The Cross: Our Source of Sustainable Pleasure
There is no longer any lack in you. As a new creation, Christ has caused you to become a source of blessing. Begin to believe it, and you will begin to manifest it. All of Heaven is within you and intends to pour through you. Luke 17:21 says the kingdom of God is within you. You are much larger on the inside than the outside! From within you flow multiple rivers of Glory.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:38).1
Everywhere he goes, the life of the believer should spill and overflow with an abundance of the oil of favor. People should be blessed for receiving you; employers will be blessed by hiring you. Because of God’s Glory on your life, everything you do can now
prosper, because the Ark of His Presence rests in you, just as it once rested on the land of Obed Edom. Relationships will be restored. The sick will be healed. The means and varieties of fruitfulness are endless.
Paths of Butterfat
The Psalmist gives a beautiful picture of this. Scriptures literally tell us that the tracks of His chariot will drip with fatness! Not just the chariot, nor the chariot wheels. But even the tracks that you leave on the ground behind you will bubble up with riches, abundance and fatness because of the overflow of the favor and ability of Holy Spirit inside of you:
… where thy feet have passed, the stream of plenty flows (Psalm 65:11).2
You … deluge your tracks with butterfat (Psalm 65:11).3
… your paths overflow with a rich harvest (Psalm 65:11).4
Thy footsteps are dropping with riches (Psalm 65:11).5
Connected Through Faith
There is a sevenfold river of fullness existing within each believer’s heart. The reason we do not always see this river fully manifest, is because there are not many believing believers! We are more prone to believe that Christ is one day going to do a work in us, than we are to believe that the work was finished from the foundation of the earth (Heb. 4:3).
The Lord once showed me that most of His church today ascribes more to a quasi-Judaic leftover of old covenant theology than they do true New Testament Christianity. The good news is that Christ has given you all your Christmases, birthdays and Disneylands in one fell swoop on the cross! He has opened the House of Wine to you; He has opened the treasuries; He has opened complete communion with Himself. In fact, He has held nothing back from you at all. On the cross, your old sinful nature was completely, once-and-for-all circumcised away (Col. 2), and you were given access to a glorious new world. Everything that held you back from God was dissolved. Eliminated. All of your problems really were solved on Golgotha’s hill. It seems too good to be true. That’s why it’s called good news.
The original flavor of Christianity was goodness. Ebullient joy. Ecstatic delight.
A Completed Work
But in the charismatic movement today, as with any stream of modern Christianity, the yeast of Judaic religion still holds strong. I speak not as a critic but as a father. For instance, people still pray and beg for holiness. They plead to be “purged.” This alone is a telltale sign of absolute unbelief in the finished work of the cross. Religion wants you to kill yourself to earn holiness. There is a straining and a striving that is not suggestive of true faith. Jesus died to give you what you could never gain on your own. Religion
gives us reams of books, keys and formulas for trying to get something that we already have as a free gift.
Colossians 2 tells us that we already possess the fullness of God through our union with Christ. But somehow, pop theology tells us that the attainment of this fullness is a lifelong process of struggle and self effort. The problem is that most people are not manifesting, or outwardly showing forth the fullness of God. And so, they lower their theology to the standard of their experience, or lack thereof. They claim that holiness is a result of a lifelong process of trials, experience, or whatever the latest trend tells them it requires.
You Are What You Believe
As it turns out, the perfect sacrifice of Christ was actually good enough to get the job done. God happened to have this crazy notion one day that He could actually pull the whole thing off by Himself! If you are not manifesting a holy life, it is not because there is somehow more effort required on your part. If you are not manifesting a holy life, it is simply because you do not believe that you are made holy. This may sound harsh, but in truth, it is a relief. Stop striving for perfection, and rest in the fact that you have it. The nature and flavor of true faith is rest (see Heb. 4). As I rest and trust that Christ has completed His work in me 2000 years ago, before I even got started – then I begin to act and live life like a completely different person. A person always manifests what he believes. If you believe you are holy, you will live holy. If the truth is your standard, the truth will experientially shine forth in your life. If you believe, on the other hand, that you are still a sinner, you will always be wrestling with sin. You manifest what you believe.
As simple and childlike as this sounds, perhaps you have been a Christian for 25 years, and no one ever told you the basic reality that you are not a sinner anymore. Most religionists are great at explaining how your efforts are still needed in this salvation plan, because you are somehow still a saint-sinner hybrid. They tell you that you are some gross concoction of light and darkness. But the reality is that light and darkness do not coexist in the same temple. Maybe no one ever told you that you are the righteousness of God, but you are. Maybe no one ever told you that it’s unnecessary to struggle with sin the rest of your life, or even for one more day. But it is true. You are completely evil-free.
Faith Releases Substance
The gospel is a mystical message. You have to believe it before you see it. You must believe it before it bears tangible substance in your life. Faith (belief) does have a tangible substance according to Hebrews 11:1. There is positive and negative faith – and depending what we expect, whether good or bad – that is the outcome we will receive. Rest assured that what you believe will surely be demonstrated in your life. True believing always involves demonstration. The kingdom of Heaven is not a matter of mere talk, but
of demonstration of power (1 Cor. 4:20).
Whatever you believe, you will demonstrate. If you think you are not yet capable or equipped enough to work miracles, you never will. If you believe that Christ’s work was not enough, and somehow you need to help Him, then you will continue to struggle with sin, poverty, sickness and powerless living. But if you believe the good news, that Jesus took care of every single problem in the universe – then you’re going to be quite the happy camper. You will begin to appropriate these riches. You will believe what the Bible actually says, that you already have fullness in Him. It’s not a process. It’s a gift.
We must have our minds renewed to believe the truth. The truth that Christ has opened the Heavens already. He did away with our old Adamic nature. He has brought us into a glorious new existence in the family of God.
