The Truth About the Cross
The image of the cross is widely associated with the Messiah, commonly called "Christ." Having been presented as the instrument upon which He exemplified His greatest teaching, the image has effectively absorbed those most noble ideals which He embodied. Incidentally, many find great comfort in the image of the cross.
It's viewed as "the ultimate symbol of God's love...Christ's obedience,...[and] as such, it becomes a model for Christian existence (Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, p. 213).
"The symbol of ... the thankful believer's unreserved commitment to Christian discipleship. To those who know the salvation that Christ has gained for us through His death, it is a 'wondrous cross' indeed." (Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 315).
Considering the extreme partiality toward the cross it is only reasonable to presume that anyone questioning that partiality will be met with great opposition. Nevertheless, let's take a look into this belief for ourselves. As we shall see, this is not a trivial matter.
I heard a sermon once about "bearing the cross." The pastor set forward quite a motivational sermon on how we will suffer if we follow in the footsteps of Messiah. After this, I went back to get my concordance and looked up all of the Scriptures which talk about "bearing the cross," as the excited pastor explained. They read as follows in the KJV:
>And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me (Matthew 10:38).
Then said [Yahshua] unto His disciples, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).
And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, "Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Mark 8:34).
Then [Yahshua], looking at the rich young ruler, said unto him, "One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross and follow Me" (Mark 10:21).
And He said to them all, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23).
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:27).
After reading all of these verses and others speaking of the persecution of the cross (Galatians 6:12), I felt good. The whole message about suffering for Messiah, the Truth, OUR Righteousness was edifying. And all these things I then saw reflected in the image of the cross. But then I found out that the word actually used in the Scriptures does not even mean "cross."
According to the Young's Analytical Concordance, the Greek word is stauros. Young's defines it as simply meaning a "stake." He does not list "cross" as a meaning of stauros and this is significant because Young's states he gives only "the literal and primitive meaning... which after all, will be found to form the best and indeed the only safe and solid basis for theological deductions." (Prefatory Note to the First Edition). Young's testimony is confirmed by many other competent witnesses.
"Literally, the word...referred to a pointed stake used for various purposes, including agonizing execution." (Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, p. 555).
"Both the noun stauros and the verb stauroo, to fasten to a stake or pole, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two-beamed cross." (Vines Expository Dictionary).
"The Greek word...properly signified a stake, an upright pole, a piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling a piece of ground." (Imperial Bible Dictionary, vol. 1, p.376).
"From a Biblical perspective the Greek word stauros denotes an 'upright stake'...—not a cross—agreeing with the Aramaic [Peshitta text-The Messiah] was put on an upright stake, not 'cross-ified.'"(Andrew Gabriel Roth, Aramaic English New Testament, app., p. 916, 76).
"An upright wooden stake or post on which condemned people were executed." (Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 313)
"The Greek word stauros means staff, stake , pole, or beam, corresponding to the Hebrew word nas, which the serpent Nehushtan was lifted up with in the desert (John 3:14, Numbers 21:9; 2 Kings 18:4)." (Lew White, Fossilized Customs, 8th ed., p.114).
"The word stauros denotes an upright pale or stake, to which criminals were nailed for execution...The verb stauroo means to drive stakes. Our English word 'cross' is the translation of the Latin crux; but the Greek stauros no more means a crux than the word 'stick' means a 'crutch.'" (Dr. Bullinger, The Companion Bible, app. 162).
From the foregoing cloud of witnesses it should be clear that the term stauros properly, literally , and originally signifies a "stake." However, there are some references which also list "cross" as another meaning of stauros. For instance, the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and the Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon.
Tellingly though, even these references only list "cross" after "stake." This is because dictionaries always list primary meanings first. Thus Strong's and Thayer's are admitting that "cross" is inferior.
"Greek dictionaries, lexicons and other study books also declare the primary meaning of stauros to mean upright pale, post or stake. The secondary meaning of cross is admitted by them to be a 'later rendering.'" (C.J. Koster, Come Out of Her My People, p. 30).
