Take up the Cross

Let us start with the reading of the Word of God. This is a scripture that for years I could not understand, but the Word of God reveals the Word of God.

Mark 10: 17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Take up the Cross!

Now if we also consider the Bible says not to yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness, and also that we are not to make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof, the scripture now makes sense. Now we can understand the Lord is not suggesting to remove limbs, but to destroy the lusts of the flesh that lead to sin and destruction.

Take up the Cross. If you notice, Jesus had not been crucified yet. But he tells us to take up the Cross. How very prophetic, yet everyone glosses over it. Many times through his ministry he mentions those words “take up the Cross”. We often quote this saying as well, yet we put the wrong emphasis on it, the wrong revelation of it.

We are going to the doctor tonight for a checkup. We are going to sit in the office of Dr. Jesus and have him x-ray us a bit, diagnose some things, and give us some medicine. Don’t let the diagnosis scare you, the medicine never fails.

To take up a Cross is not just to take up a burden. You hear people say that “we all have a cross to bear”. It is not some bothersome thing, some little inconvenience that we have to live around. It is not to take upon yourself a minor duty, or a sacrifice in life. We say that we “have a cross to bear” as though it is some small burden, some trivial inconvenience through life. It is far deeper.

To take up a Cross is to DIE!

It means to crucify the flesh. It is not a burden through our lives, it is the END of our lives. Not only do we die, we must kill ourselves. Now this is not suicide. No. Quite the opposite. This is the crucifixion of the Old Man and the Lusts of that life, so that we can live eternally with Christ Jesus living through us.

Romans 6: Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Those of us who are baptized in the proper Biblical Baptism, in full immersion in water in the name of Jesus Christ, are BURIED with him in baptism. Our old man is crucified with him. He that is DEAD is free from sin. We are baptized into his death, buried with him, dead unto ourselves, that we might rise with him.

He cannot resurrect a living man. That just don’t even make sense.

It would have looked pretty dumb for Jesus to show up at Lazarus’ house while he was sitting back sipping some tea and pronounce him resurrected. Jesus had to wait, not only until he was dead, but until the flesh was totally corrupted and rotten. Our flesh is corrupt.

He that is dead is free from sin. If we ain’t dead, then we are NOT FREE FROM SIN!

Notice the order that Jesus spoke to the rich ruler. He said 1) take up the cross, then 2) follow me. If we have not taken up the cross, if we have not died, if we have not crucified the old man, our old characters, our old lusts and desires, our old way of thinking, then we are NOT following him. I don’t care how you were baptized or who baptized you! If you did not die first, your baptism was of none effect.

Let that sink in!

I told you we were going under the x-ray tonight.

65-1128E – On The Wings Of A Snow-White Dove – William Branham

Like I could go up here take each one of you and baptize you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that won’t remit your sins. No, no! No, I don’t believe in water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ unto regeneration; I believe the Blood is regeneration, see, not—not the water.

But, see, I could baptize and baptize, but you only go down a dry sinner, come up a wet one; see, until you have thoroughly repented. Repent, and then be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. See? And that’s where I different with the Oneness movement. Not baptizing to regeneration, no; I believe it’s the Blood that cleanses, not the water. See? Repentance, and then be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Repent, then be baptized. Repent! Take up the Cross, then follow me. If we have not crucified our flesh, as long as we are still alive to ourselves, we are NOT following Christ, we are still sinners. We are going into the water as dry sinners, and coming out of it as wet sinners. And we remain sinners until, as the Prophet told us frankly “we thoroughly repent”.

Put it ALL under the blood. Confess EVERYTHING.

And that is why the Church is in such a mess today! That is why there are so many foolish virgins. That is why there is no power in the Church. That is why there are no gifts manifesting.

We have too many wet sinners today!

Kill that Old Man! He is unbelieving and sinful!

Mark 9: 43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. 50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

We kill some of the old man, repent a bit, confess a bit, but not all. We let a little of that old character live here and there. But God’s x-ray sees it all.

  • Maybe an eye, for some dirty pictures.
  • Maybe an ear, for dirty jokes, or worldly music.
  • Maybe a hand, for a little stealing, or a little gambling, lottery.
  • Maybe a foot, to go where no Christian should ever go.
  • Maybe our tongues for a little gossip, lies or backbiting.
  • Maybe a little piece of our brains, for thinking things we should not think, and desiring things God does not desire.
  • Maybe a piece of our hearts for some bitterness, or doubt.
  • Maybe our fingernails for a little clear polish, or our lips for some lip gloss.
  • Maybe our holidays away from Christians for a bikini at the beach.

If we allow any of that old man, that old carnal, beast character to live in us, we are not following Christ. Repent! That character cannot follow him and will always lead us in the exact opposite direction. It will lead us away from the Word of God. That is the character that ran from the Lord in Eden. That character is why God had to come and find us. We were not looking for him, he was looking for us. The world is not looking for him, does not want him, rejects him, and curses his Holy Name. It is carnal, brutish, evil.

