Saturday, 25 February 2017

In the Beginning ~ The Cross.~ Ganeida.

The Gospel according to the apostle John begins: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

We may think John chose a particularly beautiful & lyrical way to begin his gospel.  If we have a little bible knowledge we may know that the Hebrew word used for God *Elohim* in Genesis 1:1 is a plural word used in singular grammar & so we understand that the Trinity is implicit in this statement.

However John is actually basing his statement on sound theology.  I want to take some time to look at the opening statement of Genesis because if you think the cross is not central to everything God is & says you have completely missed His point.

Revelation 13:8 makes this statement:. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Now come with me to Genises 1:1 & I will show you the undergirding theology that John based both these statements on.

In English Genesis 1:1 reads: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth & there is absolutely nothing wrong with that translation.  It is an accurate & literal translation of the Hebrew.
However when you read this verse in the original layers of meaning are revealed.
The Hebrew reads: Beraysheet bara Elohim et HaShamayeem v’et HaArets.

It was originally rendered in Hebrew pictographs & it is the pictographs I want us to study this morning. I will simplify it as much as possible ~ & try & keep it short to make it as easy as possible for us.  For deeper insights you can study here & here.

The first word is Beraysheet made up of the pictographs Beyt, Resh, Aleph, Shin, Yud & Tav.  Remember there are no vowels in written Hebrew.

Each pictograph has a meaning & combinations form meanings. The first two pictographs, Beyt & Resh make the Hebrew word Bar, son of. The 3rd pictograph is Aleph, depicting an ox head & commonly used to denote God. Next comes Shin which can be translated as pressed. Yud is an extended hand or arm & Tav is 2 crossed sticks in the form of a cross. Thus the very first word in Genesis 1:1 can read : The son of God will be nailed by His own hand upon a cross. As God laid the foundation of the heaven & the earth He already foresaw Christ upon the Cross.
The original Hebrew has 7 words.  Seven is the number of completion. Thus the whole work of redemption was completed from the foundation of the world.

Now I want us to look at the middle word, et. In Hebrew et is a very common word but it does not translate into English.  Grammatically its purpose is to point to the direct object of the sentence ~ in this case heaven & earth. It is formed by combining the Aleph & the Tav.  Translated into Greek that would be Alpha & Omega. 

Grammatically the et is not needed as the meaning is clear without it.  Symbolically it is interesting. From the very beginning we have the Aleph, God, the first, & the Tav, the sign, the covenant, the cross. Because it is such a common Hebrew word it is found throughout scripture as a constant reminder that God is first & last, the sign, the covenant, For in him we live, and move, and have our being; [Acts 17:28]

In Hebrew the first 5 books of our bible are called the Torah ~ Tav, Vav, Reysh, Hey.
Tav as we have seen is the cross ~ a covenant.
Vav is nail.
Reysh is head meaning the Highest One.
Hey means Behold! or revealed.
Behold the Highest One nailed to a cross. Or The Highest one revealed, nailed to a cross.

If you keep head as the literal meaning of Reysh you would get Nailed at His head Behold. What was nailed at His head? Matthew 27:37, "Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.  According to John this was posted in 3 languages: Greek, Latin & Aramaic. This gives us a tetragram if we take the first letters of The Aramaic/Hebrew which would read YHWH ~ the name by which God calls Himself.  No wonder the Jews were beside themselves & demanded that Pilate change it.

Again, looking at the pictographs for YHWH, we get Yod [hand], Hey [behold] Waw/ Vav [nail], & Hey [behold]. Behold the nailed hand!
Reverence the cross.  Reverence the sacrifice.  It is so central that it makes up the very name of God Himself.

We hold God’s word in highest esteem.  We believe it to be accurate & inerrant in the original language. Here is why:
·      The scribes could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts.
·      Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.
·      The ink must be black, and of a special recipe.
·      They must verbalize each word aloud while they were writing.
·      They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies before writing the word “Jehovah,” every time they wrote it.
·      There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
·      The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document.
·      The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc).
·      As no document containing God’s Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried, in a genizah – a Hebrew term meaning “hiding place.” These were usually kept in a synagogue or sometimes in a Jewish cemetery. From Here.

