Christian – Messianic Jewelry/’Grafted In’ Messianic Pendants Grafted In Messianic Pendants from the Holy Land

'GRAFTED IN' MESSIANIC PENDANTS These beautifully hand-crafted pendants, some of which are straight from the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.

Christian – Messianic Jewelry/’Grafted In’ Messianic Pendants

‘Grafted In’ Messianic Pendants
Grafted In Messianic Pendants from the Holy Land
Christian and Messianic Gifts from the Centre of Jerusalem

Thank you for visiting us here at the Jerusalem Gift Shop!

Our shop, located in Jerusalem, the heart of the Holy Land, has a huge inventory of unique gifts that we have provided for you, our valued customers. We’re happy to be your connection to Israel!
We were established in 2004 with a desire to build a bridge between the nations and Israel through our gift shop and News from Jerusalem service. We have expanded greatly since then, both in terms of the range of gifts that we provide as well in the huge number of customers that comprise our loyal support base. We appreciate you so much and are constantly on the lookout for new items to add to our inventory for you. To our new customers, we look forward to extending the same heartfelt service and appreciation to you as well! We hope that you will be as blessed to receive our carefully selected products as we are blessed to be able to serve you. We’ve recently added blogs about life in Israel to our website to make your connection to this land even closer. Shalom, shalom!

“I will bless those who bless you…”
Genesis 12:3

 
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Should You Wear a “Christian” Cross?

cross-jesus-bible-god-Should You Wear a Christian Cross

A dramatic voice emanates from the television: “The cross is revered throughout Christianity as a symbol of faith in Jesus. We are pleased to present this beautifully detailed 24-karat gold cross with matching gold chain. It will bring you great joy while you proudly wear it as a symbol of your faith. Let it inspire you in your Christian walk. Place your order now by calling the number shown on the screen, and we will rush you your very own cross for three easy payments of $39.95. Quantities are limited, so do not delay!”

Stirred to action by the presenter’s words and images of a sparkling golden cross, a TV viewer picks up the phone and dials the number. Like millions of others, he wants to wear this display of his religion. He wants others to know he is “Christian.”

The cross is venerated and admired across the wide spectrum of traditional Christian churches. It is a cornerstone symbol—supposedly representing the message of Jesus Christ and how He died for the sins of humanity.

Worn around the neck, placed on the dashboard of a car, hung from a wall, neatly lined in cemetery rows, placed on top of church steeples, or found along highways either alone or with two slightly smaller crosses on each side, this icon is made of varied materials and found in different shapes, forms and places.

Most display the simple cross—an upright stake with an intersecting crossbeam located about a third of the way down from the top. Some have two crossbeams; others have an oval shaped circle on top. Still another type, called a crucifix, has an image of “Jesus” affixed to it. The shapes, sizes and configurations are seemingly endless, with “something for everyone.”

While the King James Version of the Bible speaks of the “cross of Christ” (Gal. 6:12), does this mean a Christian should use this symbol as a physical manifestation of his faith?

Since Jesus warned His followers against blindly following the traditions of men (Mark 7:6-7), you must not make assumptions. Do not just accept or assume that the cross is biblical—demand proof!

Constant Reminder?

Symbols carry significance and meaning. Often, they are used to invoke feelings or thoughts in the mind of the viewer. Some bring remembrance of events, places or people: national flags, war memorials, monuments to famous persons, or grave markers.

The image of a cross is no different. Yet few people consider what meaning this symbol has for God. Many questions flow from this: Does God want you to wear a cross and display it where you live?

Does God want to see this instrument of cruelty hanging from Christians’ necks, on the wall of their homes, or placed on the dashboard of their cars? Does He want to look upon a symbol that reminds Him of when He had to completely turn from His Son? (Read Matthew 27:46, II Corinthians 5:21, and Isaiah 53:6; 59:2.) And would you wear a constant reminder of how your child was put to death? Think about this!

Consider further. If Christ were put to death with a. 38 Special handgun, would you wear this around your neck? If Jesus were put to death in an electric chair, would you place a miniature one on your dashboard as a sign of faith? What if by lethal injection? Would you have its representation prominently placed on the wall of your home?

Why venerate—give honor to—an instrument used in Christ’s death? Are you certain God desires this?

Before Christ

The cross was not widely used in mainstream Christianity until the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine—about 270 years after Christ established His Church on Pentecost AD 31. None of the apostles or first-century Christians used it or accepted it as a “Christian” symbol.