Rather than simply relying on some scholars' opinions we can look to the usage in ancient writings to verify the true original meaning of stauros.
"Homer uses the word stauros of an ordinary pole or stake, or a single piece of timber. And this is the meaning and usage of the word throughout the Greek classics. It never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always of one piece alone." (Dr. Bullinger, the Companion Bible, app. 162).
In Thayer's, under stauros he lists four ancient authorities which used the term to refer to a "stake" (Gr. #4716). These individuals lived between 900-400 BCE. However, Thayer's does not list a single ancient authority (from before Yahshua) to support the supposed "secondary meaning" of stauros , namely "cross." This is because there are no such witnesses extant.
The writings of Josephus, Wars, bk.5 ch11, v.1 and Philo, Flaccus, p732 mention "crosses" and "crucifixion" in our English translations of them. This adds nothing to the desperate case for the cross. Neither of these writings mention anything other than stauros or stauron and stauroo. They did not write in Latin and thus didn't mention any crux. The fact that (Christian) translators also mistranslated stauros as "cross" here proves nothing.
On the other hand, the writings of Josephus actually show that—contrary to the common consensus—the Romans didn't just follow a single pattern of execution (as has been presumed for many years).
"So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses [literally "stakes"], by way of jest." (Josephus, Wars, bk. 5., ch. 11, v.1).
That is to say, "the procedure was subject to wide variation" (Harper-Collins Bible Dictionary, p. 211). Nevertheless, "even among the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole" (Imperial Bible Dictionary, vol. 1, p. 376).
"Gunnar Samuelsson– a theologian at the University of Gothenburg and author of a 400 page thesis on crucifixion in antiquity...[made the] discovery that crucifixion may have been an unusual form of punishment in the Roman Empire. Descriptions of crucifixions contained in the thousands of Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin and Greek manuscripts he examined most commonly referred to dead prisoners being placed on some form of suspension device, or living captives skewered on stakes." (AOLNEWS.com, "Little Evidence Jesus Died on a Cross," June 27, 2010).
For a considerable amount of time it has been simply presumed that the cross was the routine mode of execution among the Romans. This is why you will hear talk about the "cross-bar" which Simon the Cyrenian was compelled to help Messiah carry. However, according to the Scriptures, it was not a "cross-bar" but the stauros (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:2 in the Greek). What they carried is what the Master gave His life upon (Matthew 27:40-42 in the Greek). This "cross-bar" foolishness is simply a wrong presumption interjected into the Scriptures.
"Before the [presumed?] manner of [Yahshua's] death caused the cross to symbolize the very heart of the Christian faith, the Greek word...referred primarily to a pointed stake used in rows to form the walls of a defensive stockade." (Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 313).
"It is not a little misleading upon the part of our teachers to translate the word stauros as 'cross'...and to support that action by putting 'cross' in our lexicons as the meaning of stauros without carefully explaining that that was at any rate not the primary meaning of the word in the days of the Apostles...[and] only because, despite the absence of corroborative evidence, it was for some reason or other assumed that the particular stauros upon which [Yahshua] was executed had that particular shape."(J. D. Parsons, The Non-Christian Cross, p. 23-24).
It was simply assumed that the instrument the Master was executed on looked like a cross. And since this instrument is called in (the Greek copies of) the Scriptures a stauros, they presumed that stauros must then mean "cross." However, "there is nothing in the Greek of the New Testament even to imply two pieces of timber." (Dr. Bullinger, the Companion Bible, app. 162).
"There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which...bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of [Yahshua] was anything other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross..." (J.D. Parsons, The Non-Christian Cross, p. 23-24).
Even if we were to accept—for arguments sake and absent any real evidence—that stauros may also mean "cross" as listed in Strong's and Thayer's, then we still have to ask, why it is that this secondary meaning is universally chosen over the primary, literal, and original significance of the word? The answer is tradition.