This resulted in a high level of accuracy & as we saw from our short study of Genesis 1:1 each & every word is important & carries a weight of meaning.  We also see the centrality of the cross from the opening paragraph of scripture until its final lines in Revelation.

1st Corinthians 1:18 says: For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

We have seen the exact method of Jesus death was laid down @ the very foundation of our world: before God separated the light from the darkness; before he called forth the dry land; before the growing things; before there were lights in the sky; before the things of the sea & of the air & of the land were created; before there was man or woman there was the cross.

The cross is the foundation for all Christian belief & doctrine. It began in the garden with 2 trees. One was the Tree of Life. The other was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil. Of the tree of knowledge Adam was forbidden to eat. Nachmanides, one of the foremost Torah scholars of his time, suggests that the name eitz hada’at, usually translated as Tree of Knowledge, would actually be more accurately translated as Tree of Desire ~ which in effect meant that Adam & Eve desired things other than God Himself because up until that point God was sufficient for all their needs.

The cross once again provides a way for all our needs to be met.
Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

The cross is called a tree & it was because of a tree Adam & Eve fell into sin. Having sinned they hid amongst the trees of the garden. Gen. 3:8

God is nothing if not precise.  Redemption is not partial.  When He saves He saves the whole. A person’s body & mind are just as important as their spirit.

Adam & Eve were banished from the garden & cursed.  Not only that, they brought all of creation under the curse with them because they had been its custodians.

Deuteronomy 21:23 says anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. The land itself was cursed & you can see in place like Leviticus 18:24~28 that when the Israelite's came into the land they were given specific instructions that would lift the curse from the land brought on by the pagan practices of idolatry, sexual immorality & the shedding of innocent blood.  The leaders were hung on a tree that the curse would be lifted from the land.  In like manner Christ was lifted up that we could be freed from the curse.

Galatians 3:13~14 says Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.  He redeemed us in order that the blessing  given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

The cross restores everything that was lost in the garden

This has been a foundational teaching for when we come to communion next week & look at the specific parallels the cross provides for our complete redemption from the curse & how to practically apply the blood of Jesus that has been shed for us.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Cross & The Bood the Defeat of Satan. ~ Ganeida

Our subject is the cross of Christ. Our opening scripture is Isaiah 53:4~6.
In fact, it was our diseases he bore,
our pains from which he suffered;
yet we regarded him as punished,
stricken and afflicted by God.

But he was wounded because of our crimes,
crushed because of our sins;
the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,
and by his bruises* we are healed.

We all, like sheep, went astray;
we turned, each one, to his own way;
yet Adonai laid on him
the guilt of all of us.

Isaiah, the root of whose name means salvation, is the prophet of salvation & this is what he says:
·      We all, like sheep have gone astray
·      Jesus was wounded for us
·      Crushed for us
·      Lacerated  [Heb. chaburah ] for us
·      Had our guilt laid upon Him
The word translated guilt is avon & means perversity, rebellion.  It means not only the guilt itself but the punishment for guilt. At the Cross an exchange took place.  Derek Prince calls it the Divine Exchange & lists 10 things that were exchanged at the cross [I have only Xreferenced one or two of these for you to check]:
·      Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven
·      Jesus was wounded that we might be healed
·      Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness, that we
·      might be made righteous with His righteousness
·      Jesus tasted death for us that we might share His life [Heb (2:9)]
·      Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing  [Gal 3:14]
·      Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance 2 Corinthians 8:9; 
·      Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory
·      Jesus endured my rejection that I might have His acceptance with the Father [Heb. 2:10])
·      He was cut off that we might be joined to the Lord
·      Our Old Man was put to death in Him that the New Man might come to life in us

I don’t have time to go through these 10 points this morning.  Our subject is the cross itself, not the benefits we acquire because of Jesus sacrifice.

