hear the trumpet call of God. To see Him is to be taken out of His way; to be caught up to meet The Lord in the air.

ALL DIED!

Now you can just live any way you want?

You have yet to hear this trumpet. You have not seen this One. You do not have a life apart from Him.

Death a loophole?

Turn to see the judgment of the cross. It is the judgment of Love. In being made to see the Lamb of God we live no more.

Turn and behold the otherness of Christ!

Let go.

All is fraud till He is come. He is in you. Nothing of our own. The truth is Christ alone.

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