The Classic Encyclopedia, based on the famous 11th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica, states: “From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man’s civilization. Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world. India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples, while numerous instances, dating from the later Stone Age to Christian times, have been found in nearly every part of Europe. The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times, and among non-Christian peoples, may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship.”

According to Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow, “Ages ago in Italy, before the people knew anything of the arts of civilization, they believed in the cross as a religious symbol. It was regarded as a protector and was placed upon tombs.” This symbol is still placed on graves today!

The book continues, “In 46 B.C. [Before Christ], Roman coins show Jupiter holding a long scepter terminating in a cross. The Vestal Virgins of pagan Rome wore the cross suspended from their necklaces, as the nuns of the Roman Catholic church do now.”

According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, the shape of the 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) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt.

“By the middle of the third century A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system, pagans were received into the churches…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 to stand for the cross of Christ.”

Who was this Tammuz? Anciently, he has been known by many names: Baal, Molech, Osiris. The Bible identifies him as Nimrod: “He was a mighty hunter before [in place of] the Lord” (Gen. 10:9).

The famous Jewish historian, Josephus, records in Antiquities of the Jews important evidence of Nimrod’s role in the post-Flood world. Notice: “He also gradually changed the government into tyranny…He [Nimrod] also said he would be revenged on God, if He should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach…Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God.”

Ezekiel 8:13-14 records a picture of the women of Israel “weeping for Tammuz.” This Tammuz (the god of fire) of the Babylonian mystery religion is none other than Nimrod. The etymology of the word Tammuz bears examination: tam means “to make perfect” and muz “fire.” In other words, to make perfect through burning in fire!

Ancient Israel fell into worshipping Tammuz. Again, he was also known as Baal or Molech: “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into My mind, that they should do this abomination…” (Jer. 32:35).

These practices were so terrible that God says they never entered His mind—they were unimaginable to Him!

If a symbol was first used for a pagan god—one tied to child sacrifices—should you still wear it around your neck?

Also notice what the Davis Dictionary of the Bible states about the origin of the cross: “The pre-Christian cross of one form or another was in use as a sacred symbol among the Chaldeans, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, and many other…nations. The Spaniards in the 16th century found it also among the Indians of Mexico and Peru. But its symbolic teaching was quite different from that which we now associate the cross.”

How was its meaning different? It was used as a symbol of fertility. “Various figures of crosses are found everywhere on Egyptian monuments and tombs, and are considered by many authorities as symbolical either of the phallus [a representation of the male sex organ] or of coition…In Egyptian tombs the crux ansata [cross with a circle or handle on top] is found side by side with the phallus” (A Short History of Sex-Worship).

Clearly, the cross symbol in its various forms has pagan origins—and meanings—outside of Christianity. Origins that long predate the birth of Jesus Christ—and the Church He founded. It was “Christianized” and brought into mainstream Christianity.

What Did It Look Like?

What did the instrument of Jesus Christ’s suffering look like? What was its shape? There are differing opinions.

Professing Christianity has traditionally taught that Christ died on a two-beamed cross—His feet nailed together, with arms outstretched. The gospel accounts do say that Christ was nailed to a cross. Yet closer examination is warranted.

The word “cross” is translated from the Greek word stauros. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words states that this word “denotes primarily, ‘an upright pale or stake.’ On such [criminals] were nailed for execution. Both the noun and the verb stauroo, ‘to fasten to a stake or pale,’ are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross.”

Interestingly, other scriptures record that Christ was nailed to a “tree” (I Pet. 2:24; Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29). The Greek word used in these verses, xulon, means “timber, stick, club, tree or other wooden article or substance.”

Anciently, Roman soldiers would crucify people using wooden structures of various shapes. Sometimes they used upright stakes or poles. Other times they used wooden crosses by attaching beams either at or just below the top.

The Bible does not specify the exact shape of the “stauros” or “xulon” on which Christ was crucified. But in light of the historical meanings of “stauros” and “xulon,” it was likely on a stake or upright pole, not on a two-beamed cross.

Do not, however, put too much emphasis on the shape of the cross. If God thought it were important for us to know exactly which, He would have clearly recorded it, leaving us without doubt.

The shape is not important—but Christ’s sacrifice is!

Wrong Focus

Established Christianity often has its adherents focus on a Jesus Christ who is either pictured as a helpless baby in a manger or a long-haired, effeminate weakling hanging dead on a cross.

Yet the Bible reveals that Christ now looks completely different. Inspired by God, the apostle John described Jesus’ present appearance: “His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shines in [its] strength” (Rev. 1:14-16).

God would not have inspired this description unless He wanted us to know Christ’s glorified appearance. Instead of focusing on how He may have looked in the past, we should think about Christ’s appearance in terms of how He looks today—as a soon-coming King who will rule all nations!