Significantly, the fundamental link between stauros and "stake" is also confirmed through etymology. According to Strong's the term stauros (#4716) comes from stao (#2476), which implies "to cause to stand." The American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.) lists sta, meaning "to stand; with derivatives meaning 'place or thing that is standing'" under Appendix 1: Indo-European Roots. This Indo-European root descends to us in just about all of our English words with "st" (American Heritage College Dictionary, 3rd ed.). Thayer's lists three references detailing this etymology under stauros (Gr. #4716). They even connect it to "staff." This root is specifically determined to be "from [the] Greek stauros" (American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed., p.2048-2049).
So we can see that "stake" (and even "post") are actually akin to stauros itself. There is no reason to choose a foreign word (like the Latin crux) to translate stauros when "stake" and "post" are so analogous. You can check every single thesaurus and find that stake, pole or post will all list each other as synonyms. However, none will list cross. Incidentally, cross will not list any of them as synonyms either. So we can say, factually, that cross is a later addition to the original and true meaning of stauros. With all of this in mind it's interesting to consider how the word "cross" first intruded into the Scriptures.
"The word 'cross' came into the Latin translation when Jerome translated the Greek word stauros...Catholicism considers this to be 'inspired.' ...This was an important shift in the meaning of the original word." (Lew White, Fossilized Customs, 8th ed. p. 56).
The version Jerome worked on is commonly called the Latin Vulgate. According to V. Knox, Lord's Supper xvii, wks, 1824, VIII,423, "...the Vulgate Bible [was] for ages the only Bible of the people." (Compact Oxford English Dictionary, p. 786). That is to say, for some time, this version occupied a position of regard similar to the popular King James Version of today. Ever since the Vulgate's completion near the end of the fourth century nearly every "Believer" has held to the erroneous belief in the "cross," presuming the Scriptures confirmed it.
When the Vulgate introduced the cross into the Scriptures it did not do so in an attempt to accurately reflect the meaning of the Greek term stauros. Several proofs confirm this.
First, consider that although stauros is a Greek word, there is an identical cognate—namely stauro—in the Latin language (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, p. 586). Thus, to render the Greek term into any other Latin word (i.e. crux) is clearly erroneous when an identical word with the same meaning is available. Therefore the Vulgate erred.
Then consider that the Vulgate didn't only wrongly render stauros as crux but applied crux "widely to any gibbet or gallows on which malefactors were hung" (Compact Oxford English Dictionary). Many of these verses were definitely not speaking about a "cross" (i.e. Genesis 40:19; Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Esther 2:23; etc.). And this is the identical terminology used in the case of Messiah (i.e. Acts 5:30,10:39; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24)Study these carefully:
[Messiah] hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on the tree (Galatians 3:13).
His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him that day: (for he that is hanged is accursed of [Elohim]) that thy land be not defiled, which thy [Elohim] giveth thee for an inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:23).
Notice this: There's not a single verse in the Old Testament prophesying that Messiah would be put on a cross.
The above laws concerning how this type of a death would be done, speak of an "ates" (Strong's H#6086), v. 12. a "tree" (Genesis 1:11-12, 3:6; Haggai 2:19), "plank" (Ezekiel 41:25), or incidentally, it could also mean, in other contexts, a "staff" (2 Samuel 21:19).). Even our Scribes and teachers who blindly follow the Vulgate in rendering stauros as "cross" aren't bold enough to also render the "tree" verses as "cross".
"Therefore, it is very plain to see that the departure from the original meaning occurred in the Latin language, as did many other pagan contributions to Western Christianity." (Andrew Gabriel Roth, Aramaic English New Testament, app., p. 916).