You have become an oasis in the desert. Your inner life bubbles up like pools of fresh water in a thirsty land. On one side of the cross, you were a beggar, longing or a blessing. But on this side of the cross, you have truly become a source of blessing. You are provision for the hungry. You are drink for the thirsty. You are an endless
supply of supernatural oil. You forever flow with the golden oil of bliss!
Foundation of the Cross
Most Christians still view the cross as a place of personal suffering and self-denial. While acknowledging the necessity of the cross, they are wont to spend little time there. The church has for centuries taught a heretical notion that Christians still have a sin nature. Furthermore, they say is somehow our responsibility to die daily and attempt to put this sin nature to death on the cross. This is perhaps the greatest theological error in the history of Christendom. According to scripture, you no longer have a sinful nature. According to the scriptures, death to self is not a lifelong process, but was a singular, mystical transaction that already took place on the cross 2,000 years ago.
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin (Rom. 6:3-7).6
You Died a Mystical Death
You are unable to kill yourself. He did it for you. You were mystically in Christ when He died on the cross. On the cross, the old sinful you was eradicated. The old depressed you – the old fearful, anxious self died. Your critical, religious, hateful nature was put to death. Every lustful, addictive and impoverished aspect of your old man was killed with Christ. You don’t need a million years of inner healing, counseling and self-help programs. You don’t need more deliverance classes. All of your generational curses of the Adamic nature were put to death with the Last Adam. Everything about the old nature was put to death. Again, we read that the sinful nature (the carnal appetite with its passions and its lusts) has been cut away once and for all in the following verse:
In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead (Col. 2:11-12).7
A Depressing Cross or a Happy One?
Your old nature simply does not exist anymore. A dead man does not continue to operate in sin. Why try to continually kill something that is already dead? Many people still view the cross as a place where they need to suffer – and so the cross seems depressing to them. We’ve been hoodwinked! Sanctification is not a lifelong process. It’s a Person. The cross is the most blissful place in the universe! It was there that you were actually set free from suffering, because Christ did it for you. It was there that He took the bullet for you, in order to give you delight. It was there that Heaven’s riches were spilled out for you. It was there that you were delivered from sin, delivered from depression and delivered from boring religion! Do you struggle with something today? I tell you friend that you are shadowboxing a lie. That old nature doesn’t even exist. Consider that part of you dead, or non-existent. It has no more hold over you – it never did. Maybe a religionist told you that you constantly have to fight these old lusts, but this is simply not true. The cross is the foundation for a joy-filled life! It is the source of the intoxicating wine of the New Covenant. It was there that the old wretched you died, and the fountain of Immanuel’s sweet veins poured forth their nectar.
Flesh Free Existence
You will never hear us saying things like “we need to kill the flesh” or “overcome the flesh.” That is utter unbelief in what Christ has already done. He has overcome the flesh. By the way, the flesh refers to two things in scripture. One is the sinful nature with its appetites and lusts. The other is your physical body. Your physical body is not evil. Jesus had a physical body. It is the evil desires of humanity that Paul is talking about when he refers to flesh in a negative way. It is imperative to understand that this has been removed from you. Otherwise, you will continually be plagued by guilt and feelings of unworthiness, never able to boldly approach the throne of grace. You will continually feel a responsibility to somehow earn the Holy Spirit (an impossibility), and subconsciously, you will always feel a need to do some sort of penance.
You do not have to continually kill your “flesh” (carnal fleshly nature) because it doesn’t exist anymore. When Paul spoke of dying daily, it was in context of the continual persecutions he faced (I face danger every hour, he said at the start of the verse). He literally faced death every day! It had nothing to do with a morbid act of internally killing his fleshly nature. It had to do with this radical grace message propelling him to preach and offend people with its simplicity all around the world. But religion has misapplied this verse, telling us we have to continually beat ourselves up. Many scriptures have been twisted to conform to this concept of a lifelong process of killing oneself. Why would Paul try to kill something that’s already dead? Once and for all, your heart has been circumcised – the old you was cut away. Aren’t you glad that circumcision is not a daily process? Ouch!
You are New
Other people would point to Jesus’ statement about carrying your cross everyday as justification for killing yourself. Again, we must put this into context with the rest of scripture. Your cross speaks of a willingness to follow Him and even face persecution for Him. He guarantees that anyone who follows Him will be persecuted!
This does not negate the fact that He died for you, and by his grace, you are a new creation. You do not need to suffer under the curse of fallen humanity. He took that for you.
The problem is not that you have a sinful nature. The problem is that you don’t realize you are new. This is why it imperative to renew the mind with
the truth of the gospel. The good news is that you died, and now you are 100 percent new. Not just a new version of the old you. You are completely new in kind and quality. A supernatural child of God, fused into a whole new world – a whole new paradigm. You may be sitting next to a sinner on a park bench – and although it seems like you are both in the same place, you are actually in a whole different parallel dimension from him called heaven on earth. You are now seated in heavenly places. You are the righteousness of God. You are a citizen of Heaven. In Song of Solomon 4:7 he says of you, “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
Believe that you are sinless and you will manifest no sin. Believe that you have been made righteous, and you will live a righteous life. Believe it first, and you will manifest it. Stop thinking that holiness is a process of self-ascent. It was given to you once and for all as a gift. Never again view the cross as a depressing place where you must forsake joy. Instead, forever drink of it as the fountain of delight, where the old depressed, sinful you died once and for all, opening realms of Heavenly pleasure forevermore!
1New King James Version
3Ancient Roots Translinear Bible
4The New American Bible
5John DeWitt, Praise-Songs of Israel: A Rendering of the Book of Psalms
6New International Version
*This article is an excerpt from John Crowder’s book, Seven Spirits Burning
available in print by clicking HERE