This is a very different picture from the one invoked by traditional Christianity!—which has its emphasis on “feelings,” “emotions” and “physical” things. The Bible calls this approach a false “form of godliness” (II Tim. 3:5). This is especially true of a cross.

People own crosses and other religious items to “feel religious.” But the Second Commandment clearly prohibits any rendering of Christ’s or the Father’s appearance or any other religious image: “You shall not make unto yourself any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them…” (Ex. 20:4-5).

Crosses are made—“graven”—by man’s hand. They are of “the earth beneath.” Supposed pictures or images of Jesus Christ or God the Father (who are in heaven above) are also rendered by the hands of men. Both are used as objects of worship—they are adored and venerated.

Any picture, image or statue of Jesus Christ or God is in clear violation of the Second Commandment, and this includes all crosses and crucifixes. All such icons become the object of worship, which breaks the First Commandment as well: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:3).

Ancient Israel constantly fell into worshipping physical objects, such as the golden calf in Exodus 32. It is no different today.

Physically minded human beings desire physical representations of God, as well as physical symbols to which they can attach meaning. They find it hard (in fact impossible) to worship a God they cannot see. Yet Hebrews 11, verses 1 and 6, states that we must believe God exists even though we cannot see Him.

God is composed of spirit. He does not consist of anything made by human hands, of wood, stone, gold, silver, ivory or otherwise. God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24)—not with physical objects.

See the cross symbol for what it is—pagan! Its meanings and symbolism do not honor God or Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that God’s people must not practice or tolerate any pagan ways, customs, traditions or practices (Deut. 7:1-6; Jer. 10:1-5; Rev. 18:1-4).

The Right Focus

How then should a person honor Jesus Christ? What kind of worship does He approve? Allow God’s Word to answer: “For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him [God] that judges righteously” (I Pet. 2:21-23).

Worshipping God in “spirit and truth” means following the example set for us by Jesus Christ. It means patterning your life after Him. Your focus should be on how He lived—in complete submission to the Father—faithfully obeying all of the Commandments, including the Second Commandment.

He said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Also, “If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love” (John 15:10).

Simply put, love for—worship of—God can only truly be expressed by active Commandment-keeping. Our faith must be accompanied by actions (Jms. 2:20). Jesus Christ never wore or had a cross, and neither should His followers. True Christianity is a way of life you live—the exact same way Jesus Christ lived while on Earth—it is not demonstrated by any religious symbol.

While you can be “justified by His blood” (Rom. 5:9), forgiven of past sins by His death, the next verse clarifies that you are “saved by His life” (vs. 10).

Rather than focusing primarily on Christ’s death, which is the central purpose for displaying the cross, you should emulate His life! If you will allow, He will live that very same Commandment-keeping life in you.

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Prayers to Pray – Bible study – Bible Prayers – Pray These Powerful Decrees Over Your Unsaved Loved Ones

Pray These Powerful Decrees Over Your Unsaved Loved Ones

One of the most profound truths presented in Scripture is that Jesus Christ is a groom. His bride is the church. This is very good news as it suggests that the degree of intimacy, dedication, care and commitment Jesus offers His followers is that of a faithful husband to His beloved wife.

Although some passages display this marital imagery explicitly, like Ephesians 5:31-32 and Revelation 21:2-3, in other verses it often goes unnoticed. Here are six such examples:

  • “[The Magi] saw the young Child with Mary, His mother … they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11).
  • “I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).
  • “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:3).
  • “Concerning that day and hour no one knows … but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
  • “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).
  • “Fill the water pots with water … Now draw some out, and take it to the master of the feast” (John 2:7-8).

Betrothal During Biblical Times

To see how these verses might relate to marriage, we have to understand how couples got betrothed during biblical times.

As I outline in my book In Love: The Larger Story of Sex and Marriage, a young Jewish man would propose betrothal by offering a young woman a cup of wine. He would say, “This cup represents a covenant in blood,” and she would accept the offer by taking a sip. They would not drink from that same cup again until their wedding night. At this point, the groom would typically give the bride a betrothal gift, perhaps in the form of a ring.

The two would then depart and not see each other for up to a year. He would return to his father’s homestead and build a room, or huppah, that would become the residence for the new couple. The father had to approve the completion of the huppah before the wedding took place. Thus, during this time, whenever he was asked about his exact wedding day, the young man would respond, “Only my father knows.”