The simple fact of the matter is that we only read of a cross in the common English versions because our Scribes have blindly followed the Vulgate in mistranslating stauros. Among the earliest believers "there was no use of the crucifix and no material representation of the cross" (J.F. Hurst, History of the Christian Church,vol.1, p. 366). Various forms of crosses were then adopted over time from Pagan peoples, likely beginning with the adoption of the crux ansata (an ankh) among the Egyptian Assemblies (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 14, p. 273). The fact that the image had to be "adopted" further reflects its foreign origin from the original teaching and life of the Master.
Aside from the mistranslation of stauros as crux in the Vulgate, the most significant adoption of the cross occurred during the time of Constantine the (not so) Great. This adoption is so important because of the other compromises made during Constantine's day. A lot of politics were involved and grave accommodations were made.
"Constantine, as always, was decisive, rapid and driven by an overmastering lust for power...He wanted to find God, but not in any spirit of humility; he was a man fully conscious of his mission and of his ability to accomplish it, if only the powers that ruled the universe would help him...It was Constantine who launched Christianity on the path to power...The Christian Church changed decisively. From being a persecuted, inward-looking minority, it became a confident, sometimes arrogant majority...They had taken over and adapted the intellectual heritage of Greece and Rome... acquired prestige, riches, power and a network of communications extending to every village in the Empire...Constantine's claim to divine authority directly given by Christ was acknowledged by the Pope in Rome and transmitted to a long line of Byzantine emperors...The sturdy and well-organized Christian Church achieved a new status that it fully exploited during the coming century. Constantine used the growing power and influence of his new ally to further his own ends... When the Church itself split into factions... Constantine intervened... and put strong pressure on them to reach agreement" (Milestones of History, The Fires of Faith, p. 13-20).
Constantine made it a point of "reconciling the Pagan and Christian factions" (Peter Arnott, The Romans and Their World, p 303). This period has been described aptly as follows:
"[During the] paganization of the Church... the military spirit of Imperial Rome... entered the Church... [which] had conquered the Roman Empire. But in reality the Roman Empire had conquered the Church...[which had] entered its Great Apostasy [and] become a political organization in the spirit and pattern of Imperial Rome...The Imperial Church of the 4th and 5th centuries had become an entirely different institution from the persecuted [Assembly] of the first three centuries. In its ambition to rule it lost and forgot the Spirit of [Messiah]. Worship, at first very simple, was developed into elaborate, stately, imposing ceremonies having all the outward spender that had belonged to heathen temples...No sooner had Christianity made its appearance than it began its process of amalgamation..."(Halley's Bible Handbook).
It was in this spirit of compromise that the cross was brought into the Assemblies.
"In order to increase the prestige of the apostate systems pagans were received in and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted" (Vine's Expository Dictionary).
"This reconciliation, or merger of the Nazarene faith with Mithraism, produced what we see today as 'Christianity.' Constantine made the 'cross' the primary symbol of this new merger...." (Lew White, Fossilized Customs, 8th ed. P. 57).
Here is a quote from Mark A. Null's Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, p. 3-4: "In the words of Eusebius of Caesarea, who was both a historian and a confidant of Constantine, the emperor was praying to a pagan god when 'he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross in the light of the heavens, above the sun and an inscription, Conquer By This, attached to it ... Then in his sleep, the Christ of God appeared to him with the sign which he had seen in the heavens, and commanded him to make a likeness of the sign which he had seen in the heavens and to use it as a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies."
Tellingly, "this was not Constantine's first 'vision.' A few years earlier, in Gaul, Apollo the sun-god had appeared to him." (Milestones of History, The Fires of Faith, p. 14). Read that part again.
Ironically, you can have a 'vision' of the cross superimposed on the sun also, if you want. All you have to do is squint your eyes in the right direction. Just don't do it for too long! Constantine's move was political.
