Take up Your Cross Daily and Follow Me

In this video I talk about what this message of Jesus means (to take up your cross daily and follow Him), especially to those who assume any kind of leadership role in Christianity.

Scroll down for video transcript.

When you are saved by Yeshua and receive the Holy Spirit, and grow in the grace of God, you soon understand what it really means to take up your cross daily and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). Because as soon as you receive the Spirit from Heaven, you become the enemy of the world.

It gets not better when you grow in Christ, but worse, because the more you become similar to the heavenly family above, the more the world hates you.

When you grow beyond only speaking about the love of Jesus but your thought patterns become more and more holy, and this holiness then starts being reflected in your entire life, from the way that you speak to the way that you dress, and indeed you find Christ living in you and directing you, you will have to face some serious attacks from the world which belongs to the beast. And those who were not careful enough to count the cost (Luke 14:28) and can no longer bear their cross – for it is very heavy – they would have to face the ridicule of this world when they give up, as it’s told by Jesus in Luke 14:29-30.

Jesus said that only those not of this world would be chosen by Him (John 15:19). The world not only did not hear Him (because only those not of this world could) but it killed Him. So all those who are saved will have to go through similar trials, since Yeshua with His life set and showed the pattern that all true Christians will have to follow.

Jesus told that we should not be surprised when we are persecuted and slandered because we profess His name. His life was a pattern for all genuine spirit-filled Christians not only to follow, but also it served as a preview of what’s waiting for them, though its only a pattern, and so no Christian would have an identical life to that of Jesus.

And this applies to Christian leaders to even a greater degree. Because a Christian leader has others who listen to him, therefore he would be even more attacked and tempted by Satan, so that this enemy would enslave not only him – but the flock that’s listening to him also.

So the greater the Christian leader and the more people listen to him, the more attacks there will be from Satan to get the ownership of the flock. And that’s why so many big Christian leaders are demon-possessed – through pride and too much self-confidence they thought they would be able to withstand all the attacks of Satan, but since Satan has many subtle methods, they, through their ignorant pride and self-confidence, failed to see the disguised attack and therefore gave in.

Many of such leaders have become rich and this wealth became their trap and the cause of their future everlasting torment. Many such leaders enjoy all the world has to offer, making them no different to other leaders of the world, because they became slaves of Satan and sin, and compromised on the pure faith for worldly riches, comfort and public approval.

Many are motivated not by how many souls they can save but by how much money they can make, leaving out the unpleasant details of the Gospel, such as that no fornicator, drunkard or liar can enter into the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), and preaching the unconditional love of Jesus, which isn’t in the Bible. Through this good-to-hear message they attract many people, but what’s the point since they don’t get saved, and if they do, they are at risk of eternal damnation because a preacher neglects to give them warnings about the conditions for eternal life.

So those Christian leaders who are wealthy don’t follow Yeshua but they follow the world, since Jesus told to give the wealth to the poor and to follow Him (Matthew 19:21). Those who are wealthy serve riches and not God, because through their greed they’re unwilling to part with their most precious belongings, and therefore they are at risk of losing their souls through this double-mindedness.

Satan’s tactics to enslave

First Satan tries to intimidate through verbal or physical violence and the disapproval of the world. When this doesn’t work, he moves on to subtler methods to enslave, by offering some sort of peace agreement with the condition of compromising on your faith.

Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer

I’ve recently read about the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury (United Kingdom) in the sixteenth century.

In this person’s life life the strategy of Satan (which he almost always uses) becomes very obvious.

This person was not able to be forced to renounce his protestant faith whilst being tortured.

But when, after many tortures and his long endurance of the horrible, inhumane conditions in prison, he was transferred to absolute luxury, this caused his mind to become shaken, for this was the move of Satan that he did not expect.

After such a long time of torture he did not expect to be given back the comforts he once enjoyed as an Archbishop. So when this unexpected thing happened, Satan saw an opening because of the shaken mind of the bishop.

So his human Catholic tools used this opportunity of bishop’s weakness to get him to sign the renouncement of his protestant faith. And they succeeded! Because of the fear of death, and the fear of being taken back to the same inhumane conditions, the bishop renounced his protestant faith in writing, and signed it.

Satan thought that this important battle was won, and this renouncement of his faith was published throughout the whole country, making Catholics happy, and protestants – shocked and heart-broken.

Later, however, after extreme conviction of the Holy Spirit, when he was taken to make a public speech, which was expected to be the finalization of his written renouncement of his faith, quite the opposite happened, because not only he repented of renouncing the true protestant faith, but he also accused the pope of being the enemy of Christ and Antichrist!