The first point I wish to make is that nothing that we have in Christ would be possible without the cross. The cross is the soul basis for the total defeat of satan.  Without the cross every accusation against us that satan brings would be true & the justice of God would prevail over the mercy of God. Revelation 12:10 says: Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, "It has come at last--salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth--the one who accuses them before our God day and night.

Because the blood of Jesus is the only coin for our salvation & Jesus paid that price on the cross the Mercy of God can prevail over the justice of God.  This is why there is only one road to God the Father because as Hebrews 12:24 puts it: You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.  It is from the cross Jesus cried out for the forgiveness of sinners because *They know not what they do.* That is astonishing. A careful reading of the scriptures reveals that Jesus had been so badly beaten He was almost unrecoginisable as being human~Isaiah 52:14 YLT As astonished at thee have been many, (So marred by man his appearance, And his form by sons of men.)

When we come under the blood of Jesus His blood pleads our forgiveness before the Father & satan’s accusations no longer hold any weight with God. Our sins are as if they had neve been.

Dying, in unimaginable pain, Jesus’ focus is still on what He came to earth to do ~ provide a way for man to be reconciled to God.  What’s more the cross not only robs satan of his power, it renders him completely powerless according to Mark 3:27.

Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger--someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.

Satan is strong, but Christ is stronger.  Not only is Christ able to bind him, he has stripped him of all he had. 

He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. Colossians 2:15

Remember we have spoken of this before.  A captive ruler in Roman times would have his big toes & thumbs removed.  In this way he was completely & totally disarmed for all time.  He was unable to hold a weapon or stand his ground in battle. Everyone could see this when he was publicly paraded through the streets.  This maiming, in most warrior societies, would immediately render him unfit to ever rule again. This is the picture we are meant to understand.  As believer’s satan has no power over us unless we ourselves cede ground to him.

The cross provided provision for both the past & the future. For He Himself is our peace, having made both one and having broken down the barrier of the partition of hostility, having annulled in His flesh the law of commandments in ordinances, so that He might create in Himself the two into one new man, making peace and He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, by it having slain the hostility. … Ephesians 2:14…

The law is no longer a requirement for righteousness.  Faith has always been the ultimate requirement for righteousness as can be seen from passages such as Romans 4:6…just as David also declares the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works… The NIV & the KGV describe it thus: abolishing the Law in His flesh

The past has been dealt with at the cross & as Corrie Ten Boom puts it there is now No Fishing Allowed. Don’t go fishing after it.  Don’t dig it up.  Don’t disinter it.  It has been dealt with at the cross & God no longer remembers it.

I would like to spend the rest of our time discussing the practical outcome of what Jesus did on the cross. This is where we get to do something.  See Jesus made provision for us but it will do us no good at all until we grasp hold of the truths & apply them to our life.  It is one thing to believe Christ has rendered satan powerless but it is quite a different thing when we are being harassed by satan & his minions. What then should we do?

Far too many Christians believe they are powerless against satan.  They put up with sickness, disease, depression, lack, fear because they believe satan’s lies instead of God’s Truth as revealed in His word.

The first thing is to understand how very much God loves you. Romans 5:6~10

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.

Understand your value according to God.  He loved us even though we were utterly helpless, or as some versions put it, without strength. He loved us even though we were ungodly ~ clueless about God, how to know Him or please Him. He died for us while we were still sinners ~ that is in rebellion against God & disobedient.  He died for us while we were His enemies.  In fact He loved us so much He gave absolutely everything He had to purchase us. 
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:18~19

God only had one son & he gave Him for us; for you & for me. And this love is such that I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38~39

John 15:4 exhorts us to : Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

We remain in Christ through the empowering of His Holy Spirit but here is the amazing thig: "But I will send you the Advocate--the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. You want the Holy Spirit working in your life?  You want more of His power?  More of His anointing, more of the presence of God?  Testify of Jesus Christ.  Tell what the Cross & the power of the Blood has done for you.  Exalt Jesus. Preach the cross. Meditate on the Cross & the Blood.  Remember what Christ has done in you & for you & then speak it out!