"Although eventually Christians saw in this the great moment of Constantine's conversion, historians point out that even after this event Constantine continued worshipping the sun." (Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, p. 107)
After his "vision" Constantine continued offering sacrifices to false elohim, drowned his unoffending wife in boiling water, and beheaded his eldest son (Alfoldi, Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome, p.5; cited in C.J. Koster, Come Out of Her My People, p. 97). He remained a sun-worshiper after his "vision" for another twenty-five years until he reached his death bed (J.D. Parsons, The Non-Christian Cross, p. 133-141; Dr. Bullinger, The Companion Bible, app. 162).
His "conversion" was nominal:
"It was not so much the [Roman] Empire that was brought over to the faith, as the faith that was brought over to the Empire; not the Pagans who were converted to Christianity, but Christianity that was converted to Paganism" (M. Turrentin ca. 4th century).
On the other hand, Yahweh calls His people to be set apart (Leviticus 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:15-16), meaning don't be like the Gentiles (Jeremiah 10:2). This is what the Pastor (in the beginning of this article) had failed to grasp. The Master was teaching us to follow in His footsteps, which is completely misunderstood by nominal Christianity. Those footsteps move in accordance with the laws of Yahweh. Just think of all of the people asking themselves, "What would J-sus do?" It never occurs to them that the "real" Messiah would have nothing whatsoever to do with a graven image such as a cross! He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15) and sin is very well defined (Romans 3:20; 1 John 3:4;). Yahshua would never break the Second Commandment—Exodus 20:4.
Constantine's endorsement of the image of the cross is probably the most significant as Constantine affected Christianity so severely. Yet the image of the cross has been a highly revered symbol " in all countries throughout the world at all times" (Encyclopedia Americana).
"The sign of the cross... greatly antedates, in both East and West, the introduction of Christianity. It goes back to a very remote period of human civilization." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 4, p. 517).
In learning of the original significance of the image of the cross the error in adopting it as the symbol of Messiah Yahshua and The Way He exemplified becomes most manifest.
"The shape of the two-beamed cross had its origin in ancient Chaldea and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the Mystic Tau, the initial of his name." (Vine's Expository Dictionary).
" This Pagan symbol... the Tau, the sign of the cross [is] the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah...the Mystic Tau of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) and Egyptians...." (Rev Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 197-205).
We have been presented with the cross—via mistranslation and political tact—as if it representsYahshua the Master. However, it represents the false Messiah, commonly called "Anti-Christ." Normally this term is simply viewed as referring to an individual who stands in opposition to the Messiah. However, the term anti also means "being in the place where another should be" (The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary, Gr.#473).
Significantly, many practices from the Babylonian system of worship of Tammuz—the false Messiah—have been adopted in the same way the image of the cross has. They are now called "Christian."
"Easter, called Ashtoreth in the KJV,. (1 Samuel 31:10; 1 Kings 11:5, 33 and 2Kings 23:13)...is referred to as the 'Queen of Heaven' in Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:16,17,19 and 25.... In Ezekiel 8, we find women 'weeping for Tammuz' (v.14). Tammuz was the son of Ishtar or Easter... killed by a wild boar (according to legend), and they mourned for him annually (similar to the Lent of today). Then at Easter he was re-born (like a counterfeit resurrection), after which there was great gladness among the Pagans. He was thought to have been the sun-god, whom we see all the Israelites worshipping in a sunrise service, Ezekiel 8:15-16... The Israelites had taken up this abominable form of worship... as a substitute for the commanded Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. Its symbols of fertility, eggs and rabbits, show the original licentious nature of this holiday...Yahshua was not resurrected on Sunday morning, but rather, late on Sabbath afternoon, the evening before.[Easter]... celebrates the resurrection of Tammuz....A variation.... has it that Easter was originally on March 25, and was the date she became pregnant with Tammuz. Then 9 months later, on December 25, she gave birth to him and he became known as the sun-god." (Elder Frank Brown, Yahweh's Holy Days vs. Man's Holidays,p.4)
The Emissary Sha'ul, commonly called "Paul," spoke of a delusive "mystery" that was already extant in his day (2Thessalonians 2:3-7). This is a defection from The Way and is the fruit of "iniquity", which is lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).Imperial Rome had the greatest hatred of anything it considered "Jewish" which included Torah ("the Law"). Constantine detested Torah, outlawing Scriptural observances such as the Sabbath (changed to Sunday worship), Passover (changed to Easter), etc. The falling away reached its most intense point during Constantine's day and Biblical religion has never been the same(Daniel 7:25).