When the room was ready, the groom and his family and friends would travel to the young woman’s house to claim her as his bride. The groom typically would dress in the same manner as a priest, wearing a seamless tunic that was sprinkled with frankincense and myrrh and, if he could afford it, a gold crown upon his head.

Once back at the groom’s father’s house, the couple would once again sip from that same cup of wine, and they would consummate the marriage. Wedding guests, if dressed appropriately, were invited to take part in a seven-day celebration, culminating in a grand feast. The groom was responsible for providing his guests with food and wine during this time.

Several New Testament passages refer explicitly to this betrothal tradition. For example, the parable of the 10 virgins describes the bridesmaids who watch for the arrival of the groom as he comes to claim his bride (Matt. 25:1-13) and Matthew 22:11-12 mentions the necessity of wedding guests to wear the appropriate clothes.

Reading in a New Light

With this Jewish betrothal tradition in mind, we can perhaps also read the six verses mentioned above in a new light.

  • Upon Jesus’ birth, wise men bring Him gold, frankincense and myrrh, which are items that would have been worn by a Jewish groom on his wedding day.
  • During the Last Supper, Jesus offers his disciples a cup of wine, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Cor. 11:25b). He tells them He will not drink again from that same cup until He does so with them in His Father’s kingdom (Matt. 26:29).
  • Jesus then declares that He is about to depart from them; He is returning to His Father’s house, which has “many dwelling places,” where He will “prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-3).
  • When His disciples ask Jesus when his second coming will take place, he responds, “No one knows … but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36b). This is the response a groom would give when asked about the timing of his wedding day.
  • Also like a new groom, Jesus gives His bride a betrothal gift, although His gift comes in the form of living water. He approaches a woman at Jacob’s well—which, in ancient Israel, was a common setting for finding a bride as Jacob himself did with Rachel—and talks to her about husbands. He then offers this Samaritan woman “living water” as “the gift of God,” indicating that God wants to betroth not only Jews but also Gentiles (John 4:6-26).
  • At the wedding in Cana, when Jesus tells a servant to take water He’d turned into wine to the master of the feast, He exercises the role of a groom, who was responsible for providing the guests wine (John 2:1-11).

Each of these verses can bear multiple layers of meaning. Noting their connection with the Jewish betrothal tradition helps illumine the intimate, covenantal relationship Jesus has formed with His people. By understanding this ancient process of entering marriage, we can see with fresh eyes the kind of commitment and care that Christ offers to us. In short, the larger story of Scripture can be read as a love story with marital form.

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9b).

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Follow Jesus and Take up His Cross Prayer

Mark 8:34 “And JESUS called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [joining Me as a disciple and siding with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me].”

When JESUS spoke these words HE HAD NOT BEEN CRUCIFIED. So why did JESUS say the words “take up his cross”, and what do they mean?

In the Strong’s Concordance the definition for cross is #4716 i.e. self-denial by imply – the atonement of Christ, fig. exposure to death; a stake or post or cross.

To the Jewish people the meaning of the cross was understood. Deuteronomy 21:22 and 23 speaks of the cross as a symbol of death and to commit a sin worthy of death a man would be hung on a tree. It also told them (and us) that the man who is hung on a tree is accursed by God. So they knew that this type of self-denial would be great. Death to the flesh, self, and following JESUS.

According to “The Cross in Tradition, History and Act” by William Wood Seymour, the cross was originally designed as occult symbols to be worshipped in Babylon and Egypt [many years before Jesus].

We must understand that the cross is a symbol of death, grief, sorrow and agony, and like other objects that we should not have in our home, we don’t need to have a cross either, even around our necks. If you have seen any pictures of rock music singers, they almost all have crosses around their necks, in their ears, or other parts of their body. Almost every religion uses a cross, including voodoo (they also use rosary beads). Buddha temples have crosses on the building. So if someone sees a cross in your home, hanging around your neck or your car mirror, what god will they think you are serving?

Our witness is our lifestyle and people will know by the Holy Spirit abiding within us that we are Christ’s. Remember that the Lord said that if we bring a cursed object into our home we take the curse on us also. Deuteronomy 7:26 “Neither shall you bring an abomination (an idol) into your house, lest you become an accursed thing like it; but you shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.”

This does not take away the fact that our Lord and Savior was crucified on a tree. These trees were used by the Romans to kill people long before JESUS died on one.

Do you wear a MANGER around your neck which signifies the birth of JESUS? You get the point.

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This is my body – This is my Blood – Last supper of Jesus Holy Day meditations

Luke 22: 19-20

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

Today I want to share with you these paragraphs from “The Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible,” on the Lord’s last Supper. Henry explains clearly the symbolism of the Passover and the Old Moses covenant and the New Covenant seal with the precious blood of Jesus, through His sacrifice on the Cross.