This was too much for stunned Catholics to take, and the angry crowd started demanding his blood so noisily that his accusations of the Catholic Church drowned in the shouts of the mad crowd. And that’s not only one such event, because there were many other martyrs, who, after renouncing their protestant faith (because of the fear of death) later got convicted by the Holy Spirit and became even more bold in professing their pure faith and criticising the Catholic Church. And when this bishop was put on fire in the midst of the angry mob, his whole focus was on getting the offending hand which signed the renouncement of his protestant faith to burn first!

So although Satan really thought that he had this bishop in his claws, through the grace of God his soul slipped past him right before the complete renouncement of his protestant faith, making Satan mad for sure.

But unfortunately not all similar stories end as well as this one did, and the greatest victory of Satan so far is the subversion of the Christian faith at large, through the compromise of the Catholic Church on the faith, for she agreed to blend itself with paganism in order to be more acceptable to idol worshippers.

After this mixing the purpose of the Church changed from saving people to increasing the number of her members. It became much larger and more luxurious for sure, but her true spirit was no longer there. She sold out to the world, and became reprobate.

In the beginning Christianity was not only not diminishing because of frequent persecutions and executions of true Christians, but it was increasing, because pagans realised, after witnessing many brave martyrdoms, that Christians wouldn’t choose to die for the religion that wasn’t true, and therefore the more of the Christians died, the greater number of pagans converted.

So since this violent plan to exterminate Christianity from the face of the earth did not succeed, Satan, as always, moved on to a more subtle plan of breaking faith from within, through compromise.

Peace was given to Christians, and Christianity became the official religion of Rome, receiving the title of “Universal”, and that is the meaning of the word “Catholic”.

Catholic ChurchThrough this peace agreement Satan managed to infiltrate the Church and started corrupting it from within.

Christian churches became as luxurious as heathen temples, statues were introduced, as well as the worship of Mary for the heathen were used to worshipping the Queen of Heaven.

Gradually more and more pagan elements became accepted by Christians and therefore Christianity lost its original simplicity and purity.

Those few who refused to compromise on their faith for the peace and comfort that this blended religion offered, refusing to bow to statues or pray to Mary, were as persecuted as they were before, but now not by pagans, but by the very Church itself! So through this peace agreement Satan managed to do what he couldn’t achieve through violence – to subvert the true faith, and were it not for those few who refused to compromise, we would only have false religions to choose from today.

So that’s how Satan works. First he tries to break your faith through violence and public disapproval. And if that doesn’t work, he tries to do so through the offers of peace and wealth, so that he gets you to at least compromise on your faith since he cannot get you to completely renounce it. But once the Christian faith is compromised on, it’s the same as its renouncement, because light can in no way mix with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14).

As the apostate Catholic Church worked without any rest to exterminate all remaining true Christian communities in the past, so does Satan work to this very day using various tools, since the Catholic Church is just one of them. Therefore all true Christian leaders should expect to be always on Satan’s radar, so they should never let down their guards.

Being a Christian leader is hard

Moses parting waters

I know it myself how hard it is to be in any kind of leadership role in Christianity. And if you’re not called to be a leader, do not strive to be one. Because only if you are called will you have the strength to persist, as leadership in Christianity is unlike any other kind of leadership.

It’s very difficult, because of the persistent attacks of Satan. You cannot let down your guard even for a day! Sometimes it seems that the whole world is against you, and the only thing sustaining you is this special anointing that you have to continue on. This strength is indeed supernatural, and your life becomes no longer your own but this power in you directs your steps.

When people are saved, soon they will know their role in the body of Christ. And those who are called to be any sort of leaders, will know it for sure due to external and internal confirmations. Other people will listen to him and there might be other Christians acknowledging his role within Christianity due to the messages from God that they receive.

For example, before I was saved, a young Christian woman whom I’ve never met approached me with a message from God, telling that I was a good leader and that soon I would receive a promotion. I’ve described this encounter in one of my earlier videos.

You will receive other confirmations as well, encouraging you to continue, as well as the inner knowing of this fact. Those confirmations will be so clear that they will leave no doubt in your mind that you are supposed to continue in the position that was assigned to you within the body of Christ.

If I was not meant to be a voice in the Christian faith, I would by no means take this position because it’s not only hard, but dangerous as well, because those who are teachers or leaders will receive greater judgement (James 3:1) because they influence other people. But this also means that if they are good leaders, they will receive greater rewards in Heaven.