An Anti-Messiah has been set-up in place of Messiah Yahshua. It is the much compromised "Jesus" character whom has acquired nearly all of the trappings of Tammuz. The religion of Babylon lives on (Revelation 18:4). It is represented, as it always has been, by the image of the cross. In Paleo (Ancient) Hebrew the tau, their letter "t" is—as it is in English—a cross. It is the initial of the Anti-Messiah's name in the language of Babylon. As we've seen, he was regarded as the "Sun-god," and so this image also represents the sun. (Ever wonder why vampires can't stand sunlight and crosses?)
In the Scriptures we read of an "image" involved in Tammuz worship (Ezekiel 8:6,14). The image of Tammuz is the cross, as already shown. And Yahweh calls this an abomination (Ezekiel 8:13-14). The religion of Babylon has come to us disguised as The Way revealed in the Scriptures. With all of this in mind let's take a look at the "mark of the Beast."
The book of Revelation was dictated to Yohanan ("John") from the Messiah, Yahshua (Revelation 1:1). According to the Scriptures Yahshua spoke Hebrew (Acts 26:14. He even spoke Hebrew to Sha'ul although Sha'ul also knew Greek (Acts 21:37; cf. 26:14). Accordingly, we should conclude that the book of Revelation was originally compiled in Hebrew. (Unfortunately Rome went on a long crusade against all Hebrew writings, burning an innumerable number of manuscripts and we now have mostly Greek copies).
Knowing that Revelation had a Hebrew original is a valid point in our study. In Hebrew the word for "mark" is tau (Encyclopedia Americana). And what is the most common mark of all but the cross? (i.e. "x" marks the spot," right?). Interestingly, tau is also the Hebrew word for "cross"(Vine's Expository Dictionary). With all of the above in mind we can see that the phrase "the mark of the Beast" could also be literally translated as "the cross of the Beast."
Tau however, doesn't always have to signify the image of the cross, just as "x" doesn't "mark" every "spot". For instance, it can mean "desire"(Job 31:35). In the Scriptures we read of a "mark" placed upon the foreheads of the faithful (Ezekiel 9:4).Though Catholic doctrine says this is the image of the cross as perpetuated every Ash Wednesday (The New Catholic Answer Bible, p. 931), the Scriptures show that this mark is the Name of Yahweh (Revelation 14, 7:3, 9:6). Those who receive it are crying out against religious abominations (Ezekiel 9:4), and in the chapter just before, Yahweh clearly classifies the image of Tammuz worship as such (Ezekiel 8:6, 14). "The Name of Yahweh is a strong tower" (Proverbs 18:10). The image of the cross is not.It is an abomination (Ezekiel 8:6,14).
Another example is where the Master identified Himself as "the Aleph and Tau" (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13). He was definitely not saying (Heaven forbid), "I am the [image of the] Tau." This is clear when we just read the rest of His words (i.e. "the first and the last" and "the beginning and ending"). Or as we would say, "from A to Z." (Aleph and Tau are the first and last / beginning and ending letters in the Hebrew alphabet).
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up (John 3:14).
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole... (Numbers 21:9). Moses did not lift up the serpent on a cross, but rather, put it upon a pole.
In speaking of His impending execution Messiah Yahshua said He would be lifted up in the same way that the serpent in the wilderness was lifted up (John 3:14). The serpent was not lifted up on a cross but rather upon a "pole" (Numbers 21:7-8). The phrase "even so" in the KJV (John 3:14) is translated from houto, meaning "thus, so, accordingly"(Young's Analytical Concordance). Elsewhere it is rendered "after this manner" (Matthew 6:9; 1 Corinthians 7:7; etc.), "in like manner" (Mark 13:29), "likewise" (Matthew 17:2; Luke 15:7, etc.), and "on this fashion" (Mark 2:12). It does not mean "sort of" or "kind of like."