And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Revelation 12:11

This is the key to defeating satan & overcoming all his wiles.  We cannot defeat him in & of ourselves. Remember the 7 sons of Sceva?  They were running around Ephesus attempting to cast out demons but they did not know Jesus & they were not covered by His blood & the demons rightly adjured them:  “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:15~16

Revelation 12:11 is speaking of satan & how he is defeated. You see no provision is made anywhere in scripture for the fallen angels, or for satan.  Jesus is not a substitute for angels.  He is the propitiation for men. Only we can claim, Jesus died for me.  Jesus blood has saved me, redeemed me, cleansed me, sanctified me.

Would you say after me: I have been redeemed out of the hand of satan by the precious blood of Jesus.

You see You know that when you were pagans, you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I inform you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:2~3

No one who denies the Son can have the Father; whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well 1 John 2:23

If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15

We must confess the son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  By our confession satan is defeated by the blood & the power of the cross. This is the way to walk in victory despite the trials & tribulations of life.

See how Mary did it according to the gospel of Luke:

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47     How my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,

   and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
    and he has done great things for me….

Her soul praises, her spirit rejoices. He has done great things for me. What are the things you can testify of that God has done for you when He redeemed you out of the hand of satan  by the precious blood of Jesus?

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Cross & The Blood 1. ~ Ganeida

For the next few weeks while Rabqa is away we will be looking @
the Cross & the Blood.

My opening text is Mark 16:17 ~ These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages.

My question to you is: believe what?  What is it that these people were to believe that would release the power of God?

Our confession of faith unto salvation is Romans 10:9 ~ If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be savedVerse 10 continues: For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Paul expands on this idea in his first letter to the Corinthians:
For Christ didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News--and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power. The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent."1 Cor 1:16~19
Paul calls the cross the very power of God. The cross has the power to save.  If we diminish the cross in any way we diminish its transformative power.

Hebrew 10:14 says: For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

Derek Prince, expositing on this passage, put it this way: this one sacrifice provides total, perfect, all sufficient provision for every need of every human being @ any time & any place forever.

We will be looking @ the provision provided when we come to discuss the blood.  For now I want you to practise the Hebrew word selahSelah is another of those lovely untranslatable Hebrew words but it is probably a combination of these various meanings: to pause, to weigh carefully in the balance the meaning of what we have just read & then to lift our hands & praise God.  Nowhere is that more appropriate than when we come to consider the cross.

Wherever you were when Jesus poured his blood over you,  redeemed you from your sin & sealed you with His Holy Spirit, all of that is only possible because of the cross. No cross, no redemption.

All the evil of this world came upon Jesus that all the goodness of God might be available to us. Come to Isaiah 53:10.  I am using Young’s Literal Translation as this expresses most clearly the work of the cross.
And Jehovah hath delighted to bruise him, He hath made him sick, If his soul doth make an offering for guilt, He seeth seed -- he prolongeth days, And the pleasure of Jehovah in his hand doth prosper.

Jesus sacrifice took sickness upon His body that we might be healed but He also bore the guilt of our souls that we might be freed from the power of sin.  Hebrews 9:22 states In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

These spiritual principles are found in the old testament & ratified in the new.

Leviticus 17:11 clearly states: 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.'

It is Jesus blood by reason of His life that makes atonement. Hebrews  again [12:24] You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.

2 Corinthians 5:21 says God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. And Romans 8:32 goes on to say Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else?

The cross is central to everything about the Christian life.  It is central to our salvation, our healing, our provision, our righteousness. Remove the cross & you remove the abundance of God’s mercy & grace.  What do I mean?