That character doesn’t want to come to Church. That character does not want to pray and worship when he gets here. That character does not want to receive the Word of God. That character does not want to repent and refuses to receive correction. That character is proud. That character causes divisions in the body of Christ. That character disbelieves the Word of God. That character worships the man instead of the God in the man.

Any time you see any of those things rising up inside you, that is the old man trying to come back to life.

Kill him!

Romans 8: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

The carnal mind, the old man, cannot please God. No matter what we do, as long as we are doing it carnally, it is displeasing unto the Lord. If we get up and sing a song, it could be the most beautiful song ever, hitting every note perfectly with the most heart felt emotions ever, making the whole room cry, but if we are carnal in our approach to it, we are displeasing the Lord. He rejects it!

If we pray from our own carnal thoughts, our prayers are displeasing to him. We could be quoting the Bible, quoting the message, perfectly, but carnally, and displeasing unto the Lord. He rejects it!

If we preach, no matter if we are perfectly quoting the Bible and the Prophet, for that is what the devil did when he came to Jesus, and what the Serpent did when he came to Eve, if we are carnal, we are displeasing and a hateful abomination unto the Lord. And anything and everything that is contrary to the Message of the Hour, the Revealed Word of God, is CARNAL.

  • Now talk to me about women preachers!

Carnality! Abominations unto the Lord God!

The spirit by which we live, is the spirit by which we worship, and the same spirit by which we pray, and sing, and testify. We don’t change spirits like coats. One for work, one for home, one for church. No Sir! Don’t ever think that for a minute.

If we are living by a lying spirit out in the world doing shady business deals all week, then we are praying by a lying spirit here in the Church. If we are living by an adulterous spirit at home, then we are singing by that self same adulterous spirit in Church.

Do you see it? Do you see it?

Romans 6: 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

We are servants, Slaves, of that which we yield ourselves to obey. If we yield to God, then we are servants of God. If we yield to sin, we are servants of Satan. And that word “servant” is “Slave” in the Greek. A slave is a possession. If we yield to sin, we are possessed by the devil.

59-0612 – All The Days Of Our Life – William Branham

27 The Holy Spirit speaking in the Scriptures tonight, said that we might serve Him all the days of our life in holiness before Him; that’s cleanliness, holiness. But today, you can mention the word, “holy,” and people laugh at it. See how Satan’s got it all wrapped up? But you are a slave. And if you are a Christian, you’re a slave. You’re a bondslave of the Lord Jesus. If there’s two people of you, both spirit and body… And if you cater to the flesh, you’re a slave of the devil, and you’ll crucify the soul that’s in you. For the Bible said, “The soul that sinneth, that soul shall die.” And you have to crucify the flesh in order to be a bondslave in your flesh to be a servant of Jesus Christ. So, you’re a slave any way you take it. And you’ll… You can’t get away from it.

 28 So you’re a slave; you’re marked. And the Bible said in the last days, there would be two marks. And every person on the earth would have one or the other. You just can’t get out of it. One’s the mark of the beast, the other one was a Seal of God. And the Seal of God is the Holy Spirit, God’s provided way for His Church.

Ephesians 4:30 said, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you’re sealed unto the day of your redemption.” And to reject that Holy Spirit is to take on the mark of the beast. All that didn’t have the Mark of God had the mark of the devil. So, you’re marked. You’re either marked a bondslave in the love of God, or you’re marked a slave to the things of the world of the devil. That’s hard. But we are slaves, and we want to serve Him all the days of our life. A slave is a servant. In order to be a servant of Jesus Christ, you have to be a slave to yourself, to crucify… Oh, God, let it sink in. Crucify yourself, and your flesh, and your desires, that God might take hold in your heart to move you and motivate you. That’s the slave of Christ, the bondslave called—Paul called it. He said he was a slave to the Lord Jesus, a bondslave in service for the Lord Jesus, going about daily, crucifying the flesh to be a slave for Jesus Christ, rejoicing because he was a slave. That’s it.

That old man is not of God. His character is not of God. He must be put to death first, then we follow Christ. Repent, THEN be baptized. Take up the Cross, THEN follow me. Break free from the bondage of sin and the shackles of the enemy. He surely makes sin look tasty to the flesh. The more evil it is in God’s eyes, the more it makes your mouth water.

63-0607 – Be Not Afraid – William Branham

106 Christianity is self-denial. “Take up your cross daily. Follow Him.” Die out, to the things of the world. When all condemnation is gone, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” How do you get into Him? By joining? No. Shaking hands? No. By a union? By education? “By one Spirit we are all baptized into one Body.” By Holy Spirit baptism we’re in Christ. “And there’s no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, that walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Amen. Oh, that, that would make anybody shout. Amen. To be in there, anyhow, that’s the good part. All right.

We all need the Holy Spirit!