A Christian leader should be like a rock, and that’s how it will feel like when you’re supposed to be a leader within Christianity. You will feel that you are being made into a place of refuge and support for others, and therefore there’s this pressing requirement to be a perfect representative of Christ and therefore to be fully knowledgable of the doctrines of the faith and the history of it.

A Christian leader should be so strong that he not only withstands the attacks of Satan, but also is available for those seeking for help. Every single waking moment of the life of a Christian leader is lived for that very purpose – to represent Christianity, to as closely represent Christ as possible to the world. So it’s only natural that since this position requires so much strength and such dedication, that there will be very few who would be willing to renounce all to follow Christ. But that’s what’s required.

About women leaders

You cannot keep your life and follow Christ. You should be ready to follow Christ no matter what the cost. And that’s the reason why men are most suited for this position. Because women are weaker vessels, and since most become mothers, they would not be able to dedicate their entire lives to being leaders. But that doesn’t mean that no women can become Christian leaders! Of course they can, but that’s an exception to the rule.

I don’t know any other female who has the life that I have. Everyone I meet tells me I’m very different. And Christian leaders will have to be totally unlike the world, groomed to become the representatives of the family that’s in Heaven, so indeed they should not be like the world. Because if they are like the world, those of the world will hear them; but if they represent the family in Heaven, those who are the children of God will be the only ones hearing them.

Deborah - the judge of Israel

Deborah – the judge of Israel

We read in the Old Testament that Deborah was a judge of Israel (Judges 4).

It was very unusual for a woman to be a judge, especially in such a strongly patriarchal society as Israel.

Nevertheless that was the case. And God not only made her a judge over Israel, but He gave her the blessing of prophesy, and therefore used her as a vessel to speak through.

Many male Christian religious leaders tend to overlook these passages of the Old Testament, claiming that woman should never be above any man, which just isn’t true because God Himself blessed such a female ruler to be in charge of male warriors.

But it’s more natural for such positions to be assumed by men, because, as I’ve told, women are weaker vessels, for it was Eve that was made out of Adam’s rib and it was her that was deceived, and also because women usually want to become mothers, such full-time leadership positions are just not suitable for most of them. But there are those women who are called by God to assume such roles, and so it’s not true that no woman should be a leader of any sort.

But whether one is male or female, unless God calls one into such position, it’s better to stay far, far away from it due to the dangers involved. And also I’m not sure if a woman could be the head of the Church, because when it comes to the leadership within the Church, we are told by Paul that women aren’t supposed to teach (1 Timothy 2:12). So to maintain this established Church order, I would consider it a risk for a woman to assume such a position, though even then exceptions might be valid – if a woman truly receives such a calling, and there is no man suitable for such a position.

I strongly believe that this is the reason why I’ve been called to be a leader – because there is the lack of men suitable for this position. Since many men these days are afraid of negative public opinion, those true servants of God who think it more important to serve God than the world are called for such roles, despite their gender. And a single advantage that I see of female leadership is their greater resistance to the corrupting influence of power – because it’s usually men that are corrupted by it.

But apart from this one advantage, there are many disadvantages that women leaders have to deal with, since leadership roles are not natural to females, and unless they are specifically called, they by no means should strive to assume such positions. And although I’m constantly strengthened by God, I understand why most women could never do what I do, because we are more delicate beings, and we take insults and attacks much more to heart than men do.

If you are given more, you are expected to do more

Christian leaders naturally receive greater gifts of the Holy Spirit because of this special anointing, but because they are given more, more is expected of them. For example, I am gifted with greater spiritual discernment, and although many think it’s a blessing, it can be very, very difficult to see what the spiritual vision shows.

Would you really think it nice to always see people with demons in them? Do you think it’s nice to see the fallen state of humanity, to see how depraved most humans are? It’s very painful to see this, and it can be so disheartening to the point that you want to give up, because you see that those people are given over to reprobate minds and cannot be saved. Instead of conscious humans, you witness beast-like creatures ruled by sensual impulses. It’s very sad.

So twice I broke down in tears because it’s really hard to live seeing all of that every single day of your life. But both times I received an almost identical message of support from God, and it was not a message of pity, because that’s really not what you will get as a leader, because you are expected to remain strong and be the rock for others as well.

But the message that’s given to every leader will be pretty much identical. God does not take into consideration your gender, because He’s no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). If I accepted the position of a leader, I’m supposed to accept its responsibilities as well, without any excuse about my gender or circumstances. I received the strengthening message after both times of my despair that was this:

First and foremost, that I should not grieve the Holy Spirit – this was impressed strongly upon me; and secondly – that I should continue in what I do because I would be strengthened and supported by God no matter how hard the road would get.