I mean you cannot come to God in your own righteousness, your own works, on your own terms for all our righteousness is as filthy rags in His sight. Isaiah 64: 6

It’s been tried.  A good part of the Mosaic Law was about enabling people to approach a Holy God.  They were so good at being a Holy people they had to have a special day each year [the Day of Atonment], when the High Priest made atonement for the sins of the people ~ & he did this every year because the sacrifice of lambs & goats could never remove sin, only cover it over.  The priests always stood to make the sacrifice but it is said of Jesus He made the once & only sacrifice then He was seated ~ & He could be seated because His sacrifice never needed to be repeated.  It never will be repeated. He has accomplished everything that needed accomplishing for all time & all people everywhere.

When we keep the message of the cross at the centre God’s supernatural grace is released in our lives.  This is because the Christian life is not a set of rules to be kept but a relationship to be entered into. It requires supernatural grace because When we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended & the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews & Gentiles, Christ is the power of God & the wisdom of God. 1 Cor 1:22~24.

It is only when we come to the end of human wisdom, the end of our pride & knowledge, & resources that we become humble enough to accept the wisdom of God which has the power to transform us.

Don’t believe me?  Listen to the numbers of our elite in our universities who speak disparagingly of our *imaginary friend*, of the bible being *myths & legends* put together by archaic old men, denying with their words the very power & wisdom of God.
The thing is though we are tempted to keep trying to do things our way & in our own strength.  As soon as we do we step outside of God’s grace. The cross reminds us that "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 

The way of Holiness is to be crucified with Christ & letting Christ live in us. That is God’s grace ~ until we think we can do it ourselves, by our own efforts & in our own strength.  It is only when we reach the end of ourselves that we can let go & let God. We will never get anywhere so long as we think we can manage it ourselves.  This is why so many Christians continue to struggle.  They have never learnt how to die to themselves.  They do not know how to continue to abide in Christ & until they do satan is going to have a heyday with their sins & their minds & they will never walk in the Freedom Christ died to obtain for us.

The last thing I want to mention today is that the cross releases the supernatural confirmation of God when Christ crucified is preached.

We all remember the 3,ooo converted @ Pentecost when Peter preached but there is a salutary lesson to be learned from Acts 17 & 18. As modern Christians we think of Paul as one of the great men of God ~ as indeed he was ~ but would it surprise you to realise his contemporaries did not hold him in such high regard?  Some of what is believed about Paul comes from the apocryphal work "Acts of Paul and Thecla," so perhaps should be taken with a pinch of salt.

It is believed +that he was short & bald.  He was bow~legged. He was a Roman citizen & an overeducated Jew, a pharisee of pharisees ~ remember we have talked before about how he was a pupil of Gamiel, one of the greats teaching Torah. He wasn’t particularly eloquent by his own testimony but he had an excellent working knowledge of Greek stoic philosophy & Rabbinic teachings. He was a smart man. It wasn’t enough.  He learnt that in Athens.

In Acts 17 we learn that Paul spoke daily in the public square in Athens & even debated with some of the Epicurean & Stoic philosophers [v18] I have an enormous amount of respect for someone brave enough to do that, take on philosophers at their own game. He ended up before the High Council with a *Please explain*. The way my NLT puts it It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.

However, smart as he was Paul was laughed at in contempt [v32] & only some became believers.
When he moved on to Corinth it was a completely different story! Paul put aside all his cleverness & makes this most extraordinary statement for a man of his abilities: For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 

He resolved to preach the cross & only the cross, the story of God’s love demonstrated through the sacrifice of His only son. The result was, apparently, quite remarkable. The whole of Corinth was stirred & impacted & it is believed that the church @ Corinth very quickly grew to number 25,000 believers. What made the difference?  Paul himself tells us. 
1 Cor 2:4  YLT~ and my word and my preaching was not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power…

You see the Spirit can be demonstrated.  That’s quite literally what Paul is saying. He says it again in Romans 15:19 They were convinced by the power of miraculous signs and wonders and by the power of God's Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum.

The full presentation of the gospel is accompanied by the power of God’s Spirit.  It is demonstrated through signs & wonders just as Jesus said it would be. Never underestimate the power of the cross.  Mention the cross, mention Jesus’ sacrifice & the Father is all attention, eager to confirm the Truth of the gospel with signs & wonders.