III. The institution of the Lord’s supper, Luk_22:19, Luk_22:20. The passover and the deliverance out of Egypt were typical and prophetic signs of a Christ to come, who should by dying deliver us from sin and death, and the tyranny of Satan; but they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, that brought us up out of the land of Egypt; a much greater deliverance shall eclipse the lustre of that, and therefore the Lord’s supper is instituted to be a commemorative sign or memorial of a Christ already come, that has by dying delivered us; and it is his death that is in a special manner set before us in that ordinance.

1. The breaking of Christ’s body as a sacrifice for us is here commemorated by the breaking of bread; and the sacrifices under the law were called the bread of our God (Lev_21:6, Lev_21:8, Lev_21:17): This is my body which is given for you. And there is a feast upon that sacrifice instituted, in which we are to apply it to ourselves, and to take the benefit and comfort of it. This bread that was given for us is given to us to be food for our souls, for nothing can be more nourishing and satisfying to our souls than the doctrine of Christ’s making atonement for sin, and the assurance of our interest in that atonement; this bread that was broken and given for us, to satisfy for the guilt of our sins, is broken and given to us, to satisfy the desire of our souls. And this we do in remembrance of what he did for us, when he died for us, and for a memorial of what we do, in making ourselves partakers of him, and joining ourselves to him in an everlasting covenant; like the stone Joshua set up for a witness, Jos_24:27.

 2. The shedding of Christ’s blood, by which the atonement was made (for the blood made atonement for the soul, Lev_17:11), as represented by the wine in the cup; and that cup of wine is a sign and token of the New Testament, or new covenant, made with us. It commemorates the purchase of the covenant by the blood of Christ, and confirms the promises of the covenant, which are all Yea and Amen in him. This will be reviving and refreshing to our souls, as wine that makes glad the heart. In all our commemorations of the shedding of Christ’s blood, we must have an eye to it as shed for us; we needed it, we take hold of it, we hope to have benefit by it; who loved me, and gave himself for me. And in all our regards to the New Testament we must have an eye to the blood of Christ, which gave life and being to it, and seals to us all the promises of it. Had it not been for the blood of Christ, we had never had the New Testament; and, had it not been for the New Testament, we had never know the meaning of Christ’s blood shed.

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Why True Christians Do Not Use the Cross in Worship

THE cross is loved and respected by millions of people. The Encyclopædia Britannica calls the cross “the principal symbol of the Christian religion.” Nevertheless, true Christians do not use the cross in worship. Why not?

An important reason is that Jesus Christ did not die on a cross. The Greek word generally translated “cross” is stau·rosʹ. It basically means “an upright pale or stake.” The Companion Bible points out: “[Stau·rosʹ] never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle . . . There is nothing in the Greek of the [New Testament] even to imply two pieces of timber.”

In several texts, Bible writers use another word for the instrument of Jesus’ death. It is the Greek word xyʹlon. (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24) This word simply means “timber” or “a stick, club, or tree.”

Explaining why a simple stake was often used for executions, the book Das Kreuz und die Kreuzigung (The Cross and the Crucifixion), by Hermann Fulda, states: “Trees were not everywhere available at the places chosen for public execution. So a simple beam was sunk into the ground. On this the outlaws, with hands raised upward and often also with their feet, were bound or nailed.”

The most convincing proof of all, however, comes from God’s Word. The apostle Paul says: “Christ purchased us, releasing us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: ‘Accursed is every man hung upon a stake [“a tree,” King James Version].’” (Galatians 3:13) Here Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:22, 23, which clearly refers to a stake, not a cross. Since such a means of execution made the person “a curse,” it would not be proper for Christians to decorate their homes with images of Christ on a cross.

There is no evidence that for the first 300 years after Christ’s death, those claiming to be Christians used the cross in worship. In the fourth century, however, pagan Emperor Constantine became a convert to apostate Christianity and promoted the cross as its symbol. Whatever Constantine’s motives, the cross had nothing to do with Jesus Christ. The cross is, in fact, pagan in origin. The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits: “The cross is found in both pre-Christian and non-Christian cultures.” Various other authorities have linked the cross with nature worship and pagan sex rites.

Why, then, was this pagan symbol promoted? Apparently, to make it easier for pagans to accept “Christianity.” Nevertheless, devotion to any pagan symbol is clearly condemned by the Bible. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) The Scriptures also forbid all forms of idolatry. (Exodus 20:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 10:14) With very good reason, therefore, true Christians do not use the cross in worship. *

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