Another time when I prayed after being saddened by the great opposition to my message regarding modest dress of Christian women, I received God’s response through His Holy Word that if I would not continue in this task, someone else will have to take over to do this work. So again I was treated like a leader, and not like a woman in pain.

I was affirmed that indeed this was the task for me, but it’s not forced on me – I have a choice. And if I don’t continue spreading the message, someone else will. So you see that the way God deals with leaders is without any respect of gender or circumstances, but the response is dictated by the assumed responsibility. I respect God very much for that, and this teaches me so much about His holy character.

So Christian leaders should understand that although the road is very difficult, yet you should continue because you accepted this responsibility and you have the special anointing that will keep you going. And since you are protected and directed by God, there’s nothing to worry about. You should not look at the response of the world but you should continue in the instructions of God. That’s what’s expected of you as a good leader.

Your life will no longer be yours

The life of a real Christian leader, and not the one who became the tool of Satan trough compromise and seeking of public approval, is hard. But the Holy Spirit constantly strengthens you and you know that you continue not by your own power, but by the power that’s much greater than you.

Your life as you know it is finished, and only the Christ in you lives. So real Christian leaders will truly know what it is to lose your life in order to save it (Matthew 16:25). Yet this loss of everything that you’ve associated your life with only works to perfect you. The medicine is bitter, but it’s medicine.

You are likely to be distanced from your friends, family, you are likely to be cut off from all the support, and this is done so that you would get used to receiving only the support of God. And this lesson is too hard for most to learn. Most would find it too frightening to let go of all the worldly support and would still cling to friendships, money, or anything else that holds them back from fully following and trusting Christ.

Yet the leaders have no such option. If they want to really follow Christ, they would have to leave everything behind and just believe that God would provide for them and would protect them. This lesson is the hardest of all, yet that’s what’s required of those who want to become serious disciples of Christ. So the road is difficult for all who are made into Christian leaders, but if the walk is so difficult in this life, the rewards must be great in the life everlasting.

Conclusion

So in general, if you are not called to become a Christian leader, please do not take upon yourself to become one. You must be directed by God in these matters, and if there’s no guidance of God driving you, be sure that you are not meant to become a leader in Christianity. And if you know that you are being groomed to assume such a role, expect many attacks from Satan as well as public disapproval, but if you withstand them without the compromise on your faith, they will only strengthen you to make you into a real Christian leader.

Whether you are a man or a woman, you will be treated in the same way by Your Heavenly Father; you will receive the same admonitions and the same strengthening messages, because God is no respecter of persons, so He will not make your path easier just because you’re a woman or because of some special circumstances that you are in.

What’s more, as a leader you will be gifted with greater spiritual gifts, and spiritual discernment is likely to be one of them; and though many people crave for these gifts, they are not ready to face their by-products. But Christian leaders are expected to live with those gifts no matter how much they set them apart from others, and moreover, they should live totally in Spirit, never looking for the approval of the world, since they no longer work for the world, but for their Heavenly Father.

And although the life of Christian leaders is very difficult, if walked in accordance to divine instructions, it will assure greater rewards in Heaven, and what’s more important, such life would be approved by the Heavenly Father, and what can be more important to the children of God than knowing that their Heavenly Father is happy with their way of life?

Knowing that you live in obedience to the instructions of your Heavenly Father fills you with such otherworldly peace that no reward can be as precious as this.

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Comments

  1. Todd MacDonald says:

    Today I read Luke’s Gospel describing Lazarus and the rich man(starts at Luke 16:19). Perhaps Hell’s torments still permit sight of Heaven, and conversation with Heaven. Perhaps Hell’s slaves can still hope for those on earth to be saved.

    Before I read Luke, I’ve imagined I might go to Hell, and have hoped that even from Hell I would still be able to give blessings, love and trust to God. Even if my love were a curse, I believe my love is the best I can offer, and I hope my love blesses, and I hope my love gets better.

    Just as the raising of the dead would not convince the rich man’s friends on earth to believe; I don’t know how I could believe all of the bible stories–especially the 7 days of creation(or any creation account). …I can start by reading the rest of the bible.

    Anything is possible; my faith is subject to surprise.

    • You will know them to be true when you receive the Holy Spirit. You should ask God for it. And in response to your private email, I would like to suggest that you should ask God to give you strength to overcome your weaknesses, rather than doing it on your own which would be very difficult. I hope that helps, please trust that God will save you.

      • Todd MacDonald says:

        May the Goodness with Whom all things are possible lead me on Their purpose.

        Mark 10:18 to 10:27

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