"The upright stake was foreshadowed by the 'pole'... in Numbers 21:8-9...And so it is , that when people are bitten by the 'spiritual serpent' of Genesis 3:15, they must look to Messiah for healing and deliverance." (Andrew Gabriel Roth, Aramaic English New Testament, app., p. 58).
"The evidence is thus complete, that the [Master] was put to death upon an upright stake and not on two pieces of timber placed at any angle" (Dr. Bullinger's The Companion Bible, Appendix 162).
The 'pole" is called nec (or nas) in the Hebrew. It is a significant term also signifying "standard" and "ensign" (Isaiah 11:10; 62:10-12). Messiah's sacrifice is a signal of Yahweh's love to move us to conform with His righteous standard manifested through Yahshua's ministry. The image of the cross however is the symbol of unwarranted grace. Those holding so dearly to it rarely, if ever, emphasize obedience.
"By doing so the Harlot Church has made void the fear of YHWH, and turned....the cross into a Christian icon and the license to sin." (Andrew Gabriel Roth, Aramaic English New Testament, app., p.917).
Sin is violation of Torah (1 John 3:4; Psalm 119:11; Romans 3:20). To continue willfully sinning after receiving a knowledge of the truth is to trample Messiah under foot (Hebrews 10:26-28) To bow before a cross is sin (Exodus 20:4-5).
Following Him will not put you in unity with the majority because He did not follow the masses. This is the "crux" of the matter. Just try sharing this information with the masses claiming to follow Him. The same way they look at you, they looked at the prophets of old, so don't be discouraged. What do you think Daniel would do if he walked into most churches today? How might he act seeing the masses bow before this huge wooden monstrosity? If you do not hold to the truth of the Holy Word of Yahweh, then you may be guilty, too. But if you choose to pick up your staff and follow the Messiah, then you will understand and desire to walk in the "ancient paths," down the road of righteousness!
Yahshua walked in the way of the truth, in accordance with the laws of Yahweh.
He that saith, "I know Him" and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:4).
But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of Elohim perfected (1 John 2:5).
He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked (1 John 2:6).
Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3). It is those same Scriptures which we must rely on to truthfully deal with this matter. You will notice that those holding to the cross will try to justify it with everything other than using the Scriptures, because it is a fact that Jerome was the first to introduce the "cross" into the Scriptures in his Latin translation called the Vulgate (391-403 CE).
Yahshua the Messiah, who was born on the Feast of Tabernacles, taught Torah, was executed on a "stake" (stauros) on Passover, resurrected on the Sabbath and ascended to the Heavens on the day of the First Fruits wave sheaf offering, has been replaced (in the mind of the masses) with "Jesus" the "Christ," who was born on Christmas, taught unconditional grace, died on a cross on Good Friday, and was resurrected on Easter Sunday. Clearly a falling away has occurred.
"If Christians were to take the time to research the origin of the cross symbol they would be shocked...; but these important elements of truth differentiate the One True Faith from the Mystery Religion of Fallen Babylon." (Andrew Gabriel Roth, Aramaic English New Testament, app., p.917)).
We are called to walk in the steps of Abraham (Galatians 3). Abraham's walk with Yahweh began with his whole hearted departure from Babylon (Genesis 12:1; Hebrews 11:8). The term "Hebrew" comes from abar, meaning "to cross over" and make a "transition" (The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words). If you are Messiah's, then you are Abraham's seed.... (Galatians 3) As children of Abraham, Yahweh calls us to make the same "transition" which Abraham made (Revelation 18:4).
Yahweh bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you. And may these words be confirmed by many witnesses for all who seek.