There is no other way. Baptism is good, but not good enough. The new birth is by water, blood and spirit. A baby that is born of water and of blood, with no spirit, is still born. It is dead! Spirit is life and the Holy Spirit is eternal life. Too often we get half way and think we have arrived.

Ezekiel 36: 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

He will sprinkle clean water upon you, the water of the Word of God, the living water. He will cleanse you from all your idols. Anybody still got a couple of idols hidden in a closet somewhere? He will cleanse you of it, just surrender to him. He will take away your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh. A heart of flesh is tender and can receive and absorb the water. He will give you a new spirit. And that is where we stop.

We get a new spirit. We get justified. We get sanctified. And we stop. We feel good. We are clean. But we have not gone on to receive HIS SPIRIT.

We are still born foolish virgins! The Old Man keeps creeping back in to our lives, or worse, we have not gotten rid of him in the first place.

Here is the great warning. Listen Close.

Matthew 12: 43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

We get a new heart. We get baptized. We get cleansed of our old sins. We feel great. But we have not crucified the old man, and we have not received the Holy Spirit. We are not sealed unto the day of redemption. Then that old devil that possessed us comes sneaking back. Now he is a little scared so he has brought a few friends along. He brought a Proud Spirit, and a Religious Spirit, and a Gossip Spirit and four or five others. That whole group now enters in where just the one dwelt before. Now try and get free.

Now try and get free!

You will be too proud and religious to repent.

Crucify the Old Man! Today! And receive the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 15: 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

We must crucify our flesh daily. When we take up the cross, there is no mention of us putting it back down. We carry the cross to the grave, or the rapture, which ever comes first.

Did you pick up the cross? Is it on your back this moment? Is it with you every day, all day? Is it with you when you are talking with friends and coworkers? Is it with you in the restaurant when you get your meal and ask the Lord’s blessing in a loud voice, or are you ashamed of him and simply bow just a little so nobody notices and quickly mumble to yourself so nobody hears? Sin, unbelief, is easy. The road is paved and everyone is there to give you directions.

If we pick up the cross, we will not be ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ. But we will suffer every day for it. We will be hated. We will be persecuted. We will be disowned. We will be fired from jobs. We will be unfriended on Facebook. We will be insulted, falsely accused, attacked, stabbed in the back, sometimes by people in our own churches or our families. And our flesh will hate it.

If we are ashamed of him, then we have not yet taken up the cross, the old man is still ruling in our temple. We still worship those old idols.

We are stillborn!

Get born again! I don’t care what it takes, get to it. Today. Tonight. Wrestle with God until. If you are not absolutely sure of where you stand with the Lord, get a conference going on with him right now and find out. Make it sure.

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Check that old man. Does he still have a pulse? Is he breathing? Smother him to death. Do not let him rise up.

Now some might feel a bit spanked. That is not the intention. The intention is to lift you up, to show you how we can all be wrong, and the simple solution to it.

You got to identify the disease before you can prescribe the medication.

We were just under the X-ray of the Word of God through the Message of the Hour.

We may have gotten ourselves a bad diagnosis, but we also have a very positive prognosis.

53-1201 – God’s Provided Way – William Branham

25 Now, that doesn’t make us say we can sin. Brother, if you sin, you’re just—you’re just away from God. That’s all. There’s only one thing to do, is confess it and get right with God. And as long as you desire to sin, the desire of sin’s still in your heart, then it’s time to stay down at the altar till that thing’s taken out.

26 Now you will sin. You’re bound to sin ’cause you just can’t help it, but you… but not wilfully sin. “He that sins wilfully after he receive the knowledge of the truth,” see, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin.” But every day you’re bound to sin.

27 And you’re bound to be backsliding constantly, so it takes a constant prayer to God. Paul said, “I die daily.” And if Paul had to die daily, how much more am I going… I’m going to have to stay dead all the time, if—if Paul had to die daily to stay right with God. And so, we’ll all have to do that, just die out to ourself. And that’s getting God’s way.

28 Now, there’s only two ways of anything: That’s the right way and the wrong way. And them ways are your ways and God’s way. And you can’t be in your way and God’s way at the same time. You’ve got to forget your own way to get in God’s way. And you got to get out of your own way to get in God’s way. For as long as you’re in your own way, you’re out of His way. So forsake your ways, forsake your thoughts, forsake everything, and just rely one thing, on THUS SAITH THE LORD. That’s all. Then you know you’re right.


Now every Christian has Taken up the Cross. We all crucify the flesh daily. BUT, are we crucifying our WHOLE FLESH? Is there some part of that Old Man that we are allowing to live? It is like a cancer; once it gets going it spreads and devours you. Search your hearts by the Word.

Is there something maybe, not that you are yielding to Satan, but that you are not yielding to the Lord God. Failing to testify, to sing, to worship, to ask the blessing on your food in a loud voice? Maybe just to pray for a brother or sister that the Lord has put on your heart?

Search it out.

Take up the Cross!

Then Follow Jesus!